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Aircraft Review: vFlyteAir Cherokee 140 for X-Plane 12

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Aircraft Review: vFlyteAir Cherokee 140 for X-Plane 12


By Pete Allnutt

First introduced in the early 1960s, the Piper PA-28 Series has become a familiar sight in general aviation. Originating as a more economical alternative to the Piper PA-24, the series started with the Cherokee and eventually expanded to include the Archer. Known for its robust single-engine setup, unpressurized cabin, and fixed tricycle landing gear, the PA-28 has been a reliable choice for pilots who value practicality and reliability over aesthetic complexity.

This review focuses on the Cherokee 140, a model celebrated for its straightforward handling and classic design. vFlyteAir's latest version for X-Plane 12 has been thoughtfully modelled to balance historical accuracy with selected modern enhancements. This rendition not only boosts the aircraft's features but also preserves the timeless appeal that has made it a favourite among pilots for generations.


vFlyteAir’s updated Cherokee includes three instrument panel options to cater to different flying preferences. The default setup features a modern Aspen E5 PFD/MFD instrument combined with a Bendix/King KFC 230 touch-screen autopilot for those who enjoy contemporary avionics. For traditionalists, there's an option with a conventional HSI, and for the purists, a basic VFR panel is available that strips back to essentials, perfect for sharpening basic VFR navigation skills.



Purchase and Installation
The PA-28-140 Cherokee is available for purchase at the X-plane.org store for $29.95. After purchasing, you will receive an order confirmation via email that includes a link to download the aircraft. The download consists of a 590MB file that needs to be unzipped, either into a folder of your choice, or directly into your X-Plane 12 Aircraft folder. 

Upon first launch, you will be prompted to enter an Activation Code, which is also sent to your email. It’s advisable to keep this code noted, although it can be retrieved from your account on the Store if needed. Included in the package is a documents folder containing four PDF files, including a POH (Pilot’s Operating Handbook), providing detailed operational support. These documents are extremely well written, offering some of the best guidance and information I’ve encountered with an X-Plane product.





Updates for the Cherokee are managed via the Skunkcrafts Updater, a stand-alone application increasingly used by developers across X-Plane. While the updater simplifies keeping purchases up to date, it required me to re-authenticate my purchase after installation, a step that, in my opinion, could be more streamlined. Although updates are promptly available, a more detailed changelog in the form of a readme file would help show what changes have been made.  




Exterior Model
The Cherokee is equipped with a selection of twelve high-definition liveries, which includes a Paint Kit for enthusiasts who enjoy customizing their aircraft’s appearance. Each livery boasts top-quality finishes, with wonderful attention to detail that becomes even more apparent upon close inspection. The aircraft features fully implemented Physically Based Rendering (PBR) textures that support realistic 3D rain and ice effects, enhancing both the visual clarity and realism.


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Each livery boasts top-quality finishes, with meticulous attention to detail that becomes even more apparent upon close inspection. The aircraft features fully implemented Physically Based Rendering (PBR) textures that support realistic 3D rain and ice effects, enhancing both the visual clarity and realism. The cockpit door and the small window for the pilot feature animations that not only function smoothly but are also easy to operate. 


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Additionally, external features such as chokes and wheel spats can be accessed and controlled through a pop-up menu system, indicated by the Piper logo near the bottom left of the screen.


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The Piper pop-up menu offers a guided walk-around function, allowing pilots to inspect fuel and oil levels before a flight, ensuring a thorough pre-flight check. 


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Another option on the pop-up menu is the ability to choose between a male or female pilot, and to show or hide passengers, depending on weight selection.


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Cockpit and Functionality
vFlyteAir has supplied three distinct, fully inactive cockpit configurations for different flying preferences. The first option, the Glass Panel, is centred around the Aspen E5 multi-function display, with a dedicated guide provided by vFlyteAir for navigating this modern system. It is paired with the standard X-Plane Garmin G430, though it can be replaced with the RealityXP GNS430 or GTN650 for those who have these upgrades.


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The second option features an Analog Panel, replacing the E5 with traditional analogue gauges, supported by either a G430 or the optional RealityXP systems.


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The final option focuses on VFR flying, featuring the basic "six-pack" alongside an audio panel, COM1/NAV1, and a transponder, but without an autopilot. This setup is ideal for pilots focusing on fundamental flying skills.


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Each option features high-definition textures that add to the realism, with panels that can vibrate to simulate engine effects if enabled via the pop-up menu. However, a minor disappointment is the static nature of the key fob; having it animated could have significantly enhanced the vibrational effects. Additionally, the needles on the gauges show little to no wobble, which detracts slightly from the realism.


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Switching between cockpit panels can be done easily, either on the ground or mid-flight, via the Piper pop-up menu. The menu also allows you to show or hide gauge glass and window glass to adjust for clarity and reduce reflections based on varying lighting conditions.


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As I am not a real-world pilot, my evaluation of the Cherokee 140’s handling is based on my passion for virtual flight and my extensive experience in flight simulators, both civil and military. In my experience, vFlyteAir’s Cherokee 140 ranks as one of the most straightforward aircraft to pilot within X-Plane. Lacking excessive power, it behaves quite docilely during takeoff, making it an excellent choice for novice pilots.


vFlyteAir has incorporated a "Realistic Engine Start" feature, which requires different procedures based on the engine temperature and environmental conditions and which adds an additional layer of complexity to pre-flight preparations. The Piper pop-up menu includes a checklist tab that provides comprehensive guidance for managing all aspects of the flight, including a dedicated checklist for the Realistic Engine Start procedure.


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During cruise, the aircraft moves at a leisurely pace of just over 100 knots, and it can comfortably stall at speeds below 50 knots with full flaps engaged. Trimming the plane is manageable, which is particularly beneficial for those flying with the VFR-only cockpit or who prefer manual control over using the autopilot.


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The Cherokee is notably forgiving as it is almost impossible to stall in a traditional sense. Instead, it gently sinks until the nose drops and speed is naturally regained. This aircraft is not designed for aerobatic manoeuvres, focusing on stable and predictable flight characteristics.


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Night Lighting
The cockpit lighting proves effective at night, especially the instruments, enhancing visibility during low-light conditions. While the switches are less illuminated, the separate brightness controls for the instruments, panel, and radio stack offer customization options. This feature, however, might be viewed as a drawback for pilots who prefer more uniform lighting across the cockpit. Additionally, the exterior lighting of the aircraft is well executed, casting a realistic glow that significantly enhances night flying. 


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vFlyteAir's Cherokee utilizes the FMOD 2 sound engine, which is used to excellent effect. Notably, the engine sounds avoid the common pitfall of recognizable looping, creating a more immersive auditory environment. The transition of sounds when moving from inside to outside the aircraft or opening the cabin door is particularly impressive, with each action resulting in a realistic change in volume and direction. In the cockpit, the switches and knobs provide crisp and distinct audible feedback. 


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Throughout my testing of vFlyteAir’s Cherokee, I experienced no performance issues, and observed consistently high frame rates with no noticeable lags or spikes, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. To give you a clearer picture of my testing environment, X-Plane 12 is installed on an Intel i9 10900K, 32GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X graphics card, all running on Windows 11 Home 64-bit.


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Among the numerous PA-28 variants available for X-Plane 12, vFlyteAir's Cherokee distinguishes itself with its exceptional blend of versatility, realism, and user accessibility. Equipped with a range of detailed liveries and customizable cockpit setups, the Cherokee offers a forgiving flight model that appeals to both novice and experienced pilots alike. The realistic sounds and comprehensive documentation further enhance the flying experience, making it as educational as it is enjoyable.


In summing up, the Cherokee 140 by vFlyteAir comes highly recommended. It stands out as an enjoyable and rewarding little flyer, and one which would make an excellent addition to any X-Plane user's hangar.






Cherokee 140 for X-Plane 12 by vFlyteAir is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Cherokee 140 for X-Plane 12 by vFlyteAir

Priced at US$29.95



  • Rebuilt and re-engineered for X-Plane 12
  • Pop-up interactive Options menu, dynamic Load Manager menu and Check Lists menu
  • Three selectable instrument panel configurations ("glass" panel, analog panel and traditional "trainer" panel)
  • Automatic integrated support for the optional RealityXP GTN 650 plugin or the RealityXP GNS430 plugin
  • Guided, interactive pre-flight walk-around inspection with pop-up check lists. Visually check your fuel and oil levels! Remove wheel chocks and cowl plugs during the walk-around.
  • Selectable pilot gender - copilot will be the opposite gender of the pilot
  • Gauge glass and window glass can be hidden
  • Custom shake and vibration effects - airframe and control surfaces shake when engine is running, when approaching a stall condition and upon touch-down
  • Realistic engine start - if turned ON, requires pilot to follow the Cherokee 140 POH procedures for cold and hot engine startup
  • Passengers can be hidden during flight if desired
  • Automatic support for optional AviTab plugin
  • Selectable wheel pants - if installed, the wheel pants reduce drag slightly
  • Start From Cold & Dark option available on the Options menu
  • Optional transparent yokes - if turned ON, the pilot and copilot yokes appear as see-through for a better view of the instrument panel
  • Custom Tow Bar option - use the Tow Bar to push/pull and turn the airplane into your hanger!
  • Quick Livery Change - quickly select a new livery from the Options menu
  • Dynamic Load Manager menu allows the pilot to select pilot and passengers weights and add or remove fuel. A dynamic Center of Gravity chart shows your current loading.
  • Optional Rear Seat - on the Load Manager menu, click on the rear bench seat to install it and to add a rear passenger
  • Check Lists Menu allows the pilot to view the Piper PA28-140 check lists for all normal phases of flight
  • Pop-up versions of the Aspen E5, Bendix/King KFC 230 autopilot and the AXP 340 transponder available by clicking on the instruments
  • FMOD 2 Sound Effects - spatial 3D sounds and Doppler effects have been re-produced for compatibility with X-Plane 12
  • PBR textures - re-produced for X-Plane 12 compatibility
  • Full high-resolution textures for all interior and exterior objects
  • 3D Rain and Ice effects
  • Full support for Virtual Reality
  • 12 different liveries included - instrument panel tail number placard is updated with each livery change
  • New updated Paint Kit available
  • Updates are automated using the Skunkcrafts Auto-Updater (available here for free).


X-Plane 12  (not for XP11)
Windows, mac, or Linux
8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Version 12.0 (February 9th 2024)

Review System Specifications

Intel i9 10900K – 32GB RAM - NVidia MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X – Windows 10 Home 64 Bit


Aircraft Review by Peter Allnutt
24th May 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.





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