Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Chock

A quick look at JF's new FSX Vickers Viscount

Recommended Posts

I vont a Viscount... (this will probably mean nothing to anyone not familiar with that old advert)Here's a quick look at JF's new FSX Vickers Viscount. At 20 quid, it's a 135Mb download (or boxed DVD). As with all other JF downloads, it auto-installs when you connect to JF to authenticate having purchased it.You get the 800 Series variant, aka the Super-Viscount, with 12 different liveries. The stretched 800 variant was the most successful Viscount sub type, with well over 400 of them built, one of which remains airworthy in Africa as far as I'm aware, so the type has been flying for over 60 years. Like the real thing, it's a four-engined turboprop with Rolls Royce Dart engines and trademark big oval windows which are great for wing views, although sadly, the 800 variant had square cabin doors instead of the rather cool oval ones which the earlier Viscounts sported.As with most recent JF airliners such as their Comet and Constellation, externally, it features good texturing and a model that is detailed although not completely over the top as far as every nut and bolt is concerned, so frame rates are good. The VC is a good representation of the real thing and fairly detailed although I think it would benefit from some higher resolution textures, nevertheless, the detailing is such that it loads and runs smoothly. The vast majority of switches and systems (such as they are on the rather utilitarian Viscount) are functional, including the overhead and centre pedestal, with (crucially for the Viscount) the anti-ice systems being well modeled, and features such as the rather novel flip up acetate covers on the coaming that shielded some of the engine controls are all present and correct. I would say the physical modeling was nice, rather than stunning, but that's good enough for me.The familiar JF air hostess also found in the JF Comet, is working another shift here in the Viscount's fully modeled interior, with her outfit changing to reflect the livery choice. Also modeled are front and rear airstairs and a nifty little Volkswagen doormobile which also gets a suitable livery for each variant, these being controlled by a spare wiper control switch under the cockpit coaming, the other ones actually operating the wipers themselves. Not sure if Cambrian ever did have such VWs, but even so it is a nice touch.Sound-wise this is a winner; I spent most of my childhood with these things whizzing over my head whilst on finals to EGCC (where one of these once crashed in fact), and like me, anyone familiar with either the Vickers Viscount or Vickers Vanguard will know that these things emit a distinctive whistling noise courtesy of those dart engines, so it is good to hear this really well emulated on the JF Viscount.Flying-wise there are no surprises, it handles as you would expect one to do so and all the systems appear to work okay, although I've not flown it much yet, so there may yet be something to find however it all seems okay thus far.So, for 20 quid it's pretty good, and it makes a change to have a decent bit of classic Brit aviation history to whizz about in. Just need them to make a Vanguard now. Some pics:2011-10-28_16-28-19-312.jpg2011-10-28_16-28-11-208.jpg2011-10-28_16-26-49-690.jpg2011-10-28_16-26-13-596.jpg2011-10-28_16-24-7-726.jpg2011-10-28_16-20-3-743.jpg2011-10-28_16-19-1-341.jpg2011-10-28_16-17-28-466.jpg2011-10-28_16-15-17-929.jpgAl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Thanks for the report Alan, looks like a nice model, plenty of detail in the textures it seems. will be a few takers for this here in New Zealand (myself included) given it's history here. Well done to JF for picking this up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the informative heads-up on the Viscount. May have to get it if only for the sounds!I'll consider purchasing once I've mastered Rick Piper's 748.Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Al,Thanks so much for the reviewIs the old Flying Springbok SAA livery included?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Al,As always, I am interested in "hand flying" the plane. I would therefore value your opinion of the overall stability, and how quickly the engines respond to throttle input.Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There seem to be one or two "quirks" related to the engine sounds. The engines sound really nice overall, but the internal sound set seems to repeat very quickly, and the "join" point is very noticeable. Also, the external sounds seem to be a bit "choppy" at times. Has anyone else noticed this?On a positive note, I really like the 3D model, textures and VC, and the flight model feels nice and stable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After further testing, it seems that these "issues" are only a problem when the engines are operating at the higher power levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice mini review Al, thanks. I purchased the Viscount at the weekend but have only had time for a five minute jolly in it. It certainly looks pretty good to me!Unfortunately the Viscount has received a rather frosty reception at another forum for classic British types... apparently it's very innaccurate and nowhere near as good as the freeware Viscounts released for FS9. I'll qualify that by saying the regulars at that forum are rather hostile towards just about all payware and gave similar criticism to the JF Comet as well.I'm glad someone is doing classic British types for FSX with at least half decent systems modelling and decent VCs. I hope JF will do a BAC 1-11 or VC10 in the not too distant future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just had a look at the Viscount thread over at the Classic British Flightsim forum, and they seem to be critical of the shape of the nose and "cockpit hump", together with textures that are far too "shiny and new looking". They also mention that the VC appears to be a mixture of types, and that there are two sets of landing light switches. This isn't stuff that bothers me though. Whilst I would obviously want the flight model to be reasonably accurate (and that has also been criticised), I do not have the knowledge required to say whether they are correct or not. In any case, I rather like the plane. It's just that very obvious "joint" where the cockpit engine sound repeats that I would like sorting out....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have written to Just Flight and asked for my money back for this productThis aircraft was advertised on Just Flight's web site as:

  • Highly functional and accurate VC, shadow textured as appropriate.
  • All switches, knobs and levers animated, most with bespoke animations.
  • Co-pilot/Engineer station with fully functional gauges, knobs, levers and switches

(http://www.justflight.com/moreinfo.asp?pid=877)Which leads one to think that it has reasonably accuarate panel. This made it interesting for me so I bought it, and regretted it almost immediately. The panel and aircraft systems are not at all accurate. Most of the functionality is missing and some of controls are just plain wrong. For example, it has four pitch control levers. No commercial turbo prop ever had pitch control levers. Propellor pitch is controlled automatically depending on engine RPM. Those levers should be conditioner levers and they usually have three settings, like Off, Ground and Air. It seems the developer behind this aircraft did not know that, which is not a good sign. There is an absence of navigational instruments, including a DME gauge which makes the aircraft, as it stands impossible to use for IFR flights. Much of what I'm seeing in the cockpit is eye candy, and not a simulation of how this aircraft works as we might have expected.I also recently bought the Just Flight Comet aircraft and this also has similar issues, although I find the faults in this aircraft are forgivable, since it is such a fine model. Again, it's lacking a DME, but the built in RADAR - although a cheat - saves the day. and makes IFR possible. The cockpit at night is lit up like a Christmas tree, again wrong.At 25.50 EUR, I'm am not happy with the Viscount as it stands. Even from my limited knowledge of this aircraft, it's obvious that several things need to be fixed by, preferably by someone who actually knows how this aircraft works. Is this likely to happen? One guy who politely pursued this issue on the just Flight forums was shouted down by Just Flight staff as a rivet counter and then thread was locked. He was told quite clearly by Just Flight staff that there was not going to be a DME in the aircraft and that was the end of the story.It all looks very nice with those screen shots but it is PURE EYE CANDY. What you see is what you get. Do not waste your money on this aircraft unless you like toys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flying-wise there are no surprises, it handles as you would expect one to do so and all the systems appear to work okay, although I've not flown it much yet, so there may yet be something to find however it all seems okay thus far.
But the systems don't work ok. They are not correctly modelled. What the hell is it doing with Pitch levers? This is clearly done by a developer who is good visually but has no knowledge or interest in how the thing really works. I wasn't expecting a PMDG or Level D, but I was expecting better than this. I've seen better freeware versions than this.Your review -- and the line I quoted in particular -- was one of the reasons why I bought this aircraft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume that your post on the JF forum was made before you checked out the plane in detail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those interested in the VC10 the best model currently available is DM's free version also approved by the raf.It apparently works well in FSX. The only issue with his model is that most of the switches are dummy. However with my update available here:-http://library.avsim...=root&Go=Searchmany issues have been resolved. The update is written around the authentic checklists, with all the switches working plus a lot more. It also features pushback dialog, cabin safety briefing and interaction between the flightdeck and cabin. you need at least 15 to 20 mins before you pushback.It also has a night panel.vololiberista

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit late to this party but have been considering the Viscount as a cargo machine. In doing my research I came across this thread. Thank you Al for doing this - this helps considerably.As I read down the posts I was able to pick up little bits and pieces. Some of it was more useful than others, but there are some things that are maybe not quite accurate, at least by one poster. They should be corrected if others are to get a better feel for this aircraft.

Those levers should be conditioner levers and they usually have three settings, like Off, Ground and Air.
This is something I'm doing research on but you may be right on that. However, they are "Condition" levers, not "conditioner" levers ;). Regardless of the correct name, I have reasons to believe they are not Condition levers (the colour for one). I'll get back to you on that.
There is an absence of navigational instruments, including a DME gauge which makes the aircraft, as it stands impossible to use for IFR flights
This one is completely out to lunch, with respect. There was a long time there where we did IFR flights and it was all before DME's were even invented, never mind in widespread use. If you look at an IFR chart, you'll see things call "intersections". Those are often located where two airways cross. By having the station you are going to/from tuned in and being on the airway, you know when you are at that intersection when the needle on the VOR indicator centres for the station you are cross referencing (i.e. the station that the crossing airway is originating from). You can take that one step further by noting what radial you are crossing when on a known radial, even it it's not an airway, of a station you are going to/from, off a VOR (or even NDB) station that is not on your line of flight. It's call triangulation (or "strangulation" when trying to tune 2 or 3 other VOR stations on your old Nav radio in short order to get as many points as possible). By pinpointing on a map where the two (or more) radials crossed, you knew exactly where you were at the moment of measurement. In some respects, it was even more accurate than DME's and using triangulation is not a bad idea to do now and then even today in case your GPS suddenly goes south without taking you with it :). Not only was/is it possible to conduct IFR flights using triangulation, we did (and often even without transponders!). In fact, DME wasn't even invented until 1954 so it was probably closer to 1960 before it made its way onto most of the airliners of the day (certainly the "new" 707's and DC8's had them, but not all the older turboprops were fitted with them). I'm not sure when the prototype Viscount 800 flew, but the 700 flew in 1950, which was well before DME's were even thought of. My feeling is JF was being faithful to the type and period when they left the DME out. It looks to me like they have an RMI and ADF indicator on board, so that's really about all you need to do a full IFR flight. Anyway, I thought I'd clear up that little misconception right off. True, by today's standards this is not a well equipped aircraft avionics-wise, but then this airplane was made in 1950 something, not 2000 something.If others have any opinions on this airplane now that it's been out for a while, I'd be really interested in hearing it. Thanks again Al for doing the review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that about the DME.I don't have the JF Viscount anymore (I returned it) but as I remember there were quite a few inaccuracies, such as interior at night looks like all the warning lights are on, and if I remember rightly there were modern radios on the roof? If so why not just add the DME anyway?I also remember that the engine start-up was not modelled well. The props just start spinning suddenly, like the captain sim Hercules series, and unlike aerosoft's "Otter" where some clever programming disguises the FSX limitation. I think my disappointment with this aircraft, and also the Comet, was that there was no custom programming under the hood. It's basic FSX functionality - but I got the impression from the description that there was more to than that. I am quite a demanding simulation enthusiast, so I'm sticking with A2A aircraft for older ones. The B-377 with Accusim is a really nicely modelled flight deck. I'd say it's about mega_shok.gif per cent functional, compared to the real one. May be I'm spoiled. And in the B-377 I navigate the old way, using dual ADFs ;-). They have a poor range so it's not quite enough, so some dead reckoning comes in there too, along with some with some star fixes using the add-on sextant gauge.I did some research on turbo-props of the era, and some engines were fitted with pitch control levers of sorts, such as the P&W PT-6A. I have a Flight Manual for a Dash 7, which I believe had a PT-6 variant. While there is no mention of any propellor pitch levers on the flight deck, levers that are discussed in various checklists are engine condition levers and power levers. The manual mentions the following settings for the engine condition levers : FUEL SHUT OFF; NORMAL FLOW; MAXIMUM RPM. For the Power levers: MAX REVERSE; DISC; FLIGHT IDLE; TAKE OFF.The last entry for the "After Take Off" checklist states that climb torque should be set, presumable with the power levers and charts. Condition levers were set in an earlier checklist to max RPM. Yet underneath the "After Take Off" is a note. It says: "When decreasing power, reduce engine torque before reducing propellor RPM". I guess that means that the power lever is doing torque, and then the condition lever is doing RPM? It seems that the power levers control both propellor pitch and fuel flow and hence power; but the condition lever is also able to control fuel flow.However, the Viscount had Rolls-Royce Dart engines I believe, and I have little information on those, though I suspect the engine controls will be similar to the Dash-7.Anyway, both the Viscount and the Comet by Just Flight are quite nice looking, and to be honest, for money, are ok.Anyway, the Viscount looks quite good, and so does the comet. I kept the Comet, but returned the Viscoutn due to my being so disappointed.Regards/Jason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I should have remembered this right off (duhh) as I work on Dash 8 equipment (RW). Yeah, in fact multi-engined turboprops DO have prop levers. This certainly includes the Dash 8, Dash 7, Fokkers, and so on. They do function like combination Condition levers and prop levers in some machines, but once started they do control the RPM's of the props via pitch changes. So if that's what FJ is calling them, I'd be willing to bet they are exactly right :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The last entry for the "After Take Off" checklist states that climb torque should be set, presumable with the power levers and charts. Condition levers were set in an earlier checklist to max RPM. Yet underneath the "After Take Off" is a note. It says: "When decreasing power, reduce engine torque before reducing propellor RPM". I guess that means that the power lever is doing torque, and then the condition lever is doing RPM?
We are crossing posts <LOL>. Yes, you are quite correct about what you said above. The same lever will also feather the prop in the Dash 8 (and I believe in the 7 as well). Different manufacturers do things differently of course so it's not a set-in-stone rule.I agree completely regarding the radios. If they are modern, yes, they should have a DME in there. If it's flying today, I would suggest in most places it's on the MEL and not an option.Your other points though are well taken. It does give me something to think about. Thanks for this input - it's always good to have 2 sides. Appreciate it :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I should have remembered this right off (duhh) as I work on Dash 8 equipment (RW). Yeah, in fact multi-engined turboprops DO have prop levers. This certainly includes the Dash 8, Dash 7, Fokkers, and so on. They do function like combination Condition levers and prop levers in some machines, but once started they do control the RPM's of the props via pitch changes. So if that's what FJ is calling them, I'd be willing to bet they are exactly right :).
I'd need a Dart or Viscount manual to know, but I'm willing to bet that they are not simple pitch levers as shown in the Viscount, but more like in the Dash 7 ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites