Commercial FSX Utility Review
FS2Crew (voice) for the PMDG B737 NGX
|Description:||FS2Crew (Voice) for the PMDG B737 NGX|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / 257MB|
|Reviewed by:||Christopher Elliot|
|Published:||February 10th, 2013|
|Computer / Software Specifications|
|Computer System:||- Intel Core i7 920 @3.86Ghz
- Corsair H50 CPU Cooler
- 6GB DDR3 RAM
- ATI Radeon HD 5770 GPU
- 2x monitors: 1440x900 and Acer 1920x1080
- Logitech Freedom 2.4 Wireless Joystick
|Software:||- MS Flight Simulator X Acceleration (SP2)
- REX OD
- Contrails Pro
- FS Real Time
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Gatwick Airport - Stand 57R - 09:00GMT
In the window of the FS2Crew UI, a yellow text message says the voice recognition is starting (there is also a button version included in the pack): NGX Voice V1.5.
After a short initialisation, the panel reads, 'PREFLIGHT,' and it's ready to go.
Speech RecognitionSpeech recognition was first developed back in the 1960's with the user having to pause. Then, in the 1970's, continuous speech recognition was developed, which is still being developed and refined today. Continuous speech recognition can be found in many Microsoft and Apple products, and in desktop PC's, games consoles, and mobile phones.
It's this technology, which has enabled FS2Crew to be brought to the market in a voice package. Continuous Speech Recognition is:
- over 90% accurate
- used in military aircraft
- used by NASA
FS2CrewFS2Crew is owned by Hong Kong based Jet Express Technology Inc. Founded in 2004, an international team of programmers, graphic artists, and airline professionals joined forces to create a realistic flying environment. FS2Crew is the result of years of hard work and development. The add-on aims to simulate the people aspect of airline flying.
Set up and start
There are also five buttons for use including selections for another add-on, Aerosoft's AES, and if there is a gate departure and a gate arrival. The button to start FS2Crew from a cold and dark situation is the 'RUN PF' (Run pre-flight) button.
The First Officer (FO) in FS2Crew will:
- Set up the aircraft systems
- Read the checklists
- Follow procedures
- Run the system tests
- Voice Manual and tutorial
- Button Manual and tutorial
The countdown begins...'RUN PF' is pressed, click, and the 30 minutes countdown to departure begins.
The Captain says, "Let's start setting up."
The FO responds, "Ok."
The gate bell begins to ring as it moves toward the aircraft, the door is opened and the FO begins his power up procedure. As Captain, all you have to do is set the INS's (inertial navigation system) to NAV (navigate) and enter the position in the FMC (flight management computer), while setting the QNH (originally from the old Morse Code but generally means barometric pressure adjusted to sea level), which today is 1000 HPA (a unit of pressure). The TAT (total air temperature) is 0 degrees C.
The FO says at T-24 min., "I'm out for the walk-a-round."
As pilot flying, it's now your job to set up the FMC for departure. The FMC opens and the payload and fuel is set, the route is entered and the departure set. The winds are checked and entered, and before long the FMC is ready for flight.
At T-19 min., the FO comes back to the cockpit, "I'm back from the walk-a-round, everything looks fine."
Then at T-18 min., the flight attendant asks, "Okay to start boarding now?"
You reply, "Yes," and the passengers begin boarding the plane. There is a sound set and you can hear the passengers arriving onto the aircraft.
Testing, testing, 1,2,3...
These procedures are based on: - Boeing SOP's
- Pilot workflows
- Airline safety
Ready to go"Before start procedure."
The FO responds, "Check." He now goes through a few settings, switches setting and screen adjustments according to the real-world procedures and says, "I'm ready for the checklist." You say, "Before start checklist." The FO begins to read out the checklist, and you must respond to the calls with "set" or "checked."
Push and start
The FO responds, "Clear on the right," and you taxi to the runway.
As soon as you are cleared for take-off, you say, "Take-off," and begin your roll. The FO will call, "80 knots," and you reply, "Checked."
Once airborne, you can call for gear up and other commands, such as flaps up, select LNAV (Lateral NAVigation), select Command A, and so forth. You can even ask the flight attendant to bring you a coffee!
Descent and LandingAfter a non-eventful cruise with coffee and lunch, the checklists and procedures begin again after 100 n.m. (nautical miles) to top of descent (TOD). The FO completes most of the work and responds to your calls. One thing you must remember is to talk clearly otherwise FS2Crew will come up with all sorts of variations to your spoken words. After landing, the FO will clean up the aircraft and get ready for gate arrival. There are shutdown checks and procedures to perform as the happy passengers disembark. FS2Crew will reset to set up for the next leg if you are flying sectors that day.
SummaryFS2Crew is a great add-on for those who want to experience working as part of a team on board a Boeing 737 NG. If you add the complication of also flying online with live ATC, you will experience the true feeling of operating a line flight for your Virtual Airline. There's very little to fault with FS2Crew. The only niggles were sometimes the FO would not call out "Rotate" or respond to "Take-off," but this only happened once after pausing the simulation offline due to a phone call!
FS2Crew puts you in command of a live environment according to the real-world Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) and any virtual pilot will feel like a true Captain. Visit the FS2Crew website for further information. The package cost you $39.50 USD or approximately 29.00 Euros (currency conversion as of January 24,2013). And don't forget to visit Aerosft's dedicated FS2Crew product page.
This review is written for Aerosoft Sim News and published via the Aerosoft website. While the reviewer has complete journalistic freedom, we ask the reader to keep in mind where the review is posted.