With many 737 variants coming out around the same time, it was really hard to top other vendors. What I was not prepared for was the lack of apparent attention to detail we have all grown to expect. However, the model does have one shining point and might hit a "sweet spot" for beginning simmers.
Installation and Documentation
Installation is very straight forward; one .exe for the main install, one more for the liveries. Install was very easy to do and took little to no time at all. Updates also seem to be very easy to install with downloads available from the main website. Included in the install are the base package and nine liveries ranging from the 737-300 through 500.
The included PDF documentation is a simple PDF file from Friendly Panels. It gives the basics of the panel, what each item is on the panel, and where to click, use items, etc. Included in the manual you will find that you can map keys for the main and rear doors and the engines will open to reveal a "maintenance mode."
As stated above, this model has one shining perk going for it, and the 50 North team did a good job here. The outside model is fantastic. Flaps and moving surfaces are all modeled, engine spin, reflective surfaces, it's all good eye candy. For the beginning simmer it might be exactly what they are looking for. However, in switching around in different liveries I found one problem; some of the liveries are missing "painted" tires. The British Airways 737-500 has the basic, un-painted grey tires. Something we hope will be fixed.
This is the area you might normally see "Panel and VC" labeled for the section. However, this panel is a bit different. Friendly Panels has a knack for taking all the needed flight essentials and putting them into one full-size window. I like the idea for basic flight and beginners, but again for the cost of this plane I'd expect a bit more for this price range. I also found the included "GPS" to be worse then the original FS GPS. They tried to make it look more like an FMC style you'd find in the 737. However, a lack of working Alphanumerical keys makes this GPS seem out of place.
However I found the panel to be very frame-rate friendly. At Ultra-High mode I still got frame rates well above 35 FPS. This can be attributed to the lack of "systems" running from this plane. Not much processor cycles going on, so the plane does fly smoothly.
Here again we are let down somewhat by this plane. Based on my flight time with virtual airlines that do simulate FAR-121 guidelines, there is just no way a 737 will climb out at over 4500 feet per minute under a full load! If you look closely at the panel shots above, you will note full fuel. I also selected full cargo and this plane handled and climbed more like a fighter jet then a 737!
In turning and performing my "Captains Ride checklists" I found the 737 to turn too quickly, too agile, and just to nimble for a 737. Granted the 737 is a nice plane and a very forgiving plane to fly, but this takes it a little to far. Coupled with the other problems of this plane and we're unfortunately beginning to see a pattern of a rushed plane.
The Fifty North 737 uses the default MSFS sounds. Nothing fancy here.
For a sale price of $12.95 USD at review time, this aircraft still feels more like a freeware plane then a payware. A simple search on AVSIM's own freeware library shows many liveries, panels, and sound sets that can be used for free. I'm not sure if even the low $12.95 is worth it for a payware model. Default sounds, lack of a quality flight model, and no virtual cockpit really hinder the abilities of this aircraft.
However, there may be those new to flight simming that want an easy to install, "I don't wanna have to go looking" plane that they can install and quickly get airborne. But if you are a "die-hard simmer" and want something more realistic to fly, you might want to look elsewhere.
|What I Like About The FiftyNorth Boeing 737|
|What I Don't Like About The FiftyNorth Boeing 737|
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