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Aircraft Review : Piper PA28 Turbo Piper Arrow IV by AeroSphere Simulations

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Aircraft Review : Piper PA28 Turbo Piper Arrow IV by AeroSphere Simulations

 

Only a few weeks ago I reviewed AeroSphere Simulations lovely PA28-161 Warrior II. Now AeroSphere have released another variant in the PA-28 Piper Cherokee family with the Piper PA-28 201 Turbo Arrow IV. This release gives you two versions of the Arrow IV with a Turbo IV with that distinctive T-Tail configuration and a Turbo IV with the standard normal conventional low horizontal stabiliser version as well. 

 

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First though a few notes in that why there are so very few Turbo IV's with the low rear stabiliser as they were technically an Arrow III upgraded to Turbo IV specifications, the Turbo IV or PA-28RT-201T was the T-Tail aircraft as built by Piper and they came with a turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-FB engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,900 lb (1,315 kg) and the variant was first certified on 13 November 1978. This powerplant is a step up from the Warrior's O-320-D2A engine of 160 hp (119 kW) and you certainly notice the huge speed difference between the two aircraft in the slow top speed of 126kts for the Warrior and 177kts for the Arrow IV and that is nearly 50kts faster.

 

Another point to make in both AeroSphere's Warrior II and the Turbo Arrow IV internally with the instrument panel layout and cabin are almost exactly the same as each other, so you are not seeing the same things in the two different reviews. And so that means a lot of the details in this review will be a duplicate of the Warrior II details, in fact they are very closely the same...   and in this review will focus more on the T-Tail version as it is the more radical aircraft of the Cherokee family.

 

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It is quite significant on how different each Arrow IV looks with just a change of place of moving the tailplane just up a few feet higher on to the vertical stabiliser. It makes the rear far more thinner and more streamlined than the Arrow III configuration. People are always more attracted to being different from the normal, so odd aircraft like with say the V-Tail 35 Bonanza or the Twin Boom C337 Skymaster are always more attractive and more well known than their standard configured brethren.

 

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Like with the Warrior II then AeroSphere Simulations have come a long way very quickly in design and quality of their aircraft. They are now quite beautifully turned out aircraft, but not quite yet in the Carenado or vFlyteAir class, but still very good nevertheless. Some areas like around the door frames and window frames are a little unrefined and there is a white lower door noticeable strip on darker liveries. And both the Arrows here are both very shiny or glossy...

 

PiperArrow_Shine 2.jpgPiperArrow_Shine 1.jpg

 

 ...  Not a totally bad thing, but you do get a lot of reflective surfaces including the glass looking slightly a little too unrealistic with this over gloss feel. The spinning propeller on the Warrior was not too my taste at all with its harder white outer band being hard to see through and totally awful at night. The Arrow's propeller though is more translucent and a far better solution and would now pass the grade as being realistic. In fact the propeller looks great and it changes differently throughout the throttle speeds and that gives you a visual point to your throttle position.

 

Cockpit Is almost exactly the same as the Warrior, but there are a few slight differences...

 

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The Warrior's instrument panel is on the left (below) and the Arrow's is on the right. The ADF pointer dial has been moved far left to the blank on the Warrior, and replaced by a JDI EDM-700 avionic digital engine monitor, and very nice it is. Just watch it as the engine warms up from cold to realise how good it really is. Lower centre the plain EGT dial has been replaced with a more complex Manifold Pressure and Fuel Flow gauge. And the middle panel gauges have changed to Oil Press, Oil Temp and Alt Amp on the left side and Left Fuel tank, Cyl Head Temp and Right Fuel tank on the right.

 

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The rest of the instrument panel is the Standard Six instruments that are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack is a clock and on the right is a Garmin OBS VOR indicator with the Bendix/King ADF indicator as noted now left below. The S-Tec altitude setting panel and engine starter switch is the same, but now with a key tab.

 

Right panel and avionics is the same as the Warrior but with the EGT dial now on lower right replacing the Alt Amp dial.

 

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The avionics suite comes with both an X-Plane default Garmin GNS530 top and a GNS430 (both pop-out). Standard Garmin GMA 340 radio is right top, with an S-Tec Fifty Five X (now Genesys Aerosystems) autopilot below. Your ADF radio is the Bendix/King KR 85 and is now situated lower and under the Garmin CTX330 transponder unit and not over it but the KR 85 is not a different unit.

 

A Gyro Suction gauge and Honeywell hobbs (hour) meter is right. Centre panel is a set of rocker switches for (L to R) Power (two) for Alt and Bat, Fuel pump, Landing Light, Anti-Collision Lights, Navigation Lights and Pitot Heat. Either end of the switch panel are two scroll wheels for Avionic brightness and instrument brightness. Below the switch panel is a Carb Heat slider and a ALT Amp gauge. A flat fuse panel is to the right.

The centre mini-pedestal Throttle, Prop Rpm and Mixture is the same unit as the Warrior.

 

Cabin is the same fit-out as the Warrior, but the seating and roof lining covers are in a grey texture and not the cream colours of the older aircraft. Seatbelts don't again look very flexible and a little stiff and do not fall naturally.

 

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Externally the aircraft has the Tri-Cycle retractable undercarriage that locks up with a thud! that system was added to Cherokee family with the first PA-28R-180 Arrow version (Warrior has the fixed gear version).

 

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There are no menus or ground elements with Aerosphere's aircraft, but the passenger opens by the internal latch as does the side luggage door (from the inside) but the door flips open with no animation which is a bit basic.

 

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The same spare oil bottles and a set of engine covers and tow handle is in the baggage area as on the Warrior.

 

The differences with the upgraded Arrow III is that it looks more conventional and to a point from some angles from the rear even like a Cessna more than a Piper.

 

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But sitting in the pilot's seat you wouldn't really know the difference.

 

Flying the Turbo IV Arrow
There is no doubt that a little more power does go a long way. Just 40hp difference between the ponderous Warrior to the quite sprightly (for a GA) Turbo Arrow is certainly noticeable.

 

Taxiing is very good as you are not fighting the aircraft via the brakes, and can easily find a nice pace via the throttle to calmly ride to the runway.

 

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It is nice to flow down the runway as well without overly fighting the Turbo IV to keep in tight on the centre markers in light winds, rotate is around 95kts.

 

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More so is the fact that that power is just more usable to fly in this aircraft, It will climb at around 850fpm easily from the 650fpm of the older aircraft and you can climb and manoeuvre better as well as the machine is more tactile in your hands. The power also allows you to climb as high as 12,000ft.

 

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You settle down to a cruise of around 170kts -180kts and settle in for the ride. Sounds are very good, certainly on the start up and power on phases. Outside volume is far more higher than the internal, so you are adjusting the volume constantly if you move between the two positions a lot. But one thing the sounds are not are droney, they flitter and change sounds as you fly and as you adjust the power. Then going from full power to low power when starting your approach is the very realistic feedback as the engine note falls to almost bass putter idle. Certainly the sounds are not in the very top grade, but in this category they are very good.

 

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The sounds in approach are a big advantage in gauging your power throttle position to what you hear. Is every aircraft like this? well yes, but it is far more noticeable in this Arrow IV and you get that lovely constant aural feedback in flying the aircraft. This translates well into the approach phase and the sheer control you have with the throttle input.

 

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I really loved the throttle control you have with this aircraft. I found I could adjust my approach with precision via the throttle, with sometimes less power to keep the glide downwards correct and then a little more to keep the altitude up a little. It really comes into its own here on finals.

 

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With full three phase flap you can hold the aircraft as low as 66kts (stall is only 61kts!) and still be in complete control with a slight lift or push of the throttle giving you the power to land the aircraft slowly right where you want it.

 

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Which brings us to the point that this Turbo Arrow IV is a great aircraft for training and for novices wanting a nice controllable machine for which into practise on and learn aviation. The aircraft is very good at giving you good feedback and not only aurally but physically and visually as well. vFlyteAir's Arrow III aircraft was the same as well and so it must be a class thing, but I really enjoyed the control of the this Arrow IV and always I looked forward to having another go at having another landing in the aircraft and you just enjoy the flying in this area very much.

 

Liveries

There are only six liveries for both aircraft and two of those are plain white. Quality is good but overall they are not very creative or adventurous.

 

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PiperArrow_Livery Blue.jpgPiperArrow_Livery White stripe.jpg

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Lighting

Like the Warrior Aerosphere's lighting is average. Panel instrument lighting is fully adjustable and very good, but the overhead lighting is poor.

 

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There is a single door entrance light on the roof and a blue adjustable overhead light...  But it is not blue lighting but just the standard X-Plane overhead lighting?

 

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External lighting is not adjusted? and are just blobs of light more than corrected lighting...   average.

 

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Summary

First of all you get not one version of the Piper PA-28 Turbo Arrow IV but two in the PA28R-201T for the conventional rear tailplane and the PA28RT-201T for the T-Tail version. Both are certainly nice aircraft but the T-Tail will always pull your heartstrings towards flying something different.

 

Both are well designed and are quality aircraft and Aerosphere are getting better and better with every release and are now certainly up there with most of the best quality developers, although they are not totally in the Carenado class yet.

 

Negatives, not much but lighting need more creativity. Liveries need more thought and just more liveries. You don't get any menus or many extra features but it delivers the basic design and the package is very good.

 

Overall this is a very tidy aircraft and extremely good to fly and the far extra power over say the Warrior makes the Arrow a much more nicer aircraft to fly, and better yet if you have an addon throttle system as the aircraft is very sensitive and I mean in a good way to throttle input. Aural feedback to those throttle adjustments is very good as well. So for any trainee or budding new pilot it is a very good aircraft to learn on, as the Arrow IV is a very nice aircraft to control and not only on the ground but also in the air, so it is highly recommended in that area.

 

Could you ask any more than a good solid aircraft to enjoy flying and training on. No I don't think so and in that area this Turbo Arrow IV ticks all the boxes, good design and a good avionics pack gives the aircraft a good feeling vibe. So yes a worthwhile aircraft to fly and enjoy.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________
 

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The Piper PA28 Turbo Piper Arrow IV by AeroSphere Simulations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Piper Arrow IV

 

Your Price: $24.95

 

Features:
  • 4 HD (4096 x 4096) liveries with a plain white texture that can be used for custom paint schemes.
  • Steam gauge trainer cockpit model to help pilots in the training environment with required instruments for IFR.
  • Garmin 530 & 430
  • All gauges are 3D
  • Detailed flight model and interactive 3D virtual cockpit with animated knobs, buttons etc. cabin door, storm window and rear baggage compartment door.
  • Toggle button to remove/display yoke
  • Compatible with HDR and normal lighting effects
  • Many textures taken from the actual aircraft
  • Custom sounds compatible with X-Plane 11 

 

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
2Gb VRAM Minimum - 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended

 

Installation and Documents:

Download for the Piper PA28 Turbo Piper Arrow IV is 297.40.mb and the two unzipped files are deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at:

 

Arrow IV 200.10mb.

Arrow IV T-Tail 159.00mb

 

Documents: Include a basic three page "Read Me"

 

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Review by Stephen Dutton
23rd June 2017
Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
 
(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)
 

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 11.02

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90

 

Scenery or Aircraft

- KEYW - Key West International Airport V1.0 by FletcherJ (X-Plane.Org) Free

- KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99

 

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