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AVSIM Commercial Aircraft Review - page 6 / 9





6 / 9

controls and you can monitor your hydraulic

you have control of the landing flaps and gear.

virtual panel, you also have the choice of a full


screen IFR panel.

With this popup window

In addition to your

you have your cowl flap From this popup window standard 2D panel & 3D

From the 2D panel mode, you can switch from the captain’s panel to the 1st officer’s panel. (the 1st officer’s IFR panel is also available)

from the 3D virtual

and show clear

daylight views, with a nice yellowish tint to the

cockpit mode is still the photographic quality in

preferred method.

their appearance.

light on the gauges.

Despite the excellent 2D The cockpit views (2D

The night lighting is

panel, flying this aircraft mode) are all very sharp equally as good as the

From the 3D virtual cockpit (and particularly with “Active Camera”) you can always find a comfortable point from which to view one of the best DVCs available.


As for the airfile included, it should be noted that it was Rob Young who was responsible for its design, which alone should be "enough said" as related to the assumed thoroughness and accuracy of its design. For those who have been a part of the flight simming community for the last 2 or 3 years, the name Rob Young should be very familiar, but if you just happened to have recently joined this exciting hobby, then let me bring you up to date on Rob. Rob’s first work at designing airfiles was with the virtual aircraft for the software simulation program, FLY!, and Rob developed a very positive, and well deserved, reputation for his work. After the likelihood that the simulation program FLY! II would not progress any further (it is extremely unlikely there will be a FLY! III), Rob began working at improving airfiles for Flight Simulator virtual aircraft and his reputation for his airfiles continued to expand. Designing an airfile is more than just plugging in the numbers, as I believe many assume is how it is done, but in reality it requires a fair knowledge of how real-world aerodynamics and thrust apply within the limitation of the available parameters of the airfile. In the real world, the effects of lift, thrust, parasitic & dynamic drag, thermal energy, aspect ratio, airfoil camber, center of gravity, center of pressure, center for the coefficient of lift, not to mention the effects of an almost unlimited number of other influences, maybe even the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Beijing, China, all combine to provide for an infinite number of ways any given aircraft will react under seemingly similar circumstances. To design an FS aircraft’s airfile, where you have a finite or limited number of parameters with which to work from, it seems almost impossible anyone could ever design one that was even remotely similar to the real world, yet Rob Young manages to bring us ever closer to that point of perfection, the so called “sweet spot” if you will. Its not that Rob manages to just create an airfile where the aircraft flies to the numbers, but that his airfiles also provide a very realistic “feel” to them, and considering that his airfiles work on a zillion different computer system / game controller combinations is testimony to the level he has perfected his art. I personally have never flown a real Douglas DC-3, but I have flown dozens of different aircraft types, including aircraft larger (and heavier) than a DC-3, and based on my experience I would have to judge Rob’s airfile for the MAAM-SIM R4D-6/DC-3 to be about as good as anything that Rob has ever done.

When programming the airfile for an FS aircraft, it is a study into the art of compromise, limited by the fixed number of parameters you have to work with. There are those, including some reviewers, that would simply test the aircraft for its ability to reach the numbers printed in the flight operations manual, such as; rate of climb, cruise speed at 75% power, roll rate, etc., but most often this doesn’t guarantee that a FS aircraft will have a correct or a realistic “feel”, when that aircraft is flown in the virtual world of Flight Simulator on a PC computer. As an example, I noted that the MAAM-SIM DC-3 flies right to the numbers, as far as cruise speeds or rate of climb are concerned, but when measured with a stop watch, the roll rate appears to be about 1/3 slower than what I would have expected. Now I know that some testers might criticize Rob for this, but I also know that his reason for doing this was to better translate reality into virtual as to create a more realistic feel, while flying this particular FS aircraft.

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