Every time you watch a video online or fly as a passenger, it is likely that there will be some rustling and banging noises when the airplane is on the takeoff or landing roll. The Runway Lights can often be a real bang to the mood. It is a reality of aviation and we in Flight Simulation love every bit of realism.
FSPS have done a great job creating a very simple program that works well and is very effective. It can be run almost in the click of a few buttons and certainly gives you the little kick of realism every time you take-off and land.
Installation and Documentation
The Installation process of the program is relatively simple. It can be installed by downloading the file from the FSPS Website and then registering it with the appropriate code after purchase. This program does however require Runway Information which is a slightly complicated process.
A program called MakeRwys.exe is required to be downloaded (link provided in the Manual). This program reads the Flight Simulator data and creates 5 files in a .csv file format. You then have to place the appropriate files in the appropriate folders as stated by the manual and the readme file for the program to have Runway Bumping working properly. There are appropriate instructions, but they have to be followed accurately or else it will cause the program to not work as expected.
The Documentation for this program includes a very simple 14 page Manual that has information about the program and the Installation Process. Further Documentation is also available in the form of a text file for the Installation of the Runways definition file (from MakeRwys.exe).
Upon opening FSPS Runway Bumping, most of the options can be very easily understood. There are initially 3 Menu’s on top titled Main Menu, Sounds and Profiles. The various settings available below the options are discussed later.
The Main Menu option includes the following options:
Web Home: Re-directs to the FSPS Website
Forum: Re-directs to the FSPS Support Forum on Simflight
Support: Re-directs to the ticketing system on FSPS’s website
Manual: Opens the manual
Check for Update Now: Checks for Updates
Check for updates at startup: Checks for updates each time the program is opened
Start Minimized: Starts the program as a minimized screen
Start at Tray Icon: Starts the program but it is closed to the tray
ShutDown: Closes the program
Transfer License: Used for transferring license to another PC
The Sounds page lets the user select which Audio Device (i.e. USB Headset, Audio Output, etc.) to use. This program also has 3 different sound files that can be played. This is selected based on user preference and they all sound different, but similar to that of an aeroplane going over a Runway Light.
The Sounds Menu Option also has a ‘Test Sound’ feature to ensure that the 3 files are saved properly and that the program can pick up the sound. If a certain sound is selected and the ‘Test Sound’ button is pressed, all being well, you should be able to hear the appropriate sound.
FSPS have provided 3 separate Profiles that can be saved into the program. In this Menu Option, simply click on the Profile you want, change the settings in the below area, then click ‘Save Profile’ and that particular profile is saved. There is also a ‘Rename Profiles’ button so you can customize the name of the profiles.
As can be seen, all the options are very straight forward and resemble that of most other programs. It has all the options that are required for direct use and is displayed in a neat, easy to understand method that has no congestion. Its simplicity increases the ease of use.
Many people get very worried about using the ‘Settings’ of any program but FSPS has made this so simple that even the least tech-savvy simmer can change the settings with ease. The following options exist:
Runway Lights Base Width:
This setting varies the width of all the Runway Lights and it varies from 25cm/10in to as much as 150cm/60in. This option can be set to a realistic value but if you want to see that the program actually works, it’s possible to set it to a really high value so you can almost guarantee that you don’t miss the runway lights.
The Master Volume controls the output volume of the bump from the program. This is a simple option that varies from 0-100% and can be used to separately control the volume level of the bump to a realistic level
Runway Lights Base Distance:
This option is similar to the Width, but just controls how far along the runway each ‘light’ is away from each other. The values range from 5m/165ft to 30m/1000ft. The feet translation seems to be incorrect but it is a generic scale nevertheless. This option, like the others, can be set to a realistic value or be changed depending on the real world settings of the particular runway; or if you’re flying an airplane with a short Take-Off or Landing roll this can be used to increase the amount of ‘bangs’ you hear.
This option is used to offset the sound to the Left or the Right earphone/headphone. There is also an ‘Equal Set’ button included to set both sides to 0%. The range is from -100% (no sound) to +100% (full sound) for each particular ear.
This feature is supposed to change the visual movement of the bump while in Flight Simulator. Its value ranges from 0 – 100%, but unfortunately none of the setting changes made any difference in Flight Sim (FS2004 and on FSX). This may be a local computer issue; nevertheless, the bump amount seemed to be the same regardless of 0% or 100% Pitch Setting.
As can be seen, the Settings on Runway Bumping are very straightforward and typical to the practical use of the program. It provides the user with plenty of options, while still keeping the program very simple.
There are 4 display windows at the bottom of the panel. They display certain information that is useful for flying. The first window tells you if FS is connected or not. The second window shows the Location of the Aircraft, or ‘Flying’ if it’s airborne. The last 2 windows show which Bumping Sound is selected and the Profile that is activated.
Practicality of Use
The use of this program in general Flight Simulator flying is somewhat limited. The main restriction I faced while reviewing this product was the lack of change of Pitch Effect when the setting was changed. On some of the lighter aircraft such as the King Air, the actual bump was so excessive on takeoff that I even got airborne from a few of them. There were also a lot of sparks flying along in these light aircraft. On landing with the brakes on (and the forward moment), the nose gear has a greater impact with the wheels and causes a greater Pitch Effect.
That being said, the program works as a sensation for the big jets. On Take-off and Landing, the Pitch effect is just perfect. If there is a bit of back elevator, the lack of pressure on the main wheels softens the bumping effect.
The nose gear is connected with the sound effect meaning that when you rotate, the bumps stop even though the main landing gear is still on the ground. This increases the enjoyment and realism and gives a general practical feel to the product. Unfortunately, the bumping effect only works for the nose landing gear and doesn’t work for the Main Landing gear or any of the taxiway lights.There was no performance loss noticed during the Review.
Summary / Closing Remarks
| Test System |
• Intel Core2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0 GHz
• 4.00 GB Ram
• Nvidia Geforce 9800GTX/9800 GTX+
• Windows XP Professional SP 3
• Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
• Microsoft FSX Deluxe – SP2
Publisher: Flight Simulator Platform Solutions
Product Version: 1.2
Format: Download (13.5MB)
Reviewed By: Arjun Murthy
As stated, I had the Pitch Effect problem on my system. If that is not a restriction on anyone else’s system, then it’ll be fully worth it. If the Error is on the design part and not on my local system, it would only be beneficial to those that do excessive commercial airliner flying. I still love this product because it just adds that one little bit of extra happiness that I won’t get otherwise, so I will definitely continue to use it whenever I fly jets in Flight Simulator.
What I Like About FSPS – Runway Bumping Effect
- Performs its tasks well
- Changeable and user friendly settings
What I Don't Like About FSPS – Runway Bumping Effect
- Pitch Effect option doesn’t work (at least on my system)