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Aircraft Update : Citation CJ4 Proline21 v1.07 by Netavio


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Aircraft Update : Citation CJ4 Proline21 v1.07 by Netavio

 

Refinement... it is a big word. Notable is that anything in X-Plane is under consistent refinement, nothing can be or will be ever completed, unless it turns into abandonware. But if you are going to ask for money in a payware context, then should the product reach a certain standard in quality, to a point yes, and certainly if that product is expensive. A few developers have turned that notion on it's head, and notably Magknight with their Dreamliner...  In this case it feels uncompleted, missing vital areas, no matter the values and delivery of it's developers, so are you getting a great deal out of the production in paying up front? that aspect is debatable... its your money though, but overall I don't fly Magknight's Dreamliner that often, because mostly there are far better and more highly developed aircraft to give my attention to, so who really wins in that aspect?

 

Another way of looking at a release is the one that has reached a certain stage of it's development, and in reality the developers have released the aircraft early, but if they do follow up updates quickly, and do focus on it's early shortcomings, then is that product worthy of consideration...  in this context is the Netavio CJ4.

 

Let us be clear as we were in the release review; Aircraft Review : Citation CJ4 Proline21 by Netavio That the aircraft is focused totally as a learning and training tool for Citation pilots, so the focus here is on the systems (Proline 21) and the flying characteristics of the aircraft. It was never to have an X-Plane wrapper around it, but the developers Netavio decided that may be actually be a great idea.

 

The resulting released aircraft back in June 2021 was in areas extremely great, but in a few areas not really a focus for simulation pilots. But this was and still is notably an experimental aircraft or custom build in progress. Since the release there has been two quick successive update releases, v1.06, and now currently v1.07.


So lets us look at what has been done...  first and most importantly are the new sounds, the release aircraft came with only default sounds, and in the review it was noted that a custom sound pack was coming... and so we just ignored them. But ignore them no more as the new sounds introduced here in v1.07 are FMOD High Resolution 3D audio soundscapes by SimAcoustics, they are also recorded real world engine startups and in flight aspects that were sampled at high resolution and mastered in 3D. Just do the start up procedure in the simulator, with the now familiar Williams FJ44-4A whine and it is simply all consuming gorgeous.

 

CJ4 - Engines 1A.jpgCJ4 - Engines 1B.jpg

 

The one aspect I have come to respect in simulation is aural, high-fidelity of sound, mostly with add-on sound packs. To note developers think visual, but get the sound right and it can add in far more to the right environment and towards the feel into an aircraft than anything else... here it transforms the CJ4 right up there and into another loftier category, on the ground, in the air... but the best acoustics are in the cockpit, and brilliant in flight, with all the rumblings and wind noise you expect...  it certainly transforms the total feel of the aircraft.

 

The CJ4 also looked a bit bland in the flesh...   which was a distraction, because up close the details were actually very good. Again the covers have been redone to a much more very higher quality HD (High-Definition) 4K Paint Liveries, and the differences show.

 

Lines are far, far better...  there are still some jaggies, but you now have to get in really, really close now to see the sawtooths, from most angles they are not at all visible, the better quality also shows of the curves and the lovely shape of the airframe, the new Hi-Def covers now certainly do the Citation CJ4 better justice.

 

CJ4 - External 1.jpgCJ4 - External 2.jpg

CJ4 - Art 3.jpgCJ4 - Art 4.jpgCJ4 - Art 5.jpg

 

The CJ4 is lovely thing in the air...   helping the cause is that a lot of the trims have also had some nice attention...  the cockpit windows have been all screwed up, but in an assembly way, and not in a bad way...  with the screw detail now visible all around the frame.

 

CJ4 - Art 6.jpgCJ4 - Art 7.jpg

 

Ditto those lovely leading edge chrome covers, now again the screw detail has now been added, and you get a far more realistic detail. Note the nice leading edge air slits for Ice-Protection, detail, people...  detail.

 

CJ4 - Art 8.jpgCJ4 - Art 9.jpg

 

The wing fuel cap detail has also had attention, with a lovely metallic cover.

 

CJ4 - Art 10.jpgCJ4 - Art 11.jpg

 

So all of these touches adds up to less blandness and a lot more realism, the CJ4 looks far better and feels far better for the changes.

 

Another area that required attention was the internal lighting. The cabin brightness level was originally off the charts...

 

CJ4 - Citation_Iighting 5.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Iighting 6.jpg

 

...  to something thankfully now more internally realistic.

 

CJ4 - Art 12.jpgCJ4 - Art 13.jpg

 

Still the cockpit brightness is still far too bright for realistic decent night-time landings, it is said to be under development and a rethink of the cockpit lighting, but this aspect should have been addressed far earlier for a pro simulation.

 

CJ4 - Art 14.jpgCJ4 - Art 15.jpg

 

One area the lighting has improved is the better display and button text lighting...  you can now more easily take the full brightness out of the displays and button text, and it gives the panel a more realism feel, I liked it a lot...   certainly would be a big advantage in a low light cockpit environment, hence again the urgency of the cockpit lighting development.

 

CJ4 - Art 16.jpgCJ4 - Art 17.jpg

 

Another big feature is the introduction of pop-up panels, situated in the Menu bar/Plugins...  again notable for the custom cockpit environment. Currently (there are more coming) is the featured DCP (Display Control Panel), FGP (Flight Guidance Panel) and CCP (Cursor Control Panel) panels.

 

CJ4 - Pop-Ups 1.jpgCJ4 - Pop-Ups 2.jpg

 

All pop-out panels have a (Citation) unique feel, and they look and do feel excellent, and can be massively scaled in the screen, but can also be made into a "Window" format...

 

CJ4 - Pop-Ups 3.jpgCJ4 - Pop-Ups 4.jpg

 

The touch (control) aspect is extremely good as well. (red) Hotspots note an action or button access, either scroll right or left, or inner and outer rings, the centre position is to "Okay" or to initiate an action. Once used you don't want to go back and fiddle with the small DCP/CCP panel manipulators...

 

CJ4 - Pop-Ups 5.jpgCJ4 - Pop-Ups 6.jpgCJ4 - Pop-Ups 7.jpgCJ4 - Pop-Ups 8.jpg

 

...  and again the pop-up panels can be scaled and moved around for ease of use...   a great sign is of the more coming features to the aircraft. In the same (Citation) style is the Custom Collins CDU-3000 avionics and it's custom panel and a CJ4 AUX Panel (to replace the odd key numbering system).

 

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This will also include an external physical GPU (Ground Power Unit). Other notable changes are the FADEC power delivery calibration, and Master Warning and Master Caution updated trigger functions (arrowed below).

 

CJ4 - Art 18.jpg

 

Let us be very clear... this is an astounding flight model on the CJ4, as it was the project's focus and it shows. As every time you leave the ground, in this case flying ELLX (Luxembourg) to LFMN (NIce) you become simply unadulterated by the feel and realism of the aircraft.

 

CJ4 - Flying 1.jpgCJ4 - Flying 2.jpgCJ4 - Flying 3.jpgCJ4 - Flying 4.jpgCJ4 - Flying 5.jpg

 

Citations are brilliant aircraft to fly, and this CJ4 is exceptional, the control feel and feedback is perfect, and it is a very smooth aircraft to fly.

 

CJ4 - Flying 6.jpgCJ4 - Flying 11.jpg

 

I am even getting used to the slab gray panel facia, that will certainly benefit with the more authentic coming Collins CDU-3000 avionics, the earlier ProLine21 avionics are already primed nicely (but can be at times hard to read), but they are very functional and authentic...

 

CJ4 - Flying 8.jpgCJ4 - Flying 9.jpgCJ4 - Flying 10.jpg

_________________

 

Summary

Released only a few months ago in early June 2021, Netavio's Citation CJ4 was a very unusual hybrid. Created as a learning and training tool for Citation pilots, the focus here is on the systems (Proline 21) and the flying characteristics of the aircraft, and in both those aspects it was and is still is completely outstanding. But for a simulator pilot, there was areas it was say...  a little weak, always a discord for first time simulator developers, but in this case even more awkward because a 3d model and replication of the aircraft was not part of the initial brief.

 

The focus is still on the custom aspect of the aircraft, with new DCP (Display Control Panel), FGP (Flight Guidance Panel) and CCP (Cursor Control Panel) panels and more coming 3d pop-up and windowed panels (on a menu/plugin access). But the biggest handicap was the default sounds, now completed and installed with FMOD High Resolution 3D audio soundscapes by SimAcoustics, and superb they are. Better finer details with hi-quality screws on the leading edge and main front window frame, and fuel filler cap highlights. All liveries are now 4K Hi-Def quality and it shows the differences to the earlier jaggy bland feel to the aircraft... lighting (cabin) has been toned down (a lot), but the poor cockpit lighting is still a much needed WIP (Work in Progress). FADEC power delivery calibration, and Master Warning and Master Caution updated trigger functions have also had some attention.

 

No doubt Netavio work fast, and these twin updates really changes the Citation CJ4 completely in a very short time from a simulation pilot's point of view. A custom Collins CDU-3000 avionics and panel and a CJ4 AUX Panel are coming soon as well to add into the overall experience. Notable that features like good sound and 3d menus should have been implemented from the initial release, certainly at this price category, but Netavio learn and work fast to cater for a completely different audience, to the benefits of both parties...  overall, this Citation CJ4 coming along really very nicely to be a superior simulation for the X-Plane Simulator.

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Yes! the Citation CJ4 Proline21 v1.07 by Netavio is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Citation CJ4 Proline21

Price is US$49.95

 

Features Include:

NETAVIO quality 3D model
  • Detailed exterior, cabin and cockpit design
  • 3D model includes a good balance of 3d polygons for fast frame rates on laptop computers
  • 2 luxurious passenger cabin design options 
  • Functional baggage doors as well as battery, GPU, hydraulic, and fuel panels
  • 4K PBR textures by acclaimed Digital Artist David Rencsenyi, (Star Wars Episode VII)
  • 8 gorgeous 4K liveries included
  • Paint kit included
  • Smooth and VR friendly avionic panels, animated switches, knobs, flight and throttle controls
High Resolution Aerodynamic model
  • Aerodynamic flight model accuracy within 2 % of actual aircraft flight performance at high altitude and within 5% at low altitudes, adjusted for X-Plane's atmospheric limitations 
  • Performance taken from in flight measurements, flight data recorders and further calibration with aircraft performance tables
High Resolution Engine Performance model
  • Engine performance fine-tuned precisely to emulate Williams FJ44-4A
  • Engine performance data taken from in flight measurements, from engine start, takeoff, climb, cruise thrust settings profiles up to max certified altitude of 45,000 feet
  • Custom FADEC driven engine thrust ratings, 
  • Accurate startup sequence, ITTs, fuel flows calibrated per cruise altitude
  • Custom EICAS, Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System 
High Resolution Avionics
  • Super sharp 4K avionic displays
  • Avionics using XLua plugin offering one of the highest refresh rates possible with minimum GPU resources
  • (a solid 30 fps achieved on Apple’s new M1 MacBook Air with mid graphic settings)
Realistic Rockwell Collins ProLine 21 Emulation
  • Custom DCP (Display Control Panel), CCP (Cursor Control Panel), FGP-3000 (Flight Guidance Panel)
  • Custom PFD Menu Items and MFD Menu Items faithfully reproduced
  • Accurate Vspeeds, Baro, HSI modes and PFD format settings 
  • Climb, Pitch, FLC, Nav and Approach modes as per ProLine 21
  • Dual Rockwell Collins CDU-3000’s enabling simultaneous operations of FMS Navigation and Radio Tuning pages with auto-sync like the real unit - perfect for single pilot flying
  • Optional mouse, scroll-wheel for data input
Aircraft System Deep Emulation
  • L3 Avionics, Electronic Standby Instrument System (ESIS) Model GH-3000
  • Custom Electrical and Hydraulic systems  
  • Accurate flaps, speed-brakes and ground spoilers logic, actuation and effects on aerodynamic performance 
  • Accurate anti-icing and pressurization settings
  • Realistic CAS, Crew Alerting Systems 
Now with Ultra-Quality FMOD Sounds
  • FMOD High Resolution 3D sound pack by SimAcoustics 
  • featuring actual audio recording of a CJ4 ProLine avionics, Engines and in flight
  • sampled in high resolution and mastered in 3D
  • ProLine21 audio alerts and system logic authentically simulated
Extras
  • Complete set of aircraft documentations
  • ProLine 21 Avionic Tutorials and Quick Start Guide
  • PilotEdge & ForeFlight app compatible
  • Ongoing refinements and avionic features development
  • Excellent proficiency tool to prepare and review for the actual CJ4 initial type rating and yearly recurrent rides
  • Perfect tool for scenario based training, to practice SOPs, Emergency Memory Items, Checklist flows
  • ProLine 21 familiarization and Jet transition course preparation
  • Excellent IFR tool to demonstrate modern avionics and autopilot automation during different phases of flight

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 812 MB
Current and Review version : 1.07 (September 10th 2021)

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Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

14th September 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 Right Reserved 

 

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