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Update & Mini Review : Carenado Beechcraft B58 Baron v2.0 HD Series

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Carenado update & Mini Review :  Beechcraft B58 Baron v2.0 HD Series 

 

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Carenado have updated the B58 Baron to version 2.0. This twin engined General Aviation aircraft is one aircraft I found to be very smooth and powerful to fly. It was also the first of the HD Series with the higher quality textures and overall better quality. 

 

There is a significant thing to note in this release. Carenado have done an adjustment in the ability to control the amount of torque the engines produce. This especially affects planes such as the Baron, which don't have counter-rotating propellers.   The adjustment is outside of the standard plane-maker settings in using the SASL plugin to do the effects, and the effect is not available on any of the Carenado FSX Aircraft series either as it only works on the X-Plane versions.

 

You can use this effect and settings on any SASL based aircraft and it allows you to play with around with the torque settings. The full details and the thread is here : Engine Torque Tweaks now possible on all Carenado planes

 

Mini Review

When I first reviewed this aircraft on the 1st October 2012 it made a big impression on me as fast, smooth and easy to fly. It was also the first of Carenado's HD series of higher quality HD (High-Definition) large (2048×2048) textures for supreme and crisp detail.  They have 9 night-time textures and 5 normal map textures for extremely detailed appearance of exterior components, such as rivets, panelling, air-intakes.

 

Everyone thinks of the Beechcraft Baron as the Bonanza Twin, It is not as that aircraft is the model 95 Travel Air. The Baron is more of a distant cousin that an outright larger version of the popular single prop.

The original Baron (55 Short Body) first flew on the 29th February 1960, the  larger, more powerful Baron 58 (long body) was developed from the Baron 55 and introducing club seating, double aft baggage doors, and has a gross weight of 5,400lbs, in 1976, the turbocharged Baron 58TC and the pressurized Baron 58P were introduced – other versions are the G58 that was introduced in 2005 to the current day and the T-42A Cochise military version.

 

VNO – Max Operating Speed 195 KIAS comes from two Continental IO-550 300-hp engines for a range of 942 nmi (1,746 km, 1,085 miles) 65% power at 10,500 ft (3,200 m), 45 min reserves with a service ceiling of 19,700 ft (6,000 m).

 

Most Carenado releases in X-Plane now all the same HD Quality. But you can see the reason the aircraft made such a great impression back then as the textures are simply perfect in detail and still stand out with this updated release.

 

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As detailing goes you can't fault the B58, everything is so very well crafted right down to the individual engine parts in the nacelles, and the B58 Baron sprouts aerials like a Russian Spy Trawler and the numerous leading edge Static antennae are animated to vibrate in the airflow. All panel areas are well dirtied down and worn, where smoke or if the pipes protrude fuselage the dirt is there as well.

 

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Menus are situated in the usual Carenado fashion on the left lower side of the screen.

 

O - Options includes opening the Front Baggage door (with luggage), Window Reflections (good), Static Elements (bollards, tags and the pilots disappear), Rear doors (You can open the Co-Pilots from inside the aircraft), Tinted windows).

 

C- Cameras Includes the standard viewpoints, Main (pilot) view, Throttles, Fuel Select, Wing Cam L(eft), Tail Cam, CoPilot View, Radios, View from rear cabin, Wing Cam R(ight), Bellycam and the “Field of View” slider that can give you a tight or wide view of the cockpit.

 

The cabin is fitted out like a mini-executive jet interior, all leather and a flip out table...  bags in the rear as well behind the netting.

 

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Flying The Baron

The v2 update has enhanced the Baron in a subtle but important way, the torque tweak has made the aircraft sublime, it was very good before...  but now it is simply divine.  Smmmooooth.

 

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The panel comes to life as you start either engine one or two....  The start up is sheer perfection with gauges and needles spinning everywhere, the starter lights flash and calm down... your smiling now!

 

Sounds are also excellent, The 3d doppler effect is even better applied here than the earlier products as the low RPM sounds have their distinct sound, while the higher-RPM sounds then take over when the power is applied. This plane also has two in-between sounds for low-mid and high-mid engine RPMs. all is recorded with high quality 44.1 KHz stereo sounds from the real plane. Start-up splutter and turbine whine is also effective and any switch, It does however become a little droney in flight.

 

Taxi out and that over powered pull that made the aircraft run to fast is gone, taxi speed is now right on the money....  sounds with the window flap open are glorious before you even leave the ground this aircraft feels so complete and perfect.

 

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The aircraft tracks true and climbs out from KLAL Lakeland with power and you easily attain your height. You can easily be misled by the B58 Baron as it is so natural to the touch, so easy to fly. It does what you want when you want it too... You could say it was too easy but that would be missing the point in that it so well balanced, so well powered it is just a nice aircraft to fly. you don't fret in here but fly it like a top grade very expensive fast sports car in that you know the limits are well within the aircraft's range and power.

 

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The panel is comprehensive, really well fitted out, every item and dial except mostly for the main flight instruments is duplicated because of the twin engines...   Equipment stack is comprehensive with Radio..  original BENDIX KING KFC225 Autopilot, Two GARMAN GNS430's (VOR 1 and VOR 2), GARMAN GTX 327 Transponder and a Bendix King KR87 ADF unit. The flap lever adjustment is a bit of stretch however on the far side.

 

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The whole panel delivers in the best context...  Highlights are the clock included with the elapsed time on the front of the beautiful yoke and is fully functional and the "Baron" door details.

 

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Nightlighting under HDR is sublime, the panel is lit in sort of drop down lighting with the dials lit also from behind is almost perfection, Cabin lighting is two big lights over the pilots and spot seat lighting in the rear.  Outside the lighting is very good with the end wing reflectors (new strobe effects) a work of art. Main lighting is with a landing light on each engine and a taxi light on the front wheel strut.  Version 2 includes a lot of lighting enhancements and tuning by Carenado to create better halos and better glare effects.

 

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Approaching Fort Lauderdale it was time to turn south at the sea line and then angle back inland towards Opa Locka Airport (KOPF), Florida. The ease in which the B58 Baron can climb, descend, change direction can be too easy and you soon are finding yourself doing things that in other aircraft you would hesitate to do... Here I came close to the Runway 27R line up and just simply turned into finals with ease and then set my descent and then ended it all with nice light touch down on the tarmac... This aircraft is so supple like that.

 

Liveries

The base (default) livery is White. Followed (clockwise) MetalBlue - KLM - RedClassic -GoldGreen

 

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Conclusions

The B58 Beechcraft Baron was very good before. Now with this update to v2 it has lifted it even higher, in every area it is very hard to fault, but overall the ease of flying the machine is what is the best part of the Baron. But don't be fooled as you could say it was too easy in the fact it was just a joystick and throttle arcade game point of view, and that is not the approach here. It is at the opposite end of the scale in the fact the flying of this aircraft is so perfectly created it would be very easy to even to a none pilot to jump into a real life aircraft and not notice the difference...  it is because it so close in the recreation that the thought going through my mind as I crossed Florida was how good this aircraft really was. In simulation the aim is to get that view and feel of flying a real aircraft, and so how close does this aircraft come to that simulation even with a X-Plane10 created environment?

You certainly can't replace or totally reproduce the real B58 Baron as it sits in the real world as an aircraft, but as I peered around me and looked out towards the horizon...  It was pretty close and it comes with a great view!

 

post-2-0-53398500-1376729002.jpg Documention Included.

 

Review By Stephen Dutton

 

The B58 Baron v2. update is now available at the X-Plane .Org Store : Carenado B58 Baron

 

The Beechcraft Baron is available for both X-Plane 9 and X-Plane10 (note some effects and features require X-Plane10)

 

Price is US$27.95

 

Developer Site : Carenado

 

Version 2.0 list of Changes:

-32-bit and 64-bit Mac, Windows, and Linux support.  
-Updated SASL to official v2.0.1 release, which contains optimizations that benefit from Laminar's X-Plane 10.22 release.

-Added tweak to get a grasp on excessive engine torque modelled in X-Plane.  Check top of "Avionics.lua" file for values under "TorqueL" and "TorqueR"
-Fixed flap on right wing, fixed some polygons in right wing root.
-Interior lighting optimized for X-Plane v9 and v10.
-Overhauled lighting system.  Lighting halos for nav and strobe lights are now more visible under certain viewing angles.
-Landing light features tightly-focused "glare" effect when viewed from the right angle, and got some overhaul in their logic
-Nav lights have been improved for a more realistic appearance.
-Improved ground handling
-Improved pilot's head movements
-tweaked pilot's window transparency
-tweaked annunciator light appearance
-Tweaked "camera presets" to work more reliably.
-No longer has inverted fuel and oil systems. More realistic.
-Optimized "options" menu, to use less memory.
-Optimized "Cameras" menu to use less memory
-Tweaked volume knob for engine sounds ("Vol" knob on Audio panel)
-Tweaked turning radius on ground to compensate for new v10 no-toe-brake-with-rudder setting.
-Adjusted elevator trim characteristics
-Adjusted trim time from centre to max for v10, as this setting, left un-addressed, will cause the same plane to take twice as long to trim.
-tweaked gauges, such as fuel and oil pressure, vacuum, etc. to conform to v10's new way of calculating "Nominal pressure/temperature" as opposed to "Max pressure/temperature".
-Programmed default camera snap points for v10 (on top of existing ones via "Cameras" pop-up menu)

2 Different .acf files: one for v9 and one for v10.
-v10 .acf features optimized objects.  Interior/exterior shading is applied only where needed, saving resources.
-v10 .acf has further optimizations to objects that don't need the background (clouds, skies) to be drawn through them, if they're not transparent, saving further resources.
-v10 .acf also protects certain textures from resolution degradation at low rendering settings.  This guarantees that the panel instruments and text are always crisp and clear, no matter what rendering settings are chosen for the sim.
-v10 .acf is optimized to make use of HDR rendering, especially in terms of lighting.  This includes spill lights, which illuminate the surroundings, coming from Nav and Strobe lights.  
-When HDR mode is turned off, care has been taken to optimize the appearance of the plane without the enhancement benefits of HDR.

 

17th August 2013

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:     
- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”
- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb
Software:     
- Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2
- X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final)
- ExtremeSceneryMAXX
Addons

- Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle

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