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I bought this add on about two months ago, but due to some trouble in finding the serial number, I wasn't able to download it until last night. The program cost $20. Included in the program is a patch for FS2000 aircraft so you can use these in FS2k2 (it was made for FS2000 obviously ). Also included, of course are the aircraft. Despite the title of the game, it's not just one American Airlines 757, but two. The regular paint, and Retrojet aircraft are on the game, as is a Douglas DC-3 (DST). I decided to go ahead and try out the DC-3 on a short scenic flight around Chicago.
I pulled the DC-3 up on the active runway, and without any communication with ATC fired up the twin props and started to roll. The first thing I noticed was the realism of the sound on the props, they sounded very different from any other prop aircraft I'd ever seen on flight sim. The roar of them was awesome though, and I fell in love immediately. Becoming airborne, I retracted the gear, and began a slow climb over the city. About 20 miles from Midway I was only 1,800 feet in the air, and by the time O'Hare became visible ahead around 2,300 feet. Besides the climb rate I was impressed with the aircraft's performance. I'm guessing the DC-3 didn't have the most amazing climb performance, so I won't take anything away from the WAS aircraft for this. Anyways, I slowed the engine power, and lowered the gear after descending to 2,000 feet. I was heading straight at the opposite end of the active runway, and didn't feel like messing with ATC here at O'Hare either, so I turned in to another runway approach just as a newly airborne 747 roared above me. I set the flaps to full, and I must say the flap noise was fairly realistic here too (at least what I think the DC-3's flaps must have sounded like since I'm only 15, and probably won't ever fly on one). Slowing to 110 knots I roared over the runway threshold and made a perfect touchdown. Slowing to 20 knots took a relatively short distance, and soon I was pulling off the runway onto the taxiway, retracting the flaps. Instead of taxiing to GA parking, I simply shut the engines down on the spot, eager to try out the 757s. I'd give the DC-3 10/10.
I started with the Retrojet 757, at terminal C. After pushing away from the gate I tried to find the light switches. I don't know if it is meant to be this way, but I was lacking an overhead panel, so I simply turned on the strobes, and forgot about the nav and beacon lights. The exterior of the 757 was superb, the flaps worked and looked beautiful. One thing I was disappointed in was the spoiler/reverser performance. I reversed the engines, but only when I raised the spoiler panels did the reverser cascades open. I also noticed that when moving the ailerons the spoilers rose and the reverser cascades opened on the side I turned towards. This was disappointing, taking away 2 points from the overall score here. Other than that, the overall appearance of the plane was perfect in every aspect. I taxied out behind two DHC-8s, and awaited for them to take off, and an MD-80 and another DHC-8 to land before I was given clearance for takeoff. After pulling onto the runway and centering up I sat for a moment, to let the frame rates work better. (On the 757s the frame rates are a tiny bit slower than usual but it's not noticeable unless you really look for it) Bringing the throttles forward, I began to move forward rapidly, and in 40 seconds I was climbing sharply skyward with my gear and flaps retracted. I climbed to 5,000 feet and headed towards midway at 250 knots. The throttles performed beautifully. I tried a few small turns, the first thing I noticed was how easy it was to fly the plane. I flew by Midway parallel to the active, about 2 miles to the East, setting my flaps, slowing the engines and opening the gear. After being cleared to land I made a sharp descending turn, lining up perfectly with the runway. Seconds later I touched down, the autobrakes went to work, my spoilers opened and the reversers roared to life. I slowed and turned off the runway, pleased with every aspect of the flight except for the reverser cascades and spoilers. In the end I give the 757s 8/10. The turn performance was better than the smaller 737-400s I'm used to flying, and overall beats the 777-300, 747-400, 737-400s, and even meets that of the Learjet. I'm very pleased with the program in general and would certainly recommend it to those with FS2k, and FS2k2. Thanks for reading and happy flying!
Photo © Mark Durbin
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Photo © Mark Durbin
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