Jump to content
Joe

Aircraft Review : Carenado C172N Skyhawk II

Recommended Posts

c172-header-700px1.jpg

 

 

Aircraft Review : Carenado C172N Skyhawk II (version 2.1)

 

Route : CZST-Stewart - to - PANT-Annette Island

Depart runway CZST 18 - Arrival Runway PANT 12

When you think about Carenado you certainly think about the high quality and extremely detailed aircraft they produce, as well as the new experience their planes bring to X-Plane, well the C172N Skyhawk II is no exception. Over the next page I will analyse all of the features and qualities of this incredible aircraft.

The C172N Skyhawk is a lightweight fixed gear aircraft powered by a 180 hp Textron Lycoming Piston engine. Its propeller, manufactured by McCauley, is a two blade metal, fixed pitch propeller. Its capabilities take it to a range of 640nm. The aircraft can seat up to four and is single pilot certified (obviously), it also has a maximum cruising speed of 124 ktas at a weight of 415.94 kilograms.

During this review I will be using a Saitek Pro Flight Yoke and X-Mapper Pro on an IPad. If your unsure, X-Mapper Pro is a live map for x-plane which tracks your movements across the globe! From the app you can also control your aircraft and vital things like radios and Autopilot. I think it's a great add-on to enhance your sim, all for £1.99!

So, what's the Carenado version like of the C172?

Well, I decided to take a trip to the beautiful British Columbian Fjords, taking off at Stewart , to find out! I will now describe my encounter...

I found myself at CZST - Stewart, parked on the ramp at around 11:00am , the weather report wished a pleasurable day for a flight to PANT, 17 cavok visibility and clouds with a base of 4000ft, and the temperature, about 9 degrees Celsius. First I start with a walk around inspection of the C172 (without floats).

 

Carenado_C172_v10_3.jpg Carenado_C172_v10_1.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_2.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_4.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_5.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_6.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_7.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_8.jpg

Features:

  • X-Plane 9.6/9.7 and X-Plane 10.21 or higher
  • X-Plane 64 bits compatible
  • Polygon optimized model
  • Interactive virtual cockpit
  • Full moving parts: Ailerons, Elevators, Rudders, Flaps, Rolling wheels
  • Animated sections such as : doors, pilot's window, co-pilot seat, sun visor and fresh air control
  • Realistic lighting: Navigation lights, beacons, landing lights, cockpit lights
  • 3D modelled pilot and cockpit area
  • Many details, such as : pitot pressure chamber, antennas, chocks, pitot tube cover.
  • Custom panel and gauges
  • Realistic textures and original paint designs
  • Realistic light effects on gauges
  • Accurately reproduced flight characteristics
  • Real weight and balance

System Requirements:

(at the minimum)

Pentium 2 GHz - 1GB RAM

210MB available hard disk space

X-Plane 9.6 (or higher) - X-Plane 10.21 ( or higher)

Windows XP - Vista (32 or 64 bits) or Mac OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux

Walk Around:

The exterior of this aircraft is phenomenal, every nut and bolt can be seen from a considerable distance away. The glass reflects the light as well as the liveries, which is a nice touch and adds to the overall immersion. The 3D modelling of this plane is great, the fuselage matches identically to the real one! The control surfaces have been recreated with extreme care, I especially like the weathered look around these parts which can be found on all liveries. The weathered look of the aircraft gives it a worn characteristic, this is one of many factors which contribute to create the 'new experience' in x-plane flying! On top of the cabin and in various other places small antennas have been placed which look fairly thin and small to me but I'm sure carenado would have modelled them on accurate dimensions. Another feature which Carenado planes normally have is reflective tires, its a shame that I couldn't see that on this aircraft.

Now we move onto the menus: Provided with this aircraft are two on-screen menu's, if you are familiar with Carenado aircraft this will look normal. The first menu is called 'C', you can use this menu to navigate through a series of camera positions, we will talk more about that when we are up in the air! The second menu is the 'O' menu, most of its features apply when you are stationary on the ground with the engines off. The first option is to open or close the pilot door, the animation for this is smooth with no guttering and the sound effects are in synchronisation with the animation. The sound effects them selves are clear and dominant, you could say they sound slightly weird when your stationary on the ground and its silent in game! Anyhow the effects are still immersive. This also applies to the 'passenger door' and 'baggage door'.

The next option is static elements, this involves the option to have the chocks and pitot covers on/off. The chocks are at a high resolution and so are the pitot covers. However I did notice one thing, the pitot covers don't actually have a sock that covers the actual tube. The next option on the list is for the wheel fairings. The wheel fairings look great when using any livery, they are also modeled quite nicely. The last but not least option is for 'skis/water rudder' on/off, this is a neat feature if you wish to land on an icy strip or water if you are using the other model. We will discuss this later on in this review when analysing the 'float' model (different acf.). Now we move onto the 3D cockpit.

Carenado_C172_v10_6.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_7.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_10.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_10.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_11.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_12.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_13.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_17.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_25.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_26.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_27.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_28.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_42.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_43.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_60.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_66.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_67.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_68.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_69.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_70.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_71.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_9.jpg

3D Cockpit:

Well, I am sure from the pictures above you can see the high quality that this aircraft was made to by the interior. All gauges have 3D knobs that can be used easily, although some can be a bit tricky to turn, it's just a matter of getting used to the way the knobs work. Another thing to mention is the shadows that are casted into the cockpit. The shadows are reflected in the gauge glass as well as the yoke which is a nice touch. When flying this route I was using the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke system which is great, as I moved my Saitek Yoke it was in synch with the one on-screen, this meant that when I turned my Saitek Yoke it's movements were reflected on the glass of the gauges! In the 3D cockpit there is also a clickable region which brings up the 'O' (options) and 'C' camera menus, this is illustrated in the first picture. Now, time to talk about the 'C' camera menu. This menu has many different features which you could call 'unique' to Carenado.

The first feature is FOV (field of view) this is adjustable using the slider, this is a nice feature to get your head in the exact position you want it in. This helps when you want to see the lovely scenery as you fly by as well as your important instruments. Underneath this are many different pre-set camera positions, all work fine and smoothly, although this can also be pretty annoying! The reason it can get annoying is because it adjusts your 3D with command look option, on my Saitek yoke I have two buttons programmed for view. One is 'Chase' and the other is '3D with command look', if I am say pre-set to 'belly cam' (using the menu) when using my yoke to return into the cockpit it does nothing! However despite this feature being annoying in my set up you have a massive range of pre-set camera positions to choose from! The 3D cockpit and cabin also give the feeling of space awareness, you actually feel as though you are crammed in a small C172 cockpit for real! This is a good time to plugin Track IR, but I do not own that, I believe the Oculus Rift will take care of that in the future! The colours of the textures are nice inside the cabin, the high res seats talk for themselves, although the ceiling of the aircraft from inside looks a bit 'washed' with white. Anyhow this is compensated by the high res leather and fabric on the walls and seats. The 3D cockpit also has 'clickable yokes' this gives you the ability to 'hide' the yoke which gives you more panel visibility and the ability to get to hard to reach places.

As always you have the 6 instruments you need for a VFR flight; speed, Artificial horizon, Altimeter, Vertical Speed Indicator, Heading Indicator, Turn co-ordinator. All instruments work exactly as they are supposed to according to the position and where about of your aircraft etc.. now onto levers and buttons.

The lever furthest to the right is for flaps, this lever extends four times. Next to that is the mixture control, followed by the throttle. Sat beside this toward the left of the plane you find every switch and lever you would find in a real C172. This includes lights, circuit breakers, park brake, ignition key input, master and avionics switches and engine prime etc..

Liveries:

Carenado_C172_v10_34.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_35.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_36.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_37.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_38.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_39.jpg

As you can see from above, you get a wide range of liveries to choose from. All liveries are at a fine textured quality and based on real life designs. With all liveries you get the choice of wheel fairings on/off or Skis/water rudder on/off. You also have the same liveries when you load up the 'float' variant. All liveries have a weathered look, this is especially emphasised on the green rustic livery where you can find dried oil marks on the under carriage. As well as all of these liveries you also get a 'blank white' livery, this is mainly used in paint scheme developments. As well as the liveries listed above there are many more available on the download section of x-plane.org.

Documentation:

Included with this aircraft you receive an extended amount of documentation, this includes every thing from recommended settings to start up checklists. Today I will focus on the checklists. With this aircraft you receive three PDF documents each one focuses on a certain model variant. This includes ' float ' 'normal' and 'ski'. Each checklist is very detailed with information for emergencies and normal procedures. I think the checklists are great, I have them in my drop box using the IPad app, this gives me off screen checklists. However trying to use X-Mapper pro at the same time can be tricky! So the last option is to print out the document. I didn't actually do this for the C172 however I have done this for the Carenado C208 caravan, it adds an extra sense of realism holding the checklist!

 

C172 Review Documentaion Preview.jpg

From the picture above you can see the level of detail that was put into the documentation. The documents also look aesthetically good.

 

Night Lighting:

Carenado_C172_v10_46.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_47.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_48.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_49.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_50.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_51.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_52.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_53.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_54.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_55.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_56.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_57.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_58.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_59.jpg

 

There is not much night lighting on this plane, but this aircraft is mainly used for VFR flights I suppose. But anyway as dusk began it was time to turn on all of the lights. As you can see all lights work and cast spill onto objects beneath them, also switches for the lights are easy to use. This is demonstrated on picture 2 + 3, and 3 and 4. There is also a twisty switch which operates internal lighting of the gauges, this is a great effect as they cast an orange dark faded look. Outside the navigation lights, beacon lights and landing lights are dim. From picture 14 above you can see the effect of the sun reflecting on the windows, this looks great when blended in with the aircrafts exterior lights. The night lighting is not very adjustable however, despite the twisty switches for the internal gauges, it would be great if the spot light on the pilots side could be adjusted to spin around and point to different areas of the cockpit.

Sound:

This plane comes with many custom sounds. First we shall start with the engines, unfortunately I can't supply sound files for you to listen but don't worry youtube has some videos of the incredible sounds that this plane produces. The sound quality is great and it feels as though it pans around me when I slowly increase the rpm. As well as engine sounds many other small custom sounds are played when you do certain actions in the cockpit. For example when you open the pilots window you hear to opening sound and closing sounds which are both different, the same is applied to the doors and baggage door. Its a shame that there are no sounds when moving the co-pilot seat but this hardly got moved on my flight. I believe that there are also sounds for the light switches however due to the complexity of the engine sounds I may have heard wrong.

Carenado_C172_v10_1.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_2.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_3.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_4.jpg

Carenado_C172_v10_5.jpgCarenado_C172_v10_8.jpg

 

Conclusion:

So, you could call it a big decision to make the choice to buy this mighty plane. This is because there is the default C172. But don't be fooled by think you already own a C172 in your sim hangar because the Carenado C172 can not even compare to the default C172, Carenado's version is better in every single way! Also both models handle different as the default SP model has a higher RPM. The only limitation will be computer specs, but you will be fine if your computer will run X-Plane! The C172 is great fun to fly especially around CZST - Stewart. Its light weight and strong capabilities make it durable and a great addition to your Sim hangar. Carenado make the most finest payware for the X-Plane sim in terms of GA (general aviation) planes. If you purchase this plane you wont be disappointed. Since the update to v2 and now being 64 bits compatible this aircraft has many features that aren't even necessary, such as side pockets that can be operated and sounds that are extremely realistic. The aircraft doesn't have many instruments but if you are learning fly, real world or just on-screen, this will most certainly benefit you. If you are post PPL this is a chance to re-live the memories of the C172! Along with add-on scenery such as CZST by Beti-x, parking your C172 on the ramp like I did will give you a great experience. Realism at its best!

Is this aircraft worth buying? Yes!

Well its available to buy on the x-plane.org store for the cheap price of $24.95 : Carenado C172N Skyhawk II

Carenado Aircraft Support : Click here

Reviewed by : Joe

©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews

Payware scenery used : CZST - Stewart by Beti-x

Technical Requirements:

Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux

XPlane 9.6/9.7 or XPlane 10.11 (or higher - 64 bit compatible)

Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM

250MB available hard disk space

Version 2.1 (last updated Dec 10th 2013)

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:

- Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz

- 4.00gb of RAM

- Geforce GTX 650

Software:

- Windows 7 64 bit

- X-Plane 10 Global version 10.25

- Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System

- CZST - Stewart by Beti-x

- Carenado C172N Skyhawk II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest vsully

My favorite livery is the C.A.P livery. I've flown CAP Cessnas and am definitely buying this plane!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Niels Wittje

Thanks for the review. I want to add a bit about the flight behaviour in comparison to the real one (if anyone wants to tell me a different opinion, go ahead ;))

In regard of the real behavior, I find the whole envelope nicely done. Stalling is a bit easier in the real one (rspecially power-off clean stalls), and I find the engine quite underpowered (but I have mostly flown a C172R, so there is some difference). Two point that disturbs me greatly though (and I hope someone at carenado reads this):

-the plane floats way more in the flare in reality in my opinion (an to much flared approach in reality could take me 3-5 seconds flare time until the speed decays enough, while in this plane, if. i approach with standard Vat of 65kts and Flaps 2/3, I nearly fly the plane into the ground),

-and its waaaay to sensible to wind (max certified CWC is 15kts, if I need full rudder AND about 50% differential brake pressure to keep the plane on the runway at 5kts CWC, something feels off)

Whats your opinion in regard of this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your opinions of the flight behaviour of this model, but I'm unsure with your statement 'quite underpowered' if you are talking about a real C172 then that's your opinion, however I don't think Carenado's model is underpowered. I believe it feels 'right' for the sim personally. But anyone can think different, it depends on your real experience with the aircraft i suppose.

Also I can agree with you on the flare time, I actually didn't mention this in the review as you are the first person to make me investigate this. On the Carenado model flare is difficult, using the same v/speed and cockpit configuration as flying the real thing, you could comment flare is tricky.

Overall though the flight behaviour can be applauded in general, there are just a few issues if you focus on the flight dynamics in depth.

Also, thanks it was a pleasure writing the review :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Niels

Yeah, and it was a nice review :)

Mhm, the underpowered thing is just, as said, probably something with my experience with an C172R - I don't find any information about the simulated performance data of the C172N (or am I blind in the POH?).

Whats your experience regarding crosswind stability? Do you encounter the same wind sensitivity? (I'm especially interested in this as I ask myself if perhaps my setup is wrong ;-))

Yeah, the flight behaviour is otherwise quite good, but thats generally that way with carenado planes... I LOVE the single engine-behaviour of the piper seneca, I sweated like in the real one ;-) perhaps if the points would be optimized, you could even use it on an FNPT? do you know if carenado planes are certifiable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Gruendeman

> ...a weight of 415.94 kilograms.

Gross weight of the C172-N in the US is 2,400 pounds or a mass of 1,088 kg.  The useful load is typically 850- 900 Lbs, or something close to the 416 kg you mentioned.   Pete, La Crosse, WI, USA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the course of writing the review and therefore also flying the plane. I did not encounter any crosswind when flying out of CZST and in to PANT. However I did obviously encounter some wind whilst flying. It was only a small amount but the stability of the plane was kept well, I am unsure if your set up is wrong.

Regarding FNPT, I am unsure if Carenado Planes are certifiable, you will have to check with Carenado themselves. I guess they would be and I wouldn't see a problem with that, but don't take my word it's best to check with them.

There is currently no review for the Carenado PA34 200T Seneca II at the moment, but there will be one in the future. I haven't ever flown in a Piper Seneca unfortunately so I can't comment on the flight dynamic behaviour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Roy

don't see a glide slope for ILS approaches in your pictures.  Can it fly the ILS?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No , unfortunately that doesn't seem to be included in this plane, therefore no glide slope either. I am unsure why it wasn't modelled as most C172's nowadays have an ILS capability. Yes it's a shame but overall this aircraft is great fun despite the lack of the ILS.

Maybe it will be in a future update? But I doubt that. Also I would prefer that Carenado put there strengths toward a new aircraft rather than updating this with ILS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. I want to add a bit about the flight behaviour in comparison to the real one (if anyone wants to tell me a different opinion, go ahead ;))

In regard of the real behavior, I find the whole envelope nicely done. Stalling is a bit easier in the real one (rspecially power-off clean stalls), and I find the engine quite underpowered (but I have mostly flown a C172R, so there is some difference). Two point that disturbs me greatly though (and I hope someone at carenado reads this):

-the plane floats way more in the flare in reality in my opinion (an to much flared approach in reality could take me 3-5 seconds flare time until the speed decays enough, while in this plane, if. i approach with standard Vat of 65kts and Flaps 2/3, I nearly fly the plane into the ground),

-and its waaaay to sensible to wind (max certified CWC is 15kts, if I need full rudder AND about 50% differential brake pressure to keep the plane on the runway at 5kts CWC, something feels off)

Whats your opinion in regard of this?

I fly real c172n and I completely agree with you.

Sent from Mad iPad's Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Roy Hickok

I am looking for a good C172( instrument procedure trainer) for XPlane 10 with ILS and GPS capability.

Any suggestions.

Roy

Commercial/Instrument Pilot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking for a good C172( instrument procedure trainer) for XPlane 10 with ILS and GPS capability.

Any suggestions.

Roy

Commercial/Instrument Pilot.

Ok, I done some research and found two C172's that you may be interested in.

The first is a C172 SP uploaded on x-plane.org, I haven't downloaded it but this may fit your requirements (going by pictures)

Link: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=301

The second has also been uploaded on x-plane.org. This second one (also going by pictures) looks as though it fits your requirements better than the first.

Link : http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=6893

You can try both which are downloadable for free. However they most definitely will not match the quality of the Carenado C172N.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

Thx for your review!

I bought this plane yesterday.

Only want to say, it now actually HAS an ILS glidescope needle not only on VOR 1 but on both VOR Gauges (see attached pic).

 

Maybe you can add this info. ;)

post-226-0-34714100-1409591705_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

Thx for your review!

I bought this plane yesterday.

Only want to say, it now actually HAS an ILS glidescope needle not only on VOR 1 but on both VOR Gauges (see attached pic).

 

Maybe you can add this info. ;)

Ah ok, thank you for your comment.

I will update the review soon, I don't believe the needle was active on the gauges.

Things like this happen when aircraft get updated. New features or bug fixes are added.

I will take a further look and update the review soon, and thanks for your input! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest FL100

Hello!

Thx for your review!

I bought this plane yesterday.

Only want to say, it now actually HAS an ILS glidescope needle not only on VOR 1 but on both VOR Gauges (see attached pic).

 

Maybe you can add this info. ;)

bought the plane yesterday and can't confirm the existence of vertical needle

Best, FL100

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Arestris

bought the plane yesterday and can't confirm the existence of vertical needle

Best, FL100

sad but true: with version 3 the glidescope indicator, that came with version 2.1 is gone ... hope they  bring it back in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest WRBClimber

I have this and I like it. I have found a few things wrong with it. I have the V3.0 plane and bought it back in AUG 2015. I was looking to see if I could find an update to this but do not see an info on the Carenado web site.

Cons

1. The DG, the need does not point to the reciprocal heading. If heading 360 the reciprocal does not point to 180.

2. The 172 N does not have a 180hp engine, it came with a  160 hp engine.

3. The VOR's do not have a Glide Slope for ILS landings.

Pros

There is a lot of great things about this plane, too many to list them all. The review above hit all the good points and more.  I'm happy with the plane for the most part but wish my list of cons above could be fixed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×