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Aircraft Review Update to X-Plane11 : Cirrus SR20 G1000 v2.5 by VFlyteAir

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Aircraft Review Update to X-Plane11 : Cirrus SR20 G1000 v2.5 by VFlyteAir

 

With the introduction of X-Plane11 there has been a huge amount of upgrades from developers in meeting the requirements of the new simulator version. That is to be expected as you will want, and sometimes quickly need to fly your favorite aircraft in X-Plane11. The amount of changes to meet the X-Plane11 requirement though has been a broad spectrum, from the very basic requirements to a full makeover of the aircraft.

 

So here is the Cirrus SR20 from vFlyteAir getting its own makeover to meet the new X-Plane11 requirements, and it is quite a significant makeover at that.

 

I really liked the vFlyteAir version of the Cirrus SR20 (Carenado has a SR22 GTSX version), and in my SR20 review I came away seriously impressed. vFlyteAir if you have been following my reviews has also under gone a serious change as developers over the last few years since that SR20 release, not only is there more developers now contributing internally to their aircraft, but their quality and features have been seriously upgraded into one of the now top level and these extremely talented X-Plane developers,  So with that in mind then let us get straight into what this new version has to offer.

 

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The original modeling was fantastic anyway, but the X-Plane11 shine has added in another extra level of quality as soon as you look over the SR20. The wing surface areas and their sizes however are slightly adjusted to match the real world versions and the wing airfoils are custom created from Roncz Laminar Flow airfoils to give a more realistic feel and handling and remember that is matched up to the different X-Plane11 performance modeling, so the aircraft will and does have a more natural feel under your control.

 

First noticeable difference is the old menus are gone and have been replaced with vFlyteAir's current new menu system of a "Pre-Flight" popup menu and a "Weight & Balance" popup menu. The menu tabs are bottom left of your screen.

 

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Beautiful and extensive, they are very different and far more functional than the originals.

 

"Pre-Flight"

Pre-Flight covers mostly your ground elements in both opening the forward up swinging doors and the baggage door with wheel chocks and pitot covers. Options include, On-Screen notifications, Glass Reflections (on/off), nose gear steers and hide passengers in interior view.

 

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There is also indicators of the fuel tank loads for the left and right tanks.

 

"Weight & Balance"

The second popup menu is the excellent visual Weight & Balance menu.

 

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Fuel weights in both tanks is to 28 Gal per tank, you can also set the weights of each of the pilots and passengers on the aircraft, moving the sliders will set the weights and also make the pilots and passengers appear in the aircraft, this is great as you can have as few or as many passengers in the aircraft as you require, and even the pilot disappears if you want an empty aircraft. Luggage weight is also available and the bags appear in the baggage compartment as you adjust the slider. There is a very good adjusting CoG chart to get all the settings right and find the correct balance of the aircraft or if it is out of its flying limits. The full gross weight of the aircraft is also noted in lbs and kgs.

 

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Cabin

The cabin was nice and light before. But PBR and X-Plane11 now gives all the materials a nice quality lift. The darker shadows take away a lot of the flatness and gives the space more realistic look and the realism is highlighted even more.

 

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It is an unusual cabin that is dominated by those huge two panel displays and the different single-column yokes (handles?).

 

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It is exactly the same cabin, but you know you are sitting in something completely different. Note the lovely seat materials that highlights these PBR effects.

 

Reflections are highlighted even more. There is great panel and window reflections for great realism and so "keep your dirty fingers off my clean screens!". Note the excellent molded facia.

 

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CirrusPerspective system

vFlyteAir has done its own variation but not a completely authentic Garmin system but a variation in the aircraft and noted as a "Perspective System", It is close. but basically it still keeps the standard X-Plane MAP system in place

 

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PFD (Primary Flight Display):

Improvements to the PFD: Both the attitude indicator the speed tape, the altitude tape and the VVI are now custom-made, for a more realistic look and better readability, plus there are Improvements to the electrical system with the electrical load of individual systems adjusted and the PFD and MFD which are now on separate electrical buses.

 

I prefer the older original PFD artificial horizon with the faded lighter elements (below right) than the complete harder colours of the new version (below left). The faded older version is actually the correct one. But the newer PFD is far more cleaner and far sharper after a full quality redesign, and lots of popup insets that include (pilot's) MAP, ADF choices, TIMER, NEARST AIRPORTS and FLIGHTPLAN. 

 

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It is still however a very good PFD, nice to use without being to over complicated with menu trees.

 

MFD (Multi Functional Display):

To a point the MAP display still does rely a lot still on X-Plane basics, so there is no terrain or coloured map that is the usual with a G1000 system, it will be interesting how the coming Laminar Research default G1000 system will affect aircraft and in my guess that is certainly going to be in here in the future. But what you lose in map complexity you gain in speed and efficiency. Most G1000's in X-Plane at the moment (except Aerobask's) are very slow and sluggish so it may be a better system at this point.

 

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Both the PFD and MFD will pop out, but it is a strange 3d system that you can only move the screens in the left-right movement and not around the screen or resize them, but it does make working on them easier, but you have to move to centre the screen than they move to you...

 

Flightplanning

I really did like the vFlyteAir flightplan system of this SR20. It did allow you to very easily create X-Plane fms flightplans very quickly and so quickly it was actually easier to load up this aircraft, do up a flightplan in moments to save and then use in another aircraft, it is that good. That aspect has not changed here.

 

You can use either the main facia input panel or the pop-out panel and both work about the same. My route is from WADD (Bali) to WADE on the northern side of Java.

 

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Press FMS to select the flightplan mode. And to start a clean flightplan you INIT the system and then press the centre of the FMS knob to enter the first waypoint.

 

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Obviously you are going to start the flightplan at your current airport position, so you will select the ARPT key, for other entries you can select FIX, NDB and VOR depending on the nav-aid.

 

Then just type in your waypoint in this case WADD. An airport and the start of the flightplan will give you an aircraft leaving logo and the same aircraft arriving logo to finish the plan. If you wish you can add in the altitude to fly at as well.

 

In v2.5 you can now also use more deeper segments including SID, STAR and Transitions and Approach procedures. This is activated by pressing the PROC button on the facia.

 

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But to access these procedures you have to set up your X-Plane navigation data perfectly. You will need your X-Plane11 GNS430 data up to date with the latest AIRAC navigation data from either Navigraph or Aerosoft's NavDataPro, plus you have to make sure the navigation data is also stored or inserted by the above purchased suppliers as CIFP data (folder) and both are present in your X-Plane11 Custom Data folder. Another important point is that both AIRAC cycles are the same and match, I had a v1701 and a v1709 cycle and until they were both updated to v1709 cycle the system won't work, that data cycle match is noted on the procedure page at the bottom.

 

In my case for this flightplan it was a case of over reach as my selected SID "RAB3A" (RABOL) put me somewhere way over East Java and far past my destination, but it does show that the SID - STAR feature does work very well. Another point to note here is you can also centre your map on the waypoint you have selected, so you can easily check your full flightplan waypoints and range, route and they are all correctly inserted.

 

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Inserting intermediate waypoints is simple and very easy as, "bam, bam" or FIX, NDB and VOR  then insert code and press ENT (Enter), then altitude (ENT again) and you are on to the next waypoint...   and so the route is built up very quickly. CLR (Clear) if you make a mistake. The choice of either facia or popup keyboard makes it very easy to input waypoints as well, it is all in all just brilliant.

 

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PAGE menu popup allows you to DELETE, DELETE to END and a great feature in being able to simply REVERSE the flightplan.

 

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One thing you expect but missing from the PAGE popup is the SAVE and OPEN of flightplans to your FMS flightplan folder (Output). They are actually on the on the side of the display as a SD card, and SAVE is lower SD and OPEN is the higher SD card, note they only work on the instrument panel version and not the popup version.

 

Checklists and Charts can also be accessed via the MFD and the charts can be inserted manually and you can load up to 20 charts in png files.

 

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Both engine output panels are still there with the side panel version and the full MFD version which is very impressive. Trims (arrowed) are also switchable on screen as well.

 

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Flying the Cirrus SR20 X-Plane11

It may look the same but the Hartzell Scimitar composite three bladed propeller is all new with custom airfoils that are refined to recreate the correct propeller control at high and low altitude. The SR20 is different in that you don't have a "Propeller" lever or adjustment in the aircraft, it is an automatic combined throttle and propeller control that allows the aircraft to maintain a 2500RPM cruise regardless of the power setting from 50% power up to 85% (depending on density altitude).

 

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The aircraft is quite tricky to turn from a standstill, so you have to have space to build up a bit of forward momentum before being able to turn the aircraft and get it wrong and the aircraft will fight you and stall any forward movement. So you have to be careful where you park the aircraft so you don't box yourself in. I'm not comfortable with this aspect as it is creeping in more to X-Plane lately and it makes GA's harder to turn. You can turn off the nose wheel steering, but it just makes it worse. So only a lot of throttle and too much speed when you are pointing in the right direction doesn't feel right. No arguments with vFlyteAir here, I think this is a particular Laminar/X-Plane annoyance.

 

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Once you are moving then the taxiing is fine, but it is really small in here...

 

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...   you do feel you are in a very claustrophobic tight aircraft and the high instrument cowling and intruding low hanging shade doesn't help either.

 

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You need a firm hand on the tiller to keep the aircraft tight to the centre line and the usual slow revs to higher power is crucial in keeping it straight, it is your choice in using flaps, but a long, long run down the runway to build up speed is still preferable to the sudden loss of lift you get if you retract the flaps and the drag at not building up the speed quicker with them extended in the air.

 

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Unusually you can keep that throttle full up against the top of the guide as the system will protect you from any overspeeds. Climb rate is 880fpm, but heavy at 2916lbs (3050lbs Max) then that can only be done in short bursts, 300fpm is the best to 5000ft in not losing too much speed in the long climb. Max altitude is a credible 17,500ft and range is with full tanks 625 nautical miles (1454 km) 719 miles.

 

Did I tell you it is tight in here... 

 

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The Cirrus does also bounce around a lot...  even in light winds you feel the fragile nature of this small aircraft. I do have XPRealisticPro movements running on low settings, but even if I turn it off then it still bounces and bobs around as you hold on. But I like the feel, as you feel you are actual going somewhere and in something more than just a desktop simulation.

 

Sounds are all now FMOD, nice and every switch or click is now very noticeable. External and internal sounds are excellent, but these smaller aircraft can be sort of buzzboxes, this Cirrus is not that bad, but you get the idea...  overall sounds are now great.

 

vFlyteAir's external work is excellent, top notch. Great detailing and modeling to almost perfection. X-Plane11 does bring out that shape and shine to the uttermost degree as all reflective surfaces with the bodywork and glass is faultless.

 

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It is also easy to confuse the rate of climb indicator with the vertical speed (V/S). On many aircraft this indicator does note the V/S, but here it is just the change in altitude that sometimes can be as much as 500fpm, which is alarming, but you get used to it. So you make sure the V/S is correct (right below) and get that right and the rate of climb will follow you later, but confuse them and try to control or follow the rate of climb indicator and you will get into trouble.

 

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You also have to watch when changing altitude with the knob, if you are bouncing around it is very easy to hit the reset to your current height as you try to adjust for a low (or higher) altitude, I once did it infuriatingly three times in one go.

 

I found that using the flaps as an airbrake is very useful, the limits are quite high at 150 knts at 50% flap and 110 knts at 100% flap (full) so you have plenty of space to get them down to reduce your speed, but you have to control your throttle (a lot) to counteract the high drag, but it does give you far more control on the approach. vFlyteAir has worked very hard on the SR20's performance to match the real aircraft and it does show in X-Plane11, you work hard in here with this slippery little lightweight aircraft and certainly on final approach.

 

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Around 80knts is your goal at first and then 65knts -70knts at full flap as stall is around 56knts, it is easier said than done...

 

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Placing the aircraft down can be slightly tricky and I have a full load in this configuration, in winds and just you flying then it can be quite a handful.

 

Ditto holding that centreline as the speed runs off, tricky but still doable. The point is you become a little addicted to this SR20, you want to try that, or this and get the pleasure of the reward when you conquer or master the machine, real flying, real life.

 

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Lighting

The lighting on the original release was very average so it has had a lot of attention in this upgrade. Externally you get a centre taxi light (slightly weak) and two wing end lights, the navigation and strobe are excellent.

 

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Tiny side fuselage ice wing lights are very effective looking from the outside or from within.

 

Internal lighting is a mixed package.

 

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Nice overhead lighting with a red area over the throttle which is lovely. Displays are adjustable and again very good at night.

 

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There are four overhead switchable spotlights, but they are not very effective?  Spots are supposed to highlight, but especially in the rear they are not very effective.

 

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Liveries

There was ten excellent liveries in the original release plus the default vFlyteAir livery. Now you get an extra six new liveries to add into the package. Two are excellent, but four are very high visibility bright in colouring, it is too your own taste really.

 

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Summary

This was not just an update package to X-Plane11 for the Cirrus SR20 from vFlyteAir. It is in reality a full extensive upgrade to the aircraft that has a long list of new features and quality. This upgrade has certainly brought this already nice little aircraft up to vFlyteAir's higher newer standards, including new menus, FMOD sounds, PBR quality textures and the excellent performance enhancements.

 

 There is a debate with this really good Perspective G1000 system. On the one hand it is an excellent, fast and easy system to use and smash out flightplans in minutes, very, very good. But the map interface is quite old, in fact not only to the X-Plane 10.50 new GNS430 level but the old red line level. Certainly there has been improvements to the display (in fact for both PFD and the MFD) but it still feels oldish. 

All G1000 panels are now full colour and have terrain features, so you can see and undrstand the emptiness here. Laminar Research are releasing a full default G1000 very soon, so I will go and note that there is a good chance that aspect will be very quickly remedied with in a short time of that features release and that should give you the very best of both worlds in this aircraft, but not to forget this navigation system already does use the AIRAC navigation data and that data can be updated if you have an AIRAC cycle account.

 

The Cirrus SR20 is an interesting little aircraft to fly. You have to be impressed by the Weight & Balance setup and sheer flexibility on how you load the aircraft, I love that aspect. And that loading certainly affects the way you fly the aircraft and its speeds, altitudes and range as it should do. But it can be tricky to fly really well, that is the stimulation of the simulation and why we test ourselves to fly anything and master the machine, so pilot's will love it, but learner pilots will take a little longer to understand its flying complexities, overall it is addictive and challenging...   did I say fun, yes fun as well.

 

Another great bonus here is that the upgrade to X-Plane11 is free, yes it costs nothing to upgrade from X-Plane10 to the X-Plane11 version and you get all those enhancements as well in the deal...  you can't top that, great deal and with a great little aircraft from one of the master developers of X-Plane...  all round a winner deal.

 

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The Cirrus SR20-G1000 XP11 by vFlyteAir is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Cirrus SR20 G1000

 

And is priced at only US$29.95

 

Features

Superb Model by vFlyteAir
  • Photo-realistic textures by Igor Kirilove – all textures are very hi-res (4K), providing a very realistic look
  • Fully animated model – all the details are in this model. Check out the door hinge mechanisms when you open and close the doors!
  • Super accurate 3D modeling – the model is extremely accurate in scale and dimensions
  • Great flight model by Alan Shafto / AeroSimGaming
The following features are available on the Primary Flight Display (PFD):
  • Artificial Horizon with high-resolution attitude indicator, flight director and roll scale
  • Speedtape with custom display of reference speeds
  • Altitude tape with custom vertical velocity indicator and minimums display
  • Enhanced HSI with turn indicator and three fully configurable bearing pointers for GPS, NAV1, NAV2 and ADF
  • Switchable inset windows for timer/references, minimums, wind, ADF, map, nearest airports, and flight plan
  • Cirrus-style top bar with power setting, frequencies and detailed GPS & autopilot information
On the Multi Function Display (MFD), the following features are available:
  • Engine information system with switchable trim status
  • Detailed system page with engine parameters, declutter mode, used fuel, remaining fuel, remaining range, remaining time, anti-ice & oxygen gauges, density altitude, temperatures, ISA deviation
  • Basic support for SIDs, STARs and Approaches
  • Custom user interface for creating and editing flight plans (accessing X-Planes navdata and default FMC)
  • “Nearest” page for airports, navaids and related frequencies
  • Cirrus-style top bar with destination window, frequencies and GPS information
  • X-Plane default map with weather radar and traffic warnings with custom icons
  • Interactive checklists and user-definable charts
Other Notable Features:
  • Hypoxia is simulated at above 12,500’ cabin altitude. The screen will begin to dim if you are flying above 12,500’ MSL. Use the OXY switch on the lower center console to turn on oxygen supply and avoid hypoxia!
  • Oxygen supply is simulated – you have approximately 3 ½ hours of usable oxygen on board. The oxygen supply will begin to deplete slowly when the OXY switch is ON
  • Anti-Ice fluid is simulated – there are 3.5 gallons of anti-ice fluid available. The supply will deplete when anti-ice switch is ON
  • ICE lights are modeled – use the ICE light switch to inspect the wing leading edges for ice build-up at night
  • The Cirrus BRS® parachute recovery system is modeled – click on the BRS handle on the cabin ceiling to deploy the parachute in case of emergency. NOTE: Engine should be OFF, and airspeed should be below 120 KTS when deploying the parachute!
  • Cirrus “Single Lever Throttle Control” is modeled – the SR20 automatically adjusts propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever.
  • Customized HDR night lights – there are four dome lights inside the cockpit that will provide white flood lighting with HDR on in your rendering settings
  • Custom exterior lighting – all lights on the exterior (landing lights, strobe lights and navigation lights) are modeled using X-Plane parameterized lighting.
  • 10 Factory liveries provided – because Cirrus uses a special heat-resistant paint for their airplanes, the 10 liveries provided are based on Cirrus originals.
  • Custom sounds – try opening the passenger or pilot door while the engine is running!

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11 (not compatible with  X-Plane 10)
Windows, Mac or Linux 
2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended

SIDs, STARs, and approaches require installation of additional navigation data, see user manual for details
Current version: 2.50 - Last updated July 2nd 2017

 

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Installation :   Download file size is 953.90mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 911.00mb

Documents :  There is excellent documentation with a full tutorial, a avionics tutorial and a third document that covers the features of G1000 avionics system.

Developer Support Site : Support forum for the SR20

 

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Review by Stephen Dutton
24th August 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 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- WADD - Bali XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95

- WADE - X-Plane Gateway (X-Plane) - Free

 

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