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Aircraft Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate
Stephen posted a topic in Airliners ReviewsAircraft Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate Although created as passenger variant, the MD-11's biggest claim to fame or it's success is via it's continuing Cargo functionality. The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 came into being with a huge legacy haunting over the aircraft. The MD-11 is of course a derivative of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The culture within McDonnell Douglas towards the end of the reign of James Smith "Mac" McDonnell, moved away from their famous engineering prowess to being lead by sales and profit. This resulted in the cost savings on the design of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Series. As of September 2015, the DC-10 had been involved in 55 accidents and incidents, including 32 hull-loss accidents, with 1,261 occupant fatalities, The most ill-famed was the Turkish Airlines Fl 981 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 who operating the flight crashed into the Ermenonville Forest, outside Paris, killing all 346 people on board. The crash was also known as the Ermenonville air disaster. Flight 981 was the deadliest plane crash in aviation history until 27 March 1977 (Tenerife). The cause in the failure of the crash occurred when an incorrectly secured cargo door at the rear of the plane burst open and broke off, causing an explosive decompression that severed the critical cables necessary to control the aircraft. To maximize the working space within the cargo hold, the cargo doors opened outwards, making them vulnerable to being forced open at high altitudes under normal in-flight pressure. To prevent this, a special latching system was used that locked shut the doors under pressure when properly closed. To ensure the latches were properly positioned, a handle rotated on the outside of the door pressed small metal pins into the latches; if the latches were in an improper location the pins would not align and the handle would not close. In truth the problem haunted the aircraft for the rest of it's service life. Oddly the same culture at McDonnell Douglas then caused it to be merged with Boeing under the stewardship of Harry Stonecipher. And again the same noxious McDonnell Douglas culture of putting sales, profits and shareholders before engineering proffered deep into Boeing as well. And those aspects resulted lately with the costly issues of the 787 Dreamliner, the late development of the new 777X and the disaster of the Boeing 737 MAX program. In the middle of all this, was the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, and yet somehow the aircraft thrived and returned good service, to be basically to be seen now as the classic three engined aircraft of the period. If even spacing between the eras of the four-engined (B707/B747/A340) to the big-twins (B777, A350, B787). McDonnell Douglas had started to search for a DC-10 derivative as early as 1976. Two versions were considered then; a DC-10-10 with a fuselage stretch of 40 feet (12 m) and a DC-10-30 stretched by 30 feet (9.1 m). The latter version would have been capable of transporting up to 340 passengers in a multi-class configuration, or 277 passengers and their luggage over 5,300 nautical miles (9,800 km). At the same time, the manufacturer was seeking to reduce wing and engine drag on the trijet. Another version of the aircraft was also envisaged, the "DC-10 global", aimed to counter the risks of loss of orders for the DC-10-30 that the Boeing 747SP and its range were causing. The DC-10 global would have incorporated more fuel tanks. McDonnell Douglas was still convinced that a new derivative for the DC-10 was needed, as shown by the second-hand market for their Series 30 and the heavier DC-10-30ER version. Thus, in 1984 a new derivative aircraft version of the DC-10 was designated MD-11. From the very beginning, the MD-11X was conceived in two different versions. The MD-11X-10, based on a DC-10-30 airframe, offered a range of 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km) with passengers. That first version would have had a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 580,000 pounds (260,000 kg) and would have used CF6-80C2 or PW4000 engines. The MD-11X-20 was to have a longer fuselage, accommodating up to 331 passengers in a mixed-class layout, and a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km). On December 30, 1986, McDonnell Douglas launched the MD-11 with commitments for 52 firm orders and 40 options in three different versions (passenger, combi and freighter) from ten airlines (Alitalia, British Caledonian, Dragonair, Federal Express, Finnair, Korean Air, Scandinavian Airlines, Swissair, Thai Airways International, and VARIG) and two leasing companies (Guinness Peat Aviation and Mitsui). Orders from Dragonair, Scandinavian and UTA, and an undisclosed customer were canceled by 1988. The MD-11 however failed to meet its range and fuel burn targets. The last of the 200 aircraft was built in October 2000 after Boeing merged with MDC in 1997. Some early MD-11F freighters were built, but most of the MD-11's still flying are now mostly all converted early MD-11 passenger aircraft. The aircraft in this guise is a very attractive proposition to cargo operators, When compared to a 777F, the MD-11 can only be able to carry 81% of the same load capacity (534 vs. 653 cubic meters). However, the latter would also end up being far cheaper aircraft to purchase (even with the conversion costs) and more readily available when compared to the newer 777F. Currently Federal Express still fly 57 MD-11s, including "Jim Riedmeyer" the first MD-11 Built (48401 LN:447, First Flight 01/03/1990). Rotate MD-11 We are all very familiar with the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 from Rotate. Released on 9th Dec 2015, the MD-80 had a troubled introduction into the X-Plane Simulator. Top of the list was that Rotate as a developer back then was very green, add in also they being extremely ambitious in delivering such a complex airliner at the very first go. What did impress though was the speed and the sheer number of updates that followed in the next year (2016) to sort out the complex details and bugs. This is the sign of a good developer, with the excellent backup service and righting of the wrongs quickly.... By version v1.1 X-PlaneReviews picked up the aircraft in a state worth reviewing; Aircraft Update : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.1 by Rotate (XPR did do a release preview also worth looking at). Over the years the MD-80 updates still came in thick and fast, and the aircraft is certainly in a very stable if now a slightly dated machine state. I put the Rotate MD-80 as one of my top ten aircraft, even as high as the fourth best. Yes it still has a few oddities in it's behavior, but as a simulation it is one of the most rewarding best. So how do you follow up that aircraft. Well with the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, or the bigger brother of the MD-90 Series. The aircraft has also been in development for four long years, and in context that is a very long development cycle... putting two and two together and your expectations are going to go through the roof... you are expecting a lot, and even far more than the MD-80 this time around. The result however is what I call interesting. Clarification: This review of the Rotate MD-11 was created under the Rotate Beta program, and not under a RC (Release Candidate), or release version of the aircraft, so there could be changes or even slight difference between this provided version and the final official aircraft, on current check of the latest beta version, I found there was no significant differences in the features or details provided here. The release version is the Cargo variant, which considering the very few MD-11 passenger versions flying around, it is the aircraft you would really desire anyway. There are no current notes from Rotate on if the passenger version will be developed, but on the original announcement Rotate said "It is planed (sic) to be distributed in both cargo and passengers flavors, and Rotate confirmed the passenger variant is still under consideration". When the Rotate MD-80 was released those fair few years ago. The aircraft had a very distinctive style. I called it "Ultra Realism", but a lot of users didn't like it, calling it overdone... but I simply adored it, and I still do. So would the MD-11 follow the same "Ultra Realism" route? Well it does, and again I totally and absolutely love it. Is the MD-11 an attractive aircraft? "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". My angle is that "Form follows Function", and the MD-11 (DC-10) was created inside out, as the internals dictated what the external look and feel is all about, including mounting that centre middle engine way high above the tail, and the weight distribution that went with that configuration. One thing is very clear though, is that the MD-11 has a very unique presence, a different style and it is a very big aircraft. So the aircraft does create a very big footprint in the simulator, and that aspect then does also create the fear of the MD-11 being a framerate killer. I never seen or even feel that aspect at all here, as the Felis Boeing 742 released last year, as it was in being the same large footprint aircraft that certainly did push those boundaries very hard, if over them, but I certainly don't get the same feeling here at all, but then I'm not greedy with my graphic settings either, and I am also flying on an average system... my feeling is, if I can fly it well with no framerate intrusions then so should you. If you can't then it may be time to upgrade your computer specifications. Rotate aircraft promote the "wear and tear" or hard worked "in it's life" style of design. And not only is the whole intricate detail available here, but it is tired and worn as it should be... so that "Ultra Realism" is very apparent here. The MD-80 is like mentioned is a few years old now, and this sort of approach could be actually now deemed as old fashioned, but it is totally not... as it is perfect. A "walkaround" here turns into a journey of detail, a feast for the eyes, and you will never tire of looking at this aircraft. As there is always something new to discover and absorb. If you are a detail and texture junkie, then this MD-11 will put you in hospital with an obsessive overload. Every access plate, rib, panel are all here to explore, it is all incredible stuff, and in an age of simulation of incredible stuff to feast on. Engines mounted are three General Electric CF6-80C2D1F high-bypass turbofan engines, the same that is on the Boeing 747, rated at 52,200–61,960 lbf. The engine pod design is excellent as is the chrome inlet surround, inner fan and spinner. But the real "gobsmacking" detail is the outlet, note that amazing cooper cone, all the wear feel is realism 101, or even 150%, it is all just so good. The iconic DC10/MD11 tail arrangement is also excellent. Detail is incredible, again the outlet cone steals the show... It is quite scary on how far back the GE CF6 is mounted in the tail section. There is a very long inlet to the fan section, and the rear cone and bottom section are also hinged down to remove the engine from the aircraft. If there was not enough weight back here, then why not add in another jet engine, a small one mind you in the APU unit, lower tail. Note the huge APU exhaust outlet, again extremely well done. In reality there isn't much glass in the MD-11. The front cockpit windows are clear. I would have expected a green tint? maybe later in the options? Otherwise the window frames are excellent, with tons of detail and realism. This is a converted passenger aircraft to a freighter. So some great detail from Rotate are the window plugs along the fuselage, and they look really good and realistic in the shaping of the panels. two windows (per side) are left in for wing visual inspection, again highly realistic in detail. Like the DC-10, the MD-11 has a three bogie rear and a nosewheel unit for the landing gear arrangement. A lot of developers model and detail the gear assemblies very well, but they leave them clean, nice but not what you call realistic... here Rotate has done the "dirty" so to speak with not only the full assembly construction, links, hubs and supports and what have you, but covered them all in grime and brake dust... perfection, yes it all is. All the hydraulic lines are there as is also the nice tyre construction with great tyre highlighted detail. Middle support twin bogie is again brilliantly detailed, but the central hull placement means most of the internal section is hidden, very well done though again in quality and grubby detail. Nosegear is also highly detailed and authentic in detail. Here you can see right up into the gear bay, and the great detail is also noted internally... All linkages and assemblies are all highly modeled and detailed, The taxi and landing lights are positioned up very high on the struts on the MD-11. All the gear animations are first rate (and magnificent to watch) and note the forward gear doors that are connected directly to the nosegear struts. So all the external aspects are excellent, and certainly meets the high demands of the high quality we expect from Simulation today, in this aspect you certainly won't be disappointed. MENU The MD-80 didn't have detailed menus, well sort of. There was the Manual you opened that had a two page Fuel & Load and Ground Operations set of options, and the doors could be opened via the banner menu as well. With the MD-11 there is a dropdown X-Plane Banner Menu (Plugins) with two selections; AIRCRAFT MENU and ABOUT. AIRCRAFT MENU; has four tabs... Options, Load Manager, Ground Operations and Failures. ABOUT; Is the aircraft Version Number and Rotate Credits. OPTIONS; This is the aircraft Options page with Seven option choices; - Show Ambient temperatures In Celsius - Show Weight data in Kilograms (Or Lbs) - Show Fluid quantity in Litres (or Gallons) - Reduce IRU align time to 30 seconds (align now) - Default to HPa Barometer setting - Synchronise barometer setting Co-Pilot side - Use 8.33KHz spacing in VHF Radios Lower is the choice to; "Perform Maintenance tasks to all systems", and to note to "Save Options" choices bottom. Situations; Right side has five start "Situations"; - Cold & Dark - Parked with external power - Ready to start engines - Ready to taxi - Ready for departure All selections are very good, but there is no "Turnaround" option which is interesting. LOAD MANAGER; This is your aircraft set up page for Payload and CG (Centre of Gravity/%MAC) and Fuel Quantities, Weight & Balance and Total Weights. Top is the Total Payload and Payload CG settings in KG (Lbs) and %MAC. Then the Fuel Quantities in; Takeoff Fuel, Taxi Fuel, Ballast Tank(s), Ballast Fuel, and Trip Fuel. Notable is the Fuel loading settings as the interesting part is the aircraft balance setting. The MD-11 has extra AUX tanks for the TAIL TK (Tank), CTR (Centre) TK and the AUX UP TK, of which you can select to use. This can be very hard to set up, because the MD-11 aircraft is very, very sensitive to it's CG balance. The really hard part is that where do you get your "Ballast" fuel info from, certainly not from SimBrief, as it is not listed there. I set up a route (and not using the "Ballast" function), and somehow it just didn't work for me... Rotate notes that they are going to "Rethink" the fuel layout. Basically My attitude is to fill the main centre tanks then just adjust the AUX tanks automatically to fill to the amount of excess fuel required. You can "Extend Controls" (bottom left) of the Weight and Fuel Quantities to load the different Cargo Compartments, Upper and Lower decks... "Simple Controls" returns the menu back to normal size. On the Right is the "Weight & Balance (ZF-CG and TO-CG) graph to see your loading and takeoff limits (or limitations), and below is the Totals of the TOW (TakeOff Weight), ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight), TO-CG (TakeOff - Centre of Gravity) and ZF-CG (Weight and Trim) both %MAC. Finally bottom is the option to "Apply (set) load configutation to aircraft and FMS", This will transfer the set loading data directly into the aircraft (fuel and weight) and %MAC into the FMS. GROUND OPERATIONS; This tab allows you to use "Static Elements and to open and close the aircraft doors, with a few nice features as well. Ground Services; There are six selections for "Ground Services". They include; GPU (Ground Power Unit), which is very nice (you can also use the COMMAND Toggle "GPU_power_request_toggle" as well to activate the GPU). Wheel Choks (sic)... Wheel Chocks, Cockpit Stair, a very nice RF Door set of tall stairs, Fuel Service, Load Aircraft and a Push Back option (I would still use betterpushback). Menus right side are the multitude of door options "Cabin Doors" L/R in forward and rear fuselage doors. Cargo Deck Doors have four options... Cargo Main (LF top), Cargo Fwd (RF bottom), Cargo CTR (RR bottom) and Cargo Aft (LR bottom), the Cargo aft left door is very similar to the BULK door. The "Load Aircraft" feature is very similar to the INIBuilds loading feature... Select "Load Aircraft" from the menu and the Cargo door opens... then a truck turns up with four trolleys with containers and a very nice K Loader. One by one the containers are then loaded onto the aircraft... it is well done, and I really liked the way the tug and trolleys move up to unload themselves onto the K Loader... ... but you only load on those four containers, there are no more, then reopen the LF Cargo door and "poof!" they have all gone? So I will note the feature as a WIP (hopefully), will we have later more containers (and their weights) and then actually in keeping the load on the aircraft until you unload at the destination. So far it looks brilliant, but feels currently not finished, or even feasible for a cargo hauler. FAILURES; The "Failures" feature also feels a little underdeveloped? You get nine options in; APU, Air, Electrical, Engines, Fuel, Hydraulic, Instrumentation, Fire and Other. But the options are limited to only one in "Fail Now" of which will fail the choice option. It will "Fix Now" so you can quickly rectify the failure... but there are no timer or altitude failure options. Bonus is that there is a lot of failure options to choose from, as the lists are quite long and detailed, but I feel this is another area to be improved more later. One last note on the onscreen menu. It is a fixed screen menu with no scale or movement around the screen, that is making it a bit crowded when in use, but it is simple and well done to use. Cabin/Deck The view we all savour... going aboard. External view looks good, fuselage doors open upwards and inwards, à la Boeing 767. Behind the cockpit is the crew rest area with a small galley and two armchairs, it feels far more smaller here than the same on the Boeing 777... the detail in here is extremely Lo-Res and not a priority to the overall design, Rotate says all the rear textures are this way for good framerate processing, fair enough, but I feel there was enough framerate ceiling to easily do this area in a more Hi-Res feel and detail. Objects and text are blurred and it feels ten years older in here than with most current aircraft, than it should be. The current X-Plane obsession with toilets is also not used, the toilet door is firmly closed and unusable.... shame. It is the same with the upper and lower cargo decks... HUGE, but again very Lo-Res in detail for frameweight benefits... but nicely passable. The MD-11 cargo capacity is HUGE, there is so much spare meter space... you can see why these old jets are hard to replace, as they can carry so much capacity cargo. Cockpit (Office) The feel inside is very Rotate as well, I call it "Edgy Grungy", a lived in and worked in environment like within the Rotate MD-80. Certainly this it is not a refined interior, more like a cargo ship to an ocean liner. If I could name an aircraft it would be "Nostromo", after the Space-tug in the Alien Film. It is a workman like environment. The cockpit is set up for a three person crew, but the aircraft is only flown by the two forward pilots, the third is really just a loading officer or a relief pilot in the third seat. The three seats are bulky, and expertly modeled, love the authentic chunky headrests, and the molded document storage backing frame and the molded lower seat frame. Seat material is a blue wool fabric with large sheepskin covers to keep you comfortable on those long-hauls... sheepskin is extremely hard to do with hard modeling, but it looks realistic in here. You are instantly aware of the very heavy textures of the window frame moldings. First thoughts are that they have been a bit overdone or with poor awareness by Rotate, but they are perfectly authentic (I checked out the numerous MD-11 videos), they give the aircraft a more older feel of it's period than what it actually is. Like with the MD-80 the excellent detailing surrounding you is excellent. Notable is that the front side windows that are nicely animated. Turn the handle and the lock catch works, then the window winds backwards... nice! The MD-11 could only be an American aircraft. It has a big if huge cockpit, tons of space and chunky controls, like a big American car or truck, everything in here feels oversized or "LARGE with that". Pilots love the space and oversized windows, you sit up high and proud in the machine. Textures are extremely good (and nicely worn). You have a six display screen arrangement wide across the facia, there are three displays for each pilot... ... and you instantly want to grab and to feel those lovely chunky yokes. Radio button is built in, but the electric trim switches don't work? Power on via the single BAT (Battery) switch on the Overhead Panel (OHP) and the aircraft lights up like a Christmas Tree (I put the aircraft here on EXT PWR (External Power)) It looks complex... because it is. Well that is not entirely true. As the MD11 is again a transition machine from the older analog (clockwork) era to the current automated glass cockpits, the systems are spread out and visible like in the earlier aircraft, but not yet as totally automated as in the modern era. But it is an auto glass cockpit, just with a lot more buttons. Thankfully the systems are laid out in a point to future ergonomic layouts, and there is provided by Rotate an extremely comprehensive set of manuals (20 Manuals actually) covering almost every aspect of every system. So there is a lot to learn and study in here. First you can hide the yokes. You can click (hotspot) on either base of the yokes to make them disappear, so they are each independent of each other. A lot of users hate dirty displays... I am certainly not one of them. You get the lot here in; smudgy fingerprints, cornered dust, spittled glass, it is all lovely "dirty" realistic wear and tear... the total answer to "get a life" dirt haters, this is "real life stuff". Instrument Panel The six display layout is pretty easy to understand, per each side pilot they are called DU (Display Units). They consist of the outer PFD (Primary Flight Displays), middle ND (Navigation Display) and inner EAD. The EAD is split with the left display the PED (Primary Engine Display) and on the right the SD (Secondary Engine Display). Centre panel is the Gear lever and the four gear annunciator lights. Top is the "FGCP" or Flight Guidance Panel or Autopilot. The PFD is familiar, but it isn't? Using a lot of colour (mostly orange or amber) it is unusual to the eye, but the layout is extremely highly detailed here from Rotate (call it authentic if you like). From the off you have to understand the language used in the MD-11, it is modern in a way (very Airbus, or early Airbus), but again quirky in it's own way. Again study is certainly required to master the systems, or their quirks. Speed and Altitude tapes are left and right, with a complex V/S Vertical Speed built into the right tape. Autopilot and AutoThrust (A/THR) functions are top, with a compass heading at the bottom. Centre is the Artificial Horizon with a built in pitch markers and Rate of Turn markers. We will go through the banner command FMS (Flight Mode) Annunciator system later. Interesting is the side SISP (Source Input Select Panel). Here you have options for the PFD. FD (Flight Director) Off (Flight Director 1 is always on unless turned off), FD 2 (Flight Director 2), CADC (Central Air Data Computer), IRS (Selection allows normal IRS or Aux IRS sources). FMS (Switch between FMS 1 or FMS 2), VOR (Selection of VOR Source) and again APPR, in selecting ILS 1 or 2). Here the image below right shows the options activated. It is important to understand how the upper left and right glareshield ECP (Electronic Control Panel) or usually noted as "EFIS -Electronic Flight Instrument System" interacts with the display units... the ECP looks complicated but it is actually quite easy to use. Only the Baro, in SETTING, STD and MINIMUMS (both RA and BARO) are used in the PFD, the rest of the buttons are used for the ND (Navigation Display). Top is the Magnetic North or True North selection. Then five options for the ND display in; MAP, VOR, TCAS, PLAN and APPR. MAP options include TRFC (Traffic), DATA, WPT (Waypoint), VOR/NDB and ARPT (Airport) that are listed in the left lower box (ND Display) Here (above) are the first two options in TRFC and DATA that is shown (Data puts route and speed data on the screen). You can adjust the RANGE via the two central buttons INCR/DECR. Finally are the VOR and ADF Pointers. Selection will put the details and VOR direction into the MAP, ADF is not working here because there are so few now. Frequences are set in the FMS (Flight Management System) NAV/RAD page. Other notable points in the MAP display are the GS (Ground Speed) and TAS (True Airspeed), Waypoint and Distance, and finally a Clock/Timer. Both the PED (Primary Engine Display) and the right SD (Secondary Engine Display) both show the engine performance data, here shown are both situations in (top) the engines are cold and (lower) the engines are hot or running. PED; Three readouts cover the N1, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and N2, TAT is top right. Lower is a "Warning Panel" (ECAM) that shows four states of warnings and alerts; CYAN Level 0 (Informative), AMBER Level 1 (Caution) and 2 (Framed Caution) and the RED (Fire) Level 3. SD; The secondary display is more flexible. Again the engine readouts dominate, but the readouts are different in Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature and QTY (Quantity). Lower is the NAC TEMP, EVH COMP and TEMP readouts Banner holds the GW (Gross Weight, and Total FUEL, CG (Centre of Gravity), Cabin Alt and Rate are all shown across the top of SD display. Two important items are also shown here (arrowed). Top centre is the (very important) STAB Trim and the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) N1, EGT, N2 and Oil readouts. The SD also has other page options... Set behind the Throttle quadrant is the SD control panel. On here are twelve buttons representing; ENG (Engine default), Blank, Blank, ND (Navigation Display - Not used), CONSEQ (Consequence), STATUS, HYD (Hydraulics), ELEC (Electrical), AIR (Air-Conditioning), FUEL, CONFIG (Configuration) and MISC (Miscellaneous). Flight Management Computer (MCDU) If you have used the MD-80 FMC then you should easily find your way around this FMC System, called here MCDU (Multipurpose Control Display Units). There is a lot more data involved, but the layout and the use is almost the same. Notable also like the MD-80 there are no pop-out (2d) panels, you go to the MCDU, it does not come to you? (all the flight displays don't pop-out either, which is bad news for home cockpit builders). Replication of the Honeywell Pegasus MCDUs is first rate, with two displays forward and one rear on the pedestal. The rear is of course for display only, but some of the basic pages work. The feeling here is that this unit could become active in the future, as certain active pages do pop-up and are active. Set between the two forward MCDUs are the backup Altimeter and Artificial Horizon, Auto Brake selector and the Brake Pressure gauge (that works). Brightness of the displays have to be all adjusted (like with the MD-80, you also update the Navigation Data in the same "nav-data" folder, so one Nav Data download can be used for both aircraft, but don't change the spelling of the folder, as it is different to the MD-80). INIT (Initial)page has three selections F-PLN, WEIGHT and FUEL. There is a lot of data to input here, but there is that helper fill in tool in the menu, data detail is very, very good. FLIGHTPLAN (F-PLN) input is very Airbus, and the route scrolls around like an Airbus MCDU screen, F/PLN has two pages, and wind input is added in later. Both T/C (Top of Climb) and T/D (Top of Descent) are both featured. TAKEOFF Preferences are highly detailed, But listed here under the TO/APPR key, note the "-STAB" balance setting with the selected Flap setting. PROGRESS (PROG) pages 1&2 are also excellent and well detailed. ECON (Economy) Pages are selected under the PERF Key... CLB (Climb), CRZ (Cruise) and DES (Descend) and are all covered DIR INTC (DIRECT TO)... There is a DIR-TO tool, but no HOLD function. The RADIO page is quite basic... note the input of the ILS/CRS (ILS/COURSE) Frequency which you have to input manually, highly notable is that you also have to insert the Frequency unusually to activate it which we again will cover later. Other option on the ILS is to just use the "LOC" (Lock) feature. VOR 1 and VOR 2 Frequencies are set in the banner. The MD-80 users will be nodding and saying "Yeah, yeah.. not to much different is it", but there is a lot of different detail or minute in this MCDU to study... a lot is straight forward, but still different, so be aware... and if you input wrong it has a huge effect on the flying (balance) of the aircraft. Overhead Panel (OHP) The Overhead Panel is complex? Three Engines makes for a lot of buttons and systems on one board. Thankfully ergonomics has taken place here to give you panel flow. The MD-11 was completely system redesigned to intergrate for two crew operation, were as the DC-10 had a Flight Engineer (and Panel) third crew member. A lot of the functions are very easily recognised, but there are a lot of buttons for side systems (Aux Pumps and so on) that are essential to the operations of the systems.... So study is obviously required to understand all the systems presented on the board.... This means, just pressing the buttons you think you need and then go flying will result in a major system failure, meaning then your going to ruin a very nice aircraft, so you can't be cocky bugger in here. Layout is column left (top down) panels; ADIRU (Air Data Inertial Reference Unit) Navigation, Cargo Temperature, FADAC (Full Authority Digital Engine (or electronics) Control)... Main centre column panels; HYD (Hydraulics), ELEC (Electrical), AIR (Air-Conditioning) bottom FUEL.... Right column panels; Service Panel, Cabin Press (Pressure), Anti-Ice, Test Panel. The chin bottom panel; Left/Right Wipers, OHP and Dome/Storm lighting, Instrument lighting knobs, EMER LT (Emergency Lighting), No Smoking/Seat Belt switches, Call Reset... External lighting (Landing/Nose), Wing/Turnoff Runway lights, NAV (Navigation), LOGO, BCN (Beacon) and HI-INT (Strobe) lights. Note a few switches in the lighting panel are opposites, off can be in or out on selection. It is clever in that the non-essential lights are in off, but the essential NAV, BCN and HI-INT are out off. Upper OHD is centre the three FIRE handles, TEST can be done far right with ENG/APU FIRE TEST button. CARGO FIRE panel is left, and the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) panel is set right and quite high up (arrowed left below). The rest of the OHD is the Circuit Breaker (fuse) panel (non-working). All the panels (annunciators) can be tested, right down to the infamous cargo door (CARGO DOOR TEST) arrowed above. Throttle Quadrant The central Throttle Quadrant is simply a beautiful thing. Really well recreated for your pleasure... Far left is the Long Trim Handle, then the T-Bar (with working catch selector) SPD BRK (Speed Brakes). Those three sublime Throttle Handles have built in reverser handles, then the right hand Flap Selector with the DIAL-A-FLAP selection (more in the "Flying" section). Front of the quadrant are the three engine starter switches, with below the same corresponding fuel selectors. Notable on the throttle handles are three buttons... at each end throttle there is an A/THR (AutoThrust) disconnect button, and a centre (white) button is to kill the alarm. Pedestal The rear pedestal is really the radio panel. It has left-right VHF and HF 1-2 CPR Radios upper with the Audio Control Panel below, and the Weather WX Panel mid-left, then the Transponder panel below. Finally bottom left is a third VHF 3 Radio Panel. Both the manual roll and rudder trim wheels are centred rear. We have already covered the upper SD Control Panel and the centre MCDU. Setup and Testing System depth on this MD-11 is EXTREMELY deep, there is nothing on show here but total realism. If you want to understand the real depth of the systems I recommend to watch this real world video before attempting to use the aircraft; MD-11 COCKPIT SETUP The cross reference to the Rotate MD-11, and the parallels are freaky close. Highlights here are the non-instrument setup (cold start). Testing the different areas are excellent... you can test (as earlier noted) all the systems and panels, the fire systems are particularly good. As all of the FIRE/APU and Fuel switches can be tested and checked. When setting the inertial navigation system or INS, it will also test the above "CARGO FIRE" panel (quite correct), or it can be tested independently... Turn on the three INS switches and the system will align, it is slow(er) than most alignments, and if you want to check... ... the alignments, then they can be found under the REF button <POS REF then page 2 IRS/GNS POS... ... you can also test such items as the landing gear... push the gear lever down (on the ground of course), and the gear system will test itself, and it is all so brilliantly done. There are so many areas that are real world duplicated that obviously can't all be replicated in this review (unless you want to spend days reading it), so these items above are just a small preview. Flying the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 In most cases when you fly big "heavies" the operations are either in one or the other, in being say before the modern era (i.e... 60s or 70s), or the modern very automated cockpits of today's era. The MD-11 is neither or sort of both, as it is set at the crossroads between the different eras. Like noted it leans more towards a Airbus style operation than the Boeing manual aspect which is interesting as this is a very American style aircraft, so if you approach the aircraft in an Airbus manner, you will find it easier to operate. For once you will need to study the operations in here, because if not, it will confuse you into doing the wrong operation protocol... and you can't do that. Lets Start... Power is already on via the Main Battery Switch OHP... I'm on Ground Power so it is time to start the APU, the APU button is on the ELEC panel. (the APU panel is also way up on the right on the OHP, this is the main APU STOP/START (arrowed below left) that can also be used), then make sure the APU is starting up via the SD (Engine) display, no action then press the button again. Once the APU is up and running then press the APU BLEED (AIR PANEL middle right) to supply air and pressure to the aircraft systems. Two backup (AUX) Hydraulic pumps need to be on, plus the SYSTEM switch by them is also turned to MANUAL... APU running you can now switch over the internal power supply feed and shutdown the External Power (GPU). Next is setting up the Bleed from the APU to start the MD-11, so you press the two ISOL (Isolate) buttons, the system should switch again to MANUAL, but once activated it will go back to AUTO. Engine Ignition (or igniters) are on the left lower FADAC OHP, these are the A and B channels and MUST be kept switched on when the engines are running or for the whole flight, "Igniters" is really the wrong word here (although everyone refers to them in that aspect), they are power supply switches and switch them off and it will shutdown the engines... .... now we are ready to start the engines. The ENG START Switch (Yellow) is below each engine throttle, and to start the engine you switch it upwards. Engine start sequence is 2 (Middle), 1 (Left) and then 2 (Right). The centre engine powers the air-conditioning and other AUX systems, so it is started first. Note a lot of MD-11 pilots only start the No. 2 Engine for taxiing on the ground, but that depends on your weight and configuration... The start sequence will show soon with action on the N2 (No.2) engine display... ... the N2 percent% will rise until you reach 17% N2, then you switch in the Fuel with the FUEL (Flow) Switch below the ENG START Switch, it does take time to get to the 17% N2 threshold, so you have to be patient, and you can't start a second engine while the first start up procedure is in progress, it won't let you do that... so starting all the three engines can take time to do. The engine numbers should settle down around 25 N1, 431 EGT and 64.4 % N2. The ISOL and APU Bleeds should then automatically cancel once the engines are running (AUTO Mode), but if not then cancel them... you can now also shut down the APU (It takes forever, so don't go pushing the button again and again, and thinking it is not working?) Then you set the STAB Trim, the trim number is shown on the TO/APPR buttom on the FMS, and ignore the -(Minus) trim, as it is not required unlike on the Airbus, you set the Trim via the Long Trim handle (left throttle quadrant) or with the keyboard trim (recommended). Another unique feature on the MD-11 is the DIAL-A-FLAP System. This gives you quite a unique variation in the flap angle than on most heavy aircraft... Select Flap 10, which is shown on the Pilot's PFD (bottom left) and then "Dial" in the finer flap angle degree by using the adjustment wheel right of the flap handle, it can be adjusted from 10º to 25º flap, I selected 11º for Takeoff. The DIAL-A-FLAP can also be used also on the approach phase, obviously not on the actual approach phase, but coming into the circuit for landing and reducing speed... so you can tune the flap to the speed exactly, and then get the perfect circuit speed you require, this is a feature I REALLY like as it eliminates that huge drop from one flap degree position to another, adjusting the wheel as fine degrees can smooth it all out in the transitioning in the slowing down of the speeds. The MD-11 is a dot the i's and cross the T's sort of aircraft. So there are a LOT of parameters to set, and you will need to cover all of them, miss a setting and the aircraft just does not like it, and the MD-11 will usually tell you. STAB (Trim) is set here to 6.0, and Flap at 15.0º The TakeOff data (TO/APPR) is very good and highly detailed. Notable is that only TO Is available at takeoff, and the APPR data only later in the approach phase. Off the (Park) brake and we're rolling. As noted three engines will move you forward, so you will need to touch the brakes frequently to keep the taxi speed under control. I checked in just using (or being powered only by) the Middle-Engine, and that is about perfect. The MD-11 is a BIG aircraft, so you need to anticipate turns... the tiller does not seem to turn, then it does! so you have to find it's sweet spot to manoeuvre the aircraft professionally around the taxiways. You are also sitting way out in front of the nosegear, so another thing to be aware of in swinging around the tight taxiway bends. Most MD-11 pilots use their own seat base position as a bearing of where the nosegear position is set to on the turns and the aircraft positioning. The FMA banner display in the PFD can be at first very complicated. Any white bands means the system is not engaged, but ready in ARMED (showing values and modes). Red bands (warning) means a primary system is disengaged (A/P or A/THR), Amber bands means a failure in the system. No bands shown around the PFD banner data means it is in ACTIVATED mode. White also represents the FGCO (Flight Guidance) values and modes, Magenta represents the FMS (Flight Management) values and modes, green is for "Dual Autolands", and again Amber for failures. Set the Ground Spoiler to ARMED, by upping the T SPK BRK lever like on the MD-80, and the AUTO BRAKE to T.O. It is Important to ARM the AUTO FLIGHT (mid-FGCP button) the bigger lower one... and this sets the A/THR (Auto Thrust) to the T/O THRUST mode on the PFD. You can put the throttles full up... and the A/THR system will protect and keep the thrust to or within the T/O thrust limits. The MD-11 can be a bit of a handful as the speed builds, so you need skill here to hold the aircraft straight down the centreline, but it is very highly realistic.... ... as the speed builds the set speed bugs will now adjust correctly to their speed positions, after v2 is FR or the +10 marker to rotate the aircraft. Set the "Positive Climb" to around 10º, (depending on the T/O weight you can go as high as 15º) and gear UP... and watch the theatrics. This show alone is well worth the admission price. You press the same AUTO FLIGHT button again to activate the Autopilot, AP1 or AP2 to your option (usually AP1), then to lock in the route you press the NAV (NAV 1) button under the heading selector.... There is no V/S (Vertical Speed) button, so you just go straight to the right V/S wheel and you just select your climb rate (or descent rate), MAX rate of climb is impressive at 6000 fpm at low altitude, but you wouldn't do that with most load rates... 4300 fpm is normal with 3,000 fpm with a heavy load. It is very important to understand the knob operation logic... very, very Airbus, in fact it is mostly similar. Most knobs have the IN (AUTO) and OUT (MANUAL) operation like on Airbuses. So you click (arrow) up or down for each operation. The difference is that in an Airbus when you change say the airspeed via the Speed selector the engines will respond straight away and change the speed.... but in here the MD-11 operation is slightly different, and in the need of getting used to. Change the speed and you get an outlined marker... but the speed itself (unlike in the Airbus) it will not change until you activate it by clicking on the speed knob (arrow down/pull out), and only THEN will the engines will power up (or down) to the set speed selection... All the FGCP command knobs act the same way... Speed, Heading and Altitude, so you adjust then activate the action. This can all be a bit time consuming, certainly when adjusting the finer speeds of say when using the ILS Slope, but you will soon get used to it. Another point is that the A/THR has a lot of safeguards built in, if you want a certain speed (say m.83), but you are already at the operating limits, it won't change the speed from your current set speed (m.80). The system calculates the current weight, power and altitude requirements and then says "yes" or "no" to your command. When that changes (say burning off more more fuel, or a different flight level) then it will allow the change. This is shown on the PFD with the SE and GE as your limits, also the limit is shown on the banner of the ND (Navigation Display)... so you set your speed to the upper SE marker, then select the down arrow to change the speed... .... this is of course depending on the weight, and you are restricted in speed. I found at FL330 (33,000ft) I was restricted to m.80, at FL350 to m.82, but my guess in that go higher to FL360 to get your M.83 cruise speed. If you force your speed, then the marker will only quickly start to fall, and keep falling, so you have to be aware of this! If not your speed will fall off completely and not recover. The same SE and GE Markers also work in reverse, in noting your landing and flap speeds. The Rotate MD-11 is a sensational aircraft to fly. But also very (if extremely) demanding and even tiring with all the work you have to do in here. This is "Simulation" not "Gaming", and a deep study and working simulation at that. You won't cover all the details even in a few flights, but you can in time become very proficient in flying the "The Diva" or the "More Death 2", "Scud" (once you launched it, you were not sure were it was going to land) or the "Marriage-Divorce 11". all nicknames for the MD-11 for various reasons. Sounds are very, very good... there is a very nice cockpit hum with the various systems being used, turn on say the Air-Con and you hear the system being activated and audible, so the sound detail is deep. You are positioned very forward of the engines, so they aren't a big factor on the ground or in flight, but they are there and sound really good, both internally and externally. All sounds are of course FMOD and extensive (the aircraft even creaks and groans under loads) so you can't fault this aspect. The same sort of shouty alerts are in here as in the MD-80, and they can be annoying if even counterproductive of the reasons they are there for, mostly I ignore them. Speed is Mach 0.88 - Max, Mach 0.83 - Cruise (507 - 479kn; 940-886 km/h), with a range of 3,592 nmi (6,652 km) (Freighter, 6,725 nmi (12,455 km) Pass). Ceiling is 43,000ft. There are working blinds in the cockpit and very good they are... they will slide around from the rear, and you can adjust the angle of the blind as well in position... I really like good working blinds, and they are very good in here. Lighting The quality of the X-Plane cockpit lighting today is extremely good. The developers have lots of tools to deliver very realistic night lighting, that is more important here as the MD-11 is a Long Hauler aircraft, 10+ Hours flying is not unusual, and being a Cargo Hauler most of the flying is done overnight... So internal night lighting has to very easy on the eye and highly adaptable. And you are not disappointed here either in the MD-11. There are three adjustment knobs with insert knobs (six) for both indirect lighting and highlight (text) lighting. Two knobs on the OHP cover the OVHD (Overhead) and INSTRUMENT lighting, and the single adjustment knob left on the glareshield covers the GCP (Glareshield Control Panel)... The smaller knob on the INSTRUMENT lighting, adjusts the light left top of the OHP which shines directly onto the pedestal area of the cockpit. ... instruments are lit in both above the FGCP, and with the lower four instrument dropdown lights, very nice indeed it all is. There are adjustment knobs for lighting on the yokes, and nice they look as well in the darkened cockpit... There are also two overhead fully adjustable spotlights (click on the light to activate). There are also two (one for each pilot) "Briefcase" lights or side panel lights, and a one (click) spot light over the rear relief seat. The rear extensive circuit breaker panels have their own lighting adjustment, it is via a knob (arrowed above left) at the end of the wall panel. There are two switches on the OHP that can select both (THUNDER)STORM and DOME lighting The panel lighting can be adjusted right down to just the instruments, but I easily found a nice comfort lighting for the important takeoff and landing periods, or if you want that quiet night cockpit environment... overall excellent. Rear rest area has average down-lighting connected to the DOME button, but the main cargo deck has no lighting at all, shame? External The external lighting is also excellent... There are four forward landing lights, two set high on the nosegear and two that pop-out forward fuselage. The Turnoff Taxiway lighting is in the inner wings with the Wing/Ice lighting... .... you can check out the wings leading edge or trailing edge, via the two observation windows... there is also good tail-lighting. There are upper and lower fuselage beacons, navigation lights, and all are nicely tuned. There is no rear tail (white) navigation light but two white navigation lights each per rear wing tip, strobes are also well refined. Time to go down... Reducing speed to the minimum setting GE, the the V/S to (here) set to 1800fpm... Altitude target markers are installed as are the Climb and TOD (Top of Descent) markers, which are both nice tools to have in planning your ascent and descent... .... with the descent in progress you now get access to the APPR mode (TO/APPR). Here you can select either a 35º Flap or the full 50º Flap approach (or the other way around). All the required landing data is also now available, including the speed limits. Notable is that the MD-11 does not have a set landing speed/flap sequence. The flap required to the speed settings depends on the landing weight? So you will need to download and print out the MD-11 "Speed Tables" to get the correct speed settings for the landing. The landing weight is shown in the APPR page RK1. You will also get a "MSG" (Message) to "CHECK WEIGHTS" before landing to finalise the landing settings. I found the Rotate MD-80 quite tricky in the approach phase with the flaps? Setting the correct speed to the flap setting was awkward in that a lot of times you got it wrong, say in the "too fast" to the flap setting, in bringing the nose or getting a pitch down condition.... In the MD-11 is is far better as you have that DAIL-A-FLAP system to even out the flap angles, it works quite well. Into the circuit of EDDP Rwy 26R, Leipez-Halle, Germany... using GOXLI1V STAR approach. Thoughout all my earlier MD-11 flights, I just couldn't get the ILS (Frequency) to work? Then I found out the issue... Being a though pilot that I am, I filled out the ILS Frequency box on the NAV/RAD panel with the full frequency. In this case EDDP 26R "108.35/263" from the Navigraph Jeppesen chart... that is Freq 108.35 and course 263º, correct of course, but in here that is incorrect, as it does not work? The correct way to insert the ILS Freqency is just to ONLY insert the ILS Freq, or "108.35" and the system fills the rest in, including the wrong course degree? If set correctly you will see the ILS runway code (ILNW) in the section above the Rwy Frequency. I don't know if this set arrangement will continue in the future upgrades, personally I don't think so, but it is a situation to be aware of before landing. Another point is that make sure you do have the correct frequency inserted? I found a few times by setting the frequency early, it was the correct frequency, but set to the wrong Airport/ILS position... checking frequencies closer to your destination airport will correct the system to the right Airport/ILS. On the last turn to finals into Rwy 26R, I drop the extensive gear arrangement... I always drop the gear on the last turn into an runway as it feels and looks very dramatic... it gets the adrenalin going, heightening the senses, shifting in your seat, getting ready for the landing, and here in the MD-11 everything "sure is heightened", it is that sort of aircraft. MD-11 as we were told, had the fastest VAPP of any civilian airliner. At MGLW (Maximum Gross Landing Weight) it was known to be landing at around 168kts. That is fast and the stopping distance was always in need of being scrutinised carefully. Here is a video showing the differences in the landing speeds to a Boeing 757 (Yes I know the angle of the camera could change the perspective). Notable also is that the MD-11 handled very differently than it's forebear the DC-10, if the the same configuration of aircraft, but the DC-10 had far larger wings and in so landed far slower. I'm sitting at 175 knts, but in reality the MD-11 is certainly a gut sort of aircraft in this phase, it has that certain analog feel that you have to go on by instinct and not be totally focused on the numbers, which are obviously dictated by your weight and approach speeds. You will need to find that perfect balance by using both the hard numbers, but then adjusting the aircraft around them until it feels perfect right. You press the upper large centre APPR/LAND button centre FGCP to ARM the approach phase (as noted this also arms only the LOC if you selected that option) If you have activated the ILS Frequency correctly it will show lower left in the PFD with the set Flap degree, you can also now set the APPR screen in the ECP, for better approaches. Notable is the auto selection of "Single" or "Dual" landing (Land) selections (green banner top right PFD) , it will flash the selection it will use then LOC it in. Setting the (ground) Speed Brake is very tricky. It is used like the same in the MD-80, in clicking it upwards to ARM the system, but it is harder to reset back to normal (click down) than on the MD-80... the Captain's position and angle does not help either. Over the threshold and your "nervous" but in command, this is a lot of fast moving aircraft to put down and stop... Notable are the AP (AutoPilot) and A/THR (AutoThrust) disconnects, there is as noted in being disconnect buttons (Yoke and Throttle), but I recommend to set another key command (I used both my joystick and X52 Rhino Throttle). Both disconnects have an A & B disconnect, so one switch is not enough to cover both systems... the biggest note here is that the same commands also quietens the alarms once the disconnect activates, they can be seriously annoying if you can't shut them down... The same FMA banner legend is used in RED Off (Warning), AMBER is failure, WHITE is not engaged (but armed).... BLANK is Active. In landing again the MD-11 is like the Airbus, as there are landing modes, certainly the callouts are very good, with also "LAND and FLARE on the PFD... I was however seriously impressed on how I could just pitch the nose up nicely in the flare to touch the main gear down first. Some if a lot aircraft fight you in this flare phase, but the MD-11 is just simply brilliant here. Your down, but now you have to stop this fast running hulk of an aircraft... I find the AutoBrake a bit too heavy in even the MED setting, MIN is passable, but in a lot of cases I leave the Auto Brake off completely. Here the excellent Reverse Thrust on all three engines is very effective, with a loud powerful thrust that rubs off the speed very efficiently. Notable is that you only use the REV setting to activate the thrust reversers, don't touch or power up the throttles in this mode, as it has the opposite effect!... ... all this comes with light touches on the left and right (Pedal) brakes to keep the MD-11 nicely centred while slowing down... ... and soon you are back in taxi mode and using the tiller. .. again I recommend to turn off the No.1 & No.3 engines and just taxi on No.2, as it makes your life far easier in a moderate taxi speed, shown on the PFD, and then start the GPU ready. Welcome to Leipez-Halle. If you think that landing looked easy, then it took about a week to work out and perfect, this is one seriously complex but rewarding aircraft... but once you get it, it delivers MASSIVELY. Riding around EDDPs long taxiway network, I could only think of one thing "Where to go next", as the list I was creating in my head for the MD-11 was already getting huge... Trans-Atlantic, Anchorage, Singapore, Japan... "Whoo" this aircraft is going to be an absolute blast! Yes the Rotate MD-11 exceeds the expectations and then some, as it is also another level of Simulation, complex and demanding.... you do have to live up to the aircraft, expect to study and spend (a lot) of time working through it before mastering it... it is just EXCEPTIONAL! Liveries There are ten liveries with the Rotate MD-11 package... these include; Rotate House, AVIENT, EVA AIR Cargo, FedEx, Lufthansa Cargo, MartinAir Cargo, Shanghai Airlines Cargo, UPS Cargo Services, VARIG LOG (Logistics) and Western Global. Quality is all exceptional, and a painkit is provided. No DHL? Well DHL don't or didn't fly the MD-11. Summary The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 from Rotate that was released on 9th Dec 2015 had a troubled introduction into the X-Plane Simulator. But the developer very quickly resolved the release issues and the aircraft went on to be one of the best simulations in the X-Plane Simulator, I even put the Rotate MD-80 in my all favorite top ten (currently at No. 4). It is very iconic and deep simulation. This is the followup aircraft to the MD-80 from Rotate, in the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the MD-11 is of course a derivative of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The Rotate aircraft has also had a very long gestation development period, in over four years, so we are expecting a lot, with the insane quality and the popular MD-80 are all aspects that also hover also over the project... it thankfully does not disappoint. This is a deep simulation, with all the systems and operations modelled (there are 20 system manuals alone). So the aircraft is extremely complex and requires study to anyone becoming proficient in using and flying the aircraft regularly. It also requires a lot of skill and system management to master the unique capabilities of this unique between eras TriJet. Modeling is exemplary, brilliant realism with dirt and grunge built in, which a Rotate speciality. Textures are also a extreme high quality, but not so in the crew rest and cargo decks to keep the aircraft within an average framerate balance, and the Lo-Res areas conflict with the excellent quality everywhere else. In reality this Lo-Res aspect is not required as the aircraft has currently no heavy passenger cabin or any heavy framerate details. Notable is that the passenger version is still stated to arrive, but not anytime soon. Sounds and internal and external lighting are also excellent, but again the crew rest area and cargo deck lighting could be better. Features include a good, but not exception Menu and options selections. A few areas again like the "Load Aircraft" feature is still looking like a WIP "Work in Progress", as does the options features on the menu. But you do have a nice GPU, Stairs, Chocks, Aircraft Refueling and all the doors can be independently opened. And the toilet (A current X-Plane fad) doesn't work or has been even included? (This is long haul?) Does the Rotate MD-11 live up to it's huge expectations... in context yes it does, even in areas it even totally exceeds them, there are however areas that still need fine tuning work, and bugs are to be expected on release as this is a very complex and detailed aircraft and simulation... but Rotate should cover those aspects quickly and professionally. Here is another landmark simulation aircraft for the X-Plane Simulator. X-Plane users seemingly to have to wait forever for these iconic aircraft, but again in this case it has been well worth the wait. Big, heavy, complex, demanding and seriously rewarding. The Rotate MD-11 is all of these things and more, in systems and it's depth of simulation, this is again another level of realism and can get extremely addictive... and it is absolutely another classic to enjoy most certainly... and certainly very and highly recommended to own and fly. _____________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rotate MD-11 Price is US$83.95 Features Realistic flight dynamics and performance In Depth system simulation All systems listed are simulated according to the specifications of the original model, with all redundancy relevant to the simulation and with both Automatic and Manual modes. Systems tests simulated Engine/APU Fire Test Annunciator Lights Test Cabin/Cargo Fire Test GPWS Test Hydraulic Pressure and Engine-Driven Pump Tests Oxygen Test TCAS Test Weather Radar Test Emergency Power Test Air Air conditioning Pressurization Cargo heating/ventilation Avionics cooling Air System Display Aural-Visual Warning EAD (Engine Alert Display) SD Alerts and Consequences Display SD Consequence Page SD Status Page SD Miscellaneous Page CAWS (Central Aural Warning System) GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) TCAS (Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System) Weather Radar Automatic Flight Dual AFS (Auto Flight System), FD and ATS (Auto Throttle System) All FMA modes simulated Automatic ILS approach with dual/single Auto Land. LSAS (Longitudinal Stability Augmentation System) CWS (Control Wheel Steering) Yaw damper Automatic pitch trim Flap limiting Stall warning with Auto Slat Extend APU APU System, Indication and Control APU Automatic Shutdown APU Pneumatic System Communications VHF communications system Dual Head Communications Radio Panel Audio Control Panels Voice Recorder Panel Electrical AC power generation and distribution Integrated Drive Generator GCU (Generator Control Units) APU Generator ADG (Air Driven Generator) External Power AC Distribution (9 Buses) NBPT (Non Break Power Transfer) DC power 4 Transformer Rectifier Units DC Distribution (8 Buses) Battery and Battery Charger Emergency Power Electrical System Display Fire Protection Engine and APU Fire Detection and Extinguishing System. Cargo Fire Detection and Extinguishing System. Controls and Indications Flight Instruments Complete EIS (Electronic Indication System) Two independent ECPs (Electronic Control Panel) 6 Independent Display Units Navigation Display (MAP, PLAN, VOR, APPR and TCAS modes) Air Data Computer ATC Transponder Aircraft Clock, Timer and count-down Chronometer Standby Compass and Standby Attitude Indicator Standby Altimeter and Airspeed Indicator Source Input Select Panel Fuel Fuel System Controller Automatic Fuel Scheduling Fuel Transfer and Crossfeed Fuel Dump System Tail Fuel Management System Ballast Fuel Control Fuel System Display Hydraulics Hydraulic System Controller Reservoirs and Accumulators Engine and Electric Driven Pumps Reversible Motor Pumps Hydraulic Display Ice and Rain Protection Engine Anti-Ice Airfoil Anti-Ice (Wing and Tail) System Engine Cowl Anti-Ice System Air Data Heaters (Pitot, Static, TAT) Navigation FMS (Flight Management System) Simulated pages: A/C STATUS (2 pages) REF INDEX FLT-PLAN INIT WEIGHT INIT FUEL INIT PERFORMANCE CLB, CRZ & DES THRUST LIMITS FLIGHT PLAN (2 pages) VERTICAL/LATERAL REVISION DIRECT-TO PROGRESS TAKEOFF / APPROACH SID FROM STAR TO HOLD NAV RADIO FIX INFO NAVAID POS REF IRS/GNS CLOSEST AIRPORTS SENSOR STATUS DEFINED WAYPOINT LAT/LONG and P/B/D WAYPOINT WAYPOINT MENU MCDU Messages GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) LNAV/VNAV flightpath calculation Takeoff and Landing performance calculations (V-speeds) IRS (Inertial Reference System) VHF, DME, ADF and ILS Navigation Engines (General Electric CF6) FADEC (All regimes simulated) Custom engine model Primary Engine Display Secondary Engine Display More than 200 custom failures Dual cockpit Independent pilot and copilot controls and displays. Two independent MCDUs control two independent FMCs. Sources of instruments can be selected for pilot and copilot independently. All relevant systems have separate controllers for redundancy. Accurate 3D model and HD textures External objects and detailed animations Aircraft loading animations Cargo loader and cargo truck GPU Airstairs Cockpit window animation Cargo Doors Fully animated landing gears Winflex Engines reversers animation Aircraft Menu Options Situations (C&D, Taxi and Takeoff presets) Load Manager Ground Operations Failures Realistic 3D sounds Detailed sounds with real cockpit sources and FMOD dynamic effects 3D lights, including: Exterior lights Cockpit lights Panel lights Flood lights Dome light Reading lights Briefcase lights Floor lights Map lights Cabin lights 10 Liveries Rotate livery Avient Aviation EVA Air Cargo FedEx Lufthansa Cargo Martinair Cargo Shanghai Airlines Cargo UPS Varig Log Western Global Airlines White livery VR support Requirements X-Plane 11 (Fully updated, non beta version) Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version: 1.0 (March 24th) Installation Download of the MD-11 is 1.07Gb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 1.87Gb folder. Activation is via the standard authentication Key. There is no Auto-updater by Skunkcrafts for updates, so currently you have to redownload any updates via the X-Plane.OrgStore. Designed by Rotate Support Forum at X-Plane.org or http://support.rotatesim.com/ Documents Provided are three sets of documents Included with the package. It is a serious comprehensive package of manuals and information, but well worth studying. Rotate MD-11. Introduction & Product information 1. Systems description 2. Limitations and checklists (Limitations and checklists) Rotate MD-11 Normal Checklists (Systems description) 1. MD-11 Systems description-Aircraft General.pdf 2. MD-11 Systems description-Air.pdf 3. MD-11 Systems description-Aural-Visual Warning.pdf 4. MD-11 Systems description-Automatic Flight.pdf 5. MD-11 Systems description-APU.pdf 6. MD-11 Systems description-Communications.pdf 7. MD-11 Systems description-Electrical.pdf 8. MD-11 Systems description-Emergency Equipment.pdf 9. MD-11 Systems description-Fire Protection.pdf 10. MD-11 Systems description-Flight Controls.pdf 11. MD-11 Systems description-Flight Instruments.pdf 12. MD-11 Systems description-Fuel.pdf 13. MD-11 Systems description-Hydraulics.pdf 14. MD-11 Systems description-Ice and Rain Protection.pdf 15. MD-11 Systems description-Lighting.pdf 16. MD-11 Systems description-Navigation.pdf 17. MD-11 Systems description-Engines.pdf 18. MD-11 Systems description-Doors.pdf 19. MD-11 Systems description-Landing Gear.pdf _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 24th March 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 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 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - LEBL - Barcelona Airport XP11 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 plus - Barcelona City by Logo Projects (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95 - EDDP - Leipzig/Halle International Airport by JustSim/Digital Design (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$20.00 (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
NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.1 by Rotate Rotate have released a v1.1 update to the their MD-11, an aircraft released only a week or so back. There is nothing really new in this update that wasn't presented in the HOTFIX released last week, this just makes the version v1.1 official. The v1.1 update covers Loss of speed during cruise. Power has been adjusted to tables for max weights and altitudes. - LNAV flight path is abandoned. Fixed a problem with waypoint/segment sequencing. (We are still working on some instances of this issue.) - LNAV winding flight path. Roll PID has been tuned for high speeds. (Still working on this issue.) - HDG guidance error when heading change crosses 360. - Brakes and tiller not working as expected with hardware controllers. (We have updated the manual regarding this issue: see chapter 12 in Rotate MD-11. Introduction & Product information.pdf.) - ILS CDI frozen in ND. - ILS courses are shown as true instead of magnetic in NAV RAD page. - Fixed an issue with Artificial Horizon. The update covers the loss of speed at altitude, or the performance limitations, and the continuing saga of the LNAV (which is still being worked on). Brakes and Tiller options have now been added into the "Options" menu page. But you can only have the hardware option (joystick yaw and rudder pedal toe braking) and not use the X-Plane COMMAND braking and tiller settings, or the other way around... Rotate are also still working on this problem as well. There are also still issues with Mac activations in preventing correct activation with: - macOS 10.13 High Sierra - macOS 10.14 Mojave - macOS 10.16 Big Sur (workaround) - macOS 12 Monterey (workaround) The following workaround is now working for most Big Sur users. I have personally done several block to block flights with the MD-11 "HOTFIX" version and the aircraft performed correctly, the only discomfort was the no COMMAND braking on my pinky trigger, but the pedal toebrakes still worked perfectly. I am still trying to get my head around the LNAV issue, because I don't get the problem? just slightly wide tight turns at altitude. I will note that the ILS Freq setting that is causing distress, but is not broken. But there are a few rules to follow to make it work correctly, so I will REPEAT them again here. Only insert the main ILS Freq number with no course number i.e. "108.35" and it should say If set correctly the ILS runway code (ILNW) - (LEIPZEG/HALLE Rwy 26R) for that ILS approach. Notable is that the system AUTOMATICALLY selects the ILS Frequency... so if you are too far away from your arrival airport there is a very good chance the system will select the wrong one? I found you had to be almost in the landing circuit to get the correct ILS Freq to appear in the NAV RAD selection. Notable also in the v1.1 update is that now ILS courses are shown as true instead of magnetic in NAV RAD page, so the selected "Course" degree should now also match your approach charts. Rotate also noted future ongoing work... "-Activation issues in OSX version. We are facing random crashes that are proving hard to fix. -LNAV calibration. -LOC only navaids (downwild ILS) cannot be tuned correctly. -Wrong ILS navaid is tuned in some cases during approach or it is tuned too late. -VNAV descent path We are investigating interactions with Active Sky plugin that may be causing our autopilot to malfunction." Obviously Rotate are looking into all the issues and creating fixes, so expect another update soon. There is no updater system with the MD-11, so to update to the new version v1.1 you have download the full version update from your account on the X-Plane.OrgStore. A full MEGA X-PlaneReviews review on the Rotate MD-11 is here : Aircraft Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate _____________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rotate MD-11 Price is US$83.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 (Fully updated, non beta version) Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux (read about Mac activation) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version: 1.01 (April 3rd 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.