Captain Simís Boeing 757-200
Reviewed by Ludo Lambrechts
Have you ever been in a 757-200? If so have you noticed the similarities to other Boeing aircraft? They are there as Boeing has taken a lot of great features from other aircraft and combined them into the 757-200. The 757-200 was developed simultaneously with the 767 and therefore the cockpit will look extremely similar. So similar in fact that a 757 pilot is able to fly a 767. The interior is taken from the 737NG designs and is extremely similar as well. The aeronautics, avionics, propulsion, and technological advancements between the 757 and 767 make it a great team for many airlines as training for both aircrafts can be done simultaneously.
Many add-on aircraft are developed for Microsoft Games Flight Simulator 2004, some are free and some of them are payware. There have been a few 757s developed for free; they usually have great exterior models but lack in other areas. Captain Sim however has developed a payware 757-200 add-on. The big question however is, should you spend extra money on this aircraft.
Captain Sim has a very nice history of quality aircraft. The stunning Yak 3 or the quality Boeing 707, these guys have fared terrifically under all of the pressure. Their C-130 Hercules received a 10 out of 10 from us, so there is no reason to believe that the 757-200 will disappoint.
The 757 Captain line of products is the first series of aircraft to be released under the new Captain Sim ďBlockĒ system. This new block system was designed to ease the burden on buyers. This system would allow users to choose what they purchased, and what they needed. Up until the writing of this review Block A (Exterior Model), Block B (Exterior Model and VC), Block C (ACE Tool), and Block E (Sound) has been released for the 757-200. Still coming is Block D (Custom Flight Model), and Block F (Advanced Systems Programming). With a little reading this new system from Captain Sim becomes extremely easy and convenient to use.
The 757-200 installs very easily. The main package will install directly into your Flight Simulator directory and will not cause any problems for you. However the only inconvenience about the installation program is that each block has its own installation. The programs however do work the exact same way as the base installation and donít harass you about any missing files if you choose to take an advanced user approach to things.
Once you load up the simulator you will again be astounded by the work put into this add-on. The exterior model is terrific with a tremendous amount of eye candy. These kind of eye candies hadnít yet been seen from Captain Sim, but itís hard to tell that itís the first time these are present. Ribbons, engine covers, an opening radar dome on the nose of the aircraft and many more eye candies are included on the exterior model. Captain Sim claims to have 97 custom animations. I have not counted how many I can find, but am sure that they are all there. Also included is an air stewardess that appears when the exit is opened. She can be customized just like the exterior livery to wear certain clothes and uniforms. The beautiful exterior model isnít harmed either by the free liveries included in this package. 20 liveries come with Block A/B and are all high quality. If you are not satisfied with the liveries or would like more a repaint kit has been made available as well as dozens of free downloadable liveries.
The interior is just as good. A 2D panel is still not available, but it is not necessary either in this aircraft. The Virtual Cockpit is fully clickable and features 273 custom animations. High quality textures are used in the rendering of the virtual cockpit and work really well. The VC looks amazingly real and all writing is extremely legible. A cabin is also included. It doesnít cover the whole aircraft like the PMDG 737 does, but why would you need the whole aircraft covered? The virtual cabin looks amazing; all cabin features are beautifully rendered using photographs. All parts of the cabin have also been modelled to perfection, all seats look like the real thing and so on. A washroom/lavatory is also included, flights can get quite long and this place can be a very busy area on a cross-country flight. That being said why not put it in this aircraft? The washroom also looks amazing in the game, and adds even more realism to your flight experience. The 757-200 has not disappointed yet in its appearance.
One issue however with the 757-200 from Captain Sim is the navigation systems. I do not have a problem with them, but advanced pilots would. The issue is that a functional FMC has not yet been included. This means that you will have to wait for Block F (Advanced Systems Programming). For now you are forced to use the classic VOR and GPS method.
Block E which is the custom sound set is everything you could ask for. The sound is terrific and one of the best packages I have ever experienced for Microsoft Games Flight Simulator 2004. This block does cost extra, but is a minor cost and well worth it. Block D which is the Custom Flight Model is still under development and until then we are forced to use a quickly compiled flight model for the 757-200. I canít complain about the current flight model as it responds very well in my simulator and does feel like a 757. Again real pilots might find this to be a major issue, but for average simmers this isnít even an inconvenience.
The 757-200 also runs very nice on my computer. There is a lot of detail, photographs, and eye candy on this aircraft. An equation for poor frame rates for sure. However advanced techniques and only including what was necessary helped Captain Sim make this add-on great for everyone to use.
Captain Sim has really shown a lot of typical CS quality and continued a strong legacy of products. The 757-200 has breathtaking detail, and extends its breathtaking features into its sound. Frame rates are terrific as well. This aircraft will be sure to please fans for many years and will continue to be a new standard in flight sim design. This kind of quality and value all equates into a 9.5 out of 10 for Captain Simís 757-200.
Reviewed by Ludo Lambrechts for Captain Sim