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trisager

Feelthere ERJ mini-review

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I have some time on my hands these days, so I thought I would share my initial impressions with the new ERJ's from Feelthere:My previous experience with Feelthere products is with the ERJ-145 version 1 (which I didn't like much) and the Legacy (which was great, except for the flight attendant). I have played a bit with the E-Jets at a friend's house, but somehow they didn't really capture my interest at the time. I was curious to see what they had done with the ERJs since the original release, though.I bought mine at Feelthere's website. The purchase process was painless, I got an email with a download link and a serial code right away. EUR 33.87 + VAT (or $46.99) got me three variants (ERJ-135LR, ERJ-145-LR, and ERJ-145XR) with a total of 12 McPhat liveries across the three models. Additional McPhat liveries are available for purchase from the Wilco website (not from Feelthere's last I checked), and a paint kit is being released at a later date. Installers were included for both FSX and FS9 - nice for those who have both sim versions (I'm on FSX, except for my FS9 Concorde). Installation was completely painless, a simple matter of executing the installer and entering name and serial number.Documentation: 80-page pdf manual that covers the various instruments and systems in appropriate detail. There is a couple of tutorial flights, one without using the FMS and one that covers the basics of using the FMS, and some reference material and checklists. I think the manual does a good job of introducing newbies to the plane, and it found it easy to use while getting re-acquainted with the ERJs. One advantage of this being a version 2 release is that there is a ton of material collected by users of the previous release on the Feelthere download page and in the old ERJ forums - among other things a link to a very good introduction to the plane in English and French (http://www.boomerang.new.fr/). Setup: The ERJs are configured through a configuration manager application that looks familiar from previous products. There is a large number of settings to play with, among them configurable keyboard commands, settings for the weather radar, startup mode (e.g. cold and dark), international settings (e.g. KG vs. lbs), performance-related settings and much more. There is also a load manager tab for setting passenger and cargo loads (fuel is configured through the FS menus). Works flawlessly.Exterior model: I like them, but judge for yourself - there are screenshots on the feelthere website. I noticed a few issues related to exterior lighting, and an engine texture on the KLM repaint was missing (I received the missing texture within an hour of reporting the issue on the McPhat support forum).2D panel: I think VCs are great for small aircraft and fantastic for my favorite helicopter, the Dodosim 206. Airliners I fly mostly from the 2D panel, though, just seems easier to me. The main panel and the subpanels are easy to read and the controls easy to manipulate using mouse buttons and scroll wheel - very intuitive after a couple of flights. The main drawback here is that it is only available in the 4:3 format, so the panel is stretched on my widescreen monitor.VC: This I use mostly when in cruise. All the controls are available, supposedly - someone else will have to verify this. It looks good without being overly exciting. The control columns cannot be lowered or removed, so they tend to get in the way. Feelthere may address this in a patch, but they are not making any promises at the moment.HUD: There is a head-up display available (2D panel only) for low-visibility landings. It is fun to play with, and it gets the job done. It does not appear to have any relationship with the actual scenery, though, so the HUD horizon line is not on the scenery horizon. Not something you will notice if you use it in the low visibility conditions it is intended for.Sounds: TSS has supplied the sounds for the model. The cockpit is very quiet, which is probably true of the real aircraft also. To hear the engines you will have to go to an outside view. Sound good to me, without being exaggerated as some other TSS sound packs.Systems simulation: Fairly complete with regards to normal procedures. Some nice touches, e.g. the APU consumes fuel while running. Abnormals are not modeled and things like fire handles or fire warning tests are not functional. Overall I think Feelthere has done a good job in this area, although failure modeling is something I really like in other addon aircraft that I own (it helps keep you from getting completely bored during cruise flight). Of course, having failures occur every 30 minutes or so is not realistic either.Avionics and FMS: Displays are easy to read and manipulate, I like them. A functional weather radar is included with tilt management and turbulence detection (within the limitations of FS). The FMS is the star of the show, though. It is updateable (Navigraph), and it seems that every last bit of functionality from the real thing is included (or so it appears to me, being strictly a desktop aviator). Holds at any waypoint, go-arounds, alternate routes and what-if modes are functional, and I found a very neat feature that allows me to import wind directions and speeds at all waypoints on my route using a single button (simulating an ACARS weather update, I presume). Simmers who, like myself, love pushing buttions will not tire of this one anytime soon. Amazing.The autoflight system works like you would expect. Speed hold is available during climb, by letting the autopilot adjust pitch, but you have to manage FADEC thrust settings and power settings during cruise and descent yourself - there is no autothrottle in this airplane. (There is a keyboard "cheat" that gives you cruise autothrottle if you have to leave the sim, e.g. to get coffee).Checklists: A voice checklist system is included (I remember it from the Legacy, it was a separate purchase back then) for each phase of flight. It is very simple to use - click on "Approach Checklist", for example, and the copilot will read the relevant checklist items and confirm that they have been done. If you have forgotten something, such as switching the TCAS to TA/RA before takeoff, the checklist app will stop and wait for you to complete that item. Works fine with some limitations, things like transition altitudes different from 18,000 ft seems to confuse it a bit, but this is fairly easy to work around. I find it quite useful when flying on VATSIM, for example, where there can be some pressure on the pilot making you more likely to forget something. I would still like to see something FS2Crew for the ERJs, though. Operating systems: Feelthere only claims support for 32-bit XP and Vista, although I've had no problems with the software running on 64-bit Windows 7.FPS: I'm getting very good performance on my 2-year old computer with various addons (REX2, ASA, Ultimate Terrain X, FS Global 2008 Mesh, many addon airports, GEX, custom landclass and more stuff that I've forgotten at the moment). Better compared to other addon aircraft that I've recently purchased, actually (none mentioned since doing so is pretty much bound to lead to unpleasantness). If you can run other addon airliners or high-end GA aircraft published within the last couple of years, you should have no problems with this one.Bugs, issues, support: There are some minor issues with the software, which is what you would expect from the initial release of a new product (usually they get ironed out in the time leading up to the release of the CD version). None of them are dealbreakers, and the Feelthere support staff is clearly taking notes - they are very responsive and professional.Summary: A very enjoyable product at a reasonable price. It is simple to fly, but has enough depth that it does not end up being boring. If you are looking for a nicely simulated regional jet to add to your collection, this might just be it.Tom

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Thanks a lot, Tom, your mini review was very well done and very helpful, at least to me. Among other things, you've convinced me to part with another US$47.00...

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Excellent review Tom, good work.Covers all the main areas of interest for this bird.This will definately be on my list and I commend feelThere for consistantly designing with a wide range of simmers in mind; ie 2D panels for those that prefer that, and perhaps are happy to click the controls with the mouse, as they're static on a 2D panel, but also full keyboard assignments for all functions, including custom ones, for those that prefer to fly in the VC, and use keyboard assignments and controller hardware to adjust things like the AP, Heading Bug etc.I liked the original ERJ, so looking forward to this one. Just hope feelThere do a V2 of the CRJ too!

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Hello TomNice mini review, and in my opinion well balanced.I would just like to add that I flew from LOWI-LOWW in the Feelthere ERJ-145 LR last nightI did the same flight today in the Feelthere Legacy 600 and it seems to me that the AP behavior ismuch improved in the new ERJ v2.This is a really solid release based on what I have seen so far and is probably the most complete regional jet until Digital Aviation release the VC version of the Fokker.Edit:And it is working flawlessly with my Goflight modules (other devs please take note)

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Summary: A very enjoyable product at a reasonable price. It is simple to fly, but has enough depth that it does not end up being boring. If you are looking for a nicely simulated regional jet to add to your collection, this might just be it.Tom
Great review thanks for sharing :-)Added this one to my ERJ collection since I like the aircraft and Feelthere stuff regarding the ERJ Andr

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Be prepared for a long wait when you download it, its going to take 37 minutes to download according to the speed I'm getting now, even with a download manager. It's a 325Mb download which would normally only take about 3 minutes on my internet connection :(

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2D panel: I think VCs are great for small aircraft and fantastic for my favorite helicopter, the Dodosim 206. Airliners I fly mostly from the 2D panel, though, just seems easier to me. The main panel and the subpanels are easy to read and the controls easy to manipulate using mouse buttons and scroll wheel - very intuitive after a couple of flights. The main drawback here is that it is only available in the 4:3 format, so the panel is stretched on my widescreen monitor.VC: This I use mostly when in cruise. All the controls are available, supposedly - someone else will have to verify this. It looks good without being overly exciting. The control columns cannot be lowered or removed, so they tend to get in the way. Feelthere may address this in a patch, but they are not making any promises at the moment.
Funny... I really don't understand these kind of thing. How can you, in 2009(!!!), continue to develop 2D panels with 4:3 format only... I REALLY CANNOT understand an approach like that being a developer... Really don't... Really really don't understand... :( Same thing goes for yoke that cannot be lowered... :(

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How can you, in 2009(!!!), continue to develop 2D panels with 4:3 format only... I REALLY CANNOT understand an approach like that being a developer... Really don't... Really really don't understand... :(
I can give you several explanations: money, time, more money, more time, etc. :)

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To be honest with you before I bought the aircraft just now I would have totally agreed with you about 16:9 16:10 support but having just looked at the panel just now, it doesn't make all that much difference, as there is really only one circular gauge big enough for you to notice it isn't completely round. All the other panels are obviously square and don't really look all that out of place stretched to a widescreen display, if it really bothers you a lot you could always resize the panel to not fill the screen but maintain aspect ratio. I would certainly applaud Feelthere though if there were to include widescreen panels in a service pack at a later date.

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I can give you several explanations: money, time, more money, more time, etc. :)
HelloBut to develop a 4:3 format panel when you know with some certainty that the majority of customers will be using widescreenmakes no sense at all, how much time and money to alter a panel graphic?.The yokes is something the leading developers have been doing for a long time now.A very large propotion of Feelthere customers fly in the VC and at the moment have to put up with a very large yoke waving aroundblocking their view.Same could be said about the nightlighting, to not be able to have a totally dark cockpit when they went to the trouble of making the displays dimmable seems odd.So they have managed to alienate the 2D crowd who have wide screen monitors, and at the same time make life hard for the VC flyersWith a little more time spent they maybe could have had even more money.The ERJ 145 is still a brilliant package at a great price, but I would have paid more to have these features included.These omissions wont stop me enjoying it, but I really hope SP1 has them included.

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... majority of customers will be using widescreen
this is an 'unknown'.i agree that the majority of monitors sold in the past year-ish are widescreen.i do not believe that the majority of monitors in use are widescreen. in my immediate family/friend group only one person has a widescreen on a desktop. i'm the only person with a widescreen 'laptop' (really a Acer One netbook).side note: crazy the number of computers in homes ... i have six! most of my friends/family have three - a new(er) desktop, the 'old' desktop, and a laptop.--

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Some impressions:Meet the little guy!!! (Click in picture again in the new window for a large sized one)20091112191329355.th.jpgImagine this guy in a visual approach.This other one is a little issue that maybe the developers can handle: (Click in picture again in the new window for a large sized one)20091112192314920.th.jpgI think the texture file of the tail light has blurries. Can you see it to?Another little issue is that the strobe lights are blinking to fast. Or is that the way in the real one?As said in the mini review on the top, i agree with everything.Thanks

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Thanks, for the review. Bascally it's what I expected to be.Dirk.

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This other one is a little issue that maybe the developers can handle: (Click in picture again in the new window for a large sized one)20091112192314920.th.jpgI think the texture file of the tail light has blurries. Can you see it to?
i can't ... but the picture is small and 'jaggies'. be sure to post issues on liveries on mcphatstudios.net mcphat is working on an SP.--

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i can't ... but the picture is small and 'jaggies'. be sure to post issues on liveries on mcphatstudios.net mcphat is working on an SP.
Sorry about the quality.I did it because the forum rules of pictures size. But i think you guys from Feelthere already saw it, because the tail light is listed in the "Know issues" in Feelther

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FADEC set switch on the overhead doesn't work in VC
Can anyone confirm/deny it please?Thanks,Dirk.

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Can anyone confirm/deny it please?Thanks,Dirk.
In the 135 which I just tested for you, the VC Store button works but not the inc/dec dial.

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A very fair review, matches what I've seen so far. But:Minor niggle: I really would like to get rid of, or at least lower, the yoke. Even with TrackIR, and depending on what the autopilot is doing with the yoke, I can't see or get at those bezel switches right in front of me.Major niggle: About 50% of the time, and I can't see a pattern yet, when I load a FP into FSX, and then press the key to load that FP into the FMC, it kills FSX stone dead. Crash to Desktop. It's a real pain. :(

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Thanks a bunch for the review. Very useful.I have some more questions about the flight dynamics for the crowd here.- Does the ac rotate properly for the given speeds? Or do I have to pull the yoke like crazy? Or, worse, does it even take off on its own?- What is the attitude at landing and approach? Too high? Or even worse: Nose down?- Does the aircraft bounce even when landing smoothly at the correct speed?- Does the landing gear have a visible suspension or are the wheels "welded on"?Not many payware ac get all this right. The only one I know so far is PMDG.I have the E-Jets, but didn't fly them for a long time and I am very tempted to buy this one probably after the first service pack.Alex (Not a real world pilot)

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I was about to buy a couple of their products but than I saw there are some problems with Windows 7/Vista 64bit... than I changed my mind.

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I was about to buy a couple of their products but than I saw there are some problems with Windows 7/Vista 64bit... than I changed my mind.
I'm not aware of any problems with 64-bit systems. As I wrote, my system is Windows 7 64-bit and the ERJs work flawlessly.

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Thanks a bunch for the review. Very useful.I have some more questions about the flight dynamics for the crowd here.- Does the ac rotate properly for the given speeds? Or do I have to pull the yoke like crazy? Or, worse, does it even take off on its own?- What is the attitude at landing and approach? Too high? Or even worse: Nose down?- Does the aircraft bounce even when landing smoothly at the correct speed?- Does the landing gear have a visible suspension or are the wheels "welded on"?Not many payware ac get all this right. The only one I know so far is PMDG.I have the E-Jets, but didn't fly them for a long time and I am very tempted to buy this one probably after the first service pack.Alex (Not a real world pilot)
To answer some of your questions, Alex:Rotation: It rotates properly at the calculated speeds. It doesn't "leap" off the runway and it doesn't require any exagerated yoke movement to do so.Landing attitude: It lands at the proper attitude for the given speeds. FT did a very good job on the flight dynamics.Bounce on landing: No... if you land at the proper speed, it lands smoothly - no bouncing. It lands like it should - trailing link gear usually give a smooth landing in real life and this aircraft mimics that very well.Suspension: There is a visible movement in the main gear struts, however it is not as pronounced as I think it should be. The trailing link gear doesn't "compress" very much on landing. On the real ERJ, the compression is much more noticeable. I think this is the only characteristic of the visual model that I think could be better.This package is a real winner and I have been flying it non-stop since release!Hope my answers helped!- Alex (I AM a real world pilot. :( )

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Hello TomNice mini review, and in my opinion well balanced.I would just like to add that I flew from LOWI-LOWW in the Feelthere ERJ-145 LR last nightI did the same flight today in the Feelthere Legacy 600 and it seems to me that the AP behavior ismuch improved in the new ERJ v2.This is a really solid release based on what I have seen so far and is probably the most complete regional jet until Digital Aviation release the VC version of the Fokker.Edit:And it is working flawlessly with my Goflight modules (other devs please take note)
Here here ! feelThere haven't always been angels but they've always been top of the league when it comes to providing key assignability and hardware compatibility.

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To answer some of your questions, Alex:Rotation: It rotates properly at the calculated speeds. It doesn't "leap" off the runway and it doesn't require any exagerated yoke movement to do so.Landing attitude: It lands at the proper attitude for the given speeds. FT did a very good job on the flight dynamics.Bounce on landing: No... if you land at the proper speed, it lands smoothly - no bouncing. It lands like it should - trailing link gear usually give a smooth landing in real life and this aircraft mimics that very well.Suspension: There is a visible movement in the main gear struts, however it is not as pronounced as I think it should be. The trailing link gear doesn't "compress" very much on landing. On the real ERJ, the compression is much more noticeable. I think this is the only characteristic of the visual model that I think could be better.This package is a real winner and I have been flying it non-stop since release!Hope my answers helped!- Alex (I AM a real world pilot. :( )
Thanks a lot, Alex. Looks like I have to get this one.Alex :(

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