Stephen Posted January 9, 2020 Report Share Posted January 9, 2020 Aircraft Review : PA-28-181 Archer TX/LX XP11 by JustFlight-Thranda I know, I know... who wants another PA-28 from JustFlight, I mean just how many Archers (slash) Arrows can you have before it all gets way, way too much and not to mention that shrinking bank balance... but yes here is another one, and this Archer is the TX/LX version. "I don't need a TX/LX version", well maybe not, but after reading this review you then just might stretch yourself to just one more PA-28, because this version has a few nice and interesting features. To clear up the TX/LX designations then the TX is aimed at the training market and the LX at the private market, but both are essentially the same aircraft. Externally you would be very hard pressed to see any differences, as the TX looks just like your standard JustFlight/Thranda PA-28. Those lovely complex convex and concave curves on the engine inlets are all as good as on all the earlier reviewed Archer lll and so with the same NACA air-ducts. The lower under body fuselage shaping is excellent as well, if fact all the external design and modeling is first rate, but then you do and should expect this quality at this +$40 price... so excellent detailing and PBR highly refined textures are also a given, but it is in the details you get the quality for the price like with the exceptional glass... .... and the correct wing profiles. So externally the Archer TX is all very good but also very similar to all of the other JF/TH PA-28s. Menu The Menu system is the very similar JustFlight's standard box layout and opened via the left screen arrow tab, but there are a few differences on closer inspection. There are eighteen menu tiles to use including: Top row : Open/close cabin door - Open/close baggage door - Toggle G1000 synthetic vision - Toggle window reflections and interior glass dynamic reflections - Toggle dome light if the engine is running, or flashlight when starting cold and dark. Middle Row : Toggle G1000 autopilot - Toggle Wheel Fairings - Toggle automatic fuel selector (switches fuel tanks automatically) - Toggle fuel refill menu window - Open weight and balance window - Toggle sound volumes window Bottom row : Select ‘ready for takeoff’ or ‘cold and dark’ state - Toggle checklist pop-up window - Toggle flight computer pop-up window - Toggle logbook pop-up window - Toggle ground handling pop-up window - Toggle chocks and tie-downs. Bottom menu selections allows you to change the livery Static elements include: Tie-downs, wheel chocks, manual aircraft puller and the pilot disappears. Pop-up windows cover the excellent "weight and balance" window which is very good, with weights for all four passengers and baggage (weight limits are very tight with two or more passengers aboard), fuel can be set here also as can the change from kg - lbs. A full list of weights, CG and a large graph of your settings are also all very helpful into balancing out the aircraft. The "Flight Computer" gives a load of performance data, including the vital FF (Fuel Flow) and Fuel Used. The "Refill Menu window" allows you to set the fuel balance correctly and see your Fuel/Oil pressures, Oil Temperature and current Battery Voltage, there is also features to simulate spark plug fouling and vapour lock. You can toggle the wheel fairings on or off, or slipstream or drag to which either you prefer, I always like the wheels mechanically bare, but long distance flying is helped by the less drag and better fuel consumption of the fairings. The worn and tired checklist is basic, but very good. There a couple more menu items to cover internally, so we will look at those later. Cabin First impressions looking internally is a bit of a shock, as the instrument panel looks a bit empty and even bland with the blank twin G1000 displays, the only additions are the active fuses (circuit breakers) lower right. It has become a bit of a game in what new internal colour scheme you will get with this particular JustFlight PA-28, but this interior is exactly the same as the earlier Archer lll in a dirty salmon lower trim and motif upper design, and there is here only one interior design unlike other PA-28 versions. Seats are nice and leather crumpled, with sheepskin covers that cover the two front seats that are really well done and feel realistic. Straps are laid out to hold down any luggage and I am warming to the motif pattern design... fine detail like the window surrounds are also really well done, and right down to fine chrome screw covers. Trim wheel and Flap selector is per all PA-28s in being low down and tight between the seats, and the fuel selector is on the left lower side. Instrument Panel Facing the instrument panel I suddenly noticed tucked tightly to the left side of the panel facia was a very nice Aspen 1000 Evolution EFD, "in a where did that come from?" but still a very nice addition to the G1000 avionics package. All the switchgear is on the roof brow panel per any PA-28 with LtoR: Start, Batt Master, Fuel Pump, Magentos 1 and 2, Landing Lights, Nav Light, Strobe Lights, Standby Battery Switch and finally the Avionics power switch... a note that the "Standby" battery switch is really the "Main" power battery switch and why it has a guard around it. both Yokes can be hidden separately, but they and the panel are boring after the very light lighter (brighter) creamy colours in the Archer lll. Turn on the battery power and with the three displays illuminated it now looks quite impressive... ... turn off the avionics power or have a circuit breaker fail and the system will revert only to the left side PFD (Primary Flight Display) with a "get you home" status, with the MAP and engine performance panels switching from the central MFD (Multi-Functional Display) over to the single PFD. All three displays pop-out on windows, but it is very crowded screen when all three are in use, so any combination of two pop-outs is the best solution. A couple of menu choices can be done with the G1000 system. One is that you can have the choice of having the G1000 autopilot panel visible on both the PFD and the MFD (arrowed) this switches the aircraft from the TX (trainer) to the LX version. .... second menu option is to use the "G1000 synthetic vision" or the forward view on the PFD Aspen EFD 1000 Evolution The Aspen EFD (Evolution Flight Display) is set up in here as a backup instrument, but you can use it as a primary one. You can reverse the positions of the both the PFD and EHSI if you need the ROSE function more than the main primary functions. And note there is no Whiskey Compass in the aircraft. Other functions allow you hide the speed-tapes and the minimum settings, but the MENU, 360 and GPSS functions don't work. The vFlyteAir EDF1000 in the PA140C was a more in-depth EFD version than what you have in the Archer TX as these functions were active. The layout and functions however are the same: 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. In the middle section is your TAS/GS speeds, OAT (Outside Air Temperature), Wind direction/speed and Baro. In the lower section is the Navigation Display with 360°/ARC heading, Left tuning dial (knob) is for CRS (Course) and IAS (Speed). Right tuning dial (knob) is for HDG Heading, Target Altitude, Baro Pressure adjustment. The colour setting system is in use here with Blue which is set and Magenta is for adjusting, the selection is changed by pressing the in centre of the selection/tuning knobs. Garmin G1000 system is default Laminar Research, the G1000 manual is not supplied in the documents but you can get it here: User Manuals G1000 features noted by JustFlight include a built-in Mode-C transponder and a timer function. In the air You feel all the weight of the gross 1148kg when you taxi, but that is not a bad thing. Overall the Archer TX is a nice aircraft to move around the taxiways and byways, easily adjusting the speed to your choice. Any adjustments on the G1000 PFD will be reflected on the Aspen EFD1000, which is a good thing because with the missing menu option on the EFD you can't change the baro pressure from hPin to HPA. I really like the excellent blinds that will drop down from their hidden forward position and they are highly effective in what they do. Considering the age of this TX/LX (current) version the engine is the very old Lycoming O-360 series producing 180hp, Top speed is still only 154 KIAS with a cruise speed of 125 KIAS, so you are not going to go anywhere fast, but still an improvement over the snail slow 128 KTAS to 108 KTAS of the Archer lll, which is the basis of the TX/LX Clean you can bite the air around 95 knts, and when airborne you have nothing but total feel and control, you could say the Archer feels a bit lazy, but I will put that down to the almost current high almost gross weight, but smooth it is and the machine is very easily controllable and I was already trimming out the pitch a barely 700ft off the runway, and to the adjustments the aircraft responded nicely to the trim changes and yes I was impressed. Climb rate and even feel is almost exactly the same as the Archer lll of 667fpm, so the 500fpm is still the main target, but the TX feels more balanced as I did a nice wide climbing arc away from KHAF (Half-Moon Bay)... ... because of the angle of the bank I found myself flying via the EFD 1000 instrument and not the larger G1000 PFD, it was a more focused unit and the natural thing to do, and I found myself in other various modes of the flight doing the same thing of using the EFD. So smooth and nice to fly are the PA-28 in this TX/LX form, and yes I will admit the feel and touch and available power is all very similar to the Archer lll, but with the far more modern instrumentation and tools at your disposal... ... but don't get me wrong, it was a nice place up here, and a really lovely aircraft to be in. A test of the "synthetic vision" feature is that it works, but personally I would not fly an aircraft like this, but in heavy cloud it would be invaluable, it is just another tool, but it works very well. I headed into a 14 knt headwind which soon turned into a 20 knt headwind and that sort of ruined my idea of flying to Portland, max range for the TX/LX is 484 nm and just over the 442 nm was what I needed to get to Portland, but with a 20 knt headwind? well that makes things a bit tricky, so I decided to turn back to KHAF. The current detail of the default G1000 is very good, not perfect and certainly not a total authentic reproduction of Garmin's twin display system, but still very good for simulation... but as I note frequently with the Laminar G1000 you need to study the manual and use the G1000 system a lot to get all the full details and the features it provides. Lighting The TX/LX nightlighting is very good. In the TX/LX all the lovely Archer lll illuminated top row switch-gear is gone, as it is now all black switches. But it does look nice and modern... two adjustable overhead blue lights give a nice cosy glow over all the switch-gear and the forward cabin, and yes it is and feels excellent... ... an extra three knobs control the Switch, Panel and Avionics lighting. The panel lighting is not just for the text, but also a slight effective lighting of the panel itself. The Avionics is for all the three displays, and yes you can lower or raise the brightness of all three EFD and G1000 displays. All these combinations can give you an excellent lighting feel to suit any of your moods, very good. Also good is the single overhead door light for the cabin, which is again highly effective. Externally you only have three switches, twin leading edge landing lights (no taxi light), Navigation but only each wing (no beacon) and wing white (rear) position lights, the strobes are very good, but a bit over bright. I love the Aspen EFD for setting things up like the course degree for RWY 11 at KHAF. Finding 20 knts of wind against you is slow, but 20 knts on your back means returning to KHAF is a breeze (pun intended). I was already eyeballing the Golden Gate bridge, so it was time to descend. Sounds are exactly the same as the Archer lll in being very good, FMOD and highly dynamic, but not say the best in this class, There is a custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers for the avionics power circuit and secondary power system as well. The circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Arriving at KHAF RWY 12 and I can's see anything for the low cloud, even at 600ft, and another drop to 400ft doesn't help either, so I switch on the "synthetic vision"... ... the feature really helps actually. There is no detail of the runway, but I can see the coastline clearly. But I see the coastline, but not much else... my guess on the angle to the runway I think is pretty spot on, but the visual G1000 does help as well... .... but does the visual G1000 detect the actual runway? at this point i'm not actually sure, but suddenly I break cloud and I am slightly to the right of RWY 12. Once over RWY12 I can see why the runway was not visible earlier, the projection position on the G1000 is far further behind your actual flying position? The actual start of the runway is still being shown on the G1000 (arrowed), were as I am obviously over the threshold, and down on the runway the runway makings outside the aircraft (arrow right image) are still to be plainly seen forward in the display? the other way around might help, but in this aspect you will be well over the runway before actually seeing it, so this explains why I could pick out the runway further out... ... I hope the G1000 visual feature can be refined on this, because it is actually very good. Overall the TX/LX is a great aircraft with modern instruments. Liveries The Archer TX/LX has one blank and six liveries. Six American, One German, One British and one New Zealand. All are of high quality and actually very well done in design. ______________________ Summary The Piper Archer TX/LX is the current version in production (restarted in 1991 as New Piper) and is the modern equivalent of the original Piper Cherokee. This aircraft is the descendant of the Archer lll, but with the more modern avionics of the Garmin G1000 twin display suite, and an added bonus is the installation of the Aspen EFD1000 Evolution as a backup instrument. The JustFlight/Thranda version of the Archer TX/LX is in reality the JF Archer lll with the new instrumentation. Externally they are identical, even the cabin trim is the exact same design, but the differences are really cockpit forward with the above switch-gear being more modern and the Aspen/G1000 three panel display taking over from the old analog dials version. All the full Archer lll feature list is in here including dynamic FMOD sound, pop-out circuit breakers, comprehensive menus including weight and balance manager, fan and vent systems and various performance and realism effects... and the G1000 synthetic vision feature. As noted that in reality this is an Archer lll with modern avionics, so the choice is either the original analog Archer lll or this G1000/EFD1000 TX/LX package as the rest of the aircraft is exactly the same. I do think a more modern newer cabin trim detail would have made the aircraft a bit more divergent from the Arrow lll and the synthetic vision feature needs more alignment to the actual aircraft's position, but I still like it. Otherwise the TX/LX is another if not more to the current addition of the already large group of JustFlight PA-28 Cherokee based aircraft, and overall I really like it, but more for that Aspen EFD feature than the G1000, but that is nice feature to have as well. There is a deal that if you already own the Archer lll or another PA-28 from JustFlight then you can get US$20 off this Glass cockpit Archer... so is this another PA-28 to add to the collection, well yes certainly, and if just for the modern avionics alone. _______________________________ The PA-28-181 Archer TX/LX XP11 by JustFlight and Thranda is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-28-181 Archer TX/LX XP Priced at US$41.99 Special Features Model Accurately modeled PA-28-181 Archer TX/LX, built using real-world aircraft plans and comprehensive photography of the real aircraft Numerous animations including multi-animation passenger door that, when open, responds to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window and sun visors Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs HD textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Cockpit Fully functional G1000 PFD and MFD, and EFD 1000 Optional GFC 700 autopilot controls Realistic aircraft and engine systems indications A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction GoodWay compatible Option to activate flashlight from within pop-up window, to aid in those pitch-black cold and dark starts at night Option to remove window and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Functional throttle quadrant tensioning system Radio knob animations routed through plugin logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers, avionics power circuit and secondary power system. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks and tie-downs Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapour lock condition Simulated vapour lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Liveries The Archer TX is supplied with six liveries: G-IBEA (UK), N752ND (USA), N280HG (USA), N667LB (USA), D-EKKP (Germany), ZK-LJX (New Zealand) Other features Realistic and accurate flight dynamics based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from PA28 pilots Authentic sound set, generated using X-Plane's state-of-the-art FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, doors, warnings and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when window or door(s) are opened, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Comprehensive manual with panel guide and performance data PSD Paint Kit included so you can create your own paint schemes Dedicated pop-up window for sound mixing, allowing for individual adjustment of the volume of exterior sounds, in-cockpit sounds and various effects Custom weight and balance manager window Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (December 16th 2019) PS: Owners of any the PA28-181 Archer III by JustFlight can purchase this new Archer III with a $20 discount . Find your coupon code under your Arrow invoice at the store (doesn't apply to other P28-181s or Arrows from other designers) Download Size: 1.1 GB Installation and documents: Download for the PA-28-181 Archer TX/LX is 1.19gb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.22gb. Documentation: There are two manuals provided. The ODM is full of performance graphs and data and the X-Plane Manual is a full detailed manual of the aircraft's systems and layouts, a good if basic tutorial is also included and a paintkit Archer TX-LX ODM manual.pdf Archer TX-LX manual.pdf Paint Kit.zip _______________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 10th January 2020 Copyright©2020: 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) 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 1Tbgb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.40 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.13 US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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