Following on from my previous Captain Sim review of
their 727 for FSX, they have kindly given me a copy of their
newest ‘Pro Line’ product; the Boeing 767. The product is
available in several variants, but you must have the base
767-300 pack installed to be able to utilise the other add-on
packs. The add-on packs consist of:
• 767 Freighter
• KC-767 Tanker
• E-767 AWACS
This is a shrewd move by Captain Sim for them and the end consumer. If you want the extra variants you will need to pay to add them to your collection, which helps keeps Captain Sim in business, but it also keeps the cost down for the end user as you only have to buy what you want. I was surprised when I received my download links and I had been given the whole 767 range. Thank You! As with the 727 the email containing the download links was bounced into my spam folder, as I had an idea that this would happen I knew where to look. If you do purchase this add-on and do not receive your download links shortly after your order is processed, make sure to check in the spam folder.
The 767 is a twin-jet wide body airliner which can carry up to 375 passengers over a range of 6,590 nautical miles. The 767 was conceived and designed in tandem with the 757, which means that they share design features and flight decks. It was the first Boeing wide body which could be flown without the need for a flight engineer. The airliner is used most often on medium and long haul routes, common routes being between the USA to Europe. So far over 1,000 orders have been placed for the 767 with over 900 already delivered, with the -300 and -300ER variants accounting for almost two thirds of all orders. The aircraft first flew in September 1981 and earlier this year there were still over 850 aircraft still in service with nearly 50 airlines.
For people based in Europe, if you have been on a charter holiday to the Canaries there is a very good chance that you will have flown on a 767.
After downloading the files installation (as is more often than not the case now) was quick and easy; you just need to make sure that you install the base pack first. During the installation process you will be prompted to enter you order number to verify your copy. This verification is done over the internet and only takes a few seconds. You will need to do this with each add-on pack you install so keep the order number to hand. After installation a new folder is added to you StartàPrograms menu which has the Aircraft Configuration Editor (ACE) and links to the manuals. Follow this link and download the PDF manuals before making your first flight. The manual is split into 5 sub-manuals:
1. Users Manual – General overview of each add-on pack – 46 pages
2. Aircraft & System¬ – Self explanatory – 107 pages
3. Normal Procedures – Includes checklists – 34 pages
4. Flight Characteristics and Performance Data – Info such as reference speeds – 44 pages
5. Flight Management System – Operation of the FMC – 99 pages
As you can see, no-one can accuse Captain Sim of not
providing enough documentation to help you learn how to operate
this aircraft. As with all Captain Sim products however, there
is no tutorial included as the information provided in the
manual is more than enough to get you going. I agree and
disagree with this policy as it does force you to read through
the manual, but I am a firm believer of learning through doing.
Although searching around the internet did provide me with a
short and long tutorial flight and several videos on YouTube
showing how to operate the aircraft. I wouldn’t advise printing
out all of the manuals, read them on screen and only print the
parts that you think you will need most often. As I am familiar
with the way high fidelity Boeing simulations work I ended up
only having to print out around 25 pages from the manual,
although this will differ from person to person.
I was surprised to see that there was no fuel planner included. With an aircraft this complex I would have expected the fuel planner to come as standard. Future update maybe?
• High quality visual models
• Unparalleled realism
• Extensive systems modelling
• 2 high resolution full screen 2D panels
• 40+ additional 2D panels • High resolution liveries (14)
• Hundreds of custom animations
• Highly detailed VC
• Authentic sound set
• Repaint Kit
• Captain Sim Weather Radar (€9.99 if bought separately)
• Rotating dome (AWACS)
• Animated centre line unit, boom and receiver (KC-767)
• Plus much more
There aren’t as many liveries included as I was expecting, however, this keeps the clutter on your hard-drive down. Over time expect to see lots of third party repaints available on FS download sites.
Click image for full size view
Click image for full size view
Take to the skies
If you just want to get up in the skies Captain Sim have included a saved flight which already had the aircraft engines running and ready for take-off (a cold and dark scenario is also included). Just remember that you will need to change the time and date settings of these flights as they are set to a couple of years ago.
If you want to start from a cold and dark scenario, always use the included cold and dark flight. It might take a few more minutes messing around getting the time, date and departure airport set up correctly but you will be starting the aircraft from its proper cold and dark state. I have my own cold and dark saved flight set as my default flight, but for this aircraft I wasn’t able to get things running smoothly and some of the warning messages wouldn’t go away. A few more minutes preparation is well worth it in the long run. The first few times I started from a cold and dark cockpit it took me quite a while to get things working, after a few goes though I was beginning to get more efficient at it. (TIP: Search on YouTube for videos going through pre-flight, they are much easier to remember than the manual). One problem I encountered during pre-flight was loading the fuel; sometimes the left tank would only stay at 100%, others it would let me enter what I wanted! A fuel planner which you could load the fuel through would be excellent here.
Programming the FMC, once you know the procedure, is quick and easy. I like the fact that Captain Sim have added in the option of being able to load the FS flight plan that you have created, rather than having to program each waypoint individually. If you do still want to do this that option is there. I found that loading the FS flight plan saved a lot of time, but did lead to some problems when calculating the top of descent points. This didn’t happen when I programmed the FMC manually. Not a massive problem as it’s easy to program crossing altitudes for the waypoints, and if you are flying using the default ATC it will tell you when to descend anyway.
After entering the relevant information into the FMC for departure, your V-Speeds are calculated for you, there are some problems calculating the aircraft’s centre of gravity and setting the take-off trim. It’s very much guess work until you find the sweet spot. Getting the trim setting wrong will cause you to climb like a rocket after take-off; not good for the passengers in the back.
The FMC is the heart of aircraft such as the 767 and correct understanding of how it operates is critical to making the flight go smoothly. All the information you need is included in the manual, reading this is a must to get the most out of the aircraft. If you are using the FS ATC you will more than likely never had to enter a hold or need to intercept a VOR radial 15miles from the VOR, but if you fly on-line you will. If you plan to take this aircraft on-line make sure you know it inside and out if you are flying into crowded airspace.
Click image for full size view
Click image for full size view
Captain Sim have shunned what is becoming the norm and have provided both a 2D and 3D cockpit. I preferred flying from the VC but did all my programming on the ground using the 2D cockpit. Both cockpits are fantastic and it is possible to program everything from the VC but some of the buttons were a little difficult to read. Using the 2D pop-up panels is much easier.
It doesn’t just stop with the flight deck; there are several other views to take in during the flight. Various positions in the cabin, galley, jump-seat etc.. which are all nice pieces of eye-candy but I wouldn’t have complained if they had been left out. You will spend 95% of the flight on the flight deck, so I feel that all the extra internal views aren’t needed.
It’s fantastic. Nothing more to say on the subject really. The edges of the aircraft are nice and smooth, the animations are good and the included liveries are brilliant. To be fair, if I was buying an add-on from a developer with a good reputation, I would expect nothing less! I hope that the included screenshots help to get across how good the exterior model is.
If you are a simmer who likes to take in all the ramp action pre-flight you are in for a treat. Open up the load manager from the flight deck and you can select how much cargo goes into each hold and then move the trucks forward and back and load the cargo crates into the hold. Watching this from the spot view was something very unique and really adds to the whole flight experience. Remember to check the weights after loading so that you get the right values entered into the FMC. Alternatively, you don’t need to watch the animated loading sequence if you don’t want to.
I was expecting the aircraft to be a little sluggish in response to control inputs, but it’s not. You won’t need to move the controls much to get a significant response from the aircraft, which makes it fantastic to hand fly. On most of my flights I didn’t engage the auto-pilot until I had passed through 10,000 feet. Select LNAV, VNAV and the FD prior to take-off and follow the bars on the PFD. If you engage the auto-pilot straight after take-off you are losing out big time. At the other end of the scale, hand flying the approach and landing is equally as easy and fun. Some of my touch-downs weren’t as smooth as if the auto-pilot had made them, but they were a lot more fun!
Performance, initially, was a mixed bag. During cruise my frame rates were good, but down on the ground there were nothing more than shocking. Even at an empty municipal airport without any AI Aircraft, airport vehicles or cars etc... I was struggling to get over 10fps. Flying into and out of Heathrow even without AI was a no go area. Tweaking settings didn’t help much either and it was becoming quite annoying that everything was perfect until you attempted to land or take off, which defeats the object of flying!
However, Captain Sim has listened to peoples complaints and has issued a patch in the last few weeks which addresses these issues and it has fixed them. My frame rates have increased by over 50% at airports and I can now add some AI and still keep things running nicely. I can’t help thinking that all the extra VC views have had a negative impact on frame rates. Whilst they are nice to look at once in a while, I would happily trade them for a smooth flight.
A Fantastic high fidelity airliner simulation from one of the best in the business.
|• Excellent representation of the 767||• Performance can be mixed|
|• Thorough documentation||• No fuel planner|
|• Great exterior model||• Lack of tutorial|
|• 2D Cockpit + sub-panels included||• Fuel loading issue (sometimes)|
|• Excellent to hand fly|