Captain Of The Ship
Publisher: A2A Simulations
Before I Begin
The Boeing 377 is actually a really old airplane, and was built in the late 1940's. As such, do not expect me to talk about setting FMCs, planning advanced GPS routes, etc. but more on toggling manifold pressure, how to not overstress the engines. With that out of the way, let's begin!
Background Information On The Aircraft
The Boeing 377, or "Stratocruiser", was a large long-range airliner built after just World War II. It was developed from the C-97 "Stratofreighter", a military derivative of the B-29 "Superfortress" used for troop transport. The Stratocruiser's first flight was July 8, 1947.
Released in the late 1940s, the aircraft was powered by four piston engines, driving tractor propellers. It had a pressurized cabin, a feature relatively new to transport aircraft at that time, and two decks. Airlines were able to make transoceanic flights faster and easier with the new aircraft, which enabled easier international travel.
However, the Stratocruiser was considerably more expensive to purchase and run than the competition. Moreover, they had mediocre reliability, said to be chiefly due to problems with the four 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major radial engines and their associated four-blade propellers. As a result, only 55 Stratocruisers were built...
|Engines||Four Pratt & Whitney R-4360|
|Fuselage Length||110 feet (33.6 m)|
|Max Speed||375 mph|
|Cruising Speed||301 mph|
The Boeing 377 "Stratocruiser" was a civilian version of the C-97 military transport plane. There are several versions of the Boeing 377 in this amazing package released by A2A, mainly the 377 passenger version and the "Pregnant Guppy".
Usually, when I talk about first impressions, I would go on and write about the installer, speed and ease of unlocking the product, etc. However, this time, I would just like to talk about how the aircraft feels when you just load up a simple flight, to say, fill in the last five minutes of your coffee break...
This aircraft is not really for you if you do not have rather large parcels of time to study the Boeing 377's FCOM, as well as its limitations. I actually set the engines alight on my first flight -- how embarrassing! However, I would like to think of this as the realism put in by the guys at A2A. Now, I shall proceed onto the individual parts of the review.
Moving into the detailed review, we shall talk about the exterior modelling first. I am truly impressed with A2A's modelling skills, even though this product was released originally in the summer or 2008. There are several accurate animations of doors, as well as carefully created windows, and the general aircraft is just stunning.
However, many simmers do not look for a nice aircraft, but a realistic one. I do believe that this aircraft is realistic, in terms of size, proportion and dimension. Here are a few screen shots:
I do feel that the camera on this aircraft is weird. I am specifically talking about the spot and locked spot cameras. It seems to be zoomed out too much initially, and I find that there is a need to zoom in to 1.5 times to get a better view of the aircraft. I do not imagine that this would hinder realism, or anything for that matter, but I do find it a little irritating. There is also a flight attendant model right outside of the door, as well as air-stairs outside of the main passenger door.
The windows on the aircraft are also finely modelled, and so are the Pratt and Whitney R-4360 piston engines. The wings, control surfaces, as well as the tail and horizontal stabilizers are also modelled down to the last nut and bolt. I give you some close-ups to show what I mean: