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Aircraft Update : Bell 407 XP11 v1.02 by Dreamfoil

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Bell 407_v1_02_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Update : Bell 407 XP11 v1.02 by Dreamfoil

 

There is nothing, I mean absolutely nothing more soul crushing than picking out your favorite heli and then realising that you can't fly it? I wanted to use the Dreamfoil 407 XP11 for a review, but within ten minutes I was a destroyed wreak and also so was the lovely Bell in a twisted wreckage down on the valley floor. I tried and tried again but it just flipped over or simply twisted away from me as it was totally unflyable...  "I can't fly it?, I have lost my heli skills" I sobbed. The one single thought that didn't actually cross my mind here was that it was the aircraft and not me that was at fault here?  But "Never" always crossed my mind as this a Dreamfoil machine, Dreamfoil's are never wrong or faulty...

 

Bell 407_v1_02_Head 1.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Head 2.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Head 4.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Head 3.jpg

 

Then today Dreamfoil issued an extensive v1.02 update to cover mostly the VR (Virtual Reality) mania currently sweeping X-Plane. My first thought was actually in horror as I realised I couldn't fly the B407... but looking through the changelog there was more in there than just the VR compatiblility...

 

Flight model:
- New airfoils for Main and Tail Rotor
- Improved vertical fin incidence angle & airfoil
- Improved horizontal stabilizer incidence angle & airfoil, this results in a higher fwd cyclic requirement on cruise like real helicopter
- Fixed MR lateral cant angle
- MR Flap hinge is now set to correct position acordingly to maintenance manual
- Plugin tweak for below ETL taxing, helicopter should maintain the altitude at very low airspeeds
- Plugin driven TFE (Transverse Flow Effect)
- Improved TR min/max pitches for more realistic pedal hover and flight conditions
- Corrected MR blade chord size incorrectly set based on feet unit
- Added MR blade twist
- Repositioned all flight elements arms with precision accordingly to maintenance manual
- Adjusted aft and fwd CG limits
 

There is lot of changes to the flightmodel in the notes...  so I had a go.  And guess what, I got my Heli wings back and plus lifted a huge weight off my X-Plane shoulders as the Bell 407 XP11 flies again like it used to, so it was the aircraft and not my skills here at question here. It also raises the question of how much X-Plane dynamics have changed under X-Plane11 rules not just for fixed-wing which we mostly focus on, but for helicopters as well, I think it hasn't raised its ugly head because of the real lack of Helicopter releases since the introduction of X-Plane11 and the focus has not been on that genre of aircraft.

 

Bell 407_v1_02_Internal 1.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Internal 2.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Internal 3.jpg

 

So the XP11 dynamics do have a huge price to pay when flying Helicopters, and they have to be adjusted to fly correctly in the simulator, but note the smaller changes as well to the skid friction and the engine outputs...

 

Engine:
- Refined turbine TRQ, MGT and NG values
- FADEC now modulate the fuel in order to keep MGT below max during startup
 
Bell 407_v1_02_External 2.jpg
 
And there are changes to the Heli SAS or the Autopilot and I really like the "SAS switch off" that now doesn't jar the aircraft badly but transitions to manual flight in a more subtle way, I really hated that one. And a flashing SAS Warning light to avoid the wrong time to do certain SAS actions like activating the heading hold or vertical speed hold.
 
HeliSAS:
- Controls now transition from normal to stabilized, no more abrupt changes when turning on/off
* SAS warning light will flash during transition to warn pilot, during this time avoid enabling any SAS feature like heading hold or vertical speed hold
* Transition time is available on global.cfg file, default = 5 seconds
 
- Improved PID values from vertical speed hold
- Increased altitude hold authority
- HeliSAS now disables if a hydraulic failure is identified
- Frahm damper dynamics are now disabled for hydraulic failure
 
Bell 407_v1_02_Internal 4.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Internal 5.jpg
 
Bell 407_v1_02_External 1.jpg

 

Graphics
- Improved basket objects so they work correctly with fog
- Fixed missing shadow for Ext_5 object
- Airspeed gauge now can go above 140kts (max 165kts)
- Climb going past 4000ft is also fixed
- Added missing nav light ball mesh on right side
- Removed vent windows prefill, it was causing artifacts
 
Bell 407_v1_02_External 3.jpgBell 407_v1_02_External 4.jpg
 
The excellent "SmartMenu" top-right of the instrument panel has had a few changes...
 
Bell 407_v1_02_Smart 1.jpg
 
Bell 407_v1_02_Smart 2.jpgBell 407_v1_02_Smart 3.jpg
 
Adding "Failures" to Helicopter flying would make anyone nervous, but there are now three choices for "Hotstart, Transmission Overtorque (Engine) and Tail rotor contact with tail boom" is very reassuring...  not. You can now also remove the doors.
 
SmartMenu:
- Added Flight-Model enhancements (ETL, TFE and Landing Gear friction)
- Added failures enhancements now it's possible to disable them (Hotstart, Transmission overtorque, Tail rotor contact with tail boom)
- Added option to remove doors
- Removed interaction distance limit
- Improved multi-display handling, might fix the non clickable menu when running X-Plane on 2nd monitor
- Increased gain and added blade slap volume slider back
 
Bell 407_v1_02_Smart 4.jpg
 
In the sound section of SmartMenu you now adjust the custom sounds "DreamEngine" blade slap volume, but you need to click on the top or bottom of the volume adjustment to adjust it which are hard to see or find.
 
VR (Virtual Reality)
The update notes are very clear that although this v1.02 version of the Bell 407 is compatible with the current v11.20 Laminar Research VR features, they are still in a development stage, so expect changes still ongoing in this area. And highlighted is that the SmartMenu (VR pop-ups are also still in development at LR) doesn't work, so you will need to do any menu adjustments before putting on your VR headset.
 
VR (Still testing)
- Added hotspots for all seats
- Added cyclic and collective manipulators
- Added external manipulators for Caps, Battery Compartment, GPU, Doors and Rotor ties
- Improved some manipulators axis to give an intuitive and natural movement
- Changed knob manipulators to made possible to spin them with touch controllers
****** SmartMenu still not working on VR! It's not possible to draw or interact with plugins on VR at moment, we need to wait for further VR updates from Laminar ******
 
But overall you can use this excellent Bell 407 now in VR and I have actually used it in a VR capacity and it does make for an extremely involving experience and interaction with the aircraft is now far more highly advanced.
 
Bell 407_v1_02_Final.jpg
 
Summary
This is quite an extensive v1.02 update and although it is focused on the VR (Virtual Reality) aspect, there is far more here and more important elements to be worth doing this upgrade. The X-Plane11 dynamics and performance have been addressed here and in my case with the update installed I can actually fly the machine again to my absolute contentment, in other words "I can actually fly the thing again!" and I thankfully have my Heli wings back.
 
Besides the extensive flight model and engine dynamics, other areas addressed here are the SAS (Autopilot), SmartMenu for Failures, Doors, Visual Graphics and sound enhancements. And all bring up the aircraft to current X-Plane specifications and usability.
 
Dreamfoil's Bell 407 is absolute top of the class in X-Plane helicopters, one of the best of the best...  and this update keeps it right up there and now with better Virtual Reality intergation as well....   brilliant, and it is really nice to be back at the controls and in actual control.
 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the Bell 407 XP11 v1.02 by Dreamfoil Creations is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Bell 407 XP11

 

Price is US$35.00

 

This update is free for all Bell 407 XP11 purchasers (not X-Plane10), just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the update.

 

More Bell 407 details can be found on the original 2014 X-PlaneReview Release Review here: Aircraft Review : Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10)
Windows, MAC or Linux 
Joystick required for helicopter operations (No, you cannot fly it with a mouse!)
2GB VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current version: XP11 v1.02 - Last Updated  March 13th 20148
 

Installation :   Download file size is 307.60mb to your X-Plane - Helicopter Folder. Installed file size is 797.80mb.

______________________________________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton
14th March 2018
Copyright©2018: 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 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10

Addons: Saitek x52 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

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

Full Changelog notes - Version 1.02 - Bell 407 for X-Plane 11.20 VR (March 13th 2018)
 
VR (Still testing)
- Added hotspots for all seats
- Added cyclic and collective manipulators
- Added external manipulators for Caps, Battery Compartment, GPU, Doors and Rotor ties
- Improved some manipulators axis to give an intuitive and natural movement
- Changed knob manipulators to made possible to spin them with touch controllers
****** SmartMenu still not working on VR! It's not possible to draw or interact with plugins on VR at moment, we need to wait for further VR updates from Laminar ******
 
Graphics
- Improved basket objects so they work correctly with fog
- Fixed missing shadow for Ext_5 object
- Airspeed gauge now can go above 140kts (max 165kts)
- Climb going past 4000ft is also fixed
- Added missing nav light ball mesh on right side
- Removed vent windows prefill, it was causing artifacts
 
Engine:
- Refined turbine TRQ, MGT and NG values
- FADEC now modulate the fuel in order to keep MGT below max during startup
 
Flight model:
- New airfoils for Main and Tail Rotor
- Improved vertical fin incidence angle & airfoil
- Improved horizontal stabilizer incidence angle & airfoil, this results in a higher fwd cyclic requirement on cruise like real helicopter
- Fixed MR lateral cant angle
- MR Flap hinge is now set to correct position acordingly to maintenance manual
- Plugin tweak for below ETL taxing, helicopter should maintain the altitude at very low airspeeds
- Plugin driven TFE (Transverse Flow Effect)
- Improved TR min/max pitches for more realistic pedal hover and flight conditions
- Corrected MR blade chord size incorrectly set based on feet unit
- Added MR blade twist
- Repositioned all flight elements arms with precision acordingly to maintenance manual
- Adjusted aft and fwd CG limits
 
SmartMenu:
- Added Flight-Model enhancements (ETL, TFE and Landing Gear friction)
- Added failures enhancements now it's possible to disable them (Hotstart, Transmission overtorque, Tail rotor contact with tail boom)
- Added option to remove doors
- Removed interaction distance limit
- Improved multi-display handling, might fix the non clickable menu when running X-Plane on 2nd monitor
 
HeliSAS:
- Controls now transition from normal to stabilized, no more abrupt changes when turning on/off
* SAS light will flash during transition to warn pilot, during this time avoid enabling any SAS feature like heading hold or vertical speed hold
* Transition time is available on global.cfg file, default = 5 seconds
 
- Improved PID values from vertical speed hold
- Increased altitude hold authority
- HeliSAS now disables if a hydraulic failure is identified
- Frahm damper dynamics are now disabled for hydraulic failure
 
Others:
- Garmin power is now automatically set to ON during aircraft load with engines running
- Fixed ON/OFF commands acting as a toggle
 
Sound:
- Increased gain and added blade slap volume slider back

 

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