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  1. Laminar Research : FlightSimCon 2017 Details It was at the FlightSimCon 2016 that we got our first glimpses of X-Plane11 and the future of our simulator in it's bold new fashion. And so here we are a full twelve months on and all those new features and systems are all now part of our flying universe and in general use. So how do you follow a big event like that. In reality you can't but the X-Plane11 rollout still does continue, and to a point Laminar Research is not letting it's foot off the accelerator pedal either as we will see in a minute. Laminar Research to a point could have just come to FlightSimCon 2017 with the current up to date 11.02 (or even the 11.05 next version) and bathed in the limelight of a job well done but the general feeling was overall "Still a lot more than where that came from". Certainly if you follow X-Plane's developers blog a lot of the forward development is already noted there, but to note openly the ongoing forward features that are actually active and not just "In development" is still going to make the crowd go "wow". And so it was. After the first announcements of new product developers then Laminar Research (LR) held the first of the big seminar blocks as well between 10.30 to 11.30 on the Friday morning. The more upmarket venue of the Sheraton Hotel also shows that Flight Simulation is still a long way from losing its appeal and is still far from a failing subcategory of the general games business as some people constantly whine about, it was also a nice step up from the usual crowded old small conference rooms of the past. But down to business... The seminar started with a review of their default aircraft was in reality a bit of a backward step. We all know that the current crop of default aircraft are below par, a few in the C172 and B738 are not too bad, but most feel like test beds for LR in testing out new ideas than quality flying aircraft, I still don't know if the default B744 can even still fly in a straight line? Most and even low level payware aircraft are currently better. A small promo on X-Planes new X-Plane11 interface followed. To a point LR deserve a lot of credit here as the new interface is simply brilliant, fast and very intuitive, go back to X-Plane10's interface and you will certainly notice the difference, it is slow and simply awful, I am a big fan of the new changes. Another promo then covered the Global Airport feature, which again has grown from a few to over 4300 airports is now covering a lot of X-Plane's empty airport deficit, but it is still a long way off Flight Simulators count, but with now officially 4300+ lego (global) airports it is starting to have an impact on all that X-Plane empty space you always had. Physics and Systems If you thought that Austin Meyer was finished adding in new physics, systems and changing the values of X-Plane's core foundations you are wrong to the groans of developers that have just sorted out his last set of changes with the introduction of X-Plane11, no folks Mr Meyer is on a charge now and a lot more is still coming. I will admit though after years of stagnation then Austin's new rules of flight do have an impact, aircraft do feel more realistic and systems are far more deeper in X-Plane11 than before, certainly in the throttle feel and ground dynamics (although I still hate that grab the aircraft to landing feel you get only when feet above the runway). Austin is using accumulated aircraft data and even using his own Cirrus SR22 as a testing rig to create even more realistic physics and engine parameters to get more closer to the real feedback that you are looking for in simulation. Here at SimCon 2017 the focus was on supersonic flight and how that the physics change from engine power and output to more of controlling the airflow to the engines to go faster. Helicopter blade physics was also covered also. Vector based dynamics was another area covered that included tailwind and aerobatic aircraft (tail first) fall that still created backward airflow over the the aerodynamic surfaces even when trying to hover still in a helicopter. Lastly was better electrical systems in fluctuations and power provided by the engine outputs or ground supply. Scenery and Autogen Next subject covered airports or new scenery items for scenery developers. Laminar Research are creating still a lot of new scenery items to place in sceneries, before it was the larger items, but now it is all the smaller fill items that are all the rage. Caravans, forklift trucks, glider trailers, grain silos, new hangars and a lot of signage in parking, road and barriers. I was very impressed with the European style autogen in X-Plane11, and to a point it is far better than the older American style work. More is to be added in new mid-sized towers and apartments, factories, houses with even more detailing. The absent of churches is still a head scratching moment as churches dominate European and to a point American scenery. But overall I would rather have more regional detailing at this point as X-Plane is still either very US or European centric. English, Middle eastern and Asian housing no matter how basic would open up the world a lot more so to speak. A new set of autogen coming though from LR is "Landmarks". These are iconic objects that turn flat cities into what we know as London, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Sydney and so on, but although this would be a big step forward for X-Plane in creating a more real autogen realism feel. I personally felt that this territory should have been left to 3rd party developers to add in these specalised packages to this area? Just a small amount of icons can not easily cover the wide selection you require to create the correct scenario and I think that Laminar Research would be best putting their limited resources into more diverse things in autogen to fill it out like the recently mentioned regional autogen. But we shall see. Virtual Reality Virtual Reality (VR) has been promised for years for X-Plane, and finally it is coming. You can't lay the delay on to LR because really VR like Artificial Intelligence is a futuristic idea that was promoted as a developed perception than actual reality. The hard part was interacting with the virtual environment besides of just being inside that virtual bubble and its six degrees of freedom or dimensions, and it is far harder to do than just pressing on a key on your hard element built keyboard. But lately new style VR interaction tools (Spatial 3D Interaction) have finally changed the game (so to speak). In reality you would now only need a chair, some rudder pedals and VR headset and manipulation handsets to fly, oh and a computer worthy of running a small city to run it all in the 3d environment. But most realistically you can now finally interact within the X-Plane world in walking around the aircraft and inspecting it and actually now sitting in the cockpit (on a chair) and can actually fly it in the virtual world. Does it all work? In the demo it was very impressive (video below), in walking around the aircraft and then flying it. But VR is an inside thing to evaluate. I have tried the headset and it was an amazing experience in a visual sense, but the missing hard surfaces tended to make you feel as you were falling through time and space. Still with the new developments you are holding controllers and not interacting in a hard sense but in then how does VR tend to add in real yokes and throttle systems to give you at least a more physical touch on the important items will yet to be seen. My personal feel is that could you also do this immersion for hours at a time like you do in front of multiple screen monitors and of that I am not sure of, but VR does have its great advantages as well as its deficiencies. At this point VR is still in development at Laminar Research and a release is noted as in the fall (October) so a more better evaluation will be better then, but the demo at SimCon 2017 was impressive and shows that progress is finally being made. VR features noted are : Easy setup (one Click), 180/360 degree of movement, Teleport (with hotspots), Full 3d cockpit manipulation with haptic feedback and iPad companion for shortcuts, planning and logbooks. Avionics Philipp Münzel has totally revolutionised default X-Plane avionics. The talented German has over the last few years buried the old clunky line by line FMS and GNS GPS units with first his masterpiece the GNS 430/530 units for GA's and then with a better new FMS (Flight Management System) for the larger aircraft, although I will note the FMS is quite basic in operation but does have the far better underlying navigation data to work with. That underlying new navigation data base developed by Philipp is the most important element here in bringing X-Plane up to date in better navigation data, but more so in that it can be updated with Navigraph and Aerosoft Nav DataPro data which keeps all navigation data across the board current and up to date. It was no secret his next project was a Garmin G1000 two screen display GPS system, and here we got our first full view of the new avionic system. As a rule G1000 displays have been notorious in X-Plane because of simply the display size. A few developers have got it to work, but overall the issues with large scale maps within the navigation screen have been very clunky and with poor graphics, and mostly in the rendering of the turning maps. Awkward flight planning is another hurdle to overcome. This new unit is based on an actual G1000 system in a Cessna 400 and is customisable in Planemaker for different aircraft types. It can have standalone windows (all panels like all default GNS/FMS systems pop-out and can be resized) for home cockpit builders. The important point here is that it uses vector graphics to overcome the old slow drawing map display, and that means no more dragging or slow revolving screen movements. It looks as solid as the GNS 430/530 units and that means an elegance in operation. Features include built in are multiple failures in AHRS, fluxgate, air data computer, GIA, transponder and more. Options include WAAS and non-WAAS ( or Wide Area Augmentation System that uses GNSS augmentation for accuracy, reliability, and availability while flying). GFC Autopilot intergration (nice), KN63 DME and KR87 ADF radio integration and GDL-69 "NEXTRAD" and wind weather displays. SID/STAR/IAP, SBAS approaches and LNAV and RNP-AR are also built in and available. Another nice G1000 feature are chevrons to indicate an out of bounds too high or low a pitch to show you how to respond to the wrong angle of attack to the aircraft. And the new system can also be customized and configured to different aircraft in performance and specifications. Performance If you have used the X-Plane Simulator over the years then you will know that efficiency and performance is everything, and mostly that is limited to framerate. Get below that 18fr line and the stutters really mess up the total enjoyment of just trying to fly and makes your time seriously frustrating and makes even the most simple actions just maddening. I lived with a slow computer for years, so I have experienced the low framerate pain to the letter. A very powerful custom built computer certainly fixes most of the problems, but you are still watching the numbers when you are piling in all the effects and features you would like. The biggest worry is that even with a powerful machine is then how long will that framerate buffer keep me up in the usable zone and not put me back down again in the restricted painful zones of limited framerate to fly on with all the extra forward developments and the sheer processing power required to cover all that autogen, plugins, textures and complex scenery and aircraft as the constant demand never ends. Ben Supnic at the SimCon 2017 has noted future performance goals in trying to keep at least the tide at bay. New coding tools also do now help in the cause. For everything the X-Plane simulator is still quite inefficient although the move to 64bit by LR four years ago was a very good decision. But overall the central processing power is still limited because only a few and and not all the cores are working to their maximum efficiency and mostly because we are still having to use old OpenGL code for graphic processing. So the trick is to open the gates and use two new API's (Application Programming Interface) that are sets of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software as it is now more available. These are Vulcan for Windows/Android and Metal for Macs/IOS and Linux. If you watched the Apple Developers conference stream last week in the way that Apple showed off the capabilities of its Metal tool, then you will know how impressive and efficient the API really is. That same capability will soon be coming to X-Plane as well which includes low CPU use, Multi-core friendly and no stutters within the driver. There is some good and bad news in here and the full changes will take about a year or so to crossover to the new API drivers. First all current OpenGL drivers have to be rewritten, and that means like with the change to 64bit your aircraft and plugins are going to have to be translated to the new Vulcan and Metal API form. The good news is that LR are going to still run the old OpenGL drivers for at least the run of X-Plane11 and so unlike the messy 64bit changeover your aircraft and plugin has still a bit of time to get converted. But I do think that most developers won't wait around long to get the performance boost with the new format for that long. So what works and what doesn't. Mostly a lot of scenery, models and aircraft will work fine with the new API's and a great many addons, plugins and panels already work with Vulcan/Metal. However addons that draw in 3d will need modification for use with the newer APIs and new technology will help developers with the transfer to the newer drivers. New X-Plane related tools are already flowing out from Laminar Research which include the newly released WED 1.6 which includes a more finalised ground traffic operations flow. FMOD sound is now also available as are the manuals. Blender 3.4 and exporter are also in the final stages of testing and should be available soon. A brand new Plugin API has also been developed in a revised form to cover X-Plane11 features, Pop-Out windows, Custom Maps, 3d drawing for Vulcan/Metal and that API is coming about mid-summer. Laminar Research's goal with all this change is however very ambitious. They want a 60fr goal for desktops, a 45fr goal for VR and believe it or not no stutters either! That is one very high set line, and personally I don't think that is totally possible (a sort of in my dreams) but I never ever discount Ben Supnic either in his abilities and it also doesn't mean that you can still hang on to that 10 year computer and upgrade straight from X-Plane9 to X-Plane11 either as you will still need as many cores and the power as much as you ever did in the past. A sum up of delivery of features was listed as: X-Plane11.02 (current) X-Plane 11.05 is coming really soon - Airports (Global Airports) X-Plane11.10 - New lego bricks and Landmarks, G1000 system, New Systems and physics and more speed. VR in The fall (October) And Vulcan/Metal changes in the future Summary You have to impressed overall at the amount of features and future predictions coming out of FlightSimCon 2017 by Laminar Research. They could have used the rest of the year in just tiding up the X-Plane11 release and had a few holidays and sat by the hotel pool. But the above announcements showed that there are a lot of nice new and exciting additions still to come and many soon. Laminar Research has been very active at SimCon's over the last few years. This major American SimCon is always an interesting one as it is at the start of the American summer period. And the full larger room shows that many users are interested in the future of X-Plane development as in the past X-Plane was always pushed into small timeslots or even smaller rooms. The changes within Laminar Research also reflect this more professional approach to the simulation industry as well. Gone are the days of a few talented individuals to keep the simulator alive. Today Laminar Research has different full time areas developing ideas and delivering on time goals. It is still a small team compared to say Aerosoft, but there is a distinctively new and more professional feel about X-Plane11 and the way Laminar Research is going about its approach these days, for most of you that is you will say "about time", but the proof is all there on your screens. There was no announcements of the new particle system at FlightSimCon 2017 that has already been announced. But Laminar Research have noted it is still coming and are currently working on it and maybe will be still released this Northern Summer, as surmised the feature was left out of the SimCon because of time constraints and not development. But for long term X-Plane users there was a lot to savour here and more importantly is that the development of Vulcan/Metal APIs will bring even better performance than we actually expected. In the short term the release of X-Plane11.10 mid-summer is now even more eagerly awaited with a lot of great new features and that excellent G1000 system which also looks far better than anticipated. So who says it is a boring time to be in X-Plane as 2017 has already been a banner year, and it looks like the ride is not over yet, you are even beginning to wish that Laminar Research would go on a holiday and just give everyone else a chance to catch up. There are two videos now posted with one for the actual full seminar and another a VR demo... ____________________________________________________________________________________ Conference overview by Stephen Dutton 13th June 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  2. News! - Aircraft Upgraded to XP11 : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado Earlier this year Carenado released their excellent PA-34 Seneca V HD Series aircraft. They did note at the time that as soon as X-Plane11 was in a final release they would then update the aircraft to X-Plane11 specifications. This has now been done with the v1.2 release and now available for download from the X-Plane.OrgStore or Carenado. As this aircraft was released under the six month purchase point then this upgrade is free to all current owners of the aircraft. I am a big fan of this aircraft, lovely to fly and it has great avionics in the Garmin G500 navigation system. The v1.2 upgrade includes: The package includes two aircraft files: one updated file for X-Plane 10.5x, and one completely re-authored file for X-plane 11, which is calibrated to X-plane 11’s new flight dynamics engine, PBR materials, and other XP11-native features. -Added full support for X-Plane11 (new .acf file for XP11) -Implemented PBR (Physically based rendering), both interior and exterior -Replaced “SuperManipulator” (proprietary scroll wheel) with X-plane -native scroll wheel control. -Re-did entire flight dynamics for XP 11 version of the aircraft -Calibrated fuel consumption -Calibrated ground handling -Calibrated interior HDR lights. -Tweaked flaps and elevators -Nav To/From indicator fixed A full X-PlaneReviews review of the release version of the PA-34 Seneca V is available here : Aircraft Review : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado ______________________________________________________________________ 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 Update notes are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : 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 ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 17th June 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  3. Plugin Review : XPRealistic Pro by rk Apps - Realism effects Interaction with the screen is limited by what you can adjust, switch and change in your viewing angle, but what about feel? Or more effectively feedback in movement and sound. This is called realism effects or the way that movement on the screen will be replicated like within a real aircraft. Headshake by Simcoders was the first in a really effective effect plugin in that it gave you well "headshake" or movement in vibrations, G force, Ground Roll bumps and my favorite that was in great touchdown effects. In my plugin standards folder then Headshake has always been a regular and even a must have plugin to use. Just take Headshake away in any landing and you suddenly feel and see the difference, in reality it is boring without no thump and vibrations on landing and riding hard down the runway and that makes the plugin a must have. But the difference between a huge Boeing and a tiddler Cessna is quite different on landing and in fact in most areas of flight when it comes to real world vibrations, by their sheer weight larger aircraft don't vibrate or move around as much as a tin can general aviation aircraft, but with Headshake the settings are global in that what you get in the Boeing is the same as what you will get in the Cessna.... and so enters rk Apps XPRealistic plugin. This new effect plugin is to take the basic movement features and ramp them up to another level of cockpit immersion, another feature is that you can set the level and immersion factor on each individual aircraft from small GA's right up to the largest heavy aircraft in your hangar. So first let us see how to install the plugin and set it up, then look at its features and ease of use. Installing the XPRealistic Pro plugin The XPRealistic zip package includes the XPRealistic main folder, a manual and the XPRealistic.lua plugin. Inside the XPRealistic folder are two folders for "Profiles" and "Sounds" and a .json file. XPRealistic Pro uses the "FlyWithLua plugin as its engine. FlyWithLua is run with C/C++ code, and makes plugins with a Lua 5.1 script engine or more like a BASIC interface on top of machine code and is compiled with LuaJIT. It is easy for developers to create clever plugins to do clever things in X-Plane or wherever you can run lua scripts. But a note is that lua can cause plugin conflicts, and many other plugins or even the main simulator can be effected by running the FlyWithlua plugin. In most cases the conflict is not an issue, but you may lose a few favorite plugins because it will clash with lua, obviously Headshake is one of them. FlyWithLua is created by X-Friese and there are two versions in one 2.4.4b (win, lin, mac) for X-Plane9 and XP10. And now a new version only for X-Plane11 version 2.6.0 (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X) so make sure you insert the correct version. FlyWithLua is inserted into your X-Plane/Resources/Plugins folder. In the FlyWithLua folder there is a "Scripts" folder (arrowed) on where you install XPRealistic's main Folder and the XPRealistic.lua file (A note in that I removed all the other extra .lua scripts that were part of the FlyWithLua download package except for the Checklist tool). One particular visual script in "Please read the manual" will annoyingly come up on your screen when running X-Plane unless you remove it. Using XPRealistic XPRealistic Pro is accessed via the "FlyWithLua" (Macros) plugin in the X-Plane Plugins menu. This brings up a main dialog panel with the current version noted on the header. All green and red text in the panels are clickable or can be adjusted, the rest is just text... The main menu consists of six items: Always Start for (aircraft) Are You Using TrackIR Are You Using X-Camera Freeze Toggle Master Volume Active Profile The best feature of XPRealistic Pro is that it can be set for the current individual aircraft in use. This means when you load an aircraft you load the XPRealistic profile for it as well, and that any changes or settings are kept for that aircraft only. This background set of settings is a great way to always have your own preferences set for that active aircraft and changing to another aircraft (say a heavy) will also load in the preferences for that aircraft automatically. These settings are stored in the "Profiles" folder in the XPRealistic main folder as .json flies. So the first item on the menu "Always Start for (aircraft)" is the choice of if you want that aircraft active with XPRealistic when you load the aircraft (yes/no). You can use XPRealistic with both TrackIR and X-Camera and crossover functionality is built in, these two check boxes will allows you to activate or deactivate both these plugins if you don't use them. "Freeze Toggle" will allow you to stop the shaking to adjust knobs or the vibrations if they get too severe. It is used by setting a situation like when in clean smooth level flight and using a key input to activate it, you set it when it says "set now". I used the spacebar and that worked fine. There is a similar setting for the "Head Anticipation" feature in that the below markers will show on your screen unless you set a key input. You can set the main volume with the "Master Volume" selection (0% to 100%) Active Profile The last menu item is the "Active Profile". This is the selection of a profile for the aircraft. Notice I said "a" aircraft. Even though it will note the current aircraft profile you can use another profile on that aircraft as well if you like that particular set of settings. You can't yet make a certain profile the same one as the aircraft you have chosen, or to duplicate the settings for the aircraft you are currently flying, but that feature has been noted as coming. There are a set of default profiles to use in "GA", "Jets" and "Gliders" and more are promised. The number of profiles available will change as you add in more aircraft or if rk App's add in a new default profile. Selecting the aircraft (arrowed) will open a dropdown profile for that aircraft.. This is where you can edit the settings for that profile. In the profile there are three levels of choices: Profile Actions First level of the profile gives you the "Profile Actions" or the main choices in: Reset to Defaults - To reset all the settings in the profile Delete Profile - To delete the current profile completely. Profile Immersions Second level is your main aircraft editing tools in (effect choices can change for that particular effect): Immersion (1/26) Enabled Sound File (4/4) Sound Volume Immersion Preview Third level will give you a preview of that set profile immersion _____________________________________________ Editing Your Profile Immersion There is a choice currently of 26 immersion profiles to choose from. Selection is by pressing the actual name or the < > selection. Selecting the "info" text will bring pop out a dialog panel to note the details of that profile, in this case "Activate reverse". Immersion choices currently include: (1) Activate reverse - (2) Airframe Wind - (3) Braking - (4) Breathing - (5)Engine start - (6) Engine Stop - (7) Flaps drag - (8) Flaps stress - (9) G-Force effects (10) Gear drag - (11) Ground effect - (12) Ground roll fast - (13) Ground roll slow - (14) Head Anticipation - (15) Nose wheel well - (16) Rain - (17) Reverse Thrust (18) Roll Anticipation - (19) Rudder Squeeze - (20) Side Prop - (21) Speed Brake - (22) Stall - (22) Stall extra sound - (24) Throttle - (25) Turbulence - (26) Wind Enabled This checkbox allows you to have that immersion effect on/off Sound File This effect is the choice < > of different sounds to that immersion Sound Volume This is the separate volume only for that immersion effect % Shake Intensity If the effect has shake or vibration, then you can adjust the movement percentage % Here is a small selection of the immersions and their editing profiles : (2) Airframe Wind - (3) Braking (8) Flaps stress - (12) Ground roll fast (17) Reverse Thrust - (21) Speed Brake (24) Throttle - (25) Turbulence There is a huge amount of choice in the selections, and some sound selections can be as many as twelve choices. Certainly not all the immersion effects are required on every aircraft, as for instance a GA does not have a reverse thrust effect (scary if it did!) so you have to edit to that particular genre of aircraft. Certainly selecting either the "Default GA" or "Default Jets" profile would be a good place to start with a new profile for that genre. Immersion Preview Here you can see or hear the changes to the selected immersion by pressing the checkbox on/off. This is the preview of "Head Anticipation" which is an effect to guess where you are going to look next. As for me a general rule with these vibration effects is the line between realism and totally annoying. In that rational I usually have most settings set low, certainly the ones like the "brake" effect that wants to put your head through the windscreen every time you simply touch the brakes. Mostly (as in life) less is usually more with these choices. The most intrusive are the ones that are over active when you need to control the aircraft and you are trying to scroll knobs or adjust your height or speed. There is the "Freeze Toggle" to help you here, but I would still set on the side of minimum than maximum for the best effects. But GA vibrations and sounds always would be more violent and louder than a Jet airliner, I know you would want that feeling anyway, but you can go too far in that direction of effects as well, because at the start it is all very exciting, but after an hour or so in the air in a small slow aircraft the noise and vibrations can then send you to the doctor. So the aim is simply realistic and realism and not the point of that if you even have that huge amount of adjustments doesn't mean you have to use them all. As there is so much choice available then to GET IT just right in a profile setting will take a little time and a little patience, fly and adjust would be my mantra. Do a flight and "oh that wind noise is too low" and adjust or "that ground roll vibration is too heavy" and then adjust that and so on, and soon you will get a perfect set of profiles for that particular aircraft. Does XPRealistic have that "Wow" effect! I have noted that I have used "Headshake" for a long time, so the effects of XPRealistic will have to really surpass those in a big way as this is payware as headshake is freeware. So to test the theory out I took three flights in one a GA with the default C172 and one a Jet with SSG's E-170 and the prop regional B1900D. Cessna C172 First to note in that on both aircraft I already lowered right down the settings for the "Breathing" (20%), "Braking" (10%) and "Head Anticipation" (40%) as they all felt too high. Breathing is slightly unnerving in a horror film hiding in the cupboard way. You find the the panel heaving up and down as if you are about to be consumed by it, so that was downgraded quickly. It is clever but unnerving. I want to be shook and not shaken if you get my drift. The braking adjustment is because I don't want to constantly smash my head forward on the windscreen over and over again. The aircraft vibrates at standstill, which is very realistic, but let the brakes off and push up the throttle and the vibrations get more vibrant and the throttle (engine) vibrates more. Look up at your door window frames and they are very nicely vibrating to the power of the aircraft, love that. But adjust the yaw as you keep to the centre line and the "Head Anticipation" effect sorts of swimmingly moves left and right and that can either a) make you feel sick, or b ) lose focus of the centre line (the reason I adjusted the "Head Anticipation" down a lot!). But the ground roll and noises with the vibrations are excellent, you will quickly come to love the realism of it all. Pull back the stick and the main vibrations cease and the wind noises increase. A left bank brings the "Head Anticipation" back into operation again as it anticipates where you are going to look via the turn of the yoke. It is very good, as you always wanted to look in the direction of travel, but couldn't fly the aircraft and adjust your viewpoint at the same time, so this effect does it for you. It does feel very real, but the same point is valid in that if you have to readjust the other direction with the yoke (or turn straight) you do find yourself looking right or the other way than the direction you want to go? But you get used to it, again the point is not having the effect "Head Anticipation" adjustment too high as to not go too far each way. Adjustments can be done on the fly, so to speak is possible... I tried different wind settings to see what the differences were, it is very effective and you can easily find your preference with a change from one sound file to the next. One feature I would like would be a "key" input to bring up the menu, as you have to go through a lot of menu actions via the FlyWithLua plugin to get to the buried XPRealistic menu every time you want to make an adjustment. One thing you have to be aware of is plugin crossover. I am running xEnviro and the environment plugin has a similar "turbulence" effect like XPRealistic... So you have to find a compromise between the two plugins so they don't overwhelm you with too much vibration. It is the same with rain effects, and you will have to be aware of aircraft that have these effects already built in like with FlightFactor's Boeing 767 series. I did a heavy climb stall to see the effect. It was very realistic, juddering airframe, yoke noises, aileron and elevator banging, so you felt that you was pushing the aircraft past its limits, very good. Extra wind noises when you drop the flaps, and more vibrations from the airflow... Flap stress will also create a banging in the cockpit that may scare your passengers. Once back on the ground you get the ground rolling and vibrations again, braking efforts are highlighted as is any reverse thrust if you change the propeller pitch, in the GA environment the package with XPRealistic active was very effective and realistic. SSG Embraer E170 One of the great features of this effects plugin is that you can tailor the effects to different aircraft, and the differences between the GA C172 and the larger E-Jet couldn't be more noticeable and that is what makes this plugin more desirable. Certainly you would like even more subtle differences between the same GA's and the feel between small regional aircraft and the large A380 aircraft, and yes with a lot of fine tuning I think that is possible here, but a few more immersions to highlight those size differences more would be a nice addition. If you have used the excellent BSS sound packages like with the JARDesign A320neo then you will know how much a difference that great sound can add to the simulation in feel and feedback. But what about vibration? as that is another dimension again. This XPRealistic can give that feel on start up and shutdown of the engines, the one great thing is that the plugin represents not just one vibration but the effects of an vibration over the top of another vibration at different frequencies, in that an engine vibration is very different from a rolling aircraft taxiing vibration, the trick is to make them work together to make the whole feel realistic. The trick again is that both the aircraft developer's designs and the XPRealistic effects don't clash, so fine tuning is required to find that balance. But together feedback realism is excellent it you get it it right, so the point of the specialised profiles for certain aircraft has to be raised to get the maximum effect of both sets of effects working together? So engine startup and shutdown is featured and there is nothing like vibration at engine starts and running to make you feel a better experience. Taxiing gives you the vibration, but not as bouncy as the C172 as to be expected. A rainy day gives you the rain effects and noise which is highly realistic, the braking as noted is reduced to just a slight move forward for comfort and realism. Putting the power up brings first the engine vibrations and then the secondary airframe vibrations, and finally the rolling runway vibrations and you can tell which one is which one doing a certain job... it is all very credible. The vibrations build until the moment of flight and then like in a real aircraft it all ceases and replace with new vibrations and sounds of wind and wind drag noise from the undercarriage until it is retracted. Don't get me wrong in that all this action is all very dramatic and noisy in that it is totally overwhelming because it is not but kept in context with the simulation and the effects are all close to real to keep it all credible. You do get that small but significant vibration in the cockpit when out of turbulence periods to keep it realistic. But there is a tendency that when using the Head Anticipation" it will go correct to the turn heading, but then when over correcting the other way it suddenly has a tendency to suddenly snap back centre, which is not very realistic and even startling. It didn't do this on the C172, but a lot in the E170 and the snap didn't happen every time you turned but intermittently. I haven't tested the effect in another heavy yet to see if it is a particular aircraft related issue or it does that on all aircraft set up a certain way with an autopilot function. In level flight I did like the slight movement of vibration of the aircraft moving, your not going to rattle and shake along like in the C172, but vibration is a big realism factor. The effects are of course not just limited to the cockpit. If you like the window view (mostly for me in replay) in that the effects are highlighted here as well in the back. Again I will note BSS's sound packages in the JARDesign A320neo and A330 and if you use them you will understand (or hear) the significant differences of the varying sounds in the cabin is so very different from the cockpit sounds and how much those effects enhances the overall simulation. It is the same here and to a point it does bring the same sort of effects that you get with BSS sounds to any aircraft, but of course not to the extreme of BSS sounds. But it does bring vibration, and flap, airbrake noise and undercarriage drag noise to virtually any aircraft in your collection and with that it makes XPRealistic a very handy tool to have. The "Head Anticipation" feature works back here as well as in the cockpit of course, but could that actually be distracting from your viewing pleasure? But unless you turn it off you get the movement effect. But it is a great feel when flying to get that aircraft vibration in the rear. It delivers a more of the real vibration feel of what you remember when trying to sleep at 37,000ft and moving through the air at nearly the speed of sound. Landing is of course the most dramatic event of flying. And it is here of where any realism plugin can deliver or fail the test of giving you a realistic feedback of this event in motion. Landing can be akin to a controlled crash, which I suppose is what it really is but with the last minute ground contact being in control. Headshake was very good in delivering that initial gear compression and violent shake as the aircraft was still partly flying and yet parts of it is now connected to Terra Firma... ... switch Headshake off and landings became very quickly very boring. So how does XPRealistic stand up with the same strong expectation of drama and vibration. Certainly the initial gear contact was very good, but so is the slightly blurry shake vibrations as you still barrel down the runway still at landing speeds. Like at takeoff the vibrations come in a different frequencies to cover the different actions like airbrakes, flap movement and mostly the overriding reverse thrust vibrations that shake the airframe to a taxiing speed as is your final braking actions and like in real life it all feels very much quieter and more serene once the aircraft has completed the event. It will be very interesting to compare different aircraft in this category and use the different profiles to see what different feel you can achieve and experience. But overall the XPRealistic landing is a brilliant experience and highly real. Like when we left KRSW the taxi vibrations are again good, as is the movement into the gate and the final engine shutdown vibrations from the engines. This was basically just a gate to gate circuit around KRSW, but it was a great experience of an injection of far more realism into the simulation, I can't wait to use it on one of my well known routes Beech 1900D I taxiing out I found "oh, that is quite different, not much happening here?" Well there wouldn't be as I had the "Always Start for B190" checkbox unchecked and then once selected it was quickly back to the vibrations and movement, so there is a lesson in there in checking first the profile is switched actually on. The B1900D interests me because it is a mid-way aircraft in that it has the genes of a GA but the power of a much larger aircraft, a bit more of a "Rattle and Shake" machine if you know what I mean. The B1900D doesn't disappoint either as it rattled and totally shook it's way right down the runway to takeoff. The effects work very well in here, and a bit of turbulence from some heavy low cloud added in to the experience and shook you up a little bit more. The "Head Anticipation" worked a little better in here as well, but you did get a constant motion sort of feeling if you are doing a lot of manual manoeuvres, if I did a lot of this I would probably turn the "Head Anticipation" effect right down or off, but I loved the look to turn effect of the immersion more than the negative aspects, so that will be an interesting one as the if that effect becomes more annoying over time or a more wanted feature. The landing was excellent with great vibrations of the airframe and the hard pull back and extra vibrations of the prop reversed thrust, I actually put the brake effort up more slightly here to exaggerate that pull back effect for the different style of aircraft. The slight vibrations at the gate and then the final out of balance vibrations as the props spun down to stop was excellent, highly realistic and you noticed the vibrations really well from the rear cabin window view as the airframe shook to the stopping engines. At this point there are no profiles for helicopters? In X-Plane11 helicopters do already have a very good vibration effect, and the set up for helicopters would be very different from aircraft. My main slight worry is that helicopters may over exaggerate the vibrations, so it will be interesting to see if a default profile is created and how it relates to the aircraft. Summary It is a very fine line with effect tools in that they can be very good or just simply annoying. Headshake had managed to enhance but also not become an in your face tool that you either switched off or threw away. In other words it worked very well in the background and was only noticeable at crucial points like taking off or landing and that was it's successful appeal. But Headshake is global and that makes the same effects and their vibrations work in every aircraft no matter it's size and type. XPRealistic is adaptable to every aircraft large, small, noisy or even older and newer. It works like all great plugins in the background, not seen or heard unless you want to adjust something or even switch it off. And that adaptability means you can have some aircraft active and others not, and then unlike Headshake you can adapt certain characteristics to every different aircraft as you desire, so the plugin is hugely flexible and it also supports X-Camera and TrackIR. So what are the downsides. Well not that much directly but there are things you need to be aware of in using the plugin. One it uses FlyWithLua for its base coding, and the FlyWithLua as a plugin can conflict with other plugins. So you may lose some favorite plugins or some might not work at all and even worse also create conflicts that could cause the crash to desktop a regular occurrence. I'm glad to say it didn't conflict at all with my regular plugins, but then again my plugin folder set is quite small. The plugin is very new as well. It worked really well for me with no crashes or conflicts, but there is still refinements and extra features to still be added in there, but the basics are solid, only the feature "Head Anticipation" is a little buggy. As noted it flickers sometimes or snaps to a new position and I still don't know if over time it will be a favorite feature or will just get annoying, thankfully you can like all the immersion choices here turn it down to minimise any negative impact on your flying. Another point to make early is that you will need to spend time to fine tune your profiles and your desires of certain feels given to certain aircraft, the word "tweeking" come to mind, but I would like the idea that users share their favorite "tweeks" online so we can all enjoy the same settings and profiles that have been refined. But the awareness of the original aircraft's features is also required so they don't overlap or conflict with each other. So is this plugin another staple in a "must have" standard. Personally I really think so, as its qualities are excellent but also there is the huge flexibility of the profiles for every aircraft and the return of the effects and the huge immersion factor is going to make this plugin easily an X-Plane standard. It is clever in doing just a simple thing, and because it is layered in effects and sound as well in that it also gives it the absolute wow and realism factor. So certainly a "Must Have" plugin and you see that again X-Plane go another step forward in simulation realism... XPRealistic immersion is that good. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The XPRealistic Pro by rk Apps is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : XPRealistic Pro Your Price: US$19.99 Features Separate Aircraft Profiles Create aircraft profiles with dedicated settings. Change sound volumes, shake intensity and much more. 26 Immersions Enjoy a growing list of 22 real life scenario immersions along with more than 15 different sound files to choose from. X-Camera/TrackIR Support X-Camera and TrackIR are supported, furthermore, we highly recommend to use X-Camera with XPRealistic Pro. Easy to use Enjoy a straight forward user interface which allows you to control almost every aspect of XPRealistic features. Fast Support We believe that fast response to any issue is the key to keep you happy, we are here if you need us. Realism and quality Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac or Linux Required X-Plane Plugins: FlyWithLua (free) X-Camera (optional but recommended) Support forum for XPRealistic Pro Current review version: 1.08 (1st June 2017) Installation and documents: Full installation procedure is noted within the review above FlyWithLua (free) IS required to use this plugin Documents: Manual (13 pages) ____________________________________________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 8th June 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99 - E-Jet 170 Evolution - by SSG (Supercritical Simulation Group) (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$49.95 - Beech 1900D HD - by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$34.95 - C172 - X-Plane Default aircraft (X-Plane11) Free with simulator
  4. News! - Aircraft Announcement : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Coming from Rotate Everybody loves some good news, but great news is even better. Rotate the developer house that created the McDonnell Douglas MD88 has announced their next project is the Tri-Jet McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Now that is totally brilliant news. These middle-tier Tri-Jets are certainly in need of a though deep design attention in X-Plane and the coming of a MD-11 in the sort of quality that we have with the excellent MD88 is going to be a much anticipated release... when, no idea, but I hope before Christmas 2017 would be nice. Only one image has been released and it is the nose of the freighter version, which is good news as well as the freighter is the version I much want more than anything else... If any thing new pops out I'll let you know... ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 27th May 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  5. Behind the Screen : May 2017 The constant change and the barrage of updated releases came to a shuddering halt during May. Once the Easter holiday's were over and done with then the X-Plane world went into a semi-shutdown that left you exhausted from the overwhelming changes that has been so huge since November 2016 and the release of (even in beta form) X-Plane11. For me it was more than welcome as I had for two weeks during the month a soul sapping head cold (Thank you a late Northern Winter), and the strange head feeling and hacking cough didn't help my mood, but thankfully X-Plane wasn't for once to blame. Certainly with such major changes and the sheer thrill of the ride of the X-Plane11 release with the huge amount of updates that was required to switch a lot of the earlier versions to be able to operate in their new surroundings was simply overwhelming, I loved it don't get me wrong, but it was very draining as well. That is not to say that the ride is completely over yet either, there is certainly more updates and releases to come but not in the context of the changeover period. We all want and relish these periods, but sometimes a bit of a slower more sedate period is good as well. The problem with this huge constant change is just that in it does create a certain style of instability and even in areas of chaos in that in one period that nothing was interacting well will another piece of the system to give you a clean running simulator. That is part of the deal of course but at a point where you were running a beta, with a beta and a beta aircraft then your computer is going to throw the wobblies and you are going to get enough CTDs (Crash To Desktops) to make you want to throw the towel in and just go to a nice quiet place to jabba to yourself in a monastery high in Nepal somewhere. Let me put it this way I cursed a lot. So the May slow down was a sheer relief, but more than that as it gave you time for consolidation. The biggest mistake people make in life is that they just want more, and then even more or if you are onto a great thing then stick to it. The problem in life is that you can't just keep having more and more as something somewhere has to give (mostly the money first) but your health can't take it either. In others words "having everything all the time is bad for you" I mean even The Beatles and One Direction had to give it away eventually and poor Elvis fell off his toilet. So the word "consolidation" is an important one. I do X-Plane computer housekeeping about twice a month, but the biggest problem with X-Plane now is just its sheer size. Many Flight Simulator users will of course fall off their chairs laughing at that X-Planers are complaining that their simulator is overloaded, but it can get now seriously very unwieldy very quickly. X-Plane itself has doubled in size in just a few years from around 36.000 items to around the current 82,500 items and that is in less than just TWO YEARS. In reality X-Plane11 has doubled in the size of the simulator. Add in the size of the HD Global scenery, then the monster of your "Custom Scenery" folder and the sheer amount of aircraft now available for the X-Plane platform. There is a lot of choice now, a huge amount of great aircraft and if you have a period of huge simulator version changes like lately then you will have to cull some of them and even lose some real old favorites in the march of forward progress. So just updating and realigning aircraft and scenery can be and is a huge task, it can take days and lately even weeks and you hope your download bandwidth can handle it all. But the final result is hopefully a better more leaner running simulator than the gargantuan monster you had been wrestling with for years. With the X-Plane11 release these tasks are multiplied with some aircraft developers releasing updates almost fortnightly. If one thing I have learned with X-Plane11 is that to have a better simulator is to keep lean and mean, less is more and that statement is important as it is very easy to fall back into nasty old habits and start overloading the simulator with things you will never use or actually need. Seriously will you ever land at CYUB - Tuktoyaktuk if you are not either flying a Canadian wilderness adventure or are a local bush flyer, certainly no, but every time you start up X-Plane or fly over the northern pole then X-Plane will load that scenery for your convenience. Then multiply that by the size of your custom scenery folder and you can see the size of the problem. Most certainly if you love bush flying then collect all the great remote Alaskan strips and have your fun, but if your main routes are mostly A320/B737 services around Europe or North America then it is a bit of a waste of a resource. My main aim with X-Plane11 is to produce a pattern of the best of the great scenery that I will use constantly and consistently to get the best return from the simulator, then everything else is just waste. Don't get me wrong in that nobody more than me loves to visit an old friend of a scenery or explore a new one. But it is highly important to keep your networks clean and free of the dreaded pop-up dialog box that notes that "error loading the scenery package" pain that you can't leave your computer screen even for a minute or two without it popping up. Europe seems the worst of this for some reason. Then we get to "plugins". If any area of X-Plane that can give you the most pain it is an overflowing plugin folder. I have always been vigilant with my plugins from the start, but will usually try something new now and again to see if it add another dimension to the simulation experience. Personally I have kept away from lua scripts although I don't doubt their great ideas and features they can bring you. Ditto is scenery enhancement packages as with anything that adjusts or changes the basic internal root X-Plane based items. My reasons are purely that I can't stray too far from the basic X-Plane package so the reviews are realistic and the feedback correct on the what the simulator is reacting to that particular aircraft or scenery. It also became too hard to keep on replacing the internal changed items every time there was an X-Plane version update that replaces these internal items automatically. But overall I found that they didn't really make that much of a difference as Laminar's original concepts were usually right or better in the first place. But some "Plugins" I will defend and have become standard installs. Simcoder's Headshake is great at giving the simulator some movement at crucial times you require it, like takeoff or landing. DiscreteFPS is a gem in showing you your current framerate in the top left of your screen. Marginal's Autogate is of course a basic requirement as is his Sea Traffic. JARDesign's exceptional Ground Handling Deluxe and Tug Master Deluxe are great for giving you a lot of action around the gate, although I will admit that Tug Master is in badly need of an update, it has become very slow and doesn't turn very tight. The two big plugin concepts that I love are WorldTraffic and xEnviro. It is a personal choice on if to use the much upgraded built in X-Plane A.I. system of providing airport traffic and I know that many users love X-Life. But both are very reliant on the X-Plane A.I. system that gives both restrictions in that only twenty aircraft can be assigned (with the corresponding framerate hit) to X-Plane. Many users will note that lite aircraft are available for A.I. in usually 1.5mb sizes so this is not an issue, but you are still restricted. WorldTraffic doesn't have these restrictions, but it also very complex and extremely complicated to set up, but when it works it is sensational. I can get around WorldTraffic's current restrictions because my main airport network is not too large and I can refine each port correctly to work with WT, so in this scenario it works very well, a new totally updated WorldTraffic3 is currently in the works but Greg Hofer's computer has done a meltdown (or cratered) and hence a delay. But early testing rumors note WT3 is sensational and it will be a free update to current users. xEnviro is another huge step forward for X-Plane. Sadly Mac or Linux users still can't currently get access to xEnviro, and I feel your pain, but will note the wait will be worth it. The funny thing for me is that as noted above I don't use plugins like this with X-Plane because I need the sim to be a basic layout for reviews, hence the far few plugins I do use, also as noted I don't like to change the basic rules of X-Plane either, but with xEnviro I break both of my own laws in one go. I won't bother to bore you again in another month with another "wow" or "amazing" but even six months after its release it still totally blows me away with what it creates visually and it totally changes the feel and in the way you use the X-Plane simulator. If I have to turn xEnviro off for some reason I think life is totally boring until I can switch it right back on again (okay I know I am boring you again) but it should be stock standard tool for X-Plane by every user. In saying that the developers haven't exactly redeemed themselves to their customers. There has been no updates since late December 2016 and plugins like this should put current performance before new features. A single performance update and a plugin for the Mac (I don't know if Linux will be able to run xEnviro) and that should have been top of the work list more than any nice new 3d clouds or Rayleigh scattering, but I will note that the long X-Plane11 beta run and Xenviro's own local disconnected internet connection caused a few issues, but this plugin is an important release for both X-Plane and the developers in question, if the plugin wasn't so good or really buggy then that approach could have had bigger ramifications. But to date we are still waiting. Which brings us to to that X-Plane11beta run. Yes X-Plane11 has gone global, and yes we are still getting betas as well. "Enough you may cry", but the end of the road is finally in sight (oh thank god for all that). Laminar is finally doing Performance Optimizations for X-Plane11 and the results are in. X-Plane's 11.02 release is sensational, and so now is X-Plane11. Finally the "light at the end of the dark tunnel". All the pain of the above last few months is finally clearing to what we really have now in the X-Plane simulator in X-Plane11 form. So the results of months of beta pain are in and the point of this article. Running X-Plane11.02 with the updated JARDesign 3.1r2 (with the new excellent BSS v4 soundpack) and Xenviro v1.06 and with WorldTraffic 2.1.3. it was time to see something for all the changes. Flight was from MAN (Manchester) to OSL (Oslo) and it was a wonder to behold. no crashes (CTD) framerate touching even 100fr over the North Sea, beautiful fluffy clouds and great scenery at both ends. To top out the feel the flying was perfect, pure routine, hit every number in speed and altitude perfectly, could simulation get any better? For the moment no, but X-Plane will still move forward. So was all the pain worth it, yes definitely, and to top it all off I just reloaded the aircraft with more fuel and passengers and went straight back to Manchester... bliss. A few notes in that in May helicopters came to X-Plane11 with both the Bell 407 from Dreamfoil and the S-92 from DMO and it was great to fly both again in the new simulator version. Sceneries have also been highlighted this year as X-Plane now feels it is starting to fill in. Oslo by Aerosoft I really liked as with JustSim's ELLX - Luxembourg that I covered in April. Another note is that the FlightSimCon is coming around again soon on June 10-11 at the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley Airport, Windsor Locks, CT, USA. Last year X-Plane's Laminar Research released the details for X-Plane11, so this year they will be going back with the fully tested and refined version. I think personally there will be a few surprises for the users that have ignored X-Plane in the past and a few developers will note that they maybe also wondering if they are also missing out on the future and where the real money is going to be made in what they once they sniggered as a so called "hobbyist sim". I hope Laminar run a lot of large screens showing off their latest baby, and usually they always pull something new out of the magicians hat for us... it will be an interesting few days. So till next month... Sayonara Stephen Dutton 1st June 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  6. Your totally right, a tough choice! It will probably depend on the destination and the range. The DC11 F has only a 3,950 nmi (7,320 km) range which is a lot lower than the passenger version, the B777 F however has a 4,970 nmi / 9,200 km range so the Asia legs would still need the B777.
  7. Aircraft Review - Piper PA28-161 Warrior II by AeroSphere Simulations The Piper Cherokee family is a large one with variants including the Archer, Arrow, Dakota and Pathfinder. The first variant however next in line after the initial Cherokee release in 1973 was the PA-28-151 Warrior. The difference between the original Cherokee and the Warrior is small, in just a new tapered wing and the stretched Archer fuselage, and the Warrior II that came along three years later had then only a uprated Lycoming O-320-D3G or O-320-D2A engine of 160 hp (119 kW) from the earlier 150 hp (112 kW) but the overall gross weight stayed the same at 2,325 lb (1,055 kg). It is this Warrior II variant that is the focus of AeroSphere Simulation's new aircraft for release in the X-Plane11 simulator. Make no mistake, these early Cherokee family aircraft were very basic machines, they seated four passengers and are quite slow with only a top Speed of 126 kts, and a Cruise Speed of 118 kts with a Range of 525nm. But they are neat solid and reliable aircraft. In the General Aviation segment in X-Plane you are up against some really tough competition. First off there is the Carenado/Alabeo combo, then vFlyteAir, AirfoilLabs and some Aerobask aircraft. The quality and feature count is high, but let us not forget the main reason most X-Planers purchase these sort of aircraft. These machines are usually for first time learners or for training on a particular type of aircraft and that is why there is a wide variety of small light aircraft to fill out the large wide range of scale with the many GA aircraft in service. So in reality the aircraft have to yes be nice to look at and have a certain quality, but overall a big feature list and a lot of "nice to haves" is not as important as the basic handling and feel of that GA aircraft to replicate the machine for its intended audience. It is in this context you have to assess the latest aircraft from AeroSphere who are capturing a market for small but reliable no frills General Aviation aircraft. Their latest release is the Piper Warrior II, which is a mainstay aircraft of training clubs and a great introduction aircraft for learners to understand the basics of general flight. The Warrior II build quality is very good, certainly not in the high class of minute design, but it does capture the skin and detailing of the aircraft very well. The wings are highly detailed and have a lovely glossy painted glow in X-Plane11 which adds to the realism and the glass has the same realistic effect. The fixed Tri-gear is also well done as are the good animation movements when in ground use. As the aircraft is basic, it doesn't have a lot of aerials (two actually in one above and one below) or many external fittings, but what is required is well recreated like the static wicks (but not animated) and the flap guides. Let us get to my main beef. There a lot of good work on this fine little aircraft but the propeller in flight however is not one of them. In flight it looks like a throwback to the X-Plane6 prop flat card design, and you have to fly the aircraft through the hole in the darker centre area, it is distracting and looks horrible on the external (and internal) view, the point is also the painted prop area is only on the front of the propeller and not on the rear? but you still have a ring of colour in every point of view, an all black prop would take away the poor look it gives this otherwise nice aircraft... in other words it dates the aircraft to an earlier design in X-Plane, it is worse at night. Internal The aircraft is nicely designed inside, not gritty or worn out though... just fitted out to specification. Minor detail is good, with the flap lever and fire extinguisher between the seats and the complex roof mounted air-vent system well done above your head. The built in blue and overhead light is however weak in the daytime. The seatbelts also look a little stiff and do not fall naturally, and yes X-Plane now lives in the world of extreme real world design and detail, that seemless look and feel is the high quality of the game now. Instrument panel The business end in the instrument panel is excellent and of high quality. You can almost feel the mid-70's molding beneath you fingertips and it looks excellent in X-Plane11's lovely light. Instruments and avionics provided are very good for an aircraft of this size, the Warrior here is not a basic, basic style of trainer design. All the instruments are focused on the left flying pilot's side with the avionics on the right. Standard Six instruments are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack is a clock and on the right is a Garmin OBS VOR indicator with a Bendix/King ADF indicator is set out below. The very nice yokes can be hidden to reveal behind four gauges that cover (L to R) Fuel tank Left, Oil Temp, Fuel Pressure psi, Oil Pressure psi and Fuel Tank Right. Kneeboard has two dials for EGT and RPM (100's) with aircraft hour rate. Far left is the S-Tec altitude setting panel and engine starter switch. Instrument Panel side right has the avionics with both an X-Plane default Garmin GNS530 top and a GNS430 (both pop-out) below. Standard Garmin GMA 340 radio is right top, with an S-Tec Fifty Five X (now Genesys Aerosystems) autopilot below. Your ADF radio is a Bendix/King KR 85 but the panel is a little poor resolution wise? A Garmin CTX330 is the transponder unit. A Gyro Suction gauge and Honeywell hobbs (hour) meter is right. Centre panel is a set of rocker switches for (L to R) Power (two) for Alt and Bat, Fuel pump, Landing Light, Anti-Collision Lights, Navigation Lights and Pitot Heat. Either end of the switch panel are two scroll wheels for Avionic brightness and instrument brightness. Below the switch panel is a Carb Heat slider and a ALT Amp gauge. A flat fuse panel is to the right. Tiny centre panel set of throttle and mixture levers is cute, but the mixture lever is tricky to use from some angles... ... fuel tank selector switch is buried in the left footwell and quite hard to reach if flying manually, note the nice steel heal plate. Flying the Warrior II If you going for a flight in a Warrior then pack a suitcase. Even a short flight is going to take you some time to get there and you might want to stay overnight before coming back the next day. 120knts is well slow... a good car is faster from point A to point B. In training and learning modes then the Warrior is fine for local flying. Sounds are quite good with a nice startup and deep bass thrum on takeoff, but it does become a little droney as you hit the higher revolutions of power and it sounds as if you have someone in the rear hitting a big base drum softly to the beat. Taking off needs a little skill in using the throttle slowly to build the speed up. If not you will get the wobbles and the aircraft can start to wander off the centre line. If you are used to the same with Carenado takeoffs then the same skills are required to be transferred to the Warrior. You can be airborne around 70kts-80kts and the little plane will easily climb at around 400fpm without trading your speed. It handles nicely, but is quite fine on stick adjustments so you need just limited adjustments to move around or you will find direction changes are a little brisk, so smooth movements are a way to go. With a nervous trainee pupil behind the controls they will have to learn to not over react to fly the aircraft smoothly in turns or direction changes. But you do find your rhythm in here at the controls very quickly and settle into the aircraft. The S-Tec Fifty Five X autopilot is basic but good. You switch it on via the switch centre panel (arrow left image) and just select your required axis in heading, altitude or vertical speed, which can be a little notchy to use as trying to adjust the far away vertical speed knob can also activate the altitude hold constantly at the same time. Sadly the S-Tec panel does not pop-out which would have helped the case instead of it being on the far side of the instrument panel. In fact no instrument panels pop-out except the default Garmin GNS530/430 units. Landing speed is slow at around 50kts and so you will you need to get the speed down to almost that to drop the flaps without the barn door effect of a slam of speed and a lift of the aircraft. Once set you can then almost hover as you approach over the runway. The Warrior is a little jiggly under the stick at this speed zone of between 50kt to 60kts, so smooth inputs are a must, even slight crosswind will test your nerves, stall is around 40kts and so you can only go so slow. Once you touch down the Warrior will squirm under you, so you need a firm but light hand to keep it totally straight and on the centre line while rubbing off the speed, in most cases you should be used to these movements if you do a lot of light aircraft flying, but the Warrior is more of squirmer than most that I can remember. There are no menus or external features with the aircraft... ... the passenger door opens, but not the baggage door. But behind the rear seats is some oil if you need it and a set of engine covers and tow handle. Lighting All the lighting is mostly standard, the usual strobe, navigation and anti-collision lights on the outside. But the lighting has not been adjusted here and so the taxi and landing lights are quite large for the aircraft. Internally... The front facing roof mounted blue light does all the work in creating overhead lighting over the instrument panel and can be adjusted (but awkwardly) to give a dark or lit panel, it looks good but it is not in blue? in which the light colour is? If the right colour had been used then the panel would have had a more realistic tone, so a missed opportunity. Instrument lighting is not bright, but fine. There is a switchable light over the door for entry and exit and with door light and the Blue (sic) overhead light the cabin can be quite bright. Liveries There are two blank liveries with one with a registration number (all aircraft have the same N8675U rego?). There are four coloured liveries but none are really outstanding except the Green/Brown stripe version used in the review. Summary Overall the Piper Warrior II from AeroSphere is what it is in a basic trainer and a learn to fly in aircraft. But it does have a nice fit-out in avionics if you want to take a few trips away. As noted it may take you actually a far while to get there, but then that is all part of the fun. For a trainee aircraft though it does need a little skill and a light but firm hand at the controls. Takeoffs and landings can be a bit squirmy if you don't hold it solid, but overall it is a good training aircraft with its low landing speeds. Build quality overall is very good, not perfect or in the Carenado zone of quality, but then nothing else is either, but it is well done with a very nice instrument panel to look at. In the area of looking at things then the propeller in flight is not too my taste, in fact I didn't like it at all, and it is ten times worse in the dark as it blocks your view... a quick fix is required here because it is a distraction on this an otherwise well turned out aircraft. The none blue, blue light is a missed chance but then again none of the lighting has been adjusted to the aircraft. It should be noted that this Warrior is released only for X-Plane11, which is good as it looks really good in the X-Plane11 feature lighting The Warrior II is a basic aircraft in design, features and usability, but it is a very good one in the face of such big General Aviation competition. This is worthwhile GA that can get under your skin and is an interesting machine to fly and use, certainly very good and the best in X-Plane if you are requiring a Warrior for a reason like you own one or are wanting to train on the aircraft, so overall a nice tight little aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Positives: Overall good design and nice quality look and feel, tricky but rewarding to fly. Nice avionics for the type of basic trainer aircraft. Negatives: That propeller, its worse at night. Internal blue lighting that is not blue, external lighting not adjusted or needs more. Not many external features, pop-up panels or menus. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Piper Warrior II by AeroSphere Simulations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Piper PA28-161 Warrior II Your Price: $24.95 Features: 4 HD (4096 x 4096) liveries with a plain white texture that can be used for custom paint schemes. Steam gauge trainer cockpit model to help pilots in the training environment with required instruments for IFR. Garmin 530 & 430 All gauges are 3D Detailed flight model and interactive 3D virtual cockpit with animated knobs, buttons etc. cabin door, storm window and rear baggage compartment door. Toggle button to remove/display yoke Compatible with HDR and normal lighting effects Many textures taken from the actual aircraft Requirements X-Plane 11+ Window, Mac or Linux - 64bit Operating Systems 2Gb VRAM Minimum Current Version: 1.0 (May 11th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for the Piper Warrior II is 141.40.mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 155.70mb. Documents: Include a basic three page "Read Me" _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th May 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - KFMY - Page Field, Fort Myers, Florida 1.0 by timbenedict3 (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  8. Scenery Review : ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft Some sceneries makes a big splash on release, they are all bangs and whistles in that they take a lot of the air out of anything else around them. This is certainly the case with many scenery releases, but you will need to always check out that one scenery that just slips silently on to the lists as you maybe missing something special. It has happened twice now, in first that excellent JustSim scenery for ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport last month and now again here with Aerosoft's Oslo airport at Gardermoen. Gardermoen is a new airport by most standards and opened on the 8 October 1998. Like all Norwegian airports it was a military base and in fact the area was an army camp as far back as 1740. Mostly Gardermoen played second to Oslo's main gateway at Fornebu, but fog restrictions required a more permanent facility. The airport is modeled partially on Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with with two parallel runways and a single terminal with two piers on a single line but with a Norwegian flavour, and is located 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) north-northeast of Oslo city center. Although SAS (Scandinavian Airlines, often shortened to SAS (was previously Scandinavian Airlines System) is a Swedish based airline and it has major facilities including a SAS Museum at Gardermoen, there is a also a SAS built complex with 55,000 square metres (590,000 sq ft), including a technical base, cabin storage, garages and cargo terminals that was built the same time as the airport was under construction. ENGM Airport layout Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen IATA: OSL ICAO: ENGM 01L/19R - 3,600m (11,811ft) Asphalt/concrete 01R/19L - 2,950m (9,678ft) Asphalt/concrete Elevation AMSL 681 ft / 208 m First impressions will always last in the memory. On first viewing ENGM Gardermoen my first thoughts were "wow", that is good. Surprised, yes I was as it is good scenery. The main point is of course does it fit in with the surrounding (X-Plane) landscape, that is always my starting point in good scenery and Aerosoft's ENGM is very good, it looks highly realistic and fits in naturally. Central terminal area is a simple T, but looks really good from the air, with the modern wooden roof of the newly constructed Terminal 2 is an excellent standout. Terminal Main terminal construction is excellent, the original 1998 Terminal one has two wings on either side of the central main terminal building. The newer just added beautiful wooden roofed Terminal 2 is another fine construction, it has great detailing and nice reflective glass work... Internally T2 is catered for as well, and the roof is just as a great piece of work from the inside as much as the outside, the passing view inside out on to the taxiways is excellent. Both wings and gate areas are exceptional, with really great textures, signage and lots of detail. (you will need your "Texture Quality slider right up though") and the ground objects are very good as well, but you have too pick your gate though as most have a lot of objects, but a few don't have many or none at all. Full guidance and autogate docking is available (Marginal's plugin required) and the system has been adjusted to fit the local airbridges, which work very well and the aircraft looks great when docked. If there is no airbridge then you get a animated guiding marshall. Like T2 the wing areas are completed internally as well, but you can't see the aircraft through the windows? There are a lot of great remote parking areas and a Low Cost Terminal on the western side of the main terminal. Cargo terminal is however small. Lots of great animated vehicles constantly roam the airport's pathways and roads. The vehicles in X-Plane11 (version) are custom models made for Oslo airport and they are nice quality vehicles as well in that they fit in perfectly with the Scandi surroundings. Control Tower sits airside behind the main terminal is workable, but it is no piece of art and the textures are basic, "Tower View" is not set either, so you only see a ground view of a western ramp area, which not good enough for any pay scenery... The airside areas are empty of vehicles, so that area looks a little blank, if fact there is not much attention to the airside at all except for the required buildings and ramps. Even a few vehicle objects would have filled out anything over here and which would have been than nothing? Airfield Features Aerosoft has always been been known on how to create great grass effects and here at Gardermoen it is no different. Runway signage, lighting and linework is all very good as well as are the different ground textures. SAS Technical facility is well done but totally boring. A few static aircraft or ground objects are really needed to fill out the empty space. So you will need to hit the Overview Editor to help lift it a little with this area. General Aviation and Fire Station On the western boundary by runway 01L/19R is the General Aviation and Fire Station area. Certainly this area is part of the original Gardermoen airport as it looks and feels far older. The GA ramp with the Fire Station is mostly just the objects placed on the base, there is no fill in equipment or static aircraft (aircraft shown is WorldTraffic), so it is all a little bland out there, a few vehicles would have made it more realistic. Military Area The Military area is to the north of the main terminal complex. It is very much the same as the GA area with just basic fill of buildings and not much else. Gardermoen flystasjon is the location for the 135th Airwing and the 335 Squadron of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, which currently operates four of the originally five (see: 2012 Norwegian C-130 crash) recently procured C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft. So the point of just adding in a few C-130's as static aircraft would have been nice... a wasted opportunity Otherwise there are a lot of nice old fashion hangars hidden in the trees with a very visual tall radar tower that is the centrepoint of the airfield. To round off there is an engine test bay that is noticeable when landing or taking off from 01R/19L and taxiways S and H. Lighting Generally the lighting is very good, In the areas you need good lighting it works well and gives you great coverage. Runway, taxiway lighting and night signage is excellent with a very realistic approach at night. Focus is of the lighting is on the main terminal and ramp areas. There is not much variation in the lighting colours, but the actual lighting towers are really well done and look great in the daytime as well as working lit at night. All ramp areas are great to work in at night, you get nice coverage and it feels great for any departure or arrival once the sun goes down. Terminal lighting is basically dark (grey) at night, so the buildings don't quite light up, so they loom around you a little dark. Off terminal areas are well lit like the de-iceing areas (There are four in Alpha South, Alpha North on RWY's 01L and 19R and Bravo North 19L). Services SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle dominate ENGM Gardermoen as it a hub for SAS, while it is the main hub for Norwegian. Most main European carriers including British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Air France (HOP!), Aeroflot, KLM, Swiss, TAP and more but a lot of charter airlines like Thomas Cook, Thomson, TUi also fly seasonal. Widerøe is the big local regional airline to be based here. International is covered by Emirates, PIA, Qatar Airlines, Turkish and Thai Airlines. Summary The core of Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen is excellent, this is certainly a great destination and you get a great feel and a lot of use out of the airport when you use it. The main terminals and associated buildings and ramp areas are also very good, beautifully constructed and very realistic of the real modern Gardermoen with fully animated vehicles and full docking features on every stand and gate. The airports layout is excellent as well with great intergration into the X-Plane landscape, nice ground textures and lots of great grass to take away the flat photgraphic feel of the ground plates. Full ground routes are implemented (although I might note the front in parking is maybe a turn around parking setting). Negatives are in reality small, but still highly noticeable. No "Tower View" is really a no, no for payware developers... Outside of the central terminal areas there is very little vehicle or static aircraft placement and it is very visible in creating empty spaces where there should be none, diitto with just the basic building objects and textures to fill out an area, and a bit more building creativity and fill could have been used. But totally overall ENGM is excellent scenery to get a lot of use out of if you need a very good northern Scandinavian port then you can't go past this scenery as to be part of your collection. I already love flying in and out of this Aerosoft scenery and is certain to make a use of it in the future, so for me it is a certain addition to the network, you just have to add in only a few vehicles and static aircraft to make it a total 100% perfect scenery. ENGM could have easily been an airport to very easily slip under your network radar, but Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen shouldn't be... as it is good to great scenery that will be good scenery for great long future use in the simulator. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Oslo XP Price is US$24.95 Features: Features: Realistic recreation of Oslo airport Gardermoen Highly detailed Terminal models and photo real textures High resolution runway and taxiway textures Highly realistic night time effects Interior models included for Terminal buildings Supports X-Planes „runways follow terrain“ features Custom Jetway animations (Autogate plug-in required) Custom Aircraft marshaller (Autogate plug-in required) Visual Guidance Docking Systems (Autogate plug-in required) Replaces X-Plane 11 ground equipment models with custom local models (X-Plane 11 only) Highly detailed clutter objects Custom Wig Wag models Custom animated windsock model Seasonal Textures included (seasons plug-in required) Requirements: XPlane 11 or X-Plane 10.50 Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 or Linux or Mac 2GB+ VRAM Video Card Download-Size: 320 MB Installation and documents: Download is 344.80meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder in this order... Aerosoft - ENGM Gardermoen (958.60mb) Aerosoft - ENGM Gardermoen - Roads (9kb) zzz_Aerosoft - ENGM Gardermoen - Mesh (12.50mb) Note the zzz_ mesh must be positioned below the other folders, use the "scenery_packs.ini" (text) to adjust the order. Marginal's jetway and docking guidance system plugin is required for the animated marshall and jetways : AutoGate plugin 1.72 Full manual is provided (24 pages) in German and English. Full set of charts are also provided (49 pages) ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 24th May 2017 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95
  9. Sound Update : BSS v4 for JARDesign A320NEO Blue Sky Star Simulations have updated their excellent JARDesign A320NEO sound package to v4. More refinement and more sounds are now part of this sound experience, there is over 400mb of sound files in here now to create the most complete aircraft sound package in X-Plane. There are simply just too many sounds to cover here and both the CFM56-5B and IAE V2500 Engines are updated to the new v4 specification (note the CFM Installation sound pack is required for the IAE sounds). From start up to shut down every switch and every noise you can make on a real A320 aircraft is brilliantly replicated here. New in the v4 update is first the cockpit and system sounds: -Avionics fan and sounds -Bat relay -Blower -Extractor -Numerous switching/selectors/buttons/rotary/levers -Cockpit door, lock -PAX chatter -Hydraulics -Packs -Packs smooth and correct timing -Packs air will depend on engine thrust -PTU -Relays -Tray table -Outside blower/extractor -Outside packs -Open door logic sound smoother Aircraft movement has been enhanced with : -Centerline thumps, depending if nose wheel actually riding on centerlights -Roll sounds -Ldg gear turbulence -Touchdown -Panel shake -Brake fans And with new surface sounds: -Turbulence depending on flap position -Smart wind sound -Engine cowling wind sound -Spoilers New engine sounds include both Engines CFM/IAE: -Sound volumes have been reworked to be the most realistic sounds you can get for an A320 aircraft, and all sounds are measured by prof. hardware in real the A320 aircraft. -Cold section air bite at low thrust -Bleed air rush -More clean sounds -Compressor/Fan sounds depend on how much air passes through them. I will note a couple of things. In the change from the earlier multiple sound packs to just one to insert into your JARDesign A320 plugin folder I found I lost a lot of the cabin sounds? In this v4 version they have been restored and the cabin now sounds correct (again). Second is that I can't seem to adjust the external sounds very well? They are just as loud no matter were you put the "External" sound slider in the FMS and with the X-Plane default sounds off? They sound great of course, but are quite loud if you switch often between the internal or external views. There is there some help in "Sound3d (Custom)" menu available from the "plugins" menu were you can adjust the sounds, but the external goes almost to the 10% before it drops in volume, but at least you can cut a little of the overbearing noise here. There is also the option of adding in "Optional FA announcements" that are added into the "Custom Avionics folder. Another option is to assign certain key commands to certain sounds... ADF 1 flip standby – ATC chatter ADF 2 flip standby – Passengers (the sounds will be playing corresponding to a status of cabin door) Lavatory flush – white flashlight button (have to assign) However I don't know why they couldn't have assigned these sounds from the keyboard plugin assignments? Like engine startup, then shut down is a feast for the ears, and engine thrust changes are now more noticeable with the better gear wind noise also adds to aural feel, and altogether it is simply sensational on landing. Always a big fan of excellent sound which I feel was very much neglected in X-Plane and so then if you want the best aircraft sound to date then this is it. Blue Sky Star Simulations are the best in the business and it shows here. If you have already purchased the BSS sound pack for the JARDesign A320neo, then go to your X-PlaneStore account and upgrade to v4 for free, If you want the BSS sound package then go to the X-PlaneStore below, but you have to have already the ARDesign A320neo to fit the package. ______________________________________________________________________ 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) ______________________________________________________________________ Blue Sky Star Developer Site : Blue Sky Star Company ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd May 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  10. Aircraft X-Plane11 Update : AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado It was not hard to fall in love with Carenado's AeroCommander Shrike 500s. It was from the start one of the more of the recent times simply one of the easiest aircraft to slip into, lovely layout and had a great feel behind the controls. So it was an instant favorite. Here is the X-Plane11 upgrade noted as v1.2, and it is free as the aircraft was released under the six month line banner between update and upgrade. As the aircraft was only released late into 2016 there is not a lot of changes, mostly contained to re-calibration of gauges including the OAT gauge, fuel consumption (to match XP11), ground handling. I would note that the new XP11 engine thrust modelling has had a few adjustments as it feels spot on, but the adjustments are not noted in the upgrade notes. Of course any new aircraft needs changes in X-Plane11 for the PBR (Physically based rendering) feature and that has been done here for the exterior and interior areas. Your 500s now looks like you have spent a very hard afternoon with the wax polish, and the results look amazing. Shiny and it now shows off the fuselage to its best condition since the aircraft came out of the factory. The excellent detailing looks better as well, Carenado are masters at making aircraft look realistic, and the Shrike looks every bit of the part of that. The instrument panel was always a little flat in that grey primer feel, but PBR and new the texture work does lift it a little. The lighting has had a few tweaks and the “SuperManipulator” (proprietary scroll wheel) has been replaced with a X-plane-native scroll wheel control. In some ways it is a lot better than the SuperManipulator, it was very good but very twiddly to use sometimes, the default scroll wheels are far easier to use. Ground objects are still a little scarce, just a few cones, engine inlet covers and tags, but all the doors work with an opening baggage compartment (no bags). The AeroCommander Shrike 500s was pretty complete on release, but this upgrade does bring it right up to X-Plane11 compatibility. The 500s was brilliant before and it is totally brilliant now, well worth the upgrade or purchase. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : AeroCommander 500S SHRIKE HD Series Price is US$32.95 There is now two version of this aircraft for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 (the review is for the X-Plane11 version) If you have already purchased the Carenado AeroCommander 500s then go to your X-PlaneStrore account and upgrade to v1.2 (free). More detailed X-PlaneReview of the AeroCommander Shrike 500s release can be found here: Quick Flight Review : AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado Features Include: Part of the HD Series - High-Definition Aircraft: Amazingly realistic interior - almost indistinguishable from photographs Makes full use of HDR lighting for realistic interior and exterior illumination Old, weathered, gritty textures that reflect the age and usage of this plane. Around 100 wave files for detailed and immersive 3D audio Cockpit switches' sounds are placed in 3D space, which affects loudness and pan. Outside engine sounds spill in through open doors and windows. Custom programmed Shadin digital fuel flow management instrument Custom programmed electronic CHT/EGT instrument Custom programmed classic Bendix/King Autopilot The above instruments come with 2D pop-up windows Custom programmed flight dynamics, to match POH values with more precision Immersive visual cockpit effects, such as dynamic reflections on instrument glass High resolution 4k textures throughout, with optimized 3D mesh and FPS-friendly logic Copilot figure appears/disappears, depending on set payload weight. Features: Original 500S Aero Commander autopilot installed New and improved multi-function scroll support Volumetric side view prop effect. Default X-Plane GNS530. HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Custom audio plugins with extra effects for added realism 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 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. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50+ Windows 7+ or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 2Gb+ VRAM Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.2 (last updated May 15th 2017) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 501.70 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Fighter folder at 544.00mb. Key authorisation is required. Documentation : includes 500S Emergency Checklist PDF - 500S Normal Checklist PDF 500S Performance Tables - 500S Reference PDF 500S Autopilot Operation PDF - Recommended Settings PD ______________________________________________________________________ Quick Flight Review by Stephen Dutton 18th May 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  11. Thanks Frank. It does make you wonder with Laminar's KSEA as their demo airport does not work as it should do... that is a bit of an oversight if you ask me. If you could let me know when Justin puts out the update to v1.1 that would be great... again thanks. Stephen
  12. Scenery Review : KSLC - Salt Lake City International by ShortFinal Design I will first give you the bad news with so that you can then absorb this new excellent scenery in its correct context. This scenery is not from a new developer called ShortFinal Design, but from an old and much loved scenery developer called Mister_X6, Yes the same Mister_X6 that created the outstanding KLAX, KSAN, KSFO, KPHX (Phoenix) and the overwhelming KBOS (Boston) and now you will suddenly realise what is coming next... Mister-X6's scenery is not freeware anymore, as it is now going to be payware. And this KSLC is the first payware airport from the former freeware master. To be honest the scenery created by Mister_X6 was payware quality from the start, it was just released as freeware... In other words you just got lucky to get this level of scenery free. But the amount of time and work required to create sceneries of this scale cannot be supported on good fortune alone. The problem is that to continue to produce great scenery something has to give, one either get remuneration for all the time and experience or the other option is in giving the game away. So payware is better than nothing at all from a designer of Mister_X6's caliber, as to depart then everyone loses and so does the X-Plane simulator as well. But going payware does also put the onus on the developer as well, this is not freeware and payware does demand a high quality return for the investment, because that is what high quality payware scenery actually is in an investment. The one thing that the large state of Utah is that it has a lot of space between the large salt flats and mountain ranges. The state is like Colorado in that it has the last vestiges of the southern Rocky Mountain chain. Salt Flats are very flat, so if you want to build an airport then you have the right wide space in to do so. (Google Maps) So KSLC which set in the area to the north of the city is wide and uses a lot of the low flat space that is a part of the Great Salt Lake itself. KSLC Overview Having a very flat salt lake as a base works for the developer and against them. For is very simple in that the orthoimagery used in the scenery which was sourced from the USGS is easy to install as the ground is very flat, but it can really work against you as well as it did with Tom Curtis's Denver in that from the ground level it feels totally and unrealistically flat and bland as well, another point is that you have to make sure the insertion of the your add-on scenery melds in well with the surrounding default X-plane scenery to create the right realistic effect. There is a flatness effect with SFD's scenery but it is not extremely noticeable, but it is there... From the air you can easily see the USGS install from the X-Plane surroundings as the colouring is different, and on the east side a blank area is (very) noticeable... ... However from a distance on a departure or arrival perspective I think SFD gets away with the colouring, the blending is not bad at all. KSLC Layout Salt Lake International Airport IATA: SLC - ICAO: KSLC - FAA LID: SLC 16L/34R 12,002ft, (3,658m) Asphalt 16R/34L12,000ft, (3,658m) Concrete 17/35 9,597ft (2,925m) Asphalt 14/32 4,892ft (1,491m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 4,227 ft / 1,288 m KSLC As the airport does cover a very large area it is best it be segregated into five defined areas: Terminals, Control Tower & Delta maintenance, Cargo North & South and East General Aviation. Terminals Control Tower & Delta maintenance Cargo North & South East General Aviation & Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base Terminal detail. From a distance it looks like KSLC has only one terminal, but in fact there are three in Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and the International Terminal. (iFly) Concourse A (left) are (gates A1-A9) and Concourse B (right) are (gates B1-B22). Con A and Con B is domestic mixed use but the terminal was built for "Western" which merged with Delta in 1987. But Delta use Terminal 2. Concourse C (left) has (gates C1-C13) is domestic, but Concourse D is mixed with (right) with (gates D1-D13) and Concourse E (below) with (gates E60-E85) is mixed with International, but use only gates D2, D4, and D6 in Concourse D for overseas flights. Concourse E's both finger departure gates are walk on only with no airbridges to the aircraft, but this gives you a great mix for short domestic flights with longer domestic services. All the terminal elements are really well developed by mister_x6, you know his work is already of a high standard and so it is here. A lot of the ground equipment is also highly prevalent as to the point of watching out for your wingtips when parking to avoid strikes. A nice touch is the excellent covered boarding ramps... Images here above are with the X-Plane11 static aircraft switched off, but the scenery is developed with all static aircraft positions (images static aircraft on below) created and all taxi routes are built in (default ATC and X-LIFE). When using the static aircraft feature you will need the required MisterX Library downloaded and installed for a wider variety of static aircraft and items in the scenery (the misterX library is a welcome tool to have anyway for other sceneries) A major feature with this scenery is the specific Docking Guidance System (DGS) at KSLC. The system is a variation of "Marginal's" autogate and docking guidance plugin, but beautifully recreated here. Green is "hello, I know who you are", Yellow is "Slow" and Red is "Stop" and if the lights turn off you have gone past the parking point. Aircraft alignment is via a protruding green bar over the red, if the only the green bar covers the red you are aligned correctly... simples! All auto gates are operational as well, turn off your engines and the airbridge will attach to the aircraft. On the non-airbridge gates (E) you have the marshall to guide you in. There is excellent aircraft gate display boards as well for authenticity, again beautifully done. All building glass has reflections (X-Plane11 only), but they can be odd with what they reflect sometimes if you get close or mess with the angle, but in most circumstances it is a realistic effect. There is detail inside the the concourses as well.... .... but only in the concourses and not the actual terminals, but still very well done. Landside detailing is excellent as well, highly realistic, just the photo roadway markings are a bit low resolution. There is animation of vehicles both Landside and Airside for scenery movement and that buzzy activity effect, both are well done as the vehicles are streaming around the terminals or along in alignment with the roadways in and out of the airport... always an important addition for me for realism... highlight is the animated UTX TRAX trams that weave their way out of the scenery and past the airline situation boards in the carpark, All car rental outlets are covered with the correct buildings and 3d cars in the yards, again a welcome addition for realism. Control Tower & Delta maintenance detail Centre field of KSLC is the control tower, Delta maintenance facility and the airports main fuel depot. KSLC's control tower is very well modeled, with great detail and glass reflections. Tower view is excellent as well, with all corners of the field covered and approaches well visible. In addition to the 328-foot-tall (100 m) Air Traffic Control Tower, TRACON is also located on the airport with the Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) located adjacent to the airport. The Salt Lake ARTCC covers the largest geographical area in the continental United States and controls airspace as far north as the Canada–US border. The main fuel depot is highlighted here, and there are a lot of airport infrastructure facilities that are also well reproduced, includes Fire Station, Skywest maintenance and fuel refuelling station... ... but the standout building centre field is the huge dominating Delta maintenance facility, the building is the primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm for Delta TechOps. The hangar itself is certainly well created, but the real highlights here are the side paneled widows with excellent reflections that creates a real realism on the various light angles. North Cargo There are two cargo terminals in North and South Cargo. North Cargo is well north to the rest of the airfield and the larger (newer) of the two facilities. Home to DHL and FedEx it is well recreated. The Fire practise area (well done) is to the west of North Cargo as well. There are in various places around the scenery large ramps for Ice spraying, these are noted by the parked lines of ice protection spray trucks, a small but well thought out addition. South Cargo United States Postal Service dominates South Cargo, but Skywest Cargo, Delta Cargo and the Commissary are here as well. East General Aviation & Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base The northeast of KSLC is the where Utah Air National Guard operates what was previously named the Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base. In November 2014, the installation was renamed the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base after Brigadier General Roland R. Wright, USAF (Ret). The base occupies approximately 135 acres as a U.S. Government cantonment area leased from the airport. In addition to flight-line aircraft, the installation comprises 63 buildings: 3 services, 13 administrative, and 47 industrial. There are 255 full-time Air Reserve Technician and Active Guard and Reserve personnel assigned, augmented by 1,343 part-time traditional air national guardsmen. The host wing for the installation is the 151st Air Refueling Wing (151 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit operating the KC-135R Stratotanker. The Utah Air National Guard base has been faithfully reproduced and is excellent. The rest of the eastern boundary is ulitised by private jet operators with mostly the Salt Lake Jet Centre making most of the facilites and areas for general aviation, with a lot of aircraft parking garages (hangars) to the south and rear. Even the most minor buildings get the most detailed attention, almost as perfect is these hangar buildings as the real things. But the eastern area has a boundary tranfer issue to the X-Plane default scenery. In most cases you would dismiss this perplexity as one of those things that could happen in X-Plane. But the default autogen does not match up with the scenery boundary on two sides, so you get a big open boundary area that is highly noticeable from any aerial viewpoint even from a distance, and it doesn't work on the ground either.... ShortFinal Design does also provide with the scenery a few 3d buildings of the Salt Lake City skyline, Including the Utah State Capitol building, Court house, US Bank, Keybank and the Wells Fargo Bank which has a usable helipad on the roof. KSLC Lighting ShortFinal Design's lighting of KSLC is excellent... Approaches to all runways are well done with a few with RAIL lighting. All taxiway guidance (green) lighting is also covered. But you have to get closer in to see the diversity of the lighting with a good spread of different lighting for different areas. You have no problems working around the ramps, but the non-autogate terminals are a little duller than the other concourses. The reflective glass feature doesn't work as well at night, as glass comes out grey. Not too bad, but not totally realistic either. One area that does stand out though is landside and the terminal signs are not lit? It makes it pretty dark around there... There is a lot of down-lighting around all the various hangars and warehouses that is well done and creates a lot of detailing, however the highlight is the Delta maintenance building which is very well done. Services Domestic and Denver wins the most used route and I recommend the flight as it is a great view over the Rockies. Otherwise it is the standard selection of US destinations... Delta, Alaska, American and Southwest dominate but Frontier gets a look in. Denver, Colorado - 789,000 : Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United Los Angeles, California - 650,000 : Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona - 610,000 : American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest Atlanta, Georgia - 526,000 : Delta, Frontier Seattle/Tacoma, Washington - 494,000 : Alaska, Delta Las Vegas, Nevada - 492,000 : Alaska, Delta, Frontier, Southwest Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - 416,000 : American, Delta Portland, Oregon - 346,000 : Alaska, Delta Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois - 333,000 : American, Delta, Frontier, United San Diego, California - 303,000 : Alaska, Delta Except for Paris and Amsterdam, most international routes are to Mexico and Canada and Delta runs the show. Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France - 124,425 : Delta Cancún, México - 80,351: Delta, Frontier Mexico City, México - 74,818 : Delta Amsterdam, Netherlands - 63,185 : Delta Vancouver, Canada - 61,879 : Delta Calgary, Canada - 55,788 : Delta San José del Cabo, México - 32,429 : Delta Puerto Vallarta, México - 24,733 : Delta _______________________________________________________________ Summary The move from Freeware to Payware is a big step. A hard one as well as now your work will have to meet higher expectations and a more critical examination of all the aspects of what the developer is presenting. There is no doubt here with their KSLC scenery is that ShortFinal Design are well aware of this factor, and there is a lot of extra of of everything to meet and even supersede their original scenery presentations. There are few notes to be aired and mostly they are centred around the scenery's intergration with the X-Plane default scenery and autogen. The trick is that if a developer understands the system well, then can turn the disadvantage into an advantage for their work. JustSim scenery is very good at doing this even to the point of using the default tools to create their own autogen to match their add-on scenery. With KSLC ShortFinal Design are lucky in that three boundaries of the scenery don't clash with the default autogen, but with the one that does it is noticeable, if the airport was much lower south in the main Salt Lake City metro area then this scenery would have stuck out like a sore thumb, but they get away with it here, even with the darker USGS photo textures... but just. The point is they not do so next time. A nice additional feature to this scenery would be winter textures, maybe in an update... Otherwise this is sensational scenery and very high quality. You do get a lot of everything for your money. Great buildings and internal as well as external, well conceived layouts, huge and mindless amount of objects and items around the airport including all terminals, hangars and airport infrastructure and great features including great vehicle and tram animations, great glass reflections, great features in the autogate and docking guidance systems, great lighting, everything is great, great, great. Great value as well at under US$25, so this KSLC is a certain addition to your American Mid-West scenery collection... Positives : Great scenery, many great X-Plane features including many animations, specific to airport docking guidance, great internal and external detailed terminals, good lighting, huge amount of objects and detailed buildings and famous X-Plane developer. Negatives: Slightly better intergration into X-Plane default scenery needed, poorly lit signage landside, no charts. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The KSLC - Salt Lake City International by ShortFinal Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KSLC-Salt Lake City International Your Price: US$24.95 Scenery Features: Accurate rendition of KSLC Highly accurate scenery for KSLC – Salt Lake City International Airport and parts of Salt Lake City Accurate models for all terminals, hangars, and other buildings Most terminals with 3D interiors High-Resolution Airport Dynamic reflections on buildings (X-Plane 11 only) Baked Ambient Occlusion Custom high resolution ground textures HDR night lighting High resolution photo scenery (15cm/px) Animated and populated Airport Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic) Animated jetways and custom Docking Guidance System (DGS) unique to KSLC (using the AutoGate plugin) Randomly placed static aircraft, can be easily toggled off in the X-Plane settings Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 720Mb. 1.2Gb Extracted Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards Installation and documents: MisterX Library can be installed to get a larger selection of static aircraft. AutoGate can be installed to use the included docking guidance system and moving jetways. Download for the KSLC - Salt Lake City International is 732.19mb and the unzipped files are deposited 1.18gb in the "Custom Scenery" Folder Note... scenery must be set in that above order to work correctly, You can rearrange the order in your scenery_packs_ini file. Static aircraft can be switched on or off via your "Graphic Settings" menu in "Draw Parked Aircraft". Documents : Manual but no charts _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 10th April 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin Scenery or Aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSIm (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$30.00
  13. Scenery Review : KDFW Dallas Fort Worth by Aerosoft One scenery I use a lot in reviews here at X-PlaneReviews is KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft. As it was not only a really high quality scenery, full of great features and was functional as well. The scenery was the first project by Omar Masroor under the Aerosoft banner and it set out from the beginning to be a high standard of quality scenery... so now for Masroor's follow up and the scenery is DFW. As scale goes you couldn't pick a larger airport to cover except for KATL - Atlanta, as DFW is a major international incoming hub to the United States. DFW is the third largest airport in size in the United States and the tenth in passenger movements in 2015. This is Texas after all. I will admit to being a little bemused by the choice of DFW, because it was covered by Tom Curtis's "American Country" scenery only this time last year and of course comparisons are going to be made between the two projects, it is fine if you are going to deliver a much more higher quality scenery, but if you don't you are wasting your efforts when they could be put to better use on scenery that is required in X-Plane and not just duplicating what is already available. First Impressions First impressions are entirely favorable. The building construction is very good , even impressive in detail, remember our old adage in that the larger the scenery then the less we must expect in raw detail, but the DFW buildings here are very well defined. Approaching DFW from a distance it doesn't completely meld into the surrounding scenery, the boundary is distinguishable from the default textures by a lot of surrounding green space and the photo textures are slightly lighter inside the boundary, not that bad in reality but it is slightly noticeable. But look at a google map (below) and DFW is hemmed in by its surrounding suburbs, here the scenery feels slightly disconnected with all the bits of green space surrounding the airport. As a note that American airport developers seem to struggle more with intergrating their photo-textures into the default scenery textures, witness the same with Mister_x6's Salt Lake City Airport. Google Maps KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth layout KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth International IATA: DFW – ICAO: KDFW – FAA LID: DFW 13L/31R 9,0002ft, (743m) Concrete 13R/31L 9,3012ft ,(834m) Concrete 17C/35C 13,4014ft ,(085m) Concrete 17L/35R 8,500ft, (2,590m) Concrete 17R/35L 13,4014ft, (085m) Concrete 18L/36R 13,4004ft, (085m) Concrete 18R/36L13,4004ft, (085m) Concrete H1 158ft (48m) Concrete Elevation AMSL 607 ft / 185 m Runway layouts are excellent and you have a lot of if not a huge choice at DFW, only 31L does not have an ILS and it is a shame as it is the best approach to the airport. Runway and taxiway lineage is good, as is all the correct taxiways direction signs. The black side tarmac looks good, but overall the infield grass feels quite bland with not a lot of saturation (colour) and the difference is not only noticeable, but also creates an overall bland feel to the scenery... or could it just be that hot Texan sun? Dallas Fort Worth Airport is so large you really have to break it down into bit sized chucks to digest it. Central Terminal Area Central Terminal area has Five Terminals in north A - C - E and south B - D and Express South (carpark) which will be Terminal F Terminal A Terminal A has 30 gates: A8–A25, A28–A29, A33–A39. with Gates A34–A39 closed for renovations, as of March 2016. An American Airlines Admirals Club is located at Gate A24. The A terminal is a wholly an American Airlines terminal and is semi-circular in design. A major feature of DFW is the SkyLink terminal people-mover that commenced operations in April 2005 in replacing the notoriously slow original Airtrans APM (17mph). The large corner iconic terminal buildings are not actually part of the terminal, but are the Skylink stations that are sited around the extensive terminal loop that makes up the full transport system. In this scenery the Skylink is excellently reproduced with constant movement rail-cars moving (quite fast) right around the system in opposite directions, the track breaks now and again but overall the system here is excellent and a really great visual feature with the latest orange updated cars are animated in moving in and and out of your line of view. Lots of great animated traffic running round the ramps as well and giving you that busy feeling, but there is this strange anomaly that most of the vehicles are SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) vehicles... in Texas? The ramps are crowded as well with a large selection of vehicles, but with a bit too many. If you use JARDesign's excellent "Ground Handling Deluxe" which I do a lot, then it becomes horribly confusing? I never had this problem with Omar's KRSW, in fact it was the best in the right factor of amount of ramp vehicles and space usability, but here they all clash in together. The see through glass feature is to be noted as it looks really good, and it is usable inside as well to see out. Terminal B Terminal B is opposite Terminal A and has 49 gates: B2–B3 (FIS optional) and there is an American Airlines Admirals Club located at Gate B3, B4–B29, B30–B39 (North Stinger), B40–B49. and Gates B18–B23 are closed for renovations, as of March 2016. North Stinger is a walk-on satellite terminal. Terminal B was originally the main Braniff Airlines complex, but it is now completely American Eagle territory as they now run all the gates. Note the traffic highway (bottom right) that runs through the centre of DFW, cars and trucks run in and out of the airport very nicely to give you a movement feel. Terminal C Terminal C has 31 gates: C2–C4, C6–C8, C10–C12, C14–C17, C19–C22, C24–C33, C35–C37 and C39. And the The Hyatt Regency DFW hotel is part of this terminal complex (not to be confused with the south terminal D Grand Hyatt). Originally Terminal 3E is is another wholly American Airlines terminal with an American Airlines Admirals Club located at Gate C20. This terminal is domestic. The ramp tower situated between Terminal A and Terminal C and is also highly visible on departure or arrival from A or C terminals. Terminal D (International) Terminal D is the International terminal for DFW and it is a 2,000,000 sq ft (186,000 m2) facility capable of handling 32,000 passengers daily or 11.7 million passengers annually. The 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW Hotel is directly connected to the terminal. Terminal D has 30 gates: D6–D8, D10–D12, D14, D15–D16–D16X (A380 gate with three loading bridges), D17–D18, D20–D25, D27–D31, D33–D34, D36–D40. There is an American Airlines Admirals Club located at D24. A British Airways Lounge, a Korean Air Lounge, a Lufthansa Lounge and a QANTAS Business Lounge is located at D21. Both Emirates and Qantas use the A380 at this terminal. The highlight of the scenery is Terminal D. Noticeable is the extra attention the terminal has been given as it is more highly detailed and has a more complex construction. The terminal has lovely lines and shape, detail includes electrical work boxes and cabling. The scenery has full built in "autogates" and guidance by Marginal and the red digital "Welcome to DFW" signage is very welcome. Terminal D is also more detailed inside as well with shopping areas and the usual brands in situ. Terminal E Terminal E, was originally occupied primarily by Delta Air Lines until Delta closed its hub here at DFW in 2005 (still Delta does 50 flights a day from here). Now it serves U.S.- based carriers at the airport other than American Airlines/American Eagle and Sun Country, as well as Air Canada Express and WestJet USCBP that are precleared flights from Canada. Terminal E has 35 gates: E2, E4–E18, E20–E21, E22–E30 (Satellite Terminal), E31–E38. Delta and Alaska Airlines are the current occupants of the E satellite terminal, following the renovation project of gates E31–E38. The scenery can use three options for static aircraft. 1 ) is the inbuilt X-Plane11 static aircraft (shown here) and can be regulated by your graphic settings slider. 2 ) X-Life is also available with notes on how to use and install in the manual and 3 ) is World Traffic WT. All the correct inlaid ATC and taxiway traffic flows are built in and ready for use. Express South Express South is a huge carpark opposite Terminal E. It is the site for any terminal expansion and is noted as Terminal F and planning is due soon. The Skylink is already in place and well represented here as the orange rail-cars move right around the the carpark boundary. Taxiway A/B - X/Y Jet Bridge Who doesn't love a taxiway Jet Bridge over a highway! I love them... At DFW taxiways A and B east and X and Y west pass over the Route 97 International Parkway. In the Aerosoft DFW scenery it is really well done as you cross over the moving traffic, only note is that the street lighting pops up through the taxiway? A slight distraction in the day, but odd at night with the glowing street lamps in your path? Central core Both approaches from the west and east to DFW is well done, but the moving traffic adds a lot of functionality to the scene. The main 232ft central control tower (there are three field towers in South, Central and North) is the only main building on the strip. It is not an over detailed tower but I would note it as functional. The Tower view over the main central runways 18R/36L 18L/36R and 17R/35L 17C/35C thankfully is excellent with no obstructions and you can see the full four corners of the field. On the southern-east section of taxiway A and B is the "SouthEast" Cargo area (below right) which is a multi-user facility for quick transit parcel movement. With another long-term and car rental carpark areas set more to the south. On the south-west side of the southern approach to DFW are mostly the catering facilities (above left). A small fuel depot is well done with a large mobile-office (demountable) administration area set out behind. On the northern approach to DFW there is a large long term carpark to the west, The car-cover screens are not in 3d like Tom Curtis's version, but only flat in the ground images? On the west side along taxiway K is a corporate aviation ramp (Apron 1E) and reception terminal. With airport support warehouses next to the Parkway. DFW West The western boundary is defined by 13R/31L to the west and 18R/36L to the east and the Cargo and Maintenance (American Airlines) infrastructure placed between them. South-west in this area is "West Cargo" but noted as the DHL cargo aprons. American Airlines have maintenance complex here with two hangars covering the site. The "West (control) Tower" is positioned behind the AA maintenance hangars. American Eagle has its offices and maintenance hangars central west with another cargo apron along side known as "West Air Freight". Still another cargo complex area is north-west and this time it is for UPS (United Parcel Service). Also set out west - west by RWY 13R/31L is the airport's comprehensive fuel depot and fuel tanks. All items are covered but the area is not over detailed. DFW East On the Northeastern boundary FedEx has a big cargo complex aligned with RWY 13L/31R known as "East Cargo". In reality this area and runway is an airport on its own just for FedEx cargo operations, There is an adjoining Fire Station (no.3) complex as well. Mid-field east ibetween runways 17C/35C and 17L/35R there is the "East (control) Tower" and a big American Airline maintenance hangar (Hangar 5) and support aprons with the adjoining main central Fire Station (no.1). The American Airline office complex and operations centre and the DFW (airport) Human Resources building are covered as is the large "Flight Safety International" training facility. But they are facade style buildings and not 3d objects that are placed more for filling in than replication of existing buildings. The east runway radar tower is notably absent. Lighting Approaching DFW is always an event, and the scenery looks very good at night. All runway and taxiway lighting is first rate, there is nothing better than taxiing round (and believe me you taxi a lot and a long way at DFW) and here it is a very good view. Ramp lighting is excellent with those huge towers of directional lights hanging over you... And here is a little bit of a incertitude in that those lovely daytime glass effects that don't translate to night time look. It is all of course a personal difference on the effect. It helps in that you can see the buildings internal areas, but overall it feels grey and flat. The cause is not helped by the average night textures on the carparks and hotels. The Grand Hyatt is devoid of any life whatsoever (HYATT sign is the only highlight) and very different as the building looks great in the daylight, the building should be a visual highlight on departure or arrival. The Hyatt Regency is a better, but still uniform in its lighting patterns. But overall this throwback lighting is boring. If these lighting carpark/hotel effects had been more effective then they would have taken away some of the flatness of the terminal glass, but together they make the building lighting and the central/terminal area average and even bland. Night textures are very hard to get right. But if you do then it can lift a scenery into a great destination for a night arrival. Services You can connect pretty much everywhere from DFW certainly on any American Airlines/U.S Airways routes. So your choice is huge... top ten domestic routes are interesting with LaGuardia routes notably more used than JFK and no major Washington D.C. routes noted. Domestic 1. Los Angeles, California -1,199,000 - American, Delta, Spirit, United 2. Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois - 1,060,000 - American, Spirit, United 3. Atlanta, Georgia - 977,000 - American, Delta, Spirit 4. Denver, Colorado - 858,000 - American, Frontier, Spirit, United 5. New York–LaGuardia, New York - 787,000 - American, Delta, Spirit 6. Phoenix, Arizona - 693,000 - American/US Airways, Spirit 7. Las Vegas, Nevada - 672,000 - American, Spirit 8. San Francisco, California - 660,000 - American, United 9. Miami, Florida - 628,000 - American 10. Charlotte, North Carolina - 613,000 - American/US Airways International International routes are very interesting. You expect Mexico and Canada to be popular, but the British seem to really like Texas as well. Notable routes to the Far East (Toyko/Seoul) are surprising. Also surprising is the absence of the middle-east carriers, but with Emirates upping the Dubai - Dallas route EK221/EK222 to A380 services and other new connections then that absence won't be for too much longer. 1. Cancún, Mexico - 682,977 - Aeromexico, American, Spirit, Sun Country 2. London (Heathrow), England - 636,251 - American, British Airways 3. Mexico City, Mexico - 476,167 - Aeromexico, American 4. Tokyo (Narita), Japan - 305,321 - American 5. Frankfurt, Germany - 269,442 - American, Lufthansa 6. Monterrey, Mexico - 246,804 - American 7. Seoul (Incheon), South Korea - 245,514 - American, Korean Air 8. San José del Cabo, Mexico - 240,412 - American, Spirit 9. Toronto (Pearson), Canada - 221,385 - Air Canada, American 10. Vancouver, Canada - 200,460 - American Qantas currently operates the world's longest nonstop service route from DFW to Sydney. In August 2015, Emirates announced plans for a nonstop flight from Dubai to Panama City which will take the title of the world's longest scheduled nonstop passenger flight starting on February 1, 2016. Cargo With 22 cargo operators and with 578,906 tons of cargo handled annually, DFW is the world's 29th busiest cargo airport. If you have followed all the cargo areas in this review you would understand how big a cargo hub DFW is. So with plenty of choice in operators and destinations will keep any cargo hauler easily grinning from ear to ear. Summary Obviously the comparison with Tom Curtis's "American Country" scenery is always going to be a hard choice. In perspective they are very different sceneries and both have great features and ideas. In more modern effects and features certainly then Aerosoft's version has a lot more the Tom Curtis's but they are very different views of the same airport. In the negative I think Aerosoft's version is slightly blander because of the very light saturation of the photo textures. I had to work hard to get any colour into the images here because there isn't much colour to be had to do so. In fact the google image shows that within the airport grounds it is far more darker than the surround areas, and here it is the opposite way around. Building and texture night lighting is a bit more of the same, a bit grey and flat, but then KRSW's night glasswork was a little grey as well. Highlight is certainly the terminal modeling as it is very good, with Terminal D being the standout. And the Jet Bridges over the highways and great moving traffic flows fill out a great visual aspect while taxiing in and out of the airport. There are lots of features including the step approach of installing sections of the airport that if you wish to leave out can help with your framerate and not affect the visual aspect of the scenery. DFW is a far bigger scale up from KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport and all the great things that made that scenery good is in this DFW, but the larger scale does mean something can be more highlighted than they were on a smaller airport. Overall this KDFW - Dallas/Fort Worth scenery is very good with a lot of great aspects and features, but a more attention to the ground textures and night building lighting should have made it really great. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth by Aerosoft is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDFW- Dallas/Fort Worth Price is US$23.99 Features: 30 cm/pixel orthoimagery and 1 cm/pixel custom ground detail/markings Airport lighting and pavement markings closely follow FAA/ACI standards Terminals with interiors modelled using actual architectural drawings Modelled aircraft overpasses crossing International Parkway Ray-traced ambient occlusion, local illumination and specular mapping Uses advanced X-Plane features such as decal shading and 3D spill lights Animated passenger boarding bridges and Safedock® A-VDGS at all gates (using the freely available AutoGate plugin by Jonathan Harris)* Animated road traffic and Skylink APM Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Fully compatible with the X-Life plugin by JARDesign Makes full use of the new ground service vehicles introduced in X-Plane 11 Thousands of hand-placed objects such as parked cars and streetlights Parked cars, streetlights and terminal interiors can be individually turned on/off to optimize performance Uses 4K textures to maximize performance by minimizing draw calls Requirements: X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac and Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card Installation and documents: Download is 307.90meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder in this order... Aerosoft_KDFW_1_Parked_Cars (106kb)* Aerosoft_KDFW_2_Street_Lights (12.7kb)* Aerosoft_KDFW_3_Terminal_Interiors (58.30kb)* Aerosoft_KDFW_4_Roads (10kb) Aerosoft_KDFW_5_Scenery (678.90mb) * selections can be removed to save framerate. Marginal's jetway and docking guidance system plugin is required for the animated jetways : AutoGate plugin 1.72 Full manual is provided. No charts but available here : ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th May 2017 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default
  14. Thanks for the info... I have been down with a head cold for a week, so you miss things SD
  15. Aircraft Update - CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado + Reality Expansion Pack by SimCoders The main v3 updates for the Carenado aircraft were done this time late last year, this v3.1 update is not a full complete version change, but more of a tweaking in bringing the aircraft current and to update with the finalisation of Laminar Research's v10.42 X-Plane serial change. A note that the whole Carenado range will be updated to this v3.1 version by Christmas, so check your accounts to download the newer versions. As there has also been released an addon Reality Expansion Pack (REP) by SimCoders, I have included that package as part of this update review and so this post is divided into two parts with the v3.1 update first and the REP later. The CT210 is the aircraft with the retractable spindly landing gear. This gives you a very clean aircraft with just the fuselage, tail and the highset wings in profile. The Centurion II is a six-seat, high-performance aircraft with retractable-gear, and a single-engine turbo IO-520-L engine with 300 hp (224 kW) that covered the versions K,N and R and was built from 1972 to 1986. Our Review : Mini Review : Carenado CT210M Centurion II HD Series - Ver 2.0 is here. This is a very nice but tight cabin aircraft with the inside and outside detailing it delivers all the usual Carenado qualities, the main panel is outstanding. I love the blue tinged lighting, it is a really nice place to fly an aircraft, the CT210 is very well equipment wise fitted out as well. The Autopilot is a Bendix King KFC225, with the highlight of the great digital readout, which I really like. CT210 Centurion II v3.1 update The v3.1 update is not very large but still quite significant in what it changes and delivers. First off is the KFC225 Autopilot panel now pops out for use, which is very handy on approaches. A lot of work has been done on the aircraft sounds. The linked volume to the internal sound now allows for the X-Plane's (audio) settings to transfer to the plugin-based sounds. The mute button is now also directly controlled the same way. The sounds differences are certainly noticiable in and outside of the aircraft, in being more clearer and distinct. The undercarriage gear sounds have been highly improved to match that excellent gear stowaway animation. The main lighting in taxi and landing lights have been made 10.40+ compliant (Halo size remastered, so it doesn’t look huge on large monitors) Carenado have got the halo sizing correct, as too many aircraft now in X-Plane have blobs of light and not aircraft lighting, here it is excellent. The Garmin 430 GPS units (Two Sets here) where installed in the v3.0 update but are still a significant feature in this aircraft. The POV (Point of View) has had a tweak change from 120 to 150, this is for multi-monitor use. Interestingly Carenado have shied away from .dds files and brought back .png textures. They note because of the .dds poor appearance, and some transparency problems. The excellent texture efficiency of the aircraft is not changed, but I agree the aircraft does look (a little) better. Finally the flight dynamics have been tweaked and the auto-toe-brake infrastructure has been removed, since X-Plane 10.40 now has that feature built-in. The panel lighting has had some fine tuning, and very nice it is. The overhead lighting is red (above on the roof) and you can control the left and right sides of the panel lighting... Outside the lighting feels tighter and more sharper. That covers the v3.1 update. Full changelog notes are listed below. _____________________________________________________________________________________ You can purchase for the Carenado CT210 Centurion II v3.1 an addon extension pack from SimCoders. This extensive package will change the aircraft into a more deeper simulation very similar to the style on the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs. Installation The Expansion pack comes with a large set of files (left) that have to be inserted within the Carenado aircraft folder, I made a duplicate aircraft and noted the Expanded version REP. There is a full set of instructions provided to understand of how to set up the files correctly and what folders certain files have to changed or replaced (right). Note, this REP package is not in any way connected or endorsed by Carenado, so any changes, bugs or failures are not the responsibility of the developer. Also required are two extra plugins from the SimCoders site: HeadShake Plugin - HeadShake v1.5 Xsaitekpanels (lin+win+mac+32/64) 2.46 - Xsaitekpanels If you have a set of Saitek instrument panels, this plugin will allow you interact with them. the "xsaitekpanels.ini" has to be inserted in the Carenado CT210 Centurion II v3.1 (REP version) aircraft folder to work. Once the installation is complete you will need a key code to activate the Expansion Pack that is included in your purchase receipt. On start up you will notice an added menu to the left side of your screen, this menu covers from top to bottom: Checklist Walkaround Tow Maintenance Hangar Weight and Balance But you can't access it? If you try any of the tabs (except the Checklist tab) you get a warning that you can only use it if your "aircraft is on the ground and the engine is off"? Well there is no doubt I am sitting on the ramp and I guess with the propeller sitting straight up and not moving would mean I do actually conform to the arrangement? Turn off all the electrics and I am still in a no go mode, with the warning boxes still telling me to put the aircraft in a static position? Then I get another banner to note that my (inert non-moveable, unpowered) engine is experiencing a "Vapor Lock"? and to turn on the fuel pumps.... hummmm. To get out of this cycle of warning boxes you have to restart the aircraft in X-Planes" startup in the "Cold and Dark" setting (operations and warnings menu). Then the side tabs will work. The banner for the "Vapor Lock" is joined then by another jolly fun alert strip in "The Engine is flooded with fuel" which is fine, but if you turn on pumps then it will be won't it? And on it goes? The odd thing is that the aircraft is still turned off electrically... even the pumps? You can thankfully actually disable the in-flight tips on the screen by going into "Plugins" then " - REP" and into "Settings" and change them there. I understand what it is in this aircraft in what it is supposed to do, so don't get me wrong here in the idea to create a cantankerous old aircraft that does not live by the rules. Note: the above notes were written in the context of my introduction to the REP package, that was ver2.0... Since then v2.1 has fixed the issues and include the annoying you don't now need the aircraft to be in the "Cold and Dark" mode (yahoo for that) and with the main battery switch turned off you don't get the another annoying "Flood" alert. But as the images are done in the V2.0 context the alerts will still show. You can fix the "Vapor Lock" by turning on the power and the pumps, but again it flooded the engine. To start the engine you have to close the "Mixture" Push in the throttle to "full" and crank the engine till it runs your battery down? The trick is to turn the pumps on and to only really prime the engine and then quickly turn them off again, and with that the CT210 will actually thankfully start, if you don't get the process right and you will lose 30 minutes of trying and flatten sixteen sets of batteries? By this time in the standard Carenado CT210 aircraft I would usually be half way across Florida to Miami from Lakeland. While we let the fuel slowly vaporise out of the carburettors we will look at the menu tabs... Checklist: There is three page checklist that covers : Normal Operations" - "Emergency" - "References" the pads can be moved around the screen for the best reference. Only annoying thing is that they have a habit of appearing if you are adjusting the radios. The checklists do however pop up when setting the radios because a mouse gesture is enabled by default, the kneeboard opens when you move the mouse over the right-hand side of the screen. You can disable this in the Plugin "settings" as well. Walkaround: The "Walkaround" tab (feature) is very good, on pressing the tab you get a map of the aircraft with the various points that you go around and checkoff your list. You not only get a checklist of what you have to do around the aircraft, but you can by pressing the buttons check each of the aerodynamic surfaces (move them) and hide the separate static elements like chocks and tie-down lines. Other clever ideas are the wear of the tyres and the removal of the pitot tube and engine inlet covers. All round it is very good (no Pun intended). Tow You can move the aircraft around on the ground by using the "Tow" feature. This is best ground tow unit I have ever used. If you have a joystick then the more you pull back or push forward increases the speed in that direction, to turn just move the joystick sideways... brilliant. Maintenance Hangar The aircraft's maintenance and general wear and tear is controlled from the "Maintenance Hangar" tab. This gives you a popup with four top tabbed pages that cover "Engine" - "Electrical/Avionics" - "Oxygen System" - "Landing Gear/Brakes". Engine This page shows you your wear and tear of the engine status, and very good it is too. It covers the condition of each of the six cylinders and the time in h/m before an overhaul, you can then do an engine overhaul. Lower is the Oil status with again time h/m before oil change and type, you can top up and watch the colour change as the oil gets older. Bottom of the page is the starter, you can fix this and considering the time you spend churning the engine to start then you fix this a lot. Electrical/Avionics Here on this tab you can see the charge left in your battery (usually not much, see above) so you can recharge to start churning again, you can disconnect the battery which is a good idea as the battery will discharge overnight if you don't. A note is that all items on the aircraft wear and are used in long term conditions, so they change and details are remembered over a long period of use and don't reset up every time you start up the aircraft in X-Plane. Another small note is that when you start up the aircraft the Avionics are switched off, and you leave them switched off until the engine is running as it may cause issues with the radios, the switch to activate the avionics is on the lower fuse panel by the pilot. Part of the package is to give you guidance and warnings on operating the aircraft, It works but can get a little annoying after using the aircraft for a period and you know then what to do, a switch off option of the feature would be a welcome relief. Oxygen Next Maintenance Hangar tab is the "Oxygen. On this page you can note the amount of Oxygen available via the number of people aboard the aircraft, and refill the tanks if necessary (On the ground). The Oxygen controls and Gauge are above your head on the forward cabin roof. Landing Gear/Brakes Wear and tear on your tyres and brakes are actually critical on this aircraft, you have to be light on the brakes as well in case you don't bend those spindly outset wheels. So braking heavily from speed is a no, no. You can see the status of the gear in the tab Landing Gear/Brakes page, your tyre wear and brake pad condition. All can be "Fixed" and repaired. Weight and Balance Final menu tab is the "Weight and Balance" page. On this page layout you can set your weight and distribution of the weight on the aircraft. There is an excellent graph to note your CoG (Centre of Gravity) and one image above is set with too much baggage to see the out of bound effect, other images note the passenger weight and different fuel weights. On the out of CoG settings the aircraft was sitting almost on its tail on the ramp so it shows the weight and CoG is correctly transferred the aircraft. You can refuel here and there is a complete summary of the completed choices. In flight the Extended package changes a lot of the original Carenado settings in noted... Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior It certainly felt a little better to fly actually than the Carenado version, as I have had problems rubbing off speed even in a shallow down pitch, but in the REP I was able to get down into the 60kt - 70kt zone to make a smoother less faster (less bouncy) landing. But the headshake and extra bounce on the front wheel can bounce you up and down more than I wish too, it doesn't work well with turning front wheel either. And you can actually damage as noted the undercarriage if you are not kind to it. There is realistic simulation of alternate static air, with the airspeed indicator, the altimeter and the vertical speed indicator can introduce a reading error when the alternate static air is on. There is a complex "Damages System" that is triggered by the pilot actions based on real world data that targets every system in the aircraft and this is to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane. In the realistic realistic startup procedures and other advanced TSIO-520 Engine Simulation, it is a balance between being realistic and frustrating. I think it is just on the border of frustrating in that you will find it quite slow if you want to get the aircraft airborne quickly, in part you have to wait, sometimes too long for the temperatures to stablise, and the vapor lock and starting procedure just a little too much on the dramatic side. No doubt the information has been gathered by a real CT210 performance data and real world operations, but the aircraft used must have been a really old cantankerous thing to operate. Certainly familiarity and use of the aircraft over a long period of time will reduce these operational matters. Sounds are certainly very good, but as noted above Carenado have updated the sound package in the v3.1 release, and personally I prefer the Carenado version... At low revs you get a lovely bass thrum and were as the REP package is more a higher dum, dum sound. At speed outside the REP version is a high very buzzy noise but the aircraft sounds nice inside at the controls. Open windows or dropping the undercarriage for great wind noise or in the walkaround you have realistic sounds if you check out the aerodynamic surfaces. So overall it is a great sound package. Summary I starting this review with the original v2.0 version it was fraught with frustration and the REP package was just buggy, to the point this review could have been a more negative result. I left the comments in to show that a reviewer's life is not easy sometimes, and how easily a few wrong set items (bugs) can deride a result that is detrimental to the plugin and reflect on sales. Thankfully v2.1 fixed the issues at hand and the REP package is certainly a great addition to the excellent CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado, however if you are a setup and go straightaway pilot, then you may find the REP package a little slow and frustrating in just wanting to fly. For the absolute fanatical sort of person that likes the ticking of a cooling engine then the addon REP is right down your street. Certainly a good addition to the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs as they are very similar in this disguise. The manual must be read to get the best performance and tips on using the aircraft with this package, it explains how to fly the aircraft in these conditions and what to do when you go outside those flight parameters or aircraft performance positions. So both the CT210 Centurion II v3.1 update from Carenado and this additional REP package is a great combination together. There are certainly slight differences of if you have the REP package installed or go for standard Carenado aircraft, it in a way in the end it really depends on how you want to fly or approach the CT210 Centurion II for your simulation needs. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the CT210 Centurion II HD Series v3.1 by Carenado is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - CT210 Centurion II HD Series Price is US$29.95 If you have already purchased the CT210 Centurion II HD Series then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account, log in and download v3.1 from your account. Developer site : Developer Support : Carenado - Alabeo Support X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Reality Expansion Pack for Cessna Centurion (REP) by Simcoders is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack for Cessna Centurion Price is US$19.99 Developer site : SimCoders ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.30+ - 64 bit compatible 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 250MB available hard disk space version 3.1 (last updated November 3rd 2015) The CT210 Centurion by Carenado above is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft Current version: 2.01 (last updated November 17th 2015) ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 19th November 2015 Copyright©2015: 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 : WorldTraffic v2 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note: personal added items in an office (okay demountable building and vehicles) ______________________________________________________________________ CT210 Centurion II HD Series V3.1 change log -Broadened FOV to 150 (Useful for multi-monitor use, where 120 didn't cut it). -Linked volume to internal sound infrastructure (No more detached control over plugin-based audio and X-Plane internal audio. Now, X-Plane's settings transfer to plugin-based sounds). -Created mute button, which is synchronized with X-Plane’s internal sound infrastructure -Deleted .dds files, due to poor appearance, and some transparency issues. -Fixed lights to be 10.40+ compliant (Halo size remastered, so it doesn’t look huge on large monitors) -Flight dynamics tweaked (Removed auto-toe-brake infrastructure, since X-Plane 10.40 now has it built-in, and could cause conflicts with plugin). Additionally, the CT210 received the following updates: -Added pop-up autopilot -Tweaked landing gear sound -improved panel night lighting
  16. Aircraft Review : Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor After the huge success of the late 1950's and throughout the 1960's for the Boeing Commercial Airplane's Company with their Boeing 707/727/737 and Widebodied Boeing 747 aircraft, it was always going to be a challenge for Boeing and keep their lead in the aviation production business to develop and create the next advanced series of passenger jets. Other manufacturers went down the Twin-Aisle three-engined designs that was signified by the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and the Lockhead L-1011 Tristar. Originally Boeing with the code-named 7X7 looked to be going down that route of three engine design, but the Airbus A300 from Europe changed the design to the more common current layout with Twin-Aisle, Twin-Engined aircraft as engine design and power had now progressed to allow big twins to have the power and range over their three engined counterparts in that now highly competitive mid-medium to large-size, long-range market. Still Boeing backed its card hand both ways, not only announcing the Boeing 767 as their Twin-Engine Design to cover the Twin-Aisle market, but to also build a Single-Aisle aircraft in the Boeing 757 code-named 7N7, and both aircraft have a commonality design that was shared over the two different types of airframes, in the thinking that airlines would buy and operate both types with a single commonality rating with a small conversion to the larger Boeing 767. Three variants of the Boeing 767 were planned: a 767-100 with 190 seats, a 767-200 with 210 seats, and a trijet 767MR/LR version with 200 seats intended for intercontinental routes. The 767MR/LR was subsequently renamed 777 for differentiation purposes which was when finally launched a vastly different aircraft for a different market. The prototype Boeing 767 aircraft, registered N767BA and equipped with JT9D turbofans, rolled out on August 4, 1981. By this time, the 767 program had accumulated 173 firm orders from 17 customers, including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Britannia Airways, Transbrasil, and Trans World Airlines (TWA). On September 26, 1981, the prototype took its maiden flight under the command of company test pilots Tommy Edmonds, Lew Wallick, and John Brit. This version in the FlightFactor/StepToSky release is the The 767-300ER, the extended-range version of the 767-300. Which entered service with American Airlines in 1988. The type's increased range was made possible by greater fuel tankage and a higher MTOW of 407,000 lb (185,000 kg). Design improvements allowed the available MTOW to increase to 412,000 lb (187,000 kg) by 1993. Power is provided by Pratt & Whitney PW4000, General Electric CF6, or Rolls-Royce RB211 engines. This aircraft is the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 version. FlightFactor/StepToSky FlightFactor and Roman Berezin has no need of introduction for most fliers in X-Plane Simulation. Their Boeing 777 WorldLiner and Boeing 757 Series have made them the very best of the Boeing designed (and official product) available for X-Plane. Their foray into Airbus territory with their Airbus A350-900 also shows the design group's versatility. Here with the Boeing 767-300ER FlightFactor still uses the talents of avionics designer Phillipp Munzel, but are also now joined by StepToSky designers Denis Maslov and Alexander Khudekov, but the full development team is thirteen highly specialised individuals coming together to create this highly developed iconic aircraft the.... Boeing 767-300ER Review You couldn't cover every aspect of this review with a simple walkaround the aircraft and point to point flight like I usually write, because different points of the flying pointed to different areas to be explored. So this review covers three sector flights, not the quite Golden Triangle of some of the busiest air routes in the world between BNE-Brisbane (Queensland) to ADL- Adelaide (South Australia) to SYD - Sydney (New South Wales) and finally back to BNE.... MEL - Melbourne (Victoria) missed out because I wanted the longer stretch sector to Adelaide and the longer one back to SYD. When in service (All Boeing 767 aircraft have only earlier this year have been retired by QF Qantas) in the past three decades with Qantas these routes were its main service points (and also PER-Perth) and I have flown on a lot of flights on this aircraft over these routes. So there is a little mixture in the look of some images in this review here as they are taken not in order as I usually do, but overall throughout the three distinct flying sectors. External There is a distinctly different feel to the Boeing 767, yes it looks like FF's Boeing 757 and B777 series aircraft and that design feel is certainly strongly still prominent. But there is a different technique at work here in the way the aircraft's outer-skins are presented. The design of the fuselage is simply exemplary, but what you are looking at is in fact two fuselage's in objects. The usual standard inner version, but now also another object fuselage built over it. This outer object creates a brilliant shine over the aircraft (a sort of holy grail in X-Plane) and gives you (another X-Plane holy grail) great chrome surfaces. These reflective chrome areas are noticeable around the inner front wing surfaces and in the front areas of the engine inlet cowling surfaces. Certainly static images do not give these reflections a good representation of their quality and shininess, but they are very, very good. Externally the aircraft is excellent, how much detail do you want? how much more can you include in small detailing details? To highlight the sort of detailing you have here we will focus on an area, which is the wings and undercarriage (to cover every detail would take a small manual). leading edge and trailing edge wing design is excellent, fully detailed and animated. The B767 uses a unique inner flap arrangement called a "Hinged Beam Four Bar Linkage" with Fowler flap, because of the interference of a drag problem the linkage has a shallow but wide fairing which was small enough to allow it to fix the drag problems. A variation was used on the Boeing 777 in the "upsidedown/upright four bar linkage" flap system. The Boeing 767 wings are swept at 31.5 degrees and optimized for a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 (533 mph or 858 km/h). Each wing features a supercritical cross-section and is equipped with six-panel leading edge slats, leading single-and double-slotted flaps, inboard and outboard ailerons, and six spoilers. Inner wing detailing is overwhelming, only when the wing is fully extended do you get the full detailing shown, amazing detail is what you get for your money today. The B767 here is one of the best yet. As is the undercarriage design, complex and fully animated you get every link, pipe, nut and bolt in perfect harmony, it is simply a miniature version of the real gear system, but the real aspect of this undercarriage quality is in the motion of their working sum of parts, put the aircraft down in a heavy side wind and you see the whole system working to its maximum, the gear compresses and wheels work with the tarmac, and even the Hydraulic piping will flex and move to the gear movement. You can spend hours with replays watching the motions in action. So external design is extraordinary good, every fuselage join, rivet, and body construction is perfectly realized, smaller items like pitot tubes, aerials, rudder and flap joints are all there to look for and see, only slight blemish is the front strut lights can shine through the doors, which is common theme with most X-Plane aircraft (noting a Laminar Research issue and not a developers one). There is the choice between the old original straight edge wing design and the newer upturned Aviation Partners blended winglets. Internal Internally it is a quick glance left into the cockpit, but let us have a look at the cabin first. Two class cabin in five across in two - one - two first/business and seven across two - three - two in the main economy section, all blue seating is very 80's in seating design. Cabin is well designed and laid out, the fittings look the period that the aircraft was built in and the overhead lockers are tiny compared to the huge bins we have today. Overall the cabin is excellent. Cabin has "Dynamic windows" (shades) that open and close to the angle of the sun like on the FF B757, but here you have the option of turning them off (thank you), for the windowhuggers the view out is excellent, early versions of the FF B767 had very dark orange opacity window view, but thankfully for the release they have been made a lot clearer and more enjoyable. Cockpit first look. The cockpit experience is astounding, this aircraft is not fully "cold and dark" because it is waiting for a transition crew to take it on to Adelaide. The surrounding cockpit does feel different, but sit in the captains seat and it all suddenly becomes very familiar. If you already have the FlightFactor Boeing 757 Series you will find this view and all the controls, knobs and switchgear just like home, everything is the same and the only changes are the ones you can't see which is the aircraft's weights, fuel loads and fuel burn, all round the aircraft is of course heavier than its cousin in 99790 kg (220,000 lb) for the Boeing 757 which has a Max - takeoff weight to the higher 179168 kg (395,000 lbs) GTW for the Boeing 767-300ER. From a pilots instrument perspective this is not a complicated aircraft, there are only the same basic tools that you would find on even a regional turboprop aircraft. It is in the setting up detail that makes this aircraft a professional machine. This aircraft had some of the early glass style cockpits, not the full sized panels you see today, but the early style cathode ray tube (CRT) designs. These screens were and are fitted here usually two CRT's and the top smaller one is for the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and lower CRT is is for the MAP/NAV display. Two more larger CRT's cover the aircraft's performance and status are situated mid-panel. The rest of the instruments are standard clockwork gauges and dials. We will get a better understanding of the PFD/NAV displays when flying, so I will pass over them for now. But the standard gauges and dials are on the Pilot's/Captain's side far left is the main Airspeed dial (KNOTS/MACH) combined and below is the Radio Distance Magnetic Indicator (RDMI) that shows DME-VOR/ADF distances and with dual needles display (switchable). Right of the CRT's is the "Autoland Status" which can be switched to Auto1/Auto2/Manual on the OHP. Below is the Altitude indicator with barometric settings. Lower is the Vertical Speed Indicator from 0 - 6000fpm, bottom is the timer/clock. Centre are three standby/backup dials in Artificial Horizon, Airspeed dial and Altitude indicator. Autobrake setting knob is here as well. First officer right side position has exactly the same instrument layout, but there are a few extra dials and displays in a "Brake Pressure" dial, TAS/Cº display, Gear up/down lever, Flap position display (1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 degrees) and engine thrust parameter limits selection panel (also known as "thrust management". As noted the panel looks complicated but it is really quite a simple layout. Autopilot (AP) is very standard Boeing, so if you have flown any Boeing flightdecks then you would be very familiar with the layout, like the B757 each end of the AP is a frequency setting (VOR 1/NAV 1) left and VOR2/NAV2 right) both CRS (Course) setting knob are here as well. There is slight (very slight) differences on the OHP (OverHead Panel), but the familiarity aspect is very strong. All areas on this FlightFactor aircraft are covered in systems and switchgear, the panel is very comprehensive in detail. Main panels are Electrical, APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), Hydraulics, Electronic Engine Control (EEC), Inertial reference, Oxygen, heating (external and internal), Air-Conditioning, Bleed and Pneumatic air, Cooling and anti-ice, call panel, Fuel and aircraft lighting. Pedestal (or Aislestand) is well laid out as well, The central Throttle (engine reverse), Stab trim, flap lever, speed brake lever of course dominate the panel, The two start/cutoff fuel control switches are buried at the rear of the throttle set. EFIS (electronic Flight Instrument System) panels are available for both Captain/First Officer and again a replication and use of exactly the same units on the B757. Engine, Cargo and APU fire controls and main radio communications panels are mid-section, rear is the ADF/NDB frequency dials and that difficult to find VOR1/ILS frequency radio set (click lower knob to activate). far rear is your Aileron/rudder trim wheels/knob. There is a right side rear service panel, that is for observers and monitoring general aircraft systems. MCDU and Flightplanning MCDU (Multipurpose Control Display Unit) in the Boeing 767-300ER is one of the best in X-Plane. Bulletproof and well designed, you can easily programme in your aircraft's operating parameter's and route planning. Both Captain/First Officer MCDU's pop out for ease of use and are independent of each other. You can use it on your iPad as well and there is comprehensive instructions provided on the way to connect X-Plane to your iPad or if you already have that installed for the B757 system, the same one will work here also. Setting up the route is very easy, select your departure (YBBN) and arrival (YPAD) airports, select your RWY 19 and SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and "Trans" point in my case LARAVALE "LAV", sometimes you may be required to select from a selection of NAV-AIDS to select the right one is to look at the co-ordinates. Then input your route waypoints and I tend to go for DME-VOR and NDB fixes for ease of input and distance measuring. On ARR (Arrival) you select RWY23 your STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) which is the opposite of your SID and here it is "BLACK SIX" (A note is that I usually have to edit a STAR section to get the best approach, shouldn't have to, but I usually do?), when done then EXEC or activate the FlightPlan, you can save your route and also use flightplans you created in the FF B757 by moving them to the Plugins/767Avionics/routes file (the routes are in the same place on the B757). You can check your route by in the EFIS select PLN mode for the NAV/MAP display and press "SELECT" R6 Key to move down the list. To get the best performance out of these aircraft it comes down to the way you programme and set up the aircraft with weights and balances, you get help of course which we will come to in a minute. But the professional serious pilots of you out there know the good nitty gritty is in the minor details of flight planning. To show the serious depth of programming in performance with the FF Boeing 767 it is how much detail is now available for you. It is certainly important to set up your aircraft's weights and fuel before doing the final calculations in the FMC (Flight Management Computer), if not it can alter your flightplan and it will need re-editing to fit in the new settings, worse it can ruin a STAR approach and you will need for serious editing to get the correct flow to lineup with the runway. But get the W&F numbers right and there is bounty of information at your disposal. One such area is the option of using "ECON" performance. this data will fly the aircraft at the best "Economy" performance to save fuel and give you the information covering the best Climb (CLB), Cruise (CRU) and Descend (DES) and best flight altitude and speeds, transitional speeds and it is clever stuff. Positional reports (even when sitting at the gate!) and Progress data is all at your disposal and is updated right to the conclusion of the flight. But it is in the real details of the FMC that is excellent, the small things that make this FMC certainly the very best one out there in X-Plane Weather and terrain radars are not new, but this version is more adjustable and more powerful than the standard X-Plane version, you can test the unit as well to see if it is active and adjust the beam up or down to to get the best perspective that you require more on them later. Menus Another FlightFactor aircraft and another different Menu design. But this is a better version than the X-Plane menu bar approach of the B757, as this B767 version is based around the iPad or Electronic Flight Bag as many are called. You select the iPad by the smaller version in a pocket on the left of the Captain's position, and it pops up on the top right of your screen, X-Plane menu and key access (recommended) can also be used. The iPad can be moved around the screen but be careful as it can disconnect you from the cockpit controls unless when moved you re-click on the cockpit area background. The iPad has seven different tabs in : General - Ground - Airplane - Failures - Avionics - About and PA (Passenger Announcements) Main tab is "General". This tab selects all the general settings of the aircraft to select more realism or just general flying details. Items you can selects are: High challenge – sets the frequency of custom failures (none, low, high) Real limits – set the structural limits of the aircraft Real time – set the time periods needed for some physical processes f/o in control – the pilots default position is the right seat Throttles block – sets the special throttle block option Advanced windshear – sets the windshear simulation so it can appear in specific weather conditions Mouse wheel – alternates between 4 modes of mouse wheel usage (zoom, rotate, click-rotate, click-rotate-click) Interflight data – sets the option to remember data between different flights (e.g. oil qty, oxygen qty and others) Charts on – turns on the chart on yoke option (read bellow) Hide yokes – hides the yokes Realistic sound – sets the volumes of in-cockpit systems to realistic levels (instead of a mode familiar sim levels) Real weather radar – alternates between a familiar full square radar and a realistic tilt-level based system All settings and preferences can be saved, which is a huge bonus when resetting up for a new flight. Main aircraft volume can also be adjusted here as well. Second tab is "Ground". Ground is split into two areas upper for external operations and lower for aircraft weight and balance management. This is a very comprehensive tab, with a lot of settings and configurations. You have a lot of ground support vehicles, stairs, buses, fuel truck, de-ice truck, Air Start Unit (ASU), Loader (LSU) and gate configuration to park at a airbridge. On early FlightFactor aircraft these ground vehicles were really good, but now they are really feeling their age. They actually now look odd at western airports as they seem more eastern European in design, X-Plane has moved on with more current designs and the de-ice truck looks a little hokey... You can save and recall your favorite support vehicles configuration. Push back is built in here and we will get to that in a moment. Ground "Maintenance" is needed to reset the interflight data – oxygen and hydralic fluid quantities, starter usage counters etc. To make it easier the (very) top of the overhead panel there is a special flight counter which tells you how many flight have passed from the last maintenance. The lower panel is a very comprehensive way to set up the aircraft. You can set up your "passenger load", "Cargo" and "Fuel Weight". and you get the final weight and balance numbers to reflect your choices. CoG (Centre of Gravity) can be set automatically, but I found it to biased to the rear and making the aircraft nose light? The fuel truck has to connected to load in fuel, but when ready if you push the "LOAD/UNLOAD" button the aircraft will load up to your preferences. This can take a little time and with a lot of noise going on behind you, but it is very authentic. If you want to just change the cargo and passenger loads you can just do that by pressing the "RETOUCH LOAD" button. But there was one slightly annoying thing with this arrangement. And that if you are not resetting the aircraft from "cold" then you have to "UNLOAD" everything in passengers and cargo (or wait ten minutes) before you can then load up your new flight preferences and wait another ten minutes while everything is reloaded that is all going on board, meanwhile you can't finish programming the MCDU/FMC data because the final weights are not yet completed? It is I'll go and get a cup of coffee time while you are doing all this unloading and reloading business. In normal arrival and departing conditions it is fine, but in starting a new simulation it is a bit of a waiting game... All custom weights and balances preferences can be saved and recalled. But it is a very powerful setup system, and better than past FF aircraft arrangements. Next menu tab is the "Airplane" menu This menu selects the aircraft items. On the left is the option of the movable cabin window blinds we mentioned and the option of standard wing tips or the newer winglets... Either choice is great, and the detail on the non-winglet version is still to a high quality. Three menu selections covers the "Wingflex" and this does not need to be set very high as it will be a little to flexible, only a small amount on the left is recommended, "Reflections" again you don't need a lot of glossy reflections as it looks odd with a sheen across your screen that looks unnatural at mid to high settings. "Effects" can be set low as well. All settings can be saved and are configured the same the next time you load up the aircraft. Lower panel is the aircraft doors. spot click all passenger and cargo doors including that small lower cargo hold for oversized and last minute baggage. This Boeing 767 has a great upward sliding door animation that is extremely authentic. small great touchs that make this aircraft really great. Next tab is "Failures". As you use the aircraft it will start to produce failures that have to be rectified via the "Maintenance" selection... I didn't clock up enough brownie points to set this in motion... Next is "Avionics" Another big tab of settings, but at this point the dark ones noted here are not yet functional. EADI options include (PFD), EHSI (ND) and EICAS displays options. EADI Airspeed tape – this will set the airspeed tape in the EADI (PFD) FMA on Top – this will set the FMA on TOP for the airspeed tape. This options is hard connected to the airspeed tape options Integrated cue FD – this will alternate between the integrated cue flight director and the crosshair FD Advanced radio altitude alerts – this set the advanced RA alerts Round Dial RA – this set the round dial RA ILS deviation warning – this sets the ILS deviation warning Rising runway – this sets the rising runway option Trend vector – this sets the trend vector option on the airspeed tape (requires the airspeed tape option to operate) EHSI Modern EFIS panel – sets the EFIS panel type (with or without TERR and some other options). Automatically set the EGPWS type Heading up map – enables the heading up map TAS and GS – sets the true airspeed and ground speed readouts ADF pointers – sets the ADF pointers Range arcs – enabled the range arcs Digital wing bearing – enables the wing bearing indicator EICAS FF display – enabled the fuel flow readouts APU oil qty display – enables the APU oil quantity readout Hydraulic pressure – enables the hydraulic press readouts APU RPM – enables the APU RPM readout BULK temperature – enables the bulk cargo compartment temperature readout Brake temperature – enables the bake temperature readout and warning boxes Tire pressure – enables the tire pressure indication PIP FMS This setting will alternate between the classical style FMS and the newer PIP type. See the FCOM for more detail EGPWS – this will alternate between the old style enhanced GPWS system which generates the warning text and has only the standard look-ahead display and a newer system which also has the peaks mode. Lots of detail and settings available, you can see why you need time on the airframe to get the best settings configured to your own perspective. In the "About" tab everyone takes a well earned bow, it take a lot of talented people to create a modern X-Plane aircraft in today's highly detailed simulation world... This is were your money goes. The last tab is the "PA" (Passenger Announcements) Released on the FF Boeing 757 series, these are quality (meaning very long) announcements, which are great to use and use them a lot I do. Just watch you are not disconnected to the aircraft when you select the tab, and you can kill an announcement or change the announcement volume by the knob on the radio panel. Checklists and Tutorial The Checklist and Tutorial menus are not on the iPad, but still like the system on the B757 which is on the X-Plane/plugin menu bar. But nothing is missing here and very good they are. You get a full startup and flight checklists that turn green when items are completed, and auto start functions are here as well and a complete reset page to clear the checklists for a new flight... four tabs represent: Normal - Procedures - Operational - Resets. Flying the FlightFactor - SteptoSky Boeing 767-300ER You would think that starting up a huge airliner would be a long procedural business, in fact it is quite the opposite. Warning beacons on (red), main fuel pumps on, Cabin Air-Conditioning off (for engine bleed) and to note I am using the ground start air-compressor not the on board APU. Then select Ground (GND) start and finally the "Engine Start" switch to either 1 or 2, I need at least one engine running to take over from the GPU external power. The centre MFD panel "Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System" (EICAS) will come alive on the start up engine, let N2 build to 25% and then flip in the "Fuel Control" (flow) switch and the engine will then complete the startup process to idle. When both engines are running then clean up the bleed/Air-Con and turn on the aircraft's engine power supply (DC) and disconnect the external GPU and High-Pressure Units. Startup sounds are extremely good and APU and air-conditioning sounds are constant in the aircraft, and it is weird when you finally shut down the aircraft later on how quiet or noisy it actually is. The pushback truck is built in and a very good one it is... Select push or pull and let off the brakes to move. You have full throttle and yaw control if you use the keys or a joystick and throttle system, so placing the aircraft correctly for departure is easy. Only slight visual issue is the truck does not fully turn on the front gear, so the aircraft tends to drag the truck sideways? But the turning wheels on the PB truck are a nice touch. YBBN - YPAD On the taxiways the aircraft is nice to manoeuvre around but watch that length it is a big aircraft on tight taxiways and hard turns, however the perfect taxi speed is easily found... anyway you are to busy enjoying the "PA" announcements to the passengers. ATC clearance and 15º flap selected and your rolling by pressing the THR (Thrust button), on rotate Flaps up a notch and gear up, switching to SPD and Autopilot (AP) on and LNAV/VNAV are selected. The aircraft has plenty of power and I have a high takeoff weight, so climbing above 2000fpm is not a problem for this aircraft. Your friend is the "Thrust Mode Management" panel in setting TO/GA, CLB, CON, CRZ and DERATE 1 & 2. If you programmed the MCDU correctly the Thrust Management will control your engines for the maximum performance and you certainly do feel the differences. The sheer amount of information in route data and engine data available to you is extraordinary. PROGRESS page gives you perfect updates on the route and DIRECT TO is available when required. Finally at cruise you can breath out and relax. One major thing that you feel is the absolute complete environment of this Boeing 767-300ER. The way you look through those lovely port-holed windows but mostly via the aural connection of the aircraft. I have flown on many aircraft and on the B767 many times and this aircraft is the one that really captures that feeling and the very sounds like the real aircraft... it sends goosebumps up your spine in the reality of it all. I have not been a big fan of FF external sounds (very clicky), but with the "realistic sounds" option on they are a lot better here. but internally they are excellent. Only slight annoyance is still that FF cabin communication "pinging" that you can't seem to keep happy. So is the FF B767 different from the FFB757? From the cockpit yes it does even though the panel layout is the same, and it is a very different aircraft in many respects, more depth and the FF B757 was very good there. The B757 feels darker and far older than the brighter surrounds of the lovely B767 cockpit. It is 2h 30min flightime between BNE to ADL, but it felt longer with the "real time" option on, and yet the clock is right. Pretty soon you are coming over the Adelaide Hill's on the "Black" STAR approach path to RWY 23. FF created the best aircraft noises and this B767 does not disappoint on landing, throttle changes are excellent and wind noise with gear extraction is amazingly realistic, almost distractingly so, you are working hard on the pre-landing procedures and these great sounds are surrounding you with detail... realism par excellence. You are working hard but the aircraft delivers, one natural thing is that the Boeing 767-300ER is just a very nice aircraft to fly, perfectly balanced and you love being at the controls... Landing sounds are exceptional, thrust reverse can be set up so your add-on throttle will allow you to control the amount of thrust you need to stop, but pull the thrust back and close the doors before rubbing off to much speed as you will lose too much momentum as the reset period to forward thrust is quite high, if you want a bit more realism I recommend SimCoders free "HeadShake", but use it sparingly and at minimum settings. Back on the ground and you clean the aircraft up and say goodbye to the passengers, the B767 has such a great visual impact in X-Plane, just a damn nice aircraft. At Gate 14L the unloading of the aircraft works for me, but while the noise is going on behind me the reloading was now starting to start and I am working hard to finish off the reprogramming the MCDU for the next sector to SYD (Sydney), a top up with fuel is also needed but turnaround time is 45 minutes and you have a lot of work to get through... YPAD - YSSY Departure from YPAD is via RWY 23 and this is a great opportunity to test out the terrain radar which is a major feature and independent of the standard X-Plane version. The system notes the high ground to the left of the aircraft, and the radar in the nose is adjustable up or down to give you the feedback you want, the sweep of the radar beam on the CRT is really well done and is highly realistic. There is one notable aspect in that the PFD instrument has no Altitude or V/S tape, there is the speed tape but you are looking to use the standard clockwork dials for the Altitude and V/S information. This EHSI (Electrical Horizontal Situation Indicator) is a little disconcerting at first as you are so used to having both items fore and centre, but you do get used to it and it makes the display less busy to use, there is still a wealth of data and information in there and the Localizer deviation scale and pointer (Horizontal) and Glideslope deviation scale and pointer (vertical) still appear on landing. Pitch, and Rate of Roll displays are excellent as is the Flight Director cues. Lower MAP/NAV screen is highly configurable from the EFIS (electronic Flight Instrument System) panels and have all modes including VOR, APP (Approach),MAP and PLAN, switchable to the ROSE mode for heading flying. The display will also show the above Terrain/Weather displays. Weather On the face of the displays the Weather radar looks like the current default X-Plane version, but it is not. This weather radar is a totally new thing in X-Plane all together. It creates extrapolated 3D weather data and shows cross-sections using tilt and gain. Also shows windshear and turbulence visual data. It is controlled by "weather Radar" panel on the pedestal and this negative and positive look down feature into the weather is excellent. Rain and wind effects are very good, the raindrops drip realistically down the window and then go horizontal as the speed grows, the wipers will clear away the drops and only have them reappear as the wiper moves past and returns. Combined with the radar you get a great all round poor weather conditions till you break through the cloud ceiling and altitude. Route information to YSSY is again top notch. Note the T/D (Top of Descent) point which I found exactly spot on for my descent speed of -2000fpm. One sector to go at YSSY back to BNE and it was another offload... reload and re-programming the MCDU and weights and balances for the lighter load and shorter distance flight back to Queensland. YSSY - YBBN Enroute you can can access pages within pages of data. Helpful is "Wind Forecasts" for different wind altitudes, and that wind data is also translated to the flight PROGRESS (page 2) data. Aircraft cruise (CRZ) ECOM data (page 2) is also available. So you can see that the correct programming of the MCDU is critical in many areas of flight for performance and visual data, this is one very intelligent aircraft. that flies to very specific inputs and weights and balances. We are almost around the triangle and landing back in Brisbane is only a 20min away, and as the light is falling, let us look at the aircraft's lighting. Lighting FlightFactor was one of the pioneers of great internal aircraft lighting and the Boeing 767 here is very good. The only odd visual note is that the panel is more yellowish than the AP panel. It does give it a different visual look and you can certainly find that right point for having limited reflections for takeoff and landing in the dark in four different lighting adjustment knobs. On saying that if you turn up the lighting inside the cockpit the window reflections are excellent and highly realistic. Overhead in two forward spot (chart lights) and two rear main (Storm) lighting fills the cabin with great working light in flight or setting up on the ground. Power overhead (OVHD) lighting gives you full cockpit illumination. Rear Cabin is brightly lit and very realistic, feels very good and adjustable too. External lighting is slightly compromised by Laminar Research's blobby v10.45 lighting, but with HDR on you have a lot of different lighting tools at your disposal. Night view from the cockpit is amazingly realistic, your in the zone and to deep into your landing procedures to look out of the windows, you work hard in here, but the feedback and realism gives you an adrenaline rush... Finals and the cockpit again fills with the huge noise of rushing winds and gear down lights. Forward lighting is very good and the runway is well illuminated. You have three sets of turnoff lighting and with the main, taxi and turnoff lights running you light up the whole area around the cockpit... The view for taxiing is excellent and the lighting is powerful in selecting the right line around tight taxiway turns. There is excellent wing/Ice lighting, but a strange deal on the tail logo light. There is a logo button, but the tail lights don't work? Then on the ground turn on the wing lighting and it comes on, turn off the wing lighting and the logo stays on? weird? It is not centre either on the logo... Three sectors and four ports and it is a big day flying, no doubt the Boeing 767-300ER is one challenging but hugely rewarding aircraft. Liveries You get (noted as "Free") liveries, including: American Airlines, Air France, Garuda Indonesia, British Airways, Star Alliance Lufthansa (a strange choice) and Canadian Westjet. There are also nine livery packs available at $US10.00 per pack, noted are: Asia 1 & Asia 2, Europe 1, Europe 2 & Europe 3, Middle East, North American, Oceania and South America, that is altogether over 100 + liveries for the aircraft... Summary The basic conclusion to this Boeing 767-300ER Professional is that in every way and every department it is a step forward in X-Plane simulation. Three areas stand out though, the sheer depth and complexity of the aircraft and its systems, it is certainly another level again and the amount of data you have at your disposal is breathtaking. The aircraft's design quality and the weather (Radar and Terrain), over gloss and chrome features are other stand out features. Third is with all this huge amount of detail, design and the sheer amount of code that must be in the aircraft and yet.... yet it is so frame-rate friendly, so light on your computer, that alone is a significant amount of genius. Negatives... minor but there are a few niggles, It takes a long time to set up for flight, there is a lot of inputting and detailed areas to cover, so it is not a jump in and fly aircraft by any standards, but creating routes and saving them can really help in reprogramming the MCDU, but your work is certainly cut out in there. The ground vehicles are looking a bit out of date and wrong in a modern airport context, a bit 60's Eastern Bloc. That cabin crew constant communication "pinging" drives you mental, yes you are required to satisfy its needs but a lot of "pinging" 500ft out from landing it is more like "just shut up and sit down" The biggest point to make is that many uses will note that the Boeing 757 has everything the Boeing 767 has and certainly why bother as the cockpit is the same anyway. That is like saying here that my brother or sister is the same as me because they come from the same parents. They are totally different aircraft, and in fact the familiarity is actually a bonus as you don't need to relearn that side of procedural process, but in every other way, in feel, in use and certainly in the depth of the simulation they are quite different aircraft, and you will fly them for different reasons. Overall it is the feeling that no aircraft comes closer to the real aircraft in feel and sounds than this one does, start it up and fly, and your memories come flooding back of being on the real machine, up there high... yes it is that realistic. The best heavy aircraft in simulation in X-Plane, well that is a big call for this excellent Boeing 767-300ER, but certainly it again raises the standards to another level again in every area, it is not in the first look that it really delivers but in the minute detailing of systems and programming and flight performance, in that area it is simply outstanding. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor is NOW! Available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 767-300ER Professional Price is US$64.95 Features Flexible Options A very flexible architecture : You chose the set up Different options for many avionics instruments including two types of FMC. Options to composite your own EICAS, EADI and EHSI displays. Most of the options included in the real 767 Checklists and 'Autohelper' Full electronic interactive checklist with automatic action detection. Automatic mode 'Helper' who performs all the actions for you, you just CHECK the items. A tutorial which shows the user what to do and when. Perfected Flight model Accurate flight model, as close as it gets to real performance. Tested by real pilots and translated to X-Plane A dynamic and customizable center of gravity that depends on actual cargo and passenger load Fully Functional Professional FMS and EFIS System Custom Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems. Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures from updatable database. VNAV-managed climbs and descends. Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation. Two independent analogue instrument sets for captain and first officer. Two independently simulated EFIS (EADI/EHSI configuration) for captain and first officer. Dual-FMS with two independently working CDUs. Working instrument comparators. Triple IRS and triple symbol generator systems with realistic instrument source switching. Dual air-data computers with custom failure modes and source switching. Independent 2 nav and an ils recievers. Realistic inertial, radio and GPS position updating, you can see the individual inaccuracies of those systems. Triple-channel autopilot with realistic dependencies. Fail operational and fail passive auto land with mode degradations based on system failures. Load company routes generated by Professional FlightPlanner X (or other compatible programs) directly into the FMC. FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the Retina iPad. Custom Systems and Failure model Detailed and deep simulation of almost every system in the real aircraft. Custom air and pressure system. Electrical system with all AC and DC busses modeled - see which system depends on which bus. Hydraulic system that uses a little fluid when treated correctly and a lot of fluid if used incorrectly. Multistage custom failure system - over 200 more failures than X-Plane. Ability to fix failure by following proper procedure. Persistent failure and maintenance system. Aircraft wear and misuse will carry over to your next flight. Warning system and radars Fully functional GPWS with all the modes the real plane has. Fully functional terrain radar, with custom database (just like the real plane), a look-ahead warning system and many other features. Weather radar that works like the real thing. Including tilt and gain functions, ground clutter, turbulence detection and windshear prediction. 3D Modeling Accurate dimensions based on exterior drawings provided by Boeing. Very detailed exterior modelling with high resolution textures. Very high resolution 3D cockpit with every switch functional. Spatial rain simulation with high detail. Very detailed passenger cabin graphics including galleys. Additional graphic features: real working oxygen masks both in cockpit and cabin, dynamic window blinds that react to sunlight etc. New and improved wingflex. Special effects Multilayer dynamic reflections on all glass objects. Reflective metal and plastic objects in the cockpit. Glossy exterior that reflects the outside. XP weather enhancements like custom windshear. ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download aircraft file size is 2.27gb - Liveries 426.20mb. Installed file size is 2.6gb Authorisation key is required, and I highly recommend a desktop startup when Key activation is complete. Notes: You will need a lot of time to programme the aircraft before actually flying it. Documents : Both a Official Boeing B767 Operating Manual and FlightFactor aircraft manual and Remote CDU set up guide (iPad). I also recommend to download this: B767_Flightdeck_and_Avionics guide 14.6mb for a more quicker overview than the extensive official manual. B767_Flightdeck_and_Avionics.pdf Requirements : X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode. Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.9+ or Linux 14.04 LTS or compatible. 64bit mode 1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended. 3Gb+ VRAM Preferred (Note aircraft is exceptionally good on framerate, playback is current with similar sized aircraft and features) ______________________________________________________________________ FlightFactor Developer Support : FlightFactor 767 Professional ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 12th December 2015 Copyright©2015: 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 - YBBN - Brisbane International by tdg (YBBN - Brisbane Airport 1.0 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - Free - YPAD - Adelaide International by Chris K (ISDG) (YPAD Adelaide Airport Photo Scenery 1.31 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - Free - Adelaide City Scenery by Chris K (YPPF Parafield Airport and Adelaide City Photoreal) - Free
  17. In the real world it is called a "Stall" for a reason. But you have to adjust the landing speed to the conditions, the 61knts is guide not a definitive number, you have to take in wind direction and speed, flap settings and just plain airmanship to get the landing speeds correct. SD
  18. 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
  19. If I remember right I think Ben changed the static point for "Static" aircraft on the scenery for X-Plane11, but KSEA should have been done correctly as it is the Demo scenery for X-Plane. SD
  20. That is not like him? Ask him on the X-Plane.Org? and let me know, thanks Stephen
  21. Helicopter Review : Bell 407 XP11 (Pro) by Dreamfoil Creations It is always debatable on what is the best simulation in X-Plane in any category as there is never a clear absolute winner and so it is with helicopters as the field is by other standards small, is very and highly competitive. But without doubt and certainly with all the accolades it has received since it was released three years ago in 2014, then Dreamfoil Creation's amazing Bell 407 is certainly at the very top. With this release the aircraft has been updated to X-Plane11 and is known as the XP11 in the version name, so this is an update on the older version, but also a new release in the fact that is a lot of changes and new features. So that means a new version does require a repurchase for the X-Plane11 version at a 5c increase to US$35.00, but previous X-Plane10 owners can upgrade to this new XP11 version for only $15. The coupon code for the discount can be found in the original Bell 407 invoice at the X-Plane.Orgstore. First you will make the note that in the title above I noted (Pro). This is not an official title as I added it in myself. The reason behind that title is that Dreamfoil has taken away in this XP11 version the "rigid cruise" and "arcade mode" functions, or easy flight aids that helped entry and trainee or the just plain helpless helicopter wannabe pilots in the exchange of a new autopilot feature. This omission does now make the Bell 407 quite perfect in its flight dynamics, but the aircraft also does now require a lot more skill in doing so, the "Pro's" out there will revel in the aircraft, but unfortunately the lower classes will find it harder to fly without any crutches to help you fly around the delicate flight balance. The Dreamfoil Bell 407 was excellent before, but with its new X-Plane11 PBR shiny coat and lighting features, the 407 looks simply outstanding in any light. The PBR lighting highlights the bodywork more and the detailing, glass is also more highly reflective and looks superb on the 407. Internally the PBR really helps as well, making the interior even more plush and dynamic and now has interior normal maps for higher quality. Any developer that crafted high quality external and internal textures really benefit from X-Plane11 PBR features as Dreamfoil does here, the cabin environment was excellent before, but in XP11 the 407's cabin is now simply mindblowing. With this update you now have two versions as well, one with the original brown leather and now the new black leather on the "Black Goldy" and "Lighting Blue" liveries. Of course any smart user could adjust the other liveries to their interior choice in the object files. Realism in the cockpit in X-Plane11 is awe inspiring, even better in the air. All the great features on the original 407 are also all still here. GPU (Ground Power Unit), Fuel Tank and fuel loading, battery access, and four opening doors with baggage compartment, What is new is that the actions on opening up the doors, getting inside the aircraft and other external items have been refined so all the actions can be done externally and with not having to open the menu each time, the menu is available externally as well if you want it by pressing certain areas on the aircraft (a circle). The two door choices with the full (side) and standard glass has now a third option in a smaller frame window, the glass opens as well. Low skid, High skid, baskets, Cineflex camera, sling hook, floats, cable cutter, frahm damper are all still here. There is a great new feature in the aircraft ground moving electric cart. This movable cart is controlled via your joystick. Press the circle on the nose of the cart to raise the aircraft, then control the speed and direction via your joystick... ... and yes it is a huge amount of fun, better yet that it allows you to reposition the aircraft back to where you should have landed in the first place. The rotors have had attention as well. The original rotor design was excellent, but in operation the look of the moving blades has been refined for the main rotor and a complete overhaul of the rear rotor to make it look more authentic and make better the rotor blur/shadow effect. It is also to look better with weather addons, but I found that the xEnviro environmental engine looked the same blurry condition, however this is an xEnviro issue not a Dreamfoil issue as it is the same on all propeller aircraft. So the new moving blade animations do look really good in X-Plane11 when viewed in the default X-Plane simulator. They reflect far better on the aircraft in flight as well, and the shadow effects of the blades rotating from the cockpit perspective is simply excellent and real. Flying the XP11 Bell 407 As noted the flying characteristics have had a lot of refinement for XP11. You need far more skill now to fly the aircraft with finer movements for control manipulation, forces are now slightly different and more finer and even closer to reality (the 407 was good before). Takeoff is quite tricky to get right, and landings are a real test of skill unless you have a lot of experience on these machines, there is now Improved airfoil drag curve, and now helicopter will cruise at a more realistic speed. The NG has been recalibrated to match the correct rpm on various power settings and the MGT temperatures during start and flight should give you a more accurate reading. Fuel flow is more correct and the Frahm Damper now affects the flight model (you can have it on or off). Back on the ground the idle has been fixed and rotor shutdown won't keep on revolving for ever. A new feature is the HeliSAS/Autopilot system. Basically an autopilot for the helicopter to take away the pressure of holding the collective and stick for long periods. It is positioned below the main panel above the radio and is extremely easy to use, it is really just a set the aircraft and then set the HeliSAS to keep those settings. You can turn via changing the heading and the speed via the collective and there is also the VRT mode that works via using the knob to set your vertical speed on the V/S dial and ALT will hold your altitude. It takes a little getting used to, but it is very good. Dreamfoil created the DreamEngine so you expect the sound to be good, and it is and improved great volumetric cabin sound, more tail rotor loudness and the main rotor sound is audible on the tail cam. Speed slap now requires a bit of distance to be heard and is not as vocal as before and you can hear the air ventilation sound coming out of the back outlets. But the overall sound feels far better and very realistic (it needs to be with an autopilot) so the sound is impressive. The clever menu system is still there on the top-right of the instrument panel and the liveries are easy to select. There have been those two extra black interior liveries added to the collection, but otherwise it is same one blank and ten set as before. Summary The Bell 407 from Dreamfoil Creations was exceptional before, but the change to X-Plane11 has took the whole deal far higher again. In every area the aircraft is simply outstanding, flight, features, detailing, quality and I could bore you for hours with my feelings for this machine. Great new features including the HeliSAS/Autopilot, Electric Cart, new interior and so on are great attractions here, but mostly this is a qualified conversion to X-Plane11 than just the additions in the package. I do wonder though to drop the entry tools in the "rigid cruise" and "arcade mode" functions was a good idea. It does take the aircraft out of the bounds of trainees and helicopter learners, you have to be really quite proficient to fly this XP11 version, and even training and transitioning on the older XP10 version and then moving over to the XP11 version is still a large gap. I am not saying the time learning to fly this amazing machine is not worth it as because you are flying now the best of the best, but there is certainly a higher skill required to do so. X-Plane11 delivers and requires a whole new level of immersion in simulation. This is the first helicopter converted specifically for the new medium and it shows, and boy does it show. This is a great step forward from already a very high standard, all you can ask is how much higher can you go... this Bell 407 has to be as good as it gets. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Bell 407 XP11 by Dreamfoil Creations is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Bell 407 XP11 Price is US$35.00 US$35.00, but previous X-Plane10 owners can upgrade to this new XP11 version for only $15. The coupon code for the discount can be found in the original Bell 407 invoice on your account at the X-Plane.Orgstore. More Bell 407 details can be found on the original 2014 X-PlaneReview Release Review here: Aircraft Review : Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations Requirements: X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows, MAC or Linux - 64 bit Operating System Joystick required for helicopter operations (No, you cannot fly it with a mouse!) 1GB VRAM Minimum - 2GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: XP11 v1 - Last Updated April 27th 2017 Improvements over the X-Plane10 Version Features: - HeliSAS/Autopilot implemented - Deprecated "rigid cruise" and "arcade mode" functions - Added blade tie system so each blade can be tied to their positions by clicking and dragging their tips - New electrical cart for moving the helicopter on ground Graphics: - Added interior normal maps - Improved gauges bar display visibility - Removed _lit textures for 5 objects on interior - Two variants of seat and interior textures that take advantage of PBR - Cabin lights are now on their real place and using spill lights - Framerate improve with obj optimized by removing ghost animations - New 3D propeller for tail rotor - Fixed rotor blur/shadow issue with clouds - Improved pedal stop light logics - Fixed small fliped quad on left side of headphone - Fixed missing placards - Added instruments glass Sound: - New skin for DreamEngine config window to match XP11 ui - Added DreamEngine volumetric cabin - Improved tail rotor loudness - Main rotor sound might be audible on tail cam - Speed slap now requires a bit of distance to be heard - Added air ventilation sound to back outlets UI: - SmartLivery now uses X-Plane 11 thumb icons - Added mouse scroll to manipulators - Added ability to manually rotate the rotor from outside - Added GPU external manipulator - Added Garmin430 power button manipulator - Added engine inlet/outlet/pitot caps can be manipulated individualy from outside without need to go in menu for adding them - Moved external menu from nose tip to side of nose, this was necessary to add the pitot cap manipulator - Improved SmartMenu icons visibility and interaction radius - Improved battery compartment handling, it's not necessary to go on menu to open/close it anymore - Improved doors external interaction, now it's possible to choose between go inside or just open the door Flight Model: - Improved airfoil drag curve, now helicopter will cruise at a realistic speed - Fixed torque on ground with flight rpm, will display correct value now - Improved landing gear adaptation during plugin start to avoid helicopter "drop" at ground - Recalibrated NG to match the correct rpm on various power settings - Fixed MGT temperature during start and flight should give an more accurate reading - Improved fuel flow - Fixed wrong idle speed - Improved rotor slowdown during shutdown, will not keep spinning forever - Frahm Damper now affects the flight model - Enhanced lateral skid friction by plugin Others: - Clock now displays the Estimated Time from HSI - Added shutdown command for starter switch - SmartMenu commands can now be found on command list - Organized and renamed commands descriptions for better organization - Fixed the air conditioner switchs logics - Fixed starter not disengaging during shutdown Installation : Download file size is 347.90mb to your X-Plane - Helicopter Folder. Installed file size is 792.80mb. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th April 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11r1 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - KEYW Key West International by Fletcherj (KEYW Key West International Airport V1.0 ) - X-Plane.Org - free
  22. Yes Linux is supported on all JARDesign aircraft
  23. Aircraft Update : Airbus A320neo v3.0r1 by JARDesign This new v3.0r1 version of JARDesign's Airbus A320neo is not just a version update, but also a compliant version for X-Plane11. Yes you can now fly the Airbus in X-Plane11 and use all the features of this latest version of X-Plane with one of the most popular aircraft in the simulator. To signify the new X-Plane11 era then JARDesign has added in a new livery to the collection called "Home" by Slava. And very X-Plane11 it does represent as well. The Airbus A320 on the surface my look outwardly exactly the same but v1.30r1 has had a significant 3d modeling overhaul, the external by Felis and the internal by Dron. The Airbus always had a nice shine in X-Plane10, but in X-Plane11 it now looks like it has come straight out of the paint shop and straight to the operator in you. X-Plane11 does also highlight the detailing on the aircraft far more as well, the A320 looks beautiful and glowing in the morning light. Nice improvements also include the metalness and chrome feature in X-Plane11, this looks very nice as well on the engine inlet cowlings and winglets. Both engine configurations that was with the v2.7 update are still here with the older ceo CFM56 or the latest neo PW1100G-JM engine options available. Internal At first glance the excellent A320 cockpit looks exactly all the same. But in v1.30 update all the instrument panels and the panel display glass has had a total makeover to match the new X-Plane11 material effects and the windscreen glass is also updated to use the X-Plane11 reflections better as well... ... and the panels now also fit far better together and to avoid those nasty "marching ants" around the displays, and yes if you look at the older version they were quite bad... you did notice that didn't you? Overall the panel fit is far more precise and is now totally perfect. The Airbus's cabin in v1.30r1 has had a huge upgrade as well. The cabin has been changed from the ceo (older) style cabin to the newer neo LED lighting style of cabin, which is very similar to the Boeing "Sky" interior designs. There is now a well defined business class and economy class. The neon lighting was in the older v3.0 upgrade, but this is a different colour and is better intergrated. The economy style seating is absolutely first rate, with beautifully formed rear panels (the same ones you stare at for hours) and excellent overhead paneling with passenger air vents and lighting controls, this is the A320 cabin you always dreamed of. Over-wing exits are well done, but the minute detailing is everywhere and the highlights are the actual windows with great cabin reflections and even the air hole between the external and internal glass. You now have the best airliner cabin window seat in X-Plane. Note the lovely X-Plane11 PBR lighting across the cabin. Only item to note that the cabin overhead and sidewall lighting is connected to the cockpit overhead lighting, it is also adjustable, but only with both areas lit at the same time, and the No Smoking/Seat belt signs don't glow either and the monitor screens are blank, but you can't have everything. FMGS (Flight Management and Guidance System) First to note that X-PLane11 changed the internal navigation data source that is different from X-Plane10. The A320 has been updated to reflect that change, but the Nav data is a little old, JARDesign recommends to update your data (current cycle 1704) if you have an account with Navigraph or Aerosoft-Nav Data Pro, you can also use the installed X-PLANE 11/Custom Data/GNS430/navdata/ folder data if you wish to as well, just copy and paste the data to the root folder "_navdata" in the A320neo aircraft folder. And you can choose your data source from the "MCDU" status page of which selection has now been improved. The FMGS is also looks outwardly the same unit, and the actual input of data and flightplans is not changed, but the system has had a large amount of attention under the skin. All fuel and performance calculations are now correct for X-Plane11 performance, and the actual FMGS was broken by the new model and that is now also fixed. Vertical profiling performance has been revised to be now better as well, but the upper ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor) profile display over lies the ECAM engine displays making it hard to read? There was always an issue with the CRZ level setting when you inputted the data, and you always needed that the CRZ level number was reset before you displayed the route data on the FMGS screen. It is still worthy to rechecked this item after all performance data is set, but this quirk has been addressed. Flight Ground Equipment has had a touch up as well with better textures to match X-Plane11. I personally always use the Ground Handling Deluxe plugin and either the built in ground vehicles or GHD can be used. It is important to update to the latest v.240317 version of GHD if you are running X-Plane11 and with this aircraft in that you not get simulator crashes, the older GHD affected xEnviro as well. If you fly this A320neo from JARDesign, then purchase the excellent BSS sound pack. Overwhelmingly brilliant, startup is totally realistic, so turn your sound up for simply great sonic detail. Aircraft looks excellent bathing in the X-Plane11 lighting... The A320 is an aircraft you need to fly regularly, It requires a mastering of its behaviour, certainly in the takeoff phase and the transition too auto pilot flight, if you get through the full process without any autopilot cutoff's you are doing well. Cabin view out is now excellent, great for replays and sitting back and enjoying the scenery... and of course your mastery at the controls! Cockpit panel reflections in PBR are incredible, breathtaking... ... The panel lighting brightness has been increased to give you more chance to see through the cross lighting better to read the instruments and it is thankfully better. Over items covered on the instruments are in the SPEED mode was unstable and now fixed, that annoying LVR CLB mode flash has also been addressed. and the ND (Navigation Display) path drawing (the line) has been redone. Other notes include small items like the baro and clock lighting and baro selector have both been fixed. You now also have two mousewheel selections in "classic" or "comfort" (in the MCDU MENU), but the speed manipulator is annoying in if you try to adjust by moving the manipulator and not using your scrollwheel, it jumps to a very high or lower speed very quickly. Note the annoying vertical profile on the upper ECAM (left image above). Cockpit lighting has had a few changes and adjustments, but the main overhead lighting is still on and can't be toned right down dark for landing and that makes the cockpit brighter than it should be on approaches, also like noted the overhead lighting is also connected to the cabin lighting. Arrival at Manchester and down you go. It is all about hitting the numbers... get the correct speed and height and the Airbus rewards you with a great simulation. You are going along for the ride as you twist into finals... but you get great views of your approach through those nice clear cabin windows. A lot of attention has been given to the ILS and approach phases of the flight with this 1.30r1 update. Covered are items including that the GA - Go Around has been fixed, ILS lock and approach has been fixed with the ILS dots and diamonds being now correct and finally your "Rollout" mode or Autoland has also been improved, and so there is no more hunting or missing the ILS zone area. Manchester's western approach can always slightly confuse you? Runway 05R is far more forward than your runway on 05L, if there is a slight mist or haze (of which there always is at EGCC) then the mist can hide out 05L and all you see is that the runway is not in alignment, but that is of course the more forward right side positioned 05R... It catches you out almost every time? Oh and for the final piece of good news... the engines will now switch off and power down and thankfully no more sitting around at the gate with the engines running like crazy. Summary Any really good update is welcome, but this JARDesign aircraft is one of the most popular in the X-Plane simulator for payware. More importantly it is now X-Plane11 compatible and like any aircraft that is used in the new simulator it brings out the best in the design, but more so here as the aircraft has had a few new renders to take advantage of the new PBR features. Most notably the cockpit panel area and reflections getting a big overhaul. They is also more than a few changes here. Both externally and certainly with that excellent cabin makeover, you do get a highly revised aircraft as well with a lot of small issues being addressed, most notably for the FMGS, flight performance (X-Plane11 compatible) and ILS/landing tweaks. Once savoured in X-Plane11, you will love this aircraft as more than ever before. There is a huge selection of liveries now (134 at last count) at a new website for JARDesign liveries called "Simliveries", so go there and take your pick of many and download for your requirements. A note that if you bought the Airbus A320neo after November 2016 (v2.7) then you only just have to upgrade and get a serial number for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 versions. If purchased before Nov 1st 2016 then you will have to pay an upgrade fee of $19.95 for the new versions. So this 1.30r1 update is a very worthy step forward for JARDesign's Airbus A320neo. I spent a lot of time with the aircraft during the X-Plane11 conversion period and enjoyed this aircraft enormously in it's new X-Plane11 environment, and I am very sure you will too. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Airbus A320neo by JARdesign is NOW! Available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : JARDesign Airbus A320 Neo Price is US$59.95 JARDesign Developer Support : A320neo JARDesign Full details and links for the BBS - Blue Sky Star Simulations sound packs is here: Aircraft Addons : A320neo/A330-243 Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations ______________________________________________________________________ Full changelog v3.0r1 + External 3D updated by Felis + Internal 3D and Ground stuff updated by Dron + Systems updated by JAR Need details? Well.. + objects and textures was reworked according with new material system of XP11. + redesigned/retextured MCP especially around displays (so you can see all panels layers here) + new textures on spots around + reduced amount of loaded textures (some are gone) + no more any gaps between panels (no flicker on any gaps in cockpit) + new reflections + now all cockpit screens/lcd panels have new glass with reflections + new things in cabin and new cockpit/cabin glasses (inside and outside) + some changes in Sky lights in cabine by yours requests + reflective ground stuff + NavData was removed from XP11 by Laminar Research and this was fixed for a320 (add _navdata with old Aerosoft cycle direct to a320 folder). Fixed. + User can select navData source at MCDU Status page. Improved. + add Diagnostic plugin, what can help if some installation was wrong (red message at screen if problem happen) + Perfomance and fuel calculation was broken in XP11 and fixed for version 3.0 + Navigation system was broken and FMGS was reworked to be compatible with new XP FMS. + Cockpit buttons night lighting was broken. Fixed. + rework ND flightplan path drawing. + vertical profile calculation reworked + NEW CRZ FL option was reworked + Go Around fixed + ILS approach fixed + Impossible engines shutdown fixed + cockpit 3D light fixed + SPEED mode unstable fixed + LVR CLB flash fixed + display brightness improved + flight log improved + horizontal FD during SRS/RWY fixed + "CF" legs drawing improved + Rollout mode (Autoland) unstable fixed + reflection maps for external 3d improved (thanks Rashid) + brake and clock night lighting (front panel) fixed + baro selector work fixed + fcu knobs work improved (mousewheel selection work both for classic/comfort manipulators style) - please use MCDU Menu page 2 to switch style + not-transparent in-cockpit sunglasses fixed + engines start issue fixed + ILS DOTs indication fixed + JARDesign "Home" livery add (Thanks to Slava!) + download service add for free a320 liveries _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11r1 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Headshake by Simcoders : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin Scenery or Aircraft - EDDH - Airport Hamburg by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.34 - EGCC - Airport Manchester by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.00
  24. News! Early Preview : Phenom 100 by Carenado Early facebook images of Carenado's next plane project is Carenado's first X-Plane jet with the Phenom 100! Jet aircraft from Carenado have been in the works for quite awhile and also available in FSX/PrePar3d for quite a few years now and there is actually two version in the Phenom -100 and -300 Series. But no doubt the coming release will make the wait worth it, for the Phenom comes with a full G1000 avionics suite as well, and is a HD Series (High Definition) Aircraft. As the FSX version is also noted as US$39.95, it could be also the most expensive Carenado released in X-Plane yet as well. It might be a good idea to start saving now, no actual release date or detailed aircraft features are yet available, but my guess is a release around Easter. Images are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 13th March 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  25. Flyin Scenery Review : ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport by JustSim From JustSim to JustSim, or in English JustSim's EDDH (Hamburg) to JustSim's ELLX (Luxembourg). It was only a few months ago (late February) that I reviewed JustSims excellent EDDH - Hamburg scenery, and I was very impressed. Again only after a short time there is now another scenery from JustSim in the form of ELLX Luxembourg (boy do they turn them out!) and so it just felt right to fly from Hamburg to Luxembourg to check out this newer addition to our X-Plane scenery collection, our HAM - LUX service today is provided by FlyJSim's Dash 8 Q400. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is crushed in between Germany, Belgium and France in the centre of Western Europe. It is only 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) in size, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, and is about the same size as the US state of Rhode Island or the English county of Northamptonshire. For a small country it sure hits above the belt in a big economy in first the industrial sector, which was dominated by steel until the 1960s, but has now since diversified its industries to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel production. Services, especially banking and finance, now account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourg is the world's second largest investment fund centre (after the United States), and remember it is also the base of one of the world's biggest cargo haulers in Cargolux. For me the arrival from the northeast towards ELLX's RWY24 feel vaguely familiar... It feels like Aerosoft's EDFH Frankfurt - Hahn of which is only actually 100km to the west, that scenery now feels like it was eons ago in 2013, but one I liked a lot if you recall. It is an interesting approach from the northeast and not an easy one as LUX is buried between hills, valleys and deep rivers and streams and very similar to Hahn's south approach and hence the recollection. But 2013 was early X-Plane10, this ELLX is in the new X-Plane11 and there are two download versions of this scenery for both X-Plane versions (XP10 or XP11) and the big picture view is different in the sheer detail you get now with X-Plane. One of the big features of JustSim's EDDH was the use of (German) default autogen adjusted to be part of the add-on scenery. Here again at ELLX that same technique is used again with a great benefit to the scenery. It is highlighted on both 06/24 approaches. An important note is required before using this scenery... You will "definitely" and "absolutely" need to have the checkbox ticked for the X-Plane item "runways follow terrain contours" (General Menu). The scenery uses multi-level layers to create great recesses in lower and high ground areas. On approach to RWY24 there is a concrete runway extension over the A1 motorway that is excellent when viewed from the aircraft As we will see is that most ground areas surrounding and part of ELLX are multi-level as well, so it is important to have the option on. It does also however make for a slightly bumpy landing as the runway is quite undulated. All trees surrounding the airport are a cross design, but they are well proportioned, this makes the scenery feel very full and realistic. To your right on final is the huge Cargolux facility. All very well modeled and with plenty of trucks and the ramp cargo gear to keep any hauler happy. Luxembourg's single main terminal is next and still on the right but a fair way down Runway 24's 4,000m (13,123ft) length. A prominent large building before the terminal area on a hill is the Luxembourg Investment building. Grass is a great way to break up flat photo-images and create a realistic ground effect. Here it works very well as JustSim are experts at this, with their perfect summer grass in full bloom. Note the huge Cargolux maintenance hangar on the top left The runway textures are really well done, with areas of tarmac that have been resurfaced and don't match the original surface. Control Tower is mid-field... All ground markings and signage is also top notch, all really well done and even down to the continuous water drainage grids along the sides of the taxiways and throughout the ramp areas as their detailing is really exquisite. Like Hamburg's EDDH the taxiways and runways have reflections that go wet in the rain, even in the semi-dry they look very realistic. Ramp textures are roughly detailed as well. Apron P3 is the main parking area offset to the terminal ramps, it is big and can handle even large aircraft, but is used mostly for regional services. Main aprons are P1 and P2, and these are set around the two terminals in the larger one (right) Terminal A and the L shape (left) Terminal B. Terminal 2 is all stands and as I am domestic regional I will park there at stand B6 Behind the terminals is a large elevated carpark. The different ground elevations have been really well done, as they are very (incredibly) hard to do in X-Plane... but here it is built almost seemlessly into the scenery. The view down to the ramps is excellent and highly real world in feel. ELLX Overview Luxembourg Findel Airport IATA: LUX - ICAO: ELLX 06/24 4,000m (13,123ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL1,234 ft / 376 m ELLX is extremely well intergrated into the background of the standard X-Plane default scenery, almost a perfect fit, no boundaries or if there are then they are well covered with the extensive foliage. There are basically four areas that cover the scenery. Northeast is the Cargolux Cargo hub Southwest is the industrial zone and General Aviation parking and support. This area also has a large older style hangar that dominates the area. Southwest-south over the other side of the runway is the huge distinctively designed Cargolux maintenance hangar and facilities Main aprons and Terminals are centre northwest in the airport Apron P1 is left and regional and Aprons P2 and P3 are right with Terminal B (regional) and Terminal A (International). Terminal A is new as it was only opened in 2012 after the older 1979 building was demolished, the smaller TER B arm was opened in 2004. Main Terminal A The modern Terminal A is extremely impressive. This is scenery work at it's finest. Stunning work and highly detailed in features and ground signage around the airbridges which are animated with Marginal's docking plugin. The terminal's glass is X-Plane11 reflective and very realistic. Landside detailing is as good as Airside and all this with elevation changes as well... very impressive. Terminal B The small arm terminal is just as well done. Again great reflective glass and excellent fine detailing that even includes the metal stairs through the glass at the gates. All working areas have great vehicle animations as well... and they follow the different elevations as they trundle around... all top notch stuff. The northern landside approach to the airport has a lot of commercial buildings that include the prominent Luxembourg Investment building, Allianz Insurance, JP Morgan, ATOZ and the Hotel NH Luxembourg. All buildings have been recreated as is also the Grand Ducal de Luxembourg Golf Club behind but no club house? (it is quite iconic)... Now for the eagle eye flyers out there, do you notice the faint shapes on the horizon? This is the Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant and JetSim have done the nuclear plant's four cooling towers, and associated buildings, but the effect for the scenery with the towers in the distance is a great visual effect and in full view on RWY 24 departures. Ibis Hotel and a strange coloured building that covers some airport plant infrastructure. Control Tower Centre field Control Tower is excellent with great viewable see-through glass. Unusual for JustSim the "Tower View" works here at ELLX... ... but you do get a part of the roof intruding at certain angles, but overall you can see the runway approaches clearly. Luxembourg City is to the southwest of Findel, and so there is a lot of autogen, in both the adjusted autogen and the default OSM autogen. It looks really good, but so much autogen can also tax your processors as well, I found I had to go down a notch in objects to get better running, not in actual framerate (that stayed in the 40's) but for smoother pans around the scenery and for movement on approaches and around the airport. World Traffic and X-Life traffic compatible, and the airport is set up for X-Plane11 static aircraft use as well, which I used here. Lighting The lighting at JustSim's EDDH - Hamburg was a little poor, the scenery looked brilliant in the day, but only average at night... I was expecting the same here at ELLX. The game has certainly been upped here, ELLX's lighting is very good. All areas are very well lit, so the scenery bounds off the screen. There are great textures to the lower parts of the terminals, but the main larger building is to a point like the Hamburg buildings in being quite dark, why can't these huge terminals be lit up at night from the inside? The point is it can be done as with this great lighting here with the large hangar (below left) which looks magnificent at night. This point aside the lighting covers every area completely. Ramps and aprons are great a night as is all the approach, runway and taxiway lights and signage. Cargolux maintenance hangar is also beautifully lit and textured. A big advantage here is that the less important buildings and the smaller scale items also have really good window lit textures and downlighting... ... no cheap FS style coloured blank windows here, and it all looks extremely realistic at night. Services Luxair and Cargolux have bases at ELLX and regular services are used by airlines of Agean, Easyjet, British Airways, Flybe, Hahn Air, HOP!, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa Regional (Cityline), Ryanair, Swiss, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Volotea and Vueling. Here are some spectacular images of my RW24 departure to Munich that shows you the quality of this scenery and how great X-Plane11 now is... _____________________________________________________________________________________ Summary You do wonder how developers just keep upping the game. No doubt this ELLX - Luxembourg Findel from JustSim is sensational scenery, in every aspect it just simply delivers. JustSim keep on piling these very high quality airports out on an almost bi-monthly basis, and they are all just really great well made scenery, but ELLX - Luxembourg shows that the quality is also in there as there are no shortcuts here. You have also all the X-Plane11 features in here as well, with airbridge and vehicle animations, Glass and Ground reflections with volumetric ground effect textures and everything is shaded and baked to an inch of it's life for great framerate return. Only small nibbles are the inner lighting inside the main terminal which is too dark at night. And the roof showing in parts of the tower view So certainly put with this excellent scenery Luxembourg in as part of your European network, well worth using and you get a quality return. Better is that all this package is under US$20... that is UNDER US$20... at US$19.80. Great scenery, Even better deal... simply a no brainer! Positives: Absolutely everything!, Great Scenery, Well developed and highly detailed, Great features (even better in X-Plane11), Great Price.... on and on Negatives: Not much, More internal Terminal A lighting would lift the building at night, encroaching roof sometimes in tower view, you need a bit of power to cover all the extensive autogen, scenery is very good. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport by JustSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : There are two version of this scenery for both X-Plane10 or X-Plane11... review was done with the X-Plane11 version. ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport XP10 ELLX - Luxembourg Findal Airport XP11 Your Price: US$19.80 Features Custom taxiways and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Runway reflection effect Volumetric ground effect textures Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Animated gates (AutoGate plugin by Marginal) Animated custom ground vehicles (X-Plane 11 only) World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Requirements : X-Plane10 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards Installation and documents: Download for the ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport is 450.34mb and the two unzipped files are deposited in "Custom Scenery" Folder ELLX_JustSim_1.0 (1.28GB) ELLX_JustSim_Mesh (20.24mb) Files must be set in this order or cut and paste the correct order in your scenery_pack.ini text file (In the Custom Scenery folder) You will need to have the checkbox ticked for the X-Plane item "runways follow terrain contours" (General Menu). This NEEDS to be ON. documents: Installation notes No charts are provided but these are good : JeppView _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th April 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin Scenery or Aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSIm (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$30.00