AVSIM Commercial Aircraft Review

Just Flight (PSS)
Boeing 757 Professional

Product Information

Publisher: Just Flight

Description: Boeing 757 Professional for FS2004 (including Update to version 1.3).

Download Size:
189 MB

Format:
DVD / Download
Simulation Type:
FS9
Reviewed by: Angelique van Campen AVSIM Staff Reviewer - March 7, 2008

Introduction

The Just Flight 757 Professional for FS2004 is, let’s say for 99.9%, the original PSS (Phoenix Simulation Software) version. The offered 757 comes in different models; the -200, -300 and -200F (Freighter) with two possible engine types, the Rolls Royce RB211 Series and the P&W (Pratt & Whitney) PW2000 Series. Additional to the basic software, you’ve got 66 liveries – including the Phoenix house colors – divided over the three different models, so enough choice is there to find your favorite airline. Apart of these liveries, you can find many more paintings when doing a “PSS 757” search in the AVSIM library.

Before I continue, let’s first see how Just Flight is promoting this PSS product; "The 757 is acknowledged throughout the world as the leader in short to medium-range operations. It flies routes from under 100 miles to over 4,000 miles and now flight simulation can enjoy the same fantastic flexibility!"

"This spectacular 757 expansion has been developed by the experts at PSS and is the latest addition to Just Flight’s Professional range. It is supplied in both the -200 and -300 variants and comes with an impressive selection of 66 different airline liveries from around the globe. The authentic sounds, detailed features and refined flight modeling means that this example of one of the world's most popular narrow-bodied airliners is truly the one to fly! Airliner fans will love the animated undercarriage, including 'gear droop', flaps, elevators, rudder, spoilers, ailerons, flexing wings, APU Inlet RAM air turbine, cargo and cabin doors – the attention to detail is inspired. Accurately designed virtual cockpit includes moving yokes, pedals, throttles; reflective gauges, lighting and much more!"

The Just Flight 7857 Professional features:
- Lot’s of high-quality worldwide liveries for both -200 and – 300 variants including freight models,
- Both Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce engine versions modeled,
- Authentic flight modeling - custom designed, based on real-world data and fully tested by current 757 pilots,
- High quality visual model,
- Superb 2D instrument panel and gauges,
- Highly interactive Virtual Cockpit,
- Numerous high-quality animations,
- Special lighting effects,
- PSS 'REAL' features: lighting effects wingtip vapor trails,
- Extensive printed manual,
- Flight tutorial,
- Load Editor and panel configuration utilities.

Right, that sounds impressive and believe it or not, these are just a part of all the features listed on the JF dedicated website. It would be great to compare this JF 757 with, for example, the Capt Sim 757 but unfortunately I don’t own the Captain Sim 757 series so I can’t find out the pro’s and con’s of the PSS/Just Flight model in relation to a competitor. One thing is clear to me and that’s the “small” price different.

The Just Flight download version cost you €44.95 / $59.99, while with Captain Sim we have to combine several packs together to get the same models as provided with JF/PSS. For Captain Sim we need the Express Line blocks B (757-200 base), 300 (757-300), Freighter (757-200F) and E (RR and PW sound), which brings us to a price of €41.95, so this is more or less the same as the JF/PSS product. However, Captain Sim doesn’t offer a full operative FMC in block B (base package), however a fully functional FMC/CDU will be available in the upcoming Pro Line Full package and in block F, which are both not yet available at the writing this review (23th of February).

By the way, regarding the JF/PSS 757 Professional product for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, the following can be found on the Just Flight website; “We were planning to release this add-on once it was upgraded to full FSX compatibility. It looks extremely unlikely that an FSX upgrade will ever become available and so we have decided to release 757 Professional for FS2004 only to satisfy the healthy demand from customers who tell us they are still using the older sim.”

No FSX version of this one, which is a shame since it would be a good competitor. With many competitors on the market, I believe that it will – in one way or the other – improve the product and thus be a more worthy product for the customer.

A brief description of the 757

The 757 is a twin-engine, new technology jet airplane designed for low fuel burn and short-to-medium range operations. This airplane uses new aerodynamics, materials, structures, and systems to fill market requirements that cannot be efficiently provided by existing equipment or derivatives.

The 757 is a low-noise airplane powered by Rolls-Royce RB211-535C, -535E4, or -535E4B, or the Pratt & Whitney PW2037, PW2040, or PW2043 engines. These are high-bypass-ratio engines which are efficient, reliable, and easy to maintain.

During the 1970s, Boeing derived several proposals for a successor to the three-engine Boeing 727 aircraft which typically seated between 94 and 189 passengers and was a very successful aircraft, particularly in US domestic markets.

The final design of the 757 was decided upon in the late 1970s, utilizing the same cabin cross-section as the 727/737 but with a considerably longer fuselage, a redesigned wing and modern high-bypass fuel efficient turbofan engines. Boeing also designed a state-of-the-art advanced two-crew flight deck with Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS). This incorporated six cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays housing primary attitude data, navigation display and engine parameters including an automated crew alerting system (a system of messages and aural warnings which presents the crew with information on the extent or significance of non-normal situations).

Another feature of the aircraft design was commonality with the Boeing 767, which was developed alongside the 757. The two aircraft types share a number of systems and the flight deck is almost identical allowing a common pilot type-rating between the two aircraft. Let’s have a look to the different models/types, according to the Boeing Company.

757-200

The 757-200 family of airplanes consists of passenger and package freighter versions. The passenger version is available in two configurations:
• The basic configuration (overwing-exit) has three LH and RH passenger doors and two LH and RH overwing exit doors.
• An optional configuration (four-door) has the same three LH and RH passenger doors but with LH and RH exit door aft of the wing, in lieu of the overwing exit doors.

In the passenger configuration, the 757-200 can typically carry 186 passengers in a six-abreast, mixed class configuration over a 2,900-nautical-mile range with full load. High gross options can increase the range to about 3,900 nautical miles. High-density seating arrangements can accommodate as many as 239 passengers in an all-economy configuration. The 757-200 can be equipped for Extended Range Operations (EROPS) to allow extended overwater operations. Changes include a backup hydraulic motor-generator set and an auxiliary fan for equipment cooling.

757-200PF

The Package Freighter (757-200PF) airplane is designed to carry an all-cargo payload. Main-deck cargo is either in cargo containers or pallets and are loaded through a large cargo door forward of the left wing. The -200PF has no windows or passenger doors in the fuselage. A crew entry door is provided forward of the main deck cargo door.

757-300

The 757-300 is a second-generation derivative of the 757-200 airplane. Two body extensions were added to the airplane's fuselage to provide additional seating and cargo capacity. The 757-300 can typically seat 243 passengers in a dual-class arrangement or 279 passengers in an all-economy configuration. The EROPS (Extended Range OPerationS) option has been incorporated in the 757-300.

Installation and Documentation

Installation

Known from Just Flight installation processes, the auto installer is doing its work straightforward without any problems and it even automatically detects the location of FS2004, which is taken from the Windows Registry. Additionally, you need to download the released “update to Version 1.3” service pack or patch, whatever name you like. This is a single update of around 63Mb and is applicable for either the DVD or download version. When you bought the DVD version, keep in mind that before starting the update, you need to have the DVD in your drive since the installer checks the presence of this DVD.

The idea of the update is more than just a small change. It modifies certain failures related to manuals, it installs an updated gauge file and a few others things. For detailed information about the total contents of the update, have a look on the dedicated JF 757 Professional website. While you are on the JF website, have also a look to the FAQ “I cannot see any text on the displays in the 757”. It seems that after the installation, some text is missing on the EICAS and EFIS displays. This can be solved by following the installation description for Vista or XP users which includes the Baloo and IRIS Windows fonts. After you’ve installed both fonts, the instruments look as they should.

When you’re finished with the installer, it’s time to have a look to what’s there. Of course, the necessary folders and files are installed in the Flight Simulator 9 directory, so that’s perfect but when we look under the Start menu button via All Programs -> Just Flight -> 757 Professional, we will see the following shortcuts; Acrobat files Aircraft Specs, FMC Manual and Charts & Tables. Further on, a Load Editor and Fuel Planner and last but not least, a Cockpit Selection Tool.

I

II

III

IV
Several screenshots of the installation process. Special attention goes to screenshot III where - lucky for us - the installer automatically detects the correct location via the Windows Registry, of Flight Simulator 9.

Regarding the other two additional programs; Fuel Planner and Load Editor, they can be started right away without the need to load FS9 first. The last shortcut, which refers to the Cockpit Selection Tool is working as well and more information can be found later on.

Documentation

Apart of the available manuals mentioned in the previous chapter, the DVD box also contains a printed 68 page Operator’s Manual, which is, by the way, not available in Acrobat format. Without explaining every detail of the printed manual, in general it contains the installation procedure, some tips about DVD reading problems, panel and limited system description, a checklist and how to fly the 757 including a flight tutorial. Is it enough …. I don’t know.

That depends on everybody’s background knowledge. I think it gives you a good idea of the aircraft, although I’ve seen from other vendors more advanced books, either for the beginners or versions for expert users. I personally think it was a good idea of having this printed version available as a Acrobat file on the DVD or installed in the same folder as mentioned above. It’s a small size booklet, which is better to read on the PC. But that’s my personal feeling.

One remark about the Chart & Tables and 757 Specifications Acrobat file; some of the contents of these documents can be found with much more information in the original Boeing 757 Airplane Characteristics. You can download this document (9.0 Mb) via the following link. Before you think you’ve got all the necessary tables and don’t need anything else, these charts and tables are a small collection from the FCOM (Flight Crew Operation Manual), which are used by the real pilots for performance calculations.

In other words, the Chart & Tables document contains payload/range, takeoff runway length requirements, landing runway length requirements, takeoff speeds, maneuvering speeds and flap related schedules, different thrust settings and an extended checklist. Wow, that’s a long list of documents, which by the way has 31 pages, but what to do with all of that? When you’re not very experienced, then I’ve got no ideas about all those charts and tables.

There’s no description at all on how to handle and read those tables. Without any guidance or the help of an example, these charts and tables are more or less useless to my personal opinion. When you want to add those into a package and want the user to be able to use them, then make an extensive description and operation of how to get profit from it. For example, in a combined tutorial. As far as I can remember, PMDG does one.

Last manual; FMC Description and Operation.

When going through this 29 page Acrobat file, it starts with a short description of the FMS and CDU before it explains all the possible CDU (Control Display Unit) pages. This, together with the previous mentioned hard copy booklet, should be enough to understand how to handle the CDU. Keep in mind that the previously mentioned hard-copy booklet also contains a flight tutorial. So this also shows how to enter the necessary data to use this FMC/CDU in a practical flight condition. If this FMS information is enough for the average user, we will see when discussing the aircraft flight dynamics.

The cockpit

2D cockpit

When FS9 is started and the JF/PSS 757 is loaded, we start with a great looking 2D panel. Whether you like a hand painted panel or a more realistic digitized panel like in the Captain Sim version, that’s personal. When I look around I do remember that the Level-D 767 uses digitized panel pictures while PMDG with it’s latest models uses manual, painted panels. Which one is better, neither is better, it’s just a matter of taste.

When you create and paint your own 2D panels – main instrument, overhead, pedestal, sub-panels – you’ve more flexibility on how they should look. When you use digitized panel pictures, you don’t have too much flexibility to modify those. One thing surprises me and that is the frame rates. The impact is very low and later on with the VC, you will see the same. When you own a 2 TFT setup like me, you can easily stretch the aircraft and VC over two TFTs without a large negative FPS impact.

Panel with SPD tape EADI

Panel without SPD tape EADI

Enlarged EADI, EHSI and EICAS crt’s

Sub-panels pedestal, FMS CDU and mini communication panel

Sub-panels RADIO- and EFIS panel

Sub panel overhead
Just to give you an idea of the Captain’s main instrument panel and all the sub-panels. For the latter, those are requested via the FS menu or the Panel Switch Command bar. Apart from this, the EADI can be equipped with the round sphere without the speed tape or the one with the speed tape and on top the FMAS.

Apart from the main instrument panel – captain’s side – many other sub-panels are offered including two different EADIs (Electronic Attitude Direction Indicator). One without an electronic IAS (Indicated Air Speed) scale and Auto Flight mode settings at the bottom while the other EADI has an IAS scale on the left with a FMAS (Flight Mode Annunciations) on top of the display. Other sub-panels can be requested via the FS menu or directly from the JF/PSS “Panel Switch Command Bar”. Sub-panels include the overhead panel, pedestal, EADI, FMS CDU, radio stack, COM for primary communication frequencies, a DOOR panel and finally the Performance and Set-Up panel.

Since the Performance and Set-up panel is the central point to make all the necessary adjustments, I would like to say a few words on this. Below you will find a look-alike electronic display which is called up via the third button of the right (yellow square screenshot I). By default, the GROUND COMMANDS window appears. Here you can select electrical and pneumatic power as well as restoring the RAT and IDG drives. By clicking the FUEL button on top, we get a page for adjusting, for example, the total fuel quantity. Last button on top is the right SETUP command. This gives several sub pages related to STARTUP OPTIONS, PERFORMANCE, SOUND, KEYBOARD COMMANDS, AIRLINE OPTIONS, IRS and finally MISC (miscellaneous). See the screenshots below of what you can expect, but you need to read the manual to be correctly informed.

I - GROUND COMMANDS page

II - FUEL page

III - SETUP page

IV - SETUP – STARTUP OPTIONS

V - SETUP - PERFORMANCE

VI - SETUP – AIRLINE OPTIONS

VII - SETUP - IRS

VIII - SETUP - MISCELLANEOUS

Via the Panel Switch Command Bar (see screenshot I within the amber square), we click the third button from the right “SET”, which bring up this CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) look-alike display. Detailed information about the different pages can be found in the manuals.

A few words about certain panels and their names. The 757 and by the way, the 767, uses the names EADI and HSI. But since those instruments are electronic ones, it’s known as E (electronic) ADI and EHSI. Even in the JF book (hardcopy booklet page 46 (Navigation Display) and page 48 and 62 (PFD)) etc, you sometimes see the names PFD (Primary Flight Display) and ND (Navigation Display) instead of EADI and EHSI.

I know, it’s confusing, but that’s something I can’t help. Further on we do not have a co-pilot’s panel available, so when you want to see the co-pilot's panel, you need to switch to the VC. Is it a problem that the co-pilot's panel is missing or, for example, the center instrument panel? No, it’s not really a problem but even when I compared these cockpits with other vendors, that gives me the opportunity to check for the differences and flight convenience for the virtual pilot who doesn’t want to switch to the VC mode.

Num 7

Num 9

Num 4

Num 5

Num 6

Num 1

Num 2

Num 3

Via the NumPad, you can request these side views. Apart from the main and overhead panel, the side views are not really spectacular (cartoonish look). Some small notes: Num 2 is a digitized picture, while Num 9 gives you a real VC look of this side and not as generally seen, a static digitized picture.

This brings me to the overhead panel and more important; what doesn’t work on the overhead panel? Reading the JF booklet in depth, you get the idea that almost every switch, knob, selector etc. on the overhead panel is working, but that’s not the case. I found that the following is not controllable; HF1 (2) Control panels, Cockpit Voice Recorder panel, LT OVRD switch, CABIN- and GND CALL light switches as well as the SELCAL light switches (switches do work in VC mode). CABIN PRESS panel RATE selector only works in AUTO mode, and from the RH LIGHTS panel some selectors are not modeled and finally on the AIR CONDITIONING panel the FLT DECK, FWD-0 and AFT CAB temperature selectors. Apart from a few other small items, other cockpit panels that are not modeled include the brightness of all the display units – EHSI, EADI, UPPER and LOWER EICAS – can be adjusted except of the CDU. Are all those things so important?

That depends on your wish and interest. For me, I like it when all the switches, selectors, knobs etc. are working. Another strange thing is that the integral lights of, for example, the IVSI (Inertial Vertical Speed Indicator), altimeter, clock, standby horizon, IAS and altimeter work in the VC cockpit mode with the PANEL light switch knob in the OFF position. When you leave the aircraft in this powered condition, the integral lights or backlights of the instrument do not work in the 2D mode as it should be unless, of course, when you select the PANEL light knob to ON.

After contacting Just Flight, it seems that this item is under investigation and will be modified (added) with a new Service Pack, so we need to wait a while since they already released an update recently. This is ok for me, as long as a vendor is willing to listen to its buyers/customers.

I think the quality of the hand painted panels is more important and this is really awesome. See it like this; the panel creations of JF/PSS as a cockpit/757 model just delivered from the factory to the customer. You can even smell the fresh brown paint in the cockpit. My personal impression of the 2D cockpit overall, is awesome.

Virtual cockpit

Creating a VC is difficult. Does the vendor go for a photorealistic VC or for a cockpit based on hand painted panels or for a mix? It would be great when we have a VC which looks as real as the original real life cockpit, but what about the frames rates since this is much more important to us? You can have a tremendously good looking cockpit but with FPS between 5-10, that doesn’t work. I haven't even started talking about the activation of ActiveSky or flying online via IvAo or VATSIM. When you add those programs to it, the impact is devastating and results in FPS less then 5 or in the worse case becomes the magic figure “1”. So, there should be a balance between as real as possible and normal FPS. Ok, let’s first start with the FPS.

They're OK in relation to my PC, but for the VC I have the idea that certain parts are looking too cartoonish. This is not the first time I’m using this word – cartoonish – because too often it doesn’t look like the real cockpit and especially when you want to compare it with real 757 pictures. The question becomes whether it’s possible to create a real looking cockpit based on real digitized images. It seems apart of the FPS figure, that Captain Sim created a very realistic VC when looking at the screenshots on their website. I know, this is not a review of the Captain Sim 757, but of the JF/PSS one, so let’s go back.

As you can see on the screenshots, the VC gives me a good impression of the overall cockpit lay-out, the panels with printed text, the sharpness of the individual instruments, close-ups of the pedestal and overhead panel. On the other hand, certain parts in the cockpit look cartoonish like the control wheel steering horn, the back side of the pedestal and the lower part of the captain’s and co-pilot's seats. These are just a few small details, and for some those, are not that important but for others they are.

Answers or comments like “it isn’t possible to make a real looking VC” are no longer valid. I’ve seen many VC’s, like the one from Captain Sim’s 757, which is as real as it gets but also the VC of the upcoming XSimulate DC-10 Series. That VC designer is more an artist and is responsible for this great looking DC-10 VC. That same person is also busy creating a VC for the new CLS Classic 747 model. So, in other words, it’s possible to make a VC which really gives you the feeing you’re sitting in a real cockpit. The only problem is that you need accurate high resolution cockpit pictures for the artist to work with and a good designer/artist to make it happen. Apart of some cockpit components, the rest gives me a good feeling.

Running from the left side of the cockpit to the right side. These VC pictures show a well designed and balanced cockpit layout. If you like this look or prefer to have a more photorealistic look, that’s I think a personal feeling. The quality of the panels, text and instruments is very good.
I could make dozens of pictures, but I think that this small collection will give you a good idea of the VC quality of the JF/PSS cockpit. Although no digitized images are used, there are lots of details like the sharp instruments, the printed text of the panels, and many others.

OK, is there something else to point out or missing? Yes, there a few items. First, one thing you need to keep in mind is that you must be close to the panel to operate the switches or else nothing happens. When you’re a little too far away from the switch, selector knob or whatever component you want to operate, it won't work. Irritating? No, not really, but you need to know.

Next item; I’m not able to open either of the sliding windows in the VC mode. Another thing, and I couldn’t find it in the manual, is that you’re able to move the cockpit seats along the ground floor tracks. Just put your mouse anywhere on the cockpit seat, it turns into a hand and with the right mouse button depressed, you can control the cockpit seat in an AFT and OUTWARDS direction and visa versa. The same for the armrest. Click on an armrest and the handle moves UP and you’re able to step in nicely.

External model and virtual cabin

Let’s first start with the Virtual Cabin. That will be a very short story since there’s no virtual cabin at all. Ok, PSS made a cabin but this one is completely empty. There’s nothing installed at all; no sidewalls, no ceiling panels, no seats, no galley’s and no lavatories or is it a 757 taken from the product line and still waiting for final cabin introduction. I don’t know what the reason for this is, but for now, this cannot compete with the CS wonderful cabin layout. However, this is again something personal; some want to have a virtual cabin to walk through while others are much more interested in a good looking and accurate cockpit.

No cabin lay-out at all? It seems that the seats are painted on the sidewalls … strange!
Just a small note regarding the virtual cabin. The virtual cabin as shown can’t be reached via the VC cockpit mode and looking/moving towards the cabin. The screenshots about the cabin are taken from an external look via Walk & Follow towards the cabin.

Since we're talking about a virtual cabin, what’s left in the cargo areas? Opening/closing the cargo doors is done via the Panel Switch Command bar “DOOR” button. This activates for the PAX 1 (DOOR 2L), PAX 2 (DOOR 1L), PAX 3 (DOOR 3L), CARGO 1 (FWD CARGO HOLD) and CARGO 2 (AFT CARGO HOLD). Any other door control via this panel is not available nor do panel features on the fuselage, engine pylons, or engine itself like you have with the CS models.

On the real 757-200 there’s an optional possibility to have a BULK CARGO door on the RH side of the fuselage just behind the AFT CARGO door. As far as I can see, neither of the offered PSS 757-200's have this lining on the fuselage and no operational door control. You see this, by the way, with more vendors preserving polygon lines for other more important things, so they leave out special doors. I don’t see this as a problem since Boeing informs me that it's really optional and a MSFS vendor can hardly make all the possible features from the real aircraft due to the variety of real 757 models.

The cargo hold sidewalls are there with enough details as in real life. Average details of the FWD cargo door, lining and hinges.

Now it’s time for the external model. Apart from what I wrote before, there’s no possibility with the PSS/JF model to bring in a maintenance configuration like you can with the CS models. Is that important? Not for me. I’m more interested whether the model looks realistic on the outside, if it’s made as real as possible. So let’s have a look at the screenshots below.

Fuselage door details not sharp and image on tail …. average! Not too close to the engine, but placards are not sharp at all.
Squared nose wheel with missing textures on nose wheel strut Squared main wheels. Not a very nice look!

As you can see, the model doesn't look that bad but certain things could be better in my opinion unless I don’t understand anything about making 3D models and polygon lines. Indeed, I’ve no clue about making 3D models, but what I don’t understand is why others have normal looking tires and not tires that look like those in the shots above.

What about the NLG (Nose Landing Gear). Again, the nose wheel doesn't look nice but it seems to me that on this livery from Icelandair and some others, some of the paintings/textures are missing on the steering cylinders and the light housing also looks odd. With missing I mean there’s no color on it, it just looks white.

Let’s have a look at the engine inlet. It doesn’t make any different whether you're looking at a RR or PW inlet, the inlet cowling has a polygonal look; it’s not round due to MSFS limitations. I know, round is more or less impossibility, but again, why can others do it but not here. Am I too critical and expecting too much? Yes, I think so but I’m always wondering why others can make a good or very good external model and others are not able to do the same. Apart of this polygonal engine cowling, it also seems to me that the placard on the engine cowling – PW or RR logo – is not sharp at all and I’m not standing that close to the engine. Is this a PSS/JF painting problem or simply, the painter itself? I don’t know.

In between conclusion; the PSS/JF models do not come with a virtual cabin, while the external model looks not bad from a distance, but when coming closer, the quality and sharpness of placards and aircraft components is not of a very high standard. If this has something to do with the painter’s quality and thus the result of the livery, I don’t know. Based on all these notes, I think that the external model is satisfactory for me. This is also because there’s nothing similar in my hangar - read payware - for me to compare it with.

By the way, …… how real is it?

We, as flight sim enthusiasts, want to pay the minimum for any add-on scenery or airplane or other additional program, while at the same time it must be as real as possible. For airplane add-ons, this is more or less a nightmare to create something that looks as real as it gets, with a minimum impact on our delicate FPS, act as a real airplane and that for a reasonable price. I know, this is more of a utopia then a realistic thought. However, sometimes new products are offered on the market which really look - within the boundaries of MSFS – extremely realistic. With this introduction, it’s now time to look to several JF/PSS 757 VC shots compared with real 757 cockpit pictures.

Courtesy of Airliners.Net
It can’t be missed … these real life pictures are showing us an old, heavily used cockpit. The panels are dirty, they have scratches and the paint is gone.
Courtesy of Just Flight/PSS cockpit
Pictures taken during one of the last virtual test flights near the virtual Boeing Field in Seattle, before it’s handed over to the customer. Everything still looks brand new, EICAS and the electronic ADI and HSI are polished, while finger prints on the instruments have been cleaned away.

Flight dynamics

Here we go again …. I’m not a 757 pilot, nor have I got my ATPL, CPL or IR license. I didn’t come any further then a simple PPL, but with all my aviation knowledge and the help that the JF/PSS 757 has been tested by real pilots, should give me any idea about this model and its flight characteristics.

To test the aircraft's behavior, I will use the flight tutorial as a guideline while at the same time I’m able to judge about the didactical quality or in normal English “is the tutorial well written in a normal sequence and understandable way for beginners”. It sounds so easy, but writing a tutorial is a hell of a job since the writer needs to step into the mind of a MSFS beginner and from that starting point start to write a chronological story.

I would like to advise you that once you’ve bought the JF 757 Professional, to read the tutorial not once but at least twice. It’s not difficult to read or understand, but during certain flight phases, you don’t have the time to read the book while flying either manually or via the Auto Pilot.

Think about the Take Off phase and initial climb; you can’t look into it while at VR, it’s a good idea to make some notes on a piece of paper. The same thing happens during the approach and final approach phase. Lots of things happen in a very short time frame although you can leave the auto flight system connected. The system performs, after the LOC and GS are captured, well for the FLARE and ROLLOUT mode so you don’t have to worry about that. Ok, now it’s time to join me on this JF trip.

According to the JF booklet, we start at a specific location, YBBN. Using the tutorial, you start learning how to handle all the systems. The cockpit sounds as those from EICAS are, as far as I can remember, from real Boeing airplanes.

After all the preparations are done, including the programming of the FMS CDU, it’s time to start the engines. A nice detail is the way the generators are taking over the electrical AC buses. When an ENGINE generator comes online, you can see this very well on the EICAS displays since they dim when power transfer takes place between the APU and ENGINE generator. Not directly related to this, but what I miss is a kneeboard checklist.

By the way, programming/sequence of the FMS CDU can be done in different ways. The tutorial offers you a specific procedure, while other sequences are also possible. Just follow the JF book and everything works out fine.

When we’re ready, it's time to taxi to runway 19. After the last checks are done, we turn onto the runway. We leave the ground of Brisbane and here we go, straight to FL340 (34.000 feet). During the initial climb to 3000 feet, I select VNAV and LNAV and leave it up to the Auto Flight system. Once we are at cruise altitude, I want to play around with this aircraft just to get a good feeling about the characteristics. How the aircraft feels, how easy and realistic is it when making a pitch, roll or yaw command.

Until we have reached cruise, I have enough time to look outside and also jump outside the aircraft to take some nice looking aircraft pictures. Although the livery of Royal New Zealand Air Force is not that spectacular, it looks nice and well painted. Fuselage, wings, tail and gear details are more or less already discussed while the livery is different. A good looking and realistic livery (painting) can change the whole model into a supurb looking airplane. Personally I like the McPhat Studios paintings.

Our aircraft is settled at FL340, so it’s time to play with this 757. I disconnect the AP but leave the AT connected. This to make it a little easier while testing pitch, roll and yaw or any combination, as usual. Adding a pitch, roll or yaw input does not give a direct output. It seems that the aircraft needs a second or probably two seconds to think about it before reacting. That looks and feels very promising and the same happens during the release of a flight control input. The aircraft stabilizes but this is not done instantly like you see with the default large airplanes.

Those default airplanes, like the 737, 747 and 777, have far from realistic characteristics. Applying rudder gives a good slip indicator movement as well as, while looking outside, a yaw movement followed by a roll, so it’s time to add some aileron to keep the aircraft level. Apart from these inputs or outputs/behavior, we need, after a while, a pitch input. That's all that is needed to bring it back to the normal path and to keep it there. I’m very satisfied about this aircraft's behavior or flight characteristics. I can’t write whether those dynamics are highly realistic since I don’t have that kind of experience but fromh my personal and practical A310 experience, I have the idea that JF/PSS has done a good job.

It’s time to reconnect the Auto Flight system. That gives me the time to make some additional screenshots and look into our JF manual to see what kind of preparations must be done before we have reached the T/D (Top of Descent). We select, according to the tutorial, FL210 and read that, once the descent is stabilized, we need to select FL060. We go through the FMS CDU pages and see what's there. Most of the pages are simulated and include the key pad buttons except for the MENU key. Together with the basic JF FMC manual and the additional data in the tutorial, you can handle it. Although there’s much more to discover about this FMS CDU. Therefore you need to Google around a little or buy specific Boeing 757/767 FMS manuals via the Internet or at your local Flight Store.

Although I’ve selected my weather radar during the building storms in the climb (which is awesome), I unfortunately forgot to take the pictures for you. Most important, the JF/PSS model comes standard with active weather radar. Selecting it ON/OFF goes according to the manuals but this isn’t that difficult.

Right time, just after lift off

Nice view of GEAR RETRACTION

Different angle of gear retraction

Outskirts of YBBN (Brisbane)

Is this Brisbane or …?

Reaching the sky .. sorry … FL340

Wing tip view and Australia

Missed my STAR ….

2D view of a captured ILS

Still far out but ILS captured

2D view with LAND 2 active

VC view of final approach

Nice those main gear….

RR reverser in action

At the gate of YSSY (Sydney)

We have reached our T/D and as expected, the aircraft starts automatically its descent. During the descent we play again with the FMS CDU and start to modify the flight plan, like a holding and additional waypoint as well as the STAR (Standard Arrival Route). As far as I can see, the necessary calculations are made and changed into the CDU. While reaching our final destination airport – YSSY – it's time to do the last checks before the landing. I don’t know what I did wrong, but suddenly I get the message on EICAS that I’ve reached the end of my flight plan. Strange, but at the same time I’m aware that this could be my fault.

No problem, I look on the charts for the correct runway to take, including the ILS frequency and course. While still flying via the AP in default mode – V/S and HDG HOLD – I turn the aircraft into the direction of my runway and bring it to an altitude of 3000 feet. When reaching the runway, I press the APP (approach) pushbutton on the MCP (Mode control Panel) and these arm the LOC and GS. Before I know it, LOC is active and a little while later, I’ve got the GS signal. At 1000 feet radio height LAND 2 becomes active and FLARE and ROLLOUT are armed. Everything is ready for a successful landing although I leave certain details out. The important part is that the JF 757 operates above my expectations. I’m now flaring and then the roll out is there. Now at the gate, I’ve really enjoyed this short JF test flight with the PSS 757 Series.

This brings me to the end of this flight impression. I hope you enjoyed it, but more important, you’ve got a good idea of what you can expect. This also gives me the opportunity to point out that this JF/PSS model is not perfect although during the preparations and flight I haven’t seen any abnormalities. One thing I know, since JF offers this product and recently released a Service Pack, they are busy improving the product as far as possible.

Keep in mind, a perfect MSFS model is and stays difficult. There are many reasons to find that a MSFS vendor is not able to make a 100% perfect simulated model. Even the official vendors like Boeing and Airbus rely on vendors who are responsible for making the aircraft system computers and even then, many modifications are needed to bring it up-to-date. Never forget that even FFS (Full Flight Simulators) used in the real world for type ratings, are never 100% equal to the real airplane.

Sound

Real recorded sound is always easy to write about since most of us do not have any experience with these things unless you work at an airport where the 757 is a regular guest. Although I’ve never been close enough to a 757-200/300 or 200F, the fitted engine are very similar to the ones I know from Airbus airplanes except for the RR RB211. Even if the engines are all high bypass ones, it still doesn’t mean that the product sound is the same. Every brand – General Electric, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, SNECMA and some others all have their characteristic sound.

When I’m listening to the produced JF 757 Professional external and cockpit sound, I can conclude that it sounds realistic to me and offers much more than the default sounds. Sounds like EICAS messages, gear or flap operations or other instruments with there own particular sound level, all seems realistic to me.

FPS (Frames Per Second)

Test System

Dell Precision 650
Dual Intel Xeon 3.06Ghz
4Gb RAM DDR 533Mhz
nVidia 7800GS+ 512Mb AGP
RAID-0 HDD’s - SCSI 340Gb
Windows XP Professional SP2
FSX with SP1
CH USB Pedals
CH USB Flightsim Yoke
TrackIR Pro 4
TrackIRClip Pro

Flying Time:
39.5 hours

Although it’s almost at the end of this review, after spending lots of hours in this 757, I can conclude that there’s not really a negative frame impact on the FPS. Thus resulting in good frame figures. So even for low end computers, it’s a nice airplane to fly.

The JF/PSS package offers, in the case you’ve got a low end system, a “Cockpit Selection Tool”. With this tool users can, depending on there PC system, switch between only a 2D cockpit or one version with the VC added to it, as was done in this review.

My PC spec’s can be found here and with all the sliders to the right, I was able to get an average of between 20-30 FPS with building storms activated in MSFS.

Summary / Closing Remarks

JF/PSS offers a good product although certain parts could be lifted to a higher standard. I won’t say that it's not ok, since everybody has their own expectations, but like I mentioned before, an empty cabin with only the ceiling available, a VC with certain parts having a cartoonish look and an external model which looks good but lacks certain details, could be important items to think about.

For the latter, I would like to point out that having more details could be solved by better paintings. This is what I’ve seen, for example, with the previous mentioned McPhat Studios paintings. Interested? Have a look on the McPhat website and those guys are always willing to produce special painting requests.

Still, I think it’s a good product since as far as I have seen and tested, the avionics offers what it should do, as well as its behavior. Is the flight model and all it’s associated avionics perfect? Let’s write down YES and NO!

Can I prove this? No, I can’t. But with 24 years real world aviation experience in my pocket, I know that simulating a real large wide body aircraft like the 757 is very difficult! Having the official pilot manuals is not enough. You need the original vendor data to know exactly what each system and flight computer is doing and how they interact with each other and at the same time, MSFS has got its limitations.

Ok, nice talk, but apart from certain small items and users who’ve got lots of experience with this model, I still think this JF/PSS 757 is making life hard for Captain Sim.

Conclusion, when you like a brand new looking cockpit, just handed over to the airline and are prepared to handle it with care, then this JF 757 offers you a good model. But keep in mind, it cost you more or less the same as the previous mentioned CS package (base pack 757-200 + 757-300 + freighter + block E), as earlier written in this review. Then I need to mention again, the CS model – till now – doesn’t offer a full functional FMS while the JF/PSS model does. The JF 757 download or DVD version cost you €44.95, and the DVD version has additional shipping chargeadded to it, depending there you live.

Last incoming note from Just Flight; "The Just Flight development team can’t promise any further updates as we all know that PSS do not currently exists anymore.” "All together, I think it’s definite worth adding to your hangar."

Useful links

I know, it’s not a huge list, but it’s at least something for beginners to get as much background information about description and operation of instruments but also of the systems behind it. I’ve added also some 767 websites, since lots of cockpit items or systems are very similar.

Boeing Company – 757-200/300/200F
Boeing 757 Reference website
SmartCockpit 757 Family
Boeing 767 Reference website
SmartCockpit
B737-757-767 Training Aids Page
767-300ER Flight Deck Simulations

 

What I Like About The Boeing 757

  • Installer works without any problems and automatically detects the correct MSFS location.
  • Packages comes with all available models (-200, -300 and -200 Freighter) and engine types.
  • Very nice 2D cockpit main panel as well as sub-panels but missing co-pilot's 2D overview.
  • Good frame rates, even when the Virtual Cockpit is active.
  • Fuel Planner and Load Editor included.
  • Realistic aircraft characteristics.
  • Real used RR, P&W and cockpit sounds.

 

What I Don't Like About The Boeing 757

  • No 2D co-pilot's panel available.
  • Certain VC cockpit parts have a cartoonish look to them like the control wheel steering horn, AFT side of the pedestal, throttle levers and a few others items.
  • Missing virtual cabin, while some external components like the tires, are not that realistic.

 

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