New version 1.8
FSCaptain is an add-on to Microsoft Flight Simulator FS2004 and FSX (Box and Steam Edition) and to Lockheed Martin's Prepar3d (Versions 2, 3 and 4) which expands the program so everyone can experience the challenge of professional flying in the modern world of aviation. That's what we mean when we say our goal is "making flight simulators into aviation simulators".
FSCaptain takes the boredom out of Flight Simulator by giving you a reason to fly and a highly realistic professional modern aviation environment in which to prove and develop your skills. You might be an ace at handling your airplane, whether that be a light twin or a B747 or an A380, but can you fly it meeting the demands that real-world Air Transport Pilots face?
FSCaptain provides what Flight Simulator left out in simulating the modern aviation world. You'll have a company to work for, and they will have rules and policies you need to follow. You'll have a flight crew and a cabin crew (if you're flying an airplane large enough -- FSCaptain isn't just for Big Iron, you can be a small plane or bush pilot if you want.) But much more than that... You'll have passengers and/or cargo to haul and the passengers will react and measure your performance -- and so will your employer. What they'll want is for you to make every flight safely and on-time with happy passengers or intact cargo. As you start your career you'll find that now your flights have much more meaning. You are building a record - a record of professional accomplishment, not just a log of your travels.
You'll also probably find that being given assignments instead of making up your own is a challenge in itself. You'll sometimes be assigned times and airports and into weather conditions that will stretch your skills. (Of course you can set up your own flights if you want to, you're the boss.) And suddenly, with FSCaptain, the safe world of Flight Simulator is more like reality! Thunderstorms are dangerous now and need to be avoided. Icing is a real threat (Don't forget to use your anti-ice!), and runways and taxiways can be slippery and dangerous.
Have you been ignoring things like cabin pressure and temperature? You can be sure your passengers won't ignore them, so you better not. And there are birds in the air you could hit, or you could experience any one of dozens of mechanical failures, or have a passenger with a medical emergency, or even have smoke seeping into the passenger cabin. Are you up on your emergency procedures? By default these emergencies are rare, like in the real world, but they can happen.
You may be used to working with ATC realistically, but have you experienced the other side of professional pilot life, dealing with your company and its dispatchers? You will in FSCaptain. Because that's real life in the real world of aviation!
Beyond its commitment to realism, FSCaptain is comprehensive and flexible. You can take on any role you feel up to -- from a newbie cargo captain for a small outfit in a remote area of the world to the prestige of commanding a huge widebody passenger airliner with its substantial cabin crew. You are not limited in the type or size of the aircraft you can start your career with. You can choose to fly for cargo or passenger airlines, or those that do both. Your airline can have easy policies to adhere to, or they can be difficult. You are in control.
You can create your own airlines or fly one of the dozens of real-world ones provided with the package. You can even import AI schedules from inside Flight Simulator or from some AI package websites (any schedules, even those that you may have added from third parties) and make them into FSCaptain airline schedules.
FSCaptain is easy to install and use, but it is not a cakewalk to climb the ladder of success. Each flight you make is graded, and to advance up the pay steps for your airline requires a minimum time in hours flown for each advancement along with a minimum average flight score for the level you are currently on. Much of your flight score is based on your on-time performance -- just like in the real world. But also, passenger satisfaction and adherence to company policies as well as safe operating practices are all factored in.
You will feel the pressure real pilots feel to meet schedules and be on-time, but not to cut corners with safety. Your flying skills will mostly determine your ability to keep the customers happy while they are riding with you, but your timing and communication skills are important too!
If you want more realism and a more professional approach to the job of being a virtual airline pilot (cargo or passenger) FSCaptain might be for you!
Major New Features in Detail
Early Adopter Features (still in development)
- Prepar3D v4.X Aware – FSCaptain can now recognize aircraft installed outside P3D4's main simulator folder, and there are now 64-bit compatible DLLs and FCDU gauges
- In-Sim PLN Recognition – The FCDU will now react to a loaded flight plan (*.PLN file) into your simulator, whether you use the simulator's Flight Planner to load a new PLN, or you use a third-party utility such as AivlaSoft's EFB or Pointsoft's ProATC-X which both can 'inject' PLN data directly into the simulator
- NAVDATA Recognition – By arrangement with Aerosoft GmbH, we have included AivlaSoft-formatted NavDataPro files from AIRAC 1702 which FSCaptain uses for Transition Altitude / Transition Level, and Navaid Frequency data. Of course, you can always use your own updated Navdata files for pinpoint navigational accuracy!
- Custom URLs In Your Dispatch – Now you can embed URLs into each Dispatch Release that will use Departure, Destination and Alternate ICAO codes to give you access to real-world data to help you plan and manage your flights! Do you like to listen to real-time Clearance Delivery while you go through your pre-flight procedures? Are you interested in information about real-time flight between your departure and destination? Now you can program your URLs for one-click searching!
Some new features in 1.8.0 are still unfinished, but they're too handy to leave hidden behind the cloak of beta testing....
- Dedicated Deicing Facilities and Deicing Trucks - While FSCaptain has offered the most comprehensive on-stand deicing simulation for many years, now you can set up dedicated deicing facilities at any of your airports – enabling professional results with modern-use facilities. This also showcases FSCaptain's first entry into deploying SimObjects, as we now offer the use of static trucks which offer deicing and anti-icing sprays!
- Assignments - Offering the ability to engage in non-ATP flights, this ground-breaking feature allows easy-to-make flights to simulate Deliveries, Pickups, Airdrops, Recon/Surveys, and Attacks. Yes, ATTACKS! Fully working with both the freeware FSX@War and the payware TacPack packages, FSCaptain can allow single- or multi-player engagements where you can get shot down, or take the attack to your enemies! But it's not all hostile – Assignments can allow humanitarian relief & fire-fighting airdrops, or wildlife survey flights. The sky has suddenly become your limit!
- "I'll Be Back" - This feature allows you (as Captain) to 'step out of the cockpit' leaving your autopilot-monitoring FO in charge of your flight. Once you reach cruise level, you can switch on your autopilot and tell your First Officer "I'll be back" and they'll monitor everything until you return - or pause the simulation if something awry occurs!
- Voice Text - If you've ever found cockpit voices hard to hear over the roar of your engines, FSCaptain can now display your FO's and FA's audios on-screen. Plus, if you've stepped out of the cockpit for a while, when you return Voice Text will replay all messages that occurred while you were away!