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  1. News! - Announcement : Boeing 787-9 coming from FlightFactor FlightFactor announced last month that a completely new aircraft to add into the line up of a B777, B767/B757 twins, A350 and the Airbus A320 Ultimate is coming from the development house. This aircraft is the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and details are noted that the B787 will reach new heights in complexity, usability and have a variety of features. We are also taking our 3D and texturing to the next level with ever more detail in and out of the cockpit. The first cockpit renders have been produced... It is the first all new aircraft from FlightFactor since the A320 Ultimate, but FlightFactor note the B787 will be closer to the B757/B767 in design than use the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) than on the same A320U aircraft... either way there will be a lot of expectations and a quality delivery expected on this aircraft as the CEF development was a long and testing one, but also the coming B787 at a study grade level will be a big shot in the arm for X-Plane with the MSFS onslaught. FlightFactor also noted "v2 plans for other models are simultaneously on the way, we just don't want to reveal it all at once! " that will be the v2 Boeing 777 and the v2 A350. I would expect the v2 B777 even before the end of 2020, but not the v2 A350 as the v1 just went with a serious upgrade with version Advanced v1.6 just being released, so that aircraft will certainly be a mid or late next year release, but an upgraded Boeing 777 (the current version is now seriously old) will keep the punters more than happy until the Dreamliner arrives. Overall FlightFactor has noted that with this aircraft it wants to take simulation to the next level.... exciting times. Images courtesy of FlightFactor ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 15th September 2020 Copyright©2020: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
    5 points
  2. Aircraft Comparison : Boeing 777 vs Airbus A350 As you can see by the title, today we are going to compare the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A350 for X-plane 11, both Boeing and Airbus biggest twin-engine aircraft. The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner is the long range variant from the 777 family, with a maximum range of 8,555 nm (15,843 km). This variant has increased MTOW, three optional auxiliary fuel tanks and wingtips. Equipped with GE90 engines it produces up to 230,000 pounds of thrust combined. Exactly 60 have already been delivered and its main operators are Delta Air Lines and Emirates, with each one operating 10 aircraft. The A350 XWB is Airbus newest aircraft. The A350-900 has a maximum range of 8,100 (15,000 km) and a MTOW of 280 tons. The -900 was designed to compete with the B777-200ER/LR and 787-10, and eventually giving airlines the option to replace their older A340-300/500 with a newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft. It is equipped with two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines each producing up to 84,200 pounds of thrust. The A350 family is considered to a success, with 930 orders and more than 360 already delivered, being its main operators Singapore Airlines (48) and Etihad Airways (54). FlightFactor Aero is well known for their study level aircraft, with system depth being their main focus, and the A320 Ultimate and 767 Professional being a good proof of that. With that in mind you would expect a high-quality add-on from FlightFactor with great systems, so in today's comparison we are going to discover if that is true when we talk about the B777 and A350. Now we are going to decide which long-haul aircraft is the best for you Exterior modeling Both aircraft will be using custom Delta liveries that can be found in Xplane.Org Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional At a first look the exterior model is quite nice even though it needs some improvements. The fuselage may look strange with that lines, however you won't notice them most of the time. The windows are transparent, showing the 3d cabin inside. Probably the best part of the exterior modeling are the GE90 engines, they look awesome. The fan blades have a very nice glossy touch. The engine running animation is very good too. The landing gear and wings are nicely modeled. In general, the exterior is good, even though some improvements are welcome, especially in the fuselage and empennage. However, you won't find many problems if you don't search for them. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced You will notice that in many cases the A350 is the opposite from the B777, and exterior modeling is one of them. Usually the first thing you notice when looking at the outside of a plane is the fuselage, and the A350 fuselage is well done, it has a glossy and reflective surface (due to the livery I am using, the fuselage doesn't appear to be glossy), transparent windows and very nice wingtips. Instead of having very good modeled engines like the 777, the A350 engine modeling isn't that great, in fact it is not good or bad, it is the minimum you would expect from a 50 dollars plane. The animations are very nice and realistic, but the engine modeling, especially when it isn't running, is far away from perfection. The wings are nicely modeled and they look very good from the outside, however, they look a bit strange from the inside. The landing gear is great and doesn't appear to have any modeling problem. As you can see, the exterior modeling is good, even though it has its pros and cons, and you won't be disappointed. Like the 777, the A350 also needs some improvements. Extra features In this section we are going to talk about other extra features like doors, ground services and many other things. Starting with ground service. Both aircraft have this functionality, with one being better than the other. You can use the 777 ground service by clicking the menu icon in the top right corner. There you will find the ground services vehicles and objects as the doors open/close buttons and many more. Note that the ground service is very simple and only the doors indicated by an arrow can be opened. The ground service feature is more extensive in the A350, even though it is a bit simple, and can be accessed through the Cpt Outer OIS. It is important to note that all doors can be opened, a great advantage over the 777 which increases the realism. The plane at gate option sets a stair at the 4L door. There is one thing that looks strange in both planes, the wing flex. In the 777 is a little bit weird in some situations, like deploying the speed brakes after landing, resulting in some strange wing moves. The A350 wing flex problem is different and you will notice it while taxing and applying brakes. Another problem from the a350 is the wheels animations, which appear to be too slow. The 777 has a kind of engine shake, which is very nice to see from the cabin. Cabin Both aircraft have a 3d modeled cabin, divided in economy, business and first-class. Usually a 777 economy class is configured in a 3-4-3 configuration, which isn't the case FlightFactor 777, equipped with a 3-3-3 configuration. The business class seems very old, and the first-class has a nice bar. The A350 cabin is more modern than the 777 one. The economy is also equipped with a 3-3-3 configuration, with every seat been equipped with IFE screens. Configured in a 2-2-2 configuration the business class has wider and more comfortable seats. The first-class in the A350 is also equipped with a bar, providing great luxury to the passengers. There is a very nice detail in both aircraft, which is the crew resting compartment. This is a place that pilots and flight attendants rest when it's the other crew members shift. The first photo is from the 777 and the second from the A350, respectively located in the front and back of the aircraft. As you can see, the cabins are pretty well modeled and look nice, but in the end, the A350 cabin looks a bit better. Cockpit Probably the most important section in this comparison, it's in the cockpit that everything happens. While reading this part of the comparison, you will notice that most of the similarities and opposites are here, starting with the cockpit door, only the 777 has a close/open animation. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Possibly your first thought about the 777 cockpit will be: It seems very outdated. Yes the textures and some of the 3d modeling aren't great, you can't deny that, but when you start flying the plane they don't seem that bad. The overhead panel is very nice, as well as the aisle stand panel, where the 3d modeling is good and textures aren't bad. The night lighting is very beautiful and distinctive in 777, making it a very nice aircraft to fly at night. Its green color isn't common between other planes. It has many light knobs, this way you can try many lighting configurations before finding the best one for you. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced At first glance, the A350 cockpit may look better than the B777, especially using textures replacement mods, which will be linked at the end of the comparison, however, there are many better-modeled cockpits out there. Everybody knows that the A350 is a very modern plane and all its 6 big screens will attract your attention while flying it. It has the Airbus style overhead panel, but its pedestal is different from any type of aircraft, having some similarities with the A380. The autopilot panel is almost identical to the A380. The night is very well done, and gives the plane a modern touch, more than it already is. Systems FlightFactor says that what sets their models apart is the system depth, so we can expect good systems, we can't compare the A350 ou 777 with the A320 due to the price difference, so good systems is the least we should expect. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Starting with the FMC. It is fully functional, you can plan your route, insert SIDS and STARS and make performance calculations. The FMC is well done and you shouldn't have problems with it. The only thing that could be improved is individual screens, so you could leave one FMC in the LEGS page and the other at the VNAV page. As you can imagine, all knobs and switches at the overhead panel work. All the essential switches are working in the aisle stand panel. Last but not least, autopilot, it has some small issues like not turning off the disconnect alarm, but it still manages to take your plane from A to B. Another improvement that needs to be done is adding individual NAV screens, with this feature you would be able to set one screen with map and the other with app, using different ranges. With that in mind we can conclude that the 777 systems aren't perfect, but still in a high standard just like expected. Yes, they need some improvements, but still manage to have the hard work done. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Probably the most known issue in the A350 systems is the FMC, where you can't insert SIDS and STARs. This is the main problem involving the A350 but there is a tool that solves this problem. It is named SimpleFMC and when used in conjunction with Simbrief flight planning tool, will give you the ability to completely program your route. As you can see, the A350 has some issues involving route programming, even though it can be simply solved and FlightFactor announced an update to fix that (will talk more about this update later). However, performance calculations and weight configuration is very complete in the A350. The best way to do that is by using the Cpt Outer OIS screen. Almost all switches and knobs work, both in overhead panel and pedestal. The autopilot works perfectly and you shouldn't expect any problem related to it. It is important to note that the taxi camera isn't working. We can conclude that none of the aircraft systems is perfect. At the moment, the 777 systems are slightly ahead, which gives you the feeling of a more complete aircraft. However, the A350 is a newer plane, leaving many opportunities to improve and add many new features, and if this happens, the A350 systems may get better and more advanced than the 777 systems. Sounds Each aircraft has its particularities. Generally we can assume that the 777 are better than the A350 sounds, especially when you talk about the engines. Starting with cockpits sounds. Both aircraft have nice sounds here, probably the A350 ones are a bit better, even though none of them is bad. However, when we start talking about the cabin sounds, you may get disappointed. They are the same all the time, it doesn't matter if you are in the front or back of the plane, they won't change. The flaps and landing gear operation sounds are nice, just what you would expect. The engine sounds are the ones you will most notice while flying a plane, and they are the reason for the 777 have better sounds than the A350. While you are in the cockpit or cabin, both planes have good sounds, even though they could be way better. But when you change for the outside view you will instantly notice the difference. While both engines are idle you already can tell a difference, you may think that this is obvious because they are different engines, but the difference is already there. However, things start to get better when you accelerate them, both sound nice, maybe a little better in the 777, but when the engines are at full power you will notice that the A350 isn't very nice, emitting a low and kinda soft noise. The 777 is the complete opposite, at full power the engines are screaming and give you the feeling that you flying the real aircraft. Blue Sky Star, most known as BSS, provides a sound pack for the 777 at the price of 20 dollars, increasing your immersion with the aircraft. Will be linked at the end. Other features Here I will list things I didn't mention yet. Checklist: Both aircraft have a checklist that tells you exactly what you should do. Cabin Announcements: You will find this feature in both aircraft. There are more than 20 default announcements. Pushback: This feature is implemented in both planes, however, I recommend using the Better Pushback plugin. Conclusion As I said earlier, we would find the best long-haul aircraft for you. After reading my comparison you may have already decided the best one for you, but if you still can't choose one I will help by listing the main features. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional -Very well modeled engines -Fuselage is good, but needs improvements -Has 3d cabin -Cockpit a little bit dated -Good systems -Better sounds (BSS package available) -Price: $59,95 Airbus A350 XWB Advanced -Better modeled fuselage -Beautiful 3d cabin -Better cockpit textures (using texture replaceament mod) -Ok systems -Good cockpit sounds, engines could be better -Price: $49,95 Note that FlightFactor said that would release an update for A350 this month and it would include the implementation of SIDS and STARS as well as a huge graphical improvement. This update would make the A350 way better. It would be nice to see BSS making a sound package for the A350, it would take the aircraft to a pretty high standard. If after all this you can't decide yet, you should take my advice. Both aircraft are equaly good, each one has pros and cons, and the best thing you could do is: buy the one you like more in real life, it is simple. Notice that you won't be disappointed with these two great aircraft by Flight Factor. I won't tell my personal choice because that may induct you. Greetings Thank you for reading this comparison! Feel free to leave your comment. This is my first review for this incredible site that has been making the best reviews for X-plane for a long time. I want to thank Stephen for giving me this incredible opportunity and providing everything I needed to make the comparison. ______________________________________________________________________ Both aircraft are available in X-Plane.Org Store here: Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Price is US$59,95 Features: Officially licensed By the Boeing © Corporation Accurate dimensions based on 2D and 3D drawings supplied by Boeing © Professional systems - Fly the 777 like a pro Systems designed to work like the thing - Accurate flight model tuned by pilots - Comprehensive Manuals Fully Functional FMS - Plan your routes like a real pilot Custom designed Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures Custom designed Navigation Display Tterminal procedure database with RNAV approaches and transitions VNAV managed climbs and descends Takeoff and approach speed calculation Custom autopilot modes for autoland Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation True-to-life radio navigation with procedural-, route-, and navigation support auto-tuning Custom programmed FMC navigation using GPS-, radio- or inertial navigation with individual position errors and management of actual and required navigation performance Magnetic, true and polar grid course reference Alternate airports, diversion and arrival management Ground proximity warning system using real sounds FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the new iPad Incredible 3D modeling - the best eye-candy Amazing virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections Custom 3D sounds and Announcements Add-ons: Push-back truck, Fuel Truck, Passenger bus and Emergency slides ... On-Screen Menus: Configuration and loading menu, Quick Zoom Superb night lighting in cockpit. Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50+ - 64 bit required Windows, Vista, 7 / 8/ 10 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher - OSX 10.9 will not work), Linux Ubuntu 14.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) 2GB VRAM - (4GB VRAM Recommended)- 1Gb available hard disk space Current version : 1.9.12 (last updated Jan 30th 2018) ___________________________ Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Price is US$49,95 Features: Superb 3D Modeling Complete Virtual cockpit in high-resolution Fully animated in and out -High-Resolution Textures Ground equipment support including stairs, loaders, passenger buses, GPUs etc. 3D people inside and outside the plane - Nicely modeled cabin Scroll wheel support for switch manipulation Advanced Systems Fully customized aircraft systems: electric, hydraulic, air conditioning, ADIRU Fully customized ECAM monitoring system with all screens and functions included Fully functional airbus style alert system with multiple status and procedural lists Fully functional interactive airbus electronic checklist system Airbus A350/A380 unique interfaces with dozens of screens and hundreds of function Fully customized and unique MFD (multifunctional display) system with most of flight planning pages implemented in a new graphical interface, as well as FCU and radio backups just like on the real plane Full OIS screen system with options, ground equipment control, passenger and cargo loading, and even a full user's manual inside the plane. Old style MCDU and fully functional aux instruments as backup Custom failures Advanced Fly-by-Wire and Flight systems Full FBW with Highly realistic implementation of the Airbus normal laws by QPAC -the most realistic fly-by-wire implementation for desktop flight simulation. Basic SID/STAR implementation using X-plane fms-files that you can create yourself and share with the community. "What you see is what you fly" flight path indication on the ND (i.e. curved trajectories with the turn radius properly computed based on speed and angular turn distance.) Implementation of all Airbus AP modes, except some non-precision approach modes (Selected and managed modes, speed constraints respected, "at or below" constraints in phase climb, "at or above" constraints in phase descent.) Full PFD and ND displays with fully independent display and different data sources for the captain and copilot displays. Independent autopilots Custom 3D Sounds Custom 3D stereo engine sound system Hundreds of system and in-cockpit sounds Interactive flight attendant helper Seven Liveries included in the package Airbus Carbon, Air France, Airbus House colors, Qatar, Lufthansa, United Airlines Requirements X-Plane 11 (latest version) Windows - Mac - Linux - 64bit Operating System Required 1Gb+ VRAM Minimum, 2Gb+ VRAM Minimum. 8Gb RAM Version : 1.5.2 (last updated Apr 24th, 2019) ________________________________________ Aircraft Comparison by Bernardo Casa 21st April 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Intel Core I5-9600K 4,30GHz / 2x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz - Gigabyte RTX 2070 - Z390 Aorus Master - Kingston A1000M.2 SSD 240GB Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Logitech Pro Flight Yoke/Pedals/Throttle Quadrant - Logitech Extreme 3d Pro Joystick - Sound: Samsung Home Theater System J5500WK Plugins: Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69,90 -Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design - Scenery Review : Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design -KLAX - Los Angeles International 1.01 by MisterX6 (X-Plane.Org) Freeware -SBGL - by AxScenery (AxScenery) Freeware -A350 cockpit textures replacement (X-Plane.Org) Freeware -Better Pushback (GitHub) Freeware (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
    4 points
  3. Free Aircraft Release! : Concorde by Dr Gary Hunter Growing up in the sixties was a time of huge speed advances. The predictions were of New York in 3 hours and Singapore in 7 hours via Bahrain, and then we went far faster again... to the moon. Looking back now it all feels like we lost have something, yes we can afford to travel the world on a few thousand dollars... but the excitement and the sheer feeling of the momentum of advances in technology has now been reduced to smart phones. The real tragedy was that the machines that gave us our biggest breakthroughs were then never advanced forward, there was no Concorde Mk2 or Space Shuttle Mk2. And so there came no advancements on their ideas and weaknesses, like the noise and sound barrier on Concorde and the better insulation tiles for the Shuttle. Instead they were all consigned to museums and with that a negative backward feeling now exists. You know it can be better, as we lived through that now past era of huge ideas and advancement that actually came true and real. But you can still relive a little of what one machine of that era was, in the Concorde. Dr Gary Hunter created a Concorde for X-Plane9®, so yes this aircraft is old now even by X-Plane standards. It didn't fly very well either lately because of the advances of the simulator, so an update to v10.50 was carried out and the aircraft has been gratefully passed over to the X-Plane.Org to be released... yes that is right this Concorde is for free! And no matter which way you look at it this aircraft is still one of the very best looking machines ever built, The modeling is slightly old, but not enough not to make it feel totally outdated. The panel is from an era of X-Plane seasons past, and the instruments are quite blurry. But it is totally functional and does have a 3d Virtual Cockpit. There is also a great engineers station, and you need to watch those fuel gauges, they gulp down fuel like no tomorrow, but hey you are also covering the ground at a one mile every two and three quarter seconds! Full cabin as well with the all important speed Mach numbers and altitude. You are seriously moving at m2.2, you can feel the speed even over the smooth Atlantic Ocean, watching my moving map on my iPad, the aircraft is moving as you are watching it even at a high distance, the Nm counter is clicking over click, click, click fast as well... this is no sub-sonic slow ride to China or as in this ride... to New York. Distances of descent to any airport will need a bigger or longer distance with this machine as it is a long way down from 50,000ft or even 60,000ft if you are game. Liveries included: Blank or Eurowhite, BA Union, BA Landor, BA Flag, AF, AF Retro, Prototype and Singapore. New York and "Look Mum, no Flaps!" drop the nose and the speed to 195knts and you get that over familiar hawk look... The aircraft is surprisingly easy to fly on approach, but watch for a high nose in the air after landing. Concorde is back in New York! ______________________________________________________________________ There is a big thanks to the work of Dr Gary Hunter in creating this X-Plane Concorde, and now passing it over to Nicolas of the X-Plane.Org for you to download... for FREE!, yes just go to the link below (sign in first) and download this Concorde and go.... Supersonic! Yes! the My Planes (Dr Gary Hunter) Concorde is available for download here: CONCORDE Price is Free! Features: Accurate dimensions 2D and basic 3D Cockpit Object-based model, Very detailed model 8 liveries Cockpits have been totally redesigned. Go to the virtual cockpit and move to the center laterally (right arrow key) then translate backward through the aircraft (shift-pagedown key) to see the virtual cabin interior. All cabin windows are in 3D, and the cabin interior is modeled (seats etc). These differences are most obvious when using LIT textures as you can see inside the cabin more easily. Try circling the plane when flying in low level lighting conditions (sunset for example). Updated and tidied up the 3D virtual cockpit a little. The horizon is 3D now but its hard to notice so I may drop it in future versions. All fuselage doors are operable using keys 8 fuel tanks Full 3D Model Regular Concorde and Concorde 'B' included The model B was to have been the definitive airline version of Concorde, produced from airframe number 17 onwards. As production stopped at airframe number 16, the model B never actually took to the air, though much of the design work and improvements were retrofitted to existing Concordes. The most noticeable difference would have been the big wing of the model B, non-afterburning (more powerful) engines and a much greater range. This version also features an airbus style “glass” cockpit. ______________________________________________________________________ Overview by Stephen Dutton 6th October 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews
    4 points
  4. Aircraft Update : Airbus A350-900 XWB Advanced v1.6 by FlightFactor/SteptoSky Since the earliest days you mostly saw FlightFactor Aero as a Boeing developer, there was the Boeing 777, then the Boeing 757 and then the Boeing 767... then out of the blue came an Airbus in the Airbus A350-900 XWB. But right from the first version of this aircraft it never felt... well very Airbus? Where as all the Boeings felt and flew like Boeings. Since the A350 FlightFactor went on to do another Airbus in the A320 Ultimate, which DOES feel like an Airbus and is still the best Airbus in X-Plane. But the FlightFactor A350XWB was a really odd aircraft from the start? Excellent on the external, the A350 always looked very nice in X-Plane. The clever six display layout with X input system is also really clever and is well done (early versions were however extremely buggy) and the airbus system depth is very good. So overall it should have been perfect for me as I like to fly Airbuses more than Boeings... but I never ever really fell in love with FlightFactor's A350XWB? Which is really odd because Long-Haul is still my favorite form of flying and also the A350 XWB is the latest of the New-Gen aircraft and X-Plane is very short of Long-Haul airlines and certainly of the New-Gen class. The FlightFactor A350 should of very easily ticked off every box for me, but in all honestly it left me cold and I rarely flew the aircraft, even the last time departing Barcelona I even stopped mid-flight (I very rarely abandon flights) because I was really not liking it at all? Why? well that is a good question... the first one in the most obvious. The FF A350 didn't have SID/STARs and the FMS was in reality the default FMS undercover. And this missing aspect really was the biggest complaint, but to be fair the A350XWB FMS (Flight Management Systems) is quite complicated and very different in input from either a Boeing and even another Airbus as only the bigger A380 has the same input and navigation system. Poor Sounds didn't help either and they were really awful, and the cockpit textures were weird in a non-Airbus way, and the aircraft always felt buggy, it never seemed to come together as a whole or as a linear simulation, it was an aircraft you simply couldn't love. The news of a v2.0 of the FlightFactor A350 was very welcome, but it became confusing in the light that the next update in v1.6.0 would be next and also include the infamous missing SID/STAR intergration, my guessing (wrongly) would that the SID/STAR intergration would only happen with the full new version of v2.0 (In selling the new version of the aircraft)... The surprise is that the SID/STAR is in this update v1.6.0 version, so that will be a free update, the better news is that the FMS is now really, really good... far better than I expected and to the point even brilliant. Nothing wrong with the way the A350 XWB looks, but this is still the v1.0 aircraft and in a few areas the v1.0 has a few niggles, the wings do have flex, but in a weird stiff flexy way, so the wing flex still looks old and outdated, and the cabin is still also old and very dated as well. A worthwhile download is the new Lufthansa A350 livery by fscabral as the cabin textures have been redone and the results seriously lift the cabin from the really drab to the really nice... and yes this cabin layout should be the default. Note in that the cabin lighting is controlled from the EFB (OIS/AIRPLANE/CABIN settings), lighting and sound settings settings are currently off at default. Ground support still has those cold war Russian vehicles, and you shake your head why as all the FlightFactor Boeings now have the updated western styled vehicles. But thankfully where it counts in the air the A350 XWB still looks very nice. Airbus 350 XWB v1.6 We will come to the big event in a moment, but first unlike other areas of the A350 the cockpit has had a very nice spruce up of the textures. The original cockpit textures were a darker Airbus blue with some wear around the edges, but somehow it didn't feel right in context as the A350 is the most modern of the Airbus fleet? These textures are now in a far lighter blue/grey Airbussy feel and are far better to the current state of a A350 XWB. The panels are still very left side pilot focused, with the right position more fixed with no display cycle active, the far right display is also fixed to a users guide page. The range and baro adjustments however do work, so it is not impossible to fly from the right seat as you can flip the FMS screen to the right middle display setting, but with no access to the menu sections unless again you move the menu selection to the middle screen. Glareshield textures are lovely, modern and very nice. Gone are the wheat coloured seats to be replaced by a very not corporate look of "stars"? A very unusual choice, but they do look better than the wheat seats with far more cloth and ripple detail.. FMS - Flight Management System The most important and the most welcome aspect of this v1.6 update is the intergration of SID/STARS into the FMS navigation, not only is SID/STAR routing now available, but it is also in how well the system has actually been done here is the biggest factor. Pilot left station is very good with most items and displays active and interactive. FlightFactor recreated the X pointer system for use on A350 displays and although very buggy in the early days (the X pointer would stray badly out of the display limits) it is now a very robust system that works well. There are two drop down menus tight together top left of the MFD (Multi-Functional Display). Top one selects your FMS route (Sorry there is still only one FMS1 route available) and below to start a new route then select INIT from the lower menu. If you are used to the usual FMS via a left or right button input key, then you will have to adjust to this different pointer system. There are a few rules to know... one is that everything is via an input and menu selection, so you select the box with the X pointer (arrowed below left)... ... put the X pointer over the box you want to input into and you get a green dash line and a flashing cursor, the display then also becomes "KEYBOARD FOCUSED" for direct key input... Type in your data, in this case Nairobi Airport "HKJK", but most IMPORTANT is to re-click to lock the data in! This is usually placed over the very first letter in the box with the pointer, if the "Keyboard Focus" line goes out and the input text sets a little to the right... then it is correctly inputted (locked in). Add in your INIT details... Flight Number, From (HKJK) to (EGLL) Alternative (EGCC) and Cruise FL (Flight Level) and Cruise (CRZ) Temp ºC. DEP and ARR locations set it is now time to do the flightplan, you access the flightplan via the "ACTIVE" menu and select F-PLN. Now comes the new SID (Standard Instrument Departures) selection... Press the departure airport (HKJK) and up comes a menu, select on the menu "DEPARTURE". Drop down menus give selection for RWY (Runway), SID and TRANS.... ... in my case it is RWY 24, SID "IBRA3D" and TRANS "KAMAS", all selections are then shown in the above Selected Departure box. Go back to the F-PLN and the SID departure route (waypoints) are now completed. Next waypoint (WPT) or AIRWAY is inserted in a similar way. Just select the last waypoint and select via thew menu either "INSERT NEXT WPT" or "AIRWAYS". For to "Insert Next Wpt" you select the selection box and insert the waypoint name (TUFTE) and make sure you click to insert, and you don't use the AIRWAY selection to add in the next WPT. For Airways then select AIRWAYS and add in the AIRWAY and the TO selections and like all FMS systems you can add in as many airways as you require. In every flightplan you get "DISCONTINUITY" breaks... to remove you just select the Discontinuity selection and then select "DELETE" from the menu. STAR (Standard Terminal ARrival) is the same procedure as the SID selection, select the arrival airport, then ARRIVAL from the menu and then use the menus to fill in the arrival data... ... the drop down menus select RWY, APPR (Approach), VIA, STAR (shown) and TRANS. All selections are shown in the upper box like with the SID selections. All changes and selections are only TEMPY or Temporary in yellow and insert via INSERT TEMPY, or backstep by ERASE TEMPY... .... and at any time while constructing the route you can make it active (Green) to see your progress on the PFD... The final full Flightplan is shown with diversions of which you can scroll up or down.... brilliant! It takes a little while to adjust to this pointer system, but it is quite easy to do once you are used to it. Overall the FMS is very versatile in creating route flightplans and I found it very refined and not buggy at all, which is very good thing with long route insertion flightplans like from Nairobi to London. Other FMS details are important as well... OIS (Onboard Information System ) Aircraft AIRPLANE/PASSENGERS gives you the A350 weights, and the AIRPLANE/PERF CALCULATOR gives you TO Performance and vSpeeds. ... and the calculated data is then transferred to the PERF (performance) page and the very important FUEL & LOAD page in the FMS... You can save your flightplan via the INIT page under "RTE SAVE", but the interesting aspect is that you have three choices of save, 1. the FULL complete flightplan, 2. SID or 3. STAR, so this makes it a very versatile system... .... the route is confusingly saved in your standard X-Plane FMS folder but not in the alphabetical order, but under a (*) moniker at the very bottom, which means a lot of scrolling. Quicker access is to use the "Filter" box lower right which reduces the flightplans to the chosen ICAO label. Wind pages have been added and it noted is that Alterative Flightplans are also now available, but I couldn't find a second flightplan? All in all it is a very extensive and detailed upgrade to the FMS in the A350XWB, I absolutely love it, yes there is more you want like a second FMS for the First Officer, but overall it is a fantastic working system... not perfect but far better than we had before. _______________________ There are no notes that the sounds have had attention in v1.6, but they certainly sound far better to me? Cockpit hum and wind noise is very good for a long haul flight and the exterior sounds far better as well, more distant in the background now is that really annoying "tring, ring" from the engines, it is still there but now highly subdued... thank god, the annoying Purser to Captain "Dings" are still as bad as ever, finding the issue is made hard by the language spoken in a gobble... usually it is the cabin that is TOO hot or TOO cold "but mister if the damn engines are switched off I can't heat or cool the cabin can I?... so go away", or the cabin lights are down, but it is really, really annoying... If any aircraft requires a specialist addon sound pack it is the A350 XWB. Contrails and and particles have now been added as well, the APU hums and breathes out exhaust air, and in the air the aircraft looks great. Another new menu page on the OIS is the "JOYSTICK ACTIONS" menu and noted to make the aircraft compatible with the new Thrustmaster TCA Airbus Throttle Quadrant. The new hardware offering from Thrustmaster, part of its new TCA Range is due to release in late September this year. This covers your joystick "Deadband" area (centre), throttle detent location and "MCT Detent" (Maximum Continuous Thrust) location. All the settings of course are for fine tuning your hardware joystick and throttle systems, but one selection is quite important... "REV ON SAME AXIS" will set your throttles with a "Beta' reverse detent. fine in some cases but horrible with my Saitek X56 Rhino setup as it set the idle position to reverse thrust, you can turn the action OFF here (arrowed below left). Radios are now 8.33 (as X-Plane11 went to this earlier). The 8.33 kHz channel spacing adds two additional channels for every 25 kHz channel. This is to overcome the frequency congestion in the medium to long term by providing more channels. Navigation ILS, VOR and ADF frequencies are under the "NAV" button, but you still have the default FMS at the rear of the pedestal and it's radio channels if you want a easier way to access any of the frequency settings or route information. _______________________ Summary Although noted as a "Advanced" version of the Airbus A350XWB, the Flightfactor version never really hit the mark in delivering a totally realistic simulation, and so in that aspect I was never yearned for the aircraft and rarely flew it, which is a shame because we need really good long haul and next generation aircraft in the X-Plane simulator. But now with this new v1.6 version of the A350XWB we have a game changer. The missing SID/STAR intergration that was missing is now part of this extensive Flight Management System. A difficult system to replicate because of it's unusual pointer and menu based input applications. But this intergration has been a huge success here in creating a master simulation of this unique Airbus FMS. Most FMS areas are now covered, but you will never ever cover everything as it is simply too complex, but the aircraft in reality should lose it's "Advanced" moniker and be now named a "Professional" aircraft because of the depth of the systems here... the only area missing is the right hand seat interaction to the OIS (Onboard Information System). A few areas have also been cleaned up including the cockpit textures which are more Airbus grey and lighter in tone and new seat (star) coverings. Over the updates the A350XWB has had a lot of behind the scenes work done and not actually noted officially, but you certainly feel in this version a far more co-ordinated and less buggy aircraft to fly, the FMS especially is really well coded and quite bug free in being versatile for corrections and data changes, a far cry from the original interface and flying conditions. So now it works, in almost every area and if not absolutely perfect the A350XWB starts to live up to it's quality standing as a very good if now excellent simulation. Over many hard flights (most Long Haul) it is an excellent aircraft to enjoy, the v1.6 update maybe on reflection small, but the aircraft has become something else than just a pretty aircraft to look at, it now a very realistic flying simulation as well. Once the outcast, the Airbus A350-900XWB can now be seen in the same context as the other aircraft from FlightFactor. A brilliant update that in the long wait users deserved... Not perfect but a free update with these enhancements will bring a lot of smiles to a lot of users faces, if you don't have the A350XWB from FlightFactor, but love long distance flying, maybe it is now time to take the plunge and enjoy this amazing aircraft. _____________________________________________ The Airbus A350-900 XWB Advanced v1.6 from FlightFactor is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store: Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Price is currently US$ 64.95 Livery packs at US$10 for ten liveries are available here: A350 Liveries Include: North America, Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. If you already have purchased the A350 XWB from FlightFactor then go to your account at the X-PlaneStore and update to v1.6 Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows - Mac - Linux - 64bit Operating System Required 4Gb+ VRAM Minimum, 8Gb+ VRAM Minimum. Release Review : Aircraft Review : Airbus A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor Support forum : FlightFactor A350 XWB _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update and Tutorial by Stephen Dutton 18th July 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews
    3 points
  5. Hi Bob, Thanks, I am really happy to know that you are liking my articles. Both aircraft are extremely good. Personally, I like the A319 more, especially with the IAE sounds, don't forget that you need the CFM too. Independent of your decision, you will be extremely happy.
    3 points
  6. Totally. Even though they look similar, each aircraft has its characteristics.
    3 points
  7. X-Plane Year Review 2014 and Welcoming in 2015. Well that was 2014? What did you think of it? The usual, the different or just forget the whole year happened. Well it was different in a unusual way in that it wasn't filled with the usual things that turn the simulator upside down. My view it was quite a subdued year in a way, but a lot still happened and a lot changed. But I did feel this time last year that X-Plane needed a more stable settling period to consolidate its main base and in a big way that did happen. The word "consolidate" is the key point here, and in that context for X-Plane it was a very good year. Review 2014 The year started off with loads and just loads of scenery released, The excellent LEVC - Valencia from DAI-Media started it all off and I loved this Spanish scenery. Tom Curtis had another great year with KDEN - Denver and big updates to his great packages "Final Frontier" and "Seattle - Boeing Country" and his "Las Vegas "Glitter Gulch" through out the year had a touch more magic as well. Another good solid year from Tom. Santiago Butnaru was another who gave a lot of prolific scenery releases this year with KBUF (Buffalo-Niagara) which is underrated, KFLL - Fort Lauderdale and last week KEWR - Newark. Two stood out in CZST Stewart by beti-x and EIDW - Dublin by Aerosoft were both brilliant but in their very different ways, But as scenery goes it was a really good year, a lot of really great freeware and many new faces having a go at doing some work with a lot of the usual suspects delivering outstanding work. Two points I will highlight here in the return of ISDG with a bang with Steve K and YMML - Melbourne and the simply amazing "tdg"and If one person has single-handedly changed our scenery base it is tdg. I really loved the recently released "Winter_Package" of winter scenery from Albert (xflyer) who is the person that creates the default Laminar Research autogen art... simply amazing, and Laminar has also made hints it could be included in the base simulator in a start of the seasons feature, well bring that on. Another great late in the year release is the v3 terrain files from Alpilotx, another step up in high-quality detail, but a huge just under 100gb download for the lot (It takes two days alone if you want it all downloaded now) but it does now also include Australia. I earlier had my doubts about the Laminar Research default airport scenery system, but it works very well and not as intrusive as I expected, the updated WED 1.30 is also now very, very good. Overall the scenery aspect came along in heaps and bounds this year, 2014 was a really good year for scenery and I am getting really very impressed by a lot of the images coming out of the simulator. Not perfect by a long shot, but a big and definite step forward and X-Plane is finally fixing its biggest blackhole. Laminar Research felt like it was being diverted by another presence in 2014 and that turned out to be fact in most of the development time of the year went into an upgrade of LR's other simulator business in mobile games or X-Plane 10 MOBILE for iPhone or iPad. They note that these products help the desktop version and vice-versa, and you can't argue with that philosophy, and the launch of X-Plane 10 on STEAM has again shown that LR is aiming lately at the gamer crowd for more business and users, So is X-Plane a game or a simulator? will the roads narrow as the products come closer aligned? I still see a big difference flying on my desktop to using X-Plane on my iPad (you can however fly around the room making loud aircraft noises with your steering iPad), but my only really big fun and main focus is my addictive personality of minecraft proportions of collecting and building my huge X-Plane scenery world and flying around it. One major (and only) X-Plane release for the desktop simulator form was version or v10.30 in a mid-year release in June. But it was a beauty, and its biggest feature was how well rounded it was when it was released. It didn't feel like a beta and had no really big hidden nasties, it was also brilliant from day one and a really good well rounded product. Laminar noted that they had taken their time to do this one and it showed, great quality and great features. The standout was the inclusion of an updated GARMIN 430/530 gps which was just sensational in design and operation. Created by Philipp Münzel my personal "Person of the Year" in 2013, in he had been recruited by LR to do development work directly for LR in 2014 and that took Philipp out of the daily limelight, but his brilliance was once again shown in a great feature and also gave the simulator another big push forward. He will be there for 2015, so expect more great things from him, Chris and Guru in the next year. Again v10.30 provided a very good consolidation of the desktop simulator, it refined and changed it into a more complete application that was more reliable and even smooth. There was a few missing features that had been promised like a wider visual distance that is really (really) showing now its time and age in the simulator these days and there was still no update to the average autocratic ATC system that is so badly required to make X-Plane 10 deliver on its promised features, no better water shading or cultures either, but maybe in 2015 a few of these changes will finally grace our screens. I noted in last years 2013 review that this year would be the last year for X-Plane9, that has come to pass as most developers now don't issue X-Plane9 versions with their releases, the biggest is of course Carenado and in that the v3/10.30 upgrade was completely X-Plane10 and no new product from either Carenado or Alabeo would in the future will be in X-Plane9. If you keep X-Plane9 into 2015, you are going to find it very slim pickings indeed for (payware) aircraft and a lot of quality scenery for that simulator version. X-Plane has now moved a long, long way even from its own X-Plane10 release version, in to a point it is now barely recognisable from its own small time beginnings. The biggest satisfaction for me in 2014 was the emergence of more developers that were willing to put their talent on the line and build payware. The gap from freeware to payware is simply massive, you have to be good not only in one area but many or create a stable team to produce good aircraft. It is not easy in covering this gap, as even the very best have had their moments this year. Once you cross that line and ask for payment, you are then required to deliver in every area, but the rewards are also very good if you can pull the off the project. X-Plane now requires extremely high quality, no half-measures can pass the line and it is a tough line, but it is still very highly required. In that talent and products build the simulator and the good news is X-Plane uses will pay for quality products, and that is a very good thing. As it goes both ways in that the users get great product and the developers will keep producing great product to satisfy the need. So both the users and the developers both benefit... In that area X-plane has crossed that invisible line. But quality was there even if at first the fine-tuning points are not. So basically the work was always very good, but the real work and talent is in that very last 5% to get that tuning and the quality first rate. Stephane Buon of Aerobask was a real talent this year in not only turning out interesting modern like the Lancair Legacy FG aircraft but refitting out his older work to the 10.30 requirements, and with a flourish even finished off the year with an amazing glider (Antares 20E). The X-Trident team with their amazing Bell - 412 was another great intro. X-Crafts produced his ERJ-195ER that really was a great start in quality payware and Jetsim gave us an Airbus A330-300 with CRT instruments. MLADG gave us some WW2 German fighter experience with the Me 262. And Colimata's Mig-29 blew me away, and on a modern twist AoA Simulations released just lately their F-35B Lighting ll. But the old hand operators still delivered as well. As a group they delivered very deep immersion simulation with always new tricks to get your attention. Reviewing these challenging deep system aircraft is taking longer and longer to deliver your verdict, as you have so much ground to cover. Many need not a week now but weeks to understand and get the very best from and to understand how to fly them to their best performance. Peter's (Hager) Aircraft started off the year with his 3d A320/A321 series, but I was simply a non-starter from the very start. The aircraft no matter how much I twisted my settings could they run on my computer, frame rate was always in the low single figures and I simply had to give up any chance of giving them a fair review. It was the first time I had actually gave up and moved on, something I simply don't like to do. I tried again later in the year with the same results. JARDesign did a few updates till mid-year to his A320 but then left it to focus on the A330. SSG - Supercritical Simulations Group started the year with a bang in the B748i which was a bit raw, but steady and quality time in development brought this aircraft (And the just released Freighter version) up to a very high standard and they now both now sit in that high point quality area. Jack and Joe from FlyJSim did not disappoint with their excellent Boeing 732, another really great simulation and a great companion in your hanger with the B727 Series. FlightFactor also was busy with great upgrades (including engine options) to both their Boeing 777 and 757 series aircraft, and later in the year the release of the amazing A350-900 with a menu system that is just so unique and clever. It had QPAC airbus systems as well, and the very best in airbus laws and protections that made it something really special to fly. It was delayed and frustrated by a very stubborn bug for Mac users? Not a major issue in context, but it simply refused to be hunted down and fixed, as a beta tester on the A350 I spent hours (and hours) doing loops in trying to focus it down, but it still remained elusive. It will in time be usually something very simple that fixes it, but that is not to take away the achievement this aircraft is to X-Plane's quality and position in flight simulation, and a pro version of the A350 is still coming. Hydroz and Khamsim brought out their excellent HU-16 Albatross that was a great aircraft to get your head around, and Khamsin also updated his Mitchell. And I liked the old B-29 from Virtavia and Dawson Designs, strange to fly but very rewarding if you are willing to put in the effort. Carenado had again a huge year with constant updates right through the range and great releases. Putting the updated GNS 10.30 gps into Carenado aircraft was always going to brilliant, and it was. And Carenado also created a unique manipulator system that could change the way we operate knobs and switches in the simulator. great for scroll mouse users, but I found it a bit strange with my one puck mouse. In aircraft it started with the PA-38 Tomahawk, which i simply loved as it was simply a great aircraft to fly. Then came the brilliant B200 King Air, a monster of an aircraft that was then even later over shadowed by the even bigger and more monstrous KIng Air in the 1900D that was just the ultimate King Air you can ever get in simulation. Released in-between these two giants was the Piper PA-46 Malibu and the excellent CT206H Turbo Stationair, which is really the very best single-upper wing aircraft in X-Plane bar none. So for Carenado it was a just that a huge year, and great simulation. Helicopters did exceptionally well as well. You don't get a huge amount of releases in the rotary world. But the quality is out of this world, and 2014 did not disappoint. DMO started it out with a really great update to the S92, now a major player and a great big aircraft to fly. Then came the Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations which is quite possibly the very best helicopter ever created for X-Plane, it was simply in every area sensational. But my overall favorite was the B412 Huey from X-Trident. It is still the most addictive aircraft I have ever flown in X-Plane... When you are still flying at 4am in the morning and still wanting to have another go after five hours of flying already means this aircraft totally has your guts and heart at its controls. I now fear going near it as I know I will lose hours or a day if I do so and reviews are then left hanging half done. It is a total love/hate relationship, but the love for the B412 will always win me over. None expected shows for the year are also to be noted. The IXEG 737 classic is still going into another year of development. Real 733's are now going to the graveyard in big numbers and X-Plane still hasn't had any hours behind the controls of one of them, it is now promised before next Christmas... 2015! But still well worth the wait (ing). The EADT x737 3d cockpit aircraft was a no show as well, but the update images show an amazing experience when it does arrive. maybe 2015 will finally be the year of the B737? I doubt the PMDG B737 will join the queue, there was a lot of noise from PMDG in the middle of the year referring to X-Plane and then nothing? So PMDG is slowly going into the "I'll believe it when I see it" zone. JARdesign didn't release his A332 either, but I doubt it is very far away in early 2015. An area I am interested in is the DC-9/MD-80, There was a great freeware release from Roger2009, but three projects were announced and going into 2015 only one in "Rotate's" MD-80 is still ongoing, but what an aircraft this is. If one aircraft should be in your hanger in 2015, it will be or should be this one... looks simply brilliant. Going into 2015 and news of new work is very thin on the ground. Developers are holding their cards closer to their chests these days. But they are all out there work and creating... we will just have to wait and see what 2015 brings us. To wrap up this review of 2014 and the year, I will now list my Best of the Year 2014: Best Aircraft : FlightFactor aero A350-900 Late in the year but an excellent, fully featured and clever aircraft. Honorable Mention : X Crafts ERJ-195LR, A great debut aircraft and expect great designs from this designer. Best Classic Aircraft : Boeing 737-200 Series - FlyJSim As good as the B727 series, but smaller. Honorable Mention : Grumman HU-16 Albatross Really different and versatile aircraft, loved it. Best General Aviation Aircraft : Carenado Beechcraft 1900D King Air Just simply brilliant... thats it. Honorable Mention : Any Aerobask aircraft Very modern and very different, and now a glider as well Best Helicopter : Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations/Bell 412 X-Trident Both totally brilliant and very hard to split By design it is the B407, but the B412 totally won my heart. Best Scenery : CZST - Stewart by beti-x and EIDW - Dublin by Aerosoft Both really really good scenery, but EIDW is more usable and functional for everyday use. Honorable Mention : Tom Curtis His work throughout 2014 was just excellent again in scale and detail. Person of the Year 2014 : tdg (scenery) Airport by airport and a release sometimes daily... tdg is slowly changing the face of X-Plane Airports. His facade work is simply overwhelming and sensational, his detailing is superb. How can he do all that work? and in a single day? Honorable Mentions : Philipp Münzel and Daniel Klaue Again Phillipp has touched X-Plane with his brilliance. The GARMIN 430/530 gps in X-Plane 10.30 is another master work and Daniel drives X-Plane forward with his brilliance in so many areas that you don't see... but use all the time. Best Plugin : SkyMaxx Pro Real clouds and real weather. Honorable Mention : TugMaster - JARDesign Finally a really decent pushback truck(s) Best Moment of the year 2014 : Using the GNS 430/530 GPS for the first time. Worst Moment of the Year 2014 : Monday 22nd December 2014? Biggest distraction of 2014 : The none shows that promised us an announcement that never came. Personal Favorites of 2013 : The Bell 412, CT206H Turbo Stationair, 1900D Carenado King Air, B200 King Air in fact any King Air? and the A350-900 and finally flying the CRJ-200 correctly (It is a very long story) So that was 2014... So was it a good year or a great year. Certainly X-Plane grew and even passed the significant milestone of 300,000 users on the X-Plane.org, many will of course churn over and leave, but many are also liking what they are seeing and are joining us and most importantly are contributing to the cause. So we grew as a simulator, a lot and that is a nice feeling. The X-Plane.Org shop was overhauled and ready for 2015. A very difficult and long task, but well worth the effort. So in many ways X-Plane is in great shape for 2015 and another big year in simulation. I will be back with more and a better X-Plane Reviews in 2015, but at this point I'm not sure exactly when I will be actually able to restart? The date above of 22nd December 2014 was a day of "oh hell" as my trusty iMac went into meltdown and totally blew out its graphic chip?, Yes its true, X-Plane actually blew my graphic chip to pieces and that is how hard I have pushed it this year... In fact I am proud to say "I ran X-Plane so hard I blew my computer up!" It works but only in "Slow" mode which means no X-Plane for me at all and I am in denial. When I can get it fixed depends on when the Australian workforce decides to come back from its annual holidays and I can get the parts. Hopefully in the very early days in January 2015. I have to thank Joe Charman for his huge contribution this past year, thanks Joe and to all the incredible developers that provide me with their work and and valuable information to make these reviews work and happen. I am as always in awe in what they do. Finally to Nicolas Taureau and the backing of the guys of the X-Plane.Org that keeps the site running smoothly and give great advice and assistance. So all X-Plane flyers, have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015!... more to come and soon! "Anyone know of any good books to read, while I get my computer fixed?" Stephen Dutton Copyright©2014: X-Plane Reviews
    3 points
  8. Competition! : X-Plane Reviews first anniversary competition and win either a Boeing 748i, 777 or 757! To celebrate X-Plane Reviews first year anniversary we are holding brilliant competition to win either a : FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing Aircraft:757 Professional SSG/Vmax Boeing Aircraft:747-8i Advanced Great prizes and well worth a few minutes of your time to enter: Well what we want to know is - "What is your favorite aircraft or add-on we have reviewed on X-Plane Reviews in the last twelve months and why?" Just write in the "comments" below what your thoughts are.... Conditions: Only one entry only, more than one will be deleted... so make it count. You must be a registered as a member with X-Plane Reviews to give a valid comment... "Guest" comments will be deleted. Keep the comment to around 350 words, monologues will be deleted. (unless very funny!) The best three will of course win one of the prizes in no order, Judges decisions are final. The winners comments will be posted as a separate post on the X-Plane Reviews site. Competition runs for 14 days till midnight 14th August 2014 (winners will be posted on the .Org) Have fun and lets us know on how really great the X-Plane Simulator really is. Stephen Dutton X-Plane Reviews Note! to sign up as a member then use the Account link : 1st August 2014 Copyright©2014:X-Plane Reviews
    3 points
  9. My Favorite Review (probably because I'm just a C206 freak) is the CT206H Turbo Stationair review. Located Here: Awesome Detail, great layout and the amount of detail in the pictures. Very good! I really enjoyed reading the play-by-play of the flight. It was very well put together. I really appreciate it when you bring up every slightest detail in the product you are reviewing. I would have never known* that the GPS530 was in a different folder! Giving us the history of the aircraft, as well as specs,and many, many pictures just put icing on the cake. When it comes to detail, you got it for your reviews! In the CT206H Review, you went all the way to awesome when you noted this: That was a cool fact that I would have never known. Carena *Now I do not own the C206 since I have v9. But I am a C206 fan, and I wanted to look at it more for information purposes. I do, however own other Carenado Aircraft. I was impressed that you took careful note of the navigational details of the flight. Examples are: "....and track North East until I was 17nm past to a final 180º track back to RWY 24 at 1200ft." "Using the DIR (Direct) mode on the GNS530 put me on a direct course with the fix, and then when close to NEGEL I did another DIR direct back to EICK and RWY 35...." Of course, the actual play-by-play was not vital information for us who do not fly that same route, but explaining the reasons why you did what you did, I found to be good information for owners of the aircraft to know to help them better know the GPS and IFR equipment of the airplane. I found it quite adventurous reading the play-by-play of the review's flight. I do think that this review fits the bill for the best. It's a great review for a great plane. Over all, I believe that this is my favorite review. I applaud you for the detail, adventure (of the flight) and the layout of the review. Tha onli thang i fownd rong was that u speld "sumery*" rong. Thanks for the great reviews my friend! Toby Rice P.S. I have seen some good posts on this thread. I hope mine (as from my heart as it is) is "up to snuff" for one of those addons you are offering. If I win, I will donate the aircraft to a pilot of an airline of AeroFlight Alliance, through a contest.
    3 points
  10. Hi X-PlaneReviews, congratulations on your 1st anniversary celebrating a year of great reviews. My favorite review… I would put my favorite as the 757 review, very well-done, but because I don't own the 757 in my hangar, my favorite review has to be the Carenado C208B Caravan/Cargomaster reviews. Awesome review, it made a great impression of the aircraft on me, after reading I went to buy a copy of my own. Keep up the good work X-PlaneReviews, and if I win I hope to win the 757!
    3 points
  11. Aircraft Update : Airbus A340-600 v1.1 by ToLiSS One of the most successful releases of 2021 was the Airbus A340-600 from TolIss. Users love the deep Airbus systems and clever intergrated features. Since that initial release back in October 2021, there have already been some significant updates to the aircraft (the A346 was already nicely fully formed on release) and here is the fourth, and quite a significant update to v1.1 it is. First off the base is that A346 v1.1 is now compatible with the coming X-Plane12 version, so you will be able to fly the ToLiSS A346 straight out of the box, which is a very nice premise indeed (although expect an update to switch on the X-Plane12 features). ToLiSS has also put out their pricing with the conversion to X-Plane12. And first is that the earlier A319 and A321 will have an add-on upgrade cost of US$10.99 each, however if you have the ToLiSS A321 + NEO addon and/or this A346, then the upgrade to X-Plane12 is free. Which is a very fair deal. As we know with the release of the Airbus A346. ToLiSS took control of it's modeling side of the project. The released A346 was certainly a far better design, but not actually perfect (but a very good effort for a first attempt). So to bring the modeling more into it's quality/price, here is already a rework of the original. The focus is on the rear section which has been totally remodeled along with new textures for all of the aircraft. Visually the change includes the upward sweep of the rear most windows on the fuselage... .... it is harder to achieve than it looks, because internally you just don't have the up sweep of the window line, but also the curve of the rear cabin going inwards and also upwards into the tail. ToLiSS has done a really nice job here. Because of these cosmetic changes the older liveries now don't work with the new customised tail? (hence the house livery here). The painkit has been adjusted to v.1.1, so expect the livery changes to come quickly. But it is all in the aim of authenticity. The A330 rear is very much the same configuration. The cockpit/instrument panel textures have been overhauled as well, with more wear around the knobs and switchgear and more to the blue/grey Airbus colour (cabin stays the same with no changes). While we are here, the knobs and switches have also been given improved switch geometry, so they work better from your seating angles. The flightdeck forward windows now also open... nice! Pull the handle and the window will track rearwards to reveal an open window (something I love on arrival to let fresh air into the cockpit). Notable is when you do this the air-pressure will change on the COND (Air-Conditioning) lower ECAM Screen. The air-pressure and temperature in the adjacent zone will also change if you open the any of the passenger doors. To close the side window(s), there is a little stick buffer in the lower window frame that has to be switched to do so. Don't you love arriving in the cockpit ready for a flight! Well one of the nice things to do is getting into your seat and adjusting it. In v1.1 you can now move the seats rearwards and to the side to insert yourself into the seat, when done you can then move the seat into position of to the position of where you want it to be. The seat is moved forwards and backwards via the correct switch on the lower side of the chair (arrowed), here also the armrests are in the stored position, again you can also rise or lower the armrests as well. The seat is positioned well forward here, so there is a lot of adjustment to your taste. The folding retracting armrests are perfectly done. ACARS/Simbrief All major commercial aircraft have ACARS or "Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System". Which is a digital datalink system for transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground stations via airband radio or satellite, it is a sort of airborne text system. In v1.1 the ACARS system has been implemented in two areas. One is with the excellent Navigraph SimBrief and secondly with the aircraft's TISCS menu system. First to use the ACARS system here you will need to have SimBrief and an account. It is still free, but I recommend it with your Navigraph account. To use then set up a route and generate a Flight (Sim)Brief. Like in a real aircraft you activate ACARS by tuning into VHF3 and it's "Data" uplink. If the link is active, then the "SEL" light is on. To access SimBrief you have to authorise it in the TISCS menu, under your SimBrief account settings, and use your Pilot ID (second row). And in the TISCS menu on the SOUND/ADDON ACCOUNTS tab in "ACCOUNT IDS", it will take a minute, then two options come up with... ... "Ignore AIRAC/AC Type mismatch", If this option is OFF, the flight plan download will fail if the active AIRAC cycle in the FMGS does not match the AIRAC cycle used by Simbrief for planning. In other words your AIRAC cycles (data) on the X-Plane/Aircraft and Simbrief have to match. "Set Payload + Fuel to Simbrief", If you select this option, the cargo, payload and fuel on board in the ISCS will be set immediately to the Simbrief values. This ensures that the data on the INIT B page match the actual weights, but removes one step from flight preparation, which of course you can still get from the TISCS. Loading the Data into the MCDU Looking at your INIT page on the MCDU. There is now a "INIT REQUEST", press RK2 (Right Key 2) and it will send a request for data for you, then if acquired the data is returned via "F-PLN DATALINK IN PROG" note in the scratchpad, and when done (transferring the data) it shows PERF DATA UPLINK to show the link is still open. And "wah, Wah"... all the data is filled in from the (Sim)Brief, including the Flightplan all fuel, weights, FL No., PAX, CRZ Altitude... even the Flight Number. Fuel Prediction is also ready on both INIT PRED and FUEL PRED. Notable is that the data does not include (insert) the Departure and Arrival details, so the RWY/SID/VIA and RWY/STAR/VIA approach details still have to be added in, or any approach editing can still be adjusted as normal. If you want to go to the core and load in the data directly this can also be done. You access the data by pressing the "DATA" key, and then ACARS/PRINT... FUNCTION RK6. All the data is stored here including the F-PLN INIT data, TO (TakeOff) DATA and WIND DATA. WIND REQUEST however only works with the INIT Request active and that X-Plane is set to real weather conditions (which will be very interesting with X-Plane12). Takeoff Performance Data You can fill in the PERF/TAKE OFF data by pressing the TO DATA LK6 button, and this action brings up the "REQUEST" on the RK6. Then the "TAKE OFF DATA UPLINK", will fill in your Performance TakeOff data, again very, very cool. It will however not fill in the FLEX TO TEMP category, which you still have to get from the TISCS menu (set runway), here it is F69. So much time is saved here in transferring the data, and totally brilliant at getting the aircraft quickly ready for flight. The two CPDLCs - Controller Pilot Data Link Communications are also part of the ACARS system are still not active, but next on the to-do list. Debatable is the fact do you like to do the full aircraft data set up, and could this (as really good as it is) be a sort of cheat sheet? Sometimes you really just want to fly and not go through the full setup rigmarole. In this case it is quite brilliant. Interactive Audio Control Panel The TISCS menu is big, and a few users have complained as it can't be scaled either. So ToLiSS has come up with the "Interactive Audio Control Panel" or ACP panels. These are two pop-up menu panels set out on the "Intercom" and "Cabin Communication" buttons. There are five page selections under "Intercom"; Services, Pushback, Refuel/Defuel, Cargo Handling, and Ground De-Ice • Services: Enable/disable external power, LP or HP air connections and chocks • Pushback: Request pushback • Refuel/Defuel: Change the amount of fuel on board. When using this feature, the fuelling/defueling will take time according to the refuel/defuel rate listed in the FCOM. • Cargo handling: Open and close cargo doors/change amount of cargo in the hold • Ground deice: A simple feature to prevent ice accumulation on the wings while on ground, as the wing anti ice does not work for more than 30s on ground. There are two page selections under "Cabin Communication" in Doors, and Passengers (PAX) ToLiSS notes that "For the future, we plan to include a TO calculator, a landing distance calculator and a weight and balance sheet in the EFB in order to eliminate completely the need to interact with the TISCS during a normal flight." New failure modes On the OHP (OverHead Panel), not only are the in-cockpit RESET switches (Airbus long range equivalent to in-cockpit circuit breakers) are now working, but they are also active in “recoverable computer failures” from the "Fault Scenarios". ToLISS explains how this works, "Two failure modes CPC 1 and CPC 2 are or can be permanent failures, whereas CPC 1 (R) and CPC 2 (R) are modes that can be recovered by resetting the computer. This is particularly interesting with random failures where you do not know beforehand if a reset will work or not. To reset the computers, you can use the reset switches in the Overhead panel". With the addition of these new new failure modes there is now a total of 249 different failure modes. Including also these new engine failure modes; "recoverable flame out", "engine failure with damage" and "hot start". ____________________ I did my A346 test route of EGKK (Gatwick) to LLBG (Ben Gurion) which is a 4h 4m flight. Although the A346 simulation per se is deep in flying and systems wise with ToLiSS aircraft. But because it is done so well the simulations from these aircraft can be quite easy to use. It is not only in the setting up of the aircraft (more so now in v1.1 because of the auto Simbrief data loading in route and performance). But because also the aircraft is quite sweet to fly, as is the Airbus way if you know the smaller intricate European philosophy. I have grown in X-Plane with the Airbus QPAC and now ToLiSS designed aircraft, so to me it is second nature, but that is not to say you can't learn and fly these aircraft more easily in simulation than say a Boeing, it is the difference between driving an automatic to a manual setup car. But I will emphasize again the deep existence in the systems and fault/failure detail you have here, that aspect the aircraft is extraordinary. In reality you have the best of both worlds. Now the passenger and fuel are loaded and we are ready to go. Open window is great to check everyone has boarded. Climbout of EGKK, shows the A340-600 is a big aircraft, the last of the four-engined generation as well. In v1.1 the engine model has been adjusted for more realistic thrust and fuel flow values (to follow the SimBrief numbers more accurately) and you feel the difference... ... Climb, climb, climb, it is a long way up to 35,000ft (FL350) then a step to cruising altitude of 37,000ft (FL370). Speed is per SimBrief at m.83, sky is clear and the flying is breathtaking. The significant changes of the textures and in areas of the modeling really shows. The engines and around the main inlet cowls are now also more smoother and cleaner with refined grids, internally in the pods you can now see through the High-Bypass fans. Internally in the office we are in long-haul cruise mode, and a very nice place to be it is (always a good thing on Long-Hauls)... I particularly like the animated armrests, a small thing but you can access the radios and pedestal much more easier, it feels more authentic as well... ... You can now put on the oxygen mask by removing it from its container and database holds are now also available. ProCam views! Cockpit detail and textures look far better, a small change, but a very worthy one. Arrival at LLBG (Ben Gurion) is on time and on numbers, very nice... I like to hit the numbers almost perfectly. It is a quick in landing on RWY 12 at 10,210ft (3112m) long, but the A346 copes well with the shorter runway... easy peasy. There is now a sound option to over-ride or adjust the default X-Plane sounds called "OVRD XP INT/EXT VOL" from the TISCS/SOUND/ADDON ACCOUNTS tab, this gives you more control over the Master Volume, Internal and External Sounds. Like here I want to hear those fantastic Rolls-Royce Trent 556s in reverser mode sounds louder. How good is simulation today! So this is all round a very good update for the lovers of ToLiSS A346, as noted what was really good before is now even better. As a note I redid the SimBrief briefing to go on to Barcelona, and I was re-setup (turned around) within twenty minutes and ready to fly again. So that shows the ACARS system is a very worthy addition! And oh yes, I opened the side window to let in the hot Middle-Eastern air. Comprehensive release review of the ToLiSS A340-600 is here: Aircraft Review : Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS _______________ Summary This is the fourth update to the ToLiSS Airbus A340-600 since it's release in the Q3 2021, and the biggest and most significant update yet. v1.1 covers the intergration of ACARS or "Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System" into the MCDU. Which is a digital datalink system. It connects direct data transfers from Simbrief (Navigraph, but free) and from the data (PERF) on the TISCS menu. Also new are the Interactive Audio Control Panels, that are really short cut panels to "Ground Operations" and "Cabin Comm" or doors and passenger loading. Failure modes (Fault Scenarios) have been increased with the now working "Reset" (Circuit Breakers/OHP) and different failure modes. On the aircraft there has some nice visual changes, most up the rear with a new upward window belt-line, and matching curved rear cabin, engine inlet and internal Hi-Bypass fan changes are also highly noticeable. Internally the forward cockpit windows now open and the pilots chairs are now animated in forwards and rear movement and the armrests can now be folded away. All external and internal textures have been redone and look more realistic and work style authentic (new liveries are however are required to be updated to v1.1). All in all there are a lot of changes and fixes here, and most importantly the aircraft is now also ready for X-Plane12 (A small update for the new features will be released at the same time as the new X-Plane12 Simulator). Extremely popular, the ToLiSS Airbus A340-600 is one of the very best Airbus Simulations in the X-Plane Simulator, even exceptional. And they haven't finished yet. Now also X-Plane12 ready is a big step forward, and to be flying in X-Plane12 from day one is certainly a great attraction, and also a great current investment in that the changeover for the aircraft to X-Plane12 will be free to all current purchasers. "Highly Recommended!" _______________________________ Yes! the Airbus A340-600 v1.1 by ToLiSS is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS Price is US$89.99 Most accurate system functionality for any A340 aircraft in the flight simulation world Requirements X-Plane only - not available for MSFS Support for X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version: 1.1 (June 20th 2022) Changelog v1.1 A340-600_changelog.txt Full changelog details are here _____________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd June 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows -S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGKK - London Gatwick Airport v2 by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 - LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99 - Full review availble here: Scenery Review : LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
    2 points
  12. I totally agree. I also paid full-price for these too. I hope they can at least work in X-Plane 12 when it releases.
    2 points
  13. Aircraft Updates : Airbus A319 and 321 by Toliss A few days ago Toliss released updates for both A319 and A321, changing and improving many things in the aircraft. Systems were the main focus, adding new features and usabilities. Let's check out what changed. Airbus A319 v1.4 by Toliss The A319 is ToliSS's first add-on for X-Plane 11, which was released in early 2018. This update brought some improvements for the aircraft, like the addition of the Secondary Flight Plan, Fix Info page and a complete rework of the flight path. This last feature resulted in a more accurate computed path. The A319 received other new features which made the aircraft even more realistic. The most noticeable are the cockpit door, which can be opened now, and the addition of a standby whisky compass. This compass is very well made, giving you now the option to show or hide it. Another great change was the ISCS, it was reorganized to be more intuitive. Now you can change the performance calculator between the Active and Secondary, as well as use TOGA thrust. Most people that own the A319 already used the ToteDeMacs textures, so Toliss decided to include them as default in the new version. They are pretty nice, even though I prefer using a grey cockpit texture replacement which will be linked at the end of the review. The PFD colors were reworked, as well as the landing symbology, increasing realism. Toliss also made a few minor additions and changes. For those who don't use the incredible BSS sounds, Toliss reworked the sound balance for better immersion. Brake pedal function with a single axis is now allowed, Pause at T/D now pauses the simulation one minute before T/D, FD and AP now have smoother behavior in managed descent. Small changes to make your simulation better. Airbus A321 v1.03 by Toliss One of the most popular and awaited add-ons for X-Plane now receives its third update, which includes a few minor improvements to make it a better aircraft. Most of the new features are the same as from the A319, smoother FD and AP, reworked PFD colors and a warning, to prevent you from using Experimental Flight Model. The A321 received a few exclusive features like the Tailstrike Warning, which shows up in the PFD during landing. The Engine EPR indication was improved (IAE engine), as well as many other improvements related to the engines. Summary Toliss proved to be one of the best add-on producers for X-Plane, first with the A319 and now with the longer A321. Updates are very important, they prevent the aircraft from getting outdated, at least buys you more time, and always improves it. Both A319 and A321 both received mostly very similar features and improvements in this update, and even though they weren't big or many, they manage to make the add-on better. Probably the main additions in these updates are for the A319 to reflect the changes on the more modern A321. Opening cockpit door, functional compass, better textures and the systems changes that were were awaited for a while, and the wait was certainly worth it. All these features are very nice and make the overall simulation more enjoyable. Now that Toliss has been around for a good time and proved to have very high-quality products, there is no reason for not having one of these incredible birds in your hangar, they are 100% recommendable. ________________________________________________________ Both Airbus A319 v1.4 and Airbus A321 v1.03 by Toliss are available in the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A319 Price is US$69.00 v1.4 Changelog A319_changelog.txt Airbus A321 Price is US$79.00 v1.03 Changelog A321_changelog.txt ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Update by Bernardo Pierdoná Casa 19th May 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews ToteDeMacs - Grey cockpit mod for A319 and A321 (Threshold) (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
    2 points
  14. Behind the Screen : May 2021 Noted it is already 1st June... 5 months of the year 2021 have already passed, and where are we? Non-Covid then later this week the FlightSimExpo on the 4th June to the 6th June would have been running in San Diego, but that date has now been moved to September 24-26, 2021. The FlightSimExpo 2021 this time around after the no-go of 2020, was a huge focus on the state of play in simulation and of the whirlwind of the changes surrounding simulation, a sort of "touch base" scenario or to see where we are all relative to all the significant changes of late. But mostly the focus would have been on Laminar Research... would have they released or at least previewed X-Plane12 (or what ever XP12 would be called) this weekend? My gut says they would have certainly previewed or announced the new up and coming simulator version with a razzmatazz do-da at the Expo, right under the noses of Microsoft and their full on desire to show off their own do-da Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS). In other words a head to head battle for users for a certain specific platform or for the cash they deliver, but that extreme clash of the simulation titans will now not happen, or not yet anyway. So the obvious question is? Will Laminar Research still announce the new X-Plane version as per the old SimExpo dates (this weekend), or now wait until the rescheduled Sept SimExpo. It gives Laminar even more time to refine the details and make even more of a announcement splash further on up the road. It is a big question. Laminar has a few options, because historically the northern summer is a very quiet time in Simulation, users are more interested in the beach or fishing than sitting behind a computer, oddly I am in the Southern Winter, but the weather here is just as pleasant as the Northern Summer (If not as perfect) so you want to be outside more than inside with the glorious weather... so would an announcement now from Laminar go simply nowhere? Or if Laminar did announce the new X-Plane version, then they would still have months to refine it and get a beta release under way for the same Sept Expo date, announcing does not mean delivering, but it does start the countdown clock to a reveal or beta release. I left my calendar clear for next week either way, and why? The first five months of 2021 (Covid-19 restrictions aside) it has been in Simulation terms very quiet, they all bubble along nicely, but not certainly with the extreme vigour of the past few years. Again has the Covid aspects been a factor in that, and not in just the health aspects but the actual monetary characteristics as well, personally I don't think so, but much is so out of whack with the virus. But there are aspects that need exploring, and in reality the main players in both MSFS and X-Plane are actually still in a state of transition phase. In the case of MSFS, it has certainly lost a lot of it's release thrill. No doubt the scenery developers are still bowing to the great god for financial salvation, but look closer and the releases are still mostly well rehashed versions of the earlier released FS/P3D product, nothing new to see there, but earlier the volume was absolutely overwhelming and all or mostly it was released at bucket low prices. In X-Plane quality scenery has also gone through the floor, with very little released and mostly only the small regional or just basic airfields to purchase (the quality however is really, really good), certainly there are no mega ports or cityscapes... we are now certainly being punished heavily for our lack of investment in quality scenery... all the big boys have certainly gone, the question is will they come back, and I told you so, mostly in every monthly BtheS edition I did last year. But is the forecasted deal actually or really working out? No doubt the MSFS developers are in it for the really long haul, but will MSFS actually really deliver the bonanza they are expecting or the high returns they expect to build a long term business model on, personally I am already thinking they might already have realised, that the cash cow they were expecting is not actually going to be there or even materialize, gamers are still a very different breed than Simulation users in that they hop-in and hop-out at will, they are certainly not going to spend money to build up long term portfolios of aircraft, scenery or addons like the dedicated Simulator users do. Lately the early year's absolutely full on MSFS release stream of scenery has already dropped to down to a trickle? On aircraft MSFS is still very much in nowheresville. The release of Aerosoft's big bang and expensive CRJ 550/700, was of actually burst balloon proportions, reviews are horrible, but JustFlight have just released their (in X-Plane excellent) PA-28R Turbo Arrow III IV, so there might be finally a decent machine to fly in the MSFS Simulator, but overall the deeper MSFS architecture is just not there for deep grade simulation, as with the original Flight Simulator series it will depend on if the developers can work around this crucial aspect in a 3rd party design, rather than depending on the actual simulator itself. To a point most important X-Plane aircraft are now also independent of the core Plane Maker tools to operate and a few with CEF (Chrome) and xjet are standalone plugins from PM. But I still think the MSFS architecture is again far to different to workaround as it is again based on gaming engines, more than a flight modeling engine to achieve the required depth and dynamics. Yes I actually have MSFS, but I rarely fly it? I have also not even bought a single product in the platform, and that is not because I am being an X-Plane devotee. I am very much in wanting to experience the best in simulation, but to be honest (except for the visual aspects) it leaves me stone cold, I find the flight model very artificial (what is with the bouncing?) and the visual controls are simply impossible, and I certainly don't feel comfortable in the aircraft, but get the feeling of being set removed or distanced from the dynamics... and it has crashed in one form or the other almost every time I have used it, would that overall experience make you want to actually invest in it? I found Q1 2021 frustratingly slow in X-Plane. There was a few nice and very good helicopter releases, but at times I was actually looking for things to review which was very rare activity in the last few dynamic years, I expected the year to bounce off hard, but it never happened, it just stumbled and groaned. In Q2 2021 X-Plane suddenly felt normal again, with three exceptional aircraft releases, Aerobask with their excellent Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300, followed by the very much anticipated JustFlight BAe 146 Pro, and finally the mind-blowing X-Trident CH47-D Chinook. The really odd thing about those last few X-Plane releases, was the actual sheer depth of their systems and the flight dynamics. Again another level of Simulation, that to be honest pushed my reviewing skills to the absolute limits. So much to learn and so much to operate in the way you fly each of these aircraft, and personally, I know and is still flying all three consistently to trying to get up to each of the aircraft's extreme level of study and skill bases. That is of course great and the aspect of the Simulator still pushing you upwards in your skill base, but it is also highly fulfilling, satisfaction wise. But here is the point. Without those extreme aircraft simulations you don't have a Simulator, and you don't even have a viable Simulator if the developers didn't develop these amazing products, and overall that is the huge chasm between MSFS and X-Plane right now, if you are a serious sim-user then where do you have to be to do deep immersion simulation, the answer is simply of course X-Plane. So the question to Laminar Research is that, can you afford to waste the time to wait till September 21 to get the next version of X-Plane out to an eager audience. Their answer maybe in that "well X-Plane11 is moving along quite nicely", but that is not the point here, push your luck too far and you could lose the overall game, and money. To those MSFS developers in the fact that if X-Plane12 (or whatever) is really, really good, then where should your talents go to. "Look the deal is guys, give us the same quality and scenery as you are giving to MSFS, and we will buy it" but don't try to screw us, were as currently you are giving MSFS better quality and diversity, and at a far cheaper price" That is not fair... if like X-Plane or not, the Simulator delivers where it really counts in Simulation, but the X-Plane12 aspect and Laminar's fancy long-winded roadmap can change the game (so to speak) significantly, because the point is if Sim users can get the realism in aircraft and plugins they require, then the only thing missing is the visuals (and the weather), that is what X-Plane12 in context should finally put right... do you see where I am going! Again I am not going into bat for just for X-Plane, but for the full overall experience of Simulation. If Laminar Research want to face off the might of Microsoft and their wonderkind product in Sept, then build up the momentum before you get to San Diego, than then just trying to overwhelm them (or announce) on the day will not work, because MSFS have a lot to lose, and work the MSFS developers to say that X-Plane IS worthy of your attention, because believe it or not, we do as users actually buy portfolios of your product. After the last August release of MSFS, we are in an interesting place, but actually it will be this coming Northern Summer that will be a setting to the future of Simulation as we know it. Yes FlightSimExpo 2021 in September will still be the epicentre to the clash titans of Simulation, but most significant battles have always been won not on the field, but before and well away from the day itself... it is your call Laminar Research. See you all again next month... Stephen Dutton 1st June 2021 Copyright©2021 X-Plane Reviews
    2 points
  15. Aircraft Review : Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor After the huge success of the late 1950's and throughout the 1960's for the Boeing Commercial Airplane's Company with their Boeing 707/727/737 and Widebodied Boeing 747 aircraft, it was always going to be a challenge for Boeing and keep their lead in the aviation production business to develop and create the next advanced series of passenger jets. Other manufacturers went down the Twin-Aisle three-engined designs that was signified by the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and the Lockhead L-1011 Tristar. Originally Boeing with the code-named 7X7 looked to be going down that route of three engine design, but the Airbus A300 from Europe changed the design to the more common current layout with Twin-Aisle, Twin-Engined aircraft as engine design and power had now progressed to allow big twins to have the power and range over their three engined counterparts in that now highly competitive mid-medium to large-size, long-range market. Still Boeing backed its card hand both ways, not only announcing the Boeing 767 as their Twin-Engine Design to cover the Twin-Aisle market, but to also build a Single-Aisle aircraft in the Boeing 757 code-named 7N7, and both aircraft have a commonality design that was shared over the two different types of airframes, in the thinking that airlines would buy and operate both types with a single commonality rating with a small conversion to the larger Boeing 767. Three variants of the Boeing 767 were planned: a 767-100 with 190 seats, a 767-200 with 210 seats, and a trijet 767MR/LR version with 200 seats intended for intercontinental routes. The 767MR/LR was subsequently renamed 777 for differentiation purposes which was when finally launched a vastly different aircraft for a different market. The prototype Boeing 767 aircraft, registered N767BA and equipped with JT9D turbofans, rolled out on August 4, 1981. By this time, the 767 program had accumulated 173 firm orders from 17 customers, including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Britannia Airways, Transbrasil, and Trans World Airlines (TWA). On September 26, 1981, the prototype took its maiden flight under the command of company test pilots Tommy Edmonds, Lew Wallick, and John Brit. This version in the FlightFactor/StepToSky release is the The 767-300ER, the extended-range version of the 767-300. Which entered service with American Airlines in 1988. The type's increased range was made possible by greater fuel tankage and a higher MTOW of 407,000 lb (185,000 kg). Design improvements allowed the available MTOW to increase to 412,000 lb (187,000 kg) by 1993. Power is provided by Pratt & Whitney PW4000, General Electric CF6, or Rolls-Royce RB211 engines. This aircraft is the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 version. FlightFactor/StepToSky FlightFactor and Roman Berezin has no need of introduction for most fliers in X-Plane Simulation. Their Boeing 777 WorldLiner and Boeing 757 Series have made them the very best of the Boeing designed (and official product) available for X-Plane. Their foray into Airbus territory with their Airbus A350-900 also shows the design group's versatility. Here with the Boeing 767-300ER FlightFactor still uses the talents of avionics designer Phillipp Munzel, but are also now joined by StepToSky designers Denis Maslov and Alexander Khudekov, but the full development team is thirteen highly specialised individuals coming together to create this highly developed iconic aircraft the.... Boeing 767-300ER Review You couldn't cover every aspect of this review with a simple walkaround the aircraft and point to point flight like I usually write, because different points of the flying pointed to different areas to be explored. So this review covers three sector flights, not the quite Golden Triangle of some of the busiest air routes in the world between BNE-Brisbane (Queensland) to ADL- Adelaide (South Australia) to SYD - Sydney (New South Wales) and finally back to BNE.... MEL - Melbourne (Victoria) missed out because I wanted the longer stretch sector to Adelaide and the longer one back to SYD. When in service (All Boeing 767 aircraft have only earlier this year have been retired by QF Qantas) in the past three decades with Qantas these routes were its main service points (and also PER-Perth) and I have flown on a lot of flights on this aircraft over these routes. So there is a little mixture in the look of some images in this review here as they are taken not in order as I usually do, but overall throughout the three distinct flying sectors. External There is a distinctly different feel to the Boeing 767, yes it looks like FF's Boeing 757 and B777 series aircraft and that design feel is certainly strongly still prominent. But there is a different technique at work here in the way the aircraft's outer-skins are presented. The design of the fuselage is simply exemplary, but what you are looking at is in fact two fuselage's in objects. The usual standard inner version, but now also another object fuselage built over it. This outer object creates a brilliant shine over the aircraft (a sort of holy grail in X-Plane) and gives you (another X-Plane holy grail) great chrome surfaces. These reflective chrome areas are noticeable around the inner front wing surfaces and in the front areas of the engine inlet cowling surfaces. Certainly static images do not give these reflections a good representation of their quality and shininess, but they are very, very good. Externally the aircraft is excellent, how much detail do you want? how much more can you include in small detailing details? To highlight the sort of detailing you have here we will focus on an area, which is the wings and undercarriage (to cover every detail would take a small manual). leading edge and trailing edge wing design is excellent, fully detailed and animated. The B767 uses a unique inner flap arrangement called a "Hinged Beam Four Bar Linkage" with Fowler flap, because of the interference of a drag problem the linkage has a shallow but wide fairing which was small enough to allow it to fix the drag problems. A variation was used on the Boeing 777 in the "upsidedown/upright four bar linkage" flap system. The Boeing 767 wings are swept at 31.5 degrees and optimized for a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 (533 mph or 858 km/h). Each wing features a supercritical cross-section and is equipped with six-panel leading edge slats, leading single-and double-slotted flaps, inboard and outboard ailerons, and six spoilers. Inner wing detailing is overwhelming, only when the wing is fully extended do you get the full detailing shown, amazing detail is what you get for your money today. The B767 here is one of the best yet. As is the undercarriage design, complex and fully animated you get every link, pipe, nut and bolt in perfect harmony, it is simply a miniature version of the real gear system, but the real aspect of this undercarriage quality is in the motion of their working sum of parts, put the aircraft down in a heavy side wind and you see the whole system working to its maximum, the gear compresses and wheels work with the tarmac, and even the Hydraulic piping will flex and move to the gear movement. You can spend hours with replays watching the motions in action. So external design is extraordinary good, every fuselage join, rivet, and body construction is perfectly realized, smaller items like pitot tubes, aerials, rudder and flap joints are all there to look for and see, only slight blemish is the front strut lights can shine through the doors, which is common theme with most X-Plane aircraft (noting a Laminar Research issue and not a developers one). There is the choice between the old original straight edge wing design and the newer upturned Aviation Partners blended winglets. Internal Internally it is a quick glance left into the cockpit, but let us have a look at the cabin first. Two class cabin in five across in two - one - two first/business and seven across two - three - two in the main economy section, all blue seating is very 80's in seating design. Cabin is well designed and laid out, the fittings look the period that the aircraft was built in and the overhead lockers are tiny compared to the huge bins we have today. Overall the cabin is excellent. Cabin has "Dynamic windows" (shades) that open and close to the angle of the sun like on the FF B757, but here you have the option of turning them off (thank you), for the windowhuggers the view out is excellent, early versions of the FF B767 had very dark orange opacity window view, but thankfully for the release they have been made a lot clearer and more enjoyable. Cockpit first look. The cockpit experience is astounding, this aircraft is not fully "cold and dark" because it is waiting for a transition crew to take it on to Adelaide. The surrounding cockpit does feel different, but sit in the captains seat and it all suddenly becomes very familiar. If you already have the FlightFactor Boeing 757 Series you will find this view and all the controls, knobs and switchgear just like home, everything is the same and the only changes are the ones you can't see which is the aircraft's weights, fuel loads and fuel burn, all round the aircraft is of course heavier than its cousin in 99790 kg (220,000 lb) for the Boeing 757 which has a Max - takeoff weight to the higher 179168 kg (395,000 lbs) GTW for the Boeing 767-300ER. From a pilots instrument perspective this is not a complicated aircraft, there are only the same basic tools that you would find on even a regional turboprop aircraft. It is in the setting up detail that makes this aircraft a professional machine. This aircraft had some of the early glass style cockpits, not the full sized panels you see today, but the early style cathode ray tube (CRT) designs. These screens were and are fitted here usually two CRT's and the top smaller one is for the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and lower CRT is is for the MAP/NAV display. Two more larger CRT's cover the aircraft's performance and status are situated mid-panel. The rest of the instruments are standard clockwork gauges and dials. We will get a better understanding of the PFD/NAV displays when flying, so I will pass over them for now. But the standard gauges and dials are on the Pilot's/Captain's side far left is the main Airspeed dial (KNOTS/MACH) combined and below is the Radio Distance Magnetic Indicator (RDMI) that shows DME-VOR/ADF distances and with dual needles display (switchable). Right of the CRT's is the "Autoland Status" which can be switched to Auto1/Auto2/Manual on the OHP. Below is the Altitude indicator with barometric settings. Lower is the Vertical Speed Indicator from 0 - 6000fpm, bottom is the timer/clock. Centre are three standby/backup dials in Artificial Horizon, Airspeed dial and Altitude indicator. Autobrake setting knob is here as well. First officer right side position has exactly the same instrument layout, but there are a few extra dials and displays in a "Brake Pressure" dial, TAS/Cº display, Gear up/down lever, Flap position display (1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 degrees) and engine thrust parameter limits selection panel (also known as "thrust management". As noted the panel looks complicated but it is really quite a simple layout. Autopilot (AP) is very standard Boeing, so if you have flown any Boeing flightdecks then you would be very familiar with the layout, like the B757 each end of the AP is a frequency setting (VOR 1/NAV 1) left and VOR2/NAV2 right) both CRS (Course) setting knob are here as well. There is slight (very slight) differences on the OHP (OverHead Panel), but the familiarity aspect is very strong. All areas on this FlightFactor aircraft are covered in systems and switchgear, the panel is very comprehensive in detail. Main panels are Electrical, APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), Hydraulics, Electronic Engine Control (EEC), Inertial reference, Oxygen, heating (external and internal), Air-Conditioning, Bleed and Pneumatic air, Cooling and anti-ice, call panel, Fuel and aircraft lighting. Pedestal (or Aislestand) is well laid out as well, The central Throttle (engine reverse), Stab trim, flap lever, speed brake lever of course dominate the panel, The two start/cutoff fuel control switches are buried at the rear of the throttle set. EFIS (electronic Flight Instrument System) panels are available for both Captain/First Officer and again a replication and use of exactly the same units on the B757. Engine, Cargo and APU fire controls and main radio communications panels are mid-section, rear is the ADF/NDB frequency dials and that difficult to find VOR1/ILS frequency radio set (click lower knob to activate). far rear is your Aileron/rudder trim wheels/knob. There is a right side rear service panel, that is for observers and monitoring general aircraft systems. MCDU and Flightplanning MCDU (Multipurpose Control Display Unit) in the Boeing 767-300ER is one of the best in X-Plane. Bulletproof and well designed, you can easily programme in your aircraft's operating parameter's and route planning. Both Captain/First Officer MCDU's pop out for ease of use and are independent of each other. You can use it on your iPad as well and there is comprehensive instructions provided on the way to connect X-Plane to your iPad or if you already have that installed for the B757 system, the same one will work here also. Setting up the route is very easy, select your departure (YBBN) and arrival (YPAD) airports, select your RWY 19 and SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and "Trans" point in my case LARAVALE "LAV", sometimes you may be required to select from a selection of NAV-AIDS to select the right one is to look at the co-ordinates. Then input your route waypoints and I tend to go for DME-VOR and NDB fixes for ease of input and distance measuring. On ARR (Arrival) you select RWY23 your STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) which is the opposite of your SID and here it is "BLACK SIX" (A note is that I usually have to edit a STAR section to get the best approach, shouldn't have to, but I usually do?), when done then EXEC or activate the FlightPlan, you can save your route and also use flightplans you created in the FF B757 by moving them to the Plugins/767Avionics/routes file (the routes are in the same place on the B757). You can check your route by in the EFIS select PLN mode for the NAV/MAP display and press "SELECT" R6 Key to move down the list. To get the best performance out of these aircraft it comes down to the way you programme and set up the aircraft with weights and balances, you get help of course which we will come to in a minute. But the professional serious pilots of you out there know the good nitty gritty is in the minor details of flight planning. To show the serious depth of programming in performance with the FF Boeing 767 it is how much detail is now available for you. It is certainly important to set up your aircraft's weights and fuel before doing the final calculations in the FMC (Flight Management Computer), if not it can alter your flightplan and it will need re-editing to fit in the new settings, worse it can ruin a STAR approach and you will need for serious editing to get the correct flow to lineup with the runway. But get the W&F numbers right and there is bounty of information at your disposal. One such area is the option of using "ECON" performance. this data will fly the aircraft at the best "Economy" performance to save fuel and give you the information covering the best Climb (CLB), Cruise (CRU) and Descend (DES) and best flight altitude and speeds, transitional speeds and it is clever stuff. Positional reports (even when sitting at the gate!) and Progress data is all at your disposal and is updated right to the conclusion of the flight. But it is in the real details of the FMC that is excellent, the small things that make this FMC certainly the very best one out there in X-Plane Weather and terrain radars are not new, but this version is more adjustable and more powerful than the standard X-Plane version, you can test the unit as well to see if it is active and adjust the beam up or down to to get the best perspective that you require more on them later. Menus Another FlightFactor aircraft and another different Menu design. But this is a better version than the X-Plane menu bar approach of the B757, as this B767 version is based around the iPad or Electronic Flight Bag as many are called. You select the iPad by the smaller version in a pocket on the left of the Captain's position, and it pops up on the top right of your screen, X-Plane menu and key access (recommended) can also be used. The iPad can be moved around the screen but be careful as it can disconnect you from the cockpit controls unless when moved you re-click on the cockpit area background. The iPad has seven different tabs in : General - Ground - Airplane - Failures - Avionics - About and PA (Passenger Announcements) Main tab is "General". This tab selects all the general settings of the aircraft to select more realism or just general flying details. Items you can selects are: High challenge – sets the frequency of custom failures (none, low, high) Real limits – set the structural limits of the aircraft Real time – set the time periods needed for some physical processes f/o in control – the pilots default position is the right seat Throttles block – sets the special throttle block option Advanced windshear – sets the windshear simulation so it can appear in specific weather conditions Mouse wheel – alternates between 4 modes of mouse wheel usage (zoom, rotate, click-rotate, click-rotate-click) Interflight data – sets the option to remember data between different flights (e.g. oil qty, oxygen qty and others) Charts on – turns on the chart on yoke option (read bellow) Hide yokes – hides the yokes Realistic sound – sets the volumes of in-cockpit systems to realistic levels (instead of a mode familiar sim levels) Real weather radar – alternates between a familiar full square radar and a realistic tilt-level based system All settings and preferences can be saved, which is a huge bonus when resetting up for a new flight. Main aircraft volume can also be adjusted here as well. Second tab is "Ground". Ground is split into two areas upper for external operations and lower for aircraft weight and balance management. This is a very comprehensive tab, with a lot of settings and configurations. You have a lot of ground support vehicles, stairs, buses, fuel truck, de-ice truck, Air Start Unit (ASU), Loader (LSU) and gate configuration to park at a airbridge. On early FlightFactor aircraft these ground vehicles were really good, but now they are really feeling their age. They actually now look odd at western airports as they seem more eastern European in design, X-Plane has moved on with more current designs and the de-ice truck looks a little hokey... You can save and recall your favorite support vehicles configuration. Push back is built in here and we will get to that in a moment. Ground "Maintenance" is needed to reset the interflight data – oxygen and hydralic fluid quantities, starter usage counters etc. To make it easier the (very) top of the overhead panel there is a special flight counter which tells you how many flight have passed from the last maintenance. The lower panel is a very comprehensive way to set up the aircraft. You can set up your "passenger load", "Cargo" and "Fuel Weight". and you get the final weight and balance numbers to reflect your choices. CoG (Centre of Gravity) can be set automatically, but I found it to biased to the rear and making the aircraft nose light? The fuel truck has to connected to load in fuel, but when ready if you push the "LOAD/UNLOAD" button the aircraft will load up to your preferences. This can take a little time and with a lot of noise going on behind you, but it is very authentic. If you want to just change the cargo and passenger loads you can just do that by pressing the "RETOUCH LOAD" button. But there was one slightly annoying thing with this arrangement. And that if you are not resetting the aircraft from "cold" then you have to "UNLOAD" everything in passengers and cargo (or wait ten minutes) before you can then load up your new flight preferences and wait another ten minutes while everything is reloaded that is all going on board, meanwhile you can't finish programming the MCDU/FMC data because the final weights are not yet completed? It is I'll go and get a cup of coffee time while you are doing all this unloading and reloading business. In normal arrival and departing conditions it is fine, but in starting a new simulation it is a bit of a waiting game... All custom weights and balances preferences can be saved and recalled. But it is a very powerful setup system, and better than past FF aircraft arrangements. Next menu tab is the "Airplane" menu This menu selects the aircraft items. On the left is the option of the movable cabin window blinds we mentioned and the option of standard wing tips or the newer winglets... Either choice is great, and the detail on the non-winglet version is still to a high quality. Three menu selections covers the "Wingflex" and this does not need to be set very high as it will be a little to flexible, only a small amount on the left is recommended, "Reflections" again you don't need a lot of glossy reflections as it looks odd with a sheen across your screen that looks unnatural at mid to high settings. "Effects" can be set low as well. All settings can be saved and are configured the same the next time you load up the aircraft. Lower panel is the aircraft doors. spot click all passenger and cargo doors including that small lower cargo hold for oversized and last minute baggage. This Boeing 767 has a great upward sliding door animation that is extremely authentic. small great touchs that make this aircraft really great. Next tab is "Failures". As you use the aircraft it will start to produce failures that have to be rectified via the "Maintenance" selection... I didn't clock up enough brownie points to set this in motion... Next is "Avionics" Another big tab of settings, but at this point the dark ones noted here are not yet functional. EADI options include (PFD), EHSI (ND) and EICAS displays options. EADI Airspeed tape – this will set the airspeed tape in the EADI (PFD) FMA on Top – this will set the FMA on TOP for the airspeed tape. This options is hard connected to the airspeed tape options Integrated cue FD – this will alternate between the integrated cue flight director and the crosshair FD Advanced radio altitude alerts – this set the advanced RA alerts Round Dial RA – this set the round dial RA ILS deviation warning – this sets the ILS deviation warning Rising runway – this sets the rising runway option Trend vector – this sets the trend vector option on the airspeed tape (requires the airspeed tape option to operate) EHSI Modern EFIS panel – sets the EFIS panel type (with or without TERR and some other options). Automatically set the EGPWS type Heading up map – enables the heading up map TAS and GS – sets the true airspeed and ground speed readouts ADF pointers – sets the ADF pointers Range arcs – enabled the range arcs Digital wing bearing – enables the wing bearing indicator EICAS FF display – enabled the fuel flow readouts APU oil qty display – enables the APU oil quantity readout Hydraulic pressure – enables the hydraulic press readouts APU RPM – enables the APU RPM readout BULK temperature – enables the bulk cargo compartment temperature readout Brake temperature – enables the bake temperature readout and warning boxes Tire pressure – enables the tire pressure indication PIP FMS This setting will alternate between the classical style FMS and the newer PIP type. See the FCOM for more detail EGPWS – this will alternate between the old style enhanced GPWS system which generates the warning text and has only the standard look-ahead display and a newer system which also has the peaks mode. Lots of detail and settings available, you can see why you need time on the airframe to get the best settings configured to your own perspective. In the "About" tab everyone takes a well earned bow, it take a lot of talented people to create a modern X-Plane aircraft in today's highly detailed simulation world... This is were your money goes. The last tab is the "PA" (Passenger Announcements) Released on the FF Boeing 757 series, these are quality (meaning very long) announcements, which are great to use and use them a lot I do. Just watch you are not disconnected to the aircraft when you select the tab, and you can kill an announcement or change the announcement volume by the knob on the radio panel. Checklists and Tutorial The Checklist and Tutorial menus are not on the iPad, but still like the system on the B757 which is on the X-Plane/plugin menu bar. But nothing is missing here and very good they are. You get a full startup and flight checklists that turn green when items are completed, and auto start functions are here as well and a complete reset page to clear the checklists for a new flight... four tabs represent: Normal - Procedures - Operational - Resets. Flying the FlightFactor - SteptoSky Boeing 767-300ER You would think that starting up a huge airliner would be a long procedural business, in fact it is quite the opposite. Warning beacons on (red), main fuel pumps on, Cabin Air-Conditioning off (for engine bleed) and to note I am using the ground start air-compressor not the on board APU. Then select Ground (GND) start and finally the "Engine Start" switch to either 1 or 2, I need at least one engine running to take over from the GPU external power. The centre MFD panel "Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System" (EICAS) will come alive on the start up engine, let N2 build to 25% and then flip in the "Fuel Control" (flow) switch and the engine will then complete the startup process to idle. When both engines are running then clean up the bleed/Air-Con and turn on the aircraft's engine power supply (DC) and disconnect the external GPU and High-Pressure Units. Startup sounds are extremely good and APU and air-conditioning sounds are constant in the aircraft, and it is weird when you finally shut down the aircraft later on how quiet or noisy it actually is. The pushback truck is built in and a very good one it is... Select push or pull and let off the brakes to move. You have full throttle and yaw control if you use the keys or a joystick and throttle system, so placing the aircraft correctly for departure is easy. Only slight visual issue is the truck does not fully turn on the front gear, so the aircraft tends to drag the truck sideways? But the turning wheels on the PB truck are a nice touch. YBBN - YPAD On the taxiways the aircraft is nice to manoeuvre around but watch that length it is a big aircraft on tight taxiways and hard turns, however the perfect taxi speed is easily found... anyway you are to busy enjoying the "PA" announcements to the passengers. ATC clearance and 15º flap selected and your rolling by pressing the THR (Thrust button), on rotate Flaps up a notch and gear up, switching to SPD and Autopilot (AP) on and LNAV/VNAV are selected. The aircraft has plenty of power and I have a high takeoff weight, so climbing above 2000fpm is not a problem for this aircraft. Your friend is the "Thrust Mode Management" panel in setting TO/GA, CLB, CON, CRZ and DERATE 1 & 2. If you programmed the MCDU correctly the Thrust Management will control your engines for the maximum performance and you certainly do feel the differences. The sheer amount of information in route data and engine data available to you is extraordinary. PROGRESS page gives you perfect updates on the route and DIRECT TO is available when required. Finally at cruise you can breath out and relax. One major thing that you feel is the absolute complete environment of this Boeing 767-300ER. The way you look through those lovely port-holed windows but mostly via the aural connection of the aircraft. I have flown on many aircraft and on the B767 many times and this aircraft is the one that really captures that feeling and the very sounds like the real aircraft... it sends goosebumps up your spine in the reality of it all. I have not been a big fan of FF external sounds (very clicky), but with the "realistic sounds" option on they are a lot better here. but internally they are excellent. Only slight annoyance is still that FF cabin communication "pinging" that you can't seem to keep happy. So is the FF B767 different from the FFB757? From the cockpit yes it does even though the panel layout is the same, and it is a very different aircraft in many respects, more depth and the FF B757 was very good there. The B757 feels darker and far older than the brighter surrounds of the lovely B767 cockpit. It is 2h 30min flightime between BNE to ADL, but it felt longer with the "real time" option on, and yet the clock is right. Pretty soon you are coming over the Adelaide Hill's on the "Black" STAR approach path to RWY 23. FF created the best aircraft noises and this B767 does not disappoint on landing, throttle changes are excellent and wind noise with gear extraction is amazingly realistic, almost distractingly so, you are working hard on the pre-landing procedures and these great sounds are surrounding you with detail... realism par excellence. You are working hard but the aircraft delivers, one natural thing is that the Boeing 767-300ER is just a very nice aircraft to fly, perfectly balanced and you love being at the controls... Landing sounds are exceptional, thrust reverse can be set up so your add-on throttle will allow you to control the amount of thrust you need to stop, but pull the thrust back and close the doors before rubbing off to much speed as you will lose too much momentum as the reset period to forward thrust is quite high, if you want a bit more realism I recommend SimCoders free "HeadShake", but use it sparingly and at minimum settings. Back on the ground and you clean the aircraft up and say goodbye to the passengers, the B767 has such a great visual impact in X-Plane, just a damn nice aircraft. At Gate 14L the unloading of the aircraft works for me, but while the noise is going on behind me the reloading was now starting to start and I am working hard to finish off the reprogramming the MCDU for the next sector to SYD (Sydney), a top up with fuel is also needed but turnaround time is 45 minutes and you have a lot of work to get through... YPAD - YSSY Departure from YPAD is via RWY 23 and this is a great opportunity to test out the terrain radar which is a major feature and independent of the standard X-Plane version. The system notes the high ground to the left of the aircraft, and the radar in the nose is adjustable up or down to give you the feedback you want, the sweep of the radar beam on the CRT is really well done and is highly realistic. There is one notable aspect in that the PFD instrument has no Altitude or V/S tape, there is the speed tape but you are looking to use the standard clockwork dials for the Altitude and V/S information. This EHSI (Electrical Horizontal Situation Indicator) is a little disconcerting at first as you are so used to having both items fore and centre, but you do get used to it and it makes the display less busy to use, there is still a wealth of data and information in there and the Localizer deviation scale and pointer (Horizontal) and Glideslope deviation scale and pointer (vertical) still appear on landing. Pitch, and Rate of Roll displays are excellent as is the Flight Director cues. Lower MAP/NAV screen is highly configurable from the EFIS (electronic Flight Instrument System) panels and have all modes including VOR, APP (Approach),MAP and PLAN, switchable to the ROSE mode for heading flying. The display will also show the above Terrain/Weather displays. Weather On the face of the displays the Weather radar looks like the current default X-Plane version, but it is not. This weather radar is a totally new thing in X-Plane all together. It creates extrapolated 3D weather data and shows cross-sections using tilt and gain. Also shows windshear and turbulence visual data. It is controlled by "weather Radar" panel on the pedestal and this negative and positive look down feature into the weather is excellent. Rain and wind effects are very good, the raindrops drip realistically down the window and then go horizontal as the speed grows, the wipers will clear away the drops and only have them reappear as the wiper moves past and returns. Combined with the radar you get a great all round poor weather conditions till you break through the cloud ceiling and altitude. Route information to YSSY is again top notch. Note the T/D (Top of Descent) point which I found exactly spot on for my descent speed of -2000fpm. One sector to go at YSSY back to BNE and it was another offload... reload and re-programming the MCDU and weights and balances for the lighter load and shorter distance flight back to Queensland. YSSY - YBBN Enroute you can can access pages within pages of data. Helpful is "Wind Forecasts" for different wind altitudes, and that wind data is also translated to the flight PROGRESS (page 2) data. Aircraft cruise (CRZ) ECOM data (page 2) is also available. So you can see that the correct programming of the MCDU is critical in many areas of flight for performance and visual data, this is one very intelligent aircraft. that flies to very specific inputs and weights and balances. We are almost around the triangle and landing back in Brisbane is only a 20min away, and as the light is falling, let us look at the aircraft's lighting. Lighting FlightFactor was one of the pioneers of great internal aircraft lighting and the Boeing 767 here is very good. The only odd visual note is that the panel is more yellowish than the AP panel. It does give it a different visual look and you can certainly find that right point for having limited reflections for takeoff and landing in the dark in four different lighting adjustment knobs. On saying that if you turn up the lighting inside the cockpit the window reflections are excellent and highly realistic. Overhead in two forward spot (chart lights) and two rear main (Storm) lighting fills the cabin with great working light in flight or setting up on the ground. Power overhead (OVHD) lighting gives you full cockpit illumination. Rear Cabin is brightly lit and very realistic, feels very good and adjustable too. External lighting is slightly compromised by Laminar Research's blobby v10.45 lighting, but with HDR on you have a lot of different lighting tools at your disposal. Night view from the cockpit is amazingly realistic, your in the zone and to deep into your landing procedures to look out of the windows, you work hard in here, but the feedback and realism gives you an adrenaline rush... Finals and the cockpit again fills with the huge noise of rushing winds and gear down lights. Forward lighting is very good and the runway is well illuminated. You have three sets of turnoff lighting and with the main, taxi and turnoff lights running you light up the whole area around the cockpit... The view for taxiing is excellent and the lighting is powerful in selecting the right line around tight taxiway turns. There is excellent wing/Ice lighting, but a strange deal on the tail logo light. There is a logo button, but the tail lights don't work? Then on the ground turn on the wing lighting and it comes on, turn off the wing lighting and the logo stays on? weird? It is not centre either on the logo... Three sectors and four ports and it is a big day flying, no doubt the Boeing 767-300ER is one challenging but hugely rewarding aircraft. Liveries You get (noted as "Free") liveries, including: American Airlines, Air France, Garuda Indonesia, British Airways, Star Alliance Lufthansa (a strange choice) and Canadian Westjet. There are also nine livery packs available at $US10.00 per pack, noted are: Asia 1 & Asia 2, Europe 1, Europe 2 & Europe 3, Middle East, North American, Oceania and South America, that is altogether over 100 + liveries for the aircraft... Summary The basic conclusion to this Boeing 767-300ER Professional is that in every way and every department it is a step forward in X-Plane simulation. Three areas stand out though, the sheer depth and complexity of the aircraft and its systems, it is certainly another level again and the amount of data you have at your disposal is breathtaking. The aircraft's design quality and the weather (Radar and Terrain), over gloss and chrome features are other stand out features. Third is with all this huge amount of detail, design and the sheer amount of code that must be in the aircraft and yet.... yet it is so frame-rate friendly, so light on your computer, that alone is a significant amount of genius. Negatives... minor but there are a few niggles, It takes a long time to set up for flight, there is a lot of inputting and detailed areas to cover, so it is not a jump in and fly aircraft by any standards, but creating routes and saving them can really help in reprogramming the MCDU, but your work is certainly cut out in there. The ground vehicles are looking a bit out of date and wrong in a modern airport context, a bit 60's Eastern Bloc. That cabin crew constant communication "pinging" drives you mental, yes you are required to satisfy its needs but a lot of "pinging" 500ft out from landing it is more like "just shut up and sit down" The biggest point to make is that many uses will note that the Boeing 757 has everything the Boeing 767 has and certainly why bother as the cockpit is the same anyway. That is like saying here that my brother or sister is the same as me because they come from the same parents. They are totally different aircraft, and in fact the familiarity is actually a bonus as you don't need to relearn that side of procedural process, but in every other way, in feel, in use and certainly in the depth of the simulation they are quite different aircraft, and you will fly them for different reasons. Overall it is the feeling that no aircraft comes closer to the real aircraft in feel and sounds than this one does, start it up and fly, and your memories come flooding back of being on the real machine, up there high... yes it is that realistic. The best heavy aircraft in simulation in X-Plane, well that is a big call for this excellent Boeing 767-300ER, but certainly it again raises the standards to another level again in every area, it is not in the first look that it really delivers but in the minute detailing of systems and programming and flight performance, in that area it is simply outstanding. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor is NOW! Available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 767-300ER Professional Price is US$64.95 Features Flexible Options A very flexible architecture : You chose the set up Different options for many avionics instruments including two types of FMC. Options to composite your own EICAS, EADI and EHSI displays. Most of the options included in the real 767 Checklists and 'Autohelper' Full electronic interactive checklist with automatic action detection. Automatic mode 'Helper' who performs all the actions for you, you just CHECK the items. A tutorial which shows the user what to do and when. Perfected Flight model Accurate flight model, as close as it gets to real performance. Tested by real pilots and translated to X-Plane A dynamic and customizable center of gravity that depends on actual cargo and passenger load Fully Functional Professional FMS and EFIS System Custom Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems. Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures from updatable database. VNAV-managed climbs and descends. Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation. Two independent analogue instrument sets for captain and first officer. Two independently simulated EFIS (EADI/EHSI configuration) for captain and first officer. Dual-FMS with two independently working CDUs. Working instrument comparators. Triple IRS and triple symbol generator systems with realistic instrument source switching. Dual air-data computers with custom failure modes and source switching. Independent 2 nav and an ils recievers. Realistic inertial, radio and GPS position updating, you can see the individual inaccuracies of those systems. Triple-channel autopilot with realistic dependencies. Fail operational and fail passive auto land with mode degradations based on system failures. Load company routes generated by Professional FlightPlanner X (or other compatible programs) directly into the FMC. FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the Retina iPad. Custom Systems and Failure model Detailed and deep simulation of almost every system in the real aircraft. Custom air and pressure system. Electrical system with all AC and DC busses modeled - see which system depends on which bus. Hydraulic system that uses a little fluid when treated correctly and a lot of fluid if used incorrectly. Multistage custom failure system - over 200 more failures than X-Plane. Ability to fix failure by following proper procedure. Persistent failure and maintenance system. Aircraft wear and misuse will carry over to your next flight. Warning system and radars Fully functional GPWS with all the modes the real plane has. Fully functional terrain radar, with custom database (just like the real plane), a look-ahead warning system and many other features. Weather radar that works like the real thing. Including tilt and gain functions, ground clutter, turbulence detection and windshear prediction. 3D Modeling Accurate dimensions based on exterior drawings provided by Boeing. Very detailed exterior modelling with high resolution textures. Very high resolution 3D cockpit with every switch functional. Spatial rain simulation with high detail. Very detailed passenger cabin graphics including galleys. Additional graphic features: real working oxygen masks both in cockpit and cabin, dynamic window blinds that react to sunlight etc. New and improved wingflex. Special effects Multilayer dynamic reflections on all glass objects. Reflective metal and plastic objects in the cockpit. Glossy exterior that reflects the outside. XP weather enhancements like custom windshear. ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download aircraft file size is 2.27gb - Liveries 426.20mb. Installed file size is 2.6gb Authorisation key is required, and I highly recommend a desktop startup when Key activation is complete. Notes: You will need a lot of time to programme the aircraft before actually flying it. Documents : Both a Official Boeing B767 Operating Manual and FlightFactor aircraft manual and Remote CDU set up guide (iPad). I also recommend to download this: B767_Flightdeck_and_Avionics guide 14.6mb for a more quicker overview than the extensive official manual. B767_Flightdeck_and_Avionics.pdf Requirements : X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode. Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.9+ or Linux 14.04 LTS or compatible. 64bit mode 1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended. 3Gb+ VRAM Preferred (Note aircraft is exceptionally good on framerate, playback is current with similar sized aircraft and features) ______________________________________________________________________ FlightFactor Developer Support : FlightFactor 767 Professional ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 12th December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake Scenery or Aircraft - YBBN - Brisbane International by tdg (YBBN - Brisbane Airport 1.0 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - Free - YPAD - Adelaide International by Chris K (ISDG) (YPAD Adelaide Airport Photo Scenery 1.31 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - Free - Adelaide City Scenery by Chris K (YPPF Parafield Airport and Adelaide City Photoreal) - Free
    2 points
  16. Hi, I would get the A330, even though the A319 is way better. I don't have the A320, and won't get it in a while. Payware add-ons here are almost 6x more expensive. But I have the A330, which is one of my favorites. If I was you, I would get the A330, because it is different from both A319 and A320, which are very similar. One thing is for sure, you need to buy the BSS sounds, independent of the aircraft. Your simulation will get WAY better.
    2 points
  17. Aircraft Review : Airbus A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor Of all the battles for supremacy in commercial aviation then nothing is going to compare with the twin engine market. It already has been a ding-dong battle between the Airbus A320 Series and Boeing's 737 Series and between them they have racked up thousands of sales, ongoing now is the next generation in the A320neo and the 737max to battle it out over the next few decades. A size up in aircraft category is also very complicated, as each manufacturer in Airbus and Boeing are both trying to lock in certain sizes in what is known as the "Big Twins" of the market. The Boeing 777 Series in dominating the market in replacing the veritable Boeing 747 has been very successful, but as airlines move away from the large hub and spoke model and back again to the original point to point services, then what was bigger is now not always better. Point to point markets demand very economical and high frequency services and to fit tightly the 200-350 seater markets, known as long and thin. The Airbus A330 filled this market, but its range and now being an old aircraft by today's standards and is also uneconomical, it's problem is that the -200 version has the range at 13,400 km (7,200 nmi) but is in the 250 seat market in a two class layout, the -300 can reach 300 seats but its range is restricted to 11,300 km (6,100 nmi). So one or the other don't fit. Boeing's solution is the 787 Dreamliner in 7,850 nmi (14,500 km; 9,030 mi) for the 250-300 seats with the -800 version and sweet spot 8,300 nmi (15,400 km; 9,550 mi) 280-330 seats with the -900 version. That slots the B787 nicely below the Boeing 777 and the coming 777X and fills the market. For Airbus it has been a two pronged attack to find an aircraft to fit below the A380 and go head to head with the Dreamliner and even the lower hanging fruit of the older 777's. Their solution is the A350-800 with 275-300 seats at 15,300 km (8,260 nmi) and the -900 at 14,350 km (7,750 nmi) with 280-350 seats, and the -1000 to cover the 350 - 370 seat market over the same 14,800 km (7,990 nmi) range which is B777 territory... and to just make sure to fill in all points just below the A350, the A330 will be updated to the neo (New Engine Option) to bring that aircraft up to date and competitive. To change things around and make life interesting the -900 version has been produced first to fill in the gap above the B787-800 and go head to head with the B787-900 and the -1000 version will be next for first flight to go for the B777 replacement sales of the earlier built and well into service aircraft. After the nightmares of the A380 development. Airbus could not want to have any problems in getting the A350 into service and quickly and as efficiently as possible. The timetable was tight, but Airbus in a way played it safe in using the tested, tried and true components from the bigger A380 and not going for a full composite fuselage like Boeing did with the Dreamliner. The results was an almost perfect first flight that was on time and date, and a testing program that ran almost like clockwork, the aircraft received its type certification on 30 September 2014 and the FAA certification on the 12 November 2014, and it is expected to meet its EIS (Entry Into Service) with Qatar Airways due 13th December 2014 with the first commercial service on the Frankfurt - Doha route in mid-Jan 2015. At this point the -1000 version of the A350 with a 15,600 km (8,400 nmi) and the 350-370 seats range is due next as the -800 version has stalled with the A330neo option filling in the gap quicker. Cathay Pacific expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 in February 2016. The biggest battle confronting the A350 XWB is it's in service performance figures. Naturally the A350-900 will go almost head to head with the B787 Dreamliner in many markets, but the Dreamliner has a major advantage in it has a 20% reduction in fuel costs. Take this ANA Seattle-Tokyo leg for example as a 747-400 needs at least 136,000kg (300,000lb) to make that trip. The smaller, leaner 777-300ER needs nearly 100,000kg. But the Dreamliner, the only needs 63,500kg for the same Pacific crossing That is less than half of the B744. Yes they are in some ways different sizes of aircraft but the Dreamliner still has a notable 20% operating cost advantage. And those figures will certainly note the end of the B747's reign once the larger A350-1000 and B787-900 become more prominent around the ramps. The B787 does certainly have an operating cost advantage, but its still weaking 98.3% despatch reliability is going to be Airbus's number one target of the EIS of the A350 and its subsequent in service reliability and more importantly also meeting those high % percentage operational savings will only then mean a full order book or the success of the A350 XWB program. FlightFactor Aero No one doubts the quality of FlightFactor aero aircraft. Their Boeing 777 and 757 aircraft have been hugely successful and clever in the extension of the different variants in the "Extended" packages. The surprise was the change to another manufacturer in European Airbus in their next project which is this Airbus A350 XWB. Another challenge was the fact that Airbus aircraft are very highly intergrated with their Fly-By-Wire and Flight Control Laws, the two Boeing's were very good if not excellent in their flying characteristics, but the Airbus is completely a very different animal and only a few developers can or have been able to duplicate these complex systems for the X-Plane simulator. The best is Torsten Leisk that contributed to the QPAC Airbus A320-232 and Peter Hager's Airbus A380 Series, and here the flight laws and associated airbus fly-by-wire systems have been used in this FlightFactor A350 have been created and enhanced for this next generation of aircraft. In other words you fly the A350 more closer to philosophy and laws of flight than any other Airbus aircraft yet developed for X-Plane. FlightFactor aero have also with this aircraft created a new category or have split their product line into two separate types of aircraft in professional models (i.e. B777 and B757) and now another in the “advanced” version in that pro models have like lighting effects, particles, menus, high HD 3D graphics, textures and totally fully functional cockpits, and the "Adv" versions are noted as not so in depth but are still as hard to fly as the real machines. But in all but most cases here this "Adv" aircraft is still a very in depth simulation and the aircraft delivers more on flight and systems than most other aircraft in this price range and category, in this case you will not or never feel wanting there is something or a lot missing in the operation of the A350-800. Design wise with the aircraft power off the A350 XWB is very well designed and developed. detailing outside and inside is excellent, but I found the modeling slightly dark and more so inside. Airbuses have a very bright but grey corporate look about them and it is hard to get any directional light in here to lift the gloom a little. That is not to take away the excellent design work on show here. It is first rate and the best you can have today in X-Plane. Detailing abounds... look at the ailerons with no hydraulic pressure to support them... they all droop down. Why bother doing that? but this is the sort of detail you have around you, and excellent it all is. A start up will give you standing figures around the aircraft, this gives any ramp a busy feel and is well done. The A350 aircraft is a hard aircraft to model in the fact there is not that much information available except what Airbus gives out with their promotional material, there is no official documents and no in service details to gauge how the aircraft performs or is configured to everyday airline use. Remember FlightFactor would have started this project with even less data than what is available now. In that context they have done remarkably well, but we will have to forgive if in a few areas (and certainly in performance) that the numbers can be slightly off until the official ones start to drip through. Same is to be noted if a few things are missing or slightly wrong with the modelling. On the surface it looks absolutely perfect and very well detailed. Some small items look slightly odd at first in the fact the rear bogies are positioned front down and not rear down as with the B747 hanging undercarriage system. It is correct and so you can be sure if items like this are correct then other details are to. But close up the undercarriage here is surpremely well done, you expect a lot from a design of this price range and the A350 XWB does not disappoint. Powering up the A350 XWB Nothing will really work until you give the aircraft power if you want the full immersion of starting from cold. On the overhead (OH) panel there are two main and two backup power battery buttons. With power supplied you then need to set the ADIRS (Air. Data Inertial Reference System. ) which are three switches top left of the OH panel. Unlike some Airbus (JARDesign) aircraft there is only a short time frame for the ADIRS's to align. You have to tell the ADIRS the current position of the aircraft. This can be done two ways with the easiest by pressing the "Force Align IRS"on the "Options" page on the menus and that will align the aircraft to the its current position and start up the ND-Navigation Display. The second option is to select the FMS (Flight Management System) on the rear of the center console (it pops out) and insert your current airport (LFBO) and your destination airport (FAJS) in the FROM/TO box. This will then ask you to "Align IRS" and set up the alignment in that option. A350 XWB Displays The A350 comes with six large display screens. (left to right) Capt Outer OIS (Onboard Information System) - Capt Inner EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) which has the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and the ND (Navigation Display) - Center Up is the ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) that includes the ED (Engine Display), SD (System Display), Permanent Data, Mailbox and WD (Warning Display) - Center Lower is the MFD (Multi-function Display) which displays the same information as the two outer OIS's - both right displays are a mirror of the Capt's Inner EFIS and and outer OIS for the First Officer. The Lower MFD function is the same as both the outer OIS displays These three info displays also have a "Cross Pointer" (on the real aircraft displays) that can be aimed to select functions on the screens, some areas on the screens can also have direct input from the keyboard when required. There is another selection for Mouse Users that have scroll wheels... You can select "Manipulate" to scroll, or "Zoom Only" to use the mouse for normal selections. I use the standard single click mouse select way. (the scroll is set in the "Manipulate" state when you start up). You also have the choice to have the FlightFactor Crew visible all the time or just from the outside view The Lower MFD and the OIS displays can be changed around on both the Capt's side and the F/O's side, not only in their actual position but the inner screens can be switched around as well with the buttons on the pedestal. Noted as "Capt OIS on Center" to move from the outer OIS to the center display and "Display Cycle" to move the smaller split screens around on any of the displays. This makes it very versatile for having the right screen where you need it, I liked the Flight-plan switched around on the right side next to the PFD, and all the panels "pop-out" for ease of use (visually) if you need that function and selection. Display Menus The MFD and OIS displays have a lot of menus, almost overwhelming in detail and far too many to do in absolute complete detail here... but we will cover the main areas. Top left are the main seven menu selections in: (Options) - Ground Service - Weight and Fuel - CAB(in) Announcements - Users Guide - Charts - Options. We start with the "Options" page that it is not related directly to the A350 but the noted FlightFactor options. You can set the speed you want the simulation to go at in "Time Flow", Difficulty Level, Structural Limits, Baro selection, Default Trans Altitude (direct input), ILS Auto Alighn on start up, Draw lines and Flushing option to default, Auto Pause, FCU Font, MFD Control (the pop-up screens) Mouse Wheel (Scroll) and Auto Helper. Other menu choices are "Auto Cockpit set up" that does all the hard work for you in setting up the aircraft, "Force Align IRS" (see above), "Jump 100nm" and "Jump to next Waypoint" both of these options require the flightplan to be loaded in the FMS. You can adjust the overall sound levels and save all these "Options" settings as default for future use or use the "Restore" to the default option settings. Ground Service: The menu is split into three selection pages in: Doors & Hatches - Ground Equipment - Pushback. Doors & Hatches - Pushback There is a big menu screen that will open and close all the aircraft's doors and cargo hatches. Just select the door you want to open via a tab on the menu. All doors and hatches open and close with a very vocal sound that can be easily heard from the cockpit. You can also "Open" and "Close" all doors and hatches in one selection. The "pushback is very good and simple to use... You have the choice of either to "Push" or "Pull" and selecting one of these will call the tractor and hook it up ready for use. Brakes off and the you can steer and use your throttle to control the tractor. Ground Equipment Ground service covers all the equipment attached to the aircraft or servicing the aircraft on the ground. The first left column is all the equipment available to service the aircraft (return to that in a sec..), The second centre column is the power provided to the aircraft in two GPU's (Ground Power Units) that can be accessed on the OH Panel and required if you don't start up the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) on-board and either one or the other power source is required to set up the aircraft. The High-Pressure Unit (ground cart) is used to start the engines (or you can use the APU) and can have the AIR or Air-Con to cool the aircraft. Third or right column is the Maintenance Items (not available with this version). You can select "Stairs" to put a set of stairs at each front left side doors, Or press "Plane at gate" to put a single set of stairs on the rear left door. You wish you could select each door on the left for a stair as the two at left front feels like too many or simply have one at the front and one at the rear, but you can't. The rest of the ground equipment is a smorgasbord of vehicles and equipment... available are - Chocks, Passenger Bus, Fuel Truck (required for loading the fuel), Luggage Loader, Air-Conditioning unit, ULD Train and a Cleaning (Food?) Truck. All these items make it a very busy area around the aircraft and certainly give a great turnaround service feeling to the simulation. Weight and Fuel Here you have three menus that cover both Passengers and Fuel to be loaded (or is loaded) on the A350. First in "Passengers" you have an excellent menu to select passengers/cargo and set the aircraft's weight. You have four classes to select from and choices of cargo containers "96" Pallets and "LD3's". There is the simple option to select either Light-Middle-Heavy loads that fill the aircraft in one or the other configurations and load your preferences, you can clear the aircraft in one selection as well. Selection of "Fuel" can adjust your range which is handy because even with a light pass/cargo load can still mean a long range is required between certain long distance point to point flights. You can also cover all the other variations like with contingency and alternative requirements. Then you can load the fuel (Fuel Truck required to be attached) and you can see the loading from the ECAM displays on the flightdeck. When done you will have your correct final aircraft weight and see the fuel distribution. Third is "Cabin" where you can adjust the lighting and check out the trash and water levels. CAB (cabin) Announcements You will have a great time playing with the cabin announcements for your passengers in the rear cabin. There is a lot of choice, but the announcements are very low and inaudible sometimes? Just select what you want announced and press the play button as many times as you want to and annoy them. The cabin is very well appointed and designed in those four classes and the A350 has a great bar and passengers!... a few anyway in the first two classes, and you certainly notice the XWB (Extra Wide Body) of the aircraft with all the space inside. Users Guide There is a great built in users guide, that is a manual as well. It is also provided in a .pdf version if you like me use it on an iPad. The User Guide is very highly detailed, with the best way to set up the A350 in X-Plane with features and settings including the (plugin) "key" settings in the X-Plane "Keyboard" menu. For the biggest part though the manual (Users Guide) concentrates on the A350's systems and details, but there is no item by item descriptions on start up or instrument adjustments. A good companion to the user guide is a full checklist selection, that goes through every item to checked off or needs to be (you just have to know where they are), and itemises each selection as you work your way through the highly-detailed checklists. I recommend to study them to understand them all before using them in a current simulation, if not you will spend too much time sitting on the ramp working them and the positions of where everything is located. Charts You have Jepperson charts on your OIS, these are .png images of each chart page and that means you can't just drop in a .pdf downloaded from the internet. There are instructions in the aircraft folder on how to create your own charts and how to insert them for use... Charts provided are for airports: EBBR - EDDF - LGAV and LZIB. Options is the main menu... MCDU The MCDU (Mulifunction Control Display Unit) is positioned at the rear of the pedestal, and as noted it pops-out for convenience. The MCDU is a quite a simple but powerful affair on the A350. It is certainly not as comprehensive as the FF B777 or B757 versions which are replicas of the real FMC's on the Boeing Aircraft. It is noted that the later "Professional" version of the A350 XWB will have a full working Airbus MCDU. But you are not lacking here in the required basics. In fact it is quite clever in mating the real MCDU to this X-Plane slanted version. The bonus is you can load an already created X-Plane .fms plan from your current flight-plan folder and the MCDU will take care of the rest. You may sometimes have to do the odd join-up in clearing out any F-PLN DISCONTINUITY's to complete the flight-plan and have to also create your own SID/STAR's but I found these items easy to do and sometime far easier than spending hours trying to match up the correct SID/STAR to start or end a flight-plan. I found it just easier and faster to get the damn chart and input the fixes directiy. INIT You load in a .fms plan on the INIT page via the RK1 (Right Key 1) " F-PLN gives you your Flight-plan and you can scroll up or down through the fixes and Nav-aids. You can add in the "Overfly" (waypoint) preference if you want to as well. And input any speed/altitude constraints on the route. And you use the "Scratchpad" for input. You can see the flight-Plan on the OIS if you switch the displays around and it is excellent there for following the progress of the flight. The centre fix of the Flight-Plan will show on the ND (Navigation Display) if the NAV switch is set to PLAN. DIR DIR-TO (Direct-To) you have the direct-to option and the MCDU give you a list of options PERF You can insert your performance constraints in v1,vR and v2 and select your TRANS ALT in Transition Altitude. Thrust reduction/acceleration altitudes and temp FLEX that not must be below the outside air temperature OAT. PERF pages include: Take Off, Climb, Cruise, Descent, Approach and Go-Around. Like noted the MCDU is quite comprehensive where it really counts and gives you quite a lot of control over your performance, so the pro's will not be lacking in their ability to input their own constraints and performance tables. Ditto for the learners of this style of FMC in that it is also extremely easy to set up and fly this aircraft and learn the basics on how MCDU/FMC's work differently from a standard X-Plane FMC. It is well worth filling out all your MCDU data and complete in your preferences in every "single" box. Not only for the obvious in the way the aircraft performs, but also that the data is reflected on the MFD/OIS displays. You can't stress here enough of the importance of the pref data in the way it affects the flight of the aircraft. There are not a lot of entries by comparison to aircraft of this nature, but every data entry is important in the way the aircraft's performance at takeoff and the in the landing. You have a huge selection of data available from your OIS or MFD displays, In many ways it does mirror what is on the MCDU, and you can input directly into any of these data pages and load even your flight-plan. But the MCDU is quicker as you can do the same inputs on different pages that the MCDU will do once, and you could actually miss a page because there is so many. The Menu is the same as the MCDU buttons in: F-PLN - PERF - Fuel & Load - WIND - INIT, sub-menus cover a myriad of items about performance and your GPS positioning, radio settings, waypoints and fuel. It is really a nerd's heaven in cockpit management. Your Flight-Plan is one of the best features to monitor. You can select and install it just like you do in any X-Plane FMC (using the MCDU as noted is quicker) But it is the amount of information displayed that keeps you happy in the small hours. And also gives you the biggest note that will actually be there and still flying in the wee small hours? It is important that you set up your X-Plane "Time&Date" slider in how you want to do the flight... Living in Australia I will set my T&D to early morning or Zulu time to fly in the day. But as all you long-haulers know, the time you leave is calculated to the time you arrive, and here the A350 gives you an advantage, because it not only notes your time at every waypoint on the route but your actual arrival time! And here it is a mind-numbing to bed late 02.28 am in to the next day (or night), more cleverly is that it adjusts as you fly, so if you adjust the speed or have bad headwinds then the time will change to reflect that. So on one flight I lost 9min ETA in a speed change. You have to note that the actual time does not sync to your T&D until wheels up, which is slightly annoying, but once in the air the information is priceless including an update of your fuel load at arrival. It also notes your full distance and each waypoint distances. So you can see the importance of giving the aircraft all and more importantly the right data for the flight, the more data entered then the more information you get back. A350 Cockpit Except for the six display layout which is really the extra two OIS screens on each side, the panel and instrument layout is pure Airbus, If you know the layout of one and even the A320 layout then everything here will be in exactly the same place or position. The only item that is different is the Braking selection in "Autobrake Armed RTO" is a button press for take off and for landing you only have to adjust the braking action to the runway conditions. The PFD is the standard display with Speed and altitude tapes and V/S (vertical speed) on the right, The artificial horizon with turn indicator and landing ILS bugs are also standard issue. The PFD has the noted Auto-Pilot modes, alpha protections and flight director bars and in the lower section is the trim and flap position. Next is the ND (Navigation Display) with LS-VOR-Nav modes and ARC and PLAN and standard zoom adjustments. On the OH (Overhead) the aircraft comes with full systems in Top to bottom, Fire, Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, Air-Conditioning - Bleed, Anti-Ice and APU-Lighting, I recommend to read through the comprehensive manual on all the aircraft systems, because they are very well detailed. The center ECAM gives you a full display of all the systems and warnings, visual displays cover: Engines, Doors, Wheel, Fuel, EL/AC, EL/DC, Hydraulics, F/CTL, APU, Bleed, Cond (Air) and Press. All systems are functional and superbly reproduced in the center upper display. All pure airbus. The only real disappointment is that you can only fly from the Capt's side? you can't switch or control the aircraft from the F/O's side? and you miss that functionality. The Autopilot (AP) panel is standard Airbus, but you can only select one item at a time on the ND, you can have your Waypoints or your Nav-Aids but not together. The A350 also has the new X-Plane function of "Pull" or "Push". You can have the aircraft in "Selected" mode "pull" or manual selection or "Managed" mode "push" or automatic by the AP. Just make sure you know which mode you are in. The NDB/VOR selection for the MAP display is here in yellow. Central pedestal has the Radios, but it is in the MCDU that you set the frequencies for the VOR and ILS Nav-Aids. The ECAM selection buttons are here as is the flap selector in five selections: 0 (retracted) - 1 (1+F) - 2 - 3 - Full. There are 12 slats, 4 Flaps and 2 droop nose devices on the leading edge. Speed brake lever that is quite notchy to select the "Armed" position, so make sure it is engaged on the WD. Engine start is under the throttles to select engines IGN START (1 or 2), The throttle levers are really well done and have all the airbus modes A/THR - FLEX - TO-GA zones. The Reverse Thrust (toggle) is set either as a key or joystick activation on the X-Plane setting "thrust_reverse_toggle" (not "thrust_reverse_hold" like I usually do). To use you pull the throttles back to idle on contact with terra firma, then select the REV toggle (button or Key) and then throttle up to provide the REV thrust. Then Back to idle when required and re-key to disable the REV-THR. This system gives you great flexibility on how much thrust you want to provide for the REV thrust. Undercarriage actions and animations are first rate. But you have to get the landing right with those forward tilted bogies, the point the rear wheels touch if you get it right should be level with the runway, but it is not as easy as it looks, and they will trip if you get the first set of tyres on the tarmac before the rear set. (on a side note, you have to contact correctly... if you touch down too lightly the thrust reverse doors don't operate?) Lighting The internal and external lighting is first rate. The cockpit is a nice place to be for any period of time. It is not that highly adjustable with no moving focus lighting, but still very good with a spot light directly over the pedestal which is very handy. I found a nice sweet spot in just showing the edges of the panel with the overhead lighting as you get a dark panel with just bright buttons and displays with the setting of the overhead turned right down. And lighting in the footwells which most developers don't do. The reflections are very strong (but very good), but that requires an adjustment of the lighting to see out or landing at night. External lighting is excellent. Nose (known as take-off lights) and Wing landing lights and Taxi lights, There are very good Runway turn off lights and Wing scan (Ice) lights that light up the leading edges of both wings, both strobe and logo lights can be set to auto or manual on/off and in the right livery the logo-tail light looks excellent. The rest are the standard Nav and Beacon lighting. The cabin lighting is adjustable via the OIS menu "Cabin"and it is very good, but full brightness is to bright, and this menu also shows other items that are related to the cabin and door status. Liveries There are eight liveries with the A350 XWB package that includes a White (default), Home, Carbon and Qatar Home. The first four liveries are related to the A350 testing fleet, the other four are the airlines: Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and a (Tulip) United. There are sets of 10 liveries you can purchase from different regions of the world that includes Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. That adds up to 70 liveries plus the 8 with the aircraft. Quality is very good but not every airline (like Qantas) are flying the A350 XWB. Flying the A350 XWB The Airbus is extraordinarily interesting to fly... To a point you do allow the systems to do the work for you, but it is in the way the aircraft does this that makes it interesting, and how X-Plane now is seeing such great programming in flight. If you have flown an Airbus flight system before then you know how easy it is to set up... set your altitude (32,000ft) and just give the speed and HDG (Heading) buttons a push each to set them ready into "Managed" Mode. One of the great features here is the VD, or "Vertical Display" on the bottom of your NAV/MAP display. The importance (again) of programming the MCDU is highlighted here. If your flightplan is installed and the prefs "preferences" are filled in then the VD will show with the zoom out over a distance your profile of the climb to your set cruising altitude. The aircraft is very good at finding the very best climb rate (pitch) known as "Op Climb" (Open Climb). The aircraft will over the climb to altitude change the V/S (Vertical Speed) to match the conditions of the climb. That includes the points you retract the flaps and your transition point. Takeoff is brutal, and you can climb easily between 3,500ft per minute to 4,300ft per minute, or in other words almost straight up. Certainly if you have a heavier weight the aircraft (Open Climb) will adjust to the load factors. It is then important you match the correct high pitch on leaving the runway or you will get alarms or the aircraft when you activate the autopilot will pull the aircraft nose up to match the required Op Clb profile. Once you have left hard stuff and 300ft at the right pitch, then you select the AP1 (Pilot) and ATH (Auto-Thrust) and bring your throttles back into the "A/THR" detent or "THR CLB" on the PFD and the aircraft will then go to the flightplan and correct climb speed while managing the correct thrust and climb rate. To a point it is like riding a Saturn V, you are just sitting there as your climb profile adjusts to the correct vertical speed and is constantly adjusting the speed to flap retraction and transition altitudes. You will find around the orange marker the V/S will drop to about 1400ft per min and then resume when the speed has built up back again to a faster position to 3300ft per min till it again resumes a more relaxed 1600ft per min and continues forever on climbing upwards. Spread out your zoom into the distance and your waypoints (fixes) are noted with the climb profile all the way to your set altitude. At fixes heading changes then pull the zoom back to 10nm and note the curve of the flightplan to the new heading. The aircraft will turn with a smooth grace along the flightplan line. After the initial FL320, I stepped up to my final cruise height of FL365. Sounds are very good right through from start-up to cruise, I did find them a bit whiny in the cruise mode and after a period of time they gave me a slight earache. But high-pitch sounds don't agree with me, so that is personal thing... but I'm not that crazy about it... I have been 100m behind the nozzle of a Dreamliner and these new-gen latest high-bypass engines are whisper-quiet "is it actually running?" is how quiet they are, we may need to hear a real A350 XWB to see how different they really are. You have dual adjustable screens Nav/Map screens, which are great for different perspectives on the landing pattern. And the VD (Vertical Display) is used the same way as the half-moon line on the Boeing 777 to target your initial and final approach heights. The landing brakes are set to their setting and shown on the PFD as: BRK LOW - BRK 2 - BRK 3 - BRK HI (High), the 2 or 3 is medium in the old way. Note the smooth turn curve at a low speed and height, it banks the aircraft perfectly for a final approach. On finals I took control of the speed and selected, "Selected" mode and 160knts, the purists will roll their eyes but I found the aircraft going too fast in "managed" mode or 270knts and needed to pull that speed back to get ready to align up the runway. You however don't really move out of "managed" mode on descent, So I found it was very important that the QNH "nautical height" is set on the MCDU (FMS). So to set the QNH correctly for the aircraft is to set and adjust the speed to the height (or pressure). Flying an approach with the QNH set correctly was very different than if it was not set, and the speed was then controlled perfectly in the descent. Handling at low speed is very good, the aircraft will depending on the weight will land even as low as 140knts, the A350 does tend to point nose (pitch) down on the ILS and that can create the issue of pulling the aircraft nose up to flare... but that can be quite compromising in that if you get it wrong in to much high pitch you will suddenly balloon and float (X-Plane issue) or land nose wheel first (not enough pitch) the middle (perfect) position is a bit of a feel to find at first, but possible and easy after a few landings. Once down and after the armed speedbrakes have activated, then activate the THR-REV (key or joystick button) by opening the REV doors and powering up the throttle. I love the control this system gives you on the amount of thrust you want... off the throttle and then rekey the REV doors to close. Once at taxi speed you can then clean up the aircraft and head for the stand. Summary It is in a way a contradiction the A350 XWB from FlightFactor aero. It is massively detailed and certainly with the menus and systems, but there is a simplicity to it as well. It is a clever contradiction because it covers a lot of bases from users that are new to simulation and others which require the very deep immersion that you expect from aircraft of this price range. The A350 will keep both camps very happy indeed, but it is not as deep or as involving as the Boeing 777 or Boeing 757, but then again it is not meant to be either and maybe the "Pro" version will fill in those small gaps. Like many aircraft released today for X-Plane the A350 XWB is another aircraft that the more you put into it then the more you receive back out again, It is very deep into systems and menus, so a bit of study and flight pre-planning will go a long way in getting the depth that will reward you, so a good start is putting aside some time to study the (excellent) manual that will certainly help in understanding the aircraft and get the best out of it. likewise it is also far easier to quickly set up and fly (certainly with your flight-plans being X-Plane .fms plans) that can allow you to set and fly a flight in a very quick amount of time, even from a cold startup. So you won't be spending a hour or so programming the FMC, if you don't have any saved routes like you do with the B777, B757 or JARdesign's A320neo. However the total replication of a FMS (Flight Management System) like on the B777 and in this case the SID/STAR component is missing for now, do you miss this? well yes and no, no doubt we want the aircraft to be an almost perfect duplication of the the real cockpit, but the ease of programming the route and flight prefs does make it far quicker and gets you flying almost immediately. I miss the First Officer (F/O) point of view of flying the aircraft, and the option of switching from the Capt to the F/O for takeoff and landings, you can assign the joystick to either position, but it is for a visual point only and has no control (or movement on the F/O side). For value, the aircraft is very well priced even if it is as noted not the full "Pro" version, I found the aircraft more feature loaded and with great quality than most aircraft in this competitive price range. Features abound and you will be the happiest pilot on the ramp of any hub with the way you can set up and service the aircraft. I like to fly the whole deal from start-up to shut down and everything in between including loading and unloading the aircraft. It is not just the flying in simulation that counts, it is the total experience.... and in that department the A350 XWB does not disappoint. In the flying experience it is very Airbus with the fly-by-wire, alpha protections and control laws, It has the best X-Plane Airbus plugins and you will want for nothing. This is the very best in Airbus flying yet in those perfect airbus automated procedures and laws, even if the aircraft does a better job than you... and that is the Airbus way of flying. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Airbus A350-900 XWB Advanced from FlightFactor is NOW Available from the X-Plane.Org Store. Price is currently US$ 49.95 : Get the - Airbus A350 XWB Advanced - Here Livery packs at US$10 for ten liveries are available here: A350 Liveries Include: North America, Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. Documents and Install, Download is 209.10mb, that is unzipped into your Heavy Aircraft Folder of 309.40mb. The aircraft will only fly in X-Plane version 10.30. You have to insert a key to activate the A350 XWB, and it is highly recommended you totally restart and reload the A350 XWB from scratch from the desktop. To align the (SASL) plugin correctly. Features Fully custom aircraft systems (elec, hyd, air cond, ADIRU, etc.) Fully custom ECAM monitoring system with all screens and functions included Fully functional airbus style alert system with multiple status and procedural lists Fully functional interactive airbus electronic checklist system Airbus a350/a380 unique “touch screen” interfaces with dozens of screens and hundreds of functions Fully custom and unique MFD (multifunctional display) system with most of flight planning pages implemented in a new graphical interface, as well as FCU and radio backups just like on the real plane Full OIS screen system with options, ground equipment control, passenger and cargo loading, and even a full user’s manual inside the plane. Old style MCDU and fully functional aux instruments as backup. Full FBW with Highly realistic implementation of the Airbus “normal law” by QPAC – the most realistic fly-by-wire implementation for desktop flight simulation. In v1.0 an advanced flight planning interface (based on XP native data) Basic SID/STAR implementation using X-plane fms-files that you can create yourself and share with the community. "What you see is what you fly" flight path indication on the ND (i.e. curved trajectories with the turn radius properly computed based on speed and angular turn distance.) Implementation of all Airbus AP modes, except some non-precision approach modes (Selected and managed modes, speed constraints respected, "at or below" contraints in phase climb, "at or above" constraints in phase descent.) Full PFD and ND displays with fully independent display and different data sources for the captain and copilot displays. Independent autopilots Many new options like scroll wheel support for switch manipulation A very advanced 3D model with HD textures and complete and animated mechanics. ______________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th December 2014 Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows - Linux Fully Supported Mac: Beta version at this time only - Please only buy the Mac version if you feel you can be a beta tester. 1Gb VRAM, 4Gb RAM Current version: v1.0. Last updated: December 7th, 2014 Updated store# 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 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.30 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - LFBO Toulouse-Blagnac - Aerosoft (New X-Plane.OrgShop US$21.50) - FAJS O.R. Tambo International Airport - tdg (Free .Org)
    2 points
  18. I am disappointed that so many users don't get the issue that although the A321 looks the same as the A319 and yes they use a lot of the same components, the actual work and time required to put each together is about the same (it is not what you see modeling wise that counts here), NO there is not going to be a discount and NO why should the developer after all his hard work do so anyway, this is just X-Plane being very mean again and not supporting the simulator or their developers. The aircraft is worth it's full value!
    2 points
  19. NO, it isn't? The user had, had effects on by using the rain effects, when he turned them off and made them equal and they were exactly the same, it is fundamentally the same aircraft just a little longer... different users have different setups that effect their frame rate, plus in most cases they don't know what they are actually doing, then react and basically broadcast crap. As a reviewer we test everything in a set, set of conditions to get the right results, we mostly always ignore these wildcard idiots and their wild statements. Framerate is basically different to everyone in X-Plane on your system set up.
    2 points
  20. Aircraft Review : Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution by SSG Supercritical Simulation Group's (SSG) first release was the Embraer E-Jet E-170 back in 2013. At the time of the release the aircraft was a step forward with many good ideas and features and the aircraft flew very well. But in X-Plane times move along quickly and what was once good can be average in a short space of time. But the basics were good and certainly with the external model, but the internal cockpit quickly showed its age. So here is the "Evolution" of that aircraft in the "E-Jet 170 Evolution", yes the word is in there to represent that this is a complete move forward in from that original concept and SSG have also kept the best of the original design and have completely redesigned the weaker areas and incorporated also the best ideas and features of their Boeing 748i Series aircraft. From the outside the E170LR Evo looks pretty much the same, and so it should as it was a very pretty aircraft in the first place. But the external design has had quite a significant makeover, detail is multiplied by a huge degree. Certainly a few major items have been retained like the landing gear, but overall the differences between the two images below as they are now vastly different.... as a highlight look at the detail and rivet work around the front cargo door. Just look at the door hinge and the wing light assembly and even the text is now readable. The cockpit has had an even bigger makeover, from the old... .... to the Evo new No trickery or Photoshop effects here, just the different versions in the same place and time. You can see how dull the displays are compared to the brightness of the new versions. Certainly a huge advance over the earlier displays, and I really like the inner lighter to darker surrounds in the Artificial Horizon area and the new Vertical Profile feature. But there are two things that are to be noted. The text is in "bold" and not the ordinary "regular" and that makes the text look bloated and more blurry than it should, and all the displays don't have any cockpit reflections, which is standard-normal today with aircraft in this price range. Otherwise you are looking at a complete redesign of the panels, textures and only a few small panel items are carried over. Overhead panel looks better as well. Old version on the left and the new Evo version on the right, and in content nothing is different, but everything is new including the overhead map lights. Centre pedestal looks the same, but again the refinements are discrete but highly effective, the Communication Panel shows the higher detail. One thing is very different on the pedestal though is the FMC, we will get to that in a moment. Menus The Evo's menu's have had a big makeover. In the original the single menu was covered by a grainy view of the rear cabin, which looked a little crappy. Now you have a twin option display and a third position with a blank screen. First options page (1) covers the external items in: Doors, Pushback and GPU - Show/hide: Yoke, Seat, Rain and Stair - Field of View and select lbs or kg. (All doors and windows are available on Custom Key sliders as well if required.) Second Options page (2) covers aircraft setup with: Aircraft payload with % percentages, ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight) & Payload weight, Payload settings and Fuel load and defuel. You can do the fuel either manually or use the FMC for loading. The options now available on the Evo are great, and are far better than the small list on the Original version. All doors now open, including the front and rear service doors. Lower cargo doors are also now usable as well. Cockpit windows can also be opened (below), but only on the menu and not by the usual handle grab and pull which feels odd. Excellent GPU (Ground Power Unit) and an outstanding feature is the excellent stand/stairs, with the great idea of when you change the livery the logos on the stand also change... Brilliant! Pushback truck is very well modeled, but is that stick pendulum action that is used on SSG's B748i which I am not crazy about, it is hard to use as you can only control it (forward/Aft) by the menu and you can't look in two places at once... you need key options to make it effective. Both the Yoke and Captain's seat can be hidden, but with both out you have quite a hole in there, one click also hides both yokes. Cabin The cabin has been overhauled with a more modern dark/grey look with snazzy lighting compared to the more late nineties look (above left lower). It looks very nice but there are issues with the movement from the flightdeck rearwards. Open the door and use the X-Plane keys to head to your seat and there is gap between the two virtual sections, sometimes you get through but sometimes you don't... It gets weirder in finding your view out you find missing pieces of the aircraft and in this case the airbrake spoilers (above right lower) are missing? With a lot of the cabin blinds either closed or half open your view selection is also limited. Beacon shines away on the ceiling as well. Flying the E-Jet 170 Evolution Route: KATL (Atlanta) to KDCA (Washington National) DAL375 is the perfect route for this aircraft, a hop to the upper eastern seaboard in a shuttle service from Atlanta to Washington. The E-Jet 170LR Evo now comes with the functional Honeywell Primus Epic 1000 FMC that is housed in two Multifunction Control Display Units (MCDU) at the top of the pedestal. This version is provided by Javier Cortes under the FJCC banner. The FMC faceplate pops-out for ease of input and use, and click with the F8” key in Windows and Linux with “fn” and “F8” keys simultaneously on a Mac to make the pop-up visible. Javier Cortes makes great FMC's with a lot of functions and details, but the interface is not very elegant and highly procedural. Get an input wrong and there is no get out but to start all over again, or mess up all your load's of time and work already submitted to the system. And that makes them frustrating to use until you finally work out the correct way that Jarvier is thinking and has set out the route to get all the inputs in line correct to get the final result. It works well when you do understand it, but the system is totally unforgiving, which unlike Philipp Münzel's designs that if you make a mistake you then just correct it, then "Exec" (Execute) and move on with your programming. But confusion reigns when you load in your SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and mostly over and over in that the "Exec" is actually the "Route" button, where as normally "Route" takes you to the flightplan to load in your waypoints. There is no "Exec" either? so any changes are hard to input and "route" with the input point remember then disappears? To make clear there are two "Route" functions in RTE and ROUTE? Add in more confusion in the fact that "Route" changes to "Step" in the flightplan (FPL) mode and that then becomes the "Exec" button and as you go through the flightplan the with the STEP (after doing a "Exec" to insert the current flightplan) then the <CTR> position position disappears after the first click down? Get to your Flightplan and you will be scratching your head in that the departure airport is noted as your arrival airport? (upper right). There is a "DIrect" function but no "DIR" button to activate it. When I did save the (hard won) completed route it didn't save the file? There is a good "Quick Start" manual that covers a full route from Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) including checklists, but with a FMC this procedural you need a full manual on how it works not only in detail but with arrow diagrams to programme the FMC in the way that Javier is thinking. The FMC is good, but you work with it like a maze with many dead ends or bugs and you find the core by leaving post-it notes on the wall to get it right next time. With enough time you can the full complete flightplan completed as below, and once it is figured out it is easier to use, but a more flexible way of inserting a flightplan is required at the core of the programming, so it is for the experts only. To help there is a video available in programming the FMC and I have included it below... The map view zoom is on the pedestal... a nice touch. You can use the direct keyboard input by pressing the blank button below the FPL button and the words "KEYB" appears below to show you that you are in that mode. The built-in FMC is compatible with AeroSoft's NavDataPro and Navigraph navigation databases. Multi-Function Display (MFD) There are two drop-down menus in the multi-function display with the MAP on the right and SYSTEMS on the left. MAP covers covers your: Nav-Aid, Airports, WPTs, PROGRESS (details on the route), Vertical Profile (Lower MFD, Very Nice!), TCAS and Weather and Terrain is on the lower selections. SYSTEMS covers the standard set of pages that cover the aircraft systems... Areas covered include: Status, FltCtrl (Flight Controls), Hydr (hydraulics), Fuel, Elec (Electrical), and Anti-Ice. Route locked in and the the aircraft ready it is time for departure. Start sounds are good with the Dreamfoil Sound plug-in installed, but not highly detailed and it is slightly too quiet in the cockpit. There is not that real sound detail in Air-con packs or with rear pumps starting to run, but it is good by most standards. Forward lighting is good with three landing lights with two in the inner wings and one front on the front wheel strut. There is a separate taxi-light (front strut) Side lights (taxiway turn) and wing Inspection lights. Pushback truck is called and controled via the upper mid-screen menu. Truck turns like it is on a stick pendulum of which I am not a fan, but it works. Harder to use are the small ticks on the menu screen to control it and your view is looking far away from the windows to find those small controls above and guessing where to stop your pushback point... a few keyboard controls would help. Departure was via KATL RWY08R... Taxi speed is easily controlled and you can place the aircraft perfectly on the centre line by using the kink in the glareshield. Throttle up and if the settings are correct in the FMC you will have FLEX TO-1 automatically, vSpeed tags are also in the Flight Display. Like the Airbus displays you have speed parameters in red and yellow go or no go zones (alpha floor). MAP Display and Vertical Profile is very good (shame about the BOLD text)... With the Yoke in place it is a little tight to all the displays through the ram design, but it looks very good. The manipulators are a bit tight in their active areas, and so are hard to use effectively. The V/S (Vertical/Speed) wheel is the worst but also the most highly used for constant adjustments. You use it by two small arrows (find them if you can?) and usually with these sort of arrowed manipulators you hold them down to turn the wheel either up or down... not here, as they are to be used as a button press per + or - minus altitude change. So they flicker and you search, find them and get usually the arrow you don't want and you are trying to fly an aircraft while buzzing around the Autopilot panel in the area in just wanting to adjust your V/S angle. As with everything you get used to it and clicking one click at a time, but I found in heavy work periods they are seriously frustrating. A lot of the other half-moon manipulators are also too close together and hard to find. Another quirk is the "BANK" as it is two Arrows? and with no indication on the MFD you don't know how to activate the bank function, or if it is actually activated... I think it is on, I think. On the same subject of manipulators, on the original version the engine start plastic covers were a pain to open and close. The idea has been change from a single click and start to separating the opening of the covers with a click and then a half-moon manipulator to start. It works, but just as the manipulator active area is so small you need a lot of patience to actually find it, and getting right down by the floor behind the pedestal will help you finally find that coveted opening hot spot... Three PROG... Progress pages have a load of information, and the FMC is accessible in the air. Route data and two page radio is very good. The E-Jet series was always a nice machine in the air, and the quality shows from all viewpoints. External sounds are again good but not over brilliant, but you don't get that distance droning that tires you out. Lighting The cockpit lighting is years away better than the original version, and very nice it is too. There is not a huge amount of adjustment because I don't think the real aircraft has a lot either. The downlighting of the main displays looks lovely, but the higher glareshield is more darker. The two overhead spot-lights are just a Storm/Dome set and are non-adjustable. External lighting is good and standard fair. As noted you have inspection lights and wing lights and the logo tail lighting looks nice at night. Arrival at Washington is via IRONS5 into RWY 01. Target altitude on the PFD (Primary Flight Display) is a great help in getting your correct altitude at the right distance from the airport correct. Great working VOR2 and ADF 1 & 2 pointers (selectors arrowed) in the lower PFD are excellent for navigation and lining up your final approach. There is not a lot of wind-rush in the air, but great noise sounds when you drop the landing gear, so you get that I'm ready for landing feel. There is a nice feel also from the controls to get the aircraft into a position for landing, overall the aircraft is very nice to fly manually, but who does that anymore with a modern regional airliner, automation in here is now in control. But manual flying I am doing on this approach. The E-170LR will allow you with FULL flap go down into the middle-twenties with approach speed, but beware that get it just too slightly slower and it will stall on you very quickly, so it is best to stay in the low 130knts range which is safer and more controllable The complex flaps and their animation is beautifully done, but my feather-weight landing didn't activate the wing spoilers that are automatically activated on landing. The reversers are excellent in fine detail... Regional flying is hard work with multiple sectors in one day, so it is off with one load and get ready for the next.... Liveries You get a wide selection of very good liveries, this (above) is the "New" factory E170 livery which is very nice. You also get mostly two sets of the same livery in a "Clean" version and a "Dirty" version, I have shown all the dirty versions here because of space. Factory livery (old version) is also the default. Liveries double include Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia (New), British Airways, American Eagle, Delta Connection, Eygptair, Agean Airlines (Clean only), Azul, Flybe and JAL. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Summary Three years can be a long time in X-Plane, and what was once an interesting and detailed aircraft became almost old-fashioned very quickly. This new "Evolution" version does far more than just update an old design to current standards. It is a complete back to the boards and a total redesign of the aircraft and that deep design work certainly shows here. Almost everything is new (you can see a few things moved over but they are just that... few) and so you can't really compare the two but it is nice to see the differences. There is a huge amount of great features and ideas and I really love the total concept of it all, but there are also small niggly things that should not be on an aircraft of this price range, as this is total pro territory. Yes the aircraft is very professional but that extra 3% in the finish can make or break the aircraft. It just slips over the mark because most of these niggles are easily updated as they certainly will be by SSG, but they should not be there in the first place. BOLD text looks horrible and no display reflections should not have got to the release stage. Pushback is hard to use and you need to take a deep breath and not look down through the gap if you are going from the cockpit to the cabin or vise-versa. Manipulator activation areas are too small and you can't find the manipulators and they are messy to use, with the V/S the hardest to use of all. Sounds are good, but now they have moved on, expect better in an upgrade. Overall here you are not flying the aircraft as smoothly as you can because of small factors. The very deep and extensive FMC by Javier Cortes is complex by design and has no elegance in procedure if you make a mistake and sometimes completely confusing if a ) not done one before, or b ) in that some items are duplicated to do the same action and standard button or menu items like a simple (exec) or (direct) are hard to find or use, I understand that the Honeywell unit does not have these functions but there has to be more of an elegance of getting those important actions working correctly. Get a simple command wrong and you are up short street without a torch, and the only way out is to restart the whole thing and start again, and even if you do get it right, it takes way to long (unless you are a total master or the developer) in inputting again the whole plan and aircraft parameters within the usual 30min turnaround time, in most cases you would not put yourself all through that and simply fly something else. And that is a real shame as the aircraft is overall very good to excellent when it all programmed in correctly, it is just getting to that point. No doubt FMC's are hard to use and programme, but they also have a simplicity of the way they do their job. My advice is to live with this aircraft to really understand the deepness of it. It does have a large learning curve and the FMC in it's current state would need an understanding of how FMC's are programmed and used. Once you use it more then the more it will come to you and the deeper levels of enjoyment the "Evo" can then be brought to the surface. Yes this is a huge and very nice update with a lot of investment by SSG of their E-170LR aircraft, and it has some really great clever features and it is certainly a worthy investment if you like great regional airliners. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution v1.07 by Supercritical Simulation Group is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-Jet170LR Evolution Your Price: $49.95 Note: if you are already a owner of SSG's E-170LR or the E190 you get upgrade to the "Evolution" version with a US$10 discount! to the price of US$39.95, so Please email sales@x-plane.org to get your discount code and include you original purchase order number. Features: Advanced FMC and Navigation system Custom-built FMC (done by FJCC) designed for the SSG Evolution Series SIDs, STARs, transitions, approaches, flare and rollout modes. FMC is compatible with AeroSoft's NavDataPro and Navigraph navigation databases. Manufacturer's performance data embedded as tables in the fully functional FMC. Option to use either a 2D pop-up (resizable) FMC or one within the 3D cockpit. Custom radio communication audio consoles optimized for on-line virtual ATC operations. FMC performance information based on real aircraft data, including calculated V-speeds. FMC includes capability for autotuning navaid frequencies. Vertical Situation Display (VSD) on the MFD. Terrain display mode on the MFD, which is a part of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) on the real aircraft. High-Res 3D modeling complete with detailed animations and textures. Realistic displays (PFD, MFD with system synoptics, and EICAS) External lights and strobes operating realistically. Display management similar to that in the real aircraft. Autobrakes with anti-skid system that works in all conditions and includes a realistic rejected takeoff mode. Realistic wing flex and other animations. Window rain effects and animated wipers. Option menu incorporated into the cockpit 3D. Ground vehicles include a tow truck, GPU and airstairs. Over 10 detailed liveries comes with the plane Custom systems and Flight Model Aircraft will meet most of the real aircraft's performance data for consumption, AOA, speeds, flight dynamics, etc. in close consultation with real world E-Jet pilots. Realistic 3D cockpit with high resolution. Many systems are implemented with realistic logic, such as electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, engine fire extinguishing, fuel, wing and engine anti-ice (including automatic mode), communications, and TCAS. Comprehensive autopilot functioning in modes similar to those of the real aircraft First Officer's MFD display is independent from the Captain's, and MFD has a pop-up option. EICAS messages based on the real aircraft's with lists and scrolling DreamEngine Sound System 3D sounds with DreamEngine plugin. Requirements X-Plane 10.45 + (any edition) running in 64bit mode Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit Operating System 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution is 606.30mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder at 952.80mg. There is a "Quick Start Guide" manual (44 Pages) and comes with included checklist Sheets . _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd July 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - KATL - KATL - Atlanta International by Nimbus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$23.95 - KDCA - Ronald Reagan - Washington National by Tropicalsim - No idea if this scenery is still available? And I still call it "National!"
    2 points
  21. Aircraft Review : BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer by JustFlight - Thranda Design The Folland Gnat T.1 was the mainstay of RAF jet training onwards from 1959. The aircraft was a nimble and extremely good training aircraft for pilots moving into military jet aircraft and then moving on upwards to the heavier Hawker Hunters and English Electric Lightings. But in the early 70's the RAF realised that the next generation of jet fighters would require a more advanced trainer and a two-seater to accommodate the Sepecat Jaguar and the Panavia Tornado. The result was the Hawker Siddeley Hawk T1 (Trainer Mk1). In reality the relationship of the Hawk to it's predecessor the Gnat is actually very close and highly related. Hawker Siddeley had bought out Folland in 1959, as British Aerospace Systems (BAe) would also merge with Hawker Siddeley in 1977, however the Hawk was built and still assembled in Hamble at the old Folland factory where the Gnat had also been produced. The Hawk also followed the Gnat in being the mainstay of the RAF British Aerobatic Team, known as the "Red Arrows" and still holds that coveted position today. JustFlight - Thranda Design It is just under a year in that the partnership of JustFlight and Thranda Design released their first aircraft for X-Plane11, that was the PA28R Piper Arrow III and since then there has also been the PA28R Turbo Piper Arrow III/IV in February and the TB10 Tobago & TB20 Trinidad in May and finally the excellent Cessna 152 ll in June. All aircraft I thought brought far more to X-Plane in features and to the general aviation category, but more so in the highly realistic handing of the aircraft. They are not cheap aircraft and all sit on the top of the scale in price for general aviation aircraft, but they also do deliver in another level in quality as well. This is JustFlight's and Thranda's next release with the BAe Systems Hawk T1. First it is a radical change from the usual general aviation style of aircraft and it also took a long time to get released? The aircraft was initially first announced back in February earlier this year, then another promotion in the middle of the year sent our heart's a flutter again but then it all went very quiet, this time it is actually here... so was it worth the wait? That is what reviews are for, so let us see. BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer We have come to now expect a very high quality aircraft from JustFlight/Thranda, as it should be in this price range as that is what you are paying for, in high very high quality and for loads of features. There is no doubt the Hawk stands out there in the quality stakes, the level here is extremely high, if the best fighter/trainer now in in X-Plane11. To be fair there is not a lot of competition to compare the Hawk with as very few modern fighters have yet made the transition from X-Plane10, coming and in the same category is X-Trident's Harrier AV8B, so that aircraft will be a better benchmark. Would this aircraft pass the Airshow walkaround test? you know the one where you walkaround the aircraft noting it's details and equipment points, take a few pictures to remind you of the aircraft... in this case yes. The quality of the detailing is phenomenal, and I am set at a lower resolution setting. Another level of detail again for X-Plane? If not then it is close... aircraft modelling is absolutely first rate, perfection, not a 3d bump out of place. In realism you have glass and reflections that really deliver (note the explosive cord for seat ejection on the canopy glass)... again are you looking into a real jet at an airshow? if not then you are pretty well close to it. It is the smaller details that create a believable realism, note the slightly worn landing light nose glass and wingtip lighting enclosures, the tail leading edge material and the correct accurate layout of rivets and paneling. As a note, the Hawk uses the Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca "Adour 151" non-afterburning turbofan with 2,360 kilograms (5,200 pounds) thrust. It is a more expensive engine, but also more economical to use; like the Specate Jaguar it also uses the "102" version of the Adour in a twin-engine installation. The engine drops down out of the Hawk's belly just behind the wings for service, and in principle can be replaced in one and a half hours. The Hawk is built with ease of serviceability in mind, and almost a third of the aircraft's surface is covered by access panels. There is a "Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter/Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU)" that is installed above the engine to permit self-starting, and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. If the aircraft loses power in flight, a ram-air turbine can also automatically pop up in front of the vertical tailplane to provide emergency electrical power and the RAM is featured here and works realistically on the aircraft. The Hawk has two main and one forward strut trailing link undercarriage assemblies... .... detailing is the very best as you would expect in this class, but even more so. Every joint, component, hydraulic line, hydraulic piston, nut and bolt is here, even the strut labels and markings are also correctly applied. Animations in ground movement and retraction/extraction are perfect, even more so as the trailing link assembly can give the taxiing of the aircraft a feel that is quite different from normal, but perfectly authentic. Back to the airshow... usually you stand in line, and usually for a long wait. But your turn does come and you have a fleeting few moments... ... you can look of course but can't touch! but what would you give to sit in there? "sit in the real jet"... The aim of the ultimate in simulation is break down that barrier, and to be able to not only sit in the aircraft but to actually flying this expensive complex machine as well, to live the dream. But for to that to work in simulation then the detail must above and beyond, you thought what was excellent even a few years ago, but here with this Hawk you see the level go higher again, and in a few years it will go even higher... but for now this is the best of the best current standard. First glance inside the Hawk cockpit is the usual overwhelming complexity. But usually as you decipher and break the detail up and work it all out it all comes to make sense... Panels are grouped as: Left console – throttle, engine starting, electrical and flying control systems Left main panel – weapon selection and radio Centre main panel – flight instruments and weapon sighting Right main panel – engine instruments Right console – avionics equipment You can't expect every switch or button and knob to work in the cockpit, but I would guess the number is still very high in here at around 90%. In the rear seat that percentage is around 70%, not bad, but you still miss a few things you would like to control. Cockpit detail is to the extreme. Many fighter cockpit have been exceptional in detail, but don't convey that realism factor, but that is not the case here, it is about as real as it gets, every seat belt, material stitching, pipe, metal panel, screw, nut and bolt is visible and all have highly realistic textures... ... the highlight is the instrument panel glareshields, they have that dusty, not touched since installed look about them, you just want to move your fingers in the dust to create a mark, perfection. Menu/Features The menu is fully featured and positioned via the usual JustFlight left screen side arrow, scrolling on the arrow will make it transparent. This menu layout is far better than the earlier menus, as they had just a red transparency when selected and they looked very dated. This version has coloured items for selection and looks the business. There are 21 selections and features to choose from, and not in any order we will start with the pilots. There are two animated realistic pilots that you can select via the menu, you can also select if you want their visors up or down... ... one note is that if you put the front seat pilot's visor down the screen image goes slightly darker, but the rear visor does not create the same effect? also the pilots selection is only external, so if you are seated in the front or rear seat, then the other seat internally is empty, which is a bit odd as you can select if you want this feature or not? (arrowed) Why not show the internal pilot if you so wish for realism? Overall the pilots are excellent in detail. Selections include static elements like: chocks (rear wheels), tags and pitot and engine inlet/outlet covers, and a very nice work maintenance step frame... ... another ingress option is the aircraft's built in steps, or pop out extensions that are well done (arrowed above). Options include the external diesel tank carried by display aircraft, or the M61A1-Vulcan 6,000 rounds per minute centre mounted cannon... Four armament racks allow a variety of weapons, that are selected via the X-Plane "Weapons" menu, here we have the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM120-AMRAAM, but bombs can be carried as well, but just watch their excessive weight are balanced! Nice detailing on the armament racks that will change to the correctly selected armament. Forward locker opens to reveal the avionic equipment racks. There are two Hawk versions to choose from in the T1 or the T1a. This is noted via the extension over the exhaust outlet... ... but in reality it is a bit useless? The difference between the T1 and T1a versions is that the T1 is the trainer, and the T1a is the armed or fighter version? so why not use the selection to denote the different types by having the armament off for the T1 and the aircraft armed for the T1a version? Menu options internally include the aiming gunsight, and two left and right flip up frequency display panels... ... they don't actually display any frequencies? but there is a fix by MatthewM that adds in the frequencies via an texture file. The same display fix is also in the Red Arrows display livery by Christophe, and here you also get with the livery the lovely Red (Arrows) flying suits as well! With the external diesel tank attached you get a double panel of a set of coloured lights on top of the glareshield (yellow arrows), but there are no notes on if they work, or why? There is a good kneeboard for checklists that pops up. It can be moved around the screen, but it is not scalable, which makes it a bit of a blocking visual distraction in the air (as you can't see anything forward!) as the menu itself is also locked to the left side of the screen and again not scalable.... joysicks front and rear can be hidden and note the "Rudder Lock" (arrowed) Final menu options include a "Cold and Dark" to ready (electrical on/off) and a full engine start up that starts the engines and configures hydraulic and electrical systems so that you are ready to taxi feature, you could call it a "Scramble mode!". There is a feature that configures the aircraft so that weapons are live (ready to fire) and you can select/change the livery from the menu. Instrument panels Power up and the Hawk comes to life. Panel lighting is excellent and adjustable for the left, right and main instrument panels. Annunciator warning panel (CWS - Central Warning System) can be tested. Main cluster of flying instruments covers clockwise... Turn-and-slip indicator, Main Artificial Horizon, Backup Artificial Horizon. Main Altimeter, Vertical speed indicator (VSI), Horizontal situation indicator (HSI) or heading indicator, Directional gyro indicator (DGI), Combined speed indicator (CSI)... top centre left is the Accelerometer. Right front panel is clockwise: Standby altimeter, Cabin Altimeter, Oxygen supply contents, Fuel gauge, TGT indicator (Turbine Gas Temperature), Engine LP shaft rotation indicator/RPM indicator. The Oxygen flow indicator will flip on and off if the oxygen is flowing correctly. lower right is the electrical switchgear and panel lighting adjustment knobs. Depending on if the Hawk is armed or not (T1a) then the firing panel is located upper left... The Lock/Live switch is upper right (magenta arrow). Pylon (rack) selection and armament selection is on the Weapon Control panel, but don't for "heaven's sake" fire it off on the ground like I did... ... as it is not pretty and I suppose that is what the "Safety" is for! The Hawk has a CCS or Communications Control System which provides overall control of the elements of the communications system. The CCS integrates the VHF transmit facilities and the audio signals from this equipment and from the ILS and TACAN receivers. It also integrates the audio tone of the tone generator in the Central Warning System. The radio below the weapons panel is the UHF radio set, but with X-Plane11 you can't access UHF, so the Hawk uses regular VHF frequencies. This radio will control the COM 1 frequencies. It is very nicely done anyway, and super easy to set and use. There are also 20 preset frequencies you can use and if you want a certain frequency, it can be set via the ‘manifest.json’ file with a text editor. Right Console Right panel has the other radio set and this unit is again a UHF unit, but set to the regular VHF (X-Plane) frequencies. This radio controls the COM 2 frequencies. Again the radio can be preset to frequencies and details on the correct insert order (‘manifest.json’) can be found in the manual. The radio panel layout and detail here really good and quite authentic (to a point with X-Plane restrictions). An ILS installation is comprised of a localiser and glideslope receiver and a marker receiver, there is no autopilot, so the ILS is a visual reference only. The Hawk is fitted with an IFF/SSR (Identification Friend or Foe/Secondary Surveillance Radar) system which provides identification facilities and IFF, and civil SSR including ‘Mode S’. The system provides facilities for an IFF or SSR ground radar station to interrogate the aircraft and for the aircraft to rapidly and automatically transmit an identifying reply. The system replies to Mode 1, 2, 3/A, 4, C and S interrogations, including civil and military emergency interrogations. The IFF/SSR control display unit (CDU) is used to control the operation of the IFF/SSR transponders. It works in this aircraft in the MODE 4 interrogations 4A and 4B and for civilian M3/A or auto selection. Note the oxygen valve (yellow arrow above right). Lower panel known as the "Leg" panel is on the upper panel is the AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System) control unit, and the lower is the ISIS control unit (Ferranti ISIS Century Series Gunsight). The AHRS is used to calibrate the artificial horizon or align, and if the balls (both main and standby) are lazy then you haven't done this before flying the aircraft. The Ferranti ISIS Century gunsight is adjusted via the left and right knobs (arrowed above right), but I can't see any brightness adjustment, so the sight is quite hard to see? Mode selections include: GA – for air-to-air firing, G – this mode is for air-to-ground gun attacks. With G selected, the aiming mark is then depressed to cater for the gravity drop of the shell, R – same as G, but drift control will adjust the horizontal position of the sight, B – when B is selected, the sight is initially depressed, but can still be moved with the depression control. S – same as B, but the sight is not initially depressed. M - air-to-air missile attack mode is not available. Left Console On the left the console covers the aircraft's throttle, engine starting, electrical and flying control systems. Note first the rearward and slightly hidden main fuel cock lever. Engine start and aircraft (electric) trim switches are rear panel. The lovely stubby throttle is excellent, but note the catch? (arrowed), to move the throttle and the catch needs to set in the up position, but be careful if you hit the catch in flight to click down, as then if you go back to idle the throttle will then lock, unless you release the catch again to up... not the best idea to do if you are on an approach? A set of five gauges cover: No. 1 and No. 2 hydraulic system pressure, Brakes supply pressure and Left and right brake pressures. Left lower main panel are buttons to raise and lower the undercarriage, "UP" is retraction, and "DOWN" is extraction, very different from the usual lever... a manual gear release for both the nosewheel and main gear is here as well. More unusual is a switch (arrowed above right) to lower the flaps between: Up - Mid - Down. and confusing is the flap setting of 0 -5 x10 (degrees). The battery "Volts" gauge is on this side panel as well. Rear position has a few items removed... ... with the ISIS Gunsight panel which is missing and AHRS is disconnected, and the left upper armament panel (T1a) shows the weapon activity, but there is no access to the switchgear.... side consoles lose the IFF/SSR panel right and the engine startup panel left. Overall I think the aircraft finds the right balance on providing a realistic immersion in the cockpit, without that overkill of the minute of details. Flying the BAe Hawk T1a Back to the airshow... you know when the air display is going to start, and everyone runs to the fence by the runway. Usually I go the other way and run to the parc fermé, as there is nothing, I mean nothing like a jet aircraft or helicopter starting up it's engine(s). (hint turn up your sound volume a little) Starting up the Hawk is actually quite easy. The T1 has a Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter/Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU) installed above the engine to permit ground self-starting and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. So there is no ground power cart (GPU). The system is comprised of a gas turbine air producer and a free turbine starter motor. The air producer (GTS) is at the top of the fuselage, forward of the ram air turbine. It supplies air via a solenoid-operated start valve, and when the dump valve is closed it supplies air to the starter motor which is fitted to the engine external gearbox and drives the HP shaft through the gearbox. It is really a bleed system, but a sort of that it builds up the pressure and then blows it into the starter motor, and that then turns the engine. The GTS also automatically supplies fuel to the nozzles in the combustion chamber containing two igniter plugs, then when you light the match.. oh, ignite the fuel it starts up the Adour jet engine. So fuel cock off, and switch on the fuel pump... Then you press the Start/Relight button forward on the throttle, which is a sort of primer button, but it is building up the air pressure ready to flow it into the turbine starter, and priming the fuel into the engine. When ready or primed you get a green light GTS lit up ready on the right panel... Then you just flick the start switch to "Start". The Adour's startup sounds and start sequence is amazing, highly realistic and the sort of a grin of ear to ear of excitement! Loud, keep it loud... bugger the neighbours sort of loud. Engine LP shaft rotation indicator and RPM indicator wizz around into action... then you get a "Rotation" light come on! At this point you need to nudge the throttle slightly forward, and you get the same sort of fire up that you get in an airliner when you turn on the fuel switches at around 18-20 N2, but then the Adour powers up to full power. The CWS will show HYD and AC (1-3) warnings so you have to reset them on the upper left panel by pressing the buttons (arrows upper right). And you are good to go... remember there is an easy start feature in the menu that does all this for you, but in reality it isn't that hard... If you get the start sequence wrong though it is 3 min wait to retry for another engine start. Remember to turn on the oxygen (switch right middle console), if working correctly the flow is seen via a flicking on/off flow meter upper right panel... however the rear seat oxygen switch and flow meter does not work? Ready to fly... The parkbrake lever is hard to access (or find) far right down by the seat. When moving then be aware of the front nosewheel. First it has a very long trailing link, but it can be very flickery as well (It flickers badly even when standing still?), and so it is very easy for it to go quickly at an odd angle... it works and works fine, but you have to get used to it when taxiing, it is a bit like the A320's remote tiller feel. Sounds when taxiing are excellent, with all that turbine power but whistle flow aural. Note the mirror reflections of the explosive cord. Usually I find these internal mirrors are quite poor, but in here they are the opposite and have very good and realistic reflections. Flaps are set to "Mid" for takeoff, and required if you are carrying a lot of fuel and full armaments. Your forward view is quite restricted at the normal FOV setting (73º), you could make it higher, but that is not realistic either, but it is hard to look forward and read the lower instruments at the same time at this FOV... ... throttle up and you give the aircraft about 80% RPM, not too much to make sure at first the front gear is tracking correctly... gradually to 90% then a third down the runway you give the Hawk the full 100% thrust. You want to feel that punch in the back, you certainly get the thrust but it is more slower building up speed than you would think it would be... ... I found 160 knts to rotate (officially JF note 190 knts?), and you quickly need to get the flaps to zero 0º (500 ft!) and the gear up, so I flick both switches at the same time, but remember to counter the flap lift loss! Ground and air gear animations are excellent, aural retraction (and extraction) gear sounds are also top notch, and the aircraft's excellent FMOD 360º sound externally and in the cockpit is as expected at this level are extremely good.... and yes the hairs on you neck will stand up and get quickly prickly. The Hawk's feel depends on the weight, you feel the extra weight of the T1a fully loaded compared to the far lighter T1 trainer, and although you felt it a bit sluggish on the ground the aircraft will accelerate very quickly to 300 knts in the air, and even while climbing set at 90% thrust. The T1 can climb at a whopping usual 9,300 fpm and one aircraft was known to climb at 11,800 feet per minute, light of course, but that is still phenomenal. Other statistics are still overwhelming with a maximum speed of 1,040 Kph 658 Mph/572 Knts and a service ceiling of 50,000ft and a range of (with only internal fuel) 2,400 kilometers 1,490 MI/1,295 NMI. That acceleration can deceive you, if you don't watch your artificial horizon, as with a quick glance at the Vertical speed indicator it will surprise you, for when you think you are flying nice and level as but the Hawk is still actually climbing easily upwards, so you will need to be aware of the aircraft's tendency to keep on lifting even when you want level flight and the required need adjust to that flight pitch angle and thrust requirement. There are no helpers in here to fly the aircraft for you, so this is all stick and rudder flying. To make it a bit more easy than relaxing then adjust the trim... ... the main tailplane trim is hidden under a safety cover rear left console (arrowed) and it is tricky to use as it is electric, but to be honest I have struggled with all JustFlight trims as the Arrow lll was a nightmare to trim easily. The far back position makes it hard to use as well visually (Any keyboard/joystick trim ideas are even worse), but if you do finally get the vertical trim set then the Hawk feel nicely balanced and requires only slight adjustments to it's flight path, but still watch those wide vertical speed swings with any adjustment of thrust (certainly more power). This is an aircraft to fly in the focus and fine movements as than the chucking it all around the sky, although it is a lovely almost aerobatic machine. If you want to fulfill your Airshow fantasies then this is the best aircraft into doing so... Approaching EGOV (RAF - Valley) RWY 14, you keep the Hawk at 170 knts and 200 ft off the deck, and don't forget to wave as you flypast, then just power up and climb away at 2000fpm, yes it is all as good as you thought it would be! Getting the speed down can be tricky though. You do have a two-stage airbrake far rear under the fuselage, but remember if the wheels are down, it doesn't activate? So any serious rub off of speed has to be done before you extend the gear. The aircraft systems included here are very comprehensive. Most of the major systems are covered including... Fuel system, Electrical systems, Central Warning systems (CWS), Hydraulic systems, Flight Control systems, Communications Control System (CCS), Air-Conditioning systems and Oxygen systems, Engine systems (Including the comprehensive start up system) and all systems have built in failures, and in most cases more than one system can fail at a single time. Full details of each system are well detailed in the manual. Lighting Internal cockpit lighting is excellent, as three knobs adjust the main panel and the two side consoles front and rear... ... there is "Emergy" panel dim switch, but in reality you adjust the panel lighting down anyway from the very bright full panel setting. Note the great night glass canopy reflections and to also note the reflections on the instruments and glass cannot be switched off, which may annoy a few fliers. External has both (the same) taxi and landing light in the nose, that X-Plane wise is highly visible, navigation lights and selectable Anti-Collision red or white strobes. The white flashing strobes at night are highly visible in the cockpit, but realistic. Landing Time to land... fighter jets can be tricky to land, as they are built for the extremes of speed and manoeuvrability and not the basic areas of flying. 150 knts is a nice approach speed clean, but once the flaps are down full and the gear is extended then your goal is 130 knts, but be aware of the fall in performance below the 130 knt zone as it is severe... .... I have found several times at this point in the approach the aircraft will start to behave oddly, of which I call the "Wobbles", power percentage is critical in staying out of the zone, because if the aircraft starts doing the "wobble" then in over correcting, you can lose it... more power or stopping the stall doesn't really fix it either, but helps, so the best way to get out of it is just to abandon the landing, go around and get it better and cleaner in the next approach and not in trying to fight it. It is groove thing in that when you get the aircraft into that fine groove of approach and then controlling the speed, then it can all come clean... power off to around 110knts and let the Hawk sink down, but be aware that the final stall speed is around 106 knts which is very close to the 110 knts required. Flare and touchdown has to be smooth as the gear is very supple, get it wrong or hit the tarmac to quickly or too hard and the T1 will bounce, so there is a fair bit of skill required to land the Hawk smoothly and professionally, but then again this aircraft is not for the average flier. Liveries There is a bonanza of liveries available. Twelve are provided with the aircraft package, and another twelve are available as a separate livery pack. Focus is totally on the RAF and RAF Valley, with a few international airforce users, but no Australian livery version, which is an odd one? Blank is default... The free Christophe Red Arrows "Flag" is noted here (below right) as it is a great livery. _________________________________________________ Livery pack has some excellent RAF celebration and production factory designs... Summary X-Plane has had some very good fighters or military aircraft of this category, the best is the AMX jet, FA-18F Super Hornet, X-Trident Panavia Tornado and MiG-29. But all fall short mostly now, as in most cases they are still all X-Plane10 (or with minor X-Plane11 modifications) aircraft and in reality all are very dated, only the GR4 Tornado is really what you would call modern... also they are all not in this price range or quality class, so that leaves this Hawk T.1 all in a category on it's own. The price in the mid-40's of US Dollars is to be considered in this summary. Again no fighter has cost this much, so you are expecting a high level of quality and a load of features. Yes you get both, as the quality here is exceptional and there is a realism with the cockpit from the external and internal views that is certainly a new level of real world reflection and hence the exceptional glass. So the aircraft in design is certainly top notch, and so does the custom sounds live up to their high expectations as well, the start up engine noises are simply the best yet for a small jet engine. Features are very good as well, with the expected static elements, quick engine starts, aircraft stands, opening canopy and equipment bay and yes the animated pilots are also highly lifelike and can be inserted or not, and you can also have their visors up or down, shame you can't have one in the other seat while you are flying in the front or the rear. Also the menus are good, and better than the earlier JustFlight/Thranda menus, but are not movable or scalable. The version change from T1 to the T1a is a bit of an odd one, where as the T1 is the trainer, the T1a is the armed version, the menu option just adds on a small tail extension? So there are a few quirks with the aircraft, but all are rather minor. Aircraft dynamics are excellent, but require skill and focus, but that is what you need when flying a fast small jet, and it is all physical manual flying as well... the aim here is to out fly yourself, and fly the aircraft to the best of your ability to do so, then the rewards will come. It would have been or even will become even more interesting when the aircraft acquires the X-Plane 11.30 new particle effects, as that was one feature that really kept on coming back to me as I reviewed the aircraft.. I hope we don't have to wait too soon for an 11.30 update for the Hawk as those dynamics would be excellent here. The development process for this Hawk was quite long, but the results have been well worth the wait, and the aircraft is certainly more highly refined for that wait, and overall JustFlight/Thranda are bringing a very much more highly refined and detailed aircraft to X-Plane, yes they cost more, but to have this level of quality and design, then that is also required in the new higher level of simulation that is now available to X-Plane, and it is a level we only dreamed of a few years ago, and more so. So to that person who stood looking at an aircraft and wonders what is it REALLY like to sit in that display aircraft at an airshow, and to actually fly it... well now and here with this excellent JustFlight/Thranda Hawk Trainer you now finally have that answer... Highly Recommended. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer by JustFlight - Thranda Design is a new release for X-Plane11 and NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer Price is US$44.95 Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer Livery Pack is also available... Price is US$14.99 This aircraft is a noted aircraft for X-Plane11 only.  The aircraft is directly available from JustFlight as well. Features Model Accurately modelled Hawk T1 and T1A, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including a storage hatch, ram air turbine (RAT), canopy and crew ladder Ground equipment including chocks, access steps and engine intake covers 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled ejector seats and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit, including AN/ARC 164 UHF radio, plus a retrofitted modern AN/ARC-232 UHF/VHF unit and TACAN/ILS radio units Authentic head-up display (HUD) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) GoodWay compatible Adjustable canopy mirrors with real-time reflections of the environment Animated toe brakes Radio knob animations routed through plug-in logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded electrical system with AC and DC resets and loads Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks Custom-coded hydraulic systems, including functioning RAT Realistic lighting system with rheostat controls Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Capable of loading and firing X-Plane's default weapons. The currently selected loadout is automatically saved for the next flight. Requirements: X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster 8GB RAM or more DirectX 12-capable graphics card from nVidia, AMD or Intel with at least 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux 2GB hard drive space _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation: Download for the BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer is 629.40mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.12gb (including all 24 liveries) Key authorisation and a restart is required. Documents: Highly detailed manual covers installation and all instrument notes, systems details, panel and menu guides and a basic tutorial flight. Hawk X-Plane manual (93 pages) ____________________________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton  29th September 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)  Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft- EGOV - RAF Valley for X-Plane 11 1.0.0 by RCMarple (X-Plane.Org) - Free! 
    2 points
  22. Scenery Preview : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio If your brief was to create an International airport with limited space and on the side of a steep hill, then certainly PAKT - Ketchikan International Airport, Alaska would be the result. Unique as well with this position is as the airport is located on Gravina Island, just west of Ketchikan itself on the other side of the Tongass Narrows, and passengers must take a seven-minute ferry ride across the water to get to the airport from the town. Around the World War II era until the early 1970s, longer range land plane air service to Ketchikan including flights to Seattle were operated via an old military airfield located approximately 20 air miles to the south on Annette Island. Aircraft operated into the Annette Island Airport (ANN) for flights in the local southeast Alaska area included the Grumman Goose and Catalina PBY with these amphibian aircraft being utilized to link the airport with the Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base. The current airport PAKT was opened on August 4, 1973 and was dedicated on the following day. The airport opening was the culmination of an effort by local residents, a 1965 study by the Alaska State Division of Aviation, another study in 1967 choosing the current site on Gravina Island, and land clearing in 1969. One of the first airlines to serve the new airport was Alaska Airlines which inaugurated the first jet service from Seattle to Ketchikan International Airport on August 4, 1973 with a Boeing 720 jetliner. Alaska Air primarily operated Boeing 727-100, 727-200 and 737-200 jetliners (including 737 passenger/cargo Combi aircraft) into the airport before switching to later model Boeing 737 jets. (edited wikipedia). NorthernSkyStudio The first release in scenery for X-Plane by NorthernSkyStudio, was in Hawaii with their Molokai and Kalaupapa airport package. This was a well done package, but quite a small release that would be a great addition to anyone that need's a very good Hawaiian scenery. So here is their next release with the very complex PAKT - Ketchikan International in southern Alaska. My main connection with PAKT - Ketchikan is that is a superb supply airport for CZST Stewart, and the excellent Beti-x scenery that is positioned close by there. So I have over the years toodled back and too to Stewart in mostly Bush, 208 Caravan and the odd GA aircraft from Ketchikan. But that is not using this scenery to anything but it's full potential. The airport is of course positioned central on the famous "Inside Passage" that consists of thousands of islands that are stretched right up the upper west North American continent from Seattle to Glacier Bay, and it is noted as one as THE very best flying areas in the world, for bush pilot and regional flying services. Ketchiken is also on the famous "Milk Run”. The Milk Run are routes that are run daily by Alaska Airlines and Flight 65, starts in Seattle and stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg and Juneau before flying on and landing in Anchorage. The opposite route flight, Flight 66, starts in Anchorage and stops in Cordova, Yakutat and Juneau before flying on to Seattle. There used to be B737 Combi aircraft flying on the route, but the last run was completed last year, and the combi's have now all been replaced by three dedicated 737-700 freighters. Ketchikan International Airport IATA: KTN - ICAO: PAKT - FAA LID: KTN 11/29 - 7,500ft (2,286m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 92 ft / 28 m The airport does have a very unique layout with the main runway of which is located about 30 feet (9.1 m) higher than the apron further on up the hillside, and is connected between the two areas by two sloping taxiways in Taxiway A - RWY 29 and Taxiway B - Rwy 11 for departures. From an X-Plane modeling point of view this multi-elevation layout is extremely hard to get right as you can't rely on the initial mesh layouts, so everything has to be modeled to fit. Get it right, like here at this PAKT and it makes for one of the best arrival experiences in X-Plane. To fit aircraft parking areas on a hillside, it requires different parking zones and there are two (another zone looks like a parking area on TWY A but it is large turning or holding area.). The lower, lower zone (above) accessed by TWY C is for all General Aviation parking and it is quite a large area. The upper apron in front of the terminal is the main commercial zone. If International in the broad sense is the general idea, then PAKT is not in the same capability as say like KDEN - Denver or KLAX - Los Angeles. To put that into context it is to say international here is going from the USA into Canada, not to Japan or Europe. So in that context you have one (yes only one) airbridge and only one large stand or two large (B737/A320) parking slots. The (small) international terminal and it's very striking offset control tower is excellent, really well done with even the local carving set out around the building for authenticity, all the areas around the terminal are also very authentic and highly realistic... .... including the ferry connection ramp system landside, which is highly detailed. The Ferry itself "Ken Eichner -2" is also animated and docks on both sides of the Tongass Narrows waterway. On the airport side it perfectly fits into the wharf. Only comment is that the single airbridge is static and not animated, which is a shame as that would have been a big feature for the scenery. Next to the main apron is a commercial apron for local services, in i.e. charter, sightseeing flights, and island hopping. On the apron are four large hangars of which the first "Aero Services" of who is the cargo handler for the airport. All four hangars have been faithfully reconstructed and are simply excellent. Note the excellent grass and foliage, that is done all around here very well. Ground clutter is again excellent, with correctly branded and shaped custom cargo pallets (called cargo Igloos!), ramp aircraft boarding stands and branded baggage trolleys. Static aircraft are also provided with 208 Caravans and Lear Jets and are all also correctly locally branded. Detail is also really well done. With all the correct fencing and airport aids (including the ILS System). Seaplane base is also highly detailed, beautifully done. There is also a tunnel under the runway, a small thing but again great detail. Textures and surfaces are good, but feel a little light in colour and especially with the runway and taxiway A, which both needed to be both slightly darker, and note the excellent steel drainage grids. The odd looking light green colour surrounding the runway and taxiway areas is actually correct, and not a faded poor texture as it must be a coloured concrete mix (I checked). Port of Ketchikan Where as the airport island scenery is excellent, the port area on the other side of the narrows is a mixed bag. The area looks fine from the airport view point, but I feel the issue here is the underlay ortho textures in being far too light (washed out) in colour. The textures are flat around the wharf edges and level with the water and that creates a non-realistic feel? Worse there are a few important buildings missing that in their distinctive style and roof colour looked poor in being flat, and are as well front and centre visually... overall there is that "okay we will stop there, why bother doing any more" sort of feeling. And missing is all the shipping at both here at the port zone and in downtown Ketchikan (cruise shipping) as well and because they would be noticed from the airport on arrival or departure it makes it all look again rather more empty than it needs to be ... ... there is a huge slipway building, but I can't find the same on any maps? but it looks visually very good. The sailboats don't work either? They are all a bit bright and samey... I'm not expecting every one to be different, but a few changed styles would have made it that all the more realistic. Lighting The lighting overall at PAKT is excellent... Approach lighting is fine. The signage though looks totally out of scale... ... the sign looks as big as a Cessna 152? The colour brightness reflection is far to strong as well and not realistic. A shame because the terminal building and ramp lighting is absolutely first rate. So many developers get night lighting textures so wrong? but here they are perfect and highly realistic. Detail lighting including the excellent down lights are very well done... Ketchikan Port side is more simplistic, but fine and still includes nice lighting window textures, so the lighting is very good all over the scenery. WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided with the scenery, and over all they work very well including the hard situation of a taxi and turnaround on the end of RWY 29. But don't expect a lot of traffic here at PAKT as it is pretty quiet operations wise. Preview Notes I was actually pretty surprised by this PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio as it is really very good, even excellent. Quality and detail is very through and there is a lot in this scenery to consider it's worth. And plus Ketchikan as in it's position is a pretty important airport for not only recreating the "Milk Run", but for a base to cover and explore this excellent "Inside Passage" area, as it is a bush pilot, and regional service supreme flying area. There is a lot of excellent work in here, and to say that NorthernSkyStudio is a developer to watch in delivering quality scenery, but there is the odd fumble in here that needs to be watched, but overall from them this is an excellent release. Positives: Great modeling with a very difficult X-Plane terrain (mesh) to recreate. All airport scenery is absolutely top notch, and night lighting is first rate, detail is excellent with the terminal and ferry ramp and ground clutter is branded and well recreated in detail. Negatives: Ketchikan Port feels like a bit of a left over from the main airport scenery, and feels a little half finished, no shipping is a big visual emptiness that shouldn't be? Signage is out of scale to the airport, looks odd at night and the single airbridge is only static. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska Price is US$25.00 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Review version : 1.0 (August 6th 2018) Download Size: 1gb : Install Size 2.29gb Installation is the airport folder must be set above the "terrain" mesh in the .INI order PAKT_Northern_Sky_Studio (2.25gb) PAKT_Terrain_Northern_Sky_Studio (35.80mb) There is optional 2K textures if you run a lower powered computer, but to be honest they are not really needed as there is really nothing around PAKT to overuse your processors, running 4K textures my framerate was well within the 40's to 50's Extras and Documents: Manual in txt PAKT Installation manual ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 13th August 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25r2 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research