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    •   Overview Review : Airbus A320-214 Ultimate by FlightFactor Aero   This Airbus aircraft from FlightFactor Aero is pretty unique. It's whole purpose is too deliver a completely new and extremely high quality simulation to flying Airbus aircraft in a simulator. It is unusual in another area as well, in the fact it is designed and built to be not part of any actual simulator platform. It is released in X-Plane and flies in X-Plane but it's basic underlying systems can also allow it to fly in any computer based system and no doubt in the future it's main purpose is for it to be a standalone simulator for Airbus A320 certified aircraft training.     To acquire such a certification for real world based training then this aircraft would have to replicate almost every system and instrument that is found in a real A320 aircraft or simulator, and that is a more complex thing to do than you think it is. So it goes without saying that this aircraft in X-Plane is complex... not only in it's systems but also the aircraft's very complicated flying characteristics as this aircraft's nickname is the original "Electric Jet".   When you really think about that aspect you can see how big a challenge it really is to bring such complex modeling and aircraft behaviour to a deskbound style simulator.    Your first instincts are to understand that this aircraft is not really an X-Plane aircraft and in using the X-Plane based theory and dynamics, in fact the only area that this aircraft interacts with X-Plane is with the default XP ground physics and in time that will phased out as well. So this does create a very different environment in that any of the usual X-Plane interaction tools will not work with this aircraft, including manipulators and even X-Planes unique aerodynamic modeling in "blade element theory" of element forces at work on the aircraft. The FF A320U uses its own aerodynamic modeling that is quite close to Laminar's structures and theories, but is more much more controllable and flexible and has more options and parameters, and is engineered for a broader aerodynamic model and to make system logic consistent and more integral.       The A320 series aircraft was very unique in its definition of control laws, protections, reconfigurations, and functions. Aircraft with fly-by-wire flight controls require computer-controlled flight control modes that are capable of determining the operational mode (computational law) of the aircraft.   The fly by wire aircraft is controlled by three primary control computers (captain's, first officer's, and standby) and two secondary control computers (captain's and first officer's). In addition there are two flight control data computers (FCDC) that read information from the sensors, such as air data (airspeed, altitude). This is fed along with GPS data, into three redundant processing units known as air data inertial reference units (ADIRUs) that act both as an air data reference and inertial reference. ADIRUs are part of the air data inertial reference system, which, on the Airbus is linked to eight air data modules: three are linked to pitot tubes and five are linked to static sources. Information from the ADIRU is fed into one of several flight control computers (primary and secondary flight control). The computers also receive information from the control surfaces of the aircraft and from the pilots aircraft control devices and autopilot. Information from these computers is sent both to the pilot's primary flight display and also to the control surfaces.   These modes are called Normal law (the aircraft will fly with normal human input), Alternate law, Direct law and Mechanical law. I could write a manual on how all these modes work, but it brought into aviation a whole new perspective and to a point a very automated flying environment, the so called "seat of the pants" and "stick and rudder" styles of flying was replaced by a more office or procedure based input style of aviation that the smart machine did most of the work and even protected you from putting the aircraft into a situation beyond the aircraft's built in capabilities and flying envelopes.   Aircraft systems were also very highly more automated in four base systems which are implemented as an independent physical simulations: electrical, hydraulics, fuel, and pneumatic + conditioning. All the systems are built up from hundreds of elementary objects, like wires, relays, circuit brakes, pipes, valves, pumps, etc, and then whole systems states are resolved each frame using physical laws. For the electrical system, for example, this is the full Ohm's law. For other systems, these are its equivalents. Systems interact with each other, generating signals from sensors and switches, control signals, and reacting to them. Computers continuously acquire, monitor and generate these control signals as well.   If you are following all this you can see how very complex the A320 as an aircraft is, and to replicate that into a simulation is a very big task. And your position is to understand all this as well and operate (or fly) the aircraft to it's full potential. So this A320 Ultimate is not for the one with a newly acquired simulation pilot's licence. This is a pro aircraft or the "Ultimate" in simulation flying to replicate the real world style of modern jet aircraft flying.   In X-Plane it is JARDesign's A320neo that is the current standard for the Airbus aircraft. The A320neo is very good, certainly with it's added in extensive sound pack form. But it does have a not so perfect flight model (mostly in the takeoff and performance areas) but you can't really compare that A320 with this one from FlighFactor, to a point if you want a good A320 the JAR's A320 is the better purchase, as this A320 from FF is a much more comprehensive aircraft and in that factor a lot more is required in real time study and practise to understand all the flying profiles and systems.   There is not doubt that any pilot that has used the JAR A320 extensively (and there is a lot of you out there) then the transition to this Ultimate version is far easier to do, but don't expect the same experience or to transition easily, but the basics will come in handy if you know your way around the JAR A320 cockpit and setting up the MCDU.   This review is noted as an "Overview". The FlightFactor A320 Ultimate is just too complex and far to detailed in systems and procedures to cover every aspect of the aircraft, so here in the overview it gives you a perspective of what is included with this aircraft and what it is basically about.    Airbus A320-214 Ultimate by FlightFactor Aero The design aspect is in reality a secondary area to the aircraft's systems and and procedures.      But the overall design is part of the package and the excellent detail is what you look for as well. Richard Culver and Artem Gality are the main modellers of the A320. Mr FlightFactor himself in Roman Berezin is still a major contributor to the production and we know by the earlier FlightFactor aircraft designs in the B757/767 aircraft that the work is of the highest standard.   External And so it is here as well. The 3d work and modelling is excellent, but an very extensive detailed design is not like a smaller general aviation aircraft but a far more bigger canvas to fill and larger sizes can bring with them issues of too heavy an aircraft in framerate size to make it efficient in your simulator.     Close inspection does reveal a very high attention to detail, the modeling is perfect. Close detail is that not what you can just outwardly see but the hidden details as well as you get with the forward wing leading edge slats, look behind and the inner construction is just as good as the outer curves. The rear main flaps are also beyond good, with highly detailed flap jacks and links all installed and animated. End of flap track runners are also highly detailed and look like they have just come off the factory floor.     Undercarriage is always the first place you look for aircraft detailing. The A320U does not disappoint in this area of design and the gear sections are as detailed and good as you could get, bit clean though with not a lot of wear and tear...     ...   but every nut and component is visible as is the hydraulics and this is a long, long way from those days of stick undercarriages with wheels attached.     ...    and note the cast wheel hubs and great rubber feel on the tyres, the huge detail on the front landing gear is excellent.   Engines are perfectly modeled as well with the CFM International CFM56-5B4 - 27,000 lbf (120 kN) installed and maybe the coming later option of the IAE V2500 in the future.       Internal cowling detail is factory fresh and those beautiful rotating large fan blades are excellent, the CFM sounds nice as well.   Internal Detailing Every year we get another level of detail in the internal areas of aircraft, here the cockpit is astounding in it's sheer detail that is simply eye popping.     Everywhere you want to focus on you are totally breathless in what is now available in the quality of the aircraft.     Yes you are paying for this extensive detail at this level, but you are certainly getting your return's worth as well...     So how to do absorb it all, to understand the finite detail in the cockpit...  as usual you focus on the small things. The pilot's chair in it's base is perfect, I mean totally perfect and the armrests move with fluid animation. Note the detailed fire extinguisher set into the wall.     The pedestal is supremely crafted with every switch you require (strange though the door switch doesn't work?) but you get the idea. A highlight is the side forward windows open!     Pull the catch and the heavyweighted full mechanism pulls back, again beautifully crafted and very realistic...  sheer detail in motion.   Cabin You can deliver more than one cabin livery if a third party wants to. I found two in the default Lufthansa, but a there is great a Delta available as well...     More liveries are expected to come and detailed interiors only deliver more to the all round cause. The windows are small (A320 windows are) but they not as nicely detailed as JAR's lovely two glass reflective filled perfect ones...     ...   Roman Berezin has this thing of heavy boundries, so you can't move around much inside the aircraft, the cockpit feels cramped and smaller areas like galleys are hard to get into...  ditto moving outside the aircraft with the internal view, as an invisible force field stops you going through any door.   Menus The menus are built in and are displayed on the iPad on both sides for both the pilot and first officer. Lower right button turns it on.     There are six page menu selections in : Service - Perf Data - Checklists - Browser - Settings - Map.     The screen layout works very well and looks professional. Like a lot of areas on the A320U, when you use the iPad it disconnects from the aircraft for keyboard inputs, so you can't move the screen or anything aircraft related until you press the background to reconnect with the X-Plane environment.   Note! : So when you use the iPad you get a blue ring around the active area of the screen. This can be the a sort of death zone, if you are not careful!     If you use like I do keys to scroll the view (i.e. Rotate View : pan right fast) if you press the key while within this blue active area it will cause X-Plane to continuously "pan-right-fast" or scroll quickly in that direction or activate the action of that key, get in there and it is extremely hard to get back out again...  the trick is to get another key input within in the blue death zone to stop the scrolling, but that can be hard as it zooms past, sometimes the only way to stop it is to close X-Plane. So you do tend to tread very carefully around the iPad and make sure before you leave it, you are back in the X-Plane active area and not have the input area active on the iPad.   Service The service menu covers setting up the aircraft and static elements. There are four tabs (pages) to chose from : Supply - Fuel - PAX - Cargo   Supply: is the ground element and power with main selections of a GPU (Ground Power Unit), An AirStarter (Ground starting) and Wheel Chocks.     Fuel: This menu will allow you to fuel the aircraft and all tanks are available unlike the X-Plane default version and they include inner and outer tanks and the centre tank. The Fuel truck has to be attached before you can do the refueling and a big ugly thing it is as well? You can attach the JAR Ground Services fuel truck but it won't work in actually refueling the aircraft.      PAX : The passenger load factors are under the PAX tab. Here you can easily adjust the aircraft loads and by classes in Business, Economy B (Premium Economy), Economy C (tight seats in the rear) and the number of passengers you want on the aircraft. There is the quick loading options of empty - 1/3 - 2/3 - Full and I usually use 2/3.     You have to have the doors open to load or unload the aircraft, and there is (thankfully) a choice on each door on of "Gate" or "Stairs". Gate just opens the doors and Stairs will put a set of stairs at that door for you.     Cargo : loading in cargo is very similar to passengers, but you don't get the quick loading options. Again you have cargo loaders to load on the freight from zones cargo 1 to 5. Note in that Cargo loader forward only loads cargo into the front hold, and the rear cargo loader the rest of the holds in the rear and the required loader has to be activated to load the cargo.     Many users will say they would miss the JAR ground services including myself with this A320. Well fear not as it does work quite well with the FlightFactor A320U version...     Ben/Air has done one here: Flight Factor A320 Ground Handling Deluxe Set and it works very well. As noted the fuel truck doesn't work (in connecting to the menu), and the cargo doors won't open without the provided cargo loaders, but everything else works fine including those lovely catering trucks.   PERF Data (Performance Data) Once you have loaded the aircraft with passengers and cargo, this tab allows you to see the current set up of the aircraft including all weights and CoG (Centre of Gravity) balance. And you will need this information to feed into the aircraft's FMS (Flight Management System).   Checklists Checklists is very and you move left or right through the lists via the blue triangles on each side.     Helpful is the "Orange" titles show you what area you need to do the action, the white in what the check is. The checklist won't however do the action for you or start up the aircraft to taxi roll, in this case it is a little basic from other FF aircraft, but it is very good and very clear to use.   Browser This one is interesting and very handy...   If your computer is connected to the internet you can access the internet via this browser!     However it will load pdf's but it is basic and I found some pdf''s worked fine but others struggled in loading or zoom.     Settings You can set items like the Panel Quality, Reflections on/off, and Rain Effects, IRS Alignment speed from 1x 2x 5x and 10x, And you can also save the aircraft and its systems to reload a situation in the future, again it is like the X-Plane situations feature.     But one item is really interesting... and it is under your server settings. You can apply for a Google API key and insert it here, this is now ready for the next tab...   Map If the API key is activated you then get the "Google Map" tool directly into the iPad, excellent it is, but you can't declutter the screen so it is a one layout for all.     But for checking out high terrain and the aircraft's position it is invaluable.   Flying the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate You can't just drop into the pilot's seat of a real A320 and fly it straight to another destination, it quite doesn't work like that and you have to keep with in the same strategy when flying this FF A320U, certainly as expected from a cold start, but also from a hot engine running start as well.     The standard native X-Plane manipulators don't work here, so you have mostly hands and pointers, but the main interaction is via a - & + and arrow up and an arrow down arrangement, and the arrows also represent the Airbus push in (up) and pull up (down) actions. Turning the knobs via the - + actions is one click at a time, so with speed and heading changes the movements are very slooow. If you do have a scroll wheel then that is a great big advantage in moving the knobs far more quickly and it is highly recommended. The manipulators otherwise can be a bit clunky, but you get used to it.   Powering up from cold is a procedure process, but you know immediately that this is a very different machine than other Airbuses in X-Plane. Switch the batteries on and you don't get actions but tests...     ...      then faults...  lots of them.     And you are already feeling the depth of the systems here and the professional way you have to interact with the aircraft. This is just not the case of the ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor ) in E/WD upper screen and SD lower screen on screen data and they are not their just for the visual show. So this is a more deeper system than that in the systems you are usually interacting with as they are simulated as real and so acts as real in this very alive aircraft.   FMS (Flight Management System) The heart of the A320 is the FMS or Flight Management system. This is accessed through the MCDU (Flight Management & Guidance System) and I am not going to sugar coat it in that as this is based on a real system to the very letter, it is complicated and requires a bit of homework to understand the full procedures and inputs required, in other words you will have to put your pilot's hat on and do the deal.     The reward is that this is about the most perfect FMS system in X-Plane, it would take a very long review to cover all the aspects and the best way to sum it up, is that if the system is in the Airbus POH then it is replicated here in full.   The FMS pops out for ease of use and like the side iPad it works in two levels in that it allows direct keyboard input when you see the Blue band around the FMS or press the background to get back your normal view and aircraft control. If you press the boundary of the FMS then it turns Red and you can now move it around the screen.     The system uses the Thales FM rev1 and not the rev2 which is the most popular and the current system on the A320 series. But there is plans to update to the rev2 version later.   Some buttons on the MCDU are quite faded and hard to see as you can't zoom up larger the popup to make it easier to read, so there is a lot of squinting and even guessing the keys and each side MCDU for either pilot is a separate unit for inputs like on the FlightFactor's Boeing 767.   Input however in the (blue band) active position is simply excellent, I have never been a big fan of disconnecting popup panels but this one works extremely well and all inputs are clean and sharp, and with no input lag which can bug a lot of FMS planning. Better still is that you can get yourself sorted out if you make a mistake, the system is very forgiving and allows changes which again in that many FMS's usually just freeze or get lost in their own coding and only a total restart will then fix the issue.     There is a lot of data required. Were as the JAR helped you with some of the calculations, here you are on your own. There is a lot of information to help you, but the tricky one is the Fuel Predictions and the Centre of Gravity trim. There are a few pointers on the as mentioned iPad performance data but you will need to do some numbers once the fuel is in and the aircraft is loaded. Funny enough these numbers come from the ground dispatcher for the pilots to input, but we as users don't have that luxury then you are going to have to calculate the loading yourself. No doubt there will be a lot of discussion and help on the forums.     Once the data is all in and correct the rest then just falls into place and then the aircraft takes over its own mission from the data.   The ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor) in the E/WD upper screen and SD lower screen details are standard airbus and every page required is covered, but there is that "wait and here it comes" when changing from one page to the other, and any electrical changes on the aircraft will slightly show on the displays as well for realism, as noted they are not only for just show but for real interpretation of your aircraft's systems. Again you will need to study the manual to understand how the systems interact and work...  this A320 is not only the ultimate in aircraft, but in study and homework as well.     The Airbus A320-214 feel factor It is a strange and a very slightly different feeling when operating this A320 than with your usual feedback from the X-Plane experience. It is far more smoother, in actions and movement... you don't feel disconnected but the best way to describe it is in the the way the A320 feels more professional.     Sounds are extremely good and maybe the same sets from Blue Sky Star Simulations as they used with the Boeing 767, but they don't have that sheer minute directions and spot sounds like you hear on the JAR, so this package maybe a slight watered down version, but overall they are still excellent. Time on the aircraft may give us more aural input here.   Taxiing and turning is very much like with QPAC's A320 if you flew that A320 version. The nosewheel is very smooth but turns in a slower smooth moving arc as well...  you get use to it quickly, but again that smoothness come through the controls.     Flying this A320-214 is the same. You feel the weight better, and inputs are heavier and it doesn't take long before you are getting the feedback that this aircraft is quite different in its actions...  no sudden changes, no sudden movements, it is all molasses and not light liquids and that is a great thing in that there is a lot of the real world feel to the aircraft than a simulation experience...  you make up you mind very quickly that this aircraft is going to be a very big part of your flying career over many years, once you master it's complexity....  because it is as real as it gets.     All your earlier work pays off as the aircraft flies itself on the data, it is not called the "Electric Jet" for nothing. The routing is excellent and diversions with the "DIR" direct function is fast and efficient, again that smoothness of changes to the FMS is again a real world feeling.     Note the great "Terrain" coverage on the Navigation and map display, in the airbus block way of course...     ....  so checklists and notes will become a part of your flying, just like the real A320 office. I have watched a lot of real cockpit aviation video's and you are getting more of that view than a simulated view, and the difference here is that it is you actually interacting with the aircraft and not a pilot on a video.     I have found lower speeds and the approach feel in X-Plane sometimes quite average, in that speed to flap setting always feels a little out or wrong in that the aircraft pitches up too high when the speed and flaps are correct, here you don't have that. I found the aircraft is excellent in that zone in reducing speed and being a more stable platform with more control when lining up your approach. Certainly there is a lot more approaches and even a huge amount of flying yet to flown in this A320 Ultimate to be in the situation of mastering the performance and procedures that is the requirement of the professional aviator.     Liveries There are one blank and five airline liveries provided with the package...  Air Berlin, Airbus House, American Airlines, Korean Air and Ryanair.     But you are also certainly spoilt for choice as there is now an industry of A320U Liveries being cranked out at an enormous rate...  some of the best include: British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa (New), Air New Zealand, Finnair (very nice!) and my beloved Jetstar. Check out the X-Plane.Org       Summary You are not going to get even close to the huge expanse of detail in this aircraft, so this small overview is hopefully a great introduction on what the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate is about and to note a few of its features.   The potential of this aircraft is staggering, it is certainly a huge jump in almost every area of simulation,  and even on its release you are having to be expected to find that the fine tuning will still be ongoing as FlightFactor constantly hone their creation into some perfection....  even real world aircraft are extensively tested before being delivered to airlines and that same process applies here as well. There is nothing wrong with this A320U, but it is very complex machine in its creation.   Systems in the A320U are very complex and certainly fit within that "Study" grade of aircraft. In fact study is the word as the aircraft flies better the more you tune the FMS system inputs than with the usual case of upgrading you flying skills, you can go block to block and rarely fly the aircraft manually if you use all the automated features of the FMS in Takeoff, Climb, Cruise and landing preferences, and this aircraft does take up a lot of time to set up correctly, and you will need to do your homework to do so.   This aircraft is only for the experienced, and even then they will have to learn the machines intricate details. But the rewards are staggering in that what you will receive is an almost real world simulation of this excellent aircraft. The Airbus A320 turns 30 years old this year, hard to believe that the "Electric Bus" has been around us that long. I have had many, many flights on A320's as so have most of you, so in a way this A320-214 from FlightFactor is a celebration of that aircraft and what it represents for aviation, it with the Boeing 737 is one of the most  successful aircraft ever built and still the order books are full and the production is stretched far into the future. For us we can now explore and enjoy this very significant aircraft for ourselves with this Ultimate version of the Airbus A320   ______________________________________________________________________       Yes! the Airbus A320-214 Ultimate by FlightFactor Aero is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :
      Airbus A320-214 Ultimate   Price is US$$89.95   Custom Flight model Flight developed by professional to mimic the real aircraft Precise aerodynamic model with unique features like transonic effects, hi speed stall etc Specific engine model with realistic performance and dynamics More than 10,000 simulated objects like computers, sensors, units, data buses, busbars, relays, etc. with its own logic and behavior Simulation of data exchange in ARINC data protocol between aircraft computers with precision loss and delays High-Definition Model Hi-quality and realistic interior and exterior visual model Hi-quality and realistic sound pack with hundreds of sounds from the real aircraft Hi-quality display graphics (4K panel) Unique rain effects Fast access popup panel system Precise aerodynamical model with unique features like transonic effects, hi speed stall etc Specific engine model with realistic performance and dynamics More than 10,000 simulated objects like computers, sensors, units, data buses, busbars, relays, etc. with its own logic and behavior Simulation of data exchange in ARINC data protocol between aircraft computers with precision loss and delays. Realistic simulation of transition effects, self-tests and other real aircraft undocumented features Physically based implementation of electric, hydraulic, fuel and pneumatic systems with realistic responses and state transitions Precise flight management system with full profile predictions and modes of operation Autopilot, indistinguishable from real aircraft, with all modes, transition effects and undocumented features X-Updater The model come with the X-Updater for easy update of your aircraft. The X-Updater will easily update your aircraft to the latest version without having to re-download the entire file.     Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows or Mac (Linux not supported at this time) 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM recommended 920Mb Download size Current Version : 0.8.1 (last updated Feb 16th 2018)   That 4gb VRAM is required and nothing under, you may have even reduce some render settings even with the 4gb loading. Anything less in VRAM will not run in any normal speed.   Installation Download of the Airbus A320 Ultimate is a huge 743.50mb and it is installed in your Heavy Aircraft Folder as a 1.71gb folder. A X-Updater is provided for direct future aircraft updates.   Authorisation key is required and a complete desktop restart is highly recommended. Internent connection is required for some features as is a Google API key for the built in Google map feature.   Documents Documentation is currently one manual.   You are required to use Airbus certified manuals with this aircraft, but this one is very good and recommended by FlightFactor: A320/321 Flight Crew Training Manual - 737NG.co.uk _____________________________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 17th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft  (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95    
    • Just purchased, based on your review and it's all you say.  Flies extremely well and I prefer the steam gauge panel.  The G1000 display is a bit mini for these old eyes. 
    •   News! - Added Version : DC3/C-47 v2.7 by vSkyLabs   VSkyLabs have added in a new variant to their excellent DC3/C-47 aircraft that is coming in the next v2.7 update, as details noted by the developer...   "The VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project (FLP) upcoming update to v2.7 will include a second variant! The new variant will have a new designation within the package: XC-47C. The XC-47C was an amphibious C-47 floatplane, fitted with Edo Model 78 floats. The metal floats featured retractable landing gears, allowing it to operate on land and sea. The XC-47C will be added to the base package, which will include two variants from that moment on. Release window for update v2.7 is planned to be opened within the end of February/mid March 2018. Cockpit: at first, cockpit will be the same as in the initial DC-3/C-47 variant v2.5e. There is an ***extensive development plan*** for the interiors, which is including a new PBR-textures-layer for the cockpits, which will be executed for the future v3.0 update. Wow...it seems that the development plan for this exciting project has just begun! X-Plane 10 note: The VSKYLABS XC-47C variant will be added also to the X-Plane 10.51 version of the package, but it will be the last planned update for X-Plane 10.51. Although the package will continue to include both the X-Plane 11 and the X-Plane 10.51 versions, the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project will continue to evolve for X-Plane 11 only."   Just repeat that point in from now on is that this DC3/C-47 project is X-Plane11 only.
      Last vSkyLabs update overview is here: Developer Updates and Aircraft Release : vSkyLabs   ________________________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 16th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews   Images and text are courtesy of Just Flight/Thranda  
    •   Update Review : Evektor EV-55 Outback v1.25 G1000 by Auctusdelineations   Some aircraft languish for years, but others leap and bound forwards within a short period of time. The secondary point is certainly Auctusdelineations interesting Evektor EV-55 Outback. Here we already now have version v1.25, another update, but this is more a version update than a single figure digit as there is quite a few changes and a completely new version.     G1000 The new version is the G1000 avionics version. The native X-Plane G1000 layout is now part of the EV-55's DNA.     The layout is three panels with two PFD (Primary Flight Displays) and the NAV/MAP display centre. And all three display's pop-out for ease of use.     A nice touch is that between the three displays is the two Comm panels and with them moved off the G1000 display and over on to the instrument panel it leaves spaces on the G1000 displays for the AP (Autopilot) / FD (Flight Director) switch bars, which makes it easy for direct AP use.   The G1000 install to get all three displays and Comm panels across the instrument panel does however cause a slight visual difference.     The G1000 displays are smaller and further away from your point of view, so the text and detail is quite small? A few times I had to pop-out the panel to check a detail. A note is that the EV-55 G1000 version is X-Plane11 only. And there is a slight difference with this version as it also uses the XP11 dynamics and better sound capability as with the FMOD sound that was also available in the last v1.2 update. The X-Plane10 version is still included, but in reality for how long as more XP11 features are added into the aircraft and as the XP10 versions will now stay static in development.     Yes the sounds certainly feel and are far better again in this v1.25 version, as the distinctive Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 turboprops sound far better than I remember them with the also new effective doppler effects, and the smaller sounds and minute noises are more refined as well.   There was also a blank area in the aircraft's performance as I noted in the EV-55 earlier review...   "Around 100knts then you start to stall were as the stall speed is around 64knts, this EV-55 is a STOL or Short Takeoff and Landing aircraft, but you can't get down to those slower speeds at around 70knts to 80knts without losing height and sometimes pretty quickly. So you play it safe and even with full flap down at around 100knts and throttle power is still needed to control your height."     The X-Plane11 refinement and a focus on this area by the developer has made this crucial zone more flyable. You can now adjust down to 85knts and even lower and still the aircraft is stable, in fact it is quite nice in this approach zone and the aircraft far more better handling and those adjustments also feel better right thoughout the whole of the aircraft's performance parameters and flight envelope and including autopilot constants which are adjusted for smoother use. There is maybe still slightly a bit more room for improvement here, but the overall feel now is far, far better.       The aircraft's lighting has also been refined, it is now more brighter and sharper as they are LED's and not the usual halogen. The doors in animation and handle movements have been refined with a nice catch sound now as they open or close, this makes them now also easier to operate.     The original liveries work on all versions of the default "Outback" and "Prototype" and the new "G1000" version     The four choices on the original aircraft consisted of both white or chrome spinners (white is better)   Three other liveries in the package are: Forward (wavy lines), Camouflage (Very nice) and "The Raven" which is quite arty striking.     X-PlaneReviews original release review is here for more extensive details on the aircraft: Aircraft Review : Evektor EV-55 Outback by Auctusdelineations   Summary Constant updates and refinements can make a huge difference to any aircraft. Certainly this excellent EV-55 utility aircraft has come a seriously long way since it's release mid-last year.   The addition here of the native X-Plane11 G1000 avionics system, is another huge bonus for this aircraft and the installation is very well done and it is very versatile to use, but the display's are slightly smaller than the usual G1000 fit-outs to make it all fit in to the required space, and that makes for a slightly smaller text and the smaller detail is harder on the eyes.   Flight performance and dynamics are very much improved, but more so on the X-Plane11 version with the better dynamics than the older X-Plane10 version, which is still included in the package and for how longer is now up for debate. FMOD sound is also more improved and is aurally noticeably better.   So this Evektor is an all round nice modern utility aircraft with STOL capabilities to add into the flying environment. And this EV-55 Outback by Auctusdelineations  is coming along quite nicely thank you and if you like these sort of aircraft it is now an on going nice and different investment to fly and enjoy.   _____________________________________________________________________________________     The Evektor EV-55 Outback v1.25 by Auctusdelineations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Evektor EV-55 Outback   Your Price: $19.95   Features: New 3D Sounds using FMOD Technology (X-Plane 11 only) Accurate flight model Detailed, animated 3D model inside and out High quality textures Animated pilot Fully functioning cockpit Cabin doors open/close Wreckage model PBR reflective metal and transparent glass Start-up sheet and control map included 5 liveries   Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB+ VRAM Video card X-Plane11 is required for X-Plane11 features and dynamics Current version: 1.25 (last updated Feb 8th 2018)   Installation Download for the Evektor EV-55 Outback is 318.58 mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 414mb in size.   Documents: Documents provided are:   EV-55 CONTROL MAP (panel diagram) EV-55 spec sheet EV-55 Startup Procedure (checklist) Startup checklist EV-55 painkit (gimp) _____________________________________________________________________________________   Update Review by Stephen Dutton 14th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)    
    • And this is a good news ! There is a lack of those marvelous jets in every sim! Glad to be able to sit into one few... years ago. Nice office for training.   Any feedback on the Just Flight model ?   Thanks  
    •   News! - Aircraft Coming : Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer by Just Flight/Thranda   Usually most developers stay within their designated basic genres in X-Plane and only a few develop outside that envelope. But Just Flight with Thranda are going to shake up that theory. Already known for their excellent GA's with the Arrow lll/lV series, their next release is a light jet? and not only a light jet but the Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer!       Detailed Description is:
        Accurately modelled Hawk T1 and T1A, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including a storage hatch, ram air turbine (RAT), canopy and crew ladder Ground equipment including chocks, access steps and engine intake covers 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features
        A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled ejector seats 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 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 AN/ARC 164 UHF radio, plus a retrofitted modern AN/ARC-232 UHF/VHF unit and TACAN/ILS radio units Authentic head-up display (HUD) 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 remove canopy and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Radio knob animations routed through plug-in logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation
      Aircraft systems
        Custom-coded electrical system with AC and DC resets and loads Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks Custom-coded hydraulic systems, including functioning RAT Realistic lighting system with rheostat controls Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism

      The Hawk T1 is supplied in the following twelve paint schemes:
        Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Early trainer livery, XX241 Hawk T1 Empire Test Pilots School livery, XX341 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Valley, Central Flying Squadron, XX176 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Camouflage scheme, XX353 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force 4 FTS, Welsh Dragon livery, XX172 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force 19 Squadron, RAF Leeming – XX329 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Red Arrows 2011 livery XX260 Hawk T1A Royal Air Force 100 Squadron, Black livery, XX331 Hawk Mk 51 Finnish Air Force, HW-346 Hawk Mk 53 Indonesian Air Force, LL-5320 Hawk Mk 63 Royal Saudi Air Force, 79034 Hawk Mk 63 Swiss Air Force, U-1252T1
      Other features
        Realistic and accurate flight dynamics based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from Hawk pilots Authentic sound set, generated using X-Plane's state-of-the-art FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, canopy, warnings and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when canopy is opened, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Comprehensive manual with panel guide and performance data PSD Paint Kit included so you can create your own paint schemes Dedicated pop-up window for sound mixing, allowing for individual adjustment of the volume of exterior sounds, in-cockpit sounds and various effects Option to launch X-Plane's weight and balance manager window from the custom pop-up panel   Noted as coming soon!...   to a familiar sim near you!   ________________________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 13th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews   Images and text are courtesy of Just Flight/Thranda    
    •   Aircraft Review : Pilatus PC12 HD Series XP11 by Carenado   I don't think flightsim users really understood what a ground breaking aircraft the Pilatus PC-12 from Carenado was when it was released for X-Plane back in April 2015. I did and reinforced that the aircraft was a big step forward in the detailing and the quality of the textures and the first aspect of finally getting chrome and it's shiny reflections correct and into the simulator. Now all these aspects are common place, but this was the aircraft that finally put the HD quality into X-Plane. That full release review is here: Aircraft Review : Pilatus PC12 HD Series by Carenado   So this is the X-Plane11 version of the same Pilatus PC-12. Note this is a new version of the PC-12 not an update, so it is a full cost purchase, but the ongoing updates are valid for the full life of of X-Plane11.   External Overall in features both the XP10 and XP11 versions are identical, what is completely different is the X-Plane11 specific areas that are now used in the new version.     You are already coming off a high level of quality standards with the original PC-12, but the excellent X-Plane11 PBR (Physically Based Rendering) built into X-Plane11 just lifts the the game again to a whole new level of detail and quality. The textures have all been processed to specific PBR specifications that brings out huge detail, but also keeps these huge 4K sized textures in a working size that doesn't crush your framerate, in other words you get the best of both worlds in a very high quality reflective aircraft, but without the sheer over burden of weight on your graphic processors.     So the original "wow" factor is again for more "heightened" to the point of total realism. X-Plane11 reflection ability is very important as well, and here the refraction detailing is excellent, you almost want to run your hands along the skin of the aircraft, and even that may be possible soon with VR?   My points are that in pure realism, it is in the small detailing that really brings out the most in any aspect of creating an almost perfect replication of a real world based object. And this aircraft has that in spades, both in the original modeling and perfection is about as good as anything you are going to get, and note the pure curves and angles on the upswept wing-tip with not a single straight line in sight, this is harder to do than what you expect, but this also what you pay for....     ....    highlighting the landing light enclosures under the excellent wings, and the flaps, and their extended running track arrangements, if you had taken them off the parts shelve to look at them, you wouldn't see much difference to the same parts on this aircraft.     The trailing single landing gear is also highly-realistic, beautifully created and the chrome now stands out even more with XP11 reflections doing an even better job than the original supports. Wear and tear is well replicated here as well.     The front landing gear assembly is also highly detailed, and fully animated for movement. Although the featured aircraft tow puller does not perfectly align with the gear.     Menus Two of the pop-up menus are from the original version and standard Carenado, but there is now an extra pop-up A to cover the Autopilot EFIS panel (Electronic Flight Information System).     Both original tabs on your left lower screen have the C - Camera and  O - Options tabs.   Options covers Windscreen and Instrument reflections, Static Elements (handpull tractor, cones and tags), Opening/closing buttons for both the forward passenger door and large rear baggage door (there are excellent animations and great sounds with both actions), and you also can change your livery on this tab menu as well. "Scroll Highlights" has been deleted as there are new manipulators which are included with X-Plane11 that now does the same scroll movements without a separate function and the newer tool is far easier to use.   Menu C is programmed built in views. With mostly cockpit focused positions, only one external (TailCam) and one cabin view in Passenger L. You can adjust the "Field of View" and the aircraft's sound "volume" as well.   Sound has been upgraded to native FMOD. You had good 180º sound before, but Carenado is now using mostly the native X-Plane tools to do the same job, hence the above deleted scroll feature and now the sounds and the G1000 installation in other aircraft.   Internal The PC-12 beckons...   the quality of the interior is already evident from the external view. The cabin is still one of Carenado's best, beautifully formed leather seating is made even more exquisite by the PBR lighting effects. I wondered about a more commercial nine-seating arrangement in the earlier review instead of this executive six-seater arrangement here, it would make the aircraft more usable on island services.     Left and there is the cockpit....     ...  the PC-12 still has one of the most well created cockpits in X-Plane for this genre. And that is up against some serious competition, but it a very nice place to fly from.   Deep quality instrument reflections was a major feature on the original PC-12 and they still don't disappoint, but add in the X-Plane11 PBR lighting and shadows and it looks absolutely stunning.     Both Yokes can be hidden, but they are better visible as they both have very active features. There is still the featured "Stick Shaker", and so put the aircraft into a stall and the violent stick shaker will quickly pull you back to your senses, it is very well done and I am surprised that the PC-12 is still the only aircraft to use this function?  The rain effects also still work, but only at very low speeds.     Main electrical and lighting overhead panel (OHP) is still obstructed by the pull down shades, so you have to move them to access certain parts of the switchgear. Nice pedestal has Stabiliser Trim which is electric and the position display is on the upper right of the pedestal, but no yaw adjustment. Nice cabin tempº gauge glows nicely in the day or night.     The armrests hide the throttle which hides the condition/feather lever (in one) of which you use a lot, so I had to set out an X-Plane view to get access to it. There are more rocker lighting switches for panel, cockpit and cabin lighting on the rear of the pedestal, but the above smaller extra lighting adjusters here still don't work which is disappointing. The flap selection lever is of 0º - 15º - 30º and 40º of flap, and the flap indicator is positioned in the very top left of the pilots panel.   The armrests are animated and fold out of the way behind the chairs which is well done, not for access to the pedestal, but also for easy entry into the (tight) seats.     Another great feature on the PC-12 was the rudder adjustment, twist the handle to match your height and feel more relaxed in flight. The adjustment handles now have chrome fittings as does the rear mount of the yokes and seatbelt clasps, all small touches but it lifts the quality of the cockpit.     Turning on the two batteries brings power to the aircraft on the OHP. There is an external power switch (arrowed) but still no external power cart (damn).     For its small size the OHP  is a little complicated as many of the switches have a double function as in the first right switch turns the item on and you then select the choice by the second switch for two selections. It is very easy to use once you understand the functionality. All selections of power use are noted well on the amp gauges with one set for certain items and the other set for selections. Both avionic switches are position on here as well. Once the power is activated then the PC-12 comes alive.   Instrument panel for genre of aircraft is excellent, mostly all electronic including excellent engine readouts and a full KFC 327 EADI (Electronic Attitude Director Indicator) and EADI (Electronic Horizontal Horizon Indicator) are part of the EFIS avionics suite.     With the power now on the rear cabin is spectacular as well, with excellent (switchable) adjustable lighting (see lighting below).     Again the PBR just adds in that extra realism in daytime if the aircraft is in certain lighting positions...     ...   opening and folding animated tables and drop down individual shades are excellent, and sometimes you just want someone else to do the flying... "I'm just fine back here thanks"   Instrument panel The instrument panel looks quite basic, but it is very far from that, there are loads of functions if you are willing to look for them and use them.     The panel layout is however quite straight forward but is dominated by the EFIS or Electronic Flight Information System, we will get more into the system in flight. The EFIS takes in two of the six standard flight instruments in the Artificial Horizon and the Heading Indicator. The others are the Airspeed, Altitude, Vertical Speed and RMI or automatic direction finder. There is a backup CDI (Course deviation indicator) but that is also built into the EFIS and two other backup instruments in another Artificial Horizon and Altitude dials. Co-Pilot's side is the same EFIS standard six layout without the backup dials.   Center panel top under the extensive deep glareshield is the excellent Benedix/King KFC 327 Digital/Electronic Flight Control System (EFIS) and the autopilot panel pops out. Next to the autopilot is the GARMiN GMA 340 Radio Comms Panel. Your ADF unit is the standard KR 87T50 Bendex/King ADF receiver. Below in another pop out is the engine/fuel display (digital) with large digital readouts for YRQ, ITT and NG and below the RPM, Fuel QTY (analog and digital). GEN 1 and GEN 2 readouts are duplicated from the overhead panel, and you also have the engine oil pressure and temp gauges in digital form. You have a save button and panel alert lighting test button that includes the extensive CAWS (Central Advisory and Warning System) that shows you your alerts and caution items for attention.   As standard now are two large GARMIN GNS530 GPS units which are fully 11.10 functional and both pop out for ease of use, but now you can also use the RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available) but this is an optional purchase from RealityXP (see below for details). There are two GARMiN 327 Transponders, with one center panel and one right down behind the co-pilots yoke and these units have to be activated separately from the power avionic switches. Climate controls are on the co-pilots left lower panel and the Oxygen lever is easy to miss on the pedestal. Center lower panel is the fairly useless AvDyne display with the EFIS control panel above it, which we will look at in flight.   EGCC (Manchester) to EIDW (Dublin) The powerful single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine (the PT6A-67B, 1200 shp), and the PC12 is certified for single-pilot IFR operations, although a second pilot is usually the normal.... is easily started with fuel pumps and ignition on and a press of the starter (Condition Lever to Idle).   It takes awhile for the engine to whine (that wonderful familiar PT6 start), and the turbine speed up to ignition, then the aircraft comes to life.     Sounds (now in FMOD) are authentic PC-12 sounds and are excellent, there is no side pilot window to open, but leave the main door open and then close it to get the full external effect. All sounds are 180º dynamic as well.   One thing to note is with the GNS530 GPS. There is two of them with their uses mostly for the Comm/VOR in Com1/VOR 1 (upper) and Com2/VOR2 (lower).   But there is something else you need to be aware of? Both GPS GNS530 can both load flightplan's and both can run at the same time? It is depending on which GPS is active under the GPS/VLOC setting? If both GPS 's are set with flightplans then they will both show on the displays. This can be good if you want two route choices, but bad if the routes conflict. Here I have only set up the upper GNS530 for the MAN- DUB route, and made sure it was the only active (GPS) GNS. The other GNS was cleared of any flightplan so the aircraft is not confused at which flightplan it is to use. The lower GNS I then use for information or data and the COM/VOR frequencies more than any routing.     One of the areas I am uncomfortable with is common with some Carenado's. Taxi speed is high with no more lower speed position down to adjust to unless you use the brakes. The PC-12 was one of the worse in high revs at a low idle position, the XP11 version is slightly better and and least you are in the lower range, but if you don't regulate the speed with the brakes the aircraft can still build up quite a head of speed. X-Plane11 came with new specially designed engine dynamics and they have been used here along with newer ground physics as well, although the noted ground physics are still currently of a lot of debate within the X-Plane community.     Setting your rotate speed is easy in the PC-12...   once you are out of the white airspeed zone (130knts), you can pull back on the yoke and depart the runway, the PC-12 has a lot of power for a quick climb at just under 2000fpm (1920fpm), but you use about 1700fpm for a clean pull upwards.     Aircraft handling is surprisingly very good, In my first review I really enjoyed the aircraft, and the same feel came straight back immediately, if a little better with the X-Plane11 dynamics. It is a relaxing sort of turn/bank and just watching and feeling the aircraft until you set the course you want. You don't wrestle it or fight it, but just go with the flow of the flying.     This aircraft hums along and you quickly fall into a nice thrust feeling of power as you revel in the excellent aural background.     EFIS My departure from EGCC was via runway 05L, but I am going West to Ireland, so to connect up with the flightplane I flew first on the heading mode in a departure circuit...     ...  this is trickier than it looks because the heading knob is down on the EFIS Select panel, and that situated right down on the middle centre console, so most heading changes to keep both the EHSI and the knob in view means your point of view is skewed oddly across the cockpit, a popup panel would be great for these navigation operations, and it is quite awkward when your are say in the landing phase of aligning up with the runway via the heading knob. In a real aircraft this operation is fine with a free right hand, but not in a constrained moving view that you have on a simulation monitor.     That said the EFIS Select panel has a lot of features, with Course, DH (Decision Height) and ADF (1-2) / VOR (1-2) pointers built into the EFIS display. You can also switch from the HSI to ARC mode view as well.   As noted the Autopilot panel does however popup by the Menu "A" tab, but that is actually easily reached from your pilot's position, however you can move and scale the panel if you need to move it near the EHSI Select panel, if the two panels were reversed in function it would suit you better than this arrangement.     You can adjust your pitch to ascend or descend by using the DN or UP buttons on the AP panel or use the more direct "Altitude Preselector" panel to ARM and ENG the set Altitude and Vertical Speed. Overall it is a really good modern glass flight system     Lighting There is no adjustable lighting on the PC-12, but rocker switchgear at the rear of the pedestal, some switches are 3-Way switchable (the adjustment knobs are there but are not activated?) So all lighting is very on/off in operation. The "ADVISORY" switch is for the illumination of panel lit elements.     And so Instrument lighting is straight on or off, and the main panel lighting is noted as "FLOOD" to cover the whole cockpit in colour. On X-Plane10 this flood lighting was terrible and very oversaturated, and I didn't like it at all, and with no adjustment available... I really didn't like it.  Here with PBR it is more calmer, but still oversaturated, but at least it is far more easier on the eye, so I can now live with it. With all the lighting on at night it is very dramatic (lower image).       Two overhead spots light the work area very nicely, but it is both lights on at the same time and not in individual spots.     Cabin lighting is more flexible. Spots only over the seats (Reading), and two overhead settings in 50% and 100%.     External lighting is excellent. There are five sets of lights for landing with two landing lights in the wingtips and three taxi lights on each of the landing gear struts. The taxi lights of course only work when the gear is down, but they are highly effective and all on together and they are highly dramatic.     Effective wing/Ice light is also very handy on the ground for embarkation and disembarkation. Excellent strobes (new flash style), Navigation and beacon lighting is perfect. External cabin feel is very good and realistic as well.   EIDW - Dublin Ireland is now on my port side, and it is time to descend. The flight over the Irish Sea is really a very short hop, but this aircraft in performance can cover some serious ground in altitude (30, 000ft) and distance (3,389 km (1,830 nm, Ferry mode)   Performance : Cruise speed: 500 km/h (312.5 mph/270 KTAS) : Stall speed: 120 km/h (74.8 mph/ 65 KCAS) : Service ceiling: 9,150 m (30,000 ft) : Rate of climb: 512 m/min at sea level (1,680 ft/min) : Power/mass: 3.7 kg/shp (8.2 lb/shp) : Range 0 passengers: 3,389 km (1,830 nm) - Range 9 passengers: 2,804 km (1,753 mi) (1,513 nm)       Aircraft's window reflections are very good and highly realistic from the cockpit or from the passenger cabin windows.      Originally in the earlier PC-12 versions I found myself very careful around the approach phase. The wing is very efficient, but still required modifications in final testing in a redesign of the wings with increase of wingspan and addition of winglets to ensure performance guarantees.   I found the PC-12 stalled very, very quickly at full flap. Stall speed is 120km/h or 65 KCAS, but I never ever got that low, and if it lost lift it was very hard to recover. Using power was the only way to keep the aircraft aloft, so you had to find that approach speed and hold it and not dare to reduce it further. So I compensated usually with faster approach speeds.   X-Plane11 changes all of that theory. One of Austin Meyer's main focus areas in XP11 was around Turbo (Turbine)- Prop engines like the PT6 and the like everything in X-Plane11 the thrust capabilities are now far more highly refined and more flexible. This bodes well for aircraft like the PC-12 and it shows in the flying, or more importantly in the approach phase.     So now you do get far more control at those slow speeds, yes the stall point is still there, but you have far more feel and input from the throttle than before in controlling the aircraft at those low approach speeds, and in this PC-12 it makes a serious difference right down to the centreline touchdown.   I still stay around the 110knts to 100knts zone on approach, but have quietly lowered the final speed around to 95knts, but old habits still die hard as I was before in the approach phase very wary in the aircraft, but now I revel in it and enjoy the feeling of what the minute throttle adjustments make to my approach path. Yes you have to be aware of flap and gear drag, but the throttle feel easily compensates for that now as it didn't before.     So the overall flight performance of the PC-12 is far more enhanced in this XP11 version, it makes it a very nice aircraft to fly now in a more professional way....  and the passengers get a better flight and not so bumpy a landing as well.       Liveries There are one blank (White) livery and six completed liveries of mostly Swiss, German and American in origin. All are high 4K quality and highly refined for the best efficiency and ease of loading. The noted seventh "SUBSTANCE" livery is just the white livery repeated.     Summary I was surprised this Carenado PC-12 was not received as well as it was on release, users just didn't take to it as much as it deserved. The main thought's are directed in that they had mostly already invested heavily in the STMA ( Shade Tree Micro Aviation) with their Pilatus PC12/47G version of the same aircraft, it is cheaper but older in design. Both are very good, but I prefer this Carenado version and far more now with it's XP11 enhanced features.   In only few areas do I still have some concerns or quibbles. The ground taxi speed is better, but still hard work as being still a touch too fast, so you bounce under braking than more taxi over to the runway. The EFIS Select panel is awkward to use and would be good as a pop-out unit and even though the cockpit lighting is excellent, more light adjustment via working knobs would give you a better lighting tone to work in and for separate spot lights for each of the pilot's.   Overall this Pilatus PC-12 from Carenado is excellent and certainly far more better in it's X-Plane11 form. It is also one of the best and lovely powerful single turbine aircraft to fly in X-Plane and the aircraft comes with a mountain full of features including that excellent all glass EFIS avionics system and great electronic engine readouts, brilliant sound, the first class cabin is one of Carenado's best as is the high detailing of the cockpit. External quality is also extremely high with now PBR but that is what you pay for and that is certainly delivered here in this PC-12.   Worth the investment? certainly in this X-Plane11 form, and you will be certainly very happy with the aircraft and at 12,000ft and humming along to that distant destination you will be more than content with the PC-12, it is excellent and this aircraft is one of the hidden gems from Carenado.   ______________________________________________     The Pilatus PC12 by Carenado is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   PC12 HD Series XP11   and is priced at only US$34.95    This PC12 in the XP11 release is not an update but a new upgrade version is priced at full value, but you do get free updates throughout the full  X-Plane11 run.   Features: Special Features: Version 1.0 of the new XP11 specific model Only for X-Plane 11 Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections). Features: Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11 Flight physics optimized for XP11 standards Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries X-Plane GNS530 (FPS friendly) Support for RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available). * Optional purchase from RealityXP Goodway Compatible Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy Included in the package: 6 HD liveries - 1 HD Blank livery PC12 Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) PDF PC12 Emergency Checklist PDF - Normal Checklist PDF PC12 Performance Tables - PC12 Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF   Requirements: X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10)
      Windows 7, MAC, or Linux
      4GB+ VRAM
      Version 1.0 (last updated Feb 1st 2018)   Installation : Download is 609.17mb that is unzipped to 667.60mb to your X-Plane - "General Aviation" Folder. (I use my regional aviation folder). The intergration of the Reality XP GTN 750 Compatibility is also available.   Documents: Carenado don't supply manuals, mostly system info, Procedures (Checklists) and performance tables, and all are provided here.   Copyrights.pdf Credits.pdf PC12 Electronic Flight Information System.pdf PC12 Emergency Procedures.pdf PC12 Normal Procedures.pdf PC12 Performance tables.pdf PC12 References.pdf Reality XP GTN 750 Compatibility.pdf Recommended settings XP11 .pdf   _____________________________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 12th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.11 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins:  Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - EGCC - Manchester Airport by Aerosoft/Icaruos (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.00 - EIDW - Airport Dublin V2 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95 (X-PlaneReviews Dublin update review is available here here: Scenery Update : EIDW Dubin v2 by Aerosoft)    
    • It is to the developers discretion if they want the AP controls on the main panel, but they can't change the pop-up version, personally I want them on there, but to make it authentic then they don't.
    •     Aircraft Update : Piper Twin Comanche PA30 v1.3 by vFlyteAir   VFlyteAir have done an update to their incredible Twin Comanche PA30 to version v1.30. The update covers like most in the latest changes in the areas of VR - Virtual Reality compatibility, FMOD sound with real Lycoming engine sounds, new scroll manipulators and X-Plane11 performance tuning.   The aircraft was released late June 2017, but X-Plane11 updates have been in abundance since that time, so hence these comprehensive updates that are coming thick and fast lately. For the X-PlaneReviews release review then go here:  Aircraft Review - Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche by vFlyteAir       There has been a lot of focus in v1.3 in two areas. First are the menus, which were very good in the first place.   The menu selector tab has been moved from the bottom of the screen to the lower left side...  But this is irrelevant because you can now move the tab and menu selector anywhere you want to on your screen.     The extensive menus are still really good, but the "Power Settings" panel has been greatly simplified.     If you resize the panels or move them to certain positions around your screen, they will remember (memorize) their size and position the next time you use the same panel. A great feature because a lot of these panels when opened can block out your view and you then usually have to move (and need to resize) to keep on either setting up the aircraft or continue flying.   Secondary focus is on the Century lll AutoFlite autopilot.     It is still a very axis based system, but it has had a lot of refinements as the autopilot pitch wheel can now be adjusted with PITCH mode off, the UP/DOWN pitch wheel manipulators were backwards (up/down arrows) but are now hands, but you do have adjust it back to the central position yourself, but still handy to retain the same pitch you set if you want to continue your climb.  And that nasty problem where the airplane would pitch up or down violently when dis-engaging the autopilot has also been eliminated. THe "NAV SELECT" toggle switch now correctly switches between pilot and copilot as autopilot source.   The lua script has been re-wrote for the PA30autopilot. as the autopilot modes were not engaging as expected in previous version, and autopilot was not responding to set X-Plane commands. Autopilot is now more compatible with standard X-Plane datarefs, and keyboard/joystick-mapped X-Plane commands can be used. Compatible X-Plane commands now are:     sim/autopilot/NAV   sim/autopilot/heading   sim/autopilot/approach   sim/autopilot/back_course   sim/autopilot/servos_toggle   sim/autopilot/altitude_hold   The Directional Gyro now shows either NAV1 or GPS course - does not show NAV2/OBS2 course (use OBS2 for NAV2 navigation) and the slip ball on the turn/slip indicator was using the wrong dataref with the "bank" indicator on the turn/slip indicator which should actually indicate the rate of turn, not the bank angle has been addressed.   The PA30 now uses ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin and the Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded into X-Plane. This shows on the top left of your screen and can be turned off. But I am not crazy about things that constantly keep popping up while you are flying, and this one is a bit of a nuisance, and in either to turn it completely off or to get rid of it would be more to my liking and just note there is a new update available.     A "Storm Scope" has been added to the aircraft (arrowed)...     ...    the "VFR" button on transponder now toggles between 1200 and 7000 for European compatibility and there is new plugin code to set audio volumes of ADF, DME and Marker based on audio panel volume knob setting and you can also set the audio panel to monitor ADF1 if BFO mode (tone mode) selected on ADF receiver.   To note the great animation of gear retraction...  and the exposed retracted main gear.     Summary The rapid changes within X-Plane11 is keeping developers on their toes, but the changes are very significant to the overall impressiveness of the simulator, there is a lot of catch-up to do, with VR, FMOD sound and the various performance models and all addressed here to keep this already brilliant Twin and the top of the pack. A really lovely aircraft to fly and comes with a virtual cascade of features, this v1.3 is a great update with menu and Autopilot areas addressed and improved and a load of bug and tuning to mature the aircraft.   The best Twin in X-Plane at the moment? That question is always debatable, but this PA30 from vFlyteAir has to be up there amongst the best.   _____________________________________________________________________________________     The Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche v1.3 by vFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Piper Twin Commanche PA30   Priced at US$29.95   Features: The Piper PA30 Twin Comanche is 100% X-Plane 11 compatible. We purpose-built this model from the ground up to take advantage of all the new features of XPlane 11:   FMOD Sounds: We built the sound system using FMOD Studio and XPlane 11's new sound engine. Enjoy effects such as spatial 3D sound location, Doppler effects, custom interior and exterior engine sounds and a variety of different button, knob and switch clicks. VR-Ready model: Works great in VR mode  Physical Based Rendering (PBR)  textures for exterior and interior objects, to provide appropriate surface reflections and specular high-lights.  Interactive menu system with intelligent Check Lists, interactive Weight & Balance calculator, Pre- Flight Options menu and pop-up Power Settings table – our new graphical on-screen menu system features interactive user choices and selections in a graphical interface. Dynamic pilot and passengers “ go to the Weight & Balance menu to add passengers and cargo for your flight. Your passengers will appear in the cockpit of the airplane as you increase their weights on the menu. Extra luggage will appear as you increase the luggage weight. The Total Weight and Center of Gravity dynamically change as you add weight to the aircraft.  Accurate Avidyne AXP340 Transponder with power-on boot screen, Pressure Altimeter display, Flight ID display, Altitude Monitorfunction, simulated ADS-B OUT, Flight Timer, Stop Watch Timer, and power-off count-down timer. The AXP340 is the most realistic transponder simulation we've ever created.  Accurate Fuel System: Optional tip tanks are selectable from the Pre- Flight menu. With the optional tip tanks turned ON, the Twin Comanche has six (6) separate fuel tanks. X-Plane does not support separately selectable fuel tanks, so we wrote custom code that simulates running out of fuel on the selected tank. But don't worry! If you get close running out, we'll (optionally) flash a message on the screen to change tanks before you run out of fuel!  On-Screen Warnings and Notifications: 13 different warnings and notification messages will appear on the screen, depending on conditions and triggers. You can turn off the warnings and notifications from the Pre-Flight menu Options section.  Pop-Out Instruments and Gauges: several key gauges and instruments can be 'Popped out' of the panel for easier viewing. VR friendly! Auto-Update: ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin - your Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded in X-Plane  Compatible with the RealityXP GNS530 (sold separately by Reality- XP.com) - we included a RealityXP.GNS.ini  file that makes the Twin Comanche ready for the RealityXP gns 530W plugin.  And: Custom HDR interior and exterior lights with custom strobe flash sequence; Custom 3-D Propeller Effects with Prop Feathering; 12 Extra Hi-Res Liveries Included – and a custom Paint Kit is available for dowload so you can create your own livery. Fuel truck locations are set for the Twin so that you can call for Ground Service in X-Plane 11.   Requirements X-Plane 11  (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows  7+ or MAC OS 10.6(or higher) or Linux. 
      2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.30 (Last updated Feb 10th 2018)   This v1.3 update is free if you have already purchased the PA30 Twin Comanche from vFlyteAir, just go your account on the X-Plane.OrgStore and download the new v1.3 version.   ________________________________________   Update Review and analysis by Stephen Dutton 11th February 2018 Copyright©2018: 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)   Full v1.30 changelog:   New Features: Added ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin - your Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded in X-Plane Virtual Reality Ready! Changed all cockpit manipulators to be compatible with X-Plane virtual reality preview version 11.20vr1. The Twin is fully functional in VR, but may require more modifications before the X-Plane VR version is released All new FMOD engine sounds created from actual Lycoming engine sound recordings Saved-state preferences - your options and settings are now saved each time you exit X-Plane, and they will be restored when you reload Added new storm scope instrument to panel (default X-Plane storm scope) New control menu icon can be repositioned on screen - its position will be saved when you exit, and restored when you reload Control menus can be resized and repositioned to your preferences - size and position will be saved when you exit and restored when you reload   Fixes: Autopilot bug fixes: Re-wrote pa30autopilot.lua script - autopilot modes were not engaging as expected in previous version, and autopilot was not responding to X-Plane commands. Autopilot is now more compatible with standard X-Plane datarefs, and keyboard/joystick-mapped X-Plane commands can be used. Compatible X-Plane commands are:   sim/autopilot/NAV   sim/autopilot/heading   sim/autopilot/approach   sim/autopilot/back_course   sim/autopilot/servos_toggle   sim/autopilot/altitude_hold   Autopilot pitch wheel can now be adjusted with PITCH mode off Autopilot UP/DOWN pitch wheel manipulators were backwards (up/down arrows) - fixed Fixed problem where the airplane would pitch up or down violently when dis-engaging the autopilot "NAV SELECT" toggle switch now correctly switches between pilot and copilot as autopilot source Directional Gyro now shows either NAV1 or GPS course - does not show NAV2/OBS2 course (use OBS2 for NAV2 navigation) The slip ball on the turn/slip indicator was using the wrong dataref - fixed The "bank" indicator on the turn/slip indicator should actually indicate the rate of turn, not the bank angle. Changed accordingly. Fixed problem with COM2/NAV2 LEDs fixed (were too dim) Ammeter was not indicating alternator bus load correctly - according to Piper owner's web site, the Piper ammeter should indicate the demand load on the alternator bus. Knobs and buttons on the COM2/NAV2 radio were mis-aligned COM2 inner knob not rotating when adjusted Fuel pump sounds continued playing after battery and engine shut down - fixed Wing objects were missing LIT textures Corrected LIT datarefs for wing tips strobe and nav lights Increased brightness of landing lights "VFR" button on transponder now toggles between 1200 and 7000 for European compatibility Added plugin code to set audio volumes of ADF, DME and Marker based on audio panel volume knob setting Added plugin code to set audio panel to monitor ADF1 if BFO mode (tone mode) selected on ADF receiver Added storm scope instrument to panel – customer request Adjusted fuel consumption - fuel flow rates are now per the POH Fixed a problem with the GNS530 right-side knobs - they sometimes would not allow user to scroll left or right enough to select characters Cylinder #4 CHT needle fixed - was not registering a temperature Adjusted nose wheel steering angles for low-speed and high-speed turning introduced in XP11.10      
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