This time I'll take you on a totally different tour, namely reading and understanding a book. Not just any book, but that of the Boeing 767 Series and then as the title suggests, the systems of the 767. Series means to me the very old -200, the newer -300 and probably also the -400? A book; that's something I've never reviewed, but it doesn't mean I've no clue what to review.
On the contrarily; books, tutorials, user manuals, operation manuals are not strange to me. My daily real world work consists of understanding different aviation manuals like those from Airbus, Douglas, Boeing and the many I've seen in the flight simulator world and real aviation. Writing those flight simulator manuals is not something everybody can do, since different skills are needed to think like the student and with that knowledge, act like a writer, tutor, instructor or whatever you want to call it.
If this first "767 Systems Series" book from LROPS, fulfills all these challenges, I don't know yet, so let's find out.
Installation or ......
Since I'm dealing with an Acrobat file, there's not much to install, unless you don't own Adobe Reader or the full version of Adobe Acrobat. That said, it's just an ordinary document of 1.83Mb and 36 pages. I'm surprised that the provided paid document isn't protected at all. With my Acrobat 9 Pro, I'm able to remove pages, change pages etc. Normally you try to protect your Acrobat file to a certain level, although many crack programs are available on the Internet. Anyway, this was the installation section, so let's move on to an in-depth document judgment.
Document or software?
No, it's not software although to use the document, it's a good idea that you own one of the available FSX/FS2004 767 models. For the moment, there's a lot on the market and although it has nothing to do with this document, there's a reason why I'm telling you this.
We first start with the Level-D 767-300 for both FS2004 and FSX. The Level-D software comes standard with different manuals and several tutorials, helping you understanding the 767 systems. Indeed that's true; the basic FSX manual offers not only what the panel shows you, but there's also a systems description available. Ok, it's all in B&W, but that has nothing to do with the detailed and in-depth 767 system information. Worth mentioning, is the FSX contents are more or less the same as that of the FS2004 book.
Important here is, Level-D offers a complete manual with system descriptions and aircraft operations. You're curious about the FS2004 or FSX contents? Just have a look to the following Level-D links; it refers to the FS2004 Level-D FS2004 version, while this link guides you to the FSX manual and is to my opinion, better and more didactical written.
Than there's the recently released Captain Sim 767 for FSX. It comes in -200, -300, 767F, KC-767 and the E-767. As known from CS, they always offer many documents, but regarding the "Aircraft and Systems" edition, there's nothing more than pointing out what's simulated and only then about those things. There's a panel button/light/knob description, but no operation of the system. Have a look for yourself via this link.
There's of course the Commercial Level Simulation 767 Series with Just Flight as a selling partner, but this model is a lite model and therefore it doesn't offer in-depth simulated systems. Because of this, we leave this model with their books, out of this review.
Before finishing this part, which has nothing to do with the review material, one last point of retrieving free information. Probably well known in the real world and MSFS world is SmartCockpit. This website offers a bunch of information on almost every aircraft on the market, old, S, L, XL, XXL or whatever it will be, but let's stick for the moment to the dedicated SmartCockpit 767 section. From almost every aircraft system, there's a free download manual available. Although copyright protected, it's free for your own use otherwise you need to contact the owner when you want to share it with others. Point is, it offers, for example, the FUEL system with a lot of background information and how the knobs, switches, lights etc. on the FUEL panel section are connected to the fuel tanks.
What was the intention of these previous two paragraphs? LROPS
offers 767 flight simmer entusiasts a new book, namely 767 Systems
" The 767 Systems series is designed to cover the gap in the market that is provided by the invention of advanced Boeing 75/767 add-ons for Flight Simulator. With the detail that is produced by these developers, it is only right that a pilot has the best education and understanding of these advanced simulations that is possible. Hence the LROPS Systems series, therefore. The series has been written with consultation of real world 75/767 QRH's, pilots, checklists and Boeing publications. The only books more realistic than these ones come from the airlines themselves.
Whether you've been flying the 75/767 for years, or just picked up Flight Simulator today we guarantee your training with LROPS will be both informative and entertaining. You are guaranteed to learn all there is to know and become the best.
The LROPS Standard...
Those of you that have read our products before will be fully aware of the level of detail into which we go. The Systems series is no exception to this rule, while keeping everything written relevant to the Flight Simulator pilot and easy to understand.
The Systems book isn't written blindly of what is already out there: LROPS is fully aware of the information that is provided to you with your purchase of a complex aircraft. There is, however, a gap in what the publishers can tell you about the real thing and what is simulated in their systems, and how to use it in the most realistic and effective ways. The Systems book will teach you everything that the publisher didn't (or couldn't) tell you about everything listed above."
I'm aware that the above is an extraction of the whole webpage and after reading it, it seems impressive and in my opinion, it's partly true. Honestly, I'm wondering if LROPS is really aware of what's available on the free market. But first it's time to check the LROPS manual and see what it really offers and most important, if it's a book that reads easily. Are didactical writing skills used to keep it interesting from the beginning to the end, even though it's just 38 pages minus 4. Minus 4 because these offer no information at all, are intentionally left blank or we're dealing with the first and last page. Those pages belong to the book, which makes sense, but they don't add anything to the content.
LROPS 767 Systems Series Book 1
The real writing starts at page 4 with Chapter 1 - Warning Systems.
This chapter is split into a EICAS section, WARNING/CAUTION annunciator panel, GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) and TCAS. Because of my profession and the many official manuals I own, I was a little surprised about the presence of TCAS and GPWS in this section. Surprised, because Airbus puts those chapters into the navigation section. Anyway, the fact that they are in the Warning Systems chapter, is correct.
But what I read are many abbreviations, some of them are explained and others are known to me, so nothing wrong with that. However, I could imagine that not everybody is familiar with abbreviations like SELCAL or VMO/MMO? Via footnotes it is so easy and helpful for those who aren't familiar with this. Footnotes can also be used for a short description.
Looking at the EICAS pages I had hoped to see a build-up of the EICAS system, which computers are involved, which DU (Display Units), and the control panel etc. The only thing I see are types of failures, the CANCEL/RECALL buttons, some examples of warnings/cautions and aural sounds. I miss the total overview of it, unless that's not the idea of this section.
When the EICAS section ends, it starts right away with the Warning System. I thought this chapter was called Warning Systems? Anyway, the annunciator panel is shown with some text, but this is really too limited for a specialized book like this. By the way, what I also miss is the explanation or at least the presence of the MASTER WARNING/CAUTION RESET switches. Whatever you think of it, they belong to the warning system. I'll spare you what's all missing, and I'm aware that it should not become an official Boeing 767 operations manual. However, a more structured and didactical written chapter, was welcome.
The next section of this chapter concerns the GPWS. This system is explained on three pages, of which 2 of them are tables with all the GPWS warnings. Ok, that's a part of the GPWS, but wasn't it an idea to add here drawings when, where, how and because of what message was produced? I also miss, and this could be a personal feeling, an overview of the GPWS itself. There's no need to go into great depth, but on the other hand it will add something special to your payware manual.
Last but not least, the TCAS section. By itself it’s a complicated system and to get a good understanding of it, some background information would be welcome. It's discussed on two pages and contains only text. That's not interesting to read. Wouldn’t it "again" be an idea to add screenshots of the different TCAS alerts from the ND or EHSI over here, or other things that supports and helps the text?
Our next challenge is Chapter 2 - Fuel System.
The first sentence on page 13 starts with "I accept it. Learning about a fuel system perhaps isn’t the most interesting thing I could have written about here, or is it?". For me, with more than 24 years maintenance aviation experience, I'm lost while reading this. It should stimulate readers learning all the ins and outs of the fuel system!
For the first time there's a schematic overview of the fuel system, directly from either the FCOM or the AMM (personally I think the AMM). Unfortunately, lots of fuel tank components are assigned however, there's no further in-depth explanation. Just below this LH and CTR fuel tank drawing it tells the reader "As you can see above, the fuel system is a very complex and intricate thing indeed, hence the need to learn about it". I know my English is not perfect, but is complex and intricate not the same? Ok, no need to reply on this, but my intention of adding this sentence here is that the reader get's a complete and comprehensive explanation of the whole fuel system. However, that's not the case!
It starts with Fuel Tank Configuration ..which 75/767?, followed by quantity data, FUEL CONFIG light, FUEL XFEED and FUEL JETTISON and all of that on three pages! I could be completely wrong, but I haven't seen anything of how the system is built up, how it interacts, how it operates in normal and abnormal modes etc.
I had hoped that when the writer starts talking about the FUEL JETTISON system, that the reader was taken on a tour and explained why an aircraft is equipped with a jettison system, since not every aircraft is. Let's give you one simple example of the same size airplanes; the 767-300 has a jettison system however, the A310-300 doesn't, even though these aircraft are very similar, why does one have it, and the other not. That's something I expected when I started this section.
Page 15 starts with FUEL LEAK. The only thing that this section shows you, is an extraction of the Boeing QRH, but no further information. It's nice to see a FUEL LEAK QRH printout, but what can you do with it? Did the author check this with the available complex flight simulator models?
Up next, Chapter 3 - Test Yourself, where the reader gets the possibility to test him/herself with the help of 10 questions and yes, the answers are available on the next page. Probably an idea to create an appendix with those answers would be beter.
Chapter 4 - FMC (Flight Management Computer) or shouldn't it be FMS?
I personally would choose FMS (Flight Management System), since you're trying to explain what the FMS is, which components are involved and more of that. The FMC is just a component, the same as the CDU (Control Display Unit) and other direct or indirect related items.
This chapter consist of the following subsections:
Before you know it, you're already on page 36, where the 75/767
Fact Sheet starts. Is this the same chapter or a new chapter? That's
unclear to me!
To be very honest; I'm completely lost with this chapter. First of all, what has Rejected Take Off got to do with the FMC? Ok, I'm not a 767 or 757 pilot, but I know for sure by reading the text, that there's nothing said about the FMC. One thing is correct; holdings, step climbs, data insertion and VNAV are all dealing with the FMC or from a pilot’s point of view, the CDU.
Pilots are not interested in the FMC itself; the FMC is no more than a computer, mounted down in the E/E compartment or is this the wrong name? Anyway, pilots deal with the CDU and the CDU communicates with the FMC, that's fine, but not for the pilots. My point is, this chapter doesn't tell the reader anything about the relation between the FMS with the rest of the aircraft systems. It seems more to me that this chapter is a summary of items that has something to do with the FMC, but the learning curve is very far away, somewhere at the horizon.
With the presentation of the FACT SHEET, Book 1 from the LROPS 767 Systems Series, ends here.
Some LROPS 767 Systems Series examples
More than these six screenshots I can't give you. That isn't fair towards the publisher. I'll try to explain something about each screenshot, so here we go.
Just to give you an idea!
It's always very easy to complain about something. That something could be hardware or software or in this case, a book. When a book is well written, structured and a good balance between images and text, then there's no problem.
When I started with this review, I had hoped for a structured 767 and/or 757 system description and the operational issues. Neither of that is applicable and because of that statement, I would like to show you just three images of a comprehensive Airbus A310-300 manual, which was intended for the Commercial Level Simulations A310 Professional.
I can't and will not show more than those three, since the review deals with the LROPS book, and not the following screenshots. The screenshots only show you that another approach is also possible, where the reader is informed in depth about an Airbus system.
Summary / Closing Remarks
Where, how and/or what shall I write here? I assume that every flight sim developer, programmer, painter, writer and whatever job I've forgotten; they try to make the best of it. It does not always turns out to be a good product, of which this book is a good example.
Normally it's not difficult finding the correct words if you should buy it or not and if not, why. The why should always be explained, but in this case, it's not that easy. Personally, I think this manual should be completely rewritten. It's not easy combining different paragraphs together, put them in a Word document, covert it to Acrobat and think you're ready to go. No, each paragraph within a chapter should logically fit into another section, keeping in mind a chronological way of writing. Try to think from a reader’s point of view. Knowing that, life becomes much easier.
This LROPS books is, for me, more of a collection of things put together; here and there some great looking diagrams/drawings are insterted however, without any explanation. Since the Boeing 757/767 is a known flight simulator add-on product, many free items are available after Googling around. In other words, when you want to bring out a "unique" booklet, make it unique and not, as said before, a collection of different paragraphs put together.
Should you buy it for 9GBP, which equals roughly €9.00 or 11.50 US$? That's your decision. I tried and I really hope I've succeeded in expressing myself about the feelings and thinking I had about this book. While the cost isn’t high, it hardly adds anything to what's already freely available on the Internet.
Hopefully my critical look is picked up by the LROPS writer, and if needed, I'm always willing to help with advice on how to write a pleasant read, yet a comprehensive masterpiece!
What I Like About The LROPS 767 Systems Series Book I
What I Don't Like About The LROPS 767 Systems Series Book I
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