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Aircraft review : Cherokee PA140C Modern by vFlyteAir

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Cherokee140_Modern_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Review : Cherokee PA140C Modern by vFlyteAir

 

When FlyteAir did an extremely heavy update to their Cherokee PA140C back in early March 2019, there was a some considerable discussion on the forums of a glass version or the Aspen E1000 Evolution avionics system for the Piper PA140C. VflyteAir at the time noted that they were indeed working on a glass version of the aircraft and this noted "Modern" release is that dual analog and glass EFD version.

 

But the story has become a little confusing? The "Original" PA140C had the choice of two types of instrument panels with the very basic VFR avionics panel, or the IFR full avionics suite both supplied in analog form, the aircraft was also a free update. With this "Modern" release the analog basic VFR has been dropped with the choice now of only the Glass and IFR panel, plus this is also a paid upgrade of 50% off for previous purchasers of the original aircraft.

 

The full review of the "Original" version is here: Aircraft Update : Cherokee PA140C Original v3 by vFlyteAir

 

The review is mostly 90% of the same aircraft in details and design, so that review is still valid to the changes that will be noted here, so to read through that review would be a good idea before reading through this version, however (it is confusing) as the Original aircraft is now unavailable to purchase, which is a bit of a strange situation if you still wanted the VFR capabilities of that aircraft, and many of the original authentic panel changes here would also favour using the older machine, I hope both versions can be restored. In this review we will note the differences as well as the changes that have been instigated between the two versions.

 

Cherokee PA140C Modern by vFlyteAir

 

Cherokee140Modern - Head 1.jpgCherokee140Modern - Head 2.jpgCherokee140Modern - Head 3.jpgCherokee140Modern - Head 4.jpg

 

Externally the aircraft is exactly the same as it's predecessor, extreme hi-quality design and detailing, we noted that for VFlyteAir their original Cherokee 140C was a breakthrough aircraft and into that ultra quality design category, for that nothing has changed, this is an extremely well done machine.

 

External choices are still the same with static elements of chocks, engine inlet and pitot covers and the choice of having the wheels exposed or covered, as the 150 horsepower (112 kW) Lycoming O-320-E2A engine (noted as 140) is not exactly the most powerful puller, so the wheel covers shown will give you a little drag.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Head 5.jpgCherokee140Modern - Head 6.jpg

 

Fully animated pilot and optional female co-pilot replacing the original male are also visible, the choice to have the female visible in the cockpit is an option as well.

 

Looking inside the Modern 140C and the new glass panel installation is now evident...

 

Cherokee140Modern - Panel 1.jpgCherokee140Modern - Panel 2.jpg

 

...  and at first glance it is a clash between the vintage with the modern, the PA-28 Cherokee is an aircraft from the early sixties, the blank flat metal instrument panel and almost stick like yokes show the aircraft's build period, but the addition of the Aspen glass system changes the perception.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Panel 3.jpgCherokee140Modern - Panel 4.jpg

 

First let us clarify the differences between the instrument panels, you can switch via the selections on the instrument panel on each side of the avionics stack, you can also switch them over in the menu as well. First change is that the analog panel has now gone back again to the old, old beige colour, were as the original VFR and IFR versions were both in dark colours. Gone also is the early seventies molded facia as it is now back to the flat plain metal.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Panel 5.jpgCherokee140Modern - Panel 6.jpg

 

Biggest changes besides the obvious insert of the Aspen EFD are around the avionic stacks, I will show both below from the older VFR (left) and the IFR (right)...

 

Cherokee140_XP11_VFR 2.jpgCherokee140_XP11_iFR 2.jpg

 

...  to the new glass (left below) and new IFR (right below). In the changes a lot of the original authentic radio sets have been tossed out and replaced mostly with default avionics. The loss of the VFR version means we lose both that lovely PS Engineering PAR200A radio with bluetooth, and below was an authentic TKM MX300 Com panel, although dated the RC RT-359A 300 XPDR Aircraft Transponder that was lovely to use is gone as well.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Panel 7.jpgCherokee140Modern - Panel 8.jpg

 

In the Modern version you have the usual standard KMA 24 com panel, PS Engineering PAR200A radio with bluetooth, Garmin GNS 430 (the RealityXP GTN650 or G430 plugins (purchased separately) can also be inserted here). COM2/NAV2 radio is now a Narco Mk12D, but still original. The rest of the stack is the usual standard Garmin GTX 327 transponder, Fifty-Five S-TEC (noted as V-TEC) autopilot, ADF V-King (sic) KR 87 and bottom a V-King KN 62 DME unit. So you lose also on the IFR the Avidyne AXP 340 transponder which had six different functions and also the highly featured Bendix/King KAP 140 autopilot.

 

The glass version has the less attractive but more functional PS Engineering PAR7000B radio with bluetooth, Garmin GNS 430, standard KX 165 COM2/NAV2 radio, same GTX 327 transponder, same Fifty-Five S-TEC and the same KR 87 ADF and KN 62 DME units.

 

Instruments

Like a magician with the ball under a cup trick, the instruments on the original (below left) have been moved around the panel to fit in the Aspen unit...

 

Cherokee140Modern - Panel 9.jpgCherokee140Modern - Panel 10.jpg

 

On the right side the clock has been moved to be under the Gyro Suction dial, then below has been added in the Voltmeter. The Datcon Hobbs meter has also been replaced by the ADF pointer. The RPM gauge and the six engine gauges in a block cover left and right fuel tanks, amperage, oil pressure, temperature and fuel pressure are per PA-28 standard.

 

Left pilot side panel...   first the VFR, Standard-Six instruments are a more modern standard layout, with Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial (with course) and Vertical Speed Indicator are all correct and present, VOR OBS (Nav2) dial completes the setup. A flap position indicator is far left and the trim indicator is top right, the instrument and avionic brightness knobs are new on the top as well.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Panel 11.jpgCherokee140Modern - Panel 12.jpg

 

The glass version has analog instruments in backup mode, with the Airspeed and Altimeter on the left, and the Artificial Horizon and same VOR OBS on the right of the Aspen display. As with all the 140C's the circuit breakers are all active and the power and external lighting switches are on the lower shelf.

 

Aspen E1000 Evolution Flight Display

But what we all came to this aircraft for is the electronic glass primary flight display, this is the Aspen E1000 Evolution by Mario Donick.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 1.jpgCherokee140Modern - Aspen 2.jpg

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 3.jpgCherokee140Modern - Aspen 4.jpg

 

The unit pops-out as well, and can be moved but only in a 3d context and not in a window scale or movement, so it sorts of bends around you on an axis. So you will need to get the best field of view degree to get the right access. But good and highly detailed the glass instrument is.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 5 LG.jpg

 

I am a really big fan of the Apsen E1000 unit EFD, but this Donick version is the most detailed yet.

 

So what is so special about the Aspen EFD1000?   It is a very compact but highly functional pro display that is split into three sections with at the very top section is your speed and height in the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and Artificial Horizon with a built in pitch and rate of turn indicator that also comes with both airspeed and altitude tapes (switchable on/off.)

In the middle section is your TAS/GS speeds, OAI (Outside Air Pressure), Wind direction/speed and Baro.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 6 LG.jpg

 

In the lower section is the Navigation Display with 360°/ARC heading, and we are not finished there either as there is a Map function as well..
Left tuning dial (knob) is for CRS (Course) and IAS (Speed). Right tuning dial (knob) is for HDG Heading, Target Altitude, Baro Pressure adjustment

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 7.jpgCherokee140Modern - Aspen 8.jpg


Blue is set and Magenta is for adjusting, the selection is changed by pressing the in centre of the tuning knobs.

 

Minimums (height) can be set also via the right knob and is displayed in the upper section, but like the Baro you have to select it from the side menu that has two 1/2 pages of selections. 1: Page Select, MIN, 360 and Baro. 2: has NXRD (Weather), TFCU (Traffic) and again Baro

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 11.jpgCherokee140Modern - Aspen 10.jpg

 

MENU (Preferences): There is a Menu button to access the menu selections, these include...  TPS (Tapes) on/off, VSPEEDS on/off, Baro (in or mB), AUTOCRS (Auto-Course) DECLTR LVL (De-clutter Level).

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 12.jpgCherokee140Modern - Aspen 13.jpg

 

+ RNG (Range) : for the map display - When adjusting the range it is shown by green bars on the far lower left.

 

Cherokee140Modern - Aspen 14 LG.jpg

 

The centre three selection buttons select (right to left) Single-line Pointer (VOR1, VOR2, GPS1) – CDI source (BLANK, VLOC1, GPS1) – Double-line Pointer (VOR1, VOR2, GPS1). Data displayed is excellent, with all frequencies, distances and waypoint ICAO.

 

The EFD 1000 is excellent clear and thankfully bright, but it comes two oddities, one is the EFD brightness is adjusted by the RADIO brightness knob instead of the PANEL knob, and two the Baro selection only works when the panel is popped out?

 

Flying the Piper Modern

vFlyteAir's Piper 140C is one of the very best general aviation simulations you can get in X-Plane11, bar none. The feel, feedback and the sheer dynamics of the aircraft are about as good as you will ever get...

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 1.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 2.jpg

 

... in an aircraft and right down to its totally authentic real sounds are taken from a real PA-28 donor aircraft N3466K based at Bulverde Airpark, (1T8) San Antonio Texas with a build serial number of 28-209040. The donor aircraft is of course an analog machine, but the performance and dynamics are all the 66K.

 

So what makes the perfect simulation. It is really in the fine details, the way the aircraft handles, the way you can realistically trim the aircraft, the way you interact with the controls, and for instance here is the different power settings and feedback you get from the adjustments of not only the engine's mixture (Rich to Lean) but the effects of those adjustments in power but for the throttle input as well, adjust the mixture and you have to then adjust the throttle to compensate for more or less power, you really have to fly very realistically in this 140C.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 3.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 4.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 5.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 6.jpg

 

This aircraft just wants to make you trim it, and that is just for the sheer realism of it all....  pitch adjustments on the panel are reflected on the roof, and the chrome the handle is your adjustment tool, but obviously it is too hard to turn that and fly the aircraft correctly. So trim key input are required. Ditto the rudder trim, which is hidden under the centre of the panel, not too bad to adjust, but very hard to see the washer sized adjustment indicator, but beautifully done it all is.

 

Avitab is available and charts as well if you have a Navigraph account and again in 3d movement. Another feature is using the CWS on the Fifty-Five autopilot...  called "Control Wheel Steering" and again a key input is required, it will disconnect the autopilot to allow you to adjust the heading and height, then just reset S-Tec to continue.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 7.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 8.jpg

 

Disconnecting the AP cannot be done on the unit, the only way to disconnect the servos are with the red button on the left hand yoke handle...

...   and in some ways the S-Tec is a slight backward step from the use of the KAP 140, you can't for example disconnect the HDG or ALT (instead use the CWS), that was much easier on the KAP 140 because of its more versatile and accessible setup, the aircraft comes with the S-Tec Laminar manual to however get the best out of the new autopilot.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 9.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 10.jpg

 

Apsen EFD is however brilliant, with some very good built in features and details, two highlights are the excellent Vertical Speed strips, that display only in use, in either climbing or descending (shown below left), or the vSpeeds on the speed tape. It does wonder in the now restricted setup on the 3d pop-up ckecklist menu, as all the other vFlyteAir aircraft have excellent Weight & Balance sheets, and with the new EFD the 140C just begs for the same with the adjusted vSpeeds shown.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 11.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 12.jpg

 

EFD is highly intuitive for use, it easily becomes second nature to use all of its excellent tools in flight, and because I think it tries to find the balance between what you need and the excess of too many options like with the G1000 installations, and that smaller sometimes is better as everything is grouped and central focused unlike the analog and G1000 layouts as just one look gives you all the information you need.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 13.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 14.jpg

 

Flying is so natural, you are really in tune with the machine, with the excellent dynamics and now the EFD it is a great experience. Arrival at KHAF's runway 12, it was a slight bank into the line up with the centreline, working the throttle to maintain height...

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 15.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 17.jpg

 

...  you have to be very aware of your landing speed, officially they note the landing speed around 65 knts and full flap and yes the 140C feels very comfortable there at that speed, stall is around 47 knts...

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 16.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 18.jpg

 

...    but I found the stall higher at around 53 knts, but to land at 65 knts feels very fast, and if you don't get the flare right the PA-28 will easily bounce, and even at 60 knts you were losing height and moving too fast, they do note to however to land directly into the wind, which may help with the drag and the speed. Okay so I had another go, this time I got the speed down to 50 knts on final and as low as 47 knts on touchdown, but it felt far better and I didn't bounce, but that number is awfully close to the stall speed.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 19.jpg

 

Did I mention practise, then if not then you will need to refine the skills in the landings to get it perfect which is quite achievable with this aircraft.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 20.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 21.jpg

 

The 140C is simply awesome to fly, and the feedback in every area delivered is simply superb. Overall that EFD installation is a major plus.

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Flying 22.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Flying 23.jpg

 

Liveries

With this Modern version ALL the ten liveries except for the blank and vFlyteAir branded livery are new...  the donor N3466K livery has been retired

 

Cherokee140_Modern_Livery Blank.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery vFlyteAir.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery C-FTUV.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery G-AVLF.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N5597U.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N5785U.jpg

Cherokee140_Modern_Livery N6091U.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N7017R.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N70225Z.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N7083R.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N15450.jpgCherokee140_Modern_Livery N95266.jpg

 

____________________________________________

 

Summary

The "Modern" Piper Cherokee 140C replaces the earlier "Original" version with the excellent Mario Donick Aspen E1000 Evolution EFD avionics suite, and an outstanding glass instrument it is, with deep features including vSpeeds and Vertical speeds, and all the required menus and flying tools are included.

 

The transition from the Modern from the Original version you do however lose a bit of the "well original" layouts. The VFR version is gone, and the IFR version has also been changed to a flat panel facia and away from the lovely molded version and changed most of those lovely authentic custom avionics to more the default Laminar default versions, personally both versions can easily live side by side for your ultimate four layout choice, so why discard it? I am quite sure many who have already the Original version will quite if happily if vehemently will hang on to it, for the upgrade to this EFD version you will also have to pay 50% more in the swap.

 

In dynamics this amazing Piper PA-28 is one of the very best simulations in X-Plane, if one of the best general aviation aircraft in the simulator, a yoke and throttle system (use the second throttle lever as the mixture lever) to get extreme engine feedback, FMOD sounds are total realism from a donor aircraft, detail and modeling is excellent, but the menu layout is now feeling quite restricted and missing a lot that could elevate the aircraft more, mainly the missing weight & balance sheet and better control of passengers and weights, the pilot still intrudes visually.

 

Yes the vFlyteAir Cherokee 140C is certainly the best flying experience you can get, the added Aspen EFD just adds in far more now into the mix, and the aircraft certainly is well placed in that ultra general aviation category. This a huge favorite aircraft for me and now fitted with my favorite avionic suite I get both experiences in the one aircraft....  hugely recommended but I will keep the original for that odd day VFR flying as well.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

The Piper Cherokee PA140C Modern by VFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


vFlyteAir Cherokee 140 Modern

 

Priced at US$27.95

 

If you already own the Original Cherokee PA140 then you can update to this Modern X-Plane11 version for 50% of the cost price, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the voucher

 

Requirements:
X-Plane 11 (XP 11.30+)
Windows, Mac or Linux
4GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Release and Review Version 1.0 (August 15th 2019)
Download Size: 486MB
 
Features
  • - X-Plane 11 Optimized
  • - Animated rain and ice effects courtesy of the librain plugin
  • - Both panel options include audio panel, Garmin GPS, COM2/NAV2 radio, transponder, “VTEC 55” autopilot, DME and ADF
  • - Pop-out kneeboard has Options and re-fueling functionality
  • - Integrated support for RealityXP(tm) GTN650 or G430 plugins (purchased separately)
  • - Integrated support for the AviTab plugin (download from X-Plane.org)
  • - Aspen glass panel option has a pop-out Aspen E1000 for easier viewing in VR
  • - Full support for VR flight
  • - FMOD sounds
  • - Ultra-res PBR textures
  • - 12 liveries included
  • - Fully animated 3D model
  • - 3D volumetric prop effects
  • - Animated copilot and pilot figures
  • - Supports XChecklist
  • - VR optimized
Included with the Model:
  • - Fully illustrated User Manual
  • - librain plugin is included - no need to download
  • - 12 liveries including a blank white
  • - STEC 55 Autopilot Manual by Laminar Research
 

Installation and documents:

Download for the Piper Cherokee PA140C Modern is 486 mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.31 Gb.

 

Documentation: Excellent manual including performance and detailed tutorial, S-Tec Laminar manual also included

 

  • S-TEC Autopilot Manual.pdf
  • vflyteair_cherokee140_modern_manual_v1.0.pdf
  • vFlyteAir_LimitedUseSoftwareAgreement.pdf

______________________________________________________________________

 

Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 

20th August 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 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.35 (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 US$69.90 : Avitab pdf viewer - Free : Navigraph - Subscription

Scenery or Aircraft

- KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00



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Windshield rain effect does not work properly in VR, only shown on left lens which is a big let down to an other wise good package so not full support for VR as advertised

its a shame that most developers have not cracked rain effects for VR yet unlike X-Aviation's TMB-900 and Zibo 737-800X which works really well in VR so its not impossible.

 

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Librain is still under development, and has it's quirks, even the best developers find things they can't control (see Saab 340), worse for VR...  the next update should fix a lot of the issues, when it happens.

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The Original 140 was taken off the X-Plane.Org Store for some reason, and yes it is available directly from the developer, but I think they both can be supported long term on the Store.

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