Review part 9: first night flight, and "another" panel
We're nearing the end of the review (thank the Gods I hear you say) but this is the leg I was most looking forward to, my YouTube history probably has more entries for spotting vids at the destination airport than anywhere else. We continue in the UPS B744 airframe from Seoul to Anchorage on what will be the penultimate leg of the ring-of-fire.Flight: UPS 5X99: Seoul Incheon ICN/RKSI to Anchorage Ted-Stevens ANC/PANChttps://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/5x99
This is an evening departure from Seoul, planning done, fuel and cargo loaded, time to get the show on the road
Apart from a few in-flight shots the main aim for this post is to look at another very excellent VC panel offering. This is the third I've looked at and only just stumbled across it after the recent flightsim.com site update, but this really has to be the ideal solution for now. The VC gauges (and interior model tweaks?) are by Gavin Munro, callout sound files from Jimmy Foong, Doug Dawson's XML sound gauge (that the other panels looked at use) is included and all assembled in a bundle from Trent? (aka Wheelie Bin Studios)https://www.flightsim.com/files/file/20 ... t-upgrade/
At first blush it might not look too different but there are LOADS more interactive elements on the main panel and overhead compared the one I looked at earlier. Both are mods to the original FSX B747 panel, and both seem to work fine in P3D, but this one has a lot more going for it and the improvements make for a much more realistic cold-n-dark to start-up-experience overall.
as described by the collator..
increased functionality (EICAS, EFIS, TCAS and much more), this package introduces emissive and dome lighting to the VC. Landing, taxi and navigation lights have been decoupled on the exterior model. Other enhancements include animated wipers, switchable and dimmable MFDs and a max autopilot bank bezel among other things
There's no point in replicating any content from the useful manual that ships with the panel, best thing right now for anyone looking for an FSX/P3D panel for your 744 is to grab this bundle and adapt it to your local install. The file is defaultimate747.zip
and available at flightsim.com as of March 2023.
Apart from the lighting and many overhead improvements the other big thing that stands out is the EICAS panel displays. On the last panel you had the Engines/Status page for the lower panel and that was it, with no interactive page selector. This was why I started to build a replacement of my own and initially created a fuel flow page. Thankfully I didn't go further at that point as Gavin's gauges now include Electrics, Fuel, ECS/Air, Hydraulics, Doors and Gear.note
: The brake temps and tyre pressure aren't active on the Gear page but it does show gear up/down status. Also the Doors page will be static unless you also configure the Ground Handling gauge as described in the manual and use that to open/close the doors, you can see in my screenshot above all doors currently open when used that way.
With the new panel the start-up sequence is much more satisfying. I've bolted my preferred ND/PFD/CDU combo from ISG onto the panel (unfortunately the VC model doesn't seem to have anywhere to expose the CDU so I'm using a 2D popup panel for now). Engines started, nice short run from the cargo apron down taxiway Delta for a take-off on RWY15L
This was my first evening flight and luckily the runway lights are nicely illuminated on the RKSI scenery, it's an old title though and the taxi way textures were a bit naff and harder to spot, but yellow placards aplenty so no probs really. Exciting departing from a big airport like this at night, the glow from the terminal buildings and the runway were pretty spectacular.
No real surprises along the way re the panel, or aircraft, except I forgot to add the ISG LNAV/VNAV toggle buttons to the panel.cfg so ended up having to use HDG select for lateral nav. The flight was mostly on 4x sim speed to pretty painless to keep on track along the way. Will sort that though before the final leg. Sunrise an hour or so out from our destination, slipped back to 1xSpeed to watch that for a bit
Morning definitely broken now, time to start the descent planning
Land ahoy. The vastness of Alaska and northern Canada and lack of visible human presence really is mind blowing, you get a good feel for it in full daylight when the cloud breaks.
One thing I've noticed watching a lot of real world big jet approaches online is they often seem to hit a low cloud, sea mist sort of thing very close to the final approach to Anchorage. I was therefore not disappointed when ActiveSky served up these tasty live real-world conditions as I was turning to pickup the Localiser
Really love this overlay on the Navigraph client, you can show either the STAR or the ILS plate overtop of your enroute info, pretty snazzy. Pretty straight forward approach here straight into RWY7R, with a bail-out quickly to the right on missed
Nice and clear above the aerodrome on finals
And all good to land RWY7R, those mountains in the background look menacing but there's plenty of space for a go-around and circuit (I practiced that a few times earlier)
Clear of 7R and a quick glance left for any departing traffic on the adjacent 7L.
Before a slow crawl along taxiway Romeo beside 15/33 to get down to the cargo apron at the north end of the aerodrome. This place is HEAVEN for cargo fans. AIG doing a pretty representative rendering of real world traffic here with 747s. 777s and MD11s galore from everyone from Fedex, UPS, Atlas, China Southern, DHL, Korean... the list goes on. Spectacular
Turn into the UPS apron area, find a bay, and shut down for the day. These posts were not going to be scenery reviews but this one from SimWings (retailed by Aerosoft and Orbx) is still worth a look if you're running FSX or P3D. It was originally released as an FSX title, had some jzuzh-ing of textures along the way and still looks pretty decent, grab it if you see it on sale. There is something I can't work out causing frame-hits in two very specific spots on the scenery, could be fencing, or a vehicle or something.
And just coz I'm a fan of spotting videos here, why not some virtual spotting of my own :-)
OK, that's it for now. One more post (probably) back to UPS world-port to wrap up the circuit and review. Hope you enjoyed this.