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Aircraft Review: de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo by X-Hangar

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Aircraft Review: de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo by X-Hangar


By Dominic Smith


Well, I’m back again with a new model from X-Hangar, this time, the venerable DHC-5 Buffalo. This robust and versatile transport aircraft, with its unique charm and capabilities, is the latest to have captured my attention, especially as it’s from a developer whose work I greatly enjoy.

The DHC-5 Buffalo, a successor to the DHC-4 Caribou, was developed by De Havilland Canada and first took flight in the 1960s. Designed to meet the demanding requirements of military and civilian operations alike, the Buffalo distinguished itself with its STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) capabilities, allowing it to operate in diverse and challenging environments. Over the years, it has served various roles, from troop transport and cargo delivery to search and rescue operations, demonstrating its versatility and reliability.

X-Hangar's DHC-5 Buffalo, much like the DHC-4 Caribou reviewed previously, showcases the developer's commitment to delivering immersive and accurate flight models accessible to a broad spectrum of simmers. The model comes packed with features that not only bolster its authenticity but also user interaction. Highlights include a carefully modelled 3D cockpit, operational windows, doors, and cargo ramp, realistic rain effects and wipers, two load configurations (passenger or cargo), detailed 3D pilot and passenger figures, a PDF manual, and a huge range of international liveries.



Staying true to X-Hangar's approach of creating both comprehensive and user-friendly aircraft models, the Buffalo comes with a nicely detailed 19-page PDF manual, which provides a thorough overview of the Buffalo's operational features and cockpit layout. The manual not only explains the aircraft’s functionality but also includes detailed information on how to operate the aircraft through all phases of flight. The documentation is extremely well-written and includes numerous images which clearly illustrate key aspects of the aircraft's cockpit and operation.


The installation process for the DHC-5 Buffalo is straightforward, mirroring the simplicity and user-friendliness characteristic of other X-Hangar offerings, such as the previously reviewed Caribou. Once purchased, users simply download the provided zip file which contains both X-Plane 12 and 11 variants. When extracted, it’s just a simple case of placing the appropriate folder directly into the 'Aircraft' folder of their X-Plane installation. The procedure is devoid of complicated steps, eliminating the need for navigating through perplexing instructions or dealing with third-party software wrappers. A key highlight is the absence of online activation requirements, emphasizing X-Hangar's user-centric approach: once you've made your purchase, the aircraft is unequivocally yours. This ensures a seamless integration into your X-Plane setup, allowing you to take to the skies with the Buffalo without any unnecessary delays or technical hurdles.

X-Hangar's rendition of the DHC-5 Buffalo, akin to their DHC-4 Caribou, embodies a robust and functional design that mirrors the real-world aircraft's versatility in both military and civilian operations across the globe. Designed to tackle the challenges of demanding environments and heavy loads, often operating from short and poorly surfaced airstrips, the model captures this essence beautifully.

The model's exterior features the short, stout fuselage, high wings, and twin turboprop engines, closely resembling those of the DHC-4 Caribou, albeit slightly larger and with more power engines. The texturing on the exterior is particularly commendable, with liveries that closely resemble those of actual aircraft, enhancing the model's authenticity. Notably, the textures on the Buffalo show a refinement over those seen on the Caribou, with an improvement in the metallic sheen, making the liveries appear more realistic, although still retaining a certain stylistic charm that contributes to the model's appeal.


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The exterior of the Buffalo is visually appealing, striking a good balance between realism and artistic interpretation. While it may not achieve the photorealistic quality of some more expensive models, X-Hangar's Buffalo stands out as a faithful representation of the aircraft's exterior. The addition of interactive features, such as the operational doors, windows, rear loading ramp, plus an X-Hangar tent and truck, further enriches the user experience, offering a comprehensive and enjoyable portrayal of the iconic Buffalo. 


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The cockpit of X-Hangar's Buffalo is a testament to the developer's ability to balance functionality with visual appeal, subtly enhancing upon the precedent set by the Caribou. It presents a layout that's not only practical but also enriched with the distinctive charm that's become synonymous with X-Hangar's designs. The main panel in front of the pilot houses the essential six flight instruments alongside the Century 41 autopilot, establishing a solid foundation for flight operations. The centre console is thoughtfully allocated to engine gauges and includes a Garmin 530 GPS unit, equipped with a pop-out feature for ease of use. Engine fire controls are strategically placed just above this area for quick access in emergency situations.

The space between the two pilot seats is home to the crucial radio controls, ensuring that communication is always within reach. Above, the overhead panel integrates throttle and prop pitch controls, flaps, and ignition switches, thoughtfully arranged to break up the expansive glass area, adding to the cockpit's functional aesthetics.


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Despite the inherent complexity of a cockpit designed in the 1960s, X-Hangar has managed to render all instruments, gauges, and switches with clarity and precision. Although a closer inspection might reveal a slight loss in sharpness, this minor limitation does not detract from the overall quality of the texturing, which remains consistent throughout the aircraft. This commitment to detail ensures that, despite its age, the Buffalo's cockpit is both a visually appealing and highly functional space, reflective of the aircraft's storied history and X-Hangar's dedication to authenticity.


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Stepping into the cabin, and you're presented with a choice that adds a unique layer of versatility to the Buffalo experience: seats filled with passengers or, with a simple click on the “fold all seats for cargo layout” option in the kneepad, classic vehicles from yesteryears. The ability to switch between a passenger layout and a cargo configuration not only showcases the Buffalo's adaptability but also injects a nice does of variety to the model. 


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The included sounds of X-Hangar's Buffalo do not use the FMOD sound system, a choice I find refreshing in a landscape where FMOD is often hastily considered a standard. Despite this, the auditory experience delivered is more than satisfactory, with the engine sounds being particularly pleasing. Whilst it's difficult to show sounds in a written review, the video below gives a good likeness to what the turboprops sound like in the X-Hangar model.



Flight Characteristics
After acquainting myself with the Buffalo's details, I was keen to experience its performance in the air, selecting Juneau International Airport in Alaska as my departure point, a location that's been a favourite of mine since acquiring the Inside Passage and Final Frontier packages from Tom Curtis back in the X-Plane 9 days.

From the outset, the Buffalo's ground handling, in much the same way as the Caribou, impressed me with its responsiveness, making taxiing to the runway an enjoyable experience. As I initiated takeoff and advanced the throttles, the aircraft propelled forward, revealing the abundant power in the GE T64 turboprops. In what seemed like mere moments, true to its STOL design, the Buffalo effortlessly ascended, setting the stage for a captivating tour around Juneau.


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Once airborne, the increased thrust from the twin turboprops was immediately noticeable, offering a significant boost in performance over the DHC-4. This extra thrust was particularly apparent during the cruise phase, allowing the aircraft to maintain altitude with ease. While I refrained from executing what some might term 'enthusiastic manoeuvres', I did conduct a few stall tests. The Buffalo behaved predictably in these situations, exhibiting only a minor wing dip before recovery, aligning with expectations for an aircraft of its class and design.


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Approaching Juneau for the return, the Buffalo's low-speed handling merits became increasingly apparent. The final approach and touchdown called for a few delicate touches of correction due to the wind, but here again, the aircraft handled these with ease. 


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The performance of the DHC-5 Buffalo mirrors that of other X-Hangar models, showcasing an exceptional consideration for hardware requirements. Much like their previous, the Buffalo ensures that even those without the latest and greatest PC setups can still enjoy a rich, immersive experience. This approach allows simmers the flexibility to add detailed scenery or experiment with changeable weather conditions, without having to worry about overtaxing their systems. It's this level of thoughtfulness in design that makes flying the Buffalo not just a visually satisfying experience, but also a smooth and accessible one for a wide range of X-Plane users.


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The DHC-5 Buffalo by X-Hangar, much like its predecessor, the Caribou, seamlessly integrates nostalgia with practicality. It shines in performance, demonstrating X-Hangar's commitment to producing highly enjoyable models that perform extremely well across a broad spectrum of PC hardware without compromising on immersion. Opting out of the race for 4K textures, it instead boasts authentic sounds and an impressive array of liveries, all contributing to its unique charm.


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For simmers aiming to diversify their collection with a historically rich aircraft, the Buffalo distinguishes itself as an exceptional pick, ready for adventures that few others in its class can match.






The de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo by X-Hangar is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo

Priced at US$22.95



  • For both X-Plane 12 and 11
  • 3D cockpit
  • VR cockpit
  • Rain and wipers
  • Opening windows
  • Opening doors
  • Opening ramp
  • Yoke hides with keyboard key or press of a button on the panel
  • Steerable yoke in both 3d and VR
  • Pilot figures
  • Passenger figures
  • Static models
  • Chocks and remove before flight flags
  • Menu to hide co-pilot and other options
  • Two different loads: Passenger or Cargo
  • Cargo or passenger load displays according to load (more with more weight and less with less weight)
  • Many international liveries
  • Layers for painting your own livery
  • Garmin 540 GPS with pop out or press buttons
  • Autopilot Century 41
  • Checklist in .txt format to use in the Sim
  • User manual in .pdf format to help fly in X-Plane
  • FSE file included to fly Flight Sim Economy


  • X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
  • Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • 8 GB VRAM Minimum
  • Download Size: 311 Mb


Review System Specifications

Intel i5 10400 – 32GB RAM - Nvidia Asus RTX 3060 – Windows 10 Home 64 Bit



Aircraft Review by Dominic Smith
9th February 2024
Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).






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  • Dominic Smith changed the title to Aircraft Review: de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo by X-Hangar

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