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Aircraft Update : Carenado C208B Grand Caravan - Super CargoMaster to v3/10.30

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Aircraft Update : Carenado C208B Grand Caravan - Super CargoMaster to v3/10.30


Both these aircraft are in the Carenado Sale 50% off till the 21st December 2014! :




Of all the releases and all the different types of aircraft that has been released by Carenado... One still stands out above all the others. Well two really, because the C208B Grand Caravan comes in two variants in the standard passenger version and the cargo version called the Super CargoMaster. If you want success then these two Caravan aircraft dominate almost everything. It is a big question why. I'm not forgetting the later great releases by Carenado of the B1900D or any of the King Air series aircraft, they are exceptional as well. But there is something totally special about the Caravan that just hits you in the chest around the heart area.




Like the rest of the Carenado series of aircraft the Grand Caravan/Super CargoMaster has been updated to v3 and compatible with the current X-Plane version of 10.30+ (10.31 at this point). Voices of "But yes, but when are you going to update the Caravan?" with me included showed really on how little the Caravan has had any attention since its initial release. But only one thing really mattered? the installation of the new Garmin GNS430 GPS that came with the 10.30 release from Laminar Research. So what has been updated?


v3.0 list of changes:

-Added scroll wheel support to knobs, so now knobs have click/drag/scroll functionality all in one.

-Installed X-plane 10.30 GNS430, along with all 3D cockpit manipulators and assets

-Improved Autopilot VVI/ALT preset instrument

-Eliminated noise during load with engines running and reduced Doppler-related pitch intensity (noticeable before during fast camera switching)

-Fixed playback issue relating to above sound fix.

-Implemented auto-toe-brake for those without hardware toe brakes. (Automatically senses toe-brake hardware and disables plugin-based system, to avoid conflicts)

-tweaked flight dynamics

-Pre-compressed livery files to .dds for faster livery load times

-Removed v9-related files


Yes the GNS430 GPS is in there which is great news, but the big news or bad news to users of XPlane9 is that, that this X-Plane version is not supported by Carenado any more. As a simulator we are now moving a long way away from the XPlane9 style of simulation. But in a way it does make sense because v10.30 does change a lot of the simulator's fundamental basics. It also makes the C208B aircraft not a compromise anymore between the two X-Plane versions, and like the rest of the v3 Carenado range that has already left XPlane9 behind, this v3 version does feel and fly far better or most more efficient that the compromised versions.




C208B Standard Passenger Grand Caravan

I flew a flight in each variant. First the standard passenger version from YPDO - Devonport, Tas over to YMLT - Launceston Airport, Tas (Australia) to feel out the new version. Setting up the Caravan is extremely easy because of the menus. You can set out from the start your static ground items and open and close all the doors to get the aircraft ready for flight. On the Caravan you have the option of a "Cargo Pod" under the fuselage. I usually fly without it attached, and you have that option, but open one door on the pod and every compartment door hangs down. You can configure in seating arrangements inside as well, with either an 8 passenger single seat set up or eleven passenger seats with a double bench and a single per row (except for the last row of single seats). The more bums on seats you fill then the heavier the aircraft gets.




Detailing is simply superb, you can't get better in than this. Like all v3 aircraft you now have 4K textures but they are highly optimised for faster load times and are frame-rate lite. There is a huge selection of liveries now available for the Caravan series, and always one you need and many can be found here "Carenado Paints-X-Plane.Org". Starting up is a without a key and a push of a switch on the panel by the pilots left hand. Flick the switch and you sit there wondering if it is actually working...  it is and slowly the whine from somewhere starts, it grows into a turbine whine and finally the propeller then turns into action, and gives you a roar that has serious business on its mind. What is simply great about the Caravan is the way it sounds. It is totally earth-shattering in its growls, whines and roars. 3d surround sound can make it as realistic as you want it to be, and it sends the hairs on the back of your neck into a shear enlightenment, you certainly don't need to go to India to find that higher plane, but to just hear to this Caravan at a full roar is to go straight there.




You have to adjust the condition (red knob) to idle to tame the power a little, if not the aircraft will taxi way too fast, and is quite hard to handle at slow speeds, just don't forget to put it back up to takeoff?




v3 comes with the new manipulator "scroll" feature. This combines the scroll of a scroll wheel mouse (or gesture mouse/pad) and a manipulator. I only use a standard Apple one click mouse, and for that the feature is slightly problematic?   You can't scroll of course so the panel lighting is either on or off and so you have no dim adjustment. Adjust any of the knobs or buttons and it is not consistent either. On the GNS430 you can't adjust the range up, but can down or adjust the VOR/NAV1 frequency correctly, you can the smaller frequencies but not the larger ones. The pop-out of the GNS 430 is fine and gets around the issues. So the new manipulators are great if you use the scroll functions. But my mouse would rather prefer the standard manipulators of which unlike other v3 Carenado aircraft you can switch the scroll function off and use the old standard version.




Taxi away and the power settings are great in idle as noted, but you need a little more power for tighter turns or a brisker run up the runway to turn around for take off. Power up and the noise grows, and you will need to control all that power as the thrust will easily push you off the center line with just the very large wide three-bladed one single prop doing all the work. It can be hard work even in light winds to keep the Caravan (damn) straight...  but that is part of the experience of this aircraft. It climbs away easily and the balance is very neutral. A turn to YMLT and a climb rate of 600ft per-minute is quite adequate. You have a great Autopilot that can be easily be set with the altitude and vertical speed you want to climb very efficiently to the correct height.




On balance the C208B is quite standard on the main panel for a working aircraft. Anyone that can fly even a smaller GA aircraft would have no problems in here, and I think that is the Caravan's main attraction, you really only have to adjust your flying to the weight and bigger size of the aircraft, because instrument wise and the control set up it is really all quite standard. The panel however is beautifully done by Carenado, clean and so efficient.




In the air the aircraft powers along and is supremely nice to fly, a little noisy but that comes with the territory. Your passengers have great large windows that give out great views if you like to sit in the back and enjoy the flight from that perspective.




X-Plane 10.30+ gave us the excellent GNS430/530 GPS system and one aircraft that really benefits is this workhorse Cessna. Here you have the GNS430, which feels a little small in here, the GNS530 would have been far better. This flight is only 20 minutes so a big flightplan is not really required. But I do have that option if I need it now...  and I will soon. I am going to use the Caravan to do the bastion of every initation that every X-Plane user really has to do to be qualified as a real simulation professional in that I am in 2015 going to fly right round the world in X-Plane in a GA. (Flying in a big airliner is cheating), and the Caravan is ideal for such a journey. That idea was not possible until now because with the few long overwater sections you would need some sort of GPS tool, so now I have that.




With YMLT now in sight I fall into a landing pattern at 1500ft that takes me down and past runway 32L/14R to loop back to 32L. You have to find the right speed to drop the flaps, as so to have enough power but not to balloon the aircraft, once the first 5º setting is done there is not much difference to the other 10º and 20º settings but just the lowering of the speed. It is best to handle the throttle constantly to get the perfect approach and descent speeds, it is quite easy to do once you are familiar with the aircraft, slow turns are perfect with no loss of height and control. and the same with the alignment with the runway, the "Course" runway alignment is perfect for the job here.




80knots is a nice approach speed and one on terra-firma use that powerful reverse prop thrust to slow you quickly down, the Rev thrust is throttle responsive! Then a quick taxi is all that is needed to secure to the GA ramp office. and deplane the passengers and their luggage....  job done, It is just to easy with this aircraft.



Super CargoMaster

The CargoMaster is a variant of the standard version. To fly the CargoMaster you have to have purchased the standard version first. It is not a complete aircraft, and you have to also convert the supplied files to a duplicate of the standard C208B to get the Cargo version. It is quite easy to do and well worth not only the cheap conversion price of the variant, but for the versatility of what you actually get is really quite a different aircraft for a very different role, but still have the same way of flying the aircraft as the C208B version.




You get the same menus as the standard aircraft but with a difference in that you don't change the seating arrangements but instead load in cargo (Boxes). 1607lbs pounds of cargo actually and you load or unload the cargo configurations via the "options" menu. put the cargo on and note the extra weight on the aircraft...  your going to move all that weight?  There is the same "Cargo pod" option as with the standard aircraft, and here I keep the pod attached.




I'm at Prestwick - EGPK in Scotland in a mercy dash to deliver supplies up the Scottish West Coast to Oban - EGEO in a snowstorm! Yes you heard that right a snowstorm in X-Plane. Since the move to X-Plane 10 there has been a few but not many comprehensive ways to have a snow-bound landscape. "WinterWorld" by Tom Curtis was very good but not updated for X-Plane 10. and that really "left us out in the cold"...  pardon the pun. Well now there is with "Winter_Package 1.1" by Albert who does the default scenery autogen textures for Laminar Research. So the winter look goes to the core of the simulator. It is tricky to install, but there are now a few extra options in switching around the summer and winter files. But the effect is simply totally amazing, and pull down your visibility, up your precip and storms and let the weather close in around you at a minus -15º and go out to battle the extreme winter.



I had everything running in the cockpit, heaters, blowers and every anti-Ice and wing lights running. But I still had to fly to Oban in near zero-visiblity. I carefully taxied around to RWY13 via taxiways T, M and J (a long way around) to set myself up for departure.

 Once clear of the runway then it was almost due north to Oban.




There is a VOR (Oban OBA : freq 110.55) that gives you a direct line to the airport, but I locked in OBN (freq 404) NDB as a backup, so I didn't use a flight-plane on the GNS430. So really even in close to zero visibility I only had to follow the pointer of the NDB to home on into, as I got closer the airport showed up on the GNS430 as well as a visual guide. Otherwise the gutsy CargoMaster was earning every bit of its Jet-A as it pushed on in the wind and snow. In areas the weather let up a little bit and winter views was simply extraordinary. I loved it and certain gives X-Plane a really big new dimension of flying.




I powered on north until I saw EGEO and decided to do a left hand pass and then circuit back around to land on RWY01, It is easy to get the wrong runway at EGEO, as there is an angled parking area that looks like a runway from the air, but 01 is it.




You have to be careful as there is some high ground coming back over the coast to the south and then also on approach to RWY 01 at EGEO. The bright white winter textures can hide these sort of hidden obstacles, but the visibility was also better here and I had no problems except for slightly bad crosswind in putting the CargoMaster down and throttling up the reverse pitch.




A taxi to the ramp and soon the needed cargo was unloaded from the C208B. A quick hot dringk and I was soon airborne again and heading back to Prestwick and in an hour was back again with another load. Yes it was a great few hours of flying, and in a great aircraft.


v3 Carenado C208B Grand Caravan - Super CargoMaster - Summary

The Carenado Caravan series is one of the really great aircraft in X-Plane, It has something really special that makes the aircraft so very addictive. I think it is it's complete versatility, as with here I had two very different simulations and had two very different experiences, but the actual aircraft systems and flying abilities are quite easy to master... but you can do so much with that basic set fundamental principals. It sounds glorious, certainly one of the main attractions to the aircraft, but the dropping of X-Plane9 has made the aircraft also smoother and cleaner to load and fly in X-Plane10 without now any compromises. The GNS430 10.30+ upgrade is another huge bonus and welcome on this aircraft, the only downside for me was the single-click mouse actions tended to be bothersome and in some cases quite tricky in their actions.


If you don't have the Carenado Caravan Series (yes the Super CargoMaster option is a must as well) then you will have a big open hole in your flying and in your hangar, As an investment then it is a no-brainer as the hours on these aircraft will very quickly accumulate. Every flight is enjoyable and rewarding and the v3 upgrade just makes it even sweeter again...  One of the greatest GA aircraft in X-Plane?  Certainly one of the very best.


For a full (release) review of both of these aircraft then go to here:  and here for the optional extension of the


If you have the v2 of the 208B Cessna Grand Caravan and the CargoMaster "EXP Pack" then the v3 update is now available at the New X-Plane.OrgShop, just log in and check your account to download...  or if you want to buy:

Price is $29.95 - Sale price! only US$14.98 : C208B Grand Caravan HD Series  sale price valid only till the 21st Dec 2014.


Price is $7.95 - Sale price! only US$3.98 :   (you must already have purchased the above 208B Cessna Grand Caravan to use this "EXP" pack.) sale price valid only till the 21st Dec 2014.


Update review by Stephen Dutton


Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews



Windows XP, MAC, Linux

X-Plane 10.30+ . 32 and 64bit compatible

Pentium 3 GHz+  1Gb VRAM Recommended

Current version: v3 (last updated  November 20th 2014)

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:    

- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”

- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3

- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb


- Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4

- X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.31 Final


- Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle

- Bose Soundlink WiFi Speaker


- YPDO Devonport by VOZ (Barry Roberts)

- YMLT  Launceston by VOZ (Barry Roberts)

- EGEO - Oban Airport - Scotland 1.0 by Renair

- EGPK Glasgow Prestwick International Airport 1.1 by Golf 1

- Winter_Package 1.1 by xflyer (Albert)



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