Sim Reviews Logo
Twitter Facebook
Go Back

Ariane v2 X
By: Don Filer

Ariane 737-900ER with X2 Service Pack
Words of Don Filer

Patience is a virtue and I am not a terribly virtuous fellow. I have no previous
experience with Ariane, the publisher of this software and have no axe to grind
with them. I was very interested in their new 737-900ER product, not only
because it is among the new crop of complex and tremendously realistic flight
simulator aircraft but also because I saw a negative comment left in the Pilot
Shop at by some who must have had a bad experience with them. So,
I started off with a clean slate and mild curiosity about the publisher and
their products. Let me begin by stating this is an extraordinary aircraft from
both a graphical and performance standpoint. The documentation that comes with
the airplane is the best I have personally seen. The flight reference guide is a
40 page (non-printable) PDF file jam packed with detailed information of every
switch and function in the cockpit. The flight crew training manual is 117 very
readable pages of information right out of Boeing’s Operations Manual.

Ariane V2 Review

Again in a non-printable PDF file. Additionally the training manual includes a
tutorial flight from Seattle Tacoma to San Francisco with SIDs and STARs and
step-by-step programming of the complete and accurate FMC. Even if you are an
experienced commercial pilot, you are strongly encouraged to read the
documentation from cover-to-cover. While it has been printer disabled, you may
purchase the documentation at what the publisher claims is a very reasonable
price. Before you get so excited you start drooling, remember I started this off
with a comment about patience. After you receive the software and load it onto
your computer which by the way, better be robust with lots of speed, RAM, and
video processing capability; you must send Ariane an email message with a
paragraph of characters copied from the activation request screen. The publisher
will respond (within 48 hours of your request) with an email message and you
must copy this message into the activation menu to complete the process. I sent
my request on December 29th and

received my response at 6:55 AM (Pacific Time) on December 31st. So all I could
do was sit in the cockpit and look around until the activation was processed and
I could begin setting the switches in the overhead panel to fire things up. This
is a very effective way to make sure you read the supplied material and I
encourage you to do that. The first time you have the capability of pre-flight
operations you will perform a warm start of the flight deck and from time to
time you will have to restart the engines. Ariane has made this process easier
by adding some dynamic functions to the menu bar.
While I’m glowing about their documentation effort, I can’t help but point out
the tutorial explains how to obtain the correct ILS frequency for runway 28R in
San Francisco. Unfortunately, the documentation says it’s 110.9. If you really
follow the instructions however, you will program the correct frequency of
Ariane V2 Review

Since I had plenty of time to burn, I thought I would visit Ariane’s user forum
to see what other customers had to say. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to
logon to the user’s forum until you request permission to use the forum; which
also requires a waiting period. Once I got to the site and logged on with my
approved user name and password, I found that for the most part their customers
are very fond of Ariane and their products.
On to the business of flying the 737-900
Once activated and depending on your experience in the 737, you will spend some
time familiarizing yourself and enabling the overhead panel, IRS panel and the
FMC. After getting the power, fuel, and hydraulic settings correct you will be
able to start the engines. This can be done with the help of the ground crew via
the additional dynamic menus or by pushing a call button from the captain’s seat
in the overhead panel. The IRS must be aligned and this requires FMC
initialization. After that you will have to program the FMC with departure and
arrival airports, waypoints, SIDs, STARs, runways, gross weight, temperature,
V1, V2, and VR settings. This process can be simplified somewhat by “reading”
your flight simulator flight plan data directly into the FMC.

The aft electronic panel controls have to be set and minor settings on the
throttle control stand like setting the trim and arming the speed brakes before
setting up the MCP with the cruise altitude. After setting the auto brake to RTO
and setting the flaps, you should make the final adjustments to the PFD ND
display so you can see the map for about 20 miles ahead. If you really want to
make things realistic you can contact the tower and get the FTC involved in your
flight. I flew with and without them wanting to determine how well the FMC would
work without the flight controller giving me directions. When following the FTC
commands you will most likely bail out of your LNAV and FMC waypoint settings in
order to comply with the tower. While on the subject of how much guidance you
want to have, I found it interesting the documentation points out twice, “an FAA
survey among pilots found 90% flew the decent manually to the FAF or final
approach...” While I was successful in performing fully automated landings, it
was not from information found in the documentation but from the user’s forum. I
did plenty of manual landings where I bounced the landing gear hard and veered
off the runway a couple of times. I like the way it looks when the 737 flares
and touches down gracefully on autopilot. I’ll have to practice a while before I
have that kind of control. I also downloaded Ariane’s free X2 service pack which
fixes an FMC Hold problem and includes some additional audio. Unfortunately, the

Ariane V2 Review
FIX button on the FMC is inoperable and VNAV is worthless on descent. The FMC
does not control the descent you have to do it manually. Additionally, the
navdata is not current and needs to be updated. The engine sound of the Ariane
737-900 is incredible and very realistic. I found the sound of the air rushing
by at 300 knots to be quite vivid and the ambient sounds of switches clicking,
brakes releasing and flaps lowering is very good as well. Eight flight attendant
announcements as well as music can be called up from the galley panel and are
audible in the cockpit.

Some pretty unique views of this aircraft are provided by Ariane’s designers.
The galley may be hidden leaving a jump seat view of the flight deck as well as
a couple of different wing views; two including the engines. The 3D graphics are
delightful and the views spectacular. The designers have taken special care to
simulate the actual performance of the Boeing 737. You will notice, especially
on take offs and landings, this baby handles very realistically. Your first
attempt to jerk her into flight will undoubtedly result in a tail dragging
experience. Smooth and delicate handling of the yoke and throttle are mandatory.

Installation Activation process aside, the installation consists of one
executable file that stores everything in its proper place. The 737-900ER comes
in only two liveries, Boeing and generic. After staring at the generic tail
artwork, it occurred to me that it is partly Continental and part something
else, KLM maybe. You may purchase an additional 10 liveries and this seems to be
a hot topic on the user’s forum. The repaints were subcontracted to McPhat whose
repaints are exquisite. As of this writing, Ariane isn’t providing them free but
separate in add-on packs.

A couple of things make this package remarkable. The illustrations and diagrams
in the documentation are a dream come true. With 40 pages of explanation, even
the novice will get the hang of the FMC and its precise control capabilities. I
suspect the target audience for Ariane’s 737 offerings, like the Level-D 767 and
PDMG 747, is commercial pilots in training. While a joy to fly for hobbyists,
you can easily get yourself in a corner trying to get the airplane configured
correctly. I floundered for a half hour trying to get the IRSs aligned. I
finally opened and closed the baggage compartments and main exit door and that
cleared up the problem. This aircraft with its long haul capability makes a
real-world simulator an affordable experience for the average Joe, taking it
completely out of the game category.

Conclusion when the price of one airplane exceeds the cost of the simulator
itself, you have to ask yourself why. Compared to the standard aircraft that
come with Flight Simulator the Ariane 737-900 ER exceeded my expectations. This
is a real learning opportunity and a joy to fly. The software is memory and
speed hungry but the payoff is eye pleasing visuals and realistic sounds that
make you feel like you’re really there. Thumbs up is my vote and I hope you
enjoy every minute flying yours as much as I did.

Visit McPhat today for the greatest airwork on the Internet.McPhat Paint’s can
be found at, McPhat are now working with Ariane
to bring you the latest in Aircraft design and concept paint works. McPhat don’t
paint for free but if you really like their work which is show you can purchase
from the Ariane website for a great price.
System Requirements: System Tested On:
Microsoft Fs9 or FSX
Windows Xp/Vista/7
Intel P4 (Min)
1Gb ram (Min)
512Mb Graphics Card (Min)
Microsoft FSX
Windowns Vista Home
Intel Core2 Q6600
3Gb Ram
ATI Radeon HD2400

What I Don't Like What I Do Like
Price Almost Everything

Price: From Ariane Website Rating: Gold
Reviewd By: Don Filer Date: 12 Apr 2009
YouTube Link: