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Aircraft Update : Piper Twin Comanche PA30 v1.3 by vFlyteAir

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Aircraft Update : Piper Twin Comanche PA30 v1.3 by vFlyteAir

 

VFlyteAir have done an update to their incredible Twin Comanche PA30 to version v1.30. The update covers like most in the latest changes in the areas of VR - Virtual Reality compatibility, FMOD sound with real Lycoming engine sounds, new scroll manipulators and X-Plane11 performance tuning.

 

The aircraft was released late June 2017, but X-Plane11 updates have been in abundance since that time, so hence these comprehensive updates that are coming thick and fast lately. For the X-PlaneReviews release review then go here:  Aircraft Review - Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche by vFlyteAir

 

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There has been a lot of focus in v1.3 in two areas. First are the menus, which were very good in the first place.

 

The menu selector tab has been moved from the bottom of the screen to the lower left side...  But this is irrelevant because you can now move the tab and menu selector anywhere you want to on your screen.

 

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The extensive menus are still really good, but the "Power Settings" panel has been greatly simplified.

 

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If you resize the panels or move them to certain positions around your screen, they will remember (memorize) their size and position the next time you use the same panel. A great feature because a lot of these panels when opened can block out your view and you then usually have to move (and need to resize) to keep on either setting up the aircraft or continue flying.

 

Secondary focus is on the Century lll AutoFlite autopilot.

 

TwinComanche_AP 1.jpgTwinComanche_AP 2.jpg

 

It is still a very axis based system, but it has had a lot of refinements as the autopilot pitch wheel can now be adjusted with PITCH mode off, the UP/DOWN pitch wheel manipulators were backwards (up/down arrows) but are now hands, but you do have adjust it back to the central position yourself, but still handy to retain the same pitch you set if you want to continue your climb.  And that nasty problem where the airplane would pitch up or down violently when dis-engaging the autopilot has also been eliminated. THe "NAV SELECT" toggle switch now correctly switches between pilot and copilot as autopilot source.

 

The lua script has been re-wrote for the PA30autopilot. as the autopilot modes were not engaging as expected in previous version, and autopilot was not responding to set X-Plane commands. Autopilot is now more compatible with standard X-Plane datarefs, and keyboard/joystick-mapped X-Plane commands can be used. Compatible X-Plane commands now are:
 
  •   sim/autopilot/NAV
  •   sim/autopilot/heading
  •   sim/autopilot/approach
  •   sim/autopilot/back_course
  •   sim/autopilot/servos_toggle
  •   sim/autopilot/altitude_hold

 

The Directional Gyro now shows either NAV1 or GPS course - does not show NAV2/OBS2 course (use OBS2 for NAV2 navigation) and the slip ball on the turn/slip indicator was using the wrong dataref with the "bank" indicator on the turn/slip indicator which should actually indicate the rate of turn, not the bank angle has been addressed.
 
The PA30 now uses ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin and the Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded into X-Plane. This shows on the top left of your screen and can be turned off. But I am not crazy about things that constantly keep popping up while you are flying, and this one is a bit of a nuisance, and in either to turn it completely off or to get rid of it would be more to my liking and just note there is a new update available.
 
TwinComanche_STMA 1.jpgTwinComanche_STMA 2.jpg
 

A "Storm Scope" has been added to the aircraft (arrowed)...

 

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...    the "VFR" button on transponder now toggles between 1200 and 7000 for European compatibility and there is new plugin code to set audio volumes of ADF, DME and Marker based on audio panel volume knob setting and you can also set the audio panel to monitor ADF1 if BFO mode (tone mode) selected on ADF receiver.

 

To note the great animation of gear retraction...  and the exposed retracted main gear.

 

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Summary

The rapid changes within X-Plane11 is keeping developers on their toes, but the changes are very significant to the overall impressiveness of the simulator, there is a lot of catch-up to do, with VR, FMOD sound and the various performance models and all addressed here to keep this already brilliant Twin and the top of the pack. A really lovely aircraft to fly and comes with a virtual cascade of features, this v1.3 is a great update with menu and Autopilot areas addressed and improved and a load of bug and tuning to mature the aircraft.

 

The best Twin in X-Plane at the moment? That question is always debatable, but this PA30 from vFlyteAir has to be up there amongst the best.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
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The Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche v1.3 by vFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Piper Twin Commanche PA30

 

Priced at US$29.95

 

Features:

The Piper PA30 Twin Comanche is 100% X-Plane 11 compatible. We purpose-built this model from the ground up to take advantage of all the new features of XPlane 11:
 
  • FMOD Sounds: We built the sound system using FMOD Studio and XPlane 11's new sound engine. Enjoy effects such as spatial 3D sound location, Doppler effects, custom interior and exterior engine sounds and a variety of different button, knob and switch clicks.
  • VR-Ready model: Works great in VR mode
  •  Physical Based Rendering (PBR)  textures for exterior and interior objects, to provide appropriate surface reflections and specular high-lights.
  •  Interactive menu system with intelligent Check Lists, interactive Weight & Balance calculator, Pre- Flight Options menu and pop-up Power Settings table – our new graphical on-screen menu system features interactive user choices and selections in a graphical interface.
  • Dynamic pilot and passengers “ go to the Weight & Balance menu to add passengers and cargo for your flight. Your passengers will appear in the cockpit of the airplane as you increase their weights on the menu. Extra luggage will appear as you increase the luggage weight. The Total Weight and Center of Gravity dynamically change as you add weight to the aircraft.
  •  Accurate Avidyne AXP340 Transponder with power-on boot screen, Pressure Altimeter display, Flight ID display, Altitude Monitorfunction, simulated ADS-B OUT, Flight Timer, Stop Watch Timer, and power-off count-down timer. The AXP340 is the most realistic transponder simulation we've ever created.
  •  Accurate Fuel System: Optional tip tanks are selectable from the Pre- Flight menu. With the optional tip tanks turned ON, the Twin Comanche has six (6) separate fuel tanks. X-Plane does not support separately selectable fuel tanks, so we wrote custom code that simulates running out of fuel on the selected tank. But don't worry! If you get close running out, we'll (optionally) flash a message on the screen to change tanks before you run out of fuel!
  •  On-Screen Warnings and Notifications: 13 different warnings and notification messages will appear on the screen, depending on conditions and triggers. You can turn off the warnings and notifications from the Pre-Flight menu Options section.
  •  Pop-Out Instruments and Gauges: several key gauges and instruments can be 'Popped out' of the panel for easier viewing. VR friendly!
  • Auto-Update: ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin - your Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded in X-Plane
  •  Compatible with the RealityXP GNS530 (sold separately by Reality- XP.com) - we included a RealityXP.GNS.ini  file that makes the Twin Comanche ready for the RealityXP gns 530W plugin.
  •  And: Custom HDR interior and exterior lights with custom strobe flash sequence; Custom 3-D Propeller Effects with Prop Feathering; 12 Extra Hi-Res Liveries Included – and a custom Paint Kit is available for dowload so you can create your own livery. Fuel truck locations are set for the Twin so that you can call for Ground Service in X-Plane 11.

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11  (not compatible with X-Plane 10)

Windows  7+ or MAC OS 10.6(or higher) or Linux. 
2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended

Current version: 1.30 (Last updated Feb 10th 2018)

 

This v1.3 update is free if you have already purchased the PA30 Twin Comanche from vFlyteAir, just go your account on the X-Plane.OrgStore and download the new v1.3 version.

 

________________________________________

 

Update Review and analysis by Stephen Dutton

11th February 2018

Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews

 

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)

 

Full v1.30 changelog:

 

New Features:
Added ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin - your Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded in X-Plane
Virtual Reality Ready! Changed all cockpit manipulators to be compatible with X-Plane virtual reality preview version 11.20vr1. The Twin is fully functional in VR, but may require more modifications before the X-Plane VR version is released
All new FMOD engine sounds created from actual Lycoming engine sound recordings
Saved-state preferences - your options and settings are now saved each time you exit X-Plane, and they will be restored when you reload
Added new storm scope instrument to panel (default X-Plane storm scope)
New control menu icon can be repositioned on screen - its position will be saved when you exit, and restored when you reload
Control menus can be resized and repositioned to your preferences - size and position will be saved when you exit and restored when you reload
 
Fixes:
Autopilot bug fixes: Re-wrote pa30autopilot.lua script - autopilot modes were not engaging as expected in previous version, and autopilot was not responding to X-Plane commands. Autopilot is now more compatible with standard X-Plane datarefs, and keyboard/joystick-mapped X-Plane commands can be used. Compatible X-Plane commands are:
  sim/autopilot/NAV
  sim/autopilot/heading
  sim/autopilot/approach
  sim/autopilot/back_course
  sim/autopilot/servos_toggle
  sim/autopilot/altitude_hold
 
Autopilot pitch wheel can now be adjusted with PITCH mode off
Autopilot UP/DOWN pitch wheel manipulators were backwards (up/down arrows) - fixed
Fixed problem where the airplane would pitch up or down violently when dis-engaging the autopilot
"NAV SELECT" toggle switch now correctly switches between pilot and copilot as autopilot source
Directional Gyro now shows either NAV1 or GPS course - does not show NAV2/OBS2 course (use OBS2 for NAV2 navigation)
The slip ball on the turn/slip indicator was using the wrong dataref - fixed
The "bank" indicator on the turn/slip indicator should actually indicate the rate of turn, not the bank angle. Changed accordingly.
Fixed problem with COM2/NAV2 LEDs fixed (were too dim)
Ammeter was not indicating alternator bus load correctly - according to Piper owner's web site, the Piper ammeter should indicate the demand load on the alternator bus.
Knobs and buttons on the COM2/NAV2 radio were mis-aligned
COM2 inner knob not rotating when adjusted
Fuel pump sounds continued playing after battery and engine shut down - fixed
Wing objects were missing LIT textures
Corrected LIT datarefs for wing tips strobe and nav lights
Increased brightness of landing lights
"VFR" button on transponder now toggles between 1200 and 7000 for European compatibility
Added plugin code to set audio volumes of ADF, DME and Marker based on audio panel volume knob setting
Added plugin code to set audio panel to monitor ADF1 if BFO mode (tone mode) selected on ADF receiver
Added storm scope instrument to panel – customer request
Adjusted fuel consumption - fuel flow rates are now per the POH
Fixed a problem with the GNS530 right-side knobs - they sometimes would not allow user to scroll left or right enough to select characters
Cylinder #4 CHT needle fixed - was not registering a temperature
Adjusted nose wheel steering angles for low-speed and high-speed turning introduced in XP11.10

 

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