Review : Supercritical Simulations Group Embraer E-190LR
Back in October 2012 The Supercritical Simulations Group released their Embraer E-170LR E-Jet.
I noted in that review that the SSG team were a very newly formed team of being developers of aircraft to the X-Plane platform, and in a few areas the rookie element of designing and creating a large project product showed through.
With the release of the Embraer E-190LR you can see and feel the progress from the first release of the E-170LR and in how many areas the aircraft has been tightened up.
Outwardly they look the same, but the details are better with the newer release (all the modifications will be made to the E-170 in an (free) upgrade of which SSG have noted they have already started on).
I flew the E-170 and the E-190 side by side to get a feel of the differences and the E-190 felt much more composed and easier to fly than the E-170.
Put the E-190 through a lot of sectors and the differences shine, It flies really well through all of the flight dynamics, but is that because of that extra length and weight?
Side by side the E-170 is almost a third shorter than the E-190 (29.90m to 36.24m).
And the width although they look the same is also different as well (26.00m to 28.72m).
In the air the E-170 climbs like a banshee compared with the E-190 and quickly leaves the E-190 behind even if it does have the uprated GE CF34-10E (82.3 kN per engine) and the A-170 only has 62.3 kN from the GE CF34-8E.
But from here on the E-190LR quickly started to become the better aircraft all round and was significantly better for those extra few months between the two releases.
But it does feel far more polished and a better product all round.
The detailing is very good.
But X-Plane lately seems to create too shiny tires which I don’t like…
One new feature on the E-190 is the opening cabin door… yay!
Lighting is also comprehensive and with HDR XP10.
Landing – Nosewheel and Main (left/Right)
Taxi – Nosewheel and Side
Beacon – Strobe – Nav
Again like the external aircraft, outwardly the panel looks the same as the E-170 and the basics are just set out like that aircraft.
You can switch the panels around which is convenient.
But the shading and reflections are coming in more than on the E-170, A bit more reflection work is needed but it is a big improvement.
So that earlier slightly cartoony look is now starting to fade.
On the turn to finals the glossy light fills out the large panels.
Remember too that modern cockpits are more than bland and grey.
Center console is excellent and really lovely work.
MCDU and Default GPS NAV is a highlight and now getting deeper into the more interesting systems with FADEC logic and thrust limits.
MCDU Pages include:
.2 INIT PERF PAGE
TAKEOFF PAGE (set v1 vR v2 – Flaps 10°- 20°)
TO DATASET PAGE (thrust-limit / ATTCS / FLEX)
CLIMB PAGE (Speed / ECON (Economy) / CRZ ALT Trans)
CRUISE PAGE (Speed / ECON /Max Cruise level / Opt Cruise level / Gross weight)
DESCENT PAGE (Speed / ECON / Restriction SPD – ALT )
APROACH PAGE (VAC 2 / VAC 4 / Vref 5 / Vref 6 / Gross weight / VFS / ALT Trans / Flaps / Flaps Full)
TRS (thrust reduction system) PAGE (thrust Rating)
On each page you can configure the aircraft to the auto procedures.
RADIO has its own page…
The only thing I am not crazy about is the engine START/STOP switches, covered by plastic flaps they are annoying to use correctly.
AP (Autopilot) is well laid out with the sections divided into:
Lateral Mode/Vertical Mode (Guidance) With Flight Path Angle (FPA)/Display Controller/Speed FMS/MAN management.
But the manipulators are messy to use, SSG have tightened them up and they are certainly better on the release version, but from some angles the manipulator is away from the switch (top-left) from the pilot’s seat viewpoint, some are doubled up as well creating a little confusion in the landing phase, SSG have noted they going to rethink them.
The AP can also be deactivated from the ramhorn control columns.
The features panel has also been expanded.
Pilot Seat and yoke (hide) – thank god for this as the seat totally blocks the panels…
Autopilot LEDs visible – as noted on the AP panel image above (green LEDs) – and yes needed, the LED’s are not on the real aircraft, but why not?
UFMC present controls FADEC (for use with plug-ins)
Enable Dial Altitude Limit
Open/Close the (front) DOOR – If the engines are running you get an annoying alarm!
Field of View
50/60/65/70/75/80 fields of view are available, I like 65 – and yes I really like it.
The overhead panel is very well laid out.
Systems activated are.
ELECTRICAL / FUEL / HYDRAULICS / ICE AND RAIN PROTECTION / LIGHTING (External and Internal) / PNEUMATICS / AUXILIARY POWER UNIT (APU) / FIRE PROTECTION / COMMUNICATIONS.
MFD and MAP – The MFD (Main Flight Display) is comprehensive with built-in heading, course and radio frequencies.
ILS is indicators are excellent and the Map can be configured…. you also have visual systems selection.
Electrical / Status / Flight Controls / Hyd / Fuel / ECS / Anti ICE
Stall warning works as advertised, I tested the aircraft for stall and at 150knts you had to take action.
One note on the cockpit overall, you need your textures set to “very high” (or higher) to get the quality out of the wording, set lower and the blur sets in… It is just not great in the lower settings.
SSG said that to get the higher quality at the lower levels it has to add the bigger 4K textures and a that comes with penalty in frame-rate, keeping it like this will give the aircraft access to people who don’t have the power to run the higher textures.
But SSG have also worked very hard to get the aircraft to run at a better frame-rate with the E-190 over the older E-170 – And it shows on my computer at around a 6 or 7 FPS gain.
On my system I didn’t have any frame-rate issues, but as noted you need to run the textures at a “very high” level and this can cut the frame-rate down and certainly if I was running with HDR on.
So the compromise was HDR on with a “high” texture setting.
The PFD is also too dull, it has been lightened a little but it is still too very darky contrasty for me.
Night lighting is good but with not much adjustment in the overhead (storm) lighting.
The Default livery is the Embraer Factory.
Nice is the Frontier “A Whole Different Animal”
And the great JetBlue
There is a clean White for painters.
Coming soon also is:
AZUL – Brazil / TRIP.
Australia (Virgin Australia or Virgin Blue?)
All new liveries will be available from the SSG website.
Files and Documents
X-Plane10 has 2 versions XP10 and XP10_Light
Note: The XP10 version is 32Bit only at this time.
X-Plane9 has 2 versions XP9 annd XP9_Light
Note: the XP9 version does not have the HDR lighting effects
Manual (reference guide) is 88 pages.
The Embraer E -190 is US$24.95
The Embraer E -190 with the E -170 is US$39.95
If you have the E -170 then to add the E -190 to your hangar is only going to cost you US$15.00 (with a coupon from SSG)
Available from the .ORGstore - SSG Embraer E -190
The Embraer‘s are procedural aircraft to fly, more Airbus than Boeing.
So mostly you let the computers do all the work, I don’t really fly like that, I like to set things like speed, climb (rate of climb), cruise, headings and at arrival I follow my STARS but in a natural way by using the headings and the turns to final in my own adjustments.
I get closer to the aircraft this way and this is where I felt the E -170 was a bit compromising, I never felt that way with the E -190, and for anything now within that 2,300nm range – the E -190 will have me at the controls.
It is a very steady aircraft to fly but not stiff, and feeling the aircraft is enjoying it.
Sector after sector I wanted more… and the more I got, It is great in the taxi as well as you can control the thrust precisely for turns around the ramps, touches to the throttle give the right amount of thrust to maneuver or swing around ready to depart. Thrust control on landing gives you the same control and pleasure.
So I like to fly it manually more than everything set on auto, and that says a lot about the sort of aircraft it is designed to be and doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use all the settings – But it is more of a shuttle than a long-range service aircraft.
If the E -190 had arrived as the same as the E -170 in October I would have been worried, In other words if SSG had just changed the fuselage to make it a bit longer to fit and then just added in the same E -170 cockpit and shoved the wings on it, and said “Hey a E -190!” then you would know that it is a waste of money.
But that is not what has happened, In the few months since the E -170 was released the E -190 has improved by a significant amount, yes both share the same many items – but so then does the real aircraft.
The amount of quality (low cockpit textures aside) now going into SSG products is starting to shine, and remember if you have bought the E -170 it will be soon upgraded to the E -190 standard.
The note at the start of this review is that SSG are still the “new kids on the block” but are now becoming a quality developer that they have great products coming out of their design studios and improving the quality immensely with each release, In time the whole range will be a great set of aircraft and you can see where the fleet is going, US$40 for not one but two versions of Embraer S.A. aircraft is a good deal.
I liked the E -170LR because like SSG it tries hard, But I love the E -190LR because it is just a great aircraft.
The XsimReview for the Embraer E-170LR is here : Supercritical Simulations Group Embraer 170LR E-Jet
Supercritical Simulations Group: Supercritical Simulations Group
Ricardo Bolognini Project leader and primary 3D modeling, flight dynamics
and system programming
Carlos Garcia Director of testing and marketing
George Garrido Textures and repaints
Baber Sikander Additional 3D modeling and textures
Stefan Keller Reference guide development and technical advisor
Tim Gleason Technical advisor and product testing
- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”
- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb
- Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2
- X-Plane 10 Global ver10.10 (Stable)