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Military Aircraft Review : North American T-6G Texan by Khamsin Studios & Philip Ubben

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Military Aircraft Review : North American T-6G Texan by Khamsin Studios & Philip Ubben


The extent of the full impression of the effects of the North American T-6G Texan are hidden behind the diversity of the models and the different variations of the original aircraft. Not only for the American Air Force and Naval services "SNJ". But the British Commonwealth versions under the "Harvard" moniker, and localised variations of the Australian CAC Wirraway and Canada's Noorduyn, and it was even developed later into the North American P-64, altogether there has been 15,495 aircraft built, and it had an operational life of 60 Years (1935 to 1995). No small feat for a trainer aircraft.


Modified as the NA-26, it was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat Trainer " aircraft competition in March 1937. The T-6 was based on the NA-18, but with a foot longer wingspan, it was the first of the NA-16 series with retractable gear. It was similar to the BT-9, but with a larger engine, the 550 hp (410 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, and could accommodate two .30 in (7.62 mm) guns.


Khamsin Studios is already known for classic WW2 aircraft, like his last release of the Mustang P-51, But lately he has mostly been working alongside of Philip Ubben, and in the releases of Helicopters like the SA 315B Lama, and now again here in unison with this X-Plane 12 release of the legendary T-6G Texan.


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The T-6 Texan is a two-seater, dual-controlled, single-engine trainer. Solo flight is permitted only from the front cockpit because of restricted visibility from the rear seat and inadequate controls in the rear cockpit. On training flights, the student uses the front cockpit while the instructor occupies the rear, except for instrument training when the student occupies the rear seat. The aircraft incorporates a steerable tail wheel, but not a free castoring rear wheel.


Khamsin is a long time developer for the X-Plane Simulator, so design quality is actually expected, and he does deliver it in spades. Notable is that when X-Plane 12 is the only priority (there will be no X-Plane 11 version). You can use these advanced uprated effects and the lighting to deliver a better all round visual impact. All pure X-Plane 12 aircraft have this quality sheen, but still the talent of the developer is required to make it work in creating this extreme realism that X-Plane 12 can deliver. Here is it excellent, you feel the construction of the aircraft, and the rivets and paneling that goes into the creating the best overall effect. Notable is the excellent reproduction of the R-1340 Wasp, and the huge maul of the front of the aircraft to accommodate it


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Central hub and propeller (Two bladed, constant-speed Hamilton Standard) are intricately modeled here, as are all the air-cooled nine circular cylinders of the Wasp engine.


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In payware aircraft you expect this sort of high quality detail, almost is regarded as a benchmark to the current state of the Simulator. But still you marvel on how really good it all is, how far the developer has come in being able to deliver a quality of this high standard for you to enjoy and use.


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It is all brilliantly conceived and delivered in detail and authenticity here, you can spend ages just admiring it all. Note the excellent hydraulic lines in the gear bay, lovely deep cross-treaded tyres add to the realism, as does the simple strut arrangement of the main gear.


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Glass in the canopy frame is excellent, better is if you look for the mottled effect in certain lighting conditions, shows again the highlighted realism of the glass.


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Looking inside and the detail is certainly the pre-war period, but it is still quite comprehensive for a basic trainer aircraft. Notable is the fact that the T-6 Texan was created to replicate heavier service aircraft, to get the same feel and handling as the front line machines, not for just a trainee rookie pilot in taking their first steps in flight. The T-6 is far more up the grade than that, even in other roles as a combat aircraft itself, if only in a lightweight role.


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As noted the student goes up in the front, the instructor in the rear. But the differences between the two positions are not that much different, bar the aircraft's systems and radios. You feel and see more of the aircraft's frame in the rear, but otherwise they are not that much dissimilar.


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You sit on your parachute in the metal tub, stick and rudder pedals are all very heavy duty, but it's a very realistic cockpit to be in....


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First view looks complicated, but the instruments and controls are all really very standard in their placement and use, so you will soon adjust to the layout. Fuel cock, Landing gear, Trims and Throttle/Mixture/RPM are on the left, right side are the Electrical switches, lighting and fuses (non-active, all DC circuits).


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Forward the instrument panel is a mixture of instruments, but you can sort of mentally place them, in flying instruments centre left, and engine readouts centre right, with a compass headup front. With the exception of the hydraulic pressure gauge, which is installed only in the front cockpit. A suction gauge is also provided in each cockpit. The gyro horizon, directional gyro, and turn-and-bank indicator are all operated by the engine-driven vacuum system. The airspeed indicator is operated by the pitot and static systems, and the altimeter, and rate-of-climb indicator are operated by the static system.


Top level includes (LtoR); Nav 1 Pointer, Airspeed (MPH), Adjustable Compass, Artificial Horizon/ Bank Rate, Manifold Pressure. Second row; Back up Compass, Heading, Altitude, Rate of Turn, V/S Vertical Speed, Engine RPM, Carb Temp. Third Row; Ignition Switch, Suction, Pointer, Accelerometer G, Clock, Oil Temperature and Pressure, Fuel Quantity , Cylinder Head Temperature  and (Outside) Air Temperature ... 


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....   far right is the Ampere, and far left lower is the Hydraulic Pressure Gauge. Primer knob is centre right with external lights lower, right lower is the COMM1 and NAV1 radio, with a Transponder set below.


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Rear seat instrument layout is almost identical, except for radios and transponder.


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Immediately right of the forward pilot is a "Data Case"...  inside is the Tablet/Menu, that when activated (hotspot) is positioned upper left of the pilot. It has five tabs; AviTab, Ground operations, Other options, Sounds and About.


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Five buttons on the right side of the bezel covers; Power, (not working), AVI (Not Working), XPL (close tablet), Brightness (brighter, darker and again not working).


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AviTab we will look at in a minute....  Ground operations is the default screen...  here you can change the T-6G aircraft options, including a Prop "Spinner".


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"Early or Late" Canopy


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VHF and ADF aerials


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SNJ hook...  activation knob is right side pilot seat


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Gear doors and Wheel covers


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Bottom left is the adjustable Left or Right Wing "Fuel" Weight in Kgs or Lbs


Other options


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Here there are six options.... first one is to "Show (rear) Copilot". Both pilot heads are animated, and are very realistic, and in flight the actions are different to ground...  but both pilots are the same character.


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Second and third options are the Canopy and Instrument reflections (on/off). Fourth option is an "Autostart" to start the aircraft automatically, this also adds in the "Speech" Option, that will talk you through the engine startup procedure...  last Option is to have the "Fuel Switcher" ON or in auto mode.


Sounds & About

Both pages are first the standard X-Plane "Sound" levels, and the the "About" information of the different areas of work by each developer in Khamsin and Ubben...   the aircraft version number is shown here as well.


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The AviTab Tablet as we have shown is also available (plugin required), it is the standard AviTab layout and tools, but you can rotate a chart from Portrait to Landscape...  quality is not very good at chart distance.


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Eleven Liveries provided by Khamsin, and all are quite exceptional for authenticity. TA-127 is the default, but included are Big Red, G-TSIX, Lagarto, Popeye, Marines, RCAF, Spanish Lady and the famous Harvard (RAF) "Wacky Rabbit". Plus there is a "Bare Metal" aircraft.


T-6G Texan Livery Bare Metal.jpgT-6G Texan Livery TA-127.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Big Red.jpgT-6G Texan Livery G-TSIX.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Lagarto.jpgT-6G Texan Livery N2983.jpgT-6G Texan Livery N29931 Popeye.jpgT-6G Texan Livery N969RH Marines.jpgT-6G Texan Livery RCAF 421.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Spanish Lady.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Wacky Rabbit.jpg


Flying the T-6G

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Starting up a Warbird is never easy, the sequence here is still a procedure to be religiously followed, but tricky if not done correctly. Officially you first select a fuel tank containing some fuel with the fuel tank selector. Then use the hand fuel pump to build up some fuel pressure (the pressure gauge should read more than 1 psi for the primer to work). Push the mixture lever to fully forward. Use the primer to pump at least 1 stroke. (Because over-priming isn't simulated in this first release you could pump some more strokes before hitting the starter and the engine might not need any further priming after startup. Now continue to use the primer it always seems to die until the rpm does stabilises around 700rpm. (You can either wait until the rpm does drop significantly before each new primer stroke or just pump a few fast strokes until the rpm won't drop anymore.).


Tricky is the use of the primer...  First you have to "Unlock" it? this is done via a hotspot arrow, hidden in the top section of the pump handle, then you can unlock and pump or prime the engine. Don't forget to relock the pump when the engine is running. Highly notable is that the engine start switch is a pedal set between the rudder pedals!


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If you don't want the palaver of awakening a grumpy old engine into life, then you have the "Autostart" Option on the menu, which is very good with it's vocal patter over the start operation...  Highly realistic are cylinder (firing!) startup sounds as you feel the inconsistent firing, then the cycle of igniting the fuel, which is then produced as an effect out of the exhaust... it is really all well done and realistic.


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The prop settles down to a very authentic clatter in idle... sounds are very, very authentic as noted... A small note in using the "Auto" startup feature, is that make sure your throttle is set upwards, beyond the idle point, if not when the "auto" sequence finishes, then the engine will just "conk" out and stop again, not too much, to give it too much power, but enough to fuel the engine until it warms up.


The mixture range (lean-rich) is extremely small, have the mixture set too high and the T-6G will taxi very fast, too low and it just shuts the engine down...  but there is fine mixture window between the two settings, were you can get a controllable taxi speed... it is worth finding.


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So the taxi is nice if can find your comfort zone, but tricky in that the turn circle is one of the widest I have found in a long time, you can help it along of course with a few pumps of the left or right toe-brake, but in reality it is a wide turning circle. You can of course push the stick forward to unlock the tail-wheel, pull the stick back again to lock it. It sorta works, but I found that tapping the toe-brakes in the direction you want to turn was a better way of pulling off the tighter turn circle.


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Adjust the mixture for more power, and your ready to go...


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The Pratt & Whitney R-1340 is the larger (louder) engine here, and it sounds glorious with the power on, tricky though is the extremely light tail, once it lifts the aircraft will shimmy badly, and it needs a lot of skill to control, it feels too light to me... so is it the X-Plane dynamics or just developer tuning... of course tail-draggers a tricky to fly (takeoff), but the T-6G seems too unrealistic at this point? 


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Once clear and you enjoy the highly realistic gear stowage, first one strut moves, then it stops to allow the other strut to retract, then finishes the operation....  very good.


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Once airborne, you feel the weight of the Texan, but also the restricted power to climb? Rate of climb is noted at 1,200 ft/min (6.1 m/s), but you never get even close to that climb rate?


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Push the Wasp or put it on a high throttle for more power and the engine gives in spectacularly!


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So you have to keep the RPM well out of the red zone, around 20 (lower green band) to stop it exploding, so this highly restricts your climb rate.


Performance is a Maximum speed: 208 mph (335 km/h, 181 kn) at 5000 ft (1,500 m), a Cruise speed of 145 mph (233 km/h, 126 kn) and a Range: 730 mi (1,170 km, 630 nmi). The Service ceiling is24,200 ft (7,400 m).


Important is getting your Trims right. The Rudder Trim is the most important, then sorting it out to the right level with the Elevator Trim. Get both right and the T-6G will find the correct balance to fly manually. Important to get correct as there are no artificial helper's here, with no Autopilot installed, the Texan is a pure manual flying machine...  would I like an autopilot? that aspect is debatable, but I like authenticity over modern features.


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Once sorted the T-6G is excellent in the air, a bit heavy (ponderous?) but extremely nice to fly and to manoeuvre with great sounds coming at you from the nose...


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The view from the Instructors station is excellent, but missing is the forward (animated) student pilot, having the choice to have the forward pilot visible (like with the Aermacchi M-346) would be a nice feature here.


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Cockpit internal lighting quite is basic, there are two fluorescent lights in the instrument panel and lights on each side panel. The T-6G does have a load more lighting features, including a full panel for "Recognition Lights" but none are operable or not done yet.


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That said, it looks very good internally and externally in the cockpit.


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External lighting is basic as well...  there are two inset wing landing lights, navigation lights and that is about it, there is "Strobe" switch, but it doesn't work...  so again in areas it feels there is still work to be done on the lighting overall. What is here however is very good


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Time to land...  so I reduce the speed.


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Flaps are noted in 0 - 10 - 20 - 30 - 40 - 50 steps, but the reality is they are only three degree phases, 0 - 22 (ish) - 50 (full)...  125 MPH is the limit, but a full Flap will give you a level flying speed of around 100 MPH.


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I found the Texan very stable in the approach phase, quite easy to focus on the runway and keep a straight line in that same focus.


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Down goes the gear and the speed is reduced to 90 knts, notable is the drag effect on the gear when deployed, so you have to throttle up a little to account for that extra drag...


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I loved this approach phase, I was very, very deep into the aircraft and flying it as smoothly as I could.


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As I reached the threshold, I lifted (flared) the nose to rub off the speed, I didn't want to do a three-pointer, but still wanted the tail as low as it could be possible.


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A touch, then another... and I am down. Again the yaw was tricky until the speed had reduced and the tail was happily down, it takes a little practise to get it right with the rudder and toe-brakes, but its a foible to learn with these sort of low rear aircraft.


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Your thought go out to those naval boys, landing this aircraft on a shifting carrier deck, you can practise that of course in X-Plane, but I guarantee it was be a very tough challenge to get it right...  Overall this was an excellent machine.



Khamsin Studio's is already known for classic WW2 aircraft, like his last release of the Mustang P-51, But he has mostly lately been working alongside of Philip Ubben, and in the releases of Helicopters like the SA 315B Lama, and now again here in unison with this X-Plane 12 release of the T-6G Texan.


Modified as the NA-26, it was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat Trainer " aircraft competition in March 1937. The T-6 was based on the NA-18, but with a foot longer wingspan, it was the first of the NA-16 series with retractable gear. It was similar to the BT-9, but with a larger engine, the 550 hp (410 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, and could accommodate two .30 in (7.62 mm) guns.


This is another exquisite design from Khamsin Studio, X-Plane 12 delivers very high quality aircraft, and this T-6G Texan is no exception, it is beautifully created and detailed, with a perfect soundscape and sound panel. Features are basic, with "Early" or "Late" canopies, Prop Spinner, VHF and ADF aerials, Gear doors and Wheel covers and SNJ tailhook (naval), excellent animated pilots are also included but only the rear can be hidden, front pilot would be nice visible if flying from the rear Instructor position. Popup menu also includes automated start procedure with vocal instructions, and the built in AviTab, but there is no autopilot or any helpers here.


Everything is very, very authentic to this extensive service (60 Years) trainer aircraft and a few went into service (combat) as well, so you get that very genuine article feel and use of this very unique aircraft.


It is certainly a huge credit to the skills of the developer of what they have delivered here, but totally authentic as well. Khamsin and Ubben have a very high record and a high regard in what they deliver in aircraft for the X-Plane 12 simulator, this T-6G Texan is no exception. But again you feel and use the step forward in quality and effects that dedicated X-Plane 12 designed aircraft deliver, it is quite extraordinary in what is now achieved in Simulation...  This T-6G Texan is another banner aircraft to show off those highlights...    Highly Recommended. 



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The North American T-6G Texan XP12 by Khamsin Studio and Philip Ubben is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here:


North American T-6G Texan XP12

Price is US$32.95



X-Plane 12  (not for XP11)
Windows , MAC or Linux 
8GB + VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 460 MB
Current version: 1.1 (March 25th 2024)
Aircraft download is 456Mb, and unpacked, then installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 636Mb. No authorization on startup is required.
  • manual_t6g_khamsin_XP12
  • quick_start_t6g_khamsin

The provided manual (31 Pages) is excellent in being a notated original T-6 authentic manual, Quick Start (2 Pages) is mostly flying tips...


T-6G Texan Flight Manual.jpgT-6G Texan Quick Start Manual.jpg

Designed by Khamsin Studio and Philip Ubben


Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review).

Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00

Scenery or Aircraft

- KTCM - McChord AFB  - Seattle - Boeing Country 10.5 by Tom Curtis (Sorry not now available)


Military Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

26th March 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 copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved


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Note: it’s all too-easy to miss the “Move stick forward to unlock the tail wheel” placard top center of the T-6 panel.
Moving the stick near full-forward while taxiing WILL unlock the tail wheel which makes tight taxi turns or pirouettes a breeze. 
What’s nice is if your unlocked tail wheel turn is a bit too rapid, just ease the stick backwards to re-lock the tail wheel to within a max angle of +/-15° and that’ll arrest the rapid turn rate.


I’ve found that the take-offs are much more sedate and not “squirrelly” at all if you limit manifold pressure to 32” max. That way you’ll not be fighting the torque so much as well as not overboosting the engine. Push the MP over 36” and your engine will produce prodigious smoke on the ground and exhaust flames if airborne, as well as surely lose a good bit of power. 

If the engine hasn’t been damaged by overboosting it, at 32” MP and 2250 RPM, 3/4 fuel load, near sea level, the T-6G should climb at pretty close to 1200 FPM. Keeping an eye on the MP more so than the RPM is critical in the T-6.

Not sure I’d characterize the AT-6G flight characteristics as “ponderous.” I’d say more like steady and predictable. At 25”MP and 2000 RPM she’ll do fairly rapid snap rolls and beautiful loops all day long.  

As one wag put it, “the T-6 Texan is built like a Kenworth but handles like a Ferrari.” I agree. 🙂

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