The MD-80 series is a mid-size, medium-range airliner that was introduced in the 1980's. The design was a second generation of the DC-9 with two rear fuselage-mounted turbofan engines, small, highly efficient wings, and a T-tail. The aircraft has a distinctive 5-abreast seating in coach class. The aircraft series was designed for frequent, short-haul flights for 130 to 172 passengers depending on plane version and seating arrangement.
Commercial Level Simulations have included the following into their MD-80 series:
Installation and Documentation
For those who haven't installed aircraft from CLS before, it's very straightforward. A quick note before you install is that you need FSUIPC installed for the TCAS to work properly - the installer will give you a link to the correct location to download this file. You will have to agree to the terms & conditions, now you will be asked for your Operating System and select the FSX Version, select where you want it installed and click next and it will take a few minutes to install. Like I said, very straightforward.
A 157 page manual has also been included in this package, and what I had found was that it is very detailed. Included in the manual are 5 sections:
From reading this manual I found it to be very helpful, but there were some items that could have been cut out, such as the pictures and blank pages. I would also have liked for the writing to be spread out a bit more and not as bunched together as it is, so it is easier to read.
CLS have spared very little with regards to the detail of this MD-80 aircraft, I have their DC-10 and A330/A340 aircraft and both of them have fantastic models, but I truly have to say that they are improving every time with their models. Many exterior parts of the aircraft are also animated. I will name a few like the gear, flaps, spoilers, rudders, and elevators etc. They all seem to be animated correctly and make the model look even better. I will agree with CLS in saying this is a highly detailed exterior model.
There are many paint jobs available for the MD-81/82 Jetliner, a few of them are Delta, Finnair, Iberia, JetsGo and Martinair, an American Airlines repaint is also available using the livery manager included with the aircraft. At the time of writing this review CLS had added some new repaints, all of high quality made by either CLS Staff or repainters who have purchased the product. There is also a white paint scheme for repainters.
This aircraft package sounds do sound like the real thing. From start up to shut down the sounds are excellent. While I cannot vouch for the sounds from inside the cockpit, from what some videos have shown and what people have told me the sounds are indeed very good.
In terms of "clickable sounds" in the Virtual Cockpit from the overhead panel and center pedestal, a large majority have sounds when you click them, including the seatbelt and smoking signs.
The GPWS is also working, with callouts from 2000 feet to 10 feet, also including over speed, stall and TCAS alerts.
Virtual Cockpit & Cabin:
The Virtual Cockpit is fantastic, there are a lot of 3D knobs and switches, and almost everything is clickable and does something, which I think a lot of simmers would be concerned about if they didn't have an actual function. There is room for improvement by making the gauges looks more accurate but everything is crisp and very easy to read. I had no trouble reading or clicking anything in the Virtual Cockpit.
Flying at night should now be very easy as CLS has done a fantastic job with the interior lighting. Simmers that do not normally fly at night may find themselves now doing so in the MD-81/82 as it is bright, fantastic and looks spectacular.
Many developers do not include Virtual Cabins these days. CLS has included a Virtual Cabin which is very nice and it has 5 seats per row which are very nicely modeled. This is probably one of the best Virtual Cabins I have seen, if not the best! Simmers that still use the 2D Panel will be happy to hear CLS still includes this into their packages and the MD-81/82 is no different.
Generally, first impressions will tell you if the aircraft will fly like the real thing and I believe that this aircraft does. CLS has done a good job in making sure that the aircraft does fly the like the actual aircraft and not like a jet fighter. Jetliners should fly 'heavy' and not 'light' like a Tomahawk would, they shouldn't respond and turn quickly, but turn slowly.
The aircraft will not spin when in a stall like it should and does stall at around 90 knots, which I believe is incorrect as if I took off at 150knots, the aircraft should stall at 140-150knots.
There were no major drops in FPS when I was using this aircraft. In the VC with FPS locked at 32 at EGLL (Heathrow) I was getting an easy 28-32FPS and on the exterior I got a solid 32FPS.
This is a VERY frame rate friendly aircraft. In terms of systems and modeling and from past experience with CLS, I had gotten bad FPS, but they seem to have improved on that.
Summary / Closing Remarks
Commercial Level Simulations have done a fantastic job in recreating the MD81/82 Jetliner for Flight Simulator X. While it is not 100% like the real thing in terms of systems (FMS etc), it will be enough for beginners to learn quickly and advanced simmers to fly. At just under 30 Euros, it is a good price for what this aircraft has and what it doesn't.
What I Like About The MD81/82 Jetliner
What I Don't Like About The MD81/82 Jetliner
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