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    • NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Piper PA28R Arrow III G5 - E1000 by vFlyteAir     It's weird sometimes. Only a few days ago I mentioned in a review that vFlyteAir have been very quiet for a while now, and you guessed it... out comes their latest release. This is the promised (a while ago) version of the Arrow lll with a custom Garmin G5 Avionics package, there is the E1000 setup in there as well. And you get an extensive if huge in-detailed feature list,as  vFlyteAir are very good at those areas...   Note; this Arrow lll G5 is not an update, this is a brand new model, but there is a discount code for previous purchasers...  but be quick as it will only be available for a few weeks.   Features for the Arrow III G5/E1000 include: G5 Version  Our custom Garmin G5 simulation was developed by vFlyteAir with the assistance of real-world pilots who regularly fly the Garmin G5. With their help, we believe we have created a very plausible and realistic simulation of the G5 exclusively for use in our own fleet of aircraft. No 3rd party plugins required! The G5 version can also be switched to a traditional analog-gauge panel using the Options Menu. The G5 can be configured to use either Imperial or Metric units for altitude and airspeed. Your G5 settings are saved each time you fly, and are restored the next time you fly. We have even modeled Electronic Stability Protection which provides over-pitch and under-pitch, over-speed and under-speed and over-roll protections to keep the Arrow III within acceptable flight envelope parameters. G5 Version has Integrated GFC500 Autopilot with GMC 507 Control Head With the G5 glass panel option selected, the Arrow III is equipped with the GFCD 500 autopilot that uses a GMC 507 controller. The GFC 500 is tightly integrated with the G5 PFD, which displays autopilot states on-screen, The GMC 507 controller can be popped out to separate window for easier viewing and manipulation. E1000 Version For those who prefer the Aspen EFDE1000, we have updated our E1000 simulation to provide a more realistic and accurate experience. The E1000 version can also be switched to a traditional analog-gauge panel using the Options Menu. The E1000 can be configured to use either Imperial or Metric units for altitude and airspeed. Your E1000 settings are saved each time you fly, and are restored the next time you fly. E1000 with KFC 230 Touch-screen Autopilot  The Arrow III E1000 version uses a touch-screen KFC 230 autopilot which can be popped out to a separate window for easier viewing and manipulation. Pop-Up Options Menu with Checklists Click the small Piper logo at bottom left of the screen to pop up the Options Menu, which allows you to select options and preferences, choose Glass Panel or Analog-Gauge instrument panel, summon a Tow Tractor, add fuel and passengers, open/close doors, remove wheel chocks and cowl plugs and display the Normal Procedures check lists. Tow Tractor Feature When you are on the ground with the engine off, you can summon a Tow Tractor to tow the Arrow III out of the hangar. A pop-up control panel allows you steer and control the forward and reverse speed of the Tow Tractor. Custom M803 Chronometer  Our M803 chronometer simulation works like the real instrument. Functions include Universal Time Display, Local Time, automatic Flight Timer, Elapsed Timer (Count UP) and Elapsed Timer (Count DOWN). The upper part of the display shows the bus voltage being generated or outside air temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. Custom GI 275 EIS Touch-Screen Engine Monitor  The GI 275 EIS has four different pages of engine and flight information, and can be "popped out" as a separate window. Switchable Panels - Glass Panel or Analog Panel - Both the G5 and the E1000 versions can be switched "on the fly" to a traditional analog-gauge panel using the Options Menu. RealityXP® Plugin Support  Both Arrow III versions have integrated, automatic in-panel support for up to six different RXP plugin configurations, including RXP g430, RXP GTN650 and RXP GTN750 options. Custom Engine Start Logic With the Custom Engine Start option enabled, engine starts are dependent on engine temperature and ambient temperature at your airplane’s location. Cold conditions require a longer starter crank time. Per the Arrow III POH, engine starts require full rich mixture and throttle open 1/2". In addition, the pilot must follow the Cold Start or Hot Start procedures described in the Arrow III POH to ensure a successful engine start without flooding the fuel injectors. This option can be turned off using the Options Menu. On-Screen Warnings and Notifications Warnings and notifications will appear on-screen under certain conditions such as forgetting to set the transponder to ALT mode, or leaving a door open dur-ing taxi. Can be turned off by the user. Save-States your preferences and settings are saved automatically each time you unload the Arrow III, and are restored the next time you load the Arrow III. Your settings for the G5 and the Aspen instruments are saved in separate files and restored when you fly again. Wheel Chocks and Cowl Plugs—Use the Options Menu to remove the wheel chocks and cowl plugs. If the wheel chocks are left in place, the airplane will not move. Realistic Airframe Vibration/Shake Effects The airframe and controls shake slightly when the engine is running. The shaking is more noticeable when the Arrow III begins to stall, on touch-down , and when the engine is shut down. You can turn off the Shake Effects using the Options Menu. Accurate Flight Model Our Arrow III model has been completely rebuilt in X-Plane Planemaker to provide accurate flight characteristics and ground handling. The Arrow III can be flown with X-Plane’s Experimental Flight Model feature turned ON or OFF. The new version corrects issues with ground handling experienced in the previous versions Detailed3D Model and Hi-Res Textures the Arrow III features highly detailed 3D modeling and super hi-res textures for the most realism possible in a flight simulator. PBR textures and 3D lights are used throughout to add to the realism. VR-Ready cockpit controls have been optimized for Virtual Reality Animated Pilot, Copilot and Passengers The pilot and passengers are animated with random movements, and they also respond to aircraft bank and pitch. Dynamically Calculated Weight and Balance—as you add fuel and passengers, the airplane weight and Center of Gravity are recalculated and adjusted in X-Plane. Use the Weight & Balance chart on the Options Menu to check your aircraft weight and center of gravity under the current loading. FMOD Sounds with Spatial Effects Support for AviTab Plugin  If you have the AviTab plugin installed, an e-tablet will appear mounted to the pilot yoke. You can hide or show the AviTab tablet using the Options Menu. Support for libRain plugin—NOTE: We provide support for the libRain plugin with the Arrow III. However, at time of release, the libRain plugin does not work with X-Plane Vulcan. The libRain plugin is NOT included with the Arrow III and must be downloaded separately.             vFlyteAir are now one of the premier General Aviation developers, so the Arrow lll is certainly a high-quality aircraft...  did I mention feature rice, yeah that as well. Nice.   Now available at the OrgStore!   Images are courtesy of vFlyteAir ______________________________________     Yes! the Piper PA28R Arrow III G5 - E1000 by vFlyteAir GA is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Piper PA28R Arrow III G5 - E1000 Price is US$33.95   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC, or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Download size: 475 MB Version 1.0 (January 28th 2022)   For a very limited time, owners of the Arrow III by vFlyteAir can get a discount on this model. Please find your discount code in the original Arrow III invoice. Note: This is not an update, this is a brand new model. The discount code will only be active for a few weeks ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 29th January 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! - Scenery Released - LGKP - Karpathos Island National Airport by Pearl Simulations     Over the last few years there has been a lot, no a huge amount of scenery destinations for the X-Plane Simulator released for Greece and Turkey...  it is the new, new area to explore past central Europe. So here is another destination in Karpathos Island National Airport.   Karpathos Island National Airport is an airport on the island of Karpathos, Greece. The airport first operated in 1970 and back then it had very limited facilities (a small building of only 500 m2). Today its terminal and associated buildings cover an area of 12,500 m2. The current airport facilities were constructed between 2005 and 2009. The inauguration of the new airport terminal took place on 25 July 2009.   The island is a popular tourist destination and frequented by SAS, TUIfly, Eurowings, Austrian and Condor. Among Greek airlines, Olympic Air flies to Athens and Thessaloniki, and Sky Express connects Karpathos with the neighboring Kasos Island and Rhodes. The runway is relatively long, at 2,399 meters, especially given that Karpathos is home to only 6’000 inhabitants.   Features: Modelling On-Site Modelling and Texturing of Karpathos Island National Airport with all important buildings with PBR effects and plenty of objects Ground:  Accurate and realistic 4K Ground Texturing with PBR and wear and tear, high level of details Mesmerizing Approach Views over the Aegean Sea  Realistic Night Texturing and Lighting  High Res Orthophoto and Trees Holiday Feeling               Another destination for your Greek collection!   Images are courtesy of Pearl Simulations _____________________________________     Yes! - LGKP - Karpathos Island National Airport by Pearl Sim is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   LGKP - Karpathos Island National Airport Price is Currently US$19.99   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current version : 1.0 (January 26th 2022) ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 27th January 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! - Scenery Released : Grand Canyon West - 1G4 by X-Coda     Fresh of his triumphant and clever Yellowstone National Park scenery, X-Coda is back with another national park area, and this time it is the Grand Canyon in Arizona. 1G4 Grand Canyon West Airport sits atop the south rim of the Grand Canyon. When on approach for runway 35, below you is the Colorado River snaking through the Grand Canyon, to the right is Guano Point and the old tramway, and to the left is the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that extends over 60 feet over the Grand Canyon. The approach for runway 17 is equally scenic with the Cabins at Grand Canyon West as well as a historic western town to your right, and directly ahead, a clear, stunning view of the Grand Canyon.   Easily flown from Las Vegas (FlyTampa's Las Vegas is highly recommended), the trip up to the "Rim" has to be experienced in X-Plane, and this new scenery is an ideal drop-off point to explore not only the Grand Canyon, but the excellent facilities up there.   1G4 - Grand Canyon West is a detailed beautiful recreation of the real airport for X-Plane. In addition, the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk, Guano Point and the old tramway, and the Cabins at Grand Canyon West as well as the historic western town are all included. In addition, a 30m Ortho4XP mesh with ZL16 NAIP imagery that has had most major shadows removed from the imagery is included covering roughly 40% of the Famous Grand Canyon.   Features Detailed rendition of 1G4 – Grand Canyon West: All buildings feature ultra high resolution textures. All buildings feature advanced PBR normal maps for realistic reflections and bump mapping. All buildings are highly detailed, down to even door handles. Most buildings feature "lite" interiors to give windows more depth. Large scale realistic ground textures with high frequency tiled normal maps for detail. All models optimized for maximum performance. Living scenery: Wet ground textures for the airport. Ground equipment automatically serves your aircraft upon request. Local Landmarks Detailed rendition of the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk. Detailed rendition of Guano Point and the old tramway Detailed rendition of the Cabins at Grand Canyon West. Custom surroundings 30m mesh surrounding the airport covering roughly 40% of the Grand Canyon (+36-114/+35-114) ZL16 USGS NAIP Orthoimagery is used for both ortho tiles. Nearly all ugly shadows removed from Orthoimagery for a clean realistic view of the canyon. Forests procedurally placed from ortho show vegetation in the correct areas, and nowhere else. Alpilotx’s UHD Mesh V4 provides all other overlay elements (used with his permission).         A brilliant scenery at a brilliant low price, if you fly choppers you "Gotta" have it, the Grand Canyon...   That is!   Images are courtesy of X-Coda Designs _____________________________________     Yes! - Grand Canyon West - 1G4 by X-Coda Designs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Grand Canyon West - 1G4 Price is Currently US$14.99   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 4.8 GB Current version: 1.0 (January 23rd 2022) ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 25th January 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    
    • Aircraft Review : Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C by Aerosphere Simulations   Over the last few years the biggest aircraft category in the X-Plane Simulator has had a bit of a decline. The cause was two dimensional, one was the drawback of Carenado/Alabeo from the X-Plane simulator after Thranda Design decided to pursue a different developer direction, but two was also the fact the category had been saturated with almost every conceivable General Aviation (GA) variant possible over the last decade. In GA now there are only a few developers actively developing the so called classic Piper, Beechcraft and Cessna models.   One is VFlyteAir whom have also been quiet lately, and the nice collection of Just Flight Pipers. Another developer are of what you could call an X-Plane "Classic" developer is Aerosphere Simulations however are still pumping out with regularity with nice if quite modest General Aviation aircraft. A few months ago it was the PA-32-260 Cherokee Six B, and here is the little brother in the PA-28-180 Cherokee C.   The "C" model is signified by it's square-cut windows and the iconic “Hershey Bar” wing. The “C” variant also has a four cylinder carbureted version of the Lycoming O-360 that produces 180HP and is equipped with a two bladed fixed pitch propeller. Notable is the aircraft variant has the "Push-Pull" throttle and Mixture controls instead of the earlier lever quadrant and in creating more space cabin forward. This 180 horsepower variant had an empty weight with an autopilot of 1270lbs, and a gross weight of 2400lbs and resulting in a useful carry load of 1130lbs. And the basic Cherokee is not to be confused with the Archer, which had a longer fuselage. The Cherokee 180 was first certified on 3 August 1962.     Aerosphere could be classed as a "Classic Style" developer. Up front there is none of that nonsense of popup features or even a menu. So don't go looking for items like static elements, removable panels, detailed engine, fuel cart, weights and fuel etc; as there isn't even any chocks to stop the aircraft rolling away. The Aerosphere 180 is however VR (Virtual Reality) friendly, and has FMOD sounds.   Only external animations are the main right cabin door (latch only works from the inside), and the large baggage store area (behind the rear bench seat) door, that has a set of non-usable chocks and some spare engine oil set inside.     Modeling could be noted as "Classic" as well...  The polygon mesh is quite large, hence the visible lines on curves, overall the modeling is not bad and the Cherokee shape is well done, but don't go looking for the ultra mesh detailing that is common today...  hence the dated feel.     The detail however is saved by a lot NML normal mapping, or Dot3 bump mapping which is really quite good...  all the panels are visible as are the sunk and raised rivets...  best detail is the tail and wide rear single elevator that are nicely detailed to bring out the metal strengthening  aspects of the panels. minute detailing is a bit average, notable in the wingtip lighting assemblies and leading edge vents.     Wing chord shapes are not bad either. The wheels are all covered by large fairings which can't be removed. The internal side of the wheels in detail is not very complex either, so there is no authentic high detailing here.     The cockpit glass feels thin, and not heavy as you would find on a sixty year old aircraft, there are no scratches, wear or dirt to give it a more aged old feel... it is all simply clear, but nicely shaped for the front windscreen.     The highlight is the nice twin-blade propeller and chrome spinner, which is a McCauley prop. The starter ring can be seen as well which is a nice intimate detail.     Cabin The cabin could be described as "Late 50's Country", with it's light tan and woollen tartan inserts. Don't expect any comfort, they are as flat as they look with ribs, and again feel dated. But the dated feel is correct for the period. Under seat frame is nicely done, and the wheel puller affixed to the rear bench seat is a nice touch.     Rear seat baggage area is huge, and feels like wasted space, the cabin roof detail is however very nice.     There is a full animated pilot that moves in all directions, pitch, roll and rudder yaw, not exactly the most human like model (more like a mannequin), but it is a fair go I suppose.     Instrument panel There is no doubt were all the attention and detail work on this Piper 180 C has been focused on...  the instrument panel.     The molding and quality instruments are very authentic, but like in a new Cherokee 180 C, not a 55 year old Cherokee 180 aged sort of way. So there is no cracked facia, foam spewing detail or weather worn faded areas, there is however a nice bit of gaffa tape keeping the panel together over the avionics. Notable are the very nice reflections on the instruments, it gives the panel a very realistic feel.   The authentic yokes are very nice with well done finger grips on the rear. Again though they both feel new, more than aged or worn down in time, but I do like the authentic PIPER Cherokee centre yoke logos.     Both yokes (together) can be hidden via pressing the chrome yoke stem behind.       Panel layout is pretty standard, however the Standard Six (Eight here?) flying instruments are more grouped very wide in front of the left side pilot, with nothing, and not even any backup instruments for the right side pilot.   Left to right top row has Clock, Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon, Altimeter and directional Garmin CDI (Course Deviation Indicator) VOR2. Bottom row; Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicator and Bendix/King ADF pointer...  all are perfectly laid out, with the VOR OBS (Nav2) and the ILS alignment Dial clear and nice to use. I like the layout a lot.     Lower left is the S-Tec Autopilot adjustment panel, then lower knee panel are all the lighting switches and adjustment knobs, starter switch, with the pitot, fuel pump switches. Avionics and Autopilot power switches are mid-lower panel.   Centre-right is the Avionics stack. Top is both a Garmin GNS530 and below a Garmin GNS430 (both units pop-out), Standard Garmin GMA 340 Radio, S-Tec Fifty Five X Autopilot, Bendix/King KR87 ADF receiver (incorrectly labled?) and Garmin GTX 327 Transponder.     Engine dials and gauges are all far right. Top a very large RPM and built in hour counter, right Gyro Suction gauge, and EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) gauge. There is a block of six gauges that cover; Fuel Left Tank, Gen (Generator) Amps, Right Fuel Tank top row, and Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure and Oil Temperature bottom row. So over all it is a very basic instrument setup and one that anyone should know in everything laid out here, in other words a "Simple Layout', but one that looks good and is easy to use.     Under panel is nicely done. Note the Throttle and Mixture knobs and a HOBBs meter hangs below. Under left is the park brake, far left the Fuel Selector...  Rudders however have no toe-brake effect. Flap lever set is between the seats, and the trim winder is on the roof.   _________________   Flying the Cherokee 180 Being a basic aircraft. Starting and setting up the 180 is very easy. A few pumps of the engine primer, mixture to half-way, touch of throttle, Switch on and then hit the "Starter Button", a few twirls of the prop and your running...      If you don't get the mixture to running set correctly, then lower to mid lean is about right. If not the 180 C will lurch quickly off the ramp when releasing the park brake, get the tuning right right and you will have some control. Like a lot of GA aircraft there is too much thrust, even at idle...  more control is needed as the brakes can be sharp as well...     ...  be very light on the toe brakes, even be more so in being as even as you can. If not the the aircraft will brake sharply to the direction of the brake effort... I even resorted back to my (50% Regular) pinky lever to keep the braking effort as even as possible, but with a bit of experience you can feed in the toe brakes slightly to control the speed, which is quite powerful at a taxi speed.     You can trundle the 180 C along, but keep the speed down with a lot of braking effort. At the runway KHAF RWY33) hold point, I set the trim to pitch down slightly forward (you will see why in a moment).     The small "Storm" window, a bit of trivia in that a "Storm Window" or 'ice window' is a carryover from when aircraft did have opening windows that were meant as a Direct Vision DV window in case of ice formation on the windshield, or the wings. Mostly today it is used as ventilation. Here you can open it to the rising external noise, the opening door will give you the same effect. But the outer edge of the window frame disappears as you do?   Sounds are actually very good at idle speeds, and okay as the power rises. My biggest issue is that in areas the sounds are too quiet, then too loud on the spectrum, there is not a consistency I would like (in other words I kept turning the sounds up, then turning them down again with complaints from the family that it was too loud).   First I will state I have never flown a real Cherokee 180, but I do have a lot of GA Simulator experience...  if the following is correct to the behavior of a Piper 180 C, then so be it. Off brakes, full rich mixture and feeding the throttle in, and the 180 C initially goes right, which is slightly corrected...        ...  Then the asymmetrical prop thrust kicks in with a bang, and you go seriously...  even lurching to the left, which means a lot of right rudder to compensate, to keep the 180 C straight I am almost at full right rudder, with only a 5 knt wind in my face?     I have done this takeoff run nine or ten times now...  and I am now always ready for the coming left lurch, but never really catch it, or it always catches me out every time? Correcting the drift, I am then always caught out again straight away in that the Piper 180 C is now also airbourne?     The lift point is around 65 knts...  is that right? at no set flap or clean? I thought it would be around the mid to late 70's in knots or even in the early 80 knts..     ...  strong control is needed as you climb out, both the rudder and yoke needs a lot of power to the right to keep the Piper straight and level...  I have another gripe here as well. The Artificial Horizon marker is very, very small? You can't set say even find a 5º or 10º pitch, as it barely moves position even though you are climbing out at 500 fpm.     So the 180 C is already very physical aircraft to fly. That may be to your tastes or challenge, depending on your flying skill set.     Rate Of Climb is 750 fpm, but you will do usually your 500 fpm, maybe 600 fpm. Ceiling is noted around 15,700 ft.   I feel I am flying the Cherokee a bit lopsided... as I have to use some persistent right rudder and right yoke to keep the aircraft flying straight and level, so it is tiring to fly distances manually, as you are pulling right against the left forces consistently. You can of course use the X-Plane rudder trim (COMMAND) to adjust the rudder angle to compensate for the drift, but that is not the 180 C presented here. So if you want feel from an aircraft in feedback then you certainly get that here.     Another anomaly was my Artificial Horizon played up weird as well...  I was straight and level, but my Artificial Horizon told a completely different orientation? as it was also periodically spinning on it's axis...   Fly into any dense cloud conditions and this scenario could be deadly.     Top Speed is around 132 kt, with a cruise speed of 124 kts, the 180hp version is not very fast, but is noted to be quite dependable. Range is around 510 nm at a total Fuel Capacity of 50 gal.   S-Tec autopilot is pretty basic, but helpful here. You can set the altitude (10 set increments) via the S-Tec panel left lower panel, but that is about it, the rest is standard servos of HDG, NAV, APR, ALT and VS in Vertical Speed.     Lighting There are two lower panel lighting adjustment knobs for the instruments and avionics...  the avionics can be a bit too bright, so you dial them down about halfway to match the instrument lighting.     Overall it looks quite nice and everything is highly readable...  highlight is the six pack Fuel and Engine gauges, that look great lit up in the dark, even authentic. There are two roof mounted lighting options. The first is an adjustable overhead red glow light for the instrument panel, that is highly effective...     ....   the second is a cabin light with a very tiny (miss it) button switch and not the big round knob (for the red glow light), this lights up the rear cabin nicely.   External lighting is quite average? All the navigation lights are not refined and blend into each other, and the single-nose landing light is a big orb...     The tail top mounted beacon is another orb (when it shouldn't be), and the strobes are just plain awful.   You do actually get more comfortable with the handling of the Piper 180 C the more you spend time in the aircraft, that is if you get used to your right foot doing all the work. It is a good place to be once you acclimatise to the feel and motion of the aircraft...   and into the landing circuit for KHAF Rwy 33...     Flaps are three steps via the Flap lever on the floor. First step is only 10º, which can easily be overlooked, to a speed on or around 95 knts...     ....   Second and Third steps are 25º, and 40º degrees with speed drops of 90 knts (25º) and to a full 40º and should settle around 75 knots for the final approach...     ...  there is no ballooning or that feeling of being lifted out of your seat if you get those speeds perfectly right, in this case the 180 C is a very stable aircraft to set up.     You are down to about 70 knts for the final approach phase, and the 108 C will sink nicely and is very nicely controlled.     Pushing hard with my right foot, brings the nose around to meet the runway...  you feel you are landing in a strong crosswind, but your not.   Slight pitch up flare rubs off the speed and flows you down to the runway...  again very stable in this final phase.     Touchdown is around 60 knts, give or take a few knots...  180 C's  Stall speed with flaps full down (dirty) is 50 kts, only 10 knts below. On landing again the Piper lurched to the left and needed some quick and expertly handled corrections...     ...  so at points the 180 C is and can be a tricky even challenging aircraft to fly, or is that it's appeal!   Liveries There are six liveries with the Piper 180 C. One is white if you want to do some of your own designs (and another white with rego). The rest are all American registered and a bit "ho Hum" in not being very creative in design, or in their names.   ________________ Summary This is the Piper Cherokee "C" model that comes with the square-cut windows and the iconic “Hershey Bar” wing, the “C” variant has a four cylinder carbureted Lycoming O-360 that produces 180HP and is equipped with a two bladed, fixed pitch propeller.   Six years ago or more X-Plane was awash with these sort of "Classic" style aircraft from old school developers. Most had diversified out of the original X-Plane PlaneMaker into what you would call a Pro or Professional take on the system, but didn't expand on further into the plugin realm. So the aircraft didn't have the huge feature lists and effects of which the more modern aircraft do...  and that is what we have here a "Classic" design with no menus, pop-up screens or features, unless (like with the GNS in that are X-Plane default items).   The designs are not Ultra-Quality either in the modeling or detail. But they are creative and to a point a "Pure" X-Plane aircraft...  and that is what we have here from Aerosphere Simulations in their Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C.   By those "Classic" standards the aircraft is very good, nicely designed and the focus on the Instrument Panel is genuinely well done, but the details are basic as is the polygon mesh, and say in the minute details of wingtip light assemblies and wheels. Sounds are good if a little variable, but instrument wise the 180 C is well done with a nice layout and avionics. Lighting internally is very good, but poor externally in not being at all refined.   Interesting is the flight model of where being a pure PlaneMaker then these aircraft can shine. idiosyncratic is the word here. But are you adjusting to the aircraft's idiosyncrasies (or flying around them), or is the aircraft itself idiosyncratic? The more you fly the aircraft, then the more you adapt to it's say odd idiosyncrasies? It is an interesting dilemma that only real 180 C pilots can answer. I have flown the vFlyteAir 140 a lot, yes a lot less powerful Piper, but the aircraft was a gem to fly... that aspect is missing here in that it is a challenging aircraft to fly but is that it's attraction. A few things like the hard left pull and the odd Artificial Horizon in being hard to use and bizarre behavior, makes you wonder about the rest.   Overall these "Classic" style aircraft are extremely popular as they represent the "Purity" of X-Plane and it's system itself. Users snap them up and collect them, then fly them consistently with their extremely low framerate penalties, there is not the burden of wading through pages of manual or details to get down and dirty to the flying aspect. And that is their beauty, to a point the "Classics" are a pure X-Plane aircraft. _____________________________________     Yes! - Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C by AeroSphere Simulations is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C Price is Currently US$29.95 (Currently on SALE at 17% off US$24.95)   Features: 4 HD (4096 x 4096) liveries with a plain white texture that can be used for custom paint schemes. Steam gauge classic general aviation panel 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 front/rear baggage compartment door. Toggle button to remove/display yoke Compatible with HDR and normal lighting effects Many textures taken from the actual aircraft Virtual Reality friendly and includes the click regions and hotspots required for VR gameplay. FMOD sounds   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 195 MB Current Version : 1.0 (January 20th 2022) ___________________________________   Installation and documents:  download for the Cherokee 180 C is 190.50MB and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder.   Full Installation is 209Mb Documents supplied are: ReadMe.pdf   Basic "ReadMe" (2 pages) of the history of the aircraft and features. _____________________   Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 25thg January 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews   Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 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 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00   (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! - Aircraft Released : Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C by AeroSphere Simulations     Continuing their model line with another release of a Piper Cherokee after the earlier release of the PA-32-260 Cherokee Six B mid-year 2021. This is the "C" model with the square-cut windows and the iconic “Hershey Bar” wing, the “C” variant also has a four cylinder carbureted Lycoming O-360 that produces 180HP and is equipped with a two bladed, fixed pitch propeller. This 180 horsepower variant had an empty weight with an autopilot of 1270lbs, and a gross weight of 2400lbs...  resulting in a useful load of 1130lbs.   The Cherokee 180 C also featured the “push-pull” style throttle and mixture controls instead of the throttle quadrant levers that Piper introduced in 1968. The panel and interior were designed after the same era with updated avionics such as the autopilot and Garmin GPS system that is commonplace among Pipers. The Piper Cherokee is what started the main line of Piper aircraft today and many of the Piper aircraft trace their roots back to the Cherokee. The original Cherokee was produced with three different horsepower models (150, 160, and 180) thus the “180” denoting which model it is.   Features: 4 HD (4096 x 4096) liveries with a plain white texture that can be used for custom paint schemes. Steam gauge classic general aviation panel 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 front/rear baggage compartment door. Toggle button to remove/display yoke Compatible with HDR and normal lighting effects Many textures taken from the actual aircraft Virtual Reality friendly and includes the click regions and hotspots required for VR gameplay. FMOD sounds         Since the quiet withdrawal of Carenado...  then where do you get your basic General Aviation Fixes? vFlyteAir are still producing gems, but so are AeroSphere, like with their Cherokee Sixes B and C here...   Images are courtesy of AeroSphere Simulations _____________________________________     Yes! - Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C by AeroSphere Simulations is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C   Price is Currently US$29.95 (Currently on SALE at 17% off US$24.95)   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 195 MB Current Version : 1.0 (January 20th 2022)   ___________________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 21st January 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! - KAWO Arlington Area UHD by AeroFoilLabs     In the release of the AeroFoilLabs Cessna C172SP NG DIGITAL, AirFoilLab's noted that an accompanying scenery with active elements relating to the C172SP would be released in the near future. And here it is in KAWO Arlington Area UHD.   Based around the Arlington Municipal Airport (ICAO: KAWO, FAA LID: AWO), Arlington is a public airport located three miles (5 km) southwest of the central business district of Arlington, a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States.   Extensive is not a word used lightly here...  as the scenery includes includes 3 airports (KAWO, Fugios Ranch, and Gabriel's Farm), 2 Adventure Stillaguamish Riverbank Landing Spots, the City of Arlington and the full surrounding neighborhood. When using the AirFoilLab's C172SP it also interactively controls a remotely controlled hangar, 3D Navigational Aids, and more.   Features Include: Precise representation of the airports and the surrounding area with an immense amount of details Manually edited photo scenery Custom-made HD ground textures, lines, and dirt with realistic reflections optimized for best performance Thousands of 3d objects with PBR normal maps and DDS textures 3d grass and flowers for realistic ambiance All open hangars provided with detailed interior Ground traffic - animated vehicles, people, animals Animated flags with behavior related to weather in X-Plane Users of Airfoillabs C172 NG DIGITAL get a Remotely controlled Hangar, 6 Traffic Patterns for all 5 locations, represented as 3D navigational aids, and quick orientation scenery arrows.           The video supplied here is well worth watching for the immense detail included in this scenery, to the point it is overwhelming.     Did I mention extensive...  this scenery certainly is, and a very good "Walkabout" scenery it is as well....  well worth investigating as a great General Aviation flying base.   Both the images and video are courtesy of AirFoilLabs   ______________________________________     Yes! the KAWO Arlington Area UHD by AirFoilLabs scenery is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KAWO Arlington Area UHD Price is US$24.95   Requirements X-Plane11 Windows, Mac or Linux. 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended. Download Size: 1.1 Gb. Disc space needed: 2.4 Gb Current version: 1.2 (January 12th 2022) ___________________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 19th January 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    
    • Aircraft Review : Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 DBS-4 by JRX Design   It has been a very strange few months. Aircraft that were very significant in past milestones for the X-Plane Simulator have been recently replaced with more modern versions. First it was the FlyJsim Q400 in it's new Q4XP guise, then along came the CRJ-700 from AD Simulations that echoed the very landmark CRJ-200 from JRollon and now here is another machine in the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 DBS-4 by JRX Design. This one echoed another very significant aircraft in the ND Art & Technology's BK-117. Tired now, but the BK-117 was simply sensational back in it's day, and the one machine that drew me to helicopters and wanting to fly them...  Sitting now in the JRX MBB Bo 105 brought all those recessed BK-117 memories back to life with a bang!     The BK-117 is a later evolution of the MBB Bo 105, the machine reviewed here. But the similarities are quite impactful when comparing the aircraft. The Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 is a light, twin-engine, multi-purpose helicopter developed by Bölkow of Ottobrunn, West Germany. It was the first light twin-engine helicopter in the world, and the first rotorcraft that could perform aerobatic maneuvers such as inverted loops. However aerobatics are verboten, and aerobatics are actually prohibited in the Rotorcraft Flight Manual.   While not being considered a visually attractive helicopter by some pilots. The Bo 105 was known for possessing steady, responsive controls and a good flight attitude. Most models could also perform steep dives, rolls, loops, turnovers, and various aerobatic maneuvers; according to MBB the Bo 105 is cleared for up to 3.5 positive G force and one negative. One benefit of the Bo 105's handling and control style is it's superior takeoff performance, including significant resistance to catastrophic dynamic rollover; this is a combination of light weight and the twin-engined configuration that enables a rapid ascent in a performance takeoff.   Perhaps the most significant feature of the Bo 105 are its rotor blades and rotor head. The rotor system is entirely "Hingeless", in the rotor head consisting of a solid titanium block to which the four blades are bolted; the flexibility of the rotor blades works to absorb movements typically requiring hinges in most helicopter rotor designs. The rotor blades are also made from reinforced-plastic glass-fiber composite material; the flexibility of the main rotor allows for active elements other than rotor pitch changes to be removed, greatly simplifying maintenance and extending blade lifespan. The reliability of the advanced rotor system is such that, in over six million operating hours across the fleet, there was a total of zero failures (as of 1991). The rigid rotor blade design adopted on the Bo 105 has been partially responsible for the type's agility and responsiveness; and it remained an uncommon feature on competing helicopters throughout the Bo 105's production life.   The aircraft unusually was also not designed or created in a proposal by the military, but was very quickly procured by the German Army when they decided to create a specialist anti-tank version armed with up to six Euromissile HOT missiles, designated as the Bo 105 PAH-1. A total of 212 Bo 105 PAH-1s were delivered between 1979 and 1984. The Bo 105 is however far more famous for it's significant (EMS) Medevac, and Police surveillance work, MBB at one point held 35% of the total EMS market share, which the cabin can be configured to accommodate up to three passengers on a single rear bench, which can be removed to make room for cargo or a stretcher, which can be loaded and unloaded via the large clamshell doors located at the rear of the fuselage. Totally 1500+ aircraft have been built built between 1967 and 2001.   Notable is the DBS4, which is a version of the CBS4 that was certified in the UK for the offshore oil and gas market. The aircraft features a full IFR kit, dual inverters, provisions for pop-out floats and a fuel dump system, radar alt, and a number of other small features and systems that make it different from other 105s.   MBB Bo 105 DBS-4 by JRX Design First impressions of the Bo 105 are striking, but not surprising, as the earlier JRX SA 341B and SA 342J Gazelle was also excellent in it's design and quality fit-out. The same totally applies here as expected.   The paneling and the general shape of the fuselage is excellent...     ...  but the riveting is painted on and not mapped, it passes the test as you have to get close to be aware of the non-mapping, however that level of 3-dimensional detail is now quite common in any high-quality aircraft. Were required however the raised mapping is actually done, and the detail delivers in great louvre detail and surface appendages.     You have four nice engine exhausts with two per two 313 kW (420 shp) Allison 250-C20B engine. And note the internal cones on the inner two exhausts.     Tail-boom, horizontal stabiliser and upright support are also very good as is the required aerials and tail-skid. Notable are these small wings at the rear... they are stabilators when they have a degree of movement, and stabilisers when they are fixed. They are “upside down” airfoils that provide downforce instead of lift, just like on race cars. One of their functions is to reduce the nose-down attitude in cruise which makes the fuselage fly more level and reducing drag by exerting a downward force on the tail-boom, which raises the nose. Here on the MBB 105 they are quite notably big aerofoils     Glass is excellent. Nice shape and depth and feels very realistic. Glass has to perfect on helicopters so you get the right perspective vision, perfection makes it also authentic. The green overhead tinted-windows are also perfect (in opacity) but clear internally...     ...  Highlights are the excellent twin-wipers with worn-wear arms and the perfectly set blades. I'm not crazy about the inner window frame, just a plain coloured frame, here it doesn't feel very realistic, however the inner window opens though via a "Hotspot" middle window, but the same arrangement on the rear windows are not animated.     The unique fixed-head rotor is perfectly realised and recreated. Detail is as expected in all in the required components, bolts and assemblies. The mast is quite short but the plates and their rod link assemblies are colour coded and well done. Nice details are the balance weights on the inner blades and notable the very nicely aerofoil shaped blades with great realistic wear on the ends.     Exactly like the Gazelle, the rotor system is also only semi-animated...  the Collective (bite) is nicely animated, but the rotor head  (pitch/sideways) movements are again not active.     Rear tail-rotor assembly is also very good, links and rubber covers that are all very realistic, note the short rear almost square blades.     There is a full yaw animated movement on the blades, and all the linkages work perfectly.   Doors...  have both the front and sliding rears open by direct "Hotspots", and so do open are the twin-cam opening rear doors. There is a cavernous open space inside, with the option of filling it with cargo.     The two forward cabin doors can also be removed via the menu.   Cabin   Yours eyes are immediately drawn to the full bulkhead padded rear seating for three people. Both cushion support and soundproofing in one, it covers the full huge rear bulkhead.     Seat material is black leather with white stitching, gives off a very nice comfortable feeling, and very well done here, the 70's style foam covered headrests are also extremely well authentic to the period (70's Ford cars anyone, Escort, Capri).     Front seat assemblies are excellent, with military style tracks and metal drilled frames. Shame the seats are not animated, that would have been a real treat. The feeling in the cabin is however dated, not by a poor application, but by design. It has that clamshell dark cream molding technique and again from the period.     This is also very evident from the restricted view from the pilot's seat. The frame curves into your forward view, and the sides feel thick and chunky, the huge instrument panel also takes up a lot of the forward view, most choppers feel airy, but not in here as it feels enclosed.   Menu Top Instrument panel are two options. Left is a folded map, that when selected, then selects the X-Plane Local map. The right selection is the "Flight Manual", which pops out VR (Virtual Reality) style. The manual both inserted and expanded is quite old fashioned in layout and design (another throwback to the BK-115). The top section is the "Aircraft Configuration" or options and settings. The "Set Fuel Load" in 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% filling percentages, and below "Weights". Important in that any selection of the options must be made before flight...  once in the air you can't then change anything on the menu!     The lower section is a "Checklist style" area...   there are 10 Tabs in the "Checklist" that cover everything from PreFlight to Aircraft Limitations. You go through the checklist via two hotspots set on the top (Go Backwards) and the bottom (Go Forwards) of the VR "Flight Manual". Checklist detail is extremely good, but difficult to read in the set position and small font text.     Aircraft Configuration The Aircraft Configuration list (of options) are all colour coded. Top to Bottom, you have in red; "Remove Before Flight" and "External Power Unit"...  the first puts tie-downs, rotor covers and flags on the aircraft, the second option puts a connected to the aircraft, a trolley GPU and even a very nice operator positioned to monitor the unit.     White options include, "Fly With Co-Pilot" and "Duel Flight Controls". The Bo 105 already comes with a very nice and head animated pilot, the option here also gives you a Female Co-Pilot with strange hair but lovely "Mechanix" gloves who is also head animated, but not to the controls like the pilot's. I heard that rear passengers are coming.       "Duel Flight Controls" gives you the option to have a second set of controls on the left side (Cyclic and Collective).     Seagrass Green options include; "Remove Doors", "Flight Steps", Search Light", "Internal Cargo Load", Missile Rails, "Cargo Hook" and Emergency Floats.     All the options here are excellent and of high quality detailing. The "Remove Doors" option will take away the front doors, and lock the rear doors open. Cargo option fills that huge vacant rear area with nice crates, but they add a lot of weight to the aircraft with no adjustment to the weight. I don't know if the Cargo Hook works, as it is not mentioned in the manual? The side steps are nice as is the forward Search Light. The Emergency Floats are also highly detailed with a fuselage attached airpump (but again I don't think the floats inflate?).   Super nice are the six Euromissile HOT missiles. The HOT (French: Haut subsonique Optiquement Téléguidé Tiré d'un Tube, or High Subsonic, Optical, Remote-Guided, Tube-Launched) missile is a second-generation long-range anti-tank missile system developed originally as an effort to meet a joint German-French Army requirement.   The HOT missile is tube-launched and optically tracked using the SACLOS guidance system with command link through trailing wires which steers the missile using thrust vector controls on the sustainer motor during the missile's flight. When the gunner fires the HOT missile, the missile activates a thermal battery, flares and a small gas generator spins up the gyro. The same gases for the gyro pop the covers off both ends of the cylindrical container the HOT missile comes packed in. Moments later, both the sustainer motor and the booster are fired, ejecting the missile from the container. Unlike most antitank missiles, in which the booster burns completely before leaving the container and then the missile coasts a safe distance before the sustainer motor ignites, HOT's booster burns both inside the container and outside the container for approximately one second giving the missile a high speed. The sustainer motor burns for 17 seconds, a flight time whose path exceeds the length of the trailing wires which dictate the maximum range of the missile.   Note the changed olive-green seating for the military (German) livery.   Green options include; AviTab (Plugin Required), RealityXP GTN 750/650 Touch avionics unit if you have that optional product and bottom is the option for the Dittel AutoPilot Unit. I found the AviTab would only display with the engines running, slightly annoying if you want to study charts on the ground.     This is a nice Autopilot module by Dittel (now TQ Avionics), but oddly it is set (or feels) to the left of the top of the instrument panel than the centre (of which it actually is) or even to the right of the sided pilot's reach, it feels far away? but it is well done.         Weights; In Yellow are the aircraft weights. Both the MTW (Maximum Takeoff Weight) is noted (2500kg) and the current TW (Total Weight) is displayed. The TW will change with any options and fuel weights, and you can add in extra Kgs in 10kg increments (up or down), or reset the aircraft's weight. The current version (B1.40) is also shown here for reference.     Instrument Panel The Instrument Panel has a huge (massive) hood over the instruments, making it look far larger than it actually is, even so it is still a big unit. The centre pedestal (console) is also very long and detailed as well.     The main flying instruments are grouped down on the right in two columns...   Top row is (left) the Artificial Horizon and the Altitude Meter, Second row is the HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator) and Vertical Speed Indicator, Third Row is the ADF Pointer and Radio Altimeter, slung below is a Clock. The instruments are all very clear and readable.     The centre section has mostly top in the Backup Instruments (for the Co-Pilot). Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and main (pilot) Airspeed Indicator top row, Altimeter and Directional Gyro, that looks more like a CDI or Course Deviation Indicator. Installed is the AVAD (Audio Voice Alerting Device) that can be turned off here. And a testable is the specific MBB "Mast Moment" MMI indicator..   "A rigid (or sometimes called hinge-less) rotor system is capable of transmitting high bending forces to the main rotor shaft. When a pilot makes a cyclic movement causing the main rotor disc to tilt, the fuselage wants to follow. In flight, with a rigid rotor the mast bending moment is low. However, when the fuselage is in contact with the ground and cannot follow the main rotor disc the bending moment can be very high.  Because large cyclic displacements on the ground have the potential to damage the mast assembly, a mast moment indicator (MMI) is installed. The gauge is a single dimension indicator that shows the total moment being applied to the mast. When the gauge reads high, the pilot has to figure out what direction to move the cyclic to reduce the mast moment."   Next row is a Torque Indicator...     The Torque Indicator is interesting as it is set on a 90º angle, and not positioned directly upwards? It is noted this way for Slinging (loads), but it looks very odd?.     Next to the Torque Indicator is the RPM in N2 (Engine #1 and Engine #2). Then there is right a group of six dials that cover engine TOT (Turbine Outlet Temperature) for engine #1 and #2, and below N1 (Engine #1 and Engine #2)... bottom row right covers Fuel Gauge and Fuel Pressure.   Two groups of three gauges bottom left cover (top) Oil Temperature, and lower Oil Pressure. Far left is the DME readout.   Forward Pedestal (console) are the electrics (Buses) and working Circuit Breakers (Fuses). Gauges right cover Volts and Amperes. Between is the Hydraulics Test. The red cover left is the Fuel Jettison, the two right red covers the "Emergency Fuel" cutoffs. Between are the Instrument lights (switch), Emergency Floats, Inverters (1&2), Engine Anti-Icing (1&2) and wipers...     bottom are the two VHF-COM 1 and 2 Radios, Starter switches (pink covers) and Main Battery and Generator (Eng 1&2) switches.   Centre Pedestal is the Fire Extinguisher Panel. Below are Collins CTL23 NAV 1/2 radios, with a CTL62G ADF unit. Unusual is a "Funkwerk" Transponder. Bottom is a Garmin GNS 350, or if available the RealityXP GTN 750/650 avionics unit. Note the usable Collective Lock .     Lower pedestal are two NAT N301A Audio Panels. There is a nice feature on the lower NAT audio panel. You can select 1 hour of "Radio Chatter" by selecting AUX and the chatter comes in three languages; American, French and Italian via the flag icons... but no British ATC? Actually British law prohibits the use of ATC broadcasts, as per "LiveATC", but still it would have been nice.   The collective has two light switches (Search and Landing) and engine regulator. Cyclic has a HAT switch trim and RPM WARNING (cancel) button. Both controls are very well modeled and highly realistic with the Cyclic a B8 style handle.     There is a small overhead switch panel with the twin-engine throttle levers (the rotor brake is down floor right of the pilot).     Switch gear up here covers Pitot Heats (#1 and #2), Continuous Ignition Eng (#1 and #2), Fire Test, Floats Test, Fuel Pumps, Generator Fields (#1 and #2), Interior lights, External lights, Temperature Controls and an electronic HOBBS Hour meter.   Overall it is a complicated cabin, that requires a little study before flight to workout where all the switch gear and items are located, once used you will work the aircraft well and correctly, but it is not all set out very ergonomically, as it is all very 70's in style and usability. ____________________ Flying the MBB Bo 105 First is the setting for those twin throttles. JRX originally set the throttle movement to the "Wing Sweep" setting, but reverted back to the standard "Throttle" setting. You can set each throttle to a slider (Throttle 1/Throttle2) to work independently, but I use the second throttle lever (Saitek X56) as my collective, so here a single "Throttle' setting works just as well.   The Bo 105 startup procedure is quite easy. The Main Battery switch is under your left hand, and the two Bus Avionics switches far left upper pedestal. Each bus does a certain circuit, so you only get the  VHF1 radio with only one switch on. The Collins CTL23s and the ADF CTL62G have to be switched all on manually. You can adjust the panel lighting (when switched on) via the top knob left centre panel, and very good it is.     Next all the Auxiliary options are switched on via the OHP; Fuel Pumps, Pitot Heat, External lights/Anti-Col...  then you are ready to start.   Make sure your throttle is set in the IDLE position, then flip up the STARTER cover (pink) for the engine you want to start... then press the inner switch. Straight away the N1 will rise and then you go straight to the required overhead engine throttle lock switch (Fuel Cutoff) and press it.     You don't have to touch the throttle at all, if the throttle lock does not work then the lever is still not set at the IDLE position. Once the RPM for that engine is at 50% then you switch off the start switch...  pretty easy. Now you do exactly the same for the second engine start.   One note is the dreaded "RPM Needle Split Horn" alarm. Mostly here to warn the pilot if the engine outputs or the RPM are not in the same performance parameters, or an engine out scenario...  It is LOUD, and can be annoying if you can't shut it up. On the second engine start until it reaches within 12 points of other running engine's RPM it will go off "its trotter" as it should do, to kill the alert there is a kill switch left on the Cyclic, or you can set a button COMMAND to do the same thing (RPM Needle Split Horn). But I found sometimes I couldn't shut the damn thing up, even when the engines were shutdown? (found to be a aircraft reload or location move reset).     Once running you also have to provide separate power (unlock) both to the Main and Backup Artificial Horizons is they are powered directly off the battery, this is done via the second switch under the glareshield right.     There is a full video available on the startup (and Shutdown) procedures that is well worth studying.     I do like the flickering of the N1 dials to show the power is running through the engines. Throttle up to 100% RPM and we are ready to go. I was not perfectly attuned to the JRX SA 341B Gazelle, it is known as difficult aircraft to fly, and very fine movements were minutely required. I mastered it, but was not what you could say very proficiently. The Bo 105 is known as a more steady and responsive machine, and I felt that straight away. It feels also like a weighty aircraft, so you have confidence in balancing it easy and the very light push required by the tailrotor helps the cause as well. That came to pass...  I easily found I could hover in the same position and only required slight stick movements keeping myself in a perfect hovering position. Any drift was also easily corrected, so the more I sat here in the hover the more confident I got by the minute.     Touch of collective and touch of forward stick, and I was moving upwards and forwards easily...     ....   placid it may be, but you have a lot of power available via those two Allison 250-C20B turboshaft engines, too much collective and you will literally takeoff and go straight up (official Rate of Climb is 8.00 m/s (1,575 ft/min)), and with this extreme climb power the Bo 105's also have a tendency to roll right when in a high-power right turn which has been documented with a MBB test pilot in Siegfried Hoffmann crashing and killing himself.     So the trick is not to showoff in here, just keep everything smooth and contained and the aircraft will follow along quite nicely, you can see why the Bo 105 was so good for EMS work, in fact perfect as it is a steady easily controlled and flyable aircraft.   One of my favorite pastimes with the ND BK-115, was to track down motorways or highways at low but fast speeds. So I just couldn't resist the temptation again in the Bo 105...   the thrills came back with vengeance, it is fun and exciting to fly low level at speed, but you have to watch out for all those cross highway powerlines.     Maximum Bo 105 speed is 242 km/h (150 mph, 131 kn), with a never exceed speed of 270 km/h (170 mph, 150 kn), usually you cruise around 204 km/h (127 mph, 110 kn) (best range cruise), so the Bo 105 is not the fastest aircraft out there. Range is 657 km (408 mi, 355 nmi) at 1,525 m (5,000 ft) (standard fuel, maximum payload) with a ferry range: 1,112 km (691 mi, 600 nmi) at 1,525 m (5,000 ft) (with auxiliary tanks). Overall you get an endurance 3 hr 30 min (standard fuel, maximum payload) and a service ceiling of 5,200 m (17,000 ft).   The aircraft has a fuel capacity of 160 Gal (570 l), and the fuel is stored in only one main tank which is connected to a single supply tank at the front of the aircraft and the engines then draw their fuel by the engine-driven pump(s) from the supply tank. The supply tank only holds 74Kg (around 93 liters or 205 pounds) as a backup supply.   I could do this all day...     Sounds of real Bo 105's are very hard to come by...  what we have here is a collection of community based recordings, but they are actually very good right through the range with only a few loops here and there, blade slap is present, but were over-rode in my case with the XPRealistic blade slap being more prominent, overall I have heard a lot worse than we have here.   Not entirely happy with the trim... a single movement of the trim or HAT switch made the aircraft surge up or down violently, in that the trim increments were extremely wide. So there was no adjusting but you got these large changes to the angle of the controls. The only way to get control back was to use the Trim Centre command to reset the trim back to neutral.   The Dittel AutoPilot also feels still too far away, although it is centred on the windshield (the map/manual storage is offset). The unit is a very basic 2-Axis unit, which means you centre the aircraft at the right speed, heading and altitude and turn on the AP to the corresponding servos, and it will hold those alignments....  but it is not a solid feel or use, as any slight movement or knock of the cyclic and it loses the alignment, so you have to monitor the systems continuously. It works but don't at all rely on it.     Lighting Overall the JRX Bo 105's lighting is excellent.     We already know you can adjust the instrument brightness, which is already very good. But there is another option via the second knob set below the instrument brightness knob...  this is the green tint option, that gives you a military look and feel. You can blend the two together if you wish, but one or the other is preferable.     Not finished there with colours, there is also the overhead red cabin light. This effect with the green tint looks a bit like a traffic light reflection...  but it is very realistic, and looks sensational externally.     Externally the lighting is also very good...  There is a  single landing light in the nose that can be adjusted brighter and darker (OHP), but it still comes on too strong as a lot of users have noted, the light source can be seen through the body work as well (X-Plane issue). Here I have the Search Light on as well.   Navigation lights are on the outboard of the stabilisers, as are the strobe lights, and single white navigation is rear. Top tail beacon is very effective and so are the near perfect strobes.     Arriving back at the field the Bo 105. I found it was easy to lower the speed in a slight centering of the cyclic, while reducing height with the collective...  you can find the collective lift does need a reduced amount of bite, and that can send you into a false sense security in recovering the lift power (or too late in dropping out of the air). Point the nose down slightly is a better way of descending, but that obviously comes with more speed...  the trick is somewhere in the middle to get the best approach descent and control the speed. I had to do a few approaches to get the procedure right.     Nice is that you are not fighting the tail or yaw, slight rudder movements will control that aspect, again you can see why this machine is so very good in it's EMS and S&R roles, the workload on the pilot is quite light at those really critical aspects of the flight. As noted the JRX Gazelle is highly (if extremely) challenging of your skills, certainly in the approach, transition and hover phases, but that it is not the same case here with the Bo 105.... if in fact the opposite.   The ETL or Effectively Translational Lift boundary is noted on the Airspeed Indicator at the line between the Green and Yellow bands, about 50 knts, which is also a nice approach speed...  but watch you don't drop the collective too far or lose the lift, it is very disguised in the feel...     ...   once though the ETL boundary and you reset the approach to around 20 knts (not the usual 30/30), and this feels nice with great control.     Into the hover and a 90º yaw is need to line up with the markings, that aspect is also done with ease...     ... aligned, a slight slip to the left is now needed... I'm showing off now, the Bo 105 responds perfectly to my movements while controlling the hover status...     ...  I can see the marking line to judge my position and a slight let down of the collective and that landing was as good as it gets.     "Sweet as" There is nothing to give you that buzz when it all goes right. But this is certainly an aircraft is one you can easily parallel with. Helicopter flying not easy and will never be, but an aircraft like this can meet you say... halfway in your limited skills. _________________   Liveries There are 26 liveries and all are excellent. They vary from Civil to Air Ambulances, Coast Guards, Police, Red Bull (2), Rescue and Military versions...  hell even the Northern Lighthouse Board aircraft is in there! ADAC (German) is the default. A PaintKit is also provided.   _________________   Summary For a decade "Mr Helicopter" in the X-Plane Simulator was DreamFoil Creations, but now there is another "Mr Helicopter" in the form of Joe Rowe of JRX Designs. First it was the spectacular debut of the SA 341B and SA 342J Gazelle in 2020. Now here is JRX Design's second release in the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 DBS-4, a general purpose helicopter favoured by EMS and Policing departments around the world. Not initially created as a military aircraft, the platform was still successful as a German specialist anti-tank version armed with up to six Euromissile HOT missiles, designated as the Bo 105 PAH-1. The aircraft is also reminiscent of another X-Plane MBB classic the ND Art & Technology's BK-117 from a decade ago.   The Bo 105 is notable for being the first "Hingeless" rotor head aircraft, which consisted of a solid titanium block to which the four blades are directly bolted; the flexibility of the rotor blades works to absorb movements typically requiring hinges in most helicopter rotor designs. The rotor blades are also unique in being made from reinforced-plastic glass-fiber composite material.   Most helicopter releases for X-Plane are usually extremely highly detailed and feature laden. And that is also the case here with this excellent Bo 105. Modeling and detail quality is of the highest order (and the JRX Gazelle had already set the benchmark high). Externally and internally the Bo 105 is exceedingly good, with very if excellent good lighting effects. Sounds are community sourced, but also very good in context.   The VR Menu (manual) is cleverly done with built in Checklist, with the usual features of remove (front) doors, Cargo Hook, Searchlight, Emergency Floats, Flight Steps, Internal Cargo, Twin Controls, Pilot/Co-Pilot, and very well done Euromissile HOT Missile Rails. Other extras incude AviTab, RealityXP GTN 750/650 avionics unit option, and a basic Dittel Autopilot. Both "Radio Chatter", specific MBB "Mast Moment" MMI indicator and AVAD (Audio Voice Alerting Device) are also represented. Huge set of 26 liveries are provided with the package, as is a PaintKit.   Flight dynamics and performance is also very good, as the MBB Bo 105 is a sweet flying machine. But a few areas can still be refined, as I am not crazy about the current trim actions, and aircraft has an odd issue loading pattern when reloading in Sim. (Starting from the Desktop or doing a Developer reload is fine).   A few "wishlist" items would be nice... certainly a EMS variant, rear passengers (noted as already coming), winch (working would be even better) and adjustable cargo weights...  not asking too much! And YES it will be X-Plane12 compatible.   Another superb release from JRX Design's, can it get better than this? Yes just more of the same from the new "Mr Helicopter" Joe Rowe.   The Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 DBS-4 is now available for purchase from the X-Plane.OrgStore. __________________     Yes!...   Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 DBS-4 by JRX Design is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 DBS-4 Price is US$34.95   Requirements X-Plane 11 XP12 Support when Available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current and Review Version: 1.40 (January 15th 2021) ___________________________   Features High detail, fully animated 3D-model with PBR textures up to 4k resolution. Fully VR compatible, configured by SimVRLabs. Accurate flight model tested, developed and approved by a current MBB Bo 105 pilot. Complete and accurate start up and shut down functionality. Dynamic weights for optional fuel and part configuration. Bespoke custom made and accurate instrumentation sourced direct from a 105 DBS-4. Optional autopilot unit and a full IFR navigation instrumentation suite. Fully functional circuit breakers and electrical system including AC / DC buses. Working fire warning and extinguishing system. Custom instrument HDR spill lighting. HDR internal and external lighting. Dynamic vibration model with speed increase / decrease, including entering and exiting translational lift. RXP GTN integrated on a custom tablet. AviTab with custom tablet. Highly detailed pilot and co-pilot, with optional dual controls. Optional body decals including HOT3 missiles, working floats, flight steps and cargo hook. Complete FMOD sound package with 113 individual sounds sampled from a real 105. Headset attenuation, with optional ATC radio chatter (US, FR and IE) for better immersion. Particle system for heat blur animations. 26 liveries including civil, service and military variants. Included paint kit for body, seats, ID plates, interior trims and pilots’ uniforms. Flight configuration and options, all done in cockpit either in 2D or VR. Full documentation, including all flight reference cards in cockpit. Real-life reference documentation and video tutorials including the start-up / shutdown procedure: https://youtu.be/BLxWiC1FnOs https://youtu.be/bz9NmdjchDM https://youtu.be/qGsdB9Jmk-c Full lifetime support at the forum, product updates and development as required: JRX MBB Bo 105 - X-Plane.Org Forum Windows, Mac and Linux compatible.   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.1 GB Current and Review Version: 1.1 (January 8th 2022) ___________________________________   Installation and documents:  download for the 206 B3 is 993Mb and the aircraft is deposited in the "Helicopter" X-Plane folder.   Full Installation is 2.63Gb Documents supplied are: BO 105 Real Life Documentation JRX Design MBB Bo 105 USER GUIDE V1.01.pdf   Manual is quite basic but does come with very good instrument references, X-Plane basic system references... Checklist is built into the VR menu, and the provided video tutorials are excellent. The Eurocopter sourced documentation is excellent, enough detail here to build your own MBB Bo 105 from the ground up!   Required is the AviTab (Plugin)   Support forum for the MBB BO 105 _____________________   Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 21st January 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews   Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 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 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EDDP - Leipzig/Halle International Airport by JustSim/Digital Design (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$20.00   (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    
    • I run a flight training school that flies foxbats and we are building a simulator. Unfortunately when the flaps are put out in the foxbat - the real aircraft the nose pitches DOWN - not up as in the vskylabs sim.  Other than that it is realistic.  If the sim could be changed somehow it would be great - as it stands we won’t be able to make use of the flap settings.  I would be happy to send through videos and measurements showing the nose attitude changes upon request.  
    • If you are a Linux user, this product will not work straight forward and you will be expected to install a particular JRE to make things work. Even so, things are not going to bump up immediately and you will have to do a few workarounds. Not a plug and play aircraft at all.   Do not buy if you are going to require support from the vendor, because it will be pointless.   Safe flies!
    • Aircraft Review : CowanSim 206 B3   The Cowan Simulations 206 B3 is the Bell 206, a two-bladed, single and twin-engined (TwinRanger) helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec, Canadian plant. The 206 is also known by it's more common name of the "JetRanger".   Bell had developed the D-250 design into the Bell 206 aircraft, redesignated as YOH-4A in 1962. Proceeded to produce five prototype aircraft for the Army's test and evaluation phase Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) proposal. The first prototype flew on December 8, 1962. The YOH-4A also came to be known as "The Ugly Duckling" in comparison to the other contending aircraft. Following a fly-off of the Bell, Hughes and Fairchild-Hiller prototypes, the Hughes OH-6 was the selected LOH in May 1965.   When the YOH-4A was eliminated by the Army, Bell went about solving the problem of marketing the aircraft. In addition to the image problem, the prototype helicopter lacked cargo space and provided only cramped seating for the planned three passengers. The solution was a redesigned fuselage, sleeker and more aesthetically appealing, and adding in 16 ft3 (0.45 m3) of cargo space in the process. A Bell executive contributed to this redesign by drawing on a sketch two lines extending the fuselage to where it meets the tail. The redesign was designated Bell 206A, and Bell President Edwin J. Ducayet named it the "JetRanger", denoting an evolution from the popular Model 47J Ranger. The Army then reordered the revised aircraft as the Bell OH-58 Kiowa, that went on to used in the Vietnam War. Bell Helicopter ended production of the Bell 206B-3 version finally in 2010, after 7,300 production aircraft were built.   Of all the helicopters of the last half century, the JetRanger is probably the most visually famous, it is the one aircraft that seems to be everywhere, and mostly because it is the main go-to aircraft for any Hollywood or American television production, News gathering, light Med-Evac, Lifesaving and also it is very economical for Sightseeing and Business charter work. versatility is the number one criteria of the Bell 206B.   When you live with such a prominent aircraft in your life for so long, it becomes a personal favorite. Made easier as the aircraft is also very accessible, I have probably flown on a Bell 206B more than any other helicopter, and have easily lost count of how many flights. Plus you simply couldn't avoid the machine in the hundreds of American car chases that dominated most of the 70's and 80's Film and Crime television shows. The aircraft also became the face of Bell Helicopters, the iconic nose was a streamlined version of the stubby-nosed Bell's of the post-war period, but smooth nose and high boom tail set out the layout for most of the Bell aircraft that followed it, if later versions had retractable wheeled landing gear.     The CowanSim 206 is not the first Bell JetRanger for the X-Plane Simulator. There is the now quite old but well done DreamFoil 206 Ranger III, and a freeware Joe Rowe Bell 206 that is still in a beta phase after now two years (but still a highly flyable machine). But the CowanSim release is a full payware and featured machine, so you here you have a more modern updated Bell 206B than the both of the other released aircraft.   CowanSim has been around now for a few years. First up was the Bell 222B + UT, and then the exceptional CowanSim 500E or Hughes 500 of P.I. Magnum television fame. More enthusiastically American than the cold calculating European sort of developer, they have very quickly created a fan base around their aircraft, so you could say that any CowanSim aircraft are very popular aircraft.   CowanSim 206 B3 There are two 206 B3 versions to choose from in the download package. One is the lighter 2K, and the other is the standard 4K. I like the idea you can choose which version to load into your X-Plane aircraft folder, better than having double aircraft folders of which one you will never use...  note the Paintkit that also provided in the package. Noted here is this review version is Version 1.1 (January 8th 2022)     Menus The CowanSim Menu (CowanSim-206B3) is selected as part of the main X-Plane menu top left of your screen like on the earlier B222B and 500. There are two selections with top one the 206B3 OPTIONS, and a secondary "Configuration Manager" which is another word for a VR (Virtual Reality) popup menu. Both versions basically show the same OPTIONS, but the Configuration's Manager is easier to use because it will stay on screen while you do your selections. Notable is that if you select any of the options, the Configuration's Manager will also show you (in red) the extra weight of that applied option on the aircraft, but there is no all up Gross Weight shown.     The VR Configuration Manager is split between two pages and interesting is the "VR HEAD CONFIG" option in that it allows you to set your best head position in the aircraft and save it...   as noted in the manual.   "(You) Change your VR position using the up, down, left, right, forward and backward arrows. When in the perfect spot then hit the Save Position button. This writes directly to the vrconfig file... Your selected spot will then be save(d) for future flights.".   The list of menu OPTIONS is quite extensive with 27 choices: AUTOMATED START, REMOVE ALL DOORS, RXP GTN750 OWNER (optional RealityXP GTN750 avionics), HIDE FLYING HANDBOOK, HIDE AVITAB, ROTATE AVITAB, ENABLE WINDOW RAIN, SKID STEPS, CONVEX SKID MIRROR, REMOVE DUAL CONTROLS, RADIO STACK, DUEL WIRE CUTTERS, UTILITY FLOATS, SHOW PILOT, SHOW COPILOT< SHOW PASSENGERS, CINEFLEX CAMERA, SPRAY KIT, SEARCH LIGHT, LOW SKID VERSION, AUTO HOLD START BUTTON, PARK AND SECURE ROTOR, BLOW FLOATS, TURN ON GROUND POWER, TURN VIBRATIONS OFF, TURN HEAD FORCE OFF and SET VR HEAD POSITION to CURRENT POSITION.   We will look at the aircraft and the options available together. But first a scale note...  the CowanSim aircraft designed here is slightly larger in scale to a real B206B-3. Odd yes, but it has been created this way to get the right VR (Virtual Reality) perspective. The point is debatable. But personally I would rather have a true to scale aircraft or a realistic interpretation of the aircraft than a blown up machine to match a marginal feature, so yes the aircraft in every perspective looks and feels bigger than the really cramped B206B in real life.   Detailing is very good, certainly the rivets and window frame sections, vents are highly realistic and so overall the construction elements are all presented perfectly. Glass (important on the distinctive profile of the 206) is really good as well and gets the Bell's shape really well, and the glass has nice depth and tint...  so the details are numerous.     Highlights are the lovely door latches (that work), and the opening side window runners.     All four doors are opened by their (inner/outer) latches, or you can remove the doors completely, and in closing they "Clunk" nicely.     There is a load of "Skid" options. You can have "High" or "Low" skids...     ....  "Utility Floats" that can be "Blown" or Floats (note the gas bottle attached to the underside of the fuselage). Other skid options include a "Convex Mirror" front right skid, a right rear "Search Light' that can be manoeuvred via COMMAND keys. Two upper/lower Wire Cutters and "Skid Steps".     Also optional is a huge "Spray Kit" that is "Cowan Spray Systems" branded. The spray unit also works via key COMMANDS in "Spray On" and "Spray Off".     The rear fuselage is really nicely shaped and modeled, as is the excellent engine/gearbox bay mesh vents with latches...  very impressive.     You can see the Allison 250-C20J (this is the B-3 version of the 206) and also known as the "Rolls-Royce M250" at 420 hp (310 kW) turboshaft engine through the mesh grill (well the auxiliary piping anyway). But in a few areas the upper cowling needed more detail. The exhausts at the point they come through the cowling is not at all very realistic, as is the high curve on the rotor post cowling in being more in lines than actually round, the internal rotor post area is blank as well and doesn't look like a used working area.     The rotor head detail however is really good, and all the assemblies (and control rods) are nicely visible....     ....  and I like the way the blades will move up or down realistically in the wind. Like the 500, the rotor head is only semi-animated...  the roll action works and so does the collective action (bite). But the pitch action is contained to only to the animated lower base plate.     The striking distinctive JetRanger tail is perfectly realised here, as are the mid-tail winglets... the rear tail assembly is also well constructed with the animated yaw (rudder) blades.     There are the options to "STOW ROTORS" and add on "TIE DOWNS'.     Provided for selection is a Pilot, CoPilot and two rear Passengers...  the pilot is also animated hands and feet to the controls.     So overall externally it is a very nice version of the JetRanger 206B, and very CowanSim in detail and quality.   Internal detail Open the wide doors to revel a really nice cabin...  there is the dreaded three-seater bench in the rear. You never wanted the middle seat as it is cramped and comes with no vision forward because of the bulkhead post, so you always rallied (okay, threw a tantrum) for one of the outside seats. Note the three front seat lifejackets. Seats are a lovey black leather with light grey trim inserts, and the rear cabin as a whole is a few levels higher in detail and quality including detailed trim materials and screws than with the past CowanSim aircraft, certainly a marked improvement. Oddly the side sliding windows don't work in the rear like they do on the front doors? but the inner door panel detail in the same light grey comes with really nice internal door latches that are very authentic and work correctly.     CineFlex Camera Although attached externally, the great feature with the CowanSim 206 B3 is the CineFlex Camera option. Beautifully modeled and detailed the CineFlex system looks sensational. This is the stored flying position to protect the lens. You also need the power to be on before using the camera, then you can control the camera from the left rear camera station in the cabin...     ...  the camera is fully animated with the right controller doing the UP/DOWN and LEFT/RIGHT movements, and the left knob adjusts the ZOOM.     You can map the camera controls to a separate joystick or hardware. And it is noted to "scroll all the way to the bottom to find the camera options?" But I couldn't find them? More detailed information is required there...  because flying manually and also using the rear cabin mouse controls is a real non-possibility.   The reality is the B206B is quite a very basic helicopter. There is not a lot of panels or features on the machine to highlight, for instance there is no autopilot (they come in either in two-axis or four-axis systems), so everything in here is all manual flying. But you do however get basic twin-controls...  i.e. Rudder, Cyclic and Collective controls.     The design in the front is the same as the rear, twin seats are again in that nice black leather with light-grey inserts, and note the really nicely crafted headsets, in two rear and two front (the two front headsets are animated and reduce the volume when used), the detail up close is excellent. Note the nice and handy red fire extinguisher.     Instrument Panel Oddly for such a small helicopter, the distinctive 206B hooded Instrument Panel is huge....  but most of the rest is intimate.   The panel facia and instrument layout can be split into two areas. Nine Instruments grouped right are the Flying Instruments, then the two left rows of Eight are the Engine (aircraft) readouts and gauges. The Standard Six Flying Instruments are (Top Row Right); Airspeed (Knots), Artificial Horizon, Altimeter. (Mid Row Right); RPM, Heading Dial and V/S Vertical Speed. (Lower Row Right); Radar Altitude, ADF Pointers and Rate of Turn Indicator... Fuel Valve is bottom right.   Left engine parameter instruments and gauges are (LtoR Top) Engine Oil Temp - Engine Oil Pressure, Engine Torque dial. (2nd Row); XMSN (Gearbox) Oil Temp - Oil Pressure, TOT (Turbine Outlet Temperature), (3rd Row); Fuel Gauge (GAL), Gas Producer (%RPM). (4th Row); Fuel Pressure, DAVTRON LCD Display (Chronometer/OAT/Volts). Far left panel is the ELT and DME (VOR2) readout. Far right on the cabin wall is a Compass.     Top Instrument panel is a huge excellent (testable) annunciator/warning panel. LED lights for the panel can adjusted. Set to the right of the Instrument binnacle is an "AVITAB" optional feature (Menu). The Avitab can be rotated from the landscape horizontal into the Portrait vertical position...  it is however anything displayed is quite squashed in detail in the portrait mode and not very if at all usable?     On the roof is a 29 alive or active Circuit Breaker (Fuse) panel, with a forward panel for Lighting and Power (AVIONICS/BAT/GEN), the Rotor brake is positioned right of the OVD Panel.     Avionics are in the centre lower facia and console...  Garmin GMA 340 Audio Panel (split for Pilot/CoPilot) is top. Followed by a GNS530/GNS430 combo below, that unit can both be replaced with a Reality XP GTN 750/650 Touch avionics unit if you have that optional product.     Lower (console) is a Garmin GTX 327 Transponder and a Bendix King KR 87 ADF tuner . You have the option to switch over the top GNS530 unit for two COMM/NAV 1- COMM/NAV 2 older Bendix/King KX 165 units. Far bottom are switches for the Air Conditioning...  Caution Lights, Engine De-Icing and turn the Hydraulic System on or off.   On the collective it is quite basic as well...  Landing Lights, and GOV/RPM selections, Starter Button and the Idle Release (IDLE REL), this is so you don't go past the idle position (or shutdown the twirly bits over your head). Rear is a really nicely done cork throttle grip...  Note the CowanSim 206 model uses the “Wing Sweep” slider and not the “Throttle” slider for the twist grip throttle control, you usually reverse the axis (as I do for the Collective as well).   There are a few selections on the Cyclic noted as a " B8 style flight grip", and this is a very good one in a replica of the real grip..  you can set the COMMAND settings for both the all the "Trim Hat Switch" movements (recommended), and a secondly for the "Force Trim" button. Rudder pedals are beautifully recreated  in detail and design.   __________________   Flying the CowanSim 206 B3 Like the B206 overall the startup procedure is very simple...   Battery on, Avionics on Position and Anti-Collison lights on (but not the GEN switch). Fuel pumps on, which are hard to find (or miss) as they are grouped in the Circuit Breaker (fuses) packs...  and rotor brake up (or Off).     Then open the Fuel Valve and lock it in place via the Red cover guard. The throttle grip should be in the shutoff/cutoff position below the IDLE Release...  if correct then press the STARTER button until the N1 (Gas Producer) gets to 20%, then twist in the throttle grip until the IDLE Release button pops up, then keep on holding the starter button until the engine start up procedure settles down around N1 60%...  easy.     Now switch on the GEN Switch...  and you are now ready to fly!   So how familiar is that startup sound...  CowanSim redid the sounds at the very last minute and that was the reason for a very quick update v1.1, it was well worth the effort though because they sound as perfectly as I remember them.     I found testing in the replay mode that if you went very fast forward or in reverse the "Visual Offsets" went crazy and off view? No doubt caused by the "Head Force" feature, but I had also turned the "Head Force" feature off as I don't like controlled head movements when I'm flying, I use my eyes or view angle to change my view focus, not my whole head.     Ready to go, I increased the throttle RPM (the grip on the collective) from Idle to the green zone 100%. As noted you use the "Wing Sweep" setting to control the throttle RPM. On a slight hover I found the controls light and easy to manoeuvre, with not a lot of yaw force needed to keep the aircraft straight.     So just a slight touch of the right rudder, or to bring it back to centre was all that was required to turn the 206B on it's axis to the right...     ...  I wanted to try that standard steep nose pitch down and accelerate out of shot scene like you see all the time in the American Cop shows, but failed dismally to get it right. But the B206 did fly extremely nicely. You need a little left rudder all the time, but actually not that much yaw is required to keep the machine in a straight line, so unlike a lot of machines you are not fighting it, but simply coaxing it...  the JetRanger is extremely easy aircraft to fly and the real aircraft are also noted for it's mild handling and forgiving nature, and that aspect comes across well here.   However there is not much difference between the IGE power (In Ground Effect) to OGE (Out Of Ground Effect) in which you use different power outputs for different aspects of the flight, IGE is obviously lower thrust in the hover (because of the up-wash ground effect), were as OGE, is where more power is required in free air.     The JetRanger will climb and accelerate quick quickly...   "agile" is the word that comes to mind, certainly not twitchy like a lot of these light-helicopters, so it is a very calm but athletic machine to fly...  which is perfectly great for chasing bad guys in swashbuckling action packed stunts.     Rate of Climb is 1,350 ft/min (6.9 m/s), and you feel all of it, and you are easily at a 100 knts going forward...  Max speed is 120 kn (140 mph, 220 km/h) and the never exceed speed is 130 kn (150 mph, 240 km/h), so you get a lot of performance out of a twin-blade, single turbine arrangement.     Trimming the B206B is sweet, you can easily find that perfect balance via the Hat-Switch, notable is the faster you go, the less left-rudder you require, but I found it still needed a smidge of movement to keep the JetRanger perfectly on track, that is nice with no servo helpers in here, so you can easily cross-country without getting overworked and tired.     My comfort zone was 110 knts at 2500 ft, and I was now smoothly cruising along over the English landscape towards Manchester (EGCC). The Range is 374 nmi (430 mi, 693 km), with a Service ceiling of 13,500 ft (4,100 m), but you would never use that altitude.   Lighting Overall the internal lighting is very basic...  there is only the Instrument (brightness) and the LED drop-down lighting on the Instrument panel... The LED effect however looks brilliant.     Turn the LEDs down and the instruments are still very highly readable, very nice. But there is no overhead or cabin lighting at all...  nothing, which is rather odd, unless real...  so overall the cabin lighting is not very usable.   External lighting has those two landing lights in the nose, in one angled and one vertical. There is standard navigation lights on the rear stabiliser wing and rear tail, and a beacon top tail.     A lot of users bemoaned the fact the CowanSim 206 B3 had no cargo hook? Which seems to be a bit of an oversight. Granted the Bell 206 is not known as a lifting helicopter like say the Bell 512...  but it does have carry up to 600kg on the hook, with a max lift of 909 Kg, not that unreasonable.     Internal views in flight are extremely realistic, and I have been in here very often, the rear always felt a bit cramped with the heavy divider from the front, but the views out were always very good with the biggish windows.     Approaching Manchester and it is time to lower the altitude as there is a lot of low hanging cloud around, backing off the speed was also easy with just a slight pitch up with a slight touch of collective....  control was so docile and forgiving, the B206 B3 is so very impressively easy to fly. Moving into the hover or transitioning from fast forward flight known as Effectively Translational Lift (ETL), the JetRanger was very, very smooth, and no severe power changes were necessary.     Approach to EGCC was a 1,000ft and 70 knts, then reducing to 500 ft and 45 knts when going over the airport boundary. if the IGE power is a factor or not I don't know, but I found the transition seemless...     ....  into the hover and there was no nasties to trick you up, the JetRanger is perfectly composed and easily controllable, helpful is the light yaw (tailrotor) in that you don't have to fight it, but just feed in the amount of movement you require lightly...  I am not the absolute Helicopter professional I admit, but even I found it easy to control the machine with confidence. I got special clearance to do a bit of a PR exercise in landing on the "I ❤️ MCR" logo, so I wasn't going to mess up my moment.     In I came with a perfectly considered judgement of were I wanted to place the aircraft, and did a nice rolling on to the spot landing.     So the CowanSim B206 is impressive and can be flown by users with not the extreme skills that is sometimes required with these machines, and surprisingly even for a Helicopter in this Light-Heli category...  as most in this classification can be very nervy and challenging machines to fly, but JetRanger finds that sweet spot in handling, control for great and easy (even enjoyable) flying. __________________ Liveries There are 58 Liveries included, yes FIFTY EIGHT. So they cover virtually most active countries that the B206B's operate in with 20 selections for the United States. Julien Lebrun and Marc Hamilton both made significant contributions to the list. As noted there is a PaintKit also provided if you want to personalise your own private JetRanger.    I have picked a collection of 17 of the best liveries for your consideration. Including two N-XPLNs in "Gloss" and "Metallic", Two KPRC TV, Australian Army, Red Bull, Skyforce 10, Dick Smith's Aussie Explorer and Burswood Casino Australia...  N206NU is default.   __________________ Summary The Bell 206B is one of the most famed light-twin bladed Helicopter of the last half century. Seen everywhere (mostly in Films and on American Television), the machine is also the most familiar in almost every aspect of local flying, from Medi-Vac, Television Reporting, Sightseeing and Personal or Business transport, chances are if you are of a certain age you would have flown on a B206.   Again the aircraft is a reject of an American Army's Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) proposal, that order went to the Hughes OH-6. Bell. Then Bell redesigned in the fuselage (making it far longer and more sleeker), more powerful and the JetRanger was born, and then the Army ordered hundreds as the Bell OH-58 Kiowa.   This B206-B3 is CowanSim's third helicopter for the X-Plane Simulator, after  the Bell 222B + UT, and then the exceptional CowanSim 500E or Hughes 500 of P.I. Magnum television fame.   With all CowanSim aircraft is that they come with their own style and shall we say American bravado, but hasn't stopped the aircraft being very, very popular and well regarded. And the B206-B3 is another in the line of aircraft, but has a more slightly better quality and detailing.   One early aspect is however of significance. The Aircraft is designed not to absolute scale, but is scaled slightly larger for VR (Virtual Reality) considerations. The B206 is a small aircraft, even of very tight proportions, but here it is almost in the Bell 512 size category... so if you want an exact replica of the B206, then this is not that aircraft...   that is a very odd thing to do in a simulator.   The feature list is long and extensive, with loads of tools (spotlights, wire cutters, high/low skids, working spray booms, blow floats) and an interesting working CineFlex camera, a notable missing feature is a cargo hook. You also get a (animated) Pilot, CoPilot and Passengers, opening windows (front only), RXP GTN750 option and a rotating AviTab. A huge collection of 58 liveries are also a nice addition.   CowanSim's aircraft are always interesting machines to fly, as is this JetRanger. The point could be made in that is it too docile in it's flight parameters? That aspect certainly helps wannabe Helicopter pilot's and this is certainly a great and simple aircraft to be introduced to vertical flight, I think it is slightly both ways, both in that the flight envelope is a not as highly technical as it should be, but the JetRanger is also known to be also very easy if athletic aircraft to fly, but certainly it is not in the poorly developed capacity, as overall the machine in all aspects and certainly performance is very good.   It's a CowanSim...  overall you know what you buy when you purchase a CowanSim aircraft, and this Bell 206B-3 is certainly the best designed and detailed CowanSim yet...  Nice. _______________________________     Yes! the CowanSim 206 B3 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:    CowanSim 206 B3 Price is US$32.95   Features: Free Future Updates Tested and Zeroed in by Real Pilots  Several Commands for Mapping Hardware Remove Before Flight Accessories  Pilots & Passengers Working Floats System Low & High Skid Versions Dynamic Weight Options Functional Spot Light Functional Spray Kit Functional Cineflex Camera 2K & 4K Versions FMOD Fully Dynamic Sound Pack Window Rain Effects Compatible with Vulkan API Virtual Reality Ready AviTab Integration RXP GTN 750 Integration Realistic Flight Dynamics 4K & 2K PBR Custom 3D instruments Detailed Night Lighting xLua for Systems and Animation SASL v3.12.1 for Custom Plugins Realistic Flight Dynamics This model has an authentic feeling while exploring the virtual world thanks to Laminar Research for developing a fantastic flight sim. 4k Physically Based Rendering Textures 4k PBR textures, or physically based rendering, provides the ability for very realistic lighting that mimics the flow of light in the real world. This model takes full advantage of X-Plane’s lighting with dynamic reflections and materials. Custom 3D Modeled Instruments Everyone loves a detailed and realistic looking cockpit. After all, that is where we spend most of our time in the sim, flying! The 3D instruments were developed to a high standard and are fully functional, with extensive custom coding to make it as realistic as possible. A Nice Cozy Cabin Sit back and relax in the cozy rear cabin and enjoy replays of your flight from a passenger’s perspective! Was it as comfortable and smooth as you thought it was from the pilot seat? This is especially interesting in VR and landing replays are the best. Paint Kit & Liveries Comes with several liveries and we also included a detailed paint kit. The kit is provided in both GIMP and Adobe® Photoshop® formats. A UV map layer included in each file allows for easy and accurate repaints. Vibrant and Detailed Night Lighting X-Plane has wonderful night lighting. The 206B3 project aimed to have plenty of lights, inside and out, making night flights possible. From the landing light to the cabin lighting, this helicopter really stands out at night. Animation & Sound Thousands of lines of custom code make up animations and systems. The fully immersive sound set was developed with FMOD. Sounds and animations work together with visual rotor-speed vibrational feedback, dynamic blade slap, rain effects and more. Reality XP GTN 750 Integration The Reality XP GTN 750 can be fully integrated into the cockpit. Reality XP GTN 750 Touch is the genuine simulated device used by flight simulation enthusiasts navigating the virtual skies as well as real world pilots for familiarization with the device. This add-on is a payware add-on and you can purchase it here: https://reality-xp.com/   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.1 GB Current and Review Version: 1.1 (January 8th 2022) ___________________________________   Installation and documents:  download for the 206 B3 is 1.96Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "Helicopter" X-Plane folder.   Full Installation is 1.44Gb Documents supplied are: CHECKLISTS - START-UP - 500E.pdf MANUAL-500E.pdf   Manual is half completed with no instrument references or just basic system references, but settings are well documented with a very good checklist that shows well intergrated startup and shutdown procedures.   Support forum for all helicopters by CowanSim _____________________   Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 14th January 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews   Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 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 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGCN - Doncaster Sheffield by Fly X (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$17.99 - EGCC - Airport Manchester by Aerosoft (Currently not Available) - not to be confused with the current Aerosoft Manchester XP11   (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! - Plugin Updated : WebFMC Pro v1.8.1 by Green Arc Studios     Green Arc Studios have done a single digit update to their popular WebFMC Pro plugin. The update v1.8.1 is basically to cover the LevelUp 737NG Series, which covers variants ranging from the short -600 to the stretched -900ER. Although based on the Zibo Boeing 737-800X, the LevelUP required changes to the WebFMC plugin to work... notable is that both/dual FMCs can be accessed from the plugin in the LevelUp aircraft.   The WebFMC is a plugin that allows you to use a FMC (Flight Management Computer) on an external screen via a web browser. That is an another computer or tablet. So it is a remote tool, but a very beneficial tool and even a powerful one in programming in route and performance data and following the set aircraft route in flight and in mirroring the aircraft's built in FMS (Flight Management System). Added into the functionality is a load of features in the use of the FMC on another screen.   WebFMC Pro v1.8.1 support for LevelUp 737NG DualCDU NEW! added option to scale without keeping aspect ratio improved going into screen only mode   The full current complete list of supported aircraft / FMCs with WebFMC version 1.8.1 Default X-Plane # - FMC requires X-Plane 11.35+ A319 # by ToLiss A320 Ultimate # by FlightFactor A320 by Jar Design requires JD320 v3.4r1+ A321 # by ToLiss A330 by Jar Design requires JD330 v3.1r2+ A340 by Jar Design A340 # by ToLiss A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor - old style CDU only B737-300 # by IXEG B737-800 # Zibo Mod* 737NG # LevelUp B737-900U Ultimate #* B737-700U Ultimate #* EADT x737 with x737UFMC all variants; requires x737UFMC EADT x737 # - with Default FMC all variants B747-8 by SSG (VMAX) all variants; old v1.9.2+ and new v2.1+ B757v2 # by FlightFactor - all variants; requires 757 v2.2.13+ B767 # by FlightFactor - all variants; requires 767 v1.2.6+ B777 by FlightFactor - all variants CL650 # by HotStart NEW! CRJ-200 by JRollon Embraer E170 by SSG - requires v1.4+ Embraer E195 by SSG - requires v1.4+ ERJ Family # by X-Crafts MD-80 by Rotate requires MD-80 v1.42+ Q400 (Q4XP) # by FlyJSim - Requires v1.09 NEW!   There are two versions available and the PRO version is now listed with an impressive 28 aircraft + Default X-Plane FMC, but three in the list of the Zibo Mod 737-800* and the 737-900ER/700* Ultimate are also available in the Free Demo version. Noted # aircraft are dual CDUs : # aircraft are Triple CDUs ____________________________________     Yes! WebFMC Pro v1..8.1 by Green Arc Studios is NOW AVAILABLE from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99   The v1.8.1 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version.   Access CDU / FMC of select X-Plane 11 airplanes via any modern web browser running on your PC or mobile device over local network.   Quick and easy access to the FMC Get easy access to the FMC: quickly edit the flightplan, monitor flight progress, set up your approach and do all the typical work of the pilot without having to move around in the cockpit, even if the plane doesn’t support FMC as a popup natively - on the same PC, or different monitor, tablet or phone - in fact you can use multiple displays at the same time!   Make pilot tasks easy and comfortable Enjoy external views during cruise while monitoring flight progress on separate screen or take a quick look at your phone to verify calculated landing speed with just a glimpse of an eye during busy time on approach. Make flying complex SIDs / STARs easy as you can focus on the important flight parameters while having overview of the constraints all the time. Take your mobile to the kitchen as you cook a dinner during a long haul and never miss T/D again!   Convenient to use Use physical keyboards on PC with extra keys such as Prev/Next page mapped to keyboard keys for easy access. WebFMC scales dynamically to fit any display or window size and can look as native app on mobiles by using browser's "Add to home screen" feature.   The WebFMC plugin requires X-Plane 11 running 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or newer Mac OS 10.14.x (Mojave) Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS (64-bit)   Web Client The CDU can be displayed on any modern and up-to-date web browser with JavaScript support. We recommend the latest versions of Google Chrome on PC or Android and Safari on iOS.    No internet connection required, remote device needs to be on the same local network as X-Plane PC.  Support for WebSockets RFC 6455 standard is required which implies at least iOS version 6.  _________________________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 11th Jan 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)     
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