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Aircraft Plugin Review: Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver by Simcoders

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Thranda DC2 REP_Header.jpg


Aircraft Plugin Review: Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver by Simcoders

By Michael Hayward

The de Havilland DHC-2 "Beaver" is a well-loved high-wing propeller aircraft that was produced in Canada from 1947–1967. With over 1,600 units produced, many continue to grace the skies today, demonstrating exceptional performance in rugged terrains and on water with the addition of floats.

In 2020, Thranda released their rendition of the DHC-2 for X-Plane, later updating it for X-Plane 12 compatibility. This model has garnered praise for its attention to detail and realism, as highlighted in Stephen’s thoroughly detailed review.

This review takes a closer examination of the Reality Expansion Pack (REP) by SimCoders for the Thranda DHC-2. This enhancement introduces a plethora of features and adjustments that elevate the aircraft’s realism beyond its original release. It includes a virtual economy system and improved flight checks, offering a more immersive flying experience.

Having had some experience with the aircraft prior to the expansion pack, I am keen to explore the depth of enhancements SimCoders has integrated. Let's delve deeper, shall we?


It's a tricky installation, because you are installing a package (REP) on top of another package (Thranda DC-2). Then have to blend them together. Note that you will need the original DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series XP12 Package to install this Add-On. First you will need to duplicate the Thranda DC2 aircraft to create a secondary aircraft file folder...


When downloaded in the REP Package, there are two Folders, a read-me installation pdf and a REP user Manual.


Thranda DC2 REP_Install 1.jpg

One folder "Into-aircraft-main-folder" goes into the main DC-3 Beaver root folder. It will ask you to overwrite two files...


Thranda DC2 REP_Install 2.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Install 3.jpg


Second install folder is the "Into-aircraft-plugins-folder" which is put in the Thranda DC-2 Plugins folder.


Thranda DC2 REP_Install 4.jpg


On Startup of the REP-Thranda DC-2, you will be asked to authorise (Enable) two items, both the original Thranda DC-2 Aircraft, and the separate REP Pack...  this is done via the REP Pack menu in the Plugins folder.... "Enable package"


Thranda DC2 REP_Install 5.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Install 6.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Install 8.jpg


Then the REP Installation process is completed.


Thranda DC2 REP_Install 7.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Install 9.jpg


When installed the REP Menus are accessed via both the side quick "Pop-out Menu", and the more detailed menu in the "Plugins Menu".


Thranda DC2 REP_Install 10.jpg


The Pop-out Menu has Six Options; Show Checklists, Show Fuel Management, Toggle Walkaround Mode, Toggle Low Mode, Toggle Maintenance report and Engine autostart...  these items are reflected in the Plugin Menu. 


Added options in the Plugin Menu include; Settings, Wear out to (Brand New, Privately Owned - New, Privately Owned - Old, Flying Club), Check Fuel Price at airport, Toggle Static Elements, Disable Package and About.

 Key Features Overview

SimCoders have introduced several key enhancements to the Thranda DHC-2 with their expansion pack, each designed to deepen the simulation experience.

A hallmark of X-Plane is its ability to replicate realistic flight dynamics, significantly influenced by the aircraft’s airfoil shape. In this expansion, considerable effort has been invested in refining the DHC-2’s flight behaviour. This includes modifications to stall speeds, climb and cruise speeds, weight distribution, and balance, as well as enhancements to taxiing behaviour, contributing to a more authentic feeling, both on the ground and in the air.

Included in the expansion is an economy system that allows pilots to accumulate virtual currency through completed flights. This currency can then be allocated towards fuel purchases and aircraft maintenance, enriching the Beaver experience with an added layer of strategy and management.

Another notable feature is an enriched walkaround system, enabling pilots to conduct thorough pre-flight inspections outside the aircraft, enhancing the realism of pre-flight preparations.

A significant overhaul detailed by SimCoders is the re-engineering of the engine system. By replacing the default engine with a custom-designed alternative, they introduce a range of factors for pilots to consider and manage. This, along with modifications to the electrical systems and battery configurations, will be discussed further in this review.

Additional improvements include simulation state changes, maintenance protocols, and pilot behaviour adjustments, all aiming to mirror the lifelike intricacies of operating a DHC-2.

These enhancements collectively serve to elevate the simulation experience, introducing a variety of real-world considerations into virtual flight that offer a comprehensive and educational exploration into the mechanics of flight.


Thranda DC2 REP_Flight 1.jpg

Flight and Ground Dynamics
We begin by exploring the enhanced flight and ground dynamics of the DHC-2 Beaver. 


Thranda DC2 REP_Flight 5.jpg


Flying the Beaver is relatively straightforward, offering a smooth experience when airborne and requiring minimal pilot intervention once properly trimmed. A comfortable cruise speed is approximately 125 knots, though it's capable of reaching 140 knots at full throttle, with the propellers set to high RPM and the mixture at maximum rich. These performance figures align closely with the real aircraft, which is documented to cruise at 124 knots at 5,000 feet and can achieve a maximum cruise speed of 137 knots under ideal conditions.


Thranda DC2 REP_Flight 2.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Flight 4.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Flight 3.jpg

The aircraft's climb and descent profiles have been carefully adjusted to mirror those of the actual Beaver, with an average climb rate of about 1,000 feet per minute. Its maximum cruising altitude is noted to be 18,000 feet, adhering to the US standard for altimeters. Note the "Tips" in the REP banner, they guide you through areas that are the best to fly and maintain the Beaver in flight.

Maintenance of your aircraft is key, as parts wear down over time, directly impacting fuel efficiency and flight performance. For instance, a clogged fuel filter will manifest as reduced fuel flow on the gauges, limiting engine power. Consequently, pilots must manage their aircraft's condition and flight performance proactively to extend its operational lifespan.


Thranda DC2 REP_Maintenance 3.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Maintenance 4.jpg

The development team at SimCoders, comprised of pilots with real-world experience possibly even with the DHC-2 itself, has dedicated substantial effort to ensure the flight dynamics are as true to life as possible.

The Beaver is equipped with five ground configurations: standard tires, tundra tires, skis, floats, and amphibious floats, each altering its separate distinctive handling characteristics. With tires, it operates as a taildragger, incorporating a redesigned suspension system for smoother navigation across soft terrain. Pilots are cautioned against oversteering, as locking the wheel can lead to abrupt stops.

Water operations offer a distinct and enjoyable challenge, as the Beaver handles well on calm waters, but adverse weather can necessitate skilled corrective manoeuvres to maintain control.

Thranda DC2 REP_Float 1.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Float 2.jpg

Engine and Systems Complexity
A standout feature of the SimCoders DHC-2 Beaver expansion is the overhaul of the engine function and logic. Rather than refining the existing Thranda engine, SimCoders dismantled it to construct an entirely new engine, integrating this with their unique maintenance and damage model.

This reimagined engine now accurately reflects the performance of the Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior, the powerplant used in the aircraft. Enhancements even extend to the propeller animations, offering more realistic visuals through subtle vibrations and speed fluctuations with engine and throttle adjustments.

With the introduction of a new engine comes a detailed startup procedure. While it's technically possible to initiate a cold start, it's ill-advised due to potential wear on the engine and the need for precise priming to get it running. Instead, SimCoders added a preheater option to warm the engine chamber for a smoother start, negating the need for priming. This attention to detail includes the low-tension booster coil, critical for initiating fuel combustion during engine startup. If you don't want to do this, then there is the "Autostart" feature that does the tricky work for you...  the startup procedure is shown in a banner top of your screen, and the startup process is extremely authentic including exhaust effects.


Thranda DC2 REP_Autostart 1.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Autostart 2.jpg

Fuel and oil dynamics are more sophisticated, with temperature variations influencing fuel viscosity. This affects how easily fuel can be pumped through the system, highlighting the challenges of cold starts and the potential for fuel flooding if the engine is shut down shortly after starting. These issues can be identified during pre-flight inspections and addressed through maintenance.


Thranda DC2 REP_Maintenance 1.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Maintenance 2.jpg

Pilots must also pay close attention to the avionics state during engine startups and shutdowns to avoid damaging the systems. I learned this lesson the hard way, failing to notice my attitude indicator was inoperative after takeoff, leading to unintended banks and, subsequently, a costly virtual repair.

These intricacies significantly enrich the experience, demanding more attentive micromanagement from pilots to maintain safe and efficient aircraft operation.

Economic and Custom Systems
SimCoders introduces an economy panel for the DHC-2 Beaver, drawing parallels to virtual airlines where good flying earns points and promotions, but here, it's all about the financial health of your aircraft. This feature, while optional, adds an additional intriguing dimension to the experience, allowing pilots to manage the economic aspects of aircraft operation.

Damaged a gauge? That’ll hit your wallet. A broken flap and its linkage might just make you consider remortgaging your virtual home! The more damage your aircraft sustains, the more you’ll find yourself investing in repairs. And it doesn’t stop at repairs; even refuelling the Beaver costs, with fuel prices fluctuating based on your global location. On the lookout for savings? Word on the street is that Venezuela offers the world's most budget-friendly fuel prices! 

The economic system is designed to integrate seamlessly with well-known virtual airline platforms like FSEconomy and X-CPL-Pilot, enhancing the experience for pilots already engaged in virtual aviation careers. And you have to access, or create an "Aircraft Key" to use the Economy System...


Thranda DC2 REP_FS Economy.jpg

Another enjoyable feature is the towing system. Although straightforward, it provides a practical method for aircraft positioning on the ground. Pilots can secure the aircraft when parked and then manoeuvre it using the joystick, offering a user-friendly and realistic ground handling experience.


Thranda DC2 REP_Tow 3.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Tow 1.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Tow 2.jpg

Additionally, the Beaver is fully compatible with VR, inviting pilots to immerse themselves in a highly realistic virtual cockpit and environment, enhancing the overall experience of flying the Beaver in X-Plane.

Interactive Walkaround and Maintenance
SimCoders’ pièce de résistance in their DHC-2 Beaver expansion is the comprehensive damage engine and maintenance panel.


Operating an aircraft that has been flying for over sixty years, requires special care and attention, especially as a lot of the technology used is now dated. SimCoders emphasizes the necessity for correct pilot procedures to prevent wear and tear. An early lesson I learned is the importance of deactivating avionics during engine startups and shutdowns to avoid system failures. With the economy feature activated, repairs come with a price tag, proportional to the damage extent. The risk of overstressing parts to the point of affecting flight surfaces and potential failure highlights the significance of careful handling. Indeed, a malfunctioning Beaver is an unwelcome scenario for any pilot.
On the ground, pilots can generate and review a maintenance report detailing the aircraft's condition, including the state of engine cylinders, oil, filters, and pumps. Over time, these components degrade, presenting the pilot with repair decisions to maintain optimal performance.

A notable addition is the virtual walkaround, allowing pilots to exit the cockpit and conduct a thorough visual inspection prior to flight. This interactive feature includes a checklist for assessing potential wing damage, ensuring engine components are intact, confirming cylinder integrity, and verifying the pitot tube is clear. Successfully completing these checks ensures the aircraft is flight ready.


Thranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 1.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 2.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 7.jpg

This system not only emphasizes the necessity of maintaining operational safety but also introduces the realistic challenges and expenses associated with aircraft ownership. As systems wear and potentially fail, constant vigilance over your Beaver's condition is crucial for sustained operation.

Thranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 3.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 4.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 5.jpgThranda DC2 REP_Walkaround 6.jpg

Embarking on the journey with the Thranda Design DHC-2 Beaver, supplemented by the SimCoders Enhancement Pack REP, which introduces a captivating complexity to piloting this beloved aircraft. The addition places a significant emphasis on engine performance and maintenance management, transforming routine flights into a series of informed decisions and actions.

The degradation of components serves as a constant reminder of the aircraft’s demands, underscoring the importance of thorough management and adherence to operational protocols. Piloting the Beaver not only becomes an exercise in flying skills but also in vigilance and preventive care, ensuring longevity and reliability.

This enhancement pack enriches the original aircraft with a deeply immersive engine simulation, where even minor variations in engine startup procedures can influence the entire flight experience. This level of detail demands a more nuanced understanding and appreciation of the aircraft’s operational characteristics.

Adding to the complexity is the virtual economy feature, which introduces financial decision-making into the mix. Pilots must carefully manage their virtual funds, prioritizing repairs and maintenance to ensure the aircraft remains airworthy, while also navigating the compromises of system management.

To benefit from this comprehensive enhancement pack, pilots must have the Thranda DHC-2 Beaver for X-Plane 12 in their collection, as it is not backward compatible with X-Plane 11. For enthusiasts of the golden age of aviation who desire a hands-on, intricate flying experience, this enhancement pack is an invaluable addition, offering a richly detailed and rewarding challenge.






The...   Reality Expansion Pack REP for DHC-2 Beaver XP12 by Simcoders is available from the Org store here:


Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver XP12
On sale: $US19.99 US$13.99

You Save:$6.00(30%)



Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics

  • Realistic stall speeds & behavior
  • Correct climb speeds
  • Realistic cruise speeds
  • Real World Weight & Balance
  • Realistic taxi behavior with realistic spring-loaded/free-castoring tailwheel
  • 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 and X-CPL-Pilot
  • More info at https://www.simcoders.com/reality-expansion-pack/economy

Custom Towing System

  • Driven by the joystick/steering wheel
  • Realistic point of view (POV)
  • Interacts with tie-down and brakes

Interactive Walkaround

  • Cockpit checks
  • Lights checks
  • Engine soft cover removal
  • Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check
  • Tire check and choks removal
  • Tie-down removal
  • Pitot tube check
  • Engine cowl check
  • Floats and water rudder check

Realistic Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior Engine Logic

  • 100% Custom engine model
  • Realistic power output for given manifold pressure/RPM settings
  • Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane
  • Realistic booster coil
  • Switch between conventional and Bendix-Stromberg pressure carburetor (with automatic mixture)
  • Correct fuel consumption
  • Oil System:
  • 1. Realistic oil viscosity
  • 2. Interchangeable oil type
  • 3. Oil pump failures
  • 4. Realistic oil filter
  • Fuel System:
  • 1. Realistic wobble pump
  • 2. Realistic fuel pressure behavior
  • 3. Realistic fuel filter
  • 4. Realistic primer
  • Starter
  • Realistic startup procedure
  • Automatic startup procedure for newbies
  • Realistic engine temperatures
  • Fuel Flooding simulation
  • The engine parts wear down when not managed correctly

Engine Preheater

  • The engine may be warmed up upon start with the provided electrical heater
  • Once activated, the electrical heater runs even when you close the simulator

Realistic Landing Gear

  • The landing gear is damaged by hard landings
  • The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly
  • The steering wheel acts like the real one. Spring loaded under 35° of turn, then free castoring.

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

Popup Kneeboard

  • Normal operations checklist
  • Emergency operations checklist
  • Reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.)
  • May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures

Simulation state saving

  • Every single switch and lever position restores its position when you reload the aircraft
  • The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane
  • The engine restores its cylinders and oil temperature basing on the elapsed time between restarts

Maintenance Hangar

  • Engine maintenance tab
  • Electrical systems maintenance tab
  • Landing gear, brakes & tires tab
  • Instruments tab
  • Economic System tab

HeadShake Integration

  • REP drives HeadShake to simulate the correct vibrations of the Wasp Junior engine

Developed with love

  • Coded by real pilots
  • Very easy on FPS
  • Written in C++ with no compromises



This is an add-on to the DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series XP12. It will not work on the Thranda DHC-2 Beaver XP11 or any other aircraft.
X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)
Current version: XP 12 - 4.8.2 (February 10th, 2024)

Customers who own the Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver XP11, can get the new XP12 version for 30% off. Coupon code can be found in the original invoice.


Reviewers System:

Windows 10 Professional
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor

Palit GeForce RTX™ 3080 GamingPro


Scenery Review by Michael Hayward 

2nd April 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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