The following review was published on the net in FSNews Issue #3. Due to the EMail requests I have received I hereby post it to the FTP.IUP.EDU site!

Note: SubLogic was bought out by Sierra and ATP is only selling ATP until 13 December 1995!!!!



Flight Assignment: Airline Transport Pilot (ATP)

By: SubLogic

501 Kenyon Road

Champaign, IL 61820

800-637-4983 or (217) 359-8482

Review by Mark Stotzer

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To give you my perspective:

I own Microsoft(MS)/Bruce Artwick (BAO) Flight Simulator (FS) version 4.0b with the MS Aircraft and Scenery Designer (ASD) plus Mallard's Sound and Graphics update (SGA). I have designed my own scenery with ASD. I have also progressed from FS versions 5.0 to 5.0a to now 5.1 (CDROM version). I have not tried Flight Unlimited yet (The seem incapable of sending sales info in response to phone calls). I am running on a 386/40 with 8MB of RAM, a Cirrus 5426 video card and a ProAudioSpectrum 16 sound card. In spite of owning all the above MS simulations and add-ons, my favorite flight simulation program in this category is "ATP"-especially with the "USA East/West" add-on that includes a "Flight Assignment" program to build your own flights with or without Air Traffic Control (ATC). As a "computer pilot" I am more than glad to give up the scenery "quality" and sluggishness of FS5 for more realistic piloting of other programs like ATP.

To digress for a moment, I feel that these simulations can be put into two primary categories:

1. Those that offer "VFR" short, flight in specific local areas with excellent scenery coverage and detail with limited "IFR" or long range flight. In my opinion, this category includes all the Microsoft Flight simulations programs with add-ons noted above.

2. Those that offer the ability to fly VFR or IFR short or long range flights over a wide area with extensive scenery coverage and adequate detail with optional ATC prompting by real voices. In my opinion, ATP stands alone in this category.

I have been and am extremely disappointed in FS5!! It could have been so much more!

Here then are the details of using ATP:

Hardware Requirements: 286 or better. You needs 512K of free conventional memory and at least 512K of Expanded Memory (EMS) for the ATC voice sounds. EGA/VGA video. Sound Blaster Compatible sound card is optional but program will work with PC speaker. Joystick strongly recommended.

Software: DOS 2.0 or higher. Need to have a SET BLASTER=line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT regardless of sound card used for ATC voices to work. I also recommend using a disk caching program like SMARTDRV.EXE.




-Scenery quality similar to FS4 with ASD. Not as nice as FS5.x (If you think

that FS5 scenery is "nice").

-"USA East/West" add-on adds extensive coverage of ALL airports and NAVAIDs in the U.S. along with most major geographic features like roads, rivers, mountains, railroads, etc. Database contains all above features to select

your location from within program. Excellent paper maps with all applicable information are also provided. Add-on also includes a "Flight Assignment" program to develop your own flights with or without ATC control-and print out sheet of your flight plan to follow when flying it.

-Default scenery and database has most major U.S. airports and NAVAIDS. No coverage of Hawaii, Alaska, southern Canada or Mexico however.

-Comes with 100 prebuilt, graded "Career Flight Assignments" you can fly to test your skill in all piloting areas under all kinds of VFR/IFR conditions.

-Weather conditions/selections slightly better than FS4 and FS5-great thunderstorms (No thunder sound) that show up on radar!

-Primary and secondary instrument panels better than FS4.

-With sound card get not only engine/other sounds but ATC voice prompting on flight assignments. (Instead of the text strip scrolling across the screen as in FS4/5).

-Optional ATC voice directs you from taxi to takeoff/ascent through cruise, descent and landing.

-Has an "Inertial Reference (Navigation) System" on some aircraft that can be used in conjunction with built in database to load NAVAID, airport or other coordinates into and fly to them. Neither FS4 nor FS5 have this feature.

-Runs fine as a DOS application under Windows 3.0/3.1 and even Windows 95.


- Only has a few aircraft types that are not compatible with FS4/5: Boeing 737, 767, 747, A320, and Shorts 360 airliners.*** They all do fly very well.

- SVGA quality scenery not available yet.

- No "Dynamic Scenery"-you're up there by yourself.

- Some of the 100 "Career Flight Assignments" have minor errors in them but are still very flyable.


Available Add-ons/Tools:

-3D-AGS advanced panel, navigation addon. See description at Flight642 Web site at sell it too.

-Mainly the USA East/West package noted above. There are no aircraft or scenery design programs available soley for ATP but there are folks that have somehow developed FS4 ASD secenery files that overlay USA East/West.

-Some folks in Europe have apprently developed some limited ATP European and Asian scenery that was making the rounds on various FS forums about a year ago and is still on some BBSs.

-A toolkit called ATPUTIL has been around on various forums for a few years. I couldn't get the last version of it I tried to even run (I think it was version 3.??). I have seen a version 4.?? out there somewhere.

Other Notes:

SubLogics' battle with Microsoft over flight simulation program code/rights is well documented in the Flight Simulator FAQ note available on the Internet periodically in USENET newsgroup rec.aviation.simulators.

SubLogic also makes "Flight Lite" another simulation program that followed ATP in development. I have tried it. It is for beginners and has had poor reviews on the Internet. The aircraft files are not useable in ATP.


MDS 12/06/95

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