Review of the Virtual CDU 737 app for iPad in combination with the iFly 737 (video review below)
Programming your FMC often takes quite a lot of time, because you need to enter a wide variety of data, such as weights, temperatures, waypoints and wind data. Normally you would either click the buttons of the FMC using your mouse in the Virtual Cockpit or by opening up the 2d panel of the FMC, but wouldn’t it be better to program everything using your hands?
The Virtual CDU app allows you to do this. By installing this app on your iPad or Android tablet you can turn your device into a FMC. The FMC is identical to the FMC in the actual aircraft, so all the functions you need are really there.
See the app in action in this timelapse!
So how does it work?
On your computer you install a client which allows you to connect your iPad to Flight Simulator. In order for this to work your iPad and your PC which is running Flight Simulator with either the iFly 737 or PMDG 737 NGX should both be running on the same network. The client you install on your PC will give you an IP address that you have to enter in the settings page of the Virtual CDU app on the iPad. After that it’s just a matter of starting up your flight simulator, loading your addon aircraft and connecting your FMC.
Learn how to configure this addon here:
Buying the product
This addon works with the following devices and addons:
- Apple iPads
- Android Tablets
- The iFly Boeing 737NG
- The PMDG 737NGX
- Works in both Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Apart from the 737 FMC, a FMC for the A320, 777 and 747 are available.
In the appstore the app costs $19.99. The client on the website is for free, but you do need to create an account in order to access the downloads.
In general this is a very good addon. It greatly enhances your flight simulator experience as you can easily program the FMC and now it is much more fun to do, because it looks and feels very realistic. Installation and configuration is easy and everything you enter on the iPad is immediately synchronized with the FMC in the actual aircraft. Let’s take a look at the other positives:
- No delay when entering data
- Good looking FMC, realistic compared to the real world 737
- You can see which button you are pressing
- Easy installation and configuration
- Fully functional FMC. It contains the same functions as the FMC of your addon aircraft
- Works when running Flight Simulator in Full Screen mode
- No need to undock any windows
- No need to use apps like airdisplay
There is barely anything you won’t like about this addon, but there are a few points to mention:
- When confirming the V-speeds in the Takeoff page, the V-speeds don’t become bold and bigger after confirming them. This does happen in the actual FMC inside the aircraft, but in the app they don’t become bigger.
- When a waypoint is modified, in some cases you will see this white background on the waypoint in the aircraft’s FMC. This white background is not visible in the app, instead you see a grey kind of text.
- There are no clicking sounds when pressing the buttons.
- The app is quite expensive, but at least it’s a lot cheaper than a real “hardware” FMC
These points are only minor issues and maybe Virtual Avionics will fix some of them sometime!
Although the app is quite expensive I think it’s a great addition to your home cockpit. The issues described above are only minor issues and you won’t be bothered by them when you are making an actual flight. It’s easy to install and it works perfectly fine. It’s like plug and play and when you have this addon, you couldn’t do without it! Using this app, programming your FMC is much more realistic and fun. You don’t even need to be behind your PC, because as long as you are on the same network, you can program the FMC from anywhere in your house!