Sign in to follow this  
scianoir

Two great new propliners for FSX

Recommended Posts

Classic propliner fans have had a good Christmas with the release of two great new airliners for FSX - the well publicised and discussed A2A L749 Constellation and the somewhat less well publicised Canadair DC-4M North Star/Argonaut by Flight Replicas.  As a propliner fan I was keen on adding both to my FSX fleet.

 

The Connie truly deserves the accolades it has been receiving as an excellent and accurate reproduction of the original Queen of the Skies (pre-747 era!) and no doubt it will take its place as the best payware classic propliner available for FSX. As it has been discussed in other threads however, I will not comment on it further here.

 

I was however also very pleasantly surprised by the Canadair DC-4M which I purchased today mainly because I found it in a sale! This turns out to be a very good reproduction of this somewhat unique pressurised variant of the DC-4 with an accurate external model and good textures. The VC is also very well modeled and although the textures are not HD, it nevertheless provides an immersive environment. All the systems that I utilised during the first flight appear to function satisfactorily and the flight model also seems realistic.This aircraft was powered by the iconic Merlin engine and the sound package supplied with this product reproduces the characteristic sound of these engines quite well. Although it doesn't have the deeper Accu Sim / Captain of the Ship features of the A2A aircraft, this is nevertheless a very good FSX addon in my opinion and I can recommend it to any fans of classic propliners.

 

Bill

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


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

Thanks for the write up. Where did you find the North Star on sale?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sale is on here: http://www.fspilotshop.com/flight-replicas-canadair-north-star-for-fsx-p3d-p-6437.html

 

The Argonaut was a fairly terrible aeroplane in real life, often with very cramped high density seating for the fledgling package holiday market of its day and it was terribly noisy in the cabin too. Not only that, its control layout was fairly terrible as well, the confusing layout of the fuel cocks being the main cause of the 1967 'Stockport Air Disaster' when one of them belonging to British Midland crashed into the centre of my home town of Stockport, after suffering fuel starvation, from having the selectors in the wrong position as it was on long finals to what was (then) runway 24 at EGCC Ringway Airport (later renamed Manchester International).

 

The pilot of that aeroplane had difficulty in turning as the engines started cutting out and he went around again but lost too much height and eventually stalled and spun in from extremely low altitude. Ironically, another British Midland aircaft (B737-400) had a similar crash 22 years later in the UK at Kegworth when the crew of that shut down one of their engines (mistakenly), the one without a problem and then couldn't maintain height. Again, the main cause of that crash was the confusing layout of the engine dials and the fact that the AC pumping smoke from one particular side of the aircraft made them think it was the other (good) engine that was failing.

 

Interestingly, my dad (along with a policeman who was on a motorcycle nearby) was the first person on the scene of that 1967 crash and he rescued some of the very few surviving passengers who were on board, however, he was unable to save many because of the intense fire from the fuel tanks which were ironically still full of plenty of fuel. He told me that he initially thought the aircraft was going to hit him as he saw it coming down but at the last second the right wing stalled and it spun away into the ground from its initial heading where he was standing. It broke into three parts with the middle part bearing the brunt of the damage as it fell into a dip in the terrain. He used to have a lot of nightmares about the incident, but there is no doubt he was very brave in approaching the crash scene to help survivors. He told me he felt guilty about not being able to save more of them, but sadly the fire was too intense for him to get to them.

 

He rarely spoke about that incident and it was only when I made mention of it when I did the eulogy at his funeral that many people learned of it.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is in the sale at the Flight Sim Pilot Shop but beware that the default option when you click 'purchase' adds $4.95 to the price for a back up disc by mail, so make sure you use the drop down menu and deselect that to get it at the sale price of $19.47!

 

I remember seeing footage of the Stockport crash on the TV news when I was a teenager but it is always interesting to hear more personal accounts of these incidents, thank you. Yes, the Argonaut was noisy to the point where I understand flying in it as a passenger was almost unbearable despite all the efforts put into soundproofing the cabin, including diverting the exhausts so that their openings were on the far side of the engines away from the cabin! I was tempted to turn the volume on my speakers right up during take off on the Argonaut tonight to replicate this as I do enjoy the Merlin sound, but my wife already thinks I'm insane and howling Merlins emanating from the room next door might just have lead to the men in white coats being called in!

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They've got the Merlin sound to a tee on this one, it really does sound like you've got over 7,000 HP shoving you along the runway when you crank the engines up for the take off roll. Seems to fly pretty well too with most, if not all of the systems modeled in what is a very nice VC. Might have to mess the textures up a bit with a repaint, most of them ended up fairly dirty and battered in real life.

 

Here's some shots of the BOAC Argonaut in the Steam version of FSx (note that this one needs either the FSx Steam version, or P3D or FS Gold/Acceleration, it does load into an older SP2 version of FSx, but the engines won't work properly without the SP3 tweeks). Definitely worth 20 quid in the sale if you fancy a big old propliner with plenty of character and it's certainly a bit different from a standard DC-4 or DC-6.

 

fsx%202016-12-29%2007-37-55-74_zpstbsap6

 

fsx%202016-12-29%2007-43-14-81_zpskfe68s

 

fsx%202016-12-29%2007-46-46-88_zpsup0fs0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might have to mess the textures up a bit with a repaint, most of them ended up fairly dirty and battered in real life.

 

I agree, most propliners, as I remember them, had lots of oil streaks here, there and everywhere, not just from the engines but trailing back from various hinges on control surfaces, etc. It's a pity that a lot of developers seem to miss out on these fairly minor final touches which would add an even more realistic appearance to the external model. Even the excellent A2A Constellation could do with a slightly more 'weathered' look!

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone compare the Canadair DC-4M with JustFlight's Fokker F27 Friendship?

 

Thanks,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Peter. I have both and although I am perhaps a little biased overall towards old piston powered airliners, I also like old turboprops and will try to provide you with an objective comparison if I can! Arguably the F-27 is one of Just Flight's better products, so you chose a good one to compare with.

 

If we start with the external model, both could do with a slightly more weathered look but both are very good and there is little to choose between them. Internally from a visual viewpoint Just Flight have produced a really nice VC in the F-27 with good textures almost HD in appearance. The DC-4M in comparison is not quite as visually striking although it is still very good, I think the F-27 therefore just wins in the area of visual appeal of the VC. Both VCs however have very good functionality in terms of systems, an update for the F-27 correcting some deficiencies in the original release. Both come with original autopilots although that on the DC-4M is very limited in terms of functionality, as was often the case with APs of that era and so a pop-up default AP is also provided. In terms of VC function therefore there is little to choose between the two. The flight dynamics of the DC-4M seem very realistic for an old piston airliner, but the F-27 is not perhaps quite as realistic with an excessively high rate of climb even at gross weight and somewhat poor controllability after landing (also noticeable in some other JF airliners), although I understand that this can be improved by enabling autorudder, which I generally do not tend to do. So in this area the DC-4M seems to win. The sound packages of both are very good replicating the characteristic Merlin and Dart sounds, although at take off power the F-27 seems to lose some of that characteristic high pitched Dart whistle. From a resource viewpoint, both have similar (not excessive) VAS usage and from a performance viewpoint both give good frame rates although those of the F-27 are slightly lower.

 

In summary therefore, there actually is very little to chose between the two. They are however essentially airliners from two different eras and your decision might come down to whether you have a preference for an airliner from the beginning of the turbine age or an airliner with 1940s technology. If you are veering towards the latter then you might also want to consider the A2A Constellation, which, as I have mentioned in another thread, is destined to be the Majestic Q400 of piston airliners.

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill,

 

thanks a lot for this detailed comparison, which is most helpful. I am generally into 1950s and 60s airplanes. The DC4-M has been used in that time range, that's why I considered to get it. However, your comparison suggests that it wouldn't be necessary for me. I don't mind piston engines, but if I have a choice I usually pick turboprop. It is a pity that A2A chose to create the L049 variant. I understand their argument for doing so, but the L1049 would have been more interesting for me. 

 

Thanks again,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Peter,

Glad to have been of some help! I am hopeful that perhaps at some stage they might go on to develop the L1049, but I am not holding my breath! I think it will all depend on sales of the 049 but I suspect that the market for pre-1970s airliners is not all that large and the 1049 would be almost a completely new product as it was quite different to the early 049s.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone compare the Canadair DC-4M with JustFlight's Fokker F27 Friendship?

 

Thanks,

Peter

Having got quite a few of Just Flight's 'old bangers' (Comet, DC6, Connie, Dove, DC3 etc), it's interesting to compare their DC6 with the Flight Replicas Canadair DC4M Argonaut, since in reality the DC4M was essentially a licence-built pressurised hybrid between the DC4 and the DC6 with Merlin engines which could only be sold to Commonwealth countries as a stipulation by Douglas so that it wouldn't harm the sales of their own DC6, so looks-wise, it's going to be similar to the Douglas externally and internally, but with a few typically 'British' cockpit features of that era - i.e. very little thought for sensible ergonomics to the point where it notoriously caused some fatal accidents.

 

Just Flight have - and still do - get a bit of stick from simmers because many of their VCs have a 'clean' slightly 'cartoonish' look about them, i.e. the prop levers and such don't tend to have paint chips and scratches. Personally, I don't mind that visual treatment, but I can understand if people are not keen on it compared to, for example, the way A2A do things, where it's a bit more of a photorealistic textured approach to make things look like they've seen a few thousand hours. Flight Replicas have gone a bit more 'textured' with the cockpit than JF models typically do, with some of the VC textured and scratched, but there is still some of the other method in there too (see pics), which mixes well. Unlike many JF products which don't need the SP3 tweeks of FS, the FR one does, so it might be a bit more advanced in terms of engine simulation, as I know A2A's stuff requires that too. Externally, the paint jobs are 'clean' and new-looking, and I think I'm gonna batter and dirty them up a bit (there is a paint kit available for that purpose).

 

fsx%202016-12-29%2019-33-46-13_zpsc0odad

 

fsx%202016-12-29%2019-29-57-82_zpssvindt

 

I must say that I like the way it flies, it feels like a big aeroplane, being heavy and slow to throw around and it stays planted on an exact heading when flying manually - I was using it last night in Air Hauler to do the type rating for it, and it was easy pass the test since it flies so well - so that's good. The 'big' sound adds to that feeling of it being an old bird too, it sounds very similar to a Lancaster bomber, as it should being powered by Merlin variants, and that's a really great feature of it, since the real thing was notorious for being deafeningly loud. Operationally, it's possible to completely overload it with fuel and payload, since like the real aeroplane, it has dense seating and has a large number of auxilliary fuel tanks with a complex fuel transfer system, so that's fun on shorter runways too if you like a challenge in getting the thing over the trees at the end of runways lol. Get the CoG wrong on it and it will actually tip onto its tail, which it will also do if you get to keen when pushing back from the stand.

 

If you like old bangers such as this one and fly them a lot in sims (as I do), you won't be disappointed, especially at the sale price. Don't get me wrong, I love things like A2A's B17, and I'm glad they've done a Connie, but i think JF's Connie is good too and there's room for both on ,my HD. So if like me, you aren't too bothered about things like the cylinder heads cracking and the plugs oiling if you descend too fast and cool them too quickly whilst idling (which stuff like Aerosoft's Catalina and a lot of A2A aeroplanes bother to model) then you won't be disappointed with the FR DC4M, since it has enough realistic engine modeling to keep you interested, and even if it did not after all, when stuff like that isn't modeled, you can still close the cowling gills on the descent and give it a burst of throttle as you level off to clear the plugs on simpler models, even if it isn't actually doing anything in the sim lol, which is why i still love all those JF aeroplanes as well.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alan,

 

thanks for your detailed description as well. I am happy with the JF Fokker F27, but I must admit I wasn't too keen to fly their Connie. I think I only flew it once or twice, but I got it on a sale, so I am not complaining. I am very much a systems and navigation guy, so the one thing that I don't like about the F27 is what Bill described about the engines being overpowered. In any way, I have an L049 with P3D 3, but I guess the A2A version will be slightly better ;)

 

Best,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this