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Aircraft Review : Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 by Vskylabs by

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Aircraft Review : Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 by Vskylabs

 

In the six months since the May 2017 release of Vskylabs Tecnam P2006T the aircraft has been under constant development, but then almost everything under the VskyLabs banner is under constant development, because all the aircraft are in reality only ongoing projects and not release aircraft. So you go on a journey with Vskylabs projects as they are if nothing else very interesting and progressive aircraft. Certainly the Vskylabs DC-3/C47 has took all the attention this year, and as it should because it is a great aircraft and a lot of fun, but the P2006T has been progressing forward as well.

 

This latest v1.4 version is significant as it is the first payware aircraft to use Laminar Research's new G1000 GPS system that was introduced with X-Plane v11.10, that noted is that to use this aircraft you have to use only X-Plane11 and the v11.10 (currently beta) update and upwards as well.

 

So this review is mostly focused on that factor in the two different versions in the standard original analog aircraft and the new G1000 glass panel version of which you get both in the same package.

 

Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam is an Italian aeronautics manufacturer that was founded in 1986. The company has two primary activities in one is that it mainly makes aircraft parts for other manufacturers, and in two it makes its own range of light aircraft. It is in the first activity of making parts is in why the Italian company's name doesn't really roll off any aviation's bluffs tongue, like say Piaggio or Augsta, but it is still a manufacturer and it is in this their latest aircraft the P2006 that was certified in 2010 that is the company's push for mainstream sales.

 

The P2006T is currently the lightest twin-engined certified aircraft available, and is a four-seat aircraft with fully retractable landing gear and has liquid-cooled Rotax engines that can run on 92 octane unleaded automotive gasoline as well as 100LL (Avgas).

 

It is unusual in that the Rotax 912S3 horizontally opposed four-cylinder geared piston engines, 73.5 kW (98.6 hp) as each of the cylinder heads are liquid-cooled and there are cooling vanes on the cylinder barrels (a la the Volkswagen Beetle). Thus both cooling airflow through the nacelle, and so a cooling radiator is required in each cowl. Electric starters are used to start the engines on the ground, but must also be used for an inflight restart, since the highly geared engines cannot be turned by airflow alone past the stopped propeller. Thus, for FAA certification, the company was required to add in a backup battery in addition to the standard battery.

 

Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000

You get two versions of the P2006T in the analog and glass cockpit G1000 version. They are actually the same aircraft, but strangely feel quite different? I think it is down to the more matt flat feel of the analog livery than anything else, but they do still also feel different internally as well. Considering the releases are only six months apart it feels more like years.

 

P2006T Analog

 

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P2006T G1000

 

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Modeling is good, but not in the high notch caliber, there are the slight bumps and off rounded areas and points that you can see really close up, but in most overall views the aircraft looks really good.

 

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The Tecnam looks like a composite but it is an all metal construction, Italian styling gives it that smooth clean look that only Italian designers can. The Rotax engines and their housings look and feel different than the standard usual low bulbous US styling, but they are well recreated here.

 

Internally it is where all the action is, first the Analog ...

 

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...   the analog panel layout is very basic. 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 bank/turn coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below, there is right the two large VOR OBS dials for VOR1 above and VOR2 below. Deep below is a pitch indicator. Centre panel is dominated by both a GNS530 (top) and a GNS 430 (below) that both pop out...

 

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...   an S-Tec FiftyFive X Autopilot in centre top. Centre panel bottom is a Decker ADF dial and transponder. Lower radio unit is the standard Garmin GMA347.

 

Co-Pilot's instruments are more disarranged in their layout with only the Artificial Horizon and Airspeed Indicator centre with the Attitude Indicator set far below. The rest of the instruments cover Manifold pressure, Fuel pressure PSI (both engines), Temp, Amps/Volts (engines) and both fuel tanks deep below left.. A full set of two gauges cover the engine outputs with RPM (x100), CHT, Oil Temp and pressure.

 

Lower panels cover all switchgear with Pitot, AP, Main and RH Field left and lighting right, centre is the main Avionic and bus 1&2 switches. Flap indicator is the only function on the left lower panel.

 

G1000 Glass panel

The retro fitted Laminar Research G1000 system is excellent, but in Laminar's basic set of features way. What you don't get in high features from the LR G1000 you make up for in sheer performance. Most third party G1000's including Carenado's and vFlyteAir's and make no doubt they are both very good...  except in performance, because of the sheer size of the G1000 displays they lagged performance in map animation and data input. Not so with Philipp Münzel's highly polished coding and these G1000 systems are excellent in all those areas.

 

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Fitting in the large two screen G1000 layout then moves the other dials around the panel and deletes a few items as well (mostly the radio and autopilot).

 

The main Standard Six instruments now become the backup instruments that are now spaced centre below the panels. Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator are all that is now required with the Fuel Pressure (both engines) left centre. Manifold pressure, RPM (x100), CHT, Oil Temp and pressure with Amps/Volts now down low are all squeezed together on the right hand panel, but it somehow all works fine.

 

The Decker ADF dial  is now far left lower panel and a few of the main power switches are now on the centre panel lower panel where they look better, standard lighting switchgear is right lower panel.

 

The G1000 displays do pop-out and can be resized (scaled) or made into pop-out windows (computer windows). 

 

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Most of the switchgear/avionics is transferred to the G1000 system in radio settings/transponder, autopilot controls, engine readouts and the main primary flight instruments (PFD).

 

The lower mini-pedestal is nicely done with twin levers for throttle, Carburettor Heat and Propeller (feather), rudder pedals have an odd yellow wear on them, but look authentic.

 

The biggest visual difference is created by the main metal facia of the instrument panel...

 

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...  it is very well done with the distinct crafted metal panel and the nice chrome screws, but if you run your texture settings anything lower than "max" it looks very old fashioned and poor texturing. The G1000 system hides most of these average areas and so at a lower resolution the lovely crafted G1000 display surroundings hides most of the metal paneling which looks like a different sort of metal as well, and it is in this area the G1000 then looks far, far better in the cockpit than the Analog version. Textures in both canvas, leather and metalness have shone this year in X-Plane11 and have risen to far more realistic looking heights...  so anything now that was by last years standards is now needing a higher quality and finer attention, and here it shows with that critical if small difference.

 

VSL Tecnam-v1.4_Panel Ana 8.jpgVSL Tecnam-v1.4_Panel G1000 8.jpg

 

The interior is very good, but not of the high super quality in detailing although there is a few nice touches like the seatback pouches. Roof mounted Fuel Pump and Ignition/starter switches are required not only to start the aircraft but to shutdown the engines as well, which the props can be strangely odd in that they don't wind down but simply electric stop mid-rotation, The fuel tank switches are up here as well.

 

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There are no menus with the Tecnam, so if you open the pilot's door then the rear right passenger door opens as well...  there are no static elements.

 

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Undercarriage assemblies are very good and very well animated. Wheel linkages, hydraulic pipes and brake assemblies are all covered and the tyres look realistic...

 

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Lighting

The analog panel lighting is again different from the G1000 version. Three knobs set the lighting for instruments, panel and switches. The basic lower setting gives off a nice glow from the instruments and mid-dial (lower right) is nice...

 

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...   but turn the knob right up and the panel overglows and spreads even on to the windscreen. Overhead light is very nice, but doesn't work?

 

The G1000 panel is very different and in a nicer way...  the G1000 displays can be quite bright but can be adjusted, but overall a better look again.

 

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External lighting is basic with a landing and taxilight and a bit blobby.

 

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Liveries

There are no liveries provided except one each of the default liveries, a paintkit is however included. A few liveries have already popped up the X-Plane.Org.

 

Flying both the Analog and G1000 Tecnam

I flew the G1000 version outbound from KLAL (Lakeland) to KRSW (Florida Southwest) and the Analog on the inbound leg back to KLAL. You have to get your head around first the fact that the P2006T is not a big aircraft, it looks it, but it is only really the size of a small -twin.

 

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But for a small-twin the performance is impressive. Maximum speed is 287 km/h; 178 mph (155 kn) with a cruise speed of 250 km/h; 155 mph (135 kn) with a range of 1,374 km (854 mi; 742 nmi). However the rate of climb is 1,260 ft/min or 250 ft/min on single engine and the service ceiling is 4,300 m (14,000 ft). So the Tecnam will go fast, but climbs slowly and to only 14,000ft. Most twins in this category can climb at 1600 - 1900 ft per min to 25,000ft.

 

The G1000 GPS system is very nice though, modern and feels (as in touch) more realistic than the other versions. I floundered a little looking for the autopilot command button when they where right in front of me...  I focused more on the left display than the right of which where they are actually situated (the AP commands are on the left display on the pop-up). But finally homed in on them and in reality it makes sense that the central position is the correct one for both pilot and co-pilot access.

 

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Sounds here are very good and are already FMOD directional dynamic. It is amazing how quickly new features mature and become part of the background in a very short time. Only issue in sound is the exterior sound is very high (almost irritating) to the low but better sound internally and I had to set the X-Plane external volume two thirds down to not get such a higher change of sound between the two.

 

Moving from point A to point B is quite fast, so for traversing distances it is great aircraft...

 

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...  but I do think in many angles the P2006T does look like a Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor or have I been out on the town again.

 

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The Tecnam is genuinely nice to fly if you keep it well within its performance boundaries. The only area that is to be aware of is the final landing speed or zone, stall is 87 km/h; 54 mph (47 kn)...   or around 50knts which quite slow.

 

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But the speed area between the full flap and 60knts it is very tight, and it is only 10knts higher. So you have very little room to adjust the speed to keep the aircraft airborne and getting too much lift, or either stalling into the runway. You adjust to the situation but you feel bottled in by it as well

 

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Then add in any wind factor and it is an interesting landing in controlling the aircraft at such low speeds. The first landing was not too bad, but by the time I had arrived back at LAL the wind was stronger and my landing was a bit of an arm wrestle with no different speeds available to use to control the aircraft. That space at between only 70knts to 60knts I feel is too tight, but that is the skill required to fly the aircraft.

 

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The return leg to LAL in the analog aircraft was the feeling of a far more older aircraft than the G1000 version and it just wasn't the change of the Avionic system either.

 

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You bite yourself and say "this is EXACTLY the same aircraft" but it doesn't feel that way when you are actually in there. Maybe it is the feeling from the panel or just the aircraft in general. A lot of users will certainly note the same thing but in the totally other way around with a much more love of the older analog version than the G1000 version...  everyone to one's own.

 

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All I do know it was as noted quite a handful on landing this time...

 

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...   go just slightly under that 60knt mark and your in trouble, problem is you can't put on too much more speed either.

 

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I'm down, but in X-Plane you sometimes have to really work for it.

 

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Summary

In a year or so then Laminar Research's G1000 GPS system will be fitted in countless X-Plane11 aircraft and it will be as familiar as the current GNS430/530 we have used for years. But here in the Tecnam P2006T you can seriously see the difference this new X-Plane11 GPS feature makes.

 

It is the same aircraft as Tecnam P2006T that was released earlier this year and it is a good solid design if still in development. Modelling is great without being that pure extreme tick all the boxes look. There are no menus or special features, but Vskylab's doesn't always do those sort of addon's anyway, and what you do get is an interesting aircraft in two types with the original analog aircraft and the G1000 glass cockpit version.

 

There are a few areas that need attention like the lighting (more tuning than working except for the none working internal roof light), and I am not crazy about the older analog panel metal textures. Some liveries would have been nice at that price and certainly would have helped out in the look of the analog version being far more bland than the G1000 version.

 

For value you get two aircraft for the price of one and the ongoing development that comes with a Vskylab's project, and I am a big supporter of the Vskylab philosophy and the on going value and development that they deliver. Any aircraft from Vskylab is an investment, and this is a great interesting aircraft if not the usual run of the mill American design of the standard 4 seater light-twin.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 package by Vskylabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T G1000

 

Price is US$28.50

 

Features
Very First Aircraft to feature the new G1000 by Laminar Research !!!  (XP11.10 required)
 
New Exclusive Features for v4.0
  • Two aircraft included for the price of one: P2006 Analog + P2006 G1000 variant
  • Includes the brand new LR G1000 GPS - X-Plane 11.10 only
Features
  • Designed for X-Plane 11
  • Fully functional G1000 with integrated autopilot (usable only from X-Plane 11.10 and above, including the beta)
  • Analog cockpit is featuring GNS G530 + G430
  • Highly detailed and FPS friendly
  • Designed to utilize the “out of the box” features of X-Plane
  • FMOD sound pack project for both variants
  • Highly accurate flight dynamics model
  • Checklists text files included
Additional Features:
  • Highly responsive support system/forum.
  • The VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T is a project under constant development. All updates are free.

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11+ only (no longer compatible with X-Plane 10)

X-Plane 11.10+ required for the G1000 variant
 
Minimum System Specifications:
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with 2 or more cores, or AMD equivalent.
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Video Card: a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 1 GB VRAM
 
Recommended Hardware Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster
Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more
Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD).
 
Installation
Download of the VSKYLABS_Tecnam_P2006T_Project_v4.1a 386mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as
 
  • V11 VSL Tecnam P2006T-G1000 v4.1a (111.10mb)
  • V11 VSL Tecnam P2006T-Analog v4.1 (110.20mb)
 
Note the v4.1a on the G1000 install. Make sure you download the v4.1a version of the aircraft as there is a v11.10 conflict on startup. And currently the X-Plane11.10 beta to fly this aircraft.
 
Documents
For all documentation you go to the Vskylab site for all downloads and manuals:
_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton
29th November 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 11.10rc1

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by NAPS (uploaded by Nicolas) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free- KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99

 

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