• Review: iFly Jets 747-400

    Systems And Documentation

    When it comes to the systems of this add-on, iFly really has left me speechless. In additional to the complete set of gauges and comprehensive FMC as outlined before, there are several other key features that are modelled.

    An example of this comprehensive programming is in the hydraulics systems. The switches that control the hydraulic systems are not merely aesthetic but really do affect the way the control surfaces move. From the Boeing 747 Operators' Manual the hydraulic systems load is as follows:

    "Systems 1 and 4 power the trailing edge flaps, landing gear, normal brakes (SYS 4), alternate brakes (SYS 1), and steering. Systems 1 and 4 also provide redundant power to the primary flight controls. Systems 2 and 3 power the primary flight controls, stabilizer trim, and elevator feel. System 2 also powers the alternate brakes and lower yaw damper. System 3 powers the upper yaw damper. Systems 1, 2, and 3 power the related center, right, and left autopilot servos. Systems 2, 3, and 4 power the spoilers."

    For those who prefer a visual representation of the systems:

    iFly 747 systems

    Indeed, when testing the aircraft, switching off all but system 1 results in operative spoilers, and powering on only systems 3 and 4 results in operative spoilers across the aircraft, but only flight controls on the right side respond to control inputs.

    Beyond the hydraulic systems, there are dozens of other systems that have been modelled in-depth, including the electrical, fuel and air systems. Detailed explanations for the operations of these systems can be found in the "iFly 747 Operator's Manual" under <root folder>\iFly\744\Manual. I strongly recommend a good readthrough of the manuals if you wish to understand more about the Boeing 747.

    Flight Dynamics

    In order to better understand how the aircraft works and handles, I followed along on the tutorial flight, a step by step guide for a flight from London Heathrow to San Francisco International Airport, with the flight time at just over 10 hours without time acceleration.

    iFly 747

    Our tutorial first takes us not to the simulator, but to the aircraft configurator where we must set the payload and fuel for the flight. As per the instructions, we took aboard 382 passengers and just over 20 tons of cargo. A minor complaint I have regarding this process would be that there is no option to simply input a passenger number. To get 382 passengers, I found myself selecting the full 416 passengers and clicking away till the number of passengers dwindled down to 382. Perhaps there's a better solution to this, but I haven't discovered that from poking around the configurator.

    The fuel loading was especially interesting. Whilst you are able to input the desired quantities of fuel into each tank yourself, the 747 has a somewhat complex fuel management system, where fuel must be delicately managed to feed the main tanks to ensure that the aircraft is balanced throughout the flight. For this, the iFly 747 configurator automatically spreads the fuel load correctly amongst the tanks as per iFly's programmed "fuel logic".

    After loading the passengers and fuel, iFly guides the user through several pages of settings, which should be set correctly for the systems to function properly. Amongst other customizations, a key point to note when prepping the aircraft is to ensure that metric units are used in the simulator. This is to ensure that the FMC handles weights correctly when performing our preflight later on.


    3 Comments
    1. JSMR's Avatar
      JSMR -
      for the price of the 747-400, you would receive five variants of the 747 in total: the -400 GE, -400 PW, -400 RR, -8i and BCF.
      Actually, you only get 2 models. The -400 and the -8i. Developers are getting better at false advertising it seems.

      The -400 is only one model. The 'different' engine 'variants' are sound differences only. The performance is exactly the same on each.
      The BCF is nothing more then a external paint job. Same as the -400.

      Developers must think we're stupid eh? Dear oh dear.
    1. CarlosA's Avatar
      CarlosA -
      Quote Originally Posted by JSMR View Post
      Actually, you only get 2 models. The -400 and the -8i. Developers are getting better at false advertising it seems.

      The -400 is only one model. The 'different' engine 'variants' are sound differences only. The performance is exactly the same on each.
      The BCF is nothing more then a external paint job. Same as the -400.

      Developers must think we're stupid eh? Dear oh dear.
      Dude, Ifly/Flight 1 has already said before that the 747 BCF variant is just a visual model. They didn't model the freight handling characterics.
      About the engine variants... You are aware that the performance differences between the different engine variants in the 747 are only minimal right?
    1. JSMR's Avatar
      JSMR -
      Quote Originally Posted by CarlosA View Post
      Dude, Ifly/Flight 1 has already said before that the 747 BCF variant is just a visual model. They didn't model the freight handling characterics.
      About the engine variants... You are aware that the performance differences between the different engine variants in the 747 are only minimal right?
      I was responding to the original article above which gives the indications that you get a different freighter 'model'.
      I'm also aware - since I have different AFM's from the different engine variants - that the engines weigh differently, have different fuel flows and performance. Slight or otherwise.

      But since iFly only have one 747-400 modeled with '3' engine variants that have identical performance, different paint schemes only and engines sounds only to differentiate the '3' models , its a moot point.

      Nor does it worry 'dad and mum' running Flight1 either. Its all business as usual with those two. False advertising or not. Hello $$$...
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