Stephen Posted January 15 Report Share Posted January 15 Aircraft Review : Diamond DA-42 NG by Aerobask Here is the latest release from Aerobask, and yes it is another Diamond Aircraft. But this Diamond is a significant one for Aerobask, as it is not the first series release of the Diamond DA-42 for the developer. That release, which is the original, was also the very first aircraft released by Aerobask, or then the Diamond DA-42 Twinstar by Harranssor. That was almost exactly a decade ago (29th August 2013), and to celebrate, Aerobask not only have released their latest newly minted, highly detailed DA-42 NG aircraft, but created also an anniversary livery as part of this package... I totally recommend to read the original Diamond DA-42 Twinstar by Harranssor review, in that it shows not only the changes in the X-Plane Simulator itself, but the massive changes in detail and quality over the decade. It was for it's time astoundingly good, even incredible for a first time developer (Harranssor did release a Eclipse 550 earlier as freeware), but the DA-42 was in payware and it came with very high expectations.... and delivered. That decade old DA-42 release was in X-Plane v10.22, here we are releasing the new DA-42 NG (New Generation) in the newly released X-Plane 12 (Sorry no X-Plane 11 aircraft will be made available). So this is the very first fully developed aircraft for the new X-Plane version from Aerobask, and the package (price) includes both updates and revisions for the length of the simulator (X-Plane 12) run. The photographic quality of X-Plane 12 brings out the realism of the Diamond Aircraft. Certainly sleek to begin with, the composite smooth design shines (no pun intended) and curves to the natural lighting. Noted as the "Twin Star", this aircraft originally used Thielert Aircraft Engines TAE 125-01 Centurion 1.7... in the real aircraft Diamond has now switched to their 3rd Generation Austro Turbo Diesel Engine or the Lycoming IO-360 engine which is also available as an option, and installed here in the XP12 version is the Austro Turbo Diesel. Bit of trivia... the DA42 Twin Star was the first diesel-powered fixed-wing aircraft to make a non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic in 12.5 hours, with an average fuel consumption of 5.74 gallons per hour (2.87 gallons per hour per engine), give it a try if you want to... I would be explaining nothing to Aerobask converts. They will already know of the quality, forensic detail, superb modeling and the general exclusive experience of Aerobask aircraft... Top Notch, well whatever, it is again all brilliantly done here in the DA-42. Composite aircraft don't have a lot of panels, so most parts of the aircraft are added on, not part of the structure.. say the nose, tail section, so on... Looking hard you can see all this and more in all the sections that make up the aircraft's assembly, but most of the excellent detail is around the engines, cowling, shrouds, and the details and all fastening screws are all visible and checked... if you want detail, then here it is. Also the flying surfaces, tail assembly, high T-Tail elevators, lovely crisp wings with winglets. Notable are the excellent flap and aileron actuators, beautifully designed, ditto the elevator and adjoining trim tab (trailing edge). Glass is supreme, nice curves, great reflection and the right tint. Note the beautifully designed instrument hud (cowling?), here the detail is excellent with window demisting vents. Unlike the DA-62, which has two opening front doors, the DA-42 has a single forward opening canopy, and the rear single left door for rear passengers as is the same as the DA-62, but they all give you ease of access. You can open them via the latches or the menu. Other external items include, opening twin forward storage lockers, chocks and a GPU (Ground Power Unit) Menus You can access the Aerobask Menu, via the Plugins Menu, or the internal tablet.... Since v2 of the Diamond DA-62 the Aerobask menus have been changed to this more cleaner, new style layout, there are four tabs; Ground, Options, Sounds and About. Ground : Covers the standard Fuel loading of the aircraft (with a "Balance" fuel setting), 3d passengers (Pilot and Three passengers), Static Elements of Chocks, Bollards, Pitot covers, GPU (Ground Power Unit) and you can change the liveries via a "Previous" and "Next" selection. Door selections of Canopy, Pax door, right and left boots (storage), Also Remove Chocks, GPU options, Refill Oxygen bottle, Refill anti-ice fluid are all also options on this tab. Options : The "Main" covers Instrument Popups, Reflections, G1000 Shared options and Breakers (Fuses) with a reliability scale. There are three other avionics sets of OPTIONS for the, G1000 PFD, G1000 MFD and the MD302 backup instrument. "Synthetic Vision" is included in the G1000 tab. Sounds : There are seven sound sliders; Master, Aircraft Exterior, Aircraft Interior, Copilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. You can Enable (or disable) sounds, and Enable (the) speech. About : Here is listed the Aerobask development team and beta testers, and the aircraft's version number is indicated in the popup menu title, or the changelog.txt in the main folder. As noted there is a pilot and three passengers you can individually view or hide (the pilot hides when you select the Static Elements). The quality of the 3d people are all very good, and seen before in Aerobask aircraft. Internal The internal cabin of the decade old DA-42 was sensational (for it's time). So was the start of Aerobask's reputation for creating seminal interiors of aircraft... and you won't be disappointed here either. It is important to note, that this cabin is of a few generations older than say the DA-50RG or the DA-62, so the materials used here then reflect that heritage, other than that it is all as usual for Aerobask, extremely well done. The four seats are outer leather with a mottle grey pattern insert and red piping, note the lovely folds on the leather surfaces. Diamond logos are also nicely shown on the headrests.... it's all beautiful stuff to admire. With the selection of different liveries, then two more different interiors in red and cream are available. There are several different carpet threads (Grey), and a leather mustard side paneling, so is the centre console covering. Main cabin colour is a slate to light grey... exquisite! Instrument Panel The decade old DA-42 had the same native Laminar Research G1000 twin panel avionics system (both PFD and MFD pop-out), but the X-Plane 12 version is customised far more here with custom EIS and annunciations. It is a very good panel layout, but not as really detailed as a real G1000 system actually is, but it does cover about 85% of the systems. Start up process is excellent with Aerobask logos, and more CREDITS and AIRAC data. Note the great reflections on the G1000 screens. Both PFD and MFD G1000 displays pop-out, as does the MD302 SAM The system has a "reversionary" mode. This is all the primary instruments and engine parameters presented all on the single display, in this case the PFD. (If the PFD failed then the "reversionary" mode switches to the other MFD (Multi Functional Display). Also in the same mode, both displays will show the PFD (Primary Flight Display). PFD (Primary Flight Display) is very good with the large Artificial Horizon dominating the screen with the Speed and Altitude (with built in Vertical Speed) tapes either side, Rate of turn and FD (Flight Director) are all present. Lower is the Heading rose with built in Heading, Wind (3 options), CRS (Course) DME, NAV 1, NAV 2 and OBS. All Radio, Autopilot (AP) settings and data are across the top banner of the panel. Note the inbuilt warnings panel centre right, and INSET MAP This is an option to put a small insert map on the PFD, but I never do (it makes the display too crowded). There is a custom tool in a GCU476 2D keypad to input values directly by touching the screen (i.e. clicking the values or using the mouse scroll wheel to adjust them). For example, for changing a radio frequency or here the heading, you can use the mouse scroll wheel, which is much easier than turning the knobs in the 3D cockpit. it has a small slider or ++ / -- tool to say which items can be manipulated. Synthetic Vision There is the "Synthetic Vision" tool that we mentioned earlier by Oscar Pilote. There are three modes that can be selected from the "More Options" menu. The first is the standard default Laminar one with the blue top and dirty brown lower horizons. Then the "Topology Only", with a light blue (realistic) sky and green lower horizon, the final one is "Topology + Terrain" with the same light sky and brown lower horizon. MAP/Navigation Display (MFD) The secondary MFD in a MAP/Navigation panel covers also all the (EIS) engine outputs which are in two versions with one visual and one in data. This is another custom panel by Aerobask. The colourful engine readouts cover are on page one; Manifold Pressure (Load) and RPM, Fuel Flow GPH (Gallons Per Hour), Oil Pressure and Temp, Coolant Temp, Fuel Temp and Fuel QTY (Quantity). System switch (data) covers the same LOAD and RPM top, VOLTS and AMPS, Gearbox/Coolant Temp, Oil Pressure/Temp and De-Ice Fluid level. Notably missing are the usual two items? FLAPS position (UP-20º-38º) and ELEV (UP-TO-DN) adjustment, rudder adjustment trim bottom, and the Fuel Calculations, GAL (Used), REM (Remain) system which are both on the DA-50RG and DA-62. MD302 SAM® Mid-Panel is the MD302 SAM® or the "Standby Altitude Module" Basically is a standby instrument which is very authentic to the real instrument, this avionic tool is interesting as it replaced the standard three (Airspeed, Artificial Horizon and Altitude) setup in the earlier DA-42, modern times for modern avionics. Other upper panel details include Lighting Switchgear (left), Whiskey Compass, ELT and authentic aerox Oxygen pressure gauge. .. but if you hold the same knob down for two or three seconds then a menu appears that covers In-fight configurable items that are... Altitude units in feet or meters, Barometer units either inHg or mbars, Attitude symbol in traditional or delta, Attitude mask on or off and Altitude trend bar in either on or off. There is a Quick-Doc manual provided that covers the instruments features and their use. Note: The SAM has to be set separately (i.e. Baro) than the main PFD as one adjustment does not cover all the instruments. Last note is the G1000 "Autopilot" buttons are placed normally in this DA-42, between the two displays (PFD/MFD), the original DA-42 used a separate GFC-700 Autopilot! Left panel Electrical setting switches/Avionic Circuit Breakers. Right Panel the full Circuit Breaker (Fuses) panel that is active and De-Ice System. Lower panel has (LtoR), Pitot Heat, Left Engine/Right Engine (Master/Start, Elec. Master, Avionic Master, Landing Gear, Fuel Pumps (L/R) , Flaps and Engine buses. The central pedestal is really well designed as well... Lovely Throttle and Fuel selector levers are very well crafted, the Fuel cutoff is full back with the red tabs clicking into place. Defrost is required as your cabin can go misty in the cold... a great special effect from Aerobask. Two Trims are "Rudder" upper centre panel, and "Pitch" in the large trim wheel centre console, rear are light switches and rear (Working Audio Panel) There is a built in AviTab Tablet (Plugin Required)... it is stored in the left side pocket holder, press to mount on the right side of the instrument panel. You can also press the knob attachment (AviTab) holder on the instrument panel bracket to bring the AviTab up as well (plugin required). As noted the Aerobask Menu is also built in for ease of use. ________________ Flying the X-Plane 12 Aerobask DA-42 There have been a few Diamond DA-42's in X-Plane. The Original Aerobask 2013 version as mentioned in the review, a Diamond DA40NG XP12 by SimSolutions, we reviewed last November 2022, and coming another DA-42 from a new developer group, CreatorOfWorldS (COWS). So you are not short of choice, but how could you go past the authenticity of Aerobask... well you can't. Let us put the numbers up front and center... Maximum speed: 356 km/h (221 mph; 192 kn) - Range: 1,693 km (1,052 mi; 914 nmi)- Service ceiling: 5,486 m (17,999 ft) - Rate of climb: 6.5 m/s (1,280 ft/min)... all pretty impressive. Starting is easy. You have FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine (or electronics) Control ), so you just switch on the fuel flow (switches centre console), then and then turn the key towards the engine you want to start. The engine is an Austro Engine E4 (marketed as the AE 300), based on the Mercedes-Benz OM640 road Diesel engine. It supplies 168 hp (125 kW) (maximum takeoff and continuous power) at up to 2,300 propeller RPM for each engine. Sounds are modern FMOD and with Enhanced 3D system sounds by Daniela Rodriguez Careri, including Doppler and Flanger effects. They do sound a little different from the normal, but the engines are very different as well in being diesels, but at the cruise speed they have this lovely thrumm that passes the flying time nicely. Start up is almost instantaneous with a slight cranking, so they are almost electric in that aspect. The DA-42, however sounds almost exactly like the DA-62, but then it does use the same engine installation with the same twin-diesel engines. If we go back (again) to the original DA-42, there was one area I really didn't like. This was the stick like undercarriage, it was hard, stiff and very unforgiving (landings were horribly hard nose affairs). The forward angled single nosewheel and trailing link main gear is the same arrangement here, but add on ten years and it is all a very different feel, a slight bounce, say even a cushioning to the gear, which is far, far better and more authentic to real suspension. You can't taxi too fast with that slim nosegear, but get the (low) taxi speed right and the aircraft is fine... Heading on to PAJN's Runway 26, and the runway shows up in "Synthetic Vision" on the PFD, it is very well done.. Tons of low down torque from the Twin AE 300's, gives you push to Takeoff Speed around 100 knts, Rate of climb is noted at 6.5 m/s (1,280 ft/min) but I found that 800fpm gave me the best climb to altitude (5,000ft) without putting pressure on the power output and keeping out of the red zones... This is a modern 4 seater aircraft, efficient, not a 18th Century Gallon Piper. So it handles and flies efficiently as well. Basically it's a cruiser of the air, a sort of GT or Grand Tourer... the just under 1000 nautical mile range gives you the distance to cover a respectable area, and at a just sub 200 knt speed. So it's perfect for a point to point flight. So the DA-42 is not a particularly demanding aircraft for the pilot, as all the mod-cons are in here, with the G1000 (Synthetic Vision) and the MD302 SAM. In flight modeling it is done by X-Aerodynamics who does all the Aerobask dynamics, he's good, so is the feel of the DA-42. Lighting Considering the other DA, Diamond offerings the internal lighting in here is quite basic. Two knobs adjusts the display and instrument brightness. Not very overly effective in the day, but fine at night. Cabin lighting consists of one forward light and and one rear spot, both again very effective at night. Externally, you have the usual Landing and Taxi twin lights under the mid-fuselage, but they interfere with the modeling in creating nasty ant marks around the nose. There is no beacon, but wing navigation, strobe lighting is excellent. At this point in X-Plane 12's evolution (v12.01r1) then expect still more refinement in all the lighting. Haines, Klukwan, Alaska is a double tight airport to get into from the east, PAHN although situated on the Chilkat River, is nestled between a mountain and forests on the Runway 26 approach. A testing airport of nerves and flight skills. You can't even see the airport, never mind the runway on the approach? But it is there, hidden beyond the trees. Even though a Twin, the DA-42 NG is very good for getting into tight slots like this, good visibility really helps, so does Full Flap (LDG) selection and the approach speed in 83 knts. It's tight... and do you see the runway yet, just. Thankfully the Da-42 is wonderful to control and fly in these sort of circumstances, a great platform for tricky approaches. There is not much room between you and the trees as you clear the boundary, then you dive for the runway, then quickly do a heavy nose up flare to arrest the speed and height, you touch around 73 knts If you have a lot of confidence in the aircraft, then you can pull off these sort of manoeuvres, so the DA-42 delivers very well here. Obviously I will be talking to the converted. Aerobask have a lot of admirers (Including myself), so it's not hard to understand what you will receive with these aircraft, that they are so modern in design, and it all gives you more of a conviction to fly one. Liveries There is one blank (white) and six liveries with the DA-42 NG. All high quality and including the 10 Year anniversary livery as we saw earlier. _______________ Summary Aerobask are no strangers to Diamond aircraft, their catalogue is full of them, including currently the DA-50 RG, the DA-62. But Aerobask have also done a version of this DA-42 before, a decade ago, as their very first payware aircraft, it was good if not even brilliant for it's time and era, but we are now in X-Plane 12, another era and another realm, a realm that demands a lot far more quality and detail... the DA-42 NG 2023, delivers on that aspect, a lot. Excellent modeling is a given with Aerobask, as are the curated interiors, both are well highlighted here. Avionics include a custom EIS and annunciations G1000 System, Synthetic Vision technology by OscarPilote, Optional GCU476 2D keypad, MD302 "Standby Attitude Module", Simulated oxygen system, Simulated ice protection system and Fully functional breakers (configurable reliability). The excellent menu is available on the screen, but also on a AviTab tablet internally... there is also a Detachable and VR-friendly 2D options panel. Sounds are excellent and by renowned Daniela Rodriguez Careri, 3d Pilot and passengers, static elements, and the DA-42 also comes with an Auto-Updater (Skunkcraft), all to keep the aircraft up-to-date on-line. In a package, Aerobask delivers everything you want in a high quality aircraft with unique clever custom systems, and that is certainly the case here as well... again, better still everything comes in a competitively priced package below US$40. Remember this aircraft is valid for updates and free changes for the life of X-Plane 12 (Note this is only an X-Plane 12 Aircraft, not compatible with X-Plane 11). As a reviewer Aerobask aircraft are a dream to review, certainly there are a lot of custom options to cover, but in every other aspect they are some of the very best general aviation simulations available today... and for tomorrow in that fact. As a required simulation any Aerobask Diamond is a sensation to own and fly... Highly Recommended. _____________________ The Diamond DA-42 NG by Aerobask is available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA-42 NG Price is US$39.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not compatible with XP11) Windows, Mac (using Rosetta) or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version: 12.0r1 (January 12th 2023) Aerobask Systems Suite Fully Integrated Laminar Garmin G1000 with custom EIS and annunciations Synthetic Vision technology by OscarPilote Touch screen features for easy handling Optional GCU476 2D keypad Customized FADEC/ECU with test procedure MD302: accurate custom coded Standby Attitude Module Simulated oxygen system Simulated ice protection system Fully functional breakers (configurable reliability) Advanced Flight Model and Flight Experience Accurate flight model by X-Aerodynamics Smooth wingflex Windshield effects: reflections, rain and frost Many parameters saved between flights Superb 3D Model Aerobask quality 3D model Fully functional virtual 3D cockpit, with smooth and VR-friendly manipulators High quality cockpit model with high resolution PBR textures (4K) Custom Sounds Full FMOD environment by Daniela Rodriguez Careri Accurate doppler, distance attenuation and flyby effects Simulated headset In-game volume control without pausing the sim Other features and docs Complete array of custom documentation Avitab tablet, with integrated options panel Detachable and VR-friendly 2D options panel Included 6 liveries 2K textures pack for low computer Auto-Updater Keep your aircraft up-to-date with a convenient auto-updater (Skunkcraft) Installation and documents: download for the Aerobask DA-42 NG is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder. Full Installation is 1.33Gb Documents supplied are: Avitab.pdf checklist_da42.pdf Customized G1000.pdf DA42_AFM XP12.pdf DA42_CHKL XP12.pdf DA42_PERF XP12.pdf DA42_PROC XP12.pdf Quick-Doc MD302.pdf Read Me - XP12 Aircraft Installation.pdf A full set of documents are provided, including detailed manuals for the MD302 and Laminar G1000. A quick setup and deeper system manual is also provided with Performance and (Checklist) Procedures. ________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 15th January 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung M.2 EVO+ 2TB SSD Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 12.01r1 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - PAJN - Juneau International, Alaska by NorthernSky (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$18.00 -PAHN - Haines Airport - Default Global Airports 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. Kiwiflyer 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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