Stephen Posted November 6, 2013 Report Share Posted November 6, 2013 Aircraft Review : FlightFactor Boeing 757RR-200 Route : BIKF (Keflavik) to EGCC (Manchester UK) In August 2012. FlightFactor with VMAX released their first X-Plane aircraft in the Boeing 777-200ER Worldliner and later the add-on variants (Extended) of the Longer -300 and Cargo version. The response was overwhelming in the simulation world of the standard that the aircraft represented in the way of quality, but more so in the depth of the systems and the excellent FMC (Flight Management Computer). The release created another upward step in the evolution of simulation standards towards realism and replication of real world aircraft operations. The announcement of the Boeing 757 series as the next release aircraft would certainly create a ready made market for the aircraft. However the B777 Worldliner was a very high standard to reach. The question is that "could the Boeing 757-Series be as good or even better than the acclaimed Boeing 777-Series"? I'll let you relax early and note that it is, and in many areas better. But it is also a very different aircraft than the B777 Worldliner in the fact it is a generation older than its bigger Boeing brother. It is a more manual hands-on aircraft and its systems are in that magnificent tween period of the transition from the standard dial and gauge cockpit to the all glass (display) cockpits of the modern era. This is one of the great attractions of the Boeing 757 as it can keep both the older and more modern pilots happy and fulfilled... The B757 also creates a bigger workload in the cockpit - so you have been warned. Boeing 757 After the success of the original Boeing series of aircraft in the 707/727/737/747. It came to the point in time where Boeing was faced with replacing its most successful aircraft (at that time) - The Boeing 727 that operated on the most important short and medium routes. Boeing knew that most airlines wanted a larger twin-aisle aircraft, but there was also significant demand for a single-aisle version as well. The result was two airframes that covered both markets in the B757/B767 Series as both had the commonality of cockpit layouts and the exchange of many parts and systems on both aircraft. The Boeing 767 became the twin-aisle version and the Boeing 757 was the single-aisle aircraft. It was a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine aircraft that can carry 200 to 289 passengers for a maximum of 3,150 to 4,100 nautical miles (5,830 to 7,600 km), depending on variant. And it was Boeing's the manufacturer largest single-aisle passenger aircraft and was produced from 1981 to 2004. Production of the 757 ended on October 28, 2004, after 1,050 had been built for 54 customers. The 757-200 was by far the most popular model, with 913 built. The prototype 757 was rolled out of the Renton factory on January 13, 1982. The aircraft, equipped with RB211-535C engines and completed its maiden flight one week ahead of schedule on February 19th,1982. The maiden flight however was not without complications, as the RB211 was affected by an engine stall, following indications of low oil pressure. After checking system diagnostics, Boeing company test pilot John Armstrong and co-pilot Lew Wallick were able to restart the affected engine, and the flight proceeded normally to landing. Eastern Air Lines operated the first commercial 757 flight on January 1st,1983, on the Atlanta-to-Tampa route. and on February 9th,1983, British Airways began using the aircraft for London-to-Belfast shuttle services as the first overseas airline to use the aircraft of where it replaced the retiring Hawker Siddeley Trident 3B trijets. The first 757 with PW2037 engines rolled out about one year later, and was delivered to Delta Air Lines on November 5, 1984. The 757 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit featuring a single fin and rudder. Each wing features a supercritical cross-section and is equipped with five-panel leading edge slats, single- and double-slotted flaps, an outboard aileron, and six spoilers. The wings are largely identical across all 757 variants, swept at 25 degrees, and optimized for a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 (533 mph or 858 km/h). The reduced wing sweep eliminates the need for inboard ailerons, yet incurs little drag penalty on short and medium length routes, during which most of the flight is spent climbing or descending. The airframe further incorporates carbon-fiber reinforced plastic wing surfaces, Kevlar fairings and access panels, plus improved aluminum alloys, which together reduce overall weight by 2,100 pounds (950 kg). Details noted here are noted for the -200 version. Cruise Speed : Mach 0.80 (530 mph, 458 knots, 850 km/h at cruise altitude of 35,000 ft or 10.66 km) Range : 3,900 nmi (7,222 km) (4,100 nmi (7,600 km) with winglets) Service Ceiling : 42,000 ft (12,800 m) FlightFactor The developer house behind the Boeing 777 and the Boeing 757 is FlightFactor. FlightFactor was formed by Roman Berezin (Ramzzess Aviation Design) and Philipp Münzel Avionics and are the main developer behind both series of aircraft and it is produced by VMAX, Roman is more on the modeling and general programming side while Philipp is centered more on the systems and avionics. But it take a lot people behind the scenes today to create these complex machines. Other highly regarded developers have also been involved who include: Andrey Germayer – in aeronautical engineering, Jack Skieczius – aeronautical engineering, Hartmut Krüger – paintkit and graphics, Bruno Gregorie – cockpit texturing, Marius Hoppmann – sound engineer, Pierre Lavaux – sound engineer. It takes a lot of talent to produce these aircraft and the days of the single developer are slow vanishing into the past. First Impressions The Boeing 757 is quite odd to look at compared to most modern airliners in the fact it is tall and skinny. The tall is that the undercarriage is higher (taller) than most aircraft, because Boeing wanted to have room under the aircraft for different variants and larger engines, Skinny is because it is a single-aisle aircraft based on a twin-aisle concept. Both these features however worked in the aircraft's favor because of its lighter weight, slender fuselage, huge power-to-weight ratio and big engines - It goes and climbs like ...... and is known as "the pocket rocket". FlightFactor's detailing is extraordinary good. And considering the detail it is very light on your frame-rate. Here the textures are set in "very high", but "high" is fine with only a slight buzzyness around some graphics at a very close range, most of the images here are set only in "high" and you would be pressed to notice the difference. The Icelandair livery is astoundingly good, It will be part of the add-on livery collections - but well worth the investment. You have the option of having Aviation Partners Incorporated winglets on or off. I like them on and they give you a longer range as well. They are well crafted into the wings with the lighting set perfectly into the leading edge. Flap construction and animation is first rate, the detailing is excellent. Not just for show but also the mechanism and detailing within the wing. The single and double-slotted flaps, outboard aileron and all six spoilers are represented. When the hydraulics are off the ailerons droop in realism. Tyres and undercarriage assemblies are again first rate, full detailing of links and hydraulic systems are almost perfect. I like the texturing of the supports and general worn dirtyness with out overdoing the effect. Perfect realism. Menu System The Boeing 757 menu system is different from FlightFactor's B777 menu... That one sits on the side of your computer screen like a blue blob, I don't care for menus that I can see, although as handy as they are. I find them distracting. Here the 757 menu is part of the X-Plane top menu under "Plugins". It means a double-click to access the menu, but it is a far more neater solution. (just be careful not to disable it) Here we require only the first two "General" and "Ground" menu pages. These pages are for setting up the aircraft and using features of the aircraft on the ground. General The "General" Menu allows you to set certain conditions on the aircraft. First is "High Challenge", "Real Limits" and "Real Time" all are effective depending on your level of skill, to start I recommend to keep them off until you are familiar with the aircraft, then introduce them to feel the effects. "Real Time" does not have as a major effect on the aircraft as the other two. You can select "F/O" First Officer to be in control to fly from the right side of the cockpit. You can plug-in a radio, select your winglet choice and load your last flight including fuel loads. "Charts" can be on/off and we will see them in the cockpit. Volume adjustment and you can save all the above as defaults. The lower section is your 6 main doors and 4 overwing (escape) doors operation (open/Close), No cargo doors though which is a shame? Ground The "Ground" Menu allows you to set up items on the ground around the aircraft. You have a large selection of vehicles and ground equipment to choose from. First you have two GPU's to use, One a general power supply, and the second a start supply that sits by the left engine. A passenger bus, Stairs on the right first door? great for servicing but you miss the door on the first left side for passenger plane/deplane... It feels odd and you miss it, a choice or better still both choices would be nice. A fuel truck that will load in your fuel load, a De-Ice Truck that is great but only De-Ices the right wing?. And chocks on the wheels. There is a "Gate" configuration button that turns off the Bus and Stairs which is fairly useless. The mid-section is for setting up the aircraft configuration for flight. This includes No.Pass, Cargo Weight, APU (fuel) time, Taxi (fuel) time, contingency (fuel), alternate (fuel) and trip fuel, total fuel and weight is shown and you can save and load in the configurations. Finally on the "Ground" menu there is a very good (Steer and power by throttle) pushback truck that is the same on the B777. very good it is as well. Cockpit First impressions of the cockpit are of the complexity and quality of the design. Looking into the cockpit, It does feel quite more darker than a B757 cockpit would look like, it helps with the detail but it does need to be a little more lighter to be more authentic. Detailing is astounding. almost every knob and switch is active and perfect in design. As noted this 757 is a generation of aircraft that transcended the era between the dials and glass cockpits. Sitting behind the beautifully rendered throttles (reverse thrust) levers is the main attraction. The FMS. It is almost the same design as the one on the FlightFactors Boeing 777, but it is the best FMC in X-Plane right now. Fully programmable with flight data (performance, Depart, Cruise, Arrival) routes x 2, Legs, SIDS & STARS, DEP/ARR airports, it is fully functional and both the FMS's of the pilot and the Co-Pilot's pop-outs and are completely and separately programmable, you can start setting up the data on the pilots side and finish on the Co-Pilots FMC or do both at the same time and can input on different modes (you still have to follow the basic input rules).... Just simply brilliant. If you look closely you will find a mode missing? Radio was not on the FMC at this stage (unlike the B777) and so you have to input your frequencies manually. One Item worth noting is that you can save a route (yah!). But to retrieve the route from file you have to input the exact letters and numbers into the FMC. You can check in the Plugin/757Avionics/Routes folder if you forget or simply write them down. The systems on the 757 aircraft are highly complex with full Electrical, hydraulic, De-Ice, Fuel (pumps and tank transfer) most of which is situated on the overhead panel (OHP). There is a multistage custom failure system with in-browser instructor’s console and you have the ability to fix failure by following the proper procedures. And between flights any failures and maintenance will carry over to the next flight that gives you the realism of a not so perfect aircraft. (you can turn this all off via the menu). Starting the engines is as complex as you would expect from a cold start-up, it requires long procedures of button pushing and systems activation. On power up the engine power comes in gradually and then they get noisy outside, they are dirty as well as the black plumes of carbon fill the air behind the engine exhausts. As it is very complex machine, you do have thankfully an excellent checklist and tutorial built into the menu. A full checklist for every portion of the flight is available. First there is a "Normal" checklist that just lists the procedures, This includes the standard aircraft walkaround. "Procedures" takes the situations a level higher. First with a highly detailed instruction of each procedure and then as a very clever tutorial that goes through all the procedures. As you click each procedure it will show you in what order and where each item is to be activated. As you click the items off the checklist it goes onto the next item. For new and even experienced users like me, it makes the systems more easily absorbed and you learn quite fast. Many times you know what to press but can't find the right function on the panel... or do the sequence in the wrong order. Here a few runs through and you are pretty well ready just to use the standard checklists. There is the "Operational" Checklists that is also highly detailed and every one of these checklists can be used in Auto mode when the aircraft will do it for you. The final item "RE-SET" on the menu will reset any of the Checklists in the lists. It looks daunting at first but the checklist menus are simply so good you will soon understand the aircraft. Interior The interior cabin is just as detailed as every other item on the aircraft, Opening the locked cabin door will find you with a "I can't do that look on your face", You can, as the (FLT DK Door) button is on the OHP and that shows the amount of detail you have. Inside the seats are beautifully rippled, and the cabin fittings, Lavatories, working galleys and all the interior lighting lighting is excellent. Flying the Boeing 757 Once the aircraft is configured with fuel (menu), FMS flight route (data) and engine start you are ready for pushback. Flaps were set at 10º. and brakes away. Taxiing is easy as the throttle response is excellent, you feel the weight and it takes a push for thrust to get the 757 moving, then you settle it back to a 10knt taxi speed. You can do cabin announcements via a great announcement menu page. There is a full list of excellent standard announcements that will bring a smile to your face, There is also the option for charts on the yoke, these are pdf's that are stored in the "CHARTS" folder in the main file folder. They have to be listed (.png's) and configured for use, but it is worthwhile for their usability and as an excellent feature. Push throttles forward and the engines spool up to full power in their own time, this takes a moment and then the push comes in. Totally realistic in the moment is that the power is just there on other aircraft, but it is simply not here on the 757 until it comes in with a growing gradient of power. The feeling is fabulous in its effect of reality... amazing programming must be required to get this just right. At rotate you just let it climb without pulling back to hard, Gear up is a two stage click upwards on the lever, It climbs like you expect, very quickly. And on the turn back towards the coast over BIRK I was already at 8000ft and climbing easily at 2000ftpm. Turn to the sun and the active shades feature will cover the windows, turn away and they go up again. Both Pilot and Co-Pilot NAV/MAP displays are independent, Usually placed on the glareshield, here they are on the pedestal. it makes adjustment tricky - but they are very authentic in operation. Glareshield Autopilot is excellent, It has full separate functions for the the Pilot and Co-Pilot, VOR 2 frequency settings are at both sides, which can be set to Manual or Automatic. Pilots side instruments shows the duel mixture of dials and glass screens with digital readouts from that era. Setting the ILS Frequency (VOR1) is a slightly more nerve racking affair if you don't know how? or where it is? It is situated at the rear of the pedestal, but the first the actual frequencies don't show unless you adjust the lighting - it is just dark or blank. When it does show it only displays dotted lines? A casual look around the cockpit became a frantic search for the badly needed ILS setting. The trick is to touch the knob on the frequency selector and the frequencies finally show a selectable freq number. Another feature is the oxygen mask, press the compartment to the pilots left hand and activate the mask, it moves as you wear it and not just where you look, but also on how you breath! Enroute and you have a lot of tools at your disposal. The FMC gives you your route while the Co-Pilot does the flying with the standard MAP mode. Engine performance and power is shown on the displays. At arrival you can easily set the correct distance to your turn fix for the correct height. Cabin and glass reflections are first class. the windows all give great reflections and they are worse at night with the lighting from the instruments.. Flying today is in good weather, But if it turns wet or stormy then the aircraft has a good weather radar (adjustible!) and great rain effects on the windows, now in X-Plane in aircraft of this category rain is mostly de-rigueur, but FlightFactor do it very well. Arrival is down to 5000ft and m62. But watch the aircraft as it will fall quite quickly if you don't control the descent, on finals as you turn but you have to watch the drag from those long drooping flaps, in fact your speed has to be quite slow at around 140knts on approach, because if you don't control the speed and you are not slow enough in the flare you will get a bang of a landing. (or a reset!) That last few feet from the ILS cutoff is going to test your skill to the limit. But get it right and you will smile for days after. The reverse thrust is very effective and blows out a lot of black dirt in front of the engines. Then don't forget to let the passengers know they have arrived... Sounds The Boeing 757 has over 200 Mb of custom sounds, in 3d of course. The cockpit has many of these and can be heard while pressing various functions. In flight the "Ding-Dong" goes off all the time as passengers call the attendants.... very realistic. There are also 3D stereo sound for the engines and they sound great with from some angle a real burring turbine sound that is excellent. Liveries There are four liveries with the aircraft package: Boeing House, British Airways (retro), Air France and Lufthansa. And eight livery packs available for US$10 per pack - Includes: Asia Pacific Livery Pack for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #1 for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #2 for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #3 for 757- Middle East/ Africa Pack for 757 North American Livery Pack#1 for 757 - North American Livery Pack#2 for 757 - Russian Livery Pack for 757 Conclusions The Boeing-200 from FlightFactor is a huge aircraft full of brilliant features. The modeling and design are first rate if not the best in X-Plane at this current period. It is a large investment, but you are getting the very best as well. If you have acquired the Boeing 777Series then you know why the Boeing 757 is also going to be great value. It has the same quality and design as the B777. But still the B757 is very different in its own way. The main feature is again the programmable FMC as it is simply the best in X-Plane, but the shear systems depth is also another real attraction. For a large file it is amazingly light on your frame-rate and the texture quality does not suffer either. The 3d sounds are another aspect as they are very good as well. The only items that I would have liked is cargo doors and the option of the stairs on the left (front) door, but both are for my own service requirements. For a novice flyer the B757 is a complex and daunting machine, the brilliant checklist system helps, but it will take time to fully understand the aircraft not only in operation but also in the air. No review could cover all the systems on this aircraft, as they are to large and complex but with this investment you will get in return of many and even hundreds of hours of simulation at the highest level. for value there can be no other greater reward. _____________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 757 Professional is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Designed by FlightFactor (Philipp and Ramzzess) and produced by VMAX Price is US$59.95 : Boeing 757 Professional Developer Site: facebook Dev Thread : X-Plane.org Review By Stephen Dutton 7th November 2013 Technical Requirements: 64bit X-Plane 10 and OS are required to run the 757. Windows Vista/7/8 64bit or Mac OSX 10.7/10.8/10.9 or Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) X-Plane 10 fully updated. 64 bit mode. (X-Plane 9 not supported. x-plane 10 32 bit not supported) 8GB RAM/1GBVRAM (2GB VRAM Recommended)- 512b available hard disk space (download size:375Mb - Custom Folder size (expanded) is 577.50mb) Current version : 1.01 (last updated November 7th, 2013) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - BIKF (Keflavik) - Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgShop US$19.95) - EGCC (Manchester UK) - Captain Dij (X-Plane.Org) Kaminari 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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