So... I was on the beta for the CRJ 700/900 X way back when. I had just started flying the plane in real life, and was excited to see a decent version come to our simulators. Unfortunately, it was never as good as it could have been in my opinion, and was more or less released as public beta (again, my opinion). So I did not fly it much. Since then, years have passed, I'm still flying the CRJ in real life though now from a different seat, we are a couple of P3D versions along and with the discount for owners of the previous version, I decided to check it out again.
First quick flight, a departure from an airport I know well. Fully set up, mass and balance, route (an SID, short intermediate leg and a STAR back to the field). Graphics are a lot better, sound is as well. But how is it possible to still not have LNAV figured out? Inserting a direct to waypoint draws a line from some imaginary point on the MFD for some reason, something you will not see on the actual plane. It wiggles over waypoints in a Fair Weather theme, it undershot the less than 90 degree turn to base, tries to correct it in the short distance between there and the turn to final and because of that completely overshoots the turn to final. Once on final, it has captured the LOC1 and GS but NAV-to-NAV mode still seems to not be implemented, as the EFIS nav source is not automatically switched from white to green needles. Eventually somewhat stabilized on the approach I take over manually and then it flies fine.
I thought, maybe I'm being harsh, or the plane does not like a flight plan with arrival and departure at the same airport. Lets try a full flight and see what happens. So I load up the plane for a full flight from C&D.
Tallinn to Warsaw, a common CRJ flight before the pandemic.
Routing ORTAX 1T, ORTAX L729 LUTAL P870 BOKSU M857 GERVI P851 NEPOX, NEPOX 4U for ILS Y RW33.
I set it up as I would the real plane, removed some of the double waypoints. Most of this is possible so that is a plus. Off we go! For some reason, when checking the LEGS page, all cruising waypoints have FL370 listed. But my cruising altitude is FL380. I double check the FMS performance and VNAV pages, and yep... FL380 is set correctly. Why does it say FL370 everywhere in the LEGS page? Well, let's just edit it. I put FL380 in manually at the first waypoint past top of climb. This should normally recalculate the vertical profile and update all the other points that don't have specific constraints set. Nope, still all following waypoints are at FL370. And what is even more fun, VNAV is stuck in CLIMB mode. I'm at my cruising altitude and it is still indicating CLIMB. No way to switch to CRZ profile either.
So, I start setting up a copy of my flight in the secondary flightplan. Everything inserted, activated, quick direct to nearest waypoint... And all the waypoints have FL370 again. The first waypoint of the STAR has a constraint of 280/FL190B. The second waypoint has a speed 250kts constraint but no altitude, and the CRJ thinks it should be at FL370 there. Like, what is going on with the VNAV calculations in this plane? I actually double checked this again while writing, and it does it by default! It was not me screwing anything up with the secondary flightplan. At this point I just use my own personal VNAV (brain) and plan my descent. Approach is set in the FMS, I create a base leg from ADINI to WA533 as that is what ATC will usually give you in Warsaw when coming from this direction. Just past ADINI and on the base leg I activate APPR mode for NAV-to-NAV functionality. It instantly captures GS even though I am 90 degrees off the final track and the localizer is not even captured, why is this possible? LOC1 is green shortly after, still 90 degrees off track. It again does not switch to green needles. It never actually captures the real GS and just continues with a steady 1200fpm to the ground...
And why is the ALTS CAP FMA still missing?
Why is the flap limit speed for flap 20 on the CRJ900 still incorrect on the airspeed limit placard? It should be 220, not 230, I reported this back in the CRJ X beta even all those years ago and it should be such an easy fix as it is correct in the system logic.. so just a texture change.
Why does the MDA have a leading zero when less than 1000 is selected?
Why does VNAV on the MFD indicates the required flightlevel to be at as F380 instead of FL380? The only place a format like F380 is used is as input in the FMS.
Why can't I delete an altidude/speed constraint at a waypoint? It is something we use daily.
Why does it still have trouble with turn anticipation?
I'm sorry, but this product does not deserve the tag Professional. If after these years, even basic functionality like LNAV, VNAV and approach captures are not able to be 99% reliable... I am truly sorry mr. Hartmann, but you need some help getting this addon to a point where it fully deserves to be called Professional and where it is fully worth the asking price of €75.
Video demonstrating the weird VNAV calculations, I go through a quick FMS setup and from 2:37 you can see me setting up performance and VNAV and showing the LEGS page after. This was me double checking, not during the actual flight, so it is reproduceable:
Screenshot showing the GS capture on base leg before LOC capture:
Video of the plane telling me it is fully stabilized on the ILS while basically flying into the ground:
Image showing that MDA does not have a leading zero when less than 1000 is selected:
The flap speed difference you should be able to easily confirm yourself by checking QRH Vol.1 Speed Limitations for CRJ700 and comparing to the one for CRJ900. But as it is already correct in the system logic I am assuming you know.