A Warm Welcome in the Embraer E-Jet E175
X-Crafts lead developer welcomes you on-board of his Embraer E175, also known as the E-Jet 175, modeled exclusively for X-Plane 10. But …. A warm welcome … what does this mean, what to do with it, what to expect or where are we?
You’ve been invited by X-Crafts, lucky we life in a virtual world, on a local US flight from Tucson International Airport (KTUS) to Tucson International Airport. That’s weird KTUS to KTUS or perhaps it is not so weird?
It’s a flight that departs from KTUS and returns at KTUS, but in this flight you’ll find a lot of waypoints and thus there’s enough time to check, explore, try and test the X-Crafts E175. The whole idea of this so called demo flight is, as the name suggests, to offer you a demo of what the X-Crafts Embraer 175 and implemented FMS are capable of. By the way, in case you prefer to create and fly your own flight plan, one of the possibilities which exist to create your own “fms” file is visiting either simBrief which uses Navigraph or RouteFinder as source. Although Navigraph would be a good option to use AIRAC data, for this you need a paid Navigraph account. For RouteFinder you don’t need an account which makes this option easier to others since it’s free of charge. Another possibility to create “fms” X-Plane format files is using Online Flight Planner. Perhaps not as accurate as simBrief, but at the end it’s a matter which one you prefer. It must be said that Online Flight Planner works easier and faster, but doesn’t look as professional as simBrief.
Before I offer you a virtual cabin seat, I think it’s a good idea to inform in advance about the included documents. Ok then, first a few words about the installation.
The installation is simple. Just copy and paste the contents of the unzipped package into Aircraft/General Aviation folder. Another option is to copy and paste the contents in the Aircraft/Heavy Metal folder or you create a sub folder named X-Crafts and put the package into this folder. Feel free to do whatever you prefer.
In the X-Craft Embraer 175 aircraft folder you’ll find a subfolder Documents & useful links. The following Acrobat documents are included:
– Embraer E175 v1.1 MANUAL
– Embraer E175 v1.1 FMS MANUAL
– HERE ARE A FEW USEFUL LINKS
The first two manuals offer inside information of either the aircraft, its systems or specific information related to the FMS MCDU. I’m only wondering myself why X-Crafts used for the front page and footer text the Boeing font. I thought it was an Embraer aircraft or has this perhaps to do with the agreement of Boeing and Embraer to collaborate on the KC-390 Program, signed on June 26, 2012?
The FMS MCDU manual (Embraer E175 v1.1 FMS MANUAL).
The FMS (Flight Management System) and its MCDU (Multi Purpose Control Display Unit) is modeled for X-Crafts by Steve Wilson. I can’t say anything else then, it’s an in-depth manual with a good description and operation of the FMS MCDU.
Why would you ask or why is it so important having a comprehensive manual?
Not every simmer does understand a completely and realistically modeled FMS, especially when you don’t like the big jets or else you’ve got experience on how to handle and deal with a dedicated developed FMS.
Anyway, the FMS manual is 38 pages thick and gives you a good idea what’s possible and how to use it. A word of interest about this manual at page 25 where Steve starts with a new section named “Typical Usage”. You would say … and what about that …. but actually this shows you a step-by-step procedure of using the MCDU in combination with the demo flight. Very handy I must say. It’s to me not quite clear if the modeled FMS uses Navigraph although in the same manual at the last page there’s a link to Navigraph, but the manual leaves it in my humble opinion open if you need an account or not. For the Aerosoft Nav Data Pro I found the following on the Aerosoft dedicated web page “SIDS and STARS from the GNS430 data files provided by Aerosoft. Permits updating the data when an individual has a subscription to a service that provides identically formatted data.”
Some words about the aircraft manual (Embraer E175 v1.1 MANUAL).
What said before, it’s a combination of aircraft system description and operation of special features, a start-up procedure, V-speed tables and aircraft limitations.
In the same Documents & useful links folder you’ll find a sub folder “Demo flight”. All t you need to follow this demo flight is included right here. It offers SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) charts for your departure and arrival at KTUS, the ILS landing for runway 11L KTUS, an FMS instructional page related to this demo flight and finally, a “fms” file that allows you to load the complete FP (Flight Plan) into the FMS MCDU. What misses is perhaps a tutorial although the manual offers links to YouTube instructional movies. Hopefully one or more of these YouTube movies are related to the demo flight, or else an Acrobat tutorial document would be an idea for a future update?
Sit, Relax and Enjoy
It’s because I can’t offer you a cup of tea, coffee or another drink, but sitting in the X-crafts Virtual Cabin is relaxing and this means you can enjoy the modeled Virtual Cabin. And and …. is it worth it? Yes, it’s worth it – although I have to admit while sitting at row 2 which looks to me the business class or at least a class with very comfortable and well modeled leather seats. Don’t ask me where to find that this is row 2 since on the overhead bins there’s no number and, the right hand row seat identifications A, B and C are in my opinion mirror images. The left hand identification is OK. Besides this small glitch, a nicely modeled Virtual Cabin with a realistic carpet texture, the overhead bins are correct, the cabin lighting is nice as well as the Emergency Floor Path Marking system.
Looking to the FWD galley I must admit that time and effort is put into it to give even this area a realistic look. How real this is compared to the real E175 is something I don’t know, but it looks good. For a toilet visit you either go to the FWD or AFT galley/pantry of which the toilet itself isn’t simulated and lucky it isn’t. That would lead to even more polygons and frame rate reductions. Opening and closing of the CABIN AFT SERVICE/MAIN DOORS is only possible via the “M” icon popup window on the left side of the screen. Unfortunately, there’s no possibility to control the door directly by clicking on the interior door handle.
The Flight Deck
The flight crew gave me the approval to visit the 3D cockpit for just a moment. I only hope that “for just moment” is not jus a couple of minutes, but at least 30 minutes or longer. When you enter the Virtual Cockpit (VC), that said, I suggest that we no longer call it 3D cockpit, ok?
So when you enter the VC, you only see grey, grey and even more grey and hardly any instruments or other objects that could give you the idea that you’ve entered an old fashioned cockpit. This has nothing to do with X-Crafts, this has everything to do with the Embraer aircraft models. Due to the maximum use of large DUs (Display Units), in total 5, the main instrument panel looks very empty and even the pedestal does look empty although that one isn’t. In respect to the pedestal, I see 2 X-Crafts FMS MCDUs, 1 default X-Plane CDU, throttle levers, some handles and further on several navigation and communication control panels. Ok, that’s something you find mostly in many other aircraft too.
Anyway, what’s in the vicinity of the main instrument panel?
A glare shield, sidewalls, and honestly, that worries me a little bit. The way the sidewalls, but also the glare shield construction itself looks like, gives me the feeling that these cockpit parts misses some reality. Ho ho … hold on, “I can feel it this way”, but the reality is that this is how a real cockpit looks like. That said, what’s modeled by X-Crafts is basically what you see in a real Embraer E175 too. Further on, a closer look tells me also that some kind of weathering is implemented and I also spot the presence of NML (Normal Mapping) files for a 3D panel effect.
This means, when you zoom-in on the pedestal, main instrument- and overhead panel, you’ll see what I mean. However, looking to the sidewall panels itself, glare shield construction, cockpit back wall, pilot seats and the construction surrounding the overhead panels, you won’t find any weathered look. Just to clarify, I’m talking here about the cockpit construction thus not the control panels, indicators. And not to forget, the pilot control yokes, in relation to the used and weathered panels, look and feel pretty new while these components are normally the first once that show “being used”.
While standing in the door entrance, I’ve got a good view of how all works and functions when the aircraft is in full operation. I also see the option of having popup DU’s of the PFD (Primary Flight Display), MFD (Multi Function Display) and EICAS (Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System). These popup PFD and ND DU’s are, by the way, only applicable for the captains EFIS and not for the co-pilot EFIS DU’s. What happens … when you click on the PFD or MFD, the flight yoke disappears, and a “floating in the air” PFD or MFD popup window appears, very nicely done by the way, but to see the whole popup window, you shouldn’t be too close on the main instrument panel the moment you click either DU. See to get an impression the following screenshots.
The first set of screenshots represent the floating popup DU’s when far enough from the instrument panel while with the 2nd set of screenshots I’m closer to the instrument panel although not too close, and see what happens when you request a popup DU. They partly fall out of your view. Not a big deal, just scroll with the keyboard arrows in the direction what you miss and you’ll see the whole floating DU.
While I was playing in the VC, I accidently activated, remember we’re in flight, the ENGINE REVERSE and what happens or what shouldn’t have happened; the engine fan reversers deployed. This is a bug, but I’m quite sure beta testers have reported this already so a solution will be included with the next update. See for this the following screenshot while flying with the engine 1 thrust reverser incidentally deployed!
Another nice feature, yes, and therefore you need to read the manual, is the dashed dark grey circle right above the aircraft limitations placard. When you click on it, a R and FMS dark grey circle appears. The R stands for the NAV/COM/ADF radio- and TCAS panel. Very handy and above all, very nicely designed. The FMS offers a popup window of the MCDU of your preference. Preference …. it comes by default up with the modeled FMS MCDU from Steve Wilson, but you can swap this complex MCDU with the default X-Plane CDU.
Whatever your preference is I would say. Altogether, not only nice features, but worthy to use in flight, in particular for the popup MCDU. I would like to bring one last item to your attention, and yes, it’s also in the manual, and it is in particular important for those who haven’t got a powerful PC or Mac; enabling/disabling the windshield and DUs reflection. Although I didn’t see any change in frame rates, for sure it will help for those who need it.
While the Embraer is flying and flying, I noticed a couple of things that seems odd to me, but to be sure I’m doing it right, I double checked it with the manual. In the 2D cockpit you have by default the HUD (Head Up Display) operational and visible, but what about the HUD in a VC. I checked the manual, but on page 18 I couldn’t find an exception for the HUD in combination with the VC. It seems that the overhead panel HUD control is only functional in the 2D cockpit. Perhaps this HUD option in combination with VC will be added in future updates. Contacted X-Crafts and they replied with “work-in-progress”.
Another thing is the digital CLOCK.
It shows in model version 1.1 the time, and it offers a chronometer, but the lower display or ET (Elapsed Time) is blank, so I thought perhaps I’m doing something wrong, but in the manual page 47, I found nothing about the ET display. Perhaps this is another issue that will be solved with new updates, or at least, I hope. According to Marko from X-Crafts this “missing ET function” of the clock is put on the to-do-list.
For sure I’ve missed a couple of hidden features, but one thing you can’t miss and that is the option to let the yoke disappear. Although the position of the yoke doesn’t really influence the main instrument panel, it’s always a handy feature.
During my time in the cockpit, I can’t say anything else, except that I’m pleased with the modeled 3D cockpit as well as the modeled systems. Ok, I’ve mentioned a couple of things I personally would love to see different or things that will hopefully be implemented soon, but the overall feeling is good and in particular the FMS MCDU. The modeled FMS system has only one operational FMS although the cockpit is equipped with 2 modeled FMS MCDUs. Knowing that, the front MCDUs are presenting the same pages. So what you/see do on, for example, the left hand MCDU, will be displayed immediately on the right hand.
When you really have no clue how to handle this X-Crafts dedicated MCDU, then you can always revert to the old fashioned third default X-Plane FMS CDU at the aft section of the pedestal. However, I think there’s not really a need for since the “E175 Demo flight instructions” manual gives you clear instructions how to insert and use the X-Crafts MCDU. There’s only one small mistake in my humble opinion and that item 12 that says “Select ARRIVAL: DINGO5 11L”. Such doesn’t exist unless I do something wrong. I chose instead ” DINGO5 ALL”.
I can say for now, my VC experience is a success, but before finishing this VC adventure, I need to see how this aircraft lands and if it is perhaps something you can do by yourself, in case the AP or ILS doesn’t work/isn’t available.
First I’ve played around with the different AP modes. I changed altitude several times and seen how the aircraft deals with that, the same when switching from NAV to HDG and back, what and how with V/S etc. As far as I can see, it’s works OK although I have no idea if the Auto Pilot or Auto Flight is modeled as in the real Embraer or that the X-Crafts AP is partly using default X-Plane auto pilot functions. Next I flew the X-Crafts manually, but I left the A/THR connected and tried to follow the flight plan. That wasn’t easy or perhaps it’s better to say, flying the X-Crafts manually with trim is easy, but you constantly need to add corrections to follow the intended flight plan line. Strange? No, this is quite normal in real airplanes too. Then you suddenly understand how accurate the AP in real is and how quickly the AP responds to external influences.
So, yes, it was fun flying the X-Craft manually. No reason to become nervous!
With the AP reconnected, I played around with the MFD and then in particular the “Systems” button. It’s fun to see which systems are simulated and how the system synoptics of each aircraft system look or perhaps it’s better to say; how they are made. The MFD text and symbols which is basically applicable for every DU, are sharp and they stay sharp even when you zoom in. What I just said about that sharp and crispy look on the MFD isn’t applicable when in the “Plan” or “MAP” navigation mode, but I need to add to this that X-Crafts made a remark in the manual. According to X-Crafts “ X-Crafts is well aware of the NAV display limitations.
As I could only use the default X-Plane NAV display instrument I only had two choices: Have a terrible NAV display, where no one can read anything (like on the default 747 for example), or have an equally terrible NAV display, only with readable waypoints. I chose option 2. Unfortunately to get this, I had to decrease the range of the map. And although now the maximum range is about 80 miles, I still think it is better then the map before. The NAV display is definitely something that I am planning on updating in the future (as soon as possible) but I have to find the right person who would be able to create a custom high resolution fully workable NAV display.”
Although I only discussed the “Systems” software button, take a look yourself when using the buttons at the bottom of the MFD DU, identified as Options and Weather. One remark; via the Options software button you can change the displayed scale of the map however, you’re also able to do this directly on the DU right hand lower corner with your mouse. The EICAS DU doesn’t offer any sub pages, but what it offers looks good. That means, it’s sharp, clear, and accurate in what it is displaying. Engine parameters respond as you would expect when, for example, you move the throttles, or when you select REVERSE THRUST, the corresponding alerts appear whenever applicable. The EICAS page is well modeled and the developer had eye for tiny details too.
Some words about the overhead panel.
As far as I have seen and tried, most of the aircraft system buttons/switches are operational, but not all. I pulled for fun, yes yes, I know what I’m doing, the ENGINE 1 FIRE HANDLE, but didn’t do anything more then only that. Immediately, and what I expected, the EICAS DU shows a red warning message “FUEL PRESS LOW” accompanied with a MASTER WARNING light on the glare shield and of course, the drop of engine RPM due to the closure of the fuel valve(s). Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail, however, one thing I didn’t catch. Due to the controlled engine loss and thus the loss of the ENG GEN, I started the APU. Checked the AC supply system on the MFD ELEC page, and noticed that the ENG 1 symbol was yellow, correct thus not available, but this was also applicable for AC BUS 1 and that doesn’t look correct. Besides that, I also noticed that although the FIRE HANDLE is still pulled, the ENG 1 GEN is still producing 115V/400Hz which seems to me odd. Ok, perhaps this is for an impression way too deep and perhaps this and perhaps other things are solved with a next update. According to X-Crafts “this is something that can’t be changed as it is now. This is namely all X-Plane systems.”
My KTUS round trip has nearly reached the end it is time to see how the X-Crafts performs an ILS landing or should I go for a manual landing?
No, I want to see with my own eyes how the X-Crafts behaves during an ILS approach. Preparing a successful ILS landing seems more complicated then you think, but don’t worry, with the right information it’s an easy job with this X-Crafts. You need of course the ILS frequency which can be found via X-Plane menu “Location – Local Map” and then click the runway you need. Much information pops up including the ILS frequency. The next thing you absolutely need to know is the altitude you need to fly to pick up the ILS. For this one of the best sources is AirNav.
The ILS approach chart shows you which waypoints you pass and the belonging altitudes you have to be on. When you have this and the ILS chart printed, you enter the ILS frequency via the MCDU LSK (Line Select Key) 6R or you enter the NAV 1 frequency in the radio panel. Next you arm the APP (approach) and under normal conditions, the ILS will pick up the LOC (Localizer) first, followed a little later by the GS (Glide slope) signal. I decided to disconnect the AP far before landing but only to see how difficult or how easy it is to fly the Embraer E175 manually.
After a successful landing and parked at the gate, I must conclude that flying this X-Crafts Embraer 175 was a pleasant experience. Although I personally would love to have seen a tutorial included although the demo flight FMS MCDU page instructions are normally enough, but a visualized workflow like that of a tutorial could be for some simmers welcome. On the other hand, you always have the checklist that guides you through all the steps to perform/check.
Since the aircraft is parked, engines shut-down checklist performed, GPU (Ground Power Unit) connected and thus I’m ready to do my walk-around check and see how the Embraer is made, but first, let me highlight the X-Crafts icons on the left hand side of your screen.
When on the ground, you’ll see three icons, identified as M (miscellaneous), P (pushback) and C (checklist), however, when you’re in-flight, you only have the C available. Logical or not, that will be answered in a minute.
The M (miscellaneous) icon allows you to control several passenger- and service doors as well as the cargo doors. When parked, you’re able to select ground objects like wheel chocks and warning indicators. A GPU (Ground Power Unit) belongs also to the options and it’s not just a GPU object. When selected, you’ll see on the overhead panel a GPU IN USE light. And finally, a pushback truck including belonging functions is added to the model. When the PUSHBACK option isn’t green, the P (pushback) icon shows a disabled pushback function. When you tick (green) PUSHBACK in the M icon popup window, the P (pushback) icon popup window shows you what kind of pushback you want and the distance of the pushback. Via the ACCEPT or CANCEL fields you start the procedure and further instructions are announced. Since this paragraph has everything to do with ground movements or ground conditions, you won’t see the M icon in flight.
The C (checklist) offers you a nice presentation of a checklist booklet. Previously I mentioned something about the possible missing of a tab for CLIMB and CRUISE although I must admit that I’m not sure if this should be included.
Some words about the aircraft, engine and system sounds.
If it is all real recorded is something I don’t know. I only know that the X-Craft E175 comes with a dedicated sound folder of almost 25Mb which is a lot. The engine start, spool and shutdown sounds are for sure totally different than what I’ve heard so far, so that could be real. It includes also some cockpit related sounds like that of the avionics system (fan), flaps, boom, APU and clicking components. Further on, there’s a DOOR open/close sound and that of the GPU.
External Check and Liveries
I prefer to split this walk-around check in a section that deals with the external 3D model and a section related to the stock liveries.
Embraer 175 Walk-Around Check
While doing my walk-around check I must admit that it’s well made/modeled and even tiny details are included too. When walking around the aircraft, I do have some wishes or suggestions, although this has nothing to do with the overall quality and yes, it’s my preference which I, officially, should leave out of this impression.
Starting at the NLG (Nose Landing Gear), I see a gear that is well modeled and I see even tiny details that give the NLG a realistic look however, it looks so clean and brand new while a slight weathered look would be welcome. This is by the way the same for the MLG (Main Landing Gears). Very well modeled, with lots of tiny details (MLG wiring, hydraulic lines, over center springs, torque links, strut identification placard (sorry, up side down as well as the red text down below the strut)), but way too clean. Even the main wheel structure is clean while in real these are always dirty nevertheless, the 3D modeling is great. Sorry to bring this up; I noticed while checking the MLG wheels that the used photo real texture of the RH wheels right hand sides on each MLG is mirror image positioned. Not a big deal, but perhaps a small attention for the next update?
While checking the wing, fuselage and aft tail section, I noticed the presence of inspection panels or covers. Some of them have look-alike screws around the panel to virtually fix them, but the panels on the wing flap fairing and at the AFT belly, they have nothing around the panel; are the screws perhaps forgotten? Funny to see and also very happy too, decals on the wing, fuselage or aircraft tail are in most cases an issue for developers because they aren’t sharp, but in the case of the X-Crafts E175 these are sharp. Let me highlight one decal; just in front of the AFT cargo door I found a decal with text on how to control this AFT cargo door and it’s unbelievable ……… razor sharp and so tiny. When zoomed in on it, lets say zoomed in on a virtual distance of 40 cm, I can still read it. Amazing job!
I wanted to write down that the X-Crafts Embraer 175 has hardly any weathering. I’m aware that adding weathering to a model or not is a matter of taste and reality and above all, what the developer likes himself. Looking to hundreds of Embraer 175 photos, I must admit that all these aircraft look pretty new, hardly used etc. That’s also something which is difficult to believe, but photos speak the truth as they say!
Anyway, although I like the modeled 3D X-Crafts Embraer including all the tiny details, some weathering or more dirty spots or paint missing or cracked paint along Aluminum liners, would give the modeled aircraft a more realistic look and feel. And yes, that’s my personal feeling!
One last word about this “weathered look” or “used” aircraft. For this section I searched, as mentioned before, via Airliners.Net to many Embraer 175 airline photos, and also in particular the livery from United Express SkyWest. What I’m going to write down now is basically applicable for all stock liveries although you won’t see it that clear as on this light painted fuselage. As you can see on the following screenshots, there’s behind the fixed cockpit windows and more or less near every cabin window, vertical dirty stripes along the fuselage. That’s weathering, right and dammed good but looking to all these real photos I don’t see it at all there, at least, not in the same way. That areas around cabin windows could result in dirty strips along the fuselage is something that’s known, but not in the way it is modeled. Either it’s left like it is or perhaps some tests of changing the dirt and weathering are tested out.
The Stock Liveries
The X-Crafts Embraer 175 comes with the following stock liveries:
– American Airlines (default)
– Air Canada
– Alitalia Cityliner
– Delta Connection
– Delta Connection (Compass)
– Embraer House
– United Express Tulip (explus)
– United Express (Skywest)
– US Airways Express (black configuration)
– US Airways Express (white configuration)
– White (paint kit)
Although it’s not my intention to check a stock livery or all liveries versus the real paint schemes, the moment I see something that feels not good, I feel I need to do some additional investigation. A good source for paint schemes is, for example, looking up the Airliners.Net database. I did this in instance for the flybe livery.
Flybe.com livery discrepancies
Let me highlight a couple of easy to see Flybe livery discrepancies I found between the painted Flybe (A/C registration G-FBJH) and real Flybe Embraer E170/E175 (A/C registrations FBJB, JD, JG, JH, JI, JJ, JK) aircraft.
For example; I noticed that on many real Flybe Embraer models the external passenger-, service- and cargo door handles are all painted red and, at the fixed small NLG doors, you’ll find a red painted vertical line that is used for the towing and maintenance personnel indicating the maximum steering angle. Non of this is included in the X-Crafts livery. Further on, I think that the “b” of the Flybe logo on the RH (right hand) engine cowling looks a little bit weird, especially when you compare it with the LH (left hand) engine cowling. Just to clarify; the “b” of the Flybe logo on the LH engine cowling is correct.
Another easy to see difference between the painted one and the real livery is the aircraft registration near the AFT passenger/service doors. In real they are stretched out more and I’ve got the idea that the “Flybe.” logo on the AFT fuselage/vertical fin isn’t aligned in the same way as on the real aircraft. Since I’m not a painter this could be because the painter deals with a separate sheet for the fuselage and tail and combining this isn’t possible. So forgive me when that’s the reason!
Last but not least, on the real Flybe models you’ll find at the fuselage nose section above the AFT fixed cockpit windows, the last two letters of the aircraft registration. Fortunately, this is missing on the painted Flybe model. See first a couple of real flybe photos, followed by the X-Crafts flybe livery. Photos courtesy of Aireliners.Net.
Overall, as you can see for yourself, these discrepancies aren’t difficult to find and therefore easy to implement and I sincerely hope that with a next model update these small differences has been modified.
What said before, it’s not my intention to fill this X-Crafts impression with painting flaws, but I hope that X-Crafts is willing to check the other stock paintings once more with the real liveries. Those small “items” can make a big difference. Since I’ve passed the above information to X-Crafts, I sincerely hope that X-Crafts can and will inform the painter who responsible for these painting and issues. That said, since these comments are based on model version 1.1, I hope they are history with the next model update.
Does your computer like the X-Craft Embraer FPS?
I think I can answer this title with confidence; the X-Crafts Embraer 175 is although it offers a comprehensive VC with EFIS, EICAS and a complex modeled FMS MCDU a frame rate friendly aircraft. It’s not difficult for me to get on my iMac (see my iMac hardware specifications at the end of this impression) in full screen mode 25-30 FPS and then I have to say that my rendering settings are set quite high. Sometimes I think set too high since I then smell the GPU burning out of my iMac Aluminum casing!
So, can the X-Crafts model be used on low, medium and high end computers in respect to its FPS (Frames Per Second)? The answer to this question can be answered positively! I’ve mentioned this many times in other reviews/impressions, but there’s a need to mention this again. As you all know, the actual frame rates depend on so many other factors then only the X-Plane flight simulator and besides that, X-Plane settings are crucial too. Your hardware – PC / Mac with MB (Mother Board) CPU and graphics card, are crucial as well as the amount of memory and the speed of the memory. Then you have the choice of having an ordinary SATA hard disk or, much more expensive, a SSD or like I have in my iMac, flash memory to be functioning as a “drive” although drives have in my humble opinion not much to do with FPS. The SSD or the flash memory only offers a much faster loading time of scenery textures.
Anyway, the actual frame rates depend also on your monitor screen size. Do you run the simulator in full screen or a smaller windowed mode? This can make a difference in the actual frame rates. And finally, you’ve got the Rendering Options settings in X-Plane itself. They can make or break the actual performance and therefore, it is always handy when a developer tells you on which systems a scenery or aircraft has been developed. It is and remains a difficult issue …. what should I do, what is acceptable … do I need to buy another CPU and/or MB, a new generation GPU or just another PC or Mac?
And, not to forget, it’s all what’s between your ears (or is it your eyes)? When you see that X-Plane in a certain configuration offer 21.2 FPS, you think … oops, that’s not much! But is it fair to think that way? Not always. My goal is … does it stutter or not? When you have with high rendering settings a fluent X-Plane screen, then you shouldn’t worry about the actual frame rates. You should ignore them or even better, remove then out of your X-Plane view. All what matters is a fluent image!
What can I say or what have I already said about the X-Crafts Embraer E175?
A lot, and the majority of my feelings for this modeled Embraer are good, very good, but I sincerely hope that the issues and/or bugs I found, will be solved. Not only for me, but for all those simmers who bought this aircraft via Aerosoft or X-Plane.Org. The overall 3D modeling of this aircraft is good although I have never checked every inch versus real dimensions. On the other hand, the modeled Embraer looks like a real Embraer! I’m also happy with the look and feel of the DUs, the pedestal and other separate control panels, wherever you can find them in the cockpit. All these separate system, communication, navigation and auto pilot panels have a nice weathered or used look if you prefer. What in my opinion could get an updated “weathered or used” look are the sidewalls, back wall and areas around the main instrument panel and overhead. These are in my opinion too clean, do not have scratches or used look. Again, that’s how I feel, but it all depends on what the developer wants!
Any wishes or thoughts?
Perhaps for other simmers too, a tutorial or an extension to the current demo flight FMS MCDU programming document. Thoughts, not directly to the issues mentioned above. I’ve informed X-Crafts directly and hopefully they can do something with it. But thoughts in respect to the stock liveries, yes, that worries me a bit, also because I only checked one livery (Flybe) and that turned out that the Flybe has many small flaws of which I think that this wasn’t expected. When the paint was done thoroughly, these issues should not have been present! A last note from X-Crafts “Most issues I noted in the impression and a couple more which I passed forward to them are placed on their to-do-list. That said, I hope that these will be solved with the next update.”
I got the X-Crafts model via the Aerosoft eShop, but it’s also available via X-Plane.Org. Before I forget it, this impression is based on X-Craft version 1.1 and tested on Mac OSX El Capitan 10.11.3 in combination with X-Plane 10.42 and beta version X-Plane 10.45r2. The overall price via the Aerosoft eShop is currently 32.11 Euro excluding VAT.
For this impression I used besides the X-Crafts Embraer 175, the following payware and freeware software:
Freeware: KTUS from T_Fleck
Payware: SkyMAXX Pro 3.x from X-Aviation
Feel free to contact me if you’ve got additional questions related to this impression. You can reach me via email Angelique.van.Campen@gmail.com.
Angelique van Campen
|Add-on:||Payware X-Crafts Embraer E175|
|Publisher | Developer:||X-Plane.Org | X-Crafts|
|Description:||Presentation of the Embraer E175|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / Approximately 757MB (unzipped)|
|Reviewed by:||Angelique van Campen|
|Published:||February 28th 2016|
|Hardware specifications:||- iMac 27″ 3.5Ghz Late 2013|
|- Intel i7 3.5Ghz / 3.9Ghz during Boost Mode|
|- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB|
|- 32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3|
|- 1 internal 1TB SSD (El Capitan 10.11.4)|
|- 3 external 1TB SSDs|
|- Saitek Pro Flight System|
|Software specifications:||- El Capitan (10.11.4) | Yosemite (10.10.5) | Mavericks (10.9.5)|
|- Windows 10 Professional|
|- X-Plane 10.45c | X-Plane 10.45m|