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First impressions (FSX)

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ahinterl View Drop Down
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    Posted: May-30-2011 at 9:59am
I post here to give potential customers the chance to read my opinion.
My first impressions of the plane (FSX version) were positive. Whereas I'm used to stumble over this or that flaw/bug with 1.0 versions of FS add-ons, I was surprised that the plane was nicely hand flyable and I didn't discover any major flaw in the systems as well. Great job, iFly!
The one thing that really troubles me is that like countless other planes' 2D panels, the one of iFly's 737 tries to catch the ambience of the real world counterpart and squeezes the panel with all its glory onto a relatively tiny monitor. This way, many small details are preserved, but important parts like the displays become almost too small to be really usable. So, I find myself needing to open the enlarged pop-ups for PFD and ND on a regular basis. PMDG and Level1 show that it's possible to better serve all those 2D panel addicts like myself (I never got accustomed with TrackIR or VCs in general, no matter how long and hard I tried) by designing a primary panel view where the main instruments dominate, and unnecessary accessory like dummy knobs etc. are clipped. Look how big, sharp and clear the 2D panel displays of PMDG's MD-11 (my favourite airliner) are! And as far as I remember, the PFD/ND of Level1's 767 don't even have an option to enlarge them -- they're big, crisp and clear by default, no need for a loupe! Wish the iFly product had this as well (maybe in the future?)...
The second thing that instantly attracted my attention were the sounds, wich to my ears aren't too realistic - neither the one inside the cockpit, nor the ones heard outside.
I guess both these "issues" are the consequence of the difficult task to please both camps: people requesting ultimate realism in terms of systems simulation, and the "eye candy folks" (which I believe to be the major part of simmers). So, you can hear sounds in the cockpit (e.g. the engines) whereas in the real world you wouldn't, or the sounds were much fainter or different to what is present in the simulation. The result is a compromise. I wish there would be a panel customization option for cockpit sounds (e.g. "realistic" versus "senational" or so).
Nevertheless, an excellent product that I can recommend (wainting for PMDG's "reference competitor" to appear, though).
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flightwatch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flightwatch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-30-2011 at 10:25am
Hi Andreas and thank you for your review.  My following remarks are not to down play your review, but to correct a couple of misnomers.

The reason why the 2d panel is modeled that way is to preserve the outside view while still having an adequate panel.  If the panel was enlarged to gain better viewing of the instruments, the outside view would be sacrificed.  This is quite evident in the LevelD 767. This was also the reason behind the IFR panels and the pop up displays.

The sounds are some of the most realistic that you can find...including the volume levels.  You most certainly can hear the engines from the flight deck in a 737.  The engines are only 70ft behind you...and that's in the 900.  In the 600, they are only around 15 feet behind you.  Heck, even in the MD-11 you can hear the engines from the flight deck.  The bottom line is this:  If you want realistic, stay with the iFly sounds.  If you want sensational, grab the TSS soundset.

All in all, it's not about pleasing everyone (an impossible task with anything.)  It's about creating the most realistic addon available for flightsim (9 or X.)  It is a very challenging task but we will get there in due time.
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