Updated: Oct 11, 2021
DC Designs are proud to announce their first aircraft collection for Microsoft Flight Simulator! This F-15 Eagle package includes four highly detailed MSFS models: the F-15C, D, E and I 'Ra'am' Eagles.
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing). The Eagle first flew in 1972 and carries the largest air-to-ground weapons option of any other US fighter.
This review is broken down into sections. Not to say that a product can be good vs bad, it always depends on the end-user to make that decision, but here are my thoughts and verdicts on this new aircraft.
There are some mixed reviews of this aircraft, the first MSFS product from the developer. Some good and some not so much. It would seem some fans of the DCS world have a disliking to it. And, from their perspective, rightfully so. Some are not happy because it’s not a study sim aircraft, some are not happy because of the initial bugs and some are not happy because you can’t "shoot" stuff. For me I think you can’t compare what an aircraft does in one sim versus the other. Different platforms are trying to achieve different things. What makes it interesting is that this was released in P3D a while ago and didn’t seem to get the same level of contrasting feedback. Yes, we now have more people in the flight sim community but should addons be reacted to in a way after the official description says:
“DC Designs' F-15 Eagle is designed to provide a top-quality aircraft that is extremely detailed, yet less demanding to fly than today’s most complex procedural simulators. Equipped with all required avionics, and with custom-coded animations and systems, the DC Designs F-15 Eagle is designed to be accessible to all users without the need for intense study.”
So what about the F15 from DC Design?
Sure, it needs some optimisation. There are FPS hits at times when inside the virtual cockpit. The sounds seem to be on a single channel (no change when the canopy is open/closed). It could do with the odd texture update and the lights need attention. Overall, I think it needs a little bit more polish. And it will. The developer has indicated that they will continue to fine tune this bird well into the future. Plus, they have big plans for the MSFS space with a lot more aircraft to come. We also have to factor in the current limitation of the simulator.
There are however a lot of positives to it. You do get many variants, 4 in total. All featuring their own unique feel and characteristics. It flies well. Stable and controllable at speed and nimble and manoeuvrable at lower speeds. It is capable of Mach 1 (currently limited by the sim)
It looks great. The F15 is a sight to behold and the developer has done a fantastic job to recreate this iconic model. It has custom animations that work very well. The speed brake is fantastic. Control surfaces, engine exhaust, custom air-intake and landing gear all operate very well.
It sounds fantastic. Sure, in time I hope to hear the change of volume when the canopy is open/closed but the engines and avionics do sound very nice indeed.
I think the biggest attributes of this addon are somewhat hidden. The reality is this. The developer has made some remarkable advances considering the current limitations with the official software development kit (SDK) of the simulator. A functioning Heads-Up Display (HUD), Afterburners and G-Vapour effect. These are very welcomed additions to a sim that out of the box, shouldn’t be able to handle it. This is an encouraging step forward for developers leading to higher fidelity addon’s for us simmers to enjoy into the future.
The final point is probably the pricing. It sort of feels like quantity over quality. Yes, we have 4 models of the F15 here, but they all require a bit of work. Am I alone in thinking that it would be better to release 1 variant that’s polished and then offer an add on pack down the road to bring new models and features? The price for this addon is €33.75. That’s about €10 more than the other military fighter on offer in the sim, the Eurofighter Typhoon by BREDOK3D. Are they comparable? – Not really. Both have different capabilities and based on the real-world counterparts, both come from different eras. You do get more features and models with the F15.
My final verdict:
If you want to experience FS2020 from a different perspective, the feeling of flying a modern military warbird, then this is it. The F15 Eagle from DC Designs is a lot of fun. It looks and sounds great and it flies really well. You get a feeling of power with this addon. So put on your aviators, turn up some good old 80’s music and start requesting flybys! This is a fun and entertaining aircraft that gives the "feeling" of a sophisticated warbird.