• Review: Just Flight DC-8 Jetliner Series 50 To 70

    Interior Modelling And Looks

    Moving onto the interior, we are greeted with a full set of custom gauges. I'll include two sets of screen shots, one of the older DC-8-55, and one of the glass cockpits found on the DC-8 Super 70s.

    DC-8-55:

    Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70     Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70

    Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70     Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70

    Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70     Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70

    Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70     Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70

    DC-8-73:

    Just Flight - DC-8 Series 50 To 70 - modern cockpit
    The modern cockpit only has noticeable differences with regards to the main panel.

    On first glance, I found the cockpit to be rather well made. Unlike some add-ons which reuse default flight simulator gauges, the gauges here are fully custom and 3D modelled. The colors and general feel of the gauges accurately reflect the atmosphere of the DC-8. A pity here is that the weather radar is non-functional, though there are several add-ons available that add that functionality into the cockpit. Detailed instructions on how to replace the placeholder with an actual weather radar gauge are outlined in the manual.

    In the cockpits of the Super 70s, there exists an FMC that simulates the functions of the Honeywell Trimble HT9100 Global Navigation/Flight Management System found in real DC-8s. Taking a look at the real FMS (from this video at the 1:24 mark), it seems that Just Flight has taken several liberties with their representation of the DC-8's FMS. Nevertheless, the FMC itself appears rather functional, and even has its own AIRAC cycle from Navigraph available. Further discussion of the FMC will be made under the "Systems Simulation" section of the review.

    Another positive aspect of the cockpit is the insignificance of its fps hit. Despite the complexity of the cockpit, frame rates were at more than acceptable levels and compared to add-ons of similar complexity, the Just Flight DC-8 yields no fewer frames than its competition.

    One disappointing aspect of the cockpit though is the absence of sounds for several aircraft components. A prominent example of this is the lack of sounds from the air system. When viewing Youtube videos of other DC-8 add-ons, they have turbine sounds when the cabin compressors are turned on, something that's noticeably absent in Just Flight's representation. Moreover, the switches sound rather unrealistic in my opinion, and the sounds from systems such as the recirculating fan lack proper build-up. It feels that the switch controls whether or not the sound file is played, rather than actually affecting a system on the aircraft.

    Finally, several gauges on the flight engineer's panel also feel like they were rushed. As an example, when flipping the low-pressure pneumatic switches, the gauge for manifold air pressure instantly jumps to a higher PSI, without the proper response one would expect from an analogue gauge (with the needle taking some time to move to their respective markings.

    Overall though, the interior of the aircraft is still modelled to a moderately high standard. Whilst there are issues that leave something to be desired of the aircraft, as a whole, the virtual cockpit is passable, and I did still enjoy using it during my testing of the add-on.


    1 Comment
    1. oldcrusty's Avatar
      oldcrusty -
      I think it is excellent value for money and a very good sim model now. I got this when it first came out and it was riddled with bugs and problems but and I say but - they appear to have all been fixed with several service packs. You get a great selection of types and good graphics and performance. I think the night lighting is amazingly well done. As for flying it well it was a DC-8 and it had its idiosyncrasies like the reversers, start etc and the hydraulics but it was not a Boeing and for simmer who like Douglas aircraft well it is actually a logical progression and step up from the pistons. I like it a lot, just do not do much flying with it now - not enough hours in the day alas.
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