Jet or Turboprop? Part III Page 4

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Both the ATR and ERJ have excellent night lighting although once again I prefer the bright, crisp look of the ERJ over the dimly lit (though more realistic looking) ATR.

Jet or Turboprop Jet or Turboprop

For fans of flying from the virtual cockpit (VC) the ATR has one of the crispest and detailed VCs I’ve seen. Even the night lighting in the VC is very well done (traditionally a weak area for most add-ons) and the resolution of the gauges and text is high enough that flipping switches and working systems isn’t very difficult. The ERJ fares a little worse in the area of VC resolution in both daylight and night modes of operation. The panels are a bit blurry and finding the correct buttons and switches would require a memorization of what is where since you can’t really read the lettering.

Jet or Turboprop Jet or Turboprop

The external 3D models for both aircraft are top notch; both are beautiful aircraft to behold and the artists did a great job of bringing these machines to life in FS2004. I have only one gripe with the ERJ; when the aircraft is on the ground there is an ever so slight gap between the wheels and the pavement, giving the illusion that the aircraft is hovering a few inches off the ground. Not a big deal, but it is noticeable. The ATR has several additional features such as a moving flight attendant jump seat and a door to the lav that opens and closes. Gimmicky things that I don’t feel add anything, but I’m sure some people love features like this.

Jet or Turboprop Jet or Turboprop
Jet or Turboprop Jet or Turboprop

Sounds are extremely good for both aircraft. Warning bells and whistles, props, jets, starters, APU, “Bitchin’ Betty”, etc., they are all done well. Enough said.

Systems modeling is done nicely in both aircraft although I had the overall impression that the ATR had more working parts and systems modeled than the ERJ. The only reason I suspect that is that many of the switches and functions on the upper panel of the ATR worked while on the ERJ some switches were non-functioning. That said, a modern aircraft such as the ERJ is all about automation, so concessions in switches and knobs may just be a reflection on simplifying the cockpit.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how much Bryan York’s FS2Crew adds to the whole Flight Simulator experience. While it definitely adds a lot to the ATR, it is my understanding that Bryan has created FS2Crew add-ons for other aircraft as well, so don’t feel pigeonholed into only trying it out for the ATR. Flying with FS2Crew enabled is easily as absorbing as flying a combat mission in Falcon 4, a comparison our readers would probably find easy to grasp. While initially daunting, flying in a crew environment should rapidly become easier with practice. In any case, if you want a great representation of what it is like to fly in a professional crew environment, FS2Crew is the way to go, and pairing it with the Flight1 ATR is a great combination.

So jet or turboprop? I fly both for a living and I still haven’t made up my mind. The King Air I fly is roomier, noisier, but doesn’t stray very far from home. The Citation is quieter, more powerful, more cramped and often takes me further away than I really want to be. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Catch me on any given day and I’m likely to give you a totally different answer as to which I prefer more. The same holds true for the feelThere ERJ 145 and the Flight1 ATR.

Reviewer’s System Specs

  • Alienware Pentium 4, 3.4GHz
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT PCI Express 256MB
  • CH Flight Yoke and Pro Pedals

Note: For illustrative purposes some of the images in this 3-part series were cropped or in order to highlight certain aspects of the software. All images were captured at 1280 x 1024 with no FSAA and were reduced in size and quality for bandwidth purposes.

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