Fly Away Simulation

727 Captain Review

Last updated Sun, 08 Jul 2018 17:26:37 GMT
Originally posted on Thu, 06 Jan 2011 17:29:36 GMT

727 CaptainWith Captain Sim leading the market in terms of visual realism, who can wait to open that beautifully plastic wrapped package? I know as the days went on I became more desperate to get hold of the 727... my obsession was not thwarted as when I did get this aircraft, I continued to have a blast with it as I do now! The brilliance in detail, and the old jet smell is fantastic... consider so realistic that you can even smell the fumes coming from the old P&W JT8D-7! The 727 was the workhorse for many airlines worldwide, and continues to serve various freighter company’s and of course the infamous Donald Trump! So without further adieu I introduce you to the Boeing 727 Pro pack... enjoy!

Installation

Installation is as easy as clicking a few buttons. I’ve had a bit of trouble in the past with Just Flight products made by Captain Sim, in which I had to go download a patch to install the product as I would get an “Insert CD” error message. This however is not present in the 727 and again installation is very easy and extremely straightforward.

DHL Cargo Boeing 727
DHL Cargo Boeing 727

Exterior

One of the best part’s of this aircraft. It’s fair to say though that this particular piece of software has two main selling points one being the exterior the other the interior VC.

Now starting off, the exterior has so many animations, if you’re into eye candy this will be a dream come true! The various animations also make the aircraft more realistic and in a sense more personal. Such as the individually opening cockpit windows, the Air Hostesses standing at the main entrance door and the rear air stair, the inflated emergency slide (Main door only), Wheel chocks, Engine covers etc. This aircraft has it all. Along with the incredible amount of detail this aircraft comes with. 

The 727 Captain comes with 16 very detailed livery’s (Including the various models). Perhaps not Mcphat quality, but certainly on a higher standard. Some of the 727’s have winglets by default or as they are more properly referred to as “Quiet Wings” This allows the airplane better fuel economy, range, and cargo capacity as well as lowers engine noise. Starting to talk about specific animation which I found extremely unique to this aircraft. Certainly something noticeable that only the 727 features (as of yet) is the emergency slide. This comes in handy especially when you are doing those unique FS passenger flight that require to land immediately. This just adds to the stunning exterior qualities of this incredible aircraft. The stunning aircraft views (camera set points on exterior) just give’s the 727 that extra special unique view.

When we think of the first, second, or third generation of commercial jet we always associate it with pictures like this. In which we get the copious plumes of smoke coming from each engine. This was not automatically simulated into the 727, and what I mean by that is, when you go to full throttle don’t expect to see smoke. You must initiate it by hitting the “I” key (or your set Smoke key). Despite this minute detail, some smoke is better than no smoke I suppose (perhaps not the best choice of words in an eco friendly society).

The 727 amongst various small details, the 727 features some very large one’s including the various models such as the 727-100, 727-100QW (Quiet Wing), 727QW Freighter, 727 UDF (Unducted Fan more info here). 727-200, 727-200 Freighter. All models have their own unique exterior and interior layout. Seeing as we’ve already covered the exterior of the 727-100/200 PAX models let’s talk about the freighter model. The Freighter model of the 727-100/200F features all of the standard Captain Sim animations. It also includes a specific animations page (Shift+3) pointing out specific animations such as the various cargo doors, pilot windows, engine covers etc. it also features a highly detailed cargo truck with simulated cargo bins which can be loaded and offloaded from the aircraft via another loader tool, in the aircraft setup menu (Shift+2). This will also change the CG accordingly.

The 727 exterior does feature one disappointing flaw however there is a quick fix to this. Starting off, the camera by default is offset way too far. Making the 727 appear very small. However by hitting the key combination (Ctrl and -/+) you will be able to bring the camera in as close as you want it.

All in all Just Flight did a stupendous job on the exterior. Captain Sims is the lead developer in detail so we can expect nothing else.

Northwest Boeing 727 with the emergency slide extended
Northwest Boeing 727 with the emergency slide extended

DHL Cargo 727 with the side cargo door open and loaded
DHL Cargo 727 with the side cargo door open and loaded

TWA 727 on runway at dusk
TWA 727 on runway at dusk

Northwest 727 with passenger door open and slide extended
Northwest 727 with passenger door open and slide extended

Northwest Boeing 727 on approach with engine fire
Northwest Boeing 727 on approach with engine fire

Interior

Starting off in the Cabin. The 727 features different setups in the cabin dependant on what model you are flying. The 727-100 as compared to the 727-200, the 100 will have a shorter cabin, and feature a service door mid-cabin on the left side, in addition to the other various doors. While the 727-200 will have one in the galley and two rear service doors, and the tail door (sheesh I feel like an air hostess). The 727 features a staggering level of detail in the interior, making this aircraft perfect for Sim movie makers.

For the owners of the 757 you know that the window shades were clicked on and from there you could either have them opened or closed. The 727 features window shades that must be dragged adding to that sense of realism…almost making you feel like you are there. Hungry? Head to the galley, which you can unlock two securing locks and pull out one of the galley carts. Nature calling? Well depending on the model of 727-100 or 200 you have one or two lavatory’s to use.

Captain Sims takes into account every personal aspect of their aircraft, and sure enough the only way to make this 727 more convincing would be to add people. There are two annoyances, both involving the Wing from the interior VC on all models. Despite the fact that the controls are neutral, when looking out at the wing, you always see the left aileron up and right down, and on the QW models you cannot see the winglets from the VC, however the aircraft is new with many SP’s in the works. The Freighter interior is completely different offering the main container cabin and the forward lower deck.

The freighter cabin has its own set of textures, two things to note thou, that I found buggy were 1. You can open the service doors on the freighter model via the animations page; however from the VC they do not appear to open? Secondly the cargo containers seem to load funny, in the sense that the first one will slide right behind the main door requiring the others to pass right threw them. Either way this makes a great addition to any cargo haulers hanger, and gives new venues for us FS Passenger users.

Cabin interior with overhead storage shown
Cabin interior with overhead storage shown

Emergency exit door
Emergency exit door

Side emergency exit over wing
Side emergency exit over wing

Rear exit at back of aircraft
Rear exit at back of aircraft

Looking out of rear exit window
Looking out of rear exit window

Passenger cabin showing seats and interior
Passenger cabin showing seats and interior

Red cabin interior showing red carpet and seats
Red cabin interior showing red carpet and seats

Emergency exit door with red interior
Emergency exit door with red interior

Image shows side emergency exit door over wing open
Image shows side emergency exit door over wing open

Flight Deck

First off, those of you who are deadest with the 2D panel need not read on, this aircraft does not feature a 2D cockpit... what does it matter the FPS inside and out are in my experience better than that of the 757.   So flying in the VC is just that much more of a pleasure. One of the most noticeable features of the 727 is no doubt the Steam gauges and the FE (Flight Engineer’s) gauges/station EGAD! Jokes aside, it makes it more interesting to have a whole set or various perspectives in which to fly from. But let’s start off talking about the navigational system on this Boeing 727.

Captain Sim has a knack for implementing the default GPS systems into their aircraft (Minus 757/767 for FSX) However this aircraft does feature a GPS, giving the less experienced simmers more confidence when flying this old bird. However to the more experienced simmer this may come at an inconvenience. The good news is the old VOR and ADF NAV systems are still available... so if your up to consistently changing over VOR and ADF Freq.’s then you are good to go, just another good point about this aircraft. Going onto the autopilot, “Wait... .you mean they couldn’t at the very least included an auto throttle?!” Oy, to think at some point in time pilots were actually required to keep a close watch on the airspeed and thrust... This being said, I found that most flight at Flight Level 310 (31000ft) required the throttle to constantly be set a 100% thrust to keep any airspeed above 300 knots consistent.

It was debated over at Captain Sims as to whether this aircraft in programming was underpowered but it certainly isn’t... just something to keep in mind. The Aircraft features a unique autopilot; however you cannot program a specific altitude for the airplane to follow. The altitude hold system relay’s and having a constant flow of consistent pressure reading once you engage the system. Among other things you may find it hard to get the 727 to follow its course as if flying off of a GPS NAV source. Considering that the early model 727’s did not feature a GPS NAV source you must override this by changing the setting in your FSX settings tab.

Something I’ve only seen in complex add-ons such as the PMDG 744 and the level D 767 is the fuel dump system, it is detailed in the sense that you have four individual tanks to dump, the trans nozzle and valves and the fact that it takes awhile to dump fuel. Unlike many default and add-on aircraft the dumping process will often have you flying a holding pattern until you can reach you max landing weight. Don’t expect to see weather radar (WX) on this aircraft juts yet, it is coming but in a future update free of charge available on Just Flight. All in all just how does one pilot fly a plane that once took three? Well I found it rather easy in fact amongst some technical requirements such as electricity the simple “Ctrl+E” will get you on your way. However the option to start everything manually remains open. Take note though that Hydraulics will take some work. If you can’t get the correct Hydraulic pumps working you will not get the airplane to move in any other direction other than forward. I guess system wise this aircraft appeals to the entire spectrum of people who just want to fly and those that want to take the long way.

Flight deck showing throttles
Flight deck showing throttles

Close-up of the flight deck showing attitude indicator and other dials
Close-up of the flight deck showing attitude indicator and other dials

Showing engineers panel in the flight deck
Showing engineers panel in the flight deck

Engineers desk
Engineers desk

Flight deck door and engineers panel and jump seat
Flight deck door and engineers panel and jump seat

Overhead panel
Overhead panel

Complete flight deck showing captain seat and first officer seat
Complete flight deck showing captain seat and first officer seat

Throttle array quadrant
Throttle array quadrant

Sounds

Amongst the engine sound I found pretty good, the 727 features a unique set of its own sounds such as Cockpit door, Cabin doors, Cockpit windows, APU, Switch sounds, Crew, and a whole plethora of other sounds. This certainly brings the level of realism sky high in this wonderful aircraft. However much like the 757 and the 767 there seems to be a bug where as sometimes you won’t get the unique sounds? This is much less apparent in the 727 than it is in any other CS product. Either way kudos to Just Flight and Captain Sims for going the extra mile to doing what I’ve yet to see any other developer do.

Flight Characteristics

The 727 was called the workhorse due to its ability to be rather rugged and ability to quite literally be fueled up and go. The 727 fly’s and handles great. The aircraft weighs 100,000lbs empty. Well I can say for a 100,000lb aircraft she handles rather well. I flew the 727 typically around 31,000ft but once in awhile got it up to 35,000ft. I’ve never had the opportunity to fly on a 727 but once thing I did notice on all models was that the plane lands slow…perhaps a bit to slow? I’ve landed plenty of times and notice that I am at some 90+ knots before the nose wheel touches down. For those of you who have flown or flown on the 727 you know weather this is a true characteristic of the 727 or perhaps a dynamic that must be worked out. T/O is great; you can use relatively short runways for this bird. Overall in terms of how it handles compared to the default planes and a lot of the freeware 727’s, it fly’s much better. The dynamics are heavier, adding just another point to the greatness of this product.

Lighting

Eye candy lovers enjoy as the interior lighting for the 727 in the cockpit is stunning at smallest! The 727 features four sectors of gauges which can be illuminated or not depending on your overhead light switch configuration. The lights appear as somewhat dim Red/White light giving the gauges a huge sense of improved realism. To be honest amongst payware aircraft with EFIS cockpits much less steam gauged it is difficult to find a developer who has put that much attention to detail as to put backlights in each gauge! Among the backlight we have the panel light which appears as a somewhat dim but bright white light…..it is just incredible and makes those Night Flights that much more interesting. Kudos again to both Just Flight and Captain Sims.

Something I would like to point out is that the 727 from Just Flight is still young. There are many SP’s in the works, one of which will include free WX Radar (Weather Radar) as the current version does not have it. Among that other issues will be fixed such as the aileron issue from the VC.

Verdict

Bravo and congratulations on another aircraft well done Just Flight and Captain Sims! You aircraft has some flaws that should be worked out. I had a lot of fun reviewing the 727! My only dream for the future of CS product would be for CS and PMDG to join up this way we could have the complexity of the PMDG systems and the detail of Captain Sim. Either way this certainly takes of high value and my books and certainly deserves an award! With the extravagant level of detail, copious amounts of fun and just thrilling feel of this classic I can confidently say that the only people who may not like this incredible product would be the die hard prop-busters, either way it was a fantastic product to review and remains as of current the workhorse in my virtual fleet!

System requirements

  • Flight Simulator X with SP2 or Acceleration
  • 2.5 GHz PC
  • 512M RAM
  • Windows 7, Vista (SP1) or XP (SP2)
  • 256Mb 3D graphics card
  • Hard drive space TBC

Test Machine

  • Windows Vista 32 bit
  • 3 GB RAM
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ 2.60 GHz
  • Geforce GTS 250 Graphics card
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X SP1, SP2, Acceleration

About the author

This review was written by flight simulator reviewer, William Werrlein for Fly Away Simulation.

Buy 727 Captain

You can get your hands on a copy of 727 Captain right here from the SimShack.net flight sim store.

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Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation industry expert with over 20 years of experience and also has a keen interest in aviation and technology.  Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available.  However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed. 

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.  Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at ian.stephens@flyawaysimulation.com.

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