Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ariane Boeing 737 for FS2004 review

Since I started this blog I have tried to convince my friends who owned some payware software to write me a short summary of the product they bought, to post it here, in order to start a series of post dedicated to commercial reviews.
This week my friend Bob was kind enough to share with me his impressions on Ariane's Boeing 737 NG aircraft and a couple of screenshots from a flight.
As a brief intro, Ariane has the newest 737NG on the market and after looking on their website it seems it is also the most technological advanced taking into account that it's only competitor is PMDG, who is having a 4 years old product but is still widely used in the community.
Here goes his review:

"Being a Boeing Officially Licensed Product and looking on the websites, I had great expectations on the quality of Ariane's addon. I have to admit the expectations were fulfilled and I am enjoying the aircraft very much. A lot of detail has been put into the visual model and instruments creating the best virtual cockpit available for a FS2004 new generation 737. Almost every button and switch is functional although some key elements like FMC keyboard are missing. The aircraft does not have a 2d panel so every action is taken from the Virtual Cockpit. An addition to the virtual cockpit and a new thing in fs2004 is the presence of a menu (accessible with CTRL+S) from which certain views can be activated (jumpseat, copilot, flight attendant station). The postion of the viewpoint in VC can be also saved from that menu.
The quality of the lighting is extraordinary and I could count more than 6 different light switches, opening and closing lights on diffrent areas of the cockpit. Below can be seen an example of the powerfull dome light.
The exterior model is also well done and contains numerous animations.
Systems are realistically modeled and the aircraft is featured with a fully functional IRS system. As it can be seen from the screenshot below the instruments are waiting for the IRS to be allign in order to show the map and location info. Before jumping to IRS alignment I recommend reading the documentation as there are exact steps that need to be followed.
One disappointing thing is the frame rate of the gauges which I found to be pretty low during flight even if the plane is very framerate friendly. Even if I had some troubles configuring the FMC during approach, the autoland worked very well excepting a couple of times when the aircraft slipped below glideslope and we had the aural system alerts.
A view from the flight attendant station, both the cockpit door and the airplane doors can be opened and closed using the mouse. There is even a cockpit door lock button on the pedestal to lock the door, according to the procedure.
The FMC and IRS systems can be opened as a popup window along the displays and MCP.

Inside there are a lot of animations such as windows, switches, working windshield whipers, dors, etc., improving the realism of the product. Another special feature is an head shake effect during taxi and roll.

The price of this product is in the upper sector of the market and there are different addons to the base aircraft that need to be purchased separately (e.g. sound). The navigation database for the FMC is not the most recent either and at this point it is not available on navdata as for PMDG or Wilco planes."




1 comment:

Select Materials said...

This plane looks great and it is probably the bes737 out there at the moment i particlary like the
737 throttle detail. Will get this i think