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Aircraft Plugin Review : REP for Carenado B58 Baron

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Aircraft Plugin Review : Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron


SimCoders have released their latest REP or Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado's B58 Baron general aviation aircraft. This expansion pack covers many areas including the aircraft's flight dynamics, more onboard systems and failures, extra tools including maintenance hangar, a kneeboard, the weight & balance and an extensive walkaround, sounds are also more highly advanced.


Carenado B58 Baron

Before we cover the REP package, let us familiar ourselves with the original Carenado B58 Baron. The aircraft was released now in Nov, 2012 and that is four years ago to date. That is not to say the aircraft is old or out of date, in fact it is the opposite in the fact with the many updates and revisions the current v3.0 release is a pretty solid aircraft now with very few if any bugs or quirks.


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Admittedly it is a fairly basic aircraft, and has few real special effects. But that is to the good as the aircraft is brilliant and simple to fly, and a great starter for anyone who wants to learn to fly a good solid twin-engined aircraft, as for being a very good twin training aircraft I can't think of any better aircraft to use.


The B58 Baron still looks and feels great as well, the lines are clean and unfussy, and it is quite fast at 205 knots (380 km/h, 236 mph) at sea level, with a Cruise speed of around 190-180 knots.


Car_B58_Baron_Head 6.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Head 7.jpg


Cockpit and panel is fairly basic, but again great for a first time user or if you just want a no fuss fly to somewhere.


Car_B58_Baron_Cockpit 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Cockpit 2.jpg

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Most instruments are oriented for the pilot and the right seat is really just for casual flying.


Car_B58_Baron_Panel 5.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Panel 4.jpg


Switchgear is set out all together behind the pilot's yoke, not a lot of adjustment here like with the panel lighting (on/off) but still very comprehensive in detail. centre pedestal has all you need but nothing more in the standard throttle, propeller (feather) and rich/lean mixture levers and trim wheels.


Car_B58_Baron_Panel 3.jpg


Equipment stack is dominated by two Garmin GNS 430's GPS. Both pop out for ease of use. Standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel is top with the KFC225 Bendix King autopilot below (then the two Garmin's) with a Garmin GTX 327 transponder centre and finally lower a KR87 TSO ADF unit.



Cabin seating is arranged in a four seat club layout with a folding out table (very nice).


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Cabin detailing and (spot) lighting is excellent, and as this is an early Carenado, you still get the baggage items behind the seats and in the forward baggage compartment.


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Only two pop-out menus with the standard Carenado "Cameras" panel and the lower "options" panel, both are basic and there is no "autopilot" pop out that you usually get with current Carenado's.



There is one blank (white) livery and four graphic liveries with the aircraft


Car_B58_Baron_Livery Front Blank.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Livery Rear Blank.jpg

Car_B58_Baron_Livery Front 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Livery Rear 1.jpg

Car_B58_Baron_Livery Front 2.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Livery Rear 2.jpg

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SimCoders  Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron




So the Carenado B58 Baron makes a very good basic platform to add on a REP package. These Reality Expansion Packs are created to extend many areas of the aircraft's flight dynamics and systems and to improve on the already very good layouts from Carenado.


Installing the REP

Installing the REP package is really quite easy, as in the download package you get just one folder named "REP" and that folder is installed in the aircraft's plugin folder (just drop the whole folder in) and that is it, very easy and done quickly.


I do recommend to have two complete versions of the Carenado B58 Baron, the standard one and one I labeled "Carenado B58 Baron REP" because you never know if you just want the basic version to just simply fly, as we shall see.


When you start up the REP version of the B58 Baron you are asked for a key (provided) and the authorisation page is on the X-Plane "plugins" menu under "SimCoders.Com - REP"




The drop down menu also gives you a "settings" panel to:


  • Enable the plane damages
  • Show Failure messages
  • Enable Mouse gestures
  • Save and restore aircraft staus between (flying) sessions
  • Enable hypoxia effect
  • use imperial or metric units


With the REP package installed you also get a five tab menu on the left side of your screen.


These tabs cover: Kneeboard - Walkaround - Tow - Maintenance Hangar - Weight & Balance



First upper tab is the kneeboard or checklist feature.


Car_B58_Baron_Kneeboard 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Kneeboard 2.jpg


pop-up Kneeboard is very good and covers Normal Operations, Emergency Procedures and References (v Speeds). The kneeboard is very handy and comprehensive, but annoying as well because it constantly pops up for no reason if you press items on the panel or touch other things releated or not to the feature.



Second tab is the walkaround feature.


Walkaround features are now very common in X-Plane, but this was one of the first and it is still very good. You press to check and go around the aircraft in a clockwise motion...


Car_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 2.jpg


...   It is more involing than most as many items are animated like your Ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder. You press the centre button to check (animate) with sound all the flying surfaces, it is comprehensive and very good.


Car_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 3.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 4.jpg


You can hide/add external elements like tie-downs, chocks and engine covers...


Car_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 5.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 6.jpg


...  but the walkaround goes a lot further than that as you can also check tire wear, Oil Quantity, fuel Quantity and even the water contamination within your fuel tanks, it is as note a very comprehensive check of the aircraft.


Car_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 7.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Menu Walkaround 8.jpg



You can manoeuvre the aircraft around with the third tab tow feature




You need to turn off the brakes, then use your joystick with up-down for forward/reverse and left-right for left turn/right turn.


Maintenance Hangar

The fourth tab is the Maintenance Hangar feature that allows you to check wear and tear on the aircraft and if required then perform Maintenance to fix or rectify the issues.


First two tabs relate to the two engines and their general wear and tear. As I have not done too much flying yet, the settings are still mostly as new, but you need to keep a eye on the items on this panel as you use the aircraft or suffer the consequences.


Car_B58_Baron_Maintainence 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Maintainence 2.jpg


There are two options on the "Engine Tools" tab. One is the "Winterization Kit" that puts two cowl fairings in the engine inlets, but watch your temperatures to not over heat the engine if you move to higher temperatures. Second is another winter tool in that you can pre-heat the engines with a (noisy) heater provided outside the aircraft.


Car_B58_Baron_Maintainence 4.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Maintainence 3.jpg


Last two items on the maintenance hangar panel is the Maintenance for both "Electrical/Electronics" and "Landing Gear/Brakes".


Car_B58_Baron_Maintainence 5.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Maintainence 6.jpg


Also note that many items on this maintenance panel are also noted on the walkaround feature and vice-versa, and all items in the maintenance panel to be changed/fixed can also only be done with the engines switched off and you have to be on the ground.


Weight & Balance

Another item that was rare but now common on X-Plane aircraft is the "Weight & Balance" panel.


Car_B58_Baron_W&B 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_W&B 2.jpg


The SimCoder's version is very good with a "Centre of Gravity" graph to show you your balance and weight on the aircraft. All weights including pilots and passengers can be inputted along with their baggage. Fuel can be added or emptied, and you get C.G. predictions with estimated flying time. A total summary of all weights is shown bottom left. You can then apply all weights and fuel input to the aircraft. (note just check you do have actual fuel on board before you fly, as most times the aircraft is shown empty and not half-full as usual by X-Plane standards.


Flying the SimCoder's B58 Baron

Although the Carenado version is of very high quality, you do have say another complete step of features by using this expansion package.


Car_B58_Baron_Start 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Start 2.jpg


SimCoder's have made sure you get the best possible real life experience that you can get with the REP package, but one feature that I can't simply surmount every time I use the REP is just starting the engines?  Yes I understand that old aviation piston engines are cranky things, just like old cars can be. But the time and effort required here to start the engines can be a bit daunting...  worse here as you have two cranky engines to start and not just one?


There was the point that just simply cranking over the engine with no go can go past the point of just leaving the REP package and just going back to standard Carenado aircraft to just go and fly. I have the REP package on the excellent Carenado Bonanza F33A and although I loved the added realism of the REP package, the starting feature continued to beat me and maybe I should have persisted more than returning to the standard Carenado version.


Worse here than the single-engined Bonanza is my add-on Saitek throttle works both the right and left engines at the same time. SimCoders do provide hints, but they don't seem to work well for me, the starting window is sometimes just toooo tight in making it believable and accessing the rest of the package. In the most cases when they do start it is in just sheer luck or persistence, and with no constant patterns to follow, you just start churning again when you come back to restart the engines? If they flood your sunk...


No doubt this is all very authentic, and I don't say that SimCoders have not done a brilliant job in recreating a perfect feel for this environment, but a slight helper or reset would make all the difference to this sequence of the simulation.


If they do actually start I do love the adjustments to warm up the engines, no doubt this is highly realistic, and you can't fly until the engines are actually ready to go and all the needles are showing all the correct numbers and temperatures.


Car_B58_Baron_Start 4.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Start 3.jpg

You have to find the right RPM or otherwise the engines will growl at you (or at the worst conk out!), too fast and you are running too fast and too slow is the death zone. But you find the right setting by leaning the engines and adjusting the throttles, certainly a split throttle system is a real bonus with this REP here.


We could never criticise Carenado's packaged sounds, but SimCoder's have certainly added a lot to the variety and depth of the sounds, certainly in the range in the engines. You now go from engine clicks and stutters, to and excellent start sounds, to the many varied sounds in the lower lean and idle throttle zones. To a point these sounds are important for you to guess the condition of the engines and the correct lever adjustments make the correct feedback including the horror "stutters" and misfiring fouled plugs...  It is all very well done for realism if not for the stress it can also cause to your already fragile heart.


Car_B58_Baron_Start 5.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Start 6.jpg


Fine details like propeller sync can also effect the torque of the engines and you have to use it realistically here and switching on is under 25% RPM, if not you get a warning.


Car_B58_Baron_Flying 5.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Flying 6.jpg


As you adjust the engine RPM (locked together here under the single throttle control) there is a noticeable difference between each engine in performance. Certainly these differences will expand more as wear and tear with more hours of flying take their effect, and any maintenance performed is noticeable on the sounds and gauges as well.


Car_B58_Baron_Flying 1.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Flying 2.jpg


Excellent extra sounds continue in the air. Wind sounds and landing gear activation and wind noises all add into the effects of realism, but the cruise engine drone is an acquired taste, and you lose a little of the those lovely 3d surround sounds that come with the Carenado version.


Car_B58_Baron_Flying 3.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Flying 4.jpg


SimCoder's advise to use their excellent "Headshake" plugin and I would certainly second that, in fact I always use headshake as it is a very good effect plugin on all aircraft...  take it away and you certainly see and feel the difference, so it is a must have in X-Plane.


Systems in oil and electrical are highlighted as well and you can have oil pump failures and realistic vapour lock.


Car_B58_Baron_Flying 7.jpgCar_B58_Baron_Flying 8.jpg


SimCoder's have tuned the Baron for more realistic stall speeds & behavior, correct climb speeds and more realistic cruise speeds, the aircraft does feel significantly different. I flew the standard Baron down from KLAL to KRSW Florida and with the REP version doing the return trip, and yes the aircraft is a marked contrast from the original in all aspects of the flight model, certainly you notice the engine behavior is very different machine from the more highlighted sounds and gauges.





The start point with the standard Carenado version (which you have to already have to use this REP package) is certainly an excellent base line,  as it is a great simple twin-engined aircraft that is sweet and easy to fly.


So the extensive intergration of the Reality Expansion Pack (REP) does feel and add in a huge difference and experience to that base model design. And extensive it certainly is... the package covers a huge amount of detail, but mostly it concentrates on the feel, running and realism of running those two IO-550 engines. You work hard in this cockpit just working the levers to get the right outcome of keeping those two cranky engines flyable and in a good workable condition, and that certainly expands out the experience of using and flying your own B58 Baron aircraft and in the end that is the ultimate goal of these packages in realistically replicating the ownership of a certain type of aircraft.


Negatives...  for one mastering the start and operation of the engines is one of the biggest challenges you face, most owners of these REP packages will have easily done so, so don't fret it can't be done, but do expect to find that an early learning curve. The constantly popping-up kneeboard is seriously annoying, as it come on the screen at important points in your flying, like taking off or landing, and yes it is a distraction you don't need unless called for, and the drone sounds are for a particular ear.


But I did really like the ultimate realism of running the aircraft and maintaining those engines, this is of course no load in X-Plane and fly aircraft, as the walkaround has to be completed and the engines when started need time to warm up and settle down (just like the real thing). Maintenance needs to be completed and this is an aircraft that would require a log book and running details noted down, but then that is what the REP is all about, ultimate realism of running your own General Aviation aircraft... and in that scenario you get the full works here.




X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! the SimCoders  Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :




Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado B58 Baron


Price is US$19.99


Required for the use of this plugin!

B58 Baron by Carenado:


Carenado B58 Baron


Price is US$29.95


REP Plugin Features Include:

Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics

  • Realistic stall speeds & behavior
  • Realistic climb speeds
  • Realistic cruise speeds
  • Realistic Weight & Balance
  • Realistic taxi behavior

Complex Damages System

  •  Triggered by the pilot actions
  • Based on real world data
  • Target every system in the aircraft
  • Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane

Realistic IO-550-c Engine Simulation

  • Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane
  • Realistic differencies between the engines
    • Different throttle/propeller/mixture setting required for each engine
    • Different CHTs and oil temperatures
  • Realistic engines synchronization
  • Custom propeller governor
  • Correct fuel consuption
  • Cowl Flaps Drag

Oil System:

  • Realistic oil viscosity
  • Interchangeable oil type
  • Oil pump failures
  • Realistic oil filter

Injection Fuel System:

  • Realistic fuel pump behavior
  • Realistic fuel filter
  • Interchangeable spark plugs: default or fine-wire
  • Spark plugs fouling
  • Realistic Lean of Peak and Rich of Peak operations


  • Realistic startup procedure
  • Realistic engine temperatures
  • Vapor Lock Simulation
  • Fuel Flooding simulation
  • The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly

Engine Preheater and Winterization Kit

  • The engine may be warmed up upn start with the provided electrical heater
  • Once activated, the electrical heater runs even when you close the simulator
  • A winterization kit let the airplane to operate at very cold temperatures

Realistic Landing Gear

  • The landing gear is damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations
  • The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly

Electrical & Avionics System

  • Realistic Battery
  • The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down

Learn with the in-flight tips

  • A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly
  • A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane

Simulation of Hypoxia

  • Tunnel Vision
  • Hard Breathing

Stunning sounds

  • Realistic engine clicks and stutters
  • Realistic engine humming sounds when the engines are not synchronized
    • Real starter sound
  • Fuselage wind sound
  • Landing gear wind
  • Independent touch down sounds
  • Real avionics sound
  • Realistic open window wind sound

Interactive Walkaround

  • Cockpit checks
  • Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check
  • Tire check and choks removal
  • Tie-down removal
  • Pitot tube check
  • Engine cowl check
  • Fuel quantity check
  • Oil quantity and quality check

Interactive towing

  • Push, pull and steer using the joystick
  • Towbar simulation

Weight & Balance Tool

  • Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing
  • The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves

Popup Kneeboard

  • Complete normal operations checklist
  • Complete emergency operations checklist
  • Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.)
  • May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures

Simulation state saving

  • Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft
  • The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane
  • When X-Plane is launched, the engine and oil temperature are restored basing on the time passed

Maintenance Hangar

  • Engine maintenance tab
  • Electrical systems maintenance tab
  • Oxygen system tab
  • Landing gear, brakes & tires tab





Requirements :

X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition)
The B58 Baron by Carenado is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft
Current version: 2.61  (last updated Nov 22, 2016)



Installation : Download is 5.80 mb which is unzipped and inserted to the Carenado B58 Baron "Plugins" folder. Key authorisation is required.

Documentation : includes


  • Manual.pdf
  • REP-b58-checklists-references.pdf



Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton

30th November 2016

Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global v10.50

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

Plugins:  Headshake by SimCoders (free)


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    Guest ilankrt

    An author who is completely blocked off is not worth buying one of his products. There is no way to get in touch with him, to ask questions or to discuss his product and improvements. So I wanted to suggest X-Plane GNS530 to integrate and thus the navigation possibilities to enhance ......

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    5 hours ago, chrstphd said:



    Do you talk about Carenado or SimCoders ?

    I guess SimCoders will not integrate the GNS530 since it requires to work on the 3D cockpit for the least, it's a job for the original author: Carenado.



    Neither SimCoder's or Carenado are responsible for the GNS530, it is a default Laminar Research item, both are just as easy to fit as they are basically the same unit, just the GNS 530 has a bigger space required in the panel, just make a bigger hole and slot it in?  SD

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