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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. X-Plane11 As Laminar Research's X-Plane11 is getting nearer to its release, then it is warranted that articles, posts and items related to the X-Plane version have a home or place on X-PlaneReviews... so here it is. X-PlaneReviews will cover the the version in depth with features and articles allowing you to get the very best from X-Plane in this new generational version. So check back here often to see what is new in X-Plane11. X-PlaneReviews
  2. No sorry that doesn't work? The only way to lower your altitude is to dive the aircraft (but that gains you speed?) switching off the "Arti-Stab" just does nothing? SD
  3. Aircraft Review : AeroG UV-4 UAV by Thranda A coming major revolution to aviation are UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and Drones. Lets us first separate the distinction between UAV's and Drones although with larger Drones the area does cross over between the two types of aircraft. UAV's are ground based piloted aircraft, mostly military at this point with the excellent General Atomics' "Predator B" being the current hollywood favorite casting actor in vogue. Drones are what what you buy in your local toy store although mostly it is in bigger electronic stores that are now the most visible distributors of this current in fashion fun tool. The rules are clear in that UAV's can be over the horizon in operation, were as Drones have very specific rules in that the aircraft has to be less than 55gb, within your line of sight and restricted to 400ft AGL, and a load of restrictions in where you can and not fly. The line is blurred above that of the basic rules of the use of heavier Drones. You do need then to become an actual pilot, sit an exam and prove you are totally capable of flying of which is in a sense is a commercial drone. A pilot certificate can also be issued under 14 CFR part 61 regulations (US). The rules are still tight, but you can use the Drone for many uses and for activities that involve people below in say sporting events and photography over cities. I have followed the antics of fast food suppliers and Amazon in their desire to deliver pizza and parcels to your door, antics is the word and yet I may be ultimately proven wrong. But if you fly you would be familiar with the effects of variable wind patterns and lot of obstructions at low level flying that would mostly certainly render your Hawaiian pizzas to the pavement or simply dropping out of the air into your back garden, in other words a great idea but not realistic in the real complicated world. Although there is the benefit if it actual works of a Hawaiian and beef pizza colliding together above you and thus creating the perfect recipe before landing on your tomatoes to add in that extra Italian flavour. But this UV-4 UAV is a very interesting and more practical machine. It has been created by the Bergen Community College in Bergen County, New Jersey USA. First it has electrical propulsion and not the usual heavy aero engines. However the biggest advantage as we will see is the sheer ease of the way it does fly and the absolute control and specific way you can allow the aircraft to travel from point to point. It could change the complete way we move around our planet in the future and have really great specific roles in the way it is utilised... In other words the UV-4 is the future. One of the great things about X-Plane and the way it is designed with its "Blade Element Theory" flight physics algorithm, is that you can replicate this machine and simulate it's capablities. Thranda have done that here and you now have a unique chance to see and control and aircraft a new and unique way to fly. UV-4 Basically the UV-4 is a streamlined box with four rotary fan nacelles with two small fans at the front (lifting), and the two bigger propulsion fans at the rear. The trick to the aircraft is not in it's shape or even the lifting fans as both technologies have been around for decades. But in the way the electronics control the dynamics of flight and speeds of the lifting bodies. This aircraft has a small central compartment with an opening door at the rear to deliver cargo, but at this size it is too small yet for commercial operations, it will be the same vehicle at a scale a little larger that would then make this flying machine viable. The only visible worry is that the aircraft is very reminiscent of the Skynet controlled drones from the James Cameron "Terminator" films, so we will have a need to stay in control of the vehicle or the computers will take it over and wipe us all out with it... Thranda UV-4 There is a full side tab menu to control and use the UV-4 and we will go though each tab one by one from top to bottom. The first set covers the views you can have. Panel The very top tab is the "Panel". This is a standard X-Plane 2d panel that is set up to look like your a flying the UAV from a remote situation. It is produced here in full with the top and bottom halves of the panel joined together to see the full layout. The main screen can be zoomed and the side smaller display is attached to the gimbal camera on the front of the aircraft that be independently moved with your left/right, up/down viewing keys. In the main screen display is a HUD style instrument display that can be turned off if required. Top right is a timer, and top left are fire switches (personally any fire in any lifting fan would mean you would suddenly crash anyway). with a Centre of Gravity display right frame. Gear up and down on the left and fan power and throttle controls are on the right. Lower left are the radio/navigation panels and on the lower right is the Autopilot controls and lighting switches at the bottom. Centre left lower panel is the Artificial Horizon, altitude, speed strips and rose compass and centre right is the basic navigation display. The engine display shows five different aspects of the aircraft's situation. (left to right) Engine power output, Fuel, Stats, Hyd (hydraulics) and Fail (Failures). Gimbal with HUD Second tab shows you the view from the front mounted gimbal camera with the HUD graphics overlaid. Gimbal Camera Third tab is the gimbal camera again but with just the image and no flying data. You can move the camera with your left/right, up/down viewing keys. Night-Vision Fourth tab is the night vision mode. This is really just the standard X-Plane Night-Vision goggle effect, but it is put to good use here and looks very attack war like. Great for widespread bombing of Christmas presents out of the back door. The next set of tabs cover the flying features Artfi-Stabil To see the Artfi-Stablise in action we need to fly the UV-4 Starting up the UV-4 is just very simple. If the power is switched on you just simply advance the throttles and those huge fans start to turn and power up, and this UAV sounds like a huge mega-death vacuum cleaner on speed. More throttle and the fans allow the aircraft to defy gravity. This is where the computer power comes in. The system has a built in Artfiical-Stabilisation that keeps the aircraft correct and level with you just adjusting for wind direction, and no wind means it will just go straight up! Hover Next tab is the hover which does two jobs in line with the Artfi-Stabil in keeping the aircraft in the correct hover position, and if you press the button while flying it will slow the aircraft down and go into hover (stop) mode. It is very easy to balance the aircraft on the throttle... and there is no fighting the yaw like you do with a helicopter tail rotor. Gentle turn of the yaw and the aircraft will do a complete 360º turn on the same spot, totally brilliant Although from the ground you are glad this UAV has nothing more than a box to carry than guns, it is very threatening and Terminator like as turns towards you... So run away now! Then you have a set of general purpose tabs. Next tab is for the "Gear" to stow or lower the landing gear. Then you have four buttons that cover: Mute (no sound), Pause (pauses the sim) Auto-Pilot (that switches on the auto-pilot) and the button to open and close the cargo door. Flying the UV-4 Stow the gear and switch out of the "hover" mode and with a slight push of the stick forward you can move into the direction you want to. You still have to balance the throttle to maintain your correct altitude, but otherwise you will move forward like a slow helicopter. So is this UAV like a helicopter to fly? Well yes and no to the more of the yes. As you still have to balance the throttle to a helicopter's collective to maintain the right angle and height for the correct flight path but here without keeping the pressure of keeping the tail rotor in check. Otherwise you just turn and yaw like you usually do for turns. There are no notes on how fast or high the UV-4 will actually go, but I think the same as a small helicopter would be in the same range. One area that is tricky and that is just simply getting back down? Reduce the throttle and even right down to the low stop and you will still stay up there? You have to dive down and lose altitude slowly and then lose all your speed, going into "hover" mode doesn't work either as it does stop you from going forward, but the descent is jerky extremely slow downwards. Just being allowed to reduce altitude via the throttle like in a helicopter would make it easier. I eyeballed the clubhouse (terminal) and you could see how good a war platform these machines could be, but then it was time too rumble the office before hitting the "Hover" mode to land. You have to hit the "hover" mode at just the right time, so it clicks in smoothly, and if you hit it too early then you will be hovering in the wrong place. Then manoeuvring to the right spot is not hard of course but it is not very neat in your flying. But this UAV is thankfully nothing but easy to manoeuvre and then land for any failed helicopter pilot. A few notes on this version. There is no fuel or battery charge noted and refueling or recharging will mean restarting the simulator. So it is easy to simply run out of charge while flying. Also the twin 2d screen makes it hard to see and adjust the lower panel at the same time, certainly when setting up the auto-pilot or navigating. There is no manual either? so the "how To Use" is awkward. Liveries There are four liveries with the default being the Bergen Community College livery and three camouflage liveries. Summary The UV-4 is a totally fascinating machine and brings the Terminator style future within reality. But it is the ease of the way it flies that changes the game in the point to point delivery that is really interesting here and sets these aircraft up for certain automated flying. And you can easily see them flying daily through the air over your towns or cities Blade Runner style or facing Terminator skynet armageddon. Thankfully with these UAV's they are too big just to deliver pizza even if their delivery message would be interesting in: "Your pizza is here... I'll be back!" With Thranda's version there is of course limitations within X-Plane that doesn't allow you to do certain things and it does show here, but that doesn't mean that Austin Meyer can't add them in as well. As this is certainly the future in flying. Personally I would have liked a virtual 3d cockpit version rather than the awkward 2d version, but obviously you don't have a cockpit in a drone. But you do need all the flying tools on one level and accessible to get the best effect from flying the aircraft from behind a screen, so does X-Plane need this new 3d style facility as certainly more drones will be coming to the simulator, but for now the developers are stuck with the effects and the limitations of old plane-maker technology. A manual here would have been seen as a real bonus as well. But I will leave you on this review with a thought. And that is would simulator users be the best for flying UAV's as well as normal pilots? after all we fly from behind a screen and have a natural feel for disconnected flying. Don't expect the U.S Airforce or the RAF to come knocking any day to do raids in foreign war zones though, but you may get a call for flying loads over distances within your own countries boundaries... it is a thought. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! AeroG UV-4 UAV by Thranda is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : UV-4 V/STOL UAV Price is US$22.00 Plugin-based logic, enabling unique capabilities "Auto-hover" mode. Applying the brakes in flight makes the UAV settle into a stable hover. Auto-throttle, which keeps descent rates safe at low altitudes. Rear nacelles feature nimble connection to input controls, allowing for intuitive and extremely maneuverable, yet docile handling. Helicopter-like feel in terms of cyclic input 2d cockpit, emulating a UAV remote booth Gimballed camera hanging from the nose of the plane. The gimbal moves according to the camera view. Side menu with features like camera snap points, HUD mode, night vision, cargo bay, artificial stability on/off, auto-hover on/off, pause, mute, etc. Cargo bay with retractable ramp ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is 48.20mb and is 75.30mb when installed as a single folder in your X-Plane "Helicopter" Folder. This aircraft can be used in both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11, however all the X-Plane11 features at this point in time are not shown. Documents: None Requirements : X-Plane 10 Fully updated or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit Operating System required 512Mb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 1GB+ VRAM Recommended ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 24th January 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 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (Please note extra objects including the "office" have been added to this scenery) ( - Free
  4. News! - Aircraft Released! : PA31 Chieftain 350 HD Series by Alabeo Another twin from Carenado/Alabeo within the month. This is the Alabeo version of the PA31-350 Chieftain which is a stretched version of the lovely PA31 Navajo that I really liked from the middle of last year (2016), review is here: Aircraft Review - PA31 Navajo HD Series by Carenado So I will be interested to compare this larger (or Chieftain sized aircraft with no pun intended) with the quality of the Navajo. One instant difference is that this Chieftain has the G500 instrument package compared with the older dial panel on the Navajo. X-PlaneReview's liked the G500 instrument package as well (we like a lot of nice things!) that was first on the recently released PA34 Seneca V, and if you want to take a peek at that system then read the review here: PA34 Seneca V by HD Series by Carenado Features include: Alabeo G500 2 different models: commuter and standard Custom sounds Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit compatible. FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Alabeo/Carenado quality is part of the deal, and so you won't be disappointed. Included: 6 hd liveries 2 different color panels 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance tables PDF Reference PDF Note the two separate versions in - commuter and standard. Technical Requirements Windows XP -7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.40 (or higher) i5 (or equivalent) 2.5 GHz - 8GB RAM - 2GB Video card 495MB available hard disk space The PA31 Chieftain is flyable also in X-Plane11, that is "flyable" and not configured as X-plane11 is still in it's beta phase. The PA34 Seneca V is available right now from Carenado... ______________________________________________________________________ The PA31 Chieftain 350 HD Series by Alabeo is NOW available! here : PA31 CHIEFTAIN 350 for X-PLANE NOW AT CARENADO Price is US$32.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) CARENADO G1000 DATABASE (MUST BE INSTALLED). Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 22nd February 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  5. Very interesting aircraft, Only note is that when you lower the throttle it doesn't descend? It just stays up there even with the "Hover" switched off... SD
  6. Aircraft Review : DC-6 Cloudmaster Type A/B by Precision Manuals Development Group To survive in simulation, you have to be good and have the consistency in delivering quality aircraft in release after release that can in time finally deliver the recognition and the awareness that the users of good simulation aircraft will recognize and laud their approval of their efforts (in other words but their products in the downloads full). But more so into delivering that quality and consistency for nearly twenty years is an outstanding achievement. The Precision Manuals Development Group know as PMDG are such a long standing developer in the FSX/Prepar3D platforms and they have an outstanding legacy in those arenas. They are certainly to be compared with other outstanding Flight Simulator stalwarts like Carenado and Aerosoft that have already developed for X-Plane, but until now PMDG have not developed for the X-Plane platform and no matter how long or how good your are in the business of simulation the move to a new platform is a big undertaking, or even a large gamble. But the approach of PMDG to the X-Plane platform is also very different from other crossover developers from the FSX/Prepar3d universe in the aspect that instead of just converting a current or successful FS (Flight Simulator) aircraft to X-Plane they have decided to build a completely from the ground up aircraft directly for the platform, and that is a far bigger gamble on the simulator because a lot of time and money has to be spent as to rather than just converting and using already designed basic areas of completed work. And this first PMDG X-Plane platform release aircraft is the Douglas DC-6 Cloudmaster. So there is large investment in the DC-6 by PMDG for X-Plane, and so how does this aircraft deliver and more importantly has the build from scratch approach delivered in the context does this iconic aircraft have a real X-Plane feel and use, rather than the FS converted feel approach which has in areas have not been successful in the past... That was my objective for this review, in how X-Plane is this DC-6 from PMDG in conscienceless, feel and use with the simulator, the results surprised me and not in the way I expected. The aircraft reproduced here is of an actual DC-6, as PMDG notes in the introduction... "This aircraft is the last DC-6 to roll off of the assembly line, and the last to fly commercially in a passenger configuration: V5-NCG, s/n 45564. While the default livery is PMDG house colors, it is heavily influenced by the livery currently on V5-NCG. The interior, however, faithfully recreates this aircraft down to the occasionally mislabeled placards, and gauge replacements that differ slightly from the rest. Both 45564 and its sister ship 45563 have lived rather storied lives" Douglas DC-6 The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner and transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1958. Originally intended as a military transport near the end of World War II, it was reworked after the war to compete directly with the Lockheed Constellation in the long-range commercial transport market. More than 700 were built and many still fly today in cargo, military, and wildfire control roles. After the Second World War Douglas Aircraft modified the design into a civil transport which is 80in (200 cm) longer than the host design in the DC-4. The civil DC-6 first flew on 29 June 1946. The first airline deliveries were to American Airlines and United Airlines on 24 November 1946. But a series of inflight fires (including the fatal crash of United Airlines Flight 608) grounded the DC-6 fleet in 1947. The cause was found to be a fuel vent next to the cabin cooling turbine intake; all DC-6s were modified and the fleet was flying again after four months on the ground. The aircraft was not just an American domestic route carrier, as United flew DC-6's to Hawaii, Braniff flew them to Rio de Janeiro, and Panagra flew Miami-Buenos Aires; KLM, SAS, and Sabena flew DC-6s across the Atlantic. BCPA DC-6s flew Sydney to Vancouver, and Philippine Airlines flew Manila to London and Manila to San Francisco. In April 1949, United, American, Delta, National, and Braniff were flying DC-6s in the United States. United flew them to Hawaii, Braniff flew them to Rio de Janeiro, and Panagra flew Miami-Buenos Aires; KLM, SAS, and Sabena flew DC-6s across the Atlantic. BCPA DC-6s flew Sydney to Vancouver, and Philippine flew Manila to London and Manila to San Francisco. Pan Am used DC-6Bs to start transatlantic tourist-class flights in 1952. These were the first DC-6Bs that could gross 107,000 lb (49,000 kg), with CB-17 engines rated at 2,500 hp (1,900 kW) on 108/135 octane fuel. Several European airlines followed with their own transatlantic services. The DC-6A/B/C subtypes could fly nonstop from the eastern US to Europe, but needed to refuel in Newfoundland when westbound against the wind. Douglas designed four variants of the DC-6: the basic DC-6, and the longer-fuselage 60in (150 cm) higher-gross-weight, longer-range versions—the DC-6A with cargo doors forward and aft of the wing on the left side, with a cargo floor; the DC-6B for was for passenger work, with passenger doors only and a lighter floor; and the DC-6C convertible (combi), with the two cargo doors and removable passenger seats. The DC-6B, originally powered by Double Wasp engines with Hamilton Standard 43E60 constant-speed reversing propellers, and was regarded as the ultimate piston-engine airliner from the standpoint of ruggedness, reliability, economical operation, and handling qualities. The military version, similar to the DC-6A, was the USAF C-118 Liftmaster; the USN R6D version used the more powerful R-2800-CB-17 engines. These were later used on the commercial DC-6B to allow international flights. Total production of the DC-6 series was 704, including military versions. The aircraft reigned mostly through the 1950's until the intercontinental passenger services were overtaken by the jet age with Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 aircraft, but the DC-6 did carry on within shorter domestic routes and still many are still flying even today but within mostly a cargo role. (edited Wikipedia) Performance: Cruise speed : 315 mph (507 km/h) - Range : DC-6A 2,948 nmi (5,460 km) Max payload 4,317 nmi (7,995 km) Max fuel 2,610 nmi DC-6B (4,830 km) Max payload 4,100 nmi (7,600 km) Max fuel - Service ceiling DC-6A 21,900 ft (6,700 m) DC-6B 25,000 ft (7,600 m) - Rate of climb1,070 ft/min (330 m/min) PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster There are two versions of the DC-6 included with the package with the Cargo A Variant (left) and the Passenger B Variant (right). Design and construction of the DC-6 is excellent by PMDG, this is a beautifully created aircraft with a lot of fine detailing. The period riveting, gap and panel work is very good as well, can't fault the design in these areas. Complex strut, links and assemblies are excellent with great detailing on the rear twin bogie with wire and springs well designed and the hydraulic rams highly visible. All internal gear bays are well done and they do also light up if required. The engines are also very good, with their movable hot and cold cowlings being very authentic. Closer inspection will reveal the internal wasp engines and their complex exhaust systems from each radial cylinder, all the exhausts spit out angry flames when running which is highly realistic and are a fiery highlight when running at night. Aircraft glass is very good, and you can see easily the internal cabin from any point of view. Some early users noted the aircraft's liveries were not that good on release. I disagree as the liveries and the quality of the livery textures are excellent and of a very high 4K quality. I think the point of view is that the liveries and the detail is not the problem here, but a lot of the aircraft and certainly on the undercarriage areas is that the external working parts of the aircraft are simply too clean. These 1950's working aircraft were dirty, oily, greasy or just plain grubby in their day to day service and are plainly soiled machines, but this lovely DC-6 looks like it hasn't even rolled out he factory yet, but has had its engines run hard and tested. It needs to be a bit more grubby, and the tyre textures are too light or more greyish than blackish. Menus PMDG uses the tab - panel menu system, which is positioned on the left lower part of your screen. And there are six menu tabs: Ramp Manager Fuel and Load Manager Artificial Flight Engineer Maintenance Manager Realism Options Save and Load Scenarios All the popup panels are quite large and can't be resized, which will cover a large part of a screen and almost all of a smaller screen like on a laptop computer. Ramp Manager: menu covers all external areas of the aircraft in ramp equipment and animations, there are also two selection areas for Aircraft State and Cockpit Lighting. Ramp equipment (left) sections include: Tow bar and tractor, Wheel chocks, Pitot covers, Engine oil pans (hang under the engines) Mechanic Stands. Animations include (right) Main Cabin (door) Exit, Main Cabin Exit Stairs, Cargo hold (doors), Front cabin (door) exit and Front cabin exit stairs. The ramp and animated selections here are all very good. I really like the "Mechanic Stands" which make work on the ramp or in the hangar authentic, shame you can't select them individually, but a great idea. long front stairs unfurl out of the opened front door and look great. The tow bar and tractor is a static model only, so in a way without any pushback capability it is a bit useless... The DC-6A Cargo version has both huge opening main front and rear cargo doors. When you set the load capacity the aircraft will load up with the amount of freight selected (see Fuel and Load Manager below). The lower cargo doors are also available and you add add freight in to those spaces as well, for the medium haulers this is a dream cargo ship. Aircraft State: A simple feature but powerful. You can select from three aircraft states in: Cold and Dark - Ready For Start - Ready for taxi You can very easily move to an aircraft state like cold and dark when the aircraft is completely shut down, Ready for Start when the aircraft is at the point of starting the engines or Ready to Taxi when everything is running and you can fly straight away. I found this feature excellent in moving from point to point in the review, which requires different aircraft states to cover the different areas of the review, in real simulation flying the instant move to a point in if you want to say start right at the beginning and do the whole startup sequence, or just want to fly right straightaway... is a great feature and I used it a lot. I will cover the "Cockpit Lighting" menu when we look at the aircraft's lighting, but you do have four choices to choose from in: Off - Low - Medium and High. Fuel and Load Manager: This panel covers the way you load and fuel the aircraft. The DC-6 has eight fuel tanks and you can set each tank to the requirements you need or set the 50% or 100% fuel loads. Baggage and Cargo Weights are also catered for and so is the Passenger load. On the right side there is a full readout of all the weights including allowed and MAXimum allowances which are all displayed. Artificial Flight Engineer: The AFE is a powerful checklist and setup feature. The Artificial Flight Engineer is like having a second extra pair of hands in the cockpit, but even more so. The idea is that when activated the AFE will go through all the procedures in that checklist area as which there is eleven of them and the only things the AFE doesn't do is actually start the engines. He will however not only read out the procedure but will also carry out the action as well, so this makes the AFE a great learning tool on how to start up and navigate around the complex cockpit and panels, there is also the added attraction of him taking away a lot of the basic workload of operating the switchgear of the aircraft, while you say work doing the radios... invaluable, yes absolutely. Maintenance Manager: Unlike today's efficient 15,000 hours of service in engines. In the era of the DC-6 the service periods were more like hundreds than thousands of hours and even then they were unpredictable. To cover this you have Maintenance Manager panel to see the hours of performance of the engines and propellers and engine oil quantity for each engine is also noted. You can service the engines and propellers and top up the oil tanks with the extra fluids of Water/Alcohol, Auxiliary Oil and Anti-Ice Fluid also available. The total Airframe hours are also shown. Realism Options: You can turn on or off "realism" features that allow you to fly unencumbered or have things on the aircraft be more active or fail (usually fail). Items on the panel include: Engine Damage Enabled Realistic Start Enabled Carb Icing Enabled CB (Circuit Breaker) Failure Enabled AP (Autopilot) Disc (Disconnect) Sound Disabled Damage Alerts Disabled Head Shake Disabled All the realism items are very good and well... realistic. But I wouldn't use them when new to the aircraft, but gradually introduce them as you become more familiar with the more general operations. But the features here are very well thought out and implemented. Scenarios: This feature is a Scenario Manager, or a way of saving a particular situation to come back to. Very similar to the X-Plane "Situations" save function, but it does go a few steps more in operation. My first thoughts was "well this is just another situation saving tool". But soon in doing this review it became a very powerful tool, in that I could move to the three various saved positions to go back to look a certain aspect or item, and then even three saved scenarios seems to be not enough, six would have been perfect. What is very good about the tool is that like when flying the saved scenario does restart absolutely perfectly, no grabbing the yoke or moving the throttle or with that huge descent loss like in the X-Plane situations (in a cruise mode) but you get a restart in a perfect no change position and continued perfect flight. I used one save position to stop and start a long flight by saving each new stop point of the route and then coming back and carrying on from the restart and a covered a large distance with interruptions (like going to bed) and still getting that full perfect flight without resetting up the old point of closing down X-Plane to restart again and spend time getting back to where I had left off. Only thing to note is that you don't save to the actual scenario? as once you have used up 1,2,3 if you save the next one in Scenario 1 it will actually become Scenario 3 and shuffle the earlier ones down the order, and that can make it confusing. Cockpit The cockpit is exceptional in detail, yes the DC-6 in the office is a very complex and manual machine in operation. It can be overwhelming at first sight, but you soon learn the various functions of the switchgear and systems. A note is that not eveything here is not actually active as for instance the older radio sets on the pedestal look magnificent, but are really just disconnected items that don't have any function but to look authentic. But that is not to say it is a fake cockpit because in most areas the disconnected items have their more modern or at least the 60's period replacement tools and even a GNS 430 gps. Personally it makes the DC-6 more authentic because that is the way most of these aircraft in their later lives were flown with a hybrid of the original 40's gear and the more modern 60's and 70's gear added on later, but these systems do not significantly override the original way of flying the aircraft but just supplement it. The rear of the cockpit is also well done and has the same feel as FlyJSim's Boeing 727 Series in look and feel or that greyish metal look. Some panels for racked radio sets and equipment are just images and not actual racks of gear in that FS way, but it is well done and you don't really notice the differences. The third crew member's seat folds down or away to gain access to the front seats which are really well worn and have great authentic cloth and leather constructions. The seat arms are not animated in movement up or down but do vibrate in flight. As noted there is a low-resolution virtual cabin installed, but you can't access it? the X-Plane cockpit boundaries forbid that. The developers noted on the forums that the extra virtual cabin would add in lower framerates, which is complete tosh!, If you a completed (even a low-res version) then that frameweight has still already been added in there then the virtual cabin is actually installed or it isn't. There is a misconception about why users like virtual cabins, and the strange thing is we don't actually look at the cabin. For most users the idea of sitting in a virtual cabin is the point of view looking out of it, so a low-res or high-res cabin is not the issue here, as in most cases the viewpoint is in the replay mode and watching your work in action from the aspect of the passengers point of view. Take away that option and certainly on an aircraft as dynamic as the DC-6 (watching props and flaps in action) is taking away a large percentage of the personal involvement with the aircraft. Side cockpit windows open and the sound increases with the open window, view sideways is great and helpful for taxiway and ramp movement. Panel and Instruments Both Pilot and Co-Pilot flying instruments are the same with the standard six (Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicator) are split by the garmin gi-106a gps/Vor/loc/glideslope indicator in the centre with the VOR 1 and VOR 2 needles bottom centre. The only difference on the two flying panels is the ADF pointers (1 and 2) are on the top right on the pilot's panel and lower left on the Co-Pilot's. Far left and far right on the panel is the VOR 2 Bendix KDI572 DME Receiver for distance, speed and time to the VOR. There are switches to control and select the GYRO heading and slaving on the pilots panel. Down left under the panel are two units in a Bendix KT76A Transponder and a Bendix KMA24 Audio Panel. The centre panel covers all the engine instruments and gauges. Fire handles top with six x four rows (24) dials and gauges. Most engine performance instruments are top left and pressures and temperatures on the right and bottom. The odd display out here is the flap position indicator buried centre left in: UP - 10º - 20º - 30º - 40º - DOWN. Brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) - Mean effective pressure calculated from measured brake torque is covered for each engine by the top row of dials with fuel pressures right. Manifold, Fuel Flow and RPM gauges are double in that one gauge covers two engines. Cylinder head and Carburettor temperatures are across the bottom with the water pressure gauges. Centre right are the OIl Pressure and Oil Temperature gauges. The overhead panel is a very busy area, but like all panel instruments once you understand the different panel areas you can navigate around it quite easier. Lower OVHD covers the Landing lights, Cowl (Engine) Flap(s) and Engine Supercharger switches. The eight large dials cover the fuel tankage with Supercharger Oil and temperatures pressures. top row of dials include: Pitot Heater Ammeter, Anti Icing Fluid Needle, Engine 1 & 2 Oil Qty, Auxiliary Oil Needle, Engine 3 & 4 Oil Qty, Hydraulic Reservoir amount, Engine 1, 2 and 3, 4 Water Tanks (for engine cooling takeoffs). MId-Overhead panel covers items like internal and external aircraft lighting switchgear, Propeller Feather test and Feather switches, Ignition, Inverters, seatbelt, smoking and attendant call switches and generator control switches. Top or back OVHD panel includes Fuel main and alt booster pumps, Engine spark advance, Water injection pumps, and ammeters. Each side of the main OVHD are two side overhead panels in a corner triangular panel and a side panel. Pilot's triangular panel covers all engine and fuel heating and de-Icing with side panel covering the Fire test and Extinguisher (guarded) switches. On the Co-Pilot's triangular panel it covers all aspects of pressurization and cabin altitude and the side panel covers all voltages and cockpit/cabin temperatures. Modern instrument add-ons have been installed under the OVHD. There are three units in a Bendix King KR 87 ADF with two ADF (1 and 2) channels. Then centre is the standard X-Plane Garmin GNS 430 gps with pop-out and a Bendix King KX 155 COM2/VOR2 unit (COM1 and VOR1 are on the GNS430). The huge pedestal is a work of art, but a lot of the switches and the older radios are just for show. Functional though is the two groups of four throttle levers and the fuel tank selection (red) set up against the panel. The aircraft's Gyro based autopilot works in two functions in turning the aircraft (the large top knob) and adjusting the pitch (up or down) with the twin inner wheels, there is a reset button to centre the turn dial and a hold altitude switch called "Altitude Control" but otherwise it is just a basic system. Mixture (red) and Carburettor air levers (blue) cover the engine management, and there is the red landing gear lever centre. The large yellow Flap lever is right but the main lever on here is the autopilot engage lever (arrowed) that is buried deep and close to the floor. The autopilot has to be engaged by the small Gyro Pilot switch up higher before switching up the engage lever and not the other way around, you soon get used to it, but it is in a difficult place to engage when flying the aircraft. The huge red steering lock on the left has to be disengaged before you can move the flying controls... You can steer with the taxi wheel left but not the actual controls until the lock is off. Full yoke movement is very authentic and the yoke is sublime to use as are the rudder pedals. Under a panel in the forward floor are the fuel dump levers, don't use unless you have too! Repeat after me... "the trim is my best friend" Of course on any aircraft the trim wheels are important, but on the DC-6 they are crucially more important to fly this huge airliner more easily. You will need to practise on how to balance this powerful machine on the trim perfectly to get the balance right and save yourself a lot of hard work, and it is also a lot of fun in doing so. The three trim wheels situated on the rear and side of the pedestal (Aileron and Pitch) and the lovely huge rudder trim sits on the top of the padded glareshield. The actual Trim Tab Indicator is hard to see under the cowling, but the trim wheel is a hoot to use. There is a lot of switchgear and instruments to cover here and PMDG do provide an excellent set of manuals (well Precision Manuals is in their name!) that cover really every aspect of the DC-6 and its operations. You get an introduction manual that covers aspects of mostly PMDG and X-Plane, POH (Pilots Operations Handbook) that covers a huge amount of information of not only the switchgear and panels, but also an in depth detailed explanation on how all the DC-6's systems work and how to operate them including an in depth analyse on how to run and maintain the engines and there are pages and pages of Flight Operational data to cover every aspect of flying and operating the DC-6. There are also two excellent tutorials that cover every aspect from cold start to block in two different scenerios with more tutorials to come. DC-6 Lighting As noted in the Ramp Manager you can set four options with the cockpit lighting... Off - Low - Medium and High. These selections give you a good varied choice of lighting conditions, and a great quick go to mood tool. But the red and white lighting by PMDG is very good and fully adjustable to your own preferences. Every area is adjustable, but the knobs and switches are placed almost everywhere including a panel by both the Pilot and Co-Pilot for each set of instruments. Red spot lights are available for both Pilot, Co-Pilot and third crew member, but the dial for the crew member spot is labeled for white adjustment, but it is actually red. Ground Cockpit or Storm light is very bright, so that means it is also very good. It must be noted that the cockpit lighting only works with HDR on, so no panel lighting is available for HDR off running, which in many cases I prefer to fly in. So HDR HAS to be on all the time, and that can hurt framerate if you don't run a powerful computer. You can find the perfect illumination for takeoff and landing, it was a very nice place to be at night, this is a great night flying machine. External lighting is great as well... There are two main landing lights under each wing, but you can use them in two positions. First is in the retracted position that will light up the area directly under the wing, or down for runway illumination. There are also great wheel bay lights for working on the aircraft on the ground, a nice touch. Forward runway illumination is good, but not a very long spread, but this is an 1940's design. Flashing flames out of the exhausts are magnificent at night... Wing lighting is very good, and the view rearwards at night from the pilot's seat is very realistic. Watch those flames belch out of the engines at night for a glorious feeling of power. The view flying in cloud is exciting as you can't climb above the weather, and that make great flying in the dark with the weather engine working a great experience. No rain or water drops on the windows is certainly a missing feature here to heighten the dark stormy night and flying through hell to the destination and landing in zero visibility effect, If one aircraft need rain effects it is this DC-6. Liveries You get only the PMDG livery with the aircraft, but you can go to the PMDG addon liveries site and download a huge selection from there for free. Available for the DC-6A Cargo You can download Air Atlantique, British Eagle, Dranensberg, Northern Air Cargo and Everts Air Cargo, It would have been nice to have had a Buffalo Airways livery, and before you sent me a torrent of emails that "Buffalo Airways" uses the L-188 Electra and not the DC-6, then you are wrong as Buffalo Airways does actually have a DC-6 and it is a rare aircraft at that in a Swingtail DC-6 and only 1 of 2 converted. Available for the DC-6B Passenger The passenger selection is quite large and varied with: PMDG (default) American Airlines, PAA (PanAm), Northwest, United, US Navy, Icelandair, KLM, SAS, UTA, Ansett-ANA, British Eagle, Olympic, Canadian Pacific, Red Bull and NCA, Flying the PMDG DC-6 This is a complex aircraft to fly from cold, and too many areas to cover in detail, but I will do soon a full flight review of the DC-6. For this review I did two flights in one in the DC-6A Cargo from KBOS (Boston) to KEWR (Newark) in the dark and with full weather events making it a nighmare but a very exciting flight. Second route was form KPHX (Phoenix) to KLAX (Los Angeles) and I will show you the early highlights from that flight. Start up was done using the Artificial Flight Engineer and then I started the engines, they put, put and then each one roars into life, and you really have to check each throttle to get the right idle speed until they get some heat into the engines. At each turn and start of the engines the panel and the cockpit will separately vibrate, and by quite a lot and so much that you can't actually read the instruments. Note my night flight above and in a heavy storm the panel can be hard to read for most of the flight, very realistic but tiring, and even on idle sitting on the ramp you are getting vibrations from the aircraft and panel. If you don't want to do the process of starting each engine and want a full set of powered up engines then just press the "Ready for taxi" tab on the "Ramp Manager" panel and you are ready to go, great feature. Once the engines are purring and warm it is time to leave. Sounds are generally good and if you open the side window you do get that extra fantastic roar from those Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CA15 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) "Double Wasp" radial engines. Overall the sounds are very good to great, but they are also one dimensional with no zoom or 3d effects that we have come to be used to. This had lead to a few comments that the sounds are not great on the PMDG DC-6, and that is not true because they are as noted very good, PMDG have already updated the sound to 3d and are now also doppler shifted on the aircraft in their 0043 update list. To a point X-Plane users have now been very much influenced by the excellent Blue Sky Star Simulation's sound packs and even if the DC-6 had been released as close as this time last year the sounds here would have not been an issue, but things move quickly in simulation and hi-fi sound is now a big and required feature in this price category and it is good to see the commitment of PMDG to update the sounds very quickly in the release period. I left the AFE do the last of the checks while I taxi to PHX RWY 07L, windows shut, superchargers and cooling water on and away you go. The power is good but this is not a Boeing 737-800 and climb is limited to below 1000fpm and not the usual 3000fpm in the Boeing of Airbus of choice. Hand climb to around 3000ft or 4000ft with the water and then the superchargers off (watch the gauges), then set the direction of travel and level off and then trim the aircraft. There are throttle locks if you need them (the red bars), but with the aircraft trimmed and level then click the Gyro Pilot switch up before switching up the AP engage lever. The "Altitude Control" switch has to be down to turn the Pitch Control Knobs and then switch the Altitude Control on to hold the altitude required. If the aircraft is light then 800fpm pitch is easily achieved, but in a heavy configuration you will be pressed to use 500fpm to 300fpm and the climb is a long process. I climbed to 12,500ft and powered along towards the Californian coast over Nevada, the DC-6's natural territory. Summary As noted at the start of this review the DC-6 Cloudmaster is PMDG's first aircraft for X-Plane, and it was built up from the ground up for X-Plane and it is not just a converted Flight Simulator aircraft. For the case of the aircraft being built up for X-Plane first and then converted Flight Simulator platform second, the aircraft does feel very X-Plane and not FS, but a few of the flat cockpit textures do give the FS heritage away. But the problem with the DC-6 that even in X-Plane it would be a niche aircraft, and I think it would be wrong to surmise the X-Plane platform on this aircraft release alone, as PMDG's other products in the MD-11, Boeing 747-400 and 737NG series are far more mainstream and all would be far more of a better evaluation of the simulator than the DC-6. The one thing that I found with the DC-6 is the amount of time and thought that has been put in by PMDG in the way of creating clever features and using many of X-Plane's best attributes and not only in the actual aircraft but also in the thorough detailing of the documents and manuals. Not many developers take the time to thoroughly explain X-Plane's features, items and what they actually do in the simulator, and thus creating a great bridge to any newcomers to the X-Plane platform, but PMDG has done that and done it very well. There are a few negatives but they are certainly not any major issues and all can be easily cleared up with a few updates. The aircraft needs a little more wear and tear, oil, grease, even a little rust would give the machine a more hard working feel and take a little blandness away from the external. Let us have access to the cabin, for the obvious reasons of simply watching the aircraft from the inside out, and a few animated raindrops on the windows would make it even more realistic at night. Making the static pushback truck a working feature would be a nice addition to the ground features... more scenario's would be nice but to keep to the saved scenario would stop confusion on where you saved what scenario where. Overall this is a glorious aircraft, clever short cuts in the Artificial Flight Engineer, different engine starts and saving situations are clever well thought out time savers and allow you to get the very best out of the simulation, all menus are excellent and well thought out. The aircraft and its systems are very deep and do require a lot of study to get the very best use and operations out of them, this is a simulation for the long haul and to learn and fly a 1940's aircraft in its prime. No doubt many X-Plane pilots will be very impressed by PMDG's DC-6 and no doubt it will become a firm favorite. It is a different and a very challenging aircraft to use and fly, but that is also the major attraction as well. So I was very impressed at my first look at the aircraft and after doing this review is even more impressed at what PMDG have achieved with their first foray in to the X-Plane Simulator and the result was above my high expectations... The DC-6 Cloudmaster has arrived, and now let us show the aircraft the X-Plane world it deserves to see. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Video by Flights Worldwide Yes! the DC-6 Cloudmaster Type A/B by Precision Manuals Development Group is available from PMDG here : Douglas DC-6 Cloudmaster Price is US$69.95 Features: Engine Model – The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp CB-16 engine model has been accurately modelled, including realistic engine start, variable carb icing based on precipitation, dew point and OAT, realistic CHT behaviour, oil temperature heat-up and cool-down rates, realistic oil consumption, realistic oil pressure that varies based on oil temperature, water injection detonation suppressant for high-power take-offs, a realistic auto-mixture system correcting for air density and high/low supercharger modes with corresponding effects on critical manifold pressure, altitude and torque. A failure model (optional, can be disabled in Realism Options) is included. Engines are prone to abuse as well as wear and tear when the failure model is enabled. Airplane Systems and Equipment - The DC-6’s systems were reproduced to match the operation of those in the real aircraft, and include: De-icing, Electrical, Engines, Fuel, Hydraulic, Oil, Pressurization, Propellers and Water Injection. Sperry A-12 Automatic Pilot Bendix King KX 155 NAV/COMM Transceiver Bendix King KR 87 ADF Receiver Bendix King KI-227 ADF Indicator Garmin GI-106A GPS/VOR/LOC/Glideslope Indicator Bendix MN- 61A Marker Beacon System Bendix KT76A Transponder Bendix KMA24 Audio Panel Bendix KDI572 DME Receiver Realistic Fuel System – The fuel system has been accurately modelled, and includes the 8-tank main and alternate fuel system with cross-feed, realistic fuel pressure system and the fuel dump system with accurate dump rates. AC/DC Electrical Bus System – The electrical bus system includes realistic amp draw and voltage, as well as battery drain and charging. Realistic, Immersive Sound Set - To increase the level of realism and immersion, individual switches, levers, knobs, aural warning sounds, and an array of systems sounds were recorded from an actual DC-6 expressly for the purpose of providing total flight deck realism and realistic audio-tactile feedback. The sound set covers every sound you would expect to hear inside the DC-6 cockpit, as well as from the exterior view. Highly realistic effects of the relationship between throttle positions, prop lever positions and engine RPM creates an authentic DC-6 in-cockpit sound experience. Add-on Liveries - As is always the case at PMDG, numerous free add-on liveries are available for a variety of real-world DC-6 operators. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements: Minimum Simulator: X-Plane 10.45+ Hardware: Dual Core, 2.5 GHz or faster, 4 GB of RAM, A video card with at least 1 GB of VRAM. Windows: Windows 7 32-bit (older OSes such as Windows XP may work, but we cannot guarantee compatibility or support) Mac: OS X Mavericks Recommended Simulator: X-Plane 10.45+ Hardware: A Quad Core, 3.0 GHz or faster processor, 16-20 GB of RAM, a high-performance, DirectX 11-capable video card with at least 4 GB of on-board, dedicated VRAM. Windows: Windows 10 64-bit (older OSes such as Windows XP may work, but we cannot guarantee compatibility or support) Mac: OS X El Capitan _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the PMDG DC-6 is 387.30meg Make sure you have the correct installer for your computer platform in Windows and Mac. Installer is included and will install the aircraft X-Plane main aircraft root folder under PMDG at 3.89.80mb (without extra liveries). Key authorisation is required and I recommend a complete X-Plane restart to start the aircraft up correctly. Documents: There are seven items included in the documentation - All are outstanding in detail and information : PMDG DC-6 Introduction.pdf Douglas DC-6B R2800-CB16.txt PMDG DC-6 Tutorial 1.pdf DC6B_scenario_1.txt DC6B_scenario_2.txt PMDG DC-6 POH.pdf PMDG DC-6 Tutorial 2.pdf ______________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 5th July 2016 Copyright©2016: 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 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin Scenery or Aircraft - KBOS - KBOS Boston Logan International Airport 1.0.0 by Misterx6 (KBOS Boston Logan International Airport 1.0.0 - Free - KPHX - Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1.01 by Misterx6 (KPHX - Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1.01 - Free
  7. News! - Aircraft Updated to X-Plane11 : Airbus A350 XWB v1.4.3 by FlightFactor FlightFactor have updated their Airbus A350 XWB aircraft to be flyable in X-Plane11. The note here is flyable or compatible and not a totally configured aircraft for the new X-Plane version as the simulator is still within its beta stages (XP11b11 at this article). But flyable or usable is still a very nice place to be. We saw a very nice and more complete upgrade to the A350 v1.30 just back in July 2016, and right there and then it felt like a completely new aircraft than the earlier predecessors. Here again with this version v1.43 you see a solidness that was missing in the earlier releases of this Airbus aircraft, it usually came off second best compared to the Boeing designs of B757/767 and the B777 Series. But now it is a very though machine and becoming very mature as it ages. Again the FMC is still not a full total replication of a FMS (Flight Management System) like on the B757/767 and in this case the SID/STAR component is still missing for now, but it is coming, I swear it is. FlightFactor put a nice shine on to the A350 in the last update, and in XP11 the aircraft looks amazing. The exceptional lighting of X-Plane11 is bringing aircraft alive in realism and put that factor together with highly detailed aircraft and the results are stunning. Version v1.4.3 notes are: v1.4.3 - added xp11 compatability - Introduction of popup screens - Terrain on ND now available - support of custom earth_nav.dat files. Not a big update list, but you do feel there are more improvements than listed that have been addressed under the skin. The complex sets of monitor screens that is unique to the A350 flight deck has had some slight changes. Popup screens The OIS (Onboard Information System) side (and center) menu screens, were... let us say "a little buggy" in the original release of the A350 XWB. nothing really wrong but the effects of using the huge X pointer was a bit hit and miss. The problem was making out the screen active areas and the outer panel not active area, but all the issues have now been resolved, but to give you a secondary option, you now have a new menu (options) selection that allows you to switch into two modes. The new item is the MFD control that has two options "Wheel+Popup" and "Touch Screen" Default is "Touch Screen" that still gives you that enlarged X pointer. But the newer selection in "Wheel+Popup" will freeze the X Pointer and when you want to make a selection the pop up window comes up and you can only use the standard hand (finger) selector for choosing items on the menus. (sorry the hand selector does not show in the images). It does make selections easier and quicker, but you do have a full pop-up screen every time you want to change a menu item. Another new feature is "Terrain on ND" which is a radar terrain map showing on the Navigation Display. It is like the unit on the Boeing 757/767, but none adjustable. Sea is noted in blue, and you have terrain data details on the right. The ground profile is also shown on the vertical display on the lower part of the Navigation Display. Aircraft data in X-Plane11 In X-Plane11 the Navigation data system has had a complete overhaul. One of the changes is that the usual "Custom Data" or navigation data details is now missing in the main X-Plane root folder. Developers now have to supply the actual aircraft with the data to include Navigraph and Aerosoft Navdata Pro with navigational data. To allow the A350 to fly in X-Plane this data has now been included within the update v1.4.3 Note the excellent click to complete checklist system, green for completed checks and blue for not covered checks. Cockpit is now very refined with lots of nice touches and details. Note the working rear FMS unit and left - right pilot flying selection. Cockpit night lighting is now excellent, lovely place to be on a long overnight flight. Liveries supplied are: Blank, House/Qatar, Airbus House, Airbus Carbon, Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and United are the default liveries There are sets of 10 other liveries you can purchase from different regions of the world including Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. Summary Developers are caught at the moment with X-Plane11. Fix up the aircraft and the details change with a sudden new beta update. But we are well along the beta path now and an RC is on the horizon soon anyway. Personally I have found X-Plane11 in basic form extremely stable, so creating a compatible X-Plane11 aircraft is not going to go seriously out of whack anytime soon, as this excellent A350 in X-Plane11 shows. This update is just that in a compatible and flyable aircraft for X-Plane11, but the new "Terrain on ND" is a very nice and useful feature to have as well. The A350 from FlightFactor is becoming brilliantly good now, and is starting to fulfill its potential as one of the great aircraft to fly in X-Plane, and there is still more to come. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Airbus A350-900 XWB Advanced from FlightFactor is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store: Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Price is currently US$ 49.95 Livery packs at US$10 for ten liveries are available here: A350 Liveries Include: North America, Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. 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. Requirements: X-Plane 10 (fully updated) or X-Plane 11 Windows - Mac - Linux - 64bit Operating System Required 1Gb+ VRAM Minimum, 2Gb+ VRAM Minimum. 8Gb RAM Version : 1.43 (last updated February 10th, 2017) Release Review : Aircraft Review : Airbus A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor Support forum : FlightFactor A350 XWB _____________________________________________________________________________________ Updated by Stephen Dutton 13th February 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
  8. Aircraft Release : Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II by AoA Simulations AoA Simulations have released their Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II for X-Plane 9 and 10. The F-35B is a single-seat, single-engine, all weather stealth multirole fighters undergoing testing and final development. It is noted as a fifth generation combat aircraft which is designed to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions. This aircraft has been created by Fabrice Kauffmann and David Austin and is packed to gills with features. The most interesting feature is the Short Take Off / Vertical Landing (STO/VL) thrust vectoring nozzle and lift fan version. And the vectoring works very well (With a little practise) and looks absolutely brilliant. Features include: Advanced 3d cockpit with wide format, touch screen, glass panel display All vertical lift systems doors and nozzles Canopy and crew boarding ladder Ejection seat sequence Multiple liveries There are three separate aircraft ACFs each representing three different weapon configurations. F-35B Base F-35B CAS F35B Heavy The aircraft also has internal weapon stores selectable from the panel. And there are five weapon modes. 1. (Weapons systems off) is the default NAV mode. - 2. Gun mode. Green circle cue. Distance to selected target displayed. - 3. Target Track / In-Flight Refuel (IFR) mode. Green diamond cue overlays selected target. Target data displayed. - 4a. Target Lock (Missile) mode. Red diamond cue overlays selected target. Target data./ 4b. Missile in flight. Missile flight data displayed (first missile only X-Plane limit). - 5. Bomb mode. Green fall line and impact circle. The Multi-Functional Display (MFD) is highly intergrated and is directly push button or manipulator activation. And is several layers deep. Features included are : Head Mounted Display system Informative Engine Condition and Monitoring Display Automated Avionics functions Multiple weapon system display modes Weapon bay door opening matches selected weapon Dynamic head movement in flight and taxi without TrackIR Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System Pilot activated auto recovery switch Auto ejection seat logic Auto flaps logic Auto gear retract and extended logic "Smart" speed brakes Dedicated camera views Joystick controlled air and wheel brakes There is a G3D AND "TAXI LOOK" plugin with a G3d enabled and 3d cockpit mode selected, so when you twist the stick or use the rudder pedals to turn the jet as you taxi the cockpit view moves left or right to look into turns. With the system 3d cockpit mode enabled in flight the cockpit view moves left or right up to 30 degrees when you roll the jet, and looks up when you pull back on the stick. The F-35B is available in both separate X-Plane v9.70 and v10.31 models. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is NOW from the New X-Plane.Org Store : F-35B Lightning II Price is currently US$ 29.95 Requirements are: X-Plane 9.70+ or X-Plane 10.30+ Windows, Mac or Linux 512Mb VRAM Video Card Support forum for the F-35B 22nd December 2014 Stephen Dutton Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews
  9. Aircraft Review : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado In one form or the other the Twin-Engined PA-34 Seneca has been in production since 1971 and that is now 46 years of continuous sales and development. The Seneca was developed as a twin-engined version of the Piper Cherokee Six which was a very popular aircraft of the late sixties. The prototype for the Seneca was a Cherokee Six that had wing-mounted engines installed and still retained its original nose engine. The prototype was flown as a tri-motor aircraft in the initial stages of the test-flying program, but the nose motor was discarded for production. Still in production there are over 5000 of these twin-engine PA-34 Pipers now built. This is the latest release by Carenado of the Seneca Twin. It is not the only Seneca by Carenado as there is already an original Seneca ll version the 200T which is the mid-seventies version of the aircraft. This V or Five version is the current version of the PA-34 and it comes with the G500 glass cockpit system and not the olde world clockwork cockpit of the Seneca ll. We will look at both aircraft soon. To get a feel of the new Seneca V I took a short passenger delivery trip from the Gold Coast to Ballina/Byron, Australia to deliver a few cashed up visitors to the area, and yes I am running this review in X-Plane11. Don't worry as I have run the same flight in X-Plane10 so nothing is amiss and there isn't and this aircraft is noted as compatible with X-Plane11 and is pretty what to expect when X-Plane11 goes final. A small note is that this is in XP11b9 and I am currently finding it very stable after a lot of testing and flights, not totally perfect yet, but the basics are very good. Detailing is exceptional, and the X-Plane11 PBR gives the the Seneca V aircraft a really nice added gloss. But realism in detail has never been higher, note the louvre grills on the engine housings and the door hinges and lock, the riveting is well... riveting in the pure detail of it all. Externally the Seneca V isn't that much different than the Seneca ll 200T which had the Lycoming O-360 E series 210 hp (157 kW) at 2800 rpm, as this V version has the Continental IO-360RB which is almost the same name but a different engine which produces 220 hp (164 kW) at 2600 rpm and that is the significant difference as the engine housings are very different on the Seneca ll as shown below. You do feel the evolution of time though between the 70's Seneca ll and the current Seneca V, small things but the V does feel far more modern as the windshield is now one piece and not the two separate panes with a central bar, and the nose is not quite as pointed. It is only around 144kms to Ballina Airport from Coolangatta and so you get there very quickly if by the scenic coastal route. Takeoff and cruise around 170knts is quite comfortable in the V, but landing is a bit more tricky and in comparing the Seneca ll it is very much the same deal. I found my joystick a bit notchy, so small inputs are the go. But the real focus is on the throttle for landing. Stall speed is noted as 61knts (113 km/h, 70 mph), but you have to be aware that it comes in with a crash or a very sudden loss of lift. So 90knts - 80knts is the lowest fail safe zone on approach with full flap, less than that and you are falling quickly and using 100knts until full flap is a good idea as well. And so you have to hunt the throttle to keep the aircraft airborne and find that right speed to let the aircraft down at a slowish rate, get it wrong in the flare and you will bang down on the runway with a crash, it took a few landings to perfect the approach and flare (using the pitch slightly (up and stall) is a good trick for controlling the last of the descent). Menus Standard Carenado menus apply here, with the usual three tabs on the lower left in C, O and A. C is Carenado or really "Views" with "Field of View" and two sound adjustments. O is for "Options" including opening Co-Pilot door, Passenger door, Luggage door and front baggage compartment door. I like the detail in the front compartment, really well done as if there is a little space to put your bags. Static elements are in the 'hardly worth the effort" zone with two cones and a few pitot covers and flags, You see the differences here on the older Seneca ll with a lot more on show including the excellent baggage. Other selections here include the scroll visualization choice, window and instrument reflections and the choice of changing the liveries without going to the main X-Plane menu. Our passengers delivered and it is time to return to Coolangatta. If you are still sitting on the fence on if X-Plane11 will deliver, then enlarge the images below and look at the detail, as a new era of realism has now been born. Cockpit and Cabin Carenado's new Garmin G500 navigation system dominates the panel, and a very nice installation it is as well and I personally like it better than the bigger display G1000. Backup instruments are to the left and lower with a OBS direction pointer and twin sets of engine dials are excellent, with a high switchable information panel above. Equipment upper panel includes a Garmin 347 audio panel, a S-Tec Autopilot, Two GNS 430 GPS units. Lower panel are an old Bendix-King KR87 ADF and a Garmin GTX 327 Transponder/Time unit. There is a very nice if basic pedestal unit and rudder pedals with under panel alcoves are highly detailed. Roof mounted Lighting and Electrical switchgear is well done but very fussy to use on the lights with three way switches. Nice blue lighting looks cool but ineffective. Looking hard at the pedestal you notice there are no trim wheels attached? They are both mounted deep between the front seats, beautifully done, but awkward to use... A pop-up screen would help here. Cabin is leather luxury, quality detailing is "want to touch" real, you are amazed that this sort of detailing could get better, and it does... look at the really small detail like seatbelt webbing, clasps and the leather seating folds and it is beyond good. Fold out table is in Veneer. Rear luggage bay is empty but very well presented, and the window blinds work. To see the differences and period changes let us look at the Seneca ll. The Seneca ll panel is padded and filled with dials and switchgear 70's style compared to the clean modern look of the V. The cabin in here feels daggy and used, and you can almost smell that old aircraft worn tired aroma and want to remove those tired crappy curtains. G500 I am not a big fan of the push button Menu style modern instruments. I find I am more head down looking through pages of menus than setting the instrument to the action of what I require. That said I like the G500 as it does the setting adjustment better than the G1000 units. The unit has two screens with the Artificial Horizon and Heading rose with Speed and Altitude tapes and bank guide on the left screen, and the Navigation display on the right screen. The G500 also pops out for ease of use. Most of these Gamin units use the left hand knob to change settings, but on the G500 it is easier to use because the main items in HDG (heading), CRS (course), ALT (Altitude), V/S (Vertical Speed) and BARO (barometer) are buttons down the left hand side of the display. And so making the adjustment easy as selecting the item you want and then adjusting it with the lower knob. Sometimes you wonder if that new ideas are really better than the old ones as this system works very well compared to fiddling with the G1000 menus. There is the ADF 1/ADF2 and VOR1/VOR2 pointers that is selectable from the menu. They are both extremely thin and I am not sure if effective in this need to look down and gather information quickly mode, but they are at least available. Navigation display is very good, but the zoom is not very close for local airport flying, zoom out and you get those unused blank tiles showing and it is still slow and jerky when turning quickly. The DCLTR (declutter) is good and you can also bring up a compass rose on the moving aircraft on the map to help with directional headings. A note in that to use the Carenado G500 or the G1000 units you have to download a separate data folder that is deposited in your main X-Plane root folder, it is a hefty download at 870mb that expands to 3.63gb when unzipped and installed. Autopilot The Seneca V uses the S-Tec (now Genesys) Fifty Five X Autopilot. The system is well intergrated into the aircraft's systems, with a centre panel main unit and above the G500 is a situation display and the unit pops-out from the "A" menu tab. It works well. Only note is that you have deselect ALT to move higher or lower and then reselect ALT when you have reached the required altitude. One slight annoyance is that the AP switch is right over on the Co-Pilots side? I can use a joystick buton to turn off or on, but a stretch if you don't have that setup and actually finding the switch? A nice feature is a six position selectable information panel that gives you details on: TEMP, FUEL, INST (engine read out), ELEC, TIME/DATE and %PWR (Engine power outputs). the panel will pop-out for ease of use. Arrival at YBCG Passing over Terranora and a sighting of the coast means we are back on the Coast or the Goldie as is is sometimes called. Like on the Seneca ll those huge engines spoil the view and make looking down quite hard, there is only a small area between the panel and the window frame that you can use. I fall into the circuit over the water that gives you a hard left to hard left and along the beach to YBCG's RWY 14. You aim at the Currumbin Highrises on the beach but the bigger boys in the Jets use the Burleigh Heads Highrises further north for the same job and at only a 1000ft to get the approach right. Tugun Hill and Tugun below makes this approach exciting, you come in low and fast over the forever complaining residents, flaps are three stage and don't give you that nasty lift feel if you get down around 100knts. Tugun Hill makes you give a slight steep slope angle into YBCG, but as noted earlier I found I took a lot of runway before settling the Seneca V easily and far and right down past the usual touchdown zone, but you need to be as slight as you can to get that flare and wheel touch right and perfect. Ground View Back on the GA line and you can admire the aircraft's (and Carenado's) wonderful design work. Bad panel and glass gaps are now non-existent, we are simply now getting brilliant design, and X-Plane11's lighting effects brings us closer to perfect reality. Power off and the excellent reflections on the displays are highlighted. Lighting Internal lighting is very good with lots of great spot lighting in the rear. The rear spot switches are hard to find as they are low and facing the passenger on a panel, and not on the roof in the usual position. There is a very strong spotlight over the Co-Pilot's door, that helps in boarding... Panel lighting looks good and is adjustable, but the blue roof switch lights are not very effective. It doesn't help in that the switchgear is three way awkward, with "off" in the middle hard to find? And the landing lighting (outboard) can be made to flash. External lighting is good but not brilliant. Taxi light is quite weak, and so are the outboard landing lights. Liveries One blank (white) and four American with two Brazilian liveries are provided, but well done but not much choice and nothing really special here. Seneca ll A few notes on the original Carenado Seneca ll that is also available. For its age in X-Plane (it was the very first Twin I reviewed) the old girl scrubs up very well in X-Plane11, it is a nice companion to the more modern V and has that clockwork panel and a great side electrical/starter panel. The only visual note is the forward gear doors don't close. But before you send off a nasty telegram to Carenado it is not actually a Carenado issue but a Laminar Research X-Plane11 bug issue and all early Carenado's are affected as is my beloved A33F. So a fix should come soon as X-Plane11 heads towards final. Summary Nice, Nice, nice. There is a lot to like here if you love Twins as the Seneca is one of the all time great and successful Twin-Engined aircraft of the world. You are probably bored by now at the accolades thrown at Carenado, but give credit due here as the detailing is just so good and so well done and it shows how far we have moved on since the earlier Seneca ll in that level of sheer design. It is with those HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) in size with 422 pixels / meter texture deep and that is detail, that is a lot of detail. It is a thoroughly more modern aircraft to fly as well with the well intergrated G500 unit, and from the user angle wise I think is better than the more menu focused G1000. The ADF/VOR pointers are a bit on the very thin side, and they have gotten all the earlier gremlins now worked out, so it is a now nice bit of kit. Great Autopilot and Information panel features this aircraft is a sub 1000nm distance hauler. It is slightly tricky to land, and has great sounds (a little too quiet in the cockpit though) but overall it one of the best Twins out there. The Seneca V also flies well in X-Plane11, as I saw no issues and thoroughly enjoyed myself flying in our new realm, so it is certainly XP11 ready. The Seneca V is a General Aviation Classic, and you can now own one (if a brilliant simulated version) of this aircraft, quality and thorough design is also part of the deal, so it is a very nice addition to your X-Plane hangar. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series Price is US$32.95 Note: If you purchased the first release 1.0 version then redownload from Carenado to v1.1, as a few details have now been upgraded. The original Seneca ll Is also available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore: Piper PA-34 Seneca II Price is US$27.95 Seneca V Special Features Carenado G500 compatible with X-Plane GNS430 (included) Optimized for XP10.5x - X-Plane 64 bit required All-new sound architecture Volumetric side view prop effect Features Carenado G500 GPS Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original Seneca V autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : Windows 7+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System X-Plane 10 fully updated (any edition) - 64bit mode 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. CARENADO G1000 database must be installed Current Version: 1.1 (last updated Feb 5th 2017) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 392mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane folder at 478.00mb. Documentation : includes Carenado G500 PDF PA34 Emergency Checklist PDF Normal Procedures PDF Performance Tables PDF PA34 Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF Aircraft checklists are provided, but no overall aircraft manual. ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 8th 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 11beta9 / Checked install in X-Plane10.51 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic US$29.95 Sceneries: - 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
  10. Scenery Review : UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design The tales of the "Arabian Nights" is intertwined with the feel and place of Baku in Azerbaijan. The Arabian Nights stories are also originally known as the "One Thousand and One Nights" and the tale of a ruler called Shahryār, Ruiling in the 8th century over Persia he is shocked to discover that his brother's wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife's infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same. And so Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Running out of Virgins then Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights. With the translation into English of the tales of Scheherazade, is the stories you have heard at school or watched on Disney including Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Seven voyages of Sinbad and many others. Over time the images that are created by these stories are also imprinted on your conscious including a golden city in the desert, a fort with flags adorning the turrets and huge men with massive curved scimitar blades or Shamshir swords standing guard and at the whims of their rulers, Persian might at the central crossroads of the world. History is a place to create and to visit, but overall to feel a time and a certain imagination of a world now long gone. But in Baku, Azerbaijan it is mixture of everything, first is that Arabian Night feel as there is an actually a real fortress still sitting out there in the sands of time, but now surrounded with glitzy new age glass sparkling towers as notes to our modern era. The bazaars are still full of goods as they were in the days of the Silk Road trails, as Baku was a major stopover point in the travelers journeys from East to West. Its culture was created on the countless back and to invasions by the Persians (Iran) and the Russians over the centuries, until Azerbaijan had its independence in October 1991 after the Soviet collapse. Oil is the main growth profit creator, but tourism is also huge business and the city is now wanting more a lot more, European more, Chinese more, American more as the new Dubai of the new world order. No I am not working for the Azerbaijan tourist agency but you can see the attraction of a place to fly to that is such a kaleidoscope of contrasts, and only a few hours flying from central Europe. LOWW - Vienna to UBBB Baku - First Impression So the best place to start our review of Baku was in Central Europe, and Schwechat LOWW airport in Vienna (Wien) in Austria. AXDG has done a nice job of Schwechat and their latest version 1.1.1 now has working boarding gates. The distance between central Europe to Baku is around 1,500nm, or 3-1/2 hours flying time between points. You can easily fly a single aisle A320 or B737/B757 or Twin-aisle B767 but I am using the A330 by JARDesign as it is the right size and speed for the leg. The early morning traffic jam means that the departure from Schwechat is slow, "I'm burning fuel waiting here". Once clear of the traffic we can stretch the A330's legs, altitude to FL356, and .m84 means we go high and fast. The route covers Hungary, then Romania and then a third of the flying is over the Black Sea. (google maps) Until you hit the coast at Georgia and then finally Azerbaijan with Baku on the eastern side on the Caspian Sea. It is far from being a boring flight, with the Romanian Carpathian Mountain ranges (left) then the coastal lands of Romania (right). The arrival in Georgia brings up the magnificent Greater Caucasus Mountain ranges that you follow all the way over to Baku. It is a spectacular arrival. You slip out over the Caspian Sea to arrive from the south as Baku is set out on a peninsula. You do a large circle curve around to GOBUS which is the southern approach STAR that give you access to runways 34 and 35, but note that most charts note RWY35 as RWY36. Baku City itself is 20km southwest of the airport, and you can see on the horizon the distinctive buildings of the city. The Drzewiecki Design scenery comes with the option of using either of two sets of ortho images of which one version is 8m/pix in detail of photoreal coverage (with mesh) for the whole country of Azerbaijan and most mountain ranges nearby. I choose not to use the lower resolution, but the standard one and it is visually perfectly fine without the framerate hit of the far more detailed version that is more usable in the VFR rule role of flying around Azerbaijan, but that option is there if you want to do that. The photoreal images do make for a spectacular arrival, but they are flat. And because Azerbaijan is way out of the area for a detailed OSM (Open Street Map) data there is very little default autogen to give you a 3d aspect of the scenery, fine from above but the scenery can be flat on the ground. Heydar Aliyev Airport is positioned just slightly inland from the coast, but visually it is a great approach. I am using RWY35 which is on a slight angle to RWY34, so you have to be careful that you get your lineup with your chosen runway correctly, it can be slightly confusing from a distance. You cross over the Mardakan Highway (Airport Rd) on the final's and it makes a visual working treat. To the right there is a large Silk Way maintenance hangar and other infrastructure and on the left the old and new terminals give you a distinctive Islamic feel. Runway and taxiway detailing and marking is first rate, I really liked the dusty sand look on the taxiway edges. But it is a fair taxi back to the terminal area from the top of both RWY 34 & 35. There is a slight feel emptiness around the airport but there is a little and very good static aircraft like the great IL76's, but once in the terminal area itself and at the gates you are pretty well on your own. My gate (12) sits as part as the impressive new Terminal One that replaced the original Soviet era terminal, it is all glass and steel and very well replicated by Drzewiecki Design but the gates are not animated, which is real shame, there are vehicles in the scenery, but they are not animated either. Overall it was a very impressive flight and and a very immersive scenery at UBBB that gives out a really "you in a very different place" feeling, so my first impressions of UBBB are excellent. _______________________________________________ UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport IATA: GYD - ICAO: UBBB 16/34 2,700m (8,858ft) Asphalt/Concrete 17/35 3,200m (10,499ft)Asphalt/Concrete Elevation AMSL 3m/10 ft Heydar Aliyev Airport sits out there like a mirage in the desert, of which it is in a way. It is extremely well done, but you have to take the flat images as part of the deal, but because the detail in the images are so good, it isn't really an issue. Formerly Heydar Aliyev was called Bina International Airport by the name of a suburb in Baku. On March 10, 2004, the airport was renamed in honor of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, the third President of Azerbaijan. The airport is located 20 kilometers northeast of Baku, connected to the city by a modern highway, which was put into operation in 2008. It is the busiest airport in Azerbaijan and of the Caucasus. The airport serves as the home base for flag carrier Azerbaijan Airlines and its subsidiary AZALJet as well as freight carrier Silk Way Airlines. (wikipeda) Everything hubs around the two central terminals, and they are both excellent with not only fine detailing but a lot of the airside fill with carparks with 3d cars and great tree and fauna arrangements. Terminal 1 The four-level engineering concept of Terminal 1 was developed in July 2010 by Arup company, with a tricorn shape and semi transparent roof. The total building area is 65,000 square meters and the interior was designed by Turkish company AUTOBAN which has a series of oak-veneer 'cocoons'. Terminal 1, commissioned in April 2014, has twelve (A1 - A12) aerobridge equipped gates. The terminal is designed for 6 million passengers per year and it currently serves up to 3 million passengers per year. This terminal is a fantastic designed reproduction, detailing of the structure is outstanding and with no doubt a lot of work has gone into recreating this building. It would be interesting though to see all that glass with the new X-Plane11 reflection feature, but it is very well done... and not only the outside. The interior of the terminal is just as detailed and highly walk-aroundable. A great introduction to Baku. Gate detail is fantastic, but empty? It all feels a bit "Just built and the airport not yet opened". There is some gate service vehicles and cargo pallets throughout the scenery but not overwhelmingly so. Terminal 2 Terminal 2, serves serves only domestic flights, was completed in 1989, and has 11 gates (B1 - B11) Very Islamic in design than the newer T1, but very much more in keeping with the areas character. No internal/external design like with T1, but very well detailed around the terminal structures. Older style airbridges are also non-animated. Control Tower and Entrances The airport has a very distinctive control tower that has been well reproduced here. Tower detailing is excellent including the internal control room. There are also two very distinctive airport entrance posts that are also perfectly recreated. But the "Tower View" above is an "Epic Fail" as it is positioned somewhere in the middle of a carpark? Central Area The airport's entrance to the terminals is to the right filled with hotels and administration buildings Highlight is the excellent Sheraton Baku Airport and there is even a Mosque for prayers. There is a huge amount of remote (empty) parking space on both sides of Terminal 1, with a VIP reception on the eastern side. Cargo Terminal There is a huge Cargo/Logistics Terminal at UBBB, and it is a great destination for all the haulers. Local freighter Silk Way dominate, but this area is the best and mostly lively in the scenery. Opposite the Cargo Terminal as we saw on our arrival via RWY35 is the Silk Way maintenance hangar and a private jet or executive parking area. The modeling of the maintenance hangar is again very good and this area is highly usable as well. There is another large maintenance hangar mid-field behind Terminal 1 and various other designed and placed buildings, but there is more of Baku just on the horizon... Baku City Drzewiecki Design has designed most of the major icon buildings of Baku for the scenery. Items included are the Bibi-Heybat Mosque, Baku TV Tower, Government House, Flame Towers, Heydar Aliyev Center, Maiden Tower, Caspian Waterfront Mall, Baku Crystal Hall and the outlandish (still being built) Cresent Hotel Complex. There is also a load of stadiums, highrise buildings and complexes. It works very well from the right angle and height (below left) but closer to the ground it looks quite empty and flat with a few buildings on the plate look (below right). Drzewiecki Design has done a good job to fill in as much as they could do, but you just miss that autogen filler to give the full scenery that complete 3d look from every angle. The whole point is that it Baku looks good from a distance and for arrival and departure, and for that this city scape works very well. Azerbaijan Airports Spread around the scenery are a few light basic airports from Drzewiecki Design that cover the area of Azerbaijan. These airports are just mostly small GA airports but they are handy in exploring the country. These airports cover: UBBL Lenkoran (In X-Plane as UB10?), UBBG Ganja, UBBN Nakhchivan (upper row), UBBQ Qabala, UBBY Zaqatala and UBTT Zabrat (lower row). All are in great positions and a few in really picturesque locations... but. All the airports have significant problems? Five have runways that are over 6000m long? and one with dual major runways in the middle of nowhere? Another in UBBG has trees on the ramp? So they all look ridiculous, which is a real shame as they are highly usable? Only Zabrat has a normal runway and is also visible from UBBB Baku. Lighting Lighting at UBBB is passable, or to put it another way "it won't win any lighting and special effects awards this year". There is enough fill to get around the airport and park, but the original Flight Simulator night textures do show and are basic. Terminal 1 does look good thankfully, and is usable. Terminal 2 is passable. The Sheraton is mostly in the dark, but the Cargo ramps are well lit and are usable at night... just. Approach and Runway lighting is good, but the taxiway lighting is only on a few of the main routes, and it is very easy to get lost with a wrong turn and be stranded. A map is required to navigate at night and don't take that wrong turn! Baku City Again the Flight Simulator textures do show, but they not too bad. The autogen fill in between the 3d objects though is greatly missed. Services Baku is certainly different for your flying, but its position is not too far from Europe and you can easily cover Turkey, Greece and that general eastern Mediterranean area as well. Russia to the north is also a great way to go. AZAL and Azerbaijan Airlines dominate (both the same airline) and they fly as far as New York, London and Bejing in China. There are a lot the Eastern Bloc and a few Russian Airlines but not as many Russian as you would expect, but WIZZ and S7 are highly visible here as is Turkish Airlines. European Airlines are thin on the ground with Lufthansa the only airline with a regular service. Cargo Silk Way Cargo is the main user of UBBB and is based here, but it is a busy cargo hub for Cargolux as well and Iran Air Cargo, and the destinations cover a lot of ports both east and west including Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Frankfurt and surprisingly a lot of rides to Milan. Flight Simulator to X-Plane conversion This scenery by Drzewiecki Design is also available for FSX, MFS 2004, Prepar3d besides X-Plane. There is no doubt the conversion factor and in areas it shows the sceneries heritage, but that is fine as overall it is a great scenery for X-Plane. But the FSX to X-Plane conversion is poor? And really annoying in the fact that most of the items required to make the scenery X-Plane compatible are just so very easily done... so in this aspect it is noted as lazy. There is no X-Plane11 Airport layout? You can select your airport runway and ramp position, but not from the layout section? And that aspect is really needed here. No X-Plane animations in Vehicles or airbridges? There is no built in ground routes so you can't use xLife or the default X-Plane static aircraft or ATC? and there are no ground routes for WorldTraffic either, so all this together makes it a pretty staid place to be. The laziness is expanded to the poor tower view and the super long runways in the extra airport sceneries that renders them useless. X-Plane lighting is thankfully is just passable but not brilliant. And working autogen around the airport and Baku City would be a serious bonus with so much flat Ortho textures. In other words the conversion to the X-Plane platform here is minimal at best. Summary Although the above X-Plane features are poor in this scenery, it still delivers a great destination and a very interesting place to fly to and use. From that aspect it is good scenery, it feels very much like Aerosoft's Keflavik Airport when you are here in look and use and that scenery is one of my favorites. The modeling where it is good like Terminal 1 is excellent, and overall the modeling is very good and UBBB certainly delivers on what you want in a great destination and only a few missed flourishes could have delivered an outstanding scenery for X-Plane. But you do get a lot of scenery for your money, so there is a lot of value built in here. So are you willing to travel to an outpost on the modern day Silk Route, and feel the real Arabian Night tales in today's environment. This Drzewiecki Design is a great scenery to feel that aspect and it is a good scenery to go somewhere different and explore an opening up area of the X-Plane world just beyond Europe and the Middle-East. Flying to and using UBBB Baku is another great tale to keep Scheherazade from her fate, and another story and a great destination to add a very different dimension to your X-Plane flying life. ______________________________________________________________________ The UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : UBBB Baku Airport and City XP Price is US$23.00 Features Extremely detailed model of UBBB Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku UBBB with 3D people, high quality static aircraft, up-to-date airport layout Advanced interior modeling (Terminal 1, tower, Silkway hangar) with native HDR lights Baku city with hundreds of custom-made landmarks with night textures 8m/pix optional photoreal coverage (with mesh) for the whole country of Azerbaijan (~80.000km²) plus ~8000km² of Iran, ~7000km² of Armenia, ~6000km² of Georgia and ~11.000km² of Russia (we followed mountain ranges and other geographical features rather than political borders) Lite models of Lenkoran, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Qabala, Zaqatala and Zabrat Custom-made UBBB airport charts included 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 836.40mb And there is four folders to be installed in your "Custom Scenery" Folder and must be in this order... 000 Drzewiecki Design Library (Installed 32kb) DD Baku XP (Installed 3.43gb) DD Baku XP Documents (Installed 3.3mb) ZZZ Baku XP Terrain (Installed 25.5mb) Windows version comes with a .exe installer with the option to install the 8m/pix terrain. For Mac users the notes are: "If you wish to remove the photoreal terrain of Azerbaijan, navigate to the : X-Plane\Custom Scenery\DD Baku XP\Earth nav data\Without_Azerbaijan_phototerr ...folder, copy all 3 folders that are located there, go one step "up" in the folder structure, to the folder: X-Plane\Custom Scenery\DD Baku XP\Earth nav data ...and paste the 3 copied folders into that folder. This will remove the photoreal terrain. You can easily turn it back on by unpacking the product's ZIP file and overwriting the whole DD Baku XP folder." Documents: DD Baku XP Documents Baku XP MacLinuxInstall Baku XP MANUAL UBBB CHARTS (charts are quite basic in two airport layout charts and two ILS runway approach charts) These UBBB charts are better: ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 15th 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: : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$60.95
  11. Simulator Modifications : Project BetterSky A lot of users like to mess around with the inner engine room of the X-Plane Simulator to further enhance or to create things that will extend the usability of the simulator. This is the creative element at work and pretty well what X-Plane in its form is all about. Personally unless it is an addon that won't get into or change the inner basics of the actual Laminar Research settings and files then I really won't want to go messing around under da hood. Yes I use a lot of addons and plugins, but mostly only the really tried and tested ones, and because of the testing and the reviews do require the standard system as a set benchmark to see anything abnormal of the subject under the spotlight. Winter Texture modifications do replace core X-Plane assets, but the MOD system allows for a quick switch over the the standard assets in a keystroke like when you are ready to do say update or do a review in a very short space of time using the standard assets. It gets messy as well if you start using a lot of different modifications, and you will find your system suddenly behaving quite abnormal with all those different changes, most modifications do work very well in a single instance, but together can also create complexity and can interfere with each other... in others words slow down the efficiency of the simulator. If one total aim that I strive for above all the other factors in X-Plane is in all its glorious complexity is just simply its performance and efficiency. But the one area in non-advancement of X-Plane and in mostly X-Plane10 has been the Weather. The release of X-Plane10 brought with it Austin's "Little Puffs". A great idea to created 3d clouds, but it also created a framerate monster killer in the process, it worked but not very well and as other areas took away Laminar's attention as it was mostly resided into the "Too hard basket". Yes over the years there has been refinements, but the overall system needed a larger makeover and not just a "fix it up" approach. Laminar Research has noted that for X-Plane11 they are right now doing a lot of refinement to the visual weather system in X-Plane, and not before time. Over the years then it was up to the twiddlers and creative souls to try to come up with a better solution. So there has been hundreds of Sky enhancement packages that mostly and usually focus on X-Plane's sky colors and clouds, these sets have created almost a wide spectrum of results and mostly in the horrible and gaudy aspects that sometimes made you think you were flying on Mars and not the blue orb of Planet Earth. A few years ago the weather situation changed for the better with Sundog's Sky-Maxx Pro which was the first really good Environment Engine, then at the end of 2016 came xEnviro's excellent Environment Engine that I simply endorse for anyone using X-Plane, as it has changed my flying aspects completely. But the addon cost and certainly for xEnviro is high (but you get what you pay for) and for a lot of users they run their simulations on a budget. So here is an interesting project called "BetterSky' that does actually deliver on what is promises to do and above all it is free. First a note in that BetterSky does change your default files deep into your system's file structure. But it does this with a LUA script and a program called Flywithlua. Yes, yes, yes messy internal stuff, but the results are favorable and the results now in v1.1 is showing a lot of promise. The visual effect is a big step up from the current standard X-Plane look, and it comes with the same framerate hit that already have. The project is more focused on X-Plane11 because the new mist or hazed view makes the feel a bigger advantage than in X-Plane10. The images are mightily impressive, and also fixes that banding (bug) problem we currently also have with the XP11 betas. We are yet to see what Laminar has in fixes for the visual weather look in coming, but here is a fix now that can make a difference to your flying. I could bore you senseless with exciting images that I have seen and created since the release of X-Plane11 and with the combination of running xEnviro in creating an environment of sheer realism. The point I am making is that I have experienced the rewards of great simulation with the weather component working effectively and it is looking like 2017 is (finally) turning out to be the game changer in the weather area of X-Plane. So we now have happy skies ahead, and certainly give BetterSky a go if you can't afford the payware option, it at least gives you feel of how good your flying really can be.' The BetterSky site is here : BetterSky And there is an excellent forum to follow here : X-Plane.Org XP11 BetterSky Released For Download, tools and user information then go here : BetterSky 1.1 All images and details are provided courtesy of BetterSky _____________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 10th January 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  12. I think it is a heater panel to clear that glass area of mist or ice. SD
  13. Scenery Review : CYBD - Bella Coola BC by Beti-X Just under three years ago in February 2014 and small art studio called Beti-x under the Aerosoft banner released a scenery called CZST - Stewart (X-PlaneReview - Scenery Review : CZST Stewart by beti-x) At the time Beti-x noted the CZST scenery was just a test of the X-Plane simulator and our sales potential. But the CZST scenery was a game-changer for X-Plane in the sheer quality and photographic 3d reality of the area, and it easily won the X-PlaneReview's Best Scenery of 2014 award of that year as well. As time went on with not only all the kudos and the rave reviews of CZST - Stewart did we see any more action from beti-x, we then thought that our simulator was being passed on as we were not worthy of the time and investment for more scenery from the studio, but here we are with a completely new scenery in the first few days of 2017 with CYBD - Bella Coola and it feels like we are suddenly back in the brilliant scenery business. Like CZST - Stewart we are best looking at where CYBD - Bella Coola BC is first to get an overview of what we are looking at. (Google) Bella Coola is the really the whole Bella Coola Valley, located on the Central Coast, British Columbia. Situated 427 kilometers north of Vancouver and it adjoins the famous Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. In charts it is to note not to confuse Bella Coola with Bella Bella (both as Campbell Island and Denny Island) as it is in the same area but more to the north-west. CZST - Stewart is far more further north along the same mountain range, but to fly between the two beti-x sceneries is not impossible with the right aircraft (not too big or not too small). (Google) The similarities between CZST - Stewart and CYBD - Bella Coola are quite remarkable. Both are deep in a valley, and both have wide deep canyon (fjord) river systems in their western approaches and very high mountain ranges on their western flanks. CZST came with a very large area of HD scenery, and CYBD's area is even larger with 275 square kilometers of provided mountain scenery, but the central heart is the Bella Coola Valley itself with the townships Bella Coola on the Bella Coola River itself then Lower Bella Coola and the airport is 14 km distant east from the main townsite, then just past the strip is the Hagensborg township and going still further east will take you to the famous Chilcotin plateau. First Impressions There are two direct flights to Bella Coola with one service from Vancouver International (South Terminal) or from Anahim Lake Airport CAJ4 to the east. I departed from CAJ4. To say that CYBD is buried deep in a valley is an understatement, I'm at 8500ft and if I put my wheels down I could still collect snow from the peaks, CYBD is down there, deep down there. It is simply brilliant scenery for flying in, but you have to be totally aware of the dangers with such a deep valley to navigate down. I kept my height as I flew over CYBD to get my bearings, and it is quite hard to make out the strip from this height. But it is down there nestled close to what is left of the Bella Coola River, and it is very similiar to the CZST layout, from up here most of the townships are hidden however the view is breathtaking. I have already started to descend down to the wider form of the Bella Coola River and the coastal township appears on the bank, once over the wider water it is a task to find enough space to turn around 180º to fly back around towards the airport. The approach is a dog leg to the right, so you have to carve your way in, in an S shape track at 1000ft, as the mountains now loom right over you. First up below you is Bella Coola itself, and the township is a wonder to behold, a slight bank to left is then required as you fly over Lower Bella Coola... The Valley and scenery is dominated by one long thread that is the Highway 20 (known over most of its length as the Chilcotin - Bella Coola Highway), that stretches from the Government Wharf on the Bella Coola River to the high Chilcotin range. In the scenery the focus on HWY 20 is that most of the buildings are associated with the road or surround it, but they make a brilliant arrival as you follow the tarmac thread below you, The detail is perfect and almost overwhelming. A sports ground and even wood piled on the river banks give you a sense of the Canadian countryside. But as much as you would like to enjoy the scenery, your focus is on landing at CYBD, or even in finding the airfield? The strip is buried between tall Canadian Fir, Cedar and Pine trees and there is no lead in guide at all, there is a single red light on the eastern windsock, small and mostly hidden... but something, but night operations are simply out of the question as the runway is not lit? So you look for a hole in the trees and the river on your left (going east) which is a good guide, and there CYBD is. You then need to be as low and slow as you can to be able to drop down quickly as you clear the tree line. CYBD has one tarmac runway that is 05/23 at 4,200ft (1,280m) long (elev 117ft), and in most cases that is fine, but at CYBD, you use up a lot of the tarmac getting down to the hard stuff after clearing the trees, so your thoughts are how long an area do I have to stop or do I need another go around, it is tight but I got it right every time, so there is enough space... just. The approach grass part of the field is excellent as is the stone walls to your left by the river. The Canadian Roadhouse style terminal is right in front of you as are a few hangars on the right, I really liked the Compass detailing painted on the ramp, and the huge mix of vehicles and people at the airport. As arrivals go, CYBD is an impressive place to be at, and very challenging. Beti-x CYBD - Bella Coola Atmospheric early arrivals are all very nice, but what do you get with the scenery besides a challenging arrival. So let us look at the airport itself first. The strip itself is a well worn runway 05/23 situated almost east-west. It looks like it was a grass runway, but with a tarmac construction later on. Hwy 20 curves behind the airport, and that gives you deep immersion of the scenery as it is dotted with hundreds of homesteads and farms all perfectly reproduced from the real buildings. On the main apron is that excellent Canadian ranch house style terminal and a large hangar with a set of fuel tanks set in between. The apron itself is perfectly reproduced and extremely realistic with wear and tear and maintenance patches, with that noted compass and heli pad. Landside carpark has been faithfully reproduced, and with animated vehicles, the busy Hwy 20 traffic also adds to the areas buzz. Detailing is simply exceptional... if you went VR I think it would be perfectly real on the ground. Note the local power line poles and lighting that works. Further up field are more hangars and buildings for General Aviation and Helicopters. Well done is the maintenance yard and 3d people just hanging around the GA hanger. Bella Coola is famous for its giant (and therefore dangerous) Grizzly Bears, but also for HeliSkiing, which takes GoPro thrill-seeking skiers high up onto the slopes. So the West Coast Helicopter base is here faithfully reproduced, but tight to use. There is an abundance of grass, thick and thin and expertly created fencing, it is all just overwhelming in detail. Bella Coola Valley East of the airport is the Hagensborg township. Because this scenery is so large in size at 275 square kilometers. There is no real boundary to the scenery as it just blends in to the landscape. So like in the real world you feel the populated areas by the gradual build up of buildings into a town. Then the township is reproduced perfectly, and noted here by the town store, petrol station and lodge. Going west you just follow Hwy 20. The whole 14km distance is populated with buildings along the highway, not easy to do with so many different styles and farmlet designs, but it is all here... with every single building. Next township is he smaller Lower Bella Coola. Here the town is dominated by Mamayu (butterfly) building. And a power generation station like the same in Stewart, important detail. Finally at the entrance to the Bella Coola Valley is the township of Bella Coola itself... The biggest building in the township is the green roofed Hospital and Medical centre, otherwise it is a place of ramshackled housing and apartments. Plenty of hotels to stay in and a few churches to pray in. Some of the graphic ground detail here is not as scaled as in other areas like the airport and looks more buzzy at 50 cm per pixel and not as street walking realistic as the airport at 02 cm per pixel, but still workable considering the size of the scenery . But every building in the town is here and reproduced in detail. Hwy 20 Ends at Government Wharf that is also reproduced here and is ideal for Float Planes to dock at. In context this is a huge area of scenery to reproduce, but the detail is as noted very overwhelming, it is at least double the size of Stewart with just as much or if more internal detail. The only thing I will note is that there isn't many other airports close to CYBN, certainly of any size or of value. So flying from point to point is restricted and even the closest in Bella Bella Campbell Island (CBBC) doesn't have any X-Plane scenery to use and neither is there any for Anahim Lake Airport CAJ4 either? (hint). Winter Textures We haven't finished yet with the area surrounds! X-Plane does now have a built seasons system, but it is not yet refined or completely active. So if you want a winter look you can use a set of Winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons. This set of textures is used with a MODS program that switches over the textures without messing about in root files, and the program is a windows program called Generic Mod Enabler or JSGME Generic Mod Enabler. The JSGME will work with the Mac, but you have to run it with Wine, and it works very well as I have used that system for years. You add in the supplied CYBD Winter textures to the Root file (top) of the MOD enabler. Then when you run the MOD enabler you switch over the folders from left to right and to reverse the season right to left. All the details of this set up and operation are provided by Beti-x in the manual. The results are winter wonderland spectacular! The apron is turned into an ice ring, and note the snow on the terminal and buildings roofs, beautiful. You will need to turn the heater up in the plane to keep warm, and finding your way to the runway is harder with the snowy edges and the frozen ice. And once airborne the landscape is a spectacular sight... I followed the Bella Coola Valley back out to the west... over lower Bella Coola and then Bella Coola itself. The MOD certainly gave you a far wider choice of options in flying into and around CYBD, either by fixed-wing or Heli services. The snow and ice coverage was excellent, and it gives you the perfect flying winter scenario to immerse yourself into the season. Lighting All night operations are of course "Verboten" at CYBD, but doesn't stop you having very early morning atmospheric departures from the airport. The dark runways make it gloomy at night but the apron and terminal are very well done to excellent if quite low key. Street lighting is excellent, but mostly the scenery is just window lighting of a remote outpost in the wilderness. Where required the lighting detail is very good... ... But mostly this is Sleepy Hollow. Summary First few days of the New Year 2017 and it looks like it already that the "Best" scenery of the year is already won, and by a long mile. Sorry to all the other really hard working scenery developers, but Beti-x is a a total level above everyone else in detail and sheer area cover in objects and all at a high quality at that. Beti-x's CZST - Stewart was a revelation, and CYBD - Bella Coola is in the same league if not a notch above, but the sheer scale of the scenery for detail is absurd and this scenery is also cheaper than their CZST -Stewart which is insane. Texture quality is overall excellent, but some signs are a bit blurry. The very good news is that Beti-x is back... on the scene and still making scenery for X-Plane. Even if one of their sceneries only comes along once in a while, you know it will be an event and a scenery to use and savour. Overall CYBD - Bella Coola is totally brillant, and highly usable with excellent value, but watch out for one of the locals... he is pretty mean and it is still his territory! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the CYBD - Bella Coola scenery by Beti-x is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : CYBD - Bella Coola Price is US$24.00 Features: Faithful replica of the real airport with HD buildings and pre-rendered ambient occlusion Airport surroundings with handcrafted ground imagery with a resolution of 2cm per pixel Surrounding Photoscenery at a resolution of 50 cm per pixel covering an area of over 275 square kilometers Volumetric grass Hand placed 3D animated trees and other custom objects The architecture of the buildings fits in precisely with this location Winter version included 1GB of pure High-detailed fun X-Plane 10 and X-Plane 11 compatible ______________________________________________________________________ Installation It is important to understand how the beti-x scenery in Bella Coola is assembled in X-Plane. The download package is a huge 1.12gb and expands to a massive 2.35gb when installed. So you have to make sure you have the space to install the scenery. Three folders are installed in your "Custom Scenery" Folder and must be in this order... BetiX - CYBD_A BetiX - CYBD_B_Overlay BetiX - CYBD_C_Roads BetiX - CYBD_D_Mesh If using HD Mesh Scenery v3 from Andras Fabian, or any other mesh add-on, make sure that in the scenery_packs.ini hierarchy, they are lower than our four directories and the above main file hierarchy is correct. You will also need to have your "runways to follow contours" checkbox on (render settings). If not you will have buildings situated halve way buried under the ground and trailers floating (levitating) in the air... I recommend to do all your installation and settings and then restart X-Plane from scratch to make sure they all reload in the correct order. Note: this review was done in X-Plane10, the scenery will work fine in X-Plane11, but currently as X-Plane11 is still in beta (b3), X-PlaneReview's will not switch over until there is a stable release version. Documents: Manual (very good) .pdf (10 Pages) Requirements : X-Plane 10.50+ or X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 4GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1Gb Note: it is a big area scenery, but I found no framerate issues as the scenery is very efficient. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 6th January 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-Plane11b3 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders : Environment Engine by xEnviro Scenery or Aircraft - Bonanza F33A HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95
  14. I am going to assume you mean the HD AlpilotX scenery for North America? It doesn't really matter what scenery is in there as Bella Coola comes with a large swath of area anyway, but it should easily fit in with the HD format. SD
  15. Aircraft Review - Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado Can you have your head in the clouds. Of course you can, and you can even let your thoughts wander a little as well. It helps if you are more than 6000ft above a Greek island, and it is the largest Greek island at that, which is named Crete (Kríti) and as it is the first day of spring you are also in a happy disconnected from reality frame of mind. The transport is a very nice SR22 from Cirrus, and your first thought would be "hang on, haven't we been here before lately?" Well you have in vFlyteAir's version of the SR20 that X-PlaneReview's reviewed only six months ago. But this is the SR22 version that is a development of the SR20 and this aircraft has the larger wing, higher fuel capacity, and the more powerful Continental IO-550-N 310-horsepower (231 kW) engine. It is Turbo-Charged as well for a bit more Vroom, Vroom which is never a bad thing in a small aircraft. The flight is from LGKC on Kithira to LGIR - Heraklion which is on the central northern coast of Crete. And on how I got into this happyish frame of mind started back only a few hours ago when I first saw the SR22 back at Kithira Island National Airport. SR22 Menus There are three menu tabs on the lower left side of the screen. Standard Carenado in the (C) or Views/Volume menu that has the standard internal and external views plus two for switches and the G1000 screens, the volume slider is up/down on the side and point of view slider across the top. Center tab is the (O) or Options tab that covers Window and instrument reflections (always very good on a Carenado), Static elements in mostly just tags and bollards. Mouse Scroll, which is important for me with a single click mouse. Pilot, Passenger and baggage doors, which all can be separately opened and closed, both main doors can also be opened by the latches inside. Bottom (A) tab is a big popup centre panel that covers the A/P Autopilot. HDG (Heading), CRS (Course) and ALT SEL (Altitude Select) knobs. And G1000 input keyboard and control panel. The panel can be resized but is better in the full size for easy button and knob manipulation. Internal Cabin Nicely fitted out cabin is pure Carenado detailing. A lot darker than the vFlyteAir version, but then Carenado cockpits are always like this. In the cabin you have four seats that are beautifully rendered and designed with great almost to the touch signature leather padded textile upholstery. Cabin fit out is bar perfect, very real and well detailed, no complaints in anywhere here. The instruments and panels are all angled and set around the flying left seat pilot. The right hand seat pilot can fly the aircraft with a yoke and rudder set, but the screen panel and switchgear would be offset to them. Overall the aircraft has minimum switchgear and controls, just the basics you require and nothing more. That does not mean the aircraft is not well equipped because it is, but unlike the older generations of aircraft these modern versions have been refined to a higher easier flying level. Yoke or flying handles are unique, in their push/pull and twist actions, but they also clear a lot of space in front of the pilots. Here they are both beautifully rendered. SR22 Instrument panel The SR22 is the second aircraft to have Carenado's unique Garmin G1000 twin-panel display system after the CT182T Skylane G1000 HD Series last year (2015). It is a totally comprehensive system that requires its own separate GPS database that has to installed in the X-Plane root folder, it is a big download at 870mb. The G1000 system for X-Plane has been in development at Carenado for some time and it is almost a fully working direct copy of the real world G1000 system. When you turn on the aircraft's (battery power), you have to wait (a fairly long time) while the database loads into the system. Power is supplied by the first two rocker switches in BAT 1 & 2 on the switch panel located on the shelf under the left hand panel, next two switches are the ALT 1 & 2 (alternator) switches but the last rocker switch to the right of the set is the "Avionics" switch to start up the right hand G1000 screen. When the avionics are switched on you still have to activate the screen by pressing the ENT (Enter) button on the middle console panel or the menu button far right on the display. Before we go into the complexities of the G1000 system, let us look at the instrumentation and the rest of the switchgear. The rest of the main switchgear panel covers the Ice Protection On-Off, MAX or NOR Ice setting, Pitot Heat, Exterior lighting (Nav - Strobe - Land). Three knobs on the far right adjust the panel and interior lighting. First knob adjusts the instrument lighting, then the red cowl lighting and the last right knob covers the overhead spotlights. The red cowl lighting is quite vivid at the full setting, I tuned it down to be more somber in tone, but it looks very good against the fake wood grain paneling. Directly in front of the pilot are three lower standby dial instruments in "Airspeed", "Artificial Horizon" and "Altitude". All backup dials are very clear and well presented. On the centre console at the top is dominated by the huge A/P Autopilot and G1000 input keyboard and control panel, that we mentioned earlier and as noted then it pops up via the menu for ease of use. Then a standard Garmin GMA 350 radio set and lower an ADF Bendix King KR87 TSO direction set. Lower centre panel is the Oxygen selection and Flap selection in "up", "50%" with a 119kias restriction and "100%" flap with a 104kias restriction. Nice big throttle lever dominates the lower console in look and feel. This "Single Lever Throttle Control” automatically adjusts the propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever on the aircraft. To the right is the red knob "Mixture" lever with "Rich" to "Lean" adjustment. You can switch to each fuel tank via the switch, but have to press the red "OFF" panels to turn it off. Very nice tank gauges are set out above and are very clear for use. Sets of fuse breakers are on the left inside of the centre console. Very right of the main panel is an environment control panel for fresh air and heating turn switches. Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit Garmin twin panel G1000 gps sets are now becoming common in X-Plane. These systems are menu driven, which means you select the different functions you require via the lower row of buttons and the changing menu selections to show the items you need. Yes they are very good these G1000 sets but you can get lost in the various menu trees to find sometimes something very simple as say the VOR2 pointer. There are some real world layouts of the various menu trees and the Carenado manual does give you an excellent overview of the complexities of the system, but it does need some study to not find yourself spending a lot of time going through all the many various combinations of menu selections to get to the function of what you want. There are many on screen options and featured here in the lower displays around the heading rose is your NAV1, ADF and right VOR2 pointers. You can fill up your PFD panel with a lot of information. Including NEAREST Airports, A small view of the MAP, References and an engine monitoring side panel. But all this takes away the main objective of these huge displays to deliver clear simple information of flying the aircraft. The objectivity is the use of the huge artificial horizon that covers the whole display. It has built in Pitch, Rate of Roll (very nice with built in indicators called "Trend Vectors"), speed and altitude tapes (built in Vertical Speed - or +) and lower Heading, noted Lower rose heading dial has built in CRS (course) and The Course selector is also your Nav 1, Nav 2 and GPS (autopilot) selection modes and built in CDI (course deviation indicator) for runway ILS alignment. Top of the PFD is an information grid that covers "Engine Power%", Autopilot status, Prev and Current waypoints when the flightplan is active, Distance to the next waypoint, Est time to next waypoint, COMM 1&2 Frequencies. displayed also in the top lower grid is your active GPS/NAV1/NAV2, AP (autopilot), ALT and VS (Vertical Speed) status, Altimeter and VVI and bottom are Baro and OAT temp. If you are familiar with the default X-Plane GNS 430/530 GPS system then the knobs and buttons down the right of the display will be a no brainer. Comm 1&2 selector, CRS/Baro adjustment, Map range, (buttons) Direct-to, FPL (flightplan), Clear and Enter (ENT). PFD/FMS inner/outer is at the bottom. The right hand MFD (Multi-Function Display) display is the more flexible screen that covers a lot more variations and different areas of the aircraft's position and condition. Note that both screens can be swapped around if required for use. There are two main modes for display on the MFD, in MAP (Navigation) and ENG (Engine) modes. We will cover the ENG mode first. Note first the engine here is not running. Engine parameters covered are "Engine Power%", "Engine RPM", "Man In HG" (Manifold Pressure), "FFlow" (Fuel Flow), "Oil" Pressure and Temp. "Engine Temperatures" are covered in CHT ºF and EGT ºF. Anti-Ice Amount (in GAL) and Oxygen Pressure. Electrical output section covers both Current (A) and Bus Volts (V). The Fuel section displays "Fuel Qty" (in GAL) for both tanks, and fuel calculation data in "Used" - "Rem" (remaining), "Time Rem" and "Range" on the remaining amount of fuel in both tanks. I found the fuel data really helpful in planning and in flight on managing your range and fuel tank selection. Air data in altitude and OAT (outside Air Temp). Switch to MAP mode and the engine status parameters are located on a side panel that covers the RPM, FFlow, GAL used (fuel), Oil Pressure and Temp, Current (A) and Bus Volts (V), CHT ºF and EGT/ITT ºF. This engine status panel is the one that can also be visual in the PFD. At the top of the MFD is a duplicated grid of information that is situated across the top of the PFD except the PWR % is missing and is replaced by the NAV 1&2 Frequencies with adjoining adjustment knobs and slider button. Biggest feature of the G1000 is the huge GPS map and terrain options, One thing to keep in mind is that to show a screen of terrain data at this size requires a lot of processing, and a huge task of your computer processing needs. This can make the screen sometime quite slow in responding and mostly if the screen (or the aircraft) is turning to a new heading or redrawing the images on the display. Terrain options include, Traffic - Topo (topographic) - Terrain - Airways. You have a built elevation guide to evaluate the current terrain. Creating and using flightplans are accessed by the FPL button (Green Arrow) on the G1000 Control Unit panel. This button brings up flightplan panel on the MFD display, and here you can create, save, adjust, reload and delete flightplans. To start to create a new flightplan then use "FMS Knob" in the centre of the top part of the main programming control panel. This will give you the standard half-moon manipulators in large and small and also note your current GPS position on the display. The large manipulators are used to move down or up a line of your flightplan (segments), the same as your standard GNS GPS. The smaller higher manipulators will open another window to insert the Nav-Aid/Fix and these inputs are done via the alphabet/numeric keyboard. Note I found the console manipulators really hard to use (mostly the small right half-moons, Carenado note it is the angle you use the manipulators, but it is still too hard) but the manipulators used on the popup panel with the menu tab was fine, and the inputs on mostly the first letter of a waypoint/fix was also very slow and or had to be backtracked and done a second time to insert, the rest of the digits were not so bad. When the GPS Nav-Aid/Fix is done then press ENT to insert the waypoint in the flightplan. Again select the second waypoint by using the inner manipulators to bring up the insert window and inserting in waypoint code. When entered you will note the first departure point of the flightplan the altitude for the airport is automatically inserted. On the second waypoint line you have to insert the altitude you want to use when you arrive at the waypoint. This is inserted in the right hand selected (larger manipulators) box. Then again ENT to save the waypoint into the flightplan. You repeat the process until you have the full route from Departure to Arrival airports completed then you activate the first waypoint of the flightplan (departure airport) by using the MENU (Options) button and selecting "Activate Leg" and pressing ENT to load the flightplan into the system. You can SAVE your flightplan here also, INVERT it (or swap the whole flightplan backwards to start at the current arrival airport) or DELETE the flightplan from the full list which is shown in a separate page window. Basically the G1000 system is still like the standard X-Plane GPS GNS430/530 system, just slightly different on the way you access it. You can zoom in or change the range of the flightplan in MAP mode via the large knob on the right (RANGE). DCLTR will "declutter" the map in three positions. Also like the X-Plane GPS GNS430/530 system, you have a menu system along the lower right part of the MFD. Changed by the manipulators (High/Low) it gives you access to a lot more information. Most are a replica of the standard Garmin system in MAP, WPT (Waypoint), AUX, FPL, NRST. The different one here is the AUX (Auxiliary). AUX has many display pages starting with TRIP PLANNING, UTILITY (timing), GPS STATUS, SYSTEM SET UP ... ... SYSTEM STATUS and CHECKLISTS (Standard and Emergency). A lot of the data shown above is not full realised because the aircraft is stationary and not running, so we will revisit a few moments when in flight to see how they perform in action. Menu panels and G1000 displays all pop-out for ease of use and can be moved around your screen for the best position to access. Pop-outs are just as clear and the same resolution as the fitted panels and that is sometimes very rare. Flying the SR22 GTSX Turbo I tanked up the CIRRUS to give me 5.0hr of flying. You need to select a tank with the pointer selector on the centre console. The "Mixture" lever is moved to "Rich" but it is hard to get at as it is hidden by that large throttle handle, from the Pilot's position you can't move the mixture unless you move the throttle itself, or move your view right over to the passengers right hand seat. You can close the doors from the inside via the latches, and they close with a nice "thunk". Adjusting the panel lighting and you are ready to start that Continental IO-550-N 310. Pump boost on and a turn of the key allows the engine to turn, churn then roar into life. Sounds are as per usual Carenado's in very good if not excellent here. Set the CDI to "GPS" and that it is now ready and waiting for the flightplan lockin once you are airborne. The SR22 has the new Carenado feature that allows castoring of the front steering. I found it a bit too twitchy for my liking, and you need a bit of momentum before it will actual release from the straight ahead position. A lot of Carenado steering is like this and you get used to it, but the slightly higher speed required here to get the steering working smoothly can have you putting on too much speed initially to bring it quickly down again to find your taxi line with it then suddenly locking up again. Once you do get the right momentum and speed it is fine but a bit more usability would be nice. On the line and your ready to go... The Cirrus will track the centre line quite nicely without too much rudder adjustment and you can rotate up at around 100knts. Feel in the air is good and you can easily change the altitude and bank to keep the right momentum and climb with ease. Once leveled out and clean, I selected the A/P on the centre console to take control of the NAV (flightplan) and the rate of climb to the set altitude of 6500ft. The layout of the autopilot and controls on this console panel are excellent, very easy to use and operate. Rate of Climb is around 1000fpm (official is 1,250fpm) and here the Turbo comes into its own, more importantly is the performance as you go higher. The aircraft's ceiling is 25,000 feet, but it's easy enough to estimate that at an average of close to 1,000 fpm for the entire climb would take between 25 and 30 minutes from sea level to FL 250. You would never really do that height as you would waste too much performance. The turbo performance makes a lot more sense down low at the non-oxygen-required altitudes from 9,000 to 12,000, but this is far better performance than the non-turbo normally aspirated Cirrus, or any other non-turbocharged airplane for that matter, because once you get much higher than around 6,000 or 7,000 feet, the lack of air starts to cut down on the airplane's performance, reducing your rate of climb substantially, but not with the turbo as you can keep on giving on with all that extra power, but below 5000ft though the aircraft flies the same with either the normally aspirated Cirrus and turbo versions unless you need that extra push when required. Most sales now are with the turbo versions of the SR22 than the normally aspirated Cirrus. Top speed in the thin air is 215knts but the average at 12,000ft is 194knts in cruise mode. Range is 1,049 nmi (1,207 mi; 1,943 km) with reserves at 65% power. Now as we leveled out at our 6500ft altitude you can see the engine performance on the ENG mode page and the huge amount of data available on the AUX-TRIP PLANNING mode page. Both are impressive in flight. NRST (Nearest) options include AIRPORTS, NDB, VOR and Waypoints and there is a DIRECT-TO function that can be accessed and activated if required. These menu page screen provide so much information you can't cover everything here, but they are excellent in operation and detail. We are cruising now high above the Greek Islands, yes it is nice place to be... best moment in a while actually. The view forward is quite restricted and the blinds tend to make it even narrower to look through the windscreen than it needs to be. You can easily move them to the side while flying and that gives you a more open fuller screen vision. External design of the SR22 is excellent, this is a Carenado after all and you would think of nothing else from them. The tri-gear is a fixture, so don't go looking for an undercarriage lever because there isn't one. But the detailing is superb, first rate and you simply can't fault it. The aircraft's textures are quite shiny, so it can be very washed out in the high Greek sunlight at certain angles, but overall the external aircraft is excellent. Terrain mode on the MAP display is very good. As I skimmed along the Crete northern coast the mountainous ranges were well represented on the display. A must for flying at night or with minimum visibility. You have to watch your fuel usage and be ready to switch tanks as you hit the minimum section in the earlier selected tank, you can lean the mixture a little to find the best performance to economy range and experiment to get performance you like the best. The Cirrus has a built in safety feature of a parachute called the "Cirrus Airframe Parachute System" in case the engine goes wonky or you forget to switch over the fuel tanks. It is set out on the roof and you can pull off the cover and pull the handle. It is however not advisable to use if you are running well on the flightplan. Unlike the VflyteAir SR20 version were as the parachute does actually work... here you are just sent to the closest airport runway in an instant. LGIR - Heraklion “Nikos Kazantzakis” is now just over the next range, time to slip down and get ready for landing on RWY27. At 1500ft I turn off the flightplan and select a heading to be in a circuit parallel line with the runway and a pass and return to the airport is required for the 27º heading landing. Tight, tight 360º turn is neck straining as I search then find the direct line back to RWY27, speed down and flaps down two positions. Flaps and mechanism are very well constructed, but the inside wing texture is a little dubious. Note the excellent panel work on the wings and fuselage... "Heads up mate we are landing!" Even with a small slight crosswind the aircraft is very stable, around 70knts in the final approach and a slow clean descent can give you little bounce on contact. You have to rub off a lot of speed before touching the brakes... I mean a lot. If you are tempted earlier you will simply disappear off the runway to the left and go off straight into the scenery, get it right and you will turn neatly on to the side taxiway. Shutdown and when opening up the door the hot humid Greek air fills the cool cabin, Job done. Liveries Standard Carenado blank/white livery and five designs are all very high 4K quality. Night Lighting There are three adjustment knobs for Instrumentation and displays, the red cowl lighting and overhead lighting. There are four overhead spot lights that are + manipulator adjustable to shine in any direction in the cabin, two front and two rear. The front spots however are under the front blinds, and so to be used effectively you need to move the blinds out of the way. You can certainly find the right feel in the cabin, but full on red under cowl is a bit stark and distracting. External lighting is basic with just Nav, Landing (single light) and flashing strobes. Nice touch are small sets of LED lights located at the front of each wingtip. Summary It is a Carenado and with this brand you know that quality, features and flight dynamic depth are usually first rate to excellent. That is certainly delivered here at a quality price. So you get a lot for your investment. The SR22 is a great aircraft to fly and the depth of instrumentation and details are certainly first rate, that is a given as well. The G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit is certainly a huge feature here, but it comes with a big stick. It is a colossal complex sized system that has a huge amount of data to process. It takes time to separately load in all that 3.83gb, yes gigabytes worth of data (It thankfully does not use it all at the same time but just loads a few area tiles). But it does all have a significant impact on your frame-rate and Carenado aircraft are not the lightest aircraft in the hanger in the first round and so your computer processor has to cope with a large chunk more with this GPS G1000 system on top of the aircraft again. My i5 Mac computer just scraped through with its average processing performance, so it is usable. But I would highly recommend a machine with a pretty grunty or powerful sets of processors and memory to give you a fair amount of working headroom and data space. Only other quirk is the twitchy castoring steering which will need mastering at slow speeds. Overall the Cirrus SR22 ticks all the right boxes and gives X-Plane users another great step forward in sound, design, features and even more better quality in a general aviation aircraft. A real nice aircraft to fly as well and with all that Turbo power for great performance. So another great winner from Carenado. Yes! the Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : SR22 GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series Price is US$34.95 Developer Site: Carenado Dev Support : Carenado Support _____________________________________________________________________________________ Special Features Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit All-new surround sound architecture. Volumetric side view prop effect. Features Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Aux- Trip Planning Window Checklist mode Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Ice and Rain effect _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 209.50meg and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 256.90 meg. Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file. Carenado G1000 data package is also required and has to be installed in the X-Plane root folder (Main X-Plane folder) before using the aircraft. Data download pack is here; GPS database and it is a big download at 870mb. Documents supplied are: Carenado G1000 Perspective PDF SR22 Emergency Checklist PDF SR22 Normal Procedures PDF SR22 Performance Tables PDF SR22 Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows 7, 8, 10+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.40 (or higher) running in 64bit mode 2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.1 (last updated Feb 29, 2016) Carenado G1000 Database must be installed ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th March 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - LGKC - Kithira Island Airport Greece 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - LGIR - Heraklion International Airport Greece by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  16. Aircraft Review : Bombardier Challenger 300 by Dden Design Route - EGKB (Biggin Hill) to LFMN (Nice/Cote d’Azur) Everyone has their idea of their ultimate status symbol. But nothing will compare with a personal jet. Even for Steve Job’s who came back to Apple in the later 1990’s and worked for a dollar a week still took the personal jet as in re-payment for putting the place back together. The bankers and car makers after the fall of the GFC realised they had to give everything up... But losing those jets really hurt. If they had to give them up then they were very quickly back in the inventory as soon as the cash started flowing again, As they are the ultimate freedom, The goal, The “I really made it” statement. So wouldn’t you like your very own personal Jet? Well X-Plane has a way of making your dreams come true, and here it is in the Bombardier Challenger 300. As personal jets go this is a real beauty. But in more ways than one. Created by Dden the design work is flawless. I have a picture which is nearly a few years old now that is significant in that it is on my computer desk top. I look at it every day, and it has two resonates with me. One, It shows how great X-Plane is and Two, It looks like a real aircraft picture and not an aircraft in an simulator. I have studied it and if any work can live up to the a perfect rendition of a design then it is very good... If not the best in X-Plane. But is the beauty just skin deep? Thankfully no. The aircraft is a highly complex and fully featured driven machine. You have a lot of menus and all accessed by the pop-out menu on your left side of the screen. In order - Fast Start - Sets the aircraft up quickly and lets you fly straight away. Exter Preflight - (Above) you start by pressing the buttons numbered 1 to 24 and it produces the different angles of checking around the aircraft, It also allows you to add or remove the storage flags, wheel chocks and engine covers. Want to start again? then you can by just pressing the “Start Again” point. Cameras - Pre-set views inside the aircraft (useful before the current built in X-Plane version), views include Pilot, Co-Pilot, Cabin 1,2 & 3, Lavatory and Bagage (Baggage). Animations - A useful set of tools that opens the aircraft main door, Baggage door, Emergency hatch, Blinds (internal), Entry blind/door (internal), Washroom door (internal), rear baggage door (internal), and tables (internal). As my VIP’s are aboard it is easy with this menu to shut the door and baggage door without groping for a handle. Instruments - A menu to access different that instruments and displays on the panel of the aircraft. Options - a menu that allows you to save your current position and status and adjust the volume of your sounds. There is a very good pop-up “Checklist” menu as well and a more modern MCDU that is built in but not operable at this point. The checklist is easy to procedure in checking the items off, Starting the engines is turning on pumps, fuel supply and the ignition. Then turning a switch to the engine you want to start. You can sit it the pilots seat and hear the whine start up in the background, but that would be missing the experience. Go to the rear of the aircraft and wait while the engine management system starts the Honeywell HTF7000 turbofan. It is in full 3d sound and glorious it is. Start engine two and add to the noise of power and tremble at the thought of all that thrust waiting to be unleashed. It sounds good, really good this aircraft. There is a very large list of items to check and solve before releasing the brakes and the Challenger has a great solving system that as you correct each item it disappears from the list in the engine (EICAS) display in the MFD (The EICAS display pops-out). once the list is completely clear the aircraft is ready for flight. Pop off the brakes and set the flaps to 20º (lots of fuel and expensive luggage) and your into the taxi. I throughly recommend a throttle system for this aircraft... Totally a requirement. Nudge the throttle and your moving and taxi is easy enough to complete your checklists and clean ups ready before flight without having to constantly having to adjust the speed, just a nudge of the brakes is usually enough. Clearance and push up the power, there is no drift from the centre line and rotation is to 15º nose up. And up you go! It climbs with all that power, 2500fpm minute is easy and you still have to watch the throttle in case it goes right up into the red zone. Maximum speed: 891 km/h, m.83 (554 mph; 481 kn), Range: 5,741 km (3,567 mi; 3,100 nmi) at 0.78 Mach, Service ceiling: 13,716 m (45,000 ft), Rate of climb: 25.4 m/s (5,000 ft/min) at 17,622 kg (38,850 lb) max gross weight It is fast this aircraft and the range may sound impressive, London to Dubai in one fuel load. But it does not work out that way. I found the range more in the 2500 - 2700 nmi range zone, and a refuel stopover (Rome) in going LON-DXB was always required. Flying Europe to Asia required two stop-overs and so did the West Coast of the USA. The super-mid-sized jet project was launched at the Paris Air Show by Bombardier July 13, 1999, at which time it was called the Bombardier Continental. It was a “clean sheet” design and to be assembled in Bombardier’s Learjet plant at Wichita Mid-Continent airport, Kansas. The jet was renamed in September 2002 to the Challenger 300 after much debate about which category (Learjet, Challenger, or Global) the new aircraft would fit into, The C300 entered commercial service in January 2004. To date 400 have been built and will cost your around US$20 million, Second-hand you can pickup a very nice one for around 12million. (Yes I checked in case I won the lotto!) On May 20, 2013 Bombardier announced the Challenger 350, an improved version of the 300, and promised to begin deliveries in May 2014 at a price of $25.9 million. The Challenger 350 first flew on March 2, 2013. Once cleared of the London Area I was going to pick up my "Stansted - Nice" route just over the channel. Climb continued at 2500ft fpm to 28,000ft and you got to that height and speed in no time. The layout on the panel is quite different from most cockpit layouts. There is no overhead panel so the item usually on there are on the centre pedestal (lights, Air, Fuel and bleed) There are four Main Display Panels (MFD) that are two for the Pilot and two for the Co-Pilot and are switchable. The right one is the standard artificial-horizon and speed, V/S and height tapes with the MAP/Rose set out below. Your selection of A/P, G/S, 1/2bank and other important situation aware items are in a line above the Art-Horizon The left is the engine displays (checklist) EICAS at the top and a selection of displays from the menu at the bottom. Displays are : Anti-Ice, ECS, Electrical, Flight Controls, Fuel and Hydraulics, there is also a standard “Summary” display that gives you an overview of the systems. I usually put the rose on the lower part of this second panel because it shows the VOR1 and VOR2 information, that is missing on the left panel (MFD), Oddly I think it is on the panel but I can never find the setting, I did once but then I lost it again and usually spend 60% of any flight trying to get it back Again? The glare-shield instruments are complex beasts, easy to mix up and you need to do a quick look over the manual every time you use them. Even just setting the Radio freq is a task that can take a few moments. 1/2 Bank limits your banking angle and is well worth using. Take-off and landing refs. are displayed and so is the FMS1, VOR1/VOR2 settings on the right MFD, the MAP displays the waypoints but at a size that is to small and they are a guide really more than for actual reading. The layout is though and as mentioned slightly complex and it will take a little time to be really comfortable with every switch and knob. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The main cabin is luxurious beyond belief, with highly polished wood grain and white leather chairs. All the tables fold out (on the animations menu) and you have access to the rear vanity unit (one wonderful sliding down door) and another animated door that accesses the baggage compartment and clothes rack. Open and close the window blinds that show both sides in or out of the aircraft and the view from the windows are as good as anything anywhere. I will spend as much time back here as in the drivers seat and a replay to watch a landing is always a great idea sitting in luxury. Opening the front door blind will also drop the stairs. There are eight HD (Hi-Definition) liveries with one white paint, The C-GJCV is my favorite and the default is the OE-HPZ with its crazy red lineage of which I don’t really like as it looks like in places that the livery is on incorrectly. There is a full series of liveries on the .org for the C300 : Challenger 300 Liveries and Walterbenny has done a large series of Canadian Army and Airforce liveries that are worthy of your attention. Walterbenny Night-lighting is very good with HDR on. Wing-lighting (Ice!) landing lights (two), tail-lighting, cabin on/off and adjustable panel lighting. The glow from the MFD screens are wonderfully reflected under the glare-shield. Only odd moment is with HDR off? The aircraft become lucent and looks odd in the dark sky? In Flight and Landing There is no auto/throttle on the C300, so you are the soul auto/setter of the power. A throttle system is really invaluable here because the aircraft needs minute adjustments to keep the speed under control, a nice safe point can be found but any changes to height or weather will move your attention to finding that sweet spot all over again. Powering up to your height and the handling in flight is very good but the workload builds when you get closer to landing. The C300 is not an easy aircraft to land and it requires a little practice to get really right. You will find that when it is time to descend you need a lot of space between you and your intended runway. Throttle back and start your descent and the speed will be hard to contain, you have two options a long and slow descent or normal with the use of the effective air-brakes or a combination of both, just note that as you get lower to balance the power and not drop off all the speed. You arm the air-brakes for landing by a switch in either “Auto” or “Manual” mode. Dropping the flaps will mean a very good balance of speed and power (those throttle levers if you have them). The aircraft has a tendency to be a little unstable at low speeds and a low speed is what you require for a slow landing. 140kts is your aim under full flap with 115-120knts under the glideslope or landing. The point of getting the approach right is crucial as the aircraft can get very flat in response if you don’t. But get the speed right (and as low as you can without any stall) and you can kiss the runway. Activate those huge (very effective) thrust-reversers and the aircraft will soon be down to a 10knt roll. Taxi in and clean the aircraft up, (Twin taxi lights on the nose gear) and park-up, Let down the doors and unload the expensive luggage... The VIP”s are loaded into a couple of Black Mercedes and you are soon left alone with the Challenger 300. Notes taken and the aircraft is shut right down and all the tags and covers are set to protect your expensive investment. Conclusions The debate here is not with the aircraft. As a piece of workmanship the Challenger is as close to perfection as you can get, The detailing and the skins of this aircraft are simply sublime. Nothing comes close and remember it has been released for a few years now as I have had for two years. It is 64bit upgraded and so also flies fine in the latest X-Plane10 versions (Current 10.22). I would love Dden to finish off that hidden MCDU as it would be icing on the cake and as these MCDU’s are now quite commonplace than when the aircraft was released. No the debate is that is the Challenger the best aircraft in X-Plane at this price, The Carenado aircraft have closed the game since the Challenger has been released in quality and are priced around the same sub-US$30 market. I personally think the Challenger 300 is still the best value in X-Plane you can get at this price and still holding its own a few years after it was released. If fact it feels like it was released only yesterday and has certainly not aged one bit. That is of course due to the skill and design of Dden in this sublime machine. For us the dream of owning your own personal jet and operating it can certainly be rewarded with the Challenger 300. Nearly two years on after I purchased it I still give it a touch in admiration after every flight and declare... “I really made it!” _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition is available now from the Store : Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition Price is US$29.95 Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux 512Mb VRAM X-Plane 9 or X-Plane 10 fully updated- 32 and 64 bit compatible updated store# Documents : Two Manuals with one being a “Quickflight” Guide Download: 254.60mb Developer Site : None (support is here Bombardier Challenger 300) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review By Stephen Dutton 21st September 2013 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX - Aerosoft - LFMN Nice Cote d Azur X Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  17. Looks like you have C++ Redistributables missing. If you use Windows they ALL have to be installed. SD
  18. Aircraft Addons : A320neo/A330-243 Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations Realism in sound is mostly taken for granted in simulation. It is mostly accepted that if you buy a high end aircraft then the sounds should be perfect and are of a very high quality. In most cases they are, or at least the quality is usually very good. But how good is very good? If you look through an expensive aircraft's sound library they are usually extensive, but getting extremely high quality sounds are a nightmare for developers and even then they don't live up to expectations, worse they can be downright awful no matter how carefully or how well they are created and mixed to perfection. But like the every other area that has progressed though unattainable high quality barriers in X-Plane over the last few years, sound has never really been front and center of major feature lists, but also they were mostly until now average in use. The breakthough is using third party developers who create (from real world sound) very high quality sound sets, in other words they specialise in just sound. So they have the time and the equipment to create sound packs that are levels above and far more comprehensive than any one aircraft developer can do alone. There has always been small specalised producers selling addon's for X-Plane, that is nothing new. But in the last year 2015 in X-Plane there has been the shift to a more commercial approach in the addon specialist being a designer house of their own quality and are heavily branded as a creator of certain products unlike the past hobbyist approach of filling in a gap in the market. In other words they are the new big boys in the game and they mean business. The developer has two choices with quality sound, buy them outright on a license (very expensive, which will be added on to the cost of the aircraft) or collaborate with the specialised outfit and then allow them to sell the sound packages as a separate addon to the OE (Original Equipment) aircraft. The first approach has been there for a while in simulation, but with the rise of specialised outfits the game is changing towards now the addon market that has been a much bigger factor in FS (Flight Simulator) than X-Plane. In fact now the addon to OE developers has broken big time in X-Plane in SimCoders developing addons for Carenado aircraft in the form of REP (Reality Expansion Packages) and here with sound Blue Sky Star Simulations with sound packages for JARDesign aircraft and coming soon for JRollons CRJ200 aircraft. No doubt this will be a developing story and it will be interesting to see where it goes. But the early signs are very significant and very good, and with the collaboration of the actual aircraft developers in hand with the specialised house (in this case sound) the amalgamation of both products are as we will see here is seamless and enhance each others products in operation. That means the results are a win-win for both parties. The hard thing with sound is that you have no really good base to compare them with except your own ears and your memory. In most cases what you remember may sound like that particular aircraft, but your memory is going to be fickle with you, it sounds right so it should be right. I had two test cases this year that showed me both ends of the equation... bad and good sound. Strangely enough it was the JARDesign A320neo that was the bad case. I flew my Tasman Sea route from YBBN (Brisbane) to NZWN (Wellington) When I left YBBN I thought the A320neo's sound was quite good, but by the time I was ready to drop down to land at NZWN I was completely over the buzz saw sounds that made up the sound package of the aircraft, add in a headache and I was not wanting to do that anytime again soon no matter how good the aircraft is. I realised the sounds are to a point average and there was a (significant) difference. I will make the point that after doing reviews for four or more years for X-Plane you see there is always an area that a developer can be weak. That is not their fault, it is just a human being thing of which I would be a hopeless long distance runner, it is just not in my physical or mental makeup. In developers cases if they are smart (which most are) they will add to their team other developers that are strong in the areas that they are not. But if they are control freaks (which many are) then it can come at a cost to their products in the areas that they cannot address. The good was the FlightFactor Boeing 767-300. This aircraft opened my ears to really good sound on an aircraft (FlightFactor were always good on sound) but here with the B763 they did something that now and even with that huge feature list on the aircraft is still that the one thing that stands overwhelmingly out and every time I use or if I come across the machine is that sound. It sounds like the Boeing 767, the real one, the one I have flown on many, many times. Sound is not a hearing thing it is a gut feeling thing and when the sounds are really good then you know it and revel in their feedback to recreate the total full environment of being (usually in the rear seats) of that aircraft. It is the whole experience factor and only then do you totally realise how important really good high quality sound is... The FlightFactor Boeing 767 had me crying while flying as I sobbed and wallowed in my memories of "It is just so like the real 767" and it is. JARDesign Airbus A320neo The JARDesign Airbus A320neo (which it isn't as it is the A320ceo (Current Engine Option)) comes with the CFM56 engines. There is one thing about the A320 Series, aurally it is very distinctive aircraft, certainly from the passenger seat. Ansett Australia had some of the earliest A320-211 build aircraft from Serial 022 - 030 (6,821 sold as Nov 15). As an aircraft tragic I was on one from OOL (Coolangatta/Gold Coast) to MEL (Melbourne) within weeks of the aircraft being in service. Used to flying on Boeing 737-377's it was like getting on board another planet. But the biggest change in the cabin was the way the A320 sounded. We are used to A320's today, but in 1991 it was very different in that yes the engine start up and when running the sounds were slightly modernly efficiently different, but it was noises coming through the floor that made the machine really unusual (It is the PTU which stands for Power Transfer Unit known as the "barking dog"). At the time it was the future, which is now. But back then 25 years ago it was a wide eyed experience. You can sit me now blindfolded in an A320 and start it up and I will tell you what version it is, so you can see why the original sounds just didn't cut it. Blue Sky Star Simulations have created a sound expansion pack for the CFM56-5 series engines and a optional extra pack to cover the IAE V2500 (sadly only the CFM engine is modeled). You also have to have the main CFM sound pack to add the extra IAE package. To expect just a new engine sound experience is totally understating the sound package you get here, as actually the engines are really a small proportion of the total package... In fact you get possibly everything you hear on a real A320 aircraft. First to note that the sounds are not just placed on or in the aircraft, but are significantly placed at their correct points on the aircraft in full 3-D surround sound. Which means as you move around the aircraft outside or inside you move within and out again of the range of the noise or sound. Covered items are all real hydraulic logic, you will hear all the hydraulic pumps when activated, real life conditioning systems inside and outside, and turn them on or off for the full cabin and cockpit areas. Notably the conditioning pack sounds are different inside and from the outside as the avionics air coming out from avionics bay, and inside you have logic to blower override changes. I will note that if you have the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) running which its sounds are extensively covered here from startup to running. You will know when you board the A320 via the rear stairs of the aircraft they are very noisy buggers. Those sounds can of course override the fainter external sounds of the aircraft, they are still there though if you position yourself into the right places during the walkaround and are quite distant when nose on the aircraft. All switches, buttons, selectors, handles, levers are carefully mapped and all sound like in real thing as you press them, but some buttons are a very loud audible click (notably the APU switches) which I don't doubt are realistic, but they sound like someone is banging hard on the underside of the cockpit floor from inside the front gear compartment, you jump at every switch press so are they just a little too loud? In the cockpit environment you get a lot of sounds, small ones and constant ones in context of the aircraft sitting on the ground. Like all sounds Blue Sky Star has recorded (or someone with access to the aircraft) the real audio of the real moment of the activity or function of what the sound is to represent, all together they blend together of course to be really just background noise unless you do a certain function to activate an item. The sound is mixed and highly polished to be almost perfect and that is what these sound packages represent. Ambient ramp sound and internal aircraft people noise is very realistic, even if you do have to put on your headset to get through the checklist load. The base pack is for the CFM56 engines but the references here are for the IAE engines as well. In engine sounds JARDesign have adjusted the A320neo's logic to match the new engine sounds. The full engine start sequence is covered including the different N1 (Fan) and N2 (Compressor) sounds. N2 compressor sounds come in the start sequence actually first. vibration is created by high and low sounds and when fully running you have a full 360º sound variation of front, mid, back and inside sounds. The PTU sounds are all too familiar on start up as the system pressurizes the hydraulic system of the none starting engine as it cycles on and off, on and off, on and off, due to pressure fluctuations, even when both engines are running the PTU will still make noises until the system pressures stabilise, the PTU self tests on startup as well. Engine start up sounds actually can be heard better inside (different in the cockpit, but perfect in the cabin) than outside until you switch down the GPU/APU noise generators. Sitting in the passenger cabin you are overwhelmed by the realistic and perfect A320 environment. Flap extension is good and different from your perspective position on the aircraft, and when you set the seatbelt signs you get an announcement. That familiar A320 low level whine is perfect from the cabin and in taxi you get a perfect reproduction of the A320 sound volumes and movement. Sound is very different in the cockpit and you feel more isolated, but hear more background aircraft system noises. Sound volumes are adjusted via the MCDU interface. Blue Sky Star give you full sound preferences with the package, but like me you will find your own self balance that suits your own requirements. Taxi movement thuds (concrete joins) are excellent as many developers tend to over-emphasise these noises, and your actions in the cockpit are are well replicated with small details like the clicks with throttle movement as an example. You give the A320 50% N1 power to get the engines spooled up and than full FLEX or TO/GA detent to commence the takeoff roll. The sound of engine changes are far more finer (more pronounced sound changes are noticeable on landing), and runway position callouts with V speeds are excellent. There is a certain more quality and fullness to the sound which is noticeable and the building wind noise is more bufferer. This is because you have to change (if you want too) the core "wind.wav" file in the X-Plane/resources/sounds/weather folder. I don't like changing core root files (messy when updating X-Plane), but here it is a significant change for the better, the "wind.wav" file is provided in the package. Wind noises calm more when the undercarriage is retracted, so it shows that the lowered gear is creating turbulence sounds, yes the noises are usually sometimes present on landing (FlightFactor are again the master of such sounds) but it is again a significant aspect of your aural spectrum that creates the full simulation realism factor. BSSS climb and cruise sounds are excellent, certainly as good as FlightFactor's sounds that reduced me to tears, and even then a smidge better in the cockpit/cabin sounds that are perfect as they are slight changing all the time slightly in tune just as really aircraft does, it is subtle but clever and of course if get up in the aircraft to walk around the sounds move as you do and change as you The Route today for both the A320 and the following A330 aircraft is the same KRSW (Southwest Florida) to KDFW (Dallas) and both in Delta colours. After takeoff and climb to cruise, sound is really a background noise, a good one mind you but still a background noise, the good test on sound is in the landing, reduction of thrust, wind changes and speed, change of flap and the undercarriage sounds. You always know the point of TOD (Top of Descent) as the engine sounds change and the speed starts to wind down. So the subtle changes are the most profound ones, the difference in landing is there is no sound, by the point that engines are at a lower throttle position and the wind noise is dying (or slowing) down and that highlights everything else in the aircraft. So by the time you get to the approach phase the speed is low and every change like the lowering of the flaps, power changes (which are extremely fine and good here) and actions in the cockpit are pronounced and highlighted more so than at any other segment of the flight. Gear noises, speed brake noises, flap noises, ultimate real wind sound, touchdown sounds, vibrations are all very well done to perfection as are the landing callouts. The reverse thrust is highlighted because it is not a reverser higher engine sound but that hard air rumble sound (not to be confused with ground rumble) that you realise on how real this simulation of sound really is. A final finale is the CFM engine spooling down that goes on for ages.... glorious! Installation Installing the Blue Sky Star Simulation package is really easy. In the JARDesign plugins folder there is the "sound3d-1" folder which is replaced by three sound (3d) folders 1-2-3 that come in the package. To highlight the detail of sound you get, just one folder (cockpit) has 86 wav sound files, and there are 45 wav sound files for the engines alone and the default JAR engines sounds are only covered with just 11 wav sound files. That is a big difference in sounds. The IAE engine optional pack is harder to install. You have to replace 43 engine sound files in the engines folder but remember to keep the older CFM files in case you want to change engines or do what I did and create a separate IAE_Engine folder and CFM_Engine folder and swap them over as you need them. There is an mp4. install video supplied with the package. Another Blue Sky Star video below highlights the A320 aircraft sounds ______________________________________________________________________ JARDesign A330-243 In this case the A330-243 sound package is not a complete mirror of the A320neo, as it is not quite as expansive but still very comprehensive. Biggest difference is that you have three engine options in the default Trent 700 (main pack) and two extra optional packs for the: Pratt & Whitney 4000 Series General Electric CF6 Series Installation Installing is a little trickier as well. In this instance you add the files in to the 330_JARDesign/plugins/sound3d as a "Custom" folder and you have the option of adding in the optional GPWS sounds as "sound2d". The process of changing over the optional engine sounds are the same as the A320 packages. There is an "install" video included. But as the KRSW to KDFW flight proved the Trent sounds were excellent, detailed and a huge advance on the default sound files. Certainly I would like the GE CF6 option to be more of just a RR engine sounding like a GE engine and would I pay more for that option, the answer is yes. Hopefully that option will come in time. A final note on this A330 package is that an new sound package is coming from Blue Sky Star Simulations and I would expect it to match the extensive systems of the A320 version, it will be probably priced accordingly as well, but that would still be good value. ______________________________________________________________________ Summary First I will admit I was sceptical that purchasing an extra sound package and certainly one priced at nearly US$20 would make that much difference. But these packages have been a real change in my thinking in how they fit into the full X-Plane landscape. They prove that even the top aircraft developers can not deliver this sort sonic level of detailed sound (except maybe FlightFactor, but then again they do have a dedicated sound engineer on their team). So only a specialised house that is dedicated to truly innovated sound can deliver performances of this level. It is also a huge factor in how an optional 3rd party can totally enhance and even change the basic aircraft performance in a significant way. The way these packages change the already excellent A320 Series from JARDesign is so significant that it creates a very much more user experience. Blue Sky Star Simulations has here totally changed the landscape in good quality sound, and the optional packages are a very worthy investment and that is because Blue Sky Star Simulations just do good sound, source and mix the sound at a level that is far beyond the usual high quality sound files you find in your aircraft. It is with these sounds in the end just another extension of the simulation experience, the full package. But until you have heard really good sound then you realise how much more a deeper level detail you can have in a different dimension for other than just the obvious aircraft features and good aircraft modeling. No doubt in the future more specialised brand developers will bring more excellent options and detail to the X-Plane simulator, if they are as good as Blue Sky Star Simulations are in sound, then the simulator experience is going to get even more exciting but more importantly even more realistic to the real aircraft we use and fly. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Blue Sky Star Simulation Sound Packages by Real Pilots is available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A320neo JARDesign A320 CFM Main Sound Expansion Pack Price is US$19.99 (JARDesign Airbus A320neo US$59.95 is Required to use this sound pack) JARDesign A320 IAE Sound Expansion Pack Price is US$7.99 (JARDesign Airbus A320neo and CFM main Sound Expansion Pack is Required to use this sound pack) ______________________________________________________________________ Airbus A330-243 JARDesign A330 Main Custom Soundpack (Trent700) Price is US$9.99 (JARDesign Airbus A330neo US$60.95 is Required to use this sound pack) JARDesign A330 Pratt & Whitney 4000 Series Soundpack Expansion Price is US$7.99 (JARDesign Airbus A330 is Required to use this sound pack) JARDesign A330 GE Soundpack Expansion Price is US$6.99 (JARDesign Airbus A330 is Required to use this sound pack) ______________________________________________________________________ Blue Sky Star Developer Site : Blue Sky Star Company ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 12th January 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - South West Florida Intl by Aerosoft (KRSW - SouthWest Florida Intl - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95 - KDFW - Dallas Fort Worth by Brian Godwin (KDFW-Dallas/Ft. Worth X-Plane.Org) - Free
  19. The packs are created for a specific engine already on the aircraft, if the the developer adds in a new engine variant then BSS will usually add a new sound pack for that engine into the package or create a new one, but the engine has to come with the aircraft from the developer. SD
  20. Behind the Screen : January 2017 Well, rested and a head full of ideas, you are ready to take on another year of X-Plane madness and an exciting one at that with X-Plane11 now becoming uber reality… well once all the bugs are finally worked out. But just days into 2017 and most of your enthusiasm has already been burnt and your are rolling your eyes around your head in pain and despair and by the end of the month you can’t believe how hard a month could have been and all that new energy is now already long exhausted. It wasn’t a bad month per se. In fact it was totally contradictory to the statement above, but it was certainly trialing and energy busting… ... so welcome to 2017. I hit the boards and came back to the computer days early with the release of beti-x’s sublime Bella Coola scenery in Canada. It was just to good a scenery to not tell you about it, my feeling is that the best scenery of the year gong has already gone and in the very start of 2017 at that right now and not at the end of it, it is so brilliantly good and at that price a real bargain as well. But my best intentions was that I wanted to start out with X-Plane11 with a totally new and clear slate. With X-Plane10 it had to a point became very unwieldy and totally messy system and that was not without trying to keep some sort of organisation about the whole package. But just too much over the years had been just thrown into the “Custom Scenery” folder and there was plugins galore and a read of my log.txt then you would have banished me to a place just south of the North Pole for complete years of isolation on being able to do any messing up of anything ever again. So X-Plane11 was to become a clean sheet, a new start and a lighter log.txt of beautiful efficiency and professionalism… well that is the general idea and to a point I have already kept to that mantra and to the time of refining my main X-Plane organisation layouts (meaning folders) to the best and clearest definition of a purest of systematic structures… in other words “keeping it all very simple”. X-Plane11 in the folders already looks lovely and organised but how long will it all last, for not for very long is my guess but I will try harder this time as the need for my own efficiency and the loss of time tracing bugs. The updates came quickly and already three weeks in and we at beta 8, and it is all looking quite remarkable. I waited patiently until the New Year before starting to configure and use the new application because there was no point in doing that earlier, and that was a wise thing to do. You do want to look around your new home and settle in but reviews are required and X-Plane10 was the work horse still to get the correct results, but once the later beta’s kicked in I was drawn ever closer to the newer sexier way of flying. xEnviro I noted at the end of 2016 that 2017 was going to a really different look and change for X-Plane, and yes certainly the new X-Plane11 application delivers that look and you feel that in spades but it was a fate situation that at the same time that X-Plane11 came newborn into our world another seismic shift happened as well with the release of a new environmental engine in xEnviro. Let me be clear in that I have never been a great fan of addon environmental aids. I like the default system to be as basic as Austin and Ben’s newborn code. And when running xEnviro for the first time I was not completely taken with it either and almost disregarded it as another maybe also ran and a big cough at that price. But something this time just made me give it a few more tries and then you get the spine tingling feeling that this was going to be something beyond really special and in our X-Plane world it would be life changing. First let us be completely evident on somethings about xEnviro. It is in a way a backward step, in that the system is 2d and not 3d (there are 3d objects in there, but not the main cloud formations). It is still buggy as it caused a lot of stress over the last month, and restrictive in ways when you create reviews with only the current local weather available. It crashed a lot early on as well with JARDesign plugins causing havoc (I updated the wrong ones or simply put the same unadjusted ones straight back in again). It crashes badly if your internet is not connected or if xEnviro goes off line (I live in Australia so update midnight time in Europe is midday working time for me), and this last one brings up the question of what if xEnviro does go off line or they simply close down, we would need a backup just in case or even a connection to the current X-Plane weather data to keep it running. You also have to set the settings panel to work for you and not against you, winds need to be adjusted and so does the cloud darkness and a lot more twiddling. But the advantages with running xEnviro and the effect it has on X-Plane and when certainly paired with X-Plane11 is simply remarkable. Personally I think Laminar Research should buy the lot and make it the standard weather engine in X-Plane and simply be done with it. And I really feel for the Mac users that can’t access it’s charms yet, I hope that situation changes soon. Once used xEnviro; it is very, very hard to go back to the basic X-Plane default clouds and weather engine even with the X-Plane11 misty soft focus look. It all feels bland and basic after the wonderful formations you have now adjusted used to, and in a bonus it turns X-Plane10 into soft focus X-Plane11 and X-Plane11 with that soft focus already in there is just another world again. Then there is the biggest salvation… framerate as the plugin is completely separate from the X-Plane engine and there is no effect on framerate, okay a little in high-density periods but nothing that crucifies and fries your GPU until it begs for mercy like the current default cloud system does. Although the so called “mist” look of X-Plane11 made us divide into two camps, it soon became very apparent it was a very realistic look, and this effect combined with X-Enviro really lifts the look and feel to a whole new level of involvement and realism and that is the aim of the game. So yes within a very short time our X-Plane view of the world has changed quite significantly, xEnviro brings real world weather to your flying and you are also expected to to up your game in matching real weather situation, either with bad crosswind runway approaches/departures, fog (fog is really good) and changing enroute weather patterns. Because the weather is this close to real you do need another feature built in to the plugin to give you weather details for departure and arrivals. You are a bit blind of the weather conditions and can be caught out as you don’t know what those conditions are until you are faced with them. Winter Textures But for atmospheric flying and views then January was simply overwhelming in it’s delivery. I added in with XP10 my winter textures as well and that just added in more to the ride. Winter textures are great but there is a hole in a few sceneries that need fixing. In most payware sceneries the ground ortho textures are part of the scenery, so with Winter Textures activated you get a green patch in the middle of the whiteness. I do wish more scenery developers would provide winter textures with the scenery as an option, but they don’t so you find a fix. I created a batch action in photoshop to process the hundreds of texture files, you have to convert to png from dds, to use it in photoshop, but can’t convert it back again to dds. You can with Laminar’s Xgrinder tool, but you can’t automate it to cover the hundreds of files but only with a one on one process which takes too long (even the batch auto takes 20 minutes) but the results are worth it. Putting the adjusted winter files up on the X-Plane.Org is also a no go as it contravenes the developers copyright. I started this process last year, but this year reorganised the file structure and in the way the MOD (JSGME) tool does the replacement work of the files, and fine tuned the process to create the winter style files efficiently. It works very well but it is restricted to only the ground textures and not the buildings, but it looks and works very well. Another slight with Winter Textures is that the ground textures for the default autogen is still in full spring bloom, so you get patterns of green in the background white. In time of course X-Plane will intergrate the seasons better into the simulator with X-Plane11, but the developers will still have to provide the extra winter textures to make it work. When done like with beti-x’s remarkable Bella Coola which has replacement textures it is a winter wonderland spectacular. So it works when done well. X-Plane11 But back to X-Plane11… Like I mentioned my adoption of X-Plane11 was rather slow and you would think doing what I do that I would be the very first one in there to pull it apart. But the world today is a very different place than in my youth as with software the first out version is never completed, I rarely now buy any new Apple iPhone on release but a year behind as then it is all sorted and fine tuned and that most certainly is the case with X-Plane except with sceneries, and that is absolutely certainly the case with X-Plane11. This is highlighted even more because getting in first would be giving out the wrong information and the least everyone needs right now is well the latest buzzword in “Fake News”. But some impressions are worth noting. First X-Plane11 is good, and to the point of being very good. You are seeing a sort of professionalism now coming into the simulator. X-Plane was always early on a clubhouse enthusiastic experimental sort of occupation and the idea that anyone can come and build and then fly their own aircraft. And certainly don’t get me wrong as that is still the foundation and heart of the simulator as it’s name reflects that vision. But this aspect can also create a problem in that these clubby people don’t really like things to change and although they highly welcome new people you still have to conform to their old fashioned out of date ideas. Tradition is to be respected but mostly in any area of life or business is that if you have that out of date mentality you will wither and die. As a human race we hate change, we like things the way they are “thank you, very much”, and I am one of the worst one for that. But we live in a world of change and if not our world will die or in this case the one thing we love the most is in our own simulator. Could you really live with Flight Simulator or an X-Plane that stopped evolving now ten years ago, yes the fringes of FS are still very vibrant but the core is static and very, very old. Many users see X-Plane11 as the dumb down of the simulator. A flashy intro with wizz-bang graphics to select our aircraft and sceneries, and the real horror of taking away our detailed settings that kept us twiddlers happy and contented for hours. But use the new simulator and those early disquiets quickly disappear. In reality the old x-plane set up panel was a mess or just plain pre-millennium basic. In X-Plane11 you really now have a lot of choices and the quick drill down for more of the more detailed choices in the interface to quickly and speedily do the set up of what you want. The really annoying thing with the older version was that you mostly had to start the simulator to make the changes and then reset everything for what you actually wanted, were as the X-Plane11 version is a one stop shop, go then fly. There is no doubt a lot of time, money and research into how to make the very best interface for X-Plane has been done by Laminar Research and beyond those flashy graphics it is a solid system. My horror like most to the dumbing down of the graphics page menus was to simply want it all back. But again use it. My twiddling was usually to the negative and not to the positive in most cases, in other words my efficiency went backwards and not to the better with my constant to and throwing of the settings, and in most cases I kept a preference copy to get me back to the default point I should not of changed in the first place. But the totally overall point of both areas changed above is the sheer change in the speed of not only the loading and starting of X-Plane, but the efficiency of how it runs. As Ben Supnic notes, just to have one setting of the very inconsequential settings like traffic and trees is that they can be really be made to be more focused and aligned for ultimate processing and in other words better processing with your computer and that results in a far better framerate. Speed is the key here and not the dumbing down of the simulator. Speed to start up and select what you want and to get you flying more quickly and the efficiency of the simulator working for you and not fighting you is what X-Plane11 is all about. See you all next month Stephen Dutton 1st January 2017 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews
  21. News! - Aircraft Updated to X-plane11 : Pilatus PC-24 & PC12 by Michael Sgier Both the Pilatus PC-24 Jet and PC-12 Turboprop by Michael Sgier are now both flyable in X-Plane11. However the PC-12 that has been updated is not yet available at the X-Plane.OrgStore. Flyable is the word here as X-Plane11 is still not final but in the beta process and so the final release details are still in limbo, but developers are updating to the new format to at least allow you to use the aircraft in the new XP11 application. PC-24 Notes provided on the PC-24 are: - Executive and cargo cabin - Fully functional panel, overhead, central with full lighting etc. - Mostly 4k HD texture mapping - 3D cockpit with animated Co-, Pilot, pop-Up instruments, control stick etc. - Scroll wheel support as of X-Plane 10.5. - 3 liveries and a paintkit - Plugin ( un-, loads together with the plane ) for Moving Map with terrain, 3D Sound, Rain-, Ice-, Snow simulation, settings, animations, disables 2D mode view etc. - Some documentation, a PILOT IN COMMAND flight tutorial from the PC-12 is included as well. PC-12 Notes provided on the PC-12 are: - 3 accurate cockpits. NG and Classic instruments. (The classic is close to 100% system depth) - Fully functional overhead panel, central with full lighting, reverse etc. - Mostly 4k HD texture mapping - Family of 3: Executive, Cargo and Clinic versions ( Long, short and current winglets ). - The plane has been fully trimmed and adjusted with the original POH. - Different outside and inside views like for ex. with a copilot or only with a pilot. - 3D interior with animated Co-, Pilot, instruments and doors. Pop-Up instruments and control stick. Scroll wheel support. - Compartment with passengers for the Executive- as well as Outpatient clinic and Cargo version. - 9 liveries: University of Utah, HB-FOU, N724SH, SN600 ( The 500st ), Royal Flying Doctor Service etc. More can be found online - Plugin ( un-, loads together with the plane ) for Moving Map with terrain, 3D Sound, Rain-, Ice-, Snow simulation, settings, animations, disables 2D mode view etc. Aside lots of documentation, a PILOT IN COMMAND flight tutorial is included as well. Both aircraft are now available on the X-Plane.OrgStore, and a full update to X-Plane11 will be announced after X-Plane11 goes final. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The PC-24 and PC12 by MSgier for X-Plane11 are both now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PC-24 : Price is US$24.95 - Pilatus PC-24 Requirements: X-Plane 10 fully updated or X-Plane 11+ Windows, mac or Linux - 64Bit Operating System 1GB+ VRAM Video Card PC-12 : Price is US$26.95 - Pilatus PC-12 Requirements: X-Plane 10 fully updated (Any edition) running in 64bit mode 64bit only: Linux (Ubuntu compatible), Windows, OSX 10.8 and later 512Mb dedicated VRAM or higher All images and details are provided courtesy of MSgier _____________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 1st February 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  22. It is quite an old version now and I doubt it will be updated for XP11, all you can do is try it... but I wouldn't expect miracles. SD
  23. Aircraft Released : Embraer E-195 v2.0 by X-Crafts X-Crafts have released a follow up to their Embraer E-175 in version 2.0 with the longer E-195 version. In many ways the longer or stretched version of the EJet family is a nicer looking aircraft and in profile looks more balanced than the shorter fuselage variants. This new version is a complete upgrade from the original release of now a few years ago, and includes many of the changes on the recent X-Crafts v2 E-175 aircraft and a with few more features as well. Reflections Plugin The aircraft uses DDen's excellent reflections plugin to give the aircraft a nice polished shine, it certainly helps in giving the X-Plane10 version the same shiny appearance as it does in X-Plane11, but when this aircraft will be flown in X-Plane11 then this reflection is built in to system anyway. X-Crafts modeling was always really good, and this new version is no exception... This E-Jet looks very nice in any light. Cockpit and panel is the same and as familiar as the updated E-175 v2, but there has been a few touches and cleanups around the systems and there are nice touchup details. TEKTON FMS© has had a lot of work added into the system and more refinement. The main features include: SID, ROUTE and STAR waypoint lists are treated as separate editable items Color keyed data presentation Scratchpad data entry Interactive feedback Direct Keyboard Entry (DKE) The DKE (Direct Key Enter) system allows you to quickly input data into the FMS from your keyboard... and it works. Just click the top of the screen to get the O symbol and you are in DKE mode, click the screen again to go back to mouse input. New TEKTON features for v2 include: SIDS and STARS from X-Plane stock or third party custom data New: Altitude constraints for procedures New: Refined procedures leg routing New: More flexible STAR element selection New: Default visual departure and approach New : Edit and reload STAR while enroute while in autopilot Ability to easily edit SIDs, Routes, STARS and the loaded FLT PLAN New AIRWAYS options New Progress Monitoring on two new pages New Performance Flight Planning: New PERF 1 page providing preflight and takeoff data New PERF 2 page allowing route fuel planning New PERF 3 page for approach data New Audible Alert System Menus There are three menu tabs (M - P - C) lower left screen that pop-out (sorry but they don't show on screenshots?) The menus have been overhauled for v2 in the doors and static objects and pushback truck and all are far better than the older version. Checklist is the same style binder system, but visually good to have and comprehensive. As the pushback is automatic there is now the system to show the aircraft's position when the pushback is complete. I would personally usually use a joystick control, but it works quite well. Cabin For v2 the cabin has had a big overhaul and the results are excellent. The cabin seats before were not to scale (too big) and not very fashionable. But the new fit-out is excellent and worthy of the aircraft. So the cabin is far nicer place to be while you enjoy your replays. The v2 E-175 had the older chairs and I hope X-Craft's update these better seats to that aircraft as well as this E-195. Cabin looks nice at night as well, but it is locked in together with the Cockpit flood lighting? so you can't have a bright cabin and a darkened cockpit? Either both are bright or both are dark. Cockpit lighting is nice but not a lot of direct spot lighting. Externally at night the aircraft looks really nice, always did. Liveries All eleven of the original liveries are still here with one white blank and they are all excellent. More are available for download from the X-Crafts site. Notes There are two items to note in first that this release for the moment is for X-Plane10 only. It doesn't fly very well in X-Plane11. X-Crafts note that as soon as X-Plane11 goes final then the aircraft will be upgraded to that version. Second item is that the aircraft is paid upgrade to v2 standard like it was with the E-175 upgrade a few months ago. So If you own a previous version of the X-Crafts E195 (ERJ 195 LR) you can get this new version for US$20.00. The discount coupon is on your original E-195 invoice in your account at the X-Plane.OrgStore. There is also a twin set aircraft package available for both v2 aircraft of the E-175 and this E-195 for US59.95. The aircraft is available now from the X-Plane.OrgStore... details below. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Embraer E195 v2.0 by X-Crafts is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-195 Price is US$39.95 If you have already purchased the Embraer E-195 from X-Craft's at the X-Plane.OrgStore then go to your account and upgrade to v2.0 for only US$20.00, discount coupon is on your original E-195 invoice in your account. Twin Embraer E-175 and E-195 Set also available for US$59.95 Embraer E-175 and E-195 Package X-Crafts E-175 v2 review is here: Aircraft Review : Embraer E-175 v2.0 by X-Crafts The E-175 v2 review does have a comprehensive look at the TEKTON FMS© and it is not that much different to this aircraft's E-195 version. Features: Accurate dimensions based on drawings and documentation provided by Embraer © Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Compatible with X.Plane 10 and X-Plane 11* Custom TEKTON FMS© by Steve Wilson Reflections plugin that makes the airplane look amazing in both X-Plane 10 and X-Plane 11 (disabled by default, please read the instructions for installation) Custom improved pushback plugin with animated tug. A white silhouette will show the final position after the pushback! On-screen checklist plugin NEW Plugin menu for door control, ground objects or GPU Suitable for beginners - Just load and fly within seconds! Great for advanced users -Enjoy the complexity of the Custom FMS! Mouse scroll wheel support This add-on comes with the NavDataPro dataset by Aerosoft * An update will be provided when X-Plane 11 is officially released Requirements: X-Plane 10.50 fully updated (any edition) - running in 64bit mode X-Plane 11 beta 8: An update of this aircraft will be released once X-Plane 11 is released and stable. Windows, MAC or Linux - 64 bit Operating System required 4Gb RAM - 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb VRAM Recommended Current version: 2.0 (last updated January 27 2016) X-Crafts Support Forum : Support forum for the E-195 ______________________________________________________________________ Release notes by Stephen Dutton 28th September 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  24. News! - Aircraft Updated to X-Plane11 : Boeing 777 Worldliner/Extended Professional series by FlightFactor/VMAX FlightFactor/VMax have updated the Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional to X-Plane11. This is not strictly the full case that this aircraft is totally X-Plane11 compatible, but the word usable is more in line with the current situation as of X-Plane11 still being in it's beta phases. But flyable in X-Plane11 is a nice place to be. The Boeing 777 in it's (Extended) freighter form is the one aircraft that I log up the most nautical mileage in X-Plane as it is the aircraft I use to fly my Formula One gear around the world with, so I over the years I have come to know this aircraft very well. A magnificent beast of an aircraft this Boeing 777 is as well. There are two packages available with the standard "Worldliner" Professional which is the 777-200LR version and the "Extended" Professional pack that includes the same 777-200LR plus the 777-200ER (Extended Range), 777-300ER and the "F" Freighter version and in all a total of four variants with both GE (GE90-115B) and RR engines as options. v1.92 X-Plane11 In the v1.92 changelog there isn't much to take note of but to adjust the textures and make the aircraft compatible with X-Plane11, but with that you do then get the X-Plane11 features that include that nice shiny aircraft with "Physically Based Rendering" or "PBR" effects. The FlightFactor Boeing 777 came out of the X-Plane11 transformation really well, as the body and wings look very nice in their shiny new clothes. Reflection detail is excellent and the aircraft now looks like it has just come out of the paint shop. X-Plane11 reflection detail works for you and also against you here. In the most it is all very good, with the lighting effects making the cockpit far more realistic and more dynamic with the sharper light and deeper shadows. But if the aircraft is in a deep shadow or overcast the textures then go very grainy and dark, certainly developers will have to adapt to the new XP11 lighting conditions to get the right effects, but this is nothing new to everyone. This effect is highlighted here by the yokes (bottom left), and the instrument lighting is more focused but the spot lighting is not as effective in lighter periods, but fine at night under the new X-Plane11 rules. In time these changes will all be adjusted for, but for now it is still perfectly acceptable as the average is totally overwhelmed by the very good new style effects. For me it is simply great to fly this aircraft in X-Plane11. Is it now showing its age in X-Plane compared to the newer v2 versions of the Boeing 757/767 FlightFactor sisters? well yes a little, so I hope a version upgrade is on the cards at FlightFactor-Vmax. Still this is one of the really great X-Plane landmark aircraft in detail and features... If you have already purchased the Boeing 777 Pro's in either Worldliner or Extended packages then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and update now. Note: Just make sure you do download the v1.92 version as v1.90/v1.91 releases have missing issues (mostly APU and starting) v1.92 has been checked and it is fine except that I had to realign the ADIRU navigation (switch is very top left on OHP) and reset the POS INIT (GPS position) on each separate version in -200LR, -200ER, -300ER and the Freighter. As noted this v1.92 release just makes the B777 X-Plane11 compatible, with no new features except for the X-Plane11 effects, but it is all worth having just to keep on, flying on in the new X-Plane simulator. Changelog 1.9.2 - fixed the APU xp11 bug 1.9.1 xp11 compatability - provided xp11 compatability - changed the graphical content to fit XP11 features - added xp11 specific splashcreen - renamed the acf files to be more logical _____________________________________________________________________________________ The 1.92 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 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 : 1.80 (last updated June 23rd 2015) Update Review By Stephen Dutton 27th January 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  25. Scenery Updated to XP11 : LOWI - Innsbruck Airport by JustSim Last August 2016 X-PlaneReviews announced the release of JustSim's LOWI - Innsbruck Airport for X-Plane (Ten). Now only just a few weeks into 2017 the developer has updated the scenery and added in some X-Plane11 features and compatibility. The original X-Plane release scenery for LOWI - Innsbruck by JustSim was very good, but what just six months can do in changes is staggering. Set in a deep valley in the Austrian Tyrol region, Austria, Innsbruck is a tough airport to fly in or out of. One the mountains create a barrier and worse bad vortexes that make any arrival or departure an adventure. X-Plane11 Autogen Outwardly the scenery looks the same as the original release and actually the basics are not changed, but the biggest immediate visual change is in the switch like at LEMN - Nice (the first converted X-Plane11 scenery from JustSim) to the X-Plane11 feature of regional housing. In the original release in X-Plane10 JustSim used a package of OSM(OpenStreetMap) 3d object scenery to make the city of Innsbruck. (X-Plane10 OSM) Personally I hated it, as OSM 3d scenery is very heavy on the download (here 1.3gb) and it all has a big impact on your frame-rate. It doesn't quite look right either which I think it is out of scale and has some very bright basic textures. But it is my personal choice here. But it was all we had and for running this scenery in X-Plane10, and it is still available to use with that version of this LOWI scenery. (X-Plane11 regional autogen) JustSim for X-Plane11 has reverted to the default regional autogen feature and this is a far better installation and with no frame-rate hit except for the amount of the X-Plane objects in the setting that you would usually use. The difference is striking and extremely visually satisfying and shows how really great X-Plane11 will become with its autogen when these regional packages become a standard issue, for now the German package does fit in well here with Austria. LOWI - Innsbruck Airport The airport is very well modeled and not that changed from the original version, but I find in XP11 that the ground texture are a bit bright. Otherwise the airport and it's buildings are perfect. One key difference in this X-Plane11 version is the use of the reflections feature. Like with the recently updated LEMN - Nice is that all the glass and windows now reflect (mirror), and the differences are excellent, look at the control tower glass for the realism this reflection feature now brings to the simulator. The effects are even better here at LOWI than at LEMN because of the different glass perspectives. Night lighting was exceptional in the release version and just as good here with great picture textures to highlight the internal parts of the buildings, note the great strip lighting on the bottom-right image. The ramps however are good but a bit dark in the twilight and dark, a bit more power and throw would have been nice. LOWI lighting overall is first rate, it all works from the traffic lighting to the new autogen night textures and the airport layout... just perfect. Grass The 3d Alpine grass on the airfield has been completely redone for this version, and a great job it it is as well, as the grass is highly realistic and even pickable for the dinner table. Runway Reflections Another X-Plane11 feature is runway reflections, or rain. The feature does work here at LOWI, but you have to have the almost exact correct conditions to see the effects. But it a great feel visually when it does. Static Aircraft With X-Plane11 you have a lot of options now to use the default built in "static" aircraft feature. The JustSim LOWI ground routes are set up ready to use this feature. Myself personally feels that it needs still a bit more work to be completely feasible. It would be a long ride home to say Toronto or Boston on a Canadian A320 or Delta MD-80 from Innsbruck, so they look very out of place here? And with the odd A.I. aircraft will suddenly go slightly mad on the infield is distracting. My choice is still WorldTraffic for regional awareness and timetabled flights. From sparse mid-day to busy afternoon rush hour the plugin delivers great traffic (Set up ground routes and routes can be found below). JustSim provides some great airport animations and parking marshalls. You don't need the over dynamic built in X-Plane ground services yet as this is perfect. Two items worth noting are: Tower View is a mess! Come on people how hard can it be to adjust the tower view and above the building to see the runways? It is happening far too often lately on payware scenery? Another item is as that Innsbruck is very Alpine and deep into the Alps, and so the chances of snow here is very high. This year I have used the winter textures quite extensively and provided "Winter Textures" with the scenery would be a very nice option here. With "Winter Textures" running it is big hole around LOWI that needs filling? Now X-Plane11 with the addition of the X-Enviro plugin is now creating some really dynamic feel vistas... ... and how great would it be to use this scenery with the actual snow covered textures! Summary This LOWI - Innsbruck Airport scenery is excellent from JustSim, certainly almost perfect in X-Plane11, where as suddenly X-Plane10 already feels old. But LOWI will still run in that scenery if the needs be. I do to a point recommend this updated scenery for X-Plane11 more than X-Plane10, It is fine of course, but the earlier version loads and looks slightly better in that version and the scenery is not recommended for earlier X-Plane versions than v10.50. The original release in the middle of 2016 was very good, but the developments and the features that X-Plane11 provides moves the game along quite significantly, and here all the above new added features show off those features well. It is only six months but with X-Plane11 and its features and the new xEnviro plugin you feel light years away from that moment and the same scenery, The reversion to autogen from osm3d objects has the biggest impact here not too mention your lighter frame-rate, but glass reflections are a huge benefit as well for realism, as is the highly realistic grass. Ramp lighting could be brighter and a tower view would help, but otherwise this scenery is close to perfect. As with JustSim's LFMN-Nice there is a token US$5 upgrade fee to this X-Plane11 version, so check your original LOWI invoice at the X-Plane.OrgStore. and the discount code will be listed in your account on there... it is cup of coffee folks, and it is well worth missing one cup for what you get here. ______________________________________________________________________ The LOWI - Innsbruck Airport XP11 by JustSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LOWI - Innsbruck Airport XP11 Price is US$18.00 Note: Previous owners of JustSim's LOWI Innsbruck can buy this new XP11 version for only $5: So check your original LOWI invoice at the X-Plane.OrgStore. the discount code will be listed there in your account. Features New version with support for X-Plane 11 (X-Plane 10 still supported) Compatible with X-Plane 11 ground service Compatible with X-Plane 11 reflections Very detailed rendition of Innsbruck Airport Volumetric ground effect textures New 3D grass Custom runway , taxiway and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Runway reflection effect Animated Marshallers. (AutoGate plugin by Marginal) Animated custom ground vehicles. (GroundTraffic plugin by Marginal) World Traffic compatible - X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Requirements: X-Plane 11+ or X-Plane 10.50+ Windows, Mac, Linux - 1.5Gb HD Space Available (download size 1.1Gb) 2GbVRAM Video Card. 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended WorldTraffic ground routes and routes package by letecxplm are available here on the X-Plane.Org: GroundRoutes_LOWI_JustSim 1.0 ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 25th January 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 11beta8 / Checked install in X-Plane10.51 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic US$29.95