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Aircraft Update - C172 NG Digital X-Plane 12 by AirfoilLabs

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Aircraft Update - C172 NG Digital X-Plane 12 by AirfoilLabs


This is Version 1.4.0-Beta of AirfoilLabs Cessna NG 172SP, and an aircraft with X-Plane 12 elements as part of the package. It is signed as a "Beta" version and not as a X-Plane 12 compliant aircraft, it works and flies (actually very well) in X-Plane 12, but as the development Beta goes on, this is not the final form of the aircraft for X-Plane 12.


The C172SP NG Digital was introduced into X-Plane 11, early December 2021, so it is basically only 10 months old. It comes with a very extensive package of features (yes the feature list is one of the longest in X-Plane), but also brilliant modelling and quality detail.


A full comprehensive review of the X-Plane 11 aircraft release is here: Aircraft Review : C172SP NG DIGITAL by AirfoilLabs


With the introduction of the KingAir 350. AirfoilLabs also introduced their own plugin system called XJet. (most developers use the SASL System). Which can be a tricky thing to do and that proved to be just so as the Plugin on release was quite buggy in the KA 350 aircraft. But this is now a few years on, I found this time around that the XJet Plugin is now very refined (now up to version v2.0.0)  To use the XJet System you have to download the "Product Manager" program and install it on your computer: Product Manager / Xjet 2..0.0)


The installer can be downloaded in all Windows (.exe), Mac OS (.app) and Linux (.Jar) forms for your own type of operating System.


Notable is that for X-Plane 12, is that you have to download a new "Product Manger" for X-Plane 12...  which can be done when you update or purchase the C172 SP aircraft. So it is a completely new install for X-Plane 12.


The "Product Manger" is installed in your X-Plane/Plugins folder, and is accessible via the Banner/Plugins Menu. If the aircraft is available it will show up in the Product Manager, the initial release version is v1.4.0-Beta, just select to load...   First you must find the X-Plane 12 "Aircraft" install address, then insert your authorisation number (key), if correct you will get a "Activated" signal. Then you install the aircraft remotely which is around a download of 1.2Gb in size...  to wrap up the installation, you have to agree to the "License Agreement".


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 XJet 1.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 XJet 2.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 XJet 3.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 XJet 4.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 XJet 6.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 XJet 5.jpg


The Startup screen with a rotating aircraft scenario (You can disable this startup option if you want to) is still quite impressive.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head A.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head B.jpg


First a few notes...  This review is in X-Plane 12 v12.7b (brand new Beta). Secondly I was only going to do a orientation flight (YBBN - Brisbane to YBCG-Gold Coast), but it looked so good I switched it around for it to be the main update review... it is "Dark" or darker that what I usually put out (Sorry about that), but the visuals deserved to be seen with the real weather exactly the same as outside my window, but in also being an early dawn flight.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 1.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 2.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 3.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 4.jpg


"It hits you between the eyes". WOW it was so dramatic, sensational with the AirFoilLabs C172 SP in X-Plane 12...


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Great morning for a flight!


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X-Plane 12's clouds here are overwhelmingly good, and yes as noted in being exactly like it is outside my window, heavy low cloud with breaks of light.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 7.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 8.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 9.jpg


X-Plane 12 lighting (external) is still not right here, so don't look at the taxi/landing lights as the final version. Notable is that the toe-brakes are now more refined, and not as so sharp, so softer means more control while taxiing and even for the initial start of the takeoff run.


Just look at that centre image, the realism is now utterly simply unbelievable, "Viva X-Plane 12"...


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 11.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 12.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 13.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 14.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 10.jpg


Once clear of the field (YBBN) you track south.


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The main feature (Besides X-Plane 12) in this release is the "External Camera Enhancements" and "Internal Camera Enhancements" (G-Forces), that can be found on the "Settings" menu panel. Note the lower new adjustment selection for the toe-brakes.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 18.jpg


On the External effect, you get a pull to the tail on the animation (note, if you start up in the earlier rotating aircraft scenario, it is best to turn the feature off, as it interferes with the rotation effect?)


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Internally you get movement to the G-Forces, and they are very similar to the XPRealistic Effects.


We have complained about X-Plane's weak weather for as long as I can remember, but you have to admit X-Plane 12's weather engine here is bloody impressive! Real clouds with real immersion, I'm totally in love.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 23.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 24.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Head 25.jpg


X-Plane 12 features include a total rebuild of the Flight Model from the ground up for XP12, with new (dynamic) Airfoils. There are also new Weight & Balance corrections, Failures and the Wear (and tear) is better tuned and sensational X-Plane 12 Rain, Fog, and Ice effects are also now active on the aircraft.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 1.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 2.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 3.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 4.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 5.jpg


The modern FMOD system is now better in FMOD2, but still with the 320 sounds plus all the detailed layered engine samples and full audible failures. 360º dynamic sounds are also still spectacular, if the best in the business, so yes of course I really like them.


G1000 custom features compatibility for XP12, including the new ATC boundaries, and I like the "GARMIN" titles as well for authenticity.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 6.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 7.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 8.jpg


Both PFD and MFD displays can not only pop-up (out), but can be separated and lose their bevels for Home Builders.


We mentioned the new "Flight Model" before and basically I think it is excellent, but currently overshadowed by the Beta issues, as I find excessive wind (at all levels) is not currently realistic, so it is pretty hard to make judgements while being thrown around the cabin, ditto the internal lighting, which still feels too dark. Lighting fully adjusted it doesn't really affect the cabin much? But this is not a developers issue(s) but Laminar Beta issues, so ignore them.


The cabin textures have been tweaked for X-Plane 12, and they feel basic compared to say Aerobask, but still in tune with a basic C172SP in trim. Overall the cabin fitout and detail is impressive.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 9.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 10.jpg


I hit the coast just south of Surfers (Paradise), then a turn right to line up to YBCG (Gold Coast) Rwy 14...


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 15.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 14.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 12.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 13.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 16.jpg


  Burleigh Hill, then Palm Beach and over Currumbin Creek, now on finals. I'm fighting excessive wind, but with only 2 knts on the instruments says something's not right with the Beta?


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 17.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 18.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 19.jpg


"Steady, Steady",


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 20.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 21.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 22.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 23.jpg


The AirfoilLabs C172SP is incredible to fly, you have complete control and a perfect balance to show off your flying skills, realism 101.


It is why you do simulation. You want that totally realistic experience and the level of immersion goes up every year, but with X-Plane 12, you have jumped a graded few years into the future, but that futuristic realism is available here to you now. VR compatibility is now also initiated on the AirFoilLabs C172SP for X-Plane 12, so you can go even deeper if you have a Vertical Reality setup.


Landing is tricky with the crosswind, but the revised Landing Gear forces have been given a tune-up in X-Plane 12 to give you more feel on the touch. Note the realistic exhaust effects, I like the way the effect changes to the power outputs.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 24.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 25.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 26.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 In Flight 27.jpg


The menu options list is sensational, the best in the business.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Menu.jpg


There are also 47 liveries provided with the 172, yes FORTY SEVEN. That covers most areas that has this aircraft still in operation. The USA gets the bulk of the action with 23 liveries, the rest are Europe (but only one G- Rego) and two in Australia. Four are shown here.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Livery SAR.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Livery D-ECWQ.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Livery D-EREE.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Livery N23MZ.jpg


At the bottom of the internal view icon is the "QuickLook" system. Here you can assign keys or a HAT SWITCH with the AirfoilLab's Camera Commands to navigate visually more quickly around internally in the aircraft, you can customise the view settings as well...  it is just another take on the X-Plane Number views system, but with far more options. This has also been revised for X-Plane 12.


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Menu QL 1.jpgC172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Menu QL 2.jpg


"It's love at first flight"...


C172_NG_DIGITAL_XP12 Final.jpg



Only ten months since it's X-Plane 11 release in December 2021, and here is the AirFoilLabs Cessna 172SP update version for X-Plane 12.


Notable that this version (v1.4.0-Beta) is the X-Plane 12 Beta configuration, and not the full compatible version for X-Plane 12. The C172SP comes with a very extensive package of features (yes the feature list is one of the longest in X-Plane), but also brilliant modelling and high quality in detail.


This X-Plane 12 update is free for current X-Plane 11 purchasers, but you have to download a new version of the "Product Manager" to install the aircraft for X-Plane 12.


New features include; External Camera Enhancements and Internal Camera Enhancements (G-Forces), VR Capability, Toe Brake refinement, better internal textures, and no bezels on the G-100 avionics package.


X-Plane 12 revisions include; New Flight Model (very good), New Airfoils, better Wear and Tear simulations, Rain, Fog and Ice, Landing Gear forces retuned and G-1000 X-Plane 12 capability.


Although already a very highly featured package with a huge amount of detail, the AirFoilLabs C172SP delivers now even more in X-Plane 12.

The Cessna looks sensational in the new X-Plane version, and flies far better as well.


This was the most immersive and hugely realistic flight I have done yet in X-Plane 12. It was simply really overwhelmingly brilliant, those cloud and skyscapes bring home the real 3d effect of flying an aircraft in a simulator. I'm not going to shy away from the niggles of the Beta v12B7 here. They create over strong winds, dark interiors and shakes to the aircraft that are not realistic.


But the brilliant totally overwhelms the niggles, this is the future of X-Plane Simulation, and the AirFoilLabs C172SP is a really big part of that overall experience, this possibly the very best Cessna 172SP for X-Plane, maybe even in Simulation. So what more could you ask for....


Highly Recommended!


X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The C172SP NG DIGITAL v1.4.0 by AirfoilLabs is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore



Price is US$49.95


This aircraft is X-Plane12 supported, but to note it is in Beta form.



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 - both versions included

Windows, Mac Intel, Mac Silicon, or Linux 
4 GB  VRAM Minimum -  8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current version: 1.4.0 Beta  (October 11th 2022)

Download for the AirfolLabs 172SP NG DIGITAL is done via an installer "AFL+Product+Manager+Windows+installer"


To use the XJet System you have to download the "Product Manager" program and installed on your computer: Product Manager / Xjet 2..0.0)

The installer can be downloaded in all Windows (.exe), Mac OS (.app) and Linux (.Jar) forms for your type of operating System.


And the final install in X-Plane folder is 2.95gb. Authorisation is now done via the Product Manager. Updates are also done via the same Product Manager.


Version 1.4.0-Beta Changelog:

Version 1.4.0-Beta (October 10th 2022) Changelog.txt


Designed by AirfoilLabs

Support forum for the C172 NG Digital



Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

13th 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 12.00B7 (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

- YBBN - Brisbane International by Orbx

- YBCG - Gold Coast International by Axonos


(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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In this day and age of a labyrinthine internet, then tiny things can go wrong, but give the guys a break, it's fixed.


Dear Users,

There has been a problem mainly for users without 3d party Antivirus and using Windows Defender, which detected a potential virus. The problem we had was that no other antivirus software detected any issue. Even after ignoring the issue with windows defender, it could not detect it again.

Nevertheless, we have investigated a lot of what could cause this issue, and after hours we found it was caused by the attachment of the icon to the exe file.


So now there is no virus detection in Windows Defender. And no icon present. All links were updated, it should be OK.


You can download the updated repacked installer from .org store or here:

We are sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

Airfoillabs Team

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  • 3 months later...

Stephen, Thanks for this review. Great as always .

Do you happen to know if the new product manager 2.0 supports the older AFL products for XP 11?

Or do I have to use the older version of product manager, 1.5.1 for them still. Since I will be wading into XP 12 gradually, I will still be using XP 11 a lot, and don't want to "break" my XP 11 AFL products with the new product manager if they are incompatible. Or do I have to have separate product managers for XP11 and XP12?   Thanks


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