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Aircraft Review : E-Jets Family by X-Crafts
Stephen posted a topic in Airliners ReviewsAircraft Review : E-Jets Family by X-Crafts Over the last decade of doing Flight Simulation reviewing for the X-Plane Simulator, you are are noticing the consistent changes. Also the birth of new developers, and losing a few as well. A lot of newcomers come in with a lot of enthusiasm, but you need more than gusto in creating projects for the Simulator. X-Plane was built for the enthusiast, the twidder, but to go professional or to create payware projects, then that is a gradation of another few levels again. Sadly the one-man all-rounder developer are now basically extinct, they just can't cover all the aspects required to create modern-day sophisticated aircraft, modeling, systems, animations, performance and product support. It requires a team, usually three with different skills to create the complex Simulations you fly. And that is the point, the necessary huge leap today for simulation, in not only the ultra detailing, the depth of systems, and the extremes of aircraft performance, as all talents are required to mirror their real world counterparts. Which brings us to X-Crafts. The developers first came into X-Plane in August 2014 with their first release aircraft E 175 LR: Aircraft Review : Embraer E 195 LR by X-Crafts, then the smaller E 175 on December 5, 2015. The "WOW" effect was obvious with X-Crafts first release (E 195 LR), in modeling terms the aircraft and features were exceptional for the time (yes all the way back to X-Plane 10). But the aircraft was still based on the X-Plane "PlaneMaker" default systems and tools. The version v2 of both E aircraft moved to the Tekton FMC by Steve Wilson. This was Hybrid system between the X-Plane default FMC, to make it perform like a custom FMC. The idea was clever, but with the underlying issues of the way the default FMS worked, the Tekton systemm was difficult to use, mostly when editing routes, or setting the departure or arrival procedures, personally I never gelled with it, and I hate fussy ways of doing things that are not authentic, but to give a lot of points to Steve Wilson for trying. So you can see the dilemma of X-Crafts earlier products, great visuals, features and modeling, but hampered overall by their default X-Plane systems. You can now try these aircraft out for free here, as they with this new E-Family have now been retired to Freeware. But note Version 2.5 is the final version, as there will not be any more updates. Let us first though explain the type numbering on E-Jets from Embraer of Brazil. There are actually two categories of E-Jets. The first is the "ERJ" Family with the rear fuselage mounted engines and high T-Tail configuration, the Family has ERJ 135 - ERJ 140 - ERJ 145 - ERJ 145 XR aircraft in this low number category. The "E" Family has the higher numbers... E 170 - E 175 - E 190 - E 195 and these aircraft are recognised by the two engines on the wing, and normal rear elevator configuration. The E-Jets Family noted here in this release are the second category of aircraft of the two families, there is also the new E Jet (New Generation) E2, with the same E 175-E2, E 190-E2 and E195-E2 types, but those aircraft are not yet relevant, bit like Airbus CEO and NEO engine options. Here is the line up of E Jets from X-Crafts... E 170 E 175 E 190 E 195 Any single type is priced at US$74.95, or all four for US$134.95 as a package, a bonus aircraft to be released in the future is the E 190 Lineage Business Jet. This aircraft will be free for purchasers of the 4 aircraft package, and the usual US$74.95 a singular purchase. The "Lineage" will have a custom private jet interior, hence the delay. Notes have been made that previous purchasers of the E Jet v2 (X-Plane 11) will have a discount (15%) towards the new X-Plane 12 upgrade here Modeling and detail quality My first reaction to the purchase price was a bit of a shock, the earlier (X-Plane 11) E Jets from X-Crafts were priced around the US$40 mark, and an increase of almost twice the price to the X-Plane 12 version is a big step, and also a step up into the big time, so there is a lot to deliver at that price point... the point of this review is to establish if this aircraft is worthy of the higher price status. Modeling was never going to be an issue, as X-Crafts in my mind always earlier delivered exceptional modeling and detail for the money, they don't disappoint here either. Remember the benchmark is FlyJSim's exceptional Q4XP (Dash 8), priced at US$79.95, so there is a $5 lower margin here for the E Jet. I can't cover all four E Jets obviously, so I had to pick one, which one would be the most popular? hard to choose but my instincts say the biggest, the E 195, so that is my choice here. First impressions are "Wow" and more "Wow"... the quality is simply excellent. We are aware of how to grade detail, not by the big picture of the aircraft actually looking right (which it does from the start here), but to detail the minute work that shows on how much of the detailing has been done. Aircraft panel work and construction rivets are perfection, as are all the required pitot and probes, their own detail are all excellent, as is all the perfect (readable) warning text... ... more importantly is the shimmer on the metal, this shows a fuselage realism, not just a flat panel, you can feel and even see the realistic metal surface. Cabin windows are really well detailed, even internally, with great tinted glass and reflections. Cockpit windows are also perfection, with metal surrounds and twin (sizes) rows of different quality screws, the highly tinted glass is thick and has exceptional scuff wear and tear in the translucent surfaces, very high quality detail. The front left door looks quite flat, even painted on details, but that is far from the case. For as when you open the door to a nice red detailed handle, and activation flap... nice. (all doors including cargo are same detail) Wing detail is exceptional... wing form is excellent, perfect shape, note the nice cap wear (flare) detailing, metal leading edge is perfect. Inner wing root is exceptional, with all the different types of metal forms and perfect lighting housing, note the engine support strut detail. Obviously it is a modern clean wing, but it opens up to show the well detailed internal mechanism, not only on the airbrakes... .... but the highly detailed flap and leading edge mechanisms as well, which are all beautifully animated and work as required. To point out the inner movable flap tracks, set adjoining the fuselage, they adjust along with the flap movement, and a great detailed focus from the developers. Under-wing detail with access panels are all well covered, the wing is basically exactly like the real thing... High detail is also noted with the wingtip lighting assembly (note the bulb glass, and their metal holding wires) and the lovely flared winglets. I "really, really" love those red engine covers (separate toggle), so nicely done. All engines here are GE 34-8E-10 turbofan engines, rated at 82.29 kN (18,500 lbf). Both the engines and engine nacelles are supplied by General Electric. The engines are also equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Nacelle Pod design and shape is excellent, the 53 in (130 cm) fan is also nicely designed, but the internal inlet maul wear and tear is exceptional, best seen yet of a working in-service aircraft, reverser action and inner detail is also very good, and to note the modern chevrons around the exhaust cone, all in all the engines are really well done and authentic. Usually as a guide in the past to the depth of the modeling development is as always the landing gear. The Q4XP gear was exceptional, but maybe here we have gone a level higher in detail again, impossible you say, well the evidence is all here to be seen, extraordinary it is... ... presented is really a miniature reproduction of the landing gear, as so highly detailed this all is... all the links, hydraulic lines and pistons, cables and connectors, even the nut, bolts and washers are represented, and all are totally perfectly recreated, right down to the authentic servicing charts... it is altogether a big "Wow" factor. The main gear wheels are exposed (à la Boeing 737), so you have the option of on or off wheel covers, a tough choice because again the wheel rim detail (worn) is also so very good. Excellent tyres are "Bridgestones", why because I can read the supreme detail! Nosegear is the same ultra high level in detail as the main gear, nice wear and tear feel as well, nothing is misplaced or forgotten, but designed perfectly here. I could obviously go, on, on and on with the various minute detailing done here by X-Crafts, but in reality you would have to be extremely picky, or even plain weird to fault any of this work, it is exceptional modeling and detail, even the best in class. _______________ Menus There are three menus, two within the other. There is first a banner "E-Jets Family (Aircraft type)" menu. This has Four Sub-Menus; "Tech Support" (Internet Site), "FAQ" (internet Site), "EFB" (Electronic Flight Bag) and "Settings". EFB This EFB menu is both available from the drop down banner menu and inside the cockpit. This EFB menu will be split, in showing the external details first, then later with the internal selections. Notable is that (all) menus can be moved around the screen, scaled and can also made into a Window menu. Ground Services- The "Ground Services" Tab is for the four main doors, two cargo hold hatches, and "External Elements", consisting of a very nice GPU (Ground Power Unit) and a supply connection. Four Cones and Wheel Chocks (set together as Ground Objects), and those lovely Inlet Engine covers with the pitot/probe covers. SETTINGS There are two tab selections under Settings... "Utility" and "Sound". Overall considering, there is not a lot of selections as options for the E-Jets, my guess is that more settings will be added in later? Utility Tab - Setting options include; Direct Keyboard Entry Key - Weight Units (Kgs/Lbs) - Pause Top of Descent - Enable Verbose Logging (used for beta/testing) - Show Reflections - Show Easter Eggs - Enable realistic CDU input delay (Slower input reactions, for realism) - Use next gen avionics (toggles between the older style PRD (Primary Flight Display) called "Load 25" or the newer "Load 27" design) - Use (toggle) wheel covers, and only on the E-Jet 175 is the option - Use LR Winglets (use the standard or wide winglets like on the E2). Sound - Sound options include; Overspeed Warning - Cabin Announcements (Auto) - FMOD volume (Main Volume) - Engine Volume in Interior View (Internal cockpit sounds) and Direct Key Entry Volume (Tic-tac!) Cabin Internal cabin detail is very nice... cabin is in two classes, Business forward 2 + 1 and Economy 2 + 2 in the rear. Forward the business class seats are in that fake black soft patent leather, bulky and really well (realistically) designed, in the rear economy it is more of a modern vinyl with perforated inserts with hard shell backs, again all very realistic. Window panels are nicely done, but the window blinds are fixed, sometimes in the half or down position, not a big fan of that. Overhead detail is not too bad, the circles a bit ridgedy, but the detail is good. Even with the default liveries, the internal cabin fitouts and colours change with the different livery selection, their seems to be four, even one with a different economy seat design to mirror the Business class style. Both forward and rear galleys are excellent. Detail is deep and highly realistic, right down to the worn labels. Toilets however are not modeled... on the bulkhead (both galleys) are cabin lighting panels, which are active, we will look at them in the lighting section. E-Jet Cockpit The thing about X-Plane forward development, it sorts of creeps up on you. You are in thinking things are very similar, but in reality the level of quality is always in changing around you. That aspect is very evident here in the E-Jet cockpit. There is then that sort of line. the difference between modeled, and what you see in real life, that distinction... This barrier can only be overcome by insane detailing, covering every minute detail in detail, to get it all right, and that is what you get here, a very, very close reflection of real life, the ultimate goal of any simulator. We are all very familiar with the E-Jet cockpit and it's layouts. not only from the earlier X-Crafts E-Jets, but the SSG versions of the E-Jet as well... but this X-Plane 12 version feels different, not just the lighting, but in the overwhelming detail. Seats are perfection in detail. Both seats will track back and outer to the wall to let you get in, a favorite toy I like, also the armrests will not only go up, but fold in behind the backrest as well, very authentic in detail Seats are detailed in leather sides and heavy cloth inner are excellent in their ruffled worn feel, seat base construction and rails are also very well reproduced, I'm not going to over use the words here in authenticity, or realism in descriptions, but there is a total understanding that this is a very well thought out and highly detailed cockpit, certainly on par with the Q4XP, and that aircraft set a very high standard, if not the best in it's class. Pilots side wall detail is again very good, and your always looking for great ideas that work... Lovely (Concorde style) ram yokes are fully active with not only the usual electronic Trim Switches, AP (Autopilot) disconnect, PTT (Press To Talk), but also the Chrono (start/stop) button as well, you hide them (only both) by pressing on the central Embraer Logo. Back to the "toys"... window shades, yes they work, lovely... but no pull downs on the main windows? But wait? down to the side is a click-on shade for the front windows! When attached it will slide across, and also twist to your preference, impressed! Press down the lovely copper button on the side window handle and the window will fold back, yes another happy toy to play with, the small details are everywhere and amazing, note the Flap lever movement, excellent. Your seeing the detail in this cockpit by the working small details, it is all so very impressive. Since X-Plane 12.04. I found the external light far brighter, making cockpits even more darker, it's not too bad here, and the "look down" effect is well matched in... but don't hold me to it, that lighting aspect could change again with X-Plane 12.06 and .07... The earlier E-Jets by X-Crafts felt slightly (if very well) modeled, but this X-Plane 12 version feels lived in, and I think that accolade changes the definition of between the two versions, as you flow very well into the captains seat here, or the F/O's if you prefer the right hand seat. Avionics Both DC "Battery" switches on, and you are backup mode, or on one bus or the other. The aircraft has Integrated drive generators. Each IDG generates constant frequency AC power at 40kVA, 115V, 400Hz, 3-phase. But here I will use the GPU, for instant AC power to the systems. You can tell you are in backup mode as only half the systems come on line, then as the external AC power comes on, then all the systems come together bit by bit, everything is "Auto", even the INS alignment, which you know is active when the lower HSI "Rose" is created, it's fast aligning as well compared to 5-7 minute wait on a B737, or A320, maybe just over a minute. One thing you are aware of is once everything is on, is on how very vibrant and sharp the avionics are. In the past they were always slightly blurry, but not at all here... The aircraft uses the Honeywell Primus "Epic", Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) glass cockpit... ... and the instruments really stand out, no matter where you look at them from in the cockpit, beautiful horizon shades as well give the instruments a quality feel... As already noted you have the choice between "Load 25" or the newer "Load 27" Next Gen design PFD (Primary Flight Display), the differences are quite striking... like me 90% of you will say "Oh yeah, that one, I remember that version", because it is quite familiar. The three main displays PFD, MFD (Multi-Functional Display) and the EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System) all pop-out, but only on the pilot's left side, and they are all 3d static (floating) and can't be scaled, moved or made into a window. Lower HSI can be Full Heading mode (Rose) or ARC Mode. Three Tab options on the MFD include MAP - PLAN - SYSTEMS STATUS page is a MAP, TCAS or the VERTICAL PROFILE, of which we will delve more into later. Other System pages include; FLIGHT CONTROLS (Ctrl), HYDRAULICS, FUEL, ELECTRICAL, ECS (Environment) and ANTI-ICE. Instrument panel quality is simply "Stellar", yes I'm gushing, because it is all just so nicely done, worn screws and all the various screws that make up the assembly are all meticulously well done, you can spend hours admiring it all, under the (or behind) the panel is well finished off as well (cables) and worn rudder pedals, animated and so are the foot brakes..... note the filaments in the lighting. FMS - Flight Management System We have already talked about the hybrid Tekton FMC by Steve Wilson, and yes it is actually also available here as an option if you still prefer that original Tekton FMS System, as it is available on the banner menu, the aircraft does however require a reload and all your settings will go back to zero The "Authentic" FMS is well... authentic, so there is the need to understand it's fundamentals. Basically all FMS System do the same principles, in Departure (SIDs), route and Arrival (STAR,Transitions) details, but it's in the way each FMS system is interpreted, or it's quirks that usually need the focus and understanding... that is certainly the case here, as it can look on the surface complicated, it's not, so you still have to dig to get it programmed correctly. I will say from the start, I found a few bugs (double waypoint entries), but overall once understood, it is fine to use. X-Craft's are putting out video tutorials to help with the programming, reading through the tutorials is a good idea as well. The FMS System is a sort of "Semi-Independent" set up, Yes both sides of the FMS panel can be independently accessed by each flying pilot, but you can only program or interact with the left side FMS panel, which pops out for ease of use (you can window and scale it is well). Several notes while programming... pressing the lower "Scratch Pad" zone, will put you into the direct (Keyboard) input action, a Blue circle O top left shows you are in that mode, press the scratch pad zone again to go back to normal. If using a FMS Route (X-Plane default fms plans), then it is accessed via the FPL (KL6) list. Or manually via RTE (Route). The route is built via (DIRECT or AIRWAYS) that can be accessed by the two "PREV" or "NEXT" keys on the RTE page. For any inputs or changes you are in "MOD" or Modification mode, and those areas affected are shown in Blue, when activated then they turn Green, the same with the route... dots will show intended route, a hard white line shows activated route. DEPARTURE and ARRIVAL selections are found on the "NAV" page. Here I have no SID departure, just a DIRECT to the required waypoint (VERSO). ARRIVAL at LGAV (Athens) is via RWY 03R with the DDM.ILS approach, with again no STAR. You APPLY to activate. That is the route completed, but to add in more FMS data, we need to go back to the EFB.... EFB (Electronic Flight Bags) There are two internal sited EFB (Electronic Flight Bags) on each side window, press the plate for the EFB to appear. We have covered the earlier "Ground Services", but there are five more menu options; Weight & Balance, Takeoff Perf, Landing Perf, Checklists and AviTab (Avitab plugin required). Weight & Balance - Like with all current trends, the X-Craft's E-Jet uses the Navigraph "SimBrief" to load in the aircraft's "PERF", performance data, so you have to add in your SimBrief Pilot ID number to get access... there is of course the "Manual" version if you wish to use that. A small note... make sure you set your choice of weight (LBS or Kgs) in the SETTINGS before you proceed further, not to do so will wipe all your hard work, if you choose to change weights at a later time. Accessing SimBrief will bring up your current Briefing (LEBL - LGAV), and you load it into the EFB via the "View Loadsheet" button. This gives you your full loadsheet (Passenger and Cargo), Weights and CGs (Centre of Gravity). It is important to remember your TO CG, ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight) and GROSS WT (Weight) This Perf Data is inserted in the FMS on the PERFORMANCE INIT-LB page (2)... Filling in the "Perf Data" also then activates the "Vert Prof" (Vertical Profile) of your flightplan. This is shown in the lower section of the MFD, and in blue on the right side of your ACTIVE FLT PLAN. A feature of the FMS from X-Craft's are the vertical altitude limits at certain waypoints, here shown descending into Athens, the height Limit number is Underlined for reference. It's impressive, but also a bit complex to set up initially. Takeoff Perf - can be calculated by inserting the Wind, Temp and QNH of the departure airport, then pressing "COMPUTE". Landing Perf - can be calculated again by inserting the Wind, Temp and QNH of the departure airport, then pressing "COMPUTE". There is the option to "Send to FMS" both vSpeed datas, but I found they didn't work and had to fill in all the data manually? Checklists - are quite basic in interaction and detail, as there is no "Check off" as you go through the lists, there are sixteen categories. AviTab - The EFB also still has the usual AviTab functions, and Chartfox/Navigraph (Navigraph requires a monthly subscription for use, but ChartFox is donation based. The EFB can also in the AviTab mode be rotated from the horizontal to the vertical position. _____________ Flying the E Jets Family E-195 These E-Jet aircraft are built to be simple efficient short haul transports, the original Boeing 737 of today. So everything is pared back, from the very clean OHP to their systems intergration. Services need to be quick with efficient airport turnarounds, just to keep to the daily cycles... in fact these E-Jets are the real Airbuses of the world. They came out of lengthening Private Jets to carry passengers, then morphed into small regional Jets. On start up you get a welcome from X-Crafts and the current aircraft version number. Very first timers get a "Help" page directing you to the X-Crafts (web)site for any Q&A questions. All very professional. With the Navigation and Performance settings loaded, we are ready for flight... How Easy? Just turn a switch... There are two (one for each engine) STOP - RUN - START switches set above the throttles under a plastic protection cover. First to RUN, then to START... and that is it. There are no Bleeds to set, no Electrical routes to change, not even as the N1 pressure starts to rise, do you have to go and switch on the FF or Fuel Flow, it is all just AUTO, in it is Automatic and does everything for you.... ... Once both engines are running at idle (around 528 N2), then just close the switch covers. Again there is no system reconfiguration, (Bleeds, Electrical) is again not required, it just configures the systems automatically, easier than starting a car. I'm listening around, but I can't hear any sounds? my ear is listening upwards... nope nothing? We noted the sounds on the SETTING menu earlier, I find the sounds are all set to zero with this first flight? so you will need to adjust that first before starting the aircraft, 50% on all sliders is recommended... Engines obviously have full FADAC (Full Authority Digital Engine (or electronics) Control) that does the seemless (meaning perfect) engine start and preconditioned idle settings... everything is just so easy. On start up (now I could hear the sounds), the second engine start procedure could easily be heard, now running the CF34-10E sounds excellent, they are very unlike the usual CFM56-5 on a A320, very different whine and feel. Not to say it is not good, as the sounds are "best in class", meaning excellent with FMOD(2) and recorded from the real E-Jets. I'm impressed, very impressed. Pre-flight gymnastics means we are ready to go... "yes I'm excited". Like on the Airbus there is a T/O CONFIG (check if the aircraft is in a flying state), it tells me "Trim"... so I have to configure the "Pitch Trim" 2.6UP trim setting found in the Takeoff Prefs... then I get the "all clear". (brakes, doors... ect, will have the same aural warnings) With 52,000 TOW (TakeOff Weight), once the brakes are released you easily crawl forward, touch of power and your moving forwards. There are still in this v1.0 release version a few bugs... one is the throttles. If using a third party throttle (I use the Saitek X56), the throttle levers still move as one? and not individually, however the engine readout for each separate throttle lever movement is fine? Another issue is the Tiller, the nosewheel works fine with the Joystick yaw movement, but the Tiller wheel does not move? Manual movement of the Tiller is not great either? I enter Barcelona's Rwy 20 for departure... Power up to TO-2 Takeoff thrust setting, and you move... then move. I like the feel of the building of the speed, really realistic, weight also feels perfect for the loading up of the controls. 143 knts + 10... and rotate, and the E-195 climbs out cleanly, "Positive Climb". Up the gear, and the sensational detail is still "blowing your mind", as it retracts up into the belly, has there ever been detail this good before? It is so impressive. Once clear of the Rwy 20, you have to bank hard left to keep to the route direction, this was the first time of now being in flying control of the aircraft, feeling the machine, using your skills... I really liked what I found, the E-Jet is excellent in directional control and pitch, completing easily the tight manouvour with ease.... this relaxed me a little as I knew it was going to be a nice aircraft to fly. As you do, you manouvour the controls, left.. right, pitch slightly back, then forwards and feel the boundaries of the controls... nice, feels VERY nice, then follow the Flight Director commands to get the machine aligned correctly on course. I will admit I wasn't the biggest fan of the earlier X-Crafts E-Jets or SSGs, I just never really gelled with them in the personal flying sense, the X-Crafts ERJs I really liked... but this new aircraft is leaps and bounds forwards in every area, it has a real quality to everything, everything that was missing earlier. One area though that needs something is the backlighting? The glareshield "Guidance" panel is extremely hard to read, dark and you can't make out each, if any of the knobs or controls. No the activation lights DO NOT WORK, and just because they are there does not not mean they work... But this is a very hard panel to work with and mistakes are and can easily made in picking the wrong knob controller, worse is the FPA knob between the Altitude and V/S (Vertical Speed) knobs, you always pick the wrong one in the dark.... so your head is in the monitor screen trying to read the details... too hard? In the air the E Jet is simply excellent, there is a glow about the aircraft that makes it stand out on your screen, a realistic glow, but also a very X-Plane 12 "New" feel about everything... the aircraft is probably the first matured "Real" conceived aircraft for X-Plane 12 (not a X-Plane 11 conversion)... and it looks and feels different from that aspect. Now at altitude, then out come the "Toys"... When done correctly the blinds are now essential with the glare in the X-Plane 12 cockpit, here they are simply excellent, highly realistic. There is also a drop down (well turn over) "Jump" seat in front of the cockpit door, that can be used... ... cabin views are exceptional, your usual view when on an aircraft, like really being up there, which is the general idea of a flight simulator... "But this is really good!". Lighting As expected the lighting is also very good on the X-Crafts E-Jet Family. but there is a slight worry (issue). In the pristine darkness the panels look gorgeous, there is a full adjustment on the displays, and even the (Secondary) FLOOD/STORM knob that adjusts the panel downlighting, its BRIGHT, but can also be adjusted down to your perfect feel... MAIN PNL, OVHD PNL and PEDESTAL all have adjustments, and dark the backlighting (text) is fine, but even with full adjustment are all easily too dark in any brighter light. There are side CHART lights, nice, and a DOME set of lights rear roof cockpit (Which are really the FULL STORM lights). The cabin has a full lighting system... basically Front and Rear Galleys, Roof and cabin sidewall lighting. All the cabin lighting is controlled by a wall management panel, there is one forward, and another one set in the rear galley as well. Each section has four lighting modes (Dims) Off, Dim, Bright and Brighter. First SIDEWALL. ... now ROOF lighting. GALLEY FORWARD. GALLEY AFT. All the No Smoking and Seat Belt signs work, as does the Sterile cockpit. But you only get these effects in the Semi to dark situations, almost all the lighting, cabin/galley and warning lights except the EMERG EXIT signs are all null and void in the normal day light, so a common theme here, great if perfect lighting in the dark, but non-visible in the day light? This maybe a X-Plane 12 issue more than a developer issue here, as a lot of developers are struggling with internal lighting effects... from day one X-Plane 12 has had its "Black hole" daylight problems, we will see. But in the night conditions the lighting is overall excellent, even the Cargo holds are nicely illuminated. External lighting is also very, very good... There is NOSE, SIDE (Taxiway) INSP (Wing/Ice) and LOGO... Landing lights are LEFT - NOSE - RIGHT. In the air, there are the Navigation, Strobe and a Red Beacon lights. All all looks brilliant, and the Tail lighting is very nice. Because of the highly adjustable cabin lighting, there is no "Cruise Ship" look (unless you have the lighting all on FULL settings), fuselage INSP lights up the engines nicely, and the view from the internal is excellent. This release is called the "Family", so it is hard to choose which is the best aircraft for a given route. Mostly it is seating capacity, but range is a consideration as well. Seating is ... E170 E175 E190 E195 Single class seats - 72@32" 78@30-33" 8@32" - 88@29" 100@31/32" - 114@29/30” 116@31/32" - 124@29-31" Dual class seats - 66 (6F@40", 60Y@32") 76 (12F@36", 64Y@31") 96 (8F@38", 88@31") 100 (12F@42", 88Y@33") Performance The E170/E175 uses the GE CF34-8E 14,200 lbf (63 kN), and the E190/E195 uses the GE CF34-10E 20,000 lbf (89 kN) thrust. Max. speed / ceilingMach .82 (470 kn; 871 km/h; 541 mph) @ 41,000 ft (12,000 m), CruiseMach .75 (430 kn; 797 km/h; 495 mph)Mach .78 (447 kn; 829 km/h; 515 mph), and the ranges are E170 2,150nmi / 3,982 km, E175 2,200nmi / 4,074 km E190 2,450nmi / 4,537 km, E195 2,300nmi / 4,260 km. The E195 carries the most passengers, but the E190 has the best power and range overall of the fleet.... your choice! As I near the Greek coast your in that late flight dream phase, in tune with the aircraft and the surrounding sounds, yes still extremely impressive, that GE whine is comforting, and move around inside the aircraft and you feel the differences of the 3d sounds, from the quieter cockpit to the rear of the cabin. I had to adjust the sounds to what I liked best, both with the Menu sounds and the default X-Plane sound panel, but the results are worth it. PROGESS page on the FMS is impressive as well, a lot of data, and very colourful compared to an Airbus Thales system, but original to the aircraft, with Waypoints, Distance, Winds and Current outside Temp all represented. I will clear up a misconception. The X-Crafts E Jet Family will be available for MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020). But the version is not what you think... With the MSFS version X-Crafts are only providing the modeling (models), nothing else. A separate development group will do the rest. So is it an X-Crafts product, sort of, but not really. X-Crafts note "3D visuals only, but they are not responsible for the systems, FMS, avionics, flight model, EFB, sounds or any other aspect of the MSFS version". The X-Plane 11/12 version is however fully 100% X-Craft's and so are the X-Plane 12 features that make it really stand out as seen here... it would however be an interesting comparison of the same aircraft on the two platforms. Athen's Eleftherios Venizelos beckons and I turn to final in STAR NEME2C to line up with LGAV/03R, the E-195 is a very nice stable aircraft on approach. Now I'm coming into the zone of altitude restrictions, they come up (red) on the flightplan in the "Vert Prof" (Vertical Profile) of your flightplan. The same altitude restrictions are also shown in (red) top right of your PFD, you are very impressed by the sheer amount of data presented on the PFD to help you navigate this prime period of aircraft interaction, it could could across initially as confusing, so study of all the FLIGHT MODE ANNUNCIATION DISPLAY (FMA) functions are required. Approach speeds are 195 kts at Flap 2, then down to 144 knts Flap 5, finally as low as 127 knts at FULL Flap. Everything is very nice and easy. I had expected an "Auto Flare", but didn't get one? the result was a hard bang down as the gear contracted... it is a very long soft contracting gear, then it all goes up rebounding the other way, the amount of movement in the reflex surprised me, so you will have to be well aware of getting the flare right and to do softer absorbing touchdowns. But what I really liked was the realism of it all, you feel all the struts and hydraulics working away under you. The days have gone after those earlier stick like X-Plane 9 landing gear, with no give or retraction.... we have come a long way in realism, not only in feel but the visual action as well. Engine reverse is interesting... back to idle, then the levers full back to reverse, but if using the "Toggle thrust reversers" command, you do the opposite, click to toggle then push the throttles forward to add the thrust, you get used to it... There is no "Arm" the spoilers either, they activate automatically, as long as there is weight on the wheels to signal that the aircraft is on the ground, and wheel speed is above 25 kts... once again below 25 knts they retract. Dance on the toe-brakes and your soon back at taxi speed... lovely. Detail again is outstanding in action. Liveries All packages come with eight liveries, all very high 4K quality, painter liveries are already available here; E-Jets Family by X-Crafts | Liveries Delta operated by SkyWest Alaska operated by Horizon United Express operated by Mesa American Eagle operated by Republic JetBlue Austrian KLM CityHopper Clean White There is the clear (paint) livery, and the coming "Lineage 1000" livery Private Jet ______________ Summary Ever since with their first release aircraft E 175 LR in X-Plane, August 2014. X-Crafts has had astounding quality modeling and detail. Only that their earlier aircraft were however based on PlaneMaker fundamentals. It showed and even the clever ideas of the Tekton FMC by Steve Wilson, could neither get their aircraft around the default limitations. The Release of their ERJ Family in 2019, was a major step in the right direction, but they still had the same default FMS and optional Tekton systems. So X-Crafts became known of being excellent developers, but their aircraft came only with basic (if clever) X-Plane systems and avionics. For X-Plane 12 (an X-Plane 11 version is available for 12 months) here is the brand new "E-Jet" Embrarer Family of the Embraer E170, Embraer E175, Embraer E190, and Embraer E195, with the private jet version Embraer "Lineage 1000" with a custom interior coming free later for the full package purchasers. The astounding quality of the aircraft here hits you in the face, this is "Top Notch" category that matches the class leader in FlyJSim's Q4XP Dash 8 aircraft, but there is also that "New Gen" feel of the quality and detail that gives this series the signal that it was created and designed for the future, or X-Plane 12, and it is not a conversion aircraft of the past. In truth this is the first (in this high-level category) of a pure X-Plane 12 release, and you see and feel it. There is a huge amount to like here; excellent modeling and detail, great functionality, great lighting, and the highlight is the fully custom FMS system that for once is not based on a X-Plane baseline, so the whole E-Jet aircraft is finally a custom machine... that is a really big step forward for X-Crafts. Menus are excellent (Two; Banner and EFB), and interact (W&B, Takeoff/Landing Perf) with the FMS to load in SimBrief profiles (not routes though), and the depth and quality of the FMS system is excellent. Independent Modules can be accessed by both both pilots, however they can only be programmed by the left side pilot, but its good overall, and highly detailed authentic. Sounds are first class for the category, on the ground and in flight, sonically everything is excellent. All doors open, and there are some nice static elements in chocks, cones and an external GPU. Flying dynamics are excellent by X-Aerodynamics (sixteen pilots were used for testing), so the flight modeling is totally solid and highly realistic. There are bugs, but for a new aircraft not at all profuse at this stage, issues with third party addons (Throttles and Joysticks), and a non-connection to the Tiller are very small annoyances, lighting is unusual. Excellent night lighting, is in contradiction to the various daylight lighting being blanked out? an X-Plane 12 issue? The Guidance Panel is impossible to see the daylight, and to use with no backlighting, so are a lot of the blank daytime lighting elements (Cabin signs/lights). Its odd, but I don't think it is developer issue. Every thing here with the E Jet Family from X-crafts comes down to price. The packages are set in the high quality category, a single aircraft version is priced only US$5 lower than the category leader the FlyJSim Q4XP, the full five aircraft package (the lineage coming later) is US$134.95, yes that is expensive. For the past purchaser of the X-Plane 11 v2 version, the new purchase gets a 15% discount, if you upgrade later to the full package, then there is a 50% discount, the best deal is 15% off the full package if you are a previous owner, still a big investment, and one that runs the full life of the X-Plane 12 version. That price may have been a problem, at being just under double of the old one. But you just can't compare the two eras. This X-Plane 12 E-Jet family is certainly very much placed in the upper category, as it delivers on every level of a professional level, in quality, it even maybe now be the quality leader in X-Plane... and that is a big statement to say it is the best modeled, and the best quality aircraft in this category, even in areas better than the Q4XP! In every other niche it delivers, so in reality you get what you pay for, and you won't be disappointed here either... So here is the future of X-Plane 12 aircraft, another new level and a step forward for the simulator into that high quality class, the word here is astounding... enjoy. _____________________ Yes! the Embraer E-Jets Family by X-Crafts is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-Jets by X-Crafts Price per single aircraft is US$74.95 Embraer E170 by X-Crafts Embraer E175 by X-Crafts Embraer E190 by X-Crafts Embraer E190 by X-Crafts Purchasers of the E-Jet v2 (X-Plane 11) can get this new XP12 version with a 15% discount Embraer E-Jets Family by X-Crafts Price for the FULL E-Jet Package is US$134.95 Includes every E-Type | E170 | E175 | E190 | E195 Plus + Linaeage 1000 Private jet (When Released) Purchasers of the E-Jet v2 (X-Plane 11) can get this new XP12 version package with a 15% discount Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 The first few initial updates will still be X-Plane 11 compatible, however, 6 months after the release, the X-Plane 11 version will be final and development will continue only on the X-Plane 12 version. Windows, MAC or Linux - 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: v1.0 for X-Plane 12/11 (May 10th 2023) Download (Package) installed is; 5.56GB. The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder. Designed by X-Crafts Support forum for XCrafts Documentation There is excellent full coverage documentation and built in checklists, including; E-Jets Family by X-Crafts - User Manual _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 12th May 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.04r3 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - LEBL - Barcelona XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.99 - Barcelona City by Logo Projects - (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95 - LGAV - FlyTampa - Athens (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$28.00 (Disclaimer. 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