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    • Aircraft Review : Epic E1000 - G1000 Edition by Aerobask   Like a lot of developers, the Aerobask have had to rethink their range of aircraft to migrate to the dynamics of X-Plane11. In the past between X-Plane versions the changes were large, but in most cases an update or two would cover the conversion and the overall aspect of the design would in someways not change. But for the migration to X-Plane11 and certainly to X-Plane11.30 then that earlier transfer does not really work..  the differences are just too different and most aspects of the design, from the modeling, the performance and PBR effects and the now minimum requirement of 4K textures and all...  and plus all these new elements all have to be far more efficient and computer friendly. This has to a point made the aircraft migration of any developer's past range of aircraft a slow and tedious process and like with the new dynamics of 11.30 as you sort of go suddenly back to the bottom of the ladder again with all these newer updated dynamics. So it is all to the good of course as the product is usually far more dynamic and sensational, but the process means that even now in the two or so years since the release of X-Plane11, then most developers are still ticking of their past aircraft, and more so in than creating new aircraft.   But the above process can be used to your advantage as well. As no matter at the time even if you have created your best work, there was always something better you could have done, but then couldn't change because it required usually a new design from scratch. So in reality although these aircraft are the same original designs as the pre-X-Plane10, they are also completely new...  and from the ground up.   And so it is with Aerobask's Epic E1000 which was released originally just under four years ago (E1000 Review), and at the time the aircraft was the state of the XP10 art. This new version is the state of the XP11 art.     It was back then so brilliantly created, but the four years in simulation development now shows us how much has really changed within that period, and as a yardstick the differences between the simulations.     So this new Epic E1000 from Aerobask is even if it looks the same is in reality a completely new aircraft from the original, no updates, no adjustments...  but a completely brand new design, and so you know that feel straight away as it is new and different.     The developer themselves would admit they alone have come a long way in four years, always very good, always very innovative... you now usually buy on the Aerobask name alone without even looking at the details... and for any developer that is a very high reverence to achieve, but Aerobask do also deliver, again and again to achieve that prominence.   And the new E1000 certainly also delivers on that promise. Modeling is now perfection, no bumps or 3d odd angles and that is a certain smoothness of design that captures the difficulty of creating a featureless composite aircraft. It took years to perfect it, and here it all is now in it's glory.   Certainly the PBR effects go a very long way in creating the feel and reflections that bring that sleek almost dolphin shaped design to life, and no matter what the visual angle it always looks glorious.   Glass and chrome are also now hyper realistic and not faked liked in the past, metal variations of materials are also beautifully represented.     X-Plane users have come to expect a lot, and you are even "spoilt" for this short of hyper realism... but the developers deliver it, so why not absorb it and revel in the greatness of it all.   The trailing link undercarriage looks standard from a distance, but the detail is evident when close up.     Cabin Detail "Careful" and not to trip over the latch on the door while boarding...  Internally in the cabin it is an odd layout, just in the rear a four club seating but with a huge space between the seats and then again a space between the passenger and pilot seats in the front... you automatically say "You could easily fit another row in here".     Renowned for their cabin fit-outs and materials, then Aerobask don't disappoint in here with the E1000 either. Detailing is excellent, with modern materials and that feel of executively. The attention to detail in here can be overwhelming.     The cockpit is almost the same layout, but it is in reality a very different look and feel from the original. The modeling detail is that so much smoother and the materials are light years in difference. You have to also really admire that paneling curvature and molding, and even the trim changes colour to the external livery...     It is a very modern cockpit and far removed from the older Beechcrafts and Pipers.... this is all slicks and curves.     There are also some significant differences between the two aircraft... the old and this new version. The biggest change is on the stub console.     The original version was dominated by the aircraft's menu panel and above the MEGGiTT autopilot and Garmin GMA350 radio unit...     ....  now there is a "Remote Control Key Pad" for access to the G1000 avionics suite, which is very similar to what you use on the Cirrus aircraft. The MEGGiTT autopilot is also gone and replaced by a annunciator panel, but the Garmin GMA350 radio unit installation is still the same.This GMA 350 is really the only external avionics unit now in the aircraft. Note the extremely different design and feel of the yokes.   Laminar Research G1000 As there was no decent G1000 glass system around four years ago. The various developers came up with a wide range of ideas to create in most cases a hybrid avionics system to replicate the Garmin suite. Aerobask tried in someways the hardest to create a functional and realistic system.   Aerobask created a Garmin G900 Primary Flight display (PFD) for each pilot, and the center display (MFD) as a modified X-Plane GNS530 unit. And note these G900's were only an accurate representation of a real G900 even then. It worked, but the MFD was a bit of stretch in more ways than one. But at the time it was actually very good.     Since that time Laminar Research have created as default a full G1000 avionics suite, and so the "G1000" moniker on the this aircraft reflects the install of that default system on the E1000. But a bonus here is not only is this G1000 more authentic, more powerful... but also adapted for use with the Remote Control Key Pad and also includes the GFC700 autopilot.   One thing also becomes very apparent is the install of the three displays. The centre MFD is more pronounced and set more forward than the two PFD displays set either side...   and yes it was the same set up on the earlier version (I checked). But here it is far more noticeable if even with a more visually perspective. The earlier version came across as just three displays in a line.     It is outstandingly done, as you feel the installation of the displays are very realistic, and it is highly noticeable in flight.   Primary Fight Display The Laminar G1000 is now quite extensive, but there are a few differences between this one and the older version, some good and some removed. The display can be opened in a window via pressing the small aircraft symbol in the centre of the heading rose.     The main PFD has the the split horizon which is here to the darker even dreary brown and blue of the default look... of which I don't really care for, the older version was the far nicer gradient version, and this bland default background display can be adjusted as Carenado did on their Cessna 172SP G1000.   Secondly is the optional Engine Information System (EIS) is only available on this version in the PFD in the Emergency mode (see below).     The G1000's PFD main flight instruments that are all correct with the artificial horizon, speed and altitude tapes, bank roll scale and roll pointer and HSI (horizontal situation indicator), course and heading pointer which are all in one. The FD (Flight Director) elements are also shown. Other features include "Inset" map, alerts, REF/TIMER, NRST, XPDR, both VOR 1 and 2 pointers, DME and Wind (3 options) ... top banner includes Radio NAV (left) and COM (right) Autopilot info (centre). A feature is that you can adjust the radio frequencies directly with a mouse scroll wheel while holding the cursor over the frequency you want to adjust. Another pop-out adjuster panel can also be used on like the "Altitude" (press arrowed) and Baro pressure.... press the green band to insert the number.   Multi Functional Display The centre MFD is quite different from the hybrid forebear. The pop-out selector is also quite hard to find as it is not the PFD centre aircraft symbol, but a hard to find touch spot hidden in the top banner under the GS (arrowed below left).     The side panel Engine Information System (EIS) Engine readout covers TRQ (Torque), NP (low-pressure rotor RPM), ITT (Inter Turbine Temperature), NG (N1 for Turbines). If these readouts look different it is because they are. This is a custom set of engine performance readouts created by Aerobask to be more authentic to the E1000 avionics readouts. If you want the default, then can have that via the menu (below right).     Lower EIS shows Fuel Flow GPH (Gal per hour), Oil Pressure and Temperature, Electrical Bus AMPS and Volts, Fuel quantity (GAL) is for both tanks (145.5 Gal per tank) in a scale.  More engine readouts can be accessed via the "System" button. Fuel readouts are top with Fuel Flow GPH, Fuel Flow PPH (lbs per Hour), Fuel Pressure (PSI) and quantity left and right tanks (lbs) - Fuel Totalizer shows lbs Remaining and lbs Used. Totalizer amount can be increased, decreased or reset     Lower is the Electrical Gen A (amps)and ALT A (amps) and Bus 1 Volts and Bus 2 Volts. On both EIS displays are also the Aileron position marker, Rudder position marker, Elevator position marker and Flap position UP-10º-40º    Pressing the RED button upper right on the pilot's PFD will change the displays around for emergency flying and bringing the EIS onto the PFD and moving the PFD to the centre in then replacing the MFD (got that?)     Flightplanning The really big advantage is using the "Remote Control Key Pad" to create route planning via the "FPL" key (arrowed). Input is easy via the keyboard even in VR (Virtual Reality)     My route is from EGKK (Gatwick) to ELLX (Luxembourg) and you can easily assemble the routing data, however I chose to create the route in SimBrief and then import it directly into the planner. The bonus is that you have the options of adding in easily via the "PROC" button any Departure or Arrival routes (SID/STAR) or a certain approach that you would like. The bonus is that the added on Dep or Arr segments don't mesh up your central route planning either and it all fits in seemlessly together. You can set the display to either "Narrow" or "Wide" orientations.     The days of data planning and input frustration are well and truly over.   Lower Panel On the left side shoulder panel is the main switchgear. The E1000 aircraft has a unique way of switching on the various systems...  the three rows of buttons are set out to be used at the various points of getting the aircraft ready for flight and in switch order. Top row is the "Pre-Start" Second row is the "Pre-Taxi" and the lower row is the "Systems". The layout although arranged by the same rows of buttons as the earlier E1000, but the sequence of activation of the items are actually arranged differently, so you will need to relearn the buttons sequence.   Pre-Start includes - Batteries (Batt 1 & Batt 2), Avionics Master, Fuel Pumps (Left & Right) and Starter Gen selections Pre-Taxi Includes - Igniter, Start, Stby Alt, Fuel Autoselect and Pusher Systems Includes - Auto Pilot, Trim, Press Air,  Emerg Press, Dump Valve and Emerg Oxygen  
       On the right is the "LIGHTS" panel the lighting panel. Items include Ice (wing light) Land and Taxi lights, Strobe and Navigation lights and a Beacon (a new light). Another lower button panel is your "ICE" buttons for De-Ice Boots, Propeller Heat, Window Heat, Inertial Separator, and the Pitot Heat (Pitot Stall HT).   Bottom panel are the circuit breakers and they are all active, pull a breaker and the item stops working. Right side shoulder panel are the cabins Air Cond and Cabin Oxygen controls and more active circuit breakers. Both yokes can be hidden, but only together and not independently.   Left side of the Remote Control Key Pad is the gear lever and on the other the flap selector switch. Pedestal is in two layers (beautifully moulded) with the top section holding the Throttle, Propeller (feather) and Condition levers (Throttle has power "Max/Idle" settings and a "Beta" reverse thrust setting).     There are four buttons above with "warnings" on them, so you don't touch them, the manual says that you NEVER touch them. Lower section has the lovely crafted Fuel Switch for OFF- LEFT- RIGHT (Tanks).   On the floor there is a Manual Gear Extraction feature... and it works. Again amazing detailing and functionality.     MD302 SAM The MD 302 Standby Attitude Module (SAM®) made by Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics and the unit is placed left of the PFD.     This is a set of backup instruments, but in reality an avionics suite by itself. Upper panel is an artificial horizon, turn rate and compass heading... lower panel is the Speed and Altitude (Baro centre). The single knob does all the adjusting and selection.   Turn the knob to adjust (arrowed) the Baro (note the Baro on the SAM is not connected to the G1000, so you have to adjust the pressure manually here as well). Press the knob and turn to adjust the MD302 brightness. Hold the knob down for a full menu of adjustable settings.     Above the MD302 SAM is the instrument and forward spot cockpit lighting knobs.   Menus There are four ways to access the E1000 menu. One is from the pull down plugin menu, Two is from the 'a" tab lower left of your screen, Three is the Epic Logo centre panel and Four is via the iPad in the side storage bin. The menu is laid out in the new Laminar XP11 pop-up style and there are four tab selections with : Ground, Options, Sounds and About.     Ground : Is both a menu and a basic Weights and Fuel setup in one. Fuel sliders top will set the amount of fuel required in both kgs and Gal and show the fuel weight...  A side note here on refueling the E1000. You have to be really careful to balance out the fuel on the E1000, both on the ground and in flight.   If you don't then you will get this, yes this is an extreme example, but it also shows how sensitive this aircraft is to the loading of the fuel and weights. Well done though.     You can select passengers (pilot is free but he still counts in the aircraft weight). With a Co-Pilot, R&L Passengers, R&L Children, baggage is None, 60kg and 120 kgs...  and all weights of loaded Fuel and passengers are shown in detail with full all up weight and Maximum weight allowed. There is no CoG scale or graph. All passengers are shown and the bags are shown on a luggage trolley, but they are not visible internally and only externally, which is a shame as the modeling of the people is very good.   Static elements include: Chocks, Engine inlet/outlet covers, pitot covers, towbar and loads of flags... but they are all or nothing. So it makes closing up the aircraft a bit awkward with say the towbar attached or if you just want the chocks after a flight? The Ground Power Unit (GPU) is now a more heavy duty design than on the earlier E1000, it is very nice... but also extremely noisy if the door is open. Button will open the single door or via the internal handle.     Options : Are mostly for selections of the G1000 and custom features, like the change of the custom to default G1000 engine display, but a few are still experimental. You can choose to keep the pop-ups inside the screen (VR) and switch on/off the instrument and window reflections. Top of the menu is the reliability of the electrical system via the circuit breakers, or you can reset them all in one push of the button.     Sounds : The sound panel is just a carbon copy of the X-Plane11 sounds panel and if you adjust it here, then you adjust it there and vice-versa, with just two added buttons with the "Enable Sounds" and "Enable Speech" selections.   About : The final selection is a credit page on who created the aircraft.   VR iPad AviTab One of the great features is the iPad and it located in the side storage bin. Obviously created for VR interaction, it is highly useful for the 2d generation as well as It works with the Avitab (Aviators Tablet) plugin. It works quite well in a basic form with mostly for access to stored pdf files and note taking, but internet access would be a nice feature. My use here was with the Navigraph Chart access that is now available (make sure you have AviTab v0.3.14).     You login and create access to your Navigraph account, it is all seemless and works extremely well...     You can bring up all your charts and airport information to have it all by your fingertips. My only wish is for the tablet to be in both landscape and Portrait modes because most charts are in the portrait orientation.     But it is highly usable as you can (in 2d mode) move the tablet out of view (it goes smaller) or keep it in eyesight when taxiing or flying.     As noted the aircraft's menu can be accessed on the tablet as well.     Flying the Epic E1000-G1000 Starting the 1200 HP Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A engine is a simple as following the keys in order... Pre Start row done, fuel on, mixture lever to idle... then follow the Pre-Taxi row of buttons until you get to START...  easy peasy.     Marvel at the propeller as it moves ready from it's feathered position to half way, then that familiar PT6A whine comes in from the forward engine compartment, it does take a fair while to start, run and then settle into that smooth turbine idle speed and sound. The E1000 does come with all the latest fine-tuning from Laminar of this turbine engine, which has been a focus project for most of X-Plane11. This includes the newer 11.30 performance details with separate 2-stage free power turbine and 1-stage gas generator turbine internals now also available on this engine in X-Plane11 (output is now divided between both stages, were as before the output was only one stage). Of course it sounds incredible, looks incredible as the powerful exhaust flows out past and down the side of the aircraft, and courtesy of the particle effects.     You wait and let the output numbers settle down, then you are good to go.     With the Throttle at idle and the COND at idle, I still needed to put the PROP position half-feather to keep a decent taxi speed, if not the E1000 will run quickly away from you. Flaps have to be set at the takeoff position...     ...  view out of the cockpit is excellent as there are no obstacle or blind spots in your view point, but the reflections are quite strong.     On the original E1000 had the stick like undercarriage that took some getting used to, that version was harder in give (hence the solid stick feel) than the far better set up here as the undercarriage has certainly more give, but it is still tricky until you get used to it... as you still sit still tall and narrow on the wheels. So forward movement needs to build very slowly until really the aerodynamic forces give you more control, then you can give the throttle more power and also still have directional control, and powerful is that PT6A on an aircraft of this size, so use it wisely.     Rotate is around 85 knts and the aircraft will climb out easily under full power, 2000fpm is also easy but if you want to really go for it then the official climb rate is around 4,000 ft/min...  "wow". This aircraft climbs and goes up like hell even with a fair weight aboard, so you have to be in control of the machine and not the other way around.     So instead of being cocky and flying the E1000 like fighter pilot, then try to fly it as a professional and stay well within the boundaries, and there is a reason for this. I have my X-56 joystick quite well set up and refined, so like the spindly undercarriage the aircraft in the air feels the same, a little nervous, any strong wrist action will make the aircraft do sharp movements... so you have to keep everything really very intimate, slow and precise. As it is like an aircraft balanced on top a sharp stick, and it will move to any position very sharply. Like bank and you go down wing very quickly, so you tune into it but do it slowly, but you need focus and use slow movements to guide the E1000 in an easy and thoughtful way. Yes so that is very strong aspect of the flying in the E1000... focus.     Just pressing AP (Autopilot) and the NAV on the G1000 MFD left panel won't activate the Autopilot? There is still another button on the "Systems" menu before it will activate... ditto the PRESS AIR that seals the aircraft for the high altitude flying.     The environmental cabin controls are on the right side, and yes they really work via the 11.30 Oxygen feature.   The G1000 flightplan is very comprehensive and the Laminar G1000 Manual is well worth the download and study. But if you are using the VNV function and importing a flightplan (SimBrief) then make sure ALL the waypoint altitudes are correct and filled in, instead you could get almost a straight up and then straight down climb and descent, you need to control the flightplan profile correctly. Here I am checking and adjusting my descent into ELLX and then seeing the changes in action.     The Epic is a turbine propeller alternative to a small four seater private jet, so the numbers have to stack up to compete with the same performance, with cost being the major factor. Maximum speed is 325 kn (374 mph; 602 km/h) Max cruise which seriously fast for a prop aircraft and Cruise speed in Eco mode is 265 kn (305 mph; 491 km/h). Range: is 1,385–1,650 nmi (1,594–1,899 mi; 2,565–3,056 km) at either max cruise - eco cruise with a Fuel Burn of 300 kn (560 km/h), FL340: 40–60 US gal (150–230 l)/per hour and the Service ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m) can be well within the reach of jet transport. Impressive.     The window reflections can be quite heavy in certain lighting conditions, but overall they are very realistic.     Lighting The lighting is very good to brilliant but limited in the ways you can adjust it. Those big G1000 displays put out a lot of candle power, but you need them bright to read the screens. All in the G1000 displays and switch instrument lighting can be adjusted, but only globally and say focused just on the pilot's side. Cabin is all LED lighting and two forward lights cover the cockpit...       ...  the cabin overhead LED's are amazing and are all adjustable, but only directly. And floor strips of LED lighting is in front of pairs of seats and the door entrance when open.     External lighting is good but the standard layout... Two wing edge LED landing lights and a single nose wheel taxi light. There is a left wing Ice light, belly rear beacon and the navigation and strobe lighting.     For all it's high speeds the E1000 is very good at low speeds...  you can set the flap to 10º and set your speed at a low 148 knts, which is great for aligning up to a runway and the aircraft is rock solid (180 knts is the 10º max).       Want to go even slower and you can, 130 knts is the limit for 40º flap (down) and you can then reduce your approach speed to an amazing 100 knts  - 97 knts... not even a Cessna 172 can go that slow? Can it?       You can keep this position and speed and control the descent via the throttle and the adjustment of the pitch, it is all very hands on but very controllable.     Your aim is to just let the E1000 sink slowly... those stick legs can be quite stiff if you try to go in to fast or down too quickly, yes there is more give in the trailing edge gear, but you mustn't try your luck too much. You don't need a lot of flare either, just let it down via the speed throttle control.     85 knts is the touchdown speed and the stall speed is a low 61 knts.     There is a built in BETA reverse, and the best way to access it is to use a key input "Toggle Beta Prop" from the X-Plane menu. It works, but I haven't used it enough to see how really effective it is. Using the brakes is your last option, and if you have runway space then use it to run off the excess speed and keep control. Overall I was very impressed with the low speed approach, it gives you time to adjust and fly the aircraft with time on your side.   With most aircraft in this category (mostly price wise here) in that these are very finely tuned aircraft need time and practice to get the very best out of them, certainly brilliant for flying, but they require certain skills and professionalism to extract the full potential from their dynamics.     Liveries A wide selection of twelve liveries gives you plenty of choice and use, but mostly based in Europe and USA... they are all high quality and 4K refined with the Metal skin COBALT and the magic N333AK the highlights, N410LT is the default. There is a White (for painters) and Lo-res liveries that are also available through Aerobask website.     Summary It is an Aerobask aircraft... many will purchase on the name alone. That is for a quality aircraft, huge features, brilliant ideas, massive internal detail and materials. So does the E1000 - G1000 Edition live up to all that high acclaim... of course it does.   This the second version of the Epic 1000 from from Aerobask, but discount the similarities right there, because this is a complete ground up redesign of the aircraft, and for not only X-Plane11 but for X-Plane11.30 as well... it is all in here, and it shows in every dynamic of its PT6A turbine performance and also real world latest certification prototype performance and in it's complete dynamics of the perfect use of PBR in glass, reflections the sheer quality and depth of its design. X-Plane11.30 boots-based wings and stabilizer de-icing system and working oxygen system (11.30 again) and functional breakers are also part of the in-depth systems.   Features are clever and well thought out, including the various tools required for Virtual Reality use and even the use of AviTab. Menus are clean and well thought out, but the static elements are all grouped together with limited flexibility.   The title says G1000, and that is the main feature of the E1000... the Laminar Research G1000 avionics suite and tools. And very good it is if you are willing to study the manual in depth to get the very best out of the avionics suite. There are no compromises now unlike with the earlier G900 based system, it is good and works well in here. Only point is the dark and bland default PFD Artificial Horizon screens, not a fan, and they spoil the customised side of the aircraft and a surprise they were installed here, and I have seen a better AH on the Laminar G1000. The other avionic features includes the MD302 backup instruments and GFC700 autopilot...  nice.
      Flying dynamics are good to excellent, but the aircraft requires skill to get the really best return out of the aircraft, then the E1000 will return the favor back in full. Sounds are also fully dynamic with full FMOD spatial surround sound.   A comprehensive review details a very comprehensive aircraft... that is nothing new for Aerobask, they deliver... they deliver brilliantly - Highly Recommended.   _______________________________     The Epic E1000 - G1000 Edition by Aerobask is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Epic E1000 G1000 Edition   Priced at US$34.95   Features : Aerobask quality 3D model Completely reworked and re-scaled exterior and interior model New 4K PBR textures 11 stunning liveries out of the box Color-matching interior based on livery White (for painters) and Lo-res liveries available through Aerobask website Smooth and VR-friendly manipulators Professional Flight model New flight model by X-Aerodynamics Tested by actual owner Gianfranco Somma of Somma Aviation Matches latest certification prototype performance High quality sounds full FMOD environment by Daniela Rodriguez Careri samples from real PT-6 engine in-game volume control without pausing the sim Enhanced Laminar G1000 Integrates new XP11.30 GFC700 autopilot Custom MFD PT-6 engine parameters (on PFD in reversion mode) Optional mouse, scrollwheel and dialpad support for easy data input Optional keyboard support for dialpad and flight plan input Custom detachable popups with fixed ratio and all optional features above Note: some of the optional features may need VR-mouse at the moment Deep system emulation Realistic engine startup procedure Implements new XP11.30 boots-based wings and stabilizer de-icing system Implements new XP11.30 oxygen system for emergencies Functional breakers, with configurable reliability Fully simulated MD302 Standby Attitude Module Special effects Rain and windshield icing using librain plugin from Saso Kiselkov Dynamic reflections custom heat blur effect on both sides custom engine twin-contrails Other Avitab tablet, with integrated options panel Detachable and VR-friendly 2D options panel Preferences, fuel and payload saved between flights   Requirements X-Plane 11.30+ Windows, MAC or Linux - 64 bit Operating System 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended  Current version and Review Version : 3.22 (Feb 12th 2019)   Installation and documents: Download for the Epic E1000 - G1000 Edition is 446.70 Mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 521.40 mb. Avitab (Aviators Tablet) requires the download of the plugin and for the Navigraph charts you need a Navigraph account.   Documentation: Huge amount of documentation, with full manual, (including training flight), Laminar G1000 manual, Performance, checklist and guidelines included. Documents for MD302 and AviTab are also included. A real world document (Get to) "Know your PT6A" is also part of the package.   Avitab integration.pdf E1000_2019_manual.pdf Epic E1000 G1000 Edition Checklist Normal.pdf Install Recommended settings.pdf Performance Guidelines Epic E1000 G1000 Edition.pdf Quick-Doc MD302.pdf Know_your_PT6A.pdf   ______________________________________________________________________   Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 16th February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : Avitab (Aviators Tablet) - Free Scenery or Aircraft - EGKK - London Gatwick Airport v2 by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 - ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport XP11 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.80      
    • News! - Aircraft Updates : JustFlight updates ALL aircraft to 11.30   JustFlight/Thranda have updated ALL of their aircraft to X-Plane 11.30 specifications... All changes include:   Common to all aircraft Support for rain effects (requires free 3rd party "librain" plugin) Improved VR (VR Pop-up support, cleaned up yoke, more supported knobs, etc.) Improved sounds and sound effects Upgraded to SASL 3.5.1, which now includes pop-out window support Revamped RealityXP configuration to bring it to the latest capabilities of the GTN750 Revamped flight dynamics for XP11.30 Broke out checklist to "manifest.json" file, so it's end-user editable now. Moved cockpit.obj file into "objects" folder, for neater top directory. Numerous optimisations and improvements. TB10/TB20 v1.1 New graphics, improved PBR materials, fixed textures. Added VR magnet attach point for XPad Added VR click spot for Just Flight pop-up menu Hawk T1 v1.2 Smoke effects (red, white, blue smoke with smoke pod attachment). Added VR click spot for Just Flight pop-up menu Fixed some texture artefacts Improved rotational inertia around the roll axis Integrated XP11.30's oxygen system Fixed some VR knobs Improved throttle latch logic C152 v1.1 Added VR magnet attach point for XPad Added VR click spot for Just Flight pop-up menu Added RealityXP support (GTN750 now integrated in 3D panel) Closed up compass Improved ground handling Added paint kit Fixed quick-look views Arrow III v1.6, Turbo Arrow III/IV v1.6, Warrior II v1.6 and Archer III v1.1 Added VR magnet attach point for XPad Made spark plug fouling rate and Vapour lock configurable via manifest.json file. Hide Yoke system now responds to X-Plane's default command Optimised performance. Fixed case sensitivity issue for Linux Removed default wing condensation effects. (They're excessive by default).   Note the new feature for the Librain (rain effects) plugin on all the aircraft....  see here: librain (rain) library for windshield effects   If you have a Just Flight account, then go and click on 'Your Orders', you will be able to re-download the installer(s) for the aircraft you have purchased to get the latest updated version(s).   X-Plane.OrgStore updates are available   ________________________________________   (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)   News by Stephen Dutton 14th February 2019 ♥️ Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews    
    • News! - Scenery Update : EDDM - Airport Frankfurt v1.10 by Aerosoft   Aerosoft with Stairport Sceneries have updated the EDDF - Frankfurt scenery to version v1.10. The focus of the scenery update is the install of the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) on all gates...       All the various EDDF airbridge designs have been catered for authenticity to the real layout...     ... action! and you are in the passenger loading business...  courtesy of SAM.     Sadly unlike at ShortFinal's EDDM, the hangar doors are still firmly shut, as there is no animation that have been set on either of them....  shame.     Other changes are ground decals have been updated to high-res and the slow loading textures have been given a more refined loading process, and it does show on the quicker (and smoother) load up of the scenery.   Full X-PlaneReviews EDDF - Frankfurt review is here : Scenery Review : EDDF - Aerosoft Airport Frankfurt XP11   So a nice update to SAM, and a few areas have been refined as well. To update to EDDF v1.10 is you have already purchased the scenery then go to your X-Plane.Org account, to purchase see the details below. Note the SAM plugin is required with this scenery;  SAM - Scenery Animation Manager 1.0.5   ______________________________________________________________________     Yes! the EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 v1.10 by Aerosoft is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Frankfurt XP11 Your Price is US$32.99   Requirement: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.10 (Feb 12th 2018)   ________________________________________   (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)   News by Stephen Dutton 14th February 2019 ♥️ Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews    
    • Scenery Preview: LIME - Bergamo by Aerosoft   There are three airports for Milan, Malpensa which is the big international one, Linate is the one close to the city and the third one is the one no one really knows about which is 45 km (28 mi) north-east of the city of Milan and it is called Bergamo or to give it it's full Italiate name Orio al Serio International Airport and it is actually the third busiest international airport in Italy. The airport is also named after it's local hero in Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio or Il Caravaggio... all very impressive, we will just call it Milan/Bergamo like everyone else does.    Bergamo is an airport beloved by Ryanair, and yes they fly here in numbers. It is cheap to fly here because it is as far away from the actual destination as you can get, but still close enough to say "I went to Milan", but it is also very handy if you are going to stay around the lovely Italian lake area.   This is of course another Aerosoft redevelopment airport for X-Plane. One scenery that has been around on the Aerosoft product pages for FlightSim as long as anyone can remember, or forgot about. So here it is dusted off and given the X-Plane transformation, like Aerosoft's Genoa was last month.    LIME - Bergamo
      Orio al Serio International Airport
      Il Caravaggio International Airport   IATA: BGY - ICAO: LIME   10/28 - 2,934m (9,630ft) Asphalt 12/30 778m (2,552ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL782 ft / 238 m   The alpine Lombardy city of Bergamo surrounds the airport, so the autogen has a big part to play in creating the mood and feel of the scenery. First impact is the far more higher saturation of the textures around the airport, almost a very darker tone than the rest of the feel. Yes the Google images show the same, but it is grating to the eyes, in saying that the scenery is well inserted into the surrounding mesh. The Alps in the background do provide a nice frame around the airport visually.         From these external aspects then Bergamo looks really good and is a great looking scenery visually. A large cargo facility for DHL and UPS dominates the eastern end of the airport. The very iconic and distinctive control tower dominates the central area....     Ground textures are excellent with great detail and authentic construction materials, Lineage and navigation is also rated high and very good...  grass is a feature.     The International Terminal is modern and not only in it's real design but in X-Plane scenery design, because the building has a lot of new dynamic features... like great reflective see-through glass, materials, active traffic and....     ... a very good internal layout, so the full modeling of the terminal here is very good. A note in that the terminal's position to the light, as it makes it quite dark on the airside and no matter what the season, and so in the shorter winter months it is really very dark.     SAM is here!... the active SAM runs only two gates in 207 and 209 as per the real layout, but they are sensational as well, with their long fully reached boarding arms that are correct to the local airport signage.     Bergamo is a significant cargo hub for the area, and as noted DHL and UPS have a big presence here. In the scenery this freight area is really well done and well laid out in detail and clutter.       The distinctive control tower totally dominates the scenery... very Italian, but also well designed here and again it comes here with internal layouts and reflective tinted glass.     But the developer has got confused between the ramp tower (also well done) and the field tower (hint, it is the bigger one!) so the tower view is looking straight at the larger tower, great for the internal tower viewing, but useless for watching the RWY 28 approach.   North Boundary On the north side of LIME there are two areas, one is a general purpose area with some stored Fokker F27s, the second area is the General Aviation area next to the smaller 12/30 runway, which again has a great surface and texture layout.     Note the very colourfully painted hangar....     Field radar is animated and their is a significant amount of custom buildings set out around the airport's (mostly southern) boundary.     So from the outset then LIME - Bergamo looks like sensational scenery, but it is about here...   it all gets a bit frustrating and even confusing as well.   The point is the main ground textures and all the modeling in the scenery is absolutely first rate, or even exemplary within the airports boundaries.   But the photo mesh is horrible, and yes Aerosoft can seem to not to learn to change their out of date source (see Genoa for more) and in most areas it is all over saturated as mentioned. On the final approach to RWY 28 you get this eyesore (below left) and you are distracted by it...  no bridge, then a 3d bridge will do the job...  not.  Roads don't match the horrible grass green ones, and most flat areas are saturated to the extreme, but we have seen all these once too often now from Aerosoft.      Where the underlay was simply too bad, then they just use plain old X-Plane textures (below) to cover the mess up, and yes it looks horrible and unauthentic.     Nicely modeled buildings are ruined by their placement as well, and there are a few custom urban commercial areas. The replaced roadway is nice, except it is empty of life past a busy airport, so X-Plane puts a join in there to make it all worse with the disappearing traffic of course.     In  the few areas the X-Plane autogen (below) is allowed to work it does a very nice job, so why not use it more effectively?     Landside areas come across as bland, more than realistic... and there is the odd parking of a static aircraft on the departure line of the Italian in-out system of stand parking and it ruins your taxi flow on departure...     Lighting The lighting is a bit haphazard as well...  Approach lighting, runway and taxiway lighting is all very good.     The main aprons and in front of the terminal parking is passable, but the cargo apron is in complete darkness? so when do cargo operators operate... at night of course.     Terminal lighting is again just passable but not too bad, the central tower zone is very good and the highlight of lighting here with the...     .....  very well done Orio Centre that is brighter than the airport itself. Shame about the cargo ramp lighting as the freight terminal looks nice at night.     WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, and no ATC traffic routes are set in here either? so you can't even generate a set...  bum!. There are some old LIME ground routes, but they are way out of date and the aircraft disappear on landing? Traffic is here of the LCC catergory. Parking here is split between nose in for the airbridge and terminal gates and the in-out parking favoured by the Italians on most of the outer aprons...   Preview Notes The pattern is very strong. When Aerosoft sceneries are good they are brilliant like EDDF-Frankfurt and ENGM-Oslo. But the when they redo an original Flightsim scenery for X-Plane the results are very hit and miss and mostly a poor update of the original because the original is already outdated.   The really big frustration with this LIME-Bergamo is that it could have been a real showcase for Aerosoft in quality and detail for X-Plane scenery, but it in fact shows that these sceneries are just being rolled over quickly to fill in a niche with as little money spent on them in development as possible. The basics that are all in here are really, really good to even great with top rate 3d modeling and textures, the ground runway, taxiway and apron layouts are again sensational... but the rest is simply horrible and those photo mesh textures are out of date and over saturated, in other words years old... yes wonderful in 2009, but horrible in 2019. Expensive for the money that has been spent on the conversion and you expect more.   Features Custom jetways (using SAM plug-in) Custom lighting 50cm/pixel aerial image with hand-placed autogen PBR ground textures Animated radar Animated ground traffic Animated windsock All airport buildings including surrounding buildings Dynamic lighting High-quality ground and building textures Static aircraft Volumetric grass   Positives: Main building modeling is very good with good airport ground textures, Nice grass. Distinctive control tower is a standout. SAM plugin activity (Two gates), and with a well laid out cargo area and good clutter. Negatives: Poor old underlay texture mesh quality is horrible as is the ideas to cover it all up, poor detailing landside. Lighting is good in areas but sporadic and patchy in others, no cargo apron lighting is a hanging offence. No ATC (WT3) built in ground routes is another offence and a requirement for any payware scenery. Static aircraft is parked in the wrong place for traffic flow. Expensive for an old scenery.   ____________________________________________________________________     Yes!... LIME - Bergamo by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Bergamo XP   Price is US$28.99   Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Last updated Feb 8th 2019 Version v1.0 and review copy Download Size: 1.1gb : Install Size 2.02gb   Installation Installation is with only one single airport folder that is inserted into your X-Plane Custom Scenery folder.   Extras and Documents: Manual in German and English (24 pages)  Manual_Airport_Bergamo_XP11_de-en_web.pdf ______________________________________________________________________    Preview by Stephen Dutton 13th February  2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - E-Jets 195 Evolution by SSG  (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$44.95   
    • Wow! It's great that you started to upgrade this plane! I really like to fly on it. And, as you said, it is excellent for long-haul freight.
      I hope the flight model will also be upgraded. On low-power computers, there is a strong slowdown in the response of controls.
        Good luck to you !😏👍
    • Thanks to the author of the review for such an impartial and honest review. Regarding the conservation of constants is a good idea. But every time you have to refill the aircraft tank. If you have 15 kg of gasoline left with the tank, you have parked it, then you should have 15 kg. Personally, I did not find much difficulty. The model was tested by a real pilot who owns the SP-30. And I know his review. The plane was tested, even the most insignificant bugs were detected and corrected. So, I know what a fantastic job was done. From the very beginning, I personally understood that the SP-30 is not a game. This is a very accurate digital copy of the aircraft. Let a very small plane, but the level of PMDG. After ten hours of flights, many difficulties will be a thing of the past and you will only enjoy the pleasure of flying.
    • While we wait for the imminent release of Supercritical Simulations Group's (SSG) new ERJ-700... the developer has released images of their next release which a complete redesign of the Boeing 748i to version v2.   The SSG Boeing 748 series has had a bit of a troubled history since it's release in December 2013 (yes it is actually SIX years old). So was the project a bit too ambitious for a fledgling if very talented developer house, and the B748 version was also a bit of an odd choice as well when the B747-400 would have certainly been embraced with a bigger enthusiasm. It is a hugely complex aircraft as well one that was not the most efficient on the computer power of that era.   So for most of it's early life the SSG B748 was a bit of a troubled soul, if also for some odd reason it was also a bit boring to fly with a very vexing FMS, and I am one that adores that Big Queen of the Skies and humpback fame of the 747.   But I was certainly very surprised when I checked out the last update in v1.9.1 as the B748 was finally feeling really quite good, I actually enjoyed the flight and FMS was now well sorted and I liked the aircraft so much that I turned around and flew straight back to my original departure point of Dusseldorf from Sweden to see if my feeling were not a fluke, they were not, I enjoyed the aircraft immensely. So big improvements with a lot of updates were finally showing results.   No doubt that SSG could have just kept on updating the skin out of the B748, but instead have gone for a complete clean sheet approach, and this looks really interesting...  you have also to gotta love that v2 livery!       SSG notes...   - New fuselage - Added fuselage animations and details (pretty much anything that can open/move on the aircraft Is modeled). - New cut windows instead of textures - New stabilizers with added details - New nacelles and engines - Reworked landing gear - Improved flaps   "The textures for the entire aircraft are also new to match the new model in 4K resolution and of very high quality, along with decals for certain detailed areas, right down to most of the external placards. We are working closely with our technical advisors to ensure all the main details are present and that we are getting them right. Similar work is being done in the cockpit, cabin, and for its systems, autoflight and FMS. It is not a mere update, this will be a whole new aircraft."   SSG do note though that a 11.30 upgrade is coming next and soon for the B748 before the v2 is released, this is to keep the aircraft current to the X-Plane-11.30 specs (In other words to keep you flying).   So this will be a very interesting update, not only externally but also internally as well as everything internally and opening doors will be modeled (cargo version is currently modeled inside, but not the passenger version). The trick area is the cockpit textures and there has been countless revisions from both SSG and users in trying to fix the feel of the B748 flightdeck, and currently it is actually not to bad but still a dark ominous place to fly, and somehow it is still "that" missing something (It is very nice at night though).   Personally I am hoping that 2019 will see the revival of the long haulers in X-Plane... someone asked me not long ago  what was the best purchase for long haul flying, and personally I couldn't recommend anything really substantial to fit the category, all current long haulers are well below par, in fact the B748 was actually the best on offer. The FlightFactor B777, A350 are well over due as is the new A340 from JARDesign, Peter's Aircraft A380 is also in a new but slow development cycle. The Dreamliner by MagKnight is progressing well and is now at least useble, as that is saying something of the default B744 which quite frankly is still a total mess. The coming Rotate MD11 will be a an amazing addition, but if you are a real world flyer then the aircraft will be mostly flown on cargo routes... so to a point this current B748 from SSG is flying the long haul X-Plane11 flag alone.... here is to a better 2019.   Images and text are courtesy of Supercritical Simulations Group   Facebook page for Supercritical Simulations Group   ________________________________________   (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)   News by Stephen Dutton 11th February 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews    
    • When taxiing to 8L I noticed the two roads that I crossed over where not 3D and the vehicles were riding through the 2 taxiways . Taxiways N1 and N2. All the other roads and taxiways were fine. Otherwise this scenery rocks like the rest of your stuff.
    • Aircraft Review : PA-28-181 Archer III by JustFlight and Thranda   Over the 2018/19 holiday break I flew both the earlier JustFlight/Thranda aircraft in the Arrow lll and the lV Turbo. This was to see how the aircraft still lived up to their reputation of the best of the rest. Overall they did, but a few things also came to pass. First and foremost, the aircraft are slow, the Turbo was a little better at around 165 knts, but an average ground speed in the Arrow lll of 125 knts is a twiddle or play with your fingers time... even after two hours flying I had barely moved across the map, and yes that average cruise speed is correct. As a realistic simulation with immersion then the Arrow lll was very good, but if you like faster aircraft then you will find this new release of the Archer lll by JustFlight/Thranda down in the low cruise speed zone... it is certainly not boring, but you don't cover the ground very fast either.   Secondly do we really need another PA28 aircraft? many on the threads moaned that enough was getting enough... but the trick is that not all PA28 aircraft are created equally, as there is always a variation somewhere in the PA28's very long but illustrious career. We have already had the Cherokee, Arrow, Warrior and the only missing PA28 was the Archer. It was released by Piper after the Cherokee and the Arrow variants as the Archer variant had again another five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, larger horizontal tail and a small gross weight increase over the Arrow. This release is the Archer lll from 1994, so that makes the aircraft a sort of a more modern variant, than say a 60's or 70's Cherokee, and so that gives the aircraft a more later open lighter feel.     The Archer's distinctive smaller round engine inlets also help in the streamline effect of projecting a more contemporary look, that of say a more composite aircraft would than it would an early 70's aircraft design. The Archer lll does look and feel a size slightly larger than the Arrow (because it actually is), so overall it doesn't feel as connected to the PA28 family as the other family members.   By now after a few releases with Just Flight you expect the high quality of the design that is reflected in the price, and you are not disappointed here either.     Modeling and detail is really good to excellent, with some really nice weathering to make it all look extremely realistic as well. It is very easy now to take this sort of HD quality now for granted, but it is still important to realise how far we have come in X-Plane in a very short time with this high level of ultra realism.     Although complex in the convex and concave curves and it is also surprising the modeling is so outstandingly good, note the lovely air vents and NACA air-ducts. The corrugated ribs in the tail are beautifully done and the required antennas and RF aerials are excellent, note the nice vent in the upper leading edge of the tail. Build and registration plate is a nice touch, as is the tie down hook.      Glass is now again expected to be now first rate, and here it is in that high quality class in shape and reflections, and also comes with a look of a mottled feel in the glass.     Two doors open with the passenger door and a locker baggage door like on all PA28's behind the rear seats. Passenger door internally opens via two locks and then a slide along the door trim...     The PA28 cabins are tight, more so in the rear. The cabin colour scheme is a bit to your own taste, with a salmon lower trim and motif upper design, there is here only one interior design. Seats are nice and leather crumpled, with sheepskin covers on the two front seats which is really well done.     Note the huge clipboard on the pilot's yoke... it is very large and a sort of in your face (or belly), I am not sure if I like that?   Instrument panel feels more Cessna in design with the lighter plain facia than the usual with a Piper, with the either usually covered or molded 70's panel trim on the earlier aircraft that is not used here. Electrical rocker switches are overhead.     The trim wheel is low and tight between the seats with the three stage flap handle, all very familiar PA28.     Nice rudder pedals are well done with the fuel tank switch on the left sidewall... always check if the tank switch is on before starting as the default position is OFF.   Instrument Panel Overall the instrument layout in the Archer is quite basic, but it is an interesting layout as well with some unique details.       The Standard Six (SS) flying instruments are quite small by design... Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator are on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial/Course and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the SS is a clock, Gyro Suction and ADF pointer...  note the interesting compass slaving switches far left lower...   Right of the SS is the GNS-255 driven OBS VOR2/ILS dial, with a Stormscope set below. Lower panel are four engine readout dials that cover Oil Temp, Fuel Press, Oil Press - EGT (Exhaust gas temperature) - Left Fuel tank (24 Gal) and Right Fuel tank (24 Gal) - Tachometer. Top panel has a very nice set of (testable) Annunciator panel lights   There are no instruments on the right panel side except for a standby Attitude Indicator.     Avionics stack is the usual Bendix/King KMA 24 TSO radio which is above the S-Tec 55 Autopilot with the GNS530 below (the Reality XP's GTN 750 unit can also be fitted, but this is an addon extra and costs you another $49.95.) Note the power switch for the S-Tec 55 is below right and hard to find... until the green light comes on to show it is powered up. Top of the stack is an active intercom switch and a Monroy Traffic-Watch ATD-300, this is a useful tool that displays traffic on a Garmin 430/530, personally I don't know if it works in X-Plane or with the Reality GTN 750.   Second stack has top an interesting transponder in the Trig's TT31, that most pilots retro-fit over the Bendix/King KT76A and KT78A transponders. It is really nice to use and set. The COM2/VOR2 unit is a different unit as well with the Garmin GNC 255 which is a current modern avionics set. A Bendix/King KN 64 DME unit (ground speed and distance) and a Bendix/King KR 87 is the ADF unit.Upper right is an usual digital ammeter.   Lower panel has the main Throttle lever, Mixture lever and a hidden Friction control. There is a full set of circuit breakers which are noted to be active..  but I couldn't get them to work? which is real surprise as they did on the Arrow lll/lV. The outside temperature gauge is up on the lower side window frame left.   Menu The menu is set on the left side tab (mouse scroll to hide!) and this brings up the now familiar JustFlight menu.     There are seventeen menu tiles to use including: Top row : Open/close cabin door - Open/close baggage door - Toggle GNS 530 GPS pop-up window (or the GTN750 payware add-on by RealityXP) - Toggle window reflections and interior glass dynamic reflections - Toggle dome light if the engine is running, or flashlight when starting cold and dark.   Middle Row : Toggle autopilot pop-up window - Toggle Wheel Fairings - Toggle automatic fuel selector (switches fuel tanks automatically) - Toggle fuel refill menu window - Open weight and balance window - Toggle volumes window    Bottom row : Select ‘ready for takeoff’ or ‘cold and dark’ state - Toggle checklist pop-up window - Toggle flight computer pop-up window - Toggle logbook pop-up window - Toggle ground handling pop-up window - Toggle chocks and tie-downs.   The arrows at the very bottom of the menu panel allows you to select the livery you require and far more quickly than the X-Plane menu. Oddly missing is the usual altimeter barometric pressure scale between InHg and mb?     The weight and balance window  is very good, with weights for all four passengers, and baggage, fuel can be set here also as can the change from kg - lbs. A full list of weights, CG and a large graph of your settings are all very helpful into balancing the aircraft.   Chocks, tie-downs and a ground pull handle are visible when activated. Switching the wheel fairings ON/OFF gives you a more exposed gear that I tend to favour. The animated pilot disappears as well, and yes he is realistic, but certainly not in the way of the better Carenado style human realism.     Flying the Archer lll There is a fuel "Prime" button that is required, but don't over use it, a few seconds is fine, and then hit the starter (you did set the fuel tanks position?) And then the Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW) should easily fire into life.     The missing barometric pressure scale between InHg and mb are both shown directly in the Attitude Indicator, but either can be very hard to set unless you get very close... the standby attitude indicator on the far right has to set independently as well.   Brake off, and they is a nice feel of weight (1054.7 Kg) that you feel under the throttle, and it needs a fair push to build some forward momentum. You also feel the difference of the mixture setting from lean to heavy, so you keep the mixture lever around the 3/4 mark. This aircraft feels that is now under the new X-Plane11.30 rules in better engine refinement, you just feel those new differences more now, and yes you do.     The sounds reflect those minute throttle changes as well, but this more a gentle refined aircraft, than the earlier noisy shaking if over realistic forbears.     Taxi speed is easily kept to, but pull the throttle back too far and the speed will run off and you quickly slow, so it is a bit of a trick to keep it all moving at a nice pace.   Full mixture and throttle up... don't push the throttle right up quickly to the forward position but feed the fuel in nicely, then slowly the aircraft will start to move and then build up speed, again the required propeller thrust is felt before any movement, that is not sluggish in feel, but in realism.     Flap is set at the first notch, and the aircraft tracks very nicely. Around 80 knts you can pitch up and fly, but once you feel the airflow over the wings lifting well, then quickly retract those flaps to gain more speed. Climb rate officially is 667 fpm but you can be liberal with that, I found even 700 ft fpm easily achieved, but you won't do that would you... stay at 550 fpm for the best results of a climbing speed and the nice gain of height at the same time.     First thoughts on handling are "Predictable", "Solid"...  even "Undemanding" but also engrossing. It is a nice aircraft to bank, climb and fly. Your certainly not going to throw it around, so your movements are very precise and slow to the actions you want to convey.     One of the things I really didn't like on all the Just Flight Arrows was the manual trim...  The Arrow lll was a monster to trim, and I tried everything to make the aircraft balance itself, even then it also had a nasty tendency to porpoise to any wind movements, and that made the vertical speed to always pitching badly between the positive and negative movements and sometimes for as much as 300 ft either way, and that took a lot of pleasure out of the flying. it also would have the odd effect of the aircraft having a hiccup every now and again. And the nasty trim wheel location with no panel indicator just sent you mental in trying to trim it out anyway in the first place. I tried knob adjustments (worse) and key adjustments (better but still too big a trim step).   So to a point I was fearing the Archer lll would have the same behavior? but it is not...  There are some interesting differences between the Arrow and the Archer. One is X-Plane 11.30. I think the better dynamics of 11.30 have calmed the aircraft down, and two there is now a better trim adjustment for your key input in "Pitch trim down-Mechanical, not servo". The adjustments feel smaller so you can now get more finer trim control, there is a very nice "Electric Trim" on the Yoke (left handle), but you really need that very fine trim adjustment that only the keys can give you.     But the aircraft (thankfully) can now be trimmed out. The only note is that the Archer still has the tendency with the thrust to tilt to the left, so there is the requirement to just slightly keep a light force on the yoke to the right to keep it in a straight flightpath. Note to trim the aircraft with the yoke force applied, as if not it will be set wrong. It will be interesting to test fly the Arrows when they have been updated also to 11.30 to see if the trim issue has been reduced to be more realistic like this Archer.     The now 11.30 default S-Tec 55 Autopilot is a nice bit of kit...  (remember the hidden switch!) but like for all the avionics the autopilot pops-out for use. Here it is in the new X-Plane panel window system (for VR and home panels) that can be adjusted from very small to incredibly large. But you do have to adjust the background to fit the unit.     Speeds are noted as 75% power, best power mixture, 8,000 ft 128 KTAS/3.8 hr (63 pph/10.5 gph) and 65% power, best economy mixture, 12,000 ft with both at 125 KTAS/4.5 hr (54 pph/9 gph) with a service ceiling of 13,236 ft and a range of 522 NM (Max Payload), So you don't cover the distance very fast, but the Archer does feel actually faster than the Arrow lll?     Throttle adjustment is required to get the best downward vertical speed as well as setting -3 on the S-Tec, the thick white band on the airspeed is your performance band, and the upper yellow is the caution zone...  the flap zone beneath 100knts is the smaller white band, but it is very hard to read.       Time to head back in....     The one thing I really loved about the JustFlight Arrows was the low speed balance and manoeuvrability, it was a fun factor to fly, again and again.   Dancing between 70 knts and 65 knts to control the height, more throttle to slow the descent and less to drop a little more was highlighted by an 8 knt crosswind.     I was on the centreline and then I wasn't, so it was a balance between the right rudder and right or left yoke movements to correct the line.       I eased the Archer into the correct position and then slowly reduced the throttle and at around 60 knts to sweet touch the runway...     "ahhh... " nice that. So the low speed handling is again brilliant but also challenging to your skills, also it is highly rewarding, and I have done three landings now and each one was perfect, even in these blustery conditions.     So the aircraft is great for both in the fact if you are a bit of a novice it is a great platform to learn on with excellent feedback, but also challenging enough for the pros to show off their skills.   Lighting The instrument panel lighting is simply gorgeous... instruments have in-direct lighting, but the various avionic systems colours fill out the rest, again the lighting looks more Cessna than Piper.     Two adjustable blue roof lights give off an off-world glow that is highlighted by the lovely rocker switch-gear lighting....     There are two overhead rear lights that brightens up the rear seats, these are activated by the switches on the side wall by each seat.     All in all it a lovely place to cruise at night, but functional as well for serious night flying. The external lighting is a bit sparse...     ...  there is a landing light set at each wing tip, but otherwise the rest of the lighting is all set together in the wing-tip assembly. There are the navigation lights, the end strobe lights (bright) and in a different layout the white rear pointing navigation lights are also here in the same assembly..    there are no beacons or other external lights, so the aircraft can be silhouetted quite dark at night. A tip if you like your replays, then leave the strobes off while flying.   Liveries There are ten liveries, all 4K HD high detailed quality. The choice is nicely varied and mostly focused on Europe, but a few are very similar in the variation of the same burgundy colour scheme. There is also the standard blank/white. Included are: C-GUXL (Canada), D-EFVC (Germany), EC-JQO (Spain), F-GNCH (France), G-CCHI (UK), G-CIFY (UK), HB-PPN (Switzerland), N6092U (USA), PH-AED (Netherlands) and VH-PPR (Australia).       Summary This is the fourth variation of the PA28 aircraft from JustFlight/Thranda, the others being the Arrow lll, Turbo Arrow lll and the Turbo Arrow lV. The differences of this Archer lll besides the variant changes is that this is a more modern in 90's design and feel than the others in their late 70's disguises. The differences are down just not to the actual different panel and interior design, but also to the avionics packages that are quite different and unique to X-Plane with a Monroy Traffic-Watch ATD-300, GNC 255 and the Trig's TT31 transponder as the highlights... So this is a PA28 with a difference.   In this mid-forties price range you expect a lot, and JustFlight are very good of delivering the quality and features that you expect. The aircraft is also up to date with the current specifications in X-Plane 11.30, and yes you notice the differences between the adjusted and the non-adjusted aircraft, and that is a significant bonus here as the Archer flies far much better than most PA28's and loses a lot of the irksome characteristics that is noticeable on the other JF PA28s and mostly in the trim area.   Modeling is as noted very good, but the Salmon interior design is to your own taste, and it is certainly not like the very dramatic reds of the Arrow lll, but the more you fly the Archer then the more you love it as it sorts of through it's realism and flying characteristics in that you realise that this is certainly the very best PA28 yet. Features are very good and plentiful as is the lighting is excellent with the interior that is simply beautiful as are all the sounds which are all top quality FMOD and 180º dynamic. So the package is very strong.   You don't purchase these aircraft to just put another aircraft into your hangar. In most cases it is for a personal reason, in that you have flown or owned one or want the very best dynamics of a certain aircraft. So it has to deliver on many levels as this is a serious investment. I personally think it does, but the real verdict will really be only out there with the owners that can relate to the aircraft on their own personal level....   Highly Recommended   _______________________________     The PA-28-181 Archer III by JustFlight and Thranda is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   PA-28-181 Archer III   Priced at US$41.99   Special Features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modeled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR capable avionics fit including:  KMA 24 audio selector  Fully featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases)  GNC 255 COM/NAV 2 radio  KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2  S-TEC autopilot with lateral hold modes (HDG, NAV, APR, REV) and vertical modes (ALT, VS)  TT31 transponder  KR 87 ADF  Traffic-Watch ATD-300 traffic awareness unit  Strikefinder stormscope  HSI and ADF gauges  Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction GoodWay compatible Ability to change barometric units from InHg to MB in altimeter adjustment Option to activate flashlight from within pop-up window, to aid in those pitch-black cold and dark starts at night Pop-up autopilot window Option to remove window and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Functional throttle quadrant tensioning system Radio knob animations routed through plugin logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers, avionics power circuit and emergency bus controls. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tire rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning carburetor and primer controls Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapor lock condition Simulated vapor lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) Functional electric trim control on yoke Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism   Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux
      4GB+ VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD)
      Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux Current and Review version and : 1.0 (January 30th 2019) PS: Owners of any the PA28 by JustFlight can purchase this new Archer lII with a $7 discount ( $34.99). Find your coupon code under your Arrow invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Arrows from other designers)     Installation and documents: Download for the PA-28-181 Archer III is 730Mb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 818.60mb.   Documentation: There are two manuals provided. The ODM is full of performance graphs and data and the X-Plane Manual is a full detailed manual of the aircraft's systems and layouts, a good if basic tutorial is also included   PA-28-181 Archer III ODM manual X-Plane.pdf PA-28-181 Archer III X-Plane manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 9th February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - LMML- Malta International Airport by JustSim  (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.30    
    • Thanks! As a usually great review! I will take into account all your comments.
    • Behind the Screen : January 2019   Welcome to the New Year and a new version of X-Plane in version 11.30 going final. The release didn't make Christmas 2018 (the original Laminar roadmap goal) but it was quickly through the Release Candidates once they restarted in 2019, sometimes it is great just to give up. That is the one thing I find really weird...  a lot of developers try to make the Christmas deadline and then put out the product, and it is either in aircraft, scenery or mostly plugins and then just close it all down until the next year..  so most then say to the huge amount of bug comments "I'll look at it in the New Year", which is really dumb, in that you have this really very nice and shiny new X-Plane application, but you can't actually use it because it is usually very buggy to use and has to be sidelined anyway...  for now the developer is away on his Hol's or Vacy and wishing the family well with a nice big turkey, meanwhile you are stuck with the other style of a Turkey...  a none working application...  so why not just wait until the New Year to release correctly and then be available to update the fixes to a wanting audience, at least Laminar had the good sense to do this. As sometimes a very nice early Christmas present, can just turn into a burnt out dud bird.   It was an odd Christmas and New Year break...  in the past X-Plane for the holiday break went to ground and was very quiet, but this year it was the opposite of that with the chattering classes telling us all about their coming wares or projects and announcing this or announcing that... but first we all still have to get over the 11.30 final mountain. And a big one it will be.   Having their fingers burnt with the extended 11.00 release from the constant changes and the to and throwing from Laminar, the developers this time around are being doubly cautious and who can blame them. Plus there is the added learning curve of several new built in applications now inserted into the simulator... it was very surprising how long it took the devs to get their heads around the FMOD sound application, even months later they where still being trickled out if still very slowly. The Particle engine application is very similar to the FMOD application, but there are far, far more elements to consider, but it is a very impressive piece of kit, and something that drags you back to the older Adobe After Effects days, I am hoping it will be extendable as well for more effects and ideas in the future, as this is really a big hidden application that is build right into the simulator. And that is the huge advantage that X-Plane has over any other simulator, and very much in the old style of Apple's approach to computing, give them the brilliant applications to turn out outstanding brilliant work...  but hey services today for Apple make more money than creativity... thankfully in X-Plane it is still the other way around.   But now here comes the tsunami and the huge wall of 11.30 updates that will overwhelm you and swamp you to death, with update after update filling out your days (and nights)... and that is from just one or two developers. Certainly the new updaters with X-Updater and SkunkCrafts are helping out, and personally I prefer the Java version, but the lastest Shunkcraft's v2.2 is far better, in now not making you wait for long periods just to start up the simulator, I really never liked applications that took over your computer and worked away in the background installing items you don't know what are being installed. A small note in don't update to be new Java update SE 11.0.2 as it kills all the FlightFactor plugins, reload in the previous version to keep the plugin working... I found that one out the hard way.   It just shows how much bigger X-Plane is now, the volume of updates on already released aircraft and scenery, but the release list for the next few months is simply huge, again with most waiting for 11.30 to go final. Even Carenado have noted that every aircraft that they released for X-Plane10, even updated to use for X-Plane11, then won't however get the full XP11 treatment, and so a few will now be left behind and that is really sad if one of your personal favorites is on that list, as most of the XP11 conversions from Carenado are exemplary. But maybe some really do needed retiring, as their design is ethics now getting a little if dated...  or feeling very out of date to the newer more dynamic feel of the simulator.   Overall X-Plane 11.30 is a huge jump forward, but as I noted in the overview review, then there is a lot buried deep in the code in there as well, and you don't see it or feel it yet, but it will transform the simulator to a far more efficient and better application. Currently you are like going forwards and backwards at the same time and simply ending up in the same place as you were in X-Plane11.28. Let me explain. You certainly have already received some nice Vulkan/Metal efficiencies, but they have been countered with the negative aspects of even more features and tools, overall you came out slightly ahead, with say between a 5 to 10 framerate gain, but mostly you have not seen that huge "oh wow" speed and framerate space factor. Don't despair however as for that aspect it will come later, but also don't expect your early Win7 era computer to suddenly act like a Win10, as the Vulcan/metal still needs those modern processors to do the higher efficiency scaling. Laminar have noted the basic Vulkan/Metal code is now actually completed, it just refining it and testing to get the best results from the new code.   I even finally gave in and went and posted a note on the forums in the fact of the really annoying comments of the "Really Bad Framerate" with every update or version that Laminar released... I will say that yes the simulator can be overwhelmingly complex sometimes, with one thing here affecting something else over there, but right through the whole beta process my framerate was actually pretty steady, unless Laminar made a muddle, which was about twice, again I will stress it is sometimes extremely hard to keep everything running in alignment with one or another area of X-Plane going bonkers to keep it running all smoothly. But what did get seriously annoying was the fact that these idiots didn't even do the basics of updating 101... clean out your preferences is absolutely no.1 on the list. If you have older beta preferences and you add in an update then those old preferences will then go and merge with the new settings and in then creating a hybrid setting that you are trying to run and gauge the new updates though...  in other words you are going to get a really mixed up running a simulator of crap code and yes the results are really bad framerate. You just have to redo the basics of the preferences and clean out the layouts, then even an X-Plane rebuild is also required to find the basics of X-Plane when the update goes final to clean out all that old waste, simple steps but a requirement when wanting efficiency, and house keeping is yes a chore, but an essential chore to keep everything very clean with no clutter within the system. Those comments just make everything totally worse, and it reflects on those users naivety on how they use the simulator with a sort of the blind leading the blind...  and yes they are extremely distracting and annoying in their own total incompetence.   Housekeeping is yes and a huge chore, and this year I went at it with gutso over the break. For once that backup of a backup went in the bin, I needed space on my drives as now with the 1gb to mostly 2gb average download files now it is amazing how quickly the available space is gobbled up, some sceneries are now averaging 6gb and the 14gb of TNCM - Princess of the Caribbean is nothing to the new mega loads of Orbix's UK FTX 100gb... even with my updated SSD drive I only still have 600gb of working space, so how long is that going to last, and no I will not ever go back to a platter drive as my erratic history with them are... well history. But a full on two day housekeeping trial shows how much work you have to do now to keep the simulator in top condition, and I could have easily spent another full day doing more.   The new Stairport SAM plugin is already making it's huge presence felt in X-Plane, The updated Zurich was simply great, but it is the master's Misterx6 in ShortFinal's monster EDDM - Munich that really shows off on how brilliant the plugin is. This scenery was so complex and so huge it devoured a huge chunk of last week, but the feeling is that it is also a showcase of what X-Plane in features now is really delivering when all these different dynamics of the simulator come into play together, and the interaction is now becoming first rate...  notable are two other plugins now in final upgrade betas, with xEnviro and WorldTraffic3 both coming soon very close to a computer near you.   Both applications have been slow with updates and so both really require now a real step forward, certainly with the case of xEnviro. If you follow these comments on the end of the month rambles you will know I have not been exactly charitable towards the xEnviro developers and that they didn't take up my offer to beta test the new version shows that their feelings are were not exactly reciprocated. But the one area that I find really vexatious with developers is the fact that they don't do quick updates to fix immediate issues before continuing on with their highly profiled roadmap. Yes it looks brilliant to layout all these future exciting breathless roadmap features, but if the current version is complete version of buggy crap, then the developers are doing themselves absolutely no service what so ever...  it is called "Ticking off" the very people that you are trying to sell to or to keep as a customer for future products... a year is too long without an update in any product, but with a buggy one that is an eternity... or even a miracle the plugin is well still in there and being used, it is only in the strength of the actual product and with no real replacement that xEnviro is still a major factor in the reviews and my general flying...   and yes I have tried them all so don't send me environment combo's of this that will work with that...  as I have already been there. I will most possibly still note the same xEnviro mantra again around next month, or even the month after that, but the point is developers need to start to heed the warnings, as we are only trying to protect them from their own devices.   But there was some standouts in January that really showed where we are going... one is the Boeing 787-900 from Magnight. The aircraft is not even close to actually being even a beta at this point, but it is fused with genuine ideas and forward momentum that is added in day to day via the updater. I finally got a full flight out of it from Hong Kong to Melbourne and really enjoyed the experience, it will be amazing when finished. This was flight alone was also now available because finally X-Plane has a decent VHHH or Hong Kong via the extensive work of TOD, and the latest version v2.1 also comes with SAM interactivity...  Asia in X-Plane, it is a Beautiful thing and finally we are moving around the world again to some decent scenery. WSSS - Changi is also part of TOD's packs, but I found it was not as updated as the VHHH version, but I haven't yet tested or used the updated the newer 1.2.1 Jan 19 version. WT3 work's exceptionally well on both airports and adding into the excitement, and for me there is a feeling around of going back to airports that were a big part of my earlier X-Plane experiences like VHHH, WSSS and the new LMML Malta, all but were abandoned because they all fell behind badly as X-Plane design moved forward, any ex-fsx converted scenery are thankfully now very much buried in the past.   The other was another immersion experience up in the very distant Faroe Islands, this is brilliant scenery and yes it is expensive, but when coupled with the right aircraft or helicopter and even the weather aspect thrown in you are delivered an experience that you would never have even imagined a few years ago, most will count it like Misterx6's EDDM as another scenery, but between both of them as they deliver a really big step forward in immersion and realism, which is a really nice way to start a new year... And with all this in an updated new X-Plane11 version, with brilliant new clever sceneries and a new clever active element with the SAM plugin..  It was a big month in January, now we move into February and yes it is an exciting but still very demanding period for the simulator... "how many updates? that many?"..... Oh God!   Stephen Dutton 5th February 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews