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Many Thanks

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I was really pleased to see this venerable old girl has been released as freeware and it is now sitting proudly in my FS9 virtual hangar. Still a bit of a beast to configure and fly and I really must track down the manual - link in the readme to Panel shop is dead, but I think it might be hosted over at FS.

I soon learned on my first attempt that slow and steady is the way to go. Flight loaded with (or so I thought) the engines running. Ah, maybe they've tweaked the fiendish startup procedure from the original. In fact I remember a somewhat satirical article over at FS about the name, as the aircraft is anything but "RFP". Anyhow everything, set ATC contacted for clearance Tenerife South to Gatwick and taxi to the runway - "we gan". Well, not very quickly as it happens, my Vauxhall Corsa could have outpaced it, but not being one for procedures plodded on and rapidly running out of tarmac and speed barely 120 KIAS pulled back on the stick anyway. The wheels did come off the ground, well probably the grass not the tarmac and for a few brief seconds it was, "Yes, yes, yes", rather abruptly followed by, "We're going in." (as per an old airline movie I saw once). Another crater in the south of Tenerife adding to the one I left a couple of days ago in FSW and 300 souls all looking to see whether there really is a white light and a door, or not.

Back at the terminal with the flight reloaded, time to ponder what went wrong. A glance at the engine gauges revealed in fact although the engines were running, this was in fact only the No. 1 and 4 outboards, not the inboards. So I had just tried to take off in a fully loaded lump on only two engines. D'oh, as Homer would say. The good news is that Ctrl-E seems to light the inboards without any undue fuss so with everything set a second attempt was made. I'm pleased to report this time, the big old bird thundered down the runway and my (reincarnated?) passengers breathed a sigh of virtual relief as the nose rotated into a positive rate of climb.

That's as far as I got before the real world interrupted, next task is to wrestle with the autopilot. However just the short section of hand flying on the departure brought home what an excellent aircraft this is. It "feels" both heavy but stable at the same time. Obviously PMDG et al have done it better since but anyone looking for an economical solution to getting a decent 747 in FS9 should still consider the RFP version. My mind is also pondering whether/if the aircraft can be successfully imported to FSX.

So thanks again to all those who have been involved in updating an making available this classic FS flagship.

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Now purring along at 29,000 feet. I had some initial consternation with the autothrottle until I realised in addition to activating the master control you also need to select one of three mode buttons on the LHS of the panel.

Rest of the AP seems to be working fine, albeit I couldn't get the heading mode to work. I suspect this *might* be because I already put the NAV/GPS toggle into GPS prior to take-off so maybe it only works if this left on NAV, until you actually need the GPS?

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