Lightman Posted March 16 Report Share Posted March 16 Aircraft Review: MLADG Me 262 By Nick Garlick Introduction Previously on “Garlick Reviews”, we looked at the wonderful Grumman Tigercat by Virtavia, and in today’s piece, my adventure with vintage aircraft designs continues, as I have been given the keys to both a “Swallow” and a “Storm Bird”. For those of us who are fluent in German, that’s a Schwalbe and Sturmvogel, however, to me and you, it’s the Messerschmitt Me 262 (fighter and fighter bomber) from MLADG. Developed during the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Me 262 served with the Luftwaffe, both as a fighter and a fighter bomber. It had a climb rate of almost 4,000 ft/min, a reported service ceiling of over 37,000 feet and a top speed in excess of 500mph, extremely impressive for an aircraft at that time. It was also fitted with four x 30mm Mk108 cannons, mounted in the nose, with underwing hardpoints for 24 x 2.2in R4M folding fin rockets, so quite a formidable aircraft to find yourself pitted against. As a fighter bomber, the Me 262 could also carry 2 x 550lb bombs mounted under the nose, with the later A2 variant being able to carry 2 x 1,100lb bombs, but at the expense of losing two of its 30mm cannons. Installation & Documentation Once purchased, you are provided with a zip file weighing in at 430MB. When unpacked, this contains the main aircraft file and documentation, along with two further zip files for the Me-163 Komet and a period glider (not the focus of this review). To install the models, it’s just a simple task of placing them into your X-Plane “Aircraft” folder. The package ships with a full-colour 18-page manual which includes technical data sheets, cockpit layout plans and pictorial diagrams with accompanying annotations. However, it seems the manual is the same one which came packaged with the original release, and as such does not mention the modifications made for X-Plane 12. It would have been nice to have seen these changes referenced, but as it stands, we are left with slightly out-of-date documentation. Exterior The developer has managed to capture the unique shape of the Me 262 with its pointed nose, flat underbelly, swept wings and tall triangular-shaped dorsal fin extremely well. Indeed, when observed from some quarters, it resembles the profile of a shark more than a swallow, but they do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The external model features exquisitely drawn panel lines, along with appropriate flush riveting, plus stressed skin panel effects, which can be seen in the right lighting conditions. The model features fully operable slats and flaps, plus an animated undercarriage, with reasonably detailed wheel bays. Liveries The model on offer features only three liveries, default Splinter Green, Green, and Gray, but each one is done incredibly well and in fitting with both the aircraft and period. The liveries are the same for both fighter and bomber variants, along with a paint kit which enables you to create your own liveries if desired. Though not included in the product, my favourite livery is an RAF paint created by the Org member “amerrir” Cockpit Interior Looking back at Stephen’s original Me 262 writeup from 2014, it’s quite clear to see that the cockpit environment was really quite dark. Also obvious was the absence of any form of cockpit wear and tear on the panels or instruments for that matter, which to be honest, left the cockpit feeling rather bland and dare I say it…a depressing place to find yourself in. However, fast forward to today, and you’ll be glad to know that the cockpit environment has received a significant makeover. It now features upgraded panels (now employs a much lighter grey/black colour palette for the cockpit tub), plus some nice subtle weathering effects. All these improvements lead to a far more satisfying and engaging cockpit environment, something the original model couldn’t quite achieve. Away from the textures, you’ll find that all the gauges, switches, and dials, are printed in authentic German, so you’ll have to familiarise yourself with the cockpit layout before attempting any sort of flight. Luckily, this is where the excellent manual comes in handy. If you take the time to read through it carefully, you’ll find that everything comes together, which in turn helps create a more enjoyable simming environment. Handling Having sat in the cockpit for a while familiarizing myself with the layout of the instruments, I thought it was about time I lit the pipes! With the parking brake on, battery master on, and fuel pump on, I pulled the Riedel switch, pressed the ignition and a short time later, I was trundling along the taxiway. At the edge of the runway, I set the elevator, rudder trim, and flaps to their desired settings (20 degrees in this case) and held the toe brakes. With this done, I slowly increased the throttle until the two Junkers Jumo 004 engines were running at 7000RPM, and then released the brakes. For a moment, nothing happened, but then, just like the real aircraft, I started to move forward, slowly at first, then gradually faster. Unlike the fast jets of today, the Me 262 was from a time when jet engine propulsion was in its infancy, so it takes a while for her to get going (a bit like myself). Once airborne, it was landing gear up, flaps up, and then reducing RPM as required. From here I set my trim and pitot heat, whilst constantly checking my instruments. At level flight, I found the Me 262 to be incredibly stable, one might even say docile. With enough direct input, she will manoeuvre on a whim, but be prepared for some engine lag…those two old Jumo engines really do take some time to get going. Landing is a relatively simple affair, but once again, you do have to consider that engine lag. Coming in slightly faster than necessary, rather than slower, is probably the safer option. However, even here a degree of caution is advised, as the Me 262 has quite a slippery profile, so it’s best to plan a few moves ahead. Once down, it was a case of retracting the flaps, and then proceeding to my designated parking area. Overall, the Me 262 is a true delight in the air, and as such, a real pleasure to fly. Sounds For me personally, there’s something special, maybe even oddly unique about the sounds emanating from an early jet engine. It’s difficult to explain, but they seem to sound sharper, more high-pitched, than the roaring rumbling monsters we have today. So, imagine my delight when first hearing the provided sounds for the engine. The included FMOD soundset is a delight and does a fantastic job of conveying those two vintage Jumo engines. From engine start to shut down, the entire range is there and it’s simply a pleasure to listen to. Various other sounds are also present, such as ones for levers and switches, plus the opening and closing of the canopy, as well as guns and bombs. Conclusion Over the years I have had the pleasure of owning several models from MLADG, and I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of them. In my opinion, they deliver products that are well-produced, and beautifully detailed, all at a very reasonable price point. That trend continues with the Me 262 being reviewed here. Yes, it’s based on an earlier model but the cockpit environment (which had numerous issues in the original) has received a much-needed makeover, and due to that, it no longer looks bland, dark or…uninviting! The result is an aircraft which is more enjoyable to sit in, and as such, is one you are far more likely to enjoy. The Me 262 is not a complex model (not if going by some of today’s high-end products), but it does have enough about it so that it appeals to a broad range of simmers. The only downside to the package I can really think of is the lack of liveries included with the product (one or two more would have been nice), plus the slightly dated manual. That said, I do like the developer's approach of including models for the previous version of X-Plane, as I believe that many users still prefer using X-Plane 11 at this time. Summing up; the Me 262 package from MLADG is a model I thoroughly enjoyed using. When you factor in the inclusion of two other models (the Me 163 Komet and the period glider), I think it’s safe to say that this is a package which has considerable long-term value. All you have to ask yourself now is, are you ready to strap yourself into one of the earliest jet aircraft in aviation history… _______________________________ MLADG Me 262 is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: MLADG Me 262 Priced at US$19.95 Features Based on real documentation SASL-based features and failures Fully functional 3D cockpit Paint kit included for repaints Fully animated model Realistic instrumentation based on real counterparts In-flight refuel possible JATO can be used for short fields Metrical instrumentation VFR plane with limited radio navigation equipment Gunsight available Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux Support: Support forum for the Me 262 Current version: 2301 (Feb 7th, 2023) Review by Nick Garlick 17th March 2023 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Windows 10, Intel 4790K liquid-cooled, overclock to 5GHz, 32GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 1070ti, Titanium HD Audio Card. (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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