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Aircraft Review: Robin DR400 by Just Flight

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Aircraft Review: Robin DR400 by Just Flight


By Peter Allnutt

The iconic Robin has a storied history, reaching back to 1957, but the DR400, the focus of our review today, first soared into the skies in 1972. This aircraft, a French-manufactured four-seater with fixed gear and a piston engine, stands out due to its forward-sliding canopy and cranked wings. The wing design is particularly noteworthy, with the outer section featuring a significantly higher dihedral than the inner portion.

The DR400's expansive canopy ensures excellent visibility and coupled with a substantial payload capacity and a cruise speed of 130 knots, it serves as an exceptional touring aircraft. Though the DR400 has been replaced by the still-in-production DR401, our focus today is the former model, specifically within the context of X-Plane 12.


Purchase & Installation
The DR400 package is accessible from the X-plane.org store at a price of $14.99. Following the purchase, the product is available in your account, and you can download the approximately 1GB ZIP file. An order confirmation email provides a serial number. Should you misplace this email, the serial number is retrievable through your order details in the store.

This download can be installed on both XP11 and XP12. Installation begins routinely, with the unzipping of supplied files to the Aircraft folder in your installation. From this point, the process for XP12 becomes a bit more convoluted. The manual does not explain the installation procedure from a third-party store. The initial issue I encountered was an inability to see the aircraft on the selection screen until I enabled "Show aircraft for older versions of X-Plane". There's an error about sounds upon first loading, followed by an activation prompt. After activation, reloading the aircraft triggers a detection process, recognizing the operation in XP12 instead of 11, which prompts the use of the X-Plane 12 acf file. However, another reload is necessary before you can fly. For XP11, the package includes Librain, which facilitates windshield rain effects. The installation process for this plugin is outlined in the manual. In contrast, this step is not required for X-Plane 12.

The package includes two PDF documents: the primary manual, and an Operating Data Manual, courtesy of Just Flight. The latter, as its name suggests, comprises tables of performance data. The Operations Manual delves into details about the aircraft systems, the panel, and various instruments. Credit must be given to Just Flight for one of the more comprehensive document sets I've seen.




Exterior Model
The modelling of the JF DR400 is praiseworthy, incorporating PBR materials and real-time reflections. The detailed wing configuration lends the plane its distinctive appearance. Small yet appealing touches are present, such as visible tie-downs when the plane is cold and dark, along with a degree of weathering on the textures.


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The size of the download is on the larger side, likely due to the numerous supplied liveries. In total, there are ten bundled liveries, including the real-world G-BEUP on which the simulation is based. For those residing near Goodwood, England, this may be a familiar sight. A paint kit is also accessible via the Just Flight website.


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The DR400 is equipped with an animated forward-sliding canopy and a stowage compartment behind the cockpit. Numerous small appendages adorn the DR400, each meticulously modelled, contributing significantly to the aircraft's commanding presence.


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Cockpit & Functionality
Across all ten liveries, the cockpit layout remains uniform, right down to the panel colouring. The aircraft is well-equipped, featuring a mix of analogue dials and electronic modules. The primary module is a G430 providing COM1/NAV1 and GPS functionality, is the standard X-Plane version. Additionally, there's a KY 97 COM2, a KN 64 DME, a KR 85 ADF, a GTX 330 transponder, and an S-TEC 55 autopilot.


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The included manual offers thorough details on each unit. Each dial and module is carefully modelled and displays its data clearly. Much like the exterior, the cockpit features appealing weathering details, lending the aircraft a wonderfully "lived-in" ambience. The cockpit can be illuminated at night, and a switch is provided to adjust the brightness levels. At first, it appears overly bright, but it can be toned down.


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Just Flight has incorporated a pop-out panel for various DR400 options, identifiable as a small arrow icon on the left of the screen. It doesn't appear to be hideable, but it offers alternate means of opening or closing the canopy or baggage compartment door and creating pop-up windows for certain controls like the autopilot. It also enables automatic fuel selector changes and displays the weight, balance, or checklists.


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Although the icons are generally self-explanatory, having a tooltip display on hover would have been beneficial. The tooltip names provided by X-Plane for various controls can be confusing, often displaying internal control names rather than helpful labels. For instance, while the throttle tooltip simply read "Throttle", the Heading Bug was labelled as "thranda/knob/RheostatUp06". There are several charming features that add to the immersive feel of the DR400, like the animated ignition key, tastefully embossed with the aircraft's registration, and magazines tucked into the door pockets.


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As a simulator enthusiast, and not a real-world pilot, my feedback on the DR400's flight model authenticity is purely based on my experiences in the virtual cockpit. But even within these confines, I found the DR400 a joy to operate. From the outset, the aircraft's tricycle undercarriage provides smooth handling on the ground. Despite this, it warrants gentle inputs, as abrupt movements can lead to significant overreactions, especially noticeable in the pronounced dive during braking. Taking off with a manageable speed of 54 knots, the DR400 lifts from the runway effortlessly, easing pilots into the skies.


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Once airborne, the DR400 presents itself as a gentle aircraft, not in a hurry but responding effectively to inputs. This relaxed nature, paired with its four-cylinder 180 HP engine, makes for a comfortable cruise at a respectable speed of 130 knots. Navigating the plane is facilitated by the ease with which it can be trimmed out, giving pilots the option to forgo the provided autopilot if they wish. The DR400 isn't designed for speed, but for offering a calming, steady flight experience.


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On the approach for landing, there are two flap settings available: 15 degrees for initial deceleration, and then a more aggressive 60 degrees for landing, both affecting drag and lift as you would expect. Touching down feels composed and secure at a moderate 68-knot landing speed. While the DR400 isn't built for aerobatics, with such manoeuvres including spins expressly prohibited, stalls are allowed. I observed that the aircraft's wing tends to drop at the onset of a stall. However, recovery from this situation is intuitive and straightforward. Overall, the DR400 proves to be a pleasure to fly, offering a relaxed and engaging experience in the realm of general aviation.


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The sound set employed is adequate, but not exceptional. For me, a recurring issue was the inconsistency with which the sounds would play. This issue was widespread, affecting buttons, knobs, and sliders alike. I assume this is a DR400-specific problem since I haven't encountered it with other aircraft. Despite this, the sounds are distinct and well-defined. The engine sound doesn't have an obvious loop and becomes muted when the canopy is closed. This touch is appreciated but expected in payware.

Demo Flight
The package includes a section in the manual that guides you through a DR400 flight from start to shut down, encompassing taxi, take-off, cruise, and landing. The demo flight takes you from EGHR Chichester Goodwood to EGWC Cosford and lasts about an hour. This thoughtful addition from Just Flight provides a comprehensive introduction to flying the aircraft.




Throughout my testing of JF’s DR400, I didn’t encounter any performance issues. Framerates were consistently high with no noticeable lags or spikes. My X-Plane setup includes an Intel i9 10900K, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X, and runs on Windows 10 Home 64 Bit.


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Despite some minor issues, primarily with sounds and tooltips, my time piloting the DR400 was an enjoyable experience. It's a delightful aircraft for GA touring in X-Plane, and the high-quality modelling and extensive livery selection enhance its appeal. For the price of just $14.99, it's relatively easy to overlook its minor quirks.


For those seeking more in-depth system modelling and a more immersive experience, a Reality Expansion package is available. However, even without this addition, Just Flight’s Robin DR400 offers abundant enjoyment for GA flyers. Its charm and nuanced details effortlessly make every flight an engaging venture in X-Plane’s virtual skies.






The Robin DR400 by Just Flight is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Just Flight Robin DR400

Priced at US$14.99


Product Features



  • Accurately modeled Robin DR400-180 Regent, built using real-world aircraft plans and comprehensive photography of the real aircraft
  • Numerous animations including sliding canopy, luggage door and engine exhausts
  • Realistic modelling and texturing of the distinctive cranked wings
  • Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs
  • 4096x4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity
  • PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism
  • Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features



  • A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modeled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations
  • Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment
  • Dimmable cockpit lighting
  • Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables
  • Interactive checklists for every stage of flight
  • Panel state system which will automatically save the panel state whenever a flight is saved and reload the panel state whenever that flight is loaded
  • Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off'
  • Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit:
  •  GMA 340 audio selector
  •  GNS 430 GPS unit
  •  KY 97 COM 2 radio
  •  KN 64 DME
  •  GTX 330 transponder
  •  KR 85 ADF
  •  S-TEC 55 autopilot
  •  Support for Reality GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only)
  • Flight Computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction
  • Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native)
  • GoodWay compatible
  • Option to activate flashlight from within pop-up window, to aid in those pitch-black cold and dark starts at night
  • Option to remove window and instrument reflection effects
  • Radio knob animations routed through plugin logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation



  • Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long-distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights)
  • Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out
  • Functioning carburettor and auxiliary fuel tank transfer controls
  • Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapour lock condition
  • Simulated vapour lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions
  • Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling
  • Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 1 GB
Current Version: 1.9.2 (May 12th, 2023)


Review System Specifications

Intel i9 10900K – 32GB RAM - NVidia MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X – Windows 10 Home 64 Bit



Aircraft Review by Peter Allnutt
29th June 2023
Copyright©2023: 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.





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