Jump to content
  • Latest Posts

    • Scenery Review : KCLT- Charlotte Douglas International Airport UHD by Nimbus Studios   The latest Nimbus Studios scenery, was released in the Las Vegas FS Expo 2024 by it's creator Santiago Butnaru. This new scenery was the major American Airline hub of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), North Carolina, USA. The airport is situated approximately 6 miles west of downtown Charlotte.   X-Plane users are well familiar with Nimbus Studios scenery, they can be usually large complex sceneries which are Nimbus's forte, including KORD Chicago O'Hare, KMCO Orlando International and most recently the excellent (and massive) KJFK - John F. Kennedy International XP12 in New York.   Established in 1935 as Charlotte Municipal Airport, the airport was later renamed as Douglas Municipal Airport for Ben Elbert Douglas Sr., who was mayor of Charlotte when the airport was first built. In 1982 the airport was renamed again, this time to its current Charlotte Douglas International Airport moniker.   After airline deregulation, passenger numbers at Chartlotte nearly doubled between 1978 and 1980, and a new 10,000-foot (3,000 m) parallel runway and control tower was opened in 1979. The airport's master plan called for a new terminal across the runway from the existing site, with ground broken in 1979. At the time, the airport only had two concourses: one used exclusively by Eastern, and one used by all the other carriers, including United, Delta, Piedmont, and several commuter airlines.   There was a major expansion in 1990, as a new 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) international and commuter concourse (Concourse D) opened, and in 1991 further expansion of the central terminal building continued, reflective of USAir's dominating presence at the airport.   Following the 2005 acquisition of US Airways by America West Airlines in a reverse takeover (a private company buys a IPO), Charlotte then became the primary domestic hub for the airline. The majority of US Airways' international routes however remained at the airline's second-largest hub, Philadelphia. Again there was another merger, this time the dominant US Airways and American Airlines in 2013, Charlotte then became the second-largest hub for the merged airline, after American's Dallas/Fort Worth.     If you look at the Charlotte overview (above), some custom areas are darker than the X-Plane default surrounding landscape. It is however a bit of a illusion. The effect is caused by the X-Plane 12 3d tree angle, as looking at the scene at only an height of around 800 feet, then the trees would fill in with the correct colour match. No it shouldn't be like this, as it is only an X-Plane effect, it all looks quite normal lower.        So the surrounding areas and the field are very nicely intergrated...    it all looks very real.       Charlotte Douglas International Airport IATA: CLT - ICAO: KCLT - FAA LID: CLT 18L/36R - 8,677ft (2,645m) Asphalt/concrete 18C/36C - 10,000ft (3,048m) Concrete 18R/36L - 9,000ft (2,743m) Concrete 05/23 - 7,502ft (2,287m) Asphalt/concrete Elevation AMSL 748 ft / 228 m   KCLT has three parallel and one small cross runway in 05/23, presumably for GA and Cargo traffic. The taxiing distance to 18R/26L is a very long one, so extra fuel is required if assigned this runway, either for arrival and certainly for departure. The main terminal area is set central north between 18C/36C and 18L/36R.     Charlotte Douglas has a single main terminal building, that is divided into five concourses: A, B, C, D, and E in an anti-clockwise direction.   Concourse A Primarily serves domestic flights, Terminal A is divided into two parts:     •    Concourse A North: Newer section with additional gates (phase 1).     •    Concourse A: Older section.   It is quite easy to differentiate between the older and newer concourses, as the newer A North zone is in blue that opened in 2018, comes also with larger windows, were as the "Older" finger section is more the standard American concrete and line of windows design. Gates are numbered A1-A13, and it serves various domestic airlines that are not part of American Airlines. The additional A gates, numbered A21-A29 hosts a variety of airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.     You are immediately very impressed by the detail, it is very well done on the ramps with a huge amount of custom clutter, including ladders, bins, chocks, cones, vehicles and all the other required service equipment...  items are branded, but in a more generic way, than being individually airline focused. There is some animated ground service vehicles, but it is far from being comprehensive, with just the odd vehicle shuttling around.     Concrete is very hard to define, but the aged texture feel and look of the concourses here are excellent. Glass is perfect as well... Nimbus struggled with glass earlier, most notably with their Miami scenery, but have refined the idea now to perfection...  you can see the detailed internal areas through the glass from the external perspective.     Yes you can explore the internal detail, but it's not the focus of the idea, as the figures are very basic close up, and most look non-human.     All the gates here at CLT are X-Plane default "Ground Handling", not SAM enabled. Before this aspect was to be seen as a negative. But with the Laminar refinement for X-Plane 12 and the demise of the SAM plugin (yes there is OpenSam), this original idea is now a more attractive gate tool option.     Concourse A North, is really well done in detail and design...  it has a dark brown brick base, with three story windows, and a blue curved roof as designed by Perkins+Will, an international architecture and design firm.     A North has a bigger internal size, so it works better in detail, it is really realistic, and even internally walkable (sit-able?)     Concourse B This B concourse primarily serves domestic flights for American Airlines. There is also an American Airlines Admirals Club is located within Concourse B, providing a comfortable space for eligible passengers, restaurants include Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Bojangles’ and Panera Bread. Originally opened in the early 1980s (1982). It has since undergone various renovations and updates to enhance the passenger experience...  There is a small ramp tower centre concourse, and there are the numbered gates from B1 through B16 which are available here.     Internally the layout is the same as Concourse A, but connected directly to the main terminal, this atrium section is well done.     Terminal The main terminal building connects all the five concourses together via a large central atrium, but originally it was only Concourses B and C that were part of the initial development, as the terminal was opened at the same time as both concourses in 1982, but more expansions were done to the terminal in the 90's to handle International flights.   The design is highlighted by those huge massive glass windows, with that curve at the top for maximum internal natural lighting, the concept was done by Odell Associates, a prominent architectural firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina.     The modeling by Nimbus is simply exceptional here, a step forward in terminal airport design and quality, these atrium curved structures and glass must have taken ages to get right, and shows off the skills of the developer.   There is a massive carpark attached directly north of the terminal and an enclosing roof structure joins the two areas together in forming the arrivals zone. There are a load of static vehicles here, as there is also a lot of static cars for detail in or on the top of the carpark and the surrounding landside areas.      Internally the terminal section is detailed, but not as overly so as the concourses.     Concourse C Concourse C is almost a twin of Concourse B and as it was opened at the same time. The idea is for American Airlines connecting flights to be an easy domestic connection between the two areas. There is the same Starbucks in here, but also the different other restaurant options of Smashburger, Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina and PZA (Pizza and Italian cuisine). Gates available are C2 through C19.     There are two square fences on the roof, but otherwise it is the same design....  notable is the complex but extremely well done junction between the Atrium and Concourse D, is very highly realistic visually. Same concrete facade and glass blends in well. Internally it is also the same layout.     Concourse D Concourse D at Charlotte Douglas International Airport serves as the primary concourse for international flights, but it also handles some domestic flights. Concourse D has gates D1 through D13, and it is connected to the main terminal and other concourses via walkways and the airport’s shuttle service. Concourse D was completed and opened in the early 1990s. Since then the concourse has undergone several renovations and expansions to accommodate the increasing number of international flights and to enhance passenger amenities.    American Airlines has an Admirals Club, and The Club CLT (accessible with various lounge membership programs or day passes) is also available. American Airlines (International flights), Lufthansa and British Airways are the main users of the area.     As Odell Associates again did the design, there is more better intergration with the Odell central terminal, same high curved windows and pyramid connection atriums...  The eastern end is a full glass wall that creates a big open air space internally, the concourse is topped off by a complex roof structure and a nice blue roof. Fast food (Hungry Jacks) and other restaurants are also well represented.     Concourse E Concourse E has 46 gates numbered E1 to E50, making it the biggest of all concourses, it is designed to efficiently handle only regional flight operations, with a layout that allows for quick turnarounds and easy access for passengers. American Eagle is the main user here.   Concourse E features a mix of airbridges and ground-level boarding (walk on/off). The concourse has a 32 gates equipped with airbridges, but the majority of the gates are designed for passengers to walk directly from the terminal to their aircraft parked on the tarmac.     The various gate sections are connected via round glass buildings, the central one is called "The Rotunda.” It is located in the middle of Concourse E and serves as a distinctive architectural feature of the airport. Again the concourse is an Odell Associates design and was built and opened in 2002. At the end of the arms, is the main square ground-level walkon/walkoff boarding area     The complex Concourse D is extremely well done, there is a huge amount of detail to feast your eyes on, or with certainly getting your money's worth. Internally it is all well done, but really set out for only the external views.     Landside is dominated by three well modeled carparks, and set dead centre is the old Control tower, the new one is set to the south and visible top.     Infrastructure north is excellent, first with the multitude of large carparking spaces, most filled with static 3d vehicles, then to the northwest is the the Duke Energy Little Rock Ops Center powerplant, centre is FedEx Freight and the Charlotte (long term) Park "n" Go and Old Dominion Freight facilities. Any southern approaches into CLT are well catered for visually.     NC Air National Guard CLT is main base for the NC (North Carolina) Air National Guard which  is located at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where the 145th Airlift Wing is stationed. This unit operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and provides airlift capabilities in support of military and humanitarian missions. The ANG Station is well represented here by Nimbus, it is set east on taxiway D. Shown are the ANG maintenance hangars and five well modeled C-17 lifters.     General Aviation Next south of the ANG Station, is a very large General Aviation area. Wilson Air dominate here with two GA/BizJet facilities. Certainly worth a refuel drop in...  there are also two excellent H pads set here for helicopter services.     Top and tail are two more charter business aviation areas, mostly large BizJet hangars, both areas in detail are very well covered in the scenery.     Sullenberger Aviation Museum Set between the thresholds of Runways 18L and 23 northeast boundary is the Sullenberger Aviation Museum,  previously known as the "Carolinas Aviation Museum". The museum showcases the history of aviation, including significant events like the “Miracle on the Hudson.” In 2022, the museum was renamed to honor Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who performed the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in 2009. The actual Airbus A320, registered as N106US is housed here. A bit of trivia...  When US Airways swallowed America West, it then also used the America West's "CACTUS" callsign and ICAO code "AWE", as used by Flight 1549.     Centre south between runways 18C/36C and 18L/36R is a joint area that covers the Cargo area, LSG Sky Chefs catering, American Airlines Maintenance and the main FAA Control Tower.     The LSG Sky Chefs catering facility is well done (even if the catering trucks say "GateGourmet"?), next door is the United States Postal Service ramp and facility. Southwest Air Cargo is set here as well.     To the west is the old USAir maintenance facility and it's massive hangar, now used for American Airlines maintenance. The ground detail and clutter is excellent, and there is a lot of fill detail that covers a wide area give value to the scenery. There is also a static AA A320 set in the hangar.     East centre is the large Cargo area, that is split into North Cargo and South Cargo complexes. Charlotte’s central location on the East Coast of the United States makes it an ideal hub for domestic and international cargo operations. Based here presented are FedEx, Amazon Prime, UPS and DHL Aviation. The ramp includes approximately 8-10 dedicated cargo stands.     CLT Control Tower As we have seen there are two towers visible at CLT, but the new FAA facility set in the south area was opened in 2007.   The current control tower stands at approximately 370 feet tall, in making it one of the taller control towers in the United States. It covers Ground Control, Local Tower Control and Approach and Departure Control...  unfortunately the X-Plane tower view (T) is set on the wrong tower? Nimbus modeling of the tower is good, but not detailed here as exceptional, certainly with the average roof aerials.     Set in the ground image (arrowed above right), is the US Airways Flight 5481 Memorial. Shortly after takeoff from CLT in January 2003, the aircraft (a Bombardier Dash 8 Q300) experienced a loss of control and crashed, resulting in the deaths of all 21 people on board. The memorial is to highlight the importance of continual aviation safety, and the accident has led to changes in regulations and procedures to enhance flight safety.   On the W 1 taxiway by the 36L threshold, the taxiway bridge is flat in the landscape, so it doesn't look very realistic, the well done rail sidings also highlight the issue.     For all the excellence of this scenery, we leave a slightly low-note. Centre field is the field radar installation...  it is a bit low-res for a scenery of this high quality, and worse the average red radar is not animated, but the radar and tower still highly visible when moving around Charlotte Douglas.     Ground Textures Like at the Nimbus JFK, the ground textures here at CLT are excellent. Notable are the well done worn runway signage, not crisp and new, but tired and worn after years of service. Dirt and grunge on the touchdown points is also highly realistic as is the actual runway texture(s).     Inner ramp areas are all mostly concrete as per most American Airports. Again the wear is excellent, and done is that the darker worn areas are set around the older terminals and service vehicle road courses, but around the new Terminal A North the wear is far less, a small but important aspect. PBR reflective (wet) active textures and burnt-in ambient occlusion are excellent here, you pretty well expect that now with any X-Plane 12 active scenery... but it is nice to see it in action.     3d Grass and spring flowers are also well done, the effect isn't over all of the field, but still does a great job in breaking up the flat surfaces. Foliage is also 3d XP12 excellent, but there are a few of the old style + cross trees mixed in there as well, but overall it is expertly done.     Lighting The lighting at Charlotte Douglas is excellent...  the scenery is not overly lit, but still really well detailed with a lot of different tones to make it realistic.     The clear glass effect can work against you at night, making the terminals look unrealistic. It's not too bad here at Charlotte, and even what you could say is passable by the skill of Nimbus, where it works it stands out well, but the main terminal though looks a little bit too over bright and clear.     All ramp and gate areas are nicely lit, and you can work nicely down there, so yes CLT is a highly workable night/darkness airport     Like at JFK the maintenance hangar at CLT looks excellent at night, as does the well lit Cargo aprons.     KCLT navigation signage is very clear and comprehensive, but the signs are just that in being clean, with no tired weather wear or ground reflections.       Summary Charlotte Douglas International is a big airport by traffic and size, and has been a major airline hub for generations. First for Eastern, America West, then USAir and now American Airlines. It's a very popular airport as well with high ratings with the passengers. Besides the American Airlines domination, a few well connected international airlines use CLT as well, including Lufthansa, British Airways and American Airlines International.   X-Plane users are well familiar with Nimbus Studios scenery, they can be usually large complex sceneries which are Nimbus's forte, including KORD Chicago O'Hare, KMCO Orlando International and most recently the excellent (and massive) KJFK - John F. Kennedy International XP12 in New York.   That KJFK New York was a an major tour de force scenery for X-Plane 12, and well deserved, then this massive sprawling Charlotte Douglas is the same excellent work continued, even if in areas it is a little better again. It is certainly one of Nimbus Studios best sceneries yet, with top notch quality ground and building textures, glass and excellent modeling that captures the architectural detail and form that is distinctly CTL. All five terminal/concourses are extensive and all are set with high quality in detail, as is the excellent ground clutter and itemised aspects. Infrastructure in airport surrounds are again extensive and includes the Sullenberger Aviation Museum, NC Air National Guard and the Duke Energy Little Rock Ops. Surrounding 3d Grass and Fauna is also expertly done.   It uses the older (but upgraded) "Ground Handling" tool for the animated gates, and there are some animated vehicles, but they are not overly represented here. There are a couple of oversights. The centre field Radar Tower is not in keeping of the high quality of the scenery, not animated either? the odd wrong Tower view setting? South W1 taxiway bridge is flat, not 3d? and all internal detailing like JFK is for external viewing only, but it is still very comprehensive, and it has some very weird people modeling. This CLT scenery is X-Plane 12 only.   Nimbus Studios sceneries were always top notch quality and have excellent detail, but Charlotte Douglas shows a scenery developer at the very top of their game, and quality sceneries like CLT are highly usable and versatile in their use. So the KCLT scenery presented here hits every highlight with aplomb, and you can see that X-Plane 12 can deliver product as with the best of them....  Highly recommended. __________________     Yes!...   KCLT- Charlotte Douglas International Airport UHD by Nimbus Design is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   KCLT- Charlotte Douglas International Airport UHD Price is US$26.95   Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.5 GB Current version: 1.0 (June 21st 2024)   Installation Installation of KCLT Charlotte Douglas XP12 is done via download of 2.52 Gb...   There is only one file to insert into your X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder Nimbus Simulation - KCLT - V1.0 XP12   With a total installation size of 2.93Gb.   There are no documents, but installation is very straight forward ___________________________   Review System Specifications Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.1.0 Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Aircraft None - ____________________________     Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 15th July 2024 Copyright©2024: 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  
    • Will there be any upgrade options for users having the XP11 version package?
    • This A380 has been built up from the scratch in PlaneMaker. It just uses 3D objets from the old model. Systems, displays, graphics, plugins… all is new. Certainly we are using our codes for FBW, FlightDirector and autopilots, which already had been excellent in 2010. Now they are even better.   Peter
    • What a shame to propose the same airplane frome as far as I remember XP V10 !! That Peter Hager A380 is truely an insult for all the third party developpers that put time into their creations and systems...  69 bucks for that cockpit is one of the greatest jokes this year. 
    • NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Airbus A380 -842 XP12 by Peter Hager     Peter Hager has upgraded his Airbus A380 to X-Plane 12. The biggest change is that you will now not have to buy a specific aircraft type, there are three; 380-842 variant was only sold to Qantas with Trent 900 Rolls Royce engines, and that is the type available with this release. Other variants are the A380-841 Engine Alliance GP7200 - Trent RR 970 engines and the A380-861 Rolls-Royce Trent 970 engines, which served other airlines including the biggest operator Emirates (861 & 842 variants). These other engine and type A380's will be when released soon, now be included together in the same package, In total you will get three A380 aircraft with different engines and a variety of airline liveries.   The Airbus A380 is a very large wide-body airliner that was developed and produced by Airbus. It is the world's largest passenger airliner and the only full-length double-deck jet airliner. By December 2021, the global A380 fleet had carried over 300 million passengers to more than 70 destinations and completed more than 800,000 flights over 7.3 million block hours with 99 percent operational reliability and no hull-loss accidents. Over 50% of A380 capacity is from/to/within the Asia-Pacific region, of which around 15% is on regional flights within Asia.   New Features New flight model, engine physics and performance set extremely close to real values. 3D-Cockpit with hi-resolution displays. Far more system depths than previous A380 for older XP versions: All System pages All Performance page tabs with optional pre-selection of SPD / MACH for CLB, CRZ and also pre-setting of MANAGED SPD / MACH for DES. Improved TAXI camera displays. Improved flight plan display and flight guidance, based on the default FMS. Exterior model with 8k textures! Dynamic view angle change for taxi. The rear pairs of the body landing gear steer at low speed.       The Airbus A380 is available for only X-Plane 12, and is not available for X-Plane 11.   Images are provided by Peter Hager _________________________     The Airbus A380 XP12 by Peter Hager scenery is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Airbus A380 XP12 Price Is US$59.90, You Save:$10.00(14%) Retail Price:$69.90   Requirements X-Plane 12  (not for XP11) Windows, MAC or Linux  8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size:  172 MB Current version: 1.0 July 11th 2024) ___________________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 12th July 2024 Copyright©2024: 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    
    • Scenery Released : ESOE - Örebro Airport, Sweden by MXI Design     Örebro Airport (IATA: ORB, ICAO: ESOE) is located 10 kilometers southwest of Örebro, and is Sweden's 23rd largest passenger airport and the fourth largest cargo airport in the country.   MXI Design had already released a fair few sceneries for the X-Plane11 platform. But for X-Plane 12 they have created the all new scenery of ESOE - Örebro Airport in Sweden.  Örebro Airport has a rich history, it was originally established as a military airbase before transitioning to a civilian airport. In the intervening period the airport has undergone several expansions and modernisations to improve its infrastructure and capacity since it's creation in 1979.   In addition to passenger flights, the airport is a vital logistics hub, with significant cargo operations based here, with it being the fourth largest freight airport and one of the leading charter airports in Sweden. Örebro Airport also supports various aviation activities, including private flights, medical flights, and training flights.   Features include: Accurately and high detailed modeled for best rendition of the airport Up to date ground layout Basic interior model of terminal for gives a depth PBR implemented for all models Animated Flags 3D Passengers Custom 30 cm/px aerial imagery for airport area     Mission Statement   MXI Design is a 3D art and game studio that has been established in 2018 and developing sceneries for flight simulators. Our only mission is develop best quality sceneries and currently we're working for X-Plane 12 and Microsoft Flight Simulators.    This is an X-Plane 12 only scenery, and available at a very value low price   Images are provided by MXI Design _________________________     The ESOE - Örebro Airport, Sweden by MXI Design scenery is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   ESOE - Örebro Airport, Sweden Price Is US$10.50   Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.1 GB Current Version: 1.0 (July 9th 2024) ___________________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 10th July 2024 Copyright©2024: 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! - X-Plane 12.1.0 goes final!     Laminar Research has noted that the latest version release of v12.1.0 has now gone "Final", this was after 2 Release Candidates rc1&rc2.   It is a big milestone in the Simulator's history as this new numbering system version was the biggest update since the release of X-Plane 12, nearly two years ago, in Sept 2022. Considering the short development period since May 15th, 2024, it has been one of the most shortest and efficient updates yet from Laminar Research. Features of X-Plane 12.1.0 include...   Anti-aliasing (AA): Improved quality with better scene handling and coverage for alpha-tested surfaces (those with transparency). Depth of Field: More control with a setting for Real Camera Shake (RCAS) and a notification when textures are reduced due to memory limitations. Lighting: Bloom Effects and overall a more focused sources of lighting. Shadows: Smoother shadows overall, cloud shadows on water, and faster rendering times. Lightning: v12.1.0 features more realistic visuals with subtle color adjustments, distance variations, and bolt thickness changes via distance. Sound effects have also been improved for a more immersive experience. Particle Effects: The new system allows for particles on ground contact, easier editing with copy/paste, and datarefs for better control. Pre-built effects include jet engine afterburners (JATO), water bombing, ground scrapes, and rotor wash from helicopters. Aircraft configuration files (ACFs) let you disable these effects if desired. G1000 navigation system: including an accurate startup splash screen, a NAV page, a stormscope, datalink weather support, Terrain, a WPT page, an AUX page, and new datarefs.  Water: Fixed water clarity issues, with color and transparency depending on location. Cloud shadows are now visible on water surfaces. Compatibility note: existing X-Plane 11 water scenery packs may not work perfectly due to differences in water rendering and might require updates from the creators. Autogen: Enhanced visuals for high-rise buildings in European cities and improved parking aircraft placement at airports, prioritizing larger planes for bigger spots. Supported flap systems: allowing the accurate simulation of manual flap controls such as the one in the Piper PA-28, with precise and gradual adjustments, and the dial-a-flap system, which is present in some McDonnell-Douglas aircraft. Updated landmarks for Las Vegas. Updated airport library with new objects (antennas, radars and water towers) Bug fixes   You can find the full ongoing v12.1.0 details here: X-Plane 12.1.0 Release Notes   To update v12.1.0, then just run the X-Plane Updater. _________________     X-Plane 12 is purchased directly from Laminar Research for US$79.95 and the download file size is 86 GB   X-Plane 12 Price is US$79.95   Minimum Requirements Disk space: 25 GB CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7, or i9 CPU with 4 or more cores, or AMD Ryzen 3, 5, 7 or 9 Memory: 8 GB RAM Video Card: a Vulkan 1.3-capable video card from NVIDIA or AMD with at least 2 GB VRAM Note: Intel GPUs are not supported by X-Plane 12 _____________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 10th July 2024 Copyright©2024: 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! - Stick and Rudder Studios updates both X-Key Pad 1.6.0 & X-ATC Chatter v1.7.3 beta     Mark Cellis of Stick and Rudder Studios has been very busy of late. Two of his excellent utilities have had updates, first X-ATC Chatter, and now with the X-Key Pad. Both these excellent utilities can fly under your radar, but both are worth exploring, certainly as both are currently 25% off on sale.   X-Key Pad 1.6.0 X-KeyPad gives you the ability to create Virtual Keyboards with highly dynamic key behavior and labels that can interact with and display data in X-Plane 12/11. These virtual keyboards can be placed on a secondary monitor, touch monitor, or a tablet by using Duet Display or SpaceDesk. X-KeyPad also supports a rich integration with all the Elgato Stream Deck Devices, the X-Touch Mini Midi Controller and P.I. Engineering X-Keys keyboards as well as a graphical user interface to create and edit all your configurations. The latest v1.6.0 version has had a massive up date, the changelog is massive. Version 1.6.0 (June 3rd 2024) Changed the communication protocol between X-Plane and the Stream Deck X-KeyPad plugin to use TCP rather than a shared memory approach. This provides a much more stable connection method, particularly on OSX. Added the ability to set the virtual device background color on the virtual device layout, issue 84 Added support for single/continuous command mode in Stream Deck dial rotations, Issue #86 Added Copy and Paste buttons to X-Keys key editor, Issue #66 Added try command to the list of last used commands, Issue #81 Added a Save as Default menu item in the Stream Deck editor Added the ability to have a history of commands that were last used in the command finder Added the ability to pop out the command and dataref finder to a separate window Added the ability to edit a dataref from the finder Enhanced the dataref finder so that it can filter on changes in a more robust way than the current dataref tool Added green text in the X-Touch editor dataref list to indicate a writable dataref Added the ability to detect if changes had not been saved when you close the editor window or load a new aircraft, issue #74 Added an ability to generate a cross reference file to easily see what commands and datarefs were used and on which keys/encoders. Added feature #67, the ability to test keys and encoders without having to map them in the Stream Deck device. Add the ability to specify a min and max on a numeric dataref when the increment mode is none Added datarefs for the numeric buffer character count and numeric buffer float value Added the ability to use expressive commands on the Stream Deck Plus encoder dial rotations Added a Teleport feature and two sample Stream Deck Plus teleporter encoders in the generic Stream Deck sample JSON. Added an optional continuous mode the to the X-Touch Mini encoders when using command mode. Added dual trigger support to expressive commands Added number buffer support to expressive commands Changed the baro key on the Stream Deck sample and the X-Keys C172 steam gauge and G1000 samples to use the new expressive command capabilities     To use you will need the FlyWithLua plugin, which is needed for a number of the sample configurations, there is also a willingness to learn about X-Plane datarefs and commands, and the dataref tool plugin for X-Plane is highly recommended. _____________________________   X-ATC Chatter One of the quiet achievers, this clever plugin has built a huge amount of momentum since it its very modest introduction in late 2018. X-ATC Chatter started with only 5000 sound files, now it has 45,000 high quality ATC audio clips to it's name via using LiveATC.net. The concept has been widened as well.  The result is a collection of audio files organized by geographic region and ATC controller / facility type that can be played during your flight with an intelligent player plugin for X-Plane to give background chatter to your flightdeck.   Not an official release yet, but Stick and Rudder Studios have released the latest beta v1.7.3...  details include;   Release Notes for Beta 1 Changed the Out of Range detection to take into account your aircraft’s altitude. This also affects the range in the Nearest Facility window. Added shut down message to the log file Improved some Simple ATC Hints Fixed a bug where SimpleATC would set the radio to clearance after arrival taxi clearance confirmation when copilot handles radios was on Started using X-Plane 12 airspace center frequencies   Prior to 1.7.3 center frequencies and their transmitter location accuracy were a bit mixed. Data was generally good for U.S. and to a lesser extend Canada but the rest of the world the frequencies and locations were estimated. Many ARTCC services are assigned to specific altitudes. As an example, Boston ARTCC is divided into two altitudes. Services when you are between 0 and 17,999 MSL and another when you are between 18,000 and 60,000 MSL. X-Plane 12 has better airspace information. Although we still don’t know exactly where the RCAG transmitters are located we do know the frequencies, the altitude range they service, and the location on the globe defined by a polygon that the frequencies service. Simple ATC version 1.7.3 will use this data when you are running X-Plane 12 to hand you off to different center frequencies when you cross an FIR airspace boundary or cross an altitude assignment boundary. We still don’t know the exact locations of each transmitter so X-ATC-Chatter will scatter them around the airspace polygon roughly 70 NM apart from each other. This is a very new approach to handling center frequencies so I have given you the ability to shut it off it you don’t like the way it works. That can be done on the settings dialog on the radios tab.     The X-ATC Chatter latest beta is available here; Beta 5 - 1.7.3 beta release Yes highly recommended! _____________________________     Yes! X-KeyPad by Stick and Rudder Studios is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : X-KeyPad Price is US$18.00 Now on Sale, US$13.50...  You Save:$4.50(25%)   Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11  Windows, OSX, Linux Current version: 1.6.0 (July 3rd 2024)   Support forum for X-KeyPad _____________________________     Yes!  by Stick and Rudder Studios is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   X-ATC Chatter Price is US$18.00 Now on Sale, US$13.50...  You Save:$4.50(25%)   Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux Version 1.7.2 (April 27th 2023)   Support forum for X-ATC Chatter ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 5th July 2024 Copyright©2024: 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: Polaris AM-FIB by VSKYLABS By Stuart McGregor Introduction When is a boat not a boat? Well, one answer is when it is the Polaris AM-FIB, or to give it its full name, the Amphibious Flying Inflatable Boat. It has been quite some time since I have written a review for the org, and in that time, I have been pretty much immersed in flying the much larger passenger cousins of the Polaris. So, to have the opportunity to try it out was a welcome break from the high-tech and frantic world of tube liners. To be honest, I had forgotten just how much fun you can get out of the simpler things in life, and please don’t get me wrong, simple doesn’t mean dull and boring, as I found out. The aircraft being reviewed here is based on the Italian 'Polaris FIB' ("Flying Inflatable Boat"), which is an ultralight trike, designed and produced by 'Polaris Motor' in the mid-1980s. It was then further developed in the 2000s and went on to become the Polaris AM-FIB, an Amphibious ultralight trike. I found it interesting to read about the collaboration between the real-life aircraft manufacturer (Polaris Motor) and the simulator developer (VSKYLABS). To see sim developers going to such lengths to bring us the best simulation products possible is pretty commendable, in my opinion.     X-Plane Model The Polaris was initially released for X-Plane 12 in 2022, and since then, it has undergone several updates. The most recent, version 4, was released in June this year. The developers have described this as a major update, introducing new features such as upgraded flight dynamics to fully leverage what X-Plane has to offer, improved graphics with PBR adjustments, and enhanced FMOD 2.0 sounds, including better engine, prop, and wind sounds. It's great to see the Polaris continually refined and improved over the years. I believe this is a sign of developers who truly care about their users. It would be easy to develop a product, release it, and then move on; however, witnessing new features and refinements added over time is very much appreciated and helps keep each model vibrant and engaging. Installation Procedure Installing the Polaris couldn't be easier. Once you've purchased your copy, there's no need for installers or digital security codes. Simply download, unzip, and you’re ready to go, dead simple! As the file is not particularly large, only about 150 MB, it only takes a few minutes to download with a fast internet connection. It’s worth mentioning that there is also an option to download a version for X-Plane 11 if you’re still using that version of the platform. When you download from the org, you'll also receive a copy of the manual and the VSKYLABS brochure, which you can peruse at your leisure. I'll discuss the manual a bit later. Another feature worth highlighting is the use of the SkunkCrafts updater. While not new for those who already have the Polaris (it was introduced back in 2022), it’s a nice touch if you’re considering purchasing for the first time.     Documentation The download includes several documents, some of which I've mentioned earlier. Within the download, you'll find a couple of folders containing everything you'll need. The contents of the "HOW TO INSTALL" folder are self-explanatory, and similarly, no surprises await in the "INSTRUCTIONS-MANUAL-POH" folder where the main manual is located. It's highly recommended to read through the manual cover to cover. Although it's only ten pages, it's packed with useful reference information, tips, and tricks to help you get the most out of your purchase. The manual is well-organized and easy to read. I particularly enjoyed the mix of text and photographs, with annotated images that are especially helpful for understanding the main features and aircraft controls. The manual does an excellent job of covering all the important features, and it's a credit to the developers for making it simple, informative, and well-laid-out.   Exterior Although not a large aircraft, the Polaris is beautifully modelled. The textures are exquisite, from the wood grain details on the prop and the well-worn surfaces of the wings to the intricate details on the engine, fuel tank, and battery. The inflatable hull sponsons and the two passengers are also meticulously rendered. One particularly charming feature is the ability to add or remove the pilot and passenger via click spots on the seats, allowing for configurations with both, one, or neither. It’s amusing to note that the female passenger goes flying in her high heels, a curious choice for getting in and out of the Polaris!      The aircraft includes a set of wheels that can be raised and lowered by clicking on the right sponson. Similarly, the brakes and sea anchor are operated from the left sponson. While the wheels look fantastic, I found it challenging to get real control whilst on land, perhaps missing something in the process. However, when on water, the boat rudder ensures easy manoeuvring, especially when using a set of rudder pedals.   Interior When you sit in the pilot's seat of the Polaris, the view is exceptional, especially if you're flying in VR. The animations of the pilot’s arms and feet are impressively synchronized with the control movements. In VR, the alignment of the pilot’s virtual legs with your own can be quite uncanny. Looking down and seeing your virtual feet moving is a superb, albeit a little unnerving, experience.     The throttle control is located just above your head, and a small mobile phone is positioned right in front of you. This setup allows you to manipulate the brakes and monitor your airspeed, altitude, as well as wind speed and direction, a crucial feature for aligning yourself with the wind during landings. The artificial horizon is also useful for flying, although, as noted in the manual, real pilots often rely more on their senses than on instrumentation. The increased sound of the wind as you turn into it is a fantastic example of how you can "feel" your way around the skies with the Polaris.     Getting used to the control bar in your view might take some time, but the instrument panel is still quite visible. Here, you’ll find gauges for engine temperature, RPM, EGT, HOBSS, and fuel, along with a few switches for the battery, igniters, and a prominent starter button. Starting the Polaris takes only a couple of seconds, but when the engine kicks in, the aircraft truly comes to life. The FMOD sounds enrich the experience, bringing a real depth to the auditory environment.     Flight Dynamics Due to the lightweight nature of the Polaris, the developers recommend setting the flight models per frame to at least five to counteract any odd ‘jumping’ behaviour during takeoff. Following this advice, I encountered no noticeable issues. While I struggled with land-based takeoffs, taking off from water proved to be incredibly enjoyable. The wind direction indicator is essential for aligning the nose into the wind, which significantly smooths the takeoff process.   The water textures and lighting effects in X-Plane 12 enhance the overall immersion, making skimming along the water surface a novel experience for me. You could almost feel the water spray on your face. It’s worth noting that the sea anchor performs admirably when stationary, keeping everything steady as you prepare for takeoff.     Once airborne, the Polaris is exhilarating to fly, quite a departure from the complex airliners I've been piloting recently. Its simplicity greatly contributes to the enjoyment, truly embodying the concept of "flying by feel". Although it climbs slowly due to its modest airspeed, this offers a perfect chance to relax and take in the scenery. However, the Polaris requires gentle handling in the air; abrupt or sharp inputs can make it feel like you’re on a roller coaster. Flying in VR adds an extra layer of magic, especially the sensation of rising from the water with the wind whistling past your ears. Skimming low across the water or ducking under bridges is simply magical.     Once I mastered a few basic manoeuvres, the Polaris was delightful to fly. Given that it's essentially a boat with wings, exploring the myriad waterways that X-Plane offers adds a whole new dimension to the sim. The perspective is very different when you’re looking up rather than down. Perhaps VSKYLABS might consider adding a variant without wings, just the boat section. How much fun would that be!   Landing posed its own challenges and required several attempts to perfect. It’s crucial not to reduce power too abruptly to avoid a bumpy landing, or worse. Mastering power management is key to handling the Polaris effectively.     Performance The no-frills simplicity of the Polaris's design ensures that frame rates are consistently high. Even when flying over densely populated cities at low altitudes, the frames per second (fps) typically remain in the 50-plus range, rising to around 70 or 80 over waterways. Throughout my flights, I experienced no complaints in this department and observed no noticeable impact on the sim’s performance.     Conclusion Overall, my time in the Polaris was thoroughly enjoyable, and it's certainly worth considering if you're in search of something a bit different. The enhancements in X-Plane 12, particularly in terms of aircraft performance on water, coupled with the new lighting and texturing techniques, make spending a few hours in the Polaris a truly unique experience.   If you're looking for a lot of bells and whistles or high-tech features, the Polaris might not meet your expectations. However, if you're in the mood for some straightforward, seat-of-the-pants fun on and over water, this flying boat is definitely worth considering. Priced at $24.00, it's a bargain. You might even find it on sale, which would be an added bonus.   ________________________     Polaris AM-FIB by VSKYLABS is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:   Polaris AM-FIB by VSKYLABS Priced at $24.00   Features Project Main Features: VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project: designed for use with X-Plane cutting edge flight model environment, features superb flight dynamics with authentic performance and flight handling characteristics. VSKYLABS development for X-Plane approved by 'New Polaris FIB' company (however, it is an independent VSKYLABS project, not affiliated with 'New Polaris FIB'). Real-Physics, incorporating weight shifting and wing simulation of a hang-glider trike. Unique trike flying aspects are being simulated: stalls, slips, spins and tumbling. Designed with the focus on control and handling characteristics, excellent for basic and advanced hang glider trike training / conversion from fixed wing aircraft. Additional passenger which can be removed, to simulate light vs heavy trike operations. Amphibian aircraft - operation in water/land and snow/ice. Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage. Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater (XP12 only) - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap). Highly responsive VSKYLABS support forums: VSKYLABS is offering continuous professional support from aircraft related aspects (operating and flying) to X-Plane technical support. Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 4.0 (June 7th 2024)   Review System Specifications Windows 10 64 Bit, CPU Intel i9-9900k, 64GB RAM, Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti, Oculus Rift S ________________________ Aircraft Review Stuart McGregor 5th July 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).    
    • Aircraft Review : PA28R Piper Arrow III XP12 by Just Flight-Thranda   JustFlight arrived with the original Piper PA28R Arrow lll for X-Plane 11 nearly seven years ago. back then the Piper added in another quality General Aviation developer into the mix, with vFlyteAir, Carenado and Airfoillabs. But you could never want for more in the GA category aircraft. Jump forward those six plus years and the X-Plane world has changed from those days of when General Aviation totally dominated X-Plane for aircraft sales and choice. With Carenado now gone, it is only vFlyeAir that is carrying the GA banner, Airfoillabs do of course still present their C172, but other wise it is down Aerosphere to fill in the gaps, but they are not set in that higher category of ultra quality and features.   JustFlight in co-operation with Thranda Design however have delivered some very nice General Aviation aircraft for the X-Plane Simulator in those six years, but although there was some conversions to the release of X-Plane 12, they were not what you would call to the XP12 standards, just a revamp to align the aircraft with the new Simulator version. But here now is the release of the X-Plane 12 JustFlight Arrow lll conversion, this is the full comprehensive revision and complete realignment with X-Plane 12.   The Arrow is a part of the PA28 Cherokee family, but in this latest more modern reincarnation as it is a four-seater that includes a five inch fuselage extension, span increase with a semi-tapered wing, a larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase and other minor changes over the earlier Cherokee. The Series III here also introduced the retractable landing gear arrangement. It also had enhanced performance and better handling characteristics compared to earlier Arrow models.       Thranda use a system to enhance the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with their real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism, 8K textures are now also used, twice the density, but highlights the detail and quality to a far better compounding degree. It shows off easily the highlights of the superb quality of the surfaces and the exquisite detailing on the PA28.     But the process also creates unwanted shadows, and dull areas, if you look at the model in certain lighting conditions. It is a Thranda phenomenon, it can also create darker areas were their isn't any, so in the X-Plane 12 lighting, it can be shaded in cases were there shouldn't be any effects. But the detailing is excellent, best in class. Glass is simply exceptional, perfect in thickness, tint and reflections.     The three point landing gear has had a "Hard, Hard" life, with in being worn, oxidised and painted rusted springs...  this is an aircraft that has had a lot of flights in hard conditions over decades of use. Gear detail is also really well conceived and done here by JustFlight, as the landing gear system comes with an intricate retraction animation, slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), and the precise shock absorber animation with multiple linkages are animated accurately. The "R" in the name designation means "Retractable".       The performance of the Arrow lll is not what you call spell binding, not average either...  Maximum Speed is 148 knots (170 mph, 274 km/h), with a Cruise Speed of around 137 knots (158 mph, 254 km/h). The range is 880 nautical miles (1,630 km) with a service ceiling of 16,200 ft (4,938 m). Rate of Climb is 1,000 ft/min (5.08 m/s), but you would usually only do around 800 ft/min. The Arrow here is powered by a Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW), all up gross weight is 2,750 lb (1,247 kg).   The realism extends to the flight dynamics, which are based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from Arrow pilots. Lets us be frank, the PA28 Cherokee series is the saloon car of the aviation world. It is a steady handling, doing the chores sort of aircraft. It is not a sporty machine (unless you go for the Turbo), or dynamic in it's flight envelope. But it is very solid, reliable and even handed machine.   It's not boring to fly, as you have those X-Plane 12 dynamics, which are now very well fine tuned. So if a word summed up this aircraft, it is "Classic". The Arrow trims quite nicely, but requires re-trimming with any power changes, which you can use also to climb or descend as well. Bank and you will need a bit of back pressure to keep the nose up, also flying straight and narrow requires a fair bit of right yoke to keep it in line, to counter the asymmetric thrust (there is a rudder trim, but hard to access)...  so you work in here to keep the Piper on an even keel, you trim and then keep on trimming to get it perfect.     That is not to say I don't like it, as the PA28 gives you a lot of feedback...    the best sort of Simulation.   In a landing configuration you get a lot of drag, not only from flaps at 10º, but set 25º the Intermediate setting (used during approach and landing), and the 40º which is the Full flap setting (used for landing). The gear creates havoc with your nice clean approach, so be aware of when you drop it down.       Otherwise when fully configured for landing it is all about the throttle control, in adjusting your height, a bad cross wind (12 knts) didn't help either, but otherwise it was a nice clean if easy landing. Note, the PA34 is a bit shimmy on takeoff, so fine rudder control is needed so it doesn't become a problem, overall you need careful control and slow up throttle movement to get the best clean track.     I love it when things are done properly...  I love the door on the Arrow, yes I love a door, you may think that is just plain weird or whatever, but I do...  It takes more actions to open or close it than what they use on the Apollo capsule.     There are two catches to open, one set on the roof and a big catch set forward in the door, then you can use the outside latch to open it.     Other doors (and windows) include a very large baggage hatch set right rear, and the opening paper window on the pilot's side. Note the nice metal window surrounding plates.     Two other ground options include, Chocks on all three wheels, and wing tie-downs...  but there are no flags or inlet covers.     Notable also on the exterior is the opening oil hatch top, and the excellent detailed exhaust system. The Hartzell Scimitar 74 inch Three-Blade Propeller is a variable-pitch, but not demonstrated here.     Cabin materials can be divisive here...  they are first and foremost excellent, but bright red. You will either love this cabin or totally hate it, myself I adore it, even if it sorts of dates the interior. It feels like that brushed velvet, and red Faux Leather trim, there is even the chrome fittings as well...  the beige curtains, or window shades are really well done.     The rest of the cabin and roof is beige and cream, again very 70's. The roof has a massive air ducting module, that makes the cabin tight and even claustrophobic, but again quite authentic, if even fancy...     The internal textures have had the same treatment as the exterior, better PBR effects and Ambient Occlusion, so it has that X-Plane 12 highlight sheen, that gives the aircraft a big "wow" factor. Yes it is the same cabin as the X-Plane 11 version, but it now feels so very different in it's better feel and look.   Instrument Panel In the X-Plane 11 Arrow version you had two panel options, as I noted "loved and cared for" and "worn" or unloved and scruffy". Here JustFlight have reverted to just one design, the older 70's padded look.   Panel design is absolutely first rate, beautiful detail and with all the sheer realism you can get in simulation today, a highlight is the lovely glareshield with it's realistic stitching...  you can just feel and touch it, or is that a caress for the sheer ownership of it all. The aircraft's registration still also changes with the different liveries on the panel which is a nice touch.     The yokes are still really outstanding, the left different to the right with the Piper logo.     The left yoke is fitted with a digital chronometer. The mode button allows you to toggle between either the clock mode or the timer mode. On top of the yoke but very hard to see is a black electric trim button with down (forward) and up (rearwards) adjustments.     You can have both yokes visible, or one each side, or hide both together...  very flexible.     The instrument panel layout is exactly the same as the earlier X-Plane 11 in features...     Instrument panel is set out with the Standard Six instruments that are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack top is the Gyro Suction dial with the Bendix/King ADF indicator set below. On the right top is a Garmin OBS VOR indicator (VOR1) and the same OBS VOR indicator (VOR2) below. I prefer the pointer VOR needle than this version as it is better for circuits and runway lineup (that is if the VOR is placed close to the runway). All the main dials are older black/white in design and not with the coloured Artificial Horizon  that you could also have in this aircraft.     Mid-left panel gauges are standard Cherokee with Oil Press, Oil Temp and Alt Amp on the left side and Left Fuel tank, Cyl Head Temp and Right Fuel tank on the right of the yoke.   Lower-left panel has a basic Piper "AutoControl IIIB" Autopilot, which we will cover in more in detail later, the start key and a Manifold Pressure (inHG) and Fuel Flow gauge (Gallons per hour). Another gauge here is a Tachometer/RPM dial with built in Hobb's meter.   Avionics in the Arrow are very old, the only modern gadget is the centre stack mounted X-Plane default Garmin GNS530, and yes of course it pops out. There is also the provision to install Reality XP's GTN 750 unit, but this is an addon extra and it costs you another $49.95.     Lower right panel is an Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) indicator and you can rotate the screw to control the position of the red (maximum value) needle and left of the EGT is a comprehensive set of active circuit breakers. There is a fan switch and heating controls as well. The only instrument on the right side is a standby Altimeter and spare hobbs meter.   Custom-coded electrical system comes with functional circuit breakers. 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.   The audio panel is a very early model Bendix/King KMA T20 TSO which is above the GNS530, below bottom is the Benedix/King 76A transponder. The right side stack has a Bendix/King KX 175B radio for VOR in COM2 and VOR2 (COM1 and VOR1 is set via the GNS530). Then below is a Bendix/King KN 62A DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) set, the Benedix/King KR 85 ADF radio is set out below the KN 62A.   There are a set of rocker switches mid lower panel for (L to R) Power (Battery & Alternator), Fuel pump, Landing Light, Anti-Collision Lights in rotating and navigation and Pitot Heat. Either end of the switch panel are two scroll wheels for Avionic brightness and Instrument brightness.   The centre mini-pedestal has the familiar Throttle, Propeller and Mixture levers, but also a mixture lever lock on the side that restricts the mixture lever from moving below a 40% setting. The levers are a bit odd in that you have to move your movement upwards to move the levers down and vise-versa and in busy traffic conditions it can be annoying in the actions being the wrong way around. Also you have to use your switch gear before moving the Propeller and Mixture levers to the full forward position as they cover the avionics lighting scroll wheel, main power switches and fuel pump switch. I love the chunky T throttle handle.     Below the mini-pedestal is your aileron trim wheel and park brake lever. Between the front seats is your beautiful elevator trim and flap handle, there is an emergency gravity assist gear drop lever here as well that works. Left lower wall panel is the Fuel Selector, with a Fire Extinguisher set beneath your thighs.     Gotta love those filthy, worn, dirt strewn red carpets, detailing 101... metal foot plates are gorgeous. Authentic "Piper" branded rudder pedals are worth your gaze as well.     Lighting The Arrow III's lighting here is quite basic, but it is very good in what it does. The panel is really very sepia and black/white in its design, but it does make for a very readable panel in the dark or in low lighting conditions. The instruments are backlit, but show the aircraft's age.     Cockpit lighting is done via an overhead red lamp, it is quite bright, but the rear cabin is dark.   The external lighting is the same in just being the basic lighting, with a strobe on the tail and navigation lights (or noted here as "anti-collision") There is a very strong nose landing light and the bright flashes of strobe lighting that don't strobe together which is interesting, in that you get the left wing and then the right wing in multiple flashes on each side. All external lights are very different in colour and in the more modern LED halogen bright than X-Plane dull, you get the brilliant star feel (new X-Plane 12 halo) effect as well.     Sounds At this level you expect really good sounds. And the JustFlight Arrow does really deliver here with custom sounds for; switches, doors, gear warnings and far more, it features accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, and the exterior sounds spill in when window or door(s) are opened, there are the different sound characteristics depending on your viewing angle and distance from the sound source. It is all FMOD 2 in quality as well.   Menu The JustFlight Menu system is all changed for X-Plane 12 as noted in the Duchess Model 76, that was released early March. Gone is the generally average looking dated tab menu.   Here it is replaced by an iPad style tablet, stuck to the left window, or bring the tablet up in the screen by clicking the arrow tab top left (you can also popup the main tablet menu by pressing the left side of the window tablet)...  But you do have other options, as the tablet can also be placed on either yoke and right side windscreen by clicking the bottom of the tablet...      The pop-up tablet can also be scaled, or moved anywhere on your screen.     The tablet is also adjustable (movable) via the hot-spot, top frame. But because of it's size and shape, the view-point is not ever really square or set head on, the yoke position is usually better, but now also situated far lower in your eyesight.     The earlier X-Plane 11 version had eighteen tiles for selection, here it has been reduced down to twelve...     Top row : Aircraft Options, Weight & Balance, Instr Options, Engine Config, and Static Liveries Middle Row : Configuration, Log Book, Checklist, Ground Handling and Dynamic Liveries Bottom row : Flight Computer and Avitab (Plugin required)   Aircraft Options: Covers the two doors; CoPilot, Baggage Door and Pilot Window (Open /Close), Window and Instrument Reflections, Cockpit Lights, Swap Pilots, Altimeter (IN.HG/MB) and Ground Equipment (Left/Right Tie Downs, Nose, Right and Left Chocks).     We have seen the opening doors and pilot window, also the Tie Downs and chocks. Dan Klaue and his wife turn up as your pilots, and basically they are same two fully animated pilots as in Thranda Aircraft, by this menu option, you can swap the seating position of the pilots.     Weight & Balance: The weight and balance window is very good, if basic to look at (it is the original W&B window). It comes with adjustable weights for all four passengers, and baggage, fuel can be set here also as can the change from kg - lbs. There is the option to load the Aircraft "Half" or "Full" tanks. A full list of weights, CG and a large graph of your settings are all very helpful into balancing the aircraft. Press "Save Configuration" to save your preferred load setup, and "Load Configuration" to set up the aircraft.     Lowering the Co-Pilot weight usually will make Him/Her disappear, but not in this aircraft....   there are there no passengers either if the weight added in the rear, or any bags if added to the baggage area, such is shrinkflation today. You can open most pages into a "Window" via the arrow logo right top.   Instr Options (Instrument Options) includes two pop-ups for the GNS 430 and the Century IV (autopilot).     The "AutoControl IIIB" has only two functions in holding the heading and roll L&R. You can adjust the heading (thankfully) via the Heading instrument knob, or switch off the heading on the AP and roll the aircraft to your new heading. There is a hidden function to hold your altitude (not on the real system) by pressing the "Piper" text above the coupler knob on the left part of the panel, It is hard to find and almost half-hidden but you do get a  manipulator hand or finger to say it is actually there and but not when activated? It does work very well but the aircraft has to be perfectly trimmed before pressing it on...  it deactivates with a kick as well when or if you adjust the trim wheel, so be ready for that. Another point is that because if you don't use the altitude hold function, you can adjust the trim without disconnecting the AP, so it is quite easy to hold an altitude by setting the trim finely.     The old "Refill Menu" has been changed here to the Engine Options; this allows you to view the fuel and oil status as well as the status of spark plug fouling and Vapour Lock, and you can also recharge the battery if it goes flat, of which it does with regularity. There is also an "Imbalance" indicator for the Fuel Weight, you can do a "Refill" here of the fuel here as well.   Static Liveries; You can rotate through all the six liveries with the Arrow lll via the "Static Liveries" menu. An option here (new) is that you can adjust the Dirt (dirtiness) between 0-100%. Very Thranda.     Configuration: Here you can change the aircraft configuration, and there are three options; Engines Running (power up to flying mode), DynaFeel and the tablet (screen) Brightness.     DynaFeel" is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect. It is  based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. If you fly Thranda Aircraft, then you will be familiar with the system.   Logbook: This icon brings up the X-Plane standard Logbook.      Checklist: There is a 31 page checklist that you can tick off...  very good, but even though there is a "End of the Checklist" tickable box, it doesn't oddly reset all the boxes to a reset...  that is a return through of 31 pages, and an average of twelve boxes per page to untick, so you do the maths...       Ground Handling: All JustFlight menus have odd useless tools, here is one...  the X-Plane "Ground Handling" tool, for "Pushback" and "Request Ground Service"? It's a GA, not a Boeing 737.     Dynamic Liveries: Here is another Thranda feature now available on the JustFlight Series. Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery called DYNAMIC LIVERIES.     You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the three RGB colours for that certain area, and the selected colour (here seagrass) is shown in the square. You can also separately change the aircraft's registration number, the Piper logo can be added as well. Another option is that changes can also be made to the Metal or Rough surfaces, this can be applied to any of the liveries.     When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery to the index and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes with some weird screen changes, but the results are excellent and now the Piper Arrow is in your own nice livery design...   the results are found under the "DynamicLiveryResources" in the liveries.     Flight Computer: The flight computer panel provides a wealth of information that is very handy in flight, with highlights including OAT (Outside Air Temperature), GS (Ground Speed), Endurance (time), Range (available), NMPG (Nautical Miles Per Gallon)/ SMPG (Standard Miles Per Gallon), Altitude (Density and Pressure), TAS (True Airspeed) and FF and used fuel flow, Winds (Headwind and Crosswind)....   fuel burn can be reset. Units can also be changed from Metric to Imperial..     AviTab: The AviTab tool can also be used, and with Navigraph charts if you have an account. There is no tablet rotation from landscape to portrait, and to get back to the main menu, you press the right centre section of the frame. I found that for using charts, it is best setting them up in the side window, before opening up the main Pop-up, otherwise it just goes to a window setting.   _____________   Liveries There are six (Painted Liveries) liveries plus the two of the system liveries are noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY", these are the currently selected "DYNAMIC LIVERIES".     Summary The Arrow is a part of the PA28 Cherokee family, but in this latest more modern reincarnation it is a four-seater that includes a five inch fuselage extension, span increase with a semi-tapered wing, a larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase and other minor changes over the earlier Cherokee. The Series III here also introduced the retractable landing gear arrangement. It also had enhanced performance and better handling characteristics compared to earlier Arrow models. Here the Arrow lll has been extensively upgraded to X-Plane 12 by JustFlight/Thranda, note this is an upgrade, and earlier purchasers of the Arrow lll XP11 can get 10% discount off the new Piper X-Plane 12 aircraft.   The X-Plane 11 version was an excellent aircraft. But this rejuvenated version for X-Plane 12 is far, far better again,   Highlights of the changes are the new 8K textures, and the far better PBR effects, and this creates a far more quality exterior and interior. First glances say, old and tired, but on a closer inspection, it will cry out with "Classic" authenticity and it all comes to a very high quality.   The Arrow comes alive in X-Plane 12, highly realistic and it gives you a very high quality PA28 for X-Plane 12. There is also a new menu system, as replacing an old tab system, and it is a quality iPad/tablet, that can be positioned in four different places. Besides a few of the original tabs and pages, there are also three new added features directly from the Thranda Design stable, with now the "PAINTED LIVERIES" function, the build your own livery feature of "DYNAMIC LIVERIES" and the "Dynafeel" tool. Performance, physics and handling have also been highly improved to X-Plane 12 standards, based on real-world performance and handling data, Sounds are totally upgraded, with a full stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects and adaptive Doppler, and the feature list is very long.   But the odd quirks oddly remain? The Static Objects in being separated here are better, but there are very few of them. Lighting is basic, and you still get the very odd tab and useless elements like the X-Plane Ground Handling? and Logbook?...   fillers only. The checklist is another oddity, with 31 pages of checks, that you can't uncheck in one operation.   Priced in that high price range of US$40+, you expect a lot for your money. Thankfully you get that aspect here, but now even more so in the X-Plane 12 environment. It is an aircraft to spend time with to understand it's depth, the more you use it, then the more you find what you really like about it...  depth in design is the words here.   JustFlight/Thranda create excellent, lovely aircraft, that even the most novice pilot can fly and enjoy...  overwhelmingly the main thing about the Arrow lll is that it brings back that deepness required, that seems to be lost in the more modern environment. So it's like going back ten years but still having all the mod-cons, the effects and dynamics that X-Plane 12 provides as well are part of the deal, the JustFlight Duchess had this same feeling, as does the Arrow lll here, it is a brilliant combination of the very best of both worlds....     Highly Recommended. ___________________     Yes! the PA28R Piper Arrow III XP12 by JustFlight Thranda is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA28R Piper Arrow III XP12 On sale: US$42.99   Requirements: X-Plane 12  (not for xp11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (July 1st 2024)   * Customers who own the PA-28R ARROW III XP11 by JustFlight can get 10% off this new XP12 model. Coupon code can be found in the original PA-28R ARROW III XP11 Invoice   Installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 2.47 Gb. Installation 2.65 GB,  Authorization on startup is required. AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft   Documents ChangeLog.rtf EULAstandardcommercialandacademic2024.pdf GA Fleet X-Plane 12 EFB.pdf PA-28R Arrow III ODM X-Plane 12 manual.pdf PA-28R Arrow III X-Plane 12 manual.pdf   Design by JustFlight/Thranda Design Support forum: JustFlight Arrow lll _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.1.0rc2 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - EGHI Southampton Airport by PilotPlus+ (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 ___________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 4th July 2024 Copyright©2024: 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    
    • I noted it as a Fixed-Pitch because there is no animation on the blades, so you are flying with no Prop adjustment? If the developer changes that aspect, then that would be correct.
  • Create New...