• Review: SGA Freeware DC-9-30

    Review: SGA Freeware Douglas DC-9-30

    By Ron Blehm

    First of all I'd like to thank Michael Hayward for writing the review of the Sky Simulations - McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (suggested price: $34.95) on 03-Feb-17. After years of simming I think I have finally found my niche and the twin-engine commuter jets (Embraers) seem to be it. Occassionally I will venture into something else but for the most part, E-jets or Baby Boeings on flights under 1,500 miles. So when I read the part that stated, "...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..." I was taken back to memories of seeing and flying on these old ... "crates".

    So I dug around on my external hard drives and web site features until I found out that back in the FS2004 days I had used the SGA DC-9-30 freeware aircraft on a couple of flights.

    I reinstalled that and looked in the downloads section of www.flightsim.com and found several dozen downloads and repaints. So it was that I set off down the rabbit hole of resurrecting some DC-9s and then completing some flights. This thing is old by technology standards and it shows but for those that don't have $34.95 or don't want to spend that or have much older machines to fly on, this MAY be an option if you are willing to overlook some details and eye candy which Michael has on his version.

    After downloading and repainting some options I've ended up with 25 aircraft in my DC-9 folder.


    I'm using an old 735 cockpit (image above, right) but I got a DC-9 sound pack that is appropriately whiny (I know this is true because from the other room my wife is complaining). I flew from San Fran to San Diego including grabbing of close up of the lack of detail I'm talking about.



    Tags: dc9, dc9-30, douglas, sga

    1. anaismith's Avatar
      anaismith -
      Totally, the only snag is its lack of VC which nowadays is just about essential. I still fly the old Flight 1 DC9 which I must have bought 12 plus years ago and it works OKish in FSX too.
    1. DrawyahGames's Avatar
      DrawyahGames -
      Glad you liked my DC-9 article from a few weeks back! Well-written article, and credit on that landing - Smooth as butter!
    1. swanny's Avatar
      swanny -
      Rabbit-hole indeed!
      I've been repainting and tweaking and I now have 47 of these suckers in my hangar.
      The virtual airline I fly with offered "special wings" for completing an Around the World flight so I'm like, 35-legs into this thing! (more videos on YouTube, search for "pretendpilot")
    1. Erick_Cantu's Avatar
      Erick_Cantu -
      It was decent in its time. Here's some trivia for you: it was the second third-party model to have custom XML animations (the first was the DC-10 re-release). Fraser was able to insert them into models compiled with the FS2002 gamepack with a program he wrote that would look for one of four special parts - user1 through user4 I think - and drop the code in. This was a big step in the pre-SDK days, but four parts was fairly limiting (although an amazing thing at the time).

      The DC-10's special parts were thrust reversers on all three engines plus dynamic wingflex (which was the first custom animation he wrote). The DC-9's were thrust reversers and the outflow valve. Before that, the only option for thrust reversers was the inaccurate default animation, which opened the blocker doors as a percentage of lever deflection - ours opened all the way at idle reverse at a controlled rate, which is normal now, but was new then.

      Ah, memories.
    1. sith's Avatar
      sith -
      IDK if these SGA DC-9's are the same as of those of HJG.. but if they are the same they are great, along with 'em panels they work dandy!... I even deleted my Sky Simulations and headed back to the freeware, the lack of VC is the downside part but the flying and systems are the best!
    1. aerofoto's Avatar
      aerofoto -
      One of many things I (personally) like about Erick CANTU's models (freeware) is that despite the fact many of these are, by now, old models, they still remain "VERY GOOD" models and have "a lot" of life left in them yet.

      They have (what I describe) withstood the test of "TIME" .... and continue ro "SHINE".

      I know .... for a fact .... because we, at HJG, have successfully employed many of Erick's 3D models within our own inventory.

      The HJG DC-9's though are founded on an entirely different 3D model by an entirely different freeware developer, but, Erick's DC-9's will support the HJG offered DC-9 panels, and soundpacks, if used with the HJG FDE .... although the HJG DC-9 FDE may require a bit of tweaking in order to become fully comjpatible with Erick's DC-9 models too.

      Mark C
    1. swanny's Avatar
      swanny -
      Erick and Mark, thanks for the comments, YOU GUYS ROCK!!!
    1. coronado990's Avatar
      coronado990 -
      Holy cow, I never thought we would get the great Erick Cantu responding here!

      Erick I have to say your models are still extremely enjoyable for me. I have all your models accompanied with over 1,500 repaints, which I have amassed over the years.

      I actually recently repainted your DC-9-30 in Purdue Airline colors and uploaded it here, and on Avsim.

      I honestly don't think there has ever been a better freeware classic airliner developer/designer than yourself. I really hope you could get back into it and endow us with some new classic aircraft once again.
      Ah well, one can only dream.

    1. dljolly's Avatar
      dljolly -
      These old models have stood the test of time...still fly FS9 fairly frequently, and these old tried and true planes are front and center in the hangar...
      ...ahh, the days of smoke, noise, and Mach .7x cruise...
    1. xxz's Avatar
      xxz -
      Stil a very good model. I use it with Stellan Hilmerbys excellent Dc-9 panel and .air file
    1. Clutch Cargo's Avatar
      Clutch Cargo -
      Just had to chime in after seeing Eric post here. Definitely remember and used his models back in the day. Keep saying I am gonna see what happens if I drop one of his "mini-masters" into P3D, ha!

      I had heard he moved on from flightsim into train simming... can't recall why? But sure would luv to see what he could do with today's advance developing techniques and simming platforms. Ah... one can only wish.
    1. cajunhustler's Avatar
      cajunhustler -
      I've painted a number if the SGA -9s including Texas International. of which I just started getting the painting bug again after a number of years from being burnt out on it and have revamped my SGA DC-9 custom paint kits and am about to release some new updated texas International paints for it.
      While VC's are cool, i never really cared for them that much. I made custom wing views for the -9s and 727s as well with the exception of FW_Right and FW_Left views which have their own custom cockpit window views.
      Erick's SGA DC-9s are the most accurate of all of the DC-9 models out there, including payware, and if you use Stellan's SAS DC-9 cockpit for it you have a really good 2D panel set up for it.

      Joe DeGregorio
    1. franzair's Avatar
      franzair -
      I like old crates too. DC 9 was a good aircraft back ten years ago. Agree need VC. Best Regards Franzair
    1. coronado990's Avatar
      coronado990 -
      Just a heads up. Erick is back into airliner modelling, and he's working on a nice "baby" now.
      When it's done it would be a sight for sore eyes. It'll be worth the wait. I can't divulge more than this.
    1. dutchman2's Avatar
      dutchman2 -
      I remember reading that Stellan Hilmerbys panel was the base for the work the HJG folks did on their DC-9's.
    1. jaidee's Avatar
      jaidee -
      I am flying, since years, Erick Cantu and Fraser's gems. This article is a great tribute to both of you guy's, you deserve it ! Thanks a lot for a job well done and well appreciated by all flightsimmers !!!
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