• Review: Sky Simulations - McDonnell Douglas DC-9

    McDonnell Douglas DC-9

    Publisher: Sky Simulations

    Review Author:
    Michael Hayward

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    Sky Simulations Douglas DC-9

    The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 is well known as a classic when it comes to regional airliners. First manufactured in 1965, it pre-dates most other aircraft of the same criteria, especially those from Bombardier, Embraer and Canadair. For 20 years it flew pretty much unchallenged with the only 'competition' coming from the much larger Boeing 727.

    This FSX rendition of the DC-9 has been developed by Sky Simulations, a developer well known for their high quality models of McDonnell Douglas aircraft.

    One thing that is worth mentioning about this package, is that this aircraft is officially licensed by Boeing, which hopefully should speak volumes in terms of its authenticity.

    Sky Simulations Douglas DC-9     Sky Simulations Douglas DC-9     Sky Simulations Douglas DC-9

    Aircraft Specification

    104ft 4.75" (31.82m)
    119ft 3.5" (36.37m)
    125ft 7.25" (38.28m)
    133ft 7.25" (40.72m)
    89ft 5" (27.25m)
    93ft 5" (28.47m)
    27ft 6" (8.38m)
    28ft 0" (8.53m)
    Empty Weight
    49,020lb (22,235kg)
    52,880lb (23,880kg)
    57,190lb (25,940kg)
    58,670lb (26,612kg)
    61,880lb (28,068kg)
    Maximum Takeoff Weight
    90,700lb (41,100kg)
    98,000lb (44,500kg)
    108,000lb (49,090kg)
    114,000lb (51,700kg)
    121,000lb (54,900kg)
    P&W JT8D-5/-7
    P&W JT8D-11
    P&W JT8D-7/-9/-11/-15/-17
    P&W JT8D-9/-11/-15/ -17
    P&W JT8D-15/-17

    Aircraft Performance

    Top Speed
    Service Ceiling
    30,000ft (9144m)
    Takeoff Run (MTOW)
    1,800ft (548.64m)
    2,360ft (719.328m)

    Video courtesy Jack's FSX Videos

    1. flightman's Avatar
      flightman -
      "Licensed by Boeing" means nothing in terms of the simulation quality. It just means they can use Boeing's name and logo with the product.

      I have this addon but I would rather have one DC-9 model accurately simulated in depth than all the models with limitations. So when the Flight1 DC-9 was released I got that and removed the Sky Simulations version.

      Good, honest review though

    1. edpatino's Avatar
      edpatino -
      These reviews are undoubtedly too biased in favor of the developers. They should be more objective. This product from Skysim is far for being acceptable in all standards.
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by edpatino View Post
      These reviews are undoubtedly too biased in favor of the developers. They should be more objective. This product from Skysim is far for being acceptable in all standards.
      The opinions in the reviews are those of the reviewer. You are free to disagree. If you think you can do better how about you volunteer to write a review? New authors are always welcome.
    1. bkesten's Avatar
      bkesten -
      I got the DC-9 on sale when it was released on JustFlight and, after a few mods and tweaks, have been very happy with it. Quite frankly, I consider it one of the most underrated add-ons out there.
      Yes, some textures are a bit simple or low resolution, but the look is consistent, memory usage is rather low and frame rates are great. Very keen eyes will also notice that the exterior models are all based on the -30 series, disregarding the altered wing-body fairing on the later models such as the 50s, the angled reversers and the stabilizer dihedral on the -10. But I can't blame the developers for that as it requires really extensive background knowledge.
      There's also a few bugs out of the box, such as the inoperable fuel heat switches in the VC, but nothing too relevant.

      On the upside, you do get all major models in a single package with fitting cockpit layouts. Systems complexity is straight to the point, requiring a bit of studying without going overboard with wasting resources on things that are not relevant in day to day operations. The sound set is quite good as well, capturing the characteristic sound of the JT8Ds.

      After having bought the model, I set out and did some modifications to the package, such as implementing a better cockpit sound system, an aircraft manager for payload, fuel and exit control, a cockpit status save system, altitude callouts, a realistic GPWS, new first officer callouts, rebuilt some instruments to e.g. add automatic V speed bugs to the ASI, fixed some bugs in the systems gauges, remodeled the autopilot modes, fuel, electric and hydraulic systems to real specifications and made the engine spooling more realistic.
      Although you shouldn't ever have to invest additional time into a payware product, the few dozen hours of work were well worth it and the DC-9 is one of the best planes in my hangar.

      If linking to that other big MSFS community isn't a problem, here's a link to the release thread:

      My initial review and other thoughts can be read here:

      I just wish the model got a bit of repainter attention to cover more operators as my painting time is quite limited.

      Still, if you absolutely need ridiculously detailed textures and/or want each and every cockpit switch to be clickable, the Coolsky DC 9-30 is your only option.

      A little remark about the review:
      The DC-9 was not unchallenged at all and the 727 was in a whole other league. It stole some sales from the BAC 1-11, which turned out to be too small for a lot of markets (that's why American got rid of theirs after only a few years), but in turn got competition from the 737. Boeing's short hauler was also the major reason why the stretched -30 and -50 series were introduced.
      The DC-9, believe it or not, was also the major nail in Douglas' coffin as bad program management, too many sales commitments and a part and engine shortage due to increased military demands caused a lot of delays in delivery and a subsequent revenue hit. Despite full order books, Douglas' bottom line for the DC-9 program showed red ink for quite some time before recovering. Hence the merger with McDonnell.
    1. oldcrusty's Avatar
      oldcrusty -
      In general I agree with the reviewer. I thought it was a good simulator model and appreciated the variants, there was a lack of take up of it I thought which meant that repaints were scarce. I also had a number of issues with the installation which ultimately required a reinstallation, thats when the problems started. I was never able to get a response from the producers about the keycodes etc not even a response despite repeated requests. I deleted it from my system and went with the Flight1 McPhat Studios effort which is a DC9-30. Thats all, generally a good model but no after sales service beware!
    1. sith's Avatar
      sith -
      I have the FS2004 DC-9 and it's great specially the wide selection of models others don't offer... I particularly fly the DC-9-15 and I've had a great experience.. once I move to X I will definitely get them again.... I wish they make a DC-8 too!
    1. ftldave's Avatar
      ftldave -
      At least one screenshot pic of the 2D cockpit would have been appreciated. Is it classic 4:3 ratio or 16:9 or ???
    1. DrawyahGames's Avatar
      DrawyahGames -
      Quote Originally Posted by ftldave View Post
      At least one screenshot pic of the 2D cockpit would have been appreciated. Is it classic 4:3 ratio or 16:9 or ???
      Apologies for not including one! There are two versions of the 2D cockpit which you can choose on install, one for 'widescreen' and one for 'standard' monitors.
    1. charvelRAWR's Avatar
      charvelRAWR -
      I cant install the liveries for the Fs2004 version. anyone else had a problem with this?.
    1. Kapitan's Avatar
      Kapitan -
      Quote Originally Posted by edpatino View Post
      These reviews are undoubtedly too biased in favor of the developers. They should be more objective. This product from Skysim is far for being acceptable in all standards.
      hi ed, young and new...right? let me tell you something. The Flight1 version is based in a freeware dc9 cockpit that was around in FS2000 and FS2002 days. Its the same structure, I think the real creator is an italian. Personally I never liked that version, even if theuy managed to get motre knobs and gauges working. The blue background is too cartoonish. This one from sky simulations is far from good compared to the big paywares but it looks more appealing *i dont have it.

      You must remember that vintage airplanes...everybody developpers is lazy, he should go to a museum wherever the conserved plane is and take proper pictures...but they live far away from them and dont do it...prefering current airliners *well there are only two today hahah
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