Just Flight 727 Captain
For FSX Published by Just Flight
Reviewed by Rob Scott
April 2010

Author’s Note:
The Just Flight 727 is a boxed version of the Captain Sim 727 previously reviewed here http://mutleyshangar.com/features/rob/CS727.htm This article will focus on looking at the package on offer from Just Flight as opposed to reviewing the aircraft again.

Included
For starters there’s a box, which means that there is also a large printed manual. Whilst I like the ease of downloads and the speed at which you can get going with your latest toy, I still prefer boxed versions as I feel as though I really own something. The printed manual is also a welcome change from having to print of PDF files or spend ages staring at the computer monitor reading them.

The manual weighs in at a nice 120 pages, although it is small text, and includes:

·        Introduction

·    Installation notes

·    Aircraft Configuration Editor utility notes

·    Panel layouts – with annotated diagrams to help with familiarisation

·    A tutorial (at last!)

You may recall from my original review that that I mentioned how comprehensive the manuals from Captain Sim were. Even though Just Flight have included a printed manual they have also included part 3 of the Captain Sim operations manual as a PDF file.

The Captain Sim version only included the 727-100, whereas the Just Flight version includes the -100 -200 and freighter models, as well as winglet and non-winglet variants along with the unique UDF (Un-Ducted Fan) version. 17 liveries are included as standard which is enough to give you some variety but not enough to clog up your hard drive. If you do wish to install more liveries, there are lots to be found around the internet which can be installed using the ACE. Alternatively, use the paint kit to create your own.

Click for full size image
Click image for full size view
Click for full size image
Click image for full size view
Click for full size image
Click image for full size view
Click for full size image
Click image for full size view

Installation
With this being a boxed product all you need to do is insert the DVD into the drive and let the autorun start. Follow the on screen instructions and the 727 will be installed quickly and easily. Keep the DVD in a safe place as you will need it in order to install any updates which Just Flight may release in the future.

Aircraft Selection
The 727 now sits proudly in your FSX aircraft menu under the Captain Sim heading. I did expect to see it show up as Just Flight/Captain Sim or some other combination, but it’s not too big a problem. Select your aircraft and load up at the gate ready for your flight.

Performance
Captain Sim models are incredibly detailed and are amongst the highest quality add-on aircraft for FSX, but this comes at a price. This is due to the highly complex systems modelling, and also the vast array of views which are available inside the aircraft. These views are nice once in a while and it would be nice to have the option to de-select some of them to help with performance. It may take you some time to find the sweet spot within FSX that allows you to have a smooth flight whilst being able to run higher levels of detail. Not that it will be a chore making a few flights in this aircraft to get it right! That said, the 727 does not have as big an impact on performance as some of the other Captain Sim add-ons I own, but it is worth bearing in mind if you are using a lower spec PC.

727 UDF
The UDF is a modified turbofan engine with the fan placed outside of the engine nacelle, but on the same axis as the compressor blades. It was intended to offer the speed and performance of turbofans with the fuel economy of turboprops. As far as I am aware this is the first time this has been modelled by a pay ware developer for FS and it’s nice to see something a little different, even if it does look a bit strange.

Tutorial Flight
At long last!Captain Sim make no apologies for not including tutorials for their products, they firmly believe in people learning to fly the aircraft themselves from the included documentation. Part of me agrees with this philosophy as there is a lot of fun to be had learning to fly something from scratch, but I think that a tutorial would help speed up the process.

Just Flight recruited Jane Rachel Whittaker (of PC Pilot fame) to write a tutorial for this add-on. Jane loves procedural airliners and this short tutorial from Los Angeles to San Francisco won’t take too long to complete, but will enable you to get a good understanding of how to operate the 727. It walks you through VOR navigation, preparing the aircraft all the way down to landing at San Francisco.

Whilst the tutorial does do its job and will help people get to grips with the 727, there are very few pictures included. You are told which buttons to press but not told where to find them; this is where having a printed manual at your side comes in handy for finding where things are. Despite that small problem it’s a very good tutorial. If you are still struggling there are some very good videos on YouTube which will be of help.

Verdict
Whilst this is the same model as previously reviewed, this review/article is aimed at looking at the whole package on offer from Just Flight.

For £34.99 (correct at time of writing) you are given 3 aircraft with several variants and liveries, along with the unique UDF version.

In my opinion the biggest selling point is the inclusion of a printed manual and the long awaited tutorial, although more pictures could have been included.

This is the same model as is available from the Captain Sim website, but the complete package is much better as you pay one price and get everything.

The same pros/cons in the earlier review still apply, but based on all that I am pleased to award this package a Mutley's Hangar score of 9/10


/Rob Scott


      
      System Requirements
  • Flight Simulator X (Acceleration or FSX SP2 required)
  • Windows XP / Vista / Windows7 with the latest Service Packs
  • Pentium 2.5 GHz (Duo2Core Intel or equivalent advised)
  • 512Mb RAM
  • 256Mb graphic card
  • 200Mb Download size
  • Hard drive space TBA