In this post, I will be reviewing the CaptainSim 757 III. The addon was first released publicly in 2018. We will be reviewing only the base pack of this aircraft. None of the expansion packs are included.
The Boeing 757 is one of the iconic Boeing planes that is no longer the icon it used to be. It used to be flown by every major airline across continents and served as a nice option between the short-haul Boeing B737 and Airbus A320 families and the long-haul B777 and A330. The aircraft could do routes across the Atlantic Ocean from the European West Coast to the North American East Coast. It was also used heavily on short-haul routes where the demand was high, as it seated more people than your regular short-haul planes. These days, however, it is mostly used as a cargo plane for FedEx, UPS, DHL and other cargo airlines across the world. Only a select few airlines still fly the 757: Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Icelandair and Condor Airlines are the only passenger airlines to have more than 10 757s in their fleet.
I am using Prepar3D v18.104.22.168968. My PC holds a GTX1080Ti and an i7-7700K @ 4.20GHz CPU. The addon was provided to me by CaptainSim, for which I’d like to thank them. I also use a Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick.
Documentation and Extras
The first thing I look at when I buy and install a new aircraft is what features there are that do not directly involve the aircraft in the simulator. The 757 III does not install the manuals automatically, you have to download them separately from the CaptainSim website and come in 5 zip files, all with one pdf file in them. Why this can’t come with the installer or in one zip file with five PDFs, I’m not quite sure. The files also include the manuals for the expansions, which are different chapters in each manual volume.
I struggled a bit finding the cold and dark aircraft state. The manual starts running through procedures from cold and dark, but I could not find how to get to that cold and dark state. I eventually found how to do it. The manual is very detailed and I probably just looked over it.
There is a livery manager included, the so-called ACE from which you can download online liveries for all the varieties of the aircraft. It shows by default all the varieties of the expansion packs as well, regardless of whether you have them installed or not. At first, it made it a bit difficult to find out what I did and did not have installed. There are some liveries also available that are not in the ACE, but you can install them manually. There is no external load manager, as this is done from the FMC in the cockpit. It has everything it needs and it works well.
The CaptainSim 757 III Base Pack features the Boeing 757-200 with PW2037 and PW2040 engine variants. Both variants have a 4-door model as well. The Base Pack, therefore, features 4 models in total. There are expansion packages available for the Rolls Royce engine variant, the freighter variant and the 757-300 variant. All of these expansions are to be purchased separately. The total price for all these variants is over $175 USD.
There are no airline liveries included with the default product, but the livery manager enables you to download and install more than 300 different liveries for all the models and expansions combined. There are also many liveries available publicly on the internet, outside of the livery manager. All the liveries you’ll see in this review are from the ACE. You can, however, find liveries for the -200PW that are flown by the RR, -300 and Freighters in real life.
The aircraft is modelled very well both internally and externally. Details certainly are present all over the aircraft. All the cockpit buttons, knobs and switches are modelled. When you look at the back of the cockpit, there is less detail. The circuit breaker panel doesn’t have the knobs modelled. When you start looking for things, you will find some, but when operating the plane normally, you don’t notice them. What adds a nice touch is that the cabin is modelled as well, but this does have an impact on performance.
The outside is modelled well too. There are some details on the fuselage and wings, but I have the feeling it could do with more detail. The winglets look good.
The texturing is again good. It’s far from bad, but I do have the feeling it could be a bit more detailed in places. It is detailed, but not very sharp. Even when looking from the default cockpit zoom level, I get the feeling that some of the textures are blurry and could be sharper. The dials are an exception to this, they do feel sharp and refined.
The flight model of this aircraft is honestly bad. I do feel the difference between an empty and a full plane, but doing loopings and barrel rolls are easier than in an FSX default plane. I did have trouble with controlling the speed of the aircraft on the ground. It was very hard to position the throttle so that the speed remains somewhat constant. It was either too far, and I was accelerating very quickly, or too much closed and I stood still in 50 feet. When there is no power applied, the aircraft stops very quickly.
The systems of this aircraft are good. It’s not just the basic stuff to get you from A to B that’s modelled, it’s quite a bit more than that. If one switch is not right, you won’t be able to start the engine. It is a study-level aircraft, but I feel that it’s still at a level that’s accessible to the less extreme hardcore simmers out there. The one problem that I’ve had over multiple flights, is that the aircraft really struggles to manage its speed under 10 000′. It doesn’t want to slow down to 250kts, even when setting the speed manually. The autothrottle can be seen twitching and moving very quickly from full throttle to none.
If you expect to get 60fps at a high-quality payware airport, then I have to disappoint you. Just like the other aspects of this aircraft, it’s not bad, but it could be a little bit better. At Drzewiecki Designs KORD, I got about 20fps. I must add that the weather was cloudy, but there was no AI or network traffic. It’s a shame this aircraft is not yet updated for P3D v5, because with the performance improvements that brings, you would be able to get good performance, even at the big airports.
I always find this a hard topic to judge on. The cockpit has a variety of accurate sounds for all different knobs, switches and buttons. I could find very few things without sounds. I could only compare the engine sounds to YouTube videos, as I’ve never flown on a 757 myself. The CaptainSim sounds do sound very similar to some of the videos I’ve seen.
I personally love the lighting effects. During the day, the taxi, landing and runway turn-off light illuminates the ground too. I know that this is not realistic, but I quite liked to see it. At nights, the lights are gorgeous, although the landing lights reflections on the ground can be a bit too bright. I love looking at the light at night. The way dynamic lighting of the anti-collision lights up the ground is just beautiful.
It’s certainly not a bad aircraft and I enjoy flying it. What I do have a problem with is that you pay almost 80 USD for just two engine variants. If you’re flexible and willing to use liveries flown by planes with RR engines, 757-300s or freighter variants, then I do think it is worth it. It’s not perfect and it does have a couple of less good things about it, but they’re mostly minor. You won’t notice them on your simple A to B flights.
If you want to purchase the CaptainSim 757-200 PW Base Pack, you can do so here for $99.99, although it does seem to be on sale all the time for $75.70. The expansion packages are available from that link as well.