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  1. Version Release : X-Plane11 RC1 has been released! Laminar Research have released RC-1 of X-Plane11. In accordance with Laminar's usual version release schedule the interim beta phase is followed by a RC or "Release Candidate" that is a standardization of all the features and settings for the full version release. The RC period does not mean the testing phase is completely over, but the main items are finally locked in. There could be still various RC versions until the final release is actually published, but for most it means that finally the main beta work phase is over. Fine tuning will still not happen until the final version release, so don't go looking for speed and framerate changes yet. Steam users should also get a X-Plane11 copy, but note it will not be the final version. To update to Release Candidate 1 then run your X-plane installer, note you still need the "beta" box ticked for install. No notes on the RC have yet been posted and when they are I will post them here... ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 29th March 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  2. City Scenery Review : Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design Channel your inner Frank Underwood and build your own "House of Cards'. Go all out to "Own this Town!" as this town is Washington D.C, the powerhouse of political power and runaway egos. And now you can with the release of Drzewiecki Design's "Washington XP" and the XP denotes this scenery is for X-Plane. I was immensely impressed by Drzewiecki Design's "Moscow City XP" scenery, but Moscow isn't exactly close to most of your local routes, unless you are Russian. But Washington is very handy. I am on a bit of a crusade on supporting city sceneries. They are strange creatures in the fact they don't really do anything in an active way like an airport scenery does, they are quite frankly just nice visual aspects to admire and absorb while you fly. But they are in context as much as an important contribution to the simulator as the airports and aircraft themselves than everyone takes for granted. Worse I have seen that this area as one of the real points of neglect in X-Plane and mostly by developers, as there is simply no point in having one of the best sceneries you can buy next to a major city, and no visualization of the city to introduce you to the airport... for me that sense of arrival or the point of departure over a credible landscape is just as important as any other factor of simulation. In this area X-Plane has been very poor, and it is even to barren to far worse in Asia where you land to an open flat lifeless world. Another point is that the actual city scenery has to be good as well, a few nice well positioned tall buildings is not a city built, as each city has it's own very unique character with outlined skyline and that character has to come through in feeling and with a visual statement. For Drzewiecki Design they seem to have taken up the niche of creating credible city sceneries. With New York, Miami, Warsaw, Moscow, and now Washington, so how good is this latest city in Washington in adding to the collection. Installation: There are a few notes on installation and so we will cover that area first. This review is run in X-Plane11 with the object settings most set to the highest positions. So if you can do this then I recommend that. Framerate is actually very good for the insane amount of objects on show here, and newer more denser X-Plane11 autogen is a huge advantage in the visual aspect of the scenery, so I recommend X-Plane11 to get the full visual impact of the scenery, also to note that "runways follow terrain contours" select-box is turned on. There are two types of download with an Installer .exe package for Windows and Folders for Mac and Linux. The folder package has to installed in the right order to work correctly. The Windows installer is very good. First you have to agree to Drzewiecki Design's license agreement. Then select either X-Plane10 or X-Plane11 and then you have a choice to either have static aircraft in the scenery on or off. You can return here later to turn off the static aircraft if you wish to not have them displayed in the future. Another note was that I didn't see the option of where to install the scenery if you have more than one copy of the simulator on the desktop? Installation is DD Washington XP layer1 and DD Washington XP layer2 in that order with the DD Washington XP Documents (Manual) in no really important role on the install, if you want you can remove that folder. Drzewiecki Design does also have an objects library in "000 Drzewiecki DesignLibrary" that I already have installed, but there are no notes if that is required here? Washington XP The scenery package comes with the city scenery of Washington D.C. and its iconic buildings, including the Capitol Building, The White House, Supreme Court, Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials, Washington Monument, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Castle and for "Get Smart" fans the "International Spy Museum"! and altogether there are 1500 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas and other objects. Airports are included as well with: KDCA Washington National Airport (Ronald Regan), KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport. Helipads included are: White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital. First Impressions My first look at Washington lived up to one of the area's names in "Foggy Bottom"... The city is known for it's murky dealings so it felt actually appropriate. No doubt X-Plane11 can now create a very atmospheric feel to X-Plane. But I suppose you would want in this review a more clearer view of Washington. City Overview Great X-Plane autogen allows for virtually no boundary between the actual scenery and the installed scenery, so the overview of Washington is spectacular. And efficient as well, as I was getting 40 frames with this view. So your first impressions are "wow", yes the Washington scenery is this good. In any scenery of this scale there has to be some sort of realistic expectations. Nobody more than me would like detailed suburbs and local elements recognised and displayed, but that is not simply possible... well not yet anyway. But the underlying OSM (Open Street Maps) maps built into the X-Plane simulator do really help here to define the city in its structure and feel, and here it works for you very well. Most Capitol cities have a defining iconic location and in Washington it is "The Mall". Your city scenery can hinge on just one area to represent the iconic view of the city. If it succeeds then the whole of the scenery succeeds, but get it wrong or create it with poor textures and your scenery is going to fail. In this Washington XP view of the mall the viewpoint is beyond successful and in the right light like above it is very realistic... impressive. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol Hill are perfect, as is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the approach. A note that Drzewiecki Design has not added in the 14th Street bridge but simply allowed the X-Plane traffic to flow freely on the autogen bridges, I think this is a wise choice here, as it looks more natural in context. All the Mall's buildings are individually detailed and created, including all the Smithsonian Museums and Castle. The Federal Triangle, U.S Navy Buildings, National Archives Building and most Washington downtown buildings have been reproduced. Noted they are not detailed, detailed here but they are very good representations of the buildings. Both Libraries of Congress (John Adams in the foreground) and all the governmental buildings that a capitol requires is included. One building that does standout however is the Washington National Cathedral far in the distance up west of downtown Washington. Capitol Hill Think of Washington and the icon it is most known for is Donald Trump's hair... No not him!... The Capitol building on Capitol Hill. And the reproduction of the Capitol Building is very impressive. There is a lot of work in this building, detailing is excellent, extremely realistic even at close quarters, I love the copper roofing on the Representative and Senate Houses. This is outstanding design. The White House Another Icon is of course the White House. Until as many note Trump ruins it, "The White House" is the most famous building in America, some say Graceland (Elvis Presley) in Memphis is now more famous but the design is the same colonial age anyway. The famous "West Wing" is well produced, and the Navy One is sitting on the North Lawn ready. Overall the same excellent design as the Capitol Building and it is photographically perfect. You can also visit the Oval Office to collect your own "Make American Great Again" cap from POTUS himself. West over the Potomac River is the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City with the Arlington National Cemetery also shown. The Pentagon is also perfect, and the reproduction of office buildings and apartment complexes behind the complex do a great job of filling out the scenery. A big mistake from most city scenery developers is they do the central Icons which is fine, but without these skyline buildings and towers the scenery can look empty, but that is not the case here as the more mundane areas that mostly make up cites are also addressed as well. So overall the Washington centre is excellent in every area, a flyover is a must. KDCA - Ronald Regan Washington National Airport The main airport included in the package is the central Ronald Regan Washington National Airport. I still call it "National" as that name was originally "Hoover Field" but from 1941 it was always Washington National. Both of my most favorite approaches is north and south into RWYs 01/19, they are exciting and visually very good, they can be challenging as well if the weather is poor, which it is most of the time. Sadly Washington's other major airport in Dulles is not included in this package, but it is available on the X-Plane.Org and details are below. DCA is excellent, but doesn't have a lot of X-Plane special effects like animated airbridges or vehicles. There is however a lot of objects on the ground and that does at least fill in the scenery that could have felt empty and bland. Main DCA terminal has been well recreated in pure 3d modelling, with real see-through glass and a built in walk through interior. The terminal's historic intriguing roof structure is very well done both inside and externally, so it looks realistic. Control Tower is great as well and looks correct. Tower view works... just, only don't look up for the struts showing in your view. But the runway views are fine and that is important here, as the approaches are worth the excellent views over the city of Washington. Overall DCA is very good, and a worthy addition to your collection. Additional Airports Other airports included in the package are: KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport. Helipads included are: White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital are all positioned over the Potomac in Maryland southeast of the central Washington area. KADW - Joint Base Andrews Andrews AFB is the entry and departure point for not only POTUS (President of the United States) but incoming heads of state or delegates, so the airport hosts and is the base for 89th Airlift Wing with both the Air Force Ones in VC-25A's which are modified 747-200B's (Serial SAM28000 and SAM29000, SAM is Special Air Mission) and the Boeing C32's (Boeing 757) Air Force Two aircraft. It is not just the main governmental aircraft that are based here but all the logistic aircraft also required to transport the higher governmental heads and brass. And chances are that if an alien attack did head for Washington, then no doubt the fight as noted in numerous Hollywood dramas will start and possibly end on this base. Considering the sheer scale of the importance of Andrews AFB, the airport is quite stark. Mostly the scenery consists of a selection of large hangars on both sides of parallel runways 01L/19R 9,300ft (2,835m) and 01R/19L 9,755ft (2,973). Both VC-25A's are noted here, but there very little else in aircraft or equipment. Certainly not a bustling Airforce or Naval base. Note the ajoining Golf Course, Washington GA Airfields All the smaller GA airfields have grass and are fenced in. Small additions to the extra scenery, but with great benefits here. All building/hangar textures are not high quality and have a low resolution, but they are workable for scenery usage. All the fields are quite picturesque and are well worth visiting. KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport Both airports in KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport or Hyde Field are parallel and right next to each other. And so it would be very easy in not mixing them up and using the wrong runway? But W32 has the larger runway of the two at RWY 5/23 3,000ft (914m) long were as KVKX is RWY 6/24 2,665ft (812m) long. And both are part of the "Maryland 3" airports located within the Washington area with KCGS Collage Park below. This is the D.C. Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), in that these airports are subject to the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) restrictions imposed by the FAA after the 9/11 Attacks. W32 Washington Executive Airport The biggest GA/Exec airport of the GA fields. Not much here but a few hangars and offices. Also known as Hyde Field it was originally an Army aviation training field, and it still has the older style military buildings, but it is no gleaming executive facility. KVKX Potomac Airfield Potomac Field is only 1.10 nautical miles (1.27 mi) west of W32 and was formally known as "Friendly". Not much here except some storage hangars and parking areas. KCGS College Park Airport College Park Airport has an interesting history. The field was established in August 1909, and civilian aircraft began flying from College Park Airport as early as December 1911, making it the world's oldest continuously operated airport. In 1977 the airport was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The field was also used to develop and test the first radio navigational aids for use in "blind" or bad weather flying. This was the forerunner of the modern Instrument Landing System used today by aircraft. Runway is 15/33 2,607ft (795m) long, but has significant lead in areas on both ends. There is a museum reproduced here on site called the College Park Aviation Museum that first opened to the public in 1981, and houses antique and reproduction aircraft associated with the history of College Park Airport. The museum was updated in September 12, 1998, and includes a 90-seat auditorium, a non-circulating appointment-only library, gift shop, museum offices, and a replica of the original 1909 College Park Airport hangar. There is a spare Naval Seaking on the other side of the field. And rail lines along the boundary gives the field some action. Scenery Lighting Night lighting in most city sceneries are mostly average, and yet this view is important. The Washington XP lighting is between very good to fair and fine if you don't get in to close for detail. Thankfully the main Washington monuments are well lit, so that is a huge benefit to the overall night time view of the city. For the city's buildings it is not bad, but not very imaginative lighting either, so "workable" is the main thing that comes to mind. Overall the city's lighting is slightly dull or dark. Pentagon and Crystal City towers are not bad in being more realistic, but thankfully default traffic lighting does help throughout the whole scenery. KDCA at night is average. The ramp areas are well lit... But the terminal is in... "Terminal Darkness" and not very realistic. Drzewiecki Design's night glass textures have always been bland, as they are again here. Mostly flat and dull and quite unattractive, it is overall at DCA average lighting and not very imaginative or diverse. Summary Looking at the broad-strokes then Washington XP is absolutely excellent, a must have scenery in your collection. You get a lot of area covered for your money as well as the full area covered includes McLean – Newington – Cheltenham - College Park districts, and the main central Washington downtown area. All the iconic buildings are well covered here with important Capitol Hill and The White House as standout sceneries, the Capitol Building itself is a major classic piece of work. Airports are well covered with KDCA, Andrews JBA and smaller W23, KVKX and the famous College Park, but no KIAD - Dulles. The most significant point of city sceneries is just a simple fact... visual. To convey a feeling of place or area, and in this main point the scenery succeeds perfectly. Now on any approach to DCA you will be transfixed by the views around you, This scenery completes and makes Washington now one of the great arrivals in X-Plane. I can't expound a more powerful point in why these sceneries are so important to the simulator, because without them, you have no sense of place or being in the X-Plane world. Flying aircraft is what the simulator is of course all about, but the dimension of real world realism in where and in the moment visually as you fly to has a huge bearing on the full experience of simulation as well. So support city sceneries and your X-Plane world will be far more better place with them than without them. Positives : Excellent City Visuals, All Washington Icons and Monuments are included, Great Frame-rate for the mass of objects included, many important surrounding areas are also included, overall great value. Negatives : DCA not bad, but Andrews is a bit bland, Night lighting at DCA is average and overall the city could be brighter, Smaller airport textures are a more lower resolution, No X-Plane animations in vehicles or airbridges. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Washington XP Your Price: US$30.00 Scenery Features: Washington, D.C. scenery with about 1500 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas and other objects, all with night textures Large scenery area (McLean – Newington – Cheltenham - College Park) with night and seasonal textures and a detailed autogen Detailed scenery of KDCA Washington National Airport, with terminal interiors, detailed ground markings, static aircraft, native X-Plane reflections etc. Lite sceneries of KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport with custom-made all airport buildings and realistic ground poly layer. Many helipads and heliports including White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital and more. Recommended for X-Plane11 for more advanced features. Requirements : X-Plane 10 or X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 1Gb VRAM Video Card - 3Gb+ VRAM highly Recommended Download size: 600Mb Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards Installation and documents: Download for the Washington XP is 555.30mb and the unzipped files are deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder... DD-Washington XP Layer1 (1.75K) DD-Washington XP Layer2 (1.50GB) DD-Washington Documents (Manual) Note... scenery must be set in that above order to work correctly, full Windows .exe installer is included (Install noted above) KIAD - Dulles is available from the X-Plane.Org (Free) here : KIAD - Washington Dulles International Airport 3.3 Static aircraft can be switched on or off via the installer. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90
  3. Ask and you will be served by the Gods on high... Beta16 is now out , but wait for Beta17 for a cleaner beta. Dev blog release notes are here... X-Plane Release notes
  4. Moved from wrong forum: With X-Plane 11 I have noticed a surge in power when moving the Throttle, Prop and Mixture controls. I move the controls in a forward motion, not much happens then I get a surge of power. This makes in very hard to control the aircraft. Is this an issue with version 11.00pb15? Is there any way to fix this in any settings? Thanks, Topflyer68 All thrust ratios and engine performance is changed in X-Plane11. If the developers have not adjusted their aircraft to the new parameters then they will be wrong. Beta16 is supposed to be a final lockdown of engine performance so most developers are waiting for those settings to go final... Sd
  5. Aircraft Review : Pipistrel Panthera v3 by Aerobask One of the great satisfaction's of being a reviewer is seeing great talent mature. Many new developers come into X-Plane and have a huge amount of natural ability, but from a reviewers position it is in the many new introductions to the simulator that they have great ambitions for their future prospects are then hit with the realities of producing brilliant work. First releases are initially very good, but the novice will always be not totally aware of the smaller minute details of what goes into a fully formed product. So from the reviewers point of view you have to be critical and supportive at the same time, too much either way and the developer will think he really is number one were as in reality there is a long way to go, or the fact that being too harsh could make great talent walk away from a brilliant career and the loss therefore is for not only the future product for users to enjoy but the loss of talent to the simulation platform. But if the developer stagnates after a period of time, then the criticism will hurt, but the reality is that you should know by now on how the deal works, and the minute should have been addressed and absorbed, "picking on this or that" by critics is not the point here, as the point after the initial growth time is over is that is it now at a level that people do expect quality for their money, or the fact that "picking on this or that" means the product can be now that much better to deliver the quality the developer is capable of. Worse is the fact that for just a few extra weeks of fine tuning, it is in fact a "False Economy" in that the product goes out there to an audience that will quickly tell you it is not ready, and once the word gets around that the product is below expectations or just plainly not finished. Once that tag is on your reputation it is a very hard one to shake off, and some developers will never shake off a reputation badly gained just to get the product out there. That last 5% of the 100% of creating a product is the very hardest ground of all to cover, and more so as the aircraft and sceneries are so very complex today, get it right and you go into the upper echelons of being a must buy developer. In other words with every release you will be an automatic sale to the customer. It is called value for money. So what does this comment has to do with this review. Everything in fact as Aerobask is one of the really great talents that didn't fall into any of the above liabilities, and they prove what is required for greatness. Pipistrel Panthera v3 The Pipistrel Panthera is a great example of this. The first aircraft they released were very good, but they were all still a little slightly rough in some small areas. Version two (v2) showed more development and design, but more importantly Aerobask (then Harranssor) not only improved their actual modeling and design but started to explore new areas and developments to bring users another level of usability, functionality and most importantly that sublime quality of smoothness and feel to the ideas. And more importantly would not release an aircraft unless it was actually ready and they did not try to hit a locked in sales date, "it will be released when it is ready" is a good mantra. The major development we are talking about here is Aerobask's version of the built in FMS (Flight Management System) called "Dynon SkyView" and complimentary GTN 750 and GTN 650 systems. This system is not new as it was introduced on the v2, but back then it was a hybrid version with part of the default X-Plane GNS530 used as the navigation display and flightplan editor to supplement the GTN 750 and GTN 650. The Epic Victory from Aerobask introduced a development of the system yet again and a full avionics suite of the "Skyview - GTN 750/650"without the need of using the default GNS530 innards. With the Pipistrel Panthera v3 the system is again moved forward, but more internally than from the visual aspect, we will explain this later, but first let us look at the aircraft. When the original Pipistrel Panthera by then Harranssor was introduced the developer was at a disadvantage. Aerobask is a lover of composite aircraft, modern sleek and of very clean moulded lines. But in computer visuals these aircraft can come across as very bland or even cartoonish in appearance, there is no detail in soft clean shapes unlike the panel and riveting detail on 60's era aircraft. At this time of the review X-Plane11 is still in beta (b15) and the focus of this v3 release is in and only for X-Plane10.52. But the Panthera does fly fine in the beta, no issues for me except for an overuse of fuel. But the biggest benefit for Aerobask is the way that X-Plane11's PBR (Physically Based Rendering) shininess and harder shadows give these composite aircraft finally a feeling of reality, "oh it's so good" stunning and throughout this review you can see the huge benefits of what PBR brings to the simulator. If any aircraft have a huge visual benefit from X-Plane11 it is certainly Aerobask's designs. Earlier versions in X-Plane10 required that I had to use a lot of cheap lighting tricks to get something out of the blandness of the fuselage as shown below. But that is all swept away with X-Plane11... .... and there is better yet still to come! Aerobask have fine tuned the textures for PBR to match and it really shows. As the high quality 3D model has been totally reauthored with UHD 4K textures, Ambient occlusion, Specular mapping and PBR normal mapping (for XP11). For this review I set off from early from KLAL - Lakeland, Florida and headed out to KEVB - New Smyrna Beach Muni, but decided to carry on up to KJAX - Jacksonville along the eastern Floridian coastline. I was enjoying the great feel of the Panthera and the still newish feel of X-Plane11. I was certainly enjoying the aircraft, but I can't fly around up here all day as my fuel load is getting very low and that in X-Plane11 the Panthera does gobble up fuel at an alarming rate. Safer on the ground at KJAX... Let us now look at some "catch your breath images"... The realism is astounding, look at the light on the engine intake curves.. The panel design from the outside of the aircraft is just excellent, very, very realistic. The pilot shakes his head with your stick movement, but not much else and he can't seem to get a grip on the stick? As good as the panel is from the outside a closer inspection is overwhelming In the X-Plane11 PBR lighting it is just simply unbelievably brilliant, as the carbon matrix design is almost feel to touch. Cockpit detailing is excellent. All items are beautifully modeled with perfect textures and you can just feeeel everything is so nice to the touch. Top panel has sixteen in two sets of annunciators either side of the backup instruments of Speed, Artificial Horizon and Altitude. Lower panel has switchgear to the left that covers Power, Avionics, Fuel Pump, Pitot Heat, AP (Autopilot), A&C and AUX (GPU). Flaps and Climate Controls are to the right. Park Brake, Trim Indicator and Climate Control display are lower. All climate controls and systems are simulated also here. Key is used to start, just push the key to turn or use the manipulators. When you do start the engine throws out a lot of exhaust smoke and you have to work to get the idle right, it will churn a lot sometimes and you don't get that clean startup every time, very realistic. Cabin fitting out is exceptional, to note the detail then just look at the perfect chrome handles and seatbelt catches, are just perfect chrome. Dynon Skyview The Panthera comes with the two panel display version of the "Dynon SkyView" system. Pressing the aircraft symbol in the centre of each display will bring up the pop-up version of the panel, the panels are also adjustable for scale via the right hand lower corner. Yes we have seen these displays before, but there is a new efficiency to the activation and movements that shows the system has been upgraded, it is now far more fluid in operation as is Scroll-wheel support on lists, map, HDG, CRS, MDA, ALT, VVI... and more. Both screens are independent of each other and all can be configured to suit your preferences. Within each configuration you can select even parts of full screen views to cover the full spectrum. This includes a HUGE or massive Artificial Horizon with rate of turn indicators, speed and altitude tapes and heading rose (with Course (CRS) - double VOR 1 and 2 and Skyview - FMS pointers) in the lower portion of the screen. An Engine and Aircraft status block known as the EMS which can be positioned left/right or centre of the display and also the MAP/NAV screen. Personally I kept it all simple with just the main PFD in front of me with the EMS and the MAP/NAV screen shared with the EMS again to the right. The system is menu driven by the buttons below the screen. This is a great version, but menu driven tree and branch systems can be complex and time consuming to use. But the system does also give you a huge amount of options. There are a huge amount of selections on the Dynon menu driven interface, which selections are accessed by the lower row of buttons, or the two knobs (covering Altitude and Heading adjustment) on the left display and "Range" on the right. BARO - MDA - CRS (Course) - HDG (Heading) - ALT - VS - IAS - DIM, all use the knob as a selection tool with a centre push of the knob for selection and arrows for changing selections. It works very well but the arrows are a bit small, but overall I prefer the GNS500 version with just a row of buttons that simply do the same job without scrolling up and down in menus for your selection. Tree and branch navigation can be complicated, and so you have to write down the routes to the selections you want. Take for instance the Map Nav-Aid selections. You require four branch selections just to declutter your screen. First MAP then MAP MENU (again) then ITEMS and then your actual selections and do that while trying to fly and navigate as well? I just leave it on the "ITEMS" menu all the time so I don't lose them again in the forest of menu selections. You do wonder if the budget cuts to the FAA are really messing up with their jobs, how did this complex routing really pass cockpit ergonomics for user friendly applications... "god knows". Flightplans Creating and editing flightplans are very (very) easy and quick with this system, you can IMPORT and EXPORT standard .fms flightplans as well. The big in screen map help building flightplans, and editing or adding in extra Nav-Aids (waypoints) on to the plan is as easy as a select and click. Nearest (APT/VOR/DME/NDB/FIX) is excellent as is the search function and any selections can be directly inputted into the flightplan and Airways, SID and STAR (waypoint-based) fixes are supported. Overall very impressive. Menus There are two pop-up menu tabs on the lower left of your screen for "Options" and Weight & Fuel" "Options" covers two items for windshield and EFIS (instrument) reflections. "Weight & Fuel" covers static elements which turns yellow with the tag to add or hide the wheel chocks and the aircraft's parking flags. You have a fuel selector to add or empty the aircraft's fuel tanks (two), which is easy to use. Lower right is a clever system of adding in weight and passengers. click on a seat or bag and you can load either an adult or a child in the seats (any except the pilot's) and with the baggage select a bag from the menu. All the fuel, passenger and baggage weight is then calibrated on a display on the left to show you your actual aircraft weight. And it is all very well done and easy to do. I found that four people up is too much weight with a full load of fuel on board, and I had to leave the second passenger behind to get the two adults and their luggage in the aircraft. Rear left door is outlined, but doesn't open. External GPU (Ground Power Unit) is not on the menus but activated via the button "AUX" on the panel. This GPU is definitely required if you are setting up the aircraft for flight, certainly if programming in a flightplan, as the battery goes flat very quickly if the GPU is not attached. Review Routes : KJAX - Jacksonville to KLAL - Lakeland Then YBCG - Gold Coast to YBNA - Ballina On leaving Jacksonville I got another warning in two "Servo" failures and a dive into the manual and I was none the wiser, so a contact with Aerobask was in order, I couldn't takeoff with broken Elevator and Aileron failures now could I... These were not actual failures as it turned out, but just disconnected servos as the "AP" switch was off?, Switch now on and the warning went away, time to fly. Note the beautiful trailing link undercarriage, all the gear is extremely well made, but the nosewheel can be awkward to use at low turning points, it can stall you easily, and only a lot of thrust will get you moving again? You tend to taxi positioned just to one side as the glareshield is quite big and the view ahead a little bit restricted, it is worse at night looking for the centreline on approach or finding the middle of the taxiways, to which you tend to take a little bit off line. Sounds are all new as well with script-driven custom sounds with rain graphics and noisy sound effects, and yes it all sounds very good. Departure was fast... Is the Panthera "Twitchy", I personally don't really think so as it is more "nimble" or "touchy" then it could be that. But with the very light frame to the power ratio with this version in having the 260HP equipped Lycoming IO-540V, you definitely feel the light composite structure through the controls. So the inputs have to be small, slow and smooth, and those glider like wings are very effective and so this Pipistral is nothing like a C175 or the like. So my advice is just slow down and go smooth through any manoeuvres. Leaving the grip of the runway there is a significant drift to the left to be compensated for as the powerful thrust can take you off line very quickly, so you are very active in those first few moments of flight until you are used to the Panthera's handling and feel. Feel of course is everything here, but this is certainly a "feely, Feely" aircraft, but in a nice way. Landing is very touchy as well, you need to control the speed to descent as the window is small (Those wings?) too slow and they quickly stall and you lose height, so it is a very throttle control on landing... and a few practise landings to get it right. In-flight instrumentation is very good. with on the Navigation display note the good on screen data that covers ETE (Estimated Time Enroute), ETA (Estimated Time Arrival) Final and ETE, ETA Next. Garmin/Aerobask GTN750/650 System Centre panel is the aircraft's pièce de résistance! the GARMIN GTN 750/650 system or Aerobask's version of the system. As with the Dynon the panels both pop-up (press the right perimeter) and this is a nice bit of kit. You may say "I've seen this before?" and you would be right as you have, but not the more completed working version. Back in the day this was the original version. It was quite basic but this is now the full version of the system... To see the best effects of the GTN 750/650 we will head to the Gold Coast for a night flight down to Ballina. The GTN750 is the larger unit with a 6.9 inch TFT touchscreen display with icons to cover features such as : Map, Traffic, Terrain, Weather, Charts, Flight Plan, PROC, Nearest, Waypoint Info and Utilities with Services and System blanked out. The "Utilities" button covers : DALT/TAS/Winds, Flight Times and Checklists and Clean Screen with Trip Planning, Rain Prediction, Scheduled Messages blanked out. Top of the GTN750 unit is the radio section, with easy switching of frequencies, XPDR and COMM, NAV selection. It is very, very impressive and easy to use once you get used to it, but a little time is required to learn all the abundance of functions, mouse scroll is handy as well for volume and frequency changes. The GTN650 is smaller at 4.9-inch TFT display and has a few different options from the GTN750 Feature available include : Map, Traffic, Terrain, Weather, Default Nav, Otto Pilot (from the movie "Flying High" and yes I am that old) Waypoint Info and Nearest. Radio is situated to the right with the same built-in tuners. The system is very, very impressive, but to note that all the functions as listed on the displays have not been covered yet. You have a lot of power here at your fingertips, but the trick is to find the right combinations of all your tools to get the maximum ease of use from your flying. You will find a lot of functions in this cockpit doubled up or even tripled, the idea is find the best set up to cover your workload. To that effect I have the "Map" on the bigger GTN750, and the "Otto Pilot" ready on the lower GTN650 and just the Haeding and Altitude adjustment on the left Skyview display, simple and it works. Note the excellent flight plan leg with CDI selection below... Cockpit is nice at night but I can't find any screen brightness adjustment. External lighting is very good with the usual navigation, recognition and two landing lights on the main gear. The strobes are very good, but very bright and so not to be used on the ground. Panel can be completely dark, or you have two note pad lights to light up the instruments. In the rear there are two overhead spot lights. Remember the looking a little offset past the glareshield, here is the view at night... MAP function is impressive. Map choices include Arc or 360º and resolution. Other Layers include Terrain, Nav-Aids, Orientation (North or Heading) and Height. Terrain Terrain function is very detailed, but only when closer to the ground (the radar, not the aircraft)... ... the menu is same as with the Map. One of the most used layouts with the two units I like to use is the flightplan. You can have the usual flightplan on in the right hand side navigation display, but the GTN's are a great addition for excellent detail of you route with the route in the upper 750, and the CDI flight plan leg in the lower 650, it is a great layout for easy route visuals. Nearest and Waypoint Information is comprehensive, easy to use and very visual. There has been a lot of thought put into online support. Both for communication with PilotEdge (Connect/disconnect, TX/RX, COM1&2 volume control) and awareness for IVAO and VATSIM (connection status). TCAS is also supported for online flying with a "Traffic Information Service" (TIS) which is an advisory. There won't be much activity around this area tonight, but there are a few options on the traffic menu. Charts are good, but not very readable at full size, zoom in and they are then usable. PNG. files makes them easy to create and inset into the "Charts" folder in your aircraft folder. Weather and PROC (Proceed). The Weather just shows the levels of weather around you, but it is pretty basic, but the PROC is used like the "DIR-TO" or Direct-To a Nav-Aid or Waypoint, and can be used as a waypoint editor for the flightplan. For a small four-seater aircraft the Panthera has a lot of gear, it feels like there is more than the Space Shuttle used... Liveries Outwardly the liveries look the same as the original versions. But they have been all updated to UHD 4K and the detailing shows compared to the earlier textures. Eight liveries in all and the collection still includes the "Pink Panther" design Special Effects There are some great special effects. One is rain drops (left) that are excellent and look beautiful on the curved canopy doors. Fog (right) is in there as well. You don't know it is fogging up until it clears a little in the front view position, again really well done and I love these effects for their realism under the weather. When you park up, you take the key out and store it in the centre console... ... But the pilot stays in there? Why can't he go home after disconnecting the key... Summary I started this review with the point that to really succeed in X-Plane as a developer there is a continuous growth and upward scale of quality you have to deliver. X-Plane design is now extremely high, the quality in X-Plane11 with PBR is just simply enormous. Aerobask has joined easily that upper echelon of being a must buy developer. This aircraft and the others that will follow are simply overwhelming aircraft in design and features, and yes there is still more to come. The light and design of the aircraft will take your breath away, X-Plane11 is delivering and with aircraft like this you are now going into a higher realm of quality and realism, areas that you only dreamed of a few years ago. That realism while using and flying this aircraft is second to none (in X-Plane11) but the great attraction is that everything in the systems and the complex on board navigation and flight control (Autopilot) is that it has a seemless use and what coders call elegance in the coding in that it doesn't feel like it is a model or even a simulation... it feels real. It is to your best advantage to set up and use the systems to better your flying. Autopilot and Flightplan control is far better and simpler to use than the complex tree and branch menus of the Dynon units. Yes you have loads of functionality, but you can get lost just trying to find your way around all those menu settings. So set everything out for simple selection. Earlier owners of the v1/v2 Panthera from Aerobask can get US$10 off the updated v3 aircraft... see details below. There are no highlights here (well maybe the excellent GTN Units) as everything is good or brilliant, the designs from Aerobask are now trendsetters as much as Carenados are but in a totally different area. And flying the Panthera will challenge you as well... I could go on and on, but why... it is just brilliant. Positives : Almost everything! Beautiful design inside and out, realism in spades and incredible equipment packs. Negatives : Almost nothing, except letting the Pilot go home and learning all the complex systems and using them to your best flying abilities. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Pipistrel Panthera v3 by Aerobask is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Pipistral Panthera v3 Your Price: $34.95 Features In-house coded GTN 750 and GTN 650 with touchscreen and scrollwheel support: Exclusive multi-threaded and fps-friendly map and terrain display Map topography display based on actual X-Plane mesh data Terrain awareness display based on actual data Configurable map rendering TCAS with online flying support Airways, SID and STAR support (waypoint-based) Flight plan import/export compatible with stock XP10 fms format Built-in chart viewer - easily import yours COM support for PilotEdge (Connect/disconnect, TX/RX, COM1&2 volume control) COM awareness for IVAO and VATSIM (connection status) COM, NAV and XPNDR dialing pad Interactive checklists Resizable pop-ups Latest revision of Dynon Skyview with added scrollwheel support NEW! Scrollwheel support on lists, map, HDG, CRS, MDA, ALT, VVI, etc... Airways, SID and STAR support (waypoint-based) Weather map display on multiple screens and orientations TCAS with Traffic Advisory and Resolution Advisory Resizable pop-ups Dual compatibility XP10 and XP11, with PBR support Volumetric propeller (XP11) Enhanced and scripted 3D sound Compatible with GoodWay 5 Requirements: X-Plane 10.50 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux - Running in 64bit Mode 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 3GB+ VRAM Recommended on X-Plane 11 X-Plane 11: this aircraft requires GNS430 data from X-Plane 10, Navigraph or Aerosoft to be installed into Custom data folder. Previous Panthera Owners: If you own the prior Panthera v1/v2 versioion, you can get the new Panthera v3 for $10 off. The upgrade code can be found in your original Panthera invoice at the store. or you can request it at _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the Pipistrel Panthera v3 is 117.10mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 246.70mb . Key authorisation and a restart is required. You can use the Navigraph or Aerosoft navigation data with this aircraft or the built in X-Plane GNS430 data in your main root folder. Comprehensive set of documents covers all aspects of the (complex) avionics systems and flightplanner _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 23rd March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 and checked with current flight route and details Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note: personal added items in an office (okay demountable building and vehicles) - KJAX - Jacksonville International Airport 1.01 by ThePrivateer ( - Free - YBCG : Gold Coast International v1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YBNA - Ballina - VOZ Australian Scenery by Barry (Bazza) Roberts (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  6. The MD-88 from Rotate is still my preference at this point as the B757 is not up to total X-Plane11 usability. The B757 is a very complex aircraft, it needs the rules to be steady to be adjusted correctly, it flies fine and is perfect in XP10, but X-Plane11 beta is just too flexible at the moment to get the best out of the aircraft in detail.
  7. Aircraft Update : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro v1.30 by Rotate The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 has been upgraded to v1.30 and now comes with the added Pro moniker. The better news is that this version by Rotate is also compatible or "flyable" in X-Plane11. It is to be noted that the update v1.30 is for X-Plane 10.51, but changes have been accommodated so it will fly in the current X-Plane11 beta and a final X-Plane11 version of this aircraft will be released when X-Plane11 goes final. There are a few quirks in flying the MD-88 in X-Plane11 of which are to be expected, but nothing that gets in the way of flying this excellent airliner in the new version of the X-Plane simulator. The v1.30 update is also very significant because it covers a lot of areas that brings the aircraft up to the almost a more complete systems coverage, and that is where this release is basically aimed in the focus on systems and the switchgear that are now active. The changelog for v1.30 is quite extensive (bottom), and visually there isn't much difference as everything is mostly in the aircraft's operations than new features. However that doesn't mean this upgrade doesn't make a big difference to the aircraft because it does. Although this v1.30 update is aimed at X-Plane 10.51, this overview of the update is in X-Plane11(beta15) as if any aircraft that was made for the new features of X-Plane11 it is this MD-88, it always looked sensational before, but now it looks and feels like it is from another world again in X-Plane11. The added PBR (Physically Based Rendering) shininess and harder shadows gives the aircraft a very different definition. The aircraft being from another era looks sublime in the right light as many areas give off that great metallic feel that is created by PBR in metalness. Metal and shininess was one of the real challenges before PBR, but not now and you can see the real advances in X-Plane11 in this area on the MD-88. The leading edge is just beautiful, as are the paneled wings. The engines which are also upgraded here in v1.30 to JT8D-219's (21,000 lbf) look very authentic and note the worn metal detailing with the thrust reverser doors in the open position. v1.30 Focus The Rotate MD-88 has had a lot of comments since it's debut in that externally it is extremely very good with those huge dense textures, but very light on systems and switchgear. Over the last year and through the recent updates there has been a lot of attention to these minute items but in v1.30 this area has been the update's main focus. So now almost every switch and dial is active, everything now has a job to do. That also means a lot of time setting up the aircraft from cold and you will need your checklists to get it all done. To help you out the sounds have been upgraded as well to reflect the use of these smaller items. But to note that the sounds are at this point only relevant to the X-Plane10 version and not the X-Plane11 version as X-Plane11 has a completely new FMOD-based sound system. This system has been noted as complete in beta15, but developers have not yet being given access as the tools are not yet compete, but the intergation of the FMOD-based sound will be certainly extensive and the new sounds will certainly come very quickly to this v1.30 in a very short time. The menu system in X-Plane11 makes it easier to activate the GPU and the doors, than the older (but still there) way of on the FMS. This feature is handy for starting up the APU without ant power to the aircraft and you can now also watch the doors in action as you select them. This menu selection was in X-Plane10 earlier, but it was more difficult to use. With PBR you get a reflection on the dials and they look like they are actually lit but they are not, but there is a difference when you turn up the backlighting. With the panel power up, the Avionics are not lit. To save you an hour or so looking for the Avionics power switch it is because there isn't one? The displays only have to have their brightness turned up, via the two knobs on the panel and the FMS knob on the FMS panel. It is also now important you get the IRS "Align" mode correct as well in v1.30. It has to be done in the correct order on the FMS, if not it won't align or work. On the now aligned flight displays note the two alerts in "G/S Fail" and "LOC Fail", These alerts are now on most of the time unless the G/S and the VOR frequencies are active. FMS (Flight Management System) is comprehensive and on the surface looks the same as the earlier versions. Fixes also include for ARINC424 instructions and the changes for the missing X-Plane10 Avionics in X-Plane11. But the system has had a big overhaul in the internal code, we will see more later of these features in the review. Overhead (OVHD) panel is now highly active. Small items like resetting the Flight-Recorder Voice-Recorder and testing the volume are workable as are overhead tests for Fire, GPWS, Windshear, CSD, IRS-2, Ground Service Bus, Audio panel and Fuel Heat. More significant in v1.30 is the new long system list in that that far more areas are now represented. Fuel Heat is simulated, CrossFeed valve works, Pump logic improved, All fuel burn logic now accounts for APU, AC and Anti-Ice bleed use. More includes complete engine fire detection and extinguishing is simulated, Hydraulic system improved, flight surfaces hydraulic dependencies and Rudder Travel functionality, Airfoil and Tail heat logic and Annunciators, the Brake Temperature indicator and testing, and so are the Brakes and reverser hydraulic dependencies with Custom Auto Brake Systems, and most the of the accumulators now including the Brakes and Reversers accumulators are also simulated. Ditto the aircraft environmental systems when the engines are running, they are all now also adjustable and switchable. It is a big long list, but it brings the "Mad Dog" alive like nothing else did before. KRSW to KATL My usual service route is between South Florida and Atlanta, and that is the service I am flying today. There is a lot of small differences between the X-Plane10 version and the X-Plane11. Not large but significant. One is the very different engine thrust parameters that has thrown a lot of developers out into the deep end. It also mean almost all the original thrust calculations are now not valid. You fly very differently in X-Plane11 than you do in X-Plane10, that is made more aware when you go back to the older X-Plane version on how quite simplistic it was. From a cold startup, or even on a service turnaround there is a large amount of setting up to now to do. In the manual there is the full sequence to start up and to make sure all the buttons and switches are all in the right positions, there is simplistic checklist as well. But nothing here beats time in the seat and learning with your own notes to over and over again to get it all right. You can set a lot of the flying parameters ready on the ground like Speed, NAV (FMS navigation), Altitude and Vertical Speed (V/S). The knobs are very authentic, but the speed setting can take time to adjust as you need many mouse moves to get to the higher speed settings, once there though it is not an issue in flight. Everything armed ready should be visible in the FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator). DC bus electrics need to be set right and running correctly, loads generated are now very authentic. A nice touch is the power to the panel is temporary lost as the electrics switch over from one bus to the other. Setting the "Trim" computer has always been a bit of a minefield for newcomers on this aircraft. But there is a set of tables to get the right selection and nothing beats just a little bit of practise and learning to get it right. This aircraft is full of alerts. So your aim is to do a full fight without sending them off and that is harder than it looks. Two in particular are a pain "On Ramp" and "Altitude". Get a setting wrong like your flap position and off it blares "On Ramp, On Ramp... " but gradually you keep it quiet. The other in "Altitude" is actually not as big an issue. It goes off if the aircraft is below the set altitude, and just sitting on the ramp can set it off if the airport is set below sea level. Just make sure the altitude is set above your current altitude and it won't go off, of course a none set altitude can set it off but that is what the alert is actually there for. The newly adjusted thrust feel is brought to your attention straight away from the moment you get rolling.... or try too? All brake work has to be manual by pushing the button to release or lock with the brake on the tiller. You do still get the regular braking action, but the aircraft won't operate correctly unless to set the position to off from the pilot's seat... this is another X-Plane11 characteristic. Now you can feel the thrust differences as you taxi to your departure runway (RWY06). The MD88 is nice aircraft to taxi, lots of feel and adjustment through the throttle to get the right movement speed. Rotate around 162Knts + 10 and up comes the gear. You now have a decision to make? In v1.30 the FMS now controls the bank speeds, so if you select the NAV option the aircraft is restricted to only turn at 10º bank if the wheels are up and your flaps are stowed away, and this is to make sure the aircraft does not stall at slow speeds. The problem with this is that if you have a tight 90º turn after departure, then the small bank angle can take you seriously off your flightplan, and then give you a lot of adjustment in resetting the aircraft back into the right flightplan heading (banking this way and then that way). So your choices are to keep the flap down (and your speed) or do the turn manually before setting the NAV into operation. From the first moment I saw the features in X-Plane11. There was no aircraft I wanted more to fly in the new version of X-Plane than this Rotate MD-88. And when I did, I wanted nothing more then than want everyone else to fly it in X-Plane11 as well. If any aircraft was created to fly in X-Plane11 it was this one. With those mega massive HD 4K 4096 x 4096 and 350 pixels/meter texture sizes (livery size is 190mb on average) and so the quality is overwhelming, but it is the way the aircraft interacts with the new PBR lighting that is also stunning. You feel almost every panel and every rivet, it is a totally beautiful thing. Internally the X-Plane11 detailing is superb... Light and haze bounces off everywhere, but to focus on detail then you only have to look at the FMS body, totally authentic and beautifully reproduced. This sort of detail was a only dream a few years ago but now we are using and living in it. But back to the v1.30 update systems... The data in the aircraft's performance has been completely rewritten in v1.30. This is reflected into the PROG (Progress) pages on the FMS. Most of the changes have been on page 2 with a burn SCHED for N or A and the calculated remaining fuel. Other items are now highly detailed as well with VNAV predictions, time, fuel, ToC (Top of Climb), ToD (Top of Descent). Also economy (ECOM) target speeds allow you to set the best climb, cruise and descend speeds to get the best performance out of the flight The ToC and ToD targets are now also shown on the Navigation Display and a new and far better feature is the target altitude marker. The altitude marker is an extremely handy tool to set your altitude position at a certain place or fix on the flightplan via the vertical speed, mostly it is used to target the arrival altitude from your cruise level, but here it is a great companion to hit your ToC and ToD targets as well. This is an invaluable tool and one I use in collaboration with all my altitude changes to hit position targets... In other words I love it. Detail in the Navigation Display is now very detailed, but very adjustable in allowing what you want to see and what you don't, but the DATA detail is excellent. Excellent cabin is not changed in v1.30, so maybe a little adjustable lighting would be nice... Window view is one of the best in the business, you can select both forward or rear of the wing and still get an excellent view. I personally like rear of the wing to look at the flap animations. Let us be clear, the MD-88 is not called the "Mad Dog" for nothing. This is a very physical aircraft to fly, watch a few online videos of pilot's wrestling with the Yoke and Rudders would make to think they wouldn't climb in there ever again. But the opposite is true, in that it is the physical nature of the aircraft that makes it one of the most enduring machines to fly and why it was and still is one of the most loved aircraft ever produced. Speed select is a quirk on these older MD's. The actual speed change selection from IAS to .Mach or the other way round is done via pressing the actual knob. But you have to select the actual speed zone you want to use with the autothrust via the two speed selection buttons in "SPD SEL" or "MACH SEL". Another quirk is that on pressing the speed knob it doesn't do a straight speed swap, so you have to change the speed zone, adjust the speed and then press the selection button. If you think that simply pressing the actual the "SPD" or "MACH" button to change zones then it doesn't work that way. KATL (Atlanta) is up and front, time to prepare for landing on RWY27R... but first. ... an small annoyance with the "AutoThrust" disconnect on the FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator) panel. Disconnect the ATH or Autothrust to take over the manual speed control for landing (working the throttles) and the "Throttle" disconnect warning comes on, fair enough... But you can't silence it? There are datarefs to simulate the reselection on and off (cycle) the autothrottle that duplicates the system on the real aircraft to silence the alert, but here it doesn't work, then disconnect the AP or Autopilot to land manually and then you have two blaring alerts in your face all the way to the gate? There is a "Reset" button right on the panel but it is not allowed to work and so it is an annoying and distracting quirk? Throttle response is quite different in X-Plane11, although this is officially still the beta stage. You can feel the smaller throttle inputs more as the MD Series is very light on the pitch with the CoG (Center of Gravity) point set so far behind you. I don't think there is any aircraft that demands as much throttle input,speed, balance and concentration on landing as the MD-88, put a crosswind in there and the "Dog" can make you seriously sweat. But Atlanta is clear today with only a light breeze. Finals... ... and keep that light nose pitch under control, it is far too easy to have a nose high landing. Reverse thrust and full power and control your line down the runway, then you are at taxi speed and a taxi to the gate is all that now has to be done. Job done. Summary Up front I am not going to deny my love for this aircraft, as I have mentioned the same in the past. Would that mean a biased review? In fact it is the completely opposite situation here as I have hounded the developers on even the smallest details to get the aircraft to be the best it could be for X-Plane. That is not for my own worth here, but because this aircraft contributes so much to the X-Plane experience and one that can deliver the sort of experience that makes X-Plane such a great simulator. The aircraft is not totally absolutely perfect, but then no aircraft is, as there is always another system, tweak or feature that could be added into the design. When Rotate's MD-88 was released it was the only DC-9/MD quality payware aircraft in X-Plane. But since there has been the new default X-Plane11 MD-82 and A.T.S. are releasing their MD-80 Series aircraft soon as well. So there is competition now although the default MD-82 is very basic. With this v1.30 though the Rotate MD-88 is certainly pushing well up now in its class, if not leading in the area. In X-Plane11 the aircraft is astounding, but you now have the working systems to back it up as well. Certainly not absolutely perfect as a few things would be nice to have like a "Weight, Fuel & Balance" page, or built in checklists or the nice to have cabin announcements that are standard on aircraft from the likes of FlightFactor or FlyJSim. Not for the novice now, but the is a great overall design and to a point reaching a sort of level of completion that would allow the developer to move on to say another variant (Freighter!) or a newly designed aircraft. I had a choice over the last Christmas/New Year break, as flying time was restricted to having a break from the computer, but there was the odd day to fly, and my own choice to only pick one and one aircraft to use... The choice was overwhelmingly this MD-88. It didn't disappoint, now available in X-Plane11 and with this added system deep v1.30 in my off reviewing flying time, it is still the only choice. Positives: Looks Brilliant and now has the systems to match the looks, "Just look at it", an overall personal favorite. Negatives: Still a few quirks, Sounds currently not same in X-Plane11 as X-Plane10, Not for the novice any more, tricky to fly as all "Mad Dogs" are. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the v1.30 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro by Rotate is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro Price is US$59.95 If you already have purchased the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the free v1.30 update. Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org Note: included in the update review is JARDesign's excellent TugMaster Deluxe and Ground Handling Deluxe plugins, these add-ons are not included with Rotate's MD-88 aircraft package. But ALSO important to update both plugins for use in X-Plane11 as the older versions crash the aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Features: -> Precise flight model and fine tuned engine performance -> Developed with the advice and counseling from MD-80 licensed pilots -> Works great on all three platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux Custom Flight Management System (FMS) and Automatic Flight Route, departures and arrivals procedures (SIDs and STARs) Save and load route to/from text file Performance management, cost index and optimal altitude and speed calculation Custom VNAV. Climb, cruise and descend management with altitude and speed restrictions Takeoff and approach speed management Custom Navigation Display Improved autopilot with specific horizontal and vertical modes All EPR performance modes Flight Mode Annunciator Aerosoft NavDataPro (2014) included (for updated database third party subscription is needed) Detailed simulation of systems Power plant Electrical Pneumatic and pressurization Slat/flap controls with dial-a-flap feature Takeoff trim computer Customized alert and failures Hyper-realistic visuals Highly detailed 3D cockpit, passenger cabin and exterior model Normal and specular maps for enhanced detail Thorough HD day and night textures Accurate animations, including wing flex animation All external and internal lights\ Liveries: A set of ten ultra-high resolution liveries, including a paintkit Custom sounds 3D sound engine with stereo and doppler effects High quality multi-layered engine sounds Cockpit ambient and custom alerts _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements 64 bit operating system Windows Vista/7/8/10, OSX 10.8 and up, Linux Ubuntu 14.04 (or compatible) and up X-Plane 10.31+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode Processor: Multi-core Processor 3.3GHz 8 GB RAM -Hard Disk: 3.3 GB Graphics: 2GB VRAM (3 GB VRAM or more for best performance) Current version: 1.30 (last updated March 20th, 2017) File Download is huge 960.40mb CoG Table jepg: CoG Version v1.30 full changelog: - Custom LNAV guidance. - Compatibility with ARINC424 instructions. - CDU HOLD page with PPOS capability. - Complete HOLD functionality with entry pattern calculation. - Improved ND with curved transitions. - Improved VNAV predictions, time, fuel, ToC, ToD. - More accurate, wp to wp VNAV. - CDU PROG pages with pilot selectable waypoint. - Improved FGCP ALT logic. - Navigation Display marker for FGCP ALT. - Navigation Display and CDU MAG/TRU operation. - CDU RTE DATA page added. - New fuel burn logic, now accounting for APU, AC and Anti-Ice bleed. - Improved PERF page, now BURN SCHED N or A and calculated remaining fuel. - Sound set reworked. - Added CLB DIR functionality. - Added DES DIR functionality. - Added commands to FGCP ALT knob. - Fuel heat is now simulated. - Improved fuel pump logic, with feed by gravity at low altitude. - Fuel crossfeed valve is now operative. - Updated engines to JT8D-219. - Bank limit is now FMS driven in NAV mode. - CLR key timer for scratchpad clear function. - Pitch FD indication bar corrected in TO and GA. - Solved bug related to CDU paging. - Airfoil and Tail heat logic and annunciators now working as expected. - Complete engine fire detection and extinguishing simulation. - Brake Temperature indicator and test. - Custom Auto Brake System. - Overhead tests: Fire, GPWS, Windshear, Flight Recorder, Voice recorder. - Other overhead systems: CSD, IRS-2, Ground Service Bus, Audio panel, Fuel Heat ... - EOAP new alerts. The messages are now ordered correctly as they are triggered. - Added OAP annunciators. - Hydraulic system improved. - Flight surfaces's hydraulic dependencies and Rudder Travel functionality. - Brakes and reversers hydraulic dependencies. Accumulators are now simulated. - Other texture and light improvements. - Mousewheel support for X-Plane 10.50+ _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 17th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 and checked with current flight route and details Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by Simcoders : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International by Aerosoft (X-PlaneStore) - US$24.95 - KATL - Atlanta International by Nimbus (X-PlaneStore) - US$23.95
  8. Aircraft Update : Boeing 777 Worldliner Pro 1.9.5 by FlightFactor/Vmax The big twin Boeing 777 Professional Series from FlightFactor/Vmax has been updated to version 1.9.5. This update makes the B777 Pro usable in X-Plane11 (not yet fully XP11 compliant) but this update does cover the important changes of the jet engine thrust parameters that was changed in the X-Plane11beta12 release. Also with this update is the distinction now of completely separate aircraft versions of the aircraft for both _XP10 (XP10.52) and _XP11 and so you will have quite a few none usable aircraft now showing up in your selection menu. This multitude of versions are now going to grow prolifically as other developers follow this same trend and it is certainly noticeable here and certainly if you have the "Extended Pack" because there are four variants that is now doubled up to eight and four of those are not usable in either X-Plane application. These separate aircraft versions could start to fill up your menus very quickly unless there is compromise found to distinctively allocate the versions of aircraft to the acceptable platform application. The new changelog notes the changes: 1.9.5 - split xp10 and xp11 files - added a fix for xp11 beta engine issues (temporary) However flying the B777 Pro you do feel far more items than on the changelog were attended to, to bring the aircraft to an X-Plane11 usable flying condition. It flies very nicely thank you very much, and the big smile on my face says "I'm glad to have you back", and certainly the option to be able to use the aircraft in X-Plane11 is a very big benefit as well. Those X-Plane11 features help any aircraft, but the B777 Twin looks very good with it's shiny new skin. Everyone would feel the Boeing 777 cockpit is a slightly darkish place with all the browns, but X-Plane11 and the new PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) feature does now bring in a lot of life and dynamics to the whole space. The "Extended Pack" includes four versions (below) of the Boeing 777 Worldliner, and the standard version includes the above Boeing 777-200LR. Boeing 777-200 LR Boeing 777-200 F (Cargo) Boeing 777-300 ER Boeing 777-200 ER Not a big update by any means, but at least the aircraft is usable in X-Plane11 until the whole new X-Plane11 version goes final. Go to your X-PlaneStore account now to update to the new 1.95 version (It may note the older v1.94, but it is actually the v1.95) and if you would like to purchase the Boeing 777 Professional Series packages then the details are set out below.. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The 1.95 update is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Price is US$59.95 - Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Price is US$84.95 - Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional - Extended Pack - Designed by FlightFactor (Philipp and Ramzzess) and produced by VMAX The 1.92 update is free to all users that have purchased the Boeing 777 (Pro and Ext) Series. Just go to to your X-Plane.Org Store account and log-in to download. Features Fully Functional FMS - Plan your routes like a real pilot Custom designed Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures Custom designed Navigation Display Tterminal procedure database with RNAV approaches and transitions VNAV managed climbs and descends Takeoff and approach speed calculation Custom autopilot modes for autoland Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation True-to-life radio navigation with procedural-, route-, and navigation support auto-tuning Custom programmed FMC navigation using GPS-, radio- or inertial navigation with individual position errors and management of actual and required navigation performance Magnetic, true and polar grid course reference Alternate airports, diversion and arrival management Ground proximity warning system using real sounds FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the new iPad Incredible 3D modeling - the best eye-candy Amazing virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections Custom 3D sounds and Announcements Add-ons: Push-back truck, Fuel Truck, Passenger bus and Emergency slides ... On-Screen Menus: Configuration and loading menu, Quick Zoom Requirements X-Plane 10 Fully updated or current X-Plane 11 - 64 bit required Windows, Vista, 7 / 8/ 10 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher - OSX 10.9 will not work), Linux Ubuntu 14.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM (1GB VRAM Recommended)- 1Gb available hard disk space Current version : 1.92 (last updated January 25, 2017) Note: For this update to work correctly on Windows, you need to install the Visual Studio 2015 redistributables, which you can download here: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Developer Site: facebook Dev Thread : _____________________________________________________________________________________ Technical Requirements: Windows XP , Vista, 7 / 8/ 10 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.7 (or higher), Linux Ubuntu 14.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) X-Plane 10.30+. 32 or 64 bit (64bit recommended) 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM (1GB VRAM Recommended)- 1Gb available hard disk space Current version : 1.95 (last updated 13th March 2017) Update Review By Stephen Dutton 14th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  9. News! Early Preview : Phenom 100 by Carenado Early facebook images of Carenado's next plane project is Carenado's first X-Plane jet with the Phenom 100! Jet aircraft from Carenado have been in the works for quite awhile and also available in FSX/PrePar3d for quite a few years now and there is actually two version in the Phenom -100 and -300 Series. But no doubt the coming release will make the wait worth it, for the Phenom comes with a full G1000 avionics suite as well, and is a HD Series (High Definition) Aircraft. As the FSX version is also noted as US$39.95, it could be also the most expensive Carenado released in X-Plane yet as well. It might be a good idea to start saving now, no actual release date or detailed aircraft features are yet available, but my guess is a release around Easter. Images are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 13th March 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  10. Plugins - Goodway v5 Flight Planner Released If anything can show that you are a long time user of the X-Plane simulator, then it is the word "Goodway". The Goodway Flightplanner was all the rage back in the days of early X-Plane versions onwards from 2003 because it was A - good, B- easy and most importantly C - Fast. Goodway used line vector drawing and not the complex (online) maps to create navigation routes and then loaded them directly into the aircraft, so the flightplanner was not an external system but a built into X-Plane plugin, with all those benefits. By the end of the last decade the v4 Goodway was feeling a little out of date and was not updated to keep up with the advances in the simulator, so it became buggy and outdated. At the time the developer noted that there was a new version in v5 coming soon to clear away all the cobwebs and create a totally new modern version with a long list of new features, development went on for a few years and then the whole deal just sort of fizzled out. But here now is that newly released v5 Goodway flightplanner. It is still integrated in with X-Plane V10 and V11 64Bits in a plugin (no 32bit version). This means that all the tools offered by GoodWay are also still directly usable in X-Plane. I tried out the "Demo" version. Goodway v5 is downloaded and inserted into your X-Plane "Plugins" folder and will show up under the X-Plane plugins menu. There are 4 menu options in: Map Flight Plan Aircraft Preferences Aircraft covers the preferences for the aircraft's performance for Climb, Cruise and Descent (Goundspeeds) and Climb and Descent vertical speeds and finally the Flight Altitude, the preferences can then be saved, but you have to get them right and there are no .Mach speeds in there, or it crashes the plugin. There are a set of default aircraft settings you can use, so picked the default Boeing 737-800. Next you set up your (basic) route via IACO Departure and Arrival airports and the choice of two VIAs. And GoodWay will suggest VIAs that can match SIDs or STARs for airports, but it is not a perfect SID/STAR flightplanner, but notes suggest that this may come in a future feature when X-Plane11 has been finalised and sorted. One bonus of this Flightplanner is that it does list all the current Airports, VORs, NDBs and Waypoints (fixes) from the current X-Plane database. And this aspect and with the actual name titles makes it easy to find and select the current navigation data that is available, even if you are not using the X-Plane .fms flightplan system but programming your FMS system in a larger addon aircraft like the Flightfactor machines or Rotate's MD-88, and the flightplan and route can be seen (or is handy) in the your current window and not on a secondary screen or monitor. After imputing the DEP and ARR airports Goodway will create a very basic route and flightplan with TYPe, ICAO, VOR Frequency, Name (Airport or Nav Aid) TRK (track), DIST (Distance), ALT (Altitude) and Time to Nav Aid. The offical completed version looks like this... The biggest bonus is speed, Goodway was and still is very fast, but you have to wait if if it has to compute long routes. The MAP page is still pure Goodway. Top menu is the map selections including the Flightplan Tool and Search. Then a selection of (on/off) Airports and Nav-Aids. H (High) - L (Low) routes. Next set include N - Names (place), I- Information and F - Frequencies (VOR/NDB) and the final set of selections are for Show Aircraft, Show aircraft on route (if Active) and finally Flight Path on or off. Lower Tools include Hand (move map), Ruler, Area Zoom and Modify Tool (editor). Map zoom level +/-, Centre and Zoom and Zoom Aircraft. Preferences There is the preferences pop-up panel This panel shows your selections for Airports, Helipad, and Hydroport, and Show Rivers, Country (boundaries), Aircraft (yours), Airports (Fix), Smooth the Map? which is for very slow computers... and log flight path. Once you have created the basic route you can easily modify it to meet your current requirements. If you are an old user of the Goodway, you can smile again as you know how extremely easy it was to edit the flightplans and with an extremely fast speed if you were a master of it. The key tools are very easy to use between the Shift (duplicate waypoint), Control (move map) and Drag for waypoints and Define to select a work area. The old slight annoyances come back as well? first is that you have move to the first waypoint to duplicate it? And usually it was way off the map, and then you had to leap frog the duplicate waypoint back down from visual waypoint to visual waypoint to the first waypoint that you needed to select? Once there however then you can just then duplicate that waypoint for the ones you require that are now more close to it. More modern Flightplanners just allow you to click on the waypoint you want by selecting it. But a pro can create a edited flightplan in double quick time, for that Goodway is unbeatable. Low and High Routes are very well represented and again extremely useful when creating larger FMS flightplans (airways) for add-on aircraft as the routes can be scrolled to find airways that are not shown on over limited flightplanners. Vector design means very fast movement and scale, so scrolling is extremely fast and the whole world is easily available. But I used to have issues with the flightplan if it crossed over the dateline or the edge of the map, certainly with editing close to the edge of the map. I don't know if this issue is still there, but it was hard to fix at the time. Airport information is very good and frequencies are selectable. You don't get the airport display in the Demo, but the official one looks like this. Search for Airports and Nav-Aids is very good, with a wide source of selections. Currently you can export: X-Plane v10 : FMS and GPS X-Plane v11 : FMS, GNS 430, 530 and FMC (which requires to still manually enter the arrival and departure airports) But as noted it is excellent for in window/screen FMS route creation. A video is available to see the set of features and flightplanner use... Summary Considering the extensive time period between the last release and this v5 Release you do expect a more modern flightplanner. The v5 Goodway is not that different than the older v4 version all those years ago, yes there are new features, but in reality it is still really the same old Gateway. That is of course a bonus as well as a negative as it is a powerful tool to use as it is lighting fast to create routes or to find Nav-Aids or Airways. Editing is exactly the same and with the bonuses and negatives with that as well and the overall design is slightly old fashioned as well on icon design and layouts. The quirks are still in there as well, dragging the first point by point duplicate to a closer airport waypoint to create a SID drove me mad, and as there is also no topographical map, it is very easy to design routes that can fly you directly into mountains (there is still a black mark on a mountain in Victoria B.C with my name on it). Price is quite high at €25 Euros (US$26.75 Current), as very good as it is, it is still expensive with a lot of good flightplanners around (there was a €20 Euro introduction price but that period has now ended). I really loved the Goodway (in the past) and shred a few misty tears using it again here, but the point is would I front up that much for it again (sorry no upgrades from v4) as that is debatable. The Demo is really too limiting for me to make up my mind either, but for €15 Euros I would present my credit card as in many areas it is a very valuable route making tool. So the Goodway route creation tool is back for X-Plane... was it worth the wait? Positives: Extremely fast route building and editing tool, Built directly into X-Plane via a plugin, Good use for current default X-Plane FMC systems and excellent for route creation for FMS aircraft, New aircraft preferences must be correct, Older X-Plane pilot's will cry again as they use it. Negatives: Not that big a leap from v4, Still a few quirks that drove you mad then still do, No topographical mapping for altitudes, Expensive for a vector program and only one computer per license is permitted. ______________________________________________________________________ The v5 Goodway Flight Planner for X-Plane10 and 11 is Available from XPGoodway here : XP-Goodway v5 Flightplanner Price is €25 Euros (US$26.75 Current) Features: • Automatic creation of flight plans with X-Plane data (which may differ from the actual data you find on the internet or in some tools), • Using the performance of aircraft that you can also define yourself, the flight plan automatically recalculates, • Send the flight plan to X-Plane v10 standard instruments : FMS and GPS, X-Plane v11 FMC, GPS and GNS (430 or 530) • Follow the flight plan in a specific window that also allows you to adjust the radio frequencies and the OBS and Heading with a single click, • A map that covers the entire world and provides you with a wealth of tools for display, dynamic measurements and viewing and making or modifying flight plans, tracking your flight, • Detailed information about airports: Airports in blue print, ILS list, Radio, and all the details of each airport, you can also adjust the radio frequencies and ILS in 1 click. • Powerful search tool that will allow you to search for any beacon, waypoint, airport and even a city on the map. Installation The download package is 25.70mb and is 74.70mb when installed in your X-Plane "Plugins" Folder. Both MAC and Windows version provided. Registration and Authorisation key is required: Demo is free but limited. Documents: Manual in English, French and German is available from site. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 13th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 / Checked install in X-Plane11b6 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 .
  11. Aircraft Review : PA-31 Chieftain 350 HD Series by Alabeo Only back last year in August 2016 I sampled Carenado's Piper PA-31 Navajo. It didn't take long (about 10 minutes) for the aircraft to become a firm favorite in my hangar and I have flown it constantly ever since. It is just one of those really sweet aircraft that fits your flying like a glove. So I was pleasantly surprised with the announcement of another variant on the Navajo in the big brother (or sister) the PA-31 Chieftain. The Chieftain is the stretched version of the Navajo B with more powerful engines and counter-rotating propellers to prevent critical engine handling problems.The fuselage was lengthened by 2 ft 0 in (0.61 m), allowing for up to ten seats in total. Also variants of the Lycoming TIO-540 developing 350 hp (261 kW) were fitted to the Chieftain (this version), with an opposite-rotation LTIO-540 installed on the right-hand wing; MTOW was increased to 7,000 lb (3,175 kg). After certification was achieved for the PA-31-325 in May 1974, and production commenced in the 1975 model year. In the Navajo review I flew the aircraft from YBBN (Brisbane) to the new YBWW (WellCamp) by Toowoomba, Queensland, and well I thought why not fly the Chieftain on the same route and see how they both fare. You can see the extra length of the Chieftain, but it is deceiving at first, more noticeable is the bulkier engine housings with their overhang of the rear of the wing. Quality wise and design thoroughness you can't tell the two aircraft apart, both excellent. Which one is the Carenado... the first one, but it doesn't make any difference really. Menus Carenado provide you with three tabbed menus on the left lower screen. A ) is for the pop-up Autopilot panel. B ) Is the standard Carenado views, Field of View and Volume panel. And C ) is the Options panel. There are certainly great options. The usual Static elements are again odd. You can have your wheel chocks but only with the aircraft hand puller on the nose? What if you just want to chock the aircraft until you fly again. No engine inlet or tags either but you do get wing cones. One feature is a really great one in two types of versions. The "Standard" wing version gives you the door and an opening luggage door (but no luggage?) Select the "Winglets" tab on the Options menu and you get not only a lovely set of modern winglets, but a change in configuration with a single door door (no luggage door) and two extra seats in the rear with some beautiful teardrop windows to look out of known as the "Commuter" version There is a nice luggage compartment in the nose as well. Aircraft panel work is excellent, note the very well done screw and rivet work. Interior The Navajo had a club seating layout (below), but the Chieftain (above) is totally forward seating. At first glance the seating looks old, but they are actually not, but black leather, and they are the sames seats as well but because of the darker colour they look very different. The all dial Navajo dark grey panel is on the left, with the brighter cream Chieftain panel on the right, the Yokes are a cream colour as well but the same style. So the panel is totally familiar, but are slightly different in layout. Obviously the biggest difference on the Chieftain is the included Garmin G500 navigation system like which was included with the Seneca V a few weeks ago, unlike the Seneca V though the system is only installed on the pilot's side of the panel. Overhead switch panel is identical on both aircraft as is the pedestal. Power switches are left and right down.... The main power only turns on the Artificial Horizon and Heading rose with Speed and Altitude tapes and bank guide on the left screen. To switch on the avionics and Navigation display the switch is quite hard to find, as it is small and situated lower centre panel. On start up I found the G500 screens are dull and very hard to see. This was caused by the Instrument Reflections option, and for the clarity of this review I turned them off. The dullness was the worse in X-Plane11, but they were also still quite dull in X-Plane10 as well. Instrument Panel It is a pretty fully equipped instrument panel. Pilot's side is of course dominated by the G500 navigation system, with just backup analog dials in Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon (with built in Turn Coordinator) and the Attitude Indicator down the left side, but there is no Vertical Speed Indicator. Also added in is a VOR (2) localizer indicator and ADF pointer. On the Navajo there was a VOR2 pointer, but way over on the right hand side of the panel, but here it is now missing altogether? The Co-Pilot gets the full analog suite of instruments. It is a very impressive set of kit with Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row, Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators second row.The rest of the right side panel are gauges for pressures in gyro, fuel, oil and cylinder head/oil temperatures, Volt meter, flap selection and indicator. The oxygen supply system is set out below, and it is all almost identical to the Navajo layout. Centre panel is again identical to the Navajo which has at the top a very nice set of annunciators and below are four dials that covers both engines, Manifold Pressure, RPM, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and engine fuel flow. Equipment stack is very good and again totally identical to the Navajo. Standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel is top left with the X-Plane Garmin GN350 GPS system below. Then there are a set of three Bendix/King units in one KR87 TSO ADF unit that is hard to adjust, and two KR 64 VOR/DME speed and range sets. Right stack includes a Bendix/King KX 165 TSO Comm/Nav (VOR2) tuner and a Garmin GTX 320 transponder. The weather radar is a Bendix/King and comes with a manual that notes you can adjust the range and radar angle, but I couldn't do any adjustments accept to turn it on, test and adjust the brightness. Left side panel is a fuse box, with main power and voltage switches set below. Right side panel is just another fuse box. Lower pedestal is the S-Tec Autopilot, three way trims, fuel panel with emergency fuel shutoff, crossfeed switch and inboard and outboard tank switches. You have that same blue overhead light and upper panel lighting which is the same as the Navajo, but the dial lighting here isn't as over saturated as the Navajo version and looks far better. Flying the Chieftain Starting is easy in fuel pumps on and hit the side of the rocker switch for the engine you want. Keeping them running however is another matter again. Welcome to the new world of X-Plane11 and its highly refined engine dynamics. Even in X-Plane10 and for most Carenado/Alabeo aircraft they all seem to idle quite high, and you need to adjust the mixture to get some semblance of "holding the aircraft back, like you do a snarling dog on a leash" Here it is magnified, but you can find some sort of balance between engines running and not running. But you also have to let them warm up now before actually slowing them down to idle. Once done and still with a fast idle then you can fly. Another jolly that Austin Meyer has added to X-Plane is front suspension movement under power or braking. So combine a high idle with a pulling at the lease aircraft with constant braking and you get a very nosey bouncy wouncy taxi ride. These items will of course be fine tuned in time (we hope). The two 350-hp engines over the Navajo's 310-hp gives you more uumph down the runway and you feel that extra power even though I am quite heavy at 6150lbs, but still a quarter under the Max weight of 7045lbs. Rotate is around 110kts... Once in the air and you don't really notice the difference too much from the Navajo, slightly heavier and slightly faster the Chieftain is, but not too significantly to notice, they feel very much the same aircraft. The Chieftain will climb as well. The Navajo climb rate was 1500fpm, but I had no trouble in achieving 1800fpm and the gear (with excellent sounds) makes a dramatic fold-up into the aircraft. Cruise speed is I found just under 200knts. noted speeds are 207 knots (383 km/h (238 mph)) econ cruise at 20,000 ft (6,100 m) with a range of 1,011 nmi (1,875 km (1,165 mi)), Max altitude is 26,300 ft (8,015 m) Very nice. Climb hard and turn, The Chieftain is nice under your command and unlike the Seneca V the engines don't foul the view. I am a big fan of the Garmin G500 system. It is exactly the same installation as it is in the Seneca V and so you get the same benefits here in like the easy selection of: HDG (Heading) - CRS (Course) - ALT (Altitude) - V/S (Vertical Speed) - BARO (Barometer) and adjustment for each selection via the large knob. Unlike older Carenado/Alabeo aircraft you can't now select different cursor modes, so you always get the green coloured choices as you move your mouse over the knobs, selection is tight as well, and in turbulence it can become a bit of a game just to change your heading? The font size is also a bit small but it a replica of the original G500, so I wonder how these things passed a FAA test... ADF and VOR2 pointers are very fine and hard to read (zoom required) but handy on the display, but overall you get a large amount of information on this very well sorted system from Carenado. Navigation display has a great DCL (DeCLutter) and in turns the map rotation is now far smoother and keeps up with the turn. The G500 also pops-out and can be resized and moved along with the default X-Plane Garmin GNS 530 which is the larger of the two standard gps systems. A neat trick is too use one map mode on the G500 for long distance range viewing and the shorter range distance for more current detail on the G530. The S-Tec (Genesys Aerosystems) Forty Five X autopilot is situated behind the pedestal. There is a pop-up from not only the autopilot itself (click to pop-up) but also the A ) menu tab option, although I found the menu tab option a bit "hows your father" in sometimes it worked and in other clicks it didn't? The same in both XP10 and XP11. Overall I prefer the older AP version in the Navajo, completely basic and easy to use, this S-Tec had smaller buttons and you had to be very careful in setting the V/S as 10 as it could be 10 or 1. The autopilot situation is shown on the centre panel display. The AP activation switch is also a little twiddly and hard to find even though it is centre panel and right in front of you (yellow arrow)... I start my descent into WellCamp (YBWW) over Toowoomba. Note the excellent Australian autogen by Chris K (Australian Pro) it is excellent and quite a perfect representation of the city. The airport itself is just beyond the city but partly hidden by two hills, and once past I turned southwest to fall into a circuit landing for RWY12. Note the great terrain (in yellow) demonstrated on the navigation display. Three postion flaps (Off (0º) - 15º - DN) don't give you much lift if you get the speed under 100knts, and drag is controllable with only a little extra power inputs. "Whoa!" as an almost perfect landing is ruined by a last minute sudden gust of wind, it is gusty out here today as the whole flight was with the seatbelt's sign on and a lot of turbulence to make my passengers nervous. I corrected, but the wrong two wheels hit the ground first, and more worrying murmurs from the rear... The Navajo was also noted as being very twitchy in the wind as well, and so it feels like a common trait amongst the Navajo Series. YBWW's main runway is long... really long at 2870 m long by 45 m wide and I used a lot of it to slow down and to try and not hit the early brakes so I don't start nosy bouncey movement too much. It is nice to be back at WellCamp, as the airport is very nicely modeled by fhvanhal. Setting up to return to Brisbane gives you a moment to admire the excellent panel, and there is a switch on top of the excellently covered glareshield that does nothing, but you try it anyway. Return to YBBN No hanging around I want to get back to Brisbane. So once the doors are closed and the engines started and tuned to idle, I'm "going". Funny thing is you need a fast idle to cover the long distance to the end of the runway... My reason's for rushing back to YBBN are valid, as there are storms brewing over the dividing ranges. Storms in Australia are not to be sneezed at or taken lightly, as they are fast moving and very deadly in the mid-afternoons when the cold coastal air hits the inland heat.. Lighting Internal lighting is very good. The panel is the same colourful patterns as the Navajo, so at night they are both very similar, except for the G500 displays. The blue overhead lighting is here there as well, beautiful light in the dark, but the rear door version is missing, and neither does the "No Smoking" sign work. As noted the roof dials are not so over saturated here and looks far for the better for it. Rear cabin seating has overhead spot lights, but you can't turn them off? I don't know if this is a Carenado to Alabeo difference, but not being able to switch them off or on is a bit rich. It is quite dark in the cabin, but very atmospheric. Wing (left) lighting is good, and you have one landing and one taxi light. Red beacon tail light didn't work? Over Redcliffe it is time to get ready for landing... RWY 14 is quite tricky to find, as there are no visible landmark or runway lights to lock on too under VFR rules. It is the houses and the far set back location of the runway lights in daylight that make it tricky, but soon I have a bearing. Slow and low... But this time I get it right, but the headwind helps. Job done and a just a wrap up of the aircraft to be finished... Liveries One blank and six liveries are part of the package. All are good and HD quaility. Most liveries have this hard worked and worn chipped paint look that is highly realistic. Summary If you liked the Navajo then the Chieftain is very, very similar, certainly to fly as they are almost identical, but for a little more weight and slightly more speed. If you put both aircraft on the ramp and said pick one, and only one then I would still pick the Navajo, but the problem with that equation is that the Chieftain has more to offer in the G500 avionics, extra seating and the conversion to winglet and those extra two seats... So overall the Chieftain is the better choice, and the aircraft is far better suited to the flying I really like to do with short distance commuter work and island hopping, and the trip out to WellCamp is perfect for this machine and the role it has to be used in. The rest is a no brainer. Carenado/Alabeo quality and everything else means you get a great aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Positives: Great design and that famous Carenado/Alabeo quality, Great sound, versatile aircraft, great to fly but tricky in crosswinds and great avionics and equipment. Negatives: Not much, but some items like none operating lighting buttons, average or no versatile static element choices and tricky taxiing speeds. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The PA-31 Chieftain 350 by Alabeo is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA31 Chieftain 350 Your Price: $32.95 Special Features Commuter and Standard Part of the HD Series High quality 3D model and textures . 4K textures Two version of the PA31- Chieftain High-Definition Aircraft Features Alabeo G500 GPS Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Custom Stereo Sound Stereo Sound System Custom PA-31 sounds Comprehensive documentation Normal and emergency procedures Performances table Carenado G500 documentation Requirements: X-Plane 10 fully updated - X-Plane 11 Windows or MAC OS 10.9 (or higher) or Linux. 64bit Operating System required 2GB+ Video card Current Version: 1.0 (March 7th 2017) Important! For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) For all: CARENADO G1000 DATABASE (MUST BE INSTALLED). _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the PA31 Chieftain HD Series is 350.60mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 440.60mb. Key authorisation and a restart is required. There is Normal and Emergency procedures (checklists), excellent sets of performance tables,references and G500 and Autopilot manuals. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 11th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b13/14 and also used in X-Plane v10.51 and checked with current flight route and details Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - YBWW - Brisbane West Wellcamp 1.1 By fhvanhal (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YBBN - Brisbane Airport 1.0 by tgd - (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  12. News! - Upcoming : Panthera 3.0 HD and Eclipse 550 NG by Aerobask Aerobask have announced the coming release of their Panthera 3.0 HD and Eclipse 550 NG. Developers are reluctant to release aircraft lately as the unreliability of the X-Plane11 beta and don't want to just deliver X-Plane10 aircraft and then redo all the work again for X-Plane11... catch22. But the work does go on regardless and they are all out there wanting to move forward. Both the new versions of the Panthera and Eclipse will come soon with a sophisticated avionics built in for X-Plane developed by Lionel : 2 Dynon Skyview, 1 GTN750 and 1 GTN650. Here is a list of the coming main features: Accurate flight model built by X-Aerodynamics according the real datas (for Eclipse 550). Accurate display. The resolution matchs the real instruments. Touch Screen Operation FPL SID/STAR procedures Moving-Map with several resolution available to save the FPS according the CPU/GPU Terrain Map COM/NAV/Transponder managed by the GTNs Charts Advanced TCAS (works with AI aircrafts, IVAO, VATSIM, Pilot Edge) Interactive Checklists PBR textures for X-Plane 11 But note that a lot of new X-Plane11 features will also be part of the packages and both aircraft will be X-Plane11 compatible when released! There is also a video available to show how the GTN 750 system works with the built in charts feature... Important Note! With the major thrust changes in the X-Plane11beta 12/13 Aerobask have released patches to update their older products to accommodate the changes, these are: Here are the links: E1000 -> Victory -> Fokker Dr.I -> ViperJet -> These patches will allow you to use current Aerobask aircraft in both X-Plane10 and X-Plane1 until a formal release is posted of the simulator. Expect all products to be current before Easter, although there is no release date on these aircraft, but that is out of everyone's hands for now. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 7th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
  13. Behind the Screen : February 2017 "It was the best of times and the worst of times" lamented Charles Dickens in his novel the "A Tale of Two Cities". And February in X-Plane certainly lived up to that quote. As the X-Plane11 beta quest kept on grinding on, you had it, then lost it, then got it back and then... totally lost it. But will possibly get it back again working soon. It is of course just the building process but this one has been very... well grinding. It reminds me in a way of the move to 64bit a few years ago, because it goes directly to the heart of the simulator, in very deep changes that completely messes it up. X-Plane11 As a reviewer your job is too probably just ignore all the mess and just stick to items released for X-Plane10 and that is a fair comment. But that is also putting your hands over your eyes and saying" I can't hear you!" because looking straight at you and towering over you is just that... X-Plane11. Once X-Plane11 goes to v1.0 release you will want it, use it and believe me you will really absolutely love it! As already going back to X-Plane10 is like going back to the middle-ages of simulation as it is boring and flat, just as X-Plane10® was the quantum leap over X-Plane9® then is X-Plane11 over its predesessor, and yes there are a few (okay a lot) of fine tuning still to be done, but the grit and basics built in here are astounding when it all comes together. There is however one item that lifts and work along side with X-Plane11 that is in my eyes essential in getting this quantum leap and that is also running as part of the deal is the xEnviro environment engine. That is tough at the moment because only windows users can access xEnviro and in parts it is also buggy, but the effects with the environmental engine working together with Laminar's new version are simply out of this world. No doubt in the last month I have had simulation highs I could only dream of a few years ago, and the lowest frustration when aircraft just don't work, hence the title sentence. But that is also the process of progress. As we will see as the situation settles down is that X-Plane11's new features do amazing things to our already great aircraft, and the effects on scenery will be just as pronounced but they will take longer to thread into the simulator as updates are not as forthcoming or as regular as with aircraft. But as you will get a lot of new high's there are few items in X-Plane11 that will cause a few heartaches. Ben Supnic is on a massive crusade with X-Plane11 to make it as good, lean and as efficient as possible. We have already seen that he took away our twiddling tools, a few users have cheated and put them back with Lua scripts? But the biggest change is that there will be very little backward compatibility with earlier parameters with earlier aircraft, and that means a lot of aircraft you have savoured and loved over the years are going to the great hard drive in the sky. In other words there is another big clean out is on the horizon like we did with the 64bit transfer, and this one will be worse, and it is going to hurt folks. And that brings us to the pain, or developers pain. You wouldn't want to be a developer lately as it hasn't been much fun. And I am a part of their pain. I want their products to be what I call "Flyable" or "Usable" in X-Plane11, because of the great differences that X-Plane11 brings to them and to fly them in their new exciting world, so I want something that is just in something usable, and so does almost everyone else that is running the X-Plane11beta version. But X-Plane11 is just a beta and with that comes constant changes and most developers don't want to over work and keep on constantly changing their work to fit a beta. A lot of the top notch machines are now extremely complex and require a lot of very task full set of algorithms to do the calculations to recreate an authentic engine representation for that particular aircraft. You don't want to mess with that too often as it may send you down a road you may not get back from, or requires a restart or complete blank page scenario. But with X-Plane11 Austin Meyer has this time decided to go a little, or okay a lot deeper in the way that turbine or jet engines operate on a more realistic model, you could call it his sort of "Blade-element theory" for engines. And for a more realistic simulation of engine power and thrust outputs that is certainly great from a users point of view, but it also changes a few parameters that was the deal before X-Plane11 into a wide set of parameters to addressed now in the new simulator, and worse it goes right to the core (no pun intended) of the basis of engine operation. The developers job is now to interpret those huge amount of changes on their products and create the realistic operation and thrust outputs for their aircraft... so you see the problems. A lot of the changes were introduced in the earlier beta's, but as the beta numbers got higher they came more and more comprehensive, until beta 12 were they came with a really big set of changes, and killed virtually every aircraft that used the old system, there will be a step back of course as there was a few bugs in the system and came with the beta13 update. But one thing that is very clear is that their is no compromise on the parameters to cover older aircraft in older X-Plane versions. A small compromises will be made of course, but Ben Supnic and Austin Meyer have made it clear it is only this way or no way in the future. So those aircraft that can be updated and adjusted to the new parameters will be, but the rest are quite now really... history. Unless you run them in your older X-Plane10 version. This doesn't mean that every single aircraft will be compromised, but a lot will... all in the name of progress. But get an even "usable" running aircraft in X-Plane11 and you will be glad to embrace the future. As I said for the few that did claw their way into the air it was a great experience, and hence my wanting more of these aircraft available so users can enjoy their impressive delights, as the point is X-Plane10 is now almost dead, and long live X-Plane11. But you do need a lot of patience in the process of making the aircraft X-Plane11 ready, and it is not the big in your face changes but the hidden easter egg ones, that are buried in a hidden closet. Take brakes as an example. They were once very simple in 50% regular (braking action) or 100% full (locked brakes) but now that is all changed and you have to adjust your aircraft to the changes, and that is just one single item. For most developers it is just a wait and see, a few have gone half way and given us usable aircraft in X-Plane11, but there is still a way to go before we will be fully X-Plane11 compliant... and it may be awhile before we finally get there. But one big thing is that the beta12 changes maybe the final parameters or a final lock down of the engine thrust changes, and so that a forward momentum may be finally available from now on, if not then expect a few developers to take up another occupation altogether. Framerate inanity Another factor during this beta phase that got really annoying this month was the constant notes on the forums in "My framerate is up!" or "my framerate is stuffed!" or "Running in single digits!". Every beta release brought loads of these comments and I know they have been coming out since the start of the new millennium. Most experienced users usually ignore such inanity, but I really feel for the newer and more inexperienced users to the X-Plane simulator in thinking it is a normal process, it is not. Unless Laminar make a real stuff up as they did with beta12 they will note it, and quickly correct it like they have in beta13, and yes there are common major changes that will effect your simulator through the beta process. But major framerate changes are usually not one of them. Most framerate fluctuation causes are usually your X-Plane preferences, as the new (beta) update is still interpreting the older settings on the new changes, which makes perfect sense. So first rebuild your main X-Plane preferences. Secondly is that where you start up in X-Plane and what aircraft you start up in can have a big impact on your framerate as does your weather settings. I always use KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional as my base setting. It is an interesting position because it has a lot of autogen on one side and just countryside on the other and that allows you to gauge the framerate impact on both areas, of course the weather is set to CAVOK (Ceiling and Visibility OK) and you use the same aircraft on loading. In most cases Laminar Research don't touch or fiddle with framerates until the RC (Release Candidate) or Alpha or a final tuning of the completed version that is then ready for release, only then will you usually see an improvement with the overall simulator as well as the framerates. So noting constant framerate fluctuations during a beta run just shows your cluelessness and gives out the wrong impressions and worse on the fact of where we actually are in the beta process (which is usually to the very good and not the very bad). But the high's over February were very high. I certainly had my most memorable (if sometimes frustrating) flying in X-Plane that I can ever remember. The simulator is moving into another golden era of almost a pure realistic simulation of flying aircraft, not perfect as X-Plane still does have a few limitations, but certainly a completely new level of experience of flying aircraft on a computer. It is a very exciting future that is coming soon. To reflect the coming of X-Plane11, we here at X-PlaneReviews have done a little twiddling of the site. The masthead menu now has an "X-Plane11" forum for X-Plane11 related articles, and that will be filling up soon, we also took the chance to add in a direct menu connection to the "News" forum and added in a place for these "Behind The Screen" posts as there are now quite a few of them and a resource of what is going on in X-Plane away from the direct review aspect of content and the mast image which is a little bigger because it looks very nice. We would also like to note the X-PlaneReview site is laid out and has full functionality on your smartphone and iPad, for mobile access on the move. Thank You See you all next month Stephen Dutton 1st March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  14. Scenery Review : EDDH Hamburg Airport by JustSim You have to give JustSim credit, they sure can roll out their sceneries with regular efficiency. My last JustSim scenery review was LOWI - Innsbruck Airport only a few weeks ago and JustSim's LEBL Barcelona El Prat was only a few weeks before that... and now here is EDDH Hamburg. You would think with these very quick fire releases that the sceneries noted here from JustSim would be average at best, and to also reflect their value price pricing, but as to now all I am seeing is amazing value for excellent well created scenery, so does EDDH Hamburg still deliver again here for that same value pricing? Well lets find out. First Impressions I am not new to EDDH Hamburg as I have reviewed it before on another review publication and that version was an early X-Plane10 version from Aerosoft many moons ago in Nov 2012. So I am familiar with EDDH's layout and visual appeal. To get there I flew from EGCC (Manchester) to Hamburg, just a quick flight over the North Sea. The equipment is JARDesign's A320neo and this review is set in X-Plane11(b11). The Northern-Western approach to EDDH is via RIBSO waypoint (Runway ILS15 - RIBS4A) . The layout of EDDH is like an X but with the cross at a lower point and two runways going long out of the cross point with RWY15 to the slight northwest. This makes RWY15 an interesting approach but visually RWYs 05/23 are better if you want to see terminals and airport infrastructure and to use RWY05 if you want to approach the airport over Hamburg itself. Both RWY15 and RWY05 are also the best for arrival if you also want a small taxi to the Terminal area as both RWY05 and RWY15 will require a long taxi to each departure point or if using RWY23 or RWY33 for arrival, and certainly for 15/33 as it is very long taxi at 3666m (12, 028ft). RWY15/33 juts well out into the local area into more the countryside feel than an urban feel, although it is still surrounded by the local environs. This also makes it quite hard on the RWY15 approach to see the runway until it gets more defined, and so you have to rely more on your instruments more than a visual approach initially. One big feature of JustSim's sceneries is the fact that they are very conscious of not only the actual airport scenery, but the environs around it. They more than most scenery developers have pioneered the use of autogen to create the area around the airport and with X-Plane11 now being able to use regional assets and in this case German housing the areas around the airport you now have a very well constructed urban environment at no cost to your framerate... take note other scenery developers, it works and on the approach you have a really great Germanic feel and a great urban look on approach. If this is the future for all X-Plane regions then it is going to be brilliant. Of course the false add on scenery autogen will mesh in perfectly with the default autogen, giving you the perfect transition between the two areas although I do have my object slider a notch down here for framerate efficiency. Over the RWY15's threshold and you feel you are landing in a field more than an international airport is so long and so outwardly is the runway from the terminal area. It is a very long runway... and with a building in the EDHH Cargo terminal in your line of sight at the other end, so you don't want to over run the runway. JustSim do great grass effects and they are very effective here even if the grass covers up the runway direction signs, but it very good. The bonus of getting your arrival runway of choice in RWY15 and RWY05 is as noted it puts you right on the terminal area and so a quick turn off almost puts you directly on the ramp. Runway and taxiway linage is excellent, but can be very confusing with the amount of information on the entrance to the ramp in either B west/east or in my case I north/south... The huge terminal complex stretches away to the north from you, it is impressive and to the east is the cargo area. The ramp is filled with really great airport equipment, highly detailed and all very authentic, like these luggage trolleys and tugs, they make for a great entrance. You get a very authentic gate direction guidance system display, but it only shows the aircraft type and not the actual guides, so your first guess is that this is a static airbridge gate. It also means you have to guess were you actually park up correctly as well, but shut down the engines and the perfectly replicated gate does actually swing into action, the airbridges look perfect, beautifully done. On the ramp it is great view, very real in presence. So the arrival at JustSim's EDDH was very impressive. One thing to note. There are several options in filling out the ramps and stands with static aircraft. This JustSim scenery does have the X-Plane default routes done and that allows you to use the default static aircraft like I have done here, but you do get the wrong regional (i.e. a lot of N American) aircraft as part of the deal (currently). There is a set World traffic ground routes for EDDH but they are set for the Aerosoft version. Airport Overview. Hamburg Airport (Flughafen Hamburg) IATA: HAM - ICAO: EDDH 05/23 3,250m (10,663ft) Asphalt 15/33 3,666m (12,028ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 53 ft / 16 m As the main above image shows is that EDDH is beautifully intergrated into the X-Plane background, the realism is well done here. The focus is on the lower X cross area with the main terminal and cargo facilities to the east and the huge Lufthansa Technik AG headquarters and maintenance base to the southeast and both areas are joined together with the huge cargo facility at the start of RWY33. Main Terminal and Cargo Out of the main Terminal (upper) the A/B (27-40) gates have been stretched further southeast but there is only one autogate here, where as the real extension has autogates on all gates?, but it does give you some good stand positions. Set out behind he extension is still the cargo facility but it is now used from the side ramp or Apron South 1with several large maintenance hangars in F, G and H. The main terminal section has three sections (roofs) but it is only two terminals in 1 and 2 that merge into one large facility called the “Terminal Plaza” with gates C4 - C16, and D1-5 to the north and the noted extension A/B (27-40) gates going southeast. The main Terminal(s) are really highly impressive, simply outstanding detail, but more so with the new X-Plane11 feature of reflective glass that is very realistic and as we will see more of in the night lighting portion of the review. Roadways are a little blurry but there is a lot of 3d objects in creating a great fill and you don't really notice it that much in context. Note the excellent circular lift towers Airside and the (animated) autogates are perfect, with a lot of ramp fill of equipment, and building (terminal) detailing is simply first rate with high quality textures and modeling. There is also a lot of animated vehicle traffic wandering around the airport which gives it all a buzzy work day look. Landside is well done but the ground textures are a little blurry. Radar works (animated) as do all of the radar installations. North and there are two massive carpark structures and central landside there is an excellent Raddisson Blu Hotel (below). If you look closely there is a great mix of the original airport brick buildings that have have been overbuilt by the newer terminal areas. I really also like the good advertising on the wall of the P2 parking building for Aeroflot. Far north is the airport's own maintenance area but look beyond the airport boundary at the excellent default autogen. Situated adjacent to the rear of the north pier is the “Terminal Tango” which is an events space and convention centre. The airport is named after Helmut Schmidt who was Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1974 to 1982. Overall the Terminal area is mightily impressive in detail. Cargo and Maintenance Hangars There is the cargo ramp called the “Luftfrachtzentrum”, that the layout is for the more medium and regional sized freighters than the bigger B777 or B747 size monsters, but if you wanted to you could still park one here. Modeling of the cargo area is very good and get the in joke of the "Meyer Fuel Service" truck. The big "Hamburg Cargo Center" joins the two areas at the start of RWY33. Lufthansa Technik AG headquarters The western section of EDDH is the Lufthansa Technik AG headquarters Base which is part of the Lufthansa Group. The This is a huge facility that covers aircraft servicing, engine overhauls, aircraft fitouts and the Cabin Innovation Center, and the base can cover all types of aircraft from A320's up to the large B747's and A380's. But to note in that not to get it confused with Airbus's fitout facility at Finkenwerder Airport to the south. The main servicing hangars and engine test facility are excellent as is the complex external rigging that holds up the open internal space roofs, as the smaller detailing is also very good with circular stairs and huge air-con units. The famous Café Himmelsschreiber which is part Air Hamburg is also situated in this northern section of the Technik base and so is the main apron control tower that overlooks runway 05/23. Detailing around the Café Himmelsschreiber is quite bare which is a missed opportunity as there is a seating garden there right on the ramp and the ramp tower is quite average and comes with only basic textures, the lower admin building however is well done. There are two huge aprons fronting the Lufthansa Technik base with one for remote parking (below left) including Air Hamburg or for the Lufthansa Technik base parking. The secondary remote apron is for General Aviation and Private Jet parking (above right) and is ideal for light parking and commuter traffic. Control Tower Because of the layout of the runways, specifically the long 15/33, there is a secondary control tower on the western side of the field. But the wasted X-Plane feature "tower view" is somewhere in the middle of the GA - Private Jet apron... so an "epic fail". As noted all radars do rotate and are clearly visible on landing. Fire Station and Museum To the North-West is the art deco styled Fire Station and the museum with the original Boeing 707-430 with the registration D-ABOD which was operated by Deutsche Lufthansa which is sited outside. You will get a great view of these buildings on taxiway D with either a RWY15 departure or RWY33 arrival. In the early years it was not aircraft that filled the skies above Fuhlsbüttel (hamburg Airport) but airships. The "Hamburg Airship Hangar Company" (HLG) in association with Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was created here in 1911 and then some time was spent looking for a suitable site for an airfield, and finally 44.8 hectares of land to the west of Lake Alster and north of the Borstel racecourse were chosen as a suitable site. The airship company however soon had company in the arrival of AEG (Allgemeine Electricitäts-Gesellschaft) which set up a new firm called DLR (Deutsche Luft-Reederei, literally the "German Air Transport Company") and started scheduled flights on the 5th February 1919. KLM also was soon traversing through the airport as well on the route from Amsterdam to Copenhagen and in time the regular service fixed wing operations overtook the original airship operations. Hamburg's Fuhlsbüttel Airport also had a major part in the famous “Berlin Airlift” that started operations on 25th June 1948. And in the early1950’s the airport which was then now known as “Hamburg Airport” was then reverted back from the British into the hands of the German authorities. Nightlighting After the excellent day detailing and scenery work by JustSim, the night lighting is a bit of a disappointment? The lighting is mediocre at best with only a few spots lighting the gates, and with Hamburg's interesting lighting systems a real wasted opportunity. Equipment ramp zones have no downlighting at all, which is a totally missed chance to do some clever lighting, drop down lighting is limited. Terminal window texures are average and soft and nowhere as good as the Aerosoft versions and just a bland blue... Again it is a totally wasted opportunity as if you look at the new X-Plane11 glass reflection feature on the side of T2, as you see the reflections are excellent in the reflection of the surrounding airport lighting. It could have been so much better... Other buildings at least do have some good window lighting textures as also does the Raddisson Blu hotel, but overall it is mostly mediocre. Runway lighting is thankfully quite good with RAIL on some, but the taxiways are plain with only blue oversized taxiway edge lights and no centerline green guidance lighting. So you aircraft will need good lighting to navigate around the scenery after dark. Services Hamburg today is the gateway to Northern Germany with 60 airlines that service through Hamburg (Fuhlsbüttel) and fly out to 115 destinations worldwide. The airport is the hub for airlines Air Berlin, Condor, Lufthansa and TUIfly. Airlines Aer Lingus, Air France, airBaltic, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Corendon and Air Hamburg. Busiest Domestic Routes 1. Munich - 1,347,070 2. Frankfurt - 733,060 3. Stuttgart - 702,884 4. Düsseldorf - 452,750 5. Nuremberg - 221,544 Busiest European Routes 1. London, United Kingdom - 706,844 2. Palma de Mallorca, Spain - 694,302 3. Zürich, Switzerland - 528,726 4. Vienna, Austria - 479,062 5. Paris, France - 354,010 Busiest International Routes 1. Antalya, Turkey - 475,806 2. Dubai, UAE - 129,624 3. Hurghada, Egypt - 96,150 4. Izmir, Turkey - 65,530 5. Newark, USA - 44,840 Summary Overall this is stunning scenery, beautifully detailed and with some really great ramp equipment and detail. Those airbridges are excellent as is all the animated vehicle traffic and the great surrounding Germanic autogen and so using the JustSim Hamburg is certainly a great departure or arrival scenery... but. It is shame the lighting is so mediocre, and such is the wasted in the opportunity here to do something really great with illumination, so any flying at Hamburg after the sun goes down is a bit of a timewaster. ditto the poor "tower view" which is becoming a common occurrence lately. But what we are coming back to here is the value, if this scenery which is certainly worth in the upper twenties in the set dollar values was then just that, then the lighting would make you think twice about purchasing? But Hamburg Airport by JustSim is only priced at US$19.80 and at that price it is simply a total bargain, so you can easily look past the minor faults as the scenery is excellent at the really good things that make up totally realistic scenery. So overall it is a must buy, and the hope that soon JustSim do a quick revisit and update the lighting to the standard EDDH Hamburg deserves. ______________________________________________________________________ The EDDH Hamburg Airport by JustSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDH - Hamburg International Airport Price is US$19.80 Features Custom taxiways and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Runway reflection effect Volumetric ground effect textures Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Ready for Advanced Traffic World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Animated gates (AutoGate plugin by Marginal) Animated custom ground vehicles (X-Plane 11 only) Requirements X-Plane 11+ or X-Plane 10.50+ Windows, Mac, Linux 2GbVRAM Video Card. 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended This review was run in X-Plane11 (and a beta at that!). So the X-Plane11 features are not available in the X-Plane10 version of this scenery. Requirements: X-Plane 10 fully updated (any edition) or X-Plane 11+ Mac, Windows or Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card 1GB HD for Installation ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is 422.10mb The scenery is installed after unzipping in to your X-Plane "custom scenery" folder (EDDH_JustSim_1.0) at 698.50mb Documents: There is an installation document but no manual or charts. A good set of EDDH charts are available here: EDDH pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 27th February 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2017 Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11beta11 / Checked install in X-Plane10.51 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$60.95
  15. It notes... "If you already have purchased the A350 XWB from FlightFactor then go to your account at the X-PlaneStore and update to v1.4.3." in the review? SD