Ever since the simulation market came into existence, pilots have been yearning for a regional jet to fly after work. For FSX, the market has a surprisingly low amount of these machines. You have the MJC8 Q400, and then the E-Jets v2, and even with that, only one of them is a regional jet
. So, will this plane fit my needs? you may ask. While not as systems heavy or pretty as the Dash 8, this plane is a joy to fly, with quite a bit of technology behind it, if you can put up with the dated graphics.
INSTALLATION & DOCUMENTATION
Installation itself wasn’t that difficult. I simply downloaded the installer on the “my downloads” page, and entered all of my credentials into said installer. Once it was installed, you had a manual complete with tutorial, as well as a configuration manager. The manual covered most of what you needed to get up in the air, as well as how to get back down. You could learn by flying their tutorial flight, or by viewing panel based tutorials, to grasp all of the systems and their functions. While I found the documentation very useful, there were a few concepts that it didn’t cover. However, these concepts aren’t necessary for basic operation of the aircraft. Anything that is essential to understand is explained very well.
The virtual cockpit is a well modeled representation of the Embraer e175 and 195’s. Although things like the MCP are a little flat, the aircraft has a few 3D modeled switches and knobs. The main issue that I had with this vc was the positioning of your camera. You appear to be positioned in the center of the aircraft, not in the captains chair. Although this can be remedied with CTRL+SHIFT+BACKSPACE, it still could be improved. I just wonder what the developers were thinking when they placed the viewpoint there…
Hypothetical Employee: “Hey Jim, where should we put the camera?”
Hypothetical Jim: “Put it… there. Those throttles are meant for sitting on, right?”
Although not stunning, the exterior model is still worthy of a screenshot or an appearance in an FSX music video. The detail looks fine at a distance, or when popping out for a quick look, but not every rivet is modeled. This is okay, because at normal viewing distances, you cannot discern that level of detail, making it pointless. I actually enjoy taking screenshots with this aircraft, as you can find some really good angles.
This airplane has enough systems to keep most casual simmers happy. As long as you aren’t expecting exactly correct modeling of the hydraulics, then you should be good. I would compare systems depth to that of the Aerosoft A320, or the QW757. The airplane has a well modeled FMC, that I find very complex. It models almost all procedures, and I could guess that real-world pilots would feel right at home there. Other than that, my only minor complaint was that the touchscreens were a little difficult to use. For the veteran flight simmer, these toys take quite a few flights to get used to.
The sound package in the airplane is nothing to brag about. Although it represents the aircraft decently, it is a little low quality for my taste. The FA in CALL! also sounds odd in my opinion. One thing that I did like however, was CALL! This product reads out checklists to you with a virtual First Officer, and it was executed very well. When I felt like doing a more relaxing flight, I would use call to read out checklists, which made it magnitudes easier to know what to do. It doubles as an invaluable tool for beginners, as well.
This airplane has some dated graphics burdening it, but those who are willing to put up with a slightly dated appearance can enjoy a truly one of a kind experience for FSX. Even with the imminent release of the Aerosoft CRJ 700, I would still recommend this product for the time being. Being one of the most advanced simulations of an aircraft on the market, it proves itself well.