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Review: Concorde by DC Designs


Adrian K

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This review was written by Michael Hayward.

DC Design Concorde is available at the store: https://store.flightsim.com/product/just-flight-dc-designs-concorde-for-msfs/

 

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The Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde is perhaps one of the most iconic jets to ever grace the skies. Its sleek design and Mach 2 capability made it a one-of-a-kind to fly, in the awe of the lucky few that managed to fly it.
DC Designs have taken it upon themselves to recreate this iconic jetliner in the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator, their second product on the platform after the release of their F-15 Eagle. A well- respected developer on the platform, they teamed up with Just Flight to work on getting the aircraft system ready and running on the all-new platform.
In this review, we take a closer look at the Concorde for Microsoft Flight Simulator and see if it’s a worthy representation of perhaps the iconic jetliner to ever grace the skies!

 

 

Aircraft Specification
● Crew: 3 (2 pilots + flight engineer)
● Length: 61.66m (202ft 4in)
● Wingspan: 25.6m (84ft)
● Height: 12.2m (40ft)
● Empty Weight: 78,700kg (173,504lbs)
● Maximum Takeoff Weight: 185,070kg (408,010lbs)
● Powerplant: 4x Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593

 

Aircraft Performance
● Range: 3,900nmi (7,223km/4,488mi)
● Rate of Climb: 3,300-4,900fpm
● Service Ceiling: 60,000ft
● Max Cruising Speed: Mach 2.04 (1,177kn)

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Download & Install
Downloading the Concorde is a simple process, using the Just Flight installer to run the process.
When opening the executable file, you are asked to log in to your Just Flight account to verify thatyou own it. You then select your flight simulator folder, and the rest of the process is automated.


Included is a 106-page manual which goes into detail about the operation of Concorde and the different systems and processes in place to help you learn your way around the cockpit. I found this extremely helpful when looking for different switches and systems that are required in normal operation, as well as different calculations in place to help manage your aircraft’s speed, fuel, and altitude requirements. The document may look daunting at first, but with screenshots throughout I highly recommend you go through this as you will certainly learn several handy tricks in getting your aircraft safely from A to B.


Exterior Model
The model of the Concorde looks good. It is certainly screenshot friendly, with several little details added along the skin model, including safety warnings and labels.

 

External textures are done to a 2k resolution, giving you enough detail to produce some good looking aircraft skins, but not overbearing on your GPU memory as 4k textures would be.

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The aircraft includes full animations for all flight surfaces and most important of all, a functioning ‘droop snoot’ which raises and lowers for better cockpit visibility at low altitude and high nose pitch.
When powering the engines up with afterburners active, you can also spot the glow of the afterburners out the rear of the exhaust nozzle, a sight that especially shines at low light levels and when flying at night.

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The Concorde certainly looks the part, the iconic shape of the supersonic passenger jetliner as it waltzes its way through the beautiful landscape of Microsoft Flight Simulator.


There are four liveries included with the Concorde, featuring two different variations of the British Airways livery from Landor to Chatham Dockyard, Air France and also the Singapore Airlines half and half wet-lease that lasted with British Airways for only three years before being blocked by the Malaysian and Indian governments citing environmental and sound issues.


Cockpit and Interior
The cockpit of the Concorde was always small and relatively cramped, with a lot going on around you. Visibility was also somewhat impeded with the pointed nose cone in front, hence the need for the droop snoot when at low speed and low altitude.

 

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Textures are a little more mixed, with the main gauges and panels looking good, but larger areas such as the roof losing out on some detail. Weathering has been applied to all of the panels which do add age to the aircraft, showing that it has been a well-loved and well-used plane over its 27 years of operation (fun fact, the default British Airways Chatham Dockyard livery used featured tail code G-BOAD which was the most flown Concorde with 23,397 hours in flight).


The aircraft also features the front portion of the cabin. This includes the 2 by 2 seating arrangement of the Concorde as well as the speed, altitude, and temperature gauges on the front cabin wall. Once you’re up at cruise and want to sit back to enjoy your flight from the passenger's perspective as you cross over to Mach 2 then this can certainly be done with some glee!

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The interior certainly looks the part, but some higher-resolution textures here and there won’t go amiss in future updates.


Buttons, Gauges and Functionality
The Concorde required a three-man crew to operate, so don’t be too afraid if your first couple of attempts do not go to plan.


The aircraft features a full cockpit and engineer’s bay, of which you will need to operate the majority of the functionality. This means managing the electrical and fuel systems from the back, as well as the main aircraft operation from the front.


All main systems are functional, including autopilot (with both NAV and GPS systems configurable) and overhead panel with full artificial feel (early age Yaw Damper) integrated. The cockpit is certainly leaning towards the advanced sides of operation, but simplistic enough for even a beginner to slowly find their way around the plane.


There is some respite however as during a cold and dark start-up of the Concorde, there is some light ‘auto engineer’ functionality which will operate several switches on your behalf to help you walk through the aircraft process. It also features a full in-sim interactive checklist which will show and highlight different switches that you need to select, so help is certainly at hand!

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One glaring difference to the real aircraft however is the lack of an Inertial Reference System (INS) within the cockpit. DC Designs commented that they were unable to implement such a system at this time, but it’s something they want to investigate and add potentially at some stage in the future.


Instead, we are left with a Flight Management Computer (FMS) based on the default Airbus A320 unit, but skinned and modified in such a way to suit the cockpit environment. It certainly looks the part, and for those that may not be so advanced in 1960s aircraft systems, it’s something that certainly will help you in gaining familiarity with the plane. Letters are input by selecting the number keys a certain number of times (think back to texting on old Nokia phones) and inputting the information on their correct keys.


Overall, the cockpit is certainly a work of art, and while there may be the odd system that is not historically accurate, enough is going on to give you the feel of flying the Concorde.


Sound
Sounds in the Concorde have been recreated extremely well. DC Designs have done well to get the roar of the Olympus engines at their different stages of throttle output, as well as the burst of the afterburners when doing your takeoff run.


Crossing the sound barrier and speeding up beyond Mach 1 and 2, the aircraft from external views then falls silent. This is done with the Doppler effect in mind, as positioning the camera in front of the aircraft will only sound a quiet whisper of wind but moving it behind will sound the roar of the engines as well as that iconic sonic boom as the sound waves catch up with each other. It’s quite something to behold and has been very well represented in this aircraft.

 

Flight Dynamics
With its delta wing and focus on high speed, Concorde was not always the easiest aircraft to fly. It certainly performed in its rolls, feeling more like a fighter jet than a commercial jetliner at times.


Pitch however can feel sluggish when at low speed and especially in your approaches, meaning you have to focus a lot more time on keeping your aircraft up and steady when on final approach at around 180kts.

 

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Once up to speed and crossing over the sound barrier, the aircraft becomes some of the most dynamic things flying. It can be agile in turns with strong pitch control, but keep in mind you are flying a commercial passenger jet and therefore it’s all about the comfort of your passengers over having a bit of fun.


It takes a moment to get used to the controls of the Concorde, but once you get a feel for it, you’ll certainly have a supersonic blast!


Opinion and Closing Remarks
DC Designs have certainly made valiant work on the Concorde and the result is certainly impressive.


It may miss one of two smaller details around the edges, but overall, we are looking at something that looks the part, feels the part, sounds the part and most importantly of all, works. At the end of the day, it’s a Concorde in Microsoft Flight Simulator and I’m all for it!

 

There may be the odd detail that’s rough around the edges, but it’s something that the developer has stated they are working to improve upon, with several updates already out since release and many more that are on the way.


If you are looking for something that’s iconic and not necessarily the most difficult to get up and running, or you’re a fan of the iconic bird that was the Concorde (and trust me, who isn’t!) then this is definitely one to look out for to add to your virtual hangar!


The Technical Bit
Minimum Requirements

  •  Microsoft Flight Simulator (i.e., the 2020 Standard, Deluxe or Premium Deluxe edition - NOT FSX or any previous edition)
  • Processor: Intel i5-4460 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200 (Intel i5-8400 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X recommended)
  • RAM: 8GB (16GB recommended)
  • Graphics card: Nvidia GTX 770 / AMD Radeon RX 570 (NVidia GTX 970 / AMD Radeon RX 590 recommended)
  • Operating System: Windows 10/11
  • Sound: Sound card, speakers, or headset
  • Peripherals: Joystick or compatible game controller (e.g. Xbox One Controller for Windows)
  • 1.6GB hard drive space

 

Review PC Spec

  • Windows 10 Professional
  • 6 th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 6700K Processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660

DC Design Concorde is available at the store: https://store.flightsim.com/product/just-flight-dc-designs-concorde-for-msfs/

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WOW!

For once, I'm speechless. Your post says it all.

  • Thanks 1

Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

phrog x 2.jpg

Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

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What DC did

 

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What the real Concorde looks like, with nice and clean paintwork and not greeted with ugly panelling at the entrance In fact the real Concorde is not assembled like the DC model..
I bought it to photograph and why I feel I wasted my money and was disappointed on the way the DC skin looks .....  AS ALWAYS THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL..... 
concorde-gigapixel-standard-scale-2-00x.

 

 

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I wondered if BA and AF were any different. Here is a detail of a BA nose.

BA Concorde Nose.jpg

  • Like 1

Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

phrog x 2.jpg

Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

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