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Aircraft Review : DHC-6 Twin Otter - 300 Series by RWDesigns

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Aircraft Review : de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series by RWDesigns

 

DHC-6 Twin Otters were quite thin on the ground for X-Plane a few years ago, but now that has all changed. First there was a great conversion of Syd Adam's version by Pedro van Leeuwen into his own freeware aircraft, and this was a great conversion. But it still had mostly default X-Plane switchgear and instruments and considering this the aircraft has still been overwhelmingly very popular. Now Jetsim has released their own payware version and this version is a complete ground up built aircraft of the veritable famous "Twotter".

 

The DHC-6 is a Canadian 19-passenger STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and is currently produced by Viking Air. Some places note the aircraft is not in production anymore, but it is. After Series 300 production had ended in 1988, the remaining tooling was then purchased by Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, who manufactured replacement parts for all of the out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft. On February 24, 2006, Viking purchased the type certificates from Bombardier Aerospace for all the out-of-production de Havilland DHC-1 through DHC-7 aircraft. The ownership of the certificates gives Viking the exclusive right to manufacture new aircraft. Currently the production restarted on July 17, 2006, at the Farnborough Air Show as Viking Air announced its intention to offer a Series 400 Twin Otter. On April 2, 2007 production of the Viking Twin Otter, equipped with a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engine was initiated and construction began and Zimex Aviation of Switzerland received the first new production aircraft, serial number 845, in July 2010. As of summer 2014 Viking has already built 55 new Series 400 aircraft at their Calgary facility. Serial number 900 took flight in spring 2014. The production rate as of summer 2014 is approximately 24 aircraft per year. To date there has been just under a 1000 Twin Otters of all series produced.

 

Development of the aircraft began in 1964, with the first flight on May 20, 1965. A twin-engined replacement for the single-engined DHC-3 Otter retaining DHC's renowned STOL qualities, design features included double-slotted trailing edge flaps and ailerons that work in unison with the flaps to boost STOL performance. The availability of the 550 shp (410 kW) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-20 propeller turboprop in the early 1960s made the concept of a twin more feasible. To bush operators, the improved reliability of turboprop power and the improved performance of a twin-engined configuration made it an immediately popular alternative to the piston-powered Otter which had been flying since 1951.

The first six aircraft produced were designated Series 1, indicating that they were prototype aircraft. The initial production run consisted of Series 100 aircraft, serial number seven to 115 inclusive. In 1968, Series 200 production began with serial number 116. Changes made at the beginning of Series 200 production included improving the STOL performance, adding a longer nose that was equipped with a larger baggage compartment (except for aircraft fitted with floats) and fitting a larger door to the rear baggage compartment. All Series 1, 100 and 200 aircraft and their variants (110, 210) were fitted with the 550 shaft-horsepower PT6A-20 engines.

 

In 1969, the Series 300 was introduced, beginning with serial number 231. Both aircraft performance and payload were improved by fitting more powerful PT6A-27 engines. This was a 680 hp (510 kW) engine that was flat-rated to 620 hp (460 kW) for use in the Series 300 Twin Otter. The Series 300 proved to be the most successful variant by far, with 614 Series 300 aircraft and their sub-variants (Series 310 for United Kingdom operators, Series 320 for Australian operators, etc.) sold before production in Toronto by de Havilland Canada ended in 1988. (wikipedia).

 

Performance : Maximum speed  160 knots (297 km/h at cruise altitude)  170 knots (314 km/h at cruise altitude) : Cruise speed  150 knots (278 km/h at cruise altitude) : Stall speed  58 knots (107 km/h at cruise altitude) : Range (Max fuel, no payload)  771 nmi (1,427 km)  775 nmi (1,434 km)  799 nmi (1480 km) 989 nmi (1832 km) with long range tankage : Service ceiling 25,000 ft (7,620 m)

 

RWDesigns de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter

 

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Yes this is a great looking Twin Otter from RWDesigns (formerly Jetsim). It is the long nose version (no notes on if a short nose version will happen?) and finally we have a quality version of this great and versatile aircraft. These short distance regional aircraft are some of the best to fly in X-Plane, because they are just that...  very versatile. They give you great flexibility in island hopping or airport hopping around touristy areas and delivering people and cargo to remote areas and even supplying supplies to people who have a habit of doing badly planned adventures and even then saving them from themselves (or mostly getting them back to the nearest hospital). In most cases you need an aircraft like the Twin Otter in most or all of those scenarios.

 

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Modelling wise the Twin Otter is pretty good, with great detailing of rivets and paneling from the X-Plane "draw per pixel lighting" shading effects and aircraft body fittings, although it is still a high step up into the cockpit. looking up the cockpit looks excellent in detail. This is the office and you will spend a lot of time in here and so you will require it to be very good...  thankfully it is. The Twin Otter cockpit is quite short as the pilot's and co-pilots seats are resting closely to the rear cockpit bulkhead, there is not much room in there or space. the two yokes are on a V central column and are expertly created. the main power (throttle), feather and fuel (cutoff) levers with the flap selector set out behind are all arranged on the centre overhead box structure.

 

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Once up in the left hand pilot's seat the panel looks quite basic for a two engined regional aircraft. The pilot gets most of the instruments and the co-pilot really gets only the standard six instrument pack and a turn indicator. Power "on" is on one of two small switch panels on the left and right side of the main overhead structure. If you want the main switchgear then it is directly above your head and right up against the rear cockpit bulkhead.

 

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Main panel lighting are three rotary knobs right above you rear with two for the Panel/Eng-Inst pilot (left) and one for the radio/co-pilot (right). twirl them all up and the overhead and panel comes to life. And it all looks really great. Point to be aware of is you need to set your X-Plane views to cater for this straight up extreme switch and knob position, you will go up here quite a lot and you need to get there and back quickly.

 

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Not everything though is now switched on...  you have to also now switch on the equipment stack one radio set at a time. A feature I really like, because it is very realistic. You have the 10.30 Garmin GNS 530 gps with a pop-out screen, to turn on it is a two button press activation with the .C button first and then an "OK?" by pressing the "ENT" button. Below is Bendix/King KX155A TSO which is COMM 1/NAV 1 only (sorry no COMM 2/NAV 2). Next down is the KT 70 TSO Transponder and finally a KR 87 TSO ADF radio set. You will find the equipment here more interactive with more changes than the standard radio sets fitted to X-Plane aircraft, button work and settings can be changed more than the basics... The KR 87 TSO X-Plane manipulators however are quite difficult to use, the worse are the smallest -/+ adjustments, they are also very hard to find sometimes. Top of the equipment stack is the standard KMA 28 TSO audio selection panel.

 

No NAV2/VOR 2 direction finding is a real loss in an aircraft of this type?  The NDB setting doesn't give you enough range and as we will see you have to take short routes across open water. I found a trick around this by using the GNS 530...

 

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Find the VOR radial that you want and put it into the GNS gps as a "direct" position. In this case it is "SSR" TACAN RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. It will give you range, direction and your position. The good news is that the GNS can accept VOR radials.

 

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The autopilot in the DHC-6 is a Collins AP106. the system is centre right on the panel and the altitude selection is just below. The altitude selection works with two buttons on the upper top of the pilot's station panel. There is an activation and adjustment button and knob missing from the AP panel...  I'll let you think about that one for a moment.

 

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Engine display panel is beautiful, with great lighting. Dials include - Torque Pressure Gauges -  Prop RPM Percentage Gauges - T5 Temperature Gauges - Gas Generator RPM Gauges - Fuel Flow Gauges - Oil Temperature Gauges - Oil Pressure Gauges and Fuel Quantity Gauges LEFT gauge is AFT and RIGHT gauge is FWD. An excellent Fire protection panel and DC Volts/Load Indicators. As my route today was quite long, I have put in 13 X 100 Ibs of fuel in each tank

 

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On the centre yoke support column is your "Yaw" damper button and the trim knobs are down by your right arm rest.

 

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Overhead is the twin throttle levers and propeller feather levers, far right the two fuel valve levers, all are excellent with the throttles levers having built in reverse thrust. Small panels either side cover electrics/landing lights and starters on the left and wiper switches on the right. The lighting switches are set out all over the rear of the overhead panel so you have to remember their placement, De-iceing and heating switches and controls are all up here as well. Detailing is great with attention to detail like with this overhead light and switch.

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Flying the DHC-6 Twin Otter

One of the most highly used routes of the talents of the Twin Otter are found in the upper top reaches of Scotland and the accompanying northern islands of Orkney and Shetland. So my route was from Aberdeen/Dyce (EGPD) to Kirkwall (EGPA) via Lossiemouth and Wick, then on to Sumburgh (EGPB) in the lower Shetlands. The return route was a nonstop flight back to Aberdeen/Dyce via Kirkwall and Wick and then direct back over the water to EGPD. The area is suited well for the Twin Otter, but it is also known for its constantly variable changeable weather and add in a mid-February winter period and it was going to be interesting flying.

 

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There are two baggage compartments with one in the nose and a larger one aft of the passenger cabin. All doors open by a hand on the inside of each door (including the pilots/co-pilots doors), here a door menu would be a better fit, as the two baggage doors are quite hard to open, as you have to find the doors from the inside to open/close them? At least you can just twist around in the cockpit to open/close the main passenger doors through the cockpit/cabin opening.

 

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Passenger cabin is bright and cheerful, but a bit too bright with the cabin lighting switched on. Great baggage seen in the compartments and with the passengers on board we are ready to depart to Kirkwall.

 

Engine start is quite easy. Ignition "on" for each engine and make sure the fuel and feather/prop levers are forward, then flick the starter switch on which engine you want to start. The process is automatic and it will take a little while to turn over and power up.

 

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You will need a little power to get the aircraft moving, but in the taxi mode it is quite easy to control, just make sure to control the taxi speed. Lighting is fine with two landing lights in the wings and a small taxi light on the front nose gear. It's not brilliant but good enough for what you need. The landing lights will work on/off by the X-Plane menu (set on my joystick), but the taxi light has to be switched off manually...  which means a visit to the overhead panel every time to just do that.

 

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You set the flaps by the positioner on the overhead panel and the flap position is shown on the central window strut. The system is not notched but a continuous linear movement up or down, so you can set them where you like within the flap range of 0º to 40º

 

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Most aircraft are built to a compromise. In the Twin Otter's case it is it's low speed and STOL (Short,TakeOff and Landing) capabilities. These aspects are great in their right situations, but can work against you in other areas. In the Twin Otters case it is its speed and climbing ability, so this aircraft is not going to win any awards in either of those areas. That huge tail works against you in other ways as well. I found the aircraft is not great in cross winds, so taking off in a stiff crosswind North Sea breeze is going to make the aircraft a handful. You will have your work cut out at low speeds until that tail starts to bite the air. So your yoke is a blur and your working the throttle to get the best compromise of keeping the aircraft sorta straight. Once you get to a certain built up movement of speed the aircraft settles down quite nicely and once in the air is also nice and easy under the yoke and rudders. You are not going to do aerobatic turns or somersaults in a utility aircraft like this but it will turn and climb well within reason. A small annoyance is that after leaving the runway the wheels will continue to rotate? they will go on turning like this for ages unless you use your brakes to stop them, If you do use the brake then make sure that it is off again to land...  or you may go and burst your tyres.

 

If you have looked closely at the Collins AP106 system you will notice there is no V/S (Vertical Speed) button or V/S climb or descend knob? The Collins system does not use that type of system to climb or descend, instead it works this way.

 

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You set your speed and pitch (usually at 1000fpm) and then turn on the Collins AP system by the switch, then to activate you then press the IAS (speed) button to maintain the climb (pitch) and lock in the speed you have chosen. The aircraft maintains the pitch and holds that speed, and once it has settled its position you can actually change the pitch up or down by using more or less throttle...  but the speed stays the same. It works quite well once you are familiar with how it works and how it adjusts your pitch, the tricky part is getting the right pitch and speed to be locked in at the right point so the transition from manual control to auto control is smooth and the aircraft does not go nose down and then pick up speed to adjust itself.

At first I didn't like it or was simply not used to that way of adjusting my climbing vertical speed. But time and practise and I can now easily set the system smoothly, it is just getting both pitch and speed correct. As the aircraft climbs and the speed stays constant then the vertical speed will adjust to the power available and your pitch will decrease from usually 1000fpm to around 500fpm, and it works very well when you are used to it. You set the "ALT ALERT" on the panel to tell the system when the set altitude (8500ft) is achieved and the aircraft will then level off and release the throttle hold, you then need to adjust your throttle speed to the airspeed you require. The speed band is quite small with 90knts minimum and 140knts the usual cruising speed or 160kts if you are really lucky.

 

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Once in the (slow) cruise Scotland turned on an early cold morning soft misty light show. And as the sun rose more I headed north.

 

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The cockpit is a nice place to be. You work hard in the office of the Twin Otter, but the rewards are there. Those big Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 turbine turboprop engines are right there powering away in the background. Sound from them is not extreme but still constantly slightly high. Overall the sound is very good but not exceptional. Sound is also 3D directional and non-adjustable.

 

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With the Scottish Mainland behind me I headed up to Wick and then the islands started to flow under the aircraft. Close up detail of the aircraft in flight shows good detailing of the wings, tail and I like the external metal plates that strengthen the hold of the wings on to the fuselage...  gives you good feeling that they won't blow off.

 

Arriving at my first port of call in Kirkwall, Shetland and I found it difficult to lose height? Pulling back the power and pushing the yoke full forward still means the aircraft was slow to drop down, holding the IAS button on and no power didn't work either?

 

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I finally got the aircraft down to a 1000ft and studied Kirkwall below from a bypass, before looping back around to RWY27. I had good reasons to check out the lay of the land, as the blustery North Sea wind at Aberdeen was now a full blown gale of 20kts, I didn't so much land at EGPA but crab in totally sideways. The low Twin Otter 75knt landing speed gives you more space and it is very wide. once down reverse propeller thrust can stop you within a very short distance, it looks and sounds great from the cockpit as well.

 

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I was down and my passengers still were on friendly terms with me as well. But I was not happy with my approach or landing at all, at least the route did not end here so I would get more chances to put things right.

 

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It was mostly going to be all over water to the next stop at Sumburgh (EGPB) lower Shetland. And almost when I had reached my height of 12,500ft and as quick as a throwback of a dram of Scotch the weather turned even worse and darker. I climbed more up to 10,000ft to get above the cloud tops, but the Twotter did what it was best at... just kept on Twottering along.

 

Liveries

There is not a great selection of liveries, because the Twin Otter has so many operators it would be impossible to cover even a few of the best...  The painters are going to have a field day with this aircraft.

 

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There are seven liveries, two white in clean and dirty, A British Airways, British Antarctic Survey and Royal Canadian Forces designs and a Maldivian Air Taxi. The other one is the Flybe livery in use.

 

It was time to descend and I checked out the manual to see if I had done anything wrong, as this Collins AP system is quite different from the standard V/S versions.

 

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Well I had missed something and that was you had to not only set your throttles to idle...  but also feather your propellers as well?  I did this and down slowly I descended. It was odd (and slightly disconcerting) just having the props just windmilling around out there with only the sound of the wind showing you your speed. You have to get you distance to height right as you drop usually at 1000ft per minute. I found that if you adjust your feather angle (I have mine set up on my keyboard) you could adjust the pitch from 1000ft to 200ft per minute to get the best glide down. The IAS switch on the Collins has to be on and you select the "MDA" button (minimum descent altitude) to target the set altitude like you did earlier before when going up.

 

I pulled the throttle power back in to give me more power as the MDA reached clickoff point to get a smooth transition from descending to powered forward flight. Down at 1500ft I couldn't see anything in front of me though the foggy windows, and I knew on the approach to EGPB that there was a big dirty mountain of a rocky point to the left of me. I saw it finally through the gloom and used the ILS Horizontal Situation Indicator alignment to guide me to end of the runway 09. The ILS beam is actually offset on RWY09 and too tricky to use in these conditions, so I just used the beam to align the Twin Otter with the runway and flew down the runway to get the correct bearing and wind direction, which I found that RWY33 would give me a direct approach with the wind directly behind me which is hard enough, but at least the bluster is not throwing me stupidly sideways.

 

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A clear 90º to 90º circuit to RWY33 and the approach was perfect and I was soon down and parked up. The Twin Otter comes with full systems including Electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, Anti-Ice and Fuel System.

 

Return to Aberdeen Dyce was a straight through route. So I set up the Garmin GNS to cover all the bases including a few waypoints over the water section. I like to fly VOR to VOR but here I wanted to test out the NAV gps system.

 

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My route was just under 250nm and I was going to fly at 12.500ft. Just a quick ride home was the idea...  but coming over Kirkwall you could see my problem? I had a 22knt headwind, and at that point only a 120knt groundspeed, it was going to take hours to get back to EGPD and it did. But that is not a bad thing in here. I just sat back and enjoyed the flight back, I had become quite smitten with this aircraft and you can see easily why it is so popular.

 

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Over Wick I turned out over the North Sea and headed for the Scottish mainland. Once the coast was in view I was ready to feather the props and pull back the power and head down to the coast to fix "NOBAL" then down the coast to Aberdeen/Dyce NDB "ATF" which gives you an almost 160º turnback to runway 34. As with everthing else today I was not going to get off easily as there was another heavy crosswind approach to the airport, but by now I was pretty confident of my abilities to touch this Twotter down as smoothly as possible. Wind, it had caused me havoc today, but I had flown well and the smile on my face proved all the hard work had not been in vain.

 

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There are four variants in the RWDesigns Twin Otter package...  The standard version as flown above.

 

A "Float" version.

 

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A "Ski" version with large ski's on the wheels.

 

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And a "Tundra" large tyre version.

 

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Summary

At its heart the DHC-6 Twin Otter is a bush pilot's aircraft. It was built in Canada for the Canadian wilderness, and that makes it a tough no nonsense sort of machine. Speed is not the issue here, getting in and out of tight areas in bad weather with passengers and cargo is what it does best. At first it is an aircraft that will take a bit of time to master, that Collins autopilot is different but interesting and also quite easy once you understand it and use it. By the time this review was completed I found how much I really like this aircraft. It has some small comparisons to the FlyJSim Dash 8 in that it is an aircraft to master to fly really, really well. But once you get there it rewards you.

 

As a design the Twin Otter is excellent from RWDesigns, but remember this developer is still very new to X-Plane (They also designed the A330 last year), and few areas still need some polishing. The missing COMM2/VOR2/NAV2 radio is strange when you have two COMM1/NAV1 settings with the one already in the GNS530. There are no menus and they are really required for the door operations, likewise there are no static ground objects that would go very well with the aircraft. Liveries are few, but good and some modeling work is still a bit chunky and some panels are bare and not textured, like the bulkhead behind the pilots and parts of the cabin...  the wipers are a bit chunky as well.

 

But where it is good it very good...  The panel and instruments are excellent and so is all the switchgear including the equipment designs. Overall the modeling is very good and this is certainly the quality Twin Otter we have all been waiting for. Detailing is very good and the aircraft is a challenge to fly like a professional. As an investment the Jetsim Twin Otter is a great addition to your flying career, if you like to fly around the tough areas of the world like Alaska, Africa, Northern Europe and Australia...  then this aircraft is invaluable to have.

 

My first reaction on first seeing the Twin Otter was "wow, finally a great usable Twotter....  I love it" Now after spending sometime with the aircraft "I really love it!"....  It is a great aircraft.

 

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The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series by RWDesigns is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here

 

DHC-6 Otter 300 Series and is priced at only US$27.95

 

Features:

High-Resolution 3D Model

  •     3D Cockpit
  •     Hi Res 4K textures
  •     Full 3D exterior model
  •     HD Night Lighting
  •     Interchangable liveries between versions.
  •     7 paint schemes
  •     Custom Prop/Engine sounds

Custom Systems

  •     Programmed Radios
  •     Customized GNS 530
  •     Custom airfoils and flightmodel
  •     Custom electrical and de-Icing systems

 

 

Installation : Download is 273.70mb that is unzipped to 368.80mb. And a Serial Number is required for installation.

Documents : DHC-6 AOM (Aircraft Operating Manual) and DHC-6 Flight Tutorial

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 10.30+. Windows, Mac Linux

4Gb RAM. 1Gb+ VRAM Video card
Serial Number required during installation
RWDesigns - Are the same team that brought you the A330

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Review by Stephen Dutton

    20th February 2015

    Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Review System Specifications:

    Computer System:     

    - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”

    - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3

    - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb

    - Seagate 256gb SSD 

    Software:     

    - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1

    - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final)

    Addons

    - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle

    - Bose - Soundlink Mini

    Scenery

    - EGPD Aberdeen Dyce for XP10 4.1 by anthony_d (X-Plane.Org) - Free

    - EGPA Kirkwall Airport 2.3 by dkm (X-Plane.Org) - Free

    - EGPB Sumburgh (sorry I can't find this original scenery?) EGPB is however included the X-Plane "Global Airports" 10.35b2

    - Final Frontier version 10.2 by Tom Curtis (X-Plane Store $24.95)

    X-PlaneReviews review of Tom Curtis's "Final Frontier" here: Developer Update : Final Frontier version 10.2 by Tom Curtis

     

    X Plane reviews logo 200px.jpg

     

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    Guest amerrir

    A very fair & well written review, & I'd agree that the panel & instruments are a strong point on this model - and that's a good strong point to have as you spend so much time looking at them. :)  I have found myself hooked on this plane, and it's the first time I've flown a twotter since XPv8.

     

    Regarding your comment on the baggage doors, "the two baggage doors are quite hard to open, as you have to find the doors from the inside to open/close them?" They can also be accessed by moving outside the aircraft from the 3D cockpit view, if you then pan the view to see the side of the aircraft you can open them with a mouse click - you don't need to be close to them, (this works for all doors).

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    A very fair & well written review, & I'd agree that the panel & instruments are a strong point on this model - and that's a good strong point to have as you spend so much time looking at them. :)  I have found myself hooked on this plane, and it's the first time I've flown a twotter since XPv8.

     

    Regarding your comment on the baggage doors, "the two baggage doors are quite hard to open, as you have to find the doors from the inside to open/close them?" They can also be accessed by moving outside the aircraft from the 3D cockpit view, if you then pan the view to see the side of the aircraft you can open them with a mouse click - you don't need to be close to them, (this works for all doors).

     

    The two baggage doors were a last minute change...  before if you selected the RMI VOR or NDB button the front baggage door would open!  and in flight...  funny yes. Rob told me just to select the doors after the issue was fixed, but didn't actually say where?

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    Guest Don

    I purchased this plane today through the .ORG store. Out of the box the GNS-539 does not displan on the instrument panel. When I click on the GNS-530 panel it pops up as expected and is functional but the display on the instrument panes is never active - the buttons work but the center display is totally blank.

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    I purchased this plane today through the .ORG store. Out of the box the GNS-539 does not displan on the instrument panel. When I click on the GNS-530 panel it pops up as expected and is functional but the display on the instrument panes is never active - the buttons work but the center display is totally blank.

     

    Oh deary me!...  If you read the review it tells you how to switch on the radio units and that includes the wonderful GNS350...    There are also arrows pointing to the offending buttons.

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    Guest Peter

     

     

    Overall the sound is very good but not exceptional.

     

    I just bought this and I feel really disappointed. The modelling is great and the flight model feels ok, but the sounds are abysmal, and I think you're totally letting your readership down by not making a proper note of this. They are just the stock King Air C90 sounds recycled (which are only just about 'ok' for a basic model). 

     

    I have flown in Twin Otters many times and the droning is a real part of their character which I was hoping to have faithfully reproduced here but it is not to be! No matter how good your modelling is, if the sounds aren't there to match then the product just straight up isn't finished. I felt so disappointed by this that I felt I had to post here to let everyone else know so they can avoid the same disappointment.

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    I did note the sounds were not perfect?  very good, but not excellent means they are not absolutely spot on, as for the droning I thought they were just that...   droning? and I had the earache to prove it...  but any product I admit can have a weak area, the idea is users note these points and the developer takes them on board and update these areas. I did note that RWDesigns is still very new to the developer business, its a tough learning curve and I admit you are paying cash here, but even the best pro's usually put an update out within a short period of time to fill in these sort of refining items. SD

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    Guest cptcaptain

    Standard sounds in a payware model? Really?

     

    I'm very disappointet. I expectet something like the Aerosoft Twotter, but its not even close to it.

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    I am disappointed!

    The quality of the in-cockpit graphics does not match the advertised displays, the attached manuals or the above review.

    Examples of this problem can be seen in the following displays!

     

    16. KX155A TSO – Nav/Comm

    17. KT 70 TSO – Transponder

    18. KR 87 TSO – ADF

    11. Altitude Alerter.

    12. Autopilot Annunciators

     

    If someone can tell me how to improve these blurry componants, I would be very happy.

    Thanks

    Barry

     

     

    post-316-0-86502800-1427755601_thumb.png

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    Well I am not faking the images?  What detail you see in the review is what I see? and the panel was very good in this aircraft.  Check your texture resolution is at least "high", or if you can "very high" and put your anti-alias as high as you can as well. If you are running HDR then minimum should be FXAA but you need 2x SSAA + FXAA for good anti-aliasing.

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    Guest KC2684

    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply your report wasn't accurate wrt the images. It's just that I do not get them. The other instruments are clear and sharp. That's why i asked for help.

    I'll try you suggestions.

    Thanks

     

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    Guest kc2684

    :)

    Thanks 

    Setting the texture resolution to only high seems to resolved my problem.

    I run with most "features" turned off since MAC IOS X and X-Plane do not play well together.

    Thanks again.

    Barry

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    After reading your article, you are exactly on point with your review.  I have also been a fan of the Twin Otter and after I purchased the aircraft I can say as well, that my purchase was not a waste.  Allowing me to go places where I wouldn't normally go (i.e.…  With floats) has brought a new avenue in exploring X-Plane.  Here we are setting at version 1.2 however, I would say that RW designed still needs to tweak the aircraft to make it a more robust product.  The biggest glaring issue that I have found in the float plane configuration not allowing the GPS to control your route.  Basically I ended up programming the GPS and just use the heading bug to fly me around the route that I programmed into the GPS.  The other variations of the aircraft when it comes to the GPS seems to work as normal with the CDI switch working.
    I noticed in the X-Plane forums that people have reached out to the developer to address this issue and at one point,  Rob Wilson the developer said he would take a look at it.  That was on the 18th of January 2016, but still the issue has not been fixed which has been some time now.  This is troubling to me, I've noticed a pattern with developers whether it be X-Plane Products or MS flight simulator platform (FSX,FSXSE, and so on).  That some developers get complacent and rest on their laurels and not provide updates in a timely manner which in turn makes their products obsolete overtime.  

    I would love to see the developers take the initiative and add DLC content to their existing aircraft.  As an example: I would be more than willing to pay with my money and upgrade to this aircraft with the glass cockpit configuration.  Basically what a real world pilot owner or company would do in keeping their aircraft freshly updated with the latest technology if they choose to do so.  Can you imagine, (if you are a glass cockpit guy such as myself) having a GXXXX glass cockpit configuration with all the bells and whistles including whether, traffic following me map and other features that glass cockpit panels of today provides.
    Again as any end user, I would be more than willing to pay for these features as DLC content.  But, that's just me I guess, I have no problem giving the developer more money which in turn provides me as the end user a more robust product for me to enjoy.  Within financial reason of course.  I see the market will dictate developers abuses if they hold back, too aggressively .

    Anyway, back to the other glaring problem I noticed was switching out between NAV 1 and NAV 2 sources I have to use XHSI 2.0 beta 8 (  a free standalone addon) which is a glass cockpit application on another computer to facilitate source swapping functions.  Regrettably the model does not have a source switching capability that I have found yet.  There was a document created by Jean-Claude Meunier, on 21 Mar 2015 posted and depicts the switch to the right of the radios.  With version 1.2, that's switch does not exist.  So to sum up, All in all, this is a great aircraft and I'm enjoying flying it to this day, Other than muddling through issues as stated above.  Keep up the great work in looking forward to next review on a product that I find of interest.

    Dion Markgraf
    AKA: Dionsol
    Flight Simulation (X-Plane 10 Pilot) & Aviation Enthusiast

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    20 minutes ago, Dionsol said:

    After reading your article, you are exactly on point with your review.  I have also been a fan of the Twin Otter and after I purchased the aircraft I can say as well, that my purchase was not a waste.  Allowing me to go places where I wouldn't normally go (i.e.…  With floats) has brought a new avenue in exploring X-Plane.  Here we are setting at version 1.2 however, I would say that RW designed still needs to tweak the aircraft to make it a more robust product.....

    Thank You for your great feedback, and yes you are right in developers need to be on top of X-Plane changes and keep them current, service is as important as the release version if not more so than the idea and execution of the aircraft or scenery. At this point though my guess is there won't be many updates till after the Laminar Research v10.50 beta and final. There are usually a lot of great new features and fixes and v10.50 has the new manipulator features, most developers will of course will want to use these great new tools, so expect a rush of update releases straight after v10.50 goes final. SD 

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    Guest Rico
    Dear all,
     
    Thanks for taking the time to build and review this aircraft.
     
    Being a flight simulator hobbyist for over 20 years myself, and commercial pilot with 3500 hours total including ~800 on the Twin-otter (310 and 400 series), I feel that I had to share my thoughts about this particular aircraft as well.
     
    Mainly because this aircraft is priced $27.95 and it had good reviews, I had high expectations of this model and I decided to purchase this as a replacement for the now nearly 10 year old Aerosoft DHC6 in FSX (currently priced at $33.00)

    Review:
    RWDesign_Twin_Otter_v1.2 in X-plane 10.51r2 x64bit.

    There are no installation instructions at all. The zip file contains an aircraft folder which you can copy-paste into the aircraft folder under the x-plane 10 installation directory.

    The exterior is well animated. There are quite a few liveries, you can choose between the long and short nose version, wheels, tundra's skies and floats. I noticed immediately that the props are in fine pitch which can't be right with the engines off. I select the prop levers to feather and the blades respond instantly. This can't happen with the lack of oil-pressure in the system.

    The passenger cabin looks authentic. The air-stairs door opens together with the cargo door and the flight deck doors open as well. The baggage doors should open too. The emergency exits don't open. The seatbelt-no-smoking sign is missing.

    The main cockpit panel has all the looks of a twin-otter flight deck, but many details are absent such as the inverters, headset jacks, fire extinguisers, cockpit fans, the crash axe, seat belts and harness, just to name a few.

    After switching on the master and battery switch I noted there is no voltage indicated. you'd expect to see about 24 volts. There is no sound for the gyros and no sound for the hydraulics pump. The boost pump 2 forward and aft pressure lights are off which is wrong with the boost pumps off.

    After switching the boost pumps ON, the boost pump lights extinguish, but again no sound. I tried the fuel selector, after switching to Both on AFT I'd expect the no 1 and 2 Forward boost pump lights to illuminate, but they don't. also the x-feed magnetic indicator does not move.

    As mentioned before there is no battery voltage indicated and external power cannot be selected.
    There is no hydraulic pressure indicated. but I'll set the parking brake anyway.

    I try to start the engine non-the less.
    When I hold the starter, I can hear the engine spooling up, and even starting, but I see no GG indication and therefore I have not introduced any fuel. (you need at least 12% GG for fuel introduction, but normally around 18% for a battery start and 22% with a GPU).

    The fuel selector cannot be assigned to any hardware axis which makes it a pain to select fuel ON and looking at the gauges simultaneously.

    Second attempt, I hold the starter for a few seconds and then select fuel ON. The engine starts, there is a small rise in T5 but not even close to the ~500 degrees you'd expect.
    the engine idles at 5% GG instead of 48%. Also the engine sound dies off after the start cycle is completed. Again it is completely silent. Another important note is that during the start the Generator lights remained illuminated. This is an essential wrong because the generators are also the starter motors.

    Now I have some hydraulic pressure, but only 1000psi instead of 1500. It seems that the hydraulics are modelled as an engine driven pump, which should be an electrical pump.

    When I un-feather the props, the engine sound comes back. the GG now shows 22% instead of 52%

    After applying some power to reach 55% GG I switch on the generators and avionics. I am surprised that there is no DME available. This makes this aircraft in essence VFR only. I acknowledge that the instrumentation varies allot with twin-otters, but this is an essential piece of equipment for flight simulator use.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the correct function of the flap lever. Flaps 10 for departure is set.

    When selecting the bleed switches ON the pneumatic low pressure light extinguish. This should normally not happen below 65% GG.

    There is no way of setting the trims because the trim indicator for the rudder and elevator are missing. Normally the rudder trim is set to 3 degrees right and the aileron trim to 3 degrees left for takeoff, but without indications I decide not to touch them.

    I also skip all the ground checks because of none of the test systems are modelled. there is not even an auto-feather switch.

    Ground handling is pretty good, I have assigned a hardware axis to the nose-wheel steering and the aircraft response is as expected. Both forward and during power back.

    I tested the engine. At full power I get 42 PSI torque only, which is not enough for takeoff. Takeoff is done at 50 PSI, but that torque should be achieved well before reaching the power-lever stop.

    Static propeller RPM however shows 92%, which should really be about 85%.

    Brake release and takeoff. Rotate at 70 for a light aircraft and climb with 12 degrees pitch to maintain 90 knots.

    To set climb power, first select 38 PSI torque, pull the prop levers to the low pitch stop (75% NP) and that should result in 45 PSI torque.

    This didn't work with the x-plane model because there is no stop. I selected 75% NP but the torque did not rise. Again after increasing the power levers I would not get more than 42 PSI.

    When I select the flaps UP, I was surprised to see the aircraft pitch up, the real one has a significant pitch down effect.

    Climb performance is a bit over the top. It showed 1700 fpm, which is allot even with an empty aircraft. I'd expect to see around 1000 fpm in this configuration.

    Cruise is at 42 PSI, 75% torque. This should result in around 95% GG, and 280 PPH fuel flow per engine. The simulation showed 300pph and 82% GG.

    When cruising at 4000ft I reached a speed of 154 knots instead of ~135

    Just to try another power setting, 30 PSI/75% NP results in 140 knots instead of 120.

    It is safe to say now that the flight model is not only overpowered, but also lacks the parasite drag that comes with a twin otter.

    In the descent I noted another major flaw in the instrumentation. The attitude indicator has no pointer to indicate the angle of bank, which makes it extremely hard to fly on instruments.

    The documentation provided is a flight tutorial and an aircraft manual.

    The first thing I notice is the start sequence described in the Tutorial. If you'd follow this procedure in a real twin otter, selecting fuel on before starting, you would destroy the engines instantly and probably set the whole thing on fire too! The remainder of the tutorial has an emphasis on finding the destination but does not give you much information about operating the aircraft.

    The other document is the AOM. It contains a systems description that match neither the real or simulated aircraft. For example it describes fuel heaters that prevent ice crystals. The simulated aircraft has no fuel heaters and the real aircaft has an oil-cooler that uses the fuel lines and hence warms up the fuel a bit, but also no fuel heaters.

    It describes how the fire handles shut off the engines, which they do in the x-plane model, but not in the real aircraft. (that's why there are separate fuel shut off switches next to the fire handles).

    This one is also very amusing:
    RESET PROPS [caution light]
    Illuminates if feather levers are not fully feathered when power is below 70%.

    This clearly shows that the writer of this manual has absolutely no clue what he or she is talking about.

    The RESET PROPS lights should illuminate if the power levers are retarded below the 75% Ng position with the propeller levers set at 91% Np or less.
    Or in plain words, as a reminder to set the propellers to max-RPM before takeoff or landing.

    The verdict:

    If you just want an aircraft that looks like a twin otter but flies like anything else and you don't care for too many details. This might be just for you.

    It is possible to fly VFR with this aircraft but definitely not by the numbers. It's IFR capability is very limited with the lack of DME and a missing bank pointer in the ADI.

    3d exterior and cockpit model is good, texture quality is moderate, sounds quality is very poor.

    Less than half of the primary systems are modelled, most of them incorrectly. Non of the secondary systems are modelled correctly or at all.

    Flying characteristics, engine indications and total aircraft performance are incorrect.

    Documentation is useless.

    This would make a fine freeware aircraft, but for the price of $27.95 I regret my purchase and I consider asking for my money back.

    Rico. 

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    Guest Jowen
    On 11/7/2016 at 9:36 PM, Guest Rico said:

    ...

     

    Your post is very interesting ! Don't you mind to contact the dev to share your knowledge about this aircraft ? It can be very useful to him

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    Guest Steve
    On 11/8/2016 at 9:36 AM, Guest Rico said:
    Dear all,
     
    Thanks for taking the time to build and review this aircraft.
     
    Being a flight simulator hobbyist for over 20 years myself, and commercial pilot with 3500 hours total including ~800 on the Twin-otter (310 and 400 series), I feel that I had to share my thoughts about this particular aircraft as well.
     
    Mainly because this aircraft is priced $27.95 and it had good reviews, I had high expectations of this model and I decided to purchase this as a replacement for the now nearly 10 year old Aerosoft DHC6 in FSX (currently priced at $33.00)

    Review:
    RWDesign_Twin_Otter_v1.2 in X-plane 10.51r2 x64bit.
     
    This would make a fine freeware aircraft, but for the price of $27.95 I regret my purchase and I consider asking for my money back.

    Rico. 

     

     

    Excellent info here - thanks. I was about to buy this aircraft but now cannot, it will now be the Carenado Grand Caravan or the Mitsi MU-2. You should repost this over in the aircraft support thread http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/forum/245-dhc-6-twin-otter/  

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