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Review: Aerosoft CRJ 550/700 For MSFS 2020

CRJ 550/700 For MSFS

Publisher: Aerosoft

Review Author:
Joshua Moore

Suggested Price:


Introduction And History

The Bombardier CRJ is a commercialairliner that has become synonymous with traveling on regional routesaround the world. Having first entered service in 1992 with LufthansaCityline, it has since become one of the most popular regionalairliners on the market, with 1,945 aircraft delivered when itfinished production in December of 2020. The smallest variant of theCRJ, the 100/200 model, is very well known throughout the UnitedStates as being cramped and uncomfortable, but super fun to fly fromthe pilot's perspective. The longer and slightly more liked CRJ550/700 is a stretched version of the original, and the CRJ 900 and1000 are lengthened even further. Aerosoft's CRJ for Microsoft FlightSimulator focuses on the CRJ 550/700, with an expansion pack for the900 and 1000 coming in the near future. Throughout this review I havehad a fantastic experience flying the CRJ around the United States andEurope, and I invite you to join me going through the first intensivesystems payware airliner for MSFS 2020!

Disclaimer: when I say my friend, I am referring to a goodfriend of mine who is a CRJ captain. He picked up a trip that had alayover at the airport close to me and we met up to go through thesystems. I am referring to much of what he said in thisreview. Enjoy!

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The tablet included in the aircraft is quite functional, but Iwould like to see some more improvements, including Navigraph chartsand Simbrief compatibility. These two enhancements have becomemainstream in flight simulators such as X-Plane 11 with its tabletseen in the Zibo. The Tablet does give you the ability to load theaircraft payload and fuel and has a great set of options to customizeyour aircraft. One thing I saw was the ability to have either a singleor dual cue flight director, and as far as my friend knows, the CRJdoes not have a dual cue FD, only the single cue, so that is what Ifly with on the CRJ.


Documentation And First Impressions

I first started going through the documentation provided byAerosoft, and there is plenty of it split into 6 volumes! Included isa 187 page operating manual split into 2 parts with plenty of photos,a QRH, a tutorial flight, an FMS guide, checklist and muchmore. Reading all of it will take you a good bit of time, that ofwhich I don't have. Instead, I watched the excellent video series byTheDude on YouTube, and met up with my friend who is a CRJ Captain fora regional airline. The result is one of the most amazing aircraftexperiences I have had, with even the smallest details being recreatedin perfect working order. I sent a few screen shots to my friend, andhe thought it was the real aircraft, which says a lot about thelengths Aerosoft has gone to replicating this aircraft. The firstdownside I noticed is that ever so present issue of aircraft being toounused. There is hardly any paint chipping, dirt, dust or grimeanywhere in the cockpit or on the exterior, which is a bit of ashame. I hope Aerosoft will add a worn texture option in a futureupdate, as many, including myself, would love to have it.

FPS is one area that many have had issues with, and while the CRJdid have some FPS issues for me, after the update, those weregone and I enjoy 30-40 FPS, even in NYC on high settings. Theexperience thus far has been quite enjoyable and I've seen no majordrops in FPS when compared to the FBW A320.

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Exterior Model And Texturing

Aerosoft is known for their highly detailed add-ons, and thispackage is no exception. The exterior model is superbly detailed downto the landing lights being modeled in 3D, and individual screws andrivets being clearly visible on the exterior. Using the drone cam, myfriend went through a full walk-around looking at the model andtexture work, and was stunned at the level of accuracy. He did jokeabout how clean the aircraft was, but was very impressed with how farflight simulators have come in replicating aircraft. The only detailhe noticed missing were the brake wear pins on the main gear, whichcould be added by Aerosoft in an update.

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Interior Model And Texturing

After finishing the walk-around, he went into the interior to checkout the flight deck. He really appreciated how good it looked,sometimes remarking how close it was to the real thing, though again,joking about how clean it looked. Each of the switches, buttons, andknobs have varying sounds which add to the immersion on the flightdeck, and the textures are very well done, making it one of the nicervirtual cockpits I have seen. Each of the CRT displays are the mostrealistic representations I have ever seen on an add-on aircraft. Theylook perfect with their 3D appearance and washed out colors. Theentire flight deck is well detailed and really helps this aircraft outa lot! As far as downsides, there is a virtual cabin, but you have todo the window view trick to access it from the interior view, asopening the flight deck door is impossible to do. Even FS2004 hasaircraft with the ability to open the cockpit door and walk around thecabin. The next big downside with the cabin is that of its quality. Itdoes not live up to the standards of modern flight simulators. It isvery low quality in terms of both texture and poly count, and has alot of room for improvement. The rest of the interior view however isgreat!

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Night Lighting

I would like to take a moment to just appreciate how incredible thenight lighting of the CRJ is. It is a work of art and just looksbeautiful from every angle. FS2020 just really shines in this aspectof making the CRJ look incredible at night. There isn't much else tosay, so just enjoy these photos!

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For anyone that is into systems and has waited on getting FS2020till now for this reason, I can report that the CRJ breaks thatnarrative. As my friend and I were going through the systems, he wentthrough the entire sequence from a cold and dark start, to ready fortaxi, and found just a couple of things wrong with the systems. Thesewere only small details however and there were no major componentsmissing that he found during the first flight procedures. He didnotice the weather and terrain radar not working, with the rainbow andchecker board test missing, however this will be implemented in afuture update according to Aerosoft, as good terrain and weather radarare not possible at the moment. In all, he was very impressed with howwell the aircraft performed on a systems level. It is able to fly LNAVpretty well, though it's in need of improvement still, and the ILScapture abilities for me at least were mostly fixed. I did see someonecomplaining that it was not doing an RNAV correctly, however the CRJhas no LPV capability, so it's inability to fully use an RNAV approachis accurate.

The HGS system is one feature I really enjoy, though I find it onlyusable at nighttime, as it is almost impossible to see during theday. Sadly it is not collimated as supposedly Microsoft doesn'tsupport it yet. I hope to see that added soon!

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Flight Characteristics And Sounds

The Flight dynamics of the CRJ are for the most part very accurate,however the pitch is a bit springy, and makes flaring a bit of an artto master. This may be on my end though, as my yoke is about 10 yearsold and has seen better days, with the pitch axis sometimes stickingon me. The climb performance on the 550 and 700 is like as my friendsaid, a rocket ship, with low level climb performance being reallygood on initial climb out. This degrades considerably once reachingthe flight levels however, and if you go into a cloud that is belowfreezing level, any chance of you climbing at a decent rate isgone. For this reason, I've set icing to visual only as the icingeffect is too overdone and needs work from Asobo's side. In all otheraspects this aircraft is a joy to hand fly, and I love flying it withthe autopilot off for a little!

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The Aerosoft CRJ is the first of hopefully many high level systemspacked aircraft to come to Microsoft Flight Simulator. It is one ofthe most enjoyable aircraft to fly and I thoroughly enjoyed everyminute of it. For $50.99 it is right down the middle of the line interms of cost, and really is a great price for what you get! If youare looking for a high quality regional jet to fly in FS2020, thisshould be your go to aircraft. It has some small bugs but Aerosoft isactively working on fixing them, and I have had an absolute joy flyingthis aircraft to many new destinations across the US and Europe!

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Joshua Moore


Purchase Aerosoft - CRJ 550/700 for MSFS 2020

Purchase Aerosoft - CRJ 550/700/900/1000 Bundle

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