I’ve had a couple of days to fiddle with Flight Factor’s 757-200 “Professional” v.2 linked several spots above (still on sale). @BeachAV8R wrote a very good review at PC Pilot about the previous version. He was kind enough to send me a copy and that was all it took to take the leap. I have never flown a 757 or 767 but I probably have 20+ hours in the jumpseat. It is not quite as convincing as the 737-200 that I gushed over a few weeks ago. But still extremely well done.
“But this time its personal…” What action film doesn’t have that line? This time for me it really is. When I wrote the 737 article I mused that maybe it was time to leave it after 20 years. I was awarded the 757/767 at my airline the next day. And for the first time in my sim career I get to join the ranks of thousand of pilots who legitimately use a PC sim for training. The Flight Factor’s 757 has a couple of excellent features. One, an FMC that ports via IP to an iPad or any other device with a browser. The other is a bit of reprogramming of the VR controllers which gives them some extra button pushing, knob turning and airplane pushbacking (no kidding!) capability. Combined, these feature allowed me to move well back from the desk and use X-Plane as an interactive “paper trainer”. I ran through all of the flows from my company manual in 2D and once I had them down, I could repeat them in VR, in the actual space. The FMC that comes with the plane has maybe 70% of the functionality of the real thing. But it was good enough. I could program it surprisingly well using the laser pointer but it was easier to lift the headset and punch values into the ipad instead. I don’t care about actually flying really. Airliners are airliners. But using the touch controllers works pretty well if you can still use your pedals. I only pulled the chair out about 3 feet and the MFGs have plenty of cord to reach.
In the 90’s I would have willingly paid hundreds, maybe more, to give myself this sort of head start in training. I’ll say it again…if you are a flight sim fan, this is a great time to be alive.