Stephen Posted May 8, 2019 Report Share Posted May 8, 2019 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. 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... ... 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... ... 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. 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. The GeForce plugin is now back in after being lost for a version.... and yes it makes a big difference. 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. 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... 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? 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. 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. 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. ___________________________________________________ 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 AB412 v3.0 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) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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