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Aircraft Update : Agusta Bell AB412 v3.0 by X-Trident


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Bell412_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Update : Agusta Bell AB412 v3.0 by X-Trident

 

Helicopters, if there was a genre that has been neglected in X-Plane11 lately it has to be our vertical capable machinery. There has been a few or two such new Helio's but not any with any considerable depth or size, there is a new one coming (finally) a CH47F Chinook from X-Trident, but X-Trident are also keeping the Heli front moving with an update to their very first helicopter release with the Agusta Bell AB412. This aircraft has had a very nice series of upgrades of which this update brings the machine up to v3.0 status. The actual update is not particularly a large one, but it is a very good one from many perspectives.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Head 1.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Head 2.jpg

 

The last update for the AB412 was Dec 9th 2017 with an Update for X-Plane 11.10+, but this was just a minor adjustment for the helicopter to fly in X-Plane11, and nothing really deep...  One of the first things you notice in v3.0 is that the AB412 has now a more nose up attitude...

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Head 3.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Head 4.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Head 5 LG.jpg

 

...   in the neutral position, a lot of Helio pilots noted this and asked for it, and with good reason as the AB412 has suddenly become much more stable in the liftoff and landing phases of the flight, mainly because the aircraft's balance is now correct. But I think the changes have gone through the whole airframe as a whole, as I found the Bell far more easier to fly in all the phases of the flight...

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Head 6.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Head 7.jpg

 

...   as just sitting in the hover was some sort of revelation on how much easier it was, and your controllability is now far better. Another change was that the skids in their various forms (and there are a few with Standard, SAR and Float) will now all correctly sit on the ground and not sink themselves into the tarmac.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Head 11.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Head 8.jpg

 

We can now throw in the v11.33 particle effects, downward thrust produces great clouds of spray, and the AB412's twin PT6T-3DF Twin-Pac turboshaft engines, that produce 1,250 shp (932 kW), 900 shp (671 kW) for each power section is now more plainly noticeable with the particle effects.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Head 9.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Head 10.jpg

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 1.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 2.jpg

 

The GeForce plugin is now back in after being lost for a version.... and yes it makes a big difference.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Config.jpg

 

Cyclic and collective are now also available in VR (Virtual Reality), I have flown the AB412 in VR and it was very enjoyable, however I would love to go back now and feel this far better and updated version.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 4.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 3.jpg

 

The Co-Pilot's VOR/OBS dial wasn't working, but that issue has now been addressed, and it is now far better for flying in the left seat.

 

There is however one area I am still not happy with on the AB412...  the SAS (Stability Augmentation System) or autopilot. No issues in using the SAS in holding the altitude, changing the altitude with the V/S, holding the IAS speed or the HDG (Heading), as it all works perfectly...

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 5.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 6.jpg

 

But turn the SAS off and regain manual control and it won't let you? everything is turned off auto wise, but there is no way the aircraft will descend, it will just go on holding the set altitude, even if the collective is right down in the low position...  so you are stuck up there at a set altitude, with the only way to reduce height is to reduce the thrust (very dangerous)...  So I never or rarely use the SAS, because I simply don't want to get stuck (up there) in this mode?

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 7.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 8.jpg

 

The reversed slip indicator is now also fixed as there are some new commands... these commands cover a lot of ground for remote (movement) FLIR and external spotlight use, hoist and cargo can be controlled from your joystick or keyboard as well with now also SAR/LOAD support for 3rd party plugins...  all are for great interactivity.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 9.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 10.jpg

 

Flying helicopters can always be put into the "too hard" basket, and yes even I would a acknowledge they are a learned skill, but the rewards are extremely high if you can master them, a throttle system replicating a collective is a major advantage in controllability as is a joystick or rudder pedals to control the yaw, but if you have them and with some practise and you will be bitten for life in flying in this very different vertical world.

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 11.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 12.jpg

 

Bell412 _v3.0_Flight 13.jpgBell412 _v3.0_Flight 14.jpg

 

With these v3.0 improvements, then the AB412 is a great place to start.

 

Summary

The X-Trident Agusta Bell AB412 has been around now for a few years (2014) and was an X-Plane10 stalwart...  the original full detailed review is here : Aircraft Review : Agusta Bell AB412 by X-Trident.

 

But that doesn't mean to say that the AB412 is anything but old or out of date, in fact the total opposite is true. Constant updates like with this v3.0 update for XP11 has kept the aircraft extremely current and contemporary, the Bell feels even better now in X-Plane11 than it ever did. A good investment then as now, absolutely.

 

This is a small update here with v3.0 in details, but it has had a huge difference on the machine, certainly in the handling, as the B412 feels very fresh and more controllable than ever before. Added particle effects and XP11 PBR effects bring out even more realism to the aircraft. And few issues and bugs have been cleaned up and the GeForce plugin has been returned.

 

Helicopters are scarce in X-Plane11, but really updated good ones are even now even more rare, so savour one of the best currently available, it is highly featured and versatile as well adding into the experience, if new to helicopters then this AB412 is a great entry point, yes they do require practice and skill, but the awards are also as astounding...   Highly recommended.

 

___________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg
 
Yes! the Agusta Bell AB412 v3.0 from X-Trident is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Agusta Bell 412 
 
Price is US$35.95

 

Features:

  • Highly detailed 3d model and 3d cockpit. Most switches operable
  • Detailed rotor kinematic modeling
  • Detailed lights
  • Close to real fuel, hydraulic and electrical systems; start-up sequence follows the real checklist almost line by line
  • Custom failures
  • Working custom auxiliary tank and water drop system
  • Working dolly pad for precision landing
  • Custom warning panel
  • Custom governor
  • Custom artificial stability
  • Custom 4 channels autopilot with over 10 modes
  • Flight model approved and tweaked by real pilots
  • Hyper detailed rotor with all its levers moving ud and down,
  • Custom GPU
  • Custom Remove Before Flight with dangling flags (with FOD)
  • ADF with bank error
  • Working doors with changing sound volume effect
  • Many liveries plus a paint kit; smart configuration of optional objects attached to each livery
  • Plugin for Windows, Mac and Linux  - detailed custom menu
  • Includes a licensed version of Dreamfoil's Geforce plugin
  • Working NIGHTSUN Spotlight
  • Working FLIR Camera
  • Custom Winch and SAR operations
 
Requirements:
X-Plane 11.30+
Mac, Windows, Linux
4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current version: 3.0 (May 3rd 2019)
 
Support Thread : Bell 412 by X-Trident
 
v3.0 update log txt
 

 

___________________________________________________

 

Aircraft Update Review by Stephen Dutton

8th May 2019

Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews

  

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)

 

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  • 1 year later...

X-Trident: Nice graphics over good Flight modelling.

 

Usually being fascinated by 3rd party developments with such nice 3D-modelling i am losing caution when purchasing.

The after purchase experience however sometimes feels like waking up in the morning after a heavy nightlong party.

X-Trident has given me this kind of awakening, making myself a fool but much more careful for any future investement into such 3rd party products.

 

Something feels weird about these italian developers. They take 2plus years to model their stuff down the road to visual perfection and then 

they come with this kind of arcade flight physics and flight handling envelope which has nothing to do with how real heli flying feels.

 

Flying this Bell412 is like sitting in an elevator or even a remote autonom flying rail waggon, surely away from a real life experience.

Despite adding xprealistic plugin and other improvements to this model, i couldn't connect to their idea of what helicopter flying is supposed to be about. That thing flies like by itself, there is nothing of heli piloting's peculiarities.

 

To be fair, their graphics are excellent, they spend their lives for a nice look, which very much reflects the italian style of easy life.

unfortunately flight sims are not a Milano Fashion Show or a Roman allday Cappuchino chitty chat, they are supposed to feature aerodynamics in the first. under complex conditions and with complex responses.

 

X-Trident's product was a disappointment for me, i got trapped by eye-candy too much. 

 

We, the users, love to get trapped by eye-candy, that is why the place is filled with amateur developers like x-trident or colimata to mention 2 of those italo-devs, making their bugs on rookie user naivity. And they are famous for not taking critical questions by users, they simply ban such customers from their forums and delete their posts. This terrible practice is ongoing and unfortunately not inhibited by any authority to date.

 

Okay, it's everyone's personal decision and preferences, with what quality level a heli should come with, i am in the rather realistic flight section, expecting such. If you like arcade, you should not even read this review:)

 

For total beginners, this product might be a good jump into x-plane. But the same quality of heliflying could be found in simple ego-shooters like ARMA at a cheaper price.

 

A fair price would be somewhere at 25$. for their effort on the 3D-modelling.

 

There are several italian products out there with a caution-label on them. One is Colimata, always classified as "no buy!".

X-Trident's current work on the Boeing CH-46 Chinook seems going the very same way. Lots of candy screenshots and promotional gossip overblending flight facts, i think we can expect the same level of amateur expertise but big noise for this one.  

 

Rumors say that developer x-trident is copy-pasting the flight model from other - probably the native S-76 - helicopters without undertaking the complex calculations that come with individual helicopter development. The S-76 covers a wide base of physics for any helicopter type, Laminar's purpose,  but does not translate individual characteristics of a specific model's flight characteristics. This may explain the unprofessional flight behaviour of X-Trident's Products. While you think you fly an Agusta Bell 412, in fact you run an S-76 default, on a 412 model mock up. That is called a "Mod", a fake. 

Even in DCS combat simulator, you can find such "fakes", whereas some freak modiffies an F-15 into an F-22 and promotes it as F-22.

 

Users with no real life flight experience, especially with no flight hours on the specific aircraft type, would never know the difference, how would they possibly. Instead, these nuggets listen to other nuggets, and often tend to overrate the product in their youtube cheerings without knowing, seaking for likes. The easier it is flyable the more they cheer a product, which transfers wrong expectations to other potential customers.

 

As long as many of us customers favourize visuals and easy flying over realistic flight modelling, there will be these kinds of what i would call arcade products hitting the market. You can blend consumers easily with nice graphics and cool content, but that is not simulating flight. And X-Plane's reputation takes the debit. A flight simulator's quality associates through its flyable aircraft, that's how the world rates the sim. Unrealstic flying tells the sim is unrealistic or untrustworthy. If they ever knew the difference.

 

Insisting on a one week trial for new products is always a good idea to protect demanding customers from disappointment. 

Some customers of the Colimata F/A-18 even forced their money back from the .org-store.

 

I don't think promoting any level product is an actual problem, as long as it is admitted that it does not come with real life telemetrics/physics. Pay half the price if a dev comes on you without confirmed and licensed label by its real life manufacturing counterpart. Misdirecting consumers should be treated as such. I happened to notice that the italian developers were in a dialogue with users on a forum, asking questions about such real life manufacturer's official licence label to give reference for their claim of providing realistic flight models, like some other developers do (Toliss-Airbus, FlightFactor-Boeing, etc). These users got banned instantly from their (.org) forum, their posts disappeard secretly. It's like they never existed.

 

Well, if you believe that's only how the mafia works, or some chinese or north korean regime, then i have bad news. it happens here and now. In the x-plane world.

 

Conclusions:

 

Beware, this review is based on my own personal experience  and observations, and may not necessarily be representative. Everyone out there should make his/her own expierience. if you like purchasing x-trident products, go ahead and enjoy anyway.

 

If you expect a simulation of real life flight characteristics, stick to quality developers only. Never give money to unknown or bad reputation vendors.

 

You find reference lists of developers and their quality rankings on the internet. Maybe i find a good source, i'd certainly post it here on xplanereviews.com 

 

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