The ERJ-145 at George Bush International Airport
subject of this review is the brilliant ERJ Panel Project by Bill
Grabowski of Freeware Panel Designers Association. I first heard
about this while looking at a message board on another Flight
Simulator web site, and decided to download it, as I had nothing to
lose. The download was a hefty 8 meg, and installation was straight
First, as I always do, and I suggest others ought to do this, I
looked at the documentation that came in .pdf format. There are
three documents that require reading, plus an ILS chart for Corpus
Christi International (KCRP). I printed out the checklist and
introductory flight information, and then fired up Flight Simulator
2000 (it also works brilliantly in FS2002 when the latest update is
installed). I loaded the introductory flight from the Select Flight
menu, and waited for the flight to load. I was greeted by a view of
the great ERJ-145 series aircraft by Nick Botamer in Continental
Starting the engines. Notice the fuel
I followed the information in the guide, and soon got the panel set
up for pushback and start, after setting the FGC (Flight Guidance
Controller) and radios. I then loaded the flight plan, closed the
aircraft doors (this is done by turning on the rotating beacon) and
calling for pushback. After pushing back, I started the engines and
set the aircraft up for departure by entering 'V' speeds and
Cruising at 22000 feet across Texas.
After taxiing to the active runway and holding short for a final
check (this is done by pressing the 'T/O CONFIG CHECK' button) I
taxied onto the runway and began the takeoff roll. The wheels
lifted off dead on V2, and I was away climbing at 14 degrees,
inadvertently testing the stall characteristics by over rotating. I
retracted the flaps at 151 knots and set climb thrust. Once up at
4000 feet, I made a right turn and completed the after takeoff
checks. I then started my climb to 22000 feet, climbing at 240
knots below 10000 feet, and 290 knots after 10000 feet, remembering
to change the altimeter setting to 29.92 for flight above 18000
Once up at 22000 feet, I had a look around the interior views,
and found I had a co-pilot!
Joe the First Officer.
I started a 2500 fpm descent 12.9 nm from HYNES intersection and
got the ATIS for Corpus Christi. I then completed the In Range
checks (setting reference speeds, etc.). I followed the
instructions in the manual, and set my Nav1 for the ILS. As I
intercepted the localizer, I lowered the gear, and set 22 degrees
of flaps. Slowing to 137 knots, I dropped 45 degrees of flaps and
completed the landing checks.
I crossed the threshold slightly high, but dead on 127 knots,
and remembered to go for the double flair needed in this type of
aircraft. I then engaged reverse thrust and slowed to taxi
I taxied to the terminal and completed the shut down checks,
after completing a nice flight of 199.1 nm in 50 minutes.
Thrust reversers engaged.
1.5 GHz Pentium IV
256 Meg RAM
32 Meg Nvidia GeForce 2 Graphics card
19 inch monitor
The panel, with accurate gauges and a moving yoke
The introductory flight
The moving yoke and rudder pedals
The co-pilot in the right seat
The flight dynamics are really accurate
The moving reversers on the aircraft
No sounds for the aircraft
Overall, I give this brilliant panel/aircraft package 98/100.
The other two marks could have been gained by the inclusion of a
sound package for the aircraft.
Until next time, when I will (hopefully!) be reviewing a FS2002