None of your friends are currently online
Categories See All →
In Loving Memory Of
Founder of AVSIM Online
Hot Spots:Latest News & Homepage
File Library - What's New
Latest Product Reviews
FS9/FSX/P3D CTD Guide v3
FSX / P3D Config Guide
Bargain Hunters Forum
Classified, Want, Swap Ads
News (1999 to 2012)
Product Reviews (2006-2012)
Advertise on AVSIM!
Sim Site Rankings
The AVSIM Staff
Latest Forum Topics
- Airbus FBW Fix
- Socata TB-9 and TB-10 from Just Flight released
- does PrecipitFX support 3rd party planes or just the default AI?
- Prepar3d Optimization for 4/5K Displays?
- FSLabs Spotlight and P3D v3.3.5
- TrackIR 5
- New Aerofly FS 2 update 2.0.1EA3.30 is live
- The Carib is beautiful today...:)
- FSL A320 now generally available
- Reno to Salt Lake City
- Approaching LHR X-Plane style
- Zurich Intl Gate/Ramp info
- First Shots
- Are Officially Licensed Add-Ons Better Than Non-Licensed Ones?
- Blurry Terrain Textures in FSX:SE
AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!
Ultimate Airliners DC-9 Classic
Jan 15 2013 02:20 PM | This article has been viewed 17199 times.
submitted by: Gaiiden
submitted by: Gaiiden
Today we take a look at an aircraft and a company that many of you may be familiar with. Coolsky has been around for quite sometime and you might be well acquainted with their Super 80/Super 80 Pro aircrafts which were released a few years ago. These two aircrafts are still in wide use today and are of very high quality when it comes to systems simulation. Naturally, the graphics and exterior models are out of date but it doesn’t diminish the value of these two products.
This time around, Coolsky has embarked on creating another Douglas Corporation aircraft. This time we will be having a look at the newly released DC-9-30 series. The DC-9 was a very successful commercial aircraft. In fact, it was ranked in third place behind the 737 and A320! While the aircraft we will be looking at is the 30 series, it was not the first in the series of DC-9 aircrafts.
The first model was the DC-9 10 which was followed by the 20, 30, 40 and 50. The DC-9-30 was by far quite a popular aircraft since it was created to compete against the early 737 Classics. Since the DC-9 30 was more of a common sight, it was fitting that Coolsky choose to create this aircraft.
To get a bit more background on Coolsky and the DC-9 project, I had the opportunity to interview Espen Øijordsbakken who is the owner of Coolsky.
1. Can you tell us a little about Coolsky? History and its future goals?
“I started Coolsky back in 2005 with the release of the Super 80, an MD-80 aircraft package for FS9. Despite heavy competition from multiple competing MD-80 products, the Super 80 did quite well. The Super 80 introduced what have now become signature features of my aircraft; the Automatic Aircraft Configuration system, which gives you one-click aircraft setup, and the Integrated Cockpit Training System which teaches you how to fly the aircraft using step-by-step guides while in the cockpit. People responded very well to these features.
The next Coolsky product was the Super 80 Pro. As the name implies, this aircraft is a close relative to the Super 80. While the Super 80 was based on the old original MD-80 steam gauge cockpit, the Super 80 Pro was based on the upgraded glass cockpit version of the MD-80 cockpit which included modern bells and whistle like EFIS and FMS.
The latest product is of course the DC-9 Classic. With this aircraft I went back to the roots of both the previous two aircraft. The Douglas DC-9, which came out back in 1967, started what would become one of the world’s most successful families of airliners. With more than 3,000 units produced in total of the DC-9/MD-80/MD-90/B717, it is only beat by the B737 and A320. With the DC-9 Classic we took the depth of the system simulation and the quality of the graphics to a whole new level. I am very proud of this product.
Looking forward, plans are already in place for a Fokker 50. This is a project that will be done as a partnership between Coolsky and McPhat Studios. I’m excited to get going on this project as it will take me back to the aircraft that got me started making add-on aircraft in the first place. Still in college I made an F50 which I released as freeware for FS98. Amazingly, I still get emails from time to time with comments and questions about the old F50 from people flying it. The new Fokker 50 will be a huge step forward from the old one. Expect a cool aircraft!”
2. The DC-9 (from what I have seen) seems to be a very high quality product in every aspect. The textures, flight model and aids to help users learn how to correctly fly the aircraft. Since there is a lack of "new" MD-80s on the market, will we be seeing a similar upgrade to your previous products such as the Super 80/Super 80 Pro?
“We are considering upgrades to both the Super 80 and Super 80 Pro. Personally, I would love to see these two aircraft upgraded to the DC-9 Classic standard. I have work with these aircraft for a long time and they have become very dear to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m always interested in improving my products. But we have to figure out the business side of an upgrade too. It’s a thin line to walk between making it worthwhile and wasting time and resources. It’s on the table and I’m discussing it with my partners. But I can’t say for sure we will be doing the upgrades just yet.”
3. Going back to the DC-9, do you plan on releasing any additional expansion packs? (eg: DC-51 or Freighter/CF models?)
“There are a number of expansion packs available for the DC-9 Classic. McPhat Studios have released four UHDT livery packs in their World Airliners series. They have also released a mega-pack containing a selection of SD version of the liveries from the UHDT packs. The latest expansion pack for the DC-9 Classic from McPhat Studios is the flight deck repaint package containing a gray, brown and blue version of the virtual cockpit in UHDT.
Currently, we do not have firm plans for any further expansion packs.”
4. Is there anything in particular you want potential customers to know about this product? What do you would you say sets it apart from other high end products?
“I would say the features that set this product apart from other high end products are the two signature features which are included in all my aircraft; the Automatic Aircraft Configuration feature and the Integrated Cockpit Training System. In combination, these two features make the DC-9 Classic easy and fun to fly for all types of simmers. The target audience for this aircraft is not just the hardcore simmers. Even though it is a very advanced and realistic simulation of the real aircraft, my goal has been to make and aircraft everyone can fly and enjoy.
If you are a new simmer and just want to hop right into the aircraft for a quick flight, you can do that with the auto config feature. Setup on the runway, hit “Cleared for takeoff” and off you go.
If you are a new or intermediate simmer looking to upgrade your game and skill level, the training system will teach you everything you need to know about this aircraft while seated in the cockpit. You will be guided step-by-step through all the checklists and procedures. The navigation simulator will help you learn to fly and navigate by radio navigation while the live system schematics will tell you exactly what is happen in the aircraft.
If you are an experienced simmer looking to fly the aircraft like the pros, the DC-9 Classic is ready for you. It offers system simulation down to the individual circuit breakers. There is a complete failure simulation which can offer you the same type of simulated failures real pilots typically face when they go in for their annual sim ride.”
5. What would you say was the most challenging aspect of developing this product?
“The engine simulation on the DC-9 Classic was a very challenging part to get right. This is probably one of those lesser known facts about the DC-9 Classic, but the engine indications you see in the cockpit – none of those come from FSX. The DC-9 Classic has a fully customized engine simulation for the JT8D-7 engine.
This approach has several advantages. I can get a much more realistic and accurate engine simulation throughout the whole flight envelope on all parameters. Another advantage to having a custom engine simulation is that the flight dynamics can be set without worrying about what FSX will output on the engine variables.
This is a huge advantage, but it also requires a lot of attention to how the engine simulation and flight dynamics work together as a whole. We spent a lot of time going back and forth adjusting the engine simulation, adjusting the flight dynamics, getting feedback from our real DC-9 pilots and then going back to step one. I think it was definitely worth it though as we have achieved a very realistic simulation of the JT8D-7 engine and how it performs in the DC-9 aircraft.”
I would like to thank Espen for taking the time to answer some of these questions. I am sure he is very busy ironing out a few issues with the DC-9 as well as answering support question on the Coolsky forum.
As mentioned in the interview, the DC-9 is quite a high end product. What are some of the features you can expect to enjoy while using this product? Here is a list of features which was taken from the developer’s website.
- High Detailed 2D Panel
- Feature-Rich Virtual Cockpit
- Superb Aircraft Model
- Navigation Simulator
- Interactive Schematics
- Failure Simulation System
- DC-9 Classic Autopilot
- Automatic Aircraft Configuration
- Integrated Cockpit Training System
- Dispatch/Flight Center
- User Manual/Aircraft Operating Manuals
When examining some of these features, we won’t go into every single detail as they can get quite extensive. I will however, highlight some of the most outstanding features of this product and give a general overview of others.
Installation and Documentation
Downloading and installing the DC-9 was quite simple. If you have ever purchased a Flight1 product in the past, you should have no problems installing the DC-9. After downloading the aircraft from the Flight1 website, you will be asked to complete your purchase when you execute the file. The process of purchasing and reinstalling the product is quite simple and I see no reason to go into any details as to how it is all done.
I believe that by following the easy to read instructions during your installation, you will have no problems whatsoever. In the event that you do have an issue with the installation, I am confident that the folks at Flight1 and Coolsky will be more than willing to assist you.
With regard to documentation, I was blown away by the fact that this classic aircraft came with a superbly written 500+ page manual. Some of the more modern airlines released these days come with far fewer pages of instruction and data. The fact that the DC-9 comes with such an in-depth manual filled with charts and tables, hints to the user that you can expect to fly this aircraft by the numbers!
Apart from the numerous tables and charts you will also receive a significant amount of general and system specific information on this aircraft. Since the DC-9 comes with a Failure Simulation, you will be happy to know that the manual comes not only with a normal checklist, but it also comes with an abnormal checklist as well.
Overall, the documentation provided in this product is more than adequate and I strongly suggest that you spend sometime reading before you fly the aircraft. The manuals can be downloaded free of charge from the Coolsky website, why not have a look for yourself? http://www.coolsky.n...classic/manuals
We’ll start off our review with a look at the external model. Over the years I have seen many DC-9 models for MSFS and many of them have been lacking in some way or the other. It’s either that the nose and cockpit windows were all wrong or the tail was modeled incorrectly. The exterior model of the Coolsky DC-9 however, seems to be the perfect reflection of the real world DC-9.
Starting at the front, you will notice that the cockpit windows were correctly modeled and situated. Getting a bit more into detail, you will also notice the extreme detail on the landing gear, wings and flaps. This was further enhanced by the high quality textures provided by Mcphat Studios. Other highlights of the external model include the correct modeling of the air stairs both in the front and rear of the aircraft which is a signature of the DC-9. The modeling of the engines and tail section of the aircraft is perhaps the most convincing we have yet seen of any DC-9 series.
So who did the modeling? Well you would be surprised to learn that Mcphat Studios did the modeling of this fine aircraft and they did quite a good job! Perhaps the most significant feature of the external model is the fact that it fully simulates the “flying ailerons and elevators” of the DC-9. Rather than being hydraulically operated, like on most other aircraft, the DC-9 ailerons and elevator are operated by a control tab at the end of the control surface which flies the control surface up and down. This means the control surfaces won’t move on the ground when there is no air flowing over them.
While discussing the exterior model, it is only fitting that we touch on the amazing textures that come with this aircraft. By now, the vast majority of flightsim enthusiasts are well familiar with Mcphat Studios and the amazing work that Terrence and his crew of painters and modelers are capable of.
The DC-9 has been a work in progress for these busy painters for well over a year now and the results justify the lengthy development time. The Coolsky DC-9 comes with 6 SD (Standard Definition) liveries. These liveries include Aeromexico, Alitalia, Eastern Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines and Ansett Airlines of Australia. The SD liveries themselves look quite amazing and it is hard to imagine that it gets even better than this! Mcphat Studios has also made available Ultra High Definition Texture sets for the DC-9.
These repaints come in 4 separate volumes and are well worth checking out. I had the opportunity to test these UHDTs and I was quite blown away by the level of detail in these repaints. The only downside with these textures is the large amount of space required for installation. Nevertheless, if this is not an issue for you, then I am sure you will enjoy having these. You can check out these additional textures:
For those of you who would like to have these liveries in SD, Mcphat Studios has also made available a mega pack which includes 18 liveries in SD format.
The Mega Pack works out to be a great deal at 19.80 Euros. If you are considering the UHDTs, they are also quite affordable at the price of 12.99 Euros for 6 Liveries. Either way I can honestly say that you will be missing out if you don’t give these textures a try. They are by far the highest quality repaints available today. In fact, Mcphat Studios is so confident in their products that they have made this statement regarding the UHD Textures for the DC-9.
“With a pixel per meter ratio of 350+, these textures are by FACT the most detailed produced textures in the entire history of Flight Simulator, surpassing even our own PMDG NGX Textures. In the end though, it is not the pixel per meter ratio, but what you do with all those pixels. Quality over quantity.
Bigger is not always better, but it most certainly help. By building the entire kit from the ground up, by hand, we get to match all effects over the entire range of maps to the pixel. Which means that rivet you see on the diffuse map, is also bumped on the normal map and slightly reflects differently on the specular map. Because of the high pixel per meter ratio, we can then make a rivet look like a rivet and not a golf ball, and a panel line like a panel line and not a World War 1 trench.”
Photos showing the difference between the SD and UHD Textures
A statement like this speaks volumes and as you can see from some of the screenshots provided, Mcphat Studios has definitely delivered.
Moving on into the interior of the aircraft, some of you may be disappointed to learn that the Coolsky DC-9 does not come with a virtual cabin. However, after seeing the quality of the virtual cockpit, I hardly believe you will miss not having a virtual cabin. In fact, I doubt your PC may be able to handle the drop in frames if it did!
When you first look at the virtual cockpit, your initial expression may be “wow, this panel is blue” and no, this is not a mistake, many of the early DC-9 came with a blue cockpit panel and other color variations were also available. Mcphat Studios has not neglected this option for the DC-9 cockpit and they have also made available the DC-9 Flight deck's texture set.
This additional product includes a Blue Variation in 4096 pixels and a Grey and Brown variation in both 4096 and 2048 pixels. Does it make a difference which one you use? Well this is purely up to you.
If you can run the DC-9 on your PC then it is unlikely that you will suffer any significant drop in frame rates. However, if you want to customize your experience with this aircraft, i.e.: applying the correct cockpit color to its respective airline, then it may be worth your while to consider getting this add-on for your DC-9. You will also notice that the cockpit textures are very dated, which is what you would expect for an aircraft over 30 years old.
The modeling of the virtual cockpit itself was quite impressive. As one would expect by today’s standard, the virtual cockpit is fully 3D. Every gauge, switch, knob and circuit breaker has been accurately modeled and they work as expected in real life. The cockpit is also filled with many other items that contribute to the overall experience such as oxygen masks and even the Captain’s jacket.
All in all, the level of detail in the virtual cockpit makes it a dead ringer for the real thing. If you were impressed with the PMDG NGX virtual cockpit, then wait until you see this!
As far as the features of this aircraft go, I hardly know where to start. The DC-9 is laden with features and perhaps the most practical starting point may be the Coolsky Flight Center which is the first thing you see on your screen when the aircraft is loaded. The Flight Center consists of various tabs that guide you to a variety of functions and options available to the user. The first and perhaps the most innovative is the Auto Aircraft Config.
The Auto Config feature allows you to setup your aircraft according to the selected phase of flight or phase of operation. For example, let’s say that you have a limited amount of time during the day or night to do a quick flight. Normally, if you are a fanatic for realism, you may spend a lot of time planning and setting up your aircraft. However, if you have very little time at your disposal, you can choose to setup the aircraft for either Ready for Engine Start, Engines Running – Ready for Push & Taxi or Cleared for Takeoff.
These settings are not executed haphazardly. All of the systems, switches, knobs and levers will automatically be set according to the checklist. This feature can only be described as ingenious and it should rightly be a feature all add-ons!
Moving down to the Training section, this is were many of you newcomers to the world of high end add-ons SHOULD spend some time getting to know the aircraft. This section gives you step by step training in how to properly fly the aircraft. This is done by means of on screen instructions and arrows that guide you through each step of the checklist. Were necessary, the appropriate panels needed to access various systems on the checklist will open automatically!
After a few sessions of practice, you are sure to be a competent DC-9 pilot. For those of you who are seasoned FS pilots or even real world pilots, you too can benefit from this feature as it will serve as a visual aid to going through the checklist and it can also act as a refresher if you haven’t flown this type of aircraft in a while.
The Dispatch center is next to follow and I am sure that this is one of the tabs you will be visiting frequently. In the Dispatch section, you will have access to editing your aircraft’s payload and fuel. One of the features of this section that I absolutely loved was the Weight & Balance Control Form. This added so much to bringing you one step closer to flying the real aircraft and experiencing the same procedures and protocols of a real DC-9 pilot.
When changes are made to the passenger numbers, cargo and fuel the adjustments can be sent to the aircraft in real time. This means that gone are the days where you have to reload an aircraft whenever you make changes that affect your performance.
The Options section of the flight center is self explanatory and I need not go into detail on this section. Basically, this is where you set up your preferences on what you would like to experience when using this product. The next section we will look at (and I am sure you are very interested in) is the Failure tab.
Many of you will be happy to hear that this feature was included since there are quite a bit of FS users who enjoy pushing their skills to the limit. There are a number of failures that can be selected and set up by “triggers.” The one that surprised me the most was smoke in the cockpit. I wondered how on earth will you simulate smoke in the cockpit in FSX? Well, Espen surely delivered a surprise and instead of letting the cat out the bag, I will let you see and it experience it yourself!
The final two sections I will touch on are the NavSim and Schematics. The Navigation Simulator is another one of my favorite features of this aircraft. Back in the 1960s when the DC-9 was designed, FMS didn’t exist and the sole means of navigating was by means of VOR or NDB. I have always been an advocate of VOR and NDB navigation as this is what I personally consider to be one of the facets of flying that separated the men from the boys.
Let’s face it, its easy to hop in an aircraft, setup the FMS and let the aircraft do all the work. However, it takes a lot of knowledge and planning to do a VOR or NDB navigation flight plan. There are many things you need to consider and know off the top of your head to be a skillful navigator. For example, do you know what the 1 in 60 rule is? Can you fly an NDB approach by hand? What about flying a DME ARC? Are you familiar with flying inbound and outbound radials to intercept a waypoint that is not a VOR or NDB?
These are just some of the things that the Navigation Simulator will assist you with, but many of the concepts mentioned in my previous questions are things that you should be familiar with in order to fly VOR or NDB flight plans.
As shown in the photos above, the NavSim will show you all the VORs and NDBs around you on a moving map display. It also shows your position in relation to these radio navigation aids, along with your speed and bearing. The display also corresponds with your cockpit instruments (HSI) and the radio frequencies you have tuned on your radios. In a nutshell, this is almost a simulator in itself which gives you a mental picture of what you are doing. Hands down this is one of the most innovative features yet seen on any FS add-on aircraft.
The final feature we will look at is the Schematics page of the flight center. Have you ever tried to start the engines of an airplane, only to realize that no matter what you do, the engines just won’t start? Well this may not happen with all FS add-ons, but it will with the DC-9 if you are not familiar with the schematics of each aircraft system.
The Schematics page gives you an animated diagram of various systems in real time. This means that when you flip the left fuel pumps on the overhead panel, you will see the effect on your fuel system in real time. The same applies to many other systems including the electrical and hydraulic. If you have ever struggled in the past to grasp the complexity of these systems, rest assured that this feature will make it so much easier for you to understand the inner working of these systems.
This is yet again another innovative feature that I think will revolutionize the way we learn the systems of an aircraft. Espen has really outdone himself with this feature and I am sure you will enjoy using this!
As I had mentioned earlier, I won’t be going into every detail about the flight center and all of its features. If I did, this review might quickly turn into a novel! However, just to provide a general overview, some of the other features include Ground Ops which allows you to control various aspects of ground operations such as Pushback and Startup, Ground Power unit, Fwd and Aft Air Stairs, Engine Cowling, Cargo Doors and Cabin lights!
Other features are listed in the Options menu which will allow you to further customize your DC-9. All in all, the Flight Center is a feature that truly makes this product unique and a cut above the rest!
The Flying Experience
The DC-9 has always been my favorite aircraft. When I began my pilot training a few years ago it was with the ultimate goal of one day flying this aircraft. Sadly, DC-9s are disappearing from our skies and so much so that even “newer” MD80s are today being put out to pasture. This means that the privilege of seeing a DC-9-30 or any other DC-9 is becoming a very rare opportunity.
When the Coolsky DC-9 came along, I was very excited since it presented the opportunity to experience (from a simulator’s perspective), what it would have been like to fly this aircraft. I was at first a bit skeptical as to just how good a simulation this product would be. This was especially so after spending countless hours with other high end products such as the Leonardo Maddog, Concorde X and PMDG MD-11/NGX. I thought that a product like this would find it quite difficult to capture the attention of most simmers that have grown accustomed to the newer aircraft that have much newer technology.
Nevertheless, I have always been a fan of old school aircraft since they offer a much more rewarding challenge to fly. The first full flight that I completed with this aircraft was a flight from Boston to Philadelphia using the US Airways Livery. Normally, I would go over to FlightAware to find a suitable flight plan but that plan was quickly shot down when I remembered that this aircraft has no FMS!
While there is an option to use the FSX GPS, I opted not to do so in the spirit of trying to relive the old days of VOR to VOR navigation. Using a few enroute charts and myairplane.com, I was able to gather all the necessary information for my flight. It took me almost 30-45 minutes to properly plan out my route, radio frequencies and calculations for TOD. Some might say that this was excessive but I can assure you that planning a flight like this with charts and a plotter is no easy task.
After all of the planning was done, it was now time to start up and taxi to the runway. While on the topic of start up, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the sound package that comes with the DC-9. If you are familiar with JT8D engines, you will likely recall that these engines have a VERY distinct sound. Coolsky did a good job in capturing the sound of this engine but I am sure that some of you will disagree. In fact, some have opted to use the latest Turbine Sound Studio DC-9 HD Soundset in place of the one that comes with the DC-9.
I have had the opportunity to try both and I have to say that it is a difficult call to say which is best. I can say however, that each soundset has characteristics that are similar and some that are very different. In the end, it all boils down to personal taste. If you would like to check out the Turbine Sound Studio Soundset, have a look at this video:
Going back to our flight, after the engines were started and stabilized, we taxied to the runway for an early morning departure. Some of the waypoints on my flight plan were non radio (SIDs & STARS) and it called for a lot of frequency changes and paying close attention to your DME from various VORs. I think it would be fair to say that the DC-9 will definitely keep you busy!
My most significant good impression of this aircraft came just after the takeoff. Some of you may be familiar with aircraft that handle so poorly by hand, that you just can’t wait to turn on the autopilot after takeoff. With the DC-9, I found myself at 12,000ft still hand flying with a smile on my face from ear to ear. By far, this is one of the very few aircraft available for FS that actually FEELS like an airplane. The characteristics of the model are utterly amazing and it reminded me so much of what it was like flying a real airline by hand.
The controls were very smooth but firm, which is what you would expect from an older aircraft. To further test the stability of the flying controls, I opted to try hand flying the aircraft all the way to my cruising altitude. Again, I was very impressed. The performance of the aircraft was also on par with the documentation that was provided and this is not always the case with other add-ons.
Moving now to the navigation aspect of things, while I was kept very busy paying attention to VOR indicators and DME, the Navigation Simulator made it significantly easier to visualize the entire flight plan. Again, this is one feature that I am sure you will fall in love with. The Autopilot onboard the DC-9 is very basic but it was still able to track VOR radials and maintain heading and altitude (what more can you want?). After hand flying for the first few minutes of the flight, I decided to try the autopilot which turned out to be quite stable and it eased the workload quite significantly.
During the final moments of the flight, I decided to try out the GPS option (just to make sure it actually works). You should be aware however, that in order to get the GPS to work, you will have access the 2D panel to toggle the GPS/NAV switch that will appear on the main panel just below the glare shield. Some may see this as an inconvenience if you are an exclusively VC user but the inconvenience was minimal in my opinion. I was able to use the GPS both to track certain waypoints and as a guide while using the heading selector. Either way you choose to use this feature, it works just fine.
You may recall that the elevators or ailerons of the DC-9 are not controlled via hydraulics. These surfaces move via control tabs which are manipulated by the pilot’s control column to which they are linked. This being the case, landing the DC-9 at slow speeds can be a bit tricky in real life and I found that this was nicely replicated in the Coolsky DC-9. The effect of low airflow over the control tabs was not exaggerated nor was it almost non existent. I found that the handling on final approach and landing was very balanced and I think that with a little practice, anyone can master landing this aircraft.
Overall, my flying experience with this aircraft can only be described as “beautiful” The flight model was superbly done and I would hardly change anything about it.
Format: Download (223MB)
Reviewed By: Marlon Carter
As far as my final thoughts on this product are concerned, I would rather not rehash everything that I already would have mentioned in this review. With that said, I think it would be best to end this review by answering the basic question of “Is this product really worth my money?”
Well, at a price of $49.95, I would say that the Coolsky DC-9 is well worth its weight in “gold”. The features that have been provided in this product are second to none and the only thing that can honestly prevent you from buying this product is simply your preference between modern or classic aircraft.
While the DC-9 does have its bugs (Artifacts/Flickering Issue), Espen has assured us all that he is working tirelessly to solve these problems. In fact, as I write this review, there is a group of customers working along with the development team to solve this issue which is considered to be minor. This issue arose due to the high complexity of the virtual cockpit. For this reason, a low poly model was developed and even more work is being done to reduce the number of polygons uses in the virtual cockpit without jeopardizing the overall quality of the product.
All things considered, I think that the innovative features provided in the Coolsky DC-9 warrants an Avsim Gold Star Award. Apart from one or two other products currently on the FS market, the DC-9 can rightly take its place as one of the most complex and innovative products available for FSX today. Why not give it a try yourself?
Reviewer’s Note - As of December 23, 2012, the developer has informed me that they have solved the flickering issue that some users have experienced. A service pack will be made available on their website for all to download. This update solves one of the major issues experienced when using this aircraft and brings it closer, if not at, the mark of perfection.
What I Like About the DC-9
- The Flight Center and all of the great features within it
- The UHD Texture brings the entire aircraft to a whole new level of realism
- The flight model is excellent
- Expansion packs provided by Mcphat Studios are great
- Exterior Model and Virtual Cockpit are very detailed
- All circuit breakers work!
What I Dislike About the DC-9
- A few bugs on initial release
- Some features have not been simulated such as the wing lights and the DIM selection on the nose gear lights are not simulated ( But who knows, Espen is know to always be willing to update his products so we may see these things implemented in the future…)