Review: Digital Aviation Fokker

fk_bild01Digital Aviation recently released their Fokker 100 regional jet-liner into the sim-world and our colleagues over on the simFlight German network reviewed this plane in some detail. Just for us, they translated their review into English and passed the transcript over. It took quite some time for the Digital Aviation Fokker to be released to the market. At the beginning of October the first service pack corrected a few minor bugs. Still missing the virtual cockpit, our test team Broder Illing, Ingo Voigt and Oskar Wagner will find out if this simulation can earn its points.

We think you’ll like this little Fokker very much, so without further ado, here’s the review by Oskar Wagner, Broder Illing and Ingo Voigt.

 

Fokker 100 review by Oskar Wagner, Broder Illing and Ingo Voigt

I had my first contact with a small Fokker jet in Australia, on the way from Cairns to Brisbane. At that time a Fokker 28 carried us safely to Brisbane and showed me, an aircraft enthusiastic teenager, that there are other civil aircraft made in Europe besides Airbus (turboprops excluded). For sure Fokker meant something to me — everyone who has contact with flying knows the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, who raised fear and astonishment in his Fokker DR I during World War I. Many may also know the Fokker 27 from the movie “Alive”, which tells the real story of a crash in the Andes. Others yet may know the Fokker 50 which flies from many German airports in the colours of DLT.

The Fokker 70 or Fokker 100, for me personally, was not on my mind. Travelling to Manchester on the way to the IFC in Blackpool brought it back. A F100 owned by Air Berlin flew us from Düsseldorf to Manchester and back.

Therefore it is pleasant news that Digital Aviation took care to develop a Fokker. Florien Praxmarer, known from his add-on weather radar gauge, together with the team delivered to us the Fokker 70 and 100 for both FS9 and FSX.

Based on the F28, the Fokker 100 was an evolution of this regional jet by having a stretched fuselage, modern engines (Tay) and avionics. But with the Fokker bankruptcy of in 1996, all production was stopped. Fokker aircraft had become popular, especially with the airlines (KLM, Swissair, Tyrolean, to name a few) for use on short distance flights.

Today you will only find a few Fokker 100 remaining in service and fewer Fokker 70. The 70 was developed in the turbulent times of cash problems and only 50 were built before Fokker files for bankruptcy. But those that are still flying are spread between many different airlines from South America, certainly all over Europe and even in China.

Unfortunately different attempts to revitalize the production did not succeed. Let us hope that the Fokker made by Digital Aviation will have a brighter future.

This Fokker, which as version 1 does not include a virtual cockpit, was published by Flight1 for Fs9 and FSX and costs about 50 US Dollar. Using the well known Flight1-Wrapper-System, purchasing is easy: Download the installer, enter your data and generate the key. New installations or additional key generations can be done automatically without any delay time.
With a size of 290 MB for each version, the ones with a slow internet connects need a little patience.

After installation you will find 1.4 GB of data and at first glimpse all is included: documentation, a few liveries and a configuration tool.

Let us have a closer look.

Exterior model

Within FSX

Even if the Fokker 70/100 has been left in the shade, this one is a good package and Raises the bar to a relatively high level for further releases. For those who believe that only the heavy planes from Seattle are well transformed (for the sim), we recommend this small aircraft wholeheartedly. I do not include on purpose the current representations of planes from Hamburg-Finkenwerder. With a great level of details and effort the development team created a regional jet which is a pleasure to look at.

The “rounded edges” may be a limitation of FSX or my computer. Looking through the front entry door can imagine the smell of coffee.

Don’t know why we fly around hundreds of kilos of paper but it is a lovely sight when the cargo bay is loaded when you open its doors. (By the way the virtual load changes with the weight loaded)

If you want examples of the crafted level of detail, simply look at the door mechanism:

the reverser flaps and the speed brake

or the extendable landing lights

In the meantime many liveries have been painted for this jet and together with the default ones supplied in the package, they are a feast for the eyes. All textures look well painted and the typical Fokker proportions are well represented.


In times of Airbus and Boeing this sleek model asks for more — a thought the two animated pilots on duty in the cockpit may be thinking.

The size of textures may be a little drawback as each livery delivered by DA uses about 50 MB of space. This extends loading time and challenges the CPU of the passionate flight simmer. You may say that with today’s prices for CPU and hard disk space that is not as important. Yes and no, as you can see with some liveries available on the net you can still get acceptable results at lower resolution. All in all this small jet may be a good reason to switch to external view during a flight and watch the engine trails.

Within FS9

The FS9 model is very well done too. It shows the same features as the FSX model. To avoid repetition of what was said above, let’s show some more pictures.

The Fokker with full flaps, speed brake and reverser open.

The left landing light

External power connected and cargo doors open.

Open passenger door.

2d-Panel und Systems

The developed operation of the panel is a bit different than other, well established concepts on the market. This is less related to the different subpanels but more relevant for actuating switches and buttons. It is certain that the user will quickly discover the rationale behind it. Florian, like many other add-on producers, uses left and right mouse clicks for operation. Left clicks reduce values or turn left, right clicks increase values or turn right. The difference is that two click spots exist for tuning in larger or smaller steps. If you stay left of a knob the larger steps are active, for example the 1000 feet steps for the altimeter. Right of the knob you fine-tune to the 100 feet. I find this very intuitive (as it relates to the display of digits of numbers often displayed above the knob) and you do not have to turn endlessly until you have set 33,000 feet altitude.

The separation of the panels is well thought out — all panels can be reached via key presses, or by using the many click spots distributed throughout. You may think this will be messy – not at all – as they are logically placed and you seldom use the wrong spot, which only show by hovering over the panel. Even after the third coffee, my motion sensitivity was fine to not get lost somewhere in the cockpit.

All panels are made with great attention to detail — some as very close views — so that for example on the overhead you see only a part of what you see in realty but it helps operating it. This dilemma is with each developer — real view or usability is the choice not easy to be made.

It is important to mention here, that the operational concept is the same in FS9 and FSX.

Main left seat panel

Rearmost overhead panel with click area visible at the top

Overhead panel with the click spots to open and close it.

Throttle pedestal

Radio pedestal

Control panel for doors (and external connections).

Main panel with background illumination on.

Main panel with background illumination plus flood light on.

Control of all the panel lights with dimmers next to left FMC

Sounds

The sound pack provided is a solid representation of the real plane — just as the whole package. Independently of listening from outside or within the cockpit, the sounds really fit and in contradiction to other add-ons of similar price tag, no loops are noticeable.

Now on to the observations made by Oskar Wagner:

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Peter
Saturday, April 4, 2009 02:01

I bought it a few days ago en I love it . It lands perfect manualy en in autoland . I fly a lot with Wilco Airbus en this was a easy adaptation to Fokker . Nice package en very real .

wavn
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 13:21

Would surely buy it if it had a VC; now I wait until that.