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Video review of Just Flight's Air Hauler product. The all-new Air Hauler expansion for FSX and FS2004 puts you in complete control of your own freight company - take charge of operations both in the boardroom and in the cockpit. Video by cessna154.
Today I'm reviewing the Air Hauler package from justflight.com. This new piece of software allows you to create a cargo airline within the application and then integrate it right into Microsoft Flight Simulator. So with this review, we're going to look at some the actual user interface of the application and then kind of talk about the positive and negative aspects of the application. As well as how you have complete control over whether this Air Hauler package is going to be used for extreme realism or maybe just for a casual experience where you pick it up every once in a while and just have some fun with it.
So, again, this review is going to be a very broad overview of how everything works, and I'll try to make it as straight and direct as possible. So to begin this review, I want to mention that the product is currently selling for $36.99 U.S. for the download version on the JustFlight website. You can also buy the boxed version if you want. It's just a few extra dollars. But both versions are exactly the same. The product works on both Microsoft Flight Simulator X, as well as the Flight Simulator 2004 version.
Next, I'm going to show a few screenshots from the actual application while I was using it. The user interface is very user friendly, which is always nice to see. It's very plain and simple, but it allows the user to easily navigate through the application. I'll try to talk through many of the different functions that the software offers to the user.
I'm going to start off this review of the actual user interface by showing the log-in page that you see once you have already started an airline and you log back in to the software. It's a pretty clean interface. Up on the top, you have a toolbar, includes My Jobs, Jobs Board, and Completed Jobs. Those are probably the three most important aspects of your basic understanding of the software.
Then I'm going to move over to Ops, Bases, Fleets, Finance, and Flight Log, and then over furthermore to Usercraft Sales, and then Leased by Your Aircraft and AI Flight Crew, as well as the stocks option, which is a part of the program that you don't have to use, but it's kind of an added realism.
The next page we're going to take a look at is something that will walk you through the entire process of creating an airline, so we're going to create the Cessna 154 Airways. You first start off by finding a name for your company, which again is Cessna 154 Airways, as you saw on the log-in page. You also enter in the name of your chief pilot. On the next page, we're looking at which version of Flight Simulator we're going to use, so I selected Flight Simulator X, and you can also select to use Flight Simulator 2004. The experience will be exactly the same.
The next page is for the difficulty. You can select easy, which gives you more money, or hard which gives you less money. Or you can try the career mode, which is actually probably the most difficult one to begin with.
Next up is Weather Options, which is Fuel, Price, Tracking options. If you want to make it more realistic, use the real world weather and the real world fuel pricing. This next page walks you through the process of selecting a first location of operations, kind of like your company's start location. I selected St. Petersburg, Clearwater, FL as my first hub. In the future, I can select more bases to run my operation out of, and this location was within my budget, which is something you have to look at when selecting your airport.
The next page includes start-up options, including job distance. Do you want to have shorter or longer flights? The number of flights generated, do you want more routes or less routes? Cargo size, do you want to fly fully loaded or not so much, and the airport size.
This next page will ask you to import your scenery. Now this is if you have added extra airports, maybe custom airports or maybe just an update of a default airport. This way Air Hauler can recognize that location as a proper location, and there's no confusion between the databases.
After that, you're pretty much looking at all the available routes for you at this time. You can select a route, click the Accept Job button and then head over to My Jobs and begin flying. Another page that is available now is the aircrafts for sale. This is if you wanted to buy an aircraft. You probably won't be doing too much of this at the current time unless you start really getting your airline going. You can also look at leasing and buying new aircraft as well. The two pages kind of work together. They're under the Marketplace option bar on the top.
Now we're going to take a look at the financial aspects of Air Hauler. This is the Caffeinatedman Productions airline that I flew under for the past few weeks trying to understand the software, kind of reviewing it. These charts here will show your income, as well as any expenses. There's the stock market option, that is really in depth. You can pretty much, participate in stock trading right from Air Hauler, and this allows you to make more money or lose more money, I should add.
Moving on now, we're going to set up a basic flight. I've selected the Cessna 154 Airways. We're going to fly this route that is shown on the map as the red line or on the route listed there as the blue highlighted line. The next page will show you just a closer up map view, as well as your destination and where your flying from, and how long the flight is.
The next page will pretty much allow you to select what cargo you want to load on. I have two cargo loads selected right now because I have two jobs active. So, I will select the cargo that's active for this flight, load up the aircraft with fuel, and click Okay Fly Now, and you're pretty much started.
Here are a few charts that show up after a few weeks of flying. These are all the flights that I've completed - well, it's a partial list. The ones that are kind of orange there are flights I believe I failed, and that was due to AI issue. But sometimes you don't succeed in every flight. Here's the list of AI pilots that I have hired. These guys fly the routes I tell them to fly.
It's just like setting up any other flight. Here are some of the finances, anything such as expenditures to revenue and so forth show up here, and this is just a partial list. It's nice and laid out. The final graph here is shows all the cargo types I've carried, just lets you know what you're carrying and what's most commonly seen on your aircraft.
So, we just took a look at how the Air Hauler package operates and some of the main functions of the software. But now I want to mention how the Air Hauler package integrates within Flight Simulator. When you choose to fly a route with Air Hauler, Microsoft Flight Simulator will pretty much start up and will locate the aircraft where it needs to be placed, and from there you fly your flight.
Air Hauler will track the flight and will give you little messages saying, "Okay, now you can taxi to the runway, and now you're in route to your destination. Touch down, and go park," pretty much. So the messages that Air Hauler offers are very basic. They're very clean. They're pretty much very general and you're just going to get pretty basic knowledge from what the little text messages pop up as. They don't look very fancy or anything. They're just meant to be very straight to the point.
That's pretty much how it integrates, and from there, after you end a flight you can go back to Air Hauler and you get all the information you want, including pretty much a report from that flight. Before closing out this review, I want to mention a few positive and negative aspects of Air Hauler.
First off, some positive things include the fact that the Air Hauler software works as advertised. There are no major bugs. It's not going to crash on you. I didn't experience any issues, so again, it's going to work as advertised, and it's a safe purchase.
Another positive is that there's a really good support system on the JustFlight website. They have a forum set up just for Air Haulers. So, if you run into a problem or if you want to provide some feedback, there's a good place to do that. Again, there are some frequently asked questions that have already been answered, so you can find some quick answers to some common problems.
I guess the only negative I would find would be, the price is slightly too high, I think, for some users who are not going to use this product for the full, realistic aspect. Because like I mentioned over and over in this review, you can choose to use this product in a very realistic sense, or just kind of in a basic sense where you just try to track your flights. You try to follow a very basic career mode.
So, someone who's going to buy the product or who's thinking about buying the product just for that basic sense, probably is not going to be able to justify that expense. But again, at $36.99 or so, it's not too expensive. It's not something that is unreasonable by any means. I think that just some people will think it's a little too expensive for what they want to get out of it.
On that note, I'd like to thank you all for watching. This has been my review of the Air Hauler package. If you have some feedback, comments, questions, anything like that, please leave that in the comments section below. I'll be glad to get back to you. Or contact me through caffeinatedman.com, my website. Come next time, thanks for watching, and we'll see you later.
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