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Aircraft Review : Bae Jetstream 32 by Javier Rollón Morán


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Aircraft Review : Bae Jetstream 32 by Javier Rollón Morán


Route - EFHF (Helsinki, Malmi) to EFTP (Tampere - Pirkkala)

If you don’t know Javier Rollón by name, you have still most definitely flown one of his aircraft if you have X-Plane. Javier is one of the designers that created many of the default aircraft that comes with the set of disks that you load with the scenery into your hard drive when you purchase the X-Plane simulator. The Boeing 747-400 or the Space Shuttle, even the huge B52 bomber, these aircraft and more are all Javier’s aircraft and this gifted designer has a few designs that also carry his signature that you can buy.

His latest creation is the Bae (British Aerospace) Jetstream 32, which is a high-performance twin-turboprop airliner capable of transporting up to 19 passengers.





The aircraft started its life as the Handley Page HP.137 Jetstream. The original design dates from 1965 as a 12-seat (six rows with a centre aisle) aircraft, and considerable attention was paid to streamlining in order to improve the performance and fuel savings that created the distinctive feature of a long nose profile. The fuselage had a circular cross-section to ease pressurisation which allowed much higher altitude flights and consequent higher speed and comfort than the other competing unpressurised designs. But one major drawback of the design was that fuselage was so small in cross-section that the cabin floor had to be “lowered” to allow stand-up passenger entry and egress through the rear door. So this meant that the main wing spar had to run across the cabin and causing a tripping hazard.

The first production model Jetstream 1 flew on 6 December 1968, and over the next year and only 36 aircraft would be delivered. However by this point Handley Page had given up on the original engine, and the Jetstream 2 was launched with the larger 965 hp (720 kW) Astazou XVI. The late delivery and engine problems had driven development costs now to over £13 million, far more than the original £3 million projections. So only three Jetstream 2s would be completed before Handley Page went bankrupt, and the production line was eventually shut down in 1970.

Scottish Aviation had taken over production of the original Jetstream design from Handley Page and when it was nationalised along with other British companies into British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) in 1978, BAe decided the design was worth further development, and started work on a “Mark 3”. This aircraft became the Jetstream 31, which first flew on 28 March 1980. The “32” or Super 31 had the upgraded Garrett 760kW (1020shp) TPE331-12UAR twin engines. The aircraft was produced from 1980 to 1993 and 386 were built.

Maximum speed: 263 kn (303 mph, 488 km/h), Cruise speed: 230 kn (264 mph, 426 km/h), Stall speed: 86 kn (99 mph, 159 km/h), Range: 680 nmi (783 mi, 1,260 km) and Service ceiling is: 25,000 ft (7,620 m).




Jetstream 32

With its large round cross-section fuselage and long slim nose it can make the aircraft look quite...  Shortish?...  or even Stumpy? Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, but the aircraft is not ugly by a long shot as it looks today more like a personal jet design than a turbo-prop, The design certainly was advanced and suited jet power more than propellers as it morphed into the more successful Hawker-125 Series.

What the Jetstream 32 is though, is a classic late 1960’s design, and Javier has done an excellent piece of craftmanship to create this aircraft. He does however like his aircraft dirty...  filthy, oily and very heavily used. And the Jetstream is no exception. You want to put oil pans under the engines to catch the oil drips and always be careful not to put your clean white shirt too close to the fuselage.




Detailing is exquisite, all the panels (and small access panels) wings, high set cross tail, rear elevators and relevent riveting is very well recreated and with clever detailed work in the ailerons and flap mechanisms with external drop hinges, vortex generators, engine cowlings and exhausts and the large McCauley propellers are very well designed. Wing lighting in Strobe, Nav is highly detailed and HDR refined. and the airframe is festooned in trailing edge static discharges, aerials and twin wire antennas.

The undercarriage is a perfect recreation with the hydraulic struts and piping that is detailed down to the threaded connectors, all linkages and gear door panels are also very well structured, animation of the compression of all the undercarriage gear is excellent.




Javier’s work is very big on using the “draw per pixel lighting” special effect feature (render panel), this highlights the texture (NML) work in making areas pronounnced and is very good for highlighting details like rivets and the edges of panels. Javier makes these items very heavily shaded and so they feel more exaggerated than they really are, no doubt they are there to make the aircraft very detailed, but I prefer the feature off than on, it has a frame-rate penalty as well, and with dppl checkbox off - the rubber tyres will shine and lose their detailing.




Going up the very highly detailed built-in air-stairs with metal (animated) handrail and wire support the cabin is furnished with wood at the vanity area, the panel door opens to reveal the open sited toilet! The door to the right is the luggage bay but it is not animated. Into the cabin and the single chairs are arranged either side of the center isle with the wing-spar support which is hazard marked across the floor. The cabin lighting for me is over bright and switched off the cabin is far duller but more realistic.





The “office” cockpit is supremely detailed and complex. Totally realistic with all the dials and 60’s style displays. You know that your going to have your work cut out for yourself here. In simulation the detail and systems are what we crave for and when you are faced with the real prospect that “This is now getting into the serious” realm of complexity and it is not going to be a quick “start and fly” style of simulation as these sort of aircraft will require time and learning to get really proficient on them.




The menu system is located in the center of the yoke. these selections give you chocks (must be activated first) and an external connected Guinault GPU (Ground Power Unit). You can “send” your Co-Pilot to the toilet!    Open the main air-stair (There is another switch on the wall by the air-stair and turn on the cabin lights. Three new extra menu items are the Joystick Assign, Radio Hardware and Auto Number Hardware.




The side window opens by pulling the lever...  but will not open on the Co-Pilots side?




The panel is simply so authentic. In the shadows the yellow florescent of the dials and markings show up, in daylight the panel goes slate grey with white highlights. all textures are 2048 pixels so they are sharp at any resolution. The reflections are the simply the best yet, and any glass is reflective and incredibly real. There is no FMS (Flight Management System), so maps and VOR navigation are your old friend. The Pilot’s and Co-Pilot’s main standard six and well proportioned with sets of twin engine gauges on the pilots side, The equipment stack is very basic. A Garmin GNS 430 and an Collins WRX-270 weather radar (it sweeps perfectly) and standard (old) stacked default radio frequency selectors. The centre pedestal is dominated by pressure dials (Hydraulic and Pressurisation) and the main flap selectors (10º. 20º. 35º), The main twin throttles and RPM levers. The Autopilot is centrally situated on the glareshield with big push buttons to access: HDG, NAV, APR, DC, VORAPR, ALT, ALTSEL,VS, IAS and SBY. the aircraft comes supplied with CWS which is an autopilot over-ride system, the autopilot is still engaged but the CWS allows you to manually set the pitch or other function and then it keeps the setting you have selected. Most of the switches are those large rocker style that they loved around the early 70’s, they can have two or three positions depending on their assignment.




You have two options when starting the Jetstream 32. Manual or Automatic. Both the procedures are listed in the manual, but I recommend to print them out for repetitive use. The GPU has to be attached (If not start Eng 1 first).

Here we will do the “Auto” version. In the DC control the GPU voltage is shown with the “Volt Bat Bus” set to GND. The Battery Master INT is also set to GND. You then switch on (open) the low pressure fuel tanks (cocks) and the hydraulic pumps. If the fuel pressure is below 15% then you can turn on the fuel boost pumps for added pressure. The RPM lever has to set to the Taxi detent and to start each engine you then press the “Select” and then the prime “Start” buttons for either the left or right engine and the engines will then start their start up procedure.

With the engines now providing electrical power it is now time to switch them over on the “Volts Batt Bus” and set the “Batt Mas” to INT and if correct the voltage for the engines will display on the dials and you can disconnect the GPU. (And hide the chocks). Simple “yes”...  it is once you are used to the procedure, but there are hidden areas that can ruin your day if the pressures are not right or the procedure is not carried out correctly. In all cases you are then faced with an expensive engine change!




Flying The Jetstream 32

Taxiing is first rate with RPM lever set correctly to “taxi”. You can easily find that sweet spot of power to find the right speed, turns are quite wide, so on tight taxiways you have to mindful of the turning circle.

Pushing all the power up (throttle levers) is the wrong thing to do... The aircraft jumps like a ferret going out of a hellhole with you hanging on with the power. It is best to give it a small smooth slow amount of power while switching the aircraft off the “nosewheel” (Control_wheel_steer) select and even then still gradually adding the power in as the speed rises. It is one of the few aircraft that does not need the full power setting to takeoff, I only used 80%-90% and still had some reserve even with the flaps set at 10º

On rotation you get a left wing up as the propellers are not counter-rotating, and even if you are ready for the sudden manuvour it will still catch you out. On the climb you are restricted to under 2000fpm or your speed starts to drop away.

As noted when the Autopilot is selected you can set the pitch with the CWS or select the VS (Vertical Speed) rotating knob. It does require quite a few turns to get to a 2000fpm pitch and you have a selecting ALTSEL (Altitude Hold) to hold the right altitude.




In the air the aircraft is nice to fly with great maneuverability as long as you don’t go too low in the speed. It is as smoky as you can get, black blasts of fumes and burnt oil.  One issue that popped up was that Javier has used a set of inputs that is removed from the X-Plane default inputs via the Joystick (or Yoke/Rudder) and their assigned axis of the joystick. I use the Saitek X52 Pro (black) joystick and on several flights it started to flash lights and you lose access to the inputs, in some cases the aircraft behaved erratically and flapped all its control surfaces... and that is not a good feeling. So getting a good clean X-Plane start-up is essential and Javier recommends that when you have finished flying the Jetstream 32, is to load in another aircraft to reset the default inputs to their correct settings before quitting the simulator. Once I started to do this then the issue went away.   






Top Row:  The Orange, Silver and black is the default, with a Metal and Aeropelican (Aeropelican does not exist anymore as they have been taken over by Brindabella Airlines).

Middle Row: British Airways , Blue Islands, Coast Air and Experimental.

Bottom Row: Macair, Trans World Express and US Airways Express.


The outside textures are 4048 pixels, and that will give you great if not perfect detail. The liveries are all good, but there are no military designs.




Two liveries on the .org are worth mentioning. Direktflyg is excellent and so is the American Eagle




A brilliant feature is in wet weather, Javier is an expert on window raindrops and here is the best yet, The wipers will clean away the drops, but as an added simulation, the windows will mist up if the temperature is to cold or the moisture is very high. To clear the screens (slowly) you have to switch on the window heaters. And this is a totally and very realistic flying environment with everything working in bad weather, this is realism and simulation at its best as the wipers (separately) are slashing at the rainstorm and you are looking for your runway through low cloud and fogged up windows.

There is a drop down blind on the pilots side but again there is a none working blind on the Co-Pilots window?




Descending down you set the pitch but watch the speed. Go too low a speed below 130knts and the speed horn goes off. so when you are ready to drop the flaps you have pick the right time to do so. The flaps come in with a  lift so you have to compensate for that and then if you are on the autopilot if you slow to 100knts and set 35º flap, you then kill the autopilot? If like me when I was in a final turn to Tampere-Pirkkala Runway 24 it can really send your heart-rate sky-high.  Landing is not easy without practice. The aircraft’s stall speeds are 100knts clean and 73knts under flap. So you stay at around 100knts under 20º flap. Coming out of the ILS corridor and with your usual slightly nose up and flare with pulling back the power on the throttles will simply stall the aircraft, or thump it very hard (then skid badly) on the runway. Even when doing a manual landing the same stalling issue is there when you want to flare quietly down onto the tarmac.

The trick is to keep the 100knts and the power on even as you do a slight flare and power yourself down to the tarmac. Once the wheels are in contact with the tarmac - then and only then is the power released down and you can reverse-pitch the propellers to give the aircraft a high and efficient reverse thrust to slow you down.

It works best under the ILS as you feel you are going to fast when flying manually. Practice again is the only way to get these landings down to perfection, but they do provide a wide smile when you do.




On landing you reset the RPM back to “Taxi” and trundle in at the correct speed. Sounds on the aircraft are first rate, from the start up whine to the power on engine blast at takeoff, to the final engine wind down they are very authentic, The propeller spinning is well done as well and shows the right animation at slow taxi speeds that adjust and blur with the slightest throttle adjustments, In these areas Javier is a master and it shows on the aircraft.



How do you really define this aircraft? It is highly complex to start up and use. In this area the depth of the systems are first rate and the cockpit and instrument detailing is simply the very best on any aircraft now available. My only reservation is how to use the aircraft. In the real world they had the same problem, It is to small (9 seats) to be a money earner for even a small regional airline and most Jetstreams anyway ended up being used by the military for Twin-Engine training and VIP (officer) transport, It just can’t compete with a small personal jet and would I have really preferred Javier to have picked the Jetstream 41 as his choice than the 32, personally yes I believe so because it is a better commuter aircraft that it has more uses if you like that kind of networking simulation.

You work very hard using and flying the Jetstream 32 as it is not an easy aircraft to understand and it will take your skills to another level in trying to capture its essence and depth. It tested me beyond many and other aircraft, but I came out of the other side a better pilot and better skilled than I was before, but I had to work for that skill... Do I like it?

Yes a lot, and a lot more than I realise... But I do understand it will be still a fair period until I am really proficient on this airframe as it tests you at each moment and others. I bought the aircraft a period ago and at first I just wasn’t sure as it kept stalling and the landings were usually just another “Accident Investigation”. However now I can see where I went wrong and why.

My feeling is that in the very long term it will still be a “Go-To” aircraft to test myself and learn more (and more) with every flight and that is where certainly its true value lies...  And it will still be one of the very best aircraft in features and outright detail available in X-Plane to use.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The Bae Jetstream 32 is Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop


Price is US$34.95 : Bae Jetstream 32


Free Copy of the JS32 Manual is Available here.


Developer Site: JRollon

Review By Stephen Dutton

10th October 2013


Technical Requirements:

Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.3.9 (or higher). Sorry, Linux not supported at this time

X-Plane 10.10+. 32 or 64 bit

4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM - 250MB available hard disk space

X-Plane 9 version is not included in the download package but is available on demand. Just place the order and send us an email to get it.


Review System Specifications:

Computer System:     

- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”

- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3

- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb


- Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2

- X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final)

- ExtremeSceneryMAXX


- Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle


-  EFHF (Helsinki, Malmi) - TruScenery (X-Plane.OrgShop)

- EFTP (Tampere - Pirkkala) - TruScenery (X-Plane.OrgShop)


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