I recently got a new MCP-Pro from GoFlight and had some time to play with it on my NGX. So let’s start off with a review.
There was no special branded packaging, the MCP-Pro, along with the EFIS, came in well bubbled box, undamaged and well protected. With it, couple of screws and accessories – and no manual or installation instructions. The resourcefullness dictates Internet – easy-peasy, manual is directly on the website.
The installation itself was a bit of a pain, to be honest. I basically got the MCP-Pro and the EFIS as separate modules, and then the side holders, to keep the MCP on the table. Even in the manual or on the website, there is no text and explanation on how to exactly mount the EFIS onto the MCP. But, from looking at the pictures of already mounted MCP+EFIS, one can only guess, and then start opening the EFIS, to be able to mount the supporting stand between the EFIS and MCP, which was, in the end, a real pain to screw together. Of course, I did a mistake at the first round of putting it together, I screwed the EFIS directly to the MCP, without putting the stand between the two. Had to put it apart again, screwing the stand inbetween (see later pictures). Alright, time to install drivers, and see what I need to use it with the PMDG NGX 737.
This part of the installation went without a real glitch. Actually the procedure for this was very well explained in the manuals, and I had the software installed in couple of minutes. After that, connected the MCP and the EFIS, they were recognized and installed without a problem.
It is a really nice piece of hardware. Well built, all metal design (except pots and buttons of course), and has quite a nice touch to it. So I fired up the FSX, chosen the NGX and I already saw the GoFlight program starting up automatically, though not the NGX controller program – that had to be start manually. No matter. I entered the path into FSUIPC, to start it automatically.
First usage of the MCP-Pro gave me somewhat mixed feelings. The pots were reacting really great, though I still had more precision with my G700 wheel over the NGX pot. Nevertheless, the feeling of turning the actual pot is in no real comparison to the mouse wheel, that much must be said! In no way are the MCP-Pro pots bad, they are just “different”. NGX was reacting well on the pot turns, and I was able to make precision adjustments.
One thing that got me thinking, or better said, gave me mixed feelings, are the buttons – simply said, they are really hard to press and quite loud. Not only one or two, but all of them. The VNAV button also needs a bit more pressure than other buttons, and as you will see in the video, I needed to push it twice, 2nd time a little harder. Nevertheless, you also have a visual support in NGX VC and on the MCP, which shows you if the button has been pushed or not.
Furthermore, the MCP also has the switches, including lights above them, for A/T and F/Ds. Those work as expected, and are not motorized. Light will go out, if you flip the switch on the MCP in the NGX.
EFIS: nice little piece of equipment. I’ll go into more details later, but it works as expected.
Let’s start with some pictures:
As you can see, the MCP provides the full 737 functions. All functions changed on the NGX MCP reflect on the GF-MCP, of course, too. The supporting stands on the left and the right of the MCP are adjustable, so you can set the angle as you wish. On the back side provided are two openings for the screws, it is possible to mount the back cover to any kind of supporting surface if you wish. Also, on the sides, the provided holes give you a possibility to mount it into home built cockpits. See following picture:
One thing that was a bit disappointing, since I was in the 737 cockpit once, and I remember it was relatively easy to push a button – they weren’t as nearly as hard to press as the ones on the MCP-PRO. I believe this would be an easy thing to improve, and something GoFlight should take a big look into.
The MCP together with the EFIS gives a nice impression:
EFIS provides you with the older type of Boeing 737-3/4/500 EFIS with the range of 10-640, not the newer NG EFIS with the range for 5-640. Nevertheless, the software supports settings for both – you can have it go from 5-320 or 10-640, as on the EFIS. I chose to have 10-640 and switching to 5 manually with a mouse, if needed.
Couple of cool functions on the EFIS:
– pushing and holding the DH/MDA dial will rotate the MINS larger dial on the NGX EFIS- pushing and holding the BARO IN/HPA dial will rotate the BARO larger dial on the NGX EFIS
– since the GoFlight EFIS does not have CTR and TFC buttons, you can map these functions to the FPV and MTRS buttons instead. If you do this, you will now need to press and hold the relevant button to activate FPV/MTRS
So, and now for couple of macro-shots, showing the external build quality and buttons.
As usual, here is a video of NGX in use. Showing a bit of this and that, rotary function, buttons… Due to extreme complexity and the possible length of the video, I won’t be showing the whole real preparation and flight, just a bit of testing. Please beware that this video was made to show the functions, so please don’t mind the forgotten flaps, overspeeds and other quirks I managed to put into this demo!
GoFlight MCP-Pro+EFIS Review Video
(remember to switch to 720p prior to watching!)
Final opinions and a conclusion:
In the end, after couple of flights, I can say this isn’t a bad piece of hardware at all! Considering the price, and that I got one replacement already, the small glitch with a button shouldn’t be there. Taken into consideration the functions, how it is built and the overall quality of the product, it’s a fine hardware to invest in (considering how much a “real” 737NG MCP costs, easily doubling the price), provided you have all functions like in the real 737NG. Also a big improvement would be the kind of the button, somewhat easier to press, so I don’t have to hold the MCP from tipping over (even when put on the Nanopads, which hold it in place pretty well, or at least keep it from sliding away when pushing buttons). If the technology behind the buttons were the similar like the push-buttons on the dials, that would be great. Also has to be noted that the unit was ment to be a part of the bigger system, where it would be fully fixed and not slide away. My situation is only about the home desktop use, without any kind of console.
One things I must add, GoFlight’s help and support was throughout amazing. This is one thing I can’t complain at all about. Very helpful contacts.
My final thought is that this MCP is not targeted to the “PFC users”, meaning those expecting highest quality with highest demands – there are other products for that. This product is targeted to the average simmer, wanting to expand his horizons a bit – say somewhere inbetween the Saitek Yoke and the PFC Yoke. And the price reflects that too.
Finally, my score for this MCP is 80 of 100.
– very hard to press buttons
– very loud buttons
– mounting somewhat painful, but doable in the end
– price, taken other products in consideration
– build quality
– nice dials, good reaction
– good software support
Product Links: MCP-Pro EFIS
In Europe, GF Products are available also via Aerosoft.
To integrate MCP+EFIS into NGX: GoFlight PMDG Interface
Any questions that you might have, feel free to ask!