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Aircraft Plugin Review : REP for Carenado PC-12 XP11 by SimCoders

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Aircraft Plugin Review : REP for Carenado PC-12 XP11 by SimCoders

 

Simcoders have changed their focus back now to Carenado aircraft for their next REP or Reality Expansion Pack, this is the Pilatus PC-12 in it's XP11 guise...   and a very nice choice it is.

 

Powered by the powerful single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine (the PT6A-67B, 1200 shp), and the PC12 is certified for single-pilot IFR operations, and a great aircraft to use as a base for the expansion pack. A full review of the XP11 version of the Carenado PC-12 is here:

 

Aircraft Review : Pilatus PC12 HD Series XP11 by Carenado

 

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SimCoders REP - Reality Expansion Packs

The idea of these packs are to bring a bit more of the everyday running of a GA light aircraft to life. Basically if you have used one REP pack then they are all the same with just the aircraft they are attached to different. Simcoders have an installation notice in the package, to read the manual?

 

In reality it is not hard to install, one folder called "REP" is installed into the aircraft's Plugins folder (not the X-Plane/resources/plugin folder) and the other files are just positioned in the aircraft's root or main folder.

 

The REP plugin does however still show in the main X-Plane/Plugin menu when you drop it down from the header bar...  and asks you to "Enable Package".

 

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This "Enable" is really an authorisation process and the licence key provided with your download is inserted into the pop-up panel and you then activate (internet connection is required) the plugin via the "Ok" key.

 

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When verified then the pop-up panel will note for you top reload the aircraft. I will always note to do a complete desktop start of X-Plane in these sort of aircraft restarts, this makes sure the full systems are reloaded (inline) correctly.

 

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When activated the REP menu then changes to a different menu format and you now have twelve separate items in:

 

  • Settings
  • Wear out to
  • Check Fuel Price at Airport
  • Show Checklists
  • Show weight & balance
  • Toggle walkaround mode
  • Toggle tow mode
  • Show maintenance report
  • Engine autostart
  • toggle static elements
  • disable package
  • About

 

I have coloured the sections so you can note the different area separations because I am not going to go down the list in order.

 

About: They like themselves do SimCoders....

 

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Disable Package: The "Disable Package" option allows you to uninstall the REP package on the PC-12.

 

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Settings:  REP "Settings" shows all your options available on the PC-12

 

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There has been a lot of changes since the earlier REP packages and this shows here in the settings menu which is different from the earlier version but easier to use. In the earlier settings panel there was only six settings were as now there are twelve settings (up from the usual 3) that you can choose from:

 

  • Enable the plane damages*
  • Show Failure messages*
  • Show tips
  • Show side menu on mouse hover only
  • Save and restore aircraft status between (flying) sessions
  • Save and restore the windows (sic) positions between sessions
  • Enable hypoxia effect (blackout)
  • Roll axis drives ground steering
  • Use US Customary* (originally noted as "use imperial or metric units")

Wind sound level 0-100

 

Advanced Settings

  • Use advanced steering
  • Smooth brakes
  • Use Carenado panel to control the static elements

 

Tab MenuThere are six tabs to use on the left side of your screen and they match the same menu selections on the drop down menu.

 

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The six tabs to use on the left side of your screen, you can have then slightly present, or hide them completely with the settings option. And they are in order:

 

  • Kneeboard
  • Mass & Balance
  • Walkaround
  • Tow
  • Maintenance Report
  • Automatic Engine Start

 

Kneeboard

The "Kneeboard" has three pages of references: Normal Operations, Emergency Procedures and (Speed v) References. The kneeboard pop-up does have a quirk in annoyingly popping up all the time when you press a tab on other menu items, once or twice is fine, but then it gets constantly annoying coming up in your face.

 

 

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Mass & Balance

The aircraft setup menu is very good. You have "Load Stations" for pilot & passenger weights, baggage weights and fuel weight (Fill) and all the settings are reflected on a graph of Mass and C.G. (Centre of Gravity).

 

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Loading the aircraft is quite easy with the panel filled in, when done you just press the "Apply" button to lock the settings in. You get a "Landing C.G. prediction in flight time and fuel flow and an aircraft summary of your weights in Empty, Payload, Fuel, Takeoff, Minimum Takeoff and Takeoff Centre of Gravity arm (which I think is runway length aim?). You can select from either kgs to lbs on the lower left tab.

 

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"Fill Tanks" will fill both fuel tanks to full, but here with the full tanks it puts me over the aircraft's weight limits and hence the red warning.

 

Walkaround

The "Walkaround" feature is very good and to a point the heart of the REP package. There are actually three walkaround modes...  one for "Lights Check" and one for "Pre-Flight" and another for the later "PostFlight", but to the usual users of REP packages you will notice the walkaround aircraft diagram has been dropped.

 

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You can toggle all the light switches on or off by pressing the "Toggle Lights" tab and then use the "next" to go around the aircraft to check the aircraft's lighting with the tail beacon, both leading edge (navigation/strobe), all wing Landing lights and front wheel strut taxi light.

 

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The "Lights Check" starts and finishes with the OHP (OverheadPanel).

 

"Pre-Flight" is the main Walkaround of the aircraft. In reality it is same feature here of all the REP packages from the start, but it is very good.

 

Here you move externally around the aircraft via the same (Next) tab and can go back to the previous check point by pressing the "Previous" tab.

 

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Some points are cleverly animated in that by pressing the tab you can move (or test) the rear tailplane and rudder...  the same can be done with the ailerons and flap flight control surfaces.

 

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Static elements can be added or removed like with both wing and tail tiedowns, chocks and pitot covers as you move around the aircraft. There are display gauges on the walkaround to note Tire Wear, Oil quantity and Condition (the lighter the oil colour the better the oil is)...

 

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The slight odd anomaly with older REP packages has been fixed with the static elements? If you loaded the older REP with engines running the chocks and static elements are still in place? And to remove them you had to shutdown the aircraft, and then do the full walkaround to the chocks, and then restart the engines to fly? Now there there is the tickbox in the settings to  "Toggle static elements" ON or OFF, a nice fix like I recommended.

 

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Fuel Contamination (again the lighter the better) and pitot probe temperature. Static elements cover all probes and engine inlets.

 

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It is overall a very good Walkaround system, and the walkaround works in with the later tab of "Maintenance Report". The "PostFlight" runs the Walkaround again but sort of in reverse to close up and shutdown the aircraft and add in the various static elements, you can see as well any wear and tear the flight has taken on the aircraft.

 

Tow

The "Tow" feature is quite basic but works really well. Selecting "Tow" will put you on the front of the aircraft and then you use your joystick to move the aircraft in forwards, backwards and left and right.... just don't forget to unlock the park brake?

 

PC-12_REP_Tow 1.jpgPC-12_REP_Tow 2.jpg

 

Maintenance Report

Like the Walkaround you can maintain the PC-12 with this feature...  The maintenance clipboard is set out slightly different here for the Turboprop than the piston aircraft...  systems are now grouped in like: Electrical System, Avionics, Instruments, Pressurisation Systems, Landing Gear and Braking Systems and Economy System. Areas that need attention are noted in RED and a click will do the job.

 

There are seven pages in the report and it is quite comprehensive

 

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Last page "Economy System" has the option to activate the "F SEconomy" or the standard "Standalone System". So the maintenance feature is a pretty comprehensive report and gives you high access to the aircraft's functionality.

 

If you select the "Standalone System" you go to a different sized clipboard with the repairs required...  then you will get the bill shock!

 

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You have options to accept the "Normal" price or the "Quick Fix" price, either way you will need money in your account to fix the broken PC-12? or you can opt out via the "Disable the Economy System" There is a big connection here to the FSEconomy system, and so you have to be a part of the virtual money earning application to fix the aircraft.

 

Automatic Engine Start

There is realism and there is also the "drive you up the wall factor" and starting the engine in a REP pack was certainly in the latter category. But here we now have an automatic engine start feature, and it goes through the process of starting the single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine (the PT6A-67B, 1200 shp) engine and tells you via the banner bar on what part of the process is happening.

 

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There is still that realism factor, and it can be realistic or a pain depending on your mood. If all your maintenance is up to date and your account is now empty the aircraft will do the full start up procedure for you, and if you have any maintenance issues outstanding then you are going nowhere until you fix them.

 

Wear out to: you have four options of aircraft wear; Brand New, Privately Owned (New), Privately Owned (Old) and Flying Club. Settings set the aircraft into one of the categories set out, but the Flying Club setting has the most hours and a tired aircraft. Aircraft has to totally shutdown to adjust the Wear settings.

 

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Check Fuel Price at Airport: This selection is again connected to the FSEconomy system to pay for your fuel.

 

Realism 101

It is just not the external aspects of the PC-12 that are effected, but also so are the dynamics...   There is also in the package Realistic taxi behavior, realistic stall speeds & behaviors, realistic climb speeds, realistic cruise speeds and better flying characteristics with the more (set) realistic Weight & Balance. These earlier Carenado's have an urgency to have too much power to taxi smoothly (or slowly) it was one of the real annoyances of these otherwise perfect aircraft. The high taxi speed has been nulled a little here with the new enhancements, but with the mixture set at idle and the throttle at idle you still have to use the brakes now and then to contain the speed, it is however far better than the jack rabbit feel of the none REP PC-12.

 

The PC-12 has a different throttle mixture and built in propeller arrangement, and this custom package adjusts to that, so on ground idle, the first 30% of throttle directly controls the propeller pitch and does not increase NG at all and the custom propeller governor recreating all supported prop modes, the electric auto-feather included all now use the newer X-Plane11.30 governor features.

 

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Sounds in the earlier REP Packages were an advantage, but that feel is slightly nulled now as  Laminar Research now uses the excellent FMOD 180º sound effects to well "great effect". Simcoders notes that the custom system highlights and is better than the default Carenado sounds, areas covered are Engine ignition, Engine pins, Engine exhausts effects and Fuel pumps, Electric Gyros, Avionics effects, Dynamic touch down, Dynamic ground roll
and Dynamic wind. The problem with these sounds that they are good, but you have no control over their volumes except for the wind noise, overall I feel they are yes an improvement, but not a highly noticeable improvement over the now very good Carenado sources.

 

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Ditto the featured fuselage wind, landing gear wind and Independent touch down sounds that is used with the SimCoders "Headshaker Plugin", as these again were a great early set of features. But most users now have or use the XPRealistic Plugin that does the same thing but also better and more effectively. But that is not saying it is not a good set of features because they still add in a better dimension to otherwise what is a basic aircraft.

 

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Aircraft roll and takeoff sounds with the more "arrrrh, thump, thump" of the retracting gear is far better than the Carenado sounds, as is the wind noise, but you will need to take a little of the wind noise to be more realistic.

 

If you are hard on your aircraft then the REP won't be kind to you? damages are and can be triggered by the pilot actions or poor piloting skills which is based on real world data and can target every system in the aircraft and this is all meant to teach you how to correctly manage the aircraft.

 

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You get the more realistic stall speeds & behavior, realistic climb speeds, realistic cruise speeds and realistic weight & balance and in flight you feel and see the differences, the PC-12 feels more relaxed and immersive than what I remember it was before.

 

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On release users didn't warm to this Carenado PC-12 aircraft very much and it sold quite slowly, personally I couldn't understand that as I really liked it from the first flight... the non-adjustable and sometimes glaring instrument lighting aside, it is a great PC-12... I think now more are warming to it and understanding more what a nice aircraft this really is...

 

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There is secondary fuel flow behavior, realistic lag and custom ITT evolution, correct fuel consumption with better and more realistic engine temperatures, these items are more noticeable on the PC-12's engine displays if you compare to the default version, and the numbers don't lie.

 

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Be careful on those landings? the landing gear can be damaged by hard landings and with over-speed operations and the the brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly and will have to be replaced... it is an expensive exercise while using the REP pack.

 

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Even when your flying day is over the REP will still be working on items like if you leave the power on then the battery will discharge unless you turn it off and that is even if you leave it switched on and close X-Plane? Start X-Plane up again and you will have a dead battery to contend with, just sit and watch the numbers and the battery goes dead very quickly.

 

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And that is with also all your current persistent aircraft wear and tear that is recorded and every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft as is the the engine and oil temperature which are also restored basing on the time passed. In other words the aircraft is in exactly the same condition (or worse) when you come back to the aircraft for another flight and you certainly don't get a newly set aircraft to fly in, and overtime those hours and the wear and tear will add up in the Maintenance Report and will require attention.

 

Summary

What the Simcoder's REP or Reality Expansion Pack does is take a standard aircraft and then supercharges it and gives it a load of features and actions that are not available on the standard aircraft, they also fine tune the aircraft as well to be far more exact on the real machine's performance numbers

 

And the REP does a really good job in this case with the PC-12 and it covers a huge multitude of areas in performance, wear and tear, damages to the aircraft and fluid use. The effects on your systems are also covered in every aircraft area from the electrical systems, Oxygen and mechanical wear and tear on wheels and tires, overall the system coverage is quite extensive and you will need to look after and maintain the aircraft to a certain standard if you want to fly it regularly just like well really a "real" aircraft.

 

The REP has come a long way as well since the earlier versions that were just a little too invasive and made the aircraft just a little too realistic in that it got in the way of actually flying it. The better current menu management really helps here now as does the "auto" engine start up that helps in simply starting the engines, but there is the need for more control interaction as well in menu's, like with the custom sounds

 

FS Economy is now heavily intergrated with the REP package but can be enabled/disabled on the fly, earn your virtual money to keep the PC-12 in the air with payment earned for maintenance and fuel.

 

This REP package is certainly very comprehensive and it goes a long, long way in bringing the PC-12 to life and with far more features and actions than what the aircraft actually has when it comes from Carenado (which was pretty good then). I wasn't a big fan of the earlier REP packages, but this one here is now actually very good on the PC-12, and Simcoders have made the REP's more user friendly and not as invasive as their earlier packs. 

 

So if you like an immersive and realistic feel of running of your Carenado PC-12 to a higher more realistic degree, and yes this package does go very deep, then you will love this plugin. The REP-Reality Expansion Package is better than ever and lifts the Carenado aircraft into a more far complex and detailed aircraft for you to intergrate with...

 

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Yes! the SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado PC-12 is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado PC12 XP11

 

Price is US$19.99

 

The PC12 XP11 by Carenado is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft

 

Features:

Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics
* Realistic stall speeds & behavior
* Realistic climb speeds
* Realistic cruise speeds
* Realistic Weight & Balance
* Realistic taxi behavior
Complex Damages System
* Triggered by the pilot actions
* Based on real world data
* Target every system in the aircraft
* Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane
Economic System
* Can be enabled/disabled on the fly
* Earn virtual money when you fly
* Use virtual money to buy fuel and do maintenance/repairs
* Realistic fuel prices around the World
* Fully compatible with FSEconomy.
Weight & Balance Tool
* Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing
* The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves
Popup Kneeboard
* Complete normal operations checklist
* Complete emergency operations checklist
* Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.)
Simulation state saving
* Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft
* The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane
* When X-Plane is launched, the engine and oil temperature are restored basing on the time passed
Maintenance Hangar
* Engine maintenance tab
* Electrical systems maintenance tab
* Landing gear, brakes & tires tab
Interactive Walkaround
* Cockpit checks
* Lights checks
* Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check
* Tire check and choks removal
* Pitot tube check
* Engine cowl check
Interactive towing
* Push, pull and steer using the joystick
* Towbar simulation
Realistic PT-6 Engine Logic
* Secondary fuel flow behavior
* Realistic lag
* Custom ITT evolution
* Custom throttle dynamics (on ground idle, the first 30% of throttle directly controls the propeller pitch and does not increase NG at all)
* Custom propeller governor recreating all supported prop modes, electric auto-feather included
* Custom hot-start behavior (and damages)
* Correct fuel consuption
* Realistic startup procedure
* Automatic startup procedure available to help newbies
* Realistic engine temperatures
* The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly
Stunning sounds
* Fuselage wind sound
* Landing gear wind
* Independent touch down sounds
Realistic Landing Gear
* The landing gear is damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations
* The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly
Electrical & Avionics System
* Realistic Battery
* The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down
Native Virtual Reality Support
* Complete support of new X-Plane SDK 3.0
* Menu visible in VR
* Windows visible in VR
Learn with the in-flight tips
* A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight  is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly
* A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane
Custom simulation of Hypoxia
* Tunnel vision
* Hard breathing
Developed with love
* Coded by real pilots
* Very easy on FPS
* Written in C++ with no compromises

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Requirements :

X-Plane 11 
Important: The PC12 XP11 by Carenado is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft
Current and Review version: 4.21 (July 26th 2019)

______________________________________________________________________

 

Installation : Download is 16.3mb which is unzipped and is inserted to the Aircraft/Plugins folder and root folder. Key authorisation is required.

Documentation : includes

 

  • REP - User - Manual

 

There is an Installation "read Me" but just notes to see the manual?

______________________________________________________________________

 

Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton

28th July  2019

Copyright©2019: 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)
 

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 11.20

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- LSZH - Airport Zürich v2 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$27.99

- LEBL - Barcelona Airport XP11 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$21.00

 

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