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Review of CaptainSim’s L-1011 Captain v. 1.2 05/16/2014

Written by on June 2, 2014

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 Final Review Rating is 4 out of 5

As a long time MS Flight Simulator fan, I’ve always enjoyed the variation of the included default planes, but like most folks, eventually you find that there are plenty of freeware planes and liveries out there. I’ve seen my share. Only in the last couple of years have I been looking around at payware versions. I have a PMGD plane, some Carenado planes, a JustFlight plane and some CaptainSim planes. I’ve enjoyed all of them. When comparing payware to the simplified default planes, some are easier to learn than others, some are a bit more involved and lean more heavily towards real-life controls and procedures. That is exactly why I enjoy them so much. There is nothing better than feeling that you’re ready for any flight, any approach and any landing.

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This brings me to my overview of the CaptainSim ‘1011 Captain’ ver 1.2, which was released last month. Installing and setup was simple and the ACE interface allows for pre-loading of Pax and Cargo. As far as older generation planes go, this one looks fantastic. The weathering and liveries are appropriately retro. They looked used, yet well maintained and include some now defunct airline liveries. The Lockheed TriStar first flew in 1970 for Eastern and from 1968 to 1984, including all variants, they manufactured 250 of them.

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Loading up one of these L-1011 models in FSX spawns me into a 40 year old and very detailed and operational cockpit. Almost every knob and switch is functional and operational. Even the Second Officer’s (third seat) panels are meticulously detailed and can keep you busy for awhile. The main instrument panel is familiar with all of the basic auto-pilot functions with a few older extras than are learned quickly after a few flights.  The weather radar is operational and after testing it during some severe weather here in Houston, it is very handy to avoid the worst of the storm cells. The one new piece of equipment, for me, was the navigation computer called a Delco Carousel IV-A INS or Inertial Navigation System.

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The INS takes a little time to master, but CaptainSim has helped a bit by allowing the FSX flightplan to import automatically. After reading the manual and watching a few videos from YouTube, I felt comfortable with it after about half a dozen short flights with multiple waypoints. It even includes a ‘hidden’ Virtual Key mode that helps when operating and manipulating the INS data input controls. This craft does model the unique DLC characteristics while on glidescope approach.

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The L-1011 featured a highly advanced autopilot system and was the first widebody to receive FAA certification for Cat-IIIc autolanding, which approved the TriStar for completely blind landings in zero-visibility weather performed by the aircraft’s autopilot. The L-1011 used an Inertial Navigation System (INS) to navigate; this included aligning the navigation system by entering current coordinates of longitude and latitude. It also had a unique Direct Lift Control (DLC) system, which allowed for smooth approaches when landing, without having to use significant pitch changes while on the approach path. DLC helps maintain the descending glideslope on final approach by automatically deploying spoiler panels on the wings. Thus, rather than maintaining the descent by adjusting pitch, DLC helps control the descent while maintaining a more consistent pitch angle, using four redundant hydraulic systems. (wiki)

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The sound package is fantastic and the feel of the craft seems correct; lots of power and it seems to fly like the big bird that it is. One of the things that I liked about this software is the extra cockpit views, so you don’t get bogged down trying to look around the cockpit too much when timing is tight.

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Speaking of views, when looking at the outside of the aircraft, CaptainSim has included an Animation Control that let’s you open all doors, access hatches, engine cowlings, install covers, plugs and place wheel chocks. It even has a stewardess (hey it’s the 70’s) to welcome the passengers. I don’t want to overlook one detail (amongst many) that I noticed. As you look into the passenger windows, people are actually visible inside the well modeled passenger cabin. Some standing, some sitting, etc.

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So far, this airplane has me involved and wanting to fly her more. At $29.99 Euros (~ $41.00 USD), I’d say it’s priced right. Go to http://www.captainsim.com/products/l011/ to get more information and screenies of a well done classic Three-Holer! As the manual states: “The ‘1011 Captain’ is the most advanced, complete and accurate digital replica of the 1011 ever made for any game platform.” I agree.

 

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If you have any comments or questions about this review e-mail vetter (at) skyblueradio.com

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My PC Specs: Intel i7 930 QuadCore 2.8GHz / 6GB Ram / Radeon HD5870 / 32″1080p Sony Aquos / Windows7 Pro(x64) / Logitech Extreme 3D Pro / GoFlight MCP Pro and GF166 Radio Panel


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