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  3. NEWS! - Scenery Released : YSSY Sydney International by Fly Tampa If you are an long haul pilot in Simulation, then there are certain ports required to fulfill your network needs. London of course, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Singapore... one of the most important is YSSY Sydney, it has THAT bridge and Opera House as a focal point. TaiModels released a decent YSSY Sydney only a few years ago, but TaiModels are also very internal scenery focused, and the external features were sadly missing, most notable in the massive Port Botany that is positioned adjoining the airport. Fly Tampa are back in X-Plane! It was debatable this time, because their massive Fly Tampa Amsterdam EHAM was not very well received, as being too heavy on framerate, it made the expansive scenery not very usable, no matter how much power you had. But here we are with their version of YSSY Sydney, and being Fly Tampa it is extremely good (framerate is very good as well).... with Port Botany also part of the package. Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport ( YSSY) or Sydney Airport — is an international airport in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, located 8 km (5 mi) south of the Sydney central business district, in the suburb of Mascot. It is the primary airport serving Sydney and is a primary hub for Qantas (jetbase), as well as a secondary hub for Virgin Australia and Jetstar, and is also a focus city for Air New Zealand. Features Fully Custom rendition of the Kingsford Smith Airport Custom mesh Custom night lighting SAM and LST integration Custom Mesh (with patch for Ortho4XP users) Airport modeled with PBR materials Sloped airport terrain Dynamic lighting, animated Jetways and much more! This brand new released version of Sydney Airport from Fly Tampa includes many features such as a fully custom rendition of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, custom mesh, custom night lighting, SAM and LST integration, provided Ortho4XP patch and quality objects. It is noted as X-Plane 12 only, with the custom effects. ______________________________ The YSSY - Sydney International Airport by Fly Tampa is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store FlyTampa Sydney Priced at US$28.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows or Mac or Linux 8GB VRAM Recommended Current version : 1.0 (May 20, 2024) ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 21st May 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
  4. Yesterday
  5. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LFMQ - Le Castellet, France by FSX3D Mention Le Castellet in France to most people and it probably wouldn't glean anything. Mention it to any motorsports fan, and their eyes will quickly light up, "That's the F1 Circuit Paul Ricard", a very famous test track for all things in motorsport. There has been a few races here as well by the Formula One circus, but the Paul Ricard glory days are long gone, it's all dayglow in perspective today, weird images that mask the runoff areas. LFMQ is right beside the track, but a very few of the Laurence Stroll's of the world can afford the outrageous landing fees, but you can have all this for only under $15. This is another FSX3D transfer scenery to X-Plane 12... a very nice to have. Le Castellet Airport, also known by the ICAO code LFMQ, is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in the Var department, in the south of France. The LFMQ airport is positioned directly by the famous F1 Circuit Paul Ricard, making it a popular destination for motorsport enthusiasts and participants in events held at the circuit. Main Runway: The airport has a single asphalt runway (13/31) measuring 1,750 meters long and 30 meters wide, capable of accommodating a variety of aircraft from small passenger planes to private jets. Taxiways and Aprons: Taxiways and parking areas (aprons) are well equipped to facilitate the movement of aircraft and parking of private jets. Services include, International VIP airport with premier facilities,FBO services, high security, IFR procedure available 24h a day, Business centre, helicopter shuttle and hangars, Parking / hangar accommodation up to Gulfstream 650 and BBJ, Helicopter shuttle - 35 minutes from St. Tropez and 45 minutes from Monaco, Customs are also on request 24h. Features included in the scenery: Ultra detailed car parks, taxiways and track PBR on all objects Ambient occlusion (Objects and ground) Wet track effects Dynamic lighting Compatibility Ortho4XP Compatibility AutoOrtho HD photorealistic ground textures Noted as.... Business aviation’s gateway to "The French Riviera". Le Castellet very well value priced below $15 US dollars at only US$14.99. This scenery is only available in the X-Plane 12 option at 467Mb in size. Also Corsica, Gap-Tallard and Hautes-Alpes are all finally getting a lot of X-Plane 12 attention via these FSX3D excellent releases... check them all out now. Images are courtesy of FSX3D _______________________________ LFMQ - Le Castellet, France by FSX3D is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: LFMQ - Le Castellet, France Price is US$14.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 467 MB Current version : 1.0 (April 17th 2024) ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 19th May 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
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  7. Thanks for the review, just purchased it thanks to your review. I admit that X-Trident planes never disappoints. By the way, I think it is time that we should press the helicopters developers to start and expose their plane information, through Datarefs, for SAR mission to be created by 3rd parties. I already contacted X-Trident few months back, and I'm happy that he did not will consider that, but as MS2024 is looming, we need more options and I think that sites like this one is another platform to push this request since everyone will benefit from it. Cheers
  8. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.09 Rotate have released v1.09 for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Earlier in a noted "beta" release for testing, this now the formal release with a load of great improvements added to this fabulous authentic Simulation. First it tests support for Apple Silicon architecture, which has become a more restless problem for developers than first realised, developers are getting on top of the problems, but Silicon is certainly not of the same configuration of the older Intel based processors. Another big new feature is the "pop up" instrument displays are now available. Rotate aircraft (MD88/MD11) have always had fixed displays/screens. Now you can "popout" the instrument panels including the MCDU units. It was always hard to programme with their position relative to the MAP display (PLAN MODE)... You still have to use the MCDU for inputs, but it saves you from flicking back and forth between the MAP display and MCDU. Yes all the popouts are scalable in size and can be used in Home Cockpits in the usable Window configuration. And YES I really "loved" the new feature. Lighting has also had a bit of a revision, fine tuning you can all it. The lighting was always really good in the MD11, but it feels now more natural, Softer? but it looks excellent. Windows are now more cleaner, clearer... I personally found them a bit "Too" clean, clear... I would like the option for dirty windows as my preference, or the dirtier the better. There has been attention on the landing roll. The MD11 has one of the fastest landing speeds of any aircraft, so this aspect point is important. Here several areas on the approach phase have been tuned. Including AP1/AP2 annunciator in (the) FMA during dual land mode has been fixed, FMS SPD deceleration select/preselect now have safeguards during approach, FMC now does calculated IAS values for deceleration configurations. The MS speed target was rising above the approach speed below 100AGL in some cases... and finally the landing roll brakes have better deceleration. All are aimed to the approach and landing phase sequences. The v1.09 changelog is the usual lengthy output from Rotate, mostly nips and tucks to this of one of the very the highly specialised Simulations for the X-Plane 12 Simulator... - Added pop up windows for screen displays. - Implemented MIN PROF field in STAR page for RNAV procedures. - Implement FMS SPD deceleration select/preselect safeguards during approach. - Show FMC calculated IAS values for deceleration configurations. - Improved VNAV descent prediction during non-clean configuration. - Improved VOR interception accuracy. - Tuned landing roll brakes deceleration. - Added VERT ALERT annunciation in FMA when approacing T/D. - Filter airports displayed by runway length. - Reset CLB/ACCEL FMC fields. - HDG SEL (pull) must allow edition of the heading target until <3º difference. - Pushing FMS SPD (with no wheel change) resets to ECON. - Added warning and logging for route loading process. - Improved LED lighting of LCD displays. - Inhibit DEFINED WAYPOINTS deletion when used in the flight plan. - TCAS TA Only mode should be engaged automatically on ground and below 1000AGL. - Improved manipulation of ELF switch. - Reorder SID/STAR listing after applying filters. - Reset ADG with maintenance button. - Reduced dirt on windshield texture. - Fixed FMS SPD indication glitch during climb at cross-over altitude. - Fixed a problem with navaid selection with duplicate names. - Fixed AFS pitch limits during SOP. - Fixed a problem when transitioning from PROF to ALT HLD/SOP during descent. - Fixed navaid DESELECT for ILS navaids. - Fixed APPR/ILS guidance response when signal is not available. - Fixed HDG turn direction problem when crossing 0. - Fixed HDG bug reset after being hidden. - Fixed AP1/AP2 annunciator in FMA during dual land. - Fixed a bug in bank limit during non curved transition. - Fixed FMS SPD target rising above approach speed below 100AGL in some cases. - Fixed draw order of flight director bars in PFD. - Fixed Aircraft floating over the runway during autoland in XP11. - Fixed DME only stations not showing correct data in ND. - Fixed ATS too responsive during cruise. - Fixed compatibility problems with A Pilot's Life and other plugins. - Fixed N2 going over red arc during TO in high altitude airports. - Fixed bug in FPA discreet stepper when going down. - Fixed problem in "fix all failures" function. - Fixed a bug in landing gear disagree lights. - Fixed a typo in stby airspeed indication. - Fixed a bug in logic of CRZ and CLB thrust mode auto-selection. - Fixed A-ICE ALL ON shown along with all other A-ICE alerts. - Fixed reverser indication color during deployment on air. - Fixed engine fire handles annuciators. - Upgraded to newer Aerosoft database. The update v1.09 now also available to download from the Skunkcraft Updater, or use your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the latest version in v1.09. Support Forum at X-Plane.org or http://support.rotatesim.com/ _____________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.09 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rotate MD-11 Price is US$83.95 The feature list is HUGE, so if you want to read it, then open the text file. Feature List.txtUnavailable Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows 8 or Mac OSX 10.12 or newer (M Processors supported) , Linux Ubuntu 64b 18.04 or newer 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version: 1.09 (May 16th 2024) You can download this updated v3.0 Updater free here; SkunkCrafts Updater Standalone client Full download v1.09 changelog is here; Changelog v1.09.rtf ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 17th May 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 Right Reserved.
  9. Aircraft Review - Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design In June 2020. Thranda Design released the X-Plane 11 version of the utility Swiss aircraft, the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. The aircraft was a more modern replacement for the long-established DHC-2 Beaver in the highly competitive utility role. The first PC-6 version came with a 254 kW (340 shp) pistoned-engine, it first flew in 1959. But it was when an early turboprop powerplant version that became available for the PC-6 with the Garrett Air Research TPE 331, that the aircraft really came then into it's own class. But the TPE 331 installation didn't last long either, as in May 1996 with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine performed its own maiden flight and the PT6A really then cemented the Porter's reputation and as a direct replacement for the DHC-2, the Beaver's production ended just two years later. A rugged utility design the PC-6 is... The aircraft and the excellent modeling was extremely good in X-Plane 11, even if the XP11 world was flat compared to the realism of XP12. The conversion to XP12 keeps the dynamics of the earlier aircraft, but now places it in the highly developed world of X-Plane 12 ULTRA hi-res PBR realism, it stands out, brilliantly in the world it richly deserved. Design wise there is not much difference, but the XP12 version comes with the newly created PBR textures, are all 8K now as well (four times the resolution), so the detail is far more highlighted, even extremely so. Admire the perfected riveting, the panel construction, ribs... all so very good. Rugged landing gear is intricately done, all the struts and built in dampers are beautifully realised, gotta love those tyres, also available are the bigger Tundra sizes as well. Daniel Klaue is one of the most prominent X-Plane developers so you are going to get nothing more that the very best, and certainly that is the case here. In the XP11 review I admired the wing profile, it's worth repeating again here... as it is an almost perfect sculpture. A lot of the glass areas are just flat, but the main windscreen is a complex, convexed shape and has a large helicopter feel... here again with all the glass it is highly realistic, and you can have the tint on or have clear glass. Cabin The cabin has a two-abreast layout in six seats, in the same check blue trim as XP11. Still very modern, and looks more towards the higher quality in XP12. Side doors can be left open in flight if required, but that would scare the bejesus out of anyone actually sitting in there, unless you were going for a parachute jump. Seat backs can be moved forward, and any, or all of the seats can be removed. The aluminium wall panels and riveting is still worth admiring, it looks and feels very realistic, note the parachute rail above. Cockpit The PC-6's cockpit is very basic in a utilitarian way, with just metal frames with all the controls or instruments added or bolted on... note the very rudimentary window air blower, it is basically a pipe with holes drilled in it? Still the quality of the instrument panel is absolutely first rate, it comes with lovely authentic instruments. The prominent forward metal frame bar also creates a shelf, and items like the quadrant and flap switch/rudder trim, clock (right) and Interrupt and the alternate trims are bolted directly on to the frame... note the loop wire park brake, it is really basic. ... three levers control "Prop", Throttle "Power" and Mixture "Idle" which has a safety gate. The lever to the panel push-pull rod is expertly crafted and has excellent realistic animation. T shaped throttle lever looks like a twin throttle handle but it isn't, but does carve out a working handle feel. Lower Flap selections are UP (0 degrees), TO (28 degrees) and LND (35 degrees). Rudder pedals are as basic as the ones you use with your simulator, it is just a simple moving bar and the extra pedals for brakes. The air and heat piping is visible and again something you would buy from your hardware store. Lovely simple control stick, with a PTT (Push to Talk) button front and has a trigger switch behind. Front seats are encased in a bucket style frame, and those hanging seat belts are still awfully well done. _________ Instrument Panel The instrument panel in this PC-6 is unique as it can be configured to your own personal preferences in the menu, a unique feature by Thranda, but first we will look at the default layout of the panel. The Porter is a strictly one pilot operation, rarely does it have two aviators flying, but the stick and rudder controls are provided in the second seat. So all the instrumentation is to the left and set around the pilot's eyes. Clear and concise, most instruments are quite large and really well done here. Standard Six covers Airspeed Indicator (knots), Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row. Below is a ADF/VOR pointer, Heading Dial and Backup Attitude Indicator. Third row has a Vertical Speed Indicator, Turn Coordinator and Fuel Gauge (litres), far left lower is a Radar Altitude Dial. A note about the two Altitude Indicators in that the top row version only moves per hundred feet in a click, which I really like, unlike the backup standard clock dial version. Avionics package includes both the GNS 530 and the GNS 430 GPS units, a Garmin GTX327 transponder and bottom is a Garmin GNA 340 radio set. Centre panel left has four dials with two small top and two larger lower to cover the engine performance with (small) Prop RPM speed x 100 and gas generator RPM or Ng %, and below below (large) are the Torque psi and ITT or "Inter Turbine Temperature" gauge. Right side instrument panel has a few more engine readouts, these include the Indicators for the oil temperature, pressure, and fuel pressure which are combined into a single gauge... ... below is a ammeter and an voltmeter, the PC-6 utilises a 28V electrical system. A single 24V battery is installed to provide power for engine starting and as a secondary source for DC power. A 300-amp starter generator provides normal power at 28 volts. Far right is a suction gauge (Vacuum). Centre right panel is a Hobbs counter and a lovely Whisky Compass centre screen. There are two wing tanks of 170 US gallons each (643.5 liters, 1147.5 lbs, or 520.5 kg) of total of usable Jet-A fuel. These wing tanks gravity-feed into a small 2.9 gallon collector tank located behind the cabin rear bulkhead, which feeds the engine. The twin fuel tank gauges are lower right, in compliment with the total fuel gauge at the lower SS position. Dials are really well done and look really nice. All lower circuit breakers are active. The electrical switchgear are set out in two rows, top external lighting and lower Master (Power), Generator and various other generic electrical power switches. There is a panel each end of the instrument panel. To the right is a De-Ice system with ampere gauge. Left is the optional external fuel tank panel... ... each under-wing optional external tank holds an additional 49 gallons (185.5 liters, 330.7 lbs, or 150 kg) of usable fuel. The external tanks are really well done, but also makes the Pilatus look very military. Notable is the ADF panel sitting down between the two front seats, very hard to use in a simulator way, but again well done. At each of the end of the shelf, there are airvents which are fully animated for movement and flow. Menu - Tablet Biggest difference between the earlier PC-6 Porter in this updated XP12 version is a new menu... well sort of? The side Arrow window tab is still there, and it still does the same pop-up menu, but it is now in the shape of a iPad - Tablet. There is a reason for this change... the same iPad/Tablet can also be used as a Tablet in the aircraft. There is a brown circular patch on the window, if you press the hotspot, then the IPad/Tablet will appear, and the same tablet is also attached to the right hand side window. The iPad/Tablet can be adjusted, but not too far in movement as the window's glass gets in the way. The original seven menu selections have now been almost doubled to 13 selections, the side menu is also gone and they have all been replaced by square icons; Aircraft Options, Weight & Balance, INSTR Options, Panel Editor, Static Liveries, DYNAFEEL, Log Book, Checklist, Ground Handling, Dynamic Liveries, Flight Computer, Equipment and AviTab... at the bottom is a "Brightness" slider. Missing from the earlier menu is the "Camera" selection? Notable is that the screen tablet is set in a "Window" frame, and these window popups can be moved around the screen and also scaled in size... Aircraft Options This page menu is also changed from the earlier "General" selection, but the options and the layout stays the same, the layout is still as highly detailed and as very comprehensive as before in the General tab. Three selections cover group items, but any one item via "Click Spots" can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for propeller and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both cockpit doors, both cabin sliding doors and the twin engine cover doors, and open the forward panels and it exposes inside a lovely recreated PT6A-27 turboprop, flat-rated to 550 SHP (47.3 psi at 2000 RPM) as this is the Pilatus PC-6 B2/H4 version represented. The Engine can be set into two modes... SIMPLIFIED or REALISTIC In Simplified mode the engine will automatically limit the engine to remain below the maximum torque of 47.3 psi. In Realistic mode it will be up to the pilot to avoid exceeding the engine limitations. The propeller gearbox or propeller shaft can break if the torque limit is exceeded by a certain margin, resulting in engine failure and smoke in the cabin (the smoke can be cleared by pulling the firewall air shutoff control closed). There is also a very nice GPU (Ground Power Unit) and an Electric Tug on the rear tailwheel, that is controlled via your joystick. There is the selection of a SIMPLIFIED or REALISTIC tailwheel actions. in Simplified mode the tailwheel is standard X-Plane rudder connected yaw in a range of +- 30 degrees, In Realistic mode it functions as in the real aircraft. There is a section in the manual relating to steering in the freewheeling mode. Other Aircraft Options menu selections cover; Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, External Fuel Tanks show/hide, Chocks and brakes on/off. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can ALL INT - Internal lights. The lights can also be accessed on the aircraft graphic including the extending and retraction of the end of the wing landing/taxi lights, this action can be a bit fiddly and slow but clever. The lights on the PC-6 are now all LED. Weight & Balance The PC-6 has the same intricate great "Weight and Balance" menu as earlier. In both Lbs and Kgs, which can be selected via the toggle... ... Fuel can be added, and you can also use the twin-external tanks if they are then shown, and both are adjustable in the menu as well. Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for their individual weights (scroll), and the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph and with a marker on the aircraft of it's physical CofG, when done you can save the configuration and later reload it. As noted you can show/hide any of the rear seats, by pressing the X by the seat. Add in weights to the two front seats will also add in the Pilot (Dan) and his lovely female Co-Pilot. But adding in cargo (weight) will not put anything in there rear, unlike on some Thranda aircraft. INSTR Options A new menu item is your "Instrument Option" menu page. There are four options available; GPS #1 Popup (GNS 530), GPS #2 Popup (GNS 430), STEC 55 "Fifty Five X" Autopilot Popup, and there is also the option to change the Baro Units from mb to inhg. Panel Editor "Panel" is now "Panel Editor"... part of the Thranda "Dynamic Generation Series", also re-authored for XP12. More about the DGS Series The Thranda PC-6 Porter can be highly customised in two areas to suit your taste. First in Dynamic Panel, as there is no default instrument setup, as you can customise the panel to suit your own flying preferences. In the new iPad/Tablet configuration the screen space is now far larger than the old "Panel" Menu. This is good, because as some of the small access zones before tended to overlap each over, so you always found yourself adjusting (scrolling) the wrong item. Top row of options are 4 different panel backgrounds, Default Grey, White, Black and Blue. (Note all options can be mouse scrolled) There are also Five Panel "Presets". For most selections you have to save (overwrite) the preset you want, then reload the aircraft to get the panel configuration you want? Alpine Avionics Evolution Part of the options available is the EFD 1000 which is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not highly featured system, with the GPSS, MAP, 360 and Menu functions all not simulated, but the display does pop-out... It works of course with the S-TEC Autopilot. Laminar Research G1000 Also part of the options is the duel screen Laminar Research G1000 GNS system, both the PFD and MFD/MAP pop-out for convenience. The RealityXP GNS 530W/430W or GTN 750/650 Touch 3D bezels are also available if you have these optional addons. The "Dynamic" in the panel is another featured DGS. Besides having different custom panel configurations, you can also customise the instrument panel by selecting "ENABLE 3D PANEL EDIT MODE". This will highlight the available instruments you can change in green. Selecting an instrument via the "INDIV INST" (Individual Instrument) and "ACTIVE INSTRUMENT" it will highlight the instrument you want to say, move to another place or adjust the position on the Instrument Panel... ... or hide the instrument completely to make space, say you don't want the Autopilot? then simply delete it. You can also add in tools and instrument features, like the "Switch Panel", or the Aspen EFD 1000, or the Reality XP bezels. You have access to all of the 44 individual instruments and avionic units... and basically you can also start with a completely blank panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout... and can have up to, or can save 14 different panel layouts (presets) ... so for absolute layout choice it is crazy! Static Liveries This was earlier called "Painted Liveries", now named just Static Liveries. There are only eight provided liveries, down from 16 earlier choices. But they are the best of the bunch. Thranda is the Default. The earlier twin white of the liveries that were noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY" liveries are now missing? as the DGS system has be refined, it is now more smoother and the long wait pause times have been reduced. There is a white "Blank_Livery" available (in the Documentation) as a template to add in more Static Liveries. DYNAFEEL "DynaFeel" is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect, in Pitch, Roll and Yaw. It is based on airspeed and how much the control's are deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with some small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. Logbook This is one feature adopted from the JustFlight Menu. This Icon will just show the X-Plane Logbook window. Checklist New to the Thranda PC-6 is Checklist. A 36 page checklist is very comprehensive set in the iPad/Tablet. Navigation is via the lower left/right arrows, or you can scroll the pages via the centre box bottom. The Checklist will also pop-out into a scalable window, to make the list available anywhere in the cockpit.... You tick off the list one-by-one (green), but there is no default to clear the list in one click? Ground Handling This Ground Handling Icon is also new. This option just views the X-Plane default "Ground Handling" window. if you prefer that tool over the Thranda electric tug. Dynamic Liveries Earlier we saw the available "Static Liveries". Here you can actually design your own livery and save the livery. 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 (scroll) the RGB colours for that area. Other options include changing the Registration of the aircraft and putting the "PC-6" logo on the tail. It looks hard but you can easily design a very nice livery in about twenty minutes... To help there is already 31 liveries already completed to choose from, or to adjust the finer details of any of the presets to your liking. ... when done you can "Save" (Add) the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. When you apply the livery the screen will then freeze for a few minutes, and go a bit weird? The results are however excellent. A note... if the created livery does not appear correctly? Then go to the Static Liveries and select "Apply", then go back to the created Dynamic Livery and do it again, this time it should create the livery you wanted. A feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt via percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly. So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. Also changes can can be made to the Metal or Rough surfaces, this can be applied to any of the liveries. Note you can apply the same Dirt and Scratches onto any of the Static Liveries directly via that menu. As noted before. the DGS system is far smoother in this new layout, it is also far easier to use as well with the larger scalable panel. Flight Computer Another new feature from the JustFlight menu. This shows you your current aircraft data including; OAT, GS (Ground Speed), Endurance, Range, NMPG/SMPG, Altitude, TAS (speed), Fuel Flow, Fuel Used, Headwind (knts) and Crosswind (Knts). Both units in Metric or Imperial are also available.... and you can reset the fuel burn. Equipment Under the "Equipment" Icon you have several items as external options, these items were originally under the MISC tab There are Five Equipment options. Top is the Regular or Tundra (large) Tyre option. A set of Skis. Mud Flaps can be used with either the Regular or Tundra tyred settings. Forward passenger window can be either sizes in Small or Large. And the optional twin wing tanks. AviTab AviTab is a PDF viewer, Airport info, METAR info and ILS frequencies information tool, it also has a moving map that supports online maps and offline maps, Navigraph integration in that you can link your Navigraph account and see the charts right in the cockpit. In the PC-6 the Avitab is available in both the 3D tablet and a scalable pop-out window. _____________ Lighting The lighting on the PC-6 is very utilitarian both externally and internally. Note the images here are from the X-Plane v12.1.0 beta, which is a huge improvement over the earlier X-Plane 12 lighting. There are two underwing Landing/Taxi lights, Red beacons top and lower fuselage (selectable) or you can have bright white Strobes, and the three standard Navigation lights. Instrument Panel is lit by a simple red light on the roof. And there are two sidewall mounted cabin lights for the rear. Amphibian Most Thranda X-Plane 12 releases now include both the wheeled version and also the Amphibian variant. There is no "Float" version here, only the Amphibian variant, but very good it is. The aircraft looks excellent in the air, but you have to be aware of the extra weight in takeoff and manoeuvring, the so called "pendulum" effect. Float design is the usual excellent Thranda thorough design and detailing, hull shape is excellent. Rudders are raised and lowered by a lever right forward side of the pilot's seat, or do as I do in using a keyboard command Excellent retractable gear is also very realistic, gear control is by the additional panel set on the beam in the centre panel. The performance on water is again absolutely first rate, water craft have come a long way in better realism since the introduction of X-Plane 12, here you are seeing the latest incarnation with the v12.1.0 water... it's now just perfectly brilliant. The "Equipment" Menu is also different in the Amphibian version. There is all new menu order, from top; Water Rudder (retracted/extended). Ladder Left, Ladder Right, Windows (Small/Big), Wing Tanks (Disabled/Enabled) and Docking Hold. We will look at "Docking Hold" first. This is the same tool as earlier noted as the "Slew" feature. Docking Hold mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is used mostly only really with the Amphibian/Floats option in docking the aircraft to say a pier or marina. But it works extremely well. The optional Left and Right ladders are connected to the wings. Both the Menu options of the same "Static LIveries, and "Dynamic Liveries" are also available for the Amphibian, with the floats being colour matched to the fuselage. Flying the XP12 PC-6 Porter First you have to understand the unique attraction to the PC-6 Porter. It is as they say a "Seat of the Pants" aircraft. True pilot's love the Porter because of the feel and reaction the aircraft has under their control. So if you need to get into an impossible remote landing strip then in most cases it will be with a Porter... short, rough even steep gradients are all challenges that the PC-6 can take on with it's incredible STOL - Short Takeoff and Landing capabilities. But also remember that in front of you is a massive PT6A-27 turboprop, flat- rated to 550 shp, turning a large Hartzell 4-bladed constant speed propeller. It is like having a powerful V8 engine attached to a Go-Kart, and in your case a monster of an engine attached to the light frame that you are sitting in... so the PC-6 is unique in the way you handle it, or fly it... overall you can see the immense attraction to pilots it has. So put on the power, and you get a serious "whoa!" in that PT6A-27 t will pull you left off the runway quick smart... even if you are ready for the pull, so slow power on to start, then build up the speed. Rudder action is however very good (considering the petit size), so you can easily straighten up the line, only 30 knts and the tail is off the ground... 70 knts and your flying. Use only one stage of the flaps (28º) and your flying even earlier, as the STOL effect is very good. The PC-6 has a rate of climb of 1,010 ft/min, or a 1,000fpm. But it can easily out-climb that rate at the limit, and still gain speed. Service ceiling is 8,197 m (26,893 ft). Thranda do note the engine limits for the PC-6, and to certainly the need not to exceed the parameters, as that would be easy with the power you have available, but now in the air and at your altitude it is time to trim the Porter. The electric trim is on the joystick and very easy to use (I have a keyboard trim setup), the trim display is left top on the instrument panel (arrowed). The PC-6 is super easy to trim via the vertical and a couple of flicks left of the rudder trim should have you easily flying hands off stick neutral, in fact you don't need an autopilot as the Porter will fly trimmed straight into the horizon very easily... one note though is there is no rudder trim, so the aircraft has a tendency to pull left under power, which you have to manually correct. I don't have any qualms at all in recommending the PC-6 as a "Pilot's" pilot aircraft, a bush plane that is easy to fly. For a novice flier, this is also a great starter aircraft, "Seat of the pants" sort of thing, you feel the Porter as much as fly it. Sounds have been re-authored in FMOD, capturing the subtleties of the PT6 engine and its very dynamic 4-bladed prop, with a lot more authentic wind noise and background sounds. Maximum speed is 232 km/h (144 mph, 125 kn) Vno, Vne: 151 knots or cruise at 213 km/h (132 mph, 115 kn). Range is 730 km (450 mi, 390 nmi) with maximum payload and Ferry range is around 1,612 km (1,002 mi, 870 nmi) with maximum internal and those twin-underwing fuel tanks. I checked out the banking again, and yes you still need that stick back-pressure to turn cleanly, but the stick feedback is very, very good, in fact the handling overall is quite superb. So the flight dynamics have also been extensively overhauled for both for the land and the amphibian version, and to closely match XP12's new dynamics. You can even adjust your altitude just by reducing the power, pull the throttle back and down you go, too steep then you can climb back just as quickly by pushing the throttle back up to counter the fall, and all without moving the stick... .. at the right height flare off the nose down attitude to rub off the speed... when the speed is around 80 knts and a good 15 knts into the white zone you can drop the flaps to 28º, this effect will then drag the speed down to the approach speed of 60 knts, lovely is fact there is no flap lift, or unbalance as the aircraft slows down, you feel the lift but not that secondary sinking feeling with less power... and it is all smooth as. I will note that with the no backlit instruments... in some lighting conditions the X-Plane 12 heavy shadows can make them hard to read, it is a very dark panel. Drop the flap to the full 36º and your speed will rub off to 55 knts, you are still flying well at this speed, but any less power and then you will lose height. Stall speed is only slightly below your approach speed at 96 km/h (60 mph, 52 knts), and you have a red light on the panel if you exceed this low speed. The trick is to go as low to the low speed warning without lighting the red light, it is the perfect landing speed as you will also wind down slowly to the runway. Only a slight flare is needed, it's a taildragger after all.... and your down! Yes flying the Porter was easy, but let us not get too cocky here as this aircraft is not for absolute total amateurs, skills were needed to do the right procedure, right speed at the right place to get that extremely exciting landing, but if you are good at flying like this, then the Porter will reward you back a thousand times over... as the PC-6 is brilliant to fly. _______________________________ Summary One of the most versatile and even a workhorse background utility aircraft, the Swiss built Pilatus PC-6 Porter is on of the most coveted pilot dream machines for its basic but powerful design, extremely flexible for its amazing STOL capabilities this is one of the most rugged and the best get in and then out of remote areas fixed-wing aircraft available. Daniel Klaue needs no introduction if you have been in X-Plane for a period of time, certainly one of the most innovative and one of the most talented developers out there that is highly regarded within the Simulator. This is a Dan Klaue aircraft and so you expect tons of ideas and clever features and certainly the PC-6 Porter does not disappoint in that department. Modeling and detail is absolutely first rate, this is an excellent Porter aircraft with a lovely design and high quality. For X-Plane 12 the PC-6 has had a very comprehensive overhaul, including all new authored textures in 8k (four times the higher resolution than before) it shows of course, but without the framerate hit. The EFB: Electronic Flight Bag, or the Thranda Tablet is all new, with now 13 options (up from seven before), and all the pop-out windows are scalable. Flying Dynamics are also completely revised for XP12, as is the better LED lighting. Advanced FMOD (2)-based sound system has also been extensively overhauled for XP12, and all of course recorded from a real PC-6 and it's PT6 engine, The innovative menu system "Dynamic Generation Series", in you can create your own instrument panel layout or layouts as up to 14 different layouts of 44 instruments and avionics can be saved with 6 default layouts including a Aspen EFD 1000 with S-Tec 55x autopilot, and the panel is also RealityXP GNS 530W/430W or GTN 750/650 Touch with 3D bezels ready. A huge selection of 32 liveries is still complimented with a feature to create your own colour scheme and livery, then you can save them as well. The feature list is huge, and the excellent Amphibian variant is now part of the package. This aircraft is X-Plane 12 only, but the X-Plane 11 version is still available. Simply a pilot's aircraft to fly and love, the Pilatus PC-6 Porter is extremely responsive to your inputs, but that is why you love this aircraft, skills are required to get the very best out of the machine as it is a powerful taildragger, but even the most early cadet pilots will still love it. That huge feature list and a great value price, all now in X-Plane 12, so this is the perfect PC-6 Porter you always dreamed of, and what more can you ask for! _______________________________ Yes! the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 Price is US$34.95 Retail Price:$44.95- you Save:$10.00(22%) Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Recommended Download Size: 4.1 GB Current version 1.0 (May 4th 2024) _______________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 4.05Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file. Full installation is 4.94Gb Documents supplied are: Blank_Livery_For_Painting ChangeLog.txt Thranda PC6 Documentation v1_2.pdf Thranda PC6 Expansion Pack Manual.pdf Thranda PC6 Manual XP12.pdf Thranda PC6 Performance Charts MASTER XP12.pdf Thranda Pilatus PC6 Graphics Settings XP11.pdf Thranda Pilatus PC6 Graphics Settings XP12.pdf Thranda Pilatus PC6 Joystick Settings.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf A Blank Livery (PNG) of four files are provided for painting. Checklists, setting and loads of Performance graphs are provided in the various manuals _____________________ 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 Version 12.05r1 (note, during the review X-Plane v12.1.0 was released, and features in the update are noted and shown in this review) Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - PAWG - Wrangell Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio-PAWG (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 _____________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  16th May 2024 Copyright©2024 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  10. NEWS! - Laminar Research releases v12.1.0 It felt like a long time coming, and I haven't used the X-Plane Updater since December 2023? But here is the next update for the X-Plane 12 Simulator, it has a new name code as well in v12.1.0, with an extra digit added for incremental updates (that should mean more updates? but I'm not hopeful, given Laminar's past track record). This is a "beta" release, and that comes with ongoing development. The update list is extremely long (there are 354 bug fixes alone!), but the main feature areas are; 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. Early v12.1.0 images are simply breathtaking... Notable is the adjustable sharpness of the instruments... a huge difference in quality! You can find the full ongoing v12.1.0 beta details here: X-Plane 12.1.0 Release Notes To update v12.1.0, then just run the X-Plane Updater, it is a 5.3 GB update. Note that this a beta (beta tickbox is required to download the update). So expect more development as the v12.1.0 is consistently updated to the full v12.1.0 release. _________________ 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 15th May 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
  11. Earlier
  12. Wow, an excellent review of an excellent helicopter. Now I see what a special bird this is, and I'll be adding it to my X-Trident collection.
  13. Hey Stuart! Maybe you would consider flying the T-6A again? There is a new version 2.1 available now with a number of improvements and new features since your initial review was published.
  14. Aircraft Review - AgustaWestland AW109SP by X-Trident The helicopter category is one of the most competitive in features and innovation than any other area in the X-Plane 12 Simulator. To a point it is brutal, as developers are consistently upping the standards to higher and higher levels. Can you go even higher? even to the next level? We are all about to find out with the release of X-Trident's next project... in the AgustaWestland AW 109SP. The AgustaWestland AW109, originally the Agusta A109, is a lightweight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter designed and initially produced by the Italian rotorcraft manufacturer Agusta. It was the first all-Italian helicopter to be mass-produced. Its production has been continued by Agusta's successor companies, presently Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly AgustaWestland, when merged into the new Finmeccanica since 2016). The AW109 is a lightweight twin-engine helicopter, known for its speed, elegant appearance and ease of control. Since entering commercial service, several revisions and iterations have been made, frequently introducing new avionics and engine technologies. AgustaWestland have promoted the type for its multi-role capabilities and serviceability. The type has proven highly popular with VIP/corporate customers (Think Succession TV Show); according to AgustaWestland, 50% of all of the AW109 Power variant had been sold in such configurations. Other roles for the AW109 have included emergency medical services, law enforcement, homeland security missions, harbor pilot shuttle duty, search and rescue, maritime operations, and military uses. In 2008, AgustaWestland claimed the AW109 to be "One of the industry’s best-selling helicopters". X-Trident have a lot of experience and also have a great "Track Record" in the X-Plane Simulator, certainly with quality helicopters, with the formidable Bell AB 412 and the CH-47D Chinook being the class of the field. X-Trident have also dabbled with the Tornado and Harrier AV-8B in the fixed wing military arena... but it is their rotary-aircraft that they are mostly aligned to. Like noted, quality is extremely high in helicopters. So any new debutant release has their work cut out to deliver something special. A first look at the AW 109 is really a special moment to savour, as the aircraft is totally eye-catchingly brilliant in detail. We have found the quality of dedicated X-Plane 12 aircraft to be already very good, even standout by a totally different level from even of the very best of older X-Plane aircraft, of say like Rotate's MD-80 and MD-11... Good X-Plane 12 aircraft have that standout believability and crediblity of realism. Note this aircraft is the AW 109SP. The "SP" is different by being a single pilot IFR, TAWS and EVS, with new avionics in Genesys Aerospace systems and the front section of the fuselage made from carbon fiber to reduce weight. Also it has the "S" lengthened main rotor blades with a different tip design from the Power version. When you first look at a lot of Simulation detail, it usually looks very good. But go close up and REALLY up close then the detail usually falls away. But not here with the AW 109, as when you get in close, you are just blown away, by not only for the excellent detail but also for the sheer quality of the work, it is "Realism 101", right down to every small rivet and joint. Your paying for this quality of course, but it is nice to admire the realism of it all. It feels factory fresh, but still a working machine as well. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206C Turboshaft engine, 418 kW (560 hp) each, are both semi-visible, another X-Trident speciality (think CH-47D Chinook)... and all vents and lockers are perfectly done, as are the massive exhaust cones at the top rear. Glass is perfection, lovely tinted, deep and have great surrounds... you won't get better detail than this. Helicopter detail is highlighted by one area, rotor movements, or the rotor system. X-Trident was one of the first to do detailed links and hub mechanics... so I expected the same here, I was not disappointed. Rotor hub assembly detail is intricate and fully detailed right down to the last cotter nut and pin. The red centre rubber cone is also highly realistically animated (the same on the tail rotor assembly), so you can spend a lot of time in moving it, and personally working it all out to your heart's content. Roll (right-left) Pitch (forward-back) Collective (down-up) Tail rotor detail, shows a developer at the very top of their skills development, it is a piece of simulated art. YAW is animated (right-left rudder). Retractable landing gear is excellent. Not only the perfect tyre and rim detail, but the internal bay is fully detailed as well, rear gear is perfectly realised to near perfection... it is about as good as you could do, and I love the scruffed tyres for ultimate realism. Doors Both front pilot and co-pilot doors open, and both rear doors slide open, but you can't hide them. You manually internally have to open the doors, first by moving the latch, then physically moving them open or backwards. There is a menu option as well. Note the fold out step... There is only one cabin option... VIP or "Succession" layout, all in white luxurious leather. Tricky is moving from the cockpit to the rear cabin, as the boundaries are very tight, there is a (very small) gap between the seats, so the best way is out one door and back in via the rear door? There is only the pilot provided and his arms are animated to the controls... there are no provided Co-Pilot or Passengers in the package. Menu The "AW109SP" menu is set in the X-Plane banner.... It has three options; Options, Windows and Operations... there is the "Toggle FPS", but this is just the X-Plane framerate data for development. Options (Configurations); In the options tab there are six available choices; Controls, Options, Sounds, Anim, Maps and Obstacles. Controls; There are a lot of options to set the AW109 controls to your best feel and reaction, in fact a full page of adjustments. Main are the "Damper" adjustments for Pitch, Roll and Yaw rates, a Non-Centreing cyclic, Servo (Autopilot) motors (off-on-test), Rudder Ovrd (override), lower are sections for "Collective", Pedals, Power Levers, Auto Mute, Auto HDG (Heading) and VNAV. Right side adjustments cover the Collective, with; FT rel (release) mode, Threshold, Pedals FT rel mode and pedals threshold. Collective Input can be via the keyboard, throttle or auto-detect, you can also reverse the settings as well. Options; X-Trident give you a lot of setting options. Synt Vision Range (0-2400 meters), Instruments (Standard or Performance), Popup (Standard, Performance or Show in VR), Scale, (0.5 - 1.5), APMS ALT knob mode (Select or Pre-Select), Collective Cue (Off, Normal or Bright) Tickbox options include; Auto load windows, Hide Frames Labels, Duplicate Popup, Hide 3d model... the "Hover" can be set to; velocity, Position or Auto. You can Enable the PFD-HDG, have a Realistic "Direct To" and a Custom VRS-Vortex Ring State (X-Plane 12 only). You can enable the "Replay mode", Show VFR labels, Hide the main rotor, Force the collective for ALT, and Use the collective with ATT. Notable is that the above is for what you would call a professional grade setup, another layer of adjustment above the normal conditions. Sounds; Top is the "Master", then you have two separate selections for both the Interior and Exterior sounds... Engines, Starter, Transmission, Main Rotor, Avionics, Cockpit and AWS - Advanced Warning System Anim (Animation). Left are the door sliders; Pilot, Co-Pilot, Rear Right & Rear Left. There is a glareshield animation which we will see soon. Bottom is a "Rotor Demo" that turns the rotors. MISC. are optional objects; Top are a pair of headsets in the cockpit, you can also touch them to hide. You can have the choice of putting the duel UHF aerials under the front fuselage, or a single one on the roof left. The sliding Step on the lower right fuselage can be seen or hidden if required. Detail of the step is excellent, only a step, but so well done. Last two options is an external Camera, and Anchor Plates on the fuselage. Crew... is the Pilot setting, Off (hidden), On (visible), or Auto (pilot visible only from the external view). Remove Before Flight... This set of options will put a load of tags, covers and plugs on the AW 109, including; Engine cover and plug (left and right), Pitot (left & right), cowlings (left & right) and set some nice wheel chocks. You can also "Ignore RBF" or hide them all. Maps; On this menu page you can insert custom area maps on the central "Mission Display" (MFD Multi-Functional Display). Obstacles; Selections of "Obstacle Groups" can be selected from this menu page. Windows: You can load and save instrument windows, and there are ten pop-out options available, SBY (Standby), EDU (1&2), PFD (Pilot/Co-Pilot), ND (Navigation Display), RTU (Radio) and Mission Display. The popup Window panels will also be seen soon. Operations: under the "Operations" there is only one option... to hide or show the rear wheel chocks. Cockpit. First view of the AW 109SP Instrument panel is a moment... Your actually shocked on how really good in realism it all is, it just "Blows your mind". The trick is in the instrument displays, they are an unusual colour in a dark, dark purple. But they give the panel a feel and look of complete absolute realism.... "oh wow". As noted you can move the glareshield towards you, if you want more shade over the instruments. OHD (Overhead Panel) is excellent, and big for a small helicopter... Lower panel is also really well done. Like noted earlier, the boundries are very tight in here, so moving around for a different angle to the instrument panel is quite difficult, hence the odd FOV angles to see the lovely white leather front seats. The VIP fitout and cockpit/cabin materials are all top notch, beautifully done and all very real. It is a seriously nice workplace. Look hard at the majestic fitted carpet... incredible, and the door frame moldings, perfection! Another "blows you mind" moment is when the instruments are powered up, it is not just blown this time, but your head explodes by the sheer detail before you, it is a kaleidoscope of colour... "wow', simply, "wow, wow". I will first note the excellent power up on all the displays, as each can be activated/shutdown separately via the units power switches (arrowed below). The procedures are beautifully activated, the centre EDU has a brief colour on startup, then it will "Test" the system, finally the IDU will display the current system information. The lower radio panels also take time to focus and turn on... it is all so very authentic, also highly realistic. All four IDU's popout in windows by pressing the centre of the IDU screen, also in the "Windows" menu as noted earlier. All the popout windows are scalable and can also be moved anywhere on the screen. Other popouts include the top Mission Display, SBY (Standby Instrument), EDU (Engine Display Unit) and RTU (Radio) Genesys Aerosystems IDU-450 EFIS The highlight here is the Genesys Aerosystems IDU-450 EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System). It comprises of two IDUs (Integrated Display Unit)s. Top the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and lower the MFD (Multi-Functional Display) with MAP. This set up is per normal with most Aircraft Avionic suits, but here the IDU-450 takes on a different concept. Notable is that the AW-109 has it's own dedicated set of EFIS flight systems software 8.0E, created by Genesys just for this machine, and that software version is replicated here by X-Trident. Note the 8.0E Manual can be downloaded directly from Genesys Aerosystems, the link is set below. In the last two decades, cockpit resources have followed the commercial carriers’ trend toward “Automation Centered” systems. These sophisticated systems minimize pilot involvement and automate control of the aircraft and its systems to the greatest extent possible, “pilot-centered” system. While still highly automated, this type of system, common in other military tactical applications, presents the pilot with information necessary to make decisions about the flight and take the appropriate actions. A good example is the Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS), which allows for highly automated approaches, but its predictive nature provides the pilot unprecedented awareness of upcoming maneuvers. EFIS Flight Logic goal is IFR-VFR equivalence and the basic concept of the FlightLogic EFIS is proven HUD symbology overlaying a real-time 3-D virtual reality view of the outside world. The resulting “Synthetic Vision” provides the pilot in IMC with the same simple visual clues for navigation and aircraft control as those used in VFR conditions. UPPER IDU (PFD) has the standard flying instruments, which are set out before the "Synthetic Vision" background, including the Speed and ALT tapes, Pitch and Artificial Horizon, Rate of Turn, and top a compass, also V/S Vertical Speed indicator is visible when used. The IDU has a simplistic military feel to the layout and to use. Access and selection is via the eight buttons set around the instrument. Left; FPL (FlightPlan), ACTV (Active), INFO and OBS... Right; MENU, BARO, NRST (Nearest). The MENU brings up the selections. (ZOOM, DCLTR, HRZ SYNC, DESIG and TIMER). BARO shows Barometer selections. NEAREST and OBS are also available. One tool is the "HORIZON SYNC", that locks the Artificial Horizon to the SYNTH VISION. IDU Menu selections are deep, and they need time to learn and navigate, there is a manual provided, it is also 500 pages long! LOWER IDU (MFD) The access buttons around the MFD are the same as the upper IDU, so do so the same menu actions... The MENU however has also a few different options; PAGE, FORMAT, DESIG and TIMER. Under PAGE you have eight screen options; MAP (Main), HSI (Horizontal Situation Display), NAV LOG, STRIKES, TRAFFIC, DATALINK, HOVER and WEATHER RADAR. HSI is your standard degree navigation tool, NAV LOG will show you your Flights, STRIKES (not yet implemented) will eventually show your current data, TRAFFIC will show the aircraft around you, DATALINK, the actual datalink page is not implemented here, but shows your control position (Cyclic & Rudder) and WEATHER RADAR shows the current weather. HOVER gives you a radar look of your hover position, movement and speed... we will look at this more in the flight section. The IDUs are brilliantly brought to life here, highly realistic and have excellent working menus. There are also like mentioned, a "deep dive" of branches of detail to get the most out of the Genesys system, "Study"... oh yes, certainly a study depth learning curve. EDU Centre instrument panel is the EDU (Electronic Display Unit), there are two units in EDU 1 and EDU 2. The EDUs are installed on the instrument panel and are identified as Primary EDU (EDU1), on the pilot side, and Secondary EDU (EDU2), on the co-pilot side. During normal operation both displays are operative. Important is that if one EDU goes out of operation, then the basic requirements of that EDU unit are then transferred to the other EDU unit called REVERSIONARY Mode. That aspect is really well done here. EDU 1 details N1, - TOT - TRQ - NR - N2 & Caution, Warning and Advisory messages EDU 2 details - Engine 1 oil pressure - Engine 1 oil temperature - Transmission oil pressure - Transmission oil temperature - OAT - Engine 2 oil pressure - Engine 2 oil temperature - Main hydraulic pressure 1 & 2 - Fuel Quantity - Fuel Pressure - Utility hydraulic pressure - DC current - DC voltage - AC voltage - Fuel flow - Normal utility hydraulic pressure - Emergency utility hydraulic pressure and Advisory and status messages. ON-OFF is the EDU power switch, BRT-DIM the unit's brightness. You can CLR mesages, and ENT (Enter) details, and the non label right lower scroll switch is for editing the Caution, Warning and Advisory messages (CWA), or new options to be scrolled. Caution/Warning menu is – WARNING messages (red) – CAUTION messages (yellow) – ADVISORY messages (green) – STATUS messages (cyan). M - Menu. Lower on each EDU is a menu button "M". This gives you a lower menu that covers three main options... - START. This key selects the START mode on the EDU1. – CRUISE. This key selects the CRUISE mode on the EDU1. – MAIN. This key selects the MAIN mode on the EDU2. Secondary options include – AUX. This key selects the AUX (auxiliary) mode (i.e. hydraulic, electrical and fuel information) on the EDU2. – TEST. This key initiates the BIT of the IDS system. It can be operated only when the helicopter is on the ground (WOW active). – POWER CHECK. This key initiates the Power Assurance Check recording. The "TEST" mode is particualarly well done.. RMS & APMS Centre lower panel are both the Radio Management System (RMS) panels, each side of the Automatic Pilot Management System (APMS) RTU 1 is right (Pilot) and COMM 2/NAV 2, RTU 2 is left (Co-Pilot) and is COMM 1/NAV 1. The central APMS is part of the AFCS - Automatic Flight Control System, and is basically a SAS or Stability Augmentation System. It stabilises a helicopter against pitch and roll disturbances due to wind gusts and turbulence. Modern systems include yaw as well and are sometimes called “three-axis systems. But the APMS is a far more advanced SAS in being say just an Automatic system, rather than a Manual action, Airbusie to Boeing if you sort of know what I mean. We will look at the APMS in more detail when flying the aircraft. Mission Display Located top central of the Instrument panel is the large "Mission Display". It has four options, PiP - Picture-in-Picture with a compass, "North UP" is also available. There are two settings for the External "Video Camera", close (ENHC - Enhanced) and long. You can zoom the MAP all the way out and in, via the Pop-out panel, there will be the option to add in moving maps. OHP (Over Head Panel) covers ELEC, LIGHT (Internal and External), FIRE EXTINGUISHER, VENT, AVNX BAY and ECS - Environmental Control System. All Circuit Breakers (Fuses) work. Both Throttle handles control the power to each engine, in set positions, and there is a very nice Rotor Brake as well. Lower panel covers Landing Gear lever and indicator lights, Park Brake, Fuel Valves, Engine Modes, AHRS - Attitude and Heading Reference System, and AURAL WARNING options. Cyclic and Collective There is great detail and functionality on both the Cyclic and Collective controls, slightly less on the Co-Pilot's control set. Pilot's Collective has 2 engine GOV (governors), Engine Trim, Float, Main Trim, Search Light and Landing/Taxi lights, there is a Master rest on the handle. On the Cyclic is a ATT (Attitude Retention System), Wiper (right), NR, Main Trim and a AP DISC (Autopilot disconnect. Co-Pilot's Collective is slimmed down to Engine Trim, External Search Light and Main Trim, on the Cyclic is the ATT button, Wiper (left), Main Trim and AP DISC. AW109 Lighting In my version the lighting feels not finished? There are three adjustment knobs for the INST PNL (Instruments Panel), OVHD (OverHead Panel) and PED (Pedestal), mostly the highlighting. There is a Cabin light, but it doesn't work? and the two overhead spot lights are dead as well. There is a DAY and NIGHT lighting mode and the Passenger Warning Lights work in the rear. External Lighting has very nice Landing/Taxi lights in the stub wings, Navigation Lights (Stub and Tail), Two Beacons (top and bottom fuselage). Under nose left is also a retractable "Search" light. __________ Flying the AW109 The first question is... is the AW109 easy to fly? This is still a helicopter with helicopter controls and feel, so you still fly it like a helicopter. But the trick here is that like an Airbus, it also has control laws and protections. These so called "helpers" do however smooth out your inputs and give you more control in the hover, modes you could call them. But it does make it a far more easier machine to master and control, so it is a very nice helicopter via it's controls, a sort of Limousine for the air, also noted as "Ferrari of the skies" because of it's speed. Now a note. You don't get an external power unit with the X-Trident AW109? So when you want to fly from a "Cold" set up, you have to move quickly once the battery switch is thrown, as your then on a "Battery Drain" timer, so you will need some engine/generator power as soon as possible. If you do go dead... the AgustaWestland is "dead, dead". And only a complete restart will get you back to life (a fault fix doesn't recharge the battery). Flightplans In most cases I don't usually do flightplans in Helicopters, as most flights are usually only short distances, or a circuit back to the same airport. But the AW109 is a more of point-to-point aircraft, and the flightplan system is extremely good here, so we will take a look at it... Select FPL (Flightplan) and it will show two options... SELECT and CREATE-EDIT. SELECT is a selection of .fms flightplans from your X-Plane/Output/FMS plans folder. The navigation of the flightplan selections is very easy via the right knob, press the centre to activate! CREATE-EDIT allows you to create a flightplan from scratch, or edit a flightplan. In CREDIT-EDIT mode you now have a menu option, CREATE FLIGHT PLAN, ACTIVATE FLIGHT PLAN, EDIT FLIGHT PLAN, (Reverse Flight Plan), (Delete Flight Plan), CREATE USER WPT (Lat-Lon) also (Rad-Dst), EDIT USER WAYPOINT, DELETE USER WAYPOINT and (Raim Prediction). Selecting "CREATE FLIGHT PLAN" will bring up the Flightplan editor.... with two options "EXIT" or, and back when editing ICAO codes. Press ADD to construct a Flightplan. You are given options in NRST APT, NEAREST VOR, NRST NDB, NRST FIX and NRST USER (AIRWAYS is also available). Then your Airport ICAO code can be directly keyboard entered via the lower box, return works as well. If you press NRST APT (Airport), the IDU will bring up a scroll box of nearby ICAO airports to choose from, again navigation is by the right knob and press the centre to activate. ADD again and this time a FIX (Waypoint - OKTOV), then build up the flight plan with the required VOR - NDB - FIX - USR - AIRWAYS... then another APT at the end. The system is very simple and extremely easy to use. When done you can SAVE the Flightplan to the the .fms folder. You can (edit) via INSERT or DELETE. Select the FIX or Navigation ICAO via the scroll knob, then select, or DELETE the FIX, INSERT is very much the same, by selecting the fix you want to add next, then fill in the ICAO. Flightplan competed it shows in the MAP and on the NAV LOG page. Other MAP options include; CENTER, N (North UP), PAN ON, SYMB DCLUTR and FNCT DCLTR (hint here, the TERRAIN selection is hidden in the FNCT menu). MAP RANGE (zoom) is also available, and DIRECT-TO is also great for changing the flightplan in flight. Just add in the FIX ICAO code lower right, or select from the NRST scroll list The flightplan mode is a very solid piece of work from X-Trident, and it is very well replicated from the original Genesys system. LFML (Marseille Provence) to LFMN (Nice Côte d'Azur Airport) Fuel selected on the lower console, and the Throttles are both set to Idle.... the engine starters (1&2) are on the top of the throttles, then you watch the EDUs come alive as the aircraft goes into a start mode. It is all Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC), so the start procedure for each PW-206C is fully automatic... In come the start up procedure sounds, the start whine then the rotor clatter, but clatter is not the right word, an air-conditioned high whirr is closer in sounds to this modern machine. Both throttles go forward to "Flight" and the "NR" goes to maximum, wait a few moments to gain the extra thrust, then your ready to go... Feel is everything with helicopters, hands and feet. With the AW109 the feel is slightly different? The software helps in the controls, helping you manoeuvre the machine, mostly by giving you more of a wider parameter to work with. The effect is opposite... as the machine will take smaller inputs, as explained by the yaw in the tail-rotor... so usually in most cases you have to use a LOT of right rudder to control the tail rotor thrust, but here you don't as the thrust is more centralised, so you don't have to push so hard, as the system compensates for you. So getting up into a hover, and keeping the AW109 straight is very easy. I can even store the gear in the hover, just by holding the machine static with absolutely no effort. Slightly nose down and bit of collective and your moving forwards, more nose and more collective, and your now gaining speed. So manual flying with the AW190SP is excellent, a pussy cat really. As you can easily get the altitude and adjust forward speed that you want. Here now I am doing 131 forward knots and 1600ft. There is a reason for this? I need a steady forward speed and height to activate the APMS or Autopilot. To activate you select the AP1 & AP2 buttons, Then press the ALT pyramid to hold the altitude, then HDG for the heading selection. All your APMS selections are shown in the lower box on the upper IDU. The APMS does require a bit of study, it is a complicated system to a point, to navigate, but once you have worked it out, it is brilliant to use. Some adjustments work on the fly, like speed (IAS) and V/S, but a few are select, then press the button on/off, in this case the HDG, select the new heading then click the HDG buton off then back on, and only then will the AW109 go to the new heading. Now the Autopilot is flying the aircraft, and so I head back to the start point of my flightplan... I spent time doing the flightplan, because it is an excellent requirement for one of the best features of the Genesys system... I get past the first APT waypoint then line up the flightplan, then I press NAV to engage the AP to the flightplan. Once you activate the flightplan, you get a tunnel of wireframes on the upper IDU, that you will fly though, and they are your route guide right through the flightplan... first you align with the wireframe tunnel, then it becomes the central part of the PFD. It is exceptionally well done, beyond brilliant, so very authentic. The machine is quite automatic, the APMS system will adjust for you in Speed (collective) and Altitude. Select a new altitude and then set the V/S for the speed of the climb (or descent), press ALTA to hold that altitude and the aircraft does the rest. Both IDU's are also independent of each other, so you can have different range (zoom) levels on either display At each waypoint you will get a symbol in the PFD IDU, a circle that gets larger as you approach the FIX... as go though the circle you will then go to your new heading, again it is all fabulously well done. Selecting the NAV LOG will give you your full Flightplan with detailed Waypoints, Path, Distance, ETE, ETA and your Fuel useage. Other waypoints use other symbols, here an NDB waypoint shows the point of the position of the NDB on the forward IDU map. The AW108SP has a maximum speed of 311 km/h (193 mph, 168 kn), a cruise speed around 285 km/h (177 mph, 154 kn) and a never exceed speed of 311 km/h (193 mph, 168 kn). The ferry range is 932 km (579 mi, 503 nmi) and the the Rate of climb is 9.8 m/s (1,930 ft/min). Spectacular is the cockpit in flight, the rear cabin is not bad either for the Logan Family, as we cruise by the French Riviera heading towards Nice. Now at the final turn to Nice (LFMN), the final turn has a different fix symbol in a diamond on a point. I am now down to an 80 kts approach speed at 200 ft... time to activate another brilliant feature, "HOVER" mode. The button is however slightly hidden on the very right middle on the APMS panel. Once activated the HOVER display is automatically shown in the lower IDU. Activating and the AW109 with then slowly come to a stop at the designated height. On the display the Flight path marker is removed at low speed, <30 knots groundspeed, and is replaced with hover vector symbology. The hover vector indicates direction and groundspeed of drift at low groundspeeds (when lower than 30 IAS) consisting of Large Aircraft Symbol Reference Marks, an inner concentric ring indicating ten knots groundspeed, an outer concentric ring indicating 20 knotsgroundspeed, and a vertical and horizontal dashed line passing through the center extending to the outer ring. You manoeuvre in the HOVER by using your HAT (Joystick) set to Trim, Up, Down, Left, Right and a purple circle is your target point (arrowed) that moves at your commands, then the AW109 will follow in that direction... The pad's H will also show in the display to get the perfect alignment of the landing pad... You then use the RHT knob on the APMS panel to descend (or gain height) with the Vertical Reference system VRS-3000, which is also available to make an absolute perfect landing! It is totally brilliant, simply easy to use and a dream for those that struggle to land Helicopters... the old way to manually fly to a hover then land, still works, but this is way more fun and engaging. By the way I landed with my feet off the rudder pedals! I can't even get close the detail and symbology available here with this Genesys System in a review and provided here by X-Trident, as noted the manual is 500 pages long, highly detailed, but well worth studying... I will note it is certainly another major level in helicopter flight immersion, I was totally captivated by what you have here at your disposal... unbelievably brilliant by X-Trident. Liveries There are four liveries (with more expected). Default is the Brazilian Havan PP-UUU, plus MountainFlyers, Silver OM-TVR and a clever Thunderbird 1. Summary The AgustaWestland AW109, originally the Agusta A109, is a lightweight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter designed and initially produced by the Italian rotorcraft manufacturer Agusta. It is known for its speed, elegant appearance and ease of control. X-Trident have a lot of experience and also a great "Track Record" in the X-Plane Simulator, certainly with quality helicopters, with the formidable Bell AB 412 and the CH-47D Chinook being the class of the field. X-Trident have also dabbled with the Tornado and Harrier AV-8B in the fixed wing military arena. X-Plane 12 is delivering exceptional quality aircraft for the X-Plane Simulator, and the AgustaWestland AW109SP is certainly well within that "Excellent" category. Quality and detail is off the chart, as we approach perfection in realism, as there is nothing to fault here, just to admire. The rotor head/tail rotor is fully animated and detailed, right down to the last nut and screw, perfect glass is highlighted by the top rated undercarrriage with it's realistic hubs and tyres. The P&W Canada PW206C Turboshaft engine is only partly viewable, but well done. The focus is on the avionics, or the installation of the Genesys Aerosystems IDU-450 EFIS. This is a deeply conceived system with built in “Synthetic Vision”, there are two sets of IDUs for both PFD and MFD for both pilots. EDUs (Electronic Display Units) are also highly developed as is the Backup Instrument, and Radio RDU. Another highlight is the Automatic Pilot Management System (APMS) Or Autopilot with built in Auto hover. The APMS is a highlight of the machine, but in also adding in the flightplan capability and symbology, it is a major step forward in Helicopter flight immersion. Both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 separate versions are part of the package. Sounds are not a highlighted feature here, but they are FMOD 2 and quality based from a real AW109, I really liked them and the 3d dynamic sound was very good internally and externally. Features are however not overly represented for a helicopter, with the focus on the Pro market for menu settings and features. Only one cabin version, and even missing a Co-Pilot and Passengers, the usual wire cutters, mirrors, doors off, belly hook and even an external Ground Power Unit are all missing. The AugustaWestland AW109SP represents another level of immersion in the competitive X-Plane arena of vertical flight, big words can be said here, Amazing, Incredible, Category Dominating, Totally Immersive.... The AW109SP is all of these things and more, another step forward, another height achieved, overall it is a damn nice helicopter to use and fly, and a totally worthwhile investment. __________________ Yes! - the AgustaWestland AW109SP by X-Trident is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : AgustaWestland AW109SP Price is US$45.00 Requirements Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 2 Separate files are provided at no additional cost Mac, Windows, Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 593 MB Current version: 1.0 (May 11th 2024) Designed by X-Trident Support forum for the AgustaWestland AW109SP Download The AW109SP is a 432Mb download with an installation size of 934Mb, in your X-Plane Aircraft folder, this is an X-Plane 12 aircraft only. All updates are via the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Documentation There is excellent full coverage documentation and installation details for the AW109SP, including; 10_AW109SP for X-Plane - quick guide v1.0.pdf 20_AW109SP for X-Plane - AP and FMS tutorial v1.0.pdf 30_AW109SP for X-Plane - CHECK LIST v1.0.pdf The Full "8_0E-IDU-450-Rotorcraft-Rev-A" Genesys System manual is available for download here; https://genesys-aerosystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/8_0E-IDU-450-Rotorcraft-Rev-A.pdf _____________________ 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 Version 12.05r1 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - LFML- Airport Marseille XP by At (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99 - LFMN - Nice Cote d'Azur v2 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$18.50 Review by Stephen Dutton 12th May 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
  15. Scenery Review: KDCA Washington Airport & City XP12 by Drzewiecki Design By DrishalMAC2 Introduction Situated in the bustling heart of the nation's capital, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA) serves as an essential hub for both business and leisure travellers. Located along the scenic banks of the Potomac River, this airport offers a gateway to the iconic landmarks and political intrigue of Washington, D.C. KDCA boasts three runways (01/19, 15/33, and 22/4), providing a seamless travel experience with its modern facilities and efficient operations. Its advanced amenities ensure smooth departures and arrivals for various aircraft, from regional jets to larger commercial airliners. Besides its operational capabilities, KDCA also holds historical significance, reflecting the rich heritage of American aviation. Named in honour of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, the airport serves as a tribute to his legacy and ongoing impact on the country. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., KDCA provides convenient access to the city’s diverse attractions, including the significant monuments of the National Mall and the legislative activity at Capitol Hill. Whether visitors are exploring political landmarks or engaging with local culture, KDCA serves as an efficient and welcoming gateway, reflecting the standards of excellence and innovation characteristic of American aviation. This is Drzewiecki Designs' first XP12 scenery, which enhances parts of the city and upgrades some nearby buildings with helipads, making them “landable”. This feature is especially appealing for X-Plane users who enjoy flying rotary-wing aircraft. Installation Process Once you've downloaded the ZIP file, it's 1.5 GB in size; when extracted, it expands to 3.4 GB. This size is quite reasonable given the extensive content included in this scenery package. The installation process itself is straightforward: upon opening the extracted folder, you'll find three additional folders. Simply drag and drop the "DD Washington City XP12" and "DD KDCA Washington XP12" folders directly into your X-Plane 12 custom scenery folder. Documentation The download includes four documents. Three of these are installation instructions available in Russian, Polish, and English, and are clearly written and simplify the installation process. The fourth document is a "manual" that provides an overview of the airport, condensed installation instructions, links to relevant charts, a list of scenery features, links to support pages, credits, and a license agreement. Satellite Imagery The satellite imagery directly surrounding the airport is of decent quality, though there are better examples available elsewhere. The package also includes ortho satellite imagery for the entire surrounding area; however, this is of noticeably lower quality. While it improves upon the default textures by X-Plane (what wouldn’t), it would be beneficial to have the option to remove this layer and use our own, self-generated Ortho4XP tiles instead. The lower zoom level of the satellite imagery particularly affects the depiction of the Potomac riverbanks, which appear quite harsh and do not look as impressive, especially when following the DCA river visual approach. In future updates, an option to replace this with self-generated ortho tiles would be highly welcomed. Ground Textures The runway textures in this scenery are reasonable, enhanced by additional tire marks to convey a sense of daily use. However, there is a notable issue with texture uniformity across all three runways. For instance, the real runway 15/33, features a mixture of different coloured surfaces, which has not been replicated here. Introducing more distinctive runway textures that reflect these real-life variations would significantly enhance the scenery's authenticity. Additionally, the edges of the runway textures appear quite harsh, so incorporating some kind of transitional texture could greatly improve the overall appearance and integration with the surrounding environment. Similarly, the taxiway textures, while visually appealing, suffer from repetitiveness, with the same texture used across approximately 90% of the airport. This does not accurately reflect the actual variety seen in aerial images, such as those on Google Maps. Despite this, the added tire marks and wear and tear effects on these textures do lend a highly authentic look. Signage and Navigation Aids The airport signage in this scenery has been handled quite well, with all the necessary runway and taxiway signs positioned accurately. The signs are sharp and easily legible, which enhances navigational clarity for simmers. Additionally, the Washington (Ident: DCA) VORDME has been included and correctly placed, which is particularly noteworthy and adds a realistic touch to the scenery. GA Terminal and Hangars The GA terminal is modelled to a high standard and seamlessly integrates with the main passenger terminal. The GA hangars are also well modelled, with a few having open doors, revealing aircraft inside, and include detailed interiors, including general clutter like ladders, cones, and boxes, adding to the realism. Additionally, banners inside the hangars indicate their specific functions, such as “American Airlines DCA Maintenance” and “Signature Flight Support.” Outside the hangars, there are two corporate jets parked, one of which has its main door open, showing people engaged in conversation. This area also includes the U.S. Coast Guard ramp, where two Coast Guard helicopters are stationed at their designated spots. Terminal 1 Terminal 1 has been modelled to a high standard, effectively replicating the real structure. However, the textures sometimes appear flat and could benefit from more variation to enhance realism. In contrast, the ground texturing around concourse A is notably well-executed, featuring oil spills and signs of wear and tear that add authenticity to the environment. The various concrete and asphalt textures around this area have been accurately reproduced, confirmed through comparisons with Google Maps images of the actual airport. Much like the exterior, the interior of Terminal 1 is also modelled to a high standard, including detailed elements such as airline signs at each gate, reflecting real-life arrangements. Additionally, numerous 3D figures are positioned throughout the terminal, creating a bustling atmosphere that enhances the view from the cockpit of aircraft at the gates. Terminal 2 Special attention has been given to Terminal 2, making it instantly recognisable. The exterior is modelled to a higher standard than Terminal 1, with improved texture quality that enhances its appearance. Inside, Terminal 2 excels at capturing the distinctive atmosphere of DCA with its beautifully recreated roof and glossy floors that contribute to a polished look (pun intended). Each airline is provided with a realistically designed check-in desk area, enhancing the authenticity of the terminal. Although the various shops are represented only as 2D images, this decision is practical, considering that simmers typically spend limited time inside scenery terminals. The concourses B, C, D, and E have also been replicated to a high standard, featuring beautiful ground textures that add to the overall aesthetic quality. Ground Clutter and 3D People The ground clutter around the airport is varied effectively across different stands, contributing to a dynamic and realistic environment that avoids a repetitive "copy and paste" appearance, which is sometimes visible in other payware sceneries. Some of this clutter is airline-specific, featuring items like U.S Airways coaches and Delta baggage carts, although the presence of U.S Airways equipment may not be entirely accurate given the fact that the airline has ceased operations. Whilst the terminal interiors are nicely populated with numerous 3D people, adding to the bustling atmosphere, the ramp areas show a noticeable lack of ground personnel. This absence detracts from the realism on the airside, where the presence of staff is critical for an authentic airport experience. Night Lighting Night lighting is executed exceptionally well, featuring bright white lights around the ramp areas that enhance visibility and ambiance. The taxiway and runway lighting also receive high marks for their clarity and precision, with special attention given to the approach lighting. This is especially notable for the RNAV approach into runway 19, which follows the Potomac River. The approach lights mounted on various bridges along the river are synchronized to flash together, providing a striking visual reference for pilots. Overall, the night lighting is impressive, incorporating several thoughtful details that greatly benefit the night-time flying experience. At night, due to the way the lighting has been applied, the building interiors really come alive. During the day, the lighting comes across as slightly dull, but at night, it is transformed, giving the buildings a vibrant, welcoming glow. The contrast between day and night is quite remarkable. The Capital In addition to the airport, the package extensively covers many of Washington D.C.'s landmarks and a significant portion of the inner city. To the west of the airport, areas known as "Crystal City" and "Pentagon City" are modelled to a high standard, featuring custom buildings that are accurately placed, surpassing the autogen quality provided by simHeaven’s X-World America. The downtown D.C. area, including iconic landmarks such as The White House, Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, is also included and modelled to the same standards. In total, the scenery features over a thousand landmark buildings in the vicinity of the airport, each contributing to the authenticity of the package. If you've visited Washington D.C., you’ll certainly enjoy exploring the area; just remember to bring a guide! Performance Impact I'm pleased to report that the scenery is very well optimised, with no noticeable loss in performance on my system (specs below). This is particularly surprising given the extensive detail included in the package and the generally high demands of the Washington D.C. area. Conclusion Having explored the enhancements to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport by Drzewiecki Designs, it's clear that the improvements to both the airport and the surrounding Washington D.C. area is impressive. The package excels with its detailed rendering of terminals, hangars, and particularly the night lighting along the Potomac River. The accurate depiction of landmarks and key areas such as Crystal City and Downtown DC significantly enriches the overall experience. Although there is room for improvement in texture quality, particularly the supplied orthos, and a more 'populated' ground environment outside of the terminals, these issues do not significantly detract from the overall high quality of the scenery. In summary, with its thorough execution and extensive features, this scenery provides substantial value, enhancing the X-Plane 12 flying experience in the nation’s capital. ________________________ KDCA Washington Airport & City XP12 by Drzewiecki Design is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: KDCA Washington Airport & City XP12 Priced at $30.00 Features A high-quality model of KDCA Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, featuring the up-to-date version with extensive details throughout the whole airport FPS-friendly design, with epic night textures, dynamic lighting and PBR materials Performance-friendly interior modeling at terminal buildings, control towers, and some hangars, static aircraft, advanced night lighting (incl. River Visual and dual PAPI), animated trains Animated jetways, VGDS, marshallers (SAM plugin) Washington D.C. city scenery included, with over a thousand landmark buildings surrounding the airport, ortho coverage and some lite airports Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac, Linux 8 GB+ VRAM highly Recommended Download size: 1.5 GB Current version: 1.1 (March 22 2024) Review System Specifications Windows 10, Intel i5-12400F, 32GB RAM, RTX 3070Ti ________________________ Scenery Review by DrishalMAC2 10th May 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).
  16. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : PAC CT/4E Airtrainer v3.0 by vSkyLabs The little Pacific Aerospace Corporation CT/4 Airtrainer has already had two X-Plane 12 patches, the last one was v2.2a (15th February 2023), but here is the really official X-Plane 12 version in v3.0 of the aircraft, plus a few nice updates and touches to this extremely nice trainer aircraft. The Pacific Aerospace Corporation CT/4 Airtrainer series is an all-metal-construction, single-engine, two-place side-by-side seating, fully aerobatic, piston-engined, basic training aircraft that is manufactured in Hamilton, New Zealand. The X-Plane 11 PAC Airtrainer Review is here: Aircraft Review : PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project by VSkyLabs There are some interesting details in this v3.0 update... the AEIO engine has been tuned, and the airfoils have been revised. PBR has been added to the External and Internal textures and there is better enhancement for VR (Virtual Reality). Finally the FMOD sound system has been updated to v2. V3.0 Changelog Flight Dynamics: Inverted flight fuel-tank is now simulated (allows maximum 10 seconds of inverted flight/negative g). AEIO-540-L1B5 Engine tune-ups: Power tuneups including power gradients calibration. Fuel consumption curve update including cruise performance. Airfoils update. Graphics: PRB setup for interior and exterior models to fall in line with the latest X-Plane 12 rendering aspects. Various 3-d modeling enhancement for the interiors. Paint-kit update. Systems: 3-d HUD was added (optional feature). Sounds: New FMOD 2 sound pack. POH: Manual update rev.004. Added Lycoming O-540/I540 performance charts. Added 'Essentials' pdf file with assignments summary. This project is part of the VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' series, designed specifically for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental Flight Model. Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs... the PAC Airtrainer is availble for both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11, however the XP11 version does not have the effects and features that is available in X-Plane 12. I really loved the quality of the PAC in X-Plane 11, so an update to X-Plane 12 quality would bring out even more of that exceptional realism! The PAC CT/4 Airtrainer by vSkyLabs is now available to update from the X-Plane.OrgStore! Just log into your account and download v3.0 ___________________________ Yes! PAC CT/4 Airtrainer v3.0 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAC CT/4 Airtrainer Price is US$32.95 On sale: US$32.95 US$23.07 you Save:US$9.88(30%) Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 3.0 (May 6 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 7th May 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
  17. NEWS - Aircraft Relesed : Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design Thranda Design have released their excellent Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter for X-Plane 12. The Pilatus PC-6 Porter is a single-engined STOL utility aircraft designed by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. First flown in 1959, the PC-6 was produced at Pilatus Flugzeugwerke in Stans, Switzerland. It has been built in both piston engine- and turboprop-powered versions, and was produced under licence for a time by Fairchild Hiller in the United States. After 604 deliveries in 63 years, Pilatus ended production in 2022. Originally released in X-Plane 11. The "Porter" has had an extensive overhaul and upgrade for X-Plane 12, including... Re-authored textures in 8k (four times higher resolution than before. One 8k texture = FOUR 4k textures!) Completely re-done normal maps, and largely re-authored albedo textures. Fully re-authored sounds in FMOD, capturing the subtleties of the PT6 engine and its very dynamic 4-bladed prop with a lot more nuance and detail than before. Completely overhauled flight dynamics, both for the land and the amphibian version, to most closely match XP12's new dynamics Systems matched to new XP12 standards. Overhauled existing dynamic livery, added dirt and scratches effects (configurable in real-time). Now has "Modern" and "Classic" paint scheme layout. Re-authored lighting to take better advantage of XP12. EFB: Electronic Flight Bag, or the Thranda Tablet. All the extra functionality of this plane has moved from the fly-out menu (v11 PC6) to the EFB. Use it in 3D: you can move it from the pilot's side to the copilot's side, or disable it completely in 3D. Mounted on a swivel, for convenient viewing angle. Use it as a 2D pop-up window, or pop the window out onto a secondary screen. Use it in VR in either mode. Control the brightness of the EFB in 3D or 2D Intuitively set up like an iPad with different apps, all documented in the included manual. The PC-6 is part of Thranda's "Dynamic Generation Series", re-authored for XP12. More about the DGS Series Features Aircraft Options App: Option to run the engine in realistic mode or simplified mode. Control over chocks, tie-downs, and engine covers Control over the electric tug Window reflections on or off Instrument reflections on or off Startup running or cold and dark Control retractable landing lights via scroll wheel (independent left/right, Infinitely variable tilt, to use lights for both taxi and landing purposes.) Ground Power Unit (GPU) option External fuel tanks (under the wings) Steering options: realistic or simplified. Control over exterior and interior lights via a schematic of the plane. Control over doors and engine access Weight and Balance app Full control over aircraft's weight and balance. Control weights on a per-seat basis, or dial in the desired total, and the desired CoG directly. Hide seats, and replace weight with cargo. Control fuel quantities in the wing tanks by simply scrolling over the wing tank with the mouse. External fuel tanks can be enabled and disabled, and their weight independently controlled. Add weight to the copilot's seat, and the copilot shows up. Switch between Lbs and Kg. Preview weight and balance on a graph Load preset configurations, and save them to disc for later use. Instrument options app Call up pop-up windows for GNS430/530/Autopilot Switch between InHG and MB display in the Kollsmann window of the altimeter. Dynamic Panel app Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's seat. Supports 3rd party RealityXP GTN750 instruments, also fully configurable Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! 2 operating modes: Layout page and Individual Instrument page. Move instruments around a virtual panel layout or use numerical entry for precision placement. Also allows for control over instrument placement in 3D space, via special click spots that are made visible in edit mode. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility. Supports G1000 configurations. Several preset panel configurations, showcasing different layouts and instrument equipment. Choose between different panel backgrounds. Static Livery app Preview available liveries and tailnumbers by scrolling over the plane. Apply dirt and scratches dynamically Also supports 8 traditionally painted liveries, in all their full 8k glory! Compatible with custom liveries. (Folder names should be named the same as the registration number, and the plugin picks that up as the livery's name.) DynaFeel app Dial in exactly how difficult you think the controls should be. This simulates different pilot's physique and strength. (Stronger pilots can put more pressure on controls, and hold full deflection at higher speeds). Log Book App Calls up Laminar's log book in a separate pop-up window. Log your flights and track your virtual adventures. Checklist App Very complete checklist, allowing for the ticking off of boxes of completed items. Navigate the many pages by using the scroll hotspot at the bottom of the checklist Pop up or pop out checklist app as a separate window Ground Handling App Call Laminar's default ground equipment, if you prefer that over the Thranda electric tug Opens up a separate pop-up window. Dynamic Livery app Create "virtual" liveries, based on one common design layout, and assign any color to any available paint segment. Now supports control over roughness and metalness Add dirt and scratches to your dynamic livery, and save these settings along with your livery preset. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls Apply selected livery in real-time (Granted, with these huge textures, it may be a bit of a wait... but no external graphics software required!) Option to include/hide manufacturer logo and "PC-6" sign Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Flight Computer App Easily visible data like OAT, Groundspeed, Endurance (HH, MM), Range, NMPG, altitude data, airspeed data, Fuel Flow, used fuel, headwind and crosswind component data. Pop up or pop out Flight Computer app as a separate window. Equipment App Tires: Choose between Tundra and regular-sized tires Skis: Enable or disable skis for snow ops Mud flaps: Enable or disable Windows: Choose between regular windows and massive windows in the sliding rear doors Wing tanks: control the loaded fuel weight in the "Weight and Balance" app. Option to enable/disable wing tanks, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics AviTab App (optional) If AviTab (freeware plugin) is installed, it can be viewed inside the tablet, or as a pop-up window. SkunkCrafts Updater Thranda recommends using the standalone SkunkCrafts Updater app, to stay up-to-date on the latest versions of the plane. Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater Excellent ULTRA hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Flight dynamics and systems: The PC6 has quite a few very unique flight characteristics, including the ability to enter Beta mode in flight, and these are faithfully reproduced. (This allows for very steep descents.) The real PC6 is considered to be a real STOL workhorse, whose flight characteristics and excellent STOL capabilities are calibrated to maximum precision in the sim Details, such as the condition lever latch mechanism and a functional throttle gate add to the realism Sliding passenger doors respond to G-forces, so when returning from a parachute drop, while on a steep descent, the doors will roll shut. Over-torquing the engine will cause shaft damage, when in "realistic" mode. This can result in prop loss, cabin smoke, terrifying turbine shaft friction sounds, etc Smoke in engine can be brought under control by killing the "Firewall Air" via cabin lever Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth transitions Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Prop pitch produces characteristic aerodynamic aural effects, especially during Beta and Reverse mode. Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Realistic electrical sounds, based on bus load and other factors (Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood) Combustion roar sound typical for turboprop engines -recorded from real PT6 engine Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds) Support forum for the Pilatus PC-6 XP12 Images are courtesy of Thranda Design he Thranda Design DHC-2 Beaver is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore for X-Plane 12 only. _________________ Yes! the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design is NOW! available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 Price is US$44.95 Currently US$44.95 or $10.00(22%) Off Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Recommended Download Size: 4.1 GB Current version 1.0 (May 4th 2024) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 5th May 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 Right Reserved.
  18. The elephant in the room is MSFS 2024. If Asobo get that right X-Plane is going to have a big problem. If nothing else Laminar need to get this next release out before MS suck all of the air out of the room. Of course MSFS fans might be unhappy in having to shell out for a new game. Perhaps the new release will be heavy on game and not flight simulation. But then again some big performance improvements might start making MSFS 2024 look very attractive against Xplane.
  19. Behind the Screen : April 2024 By of Easters past... it was a very quiet month this April 2024. X-Plane again played the game of each other waiting for the other. The worst was the extended X-Plane 12 development period, until the beta release in September 2022. Then things moved forward, if in only dribs and drabs. In fact X-Plane 12 wasn't actually of what you would call completely "usable" until v12.0.8 (rc-3). Here we are again... in waiting. This time it is the newly numbered or categorised v12.1.0. This version was publicly given a performance at the FS Weekend in Lelystad, the Netherlands, then a week ago another windowshop was done at the "Fun and Sun Aerospace Expo" in Florida. All very nice. Of course the current simulator is usable, you can still fly your beloved dream machine anytime you want to, so what is the problem you ask? The problem is that this latest v12.1.0 version is the most important since the release of X-Plane 12. In some ways more important in that it will finally bring all the threads together, and FINALLY fix problems that have gone on too long. Remember X-Plane 12 was 16 months late, v12.1.0 will be to date over five months late... and yes I am going on about this again. Easter is the big release month of the year. You would think Christmas was the biggie, but it's not from a sales perspective, not counting Black Friday (does X-Plane count as cyber Monday?). But the problem for Christmas is that if you have some saved cash to spend in this holiday period, it is not going selfishly to you now is it? You may get away with a great sale purchase on Black Friday, but honestly that spare cash is going to have to go towards lavishing presents on your loved ones and covering the costs of a thanksgiving turkey, or Christmas dinner. Worse is that any available free time is also in being wanted to be with your loved ones, extended family loved ones or stuck at the airport in waiting for the snow to clear. Christmas is like that, as you simply have no time and absolutely no money for yourself. Now Easter is perfect... You have already worked your guts out hard for over three months, so are wanting a little reward for all your hard earned efforts. There is usually a nice sale on at the Store, but more importantly is that after Easter there are two perfectly clear weeks with no commitments, plus besides opening an Easter egg, you can selfishly hide away and fly to your heart's content, no commitments, pure unabated freedom... two whole weeks of flying, and no guilt! Although you will find something nice on the Store for this unconfined period, the really nice, nice thing to have is something new, even better is something really special to learn and fly. You can then spend all that time delving through manuals and learning those complex cockpit tasks to your heart's content, the most committed will even do a really long haul, a 12 hour crusade from one part of the world to the other... So where is the problem? Snazzy developers know this. So they are in wanting to put their bright shiny (usually expensive) new project right there on the Store for you to absorb, usually make it wanting in those precious few weeks leading up to the Easter holiday period. The only annoying thing is you are faced with is usually which of the biggest of the glittering projects are you going to purchase for those available spacious two weeks. So what could go wrong? Top level developers usually get an advanced Alpha copy of the latest X-Plane version from Laminar Research. This is a two way talkfest to find mostly the hidden bugs and if the newly inserted simulator features will work correctly on the current aircraft. Here is a hint in the rain feature on aircraft windows. Originally it was Librain, then the rain was internally converted into the actual X-Plane Simulator. Laminar should do more of these outsourcing of ideas, for two reasons, it speeds up development and a lot of these third-party gizmos are very clever. To their credit Laminar have finally absorbed a few of the better ones with X-Plane 12. So in the Alpha, you can see or test if the new feature works as required, the bonus is that the developer can then also incorporate the same feature on their incoming latest release. v12.1.0 has a lot of lighting changes, so it is a lot of work to refine all those lights to match the newer requirements of the coming version release. But from the developers point of view, you can't release the new project with all the latest wizz-bang features built in, if the Version release is not released to the general user public. You have a choice, put out the current model, then update later with the official release when finally out there. But that is releasing two different projects within weeks of each other, plus you can't take advantage in your marketing of those new features that will all be bright and sparkle on your aircraft (even scenery has a load of lighting effects)... second choice is hold off for the v12.1.0 release, then put the project up for sale. The ongoing delayed release then creates another problem? If every developer holds off for the imminent release, then they are all piling up together behind the V12.1.0 intergration... so once that is implemented, then you get a rush too the store. For most users you only have a set allowance of disposable funds, yes you might buy one top level aircraft ($70-$90) range, maybe even a lighter release ($30-$40) range, but if you have four or five big releases coming at you at the same time, your not going to, or be able to purchase them all. In most cases releases are staggered, usually two to three weeks apart so the market can absorb these disposable income funds. So the release date for a developer is extremely important to get right, for a maximum return on their work. Even if Laminar Research release v12.1.0 in the next few weeks, then the developers have spread out their wares as well. We saw this with the over long X-Plane 12 release itself, and it took ages to sort out, mostly six months... but that was a different time and story. So there is a queue building out there, but it does give developers a little more time to fine tune their project, make them better, and when they do arrive they will also have the latest X-Plane 12 v12.1.0 features available as well. And they are certainly worth waiting for. But that queue is a problem, go with the others put up the product on the store and compete hard for your disposable dollar, but in this aspect you will lose, certainly if FlightFactor releases the Boeing 777v2, everyone will want that. Your other choice is to wait, spread out the release date, and it is a better deal for you... in the end. So at this point you have nothing, then you will be faced with everything all at once? In looking at the now X-Plane 12 defined aircraft. You do get this highlighted quality that is head and shoulders above the last X-Plane versions, users have had some excellent and quality releases over the years, but nothing can even come close to what X-Plane 12 can really deliver to Simulation... both the maturing of the X-Plane 12 Simulator, and the ever advancing quality from developers is colliding together to create amazing experiences, and many of those incredible experiences will be released in the next few months and over the Northern Summer. It is a very exciting time to be in Simulation, but everything also depends totally on Laminar Research delivering the next step in v12.1.0, and soon? To drag on the release slowly again will cause a lot of headaches, even a few getting out of the simulation business, and you can't blame them at all. So as Astronaut Alan Shepard remarked... “I'm cooler than you are,” he barked. “Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?”. See you all next Month Stephen Dutton 3rd May 2024 Copyright©2024 X-Plane Reviews
  20. NEWS! - Private Beta Version : Boeing 777 v2 by FlightFactor There is always an anticipation in X-Plane for the "Next Big Thing"... but nothing comes even close to the expectations of FlightFactor's latest project in the Boeing 777 v2. September 2012 was the release of the original Boeing 777 Worldliner from FlightFactor. It changed the X-Plane Simulator, not only in the quality for the time, and for the pioneering systems, but also mainly for the plugin based architecture (not the first as the J Rollon CRJ-200 debuted the first SASL plugin)... but the FlightFactor B777 changed the features and immersion category completely, and in so created a whole new level of Simulation. So here is the Pre-Release Alpha v2 of the B777 aircraft, and currently only available for a limited number invited members to do beta testing (all sold out), obviously NDA's will be enforced, and feedback is part of the invitation. We do get one thing, and that is a look at the feature list... it is mind-boggling long and detailed, and Situation save feature is a big yes from me. Flight model Proprietary flight model, within 2%-5% on standard certification tests. Developed and tested with real pilots. Weight and balance fully calculated from the basic weights, including cabin chair configuration, oil, filters, water, waste, etc 3D Modeling Accurate dimensions based on exterior drawings Very detailed exterior modeling with high resolution textures. Very high resolution 3D cockpit Very detailed passenger cabin graphics. Adjustable with different cabin configurations available in-sim. Additional graphic features: real working oxygen masks both in cockpit and cabin, dynamic window blinds that react to sunlight etc. Every door opens, every compartment can be walked into. Details such as escape ropes, crew rest compartment and operating engine cowling. Accurately simulated systems include but not limited to: Electrical, Hydraulic, Fuel, Air and other engineering systems GPS, VOR, DME, ADF, COM, ILS TCAS with TCAS version 7 functionality Classic STBY Instruments and ISFD Full set of working overhead Circuit Breakers ADIRU/SAARU Flight Control Systems with three Primary Flight Computers (PFC) with four Actuator Controls Electronics (ACE) with Normal, Secondary and Direct modes and more EFIS with six LCD displays with four Graphics Generators(GG) in two AIMS cabinets with auto GG reconfiguration on failures logic with auto or manual source switching logic with all the synoptic pages, COMM pages and integrated checklist pages and more Two Flight Management Computers (FMC) Three Control Display Units (CDU) with Cabin Intercom pages for control of crew and ground communications Three Autopilot Flight Director Systems (AFDS) GPWS with all the modes the real plane has with look-ahead Peaks Terrain Alerting System with RAAS and more Weather radar with beams and ground clatter Two Electronic Flight Bugs (EFB) CPDLC Electronic MMEL Ground Services Working push-back truck - Fully controllable with your joystick. Passenger bus and stairs or optional gate configuration (passengers can be loaded from gate instead of bus). Fuel truck, de-Icing truck, GPU, ground-start units both visible and fully functional with airplane systems. Other ground equipment. Custom Sounds (Exclusive features) Fully proprietary sound system Hundreds of custom sounds recorded from the real aircraft. In-cockpit custom sounds. Switches with individual sounds. Many individual systems sound inside and outside. Airport environment sounds. Cabin sounds. 3D stereo sound system for engines. In flight cabin announcements. Interactive communication with the cabin crew (reporting misconfigurations and passenger comfort problems). Simulation Custom cockpit interaction system Adjustable modes for cockpit interaction, you chose what to use for clicks Different cockpit interaction modes, with mouse wheel and right button support In-cockpit tooltips from the manual - you click on the button and see portions of the manual on display Aural tooltips in FOs voice Copy/paste custom commands for cockpit building Every clickzone (>2K of them) has a custom command that can be set up. Options A very flexible architecture: You chose the set up Hundreds of options including avionics, set up, maintenance and difficulty level. Many additional options for sounds, cockpit interaction, effects etc. Interactive Checklists, Procedures (Exclusive feature) Full electronic interactive checklists and procedures with automatic action detection. FO helps with procedures, callouts and more. A tutorial which shows the user what to do and when. Innovative crew interaction system (Exclusive feature) 4 voice characters for the crew Interaction with crew members using EFB or CDU3 (like the real plane) Preflight briefing using AI voices FO help in different phases of flight Procedures performed and notated by the FO FO reads checklists with the captain Voice control of the FO! Failure model Almost 1000 failures simulated. Failure scenarios, training scenarios, all the things needed for TR training. Ability to fix failure by following proper procedure. Persistent failure and maintenance system - Aircraft wear and misuse will carry over to your next flight. Situation Save Ability to save the flight at any stage and continue from there Set up different cold and dark options Pre programmed situations for training Electronics Flight Bag EFB with Navigraph integration for chart viewing Airport moving map inside the EFB with a custom airport database just like the real thing Integration with SimBrief for planning Interactive navlog Weight and balance optimization and planning tool Many pilot tools like the real EFB Hundreds of options Special effects (Exclusive features) Multilayer dynamic reflections on all glass objects. Glow effects on screens XP weather enhancements like custom windshear. A few more images are now also available Requirements are interesting as to show what hardware is required. X-Plane 12, X-Plane 11.50+ Windows 10+, Mac OS 10.15+ (Intel or Apple Silicon) or Linux 14.04 LTS or compatible 64 bit mode Disk Space: 5 GB X-Plane 12 Minimum: CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7, or i9 CPU with 4 or more cores, or AMD Ryzen 3, 5, 7 or 9, or equivalent RAM: 16 GB Video Card: a Vulkan 1.3-capable video card from NVIDIA or AMD with at least 6 GB VRAM Recommended: CPU: Intel Core intel i5-12600K or Ryzen 5 3500 or better RAM: 32 GB Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA or AMD with at least 8-12 GB VRAM (GeForce RTX 2070 or better, or similar from AMD) X-Plane 11: Minimum: CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7, or i9 CPU with at least 4 cores, or AMD equivalent RAM: 16 GB Video Card: a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA or AMD with at least 4 GB VRAM Recommended: CPU: Intel Core i5 8600k or Ryzen 5 3500 or better RAM: 32 GB Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA or AMD with at least 8 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better, or similar from AMD) The B777 v2 is available for both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11... Price? well not the $9.999 price tag that is currently shown, as it is not the normal price. But my guess it will be under the US$100 mark. Public Release? No answers there either, as it depends on the beta phase... but start saving now! ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 3rd May 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
  21. NEWS! - Gyroplane Released : NISUS Gyroplane by vSkyLabs A what? well a “Gyroplane” is what the Federal Aviation Administration calls a rotorcraft with an unpowered rotor, it can also be known as an "Autogyro", it's more commonly known name. The NISUS is a modern interpretation of the original gyrocopter idea (think of "Little Nellie" of James Bond fame), but this Slovakian aircraft has a full proper tail (rudders and elevator) at the rear. So here is the NISUS aircraft for X-Plane 12, and the VSKYLABS NISUS Gyroplane core development-focus is in simulating the NISUS Gyroplane unique performance and flight handling characteristics. The simulated model demonstrates the real-world behavior of the NISUS Gyroplane with high precision. Flight dynamics simulation-to-real-world related differences also fall within very close margins. The released version here is the 'Comfort' variant, which is powered by the Rotax 915 iS (141 hp) engine. There is also the "Sport" and "Platinum" variants that may follow later. Project Highlights: VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project. Superb Flight dynamics: The VSKYLABS NISUS Gyroplane simulation is a highly engineered, robust Auto-gyro simulation model which makes use of X-Plane 12 sophisticated flight dynamics and physics simulation, extracting it to its limits. Simulated systems: The VSKYLABS NISUS Gyroplane features X-Plane 12 latest native features, systems and physics. This assures a 'high airworthiness' in X-Plane, throughout its update process. Some systems may be restricted to X-Plane default systems algorithms. General cockpit configuration: Equipped with a simplified NESIS III digital avionics package with a simplified emulation of the NESIS III engine-monitoring screen. Built-in AviTab compatibility is included, and the main NESIS display can be used for displaying the AviTab, in a toggle mechanism. 3-d HUD: The optional 3-d HUD is optimized for VR (and 2-d mode as well), providing useful flight-data and accurate velocity-vector references. This allows beginner pilots a safe familiarization with the NISUS Gyroplane nose attitude during all phases of flight, and the expert pilots to focus on 'pushing the envelope' especially in STOL operations in X-Plane 12. 3D Pilot and passenger visualization for increased VR and 2-d immersion (this feature is optional and can be toggled on/off). Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots: The NISUS Gyroplane is a very stable, predictable and docile aircraft, a perfect fit for any beginner gyroplane pilot. Being flown by expert pilots, it can turn into a highly maneuverable, STOL capable aircraft. Multi-layer FMOD sound package. 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). This project is part of the VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' series, designed specifically for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental Flight Model. The development of the VSKYLABS Gyroplane NISUS simulation model for X-Plane was approved by JOKERTRIKE s r.o. However, it is an independent VSKYLABS development effort which is not affiliated with JOKERTRIKE s r.o. Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs... this Autoplane is also an X-Plane 12 aircraft only. NISUS Gyroplane by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore! ___________________________ Yes! NISUS Gyroplane XP12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : NISUS Gyroplane XP12 Price is US$29.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac and Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (April 27th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 29th April 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
  22. NEWS! - Scenery Updated : Airport Newcastle by Aerosoft This UK Newcastle Aerosoft scenery is a quiet update to X-Plane 12. In the scenery there is no change from the early X-Plane 11 version, just the added X-Plane 12 effects and features.However the X-Plane 12 list is quite substantial as listed here, and includes. Revised lighting Ground textures now including PBR reflections and normal maps Revised orthophoto, color optimized for XP12, including autumn/winter version and normal map Reworked vegetation placement (new volumetric grass) XP12 3D vegetation for forests, trees and bushes for seamless integration into the environment Weather effects for wet, snow and ice Full support for native XP12 seasons, with no other add-ons or plugins Reworked autogen and street placement Revised static aircrafts Newcastle International Airport is situated in the area of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, about 6 miles north of the city centre. Newcastle International was rated the 11th busiest airport in the UK, and the second busiest in Northern England, with Manchester coming first, handling over 4.8 million passengers. IATA: NCL, ICAO: EGNT) The airport is owned by seven local authorities: City of Newcastle, City of Sunderland, Durham County Council, Gateshead MBC, North Tyneside MBC, Northumberland County Council and South Tyneside MBC. Copenhagen Airport sold the stake in Newcastle to AMP Capital, which is an Australian based investment company. Newcastle airport was opened on 26th July 1935, and was known back then as Woolsington Aerodrome – the airport was opened by Sir Phillip Cunliffe-Lister, Secretary of State for Air. At this time, the airport consisted of one clubhouse, one hangar, few workshops, a fuel garage and a single grass runway with a building cost of around £35,000. Notable is that you have to use the "Aerosoft One" application to install (update) the Newcastle XP12 scenery... Installation of Newcastle XP12 is done through Aerosoft one installer: Aerosoft One Universal After you have installed Aerosoft One, click on ENTER PRODUCT KEY (under the Library Tab) Then enter the Serial Number provided in this order. This will give you the option to download the airport. Note the different X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 installations. The earlier X-Plane 11 version is also included in the package, but without the XP12 effects __________________________ Yes! Newcastle XP12 XP by Aerosoft is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Newcastle XP Price Is US$19.99 Requirements: X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 4.7 GB - Installation done via Aerosoft one and serial number Version 1.0.0 XP12 (March 20th 2024 ) 1.0.2 for XP11 ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 26th April 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
  23. NEWS! - Scenery Released : RPLI - Laoag International Airport - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries Midway through last year, Airwil Sceneries released a series of airport destinations in the Philippines, including Davao International Airport, RPVE - Boracay Caticlan Airport, RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport and RPMR - General Santos International Airport, now all four have been recently updated to X-Plane 12. Here is another Filipino scenery to add into the collection... RRPLI - Laoag International Airport. Laoag International Airport is an airport serving the general area of Laoag, the capital city of the province of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. It is the only airport in Ilocos Norte and is the northernmost international airport in the Philippines. It has one 2,784-meter runway and is designated as a secondary/alternate international airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a body of the Department of Transportation that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except for the major international airports. The single terminal building serves both passenger and cargo traffic. As an international airport, it houses immigration desks for screening of arriving international passengers. It is also equipped with a carousel baggage at the reclaim area for passengers with checked-in items. The terminal previously had a combined capacity of 140 international and domestic passengers. It has since been expanded in 2021 to accommodate 200 international and 240 domestic passengers. This scenery is available for both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11, both versions are included in the package. Features: Moving airport ground servicing vehicles Numerous custom handcrafted objects/buildings Close to real life rendition of the Laoag International Airport Terminal Laoag Control Tower Cab (with interior modelling) Highly detailed landside (parking area) Custom ground paint textures Close to real life rendition of the airport's runway Filipino Houses Filipino Jeepneys Comes with free ortho imagery from ortho4xp for better realism Marginal's Autogate Jetway for X-Plane 11 (requires Marginal's Autogate Plugin installed The low well below $10.00 price to the quality of these excellent Filipino sceneries, make for a great collection of all five... start collecting now! Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPLI - Laoag International Airport XP12 XP11 - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPLI - Laoag International Airport XP12 XP11 Priced at US$8.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.7 GB Current version : 2.0 (April 24th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 26th April 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
  24. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : SimSolutions Diamond DA-40NG updated to v1.2.2 SimSolutions have updated their delightful Diamond DA40NG to v1.2.2. The changes on this incremental .2 update are small (four in all), but interesting enough to note. First is the Skunkcrafts Updater, always a nice addition. That Mac OS crash has also been attended to. The fictional beacon light has been removed and some older settings have finally also been removed... Version 1.2.2 (April 20th 2024) SkunksCraft Updater support fix: CTD on macOS (#93) fix: remove fictional beacon light (#99) fix: unused settings are still listed The Diamond DA40 Diamond Star is an Austrian four-seat, single-engine, light aircraft constructed from composite materials. Built in both Austria and Canada, it was developed as a four-seat version of the earlier DA20 by Diamond Aircraft Industries. By the end of December 2020, 2,200 DA40s had been delivered, including 500 NG models. Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required), and also now available for all three OS Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. ________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (OS 10.15 and higher . Silicon Processor supported ) and Linux (tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 340 MB Current version: 1.2.2 (April 20th 2024) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 26th April 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 Right Reserved.
  25. Hi guys, just have to notify that I did an update 1.20 for Tallahassee, it will be uploaded at the upcoming weekend. So the update itself include's many improvements and fixes of issues described above. Attaching you a few images. Also a lot of ktlh store images will be remaked as well since I did too many changes in ground poly's and some other stuff.. Changelog - Significantly improved airport pavement textures and their specular pbr effects - Increased quality of grass and soil textures within the airport area - Added more custom apron mast's models - Added night light textures for terminal and tower windows, cargo facility logo's - Added missing rooftop attributes on general aviation terminal - Better ground traffic and airplane routes - Added some moving ground vehicles - Fixed bunch of minor mistakes Thanks
  26. Aircraft Review : Embraer E-190 by Flight Procedures Simulation In July 2023, Flight Procedures Simulation released the Embraer E-195 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator. This aircraft although all new for X-Plane 12, also has a historical connection to the SSG Supercritical Simulations Group E-Jets version, but now called under another name in "Flight Procedures Simulation" (FPS), it is in many ways related to the same aircraft that was earlier released by SSG in X-Plane 11. SSG had released both the E195 and the E190 variants of the Embraer E-Jet, so as the E195 is already available, then the smaller E190 was expected to follow... here it is, and in many ways it is the same aircraft as the E195, but with a few new extra features added into the aircraft. Notable is that the same new features released in the E190, will also be cross-updated to the E195 if you own that aircraft. Actually the E190 variant is the pick of the E-Jet Series, E 170 - E 175 - E 190 - E 195. As it has the best of both worlds, it has a high passenger load (114 seats) as in being slightly shorter (36.25 m (118 ft 11 in), but also comes with a longer range in 2,450 nmi (4,537 km; 2,820 mi) and being able to fly an extra 150 nm than the E195 (124 Seats). The E195 feels long, even tube like, but the E190 is the more better and proportioned aircraft. One of the highlights of the E-195 by FPS, was the very good value price to features and quality, in being set in the mid-$50 price range. In other words you get a lot of quality aircraft for your money. The SSG/FPS also had great value to the featured systems provided, even right back to the early days, then there was a authentic FMS (Flight Management System) as part of the price... most deliver the same now, but that is just to highlight the point of the early advanced features from SSG that other developers didn't provide. The FPS E-190 is obviously almost identical to the earlier E-195, just a little shorter airframe. Both aircraft have been totally revised for X-plane 12. It shows in the quality of the modeling and detailing, that X-Plane 12 "shine" or aura is very evident. Same nice tinted glass and reflections.... the detail is nice, landing light surrounds and lovely flared winglets are also well carved and designed. All wings have the more variable Wing Flex animation for more realism. One area I thought on the E-195 that was clunky, were the internal mechanisms for the leading edge, still the same here sadly, so I disappointed it wasn't attended to... it's just feels a generation behind the current formula of detail in these current intricate leading edge, flap and airbrake combos... as which it is from the earlier SSG E-Jet Series. Undercarriage is very well conceived with highly detailed strut body and pistons, all hydraulic lines are well detailed, as are the scissors.... The side strut, although well done, is still left hanging in the wheel bay with no upper connection, as again on the E-195... this connection should have certainly been fixed by now (on both aircraft)... worse it is so highly visible from many visual angles, certainly on the approach/landing. Engines are the GE CF34-10E with 20,000 lbf (89 kN) thrust, compared to the 8E on the lower E-170/175 Series with only 14,200 lbf (63 kN), both engines are equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Engine pod detail is again excellent, great intake and the exhaust detailing is very well done. External features include all opening doors, Passenger left forward and aft, right Forward Service door, two Baggage holds and rear Service door. There is a nice GPU (Ground Power Unit) and you have wheel chocks on all wheels. Internal Cabin The E-Jet cabin for X-Plane 12 (E-195) was totally redone, or modernised. It's the same cabin here in the E-190, but it is a nice cabin with some really nice detailing. Seats are modern, as is the upper luggage bins are all also the new style with working Seatbelt/No Smoking signs and lit EXIT signs. Only niggle again are the differently set window shades from open to closed, still something I don't like?... same also is you have these excellent seat-back screens with the Airline logo, a highlight is that the seat colours/logo can also change with different liveries. Front and rear galleys are well done, but not overly meticulously detailed, a bonus for framerate. Cockpit In the cockpit, you could be in the E-195... It's exactly the same, great for your type rating! Both pilot chairs were all new on the E-195, they came with better sheepskin covers and hard-back rears, sadly the armrests are still fixed. (another area I thought would be updated for the E-190). The rear bulkhead was also completely different, and so is the entrance/door, and a modeled (non-working) jump seat on the bulkhead. Overall all the cockpit fixtures and textures have been totally redone with the same colour. Note the nice stitching, and netting rear on the pilot seats. EFB Tablet The Tablet EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) is also the same as the one in the E-195. One tablet each side for the Captain and First Officer and both are not changed in their detail. The Tablet menu screen on the left side is a huge step forward and it is easy to use. When turned off you can then use it as an AviTab, via the button top right of the screen. (plugin required) The Tablets can be added or removed on both the pilot's and the First Officer right side, but you have to select (On/Off) EFB or AviTab from only the left side tablet, but once the mode is selected it works on both as the tablets mirror each other. There are ten icon options across the top of the tablet... The first three options cover the GPU, Chocks and Cabin Lighting selections. The Circular arrows icon is the INIT page that has three options; "Unpowered Cold & Dark", "Powered at the Gate" and "Unpowered And Parked". You select the flight state, then press the green button left to activate that state.... it works well. Fifth Icon is the External options page has two options... "Doors" and "Pushback". You can open and close all six doors noted, but only from here in the Tablet and not manually. The Pushback mode is a bit limited... There is only the option shown to pushback in reverse or forward, brakes have to be off to activate and there is a procedure to follow to turn. Sixth icon is the Payload page... here you can add in your Passenger, Cargo weights... It is a single entry (Payload) entered via the keys 1K/100/10 then you load the aircraft (or compute the load)... you can change from Kgs to Lbs in the lower centre icon. Seventh Icon is Fuel. Basically the same as the payload page, you enter your Block Fuel load, then on pressing Fuel/Defuel it will load/unload the aircraft, the page will also display your fuel trip prediction (but only when you have programmed the FMCU. Eighth icon is the Takeoff Speeds. Here you select the Takeoff mode, or derated power setting (T01/T02/T03) then flap position. It will insert the current (airport) outside Temperature º and the set Gross Weight, then compute the V Speeds, CofG (Centre of Gravity) and Trim position ready to insert into the MCDU Takeoff page. All three set up pages (Payload-Fuel-Takeoff Speeds) are extremely easy and fast to do, so setting up the aircraft isn't going to take ages if you just want to fly. Ninth icon is the Sound page. Seven sliders cover three areas of Engines, Flight Deck and Environment, with a Master slider right. Final and tenth icon is the Options page, divided into "View Options"; Hide Yoke Captain side, Hide Yoke First Officers side, Hide Outside Pilot Figures and Show F.O. Side Tablet. "System" Options include; Link Baro Instrument Settings and Pause 10 NM to TD, again the Weights from KG to Lbs can also be changed here. Obviously the Tablet is a huge change from the fiddly X-Plane 11 window idea, far better for access and for setting up the aircraft... it is simple but also well done to use and mirrors the E-195 tablet as well. Systems Power on via the Battery power and the systems show the "Backup Mode". Only when you add in the direct power (GPU/APU/Engines) that you get the fully loaded system. Most of the Systems are a carbon-copy of the E-195 instrument layout and functionality, so a lot is repeated here as described in the E-195 Review. The Embraer E-Jets systems use the Honeywell Primus "Epic", Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) glass cockpit. It is very nicely done, the system CAS (Crew Alert System) messages, Aural warnings, Takeoff configuration warning, Stall protection system, Windshear detection and escape guidance, Non-normal operations are all represented. The SSG/PFP E-Jet basic systems has evolved over many years, improved and is now quite substantial, I was very impressed by the CAS warnings and alerts. Five displays across, with outer main displays PFD (Primary Flight Display), MFD (Multi-Functional Display) and in the middle EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System), they all pop-out via the left corner screw, are scalable, also home cockpit ready. The PFD displays information such as airspeed indicator, altitude indicator, ADI, HSI, vertical speed indicator, radio aids, autopilot, flight director and radio altitude data. In the event of a display failure, information will be automatically presented in the MFD. The display controller portion of the guidance panel allows the selection of PFD HSI formats, navigation sources, weather display, and bearing pointer selection. The MFD presents map and plan navigation formats and various systems synoptic formats that are all selectable. The MFD provides redundancy to display both the PFD and EICAS formats based upon reversion. It also has the ability to display maintenance information. The MFD consists of menu softkeys, on the top and bottom of the screen, which are used to select formats and to control the various systems. Note the lower screen "Vertical Profile Display", SSG was one of the first to include the feature on their aircraft, and it is very good here. There are three option menus; Map, Plan and Systems... And six system displays; Status, Flight Ctrl (Controls), Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, ECS and Anti-Ice. The EICAS displays engine and system parameters such as flap, gear, spoilers and trim positions, total fuel quantity, APU and environmental information. The EICAS also displays warning, caution, advisory, and status messages. In case of failure in the EICAS display, its information may be presented in the MFD by appropriately setting the reversionary panel. An automatic mode de-clutters the EICAS after takeoff. De cluttering occurs 30 seconds after landing gear and flap/slat retraction. The Advanced Advisory System CAS logic has more than 100 messages in logic, comprehensive, and I love the block alert system flashing it is very visually authentic. Multifunction Control Display Unit (MCDU) The FPS E-190 uses the same FJCC UFMC by Javier Cortes, again the same as installed in the E-195. Also refined over the years, it is pretty solid now. Based on the EPIC Load 27 FMS it is easy to use and has also quite a lot of functionality built in... both left and right UFMC units are individual and can be used separately by both pilots. The MCDU allows FMS control, radio tuning, PFD radio tuning display setup, manual engine rating selection, engine takeoff data set and avionics display setup and test. There is also a UFMC pop-up, activated by the F8 key, there is no pop-up for the right hand display. If you haven't used the FJCC FMS before, then you have to install the UFMC data (folder). This is stored in the X-Plane12/Custom Data folder... FPS supplies a full AIRAC-2303 set of data, in the "Documentation" folder, and the full contents are all to be put in the said Custom Data folder... notable is that if you use Navigaph or Aerosoft data, then a separate update link is required to this folder to update the monthly AIRAC. Note- If you already have the UFMC installed and updated to the current AIRAC, then there is no need to do this step. Also notable is that the Flightplans for the E-190 are stored here as well, again if you use the Simbrief Downloader, an address link is required to direct the file to the right flightplan folder. The Flightplans also use a unique .ufmc lauguage, so you have to specific with the flightplan. The colourful FMS Flightplan requires THE full insert of TAKEOFF REFERENCE DATA (3 pages). There is a reason for filling in the FMC data to the full extent as we shall see later, and it requires every i dotted and T crossed. PERFORMANCE PLAN pages (5) show fuel predictions for each waypoint, CLIMB/CRUISE/DESENT/LANDING pages show full flight performance and detail, including vRef landing speeds... PROG (Progress) page is highly detailed as well. The flight system provides Full TOGA/VNAV/LNAV/RNAV/LOC/GS/Missed APPR functions. SPEEDS with CLIMB/CRZ/DESC come with a custom Autothrottle system. All speeds thoughout the flight phases can also be changed into the flight plan and on the performance pages. Overhead OHP is the same/identical to the E-195, so there is no need to relearn anything... X-Plane 12 brings a different feel into the cockpit, provides more feel and depth to the controls and instruments... Centre console was also retextured, and still you have those lovely ceramic throttle levers, you can feel them, the smoothness of the surface, and the Auto-Throttle disconnect is built in... works as well. The lovely Ram Horn yokes are also still perfectly nice. They come with built in (working) Trim switches and a working PTT button. Lighting First lighting impressions are excellent. You have a lot of adjustment via five knobs at each end of the glareshield, and three (MAIN PNL/OVHD PNL/PEDESTAL) knobs on the OHP, plus the standard DOME switch. DOME lighting is very effective via two (bright) lights in the roof rear. Each pilot also get a MAP light which is also very good... ... so you can also tone everything down to just the instruments, or just to find a little down-light to see the console switch gear, perfect for night landings or takeoff phases... its all very good, and have a very nice place to fly in at night as well. If you remember the E195 cabin lighting was a bit unfinished, as in being only half way completed... In the E190 it is done, but the light spreads don't match up to the light source on the fixed rear zone? A shame as it looks great. You switch on the cabin lighting via the button on the Tablet, off and you get only the floor light strips. More so is that both galleys are connected to the cabin lighting, so all ON or OFF, they should be separated for better illumination. Another small annoyance is the red beacon still flashes in the cabin like on the E-195? Externally it is very good. All lighting is the X-Plane 12 lighting, so it is more XP12 LED in feel... notable is that the lighting will be updated in the next X-Plane 12.1.0. release by Laminar Research, so what is seen here could be even more refined. Navigation, Strobes and beacons all look good, as does the Tail lighting. There are runway turnoff lights, three landing lights that covers both wing and nosewheel positions. There are very effective Wing/Ice lights (here noted as "Inspection", which are great for cabin views at night. Flying the Flight Procedures Simulation E-190 Yes we are in Brazil... this flight is from SBGL (Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim In, Rio) to SBSV (Dep L E Magalhaes Intl, Salvador). Starting the E-Jet 190 is Simple Simon, no bleeds to worry about here, as the start is fully AUTO, once you have turned or selected each engine switch. Then watch the ITT (N2) kick off and start the start procedure, which is very long here and takes around a minute per engine, as you hear all the separate processes come in and the fans starting to twirl, its all very, very good and very authentic in realism, as you see the full authority digital engine control (FADEC) in operation. Startup sounds are excellent, thankfully with those engines sounds with their many startup stages that are recorded from real GE CF34-10E engines. That explains the perfect if long start up procedure, as they are timed into the soundtrack of the real thing, and it is very good aurally to listen into the full startup experience. The adjustment of the sounds is excellent as well with the great sound control (tablet) to get the right external, internal feel. The "Pushback" system is a little tricky until you work it out, devilish simple when you do... Release the brakes activates the Pushback mode, then press the pushback option... the tricky part is having the tiller selection up, to steer the aircraft yaw (Joystick), if not you can't steer. Select to Pushback in reverse, or when you are ready to pull forward, then use the other arrow... centre selection is STOP. Just using the park-brake will disable the pushback... you will soon get to like it. Betterpushback is however not an option here as the plugin does not work with this built in system, and thankfully the old silly stick pushback on the X-Plane 11 version is gone, of which I really didn't like at all. Note that to switch the Tiller back to normal to steer with the Yaw. On the E-195 I wasn't very happy with the touchy yaw steering (joystick), so I adjusted the yaw sensitivity way down to give me more leverage on my yaw axis. Here I found I had more rudder travel in the steering, so I didn't adjust the sensitivity this time around, but you do use a lot of rudder movement in the fine tuning of the centring, but now more evenly than using the sharper joystick (yaw). So what is new compared to the E-195 on the E-190? Well the E-190 has a completely new LNAV/VNAV alghoritm, that is different from the earlier version. So the note made earlier on making sure the FMS input data is completely done and correct is important, as the E-190 will follow this data absolutely, certainly the VNAV profiles that are all shown in the "Vertical Profile Display". Also new to the E-190 are the RNP departures (Required Navigation Performance). RNP is a family of navigation specifications under Performance Based Navigation (PBN) which permit the operation of aircraft along a precise flight path with a high level of accuracy and the ability to determine aircraft position with both accuracy and integrity. It is well worth studying the differences between RNP and RNAV procedures. Before you start the takeoff roll... you set the LNAV and VNAV modes ready. Power up and put the throttles to the full (takeoff) position, now once moving and the PFD will show the system is active... ... it doesn't matter into regulating the thrust power, for as one you have set that in the FMCU, and so two, the FADEC system will keep the engine thrust within the limits or 92.0% (TO.1). The CF-34 wail is nicely heard in the cockpit, a totally different sound as it is in the cabin, but highly realistic, and all sounds are doppler and 3D. There is a full "Custom Fly By Wire" system that provides flight protection limiting and control laws according with the FMS Protection System logic, again all very Airbus. The flight model performance has also been revised from the E-195 to the E-190, and yes it handles even far better and it feels now very good. I found the E-190 more refined, certainly from the earlier E-195 climb, and this time with no engine surging... "Thank you very much, I will take that one". Once in the "Positive Climb", now select the AP (Autopilot) and both the LNAV and VNAV modes become active... note the VNAV now goes into the FLCH (Flight Level Change) mode and then chases to your VNAV set altitude. (LNAV will follow the Flightplan route) Even if you break the profile and level out at say 15,000ft. Just reclick the VNAV button for the aircraft to resume the profile. When in the VNAV mode. The ALT (Altitude) will change from green to magenta, not only will the aircraft follow the vertical profile, but it will also select the Flightplan set speed (m.65) and adjust were required, like say TOC (Top of Climb). But you have to be aware of the Airspeed - Mach switchover point. You need to check the fightplan of the point it changes over from IAS to Mach, and to physically do the switch, or the VNAV speed gets confused on the wrong setting, same going back from Mach to IAS. Note the excellent rate of turn indicator when in the "Bank" mode. In X-Plane 12 the FPS E-190 looks amazing in the right lighting conditions, high in the FL330 cruise level, you are purring along, sounds are really good and authentic... the FPS E-190 looks excellent against the real time cloud formations. Max. speed / Ceiling Mach .82 @ 41,000 ft (12,000 m), Cruise Mach .78 (447 kn; 829 km/h)... It is also a very nice feel on the E-190 flightdeck, and the great thing about flying in the cruise, is that you can just stop sometimes, just look at the world around you. TOD (Top of Descent) and you watching the VNAV (PATH) to see if it will perform the action of going into the descent phase... it does, but I found you still have to control the speed, if not the steep descent will runaway with the speed as the descent vertical speed is steep at around 2600 fpm? The system will also alert you that you will also have to reset to the landing altitude (here 2,000ft), if not the system will recapture the altitude and not descend correctly... so you will need to do this altitude reset before reaching the TOD point. The initial descent angle I found a little too steep, but it levels off around the approach phase... I like a descent speed of around 2200 fpm, but here like noted it is around 2600 fpm, so the cause of the excessive speed. But like I mentioned in controlling that speed, certainly if you have the correct velocity in the final approach turns, it IS important, as you will then have better control in the approach phase... You can now use RNAV approaches (and their charts) with the FPS E-Jet Series, in so making for tighter arrival procedures. Autoland 1 and Autoland 2 and CAT I, CATII approaches are also now all available, but Autoland 2 is only active at FULL flap with the ILS APP selected. Great immersion on the final approach phase, a good simulation is when everything is working together, sound, instruments, control feedback... your in there! The E-190 has a very low final approach speed (Full Flap) of 120 knts, 115 is the absolute minimum, or below the stall speed. Disengage the Auto-Throttle at 500 ft and cruise into a slightly higher final flare. Spoilers activate automatically with pressure on the wheels, then retract again when the wheel speed is below 45 kts for at least 5 seconds. Reverser sounds are really excellent, as you can hear them roar from the cockpit, and they are very effective as well. Autobraking was set to "Low" as I like a lot of foot braking control in the final landing phase, this aspect also worked very well, with a nice braking feel. Note the great view from the cabin of the spoiler rear internal detail. Again rudder steering comes into action on the ground, don't touch the joystick yaw though... it is too touchy. And we are in Salvador. Liveries There are a couple of liveries from the older X-Plane 11 batch, namely the Alitaila and Air France HOP!, KLM and LOT (Polish). Missing again however is the nice Dolomiti. Some new ones provided as well, Azul, British Airways and Breeze all part of the download pack... more have also been added by FPS to the X-Plane.Org, these liveries include JAL, Lufthansa Regional, Alliance (Australia) and two Jet Blues __________________ Summary This E-190 is the follow up aircraft from Flight Procedures Simulation (ex SSG Supercritical Simulations Group) of their released the Embraer E-195 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator in June 2023. SSG released both the E-195 and the E-190, so this release is the shorter, but the more potent in the E-Jet Series of the E-190. The E-190 has a higher passenger load (114 seats) as in being slightly shorter (36.25 m (118 ft 11 in), but also comes with a longer range in 2,450 nmi (4,537 km; 2,820 mi) and being able to fly an extra 150 nm than the E195 (124 Seats). The E195 feels long, even tube like, but the E190 is the more better and proportioned aircraft. In most cases there is not much difference at all between the E-195 release and this E-190. The Systems and cockpit layout is exactly the same between both, so that is great for your cross type rating. Obviously the cabin is shorter with less seats, but the E-195 updated cabin and those lovely (logo) seat back screens are also moved over. The cabin lighting has also been fixed, well sort of. SSG provided one of the first and best E-Jet FMS systems, the same has had consistent updates over the years and is now very good and stable here. Notable is that study and a complete install of flight data is required for the use of the completely new LNAV/VNAV alghoritms behind the systems, it is again very good, but speed control is required on the descent. RNP departures and RNAV approaches are also now possible. Autoland 1 and Autoland 2 CAT I,CATII landings are also available. Externally the modeling was again updated from the SSG version to X-Plane 12, and the aircraft looks and feels very good in X-Plane. But a few areas like the leading edge tracks and gear support are dated or not connected, these niggles were still passed over to the E-190 from the E-195. The Tablet and it's features are very good in not being over complicated, and the in-built pushback tool is really very clever. The biggest benefit of these E-Jets in both the E-195 and this newer E-190 is the value price to the feature and quality ratio. You get a lot of aircraft for you money, and a great E-Jet as well with all the trimmings. If have purchased the E-195, you can also get the E-190 with US$10 off the price... so another saving there. So the Flight Procedures Simulation E-190 like the E-195 are both a great investment all round. __________________ Yes! - the Embraer E-190 X-Plane 12 by Flight Procedures Simulation is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FPS Embraer E-190 Price is US$55.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 8GB + VRAM Minimum Download Size: 626 MB Current version : 1.0 (April 20th 2024) Owners of the E195 by FPS can get the E190 for $10 off. Coupon can be found in the original E190 invoice Designed by Flight Procedures Simulation (ex SSG) Support forum for the FPS 190 Download The FPS E-190 is a 626.00MB download with an installation size of 2.34Gb, in your X-Plane Aircraft folder, this is an X-Plane 12 aircraft only. All updates are via the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Notable for new users, is you have to install the FJCC FMS data in the Custom Data folder, install instructions are provided and so is a more up to date current 2303 AIRAC data pack. Documentation There is excellent full coverage documentation and installation details for the FPS E-190, including; AIRAC_2303_manual_install.zip Custom_Commands.txt FPS EMB 190_Checklist.txt FPS EMB 190 - Lights and Switches v1.0.pdf Installing the FPS EMB 190.pdf FPSEmbraer_190_Changelog.txt Installing the FPS EMB 190.pdf Normal_Procedures_EMB190.pdf _____________________ 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 Version 12.05r1 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - SBGL- Rio de Janeiro International v2 by Globallart (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 - SBSV - Salvador/Bahia International Airport by Globallart (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 Review by Stephen Dutton 24th April 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
  27. Scenery Review: LFKF - Figari, Corsica XP12 by FSX3D By Dominic Smith Introduction Welcome to another scenery review, this time set in the beautiful surroundings of Corsica. Unlike most youngsters, my initial curiosity about Corsica was sparked by an unlikely source, the comic book "Asterix in Corsica". While the story mainly highlighted the island as a unique spot off the coast of Italy and focused on the adventures of Asterix and Obelix, it greatly captured my interest. Since that initial discovery as a child, and despite numerous "unfortunate" geography lessons (my teacher just didn’t have Asterix’s appeal), I have come to appreciate Corsica as a place of considerable natural beauty and historical depth. This appeal extends to both the casual visitor and the avid explorer, although I have yet to visit the island outside of X-Plane. Figari South Corsica Airport, located just 3 km northwest of Figari in the scenic Corse-du-Sud département, serves as a vital hub for accessing this enchanting Mediterranean island. Since opening in 1975, the airport has become Corsica’s third-largest, facilitating connections to major cities via airlines such as Air France, British Airways, easyJet, and Ryanair. Conveniently situated 25 km southwest of Porto-Vecchio, it handles upwards of 639,916 passengers annually. More than just an airport, it serves as a gateway to exploring Corsica’s stunning coasts and ancient mountain villages. Installation & Options The main airport download size is 815MB, with an option to install additional photographic scenery tiles of the area, totaling just under 9GB. Although this might seem large at first, the tiles have been created using a reasonably high zoom level, making them a worthwhile addition, especially for users of simHeaven. Alternatively, you can choose to create your own photographic tiles with Ortho4XP. For this purpose, the developer has included patches to ensure the airport aligns correctly, applicable to users of AutoOrtho as well. There's no online activation or third-party wrappers involved, so while the installation process might differ slightly from the norm, it remains relatively straightforward. Documentation The provided documentation is quite comprehensive; it includes text documents detailing the various installation options and a full-colour chart of the main airport along with its layout. Given the relatively low cost of the scenery package, I was quite impressed with what was provided, especially considering that more expensive sceneries often offer less. Initial Impressions Upon opting to install the additional photographic tile of the area, I was immediately struck by its quality. The documentation reveals that this imagery was created using zoom level 17 (ZL17) with custom elevations. From the views provided, it was evident that this enhancement significantly surpasses the default textures and mesh included with X-Plane 12. Beyond the undulating hills, the Mediterranean Sea stretches into the distance, presenting a captivating sight even in this virtual setting. Ground Details As you descend closer to the ground, the custom orthos remains sharp and clear. This level of detail is particularly beneficial for those who enjoy flying low in general aviation (GA) aircraft. Indeed, if you’re exploring Corsica by air, there really is no better way. However, while the runway textures were sharp and clear, they appeared somewhat clinical. The asphalt's colour was overly intense and seemed unbalanced. Additionally, the transition from asphalt to grass was too abrupt, lacking a smooth blend which could potentially be refined with further development. Taxiway & Apron Textures On the flip side, the textures of the taxiways and apron were far more aesthetically pleasing. Here, the asphalt and concrete had a more subdued appearance, which seemed more fitting with their environment. The edges where the asphalt met the grass were well-executed, featuring realistic cracks and wear. Moreover, the presence of rubber marks and oil or chemical stains enhanced the authenticity, contributing significantly to the overall visual appeal. Airport Signage One of the features of the scenery I was most impressed with was the custom airport signage, particularly noticeable on the taxiways and apron. The detailed guides for taxiing aircraft are well represented. A comparison with its real-life counterpart on Google Maps shows that the layout is almost identical, which greatly enhances the authenticity of the scenery. Parking areas for both general aviation and business aircraft, as well as helicopter zones, are clearly marked. Closer to the main terminal, the stands are accurately laid out with all the correct markings. Overall, I was very impressed with the signage accuracy and detail. Airport Foliage The airport is bordered by several wooded areas that extend right up to the boundaries of the scenery before stopping abruptly. It’s worth noting that with Global Trees installed, this coverage might continue beyond the scenery’s limits; however, I haven't tested this add-on as I do not own the product. However, I did have X-World Europe installed, which might have accounted for the slight increase in tree variations. Situated around the airport buildings, particularly the terminal and control tower, are small shrubs, flowers, and a few mature palm trees. Main Terminal Building & Surroundings The main terminal at LFKF, while lacking an interior, is well-modelled and effectively represents its real-life counterpart. Along the length of the terminal, bollards and benches contribute to the overall visual appeal, and the texturing on the concrete walls shows a realistic degree of weathering. However, the terminal area lacks airport signs or posters and feels somewhat lifeless, particularly in what should be the busiest part of the airport. There are a few cars lined up for passenger drop-off and collection, but the noticeable absence of passengers diminishes the overall effect. Hopefully, future updates will address this issue, but as it stands, the terminal building, whilst impressively modelled, requires a bit more liveliness to truly come to life. Directly across from the main terminal entrance is the main airport car park, which features a variety of custom-made vehicles. These vehicles are a significant and highly welcomed improvement over the stock models typically included with X-Plane. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of seeing the same old models all the time! The vehicles, all European makes, fit the Corsican setting perfectly and add a touch of authenticity to the scenery. Close to the car park, you'll find several car rental facilities, including Ada, Hertz, Avis, National, and Europcar. These buildings are modest in size but effectively serve their purpose. Given Corsica’s expansive landscapes, renting a car is almost essential for visitors. Additional Airport Structures Adjacent to the terminal lies the control tower, which I found to be modelled to a slightly higher standard than the terminal. The control tower's numerous angles and curves lend it a quite unique appearance, and the central staircase is a welcome touch. Next to the control tower is the Terminal Aviation d’Affaires, catering exclusively to business travel. The modelling here matches the high standard of the control tower, with notably good texturing that includes realistic weathering effects. The large glass areas are particularly impressive, although it's a pity there isn’t an interior modelled. A few metres away from the main buildings, there is a small maintenance building, and next to it, a fire station. The fire truck is positioned further up on the apron, perhaps there was some emergency I missed. Nearby, several smaller buildings of various types and a fuel service area contribute to the functional diversity of the airport. Completing the scene is an animated radar dome, faithfully watching over the airport. Night Lighting The night lighting at the airport is primarily provided by dynamic lighting from street and airport lamps, which stands in stark contrast to the complete absence of lighting effects from the buildings themselves. This omission is rather disappointing, as it contributes to a rather lifeless atmosphere during nighttime hours. Much like the notable absence of 3D people, I really do hope that the developer will address this issue in future updates. Performance Overall, I found the performance at LFKF to be pretty impressive, allowing for all settings to be maxed out, apart from anti-aliasing, while running at 1440p. At this resolution, I managed to maintain roughly sixty frames per second during the day. However, during nighttime hours, there is a noticeable drop, with frame rates dipping to the mid to high thirties. This significant reduction may be more reflective of X-Plane's general performance quirks during certain times of the day, nighttime in particular, rather than a specific issue with the scenery itself. Nonetheless, it's an important consideration for those using lower-end systems, as these performance shifts could impact your experience. Conclusion Reflecting on my time at LFKF, it’s clear that the experience was, on the whole, rather enjoyable. The airport features some well-modelled buildings, especially considering its low price point, and an authentic layout which closely matches its real-life counterpart. The addition of the optional ortho tiles significantly enhances the value of this scenery package, offering a level of detail not commonly found in more expensive counterparts. However, it’s not without its shortcomings. The absence of 3D people and the inadequate night lighting stand out as the most notable flaws. Addressing these issues in future updates could transform this from a good to an exceptional scenery package. As it stands, I am happy to recommend LFKF to those who have a fondness for Corsica, and perhaps an affinity for adventure reminiscent of our beloved two Gauls. Just as Asterix and his companions would conclude their adventures with a grand feast, albeit always without the bard, this scenery too promises a delightful exploration, if not a perfect one. ________________________ LFKF -Figari, Corsica XP12 by FSX3D is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: LFKF -Figari, Corsica XP12 Priced at $14.99 Features Ultra detailed car parks, taxiways and track PBR on all objects Ambient occlusion (Objects and ground) Wet track effects Dynamic lighting Animated Radar Pylon Altimeter patch for Ortho4XP Compatibility AutoOrtho Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac, or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 815 MB Review System Specifications Intel i5 12400 – 32GB RAM - Nvidia Asus RTX 4070 – Windows 10 Home 64 Bit __________________________________ Scenery Review by Dominic Smith 19 April 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).
  28. Sound Addon Review : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series sound package by Mango Studios As noted in the review/tutorial of the modification of the Rotate MD-80 Series to use the IAE V2500 Series engines. That coming soon from Mango Studios would be a sound package to modify the original P&W JT8D-200 sounds to the IAE V2500 engine sounds. This is that sound pack, and both JT8D-200 and IAE V2500 sounds are included, plus both new bonus external and custom internal sounds are also provided in the package. The feature list is extensive as noted here... Exterior: Custom Sounds for Exterior Aircraft Systems -APU, Hydraulic Pumps, Fuel Pumps, Packs, etc External Environmental sounds, including light and hard rain Custom Engine Sounds for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engines -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Custom Engine Sounds for the IAE V2500 Engines -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Interior: Custom Sounds for cockpit switches, buttons, covers, knobs, and handles -Overhead Panel, Pedestal Panel, Autopilot Panel, and Eicas Panel all reworked Custom Cockpit System Sounds Including -Higher Quality GPWS Sounds, all the way from 2500ft to 10ft aural warnings. -Higher Quality McDonnell Douglas Warning Sounds -Higher quality and realistic Battery, packs, wipers, and avionics generator effects Custom, and ultra-realistic cockpit environmental effects -High-quality landing gear roll, cockpit rattle effect, gear retraction, gear extension, gear drag, and cockpit wind. New cabin effects include -New Air conditioning effect, Fuel pump, Hydraulic Pump, Flaps, Slats Custom Interior sounds for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engines, which include: -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Custom Interior sounds for the IAE V2500 Engines, which include: -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Downloaded the Sound Pack looks like this... how to install. First there are two options in "Engine Volume 1" and "Engine Volume 2"... the choice is that Eng Vol 1 has "Realistic" normal volume sounds in the cockpit. Eng Vol 2 has a "loud" (or higher level) engine noise in the cockpit... it's your choice? Note; If you created a separate aircraft for the modification of the "IAE" engines, then you would need to install this Sound Pack in Both of the aircraft files. Then just select the optional FMOD set you have selected and move it to the Rotate Aircraft root folder. Next to be installed is the "Plugins", select both "MangoStudio MD80" and "MD-80 Core" folders and install them in the (MD-80) Plugin folder... It will ask you to replace 102 files in the MD-80 Core plugin folder, select to overwrite the files. Last install item is the "Sounds". Open the MD-80 Sounds folder, and now replace the "Alert" folder, again you will be asked to overwrite 25 alert sounds.... ... now the Mango Studios Sound installation is completed. Starting the Simulation, I loaded the IAE V2500 Engine aircraft. In the X-Plane Plugin Menu, there is now under the "MD-80 Soundpack", a settings menu "MD-80 Sound Preferences". This is a selection and sound adjustment panel. There are Options on the left, and a "Volume Control" panel on the right... In the options we will look at the most important one first. This is the "Engine Select Option", or the selection of either the IAE V2500 or the JT8D-200 Engine sounds. Selecting either will allocate (save) those engine sounds to that aircraft. Here I have selected the IAE V2500 engine. Other selection options include; "Speedbrake Deploy Sounds", or the sound the Speedbrakes make on landing, "Rotation Noise" the noise when the nosewheel lifts off the runway, here you can also set the point of the rotation degreeº point of when this effect comes into play (5º is default), and finally you can have "Passenger Noise" in the cabin. There are seven Volume 0%-100% adjust selections; Master, External, Interior, Radio, Environment, User Interface and CoPilot volume adjustments. Aural feedback Obviously I want to hear the sounds of the IAE V2500 engine... It's actually really "weird", but not in a negative way. You are always used to to the lower raw compressor sounds of the P&W JT8D, however here it is the high whine of a Airbus A320, on a McDonnell Douglas MD80? It sounds like the Airbus in every way, even in the reverse thrust mode. I like it because it is what I wanted, a differential feel and environment to the standard MD-80 Series aircraft. The sound is "doppler" in the source, and there is also different source sounds in the rotation from front to back (180º) and so you are highly spatially aware of all the different changes of direction. Externally the sounds are VERY loud, and my External percentage was finally set as low as 60%, (but I don't like large volume changes from the Internal to the External)... Start up and spool down sounds are excellent (great spaced timing), however so different in the engine being a more modern installation than the 60's based Pratt & Whitney. In the cabin, the rear is aurally loud, with the set passenger noise coming in on top, and the engines are set only in the idle mode.... move to along to the front of the cabin and the distance to engines make a difference to the lower sound levels, very good. But oddly so does the noise level of the passengers also decrease, which feels very odd? I am sure they talk as much at the front of cabin, as they do in the rear. The Rotate MD-88 cockpit was always a very "clickity clackity" cockpit, and one of the main reasons why I love it.... the Mango Studios cockpit sounds are certainly not as loud, or as noisy as the default sounds, even hard to hear. So you have to put the volume up (a lot) if you want to hear them as you do in the Rotate MD-80? So it is very noticeable in the far lower Speedbrake arm and the trim setting noises, and you can barely hear the usual noisy landing and taxi light switches? This is with the "User Interface" settings set at 100%? They are definitely good sounds, but they are simply not loud enough, or you also don't have enough adjustment to find your own personal level of acceptable switch noise. In the taxi, the IAE MD-80 sounds great, nice roll sounds and engine noise... .... power up the throttles (N1) and you get this lovely high IAE whine rising from the rear, runway rumble is also very good, but those engines sound so excellent as the power gets to the takeoff throttle speeds, this is the point of difference... I absolutely really love the aural feedback you get here as those IAEs reach full thrust power. Externally the takeoff noise is really good. Once off the ground you get that nosewheel gear custom wind sound, it is good, but to be noted as far too loud on a quiet cockpit to be realistic? Yes you can turn it off, but that is in creating the opposite effect, volume just needs to be turned down a little to be authentic. Climb-out and altitude climb sounds are very good, then cockpit settles down into a background rumble in the cruise, that I also like. Once at cruise altitude I run a flypass of the IAE MD-80... It is very good, but the rear exhaust sounds when in view are very loud, and stay loud even as the aircraft retreats well and long into the distance... doesn't feel very realistic to be honest. At each step of the approach, first with the flap extension in that the sounds are extremely realistic, and the engine note also changes with any extra drag applied, then say the lowering of the gear, in it then adds on another heavier layer. Yes this is what should happen on the approach phase, but the point here is in how well you can differentiate between the different wind or drag sounds, as the layers are very well done for a feel of the spatial direction of that particular sound. Get it right as it does here, and it sounds all very realistic. The real action starts when you touch the runway, up go the spoilers, and then the reverse thrust powers up. Again the spoilers feel a little loud (like the front wheels on takeoff), but the IAE engine reverse blast is excellent, again very A320 IAE in reflection. Aurally the landing noise (touch), drag and thrust noise is excellent from the cockpit, but extremely loud if you are anywhere near the engines in the rear. I think the idea here is to make the engine package "dynamic" special sounds in being heightened (i.e. nosewheel on rotation and airbrakes), but in other areas the sounds are quieter, in say the cockpit switchgear and in the various sound directions. So you need a bit more of a balance for it to be perfect. So there is a case for some sounds need to be more reduced, and others more heightened to find a better balance... otherwise the overall dynamics here are very good, even extremely good. ' JT8D-200 Now you select the JT8D-200 selection on the MD-80 Sound Preferences panel. Externally the JT8D-200 version sounds better? The rotation of the sound (rear to front) is far better, and feels more authentic. There isn't that blast of consistent rear engine exhaust noise like you get with the IAE, until you push up the throttles, then it sounds excellent. Again the rear cabin is also extremely loud, even with the interior sounds set at 40% and the throttles set at idle? but the aural reduction to the front of the cabin is excellent, but also set higher level than the IAE, same with the cockpit sound level in the front, higher volume than the IAE. This aspect is to be realistic, the noisy 60's era engine compared to the 80's higher bypass era. Switchgear noise is the same as the IAE, as you can't again hear them working? unless you increase the volume (a lot). I again miss this interaction with the aircraft. Power up and the JT8D goes LOUD, okay I can live with that, and you feel the louder noise in the cockpit. Rotate and the nosewheel drag is highlighted, again I feel it is too loud... but the climbout and the doppler sounds are really, really good... ... certainly the JT8D is more balanced all round than the IAE. You however get the same high exhaust note when past the camera position, as the loud thrust is still very audible as far or as long as this last image shows, and so again rumbling too far into the distance from the viewer to be realistic. But don't get me wrong, in flight the JT8D sounds brilliant, in the cockpit, on the flypast and in the air from most directions. Rear cabin passengers would however ask for their fare back with the consistent high noise level? Notable here is that the high rear cabin sound level stays the same at engine idle, and the same in flight (increases though on a full throttle setting), and so why does this annoy me... because I do a lot of replays sitting in the rear cabin, so to use I would have to turn the volume right down to be seated back here in comfort. On LEBL (Barcelona) approach, with the gear down and full flap, the wind and drag sounds are again really good, yes in context very similar to the IAE in the audio experience, but certainly not in engine tone, so it is very good expression between both of these aircraft and their different powerplants. Good sound, or an all round high aural experience can certainly give any simulation a more credible immersion to the user/pilot. It is Simulation's ongoing advances that seeks to create the real environment in your own world. Sound is as important as the visuals, so these sound-packages are a very important addition to your flying, and one of the best options to heighten the simulation... as I go over the fence at LEBL's Rwy 02, I am totally in there, eyeballing the runway, but also in needing the feedback aurally from the aircraft, that is the important statement, it is what is being signaled to you or is reverberating around you can be the difference between the best experience, or just an average one. On touch down and into reverse mode, the aural sensation is excellent, yes you get the extra noise from the speedbrakes, but you can turn that off in the options. Gotta Love the Maddog! _____________________ Summary Mango Studios released a modification for the Rotate MD-80 aircraft to add on the IAE V2500 engine to the already installed Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200. Here is a sound package to deliver custom sounds for both those engines IAE V2500 and JT8D-200 and aircraft interaction. The package is most effective when you have both engine types installed, as you get both custom sound packs for both engine types. So the IAE V2500 Engine Addon from Mango Studios is highly recommended here. This is a very good high quality sound pack, that can differentiate the unique sounds of both the IAE V2500 and JT8D-200 engines, the IAE is of course the more modern engine and is mostly associated with the Airbus A320 Series. The range of custom sounds here are excellent on both engine type installations. Great doppler effects, different source sounds in the rotation from front to back (180º) and so you are highly spatially aware of the different changes. Both engines have excellent spool up/spool down sounds and the excellent reverse thrust activity. Flap, gear and wind noise is also very good and engine thrust realism is excellent. With options that cover custom "Speedbrake Deploy Sounds", "Rotation Noise" the noise when the nosewheel lifts off the runway, and "Passenger Noise" in the cabin. Option for "Loud" or louder engine noise in the cockpit. However there are few consistencies highlighted the same on each pack. Switchgear/Interaction sound levels are very low compared to the excellent default Rotate MD-80 sounds... rear engine exhaust is also too (extremely) high and remains too long after the aircraft has passed your point of view. Rear cabin sounds even at throttle idle are not realistic, passenger chatter also disappears as you move forward in the cabin, optional custom sounds (nosewheel & speedbrake) are set higher to be "dynamic" when selected, are not very realistic. The attraction here with this package is the sounds for the IAE V2500, the tone and feel is completely more modern than the 60's inspired feel of the JT8D low-by pass engine, effectively an Airbus engine on a McDonnell Douglas MD80 aircraft. In this aspect the package is excellent and a great companion to the MOD pack for the IAE V2500, the JT8D-200 is as good, with extra features over the original Rotate sound pack. Overall I totally love the idea and the choice of the two different engine types for the MD-80. It gives you a very and more flexible choice in flying this unique McDonnell Douglas aircraft, not just in appearance, but also here with a unique aural experience for both types... well worth the investment! _____________________ Yes! the Mango Studios MD-80 Sound Pack is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Mango Studios MD-80 Sound Pack Price is US$14.99 The Rotate MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 is required for this add-on. The Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on is highly recommended. Requirements This is a Sound pack. The Rotate MD-80 is required for this sound pack. Will not work with any other MD-80 Download Size: 52 MB Current version 1.0 (April 16th 2024) Documentation Manual provided by Mango Studios is a bit basic, hence the Tutorial here in this review Rotate MD-80 Soundpack Manual.rtf _____________________ Aircraft Sound Addon Review by Stephen Dutton 19th April 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews 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 Version 12.09rc5 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - LIRF - Airport Rome XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.99 - LMML- Malta International Airport by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.30 - LEBL - Barcelona XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.99 (Disclaimer. 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