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Aircraft Update : Spectr-Aero SP-30 v1.2 by Mad Flight Studios

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Aircraft Update : Spectr-Aero SP-30 v1.2 by Mad Flight Studios


Sometimes what looks like a casual review can turn out to be something special, and so it was with Mad Flight Studio's Spectr-Aero SP-30, which is a design originally of Canada's  Zenith STOL CH 701. It is a very cute if noisy critter of an aircraft, and it comes about as close as a dramatic flying experience that you can get in X-Plane11 with the major plus of a huge feature list and exceptional interaction with the actual aircraft, it is a great if brilliant simulation.


The full release review is here: Aircraft Review : Spectr-Aero SP-30 by Mad Flight Studio


SP-30_v1.2_Head 1.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Head 2.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Head 3.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Head 4.jpg



A small quick bug fix update went out straight after the release for the SP-30, so here in this v1.2 update is a more wider set of fixes and adjustments.


Rear shelf and parts of the cabin has had new textures and a redesign, it was pretty good before, but these changes are to reflect the real aircraft more.


SP-30_v1.2_Rear panel 1.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Rear panel 2.jpg

SP-30_v1.2_Rear panel 3.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Rear panel 4.jpg


Notable is the instrument panel, which seems to have a more 3d textured feel than before, and yes I really like it.


There has been added a new livery called "Experimental Green", which does make the aircraft feel a bit more modern, but it is quite bright and not really to my traditional tastes. The paintkit has been improved and updated as well.


SP-30_v1.2_Ex Green 1 LG.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Ex Green 2.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Ex Green 3.jpg


Ground drag has been adjusted as there was a bug in there, but it always felt fine to me, the SP-30 feels no different on the takeoff roll either.


SP-30_v1.2_Ground Grip 1.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Ground Grip 2.jpg


The right vent animation of which I will note as heat effects has also been made more realistic, as the efects certainly seem to be more visible than before. 


Use those lovely headphones and you will now have co-pilot interaction sounds, which is a nice new feature. A note is in that you have to set the language before you load in the aircraft (with a new download). Both English and Russian text (clipboard) and sound files are provided, but you have to insert them (change them) yourself as Russian is the set default language . 


SP-30_v1.2_Ear Phones 1.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Ear Phones 2.jpg

SP-30_v1.2_ board1.jpgSP-30_v1.2_ board 2.jpg


Fuel quantity save is another area addressed. If you have read the release review you will know that I found the Spectr Aero an extraordinary aircraft and it came with some highly realistic features. But I also found because of these very immersive and clever features the SP-30 could also be confined to a certain type of user and not be a completely accessible simulation to a lot of mainstream flyers. The biggest issue was simply a save.


With this simulation you have to manually load in fuel and chemicals, do servicing and maintenance, of which are all very immersive and fun.


SP-30_v1.2_Fuel 2.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Fuel 1.jpg


However the SP-30 is a temperamental critter that can be very hard to start, get the procedures right and fine, and away you go... but if you make a slight mistake or if that aircraft refuses to start then you are in trouble, you can fix it of course, but not by a menu or desktop restart of the aircraft... because if you do, then your loading, filling and all your hard work is wiped out on a simple restart, as you are now back at the aircraft's default settings. Do that routine five or ten times and you will simply walk away from the aircraft. I will note however on my first restart in a few months it started first time if I followed the startup procedure closely that is explained in the release review.


So has the issue been fixed... well yes and no. If you select on the clipboard selection "Save" then the remaining fuel will be saved, plus all the other aircraft conditions, including any maintenance issues, so now yes you can reload from the desktop bacxk to the aircraft as you last left it....


SP-30_v1.2_Fuel 3.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Fuel 4.jpg


But here it gets a little tricky, as if you select the "Don't save" tickbox when you reload you go back to the default settings, that is okay, but you also lose all your hard fuel loading efforts, so if you want a full fuel load you have to stop the engine, and reload manually all the fuel again...  yada, yada, yada...  there is a however a workaround in loading the SP-30 at the default settings with the engine going and then adjusting the fuel load via the X-Plane "Weights, Balance, & fuel" menu to get back to where you were.


But this is where it really gets complicated...  also selecting the "Don't save" tickbox should revert to the full default settings right, but no.


SP-30_v1.2_Fuel 5.jpgSP-30_v1.2_Fuel 6.jpg


With the "Don't save" checkbox selected the maintenance issues are still present? shouldn't they be cleared if you have selected a default or all systems and set to restart...  not here, so you can't clear them? From the developers point of view this is the right approach, in fix the aircraft no matter what to fly, but this is simulation not a real world aircraft and for that full experience you have that option with the "Save" command.


Worse you have no control over the maintenance options, so the developers can throw them at you any time they like, but five fuel blockages in two short flights is seriously frustrating if you can't default them, so I crashed, five times? Even if you fix the fault, takeoff and there it is again...  so you are put into a no-win situation every time you fly the SP-30.


Here is the point...  with the "Save" option set on, then everything goes from one flight to the next in realism, but if you set the "Don't save" option you should reset EVERYTHING including the faults to zero at every startup position, and be able to fly if you don't want these realism options switched on, this aspect would open up the aircraft to far more users, because they can't enjoy this amazing aircraft for any period of time because the faults will always destroy your simulation... sometimes folks we JUST WANT TO FLY with no special features and just enjoy the aircraft, and as it is it is extremely frustrating if you have no control over the faults that are hard wired into the aircraft no matter what selection you choose.



This is a very nice but small v1.2 update to the Spectr Aero SP-30, and the machine has a huge amount of features and details, but is lacking in ease of use for the casual flyer, so overall it is not a very accessible aircraft to fly and enjoy consistently and in most cases I find myself shutting it down and walking away with frustration with inconsistencies.

In the original release review and this update review the results are the same, the SP-30 is frustrating to use consistently because of very simple strategies in letting you fly either fully with the faults and features, or to be able to simply turn them off, and when you can't disable or adjust over sensitive maintenance issues it will impede the simulation to the point of walking away from an otherwise excellent aircraft.


Covered here in this v1.2 update is some new textures and some modeling adjustments, a new livery in Experimental Green, new co-pilot sounds and a new "save" function.


The strive to make an aircraft in total realism I can believe in and applaud, but when the over realism here starts to interfere with your simple flying aspects then the fun goes out of the simulation, with no complete resets or when the simple start up and fly aspects are minimised you are not going to spent an hour or so to simply get a few minutes flying to only crash again with a blocked fuel filter at a supposed default (totally cleared) setting, the aircraft is either reset to the default or it isn't and many fliers will revel in that aspect and no doubt that is the developers aims, but I want fun and not the constant frustration created here in my flying....   overall though this is a brilliant aircraft if you can work your way though its realism firewall.




X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The Spectr-Aero SP-30 v1.2 by Mad Flight Studio is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

Spectr-Aero SP-30


Priced at US$39.95


Main features:
  • Dynamic model, handing characteristics, systems controlled and tested by real world pilots and engineers.
  • Full 3D manual ground service
    • propeller covers
    • Pitot cover
    • parking ties
    • parking chocks
    • control surface check
    • fueling (gasoline and chemicals)
    • fuel drain check
    • outside engine heater
    • chemical works equipment
  • Full 3D manual engine service
    • propeller manual rotation
    • oil level check
    • oil change
    • oil filter change
    • air filter change
    • fuel filter change
    • spark plugs change
    • prop pitch selection (from service menu)
    • a lot of failure repairs (from service menu)
  • IFR flying adaptation
    • GNS
    • transponder
    • slip and turn indicator
    • navigation lights
    • landing light
    •  cockpit light
  • Realistic gauge operation
  • Custom radiostation FL-760 (with AUX connection simulation)
  • Custom fuel system
  • Custom oil system
  • Custom engine operation
  • A lot of custom failures
  • Custom shake and G-effect (compatible with TrackIR and view-effect plug-ins)
  • Custom 3D sounds (over 170 real sounds)
  • Custom windshield effects (rain, ice, mist)
  • Custom particle effects
  • Fully VR compatible (without additional plug-ins)
  • High Quality PBR textures
  • High accuracy interior and exterior 3D models
  • High accuracy fully animated aircraft
  • 3D ground service and general options menu
  • Two Language manuals and aircraft menus (Russian/English)
  • Two cockpit languages (Russian/English)
  • Two gauge options (Metric/Imperial)
  • Layered paintkit included



X-Plane 11.30 and higher
Windows, Mac OSX, Linux 64bit 
2Gb VRAM Video Card (4GB+ VRAM Recommended)
Current version and Review Version : 1.2 (19th July 2019)

Installation and documents:

Download for the Spectr-Aero SP-30 is 749.35mb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.30gb.



Manual (26 pages) is excellent and covers all aspects of servicing and flying the aircraft. Manuals are in both English and Russian as is the instrument and clipboard languages (note the clipboard language has to be changed manually via a supplied image file)  


  • SP-30_manual_En.pdf
  • SP-30_manual_Ru.pdf


Paintkit and the language pack is also supplied.


Changelog v1.2

SP-30 changelog v1.2.txt



Update review by Stephen Dutton

25th July 2019

Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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)


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.30 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft)

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.10 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- YBNA - Ballina Byron Gateway Airport 1.0 by Stricko 101 (X-Plane.Org) - Free

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I once had a Cessna 140 that, in the Alaskan winter, you primed 'til gas ran on the snow (carb prime rather than cylinder) then hurried around a carefully marked trail to shake hands with the prop.  When the engine fired you hurried back along your carefully marked trail, continued pumping the primer 'til it ran smoothly.  This was a difficult start.

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