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    • NEWS! - Add-on : PiperSport Expansion Pack - XP12     With Carenado not updating or even really having no involvement with X-Plane over the last three years, then what happens to all that hanger full of aircraft that was at last count 45 Aircraft, and with some very beloved machines which are in there to lose with the transition over to the X-Plane 12 Simulator?   And you wouldn't you also like your Carenado/Alabeo aircraft to fly in X-Plane 12 as well?    Well here is an interesting one. With Carenado not responsive, NHAdrian has created an expansion package that will remove the older non-working files and replace them with new X-Plane 12 files for the Alabeo PiperSport...  and the results are quite spectacular!   Product features Accurate flight model tuned for XP12 latest features Accurate engine and systems modelling Fully operational avionics and circuit breakers system Realistic BRS system with custom physics to match real behavior Animated crew and bags with show/hide animations according to weight configuration Full FMOD sound package 4K revamped high-definition PBR textures Missing cockpit objects replaced Many cockpit items re-modelled New volumetric external- and cockpit light system XP12 rain effect implemented Full VR compatible Detailed flight manual included New stunning livery by Nhadrian Plain white livery for painters         The quality and detail is simply off the planet...  is this really an old faded Carenado/Alabeo aircraft? It flies like it looks with the X-Plane 12 dynamics, and I spent a fair while tumbling around in the sky with glee with this Sports aircraft.   There is a clever installer supplied to do the conversion process, but you will need the original Alabeo PiperSport to install the package.   Go try it now, and you will be as amazed as I was on the quality conversion...  okay that is one Carenado/Alabeo aircraft down, only 44 to GO!   Designed by NHAdrian - Popular Freeware developer and co-designer of the L-200 Morava. Designer of the Acro Racer Support forum for the Pipersport Expansion Pack  ________________     Yes! the PiperSport Expansion Pack - XP12 by NHAdrian is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PiperSport Expansion Pack - XP12 Price is US$14.90   Requirements Alabeo PiperSport is required . This is an add-on pack. It will not run by itself. X-Plane 12 (not compatible with XP11) Windows.  Mac or Linux:  Mac or Linux user need to run the .exe installer in Wine  4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 467 MB Current Version : 1.0 (September 29th 2022) ________________   News by Stephen Dutton 30th September 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.  
    • Aircraft Review: A320 Ultimate XP12 Extended Beta by Flight Factor Special thanks to A320 First Officer Jaydon Shatek for his help and input on systems overviews. Note: All photos showing IAE engines or Sharklets have been modified from the Matavia mod and are not part of the actual aircraft purchased. They can be added on by the user but are not officially supported by Flight Factor.     Introduction & History Known to be one of the most complex A320 aircraft simulations ever produced for any simulator, the Flight Factor A320 has held its own for quite a few years in the X-Plane market, and I myself have had many memorable flights with it in X-Plane 11. With X-Plane 12 now out, the Flight Factor A320 is their only product which requires an additional purchase to fly in the new sim, unlike their Extraordinary 757 and 767, my two favorite aircraft for X-Plane and my go-to choice for a casual flight. Well for any previous buyer, the upgrade price is set at $20.00 USD, and for any newcomer to the wonderful world of X-Plane, it is $89.99 USD to get yourself an A320 into your sim. So, with that in mind, before we dive into the addon, I would like to share a few facts about the A320 and its history.     The Airbus A320 program was launched in 1984, with the first flight being completed in 1987, and fittingly the first revenue flight was flown by Air France in the spring of 1988. To date, over 4,763 A320 CEOs and 3,900 NEOs have been ordered, with 6,299 airframes having already been delivered. The entire A320 Family, (A318, 319, 320, 321 etc.) have a combined order total of 16,622 with over 10,474 total fleet-wide deliveries. The A320-100, the original variant, had no winglets, with the iconic “wingtip fence” being added to the A320-200 in the late 1980s. Today, the A320 has state-of-the-art Sharklets, and the A320 NEO improves on the A320 lineup and is today one of the most popular options for narrow-body aircraft. With so many options of engine variants, wingtip options, and more, Flight Factor has a lot it can bring to the table to provide a great experience within X-Plane.     Documentation & First Impressions Documentation of the A320 included by Flight Factor consists of a 27-page PowerPoint on how to get up and running with the installation of the A320, however, there is no included tutorial flight, so it is up to the end user to find a good set of tutorials or manuals to learn the complex systems of the A320. There is an included link in the PowerPoint to the forums with links to various websites where you can find all the required info to fly the airplane, including a full FCOM if you’re into reading bedtime material, though having a good flip through it is almost a requirement with no previous experience.     Once we get the airplane installed and running into the simulator it is a very familiar sight to the version from X-Plane 11, albeit a bit shinier thanks to the spectacular new lighting engine Laminar provides in v12. Getting up and running was quite simple, only requiring you to activate the airplane through the MCDU in a separate menu which pops up automatically upon first loading the airplane. Just remember to connect the GPU in the EFB menu or the MCDU will not power on. First Impressions were quite positive with a few issues that I noticed upon the first flight but will mention later on in the review.     Electronic Flight Bag Starting off with what is becoming a must-have feature in any modern Airliner addon is an electronic flight bag from which all the aircraft doors, loading, maintenance, and performance calculations can be handled, with chart support and extra features being a plus.  Where does Flight Factor rank in their EFB for the A320? Well, let’s find out. Included in the EFB are 11 different pages, helping you with various tasks on the A320. I’ll touch lightly on each one and add some input on possible improvements that would be a great help to the pilot.   Page 1 is the Service page. This allows you quick and easy access to chocks, GPU, and ground air start units. It also includes 3 additional pages to handle fuel loading, passengers, and cargo. Page 2 is the PERF page. Essentially a Form-F, it gives the pilot easy access to CG data, weights, and trim position required to fill out the TO data page in the MCDU. Page 3 is the Checklist page. While quite self-explanatory, it would be nice to have an addition of click spots to keep your place when going through the checklist, as it can be quite easy to lose it. That is a QOL improvement, but overall, it is quite comprehensive and well done.     Page 4 is the Browser, though I have yet to get a successful search with it, so it may still have a few bugs left in it that need to be ironed out. Page 5 allows the pilot control of possible failure scenarios which is good for training use if going through the A320 schoolhouse for an airline. Page 6 is the Settings tab, and there’s not a whole lot there in terms of options. I’ll go into a lot of improvements I’d like to see in this page later, mainly exterior and cockpit options. One basic QOL improvement I would love to see is an option to convert the weight units from Kilos to Pounds, as many Yanks like myself on the US side of the pond would love to use the imperial system to fly to all our favorite US destinations.     Page 7 allows the pilot to auto-save panel states for the airplane for ease of use. Page 8 is the Map feature which uses a google API key to display your aircraft position in google maps on the EFB. Page 9 is the FAP page, which allows the pilot access to the flight attendant controlled parts of the airplane.          Page 10 is the PA with options for auto or manual mode. I left it in manual mode for every flight I took and never heard a peep from it, so there may possibly be a bug there as well. Page 11 is the fun page, where all the magic happens, and where you can go to make things happen that you don’t want to have in a real flight, but it is a great way to practice emergency procedures and a must-have for any high-fidelity aircraft.     Overall, is the EFB a little dated? Possibly. I would like to see AviTab implementation out of the box, though for some it’s not a huge deal. I myself use the tablet that I use for my real-world flying but that is not an option for everyone, so having access to charts inside the cockpit is a great feature that I would love to see in the A320. The settings menu is the second area I would like to see some work on. The A320 overall lacks many of the options that have become standard on all airliner addons, including the Flight Factor 757 and 767 fleets, which have plenty of options. These for me include options for cockpit features, window tint/reflections, and exterior visual features. These are small complaints, but the addition would give this airplane some bonus points in my book!   Exterior Model & Texturing When I first showed the exterior model to Jaydon, he was quite happy to see many of the features the real A320 has, which should speak for how good the aircraft model has held up in its few years on the market. Starting off with general appearances, Flight Factor has gotten the A320 shaping down to a tee, and it speaks volumes about how the airplane looks. The nose of the A320 is quite distinct, and Jaydon was quite impressed with the details that were captured by the Flight Factor team. One area he really liked was the landing gear, which from his inspection are quite well-modelled replicas and deserving of praise. The main gear connection points, struts, hoses, wires, and shape are really quite spot on, and he did point out the addition of the brake fans included on the model, something which his airline’s A320s do not have. He had no major complaints whatsoever about the exterior model and was quite impressed overall with the quality put out by the flight factor team.     However, there were a couple of discrepancies that were found. The CFM engines have a single metal tube in front of the main fans, and though for the life of me I cannot remember what it’s called, it is not in the model of the included CFM engine. The other little issue which we aren’t sure about is the parking brake light on the nose gear strut. When amber, the brake is set, and when green it’s released. Well, the light on the nose gear is always amber, so it may be a texture, or it may be a bug, but that is a tiny detail to even have to mention, so with just those two things, it’s safe to say Flight Factor did an outstanding job with the exterior model.     Textures for the A320 are the same as they were in X-Plane 11, and there is a little bit of pixelation up close to the airframe, but a couple of feet back and they look perfectly sharp. A texture resolution boost would always be appreciated, but that is up to Flight Factor and then the repaint community to redo every single livery if that were to happen. All in all, I have no issues with the textures, and they look great overall! One last thing I will mention is the reflections of the fuselage onto the wing. Compared to all other aircraft that I’ve seen in X-Plane 12, the FF A320 has the least amount of reflection onto the wing, almost to the point of not seeing anything at all, so a boost in wing reflections would be an appreciated improvement, especially when looking out towards the wing fence from the passenger cabin.     Now for the options. This is the one area where Flight Factor has always lacked with the A320, and sadly it is still the case. The A320 ships with one airplane, and no options to customize it. Flight Factor has not made IAE V2500 engines, Sharklets, or Satcom antenna. While the Matavia mod rectified this issue in X-Plane 11, it is not compatible with the v12 version. I managed to get the sharklets and Satcom working, but please keep in mind it is not officially supported by Flight Factor. As for the engines, I had good success with the Carda CFM-56A/B and IAE V2500 engine models which rectifies the visual aspect of the engines, but the internal avionics remain for the CFM. I would absolutely love it if Flight Factor would add these options to the airplane and allow us to choose the engine model, fences or sharklets, Satcom or no Satcom directly from the options menu in the EFB, much like the 757 or 767. This would add a lot of competitive value to the airplane and make it a more appealing option for potential buyers.     Interior Model & Texturing The Interior cockpit of the A320 has been completely revamped for X-Plane 12, with more accurate dimensions and textures compared to the previous generation released for X-Plane 11. Upon first looking through the cockpit, I was satisfied with the model, with the cockpit dimensions feeling a lot more like its real-world counterpart in terms of size. Where I felt the interior was lacking however was the textures. The X-Plane 11 version had some of the best textures shipped with a payware A320, with extra freeware addons such as the Matavia mod making it even better. The new textures supplied by X-Plane 12 are sadly a bit flat, and the expected color variation is not quite there. The color variation normally seen on the autopilot panel is not seen in the updated version, with the same grey color being used uniformly across the entire cockpit. The overhead panel is also the same grey but is extremely dark to the point of being a gunmetal grey color. Flight Factor has acknowledged this issue, so hopefully, within the next few updates, we’ll see some improved cockpit textures.     The textures for cockpit text were good, as I couldn’t find many at all, and the only one that I really noticed was on the weather radar, where the lines on the WX Tilt, WX Radar mode selector and WX Tilt were not lining up correctly with the selector. The other small glitch was in the magnetic compass, where some bleed-through of the texture was found causing some glitching. Another is the fact that the window heat vents on the glareshield have been omitted in this version, so hopefully, that can be rectified as well. These are just bugs however and are normal for a beta release.     The second issue that Flight Factor has acknowledged is the lighting model not interacting properly with the cockpit, causing some extremely weird colors inside the airplane, almost like the sun is shining directly through the walls and lighting up the entire cockpit regardless of whether it’s coming through the windows or not. Also, when facing the sun, the cockpit becomes extremely dark. This has again been acknowledged by the team and I hope to see some improvements on that front. Both myself and FO Shatek both agreed that the X-Plane 11 version’s cockpit had a more correct color, and no other Flight Factor airliners have any cockpit lighting issue, so it appears to be X-Plane 12’s lighting model not playing nicely with the A320 for some reason. The windows of the A320 have also had a bit of an issue with X-Plane 12, as they seem to be a bit foggy, almost like there is a haze on them. Jaydon mentioned this when he was looking through the airplane, noting that the windows should be practically clear. I assume this is controlled by a texture file, though I was unable to find and edit the correct one to lessen the haze. Perhaps this can be fixed, or an option added to dynamically control this through the EFB, much like the 75/76 fleet.     One other item I would like to note is the backlighting and flood light color. The real A320s have a warmer tone to their panel flood lighting, and this was correctly seen in X-Plane 11. In v12 it has taken on a more yellow tone, with the backlighting sharing the same fate. A small correction to this would vastly improve the cockpit as well. I am completely confident that the cockpit will see improvements, as their other aircraft like the 757 and 767 series look absolutely stunning in v12, with the rich brown color really making them stand out.     Avionics Options & Systems The Avionics and systems depth is where the A320 really starts to shine. With more than 10,000 simulated sensors, units, buses, relays and more each with their own logic, it is truly a breathing airplane. Each of the systems, including Fuel, Pneumatic, Hydraulic, and Electric have been modeled in their entirety giving you a completely accurate simulation on all fronts. So, what does this all mean? Well, it meant that Jaydon spent a couple of hours on video calls running through every system trying to find anything incorrect or misrepresented with the airplane, and the list of errors that resulted is quite small, and I’ll run through them here.     Starting off with the MCDU, we ran through every page and only found three things that were worth a mention. Firstly, the MCDU AIRAC is from February of 2017, so a navigraph subscription will be a requirement to get it up to date. I would love to see Flight Factor ship it with a new AIRAC for the new sim. Second, the TO PERF page gives the option for FLEX temp as it should, however, there is no included program in the airplane to calculate a FLEX temperature, so I would love to see a page in the EFB added for Takeoff and Landing performance to include a FLEX temp calculator. Thirdly, the last issue I saw with the MCDU was the scratchpad at the bottom had all the text being slightly cut off by the 3D model, so hopefully, that can be adjusted.     Running through all the aircraft tests, full preflight and moving into a short flight, Jaydon only unearthed a couple of minor issues, quite possibly bugs that will be sorted out. The first one we noticed were the touch points being slightly off, though I’ve reported this, and the issue is being resolved. In terms of systems, the APU avail light would not illuminate for us even when in use, though on my next flight it worked fine, and the following flight it didn’t again, so there is some interference somewhere. Side stick priority has not been modeled so the “Priority Left or right” commands have not been implemented. The last thing we found was the Autobrake Decel light did not come on after touchdown, but for the rest of the flight, everything was exactly as it is in real life.     Flight Characteristics The Flight Factor A320 flight dynamics have been perfected over the years, and the latest version for X-Plane 12 now includes Alternate Law logic which allows more in-depth failure scenarios in the case of degradation from Normal Law. While I won’t dive fully into the Normal and Alternate Law, I’ll give a brief run-through to explain what exactly Alternate Law brings to the Flight Factor A320.     Normal Law includes three modes, these being Ground Mode, Flight Mode, and Flare Mode. Ground mode turns off autotrim and the Horizontal stab is set to 4 degrees up automatically, though this can be overridden by the CG setting. Ground Mode transitions to Flight Mode as soon as the wheels leave the ground. Flight Mode includes 5 types of protections, these being pitch attitude, load factor limits, high speed, high AOA, and bank angle. Low-speed protection is also available in certain phases of flight and when reaching a stall, Alpha floor engages which automatically engages TOGA to capture the descent and protect the airplane. Flight Factor modeled this correctly and it worked like a charm every time. Flight Mode stays engaged from takeoff till the airplane is 100ft above the ground. Flare Mode automatically engages when the RA detects 100ft above the ground and provides a direct sidestick to elevator relationship for landing. At 50ft the aircraft trims the nose slightly nose down requiring you to progressively pull on the sidestick rearward to add conventional input for landing. This also means that in the Flight Factor, if you let go of the sidestick or move too close to center again for too long, the nose will drop causing a less than smooth landing for your passengers.     Alternate Law engages and indicates on the ECAM when degradation of normal law has been exceeded. This is correctly simulated by the Flight Factor A320. There are two slightly different categories of Alternate Law, with ALT1 combining Normal Law lateral mode with Alternate Law pitch modes, meaning the Alpha-floor slow speed auto stall recovery is no longer available requiring the pilot to manually recover the airplane. ALT2 is where Normal Law Lat Mode is replaced by Roll Direct Law and Yaw Alternate Law. Pitch mode also switches to Alternate Law. In ALT2, all protections lost in ALT1 are carried over, with additional protections being lost as well, including bank angle protection, and in some cases, high AOA and high-speed protections. ALT2 engages when both engines flame out, with faults in two inertial or air data reference units, with faults to all spoilers, certain aileron faults or with pedal transducers faults. Direct Law is all degradation as previously found in ALT2, however automatic pitch trim is lost, and all protections are lost. In this mode, the control surfaces directly correspond to sidestick movement. DIR is entered if all three IRUs or primary flight computers fail.     The Flight Factor A320 has modeled all this, and from what tests I ran, it worked great, with proper degradation of control passing correctly through failures or issues, a great testament to the work put into the avionics and systems depth. In normal modes of flight, the Flight Factor feels quite solid and robust. Landings are a breeze and it’s a real joy to hand fly the airplane. It does have the slight lag found in the sidestick like its real-world counterpart, but all in all, it works exceptionally well, and it flies wonderfully.   Sound The sounds that ship with the A320 are by no means bad, and in pretty much every regard, are perfectly acceptable. I found no issues with them, and they represent the A320 sound quite well. For customers of the BSS soundpacks, they work mostly fine without issues. There were a couple of error messages that popped up, but I flew a few flights with the soundpacks installed and everything worked as advertised.     Conclusion I see the Flight Factor A320 as a work in progress, after all, it is a beta. In its current state, it has all the components needed to be a great X-Plane 12 model, and over the beta period, I'm sure it will only improve. Yes, it needs some IAE engines and sharklets included in the base product to remain competitive, but that will be on Flight Factor to do. For the $20.00 upgrade, I think it’s a good price, especially when you factor in all the new features you are getting, and for $89.99 for initial buyers, you get the already fantastic model that I enjoyed so much in X-Plane 11.     The Flight Factor A320 is still the best A320 simulation on the market for X-Plane, though it needs a bit of updating on the visual side of things. I would definitely keep an eye on this airplane over the next few months, as I am sure it will only get better.     _______________________________     The A320 Ultimate XP12 Extended beta is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:   A320 Ultimate XP12 Extended beta Price at time of writing US$89.95   Requirements X-Plane 12 (or X-Plane 11) OS: Windows (64 bit) or Mac 10.14 (or higher) Processor (x86-64 Intel or AMD): 4-cores Intel Core I5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 2500X, Apple M1 not supported Video Card: GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 580 with 4 GB VRAM (8 GB recommended) RAM: 8 GB (16 GB highly recommended) Disk Space: 2 GB Last version: 1.5.0beta (6.09.2022)   Review System Specifications Windows 11  Ryzen 5800x RTX3070ti,  32GB RAM   __________________________________   Aircraft Review by Joshua Moore 29th September 2022 Copyright©2022: 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.      
    • Small error there CRJ-400. I am using 12 and have been impressed with how quickly the commercial aircraft developers, like in this instance, are providing beta packages. GA developers have been quiet, have any provided a 12 beta version? Scenery developers deserve less credit as well with few releases and thats not because there aren’t issues with 11 packages in 12. The utilities group is more varied. XOrganizer has a nice working package for example, allowing you to link to content you want to bring in to 12 easily whereas Navigraph in some posts indicated they had 12 beta compliant packages but then stated that it had not been released because they did not support betas. Groan. Good that the org store is making this 12 beta content available so quickly. At some point I think the store is going to need to separate out 12 content (or at least working beta) from that for 11. I would have thought that 11 content is selling slowly how and any help pointing people towards developers actually reacting to the release of the 12 beta would be useful for both buyers and the store
    • NEWS! - AD Simulations updates CRJ 700 and CRJ 900 to X-Plane 12     Both the DeltaWing / AD Simulations CRJ Series aircraft are now usable in X-Plane 12. With the CRJ 900 you can get a "Skunkcraft" configuration file to up date via the Skunkcraft updater and just add the cfg into the main CRJ 900 aircraft folder.   I couldn't however find the same config file for the CRJ 400?, so you need to do a new download directly from the X-Plane.OrgStore. Notable is that both aircraft for X-Plane 12 can both be also now downloaded from the X-Plane.OrgStore. It is also still a good idea to run the Skunkworks Beta on both aircraft to get the latest updated files. There has been no additional changes to the aircraft.   Note this is just a patch phase and not a fully configured X-Plane 12 aircraft for the currently running X-Plane 12 Beta.     Still both CRJs look excellent in the new X-Plane 12 version, cockpits are a bit dark though?   Both CRJ aircraft can be purchased through the X-Plane.OrgStore, details below. _____________________     Yes! the CRJ-700 by AD Simulations/Delta Wing is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : CRJ-700 Price is US$49.95   Rquirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 (both versions available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 893 MB Current version:  XP11: 1.2.0 (July 3rd 2022) XP12 beta; September 26th 2022   Yes! the CRJ-900 by AD Simulations/Delta Wing is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : CRJ-900 Price is US$49.95   Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 (both versions available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.1 GB Current version:  XP11: 1.2.0 (July 3rd 2022) XP12 beta; September 26th 2022 ________________   News by Stephen Dutton 28th September 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.    
    • NEWS! - Rotate updates MD-11 to X-Plane 12 v1.5.0       Now you can fly the Rotate MD-11 in X-Plane 12! Rotate has done an update to allow you to fly the "The Diva" in glorious X-Plane 12. Note that to do the update via the "Skunkcraft" updater you have to download a patch...  found here: MD-11 v1.05 for testing 1.0.0   You have to replace the enclosed files, then run the updater, I found I had to run it through twice to do a full install, install size is 65.16 MB?     Note this is a Beta patch, not a full X-Plane 12 aircraft file, changes can still happen as can you find bugs in the simulation.   This is v1.5.0 and the changelog includes.. - Compatibility with X-Plane 12. - Tuned AFS guidance at low speeds during early climb. - Fixed guidance error during ALIGN phase in some runways. - Tuned GPWS TERRAIN mode to avoid false positives. - Fixed INITIALIZE CRZ ALT alert during descent. - Fixed false positives resulting in ALT ERROR AT XXX. - Fixed DIR TO transition calculation. - Fixed glitch in ATS servos when advancing for TO. - Tuned TAS/IAS values following X-Plane calibration at low speeds. - Fixed altitude capture overshoot at high vertical speeds. - Fixed heading mode blinking during takeoff roll. - Fixed AFS cancel when using native trim commands. - Fixed unwanted navaid symbols in ND. - Fixed bug in Vapp. - Fixed Weather Radar not showing in the ND. - Fixed typo in the overhead panel.    The bird looks really pretty in X-Plane 12     A full MEGA X-PlaneReviews review on the Rotate MD-11 is here : Aircraft Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate _____________________     Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.4.0 by Rotate is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rotate MD-11 Price is US$83.95   Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 12 (xp12 available via the beta channel of the updater) Windows 8 or newer (64b), Mac OSX 10.12 or newer, Linux Ubuntu 64b 18.04 or newer. 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version:  1.04 (Aug 20th 2022) XP12 Beta : Sep 26th 2022   Update to v1.5.0 is via the Skunkcrafts updater with the patch   ________________   News by Stephen Dutton 27th September 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews   Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.    
    • Am I misunderstanding or is there truly no directional control with rudder pedals.  Airplanes don't have twist grips for that.  Mr Maule took the Piper Pacer idea to new heights mostly by adding horsepower.  Years ago I flew an M3 with a 220 Franklin and it was quick.  They've added lots of mods since but, like the Huskey, too heavy to be a real bush plane.
    • Thanks for the review, I have still not decided which plane will be my first XP12 one, although tempting I might wait some more. In my experience, VSKYLAB never disappointed me with their plane support, I know they prefer to stick with what X-Plane/Plane maker provide instead of writing their own plugins and systems, I guess this might be part of the reason they are sticking to "simpler" planes. I wish they will implement something more complicated like the PC12, would have bought it day one.  
    • Thanks for another long and nice article. For the coming X-Plane 12 and also for MSFS I have upgraded my machine from Intel 8700K, 32G DRAM4 and NVIDIA 1080ti to Intel 12700K, 32G DDR5, MSI 3080TI and EVGA 1000 PSU. I know we had a debate regarding which CPU/GPU to upgrade too but I thought that Alder lake is quite mature and almost end of life before Raptor Lake will arrive and NV3x prices went down so I purchase from Amazon for 9xx$ exclude taxes. Yes I invested quite a bit because I want to fly in VR in X-Plane and MSFS. From my subjective benchmarks (prior to MSFS update 10): MSFS VR flying is quite smooth although settings are set to high, FPS is around ~25-30 but it feels as if it is 60, I guess it is the motion reprojection magic. I flew in clear and clouded skies and the feel was quite good using stock planes. When I tested with the Carenado PC12 I think there were few spikes but overall felt great, like I'm flying a new simulator. On X-Plane 11: VR was just great, smoooooth all the time, no jitters, no frame loss an exceptionally good and stable experience. On X-Plane 12: VR is a mix bag. You probably can't fly it without activating FSR, no kidding, as of build 12b4. Unfortunately FSR is a double edge sword, once you enable it, gauges text and numbers are blurry (not as sharp) so you can't read or it is harder to read them in VR mode, it is the same in 2D mode. You need to sacrifice gauges readability at a glance over smoothness of flight. Since smoothness of flight is more important to me, I have to use FSR to fly in VR, there are long hiccups if you set FSR to OFF, and if I need to read from the G1000 or G5x/G4x gauges I lean in or zoom momentarily (I sent Ben/Austin a question if this is a bug or feature so I'm waiting for their answer before reporting a bug).   The new airport textures are just great, at first it felt like I'm in a first person shooter, really no joking, the bumpiness on the concrete is first class especially with the lighting, in my opinion, and I hope the community will modify the default gateway airports with the new textures and objects in order to have a consistent high "fidelity" airport feel around the world.   My suggestion for a new rig, buy the latest tech you can put your hands on or wait for the new version of NVidia/AMD/CPUs and then buy the high end previous generation to save some money   I almost went that route, but I had to buy a new PC since I gave mine to my younger son (so you see... I was forced to upgrade  )     I will wait for you ATC review, I tried IFR and it went nicely until I reached the destination airport, unfortunately I was never hand over to the target airport tower for landing, so I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or it is a bug (probably the first), for a test I picked a ~50nm airport to test this, so it was a short flight.   Keep the great work, you probably have plenty and let's hope Laminar will be able to deliver a stable XP12 in the next 3 months and a better scenery in 2 years.     [FSR on - Ultra Quality] [FSR Off - best texture quality you can have] The blurriness a bug or feature ?    [edit] After consulting with Ben Supnik, this is a feature and not a bug. FSR blurs screen textures as a whole and currently they can't pick which ones to apply FSR on and which not. So for VR it is a blessing but at the price of texture clarity. I'm still not convinced that a 3080ti won't be able to deal with FSR off, I'll have to do more tests and prove otherwise.     Cheers Saar
    • Aircraft Review - Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series by Thranda Design   Only a few months ago (April 2022) Thanda Design released their version of the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan. It was an interesting release for many reasons. It was a slight departure from their usual rugged utility aircraft series, the Caravan is of course still a working machine, but more tuned to light freight and passenger transfers and tourism... than rugged bush work.   More so was the fact that the Cessna Caravan was the all time most successful aircraft sold by Carenado, which meant that Thranda was also moving into Carenado type territory and creating a product that was a very much esteemed by anyone that flew it.   This latest U206G release goes more deeper into the earlier Carenado territory, this is really a General Aviation aircraft par excellence from the Cessna 205, 206, and 207 family, all known primarily as the Stationair (and marketed variously as the Super Skywagon, Skywagon and Super Skylane). A family that was originally developed from the popular retractable-gear Cessna 210.   The family line combination of a powerful engine, rugged construction and a large cabin has made these aircraft popular bush planes. Cessna describes the 206 as "the sport-utility vehicle of the air." These airplanes are also used for aerial photography, skydiving and other utility purposes. Fitting in perfectly for Thranda's vision .   The U206 was originally known as the “Super Skywagon”. From 1970 it was named the “Stationair”, a contraction of “Station Wagon of the Air”, which is a good description of the aircraft's intended role. Sub-variants were designated U206 to U206G. The “U” designation indicated “utility” and this model was equipped with a pilot side door and large clamshell rear door serving the back two rows of seats, allowing easy loading of oversized cargo.   The C206G has six seats, is powered by a Continental IO-520-F of 300 hp (224 kW), with a gross weight of 3,600 lb (1,633 kg) landplane, 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) seaplane and was certified on 21 June 1976.   Notable is that the Cessna U206G is also the first aircraft from Thranda that is available for X-Plane 12, an X-Plane 11 version is also part of the package if you want to stay over there. But you would be crazy not to as we shall see. Also to note the aircraft being released into the Beta phase of X-Plane 12 (I'm using Beta B4 here), so there may be a few elements or changes until X-Plane 12 goes final.     Make no mistake...  looking at the Thranda U206G in the virtual flesh in X-Plane 12 is a moment. The instant point that says new era and uber realism. Yes I have given out accolades and breezy breathless descriptions of overwhelming quality and detail in the past. But this is now X-Plane 12 and it comes with all of X-Plane wizzbang dynamics, one image says it all.    Look at it, or LOOK at this image...  the realism is simply off this world, as you feel the reality of the aircraft, you want to touch it, rub your hands all over that smooth cowling...     ...  at this point I don't even want to fly the Cessna, but to just absorb it, be with it....   God it's so good.   Quality of course has always been around aircraft like this, but X-Plane 12's dynamic lighting creates a very different aspect to the aircraft, certainly one that has been created for the better newer dynamics. Paneling is perfect, panel screws and the extensive riveting is all so perfect, but so is the perfect shaping of the machine as this is peerless modeling. It's filthy as well, dirty, grubby, bloody perfect.     Around the shapely rear and under the elevators and I could bore you for ages with accolades. The sheen however on panels is just "beautiful".     Glass is excellent as well... there is lovely staining and wear through the glass that gives it all a very realistic look, and notable is the highlighting of the excellent and the same detail that was on the Caravan, it all also gives you a hint of how great the Thranda X-Plane 12 Caravan will be as well, it was great in X-Plane 11 so it should be absolutely brilliant in X-Plane 12.     The undercarriage is a Tri-Cycle arrangement with the small rears on sprung arms. Again grotty and dirty, worn and torn, this U206 has had a hard life. Basic braking system on the U206 consists of a single disc, which has a hydraulically actuated brake on each main landing gear wheel. The single nose wheel has the chrome hydraulic centre leg, and again grubby in appearance     The Continental IO-520-F of 300 hp (224 kW) is fully modeled here, you can't actually interact with it but the detail is excellent to observe.     There are only actually two doors. Well one pilot door and the rear twin-clamshell doors. All are opened by their latches. Clever is that with the clamshell doors if you close the front door first the rear won't close, unless you reopen the earlier door, a nice detail.     Cabin The StationAir is a six seater aircraft in three rows. With each row of seating slighly smaller than the one in front. I'm also going to call it, as X-Plane 12's lighting makes it very dark in here, Ben Subnic says it's correct, but I find it just simply too dark to be really realistic.     Cabin materials are very light grey upper with a dark blue lower, and the seat inserts are a blue tartan, very smart and it comes with a more modern feel than an earlier model. Oddly the cabin feels very early Carenado, so if you like those styled cabins you will love it in here, of which I do.     Cabin roof detail is glorious, strips of metal, hung seatbelts, lighting fittings are all well done.   Instrument Panel Again you will find the instrument panel very dark, nearly a black hole and with a grey background here. Worn glareshield is nicely tired with grubby edges that you will want to run your fingers along. Lower panel has a very nice wooden finish that in the right light looks very exclusive but also feels a little dated for a modern cabin.     Highlight here are the square block "STATIONAIR" yokes, very authentic and yes they are excellent. You can hide one or both yokes to your own setup for the day, but they cover a lot of the lower switchgear. Oddly there is no radio contact switch on the yoke?     Put on the power and it helps to see the instrument panel. You get lit dials and instruments and reflecting red down lighting that looks very nice, this is a very quality made instrument panel (note I later found the optional light posts that did a better panel lighting fill job).     Flying instruments (Standard Six), and no flying instruments for the right seat, lower panel has power and starting switch, internal lighting knobs and external lighting rocker switches. Centre are the three push-pull knobs for Throttle, Propeller and MIxture.   Tall centre console has both Rudder and Pitch Trim wheels and Cowl Flap lever, on the floor is the fuel tank switch (44.0 GAL per tank).     All side cubbys and in-wing air-vents work, as do both the side windows open.     Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications.     As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous)   Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive.     General menu selections cover; Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, GPU on/off, Cargo Pod on/off, Chocks and Brakes on/off.     Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit door and rear cabin doors. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights.   The "Electric Tug" that can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your joystick (left,right-forward,backwards). Static Items include Engine Inlet covers, Pitot covers and Tie-Downs     Cargo pod is nicely detailed and comes with a single opening door, you can also add in baggage.     There is built in "Checklist" (lower right menu, arrowed). And very good it is. But also now back here in the red, or the checked green choices you used on the other Thranda aircraft, and not the single white on the Caravan.   You can have checklist pop-up or in a window mode and thankfully move it, and scale it even from the very small to the very large. The two lower arrows give navigation around the checklist pages. The action detail and hints in the lists are simply excellent and the checklist is fully detailed from Pre-Flight to Shutdown. And to reset, it is done at the end by switching green back to red.     Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 11 liveries or two blank and nine designs and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare with the package. Thranda house is default.       Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own livery!      With their earlier releases of their Kodiak and with the PC-6, PZL-104 and Caravan. Then Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery. This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES top.     Two liveries are "Dynamic" in resources (White)...  another New feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt (Ext) Externally, Scratches and Dirt (Int) Internally. Via three percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly.So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. This can be applied to any of the liveries.     You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the RGB colours for that certain area, it looks hard but you can easily design a very nice livery in about twenty minutes...  the selections of Dirt (Ext), Scratches and Dirt (Int). Metal(ness) and surface Rough(ness) can also be added or adjusted as seen earlier...     When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes, but the results are excellent and in your own design...  There are already 30 preselected selections in their various designs, all are very good, and like noted you can add in your own version to the list. New to the Dynamic Livery application is ERA options in "Modern' or "Classic". Of course taste is optional...     Menu - Weight/Bal   The StationAir also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle Lbs/Kgs (arrowed).     The Cargo Pod can be added or removed via the toggle top centre. This then adds in the Cargo Pod weight options on the right.     Fuel can be added and the amounts are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above). Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights all selected via a scrollwheel...  and then all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph, go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red. When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add in the set weights.     Add weight into the cargo pod and baggage will fill the lower container. There is the selection of all seats, four seats or two seats (front) and a large space in the rear. Selection is via a X on the box for that seat that you want to remove from the rear cabin.     But obviously there is a compromise? If you want a full passenger and baggage load, then you can't have full fuel tanks, as the excess weight takes you over the weight and the CofG limits. For six passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the range and not go into the red. You can really pile a lot into the rear two sections and all the baggage is of very high quality.   Adding in passenger weight gives you a pilot (Daniel Klaue) and in the co-pilot seat his wife. There are no rear passengers and both are nicely actively in body and head animated to the controls. Note...  if you turn off the aircraft's electrical power or add the chocks to the wheels, then they will both disappear.     Menu - Camera   There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FoV or Field of View is adjustable via a slider.     Menu - Audio/Slew   Sound can be adjusted via the sound menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel...  As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play.     Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is mostly used with the floats option (not yet on the StationAir, but on the Caravan, Thranda Beaver and PC-6).   Menu - PANEL The sixth "PANEL" Tab option allows you to adjust or change the instruments and dials.     First feature here is a new one to Thanda's Dynamic Panel...  you can now add in or takeaway the panel "Light Posts". (hint nice on)     Scroll the "Panel Preset" number (arrowed) to see the extra six preset layouts (seven choices in all). Sometimes to restart you have to click to "Apply the Settings" for the GPS units.     Customising the panel to your own personal layout is just as easy. Just select the "3D EDIT PANEL MODE" (arrowed) that gives you access to all of the 53 individual instruments and avionic units...  There some great options including Aspen EFD 1000, S-TEC 55x Autopilot, Angle of Attack gauge and so on...     For those that find instruments are not to their liking in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter just a bit more to the left", then here you can simply adjust that instrument, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking. Here I have moved the MAN PRESS/FUEL FLOW gauge over to the right side...   because I can. You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument.   Optional is to select the type of GPS unit you want GNS 530/430.     When done you can "ADD" (or Duplicate) in a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset /6). So basically you can start off with a completely blank instrument panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout if you have the time and patience...  and you can have up to or save 14 different instrument layouts. It is however very important to restart X-Plane to lock in the new instrumentation layout before flying.   Currently the optional "Panel Background" choice is not available on the StationAir, like it was on other Thranda DGS systems   Panel features include; Bendix King KFC-225, and the noted Aspen EFD 1000, KR 87 ADF Radio, Garmin GMA 340, Garmin GTX325 Mode C Transponder, BendixKing IN-182A Weather Radar and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. And there is a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on.     The EFD 1000 which is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not as highly featured with the GPSS, MAP,  360 and Menu functions all not simulated...  all the lower NAV1/NAV2/GPS selections are however available, as is the TPS (Tapes) see/hide option with the MIN (Minimums) selectable as well. and the PFD can be reversed with the EHSI. The EFD 1000 here can be used with the KFC225 Autopilot.   Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page has four panels that cover Fairings ,Tundra, Cargo Pod (again) Windows and DynaFeel.     Fairings covers all three wheels, but are not coloured.       Available are both Regular and Tundra wheel sizes, as are the rear Mud Flaps     Side windows come in two options, Flat and Bubble.     "DynaFeel" on the right is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect. It is  based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases.   Links to both the Support forum for the U206 Stationair by Thranda and to download the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater are also provided _____________________   Flying the Cessna U206G Stationair A lot of users love the twiddly, hard starting, fuel flooding aircraft. Not me sorry, as I want to fly and not be immersed in frustration. If you do the wrong thing trying to start start the U206G, then obviously it won't start. But set the throttle to idle, mixture full up and hit the starter key the Stationair will quickly and easily come to life.     Sounds are very good, but also slightly odd. Internally the Continental IO-520-F sounds very good, but externally you get a very "Knock, knock", sound like clapping two coconuts together, is that realistic? Maybe so at low idle and it does get better with the revolutions increasing, but still knocks can be heard over the roar. You have to pull the external sound down to 30% slider to be realistic as it is far too loud at the correct setting?   Park brake goes off in the "thunk", and give the U206G a bit of throttle and away you go...  my weight is very light here at only 1238 kg, just a pilot and a bag in the back with only 90 kg of fuel in each wing tank (180 kg). You can very easily find that really lovely taxi speed here with a bit of adjustment of the mixture and throttle settings. Note you can now adjust all the pilot and passenger weights and cargo in the newer X-Plane 12 Weights & Balances/Fuel menu.     Very quickly you really love the X-Plane 12 dynamics and the refined aircraft condition. With the set mixture then speed adjustment by the throttle can be very fine in adjusting up and down your throttle, so the Stationair is really excellent on the ground.     Mixture now full in for take-off, off go the foot-brakes and up the throttle for some power...  the engine roars...     ...   being light the the U206G moves quickly away from the line on EIKY - Kerry's Rwy 08...  zoom! your moving and putting the throttle up more and your gathering even more speed quickly, you feel the power and the U206G moves along at quite a clip. There is not much pull to the left either and the aircraft is easy to sit on the centre white lines, so at 90 knts you pull back on the yoke and your easily flying...     Sounds are much more improved at full power, I love them a lot as get this great throaty roar. Climb rate is basically 1,000 ft per minute, but I found a little more pitch as the power allowed you to do that without losing speed (again depending on the weight).     Your view to the side is highly restricted by the low window, so you feel encased in the aircraft. But there is no doubt about the environmental differences of X-Plane 12 and it's spectacular lighting effects. These images show on how different X-Plane 12 is from the earlier versions of the Simulator.     I think the scenery is far more detailed as well as regional Ireland comes across very well and nicely detailed.     I'm pretty impressed by the cloud shadows and reflected on the ground as well, but can't see the same on the aircraft?     First up to Shannon VOR (SHA - 113.30 MHz)... and soon Shannon comes into view.     With earlier circuit flying I found the Strationair from Thranda "putty in my hands". Instantly you know that THIS aircraft is bloody brilliant to fly, trim is easily adjustable and the aircraft will just go where you want it too, bank cleanly, twist, turn, slightly up, slightly down...  it's a beautiful thing when it works so well like this. Obviously Thranda have got the X-Plane 12 physics perfectly right.   Now over Shannon it is a 67º turn to Dublin and a reset of VOR 2 and the Dublin (DUB - 114.90) which comes up on the VOR pointer that shows I'm on the right track.     Sit back and just admire the Stationair in the new dynamic X-Plane 12 lighting, it is absolutely brilliant, but this is still a beta, so expect a bit more adjustment to come.     U206G specifications are; Maximum speed 174 mph (280 km/h, 151 kn) at sea level, a Cruise speed of 163 mph (262 km/h, 142 kn) at 6,200 ft (1,900 m) (75% power), a Range of 840 mi (1,350 km, 730 nmi) at 6,500 ft (2,000 m) (max fuel, 45 min reserves) with a Service ceiling of 15,700 ft (4,800 m)   Popups are good and clear, obviously there are more than what I am using here. The more you fly in X-Plane 12 the more impressive it gets.     Lighting There are the four panel adjustment knobs, but you really need the panel "Light Posts" on to get a really nice panel effect. It is a pretty panel and as usual highly adjustable. There are actually two red glow arrangements. One built into the upper glareshield and a second front to of the window on the roof. A single large light mid-cabin lights up the rear.     Externally it is pretty basic lighting...  Front in the nose are both landing and taxi lights, navigation and strobe lights on the wingtips, plus a white tail light and up on the top of tail is a red beacon light.     Cleared for Dublin's EIDW Rwy 16, I go into a circuit going north, then east. Notable is that the chunky yokes cover the important VOR 2 pointer low down on the left. I think it is an instrument I will have to move...  because I can with the DGS System.     Final turn puts me on the 159º approach heading. Unusually I am using the APP tool to line up to Rwy 16. There is a slight hill in front of the runway that can hide the runway from a distance... but it a good test of the system as well. A Course Deviation Indicator (CDI) is right in your eyesight and a very hand tool in this position for gauging not only the runway angle, but the ILS cone as well, even if you are landing manually.     Flaps here are UP - 10º - 20º (lower right). There is not too much lift from each flap selection, as long as your speeds are mostly consistent with point you select the next phase down and you should end up with an approach speed of say around 70 knts.      You had better have the correct approach speed set if you are going to drop the APP A/P and are going over to manual control to land. Wrong and speed set too low will make the aircraft severely drop (as it should) so you need to give it a little bit of a higher power to keep the air going over machine to stay up, once settled in a manual flight you then adjust the approach speed back to resume your descent. Notable here was the westerly wind that caught me out every time, even though I was ready for it? but I soon had the aircraft corrected.     Because the U206G is nicely docile in these sort of conditions you can handle them quite easily...     Lower the speed under 60 knts (Stall is 63 mph (101 km/h, 55 kn) (flaps down) and a nice slight flare and your down.     The Stationair doesn't squirm a lot under braking, which is nice, and loses speed easily. The point to make here overall is the excellent handling characteristics are really so very good. This is a perfect trainer aircraft for realistic training because of these essential traits, it's excellent to fly as well.   Summary Earlier this year Thranda Designs released the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan. Here is the U206G Stationair, which you could say is a sort of follow up to the Caravan, after Thranda's earlier more rugged utility aircraft Series. In the name the U206G, means "U" for utility, and "G" for the version including six seats and this aircraft is powered by a Continental IO-520-F of 300 hp (224 kW).   Thranda Design are one of the best developers in X-Plane, their history and quality is legendary. So that quality build and detailing is always going to be significant from the start, and so it here... exceptional. In every area and detail, modeling, fine details, glass and the interior materials.   Feature list is very high (clever) adaptable cabin seating and baggage options with the required lower Cargo Pod also available. Tundra Tyres, Mud Flaps, Checklists, Wheel Fairing and flat or bubble windows are all here. The Amphibian, Float, Skis versions and even the usual G1000 Avionics will come later in an add on package as per usual by Thranda.   Menus are also excellent with menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous), that covers all the options and including sound, weights and balances also including graphs, walk-around and camera options and general static elements including chocks, pitot covers, removable engine cover (with detailed IO-520-F ) and tie-downs.   Thranda always comes with a high range of clever and unique features to give the user a lot of personal options. Known as "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, this is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Here you can change the actual livery to your own designs, but build the instrument panel to your own liking as well, including options of the Aspen EFD 1000 glass instrument and a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on.   One thing I will note early in this summary is that the biggest feature on this aircraft actually is not from Thranda. It is the new version X-Plane 12. The new lighting and feel of X-Plane 12 brings the aircraft to life in a very different and more realistic way, but notable here in this beta is that internal lighting is also very dark as is in parts of the external lighting, expect those areas to be refined as we run through the beta phase    X-Plane 12 dynamics are simply sensational here and a level above in feel and handling, but notable is the sound package, in being very rattly lower and loopy higher revolutions, it's not bad, but like with the Caravan could be a bit better.   So it's a Thranda and that is a sale right there and done. But this is also the first Thranda created and developed significantly for X-Plane 12, a new era in simulation and from what I have experienced it is a massive leap forward in real life dynamics and visual appeal. A total winner in every department...  and totally recommended. _______________________________     Yes! the Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:    Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series Price is US$39.95   Requirements X-Plane 12 (still beta at this stage) or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.9 GB Current version 1.0 (September 17th 2022)   Special features: FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. Over 50 instruments to choose from! (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP 650 and GTN750) Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's panel! Comes with 6 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Enable or disable lighting posts per instrument.  Lighting is fully 3D, and dynamically move along with the instruments, as you configure the panel. Ability to assign a lighting index to individual instruments, to allow different lighting knobs to be assigned on a per-instrument basis. Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! Almost every instrument can be popped up or popped out as a 2D floating window! They can be placed on other monitors as well. Instruments can be moved in 3D directly, on a 2D pop-up preview window, or by numerical entry for precise placement. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility in X-Plane Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak, the Beaver, the Wilga, the Caravan, and the Pilatus PC-6) Full PBR control! Create stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look in mere seconds! Additional control over dirt/scratches, adjustable in real-time to dial in the exact desired amount of wear and tear.   Create "virtual" liveries, based on two basic common design layouts (Modern and Classic), and assign any colour to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls.  Previews include visualization of metallic materials and dirt overlays.  Apply selected livery in real-time, right in the sim, without the need to even touch a 3rd party image editor! Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether. (Enter a "space" instead of a callsign number to create a blank tail number.) Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also includes 9 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater.  Option to participate in Beta program, via checkbox in SkunkCrafts Updater.  Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Continental IO-520-F engine. Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Electric tug, with in-panel controls to move forward/backward at the desired speed, and steer proportionally Control over chocks, individual tie-downs, covers, internal lights, external lights, etc. Option to enable/disable Cargo Pod, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics. Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures, directly from this fly-out menu. Control landing lights, strobes, beacon, and nav lights via fly-out menu Detailed weight and balance manager with visual chart, individual passenger seat weight control, Lbs/KG unit toggle, CG control, external tank control, and the option to save and load configuration. Control individual seat positions, or hide them altogether, to create a hybrid passenger/cargo version. When seats are hidden, cargo fills the space when weight is added via the fly-out menu. Multiple camera snap points, above and beyond what's available by default in X-Plane, so you can perform your walk around checks. Adjust your camera's Field of View without having to go to an X-plane menu, allowing for real-time adjustments. Audio mixer: individually control audio channels in real-time, so you can adjust volumes while hearing them play. Slew control: move your plane around the world, temporarily bypassing flight physics.  Includes ground mode and air mode. Dynamic panel control page, with a separate view for the entire panel layout preview, or a per-instrument view, allowing for fine-tuning of instrument position, as well as copy-paste function to quickly replace instruments. Options for landing gear: Tundra tires, mud flaps, wheel pants (fairings) Option to enable bubble windows for pilot and copilot side windows. DynaFeel panel: Dial in precisely how you with for the controls to react as a function of speed. Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active Stationair pilots.  This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The U206 Stationair is a well-behaved airplane and a very stable IFR platform.   Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. DynaFeel: controls that simulate how strongly the control surfaces are affected by oncoming air, and how much strength would be needed to overcome these forces.   Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth, finely tuned transitions (actually having calculated the precise beat frequency for each section, to minimize "muddy" transition sounds), and amazing atmospheric effects. Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience, adjustable in real-time (while listening to the sounds) Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Engine has typical cool-down ticking sound, based on engine temperature. Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood.   Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds ___________________________________   Installation and documents:  download for the Thranda_C206. is 1.92Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder.   Full Installation is 2.05Gb   Documents supplied are: Changelog.txt Thranda Graphics Settings XP11.pdf Thranda Joystick Settings.pdf Thranda U206G Manual.pdf U206G Performance Charts.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf There are a huge amount of Documentation provided here, not only for the Thranda U206G including performance charts, reference guides, but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics.   All updates are via built-in Skunkcrafts Updater   Support forum for the U206 Stationair by Thranda _____________________   Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 27th September 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews   Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows  - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 12.00B4 (This is a beta review). Plugins: raffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft -EKLY - Kerry Ireland by Boundless -EIDW - Airport Dublin V2 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95   (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) All Rights Reserved    
    • NEWS! - KSYR - Syracuse Hancock International updated to X-Plane 12     The excellent KSYR - Syracuse Hancock International Airport by Vertical Simulations (VerticalSim) has been updated to X-Plane 12.   Syracuse Hancock International Airport is a joint civilian-military airport near Syracuse, NY. An ex US Army Air Corps field used during WWII. This airport features a scenic approach into rural upstate NY.   Details include. X-Plane 12 version available Switched custom trees for XP12 default 3D placeholder trees Reduced light parameters by half to correct for XP12 lighting Exported with WED V2.5 with XP12 target Airline assignment fix: AYA->AAY (Allegiant) Removed 2D grass Added weather/ice-snow effects Added airline names to gate   Note images shown here are X-Plane 11 NOT X-Plane 12, as they haven't been updated yet.       Both X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 versions are now available for dowload, so you get both versions in the KSYR package.     The free SAM plugin is required for this airport to work.  You can get it here SAM3 Suite.   Images are courtesy of VerticalSim __________________     Yes!...   KSYR - Syracuse Hancock International XP12 by VerticalSim is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   KSYR - Syracuse Hancock International Price is US$19.99   Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.7 GB Version XP12 - September 21st 2022   ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 22nd September 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved  
    • NEWS! - Laminar Research releases X-Plane 12 Public Beta 4!     Laminar Research has released public Beta No. 4. And it is a big one folks, huge in fact! a full 2.6Gb of updates and changes. So run your X-Plane Installer. It is important to check the "Beta" tickbox" to get the update.     Although the changelog is quite extensive, there is a large component we are not seeing here.   Beta 4 XPD-12423 Boat wakes should replay. XPD-12513 Mismatched 3D water wake on replay. XPD-12542 Many frequency changes upon vectoring to visual approach. XPD-12628 Planemaker dialogs lag behind when dragged. XPD-12794 UTL_art_asset and other classes delete resources under lock. XPD-12825 Can get short silence at the end of some transmissions. XPD-12826 Restored joystick axis label symbols. XPD-12867 Crash checking in with area controller (after landing). XPD-12868 Better carrier ops for old planes, too! XPD-12871 When using the “show air traffic paths” option, altitudes are wrong. XPD-12873 ATC should hold FMOD’s m_continuation_group during preparation for playback. XPD-12875 Engine and transmission temperature model is incorrect and inconsistent. XPD-12886 Don’t allow a FISO to provide “request heading” or “uncertain of position”. XPD-12889 Background image in Planemaker stuck in zoom relative to geometry. XPD-12898 Request Frequency Change had inverted logic. XPD-12901 AI stuck in a loop missing final. XPD-12904 Excessive approach revectors due to route checking. XPD-12915 Crash on error exit in boat manager. XPD-12923 Liberty Island lights fixed. XPD-12925 Improvements to ground-ops window, always give feedback. XPD-12931 Initial magenta NaN pain relief. XPD-12945 VR system left handles in place after a window was popped out. XPD-12947 San Francisco Landmarks update. XPD-12949 A330 flaps not controllable by an analog joystick AXIS. XPD-12952 Thread shutdown crash. XPD-12953 Citation X FMC Causing Crash entering STAR. XPD-12955 Crash after requesting taxi to stand from hold-short point. XPD-12958 Have the taxi route stay on the actual route but still show the way back to it. XPD-12966 AI can end up in the wrong state after an approach revector. XPD-12976 Dynamic objects small update. XPD-13001 Marked X-Plane 11 as an “old key” in X-Plane 12.   One update here is interesting. "XPD-13001 Marked X-Plane 11 as an “old key” in X-Plane 12". Notable has been a lot of crashes (CTD) because X-Plane 12 is not recognising the XP12 moniker (.aft file), even though it is there. So hopefully this bug has now been fixed.   Users are noting far better cloud formations and even a better framerate which is good news for all ears, so it is a worthy if large update to do.   You can find the ongoing beta details here: X-Plane 12.00 Release Notes   For all details of the X-Plane 12 release then go here: X-Plane 12 - Next Generation X-Plane Beta release "Early Access"     X-Plane 12 (Beta) is purchased directly from Laminar Research for US$59.95 and the download file size is 82 GB   X-Plane 12 Price is US$59.95 _____________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 22nd September 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved  
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