Erick Gregan’s ATX-72

The ATX 72 has been out for a while, too long perhaps to cram in a review for it and ,i’ll be honest, I’ve been putting this off.

I find this plane confusing, Like my ex-boyfreind it both excites and disappoints me. It has features in it that should set a base line standard for all future Airliners from any SL Aviation builder and I would like to leave it at that and say this is a good plane but rather sadly I now have to face facts that this plane has a Fault List longer than most planes I genuinely hate.

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“Oh Boy” says no-one “can’t wait to hear you’re opinion Mal” screams the terrifying voice of sarcasm expressed by no-one specific as they mash their hands into the keyboard itching to have their say in the comments box as if shunning my opinion makes their opinion any more valid. Well pay attention you tormented little angels because guess what people I like Erick Gregan. I like him as a person, I know mad isn’t it.

What I don’t like is this plane.

You know those random fail photo’s you get that show someone trying and failing to do something very simple with the caption “You had ONE Job” that is how I feel about the ATX 72 and all the little Fuck up Faeries which inhabit it.

Every little idea and feature that makes up this plane is fantastic at it’s base but the execution of those idea’s leave a lot to be desired, to give you an example the best feature of this plane is the “hard mode” start up sequence. Rather than just sit there in the cockpit like a lemon and say “start” there is a panel above the pilots chair which invites you to perform an actual aircraft start-up procedure, from switching on the main battery and connecting the fuel pipes right up to de-icing the windows and turning on the Seatbelt warning lights. It’s an awesome feature and I spent most of my time in this plane just turning the panel on and off again. However there is a problem, you cannot turn on the flow of oxygen to the compartments until after you’ve de-iced the windows, you can’t de-ice the windows till you’ve locked the doors and you can’t lock the doors till you’ve started the engine.

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This makes it less of a realistic start-up sequence and more of an Erick Gregan puzzle adventure game which MUST BE DONE IN THE ORDER ERIC TELLS YOU TOO but you only need to complete the first half to start the plane and nothing else you really do on that panel makes the slightest difference. It would have been cool to see the windows slowly cover with ice if the de-icier was inactive, the engines cease up or even the emergency gas-masks drop down for the passengers if the oxygen wasn’t flowing but alas no such luck. This feature is more or less button porn for people who like that sort of thing, people like me, so more of this please but perhaps a little more loose on which order things need to be done.

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For my next disappointment let us talk about the most important feature of this plane, it’s flight capabilities. I like how the amount of fuel effects the weight and drag of the aircraft, I also like how Erick knows what flaps on an aircraft do (hint: they are not just for slowing down) however the auto-level is constantly on and to date I have yet to find how to turn this off, meaning in order to complete a 90 degree turn you either have to overbank or slowly shimmy the plane in the right direction.

The flight also had several bugs, most notably one where the plane got stuck on Taxi mode and, even when going at full speed, refused to take off and instead smashed through the wall at the end of the runway and hurtled into the drink where by it sank slowly in embarrassment.

The “stall” physics also leave a lot to be desired. It might just be me but the first time I took this plane out I had it at 20% throttle, upside down and about 4ft off the ground it it refused to stall, the second time I was coming into land at 40% throttle and it stalled 6ft off the runway so I’m not entirely sure what the parameters for this plane to stall actually are but that sense of unknown and that almost randomness that there wasn’t just a magic number to hit before the plane stalls. I liked it and it increased the realism along with the planes apparent Hydrophobia with just one major drawback which was what happened when the plane itself actually stalled.

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I once had a go at Aeon Voom for this 109’s stall physics which put the plane into an over-dramatic performance loop that you had to wait to finish before you could start flying again, but even this was a dam site better than the ATX 72’s which stopped in mid-air, slowly nose downed then plummeted like a brick directly downwards. Speed and control was re-gained by means of revving up the engine as the plane did not seem to pick up speed despite hurtling towards the ground and it instead it continued wallowing around at a pace Tomahawk pilots would describe as “slow”.

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The Third great disappointment of this aircraft is something I’ve never reviewed before, passenger comfort. I like the boarding pass feature that prevents passengers accidentally clicking on the plane and sitting in the co-pilots seat. The chairs are spacious and there is enough headroom for even the tiniest cocks with just two major drawbacks, firstly there is the noise inside the Cabin. I know soundproofing doesn’t exist in SL and builders just have to do their best but the ATX 72 has got to be one of the LOUDEST planes I’ve ever flown, it’s so loud it drowned out the 10 minite long safety announcement as well as the other passengers I was flying with.

The second was the foot high gap between the aisle and the seats.

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And then finally I suppose we have to talk about the greatest one of them all, the LOD factor. Don’t get me wrong, I love how this plane looks, I like the little details like the tiny LCD screens, the name sown onto the seats, the working dials on the cockpit and even the tiny soap dispenser in the bathroom, only I would if I could see it.

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Erick has recently updated the plane which slightly improves on the LOD issue and I’ve placed the two comparison shots below.

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It still has the problem where you cannot see the front of the plane from the back and any distance over 100m and the plane starts to crumple, the doors are not visible till about 80m and are glitchy as all hell and the landing gears aren’t visible till about 10m.

Both Amok and THI have offered Erick help with fixing his LOD issue but he has refused them both, in a conversation with me earlier he insisted that what Aeon and Karl did to provide solid LOD’s was cheating and it was up to Linden Labs to fix the system not himself. So pretty much a big “fuck you” to the customer right there.

==

To try and find some conclusion in this mess, which began with such high expectations, this plane is not “bad” in the sense that if you just wanna fly and don’t care about the LOD issues or are even willing to make the adjustments to your viewer settings so at least you can see the aircraft correctly (but no-one else can, so you still get the occasional IM’s from people insisting your cargo door is open) it flies realistically enough and had it not been for the auto-level issue I would be happy to take this plane out of the shed more often.

50 meters_003 50 meters_004

at L$ 3,500 with a prim count of 151 and a script count that fluctuates between [33/33] running scripts, 685 KB allowed memory size limit, 0.309975 ms of CPU time consumed and [33/33] running scripts, 685 KB allowed memory size limit, 0.253309 ms of CPU time consumed. It is a big plane with a lot of issues. It is however a labour of love, in the time I’ve been writing this Article Erick Gregan has posted four major updates.

If this proves anything it proves that Erick is trying hard to improve this aircraft and is fully aware of it’s flaws and while I could be snarky and proclaim that he really should have done more beta testing but I could say the same for a lot of people. Like many builders ,unless you have a free platform above your wives house, Erick has rent to pay and to pay that rent projects need to be completed and put on the market as quickly as possible and after spending half a year in construction and scripting the last thing anyone wants is to wait a further three mouths while it’s in testing.

On that note I can clearly state that any problems highlighted in this review will probably be fixed at some point, however being familiar with Erick’s usual standard of work all of what I’ve seen thus far on the ATX, the LOD issues, the non-interactive interactive control panel, the high script time, the flight bugs etc etc is what we would consider the typical hallmarks of Erick Gregan and I have yet to see a plane he has had on sale to this date where any of these problems have been fixed. So it is an investment and a risky one, these issues for me ruined the experience of the plane, other people don’t seem to care. These issues might be fixed, they might not. I cannot tell.

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7 thoughts on “Erick Gregan’s ATX-72

  1. I pretty much have to agree with you on this. I’m still glad to have it being as it’s the only full size modern propeller driven airliner, but it has some serious flaws that one has to know how to deal with to fly it well. Given the amount of stubornheadedness that Erick had to overcome to even partially address the LOD issue, I don’t expect a lot more to be fixed on this because in Erick’s head it’s a wonderful plane that people should be glad to fly.

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  2. Patricia de Chenier says:

    Still and all, it’s a realistic airliner. And a purty one. But I think I’m grateful to you for a good review that encourages the designer to get his ducks in a row, and after that I’ll think about droppin’ some Lindens down for one of these.

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    • Erick Gregan says:

      Rather than read this kind of article, why not contact me in the world? I would be pleased to invite you to make a flight. This way you can realize by yourself

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    • natascha mellison says:

      ATX 72 is a great airplane, builded with passion, l think some pression from others builder less creative bring Erick to present the ATX without enough air test hours , (you know than sl conditions can change a lot few time on same day), l think than it’ s much more decent notify to Erick like l did the trouble l meet on first version than just critic him in public. Now l tryed the v2.5 , and this version is much more close to perfection, and l know than this will don’ t be the last update, Erick still working for giving us ,at genuine amateur,mouselock flyers, etc<;; un great Aircraft ….Critic is easy, creation is much more difficult, never forget that

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  3. Erick Gregan says:

    Thank you for this review.

    Those familiar with this aircraft know that there are errors in what you describe. Many mistakes.

    You speak of a puzzle which only I have the rules regarding the use of the head panel. It’s wrong. There are certain things that must be done in a certain order and this is not me who decided, I do not have that power 🙂 And there are more important things defrost windows in an airplane.

    I did not and I never had the pretension to make things perfect. I find this article and one-way. It is also strange sometimes. If you say that the toilet there is a soap dish … how have you seen since apparently the LOD is so bad. By cons in your photos, we see perfectly well the details … Strange do not you think?

    Another thing you which seemed like role play, why do not you talk to the main innovation which is managing the hostess? I grant you 10 minutes of safety speech when the hostess was not at his post, it is long. but you are not obliged to use it. And anyway, I’m sure you did not think of someone sitting on this seat

    Oh, I forgot sim crossing. I know it is not a formula 1 in this kind of exercise. But I tried to correct this defect, and after many of my clients, they think this problem is corrected, it is clear that it is not fast, but he spent almost a sure. Even in this painful period for Linden rolling restart after rolling restart.

    With regard to the scripts. If you are as good at it as you suggest, I would love to see one of your achievements. Anyway, given the number of script there on that plane to be able to offer all these features, the result is not so bad

    Mr Crim mip, let me tell you something. You are not in my head to know what I think. and to clarify, no I have never had the kind of thinking that you lend me.

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    • I’ve never claimed to be able to script and I don’t have to be to judge a plane’s flight characteristics. I don’t care how the script is done. It’s the results of that scripting that matter and this aircraft is a big step back even compared to your older aircraft like the Concorde.

      Here is a list of the problems I’ve found that have been duplicated by other pilots I know who owns the planes.

      No other aircraft that I’ve flown in SL gives a chat indication at every sim crossing. It’s annoying as hell

      The boarding pass system is a pain in the ass the way you did it. It should also be able to be bypassed for those who don’t want to use it.

      You can’t fly the plane without the big ass HUD taking up a third of the screen. Almost all the other makers make it possible to use chat commands if one wants. That also makes setting up gesture commands possible. The ATR can’t do that. Also if the hud looses communication with the aircraft, you can’t control anything.

      Sim crossings are the worst of ANY aircraft I own by a huge margin (including two others of yours I own.) Most of the time I rubberband badly or see myself fly backwards into the sim I’m crossing from before the crossing completes.

      The audio announcements are crappy quality. They don’t preload which means they are jerky when playing, They are too long. Finally, 99% of us don’t give a crap about having them in French as well as English. Do a menu to select the language or something. If we could replace the sound samples with our own at least we could do something that might be usable.

      The overall flight handling is just bizarre. You have to put the nose down at 20% to lose altitude. The flaps don’t seem to affect flight handling at all.

      It has a lot of potential. I’d love to be able to come back here and say that most of this stuff had been fixed. It’s a plane I want to be able to fly a lot. It’s the only full size modern propeller driven airliner on the grid. Unfortunately it’s not ready for prime time as it is now. Swallow your ego and fix it.

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      • Erick Gregan says:

        I always tried to meet everyone, even you. But why so much aggression on your part to me. If I have done something against you, tell me, because I do not see what I did to deserve such hatred.

        Which speaks of ego? I never had the slightest pretension, you give me feelings that I have did not. Nothing is perfect, and I may be wrong about some things. We can discuss it calmly.

        Some people asked me to see the beginning and end of simcrossing, I also thought it was a good idea. But you’re right, I should give the opportunity to silence the message that seems to bother you.

        I made this system of boarding pass, thinking that this could give more Role play. So I will try another solution to satisfy everyone, again

        the chat command are available with or without HUD, and you are not required to use the HUD. Simply, the chat command are simplified to not have too much control to memorize. And if you want to use the HUD malgrés all, know that there is a “HIDE” button to leave and return this HUD

        I agree that the sim crossing are not strong that plane. I try to improve it every day since the beginning of its establishment. This progress, but not as fast as I want, and, moreover, Linden does not help me by doing rolling restart all 4 mornings

        Regarding the announcements, I agree with you that the sound quality is crap, but they are recording that has been done in a real planes. What can I do more?
        The preload of sounds is done whenever an avatar will sit. Sorry if the sounds are not loaded for you, I can not do more. And if the sound quality does not suit you, you are not obliged to click buttons …

        I also agree with you about the shutters. I think I have solved the problem, and the flight will be much improved in the next version

        In conclusion, I ask you to be a little less aggressive with me, and if you have any problem with me, do not hesitate to tell me. I am always open to criticism, except when they are aggressive and unfounded

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