• ERJ-135/140/145 Panel Project

    ERJ-135/140/145 Panel Project

    By Malcolm Kenworthy (7 December 2001)


    The ERJ-145 at George Bush International Airport in Houston.
    The 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 forward.

    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 Express colors.


    Starting the engines. Notice the fuel page.
    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 trimming.

    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 feet.

    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 speed.

    I taxied to the terminal and completed the shut down checks, after completing a nice flight of 199.1 nm in 50 minutes.


    Touchdown!
       
    Thrust reversers engaged.

    LIKES

    SYSTEM SPECS
    • 1.5 GHz Pentium IV
    • 256 Meg RAM
    • 32 Meg Nvidia GeForce 2 Graphics card
    • 19 inch monitor
    • FS2000 Pro
    • 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 documentation
    • The moving reversers on the aircraft

    DISLIKES

    • 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 package.

    Malcolm Kenworthy
    kennez@another.com

    Download the ERJ panel.

    Download the upgrade from Bill Grabowski's site