• Review: Just Flight / CLS DC-10 Collection

    Douglas DC-10

    Publisher: JustFlight / CLS

    Review Author:
    Meng Yu

    Suggested Price:
    $38.80

    Buy Here

    Before I Begin:

    This aircraft is actually a very old model, made by CLS, and published by Just Flight. Therefore, some of the gauges and virtual cockpit may not be as good as today's standards. However, I would like you to keep your minds open, and think of this product as something launched about six years ago... Have fun, and enjoy the review. I am open to constructive critism/comments, and please do not be a troll on my reviews. Thank you, and let's begin!

    Background Information On The Aircraft

    The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine wide body jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on under-wing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. The model was a successor to McDonnell Douglas's DC-8 for long-range operations, and competed in the same markets as the Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star, which has a similar layout to the DC-10.

       

    Production of the DC-10 ended in 1989 with 386 delivered to airlines and 60 to the U.S. Air Force as air-to-air refuellers designated the KC-10 "Extender". The largest operator of the DC-10 is U.S. cargo airline FedEx Express. The DC-10 was succeeded by the related McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Boeing, who merged with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s, conducted an upgrade program for the DC-10s, equipping several with a glass cockpit, leading to the re-designation as MD-10s.

    Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
    Engines: Three General Electric CF6-6D turbofans
    or
    Three General Electric CF6-6D1 turbofans
    Fuselage Length: 55.50 m
    Maximum Speed: 530 kt
    Cruising Speed: 490 kt
    Range:
    (Max Fuel / No Payload)    
    6505 nm

    Review

    The DC-10 is the predecessor to the more advanced and safer MD-11. Many design elements from the DC-10 was used in the MD-11, most notably, the design of the third, tail-mounted engine.

    I will be focusing on the DC-10-30 variant in this review. The collection package contains many more models, I find the -30 variant to be the most significant, and the -30 variant was probably the most widely used variant of the DC-10.

    First Impressions

    This aircraft definitely gives a good first impression. The installer works quickly, and the unlocking of the product is also very short. Just be sure to have the key at purchase with you...

    Once you load up Flight Simulator, dozens of liveries and models await you, all accessible under the publisher name: "Commercial Level Simulations - Just Flight". From this, we can infer that the model was made by CLS, and perhaps just marketed under the name "Just Flight DC-10".

    Moving on into the review, we shall take a look at the exterior model of this package, particularly the -30 variant. To give you an idea of the exterior model, here are some screen shots.

       

    As you can see from the screen shots, this model has basic essentials, such as opening cargo and passengers doors.

    This model also features an animated tail engine fan, which some freeware lack. This model is very frame rate friendly, and I really did not notice any loss of frames while using this add-on. The exterior is wonderfully created, and is accurate to the real DC-10-30 that flies in the real world.


    10 Comments
    1. bugdozer's Avatar
      bugdozer -
      Interesting that the article refers to the MD-11 as "safer" than the DC-10. Pretty much all current passenger jets are safer, the DC-10 is one of the most unsafe passenger jet still in use.
    1. sbenzidoc's Avatar
      sbenzidoc -
      Nice Review! Thanks for your work. I was missing some information on the functionality of the main Systems like the autopilot, navigation and the engine model? Is it just FSX Standard or a little more? Is there an INS integrated or any kind of retrofit to use GPS? Does the engine model represent just FSX standards or does it have a realistic start-up procedure and allow things like a performance calculation (fuel burn table, opt. FL selection, assumed temp. t/o's etc)?

      This information would be great to read!

      Have a great day! Stefan
    1. oldcrusty's Avatar
      oldcrusty -
      Thanks for the review Meng. I have had this model for some years now and when I first purchased the model did a lot of sim time with it. I have to say the supporting documentation; manuals, system details, and training flights were very well done and packaged. Overall I found the aircraft realistic and the sound very good. My main dissapointment was the quality of the interior textures including the instruments which by current measure were basic and lacked nice shading. I would give the exterior and general detail 9/10 and the VC about 5/10 as it relies heavily on the MS2004 sub panel arrangements and therefore lacks the true functionality that more recent VC models have. I found the instrumentation good and the INS FMS system worked fine as did everything else. Once you got used to some quirky stuff with the sub panels etc it was fine. One has to remember that this aeroplane was designed a long time ago and hence at the time was leading edge as far as automation etc goes but really falls into the category of the early Boeings of this period or the "classics', they were the precusor of full digitised and computerised systems such as we find today and so were a blend of analogue and digital stuff and this took some getting used to even in the real aeroplane.

      AS for the night lighting is irritating and represents a cockpit with a full and bright overhead red dome style lighting only, the real aircraft was nothing like this and was like any other of the period with nice backlit instrument lights and switches and appropriate panel and console lights. I also found there was a glitch with some of the instrument textures for which there was a fix later proviced but it did not fix the issue which is an appearance of flashing silver colour from time to time.

      The real aeroplane was much more of a problem that general information indicates. The rush to get the DC-10 out in competition with the 747 resulted in a number of significant design and build shortcomings which tragically were revealed only when some really bad accidents occurred. There are a number of books about the DC-10 which are well worth a read. I personally never flew a DC-10 nor flew in one but there is no doubt that the aircraft's accident history led to its production run ending prematurely and it effectively brought down the great Douglas Aeroplane company which was a real shame, as the MD11 demonstrated with a some significant reengineering the basic wide body 3 engine concept was a goer and reliable but by that time the DC10 and MD11 were shunned by the airlines in favour of the 747 and the new airbuses.

      Knowing that it is not a real DC-10 I have enjoyed all my sim flights in this beast and would like to see an updated and proper VC but I do not think this is going to happen. Still jump in the old girl and go for a spin now and then.
    1. diapason's Avatar
      diapason -
      Some of the models do have the old type of INS where you load the co-ordinates of up to 9 points at-a-time, although these are non-functional I have found.
    1. diapason's Avatar
      diapason -
      As for the red tint of cockpit lights; I don't know for sure whether it was this way but it wouldn't seem to out of place as a person's eyes can see what it happening outside clearer while still having instruments lit up from above; like that on a submarine. Just don't take this plane for a ditch to find out, please.
    1. hangar32's Avatar
      hangar32 -
      Quote Originally Posted by diapason View Post
      Some of the models do have the old type of INS where you load the co-ordinates of up to 9 points at-a-time, although these are non-functional I have found.
      I think there is a patch/extra free upgrade that you can down load from CLS. I know I've flown this jet with the INS connected to the auto-pilot. That said it I do not believe it will take an FS flightplan - seem to recall entering a lot of Lats and Longs (which you can find if you open an FS flight plan in MS Notepad) - in any event, the nine point limit gives you somethig to do on long flights besides switch freqs with ATC.
    1. hangar32's Avatar
      hangar32 -
      Great review - Great jet.

      An additional VC issue I found is that some of the colors used somehow are transparent - thus I can see the ground through some of the screw heads that bolt various instruments to the control pannel and other places in the cockpit - I bit disconcerting . . . but as long as it doesn't effect the aircraft's pressurization
    1. neddreenie's Avatar
      neddreenie -
      Its an old classic with some awesome looking liveries , don't expect the quality of more recent add-on's and you will enjoy flying this beast.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldcrusty View Post
      Thanks for the review Meng. I have had this model for some years now and when I first purchased the model did a lot of sim time with it. I have to say the supporting documentation; manuals, system details, and training flights were very well done and packaged. Overall I found the aircraft realistic and the sound very good. My main dissapointment was the quality of the interior textures including the instruments which by current measure were basic and lacked nice shading. I would give the exterior and general detail 9/10 and the VC about 5/10 as it relies heavily on the MS2004 sub panel arrangements and therefore lacks the true functionality that more recent VC models have. I found the instrumentation good and the INS FMS system worked fine as did everything else. Once you got used to some quirky stuff with the sub panels etc it was fine. One has to remember that this aeroplane was designed a long time ago and hence at the time was leading edge as far as automation etc goes but really falls into the category of the early Boeings of this period or the "classics', they were the precusor of full digitised and computerised systems such as we find today and so were a blend of analogue and digital stuff and this took some getting used to even in the real aeroplane.

      AS for the night lighting is irritating and represents a cockpit with a full and bright overhead red dome style lighting only, the real aircraft was nothing like this and was like any other of the period with nice backlit instrument lights and switches and appropriate panel and console lights. I also found there was a glitch with some of the instrument textures for which there was a fix later proviced but it did not fix the issue which is an appearance of flashing silver colour from time to time.

      The real aeroplane was much more of a problem that general information indicates. The rush to get the DC-10 out in competition with the 747 resulted in a number of significant design and build shortcomings which tragically were revealed only when some really bad accidents occurred. There are a number of books about the DC-10 which are well worth a read. I personally never flew a DC-10 nor flew in one but there is no doubt that the aircraft's accident history led to its production run ending prematurely and it effectively brought down the great Douglas Aeroplane company which was a real shame, as the MD11 demonstrated with a some significant reengineering the basic wide body 3 engine concept was a goer and reliable but by that time the DC10 and MD11 were shunned by the airlines in favour of the 747 and the new airbuses.

      Knowing that it is not a real DC-10 I have enjoyed all my sim flights in this beast and would like to see an updated and proper VC but I do not think this is going to happen. Still jump in the old girl and go for a spin now and then.
      Yes, sadly, I would have to agree with you that the DC-10 is flawed in more ways than 1, and that resulted in its premature retirement. Thanks for sharing!
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by hangar32 View Post
      Great review - Great jet.

      An additional VC issue I found is that some of the colors used somehow are transparent - thus I can see the ground through some of the screw heads that bolt various instruments to the control pannel and other places in the cockpit - I bit disconcerting . . . but as long as it doesn't effect the aircraft's pressurization
      Hmm.... interesting, but I never had that problem. Thanks for sharing!