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Aircraft Review : Cessna CT210M Centurion ll XP11 by Carenado

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Aircraft Review : Cessna CT210M Centurion ll XP11 by Carenado

 

Some aircraft just stick there. You get a lot of different aircraft coming across your screen when you review for X-Plane, the choice is high and most are usually in the very, very good category and a lot of that in great general aviation aircraft category usually comes from Carenado. So how do you sort out the very best from the rest. One angle is a personal choice of an aircraft you have savoured for years and usually from your childhood memories. But once I became far more proficient at flying in X-Plane my choices changed quite significantly from the heart to the head. Still my number one aircraft for GA flying is still the Carenado's F33A and the reason why is the aircraft's excellent avionics suite. In this area it is still excellent and certainly with its DME pointers that allow runway alignment with the "Course" pointer makes the aircraft excellent for basic flying practise and circuit training, as for anytime that I want to scrub up on my general flying skills the F33A is the aircraft I always to go to. The newer JustSim Arrow series are now another set of interesting machines to up and test my flying skills and vFlyteAir has some interesting challenging GA aircraft as well.

 

So where does this leave the CT210M Centurion? The one thing I really liked about the aircraft was that it was actually different. Most GA aircraft are usually focused on the naturally large base market of 60's and 70's era aircraft, but the CT210M felt like a more modern take on the single-engine four seater model. For one it has undercarriage that does retract, although that gear's spindly design is not going to be a really big drag on the performance, but also it has besides a very clean fuselage design with a 310 hp (231 kW) TSIO-520-R turbo engine as well, and so it goes "fast", in I mean very fast for a GA aircraft (most 210's only have a 250 hp to 285 hp engine) so cruise speeds are around 160 kts to 200 knts (at altitude) with (vno) speeds at 170-210kts... nice.

 

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CT210M Centurion ll XP11

So it was an instant like from me when I first flew and for the many times after with the CT210M aircraft. It fitted me to a glove and I enjoyed our moments in time together very much, but reviewing can be a busy business and to a point the CT210M has lately languished a little in the back of my hangar, as remember the original release now was back in early April 2013, yes that is five years ago! I did pull it out for a flight not only a few months ago, but the time had caught up with the aircraft and mostly with the now very old original GNS 430 gps avionics of which at the time the CT210M was one of the first aircraft to have two GNS 430's set together. It still flew very well but overall it did feel well...  old.

 

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So when Carenado noted the the CT210 Centurion ll was getting the update to XP11 treatment, a quick smile came across my face...  and here it is the updated and X-Plane11 version of an old favorite.

 

Basically the updates to all Carenado aircraft are mostly all the same. Textures are updated with Physically Based Rendering materials and textures are redone throughout and this is done with (gaming) industry-standard software to bring out the very best in detail and quality with the bonus excellent framerate.

As I looked at the older version of the CT210M it's biggest turnoff was that it now felt dull and even bland, but not now in XP11 the newer effects of PBR brings out the metalness of the panels, the aircraft feels alive and dynamic again, it shines beautifully in the sunlight and all the detail is again alive and realistic.

 

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The Flight physics have also been optimised for X-Plane11 as has the very different engine dynamics, so the Centurion does feel quite different to fly and you seem to have more of that Turbo power available to you. And to note one of the biggest areas covered by Laminar Research was in these more varied aspects of engine performance like with Turbos and Turbo-props and that was one of the biggest focus points of the changes to the X-Plane11 simulator, and that performance aspect certainly does show here with this engine and aircraft combination.

 

The excellent gear retraction and extraction is still as great as ever...

 

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Internal

The CT210M's instrument panel is also still as glorious as ever...  and now it comes with X-Plane11's lighting dynamics...

 

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The panel's night lighting is just as spectacular. There are two lighting angles with the under the glareshield dropdown lighting and the overhead red lighting on the forward roof. They can be both highly adjusted to get the right variation that you want from working in the the aircraft to minimal approach lighting conditions. A note is that there is a switch (hidden) under the glareshield to turn on (or off) the main panel lighting, I never knew that was there before?

 

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The installed flight instruments are quite basic, all are for the left seat pilot only. Both the yokes can be hidden and the left yoke has built in (working) trim switches.

 

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The Standard Six instruments are centred in the line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack top is a clock and on the right side top is the display panel for the KFC225 Bendix King autopilot with a BendixKing (speed/dis) display (N1/N2) below. Garmin OBS VOR indicator (VOR2) and the same lower is the ADF dial indicator. Backup instruments lower left is a Artificial Horizon and lower bottom is another Attitude Indicator.

 

The radio stack has been moved around from the original layout. The two (crappy) Garmin GNS 430′s are gone with now the larger revised GNS 530 top and the smaller GNS 430 set below. The GARMEN GMA 340 Audio Panel is still at the top of the stack. The fabulous KFC225 Bendix King autopilot is in the same place with the Bendix/King KR 87 ADF radio below and bottom is the very modern GARMEN GTX 327 transponder that uses a different (but nicer) yellow background colour.

 

Engine instruments cover the left side of the panel as there is no second pilot SS flying instruments. Top are four needle gauges that cover: Ampreres, Oil Pressure and Temperature and Cylinder Head Pressure. Below is an excellent and very active Fuel Flow/Man Pressure gauge and below an engine RPM dial. There is a standard Hobbs meter and the EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and Suction gauges roll out the instruments.

 

All switch-gear and electrics are bottom lower left panel, with Flap lever (º0-10º-20º) and heating/defrost knobs right lower panel.

 

Below the panel are the excellent trim wheels (easy to use for a change), cowl flap levers and right down on the floor the lovely well presented fuel tank switch and tank gauges are still there to feast your eyes on.

 

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Cabin

The cabin interior is still very good as well, but remember the design is now over five years old and interior cabin design in X-Plane in that time has come a long (long) way, but it still holds up very well in today's frame of reference.

 

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The cabin lighting is very good as well. Coverage is only one big (blue) centre roof light, but it works nicely in lighting the rear.

 

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External lighting is updated to X-Plane11 dynamics with the latest strobe effects helping out as well.

 

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Landing (light) looks effective from the outside, but it is not very effective in practise, as the runway is dark until you are nearly down on to the hard stuff and can be also not be the best effective lighting when taxiing around the taxiways. You get by, but by craning and peering hard into the darkness to see where you are going.

 

Menus

There are three menu tabs lower left of your screen and all are the usual standard Carenado A, C and O menu staples.

 

A is the Bendix/King KFC 225 autopilot pop-up. C is ten "Views" with "Field of View" and two sound adjustments. O is for "Options" including opening Pilot, Co-Pilot (passenger) doors and a Baggage door left rear.  Static elements provided are basic with, two cones and engine inlet/flag, wing pipit cover and there is also Window and Instrument reflections and the choice of changing the liveries without going to the main X-Plane menu. The twin pilots disappear when you activate the static elements. The KFC 225 autopilot pop-up is excellent and works very well with the display panel, it can be moved around the screen and also scaled to size.

 

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Liveries

There is one white (paint) default livery and five original supplied liveries.  Clockwise: White (blank) - Electric Blue - Light Blue - Red - Light Green - (dark) Green. The UK reg Light-Green is the best. They all look the same original liveries, but they have been totally revamped and upgraded to 4K (4096x4096) size and High-Definition (HD) quality, in other words they are all excellent and the electric blue used here in the review looks great in any lighting.

 

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Dynamics

The CT210M was always a great aircraft to fly, did I mention fast? well it still is, and that means you can cover a lot of ground quickly. Maximum speed as already noted is hit the wall at 204 knots (235 mph, 378 km/h) at 17,000 ft (5,200 m) however the normal cruise speed is193 knots (222 mph, 358 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m) and the final ceiling is around 27,000ft...  yes that FL270!, that is very high for a little bugger like this. And with a rate of climb just under 1,000fpm (930 ft/min (4.7 m/s)) you are going to get up to that altitude quickly as well...  Range is great as well with 900 nmi (1,036 mi, 1,668 km) or full range with econ cruise at 10,000 ft (3,050 m). Stall is around 58 knots (67 mph, 108 km/h) with flaps down full.

 

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Overall the CT210M's X-Plane11 performance is very good, but the aircraft is a little tricky in crosswinds, and especially in the slower speeds landing phase...  Sounds are now FMOD and converted from the excellent original 210 sounds, and they come with a 180º degree soundscape, so yes the sounds are also excellent.

 

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Note in that you can also use the RealityXP GTN 750 add-on (extra cost) with the CT210M and there is the SimCoder REP-Reality Expansion Pack also available (recently updated for this XP11 version!). You can check out the REP pack here on this B58 Baron REP pack review, the aircraft is different, but the REP package and the price is identical.

 

Summary

The Carenado Cessna CT210 Centurion ll was one of the developer's most excellent earlier aircraft for X-Plane, it is a fast but very tidy single-engined, four go anywhere seater. But that release was five years and a simulator version ago now. So here the aircraft gets its X-Plane11 upgrade, and out of the changes the aircraft shows again on how really a great GA this was in the first place.

 

The Cessna gets the standard Carenado upgrade treatment. The newer (but far better) X-Plane11 dynamics and performance, PBR effects and better quality and again far better texture performance, It is VR (Virtual Reality) compatible and also the avionics have been slightly switched around and the native GNS gps units have been upgraded from the far two older GNS430's to the newer twin set of a GNS 530 and a GNS 430, so all in all the full X-Plane11 performance package.

 

I'm trying to think of a negative?   no there isn't one except the Ct210M can be a little tricky to fly at low speeds, but that is a skill set thing and not a flaw situation.

 

I doubt this updated X-Plane11 Centurion ll will be chocked up again a returned in the back of my hangar. It needs to be flown, used and loved like never before. It was one of Carenado's best, now it goes right back up there again to the top of the list of a "Must Have" and a "Must Fly" aircraft, all you can say now really is "welcome Back" and believe me this aircraft is very welcome to be flown again.  Highly Recommended.

 

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Yes! the Cessna CT210M Centurion ll XP11 by Carenado is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Cessna CT210M Centurion ll XP11

 

Price is US$29.95

 

Special Features
  • Version 1.1
  • Optimized for X-Plane 11
  • State-of-the-art configurable FPS-friendly logic system
  • Largely VR compatible 
  • Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections)
Features
  • Specially designed engine dynamics for X-Plane11
  • Flight physics optimized for X-plane standards
  • Ground handling adapted for X-Plane 11 ground physics
  • Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout
  • PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries
  • X-Plane GNS530 (FPS friendly)
  • Support for RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available)
  • Goodway Compatible
  • Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy
*RealityXP GTN 750 is sold separately
 

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Requirements :

X-Plane 11.10+ (not compatible with X-Plane 10)
Windows 7, MAC, or Linux
4GB+ VRAM
Version 1.1 (last updated April 2nd 2018)

 

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Installation : Download is 364mb which is unzipped and is inserted in your General Aviation folder as a 433.40mb flie.  Key authorisation is required.

Documentation : includes

 

  • Autopilot KFC225.pdf
  • Carenado Copyright.pdf
  • Carenado CT210 Centurion Version History.rtf
  • Credits.pdf
  • Recommended settings XP11.pdf
  • T210M Centurion II Normal _ Emergency Procedures - Performance tables.pdf
  • T210M Centurion II Reference.pdf

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Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton

6th April 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)
 

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 11.20

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 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- TNCM - Princess of the Caribbean - Part 1: SXM by AWDesigns (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$32.95

 

 

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Hi Stephen,

 

Thanks for this nice review as always !

 

I'm a huge fan of this aircraft since day 1... few years ago.

The v10 aircraft didn't really require any update in v11 because it was quite well born and updated on a regular basis by Carenado: the last version is rock solid.

 

Just a note about the 4K liveries: well, they aren't genuine 4K because they merged side by side four original 2K textures.

I was expecting an upgrade here but to be honest, 2K for a GA sized aircraft is enough.

 

The single small negative point is the dashboard: in the end of the flight, it was the main texture seen and read everytime and it lacks of precision.

I would expect a better resolution at least just for that one.

 

Now, put it on top its REP module and it's an other league.

An absolute gem.

 

(note: the v11 REP module price is at -60% if you already own the v10 module)

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