Stephen Posted October 1, 2022 Report Share Posted October 1, 2022 Aircraft Review : ViperJet eX XP12 by Aerobask This is the new ViperJet from Aerobask, and noted as a new aircraft. It is new to a point, but not the first ViperJet in X-Plane or from Aerobask. That distinction goes back to 2015 and X-Plane 10 as reviewed here: Aircraft Review - Viperjet by Aerobask There is of course a huge difference between the aircraft, not in the actual design or in many areas even the features. But certainly in the environment and the context that this ViperJet is X-Plane 12 only and if you want an earlier X-Plane version then the aircraft is not available. So what is the ViperJet? Basically it is two seater personal Jet aircraft that is certainly not your average General Aviation aircraft. It looks military (training) and in fact all personal tandem seaters except for a few odd aircraft from Burt Rutan like the VariEze, of which was a forerunner of the Viperjet are like it on the General Aviation market. The Viper aircraft was also originally created with a pusher propeller 350 hp (261 kW) Continental TSIOL-550 powerplant and then known as the Viperfan. Basically the ViperJet is a kit aircraft, homebuilt. The kit used to cost US$182,000 and you are going to spend another US$300,000 to $500,000 get it airborne, that is if you can find a General Electric J85 jet engine lying around. This J85 version is the MkII as the MkI didn't really fly very well with the underpowered Turbomeca Marboré installed. The original Viperjet prototype flew late in October 1999 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2000.The MKII prototype flew on 12 June 2005 and you can upgrade your Mk1 to the MkII. The eX version here uses the P&W JT15D-1A (2200 lbs thrust). If you want one today, then you would only be able to buy a second-hand version as ViperJet went out of business years ago, and they are expensive to run as they burned something like 100 gallons per hour of Jet-A, not exactly efficient or cheap at these day's fuel prices. The ViperJet is a striking aircraft, like a slightly smaller smoother version of the Hawk Trainer without the canted rear tailplanes. So it is in a category of it's own as it's not your usual General Aviation machine, but not Military as well, but the aircraft does have aspects of both genres. This is a fully composite aircraft. So it is very clean and every surface is so smooooth. Aerobask are the masters of composite clean aircraft, then add in the X-Plane 12 elements and the ViperJet is a significant change even from the original, of which was also quite exceptional for it's time. Any detail work is still done very well, mostly it's just fuselage hatches and the lovely metal exhaust outlet. This basically only a kit aircraft. So there is not a lot of external elements that you would get with a say a, Cessna or Piper, and so the main thing here to focus on are those lovely clean shapes with an uncomplicated wing (with nice winglets) and a beautiful shape. Tri-cycle gear is uncomplicated as well, in being just a single strut per leg with no trailing-links here. You do feel the home made design of the gear, but again the strut and brake assembly detail is very good. Glass is a simple two canopy small front screen and large bubble rear that looks excellent, but very clear with no wear or glass taints. But it is very fighter in shape if you want that feel in the aircraft. Open the canopy and it is very well fitted out inside. Personally I doubt that most Vipers would be fitted out so luxurious as this as they are mostly all kit aircraft, but it is a very nice scheme with lovely materials and again an Aerobask speciality. The interior colour scheme changes with the external depending on the colour, with four colours available. Red, Blue, Yellow and Cream. But no khaki, but that would be too military. The new scheme also makes the tan interior X-Plane 10 version look very outdated. Cockpit Layout The instrument panel is quite different from the older Viper (right below), and far, far more detailed. X-Plane in detail has also come a long, long way in seven years. Power and Avionics switched on and you get the lovely "AVIDYNE" startup screen... then everything comes to life. All instrument panels and avionics pop-out for custom setups, or for ease of use. Adiyne Entegra EXP 5000 Front and centre is the "Adiyne EXP 5000 or Entegra" is a Primary Flight Display (PFD) combining all the standard instruments. The upper half of the EXP 5000 shows the flight instruments, and the lower half shows navigational data, as well as a range of soft keys which correspond to physical buttons on the bezel of the device. Instrument basics include; Airspeed Indicator (with IAS setting above), Attitude Indicator (with Flight Director), Altimeter (with preselected altitude above & baro pressure below), Vertical Speed Indicator and top the Slip/Skid Indicator. Also included are; Autopilot Information, Bearing Pointer Information and Wind Information. Lower is the Horizontal Situation Indicator. Left softkeys cover (LSK1 to LSK4) NAV, Bearing, IAS bug, Navigation view modes. Right softkeys cover (RSK1 to RSK4) Heading, Altitude, VSI bug and Barometer setting. MVP-50 Electronics International MVP-50 engine analyser is also installed here. It has a graphical display that covers; Arc Gauges for RPM, EGT, GPH and EPR. Fuel/Oil Pressure and Oil Temperature, Three L/C/R Fuel readouts, Oil Ratio, Zulu and Local Time clocks and Electrics in; Bus Volts, Bus Amps and OAT ºF and ºC. Avidyne DFC 90 Avidyne DFC 90 autopilot is a digital autopilot and flight director (lower left of the panel arrowed) which works in conjunction with the Avidyne EXP5000 PFD and can take full advantage of an installed GPS device, such as the GNS530 optional GTN750. Besides standard operating modes (HDG, NAV, GPSS, IAS, VS, ALT) it has a “straight and level” mode (which restores aircraft pitch and roll to a 2° levelled position). CO200K CO200K is digital clock and Outside Air Temperature display produced by Aerospace Logic Inc (Top Right Arrowed). The CO200 features 3 main screens that you can cycle through using the top button, unless you are configuring one of the screens: 1) Clock and OAT 2) Stopwatch/Countdown 3) FlightTime and reminder Other Avionics include; Customised GNS 530, Garmin GTX 330 Transponder, Dynon AOA Pro digital Angle of Attack indicator, lower three digital Trims... ... centre console has; GMA 345 Radio, Garmin GNC 255 Nav/Comm unit, OBLÒ FlyBox Backup instrument. Note lower Fuel Selection switch. Left panel holds mostly all your main aircraft switches and controls. Main battery and Avionic power switches, Igniter (to start the engine), Combined Starter & Generator switch (very clever), Engine Master Switch, L&R Fuel Tanks transfer pump, Boost pump, Airbrake Switch, Main fuel Throttle/cutoff. An important dial (unless you want to die) is the Pressurization Dial that shows you your cabin pressure. Right Panel is mostly covered in circuit breakers (breakers for gear, avionics and engine are ALL operational). But there are also three "Pressure" switches (Bleed, Canopy Seal and Oxygen). Up top are the Inlet Heat, SURF (Surface) Heat, AoA Heat and Pitot Heat switches. Canopy seal is three actions in pressure, safety lock and the actual canopy release lever. Very rear is a can of Cola! Centre is a very nice pair of headphones on the right (click to lower sounds) and AviTab on the left (Plugin Required). You can also access the Aerobask Menu via the AviTab Tablet (stored in left pouch), or by Show/Hide the Menu via the X-Plane/Plugins drop down menu. There are Four (Menu) Options available; Ground, Options, Smoke, Sounds and About. Ground: Top left is the Weights, Fuel and Balance section, and lower you can change the liveries with out going to the main menu. Right upper panel has three options; Ground Objects (Install/Remove), GPU Ground Power Unit (Install/Remove) and Refill Oxygen Bottle. Lower is the options to have the Co-Pilot visible; Always, Outside only and No Co-Pilot. The "Ground Objects" will give you static elements of; Chocks, Pitot Covers, Tow-Bar but no inlet or engine outlet covers? The GPU is a different one and a far better unit than the earlier original version. Rear Co-Pilot is a very attractive woman, pretty as... but her boyfriend is in the front! He will disappear if the Ground Objects are on. Both people are not animated. Options : Under the "Options" tab you can adjust the "Instrument popups", Reflections on/off for the Canopy and Instruments, Head up Display Auto FOV Fild of View and set the Breakers (Fuses) to a reliability setting from Perfect to Challenging! All Avionics have option tabs, including the main EXP5000, MVP50, GTX330, GNC255, CO200K, OBLÒ and MD302, shown above is the EXP5000 tab. Smoke : There is a feature that will produce coloured smoke trails behind the aircraft. There are three smoke pods you can display on the aircraft, one under each wing and one pod under the tail. And you can select either the wings or centre pod to display smoke in three colours. Sound : Basically the Sound adjustment tab mirrors the X-Plane Sound panel... but makes it far easier to access. About : Credits the Aerobask development team In the rear seat, there is the same AviTab Tablet, but the basic instrument set is actually part of the canopy, and can only be used when the canopy is closed? A stick and throttle is present, but no rudder pedals. _________ Flying the Aerobask ViperJet XP12 You need the external GPU to provide power and as a starter for the aircraft. Master Engine Switch to ON, central lower Fuel switch to ON, boost pump switch to ON, and igniter switch to ON... then press the clever START and GENERATOR switch in one to... Start. You hold the switch until the FF (Fuel Flow) kicks in and from then on the startup sequence is full automatic for the start up. Sounds from the P&W JT15D-1A are excellent in the startup sequence, whine and then the burbling power. Once running you switch the Generator Switch over for the avionics power and hide the GPU. The 360º sounds are excellent as well and it all feels like a small Light Jet, of which is is. Closing the huge canopy is a push of the red lever, once down then pressurize the cockpit with the "canopy seal switch" then switch the engine bleed switch to on to redirect the bleed air to the pressurization system, If correct it will show the pressure on the Pressurization Dial. The view forward is highly restricted by the canopy divider, but you get used to being in the enclosed space. Taxiing is very nice with just the right amount of idle power to move the aircraft, I don't recommend a fast taxi speed as it would weave too much, but otherwise the ViperJet is nice on the ground. Coming onto the runway and the "SynViz" or Synthetic Vision option switches on... You can turn off the SynViz and have a normal hard horizon if you like that. Another feature is the HUD, and this instrument will drop down if you click on the (hotspot) attachment on the canopy... .... at first it will pull you in sharply to a 35% POV, of which I didn't like at all, but you can adjust it back to the normal 73% via the menu, but you also have to turn off the "Automatic FOV" first. It's a very small light jet... Lining up the center line and throttle up and the aircraft leaps off the brakes. It is skittish with those hard gear struts, and as the speed builds so you have to work to keep the aircraft straight. The ViperJet feels all the bumps and lumps on the taxiways and runway, so you have to be wary of any big ones throwing you off course. Around 85knots and you rotate and then your flying nicely and all the shuddering stops. Gear will retract automatically, not sure I want that, but it saves an action on takeoff... Performance comes with a Rate of climb (aerobatic weight) 7500fpm / Rate of climb (gross weight) 5000fpm, and you feel the climb as you go up... and up. Maximum speed cruise (FL280) 400 KTAS with a Economy cruise speed (FL280) 350 KTAS and an Approach speed 120-130 KIAS / Landing Speed 95-105 KIAS, the range in economy cruise (with Tip Tanks) is 1450 nm. Nice to look at in the air... even better to fly. The eX has a custom Flight Model by X-Aerodynamics and with X-Plane 12 dynamics of course, and it feels very natural in the air, certainly a very rudder and stick sort of machine and the sort I like. Instinctively you just want to throw the ViperJet around. You can do aerobatics in this aircraft and it would be interesting to see a pro fly this aircraft around, but it is great on the stick and you know you want too... but "hey, lets barrelroll" and yes it is as much fun as it looks, but also harder than it looks in getting the aircraft to come out of the roll cleanly. The view out is very nice as well, the front is a bit restricting, but the rear has the full bubble canopy to look through... and our new X-Plane 12 world looks pretty spectacular from up here. The "Smoke" switch is upper right on the panel, and that then brings out the "Red Arrows" in you, it's also pretty spectacular. Lighting Internal lighting is excellent... Two knobs right panel give you adjustment for "Shield" or LED lighting and lower "Panel" for back-lighting. The LED lighting covers not only around the glareshield, but also the two side switchgear areas, excellent it is... ... in the rear there is no LED lighting or adjustment, but that is okay... full settings down low in the panel lighting and the screens are bright... ... but you can find that nice panel sweetspot. The highlight are the excellent panel reflections on the canopy, on the front and on the bubble canopy they shimmer around you making it all feel very real. External is quite basic. Landing and taxi lights are in the outer wings, navigation and strobe are the usual but well refined here. Time to land back at KLAL (Lakeland). And to drop off the speed to descend quickly you can use the two underwing airbrakes. The original airbrakes were just a panel in the slipstream, but these are nicely designed grid brakes. I'm looking for KLAL's Rwy 09 and find it at my ten o'clock, so with a flip to the right it was easy to not only to slow down, but to reset the aircraft in height and speed ready for landing, it is an incredibly versatile aircraft to manoeuvre... Flaps are Up-1-2-3 and their position is shown on the lower centre panel, to be honest they are not very effective and you still mostly use a 100 knt approach speed. Down goes the gear... nice. Full flap (3) and your lowering the speed to 94 knts to fall gracefully to Terra Firma... ... the ViperJet is very, very slippery through the air, so there is not a lot of drag, so you have to control speed by power and pitch to rub it off. There is a trick to landing the ViperJet cleanly. You use your pitch to rub off the speed, but not enough to stall the aircraft. Get the nose up high and just let it float down, and get it right and you'll make a perfectly controlled landing. Speed does not run off quickly as the jet is so light, add on top of that the bumps and notches in the runway and that can have you working the rudder hard to keep it in line, and just like what happened on the takeoff run. But practise helps, as by my third landing I had got it perfect in the approach and the landing without much squirming. note the airbrakes, but they are not that effective? I'm down and done and head for the parking stand. _________ Liveries There is one white (blank) and Seven Custom liveries to choose from. The Stinger is default, and there is Grey, Blue, Yellow, Green and two airshow liveries for the American Thunderbirds and British Red Arrows. All are high quality, but the Red Arrows is particularly nice. _________ Summary This is the all new ViperJet eX kit aircraft of being the only tandem two-seater commercial jet aircraft in the world. This aircraft is totally new and only for X-Plane 12 from Aerobask, but this is not the first ViperJet from Aerobask as that one goes to back 2015 and X-Plane 10, and this is a very different machine than that same aircraft. Basically the ViperJet is a kit aircraft, homebuilt with a General Electric J85 jet engine, but some kits like this one here uses a P&W JT15D-1A with 2200 lbs of thrust. If you want one, then only a hand built secondhand version is available as ViperJet as a company went broke a few years ago. If you are no stranger to Aerobask aircraft then you will know what you are getting here. Excellent modeling and detail plus a load of clever features, but overall Aerobask stands for high quality. Instrumentation and Avionics are totally first rate with the Adiyne Entegra EXP 5000 primary flight display front and centre. The Electronics International MVP-50 engine analyser is also excellent. Other avionics include the CO200K digital clock, customised GNS 530, Garmin GTX 330 Transponder, Dynon AOA Pro digital Angle of Attack indicator, GMA 345 Radio, Garmin GNC 255 Nav/Comm unit, OBLÒ FlyBox backup instrument are all presented as realistic. There is also a drop down basic HUD System. There is a full drop down menu that is mirrored in the AviTab Tablet (plugin required) with plenty of options including for most of the avionics systems. For fun there is alsoa custom smoke option that will create coloured smoke trails. The custom X-Plane 12 Flight Model by X-Aerodynamics is excellent as this aircraft is fast and versatile, but also extremely slippery in the air. But did I mention fun? because the ViperJet is a lot of fun to fly as a small but powerful light jet in this unique tandem configuration. I liked the earlier ViperJet from Aerobask, but in reality this aircraft is really no relation in any area except it is the same design. This eX version is all brand new, it looks new, created new and flies new, and again for everything that you get with this aircraft then flying it in X-Plane 12 is also the biggest attraction of all, because putting the two elements together aircraft and X-Plane 12 and you get magic... MEGA Magic... recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the ViperJet eX XP12 by Aerobask is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: ViperJet eX XP12 Price is US$34.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not compatible with X-Plane 11) Windows, MAC or Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card Minimum 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (September 28th 2022) Completely new aircraft Built from the ground for X-Plane 12 New 3D model and textures New flight model by X-Aerodynamics New FMOD sound pack by Daniela RodrigueZ Carreri New custom code by Lionel Zamouth Apple M1 Rosetta compatible Apple M1 native support through later update Superb 3D model: PBR 4K textures and normal maps for new X-Plane 12 rendering engine 7 gorgeous liveries with an additional white for painters Ground equipment: battery-powered GPU, remove-before-flight ribbons, chocks, tow bar VR-friendly manipulators, vrconfig file provided High quality sounds Full FMOD environment by Daniela Rodriguez Careri Accurate doppler, distance attenuation and flyby effects In-game volume control without pausing the sim Noise-reduction headset for comfortable flights Custom-coded instruments: Avidyne EXP5000 with optional synthetic vision and moving map by OscarPilot. Head-Up-Display (HUD) with AP, flaps and AB information, optional auto FOV change DFC90 autopilot with popup GTX330 transponder with timers, altitude monitor, contrast control and more GNC255 COM2/NAV2 combo unit MVP50 engine monitoring system with independant brightness RC3 trim indicators, with clickable zones for easier manipulation AOA Pro angle of attack indicator CO200K smart watch with timer and alert Flybox Oblo attitude and altitude backup instrument for the pilot SAM MD302 attitude and altitude backup instrument for rear-seat GMA345 audio panel ACI e-Flaps controller Smoke system with configurable colors and emitters Extensive option and configuration panel All instruments with a screen and the autopilot have configurable popups and popouts Cockpit: Highly detailed panel, switches and seats Simulated noise-reduction headset Fully animated rudder with toe brakes Canopy lock and seal logic Stowable tablet Superb night lighting with backlight and panel illumination control Canopy with new rain and defrost effects Fully functional breakers with customizable reliability Third-party support: Avitab integration with our custom configuration panel Support for RealityXP GTN750 (to be tested when available for XP12, may require update) Laminar's GNS530 and custom GTX330 are default setting, replaced by GTN750 when available and activated by user. More to be announced later Installation and documents: download for the ViperJet eX XP12. is 301 Mb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 697 Mb The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder. Documents supplied are: Checklist_ Normal.pdf Quick-Doc AOA Pro.pdf Quick-Doc CO200.pdf Quick-Doc DFC90.pdf Quick-Doc EXP5000.pdf README - XP12 aircraft installation.pdf ViperJet Owner Manual.pdf ViperJet_Climb_performance_chart.pdf ViperJet_Performances_chart.pdf There are a huge amount of Documentation provided here, Checklists, Performance charts, reference guides but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics. All updates are via built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Support forum for the Viperjet eX XP12 _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 1st October 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.00B5 (This is a beta 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 - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by Nicolas (Airport by NAPS) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free (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 Kiwiflyer 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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