Captain Sim 767-300 Base Model
By William Werrlein (13 January 2010)
With the very successful Level D 767 many of us wondered why Captain Sim was working on their version of the Boeing 767 after putting it on a long hold a few years ago. Well I can say after seeing the success of the 767 throughout the FS community Captain Sim had to introduce their own 767 with the Captain Sim touch on detail. While both Level D and Captain Sim have their perks and downfalls. I own both and can say I love both of them. With that in mind I present the Captain Sim 767 for FSX.
** Please keep an eye out for two stars as they are important notes**
A Short History On The Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 program was launched in July of 1978. United was the launch customer with 30 Boeing 767-200's. The first 767 rolled out of the hangar August 4, 1981 and the first flight being September 26, 1981. Boeing continued working on the 767 coming up with the 767-300 in September of 1983. The first customer to receive the Boeing 767-300 was Japan Airlines. Boeing continued to work on the 767 trying to beat its rival Airbus. The 767 was Boeing's design to replace the A300 and A310.
Seeing those screen shots on the Pilot Shop who can resist? What an immensely detailed airplane with a full length cabin! My first impression was and still is the same. However with great detail comes great sacrifice. The 767 in my opinion puts the heaviest load on FPS of any of my Captain Sim planes. But there are ways to overcome this issue if you have a NVIDIA graphics card. There are multiple ways to help improve performance; many are explained on YouTube.
The downloadable version of the 767-300 Base Pack is only 69 MB which is a much smaller size than expected considering the detail and features. The 767-300 Base Pack comes with 14 very detailed liveries with many more available to download. The liveries included are Aeroflot (GE), KLM (GE), Air Canada (GE), Air Holland (GE), Varig (GE), Alitalia (GE), Japan Airlines (GE), Qantas (GE), Australian Airlines (GE), Air France (PW), Aerosvit (PW), Lufthansa (PW), Condor (PW), British Airways (RR). As most add-ons do all liveries have a thumbnail with a type of engine next to the name. One feature I did not like was the fact that there is no description of the 767, the only thing in the description box is the version you are running and the Captain Sim logo. At the bottom of the description box it says "see manual" so I think that is what we should do next.
Unfortunately the 767 installer does not include the manual. You must go to the Captain Sim web site and download the manuals for the 767 under the support tab. There are five sections and each has its own manual which seemed a bit sloppy. I'd rather have one manual with different sections devoted to all of the subjects the manuals cover. On a positive note each manual is extremely, extremely detailed. If it were not for the red "DO NOT USE FOR FLIGHT" quote at the top of each page I would honestly think that they were from the real 767!
Captain Sim is well known for their authentic feel in the level of detail that they apply to all of their aircraft. The level of detail on the exterior is immaculate and despite the many complaints about the low FPS (frames per second) you get with this aircraft the level of detail on the exterior you see a very small drop in this aircraft on the exterior than you would on a default plane. Everything is animated on the exterior from the main entrance down the rear cooling flap. Captain Sim has devoted a lot of attention to both the exterior and interior adding animated door handles which can be seen on the interior and exterior, even the emergency exits are animated.
With all of the exterior goodies you get with this aircraft you can simulate all phases of flight including maintenance and securing the plane for parking. The texturing on this aircraft is remarkable and frame rate friendly. All liveries including the liveries available on the Captain Sim site (some McPhat repaints) are extremly detailed with dirt touchups, metal paneling, self shadowing, etc. The gear in my opinion is also very detailed as it even features a noticeable spring used to retract the main gear.
There is an issue with the flaperons which do not droop when lowering the flaps while in the real 767 they do (although Captain Sim has confirmed that it has been forwarded to their development team). On a side note the Captain Sim features an ACE which allows you to add/remove repaints, modify the virtual cockpit/cabin (by removing the cabin) and removing the window reflection which in addition to the cabin can be a real frame rate saver. I will include a little addition on the ACE at the end of the review. This gives you the option to include or remove winglets which I thought was pretty cool. This also repositions the strobe lights to the top of the winglets. If you've ever taken the time to look at the flight deck windows from the exterior you will notice a multi-colored swirl on each window. This is a film on the inside of the windows giving it strength and making it virtually shatterproof (which can be a good thing when you look at this 767).
A feature that I think would go great with this add-on would be emergency exit slides much like the ones on their 727. Unfortunately these are not included in the package and no word on Captain Sim ever including it in a package. I would have also liked to see air stairs. With the animation panel available (shift+3) I think Captain Sim could have possibly added an air stair animation. Overall Captain Sim has gone the extra mile and included this minute but noticeable detail. While some developers believe in sacrificing one aspect of an add-on aircraft for another Captain Sim has decided to sacrifice nothing and truly build the best of the best. I approve of the exterior model and applaud Captain Sim's quality effort into improving add-on aircraft.
Another side note: From what I notice Captain Sim's planes are always getting bigger and better. The C-130 was a hit followed by the 757, followed by the 727, and finally the 767. Throughout the progression of Captain Sims product they always add a lot more in all aspects of detail and realism.
This part of the aircraft puts the heaviest load on your frame rates. The interior, although very detailed, does have some noticeable problems which I'll start off with first. First off the interior VC, cockpit and cabin are misaligned with the main fuselage. In other words when the jetway docks with your aircraft if you are standing at the main door you will see the jetway attach to the space in between the flight deck and the main door (from the cabin) however on the exterior you will see the jet way attached to the corresponding door correctly. This also misaligns the nav and strobe lights which dampens the enjoyment of wing views from the cabin.
Now enough bad, let's cover the good. The cabin is extremely detailed, with the maximum animations allowed by FSX. As with the 757 all of the same features exist in the animation sense. Cockpit windows, doors, rudder pedals, etc. The cabin however features some new animation compared to the 757. One feature I liked about the 767 cabin was that the window shades are dragged down rather than clicked. So you can essentially just crack the window shade as opposed to the 757 where you either had it opened or closed. The economy seats (excluding first class) are animated; you can actually recline the seats for those long hauls like YSSY to KLAX (Kingsford Smith, Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, United States Of America). Not all of the seats and shades are animated. You also have animated meal trays, arm rests, door handles, etc. As you can see in the screen shot the interior door handle when open says "StEnd clear", a misspelling error which can easily be fixed. Night lighting in the cabin is a bit bright but spectacular as is the lighting in the cockpit. Be sure to explore the entire plane as again it has a full length cabin! This is a great feature as no aircraft of its size features the entire cabin.
Here is a complete list of animations taken from the Captain Sim web site:
- Sun Shield (4) L-R
- Nose Wheel Steering Control Handle
- Windshield Handle (2) L-R
- Pilot's Window (2) L-R
- Pilot's Window mechanism (2) L-R
- Control Wheel Clip (2) L-R
- Pilot's Seat (fwd-bwd, up-down) (2) L-R
- Pilot's Seat Head Rest (2) L-R
- Pilot's Seat Arm Rest (4) L-R
- Auxiliary Panel Table
- Transparent Spare Bulbs Cover
- Pilot's coat
- Books (3)
- Wipers (2)
- Control Wheel and Column (2)
- Control Wheel AP Switch (2)
- Control Wheel Trim Switches (4)
- Rudder Pedals (4)
- Rudder Trim
- Aileron Trim (2)
- Rudder Pedals Adjustment Crank (2) L-R
- Landing Gear Lever
- Flaps Control Lever
- Stab Trim Control Lever (2)
- Engine Control Lever (2) L-R
- Engine Reverser Control Lever (2) L-R
- Parking Brakes Control Lever
- Engine Fuel Cutoff Handle (2) L-R
- Engine Fire Shutoff Handle (3) L-R
- Switches (36)
- Guarded Switches (6)
- Buttons (23)
- Selectors (56)
- Knobs (73)
LAVATORY AND GALLEYS:
- Passenger/Service Door (6)
- Door Handles (6)
- Emergency Exits (2) L-R
- Lavatory Door (5)
- Blinds (68)
- Arm Rests (24)
- Passenger Seat (18)
- Seat Tables (18)
- Overhead Compartments
The VC is a great place to fly the aircraft although you will notice a very heavy drop in FPS. However there are ways to counteract this.
FOR NVIADIA CARD USERS:
Go to your control panel->Additional options->NVIDIA control panel->go to manage 3d settings->Under 3D app visual simulation scroll down to the bottom and look for Vertical sync->move to the right and hit "Force off" This improved performance in the cabin vastly for me. There still was a bit of lag but nothing as compared to before.
DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK
The interior has once again carried the legacy of detail that Captain Sim incorporates into all of their software. With that I will give you a good visual of what you can expect from the interior.
The best system simulated is the FMC or FMS. This in my opinion is just better than that of the Level D 767. The 767 does feature a TCAS and weather radar system as well. TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) was quite easy to use and did prevent a few collisions during testing. The TCAS system checks out fine. The weather radar system set to the default 767 weather radar was great. This was not the add-on radar but the radar that comes with the 767 base. It depicted true weather when flying through thunderstorms or large banks of clouds. The radar did not take a bit of time to catch up and depict a true weather reading on the nav display. Every few seconds it rescans itself.
Something that is often not modeled in Flight Simulator is the RAT or Ram Air Turbine. This is a pinwheel that in essence generates just enough electricity for the essential flight controls, radios, and instrument. I tested the RAT and found that I could in fact keep my instruments on but lost my gyro for the artificial horizon. Not good when flying in MVFR, or IFR. With an electrical failure I tried using the radio with the RAT deployed and activated but still no radio. The RAT is more for looks than it is for functionality but it does add a bit of realism to the sim.
The autopilot was easy to use although it did have one very rare but fatal flaw. When on LNAV following my cross country route KLGA->KLAS about 2 hours and 43 minutes into the flight the 767 lost tracks and started circling. I deleted every waypoint and completely erased all data in the FMS. After reprogramming it midflight time and time again I could not get it to follow the pre-programmed course. Not even when using the heading hold. Although this was very rare it's something to keep in mind.
Be sure to align the IRS before moving the aircraft. If you try to simply start the sim and go and try to align the IRS in flight or mid roll you will never get the NAV display back unless your enter you latitude and longitude into the Pos page of the FMC and you switch the IRS from NAV to ATT which can be good if you accidentally move one of the three IRS switches to either Align or Off. The fuel system, well I found this to be a bit unrealistic because you can start both the engines and the APU without ground power without activating the fuel pumps.
Other than a few features such as the IRS and FMC this plane can be used by a beginner. However, anyone wishing to fly this aircraft without knowing how to use the FMC is going to want to give the manual a look over. There is no GPS in this plane although you can upload a route pre-programmed in the FS flight planner into the GPS but other vital information such as weights, winds, SID/STARS must be programmed by hand.
Captain Sim is only on version 1.4 of the 767. This means that there are more updates to come each one improving the aircraft drastically so do not allow the current issues to influence your decision to add the Captain Sim 767 to your hangar.
I found the 767 to have a light feel to it. In fact you will notice this on climb out you can easily over turn or over correct this aircraft. But again Captain Sim does have a 767 pilot in their staff so with time and patience for updates I am sure the dynamics will be updated. The rocking issue reported by both 757/767 users is again rare in the 767 and should be disregarded as it has only affected my flight once out of my entire review period. Stalling the airplane had an odd effect on the 767 with the flaps down. At full thrust and T/O power with full flaps on climb out the airplane yawed all the way to the right then back after I corrected it with rudder. It immediately recovered from the stall and proceeded at full flaps until I could recover with T/O flap's.
Compared the Level D 767 the flight dynamics feel the same really. Other than that the plane was built more towards the systems and the detail. I am not a real 767 pilot so I can't really speak on behalf of the flight dynamics but I'm just saying that they are a little light. I recommend getting the Saitek Pro Flight System as using this with the 767 makes the airplane feel much more realistic especially when using two throttle quadrants instead of one.
Why do I see so many different version of this plane on the Captain Sim product line? Well the method Captain Sim implies is a block system. What they do is they release each model separately hence the 767-300 Base Pack, the Freighter Pack, etc. However once all work is done on the 767 Captain Sim often releases a Pro Pack which includes all packs and models. This will take time as the 767 is Captain Sim's newest creation.
My favorite part of the sound is engine start up. You can really hear all of the components of the turbofan jet engine. The power up from the interior is a bit weak and really doesn't sound like the true thing but the exterior is great. The Captain Sim 767 comes with F/A and captain sounds, i.e., welcome aboard, etc. However they seem to be available at random. In other words sometimes it works but more often than not if doesn't work. You can hear the APU as well but that goes with the cabin announcements. For those of you who have owned the Legendary 727 for FS2004 you know what the announcements sound like they are the exact same sounds except there is no speech when they say welcome onboard this Boeing 7-7 Captain Sim simply cut the two out. I am sure with future updates Captain Sim will add real announcements. Another unique feature is that each engine has its own unique sound. The RR engine does not sound like the P&W engines for instance.
The sounds is great, really can't complain about that part.
A lot of people are posting bad comments about the 767 due to the low frame rates they get with the plane. I urge people to read the system requirements which will be posted below. This is a very, very, very detailed plane and will require a lot of resources. Especially those with FSX. There are a few tips and trick one mentioned above for NVIDIA users. This will remedy the problem for those that have lag. I still did get a bit of lagging especially in the VC but with that fix and a few others I did get a noticeable increase in performance. I recommend this aircraft to anyone who is not sure whether to buy this aircraft or not due to the current bugs. These bugs will be fixed and Captain Sim always welcomes feedback on bugs which they forward to their design team and work the issue out. Anyone who likes to fly from all perspectives including the full length of the passenger cabin. This plane will give you a true feel of what it's like to be on the 767. I enjoyed reviewing it and look forward to a whole new 767 when Captain Sim releases new updates. This aircraft is great for screen shots and moviemakers!
I am currently 18 years old. I am a C/AM1c in the Civil Air Patrol. I am nearing the end of my PPL training and going all the way through ATP. I applied to Embry-Riddle University/Air Force Academy and if accepted will continue with my aeronautics and engineering degree. I also hope to visit the moon. I do plan to apply for the astronaut candidacy program after I graduate and start my aerospace career.
These are minimum system requirements. It is highly recommended you have much more than the minimum requirements to have an error free product.
- PC with 1.5 GHz equivalent or higher processor
- 256 MB of system RAM
- 64 MB DirectX 9 compatible video card
- 500 Mb of free space on the MS FS hard drive
- MicrosoftÂ® WindowsÂ® XP SP2 or Vista
- MicrosoftÂ® Flight Simulator X SP2 or Flight Simulator X Acceleration.
- Windows Vista 32 bit
- 3.00 GB RAM
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ 2.60 GHz
- Geforce GTS 250 Graphics card
- Microsoft Flight Simulator X SP1, SP2, Acceleration
Aerosoft now also sells a boxed version of this as an alternative to Captain Sim's downloadable version; it is available here.
I also recommend the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke+Throttle; worth taking a look into bring your simulator to a whole new dimension of realism.