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MrHoward

DC9 Review

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It seems that the 'What I like' and 'What I dislike' sections of this review were mixed up with another.I don't think that the writer likes the DC9 for it's:

  • [*]Regular high Aerosoft quality[*]Represents a calm, friendly town and regional-size airport without any exaggeration[*]Alive town, moving traffic[*]AES compatibility[*]I would love visual approach for runway 08 even if the scenery didn

Howard H.

 

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world"

-Mahatma Gandhi

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Yep, was just going to mention that. I did enjoy the review (although I already own it) but that was the only thing I found to be incorrect.


Alec Francen

Intel Core i7 2600K | MSI P67A-GD55 | 4GB DDR3 1600 | MSI N460GTX Hawk 1GB | 1TB WD Caviar Black | Windows 7 Ultimate x64

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I first thought it was a joke when I started reading the "I don't like" bit, but when I looked at the "I like" bit, I knew this must be some sort of mistake. Plus, the fact that you got 1 or 2 FPS at taxi is because of your computer. You have Nvidia 6000 series, it seems. That is absolutely not enough for FSX. I have a Nvidia 8000 series and it still isn't the best I could've wanted. I know FSX mainly wants good CPUs, but still, such an old graphics card will be disastrous for your performance. So, unless default aircraft give you much better FPS, I would hesitate to call this plane a frame hog seeing your current hardware...


Benjamin van Soldt

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A very useful review. Roger writes concisely, lucidly and coherently, which others could do to emulate. I'm not sure I'd be as generous with the product though. Is it really an 'excellent' choice when there are good alternatives?It looks pretty awful to me, and I'll be steering well clear..Ian

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It seems that the 'What I like' and 'What I dislike' sections of this review were mixed up with another.I don't think that the writer likes the DC9 for it's:
  • [*]Regular high Aerosoft quality[*]Represents a calm, friendly town and regional-size airport without any exaggeration[*]Alive town, moving traffic[*]AES compatibility[*]I would love visual approach for runway 08 even if the scenery didn

Robert Whitwell
Reviews Editor
robertw@avsim.com

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A very useful review. Roger writes concisely, lucidly and coherently, which others could do to emulate. I'm not sure I'd be as generous with the product though. Is it really an 'excellent' choice when there are good alternatives?It looks pretty awful to me, and I'll be steering well clear..Ian
Which good alternative DC-9s are there in FSX with reasonably deep systems simulation? It does have it's faults though, some of which were not mentioned in the review. So if you know of anything better please point me in the right direction.The pop-up panels aren't great for a payware sim, but they've done a fairly good job on the systems modelling, with some limitations:
  • Pressurisation modelling is not as the manual (which describes the real system quite accurately).
  • The autopilot is poor, certainly nothing like that on a DC-9. Some pitch modes just don't work at all, others work wrong.
  • There is an autothrottle which is nothing like the approach only A/T the real DC-9 has. It's useful if you don't mind that the DC-9 A/T doesn't work like that.
  • They claim to have modelled the tab driven flight controls realistically but have the servo tabs moving in the wrong direction! Also the ailerons cease to move above 200 knots for some strange reason.
  • The elevators are modelled as hydraulically dependent when they are not.
  • Stall modelling is exaggerated. Get anywhere near a stall and it viciously drops a wing into a spin.

The review mentions that you can have a start valve open annunciation when the valve is closed. Equally you can have no valve open indication when the valve is really open. This seems to be down to how the switches and indications are modelled. Operating a switch simply toggles the indication. If the indication (start valve in this case) can be affected by something else it can easily get out of sync with the switch. Thus if the indication has changed for some other reason then it will come on instead of going off, or vice versa. This is sloppy, event driven simulation.Start procedure is actually fairly realistic (although the start characteristic is the poor default MSFS jet engine model). The only problem I had was the sim insists on the fuel pumps being on before the engines will light. Having the fuel pumps on is a checklist item, and you wouldn't normally start with them off, but the engines will start without boost pressure (there are pumps geared to the engine shaft to draw fuel).Apart from the stall behaviour the aero modelling seems good, at least it's close to Stelan Hilmerby's excellent FS9 DC-9 and he used to fly the things. I don't find it too sensitive in pitch, unlike the reviewer, but then he was having frame-rate problems which would not improve handling. Pitch always controls airspeed, btw, not just on approach.I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wants something that looks really good and is not bothered much about deep systems simulation. If you like the DC-9 then it's worth a try for all it's faults. Just leave the dreadful autopilot (and it's utterly unrealistic auto throttle) well alone. It's a real Curate's Egg of a sim (good in parts).Kevin


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I purchased the Sky Simulations DC-9 and I'm not impressed. If the price were around $20.00 it would match it's quality. Night lighting in the cockpit is too bright, three dimensional modeling of the panel isn't good, angle of the cockpit windows looking from inside out is incorrect (windows are too vertical). Flight model is below average, aircraft rolls on the ground at idle, aircraft rolls uncontrollably when FSX starts, engine sounds are there one time then gone the next when aircraft is shut down and user is cycling through the views, etc.


Pete Dob

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Which good alternative DC-9s are there in FSX with reasonably deep systems simulation? Kevin
I was referring to the analogue MD-80s by Coolsky and Leonardo SH, which I would have thought offer the average simmer a decent enough - and cheaper - 'DC-9 experience'...

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"Decent enough" does not, and I repeat, does not do justice to the Maddog 2008. It is one of the best addons out. It rivals PMDG, for as far as I'm concerned. It is also not cheaper, it's even more expensive than the Skysim DC-9, but it probably does give you heaps more value for its price...


Benjamin van Soldt

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"Decent enough" does not, and I repeat, does not do justice to the Maddog 2008. It is one of the best addons out. It rivals PMDG, for as far as I'm concerned. It is also not cheaper, it's even more expensive than the Skysim DC-9, but it probably does give you heaps more value for its price...
Alright, I believe you! :( It's just a bit of British understatement. I'm sure it's 'totally awesome'. Unfortunately I only have the Coolsky offering, and the old Iron Knuckles. As for price, the Maddog was $39/$49 (depending on version) when I last checked. The reviewer quotes $53 for the Skysims job.

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I was referring to the analogue MD-80s by Coolsky and Leonardo SH, which I would have thought offer the average simmer a decent enough - and cheaper - 'DC-9 experience'...
Indeed, and I have them both, but panels and systems are quite different compared to the original DC-9.This DC-9 is certainly a lot better than Iron Knuckles, which was a bad joke from a systems simulation point of view, although the panels looked good. I guess it depends on your priorities. For me, systems simulation fidelity is very high on the list.Kevin

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As I seem to be posting all over the web at the minute, you cannot compare the Coolsky/Skysim products with the Maddog2008 (and I am not paid by them :( ).I own all 3, and only ever fly 1.The Maddog is outstanding. It simulates as much as FS will allow. The flight model is second to none (again, I own most high end addons, and have Full motion and light flying experience). The numbers are spot on - just compare the EPR figures between the Coolsky and the Maddog. When I questioned this on the Flight 1 forum, I was told that this was a problem with FS which could not be over come - but funnily enough, the Maddog is spot on.But most importantly, the systems modelling on the Maddog is without doubt the best out there. Everything you do (or forget to do) impacts on everything else. Add to this the most comprehensive failures moddeling available in a non comercial sim, and you have the most outstanding FS sim available.I really do not understand why anyone would choose to fly the Coolsky variant (unless you want an easy UNREALSTIC life). Just drop the slats in the Coolsky and watch the nose go DOWN ??????I have heard rumours that the Leonardo crew are working on a fully analogue flight deck, still not a DC9, but at least it is realistic in its systems modelling, flight dynamics and behaviour.I would urge anyone who has not tried it, to give it a go.A steep learning curve, but isn't it all about simulating the real world counterpart?Neil


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Maddog has certainly been unjustly ignored compared to the likes of Level D and PMDG. IMO it's in the first rank with both of those. In fact I'd put them second after PMDG for content and accuracy. As you say, the systems are spot on for an MD-80. Best of all it comes with a functional EGPWS terrain display. I've only seen that on one other MSFS sim (the digital Aviation Fokker 70/100), yet it's mandatory equipment in many parts of the world. Very useful too in mountainous areas.The Coolsky MD-80 has some good points. I liked it's psuedo simulation of Omega RNAV and the ACARS flight plan interface. I tend to use mine for the analogue version and the Maddog for the digital version.Kevin


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