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AVSIM Commercial Aircraft Review - page 2 / 9





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troop carrier and it would be formations of C-47s that delivered units of the 86th and 101st airborne paratroopers at Normandy. Other C-47s flew into China, carrying much needed supplies, by flying over the Himalayan Mountains or the “Hump”, as it was called at the time. During the war, the Douglas C-47 or R4D was seen everywhere, from Europe to far out into the Pacific Ocean; the Douglas “Gooney Bird” was essential to the Allied force’s efforts at winning the conflict. At the end of the war, the need for a regional airliner became paramount for civilian transportation and DC-3s were flying as passenger liners on virtually every continent. Ultimately, Douglas replaced the DC-3 with the DC-4, DC-6, and finally the DC-7, but the DC-3 had earned its place in history and surprisingly, a rather large number of DC-3s are still flying today, nearly 70 years after it first took to the air!

The MAAM-SIM group’s DC-3 for FS9 continues to set the standard for the donation-ware releases

Like their B-25J before, the MAAM-SIM FS9 DC-3’s virtual cockpit is absolutely superb

Ever since the release of FS2000, there has been a version of the Douglas DC-3 which has been available from a dedicated group of individuals, wishing to provide support of the restoration projects connected with the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum or MAAM, but it wasn’t until the version designed specifically for FS2002 that the idea of “Donation-Ware” became the way this support was offered. For the low price of $25.00US, you can order your copy of the MAAM CD with the museum’s R4D-6/DC-3 (for FS2004 or FS2002) and the CD includes a number of unique added features. The Douglas R4D-6/DC-3 included with your CD purchase was designed by the MAAM-SIM team members, Bill Rambow, Jan Visser, Fred Banting, Rob Young, Bill Womack, and Howard Sodja and these fellows all have donated their time and efforts on this project (as well as the project for the B-25J “Briefing Time” completed previously) and to date, the MAAM-SIM group has provided in excess of $200,000, in donations, to the various restoration projects at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum.

Installation & Documentation

Once you receive your CD, installation of your MAAM-SIM R4D/DC-3 is performed simply by clicking on the auto-install icon, found on your CD, but the included scenery (the Reading, PA airport) will have to be installed manually. The airport scenery is also available as freeware from the AVSIM library (krdg_fs9.zip). Also included on your CD are the manuals for your purchase and I must say, the documentation included with the MAAM-SIM DC-3 is among the best I’ve ever seen for a FS aircraft yet. The primary manual (HTML format) is very very complete, covering every conceivable detail pertaining to the operation of the DC-3 as well as covering flight operations. The manual also has incorporated into it a series of real-life videos covering everything from start-up to approach-landing procedures, then in addition, the MAAM-SIM group have included an authentic C-47 operations manual (PDF format) from the 1940s. The check-list, retrievable from your FS cockpit (F10) is rather unique in that the check-list kneeboard is interactive, by that I mean you can use your mouse to check off each point, only later to clear it allowing you to use it again on your next DC-3 flight.

The real-life videos are a nice touch, but because they used the actual cockpit of the MAAM R4D, the flight operations sections are done from a cold cockpit (they still haven’t raised sufficient monies to replace the engines, but soon I’m told). Despite this restriction, the videos are still very good and very complete as to each procedure, whether that be a cold engine start, approach procedures, landing techniques, or what ever section you wish to view.

The documentation included with your MAAM-SIM R4D/DC-3 is about as good as anyone could possibly hope for and it leaves you wanting for nothing. I found myself having spent a couple of hours reading through the manual, cross referencing it directly to the cockpit of the DC-3 with FS2004 fired up, and the whole thing is a real help in coming up to speed at operating the DC-3 in a fashion very similar to the operations you would expect in the real thing.

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