The autopilot handles the flying quite well (it was recently patched in a revision to the product) and captures altitudes, speeds, and tracks NAVAIDS with no problems with the exception of getting on course. At 1300 knots the autopilot tends to overshoot course captures while enroute and then it can go through a period of corrections as it tries to bracket the course. I found it better to go to HEADING mode and manually intercept the new course on the other side of the waypoint and once the course deviation indicator had settled down engage the NAV tracking mode. At lower speeds this is not a problem and I tested the autopilot on capturing ILS signals and glideslopes and the Tu-444 performed without fault.
Obviously flying around at Mach 2 requires some careful descent planning and the avionics do a good job of helping you out in that regard. The Flight Management Computer is the default X-Plane box which means the FMC is not very useful at all. I’m not aware of what add-on FMCs or avionics can be placed in the Tu-444 panel, but it obviously begs for something more advanced.
The package ships with about a dozen liveries that are quite sharp looking. You don’t want to roll onto the ramp of your local airport sporting a crappy paint job for sure. The programming that went into the Tu-444 includes extensive use of manipulator technology (reach and grab things to move them), custom and enhanced plug-ins for fuel consumption, autopilot artificial stability, and flight model. Nice light reflections and window fogging if temperatures are controlled are also featured.
Below is a new video I did showing the Tu-444 in its glory.
The package is priced right for the level of quality since it could stand to have a few improvements, particularly in labeling and documentation. That said, it is the exotic nature of the aircraft, and the unique cockpit and performance that make the Tu-444 so much fun to fly and learn. It isn’t perfect, and it isn’t polished, but I have to say it is more “fun” than trundling around in the neat as a pin Level-D 767 or something similar. The Tu-444 is a perfect match for the dynamics of X-Plane, so despite the problem areas I have no reservations about recommending the Tu-444 for the novelty of it.
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