Ultimate Ground Crew X
Today's flight simulation platformshave become more complex than ever, namely due to advancements invideo rendering technology, and also the expansion capabilities of thenumerous flight simulator platforms we use. As a result, enjoyment forthe simmer today is not only about using a great simulator, but alsoabout acquiring the "sometimes" necessary third-party products thatenable the experience to be as real as possible.
FS2Crew's Ultimate Ground Crew X revitalises your flight simexperience by giving you a complete airport ground crew supportpackage that supports sim pilots by using real-world modelling,methods, communications, and procedures. It is truly the mostexciting, powerful and feature rich ground crew program now availablefor FSX and P3D. The user interface is easy to navigate, and allowsyou to get set up with ground crew support services in 99.9% ofairports in the simulator (both default and third party)! The groundcrew support services provided in this package include:
- Pushbacks (with Advanced Pushback Options)
- Engine Start at Stand (Pushback not required - Ideal for Business Jets, Military and GA planes)
- Custom Pushback Routes (Routes can be saved and shared)
- Fire Truck
- Follow Me Car
- Marshalling at Stand
- Animated Ground Crew (Wing Walker options)
- Customized Aircraft Offsets
- Available at every airport (default and 3rd party).
- Works with 99.9 percent of all aircraft (Airline and GA)
Installation And Setup
When I say that FS2Crew's Ultimate Ground Crew X is extremely easyto use, I say it from the point of view of a simmer who wants toinstall this product and have it up and running in 5 to 10 minutesmaximum. Well, UGCX does exactly that with a seamless installationprocess, and a simple user interface that configures every aircraftbased on its own profile quickly so that the ground crew services canbe realized at every airport.
The installation provides multi-platform support for P3D version 4and 5, FSX boxed and Steam:
UGCX Configuration Manager
Once installed, open the UGCX Configuration Manager on yourdesktop, and download all of the manuals in a .ZIP format:
The Ops Manuals
Download your manuals and unzip them using to a temporaryfolder. It should look like this:
This is principally where your UGCX experience starts, as thesoftware needs to be configured for each aircraft. You will need toread the manuals labelled:
- Configuring Ramp Agents
- Working with Aircraft Offsets
Aircraft Profile Configuration
Remember, every aircraft needs to be configured ...but it'seasy. From the main User Interface which you can open from: Add-onsmenu > Ultimate Ground Crew X, you go to 'Options', then to 'AircraftProfile Options'. Here is the interface that you will use to setupyour aircraft profile.
This is how it will look in the sim. It shows you the position ofthe Marshaller (middle) and the Bypass Pin Agent (both left and rightsides of the cockpit). Just use the sliders to make them allvisible. These same positions are where the agents will be standingduring the ground crew animations.
Marshaller: Uses the position of the parking spot in thesim. Wherever the gate is located in the airport, the marshaller willalways be in this position in relation to your aircraft, so as todirect you to the exact location where your aircraft will spawn at thegate, hence he directs your aircraft to the gate as it is located inthe sim. Perfect every time!
Pin Agents (left and right): After pushback, the pin agent willwalk to this position to signal to you that the pins have been removedand all equipment is clear. The left side is normally used as you areon the left seat of the aircraft.
Customize Aircraft Offsets
The second and final setup requirement is to customize the aircraftoffsets, which allows the pushback feature to know where the requiredpoints are in the aircraft:
This image is set to Aircraft Tow Bar Connection Point. Simplyadjust the position of the X and Y axes to the position as it islocated in your aircraft. Remember to click 'Save into Profile' afteryou adjust each one. You need to set the location for:
- Left wheel location
- Right wheel location
- Nose wheel location
- Tow bar connection point
- Main exit door location
And that's it! Now your FS2Crew Ultimate Ground Crew X is readyfor use in 99.9% of airports in the sim, including third party add-onairports.
Review Of The Features
FS2Crew's Ultimate Ground Crew X has brought my sim experience to anew level of enjoyment. The easy-to-use interface allows me toinitiate the crew support service with ease.
Marshaller at the Gate
I would say that this is just as reliable at the Visual DockingGuidance System (VDGS) available from SODE. Have you ever experiencedthat precision? Well UGCX's marshaller is just as accurate and fun touse! The marshalling at the gate is the most unique experience, as themarshaller correctly directs your aircraft to the exact spot where youwill spawn if you went directly to that gate using the simulator'sairport navigation interface.
First select the gate that you want to use.
This map feature identifies all the gates at the airport foryou. It totally replaces the need for an aerodrome chart. Just findyour desired gate, click on it and that's it. You marshaller will bealready spawned and waiting for your arrival.
Look at how accurate the marshaller is. The aircraft is on the line.
Great feature, and very accurate, based on the parking location ofthe sim. Exceptional quality, and rated 5 out of 5 points.
The Pushback Sequence
Here is where your value for money comes in. This is the primaryfeature of FS2Crew's UGCX, and is what first comes to mind whendeciding on what ground crew service product to purchase. To me, thisis the first point of call for the simmer, as we all need pushbackservices from the gate. The pushback service provided can only bedescribed as the best, and most advanced I have experienced!
First of all, let me show you the pushback tugs that are modelled:
It begins as the tug approaches the aircraft and the crew connectsto the ground-communication device. Communication with the ground mayeither be done through the menu control, or via voice control. Voicecontrol has multiple language support.
There are two methods of defining the route that the crew will useto pushback your aircraft, and the eventual point of disconnection.
Computer Defined Pushback Route
The computer defined pushback route is the easiest to use, and isadvanced enough to allow the aircraft to be pushed to an appropriatepoint on the taxiway (on the line). No random business here. You canpreview your pushback route with a unique map viewer:
The parkway that I used here did not have a close-by taxiway, sothe aircraft was pushed back to the closest point. Confirm whether youwant to face left or right, and that's it!
User Defined Pushback Route
The User Defined Pushback Route is what you can use to get youraircraft out of certain tight gate position. Here is the route after Ihave configured it:
Right click on any spot to add a turn waypoint, and then do it asecond time to state the aircraft's stop position. You can add as manywaypoints as you like!
Great value. Very fun to use. Accurate every time! 5 out of 5 points!
The Follow-Me Car
UGCX includes a well modelled and fully animated follow mecar. After exiting the runway, you can spawn this vehicle right infront of you. Just select the gate you want to go to (like themarshaller feature), and the follow-me car will appear in front ofyou.
Speed is important!
You must watch your speed with this car. Be professional and keepyour speed below 25 knots, or the car will wiggle, go berserk, andspeed off, forcing you to spawn another one. Don't accelerate tooquickly. If your speed is too high, the feature will not work. Taxiproperly and professionally.
Your marshaller will be waiting at the gate automatically.
Very reliable feature. It is a must have for your sim. 5 out of 5 points.
Tow To Parking
UGCX provides you with the capability to save fuel after landing,as you can shut down your engines and request to be towed to yourparking area. This feature raises the bar for flight simfunctionality, giving the simmer a glimpse of being a real life pilotas he requests to be towed to a distant gate at a large airport,rather than taxiing and wasting gallons of fuel!
First select your gate, then a tow truck will appear in front ofyou and connect to your aircraft.
You will then be towed directly to your desired gate. You can holdposition and continue taxiing at your discretion.
Control The Taxi Speed
You can adjust your speed depending on the taxiway you are on. Inan open area, select 18 knots, however, in more clustered areas,select 9 knots.
The towing tug brings never before seen realism to your simexperience, and it's very easy to use! 5 out of 5 points.
The Fire Truck Emergency Service
So what if you come in on a mayday and have to perform an emergencylanding? Will someone be there to support you after you land?Absolutely! UGCX includes a beautifully animated fire truck that canspray foam at your aircraft (if you want foam), or just monitor you onthe runway while your passengers disembark.
Very nice animation, and great value as an added feature. The firetruck is very realistic and fun to look at. 5 out of 5 points.
Simmer To Simmer Opinion
Well I must say that I am very impressed. FS2Crew's UltimateGround Crew X has really taken my simming experience up another level!I am even more addicted to my sim, given the advanced and easy-to-usefeatures provided by UGCX, and it's so affordable. It is one of thebest products available for the sim today in my opinion and comeshighly recommend.
Purchase FS2Crew - Ultimate Ground Crew X for FSX/P3D
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