What You Need to Know About FSX - FlightSim Labs Concorde X
FSX - FlightSim Labs Concorde X: A Review
If you are a fan of flight simulation and aviation history, you may have heard of FSX - FlightSim Labs Concorde X, a flight simulation add-on that recreates the legendary supersonic airliner in stunning detail. The Concorde was a marvel of engineering and design that flew faster than sound for over 27 years until its retirement in 2003. The Concorde-X add-on brings this iconic aircraft back to life in your virtual skies, with realistic visuals, sounds, systems, flight dynamics, and more.
FSX - FlightSim Labs Concorde X
In this article, we will review the features and performance of the Concorde-X add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) and Lockheed Martin Prepar3D (P3D). We will also show you how to fly this complex machine with ease and enjoyment. Whether you are a seasoned pilot or a beginner looking for a challenge, you will find something to love about this amazing add-on.
What is the Concorde-X?
The Concorde-X add-on
The Concorde-X is a flight simulation add-on developed by Flight Sim Labs, a company specialized in creating high-quality add-ons for flight simulators. The Concorde-X was first released in 2010 for FSX and later updated for P3D. It is one of the most advanced and realistic add-ons ever created for flight simulation, featuring a fully functional 3D cockpit, custom flight model, accurate systems simulation, interactive flight engineer panel, and more.
The Concorde-X is compatible with both FSX and P3D platforms, and supports DirectX 9, 10, and 11. It also works with Windows 7, 8, and 10 operating systems. You can purchase the Concorde-X from the Flight Sim Labs website for $49.95 USD. The download size is about 1.2 GB and the installation process is simple and straightforward. You will need to activate the product online with a serial number that you will receive after purchase.
The real Concorde
The Concorde was a supersonic passenger airliner that was jointly developed by Britain and France in the 1960s and 1970s. It was the only commercial aircraft that could fly faster than the speed of sound, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 2.04 (about 1350 mph or 2170 km/h). It could also fly at an altitude of up to 60,000 feet (18,300 meters), where the passengers could see the curvature of the Earth and the dark sky above.
The Concorde entered service in 1976 and operated until 2003, carrying over 2.5 million passengers across the Atlantic Ocean in less than half the time of conventional airliners. It was mainly used by British Airways and Air France, flying between London, Paris, New York, Washington, and other destinations. The Concorde was also known for its distinctive shape, with a slender fuselage, delta wings, droop nose, and four afterburning engines.
The Concorde was retired in 2003 due to several factors, such as high operating costs, low passenger demand, environmental concerns, and safety issues. The last flight of the Concorde was on October 24, 2003, when it landed at London Heathrow Airport. Today, there are 18 Concordes preserved in museums and airports around the world, but none of them are airworthy.
How to fly the Concorde-X?
Flight training and tutorials
Flying the Concorde-X is not an easy task. It requires a lot of knowledge and skill to master this complex and sophisticated aircraft. Fortunately, the Concorde-X add-on provides you with several tools and resources to help you learn how to fly it properly. One of them is the flight training feature, which consists of six interactive lessons that cover the basics of operating the Concorde-X, from cold and dark start to supersonic cruise to landing.
To access the flight training feature, you need to select the Concorde-X from the aircraft menu in FSX or P3D, then go to the missions menu and choose the Flight Sim Labs category. There you will find six missions that correspond to each lesson: Introduction, Preflight Checks, Takeoff and Climbout, Supersonic Cruise, Descent and Approach, and Landing. Each mission will guide you step by step through the procedures and tasks required to fly the Concorde-X successfully.
Another tool that you can use to learn how to fly the Concorde-X is the tutorials feature, which consists of two PDF documents that explain in detail how to perform a full flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK and vice versa. The tutorials are written by real Concorde pilots who share their tips and tricks on how to handle this unique aircraft. You can find the tutorials in the Flight Sim Labs folder in your FSX or P3D directory.
Flight planning and navigation
Before you can fly the Concorde-X, you need to plan your flight carefully. The Concorde-X has a limited range and payload, and it needs to follow specific routes and altitudes to avoid noise restrictions and airspace conflicts. You also need to consider the weather conditions, fuel requirements, and weight and balance of the aircraft.
One of the tools that you can use to plan your flight is the flight planner feature, which is accessible from the FSX or P3D menu. The flight planner allows you to create a flight plan by selecting your departure and destination airports, your cruising altitude and speed, your waypoints and airways, and your fuel and payload. The flight planner will also calculate the distance, time, and fuel consumption of your flight.
Another tool that you can use to plan your flight is the Concorde Performance System (CPS), which is a standalone application that comes with the Concorde-X add-on. The CPS is a more advanced and realistic tool that allows you to calculate the optimal performance parameters for your flight, such as takeoff and landing speeds, engine settings, fuel distribution, center of gravity, and more. You can also export your flight plan from the CPS to the Concorde-X.
Once you have planned your flight, you need to navigate your way to your destination. The Concorde-X has several navigation aids and systems that you can use to guide you along your route. One of them is the Inertial Navigation System (INS), which is a computerized device that uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to determine the position, velocity, and attitude of the aircraft. The INS is the primary navigation system of the Concorde-X, and it can store up to nine waypoints in its memory.
To use the INS, you need to align it before takeoff by entering the coordinates of your departure airport. Then, you need to enter the coordinates of your waypoints along your route. You can also update the INS during flight by using radio navigation aids such as VORs or DMEs. The INS will display your position, heading, distance, time, and ground speed on a dedicated panel in the cockpit.
Another navigation system that you can use with the Concorde-X is the autopilot, which is a device that can control the aircraft's attitude, speed, altitude, and heading automatically. The autopilot can also follow a pre-programmed route by using the INS or radio navigation aids. The autopilot has several modes and functions that you can select from a panel in the cockpit.
To use the autopilot, you need to engage it by pressing the AP button on the yoke. Then, you need to select the desired modes and functions for each phase of flight. For example, you can use the IAS mode to control your speed, the ALT HOLD mode to maintain your altitude, the HDG mode to follow a heading, or the NAV mode to follow a route. You can also use the autothrottle system to adjust your engine power automatically.
Supersonic flight and fuel management
One of the most exciting aspects of flying the Concorde-X is achieving and maintaining supersonic flight, which means flying faster than the speed of sound. The Concorde-X can reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.04, which is equivalent to about 1350 mph or 2170 km/h. However, flying at such high speeds requires careful planning and execution, as well as constant monitoring and adjustment of the fuel consumption and balance.
To achieve supersonic flight, you need to follow a specific procedure that involves several steps. First, you need to accelerate to Mach 0.95 at a low altitude, using the afterburners of the engines. The afterburners are devices that inject fuel into the exhaust stream of the engines, increasing the thrust and the fuel consumption. You can activate the afterburners by moving the throttles past the detent position.
Second, you need to climb to a higher altitude, around 28,000 feet (8,500 meters), while maintaining Mach 0.95. This will reduce the air density and drag, and allow you to accelerate further. Third, you need to increase your speed to Mach 1.7, using the afterburners again. This will cause you to break the sound barrier, which is a phenomenon that occurs when an object travels faster than the speed of sound, creating a shock wave and a sonic boom.
Fourth, you need to climb to your final cruising altitude, around 50,000 feet (15,000 meters), while maintaining Mach 1.7. This will put you above most of the weather and traffic, and give you a smooth and comfortable ride. Fifth, you need to increase your speed to Mach 2.04, using the afterburners for the last time. This will be your maximum speed for the rest of your flight.
To maintain supersonic flight, you need to manage your fuel consumption and balance carefully. The Concorde-X has a complex fuel system that consists of 13 tanks distributed along the fuselage and the wings. The fuel system also serves as a trim system, which means that it can adjust the center of gravity and the angle of attack of the aircraft by transferring fuel between tanks.
To manage your fuel consumption and balance, you need to use the fuel panel in the cockpit, which shows you the amount and distribution of fuel in each tank, as well as the transfer valves and pumps. You also need to use the flight engineer panel, which shows you the fuel flow and consumption of each engine, as well as the total fuel remaining and range.
The Concorde-X has a high fuel consumption rate, especially when using the afterburners. Therefore, you need to monitor your fuel level and plan your descent and landing accordingly. You also need to adjust your fuel balance according to your speed and altitude, to optimize your performance and stability. For example, you need to move your fuel forward when accelerating or climbing, and move your fuel backward when decelerating or descending.
What are the features of the Concorde-X?
Visuals and sounds
The Concorde-X add-on has stunning visuals and sounds that make you feel like you are flying the real Concorde. The 3D model of the aircraft is highly detailed and accurate, with realistic textures, animations, lighting, and effects. You can see the reflections of the sun and the clouds on the fuselage, the vapor trails and the shock diamonds on the engines, the movement of the control surfaces and the landing gear, and the change of the nose and visor position.
The cockpit of the Concorde-X is also impressive, with a fully functional 3D virtual cockpit that replicates every switch, knob, gauge, and indicator of the real Concorde. You can interact with every element of the cockpit with your mouse, and use the 2D pop-up panels for easier access. The cockpit also has dynamic shadows, reflections, and night lighting effects that enhance the immersion.
The sounds of the Concorde-X are also realistic and immersive, with high-quality sound effects that match every action and situation of the flight. You can hear the roar of the engines, the rumble of the afterburners, the click of the switches, the beep of the warnings, the voice of the flight engineer, and more. The sounds also change according to your perspective, speed, altitude, and environment.
Systems and gauges
The Concorde-X add-on has realistic systems and gauges that simulate every aspect of the operation and performance of the real Concorde. The systems and gauges are based on real data and manuals, and they behave according to real physics and logic. You can control and monitor every system and gauge from the cockpit, using the pilot, copilot, and flight engineer panels.
Some of the systems and gauges that you can find in the Concorde-X are:
The engines, which are four Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 turbojets with afterburners. You can control the engine power with the throttles, and monitor the engine parameters such as N1, N2, EGT, fuel flow, thrust, and more.
The hydraulics, which are four independent systems that provide hydraulic pressure to various components such as brakes, landing gear, flight controls, nose and visor, and more. You can monitor the hydraulic pressure, quantity, temperature, and status from the flight engineer panel.
The electrics, which are four AC generators powered by each engine, two DC batteries, and an external power source. You can control the electrical power distribution and monitor the electrical load, voltage, frequency, and status from the flight engineer panel.
The pneumatics, which are four bleed air systems that provide pneumatic pressure to various components such as air conditioning, pressurization, anti-icing, engine start, and more. You can control the bleed air valves and monitor the bleed air pressure, temperature, flow, and status from the flight engineer panel.
The air conditioning, which is a system that regulates the temperature and humidity of the cabin and cockpit. You can control the air conditioning settings and monitor the cabin temperature, humidity, airflow, and status from the flight engineer panel.
The pressurization, which is a system that maintains a comfortable cabin pressure at high altitudes. You can control the pressurization settings and monitor the cabin pressure, altitude, differential, and status from the flight engineer panel.
The brakes, which are four sets of carbon disc brakes that provide braking power to the wheels. You can control the brake pressure with the brake pedals, and monitor the brake temperature, wear, and status from the flight engineer panel.
The landing gear, which are three sets of retractable wheels that support the aircraft on the ground and during landing. You can control the landing gear position with the landing gear lever, and monitor the landing gear status, weight on wheels, and tire pressure from the flight engineer panel.
The flight controls, which are the ailerons, elevators, rudder, and spoilers that control the attitude and direction of the aircraft. You can control the flight controls with the yoke, pedals, and spoiler lever, and monitor the flight control position, mode, and status from the flight engineer panel.
And many more systems and gauges that you can explore and learn in the Concorde-X.
Customization and options
The Concorde-X add-on also has many customization and options that allow you to tailor your experience to your preferences and needs. Some of the customization and options that you can find in the Concorde-X are:
The liveries, which are the different paint schemes and colors that you can apply to your aircraft. The Concorde-X comes with 20 liveries that represent various airlines and special occasions that flew or operated the Concorde, such as British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Pepsi, Red Arrows, and more. You can select your livery from the aircraft menu in FSX or P3D.
The panel states, which are the different configurations and settings that you can load or save for your cockpit. The Concorde-X comes with several panel states that correspond to different phases of flight, such as cold and dark, ready for taxi, ready for takeoff, cruise, descent, approach, landing, and more. You can load or save your panel state from the options menu in FSX or P3D.
The failures, which are the different malfunctions and errors that you can encounter or simulate during your flight. The Concorde-X has a realistic failure system that can generate random or user-defined failures for various systems and components of the aircraft, such as engines, hydraulics, electrics, pneumatics, air conditioning, pressurization, brakes, landing gear, flight controls, and more. You can enable or disable failures from the options menu in FSX or P3D.
The preferences, which are the different options and settings that you can adjust to customize your performance and realism with the Concorde-X. The preferences include things like sound volume, frame rate limiter, cockpit tooltips, keyboard shortcuts, mouse wheel sensitivity, joystick sensitivity, autopilot modes, fuel dump rate, and more. You can access and modify your preferences from the options menu in FSX or P3D.
The checklists, which are the different lists of procedures and tasks that you need to follow and complete during your flight. The Concorde-X comes with several checklists that cover every phase of flight, such as preflight, startup, taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, approach, landing, and shutdown. You can view and use your checklists from the options menu in FSX or P3D.
The manuals, which are the different documents and guides that provide you with information and instructions on how to use and fly the Concorde-X. The Concorde-X comes with several manuals that cover various topics, such as installation, activation, configuration, operation, performance, systems, tutorials, and more. You can find your manuals in the Flight Sim Labs folder in your FSX or P3D directory.
How to enhance the Concorde-X experience?
Scenery and weather
One of the ways to enhance your Concorde-X experience is to use realistic scenery and weather add-ons that complement the Concorde-X add-on. Scenery and weather add-ons can improve the appearance and realism of your virtual environment, adding more detail, variety, and accuracy to your landscapes, airports, skies, clouds, winds, precipitation, and more.
Some of the scenery and weather add-ons that you can use with the Concorde-X are:
Orbx Global, which is a scenery add-on that enhances the base textures and landclass of FSX and P3D, adding more detail, color, and diversity to your terrain. Orbx Global also includes vector data, mesh data, landmarks, night lighting, and more.
Active Sky, which is a weather add-on that generates realistic and dynamic weather conditions for FSX and P3D, based on real-world data and forecasts. Active Sky also includes cloud textures, sky colors, wind effects, turbulence effects, precipitation effects, and more.
FlightBeam Studios, which is a develop