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Best Aircraft Add-on for FSX?
28 replies to this topic
Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:00 PM
I fly the Leonardo MD-82 "Maddog2006" and I have about two weeks under my belt with it. See my review in the reader's forum.All in all, I think it's for the next few weeks the "only" airliner you can get for FSX with this level of detail.I enjoy it because it's much harder to fly than more modern aircraft by Boeing or Airbus. Pros:- complex systems modeling, both in depth- even with PMDG and LevelD experience, good luck starting the engine without reading the manual (that's always a good sign).- Extensive documentation in PDF files, including checklists- comprehensive 2D panel with nearly all real systems modeled- includes a remote control panel (can run on the network) to simulate failures- comes designed for multi-crew over two PCs with a network - very nicely done- very nicely done setup manager to manage liveries, fuel load, panel configuration, hotkeys. Ability to select both a saved flight and a panel configuration file, and start FSX with that configuration, ability to print load sheets. That is a very nice integration, but requires some work in the sim first to setup saved flights and saved panel configurations to work with.- Full featured FMS (note, does NOT behave like Boeing or Airbus), for example, don't expect VNAV to work if you have a route discontinuity.- FPS friendly (if you have enough memory) - volume control on each sound- configurable hotkeys for keyboard equivalents- Supported by FSBuild for flight plans- Full function weather/terrain radar- Popup glass panels (need to map a hotkey)- I opened the door by mistake at FL11 and was impressed by the number of alarms and nose dive that followed, and the cabin pressure model.- This plane doesn't like to slow down. It's a fast bird on approach and landing, and after touchdown has a hard time slowing. There are no autobrakes on this bird, and I learn to appreciate why Boeing/Airbus put that in on more recent A/C- Nice handling manual (if setup is correct).- Good forum supportCould be improved category:- Pricing (Dollar exchange rate not favorable at near $65 US)- Purchase via Paypal took a long time (12 hours) - I'm used to Flight1 or SimMarket or PMDG when you get your key within 2 minutes of the transaction processed). Support was helpful. I suspect the time difference explained the delay - Leonardo's in Italy. - Emphasis on European liveries and provided SID/STARs- Can't read PMDG SID/STARs directly, needs some editing- Had to manually edit the aircraft.cfg to get FSX jetways to work with this aircraft- Model doesn't use reflective paints or the new FSX texturing options like bump maps (yet)- No flex wing (miss that after the leveld/PMDG 744 models...)- No wing views (yet) - you could setup your own camera views in FSX though.- No virtual cockpit (yet - to be delivered later this year)- SID/STARs minimal. Need to do simple edits on the PMDG files from Navdata to get them to work. A utility is provided but doesn't fix this simple line break problem.- Very few US based airliners paints.Oddball category:- Can save panel state but only saves one file name. Process is to save, alt-tab, rename the file so it can be used in other situations. I suggested on the support forum that a load option be in the menu, and Davide indicates they're looking into that.- Odd issues with boarding/unboarding and manually opening doors. I ended up having to restart one flight because the stairs somehow came out and I had no idea how to to retract them. I think it just got confused with the hotkeys the way I configured them.- Tutorial is excellent and sparse in explanations- I'm still learning to use Autoland. If I use the ILS mode, everything works great. If I use Autoland, everything works great until touchdown and then the plane doesn't want to follow the centerline on landing. It always wants to go 5 degrees off to the left exactly (I measured). I'm still pondering if this is my error in avionics setup, a scenery problem, a mag deviation problem with the nav data, or a bug. Not a big deal because ILS works just fine and Autoland really doesn't do a whole lot for me.- Paintkit is nicely done using a set of PSD files but has no instructions to speak of. Need to figure out the color keys and the markers. Again, no support for bumpmaps or any other eye candy to be found in products like the RealAir SF260. Cons:- Very addictive.- You will need to read the manual - at least, the key parts.- Delay in purchase was a bit frustrating.- The visual model is very much FS9 and doesn't yet include the FSX ooh-ahs.Must know items:- FSUIPC axis control (ie, purchased version) needed to really enjoy the axis calibration features supported by this plane, as well as the keyboard hotkeys - FSUIPC lets you map DirectX buttons to hotkeys and that's very nice from a controls setup perpective.- FSBuild 2.2 latest patch is needed to support the file format for this plane, which is slightly different from the default Lago format in terms of its path.- A profile is available for FSBuild for proper flight plan setup- Remember to save panel states and rename them to make them usable in the load manager.- Try not to mix/match FS controls with the MD-80's hotkeys - creates havoc.Etienne
Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:00 AM
The final FSX beta for the Level-D 767 is supposedly in testing. It should be out fairly soon. The FS9 (and previous) versions of this aircraft garnered numerous awards and it has something of a cult following among users. In my opinion it's the single most accurate passenger aircraft that's ever been designed for flight simulator. Based on the developers' previous track record I expect the FSX version to be outstanding. I'm sure there will be an announcement on AVSIM's front page when the FSX version is released, or you can check the forums at: www.leveldsim.com
Posted 30 May 2007 - 01:36 PM
The last jetliner I flew regularly in MSFS was the PMDG 737NG. The Overland aircraft don't have complex flight systems, but they do have the best models and textures, in my opinion. The JustFlight F-Light planes fall somewhere inbetween.If memory serves, there was indeed a fault in the PMDG 737NG FMC that caused it to descend improperly. The fault got remedied in the payware add-on pack, and the FMC got overhauled and improved for the 747. Still, there was never a free fix for the original 737. That's the aircraft I would like to see updated for FSX the most, as I preferred it vastly over the 747. My favourite FSX aircraft, though, is the Aerosoft BeaverX. For me, it's reason enough to leave the heavies in the hangar. Jeff ShylukAvsim Product Reviewer
Posted 30 May 2007 - 12:02 PM
Ulf,my last flight wasn't a very successful one I must admit, but that might as well be pilot error.I managed to insert SID/STAR in the FMS, and to my knowledge the waypoints looked fine. Speed/Altitudes in the SID/STAR waypoints are highlighted with magenta color in the flightplan. For some reason I couldn't get the vnav managed. I pushed the Alt knob (to give it to the computer, as they say). But all I got was a Idle thrust pitch controlled descend. Maybe I did something wrong along the line, I'll be glad if someone could help me out here.Oh, and regarding an earlier post, I said that I forced the decsend phase from the FMC. That's wrong, I must have been thinking about the app phase ...Eagle
Inactive Member_Paul Middleton_***
Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:34 AM
> Are the bugs mentioned in the review fixed?I have been told by the developer that the major one (for me), the nose-drop when the A/P is disconnected on finals, has been diagnosed, and a fix will be implemented in the next service pack, though I don't have a timescale for that.
Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:55 PM
>I am thinking of buying a commercial add on for my FSX>installation. Can somebody recommend the best add-on payware>plane they use? I am looking for something that is>challenging with authentic panels. I used to have the PMDG>737 and 747 for FS9, but other than the 1900, I don't think>they make anything for FSX yet. Can somebody recommend>something similar for FSX?>Thanks,>ChadI really enjoyed the PMDG 737 in FS9. Sure wish PM would update it for FSX.
Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:53 PM
I still have some stuff to try before I can answer to all of this. Actually, I am gonna try a flight from Gardermoen to London tonight to test SID/STAR functionality. As for the LNAV I am sure it will work with SID/STAR considering the fact that it follows everything else in the flightplan. But i haven't tested VNAV yet. What I know is that it activates decend (or you can force it in the FMC)*, and it decelerates when it's supoosed to. Also a fully automated landing is possible. The only thing I am not sure about is how to operate the FBW system after touchdown (in the real thing). Should I push the sidebutton on the stick (z) when the nosewheel hit the ground, and then apply reverse thrust?I don't know what bugs that are in question (and I would rather not read the review over again) but if you list them here I can see if I can give you some answers, one by one ...I read somewhere that the fmc doesn't tune in the ILS according to flgtplan, but it does, as long as the runway is selected in the arrival page in the FMC.The nose-drop if you disconnect the AP on approach didn't occur on my flights, maybe it has something to do with FSUIPC.*On the side: I have noticed, both with F1 Maddog, PMDG 737 and this Airbus that if you start decend according to flightplan you never reach target altitude before the approach phase. So I always end up forcing decend some 10-20 miles before the calculated point. Is this normal, or am I douing something wrong?Very exited about how my SID/STAR test will turn out, just have to finish downloading and installing some HiFiSim stuff first :-).Eagle
Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:39 PM
Eagle,I read the review. I would appreciate if you could answer some of my questions. Are the bugs mentioned in the review fixed?Is she capable of a realistic autoland? Does LNAV and VNAV mode work OK when flying sids/stars in the FMC? Is the FMC navdatabase worldwide and support sids/stars?Ulf B :-)