FS2002 “Air Force 1” v 2.0

Are you tired of the same non-stop long hauls in all of those large jets? Are you craving for a fun and satisfying airline flight with a difference? Say hello to “Air Force 1” V2 by Jon Murchison and David Randolph. A B747-200 classic, Air Force 1 is the official jet transport for the president of the United States. It is so sophisticated, it can run the entire US from its operation room, if needs be. As anyone will tell you, the exterior of the aircraft is magnificent and Jon and David have done an excellent job here.

The file “fs2002af1” is a zip file of size 1.75mb. Inside this zip, is another one aswell as a readme file. Inside the second zip is where the aircraft lies, yet I was disappointed to discover that you have to create your own folder in FS2002’s aircraft directory, to place the files in. A minor inconvenience.

After loading the plane in FS2002, you are presented with an amazing sight. The aircraft is surrounded by black limousines and secret service agents. There are four limos to the left of the aircraft, in a line, one behind the left wing and one to the right. Standing next to them are six secret service agents, (as security is tight). There is a stair leading up to the left main door on the aircraft, which is covered in red carpet. There, standing on the stairs, is President George Bush himself! Standing at the door entrance is I believe the Captain (you?). These are not painted figures…oh no, but real photographs scaled down. There are red and blue flashing lights on the cars too.

The aircraft is particularly detailed, although not as much as one would expect these days. For example there are no thrust reversers and I have noticed that the engines bare a startling resemblance to those of a 747-400. However, I will discuss the aircraft in detail later, as we now have to prepare for a short flight from Boston Logan Intl. to JFK airport, New York (KBOS-KJFK). The President is on a busy schedule.

After filing our flight plan and loading the fuel, we call for doors closed. The presidential scenery outside the aircraft disappears after the engine fans start rolling. Unfortunately this aircraft uses the default 747-400 panel and 737-400 sound, which I am sorry to say do not work well at all. You are much better off downloading a seperate panel. After engine start, we begin taxing. With 20% fuel in all tanks it took a power setting of 45%N1 to roll and 35% thereafter to continue moving. Taxiing is a breeze, as the aircraft is very responsive to Aileron and rudder input. The front gear turns when you steer also.

After recieving takeoff clearance from the tower, we applied 98-100% N1 and began our roll. At the light weight we were, we rotated at 135kts. I must warn you here: set your Trim correctly before takeoff! This aircraft is responsive to trim input-she nearly lifted off without me lifting a finger! Once airborn, we climbed straight ahead and practised some small left/right co-ordinated turns. (When retracting the gear we saw two of the main gear tilting but I was disappointed to discover that there are no 3D gear bays. The gear simply move into the undercarriage, but there are bay doors). This aircraft is a dream to fly; in all, the controls are quite responsive without being overly-so. During cruise I selected spot view and took a closer look at the fuselage.

What I like:

• Very Accurate external model
• Beautifully done paint job with painted reflective textures underneath
• Slotted flaps
• Spoilers with hydraulics which you can see underneath (see screenshot)
• Smooth retraction of gear
• Nicely round engines
• Spinning wheels

What I dont like:

• The engines resemble those of a 747-400
• No Gear bays
• No Reverse thrusters
• No 3D cockpit with pilots

Descent and approach were a breeze, the aircraft is such a joy to fly that I brought her in with a hand-flown approach. She almost landed herself on rwy 31L at JFK, its that good. It did take a while to stop the aircraft on the runway, which is more realistic.

In conclusion, this aircraft is fantastic. It may not have the features we’ve all come to expect from freeware developers (as it is really an update to an earlier FS2000 model), but it is definately worth the download. You get a great flight model, a great external model and….oh, you get to fly the US President around 😉

Thanks to Jon Murchison and David Randolph for the best Air Force 1 rendition to date.

FSPlanet Rating: 4/5