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Aircraft Review : Diamond DA-50RG by Aerobask


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Aircraft Review : Diamond DA-50RG by Aerobask

 

It is hard to believe that it is nearly nine years since Harranssor burst onto the X-Plane Simulator scene with a freeware Eclipse 550 personal jet. The quality of that jet for a freeware was off the charts for the period, so it was also always a forward plan to release payware aircraft...   that came with the Diamond DA-42 Twinstar in Mid-2013, and it set a archetype in the type of aircraft Aerobask, now a team set out to develop in X-Plane ever since. Notable is that Aerobask's future feature development is of the Falcon 8X, breaking the pattern of nearly a decade.

 

That format set back then for Aerobask is of very modern carbon-fibre aircraft or light jet, (VLJ) with a particular association with the Diamond Aircraft of Austria. The DA-42 is now long gone, but Aerobask released a Diamond DA-62 in 2018. So here is a followup Diamond to the DA-62 in the Diamond DA-50 RG (the RG relates to the Retractable Gear version).

 

There is currently only two DA-50's, First one was shown in 2006, and it made it's maiden flight on 4 April 2007. The project has been proposed to be powered by several different engine configurations, but was certified on 9 September 2020 with the Continental Aerospace Technologies CD-300 which is a geared, liquid-cooled, turbo-charged and jet-A1-fueled engine controlled by two redundant full FADEC systems. The original DA-50 had the FG or Fixed Gear configuration, the second this "RG" configuration.

 

The DA-62 uses the very same fuselage as the DA-50 (Originally called the DA-52), but the DA-62 has two Austro AE300 Diesel engines burning Jet A fuel, so in some aspects it can be slightly confusing in their different configuations.

 

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The evolution from the American upright designs, say Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft is shown here in this smooth curvy and very aerodynamic aircraft. It is what a modern General Aviation aircraft should be.

 

There is no doubting the quality from Aerobask, they were renowned for it from the start, so the detail oozes out of every external or internal area. You expect with the same fuselage that Aerobask would just copy the same to the single-engined aircraft from the twin, but that is not the absolute case here. There are of course a lot of similarities with the same instrument panel shape and decor, but everything including the front seats are completely different.

 

Being a reviewer you are faced with other developers hard work. It is really good work as well, and you have to account for the time and effort put into creating these little replicas of real world aircraft...  but how do you rate that level of quality?

 

The problem is created by developers like Aerobask, because their work is so sublime, and the situation is as pro's they are "Bloody well" good at it, and it all shows in the intimate detail of their aircraft. Look at the mesh oil-cooler air intake, and the supreme shape of the main engine intake, it is just levels above of everyone else in this category, so you look at other developers work and say it is average, even if it very good...  so Aerobask have created that ultra level of detail and quality that everyone should aspire too.

 

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Wing shape and feel is excellent as is the supreme shaping of the winglet, it looks like the real part it is, not a modeled part of the aircraft, and there is a difference. Leading edge ice buffers are also beautifully shaped, and the tail trim and the under elevator detail is excellent. A highlight is the 3-blade composite, electrically de- iced variable pitch propeller from MT Propeller.

 

Glass is brilliant too. Glass is very hard to shape with these very bulbous curvy aircraft, and it has to look right, I mean look right to be this perfect or it would look out of place... and Aerobask get it spot on. If I am going to criticise, the window surround lines are a bit Lo-Res and jaggy at close inspection.

 

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But items like the door handle that look flat from a distance are excellent and 3d when observed at close quarters, with fine natural detail and logos.

 

The gear is the same as the DA-62, the rears are trailing link and very well done, if a little factory fresh. The link components are individual in fine detail with the correctly crafted bolts holding the assemblies together, I like the fancy red wheels hubs which are deftly done....

 

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....  the nosegear assembly is just as good with the upper brackets showing real detailing, notable is that the nosewheel is freewheeling and not steered on the real aircraft (steering is via the rudder pedal braking).

 

Menu

Before looking at the internal cabin... we will go through the menu. It is located in the banner X-Plane Plugin menu "Aerobask DA50RG Options show/hide"

 

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The pop-up card menu is very good and expanded out from past Aerobask card menus with tabs, of which there are four; Ground Options, More Options, Sounds and About.

 

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Ground Options

Top left is the fuel settings. There are two tanks in MAIN (left), and AUX (Right) both of 73.1kg/24.0GAL capacity. And the Total fuel on board shown top. You can also reset the fuel balance via the "Balance Fuel" button.

 

There are two selections with the lower left "Load Manager' or Weight&Balance. One choice is were you select manually, or you can use the slider to set the overall payload of the aircraft via the "Custom Load Manager" tickbox.

 

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Lower left are your weights in Kgs and Lbs, that cover; Empty Mass (or a non-fuel or loaded aircraft), Total Fuel, Payload, Total Mass and Max Mass (don't exceed weight). You load the aircraft via the right column of Bags (with a slider), Co-Pilot, Left (rear) Pax (Passenger), Right (rear) Pax. And you can select either a Male or Female pilot (good in this era of diversity).

 

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You have to find a balance between fuel load (meaning range) and payload, load in too much fuel, baggage or people and you get a "Red" and a "Total Mass overweight" warning. The weights (except for the payload, baggage or fuel) are fixed.

 

Right top are the "Static Elements". These include; Chocks, Cones, pitot covers and a static towbar, there is also a GPU (Ground Power Unit). (also selectable internally). The GPU is a small hand unit, but very well done. Notable is that if the Static Elements are used, the pilot then disappears from inside the aircraft.

 

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There are two panels lower right. One covers the Breakers or Fuses. You can set the breaker failure or reliability to either; perfect, realistic, entertaining, challenging or can "Reset all breakers" to fixed.

 

The secondary lower panel covers the aircraft's fluids, in the; Oxygen Level (0%-100%) and the De-ice Fluid (0%-100%)

 

More Options

Second tab covers the more detailed options available on the DA-50RG, it is quite a complex list of features and ideas.

 

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There are seven option choices on the left...  

  • Disable Instrument popups (for VR)
  • Keep Instrument Popups inside screen
  • Popup/popout brightness always full
  • Free-caster nosewheel (realistic) (switched off it reverts to tiller control)
  • Bezel-less MD302 (for cockpit builders)
  • Enable (or disable) instrument reflections
  • Enable (or disable) windshield reflections

 

On the right side the list of options are for the G1000 avionics system of which there are eight selections...

  • G1000: Show Ground speed on PFD next to TAS
  • G1000: Show radar height below 2,500ft
  • G1000: FLC mode does not synchronize AP speed
  • G1000: Enable touchscreen features
  • G1000: Disable bezels of popup/popout (again for cockpit builders)
  • G1000: Keep aspect ratio of popup/popout
  • G1000: Synthetic vision (experimental)

 

When selecting the "Synthetic Vision" you get more options. These G1000 options we will cover later to see the options directly on the G1000 system.

 

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Sounds

There are seven sound sliders; Master, Aircraft Exterior, Aircraft Interior, Copilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. You can Enable (or disable) sounds, and Enable (the) speech.

 

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About

Here is listed the Aerobask development team, but version number is indicated in the popup menu title, and changelog.txt in the main folder.

 

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The menu can be moved around your screen, but not scaled...  it is also accessible (or popup) via pressing the aircraft registration number on the instrument panel.

 

Interior

Aerobask's interior fitouts are always of the absolute highest quality in the X-Plane Simulator, always incredibly well done and detailed, with perfect realism, and again you are not disappointed here with the DA-50RG.

 

Open those huge upward swinging doors and here is another amazing cabin, and it is different to the DA-62, certainly in the front seats.

 

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The decor theme here is dark grey with orange piping, and very, very light grey inserts, with a breathable dot material...

 

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...   and the "Diamond Aircraft" branding is everywhere, it is all so classy.

 

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In the rear it is a bench three seater thanks to that bulbous cabin mid-section, but in reality it is a two-seater back here or a child in the middle. Behind is the net covered baggage area. Seat shape and detailing is simply superb, with excellent casual placed seatbelts and the headphones that are thrown onto the seat.

 

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The DA-62 had interesting seats in that the side cushion supports were separate, here they are intergrated back into the seat base, but the separate thigh supports are still there, supported by the same lovely chrome brackets. It is a much more brighter cabin than the DA-62, with lighter tones than the earlier darker browns. Note the lovely finer blue seat stitching, it is used all around the seats and the instrument panel.

 

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The room mounted console is the same that is in the DA-62. It holds the internal lighting and ventilation controls. The right hand switch on the forward panel will connect and activate the external GPU as mentioned, and we will look at the lighting later.

 

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Forward are two folded neatly window blinds, that drop down when required. They however can't be adjusted in place to an angle, they just store themselves again if you touch them, but they are well done, above in the pocket is an aircraft log book.

 

Instrument Panel

The layout of the facia is almost the same as the DA-62, in almost I mean there are a few switches that are positioned differently, but otherwise you would slip in here and know exactly where everything is, if you have earlier flown the DA-62.

 

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Front and centre is the native Laminar Research G1000 twin panel avionics system, but it does have a lot of Aerobask custom features.

 

Power up and you get the left PFD (Primary Flight Display) first "Initializing" the system, then the "Aerobask" logo.

 

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The system then goes into "reversionary" mode. This is all the primary instruments and engine parameters presented all on the single display, in this case the PFD. (If the PFD failed then the "reversionary" mode switches to the other MFD (Multi Functional Display).

 

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Switch on the "Avionics" (AV MASTER), then the right MFD, starts and goes through the same Initializing and logo procedures...

 

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...  then settles on the system info page that shows you your navdata database and credits. Press ENT or rightmost softkey to access the right side MFD display.

 

It is all very good and detailed in these startup procedures, and you feel it is very professional in operation. Both displays popup (or out) and can be scaled and moved around the screen. You can of course hide the bezels for home cockpit builders via the menu.

 

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Both screens can be popped out via a hotspot on the centre banner logo (arrowed)...   

 

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PFD (Primary Flight Display) is very good with the large Artificial Horizon dominating the screen with the Speed and Altitude (with built in Vertical Speed) tapes either side, Rate of turn and FD (Flight Director) are all present. Lower is the Heading rose with built in Heading, Wind (3 options), CRS (Course) DME, NAV 1, NAV 2 and OBS. There is the option to put a small map on the PFD but I never do (it makes the display too crowded). All Radio, Autopilot (AP) settings and data are across the top banner of the panel. Note the inbuilt warnings panel centre right.

 

There is a custom tool to input values directly by touching the screen (i.e. clicking the values or using the mouse scroll wheel to adjust them). For example, for changing a radio frequency or here the heading, you can use the mouse scroll wheel, which is much easier than turning the knobs in the 3D cockpit. it has a small slider or ++ / -- tool to say which items can be manipulated.

 

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Synthetic Vision

There is the "Synthetic Vision" tool that we mentioned earlier. There are three modes that can be selected from the "More Options" menu. The first is the standard default Laminar one with the blue top and dirty brown lower horizons. Then the "Topology Only", with a light blue (realistic) sky and green lower horizon, the final one is "Topology + Terrain" with the same light sky and brown lower horizon.

 

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An extra option selection is "Real Pitch Scale", With a Flight Director (FD) Cross-pointer and Sky Pointer instead of a roll pointer, both Topology and Topology + Terrain with pitch scales can be switched off or on are shown below.

 

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The Synthetic Vision by Oscar Pilote does not work very well in a hard stand position, so I will leave it set in the Topology + Terrain mode while flying.

 

Other PFD settings lower menu include the HSI Rose and Tape transparency. There are three modes to choose from; Opaque, Medium and Full, to see the full Synthetic Vision display.

 

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The secondary MFD in a MAP/Navigation panel covers also all the (EIS) engine outputs which are in two versions with one visual and one in data. This is another custom panel by Aerobask.

 

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The colourful engine readouts cover are on page one; Manifold Pressure (Load) and RPM, Oil Pressure and Temp, Coolant Temp, Gearbox Temp, Volts and Fuel quantity for both tanks. and right the FLAPS position (UP-20º-38º) and ELEV (UP-TO-DN) adjustment, the rudder adjustment trim is on the bottom.

 

System switch (data) covers the same LOAD and RPM top, Oil Temp and Pressure and Engine Hours, Fuel Calculations in FFLOW GPH (Gallons Per Hour), GAL (Used), REM (Remain) and can they be reset via the keys. Lower is the same Fuel quantity gauges and Electrical Bus Volts and Battery amps. Flaps and both Trims are also still shown.

 

MD302 SAM®

Mid-Panel is the MD302 SAM® or the "Standby Altitude Module" Basically is a standby instrument that "pops"out and the centre knob adjusts the Baro...

 

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..   but if you hold the same knob down for two or three seconds then a menu appears that covers In-fight configurable items that are...

 

Altitude units in feet or meters, Barometer units either inHg or mbars, Attitude symbol in traditional or delta, Attitude mask on or off and Altitude trend bar in either on or off. There is a Quick-Doc manual provided that covers the instruments features and their use. Note: The SAM has to be set separately (i.e. Baro) than the main PFD as one adjustment does not cover all the instruments.

 

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Top mid-panel are the Instrument and Flood lighting knobs. Top glareshield are four external lighting switches for; LANDING, TAXI, POSITION (Navigation) and STROBE.

 

One of the big features on the DA-50RG are the active circuit breakers. Demonstrated here is "popping" the GPS/NAV2 Breaker that crosses out the NAV2 display...  Another great feature is the power adjustable rudder pedals for both the pilot and co-pilot that are moved by the switches on either side of the instrument panel (arrowed lower).

 

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Far Left upper on the facia is the changeable aircraft registration, with the nice De-Ice panel below. FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) switches with test option are set below, then below again are the 1&2 Alternator switches...  lower knee panel are the main electrical and start, pitot heat switches/button. Landing gear central, Flap switch and indicators, ELT and more Circuit Breakers. Unlike the DA-62, the Air Pressure gauge is hung below on the right side, with on the left side the manual gear extension.

 

Top centre console has the Environmental Control panel. Mid-console has the main single throttle level. The Diamond has a unique throttle/mixture (FADAC) system that controls both the fuel and power outputs, there is also a GO-AROUND (power) switch built in as well... Top left is the Park Brake, and lower is the Cowl-Flap switch...

 

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....   this opens and closes a cowling around the exhausts to cool the engine or smooth out in flight.

 

Centre is a very nice large manual trim-wheel, and under the armrest is the three point NORMAL-EMERGENCY-OFF Fuel tank selector. A handy pen and a soft drink can (sorry no coffee cup in here).

 

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One of the primary features in the DA-50RG is the GCU447 (FMS Keypad) that is built into the centre armrest. It is a fully custom control pad for the MFD. It can also be popped out in a separate panel for home builders, or for ease of use.

 

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Pressing the “K” button on top the GCU will enable physical keyboard entry, like the “PFD Touch”. To resume normal keyboard, press again. Aerobask has also provided a GCU447 shortcut by pressing the "GCU476 POPUP" sticker on the panel.

 

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The GCU447 is very good, very easy to use, but you do lose all manipulator control of the aircraft when in the keyboard mode, so it is best used on the ground before flight if typing in data....   which is the general idea anyway.

 

The twin flight sticks can't be hidden but that is no concern here as they don't at all cover the instrument panel. Beautifully done, with a built in trim switch and ATC mike, and admire the excellent twin plate rudder pedal design.

 

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There is a built in AviTab iPad (Plugin Required)... it is stored in the left side console holder, press to mount on the left side of the instrument panel. You can also press the knob attachment (AviTab) holder on the windscreen pillar to bring the AviTab up as well (plugin required).

 

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Lighting Internal

With the vast array of lighting options available in X-Plane. It is rare to get really bad cockpit lighting in simulation. But there is also the other extreme in getting it perfectly correct as well, in other words to reflect the real aircraft's environment. Aerobask are obviously very good in this aspect, and so it it is in here. Overall with the same cabin architecture as the DA-62 it is very similar, but the lighting in here certainly feels a bit more modern and adjustable than in the DA-62, which feels less dynamic.

 

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The two lighting knobs centre panel give you a lot of adjustment, so you can control the glare and brightness to your own particular preferences. Areas like the lower panel, circuit breakers and switch panels are all separately illuminated.... it is all very nice as well.

 

The overhead console has a lot of lighting options built in...  The two built in (large knobs) adjust (dim) the front two highly adjustable spot lights and a large centre-positioned cabin light...

 

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Two switches rear of the console switch on another two passenger adjustable spot lights, and with all the lighting switched on the cabin is very bright and well lit.

 

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The lighting all looks very effective externally. There is a left wing Ice spot-light built into the door, but to note the Ice panel system has to be active to use it.

 

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Under the fuselage there are two lights for the Landing and Taxi lighting. They do come through the fuselage at some angles like on the DA-62, but this is par normal as it is a X-Plane lighting bug, that was never rectified.

 

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Navigation lights are basic wingtip only with nice ground reflections, but there is no rotating beacon. Strobe lights are also nicely tuned.

 

Flying the DA-50RG

Setting up the Diamond is very easy. Programming the G1000 Flightplan is quick with the GCU447. Not completely true as I only used the GCU447 to adjust the flightplan from EGHI (Southampton,UK) to EINN (Shannon, IRL) on the GCU447, the rest was downloaded from SimBrief. But I always look at how you can adjust and edit, rather than the actual inputting in the first place. This is still the standard Laminar G1000 avionics, but the additional option of the GCU447 really does help in the Departure and Arrival edits.

 

My payload is quite heavy at 4346 Lbs, and the flight distance to Shannon is 371 NM, so the tanks are brimming as well with 48.5 GAL (147.6 Kgs), SimBrief note I need 357 LBs of fuel, but that does not compute because the range of the DA-50RG is 1,389 km (863 mi, 750 nmi) incl. 30 min. reserve. So I am taking notes on this.

 

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As noted the Fuel selector is hidden under the arm rest...  it is very easy to forget it with it positioned under here, and worse is that in flight you have to monitor and then switch tanks to keep the fuel balance correct, I put a small note on my monitor "Switch TANKS!" so I didn't forget.

 

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Like everything on the DA-50RG, the trim wheel is lovely to use. There is a Trim marker to set for T/O Takeoff, easy-peasy.

 

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Once the power is on, the avionics sorted and the fuel flowing...  all you have to do is hit the big round button to start the CD-300. No setting of the mixtures or jiggling the throttle (or even moving the throttle lever), no priming the engine. All you do is just hit the button and the fully electronic FADAC management does all the work, and the Continental Aerospace Technologies jet fueled engine just bursts into life!

 

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You have to wait a short time though for the numbers to sort themselves out and settle down , there is a lot of red at first that slowly goes one on one all yellow, then you are ready to go...  So starting the DA-50 is far easier than starting my own car...  no easier.

 

Setting the Baro is very easy as well with the pop-out tool, just use the keyboard to type it in and then press the actual Baro number in the number rectangle box to insert, ditto in don't forget to set the separate backup Baro on the MD302 SAM.

 

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The sounds are INCREDIBLE...  from the moment the CD-300 catches you are in there...  realism 101. There is so much feel low down, push the throttle up slightly and the tone changes to magnificent. But it is the wide range of sound variations that brings out the sheer realism of this engine...  go external and the sounds are actually quite different from this perspective, as they are slightly muffled internally. The only problem is that the external sounds is they are also quite loud, no make that really loud, so the external slider goes way down to a third. You will never ever tire of this aircraft and the way it sounds. All these custom sounds were created by Laminar sound master Daniela Rodriguez Careri.

 

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Flaps to T/O and off goes the park brake, there is no aircraft movement until you add in a little power, perfect. Again what I like is throttle reaction on the ground. Throttle up slightly and you move, throttle to idle and you slow down or even stop...  perfect, I mean how hard can it be to do things right like this, as you have to usually contend with runaway aircraft all the time on the brakes with too much power?

 

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Do I have a pet peeve with this aircraft, well there is one? As noted the nosegear is castered, but you can use the tiller to turn the aircraft (or choose not to via the menu). Both are not ideal for perfect taxiing...

 

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...   not even touching the tiller and the aircraft will weave around, even at slow speeds. Up the taxi speed a little and you can lose control. So you just try to find a speed to go straight and not lose any nasty movements, and any counteracting adjustment will just send you into a worse weaving and throwing and to be honest it is not at all very realistic.  Any turns have to be very carefully done, just a touch on the tiller in the direction you want to go is enough to do even a tightish turn.

 

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The "Synthetic Vision" kicks in when we hit the runway, sadly it doesn't work with custom scenery, but that changes as soon you hit the default textures.

 

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At the turnaround on the end of EGHI's Rwy 06, I turn the DA-50RG, quite more easily this time as I adjusted to the system, not perfect but better.

 

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A last check of the checklist and everything is sound, so power up. To be honest I was not looking forward to taking off and losing a wayward aircraft, It was not easy and it took a lot of skill but I kept the DA-50 pretty much going in the right direction... once the rudder kicked it it of course got a lot easier...  but tricky it is at the start of run.

 

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At 78 knts I could pull back on the stick. I'm heavy and I really felt the weight (that is very good), so I had to feel my way up and find the best climb rate (I used 10º). The second the wheels left the hard runway surface, they automatically retracted, nice...   but don't get the takeoff wrong, or you will doing an embarrassing belly landing on the runway?

 

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The aircraft was a bit bloated in it's handling, but that is fine here and expected with the weight. I didn't even have to adjust the trim for the climb rate, recommended is 5.3 m/s (1,040 ft/min), but at this weight a little sluggish, so I came down to around 750 fpm, and that was really good. Flaps to UP.

 

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Now the "Synthetic Vision" starts to show some Topology, but not so much terrain as there is not much around Southampton. Now turning a whole 360º to go north, the Diamond is really lovely to fly, with great feel and movement to my commands, That weight is there, you feel it and use it...  this is a very nice aircraft to pilot, a lot of fun as well and you easily find your groove.

 

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I trim back a little more for speed, but still want 600 fpm to climb up to my 8,000ft cruise altitude. You feel it is not as highly powered as the DA-62, but that is fine, as there is more than enough.

Now the "Synthetic Vision" really comes alive as the English countryside is caught in it's gaze. I pick up my EGHI-EINN flightplan north of EGHI and everything is "Hunky Dory". And yes I am watching those fuel tanks!  There is actually a pump system to level out the tanks called "FUEL TRANS", if you want to be lazy, but I can do this fuel monitoring stuff anyway.

 

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Your maximum speed in the DA-50RG is 335 km/h (208 mph, 181 kn) (ISA, 16,000 ft, 1,700 kg, MCP), with the already noted range of 1,389 km (863 mi, 750 nmi) incl. 30 min. reserve, and the FF or Fuel consumption at max range is 34.1 L/h (9 US gal/h official).

 

DA50RG_Cruise 1.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 2.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 3.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 4.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 5.jpg

 

You don't feel you are stuffed into a tight doghouse in the Diamond cabin....  It is bright and open in here with tons of space, the windows are extra large and go high up into the doors, so you even feel a little exposed, but it is a very nice way to fly!

 

DA50RG_Cruise 6.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 7.jpg

 

Approaching Wales and the terrain now shows on the "Synthetic Vision", you can of course clear most of the tapes and rose off the screen for almost a full synthetic screen...

 

DA50RG_Cruise 8.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 9.jpg

 

The Syn vision comes into it's own as I reach the Irish Sea. Outside there is a lot of light cloud cover, but the Syn Screen shows me the Welsh coast and my current position...   It is very good.

 

DA50RG_Cruise 10.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 11.jpg

 

Less light brings out the quality of the aircraft in the nice curves and the shapes on the fuselage, that Aerobask extreme quality is built in here. You have to admit the Diamond is a brilliant modern general aviation aircraft. It has everything you need in power, space and speed.

 

DA50RG_Cruise 12.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 13.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 14.jpg

 

The Diamond does have windshield/instrument reflection effects and some nice wingflex, but notable is that rain and frost and other features will only be only be available with the coming X-Plane 12 aircraft version. The DA-50RG will also be X-Plane 12 compatible or updated on release of the new X-Plane version.

 

DA50RG_Cruise 15.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 16.jpgDA50RG_Cruise 17.jpg

 

I'm over the Irish coast at Wexford (STRUMBLE (STU) 113.10), and now heading towards Shannon. The STAR is TIPUR 2E approach, which you pick up at TIPUR. From there I step down by 2,000 ft steps from my cruise altitude as I enter the STAR, to do a final turn of 1,500ft.

 

DA50RG_EINN 2.jpgDA50RG_EINN 1.jpg

 

Soon I get my first glimpse of EINN Shannon on my right.

 

DA50RG_EINN 3.jpgDA50RG_EINN 4.jpg

 

The final turn is at ELPON the joint T point to finals of Rwy 06.

 

DA50RG_EINN 5.jpgDA50RG_EINN 6.jpg

 

Shannon is now directly ahead. The white flap band on the speed tape can be a little deceiving...  as you can go to the first 20º flap selection below 133 Knts, not that I recommend it, as it is too fast...  and the DA-50 will struggle to find it's balance in a pitching movement, I recommend go slower then put the flap down. The ILS 06 LOC (109.50 ISE) point is barely a few NM past the turn, but I am only using the beams for guidance, not for actual use, and marker point to begin my descent into the airport. Again nicely you can control the height by the throttle power, no stick pitch is required, steeper approaches however would need a little slight forward pitch....    The gear goes down at this ILS Threshold point as well. The gear noises internally are also very authentic, even brilliant as the three gear carriage locks into place.

 

DA50RG_EINN 7.jpgDA50RG_EINN 9.jpg

 

Descending I have to be careful as the Atlantic Ocean is pushing a steady breeze east, it pulls me (slightly) off centre, but it is very easily corrected, as the feel through the controls are very good in their feedback, certainly a pilot's aircraft.

 

DA50RG_EINN 11.jpgDA50RG_EINN 10.jpgDA50RG_EINN 12.jpg

 

You can set directly the Baro MIN height aural warning directly, and it is very effective on finals...  In the descent slope I slip down from a 100 odd knts (Flap 20º) to around 90 knts (Flap 30º) towards the absolute final "over the wall". 

 

DA50RG_EINN 13.jpgDA50RG_EINN 14.jpg

 

You bleed the speed off until you get around 83 knts, then you touch down nicely... The gear here has more give than the earlier Aerobask stick style undercarriages, even supple, and to a point you have to watch that, if not you will bounce. Stall speed is 106 km/h (66 mph, 57 kn) or a round 60 knts in the landing configuration, I will admit is was a bit fast.

 

DA50RG_EINN 16.jpgDA50RG_EINN 15.jpg

 

DA50RG_EINN 17.jpg

 

The landing however was good, then trying to slow and not weave badly was not... the Diamond was a real handful?

 

DA50RG_EINN 18.jpgDA50RG_EINN 19.jpgDA50RG_EINN 20.jpg

 

Finally I got some control and was surprised I was still on the runway hard stuff...

 

DA50RG_EINN 21.jpgDA50RG_EINN 22.jpg

 

...  like all of flying, I think it needs practice to get your landings really right in the DA-50RG, so practice is going to the order of the day.

 

Now the long, long trek down Taxiway C and D to the terminal area, So I had to taxi at a slow pace to get there in one piece and not do any field excursions with the loose nosewheel..

 

DA50RG_EINN 23.jpgDA50RG_EINN 24.jpgDA50RG_EINN 26.jpgDA50RG_EINN 27.jpg

 

The stop switch is the ENGINE MASTER switch left lower panel, so you shutdown (or select power) to the CD-300 via this switch. So some numbers...  I covered a distance of 360.80 NM, and used 35.7 GAL (48.1 GAL T/O) of A1, with 12.3 GAL left in the tanks, with a FF of around 16 GAL per hour, so get your slide rulers out and compute that for your distance flying, it feels a bit high in fuel consumption for the range, because as noted it should be around FF 9 GALPH in cruise, the lowest I saw was 12 GALPH, but there you go.

 

DA50RG_EINN 25.jpg

 

But this Aerobask is a considerable aircraft, incredible really for what you get for your money. But overall it feels so modern and so easily flyable...  the Diamond DA-50RG is just a brilliant simulation.

 

Notable is the change of the updater for Aerobask. The DA-62 had originally when released the STMA updater, then half-way through to date it changed to the Skunkcrafts updater, the DA-50RG however uses the Skunkcrafts Updater plugin, which is far better and more efficient, a good steady change there.

 

Liveries

The exceptional eight liveries are listed via their colours, OD-VFR Orange (grey) is default, then Gold, Grey, Purple, Yellow, Green, Blue and the only name livery in "The Black Knight. All are excellent with very good built in light diffusion effects and the metals/chrome are exceptional. A blank white is provided for painters.

 

DA50RG_Livery OD-VFR.jpgDA50RG_Livery D-KJEF.jpgDA50RG_Livery F-HYPF Grey.jpgDA50RG_Livery N447AB Purple.jpgDA50RG_Livery N4710F Yellow.jpgDA50RG_Livery OE-UDY Green.jpgDA50RG_Livery OE-VSO Blue.jpgDA50RG_Livery The Black Knight.jpg

____________________

Summary

For over nine years now in the X-Plane Simulator, Aerobask have been developing high quality composite modern propeller and small (VLJ) light jets with a focus on the Diamond Aircraft from Austria.

 

A few years ago Aerobask released the DA-62, a uniquely powered twin-engined aircraft. Here in this release is the single propellered CD-300 which is a geared, liquid-cooled, turbo-charged and jet-A1-fueled engine powered aircraft that could be noted as the sister aircraft to the DA-62RG, because they share the same fuselage and size. The RG moniker relates to the "Retractable Gear" version, the only other DA-50 in existence is the FG or "Fixed Gear" aircraft (the earlier prototype).

 

Those who have already purchased or have flown an Aerobask aircraft will have no problems in knowing what they will get from this top-tier developer. Aerobask's quality and detail is second to none and again the DA-50RG is a supreme example of their highly coveted work.

 

The aircraft in detail externally and internally is excellent, an almost photographic reproduction of the real aircraft. Details and quality is outstanding. The DA-50RG comes with a fully customised G1000 avionics system, MD302 SAM® or the "Standby Altitude Module", and a brilliantly intergated GCU447 (FMS Keypad). Full menus with static options, pilots and passengers and a very good Weight&Balance setup page (but no CG Graph). There are a lot of finer options for VR and Home based cockpits.

 

Also included and a major feature is the Synthetic Vision by Oscar Pilote. This visual system on the Primary Flight Display can give you visual feedback in poor environmental conditions, it is noted currently as "experimental" but it works fine, except in custom scenery situations.

 

FADAC engine controls are also included and very good they are, but the CD-300 sounds are simply glorious inside and out by Daniela Rodriguez Careri. The internal lighting is again glorious as is the basic external lighting.

 

It is really hard to find anything in a negative slant with this superb aircraft. Troublesome though is the real world caster wheel on the nose. Even with the option to tiller the wheel it weaves badly in taxiing, taking off and landing...  hard to master, you will have to find your own way of learning to fly and move around it's limitations. To note this is a Laminar Research tuning issue, as tillers can be extremely sensitive on even far bigger aircraft, but very notable here. Also notable is that Aerobask aircraft are highly developed when released, there is no later run of updates to correct faults here, the aircraft are usually perfect out of the box.

 

In a package Aerobask delivers everything you want in a high quality aircraft with unique clever custom systems, and that is certainly the case here as well...  better still everything comes in a competitively priced package below US$40.

 

As a reviewer Aerobask aircraft are a dream to review, certainly there is a lot of custom options to cover, but in every other aspect they are some of the very best general aviation simulations available today...   and for tomorrow in that fact.

_____________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

The Diamond DA-50RG by Aerobask is available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: (release is noted as today 15th March 2022)

 

Diamond DA50 RG

Price is US$39.95

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11 - Support for XP12 when available

Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM recommended
Current version: 1.0 (March 15th 2022)
 
Aerobask quality 3D model
  • Fully functional virtual 3D cockpit, with smooth and VR-friendly manipulators.
  • High quality 3D model with high resolution PBR textures (4K).
Accurate flight model
  • Flight model by X-Aerodynamics
Enhanced Laminar G1000
  • --> Synthetic Vision technology by OscarPilote superb!
  • Fully Integrated Laminar Garmin G1000 with custom EIS and annunciations
  • Touch screen features for easy handling
Systems
  • Customized FADEC/ECU with test procedure.
  • Simulated oxygen system.
  • Simulated ice protection system.
  • MD302: custom coded Standby Attitude Module.
  • Fully functional breakers (configurable reliability).
Other
  • Smooth wingflex
  • Windshield effects: reflections. Rain and frost only available with X-Plane 12 aircraft version.
  • Visual icing effect on the wings.
  • Many parameters saved between flights.
  • Configurable pilots (male or female), passengers and luggage.
High quality sounds
  • Full FMOD environment by Daniela Rodriguez Careri
  • Accurate doppler, distance attenuation and flyby effects.
  • In-game volume control without pausing the sim
Liveries
  • 8 beautiful 4K liveries out of the box
  • White (for painters) and additional liveries available through Aerobask website
 

Installation and documents:  download for the Aerobask DA-50RG is 830MB and is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder.

 

The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder.

 

Full Installation is 830Mb

 

Documents supplied are:

  • Install_Settings.pdf
  • Avitab.pdf
  • Quick-Doc MD302.pdf
  • DA50 Performances.pdf
  • DA50 Procedures.pdf
  • Customized G1000.pdf
  • DA50 AFM.pdf

 

A full set of documents are provided, including detailed manuals for the MD302 and Laminar G1000. A quick setup and deeper system manual is also provided with Performance and (Checklist) Procedures.

________________
 

Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

15th March 2022

Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews

 

Review System Specifications: 

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55

Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- EGHI - Southampton Airport by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95

- EINN - Shannon Airport by Boundless (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$23.99

 

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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