MB-339 For MSFS
The following is a direct quote from Wikipedia:
The Aermacchi MB-339 is a military jet trainer and light attackaircraft designed and manufactured by Italian aviation companyAermacchi.
The MB-339 was developed during the 1970s in response to an ItalianAir Force requirement that sought a replacement for the service'sexisting fleet of Aermacchi MB-326. Its design was derived from thatof the MB-326, rather than a new design, and thus the two aircraftshare considerable similarities in terms of their design. Aermacchihad found that the MB-339 was capable of satisfying all of thespecified requirements while being the most affordable optionavailable. The maiden flight of the MB-339 took place on 12 August1976; the first production aircraft were delivered two yearslater.
Roughly half of all MB-339s entered service with the Italian AirForce, while the remainder have been sold to various exportcustomers. As well as being used for training, the type is also flownby the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic display team. The type has been usedin combat by both the Eritrean Air Force during the Eritrean-EthiopianWar of 1998-2000 and the Argentine Naval Aviation during the FalklandsWar of 1982. In both conflicts, the MB-339 was typically flown as anattack aircraft. In Italian service, the aircraft is intended to bereplaced by the newer Aermacchi M-345.
- Powerplant: Rolls-Royce Viper Mk. 632 turbojet engine
- Span: 10.86 m (35 ft 8 in)
- Maximum Weight: 5,897 kg (13,001 lb) (with external stores)
- Capacity: 2 pilots
- Maximum Speed: 898 km/h (558 mph, 485 kn) at sea level
- Maximum Range: 1,760 km (1,090 mi, 950 nmi) (internal fuel)
Cost and Installation
Downloading the product from store.flightsim.com was easy andstraightforward with just a couple of clicks with a mouse. Installingwas even easier, simply "drag and drop" the aircraft into thecommunity folder. I was surprised that there wasn't an .exe file torun for the installation, but even so it was really easy.
At the time of this review the MB-339 was priced at a $23.43 fromstore.flightsim.com.
The aircraft comes with a 65 page manual which details variousaspects of the aircraft. These include:
- A list of updates
- Design specifications
- Cockpit layout
- Checklist and procedures
A walk through start-up procedure is included within the manual toget you off the chocks quickly. Given how "old school" this aircraftis, there isn't a great deal of difficulty in getting her started.
The cockpit of the aircraft is made up of predominantly steamdriven gauges which shows just how old this aircraft is, althoughthere are signs that she has been given a few modern touches such ashaving a GPS on the right hand console. The modelling and texturingare superb, a lot of attention to detail has been given to give you asense of the aircraft being used intensively; this is only aided bythe implementation of PBR. As you look around the cockpit you can seewhere the paint has been worn away, all we seem to be missing is thesmell.
As well as the cockpit is modelled the system level is becomingmore comprehensive as updates come through. This version of the MB-339has been designed so that you can jump in and fly rather than havingto run through checklists and procedures but you of course can do justthat if you wish too. There isn't too much difference between the twocockpits included, the only notable difference is the gunsight. Speaking of the gun sight, I was disappointed that no symbologycan be displayed. I believe that it is a limitation of the sim at themoment due to lack of documentation with the SDK and that it will bepresent in the "Pro" version should that come to fruition. The rearcockpit is also not modelled which is a little disappointing as itwould have been nice to have even if it isn't a full in-depth systembased aircraft.
Overall the cockpit is a lovely environment to fly from, themodelling and texturing is the usual high standard from this developerand given that this version of the aircraft isn't a "study level"add-on, the system depth is sufficient to be able to have a greatexperience and still feel challenged.
Inspecting the aircraft from the external view you can see theamount of love and attention that has been given to the details, shereally looks superb. The aircraft features PBR materials which adds anice effect particularly when the light hits the surfaces fromspecific angles. The pilot figures have to be my favorite part of theexternal model, they are really well detailed and have animationswhich add a level of realism that is a first for this developer.
Included in the package are seven highly detailed 8K textures fromvarious air forces around the world that have operated the aircraftincluding the world famous aerobatic team, the Frecce Tricolori. As Ihad a look around the liveries included I was amazed at the level ofdetail that the textures have. There is a nice level of dirt appliedto give the impression that these old jet trainers have seen someservice.
In real-life the aircraft can be fitted with various externalstores, however, in this rendition there is no option to toggle forany store which is disappointing and something that would have addedan extra level of realism and detail. Also at the time of writing thisreview, there is no ground equipment modelled such as chocks orblanks, also there is no smoke system due to a limitation within thesim, hopefully this will change as the SDK becomes more complete.
Overall the external model is stunning and I am really impressed with it.
Inside the cockpit they have captured sounds for the switches, agentle humming in the background. The little murmuring sound theengine makes as it begins to spool up is lovely. I use a headset whenI fly and the immersion you can gain from the sound alone isincredible, it forces you to almost feel the engine throbbing. As youslowly increase the throttle, watching an increasing RPM, the soundbecomes a gentle roar.
From the external views the sound this aircraft generates becomeseven more intense and changes as you pan around the aircraft. From thefront you can hear a high pitched howl as the air is sucked down theintakes and at the rear is where you get the lovely roar that isgenerated as you push the throttles forward. It is surprising how muchnoise can be generated from such a small little engine, but I wasimpressed with how well captured they seem when I compared them tovideos of the aircraft.
It is worth noting that depending on the sound system you use willdepend on what experience you have, I use a headset and the immersionis fantastic.
The flight dynamics are an interesting point I believe. We are in anew era for our flight simulation world and it is worth noting thatyou should not have the legacy flight model mode enabled. I found thatshe is quite tricky to control on the ground, particularly on thetake-off role, but this could be due to my rudder settings as I wasyawing all the way down the runway; how I didn't destroy myundercarriage is anyone's guess, but as mentioned I am putting thisdown to my control setup. Once the wheels leave the ground though, sheis a delight to fly. The design of a straight wing makes for a verymanoeuvrable aircraft and there is enough thrust to ensure that youleave the earth behind you with some pace.
Carrying out aerobatics is quite fun, as I mentioned above theaircraft is quite manoeuvrable and carrying out loops and rolls arestraightforward and easy enough to carry out, I found that theaircraft handled them well although the developer does state that dueto the limitations of the sim the "Lomcovak maneuver" can not becarried out. I did struggle to stall the aircraft and even when I didthere were no warnings in the form of audio tones or cautions. I wasalso unable to spin the aircraft successfully. Circuits were a littlebit of a challenge at the beginning but once you have gotten used tothe controls of the aircraft then they aren't too difficult.
My thoughts on this aircraft can be summarised with one word -exceptional. Whilst it can't be labelled as a study level aircraft, itstill provides you with great challenges and a great sense ofachievement. It is worth noting that this is the first MSFS nativemilitary jet aircraft that has been built to a high standard without acomplete SDK (at the time of writing). Knowing the previous productsthat this developer has produced, I am sure the aircraft will only gofrom strength to strength as updates become available.
Overall I would rate this aircraft a solid 8/10.
Recommended: Due to the high-detail model and textures, we suggestto use the MB-339 on systems that meet or exceed the followingrequirements:
- CPU: 3.5 GHz quad core processor or better
- GPU: at least 4 GB dedicated memory, Nvidia 960 or better recommended
- RAM: 6.0 GB minimum
- Hard Disk: 1.8 GB required for installation
- Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz (Coffee Lake) Socket LGA1151 Processor
- Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 PC4-25600C16 3200 MHz
- Asus GeForce RTX 2080 Dual OC 8192 MB GDDR6 PCI-Express Graphics Card
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home Advanced
- Samsung 1TB 860 EVO SSD 2.5" SATA 6Gbps 64 Layer 3D V-NAND Solid State Drive
Purchase IndiaFoxtEcho - MB-339 for MSFS 2020
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