EuroFSX Ryanair 737 Missions
By Joe "Mutley" Lawford


A big deal for a small price!


One of the many clever innovations within FSX is the interactive mission. It gives the virtual pilot an immediate fix for something to do and a challenge to beat the machine. This new feature has opened the door to countless FS fans and developers to genuinely put their stamp on the program.  With the release of the SDK and subsequent update the information is there for anyone to exploit and is leading the way for many new smaller developers to be able to offer a product to the voracious flight sim market.
 

The overview screen, setting the objectives

EuroFSX is one of these companies, when I saw the release of this title from I thought yes! it sounds like a great idea for Ryanair, 737 and missions fans.

The program is advertised as having 30 missions on Real Ryanair routes, 4 Ryaniar repaints for the default 737 flyable in their own right, detailed charts and airport images.

The program is available from SimMarket as a CD or download (71Mb) all for the very reasonable price of 15 + VAT if applicable. The installation was painless enough, using the familiar Clickteam install creator that also installs an un-installation option too.

The missions are stored in their own subfolder along with the flight plans and en-route weather files. The aircraft is a copy of the Microsoft default but is loaded into it's own folder called Ryanair_737 so does not interfere in anyway with the default.

The program runs seamlessly within FSX using the Missions interface.  All the flights are classed as "Expert" skill level,  I think this is an ambitious description, I think they could be classified mostly as "Intermediate" or "Advanced" with maybe one or two being expert.  Even for my moderate flight sim skills some of the missions were a little too easy.  I suppose these shuttle flights would be quite easy in real life too with a short hop over from Dublin to Leeds Bradford taking under an hour.
 
30 missions to choose from, don't be daunted by the "Expert" rating. Nice Google interface, with map of destination, handy if VFR.

Anyone familiar with the missions interface will be at home with the set up, Flight numbers, title and skill level to the left and a picture and description of the mission to the right. Some of the descriptions were enticing such as the FR5203 flight from Milan to Frankfurt-Hahn. "FR5203 Ryanair Orio Al Serio (LIME) to Frankfurt-Hahn (EDFH). Its back to the winter here. An early morning flight with bad Snow fall and winds. This will intale a very tricky approch."  (I have left in the spelling mistakes). To the more mundane "FR7072 Dublin to Porto Fly from Dublin to Porto.Depart 09.20 arrive 12.00"  OK will do.

We move onto the briefing, Nice picture of Ryanair 737 with an estimated time to complete and the flight objective. On the details tab you get the destination airport facility information which can be re-called in the flight and an approach and ILS chart with some nice detail. On the Maps and Charts page the same approach chart is shown and a snazzy little feature that interfaces with a live feed to Google Maps (So long as you are connected to the internet) and shows a satellite image of the destination airport environs, this is scalable as it would be if you were on the website.  Also, there is a link to the destination airport website, for some interesting info on your destination, you can even use the hyperlinks on the page to go off elsewhere. I landed up on Ryanair's own site where I checked the time tables.  Sadly, although the flight numbers and destinations are real they are not matched in a true to life combination.
 
Radar and radio frequencies overview. In flight arrival check.

So we move onto the flight, you are given the mission overview and the flight is commenced after releasing the parking break.  The aircraft engines have to be started, this can be done whilst listening to the pre-flight check list and the route is automatically entered into the GPS.

From here on you start using the standard FSX ATC, asking for clearance etc IFR to your destination. There are taxi checks whilst on your way to the active, pretty much real life stuff.

Once in the air you follow the ATC vectoring most of the way to your destination. Once on approach she will guide you in automatically if that's what you want.  On one flight where I was following the ATC commands, I noticed that I was nowhere near the GPS route, the system was happy for me to keep on a course without warning,  part of the Missions SDK does allow interaction from the mission to tell you you have gone off course but this did not happen so I had wasted a little time. I chose to divert to a nearby airport.

This does highlight some of the shortcomings, the missions are fairly bare bones, there's not much interaction back from the mission. In flight you get some of the captains announcements but most of the chatter is with the ATC. Of course there are the check lists before descending to keep you occupied. Another small niggle was the ATC id was "Boeing 925" which I thought could be better if it read "Ryan FR125" so I edited my aircraft config as it is in it's own folder to "atc_airline=Ryan" "atc_flight_number=FR125" and I was much happier. 

The mission ended once I had touched down although in the initial spoken briefing it said I had to taxi to the gate, I did that anyway.

When the flight had ended and the mission successful page is shown you are not given any award, initially I felt deflated but then thought hey, what the heck I'm a Ryanair pilot it's my job!
 
Another mission chalked up! Hertz, once of the 4 supplied re-paints.

I have flown a few of the missions and now that I am used to it I have the bug for for more missions!

I had to contact the developer on a couple of occasions as the review copy they supplied had several cosmetic faults, they supplied a upgraded version extremely quickly and were very helpful in their support.

So in conclusion, it's a fairly basic package with a few odd frills to keep you happy. I was rather annoyed at how many spelling mistakes there were as it distracted my a bit from the task in hand, but that's me, I proof read every thing I see!

I think what would perk it up a little would be the odd diversion or failure but I never came across one. What we have to keep in mind is that this is very good value for money.

The future for EuroFSX, well they have just released Air Lingus Airbus 321 with 24 missions and 10 747 missions in early 90's livery.  I think I may just go along and pick this one up too!
 

Mutley's slide show, click on the images for a full size view.

The missions screen
 
Mission overview
 
Runway and radio details
 
Maps and Charts page
Google Maps interface
 
Leeds Bradford Airport web
 
ATC window before edit of aircraft.cfg Radar information
 
Taxi checks
 
Short hop over the North Sea
 
In-flight check on arrival data
 
Descending
 
Gear down on finals
 
Bump and plenty of smoke to let everyone know we have landed! Another successful mission
 
No reward :(
 
Liveries:- Ryanair standard
 
Hertz rental
 
Kilkenny (Yum Yum!)
 
Vodafone
 
 
My review machine specs: EuroFSX 737 Links:

Self build:
MSI Intel 975X PCI Express Motherboard
Intel E6600 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400
Nvidia 7900GTX 512Mb DDR3 PCI-E
Windows XP Pro SP2
FSX with Photoscenery Fix
EuroFSX web site
737 Missions page
SimMarket product page

 
  Mutley says.. . . .

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you have any comments then you can contact me here

  

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