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Aircraft Update Review : Cessna 140 v1.1 by NKDesign


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Cessna140 - v1.1 Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Update Review : Cessna 140 v1.1 by NKDesign

 

The Cessna 120, 140, and 140A series, are single-engine, two-seat, conventional landing gear (tailwheel), light general aviation aircraft that were first produced post-war WW2 in 1946. Production ended in 1951, and was succeeded in 1959 by the Cessna 150, a similar two-seat trainer which introduced tricycle gear. Combined production of the 120, 140, and 140A was 7,664 units in five years.

 

The Cessna 140 was originally equipped with a Continental C-85-12 or C-85-12F horizontally opposed, air-cooled, four-cylinder piston engine of 85 hp (63 kW). The Continental C-90-12F or C-90-14F of 90 hp (67 kW) was optional, as was the 108 hp (81 kW) Lycoming O-235-C1 engine, an aftermarket installation authorized in the type certificate. This later model had a metal fuselage and fabric wings with metal control surfaces.

 

This is NKDesign's second release for X-Plane after the first being a scenery in; EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport by NKdesign

 

Note. Since the release of this aircraft, NKdesign have put out a comperhensive update in v1.1, to cover a wide array of if issues that were present on the original release...  So this release review has been amended to incorporate the changes, the initial review has been noted were the changes have been implemented. The full v1.1 Changelog is noted at the foot of the review.

 

Cessna 140

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At first glance the C140 looks well done, but there is that sort of model aircraft feel about the design. The C140 does have a very basic construction design, the panels are basic as are the fittings, well done here, but overall you could say the modeling is more than competent, but not outstanding, but the mapping of the rivets are very well done. I'm in two minds about the very thin twin-bladed propeller.

 

Cessna140 - Head 5.jpgCessna140 - Head 6.jpg

 

This is the C140, not the C140A that had only one support strut per wing, here you get the full piping framework to strengthen the wing solid, but makes downward visibility slightly harder, the C140A also had the more angled forward front landing gear to stop the aircraft tilting forward, so you have to be very careful not to go nose over end on landing in this C140.

 

Cessna140 - Head 7.jpgCessna140 - Head 8.jpg

 

Rudder and rear elevators are well done but a bit flat (modeling wise) on the trailing edges. Rear tail-wheel was originally stiff with no option to lock it to the rudder yaw or rotate, but now moves, but still with free castoring.

 

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Glass is very good, with a nice deep mottled effect that looks aged, and it all has great reflections...

 

Cessna140 - Head 11.jpgCessna140 - Head 12.jpg

 

Canvas wings don't look or feel to have that canvas on spar authentic shaping, it's good but I have seen this canvas curvature realism done far better than here, the wing is a bit shapeless to be totally authentic to the post-war design.

 

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The twin doors can be opened via the handles internally, and externally if you can find the clickspot...  the cabin is SMALL, really tight.

 

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It is a tight squeeze in here and not a lot of cabin detailing either as the seats and textures are basic... forward instrument panel is also  BASIC and plain as well.

 

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Instrument Panel

Simple instrument panel is trainer easy. All the main flying instruments are mainly set out horizontally right across the panel.

 

Cessna140 - Instruments 1.jpgCessna140 - Instruments 2.jpg

 

You can click to hide both the nice Cessna branded rectangle yokes. And you can have the choice of either dark red or grey facias

 

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Left to right across the panel is first the; Key Switch (magnetos), Airspeed (either both Knots or MPH), Artificial Horizon, Altitude meter. Centre panel two instruments are stacked together with the Heading Dial top, and the Turn Coordinator set below. Then a Vertical Speed (V/S) dial, RPM dial and finally far right is the Manifold Pressure gauge.

 

Cessna140 - Instruments 5.jpg

 

Mid-Panel are four gauges to cover (LtoR); Clock, Amperes, Oil Temperature and Oil Pressure. Below are six push/pull knobs that cover (LtoR); Carburettor Mixture, Cabin Heat, Carburettor Heat, Parking Brake, Cabin Heat and Engine Starter.

 

Lower panel are six piano key switches for (LtoR); Master (Battery), Avionics, Strobe Lights, Navigation Lights, Landing Lights and Beacon Lights. The big knob centre lower panel is the Throttle.

 

Cessna140 - Instruments 6.jpgCessna140 - Instruments 7.jpg

 

Avionics are simple upper NAV1 Radio and lower a Transponder.

 

There is a Fuel Cock/Selector on the floor right and a nice Trim wheel, and behind is a one slot handle Flap selection 30º...

 

Cessna140 - Instruments 8.jpgCessna140 - Instruments 9.jpg

 

....  if you select the right seat headphones it deadens the sound. Each Fuel Gauge is built into the forward wing (34kg per wing and with a total 95 Litres). Notes in v1.1 that the Trim Wheel now spins the correct way and the headphones are far more lower in volume when you use them...

 

Cessna140 - Instruments 10.jpgCessna140 - Instruments 11.jpg

 

...    if you select the Sunglasses (arrowed above) in the right lower pocket it will dim the current light.

 

Menu

The is a basic VR (Virtual Reality) pop-up Menu, sitting in the left side lower pocket. It is a notebook style design with from the top options for...

 

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Airspeed MPH or Knots, The mentioned Red or Grey facia...   An Orpog? which shows the X-Plane outside (aircraft view) attached to the left side of the window...

 

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...  and the choices of Wheel Fairings and Chocks.

 

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Lighting

There is no interior lighting including the instrument panel. Externally it is basic with the three Navigation lights, a roof red Beacon and twin-left leading edge landing lights.

 

Cessna140 - Lighting.jpg

 

Flying the Cessna 140

The 140 is HARD to start, just getting the throttle position right and with the Mixture to full rich (anything less and the engine won't run?), and hope the engine will catch, in the end I gave up and used the X-Plane restart (Developer Menu) to start the engine to just fly.

 

Developer notes that the best way to start the C140 is to set; "mixture all the way in, pull the starter and bring the throttle to 25%, which is effectively your idle. you want to keep the RPM above the "5" on the gauge otherwise it'll crack out', So I tried that and it worked. The thing you have to note is that the throttle knob starts around as noted around 25% for idle, but 35% is you main taxiing range and 85%-95% is your usual cruise throttle position, so the knob feels more in and the power range closer to the panel than usual.

 

The throttle position has to be kept well open until the Continental C-85 has warmed up enough to lower the RPM. You need total control of the lower speed throttle, because if not the aircraft will just twirl around itself quite madly... 

 

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In the v1.1 update you get far more tailwheel and rudder control, and it makes a big difference, not perfect as any loose tailwheelers usually are, but now if you get the throttle power low enough and you can point the C140 in some sort of direction and finally get onto the taxiway, as long as you keep the taxi speed very low, and not do any bursts of power as the C140 will still easily fling you around...

 

Cessna140 - Flying 5.jpgCessna140 - Flying 6.jpg

 

...  v1.1 Update changes do make a difference, as I was able to taxi on the taxiway and then taxi up the runway overrun to the runway itself, as long as you keep the speed low you can keep control, so it is a slow taxi to any runway...  Developer notes; slider "got your key/button set to "Brakes regular effort" for both the left and right brake otherwise you will also flip over - with that also being said you don't need more than a slight tap on the brake", I however I don't have rudder pedals and can't assign to a left and right toe brake? I got around that by setting my X/Y access toggleknob on my X56 Rhino Joystick, not a perfect solution but it worked in this case. Note that this braking effect only works on a slider control.

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 1.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 2.jpg

 

One bonus at this point is that the engine has warmed up enough to get a low more manageable RPM...  and it does give you more control on your direction... I (finally) made it to the grass runway 31, but adding in the power even slightly is still quite skillful to keep the C140 straight with such a small rudder to control the airflow...

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 3.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 4.jpg

 

If the tail goes, it goes in a nasty way...  but now the C140 is more controllable in a taildragger fashion, the trick is to get the line up correct, get the aircraft moving slowly, then just hit the throttle full in...    Once that tail lifts you then have the aerodynamic control you need, and can adjust your direction far easier...

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 6.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 5.jpg

 

A problem, is that there is no instrument lighting, and so it is very hard to read the instruments inside this very dark cockpit, it may be authentic, but it is annoying.

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 7.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 8.jpg

 

I am now bounding along the runway at a fast rate, and I will need to get to around 70 Mph until the wing bites the air, a slight pull back on the yoke and I am flying!

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 9.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 10.jpg

 

Rate of climb is 680 ft/min (3.5 m/s) or to be safe around 500fpm, and the C140 will gain height and speed slowly...

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 11.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 12.jpg

 

Once in the air the particle effects seem quite heavy, as I stream smoke behind me...  the wheels will also rotate consistently unless you do a tap of the brakes.

 

Cessna140 - Flying 17.jpg

 

v1.1, unlike a few days ago I am far more relaxed and in control this time around, the C140 feels far, far better in flight and even really enjoyable, were as before I didn't like it at all.

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 13.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 14.jpg

 

...  tricky earlier also was setting the trim. Again this time I was able to set my trim and level out far easier. You have to set your wanted power setting at the altitude (2,000ft) that you have arrived at, but then trim the aircraft to those settings and she will stay nice and level...  the earlier rear elevators now seem far more relaxed than the earlier extreme up position(below), and it feels like that the same in the aircraft

Cessna140 - Flying 18.jpgCessna140 - Flying 19.jpg

 

This is a very, very different experience than I had before on the earlier release, the C140 feels and is a nice little aircraft to fly and control, not absolutely perfect as we shall see, but certainly a big stride forward.

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 15.jpg

 

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....  originally I found the sounds very intermittent, in v1.1 that problem has gone away and the aircraft sounds are now very good. The sounds are in a 3D FMOD Soundscape, and are authentic recordings of a real Continental O-200 that are affected dynamically by the camera position.

 

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Performance is a Maximum speed of 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn), a Cruise speed of around 105 mph (169 km/h, 91 kn) with a never exceed speed of 140 mph (230 km/h, 120 kn), and a Range of around 450 mi (720 km, 390 nmi). The Service ceiling is quite high at 15,500 ft (4,700 m).

 

The trimming keeps the C140 level, but you still have to constantly adjust the rudder and bank angles to go forward and keep the wings level, a nervous aircraft? not really but you are aware of the lightness of the airframe in the elements, so in this aspect you are very busy flying the machine in the direction you want to go, relax and you will easily find yourself turning slowly away from your heading.

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 16.jpgCessna140 - Update Flying 17.jpg

 

Again originally if you had pitched down the nose even a little and then the speed went off the clock and very fast or away from you. Now in v1.1 I found if the C140 was trimmed correctly, all you had to do was reduce the power and the aircraft would descend nicely, as it should do...  more power and the nose lifts. So you now have more control. Of course you could pitch the nose down manually, but then with the pull of gravity, the speed would (should) increase very fast, the rule is really here, is to descend as slowly as you would have when climbing to altitude.

 

Cessna140 - Flying 24.jpgCessna140 - Flying 25.jpg

 

Because of not being able to arrest in the excessive speed before, this v1.1 approach was this time far more calmer and controlled...

 

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...  easily I slipped under the 60 Mph range, but still dropped the Flaps to arrest the speed down to 45 Mph, so, so much better is this approach!

 

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Passing over the rail-bridge going into Shoreham's (EGKA) Rwy 31, I was still perfectly aligned in the approach, but as I got nearer, I started to drift left, and I of course corrected with the rudder, except it didn't correct barely at all? full left rudder and I was still drifting left?

 

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...  finally but too late the rudder started to bite, however I was committed to the landing...

 

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... so I had to touch down way left of the centreline.

 

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My thoughts looking back was that the rudder just didn't respond to my actions, it felt dead back there... v1.1 notes that the rudder authority has been tweeked for taxiing, but it needs more aerodynamically, you feel (as I felt even on the original release) that the tail has no power, I earlier put that down to a small tail design, but I now think it is a setting, but maybe one that could be flown around if skilled enough, but overall I would like more yaw control. I finally coaxed the C140 back onto the runway, only to lose it again in a last minute twirl off the runway again....  challenging little bugger isn't it?

 

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Don't get me wrong though. This flight was years different than the few I did a few days ago, overall I am starting to warm to the aircraft, it is certainly a test of your flying skills, but I still feel it needs a few more dynamic refinements, and then it will be a pretty good aircraft.

 

Cessna140 - Update Flying 32.jpg

 

Liveries

There is one Blank (A paintkit is provided) and Five custom liveries, all are pretty good and nicely detailed.

 

Cessna140 - Livery Blank.jpgCessna140 - Livery DENOR.jpgCessna140 - Livery GBTBV.jpgCessna140 - Livery N2026V.jpgCessna140 - Livery NC4104N.jpgCessna140 - Livery NC89334.jpg

 

Summary

NKDesign for their last release was a scenery with EGKA - Shoreham in the UK. Here it is the Classic Cessna 140 (not the usual (C140A), a twin-seater high wing monoplane, powered by 85 hp (63 kW) Continental C-85 engine.

 

Modeling is quite good, but not what you really require in a classic historic detailing machine with canvas wings. In this class you need ultra detailing to bring out the authenticity of the detail of the period. Glass is very good as is the rivet mapping, but overall it is all just very good and and not exceptional. Lighting externally is basic with none internally.

 

Interior is basic, as is the instrument panel layout. There is a pop-up VR style menu but it is a very basic one page notebook.

 

This is an updated review v1.1 from the earlier release review, and the changes with the update are quite significant on the way the aircraft now taxis and flies, so we have to sum up in accordance to these changes. Yes the Cessna 140 is a nice little if challenging to fly aircraft, the yaw control however still feels far too weak in taxiing and flying, and it doesn't respond well to your movements

 

Sounds originally intermittent are now far better, no panel lighting (if authentic), makes it very hard to read the instruments, Particle Effects are a bit heavy, better internal details and more internal quality would also be a nice bonus. More helpful notes and aids would help the in getting more out of the simulation.

 

That is the question here. The fliers that want to master the machine will obviously see the C140 is a challenging aircraft to master, but already it is far better than in it's release version...   so any change here, no matter how small can make a real difference, Overall I think the C140 is an interesting and highly challenging aircraft to fly really well, understand it's eccentricities and it will seriously reward you, a bit like flying helicopters.  it will be interesting to fly it again after a few more updates, and if the changes are as noticeable as this v1.1 update was, then the NKdesign Cessna 140 could become a firm favorite to enjoy and experience.

______________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

The Cessna 140 by NKDesign is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Cessna 140

Your Price: $20.00

 

Features:

Authentic Replica of the Cessna 140
  • High quality 3D model
  • 4K Textures used throughout 
  • Aircraft makes full use of PBR material rendering, and this varies by livery
Interactive Features
  • Menu for swapping in/out various visuals and items; Add Fairings, Chocks or even a working action camera if you see fit!
  • Wearable sunglasses and headset that can be seen on the pilot
  • Six liveries included
  • Paint kit included 
Immersive 3D FMOD Soundscape
  • A complete FMOD soundpack, including authentic recordings of the Continental O-200 that are affected by camera directionality 
  • Wearable headset affects the audio around you when worn; muffled sound, static when turned on etc
  • Multiple sounds used for single switches/levers, meaning manipulators will rarely sound the same
  • Convincing interior atmosphere that will change based on various conditions 
VR Friendly
  • Model is FPS optimised 
  • Ultra HD 4K Gauges makes for easy reading
  • ’Physical’ notebook serves as options menu for ergonomic convenience 
  •  
Requirements
X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum, 8 GB VRAM recommended
Download Size: 919 MB
Current and Review version: 1.1  (February 16th 2021)
 
Documentation : includes a very basic 7 page manual...
  • C140 Documentation

 

Version 1.1 (February 16th 2021)
  • -Headset now muffles audio more
  • -Headset will now quieten the outside ambience even when outside - effectively acting as an ambience sound toggle
  • -Fixed manifold pressure gauge not working
  • -Fixed trim wheel spinning the wrong way
  • -Wheels no longer float
  • -Adjusted glass shine
  • -Tweaked tailwheel behaviour - movement should now look more natural
  • -Greater rudder authority when taxiing
  • -Tweaked engine behaviour

_____________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton

18th February 2021

Copyright©2021 : 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) All Rights Reserved.

 

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 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.51)

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini/Yamaha Speakers

Plugins:  : XPRealistic Pro v2  effects US$19.95  (highly recommended with the C140) : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90

Scenery or Aircraft

- EGKA - Shoreham Brighton City Airport by NKdesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$15.00

 

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This comment has been moved to the updated review

 

 

A very considerate review. This one is marginal payware and, having owned one, consider it incomplete. In today's market you have to be above average. Attached is a shot of my 1946 C140 - rag wing (the later ones had metal). Note the axle extension mod to alleviate the tipover tendency. Almost forgot - a glaring error on the fuselage. There is no line between wings across the fuselage. Wings are bolted to the fuselage with a gap for fuel lines, wiring and cables. Each gap is covered with a screw on fairing.

 

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There’s already a v1.1 out which is meant to fix several issues. Given the review it might not be the last update. One has to question the testing on the original release. What some developers miss is that few releases are lucky enough to get a second review. The review of the initial release is likely to be read by many potential purchasers not just now but in the future.

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