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Aircraft Update : Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia 71

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Aerostar 601P_v1.4_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Update : Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia 71

 

Avia71 has updated the Aerostar 601P to X-Plane 11.30 and v1.4.2

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_Head 1.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_Head 2.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_Head 3.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_Head 4.jpg

 

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One of the most intriguing aircraft released last year was the Aerostar 601P by Avia71, and a vastly underestimated aircraft was my consensus at the end of the year. If you read the release review, there was a still few little areas that were needing a little attention, but nothing more or nothing less of a newly released aircraft and general X-Plane updates. Aircraft Review : Piper Aerostar 601P by Avia71

 

Since that review there has been twelve updates which can be accessed by the Skunkcrafts updater (I recommend in using the latest v2.2 version). The last of the twelve updates v1.4 was specifically for two areas...  X-Plane 11.30 and VR (Virtual Reality) compatibility.

 

I don't have VR to show you the effects of those changes, but here are the notes with now all the commands are VR compatible and there are now (better) 3D menus and start ignition in VR is now more accessible.

 

First changed (3d) menu is the tab version that has been moved from the left side "71" to a VR clickspot on the centre magnetic compass.

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 1.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 2.jpg

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 11.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 12.jpg

 

The menu is basically the same as with the original tab version and scalable, except for the option now to have the passengers visual in the cabin or not.

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 9.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 10.jpg

 

The original "Documents" holder lower left footwell pocket is in the same place but it is now also VR activated, but more so it has been changed to use the Aerobask system of navigation. but more importantly it is now moveable and scalable for use. The original was totally useless, in it's tiny fixed distant position...

 

The three menus noted are Charts, Cheklists (sic) and Miscellaneous... The charts uses the Aerobask system to break down the charts into categories, whereas the Miscellaneous selection can cover separate documents. It does feel like it is still a WIP, but the navigation is very good, and it is very quick in getting the documents from the files (png), which are held in a folder called "CUSTOM DOCS".

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 3.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 4.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 5.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 6.jpg

 

Checklists are now available twice, as above in the tab menu and now here in the Documents holder, in reality they are both the same, it just depends on which view or look you like but the Doc version has a better navigation...

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 7.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_VR 8.jpg

 

Aircraft now also has Reality XP GTN 750 panel integration as well.

 

PBR Lighting

There has been attention in update 1.4 to the aircraft instrument panel and lighting. The Speed dial was not very clear, complex and very hard to read, but now it is far better in some circumstances...  noteably as the behind the instrument lighting has also had attention (it is supposed to be brighter) but somehow there feels there is still something not right with the PBR and the way it interacts with the internal part of the aircraft...   If the lighting conditions are a certain way favorable to the panel, then it lights up fine, but in most lighting conditions it is deathly dark? and you can't read most of the instruments? Even with the new lighting adjustments they are still very dull....

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_Panel 2.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_Panel 1.jpg

 

Even in mixed conditions the digital readouts are almost blank (arrowed left), but put some light on the digital readout panel and it looks bright and fine and easily readable (arrowed right)....  isn't that supposed to be the other way around?

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_Panel 3.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_Panel 4.jpg

 

So the cockpit and cabin in most conditions is a very dark place to fly in.

 

11.30 and performance

With X-Plane 11.30 a big part of this update covers the X-Plane 11.30 new features, but also the dynamics of 11.30. And they are all in this case quite significant. In the review I found a few areas of the aircraft's performance a little off, but the reset to 11.30 has fixed most of those niggles. When taxiing the aircraft had really no idle position, so as you unlocked the brakes and you would instantly taxi or power forward...

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_11.30 1.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_11.30 2.jpg

 

...  now if you unlock the brakes the 601P will sit nicely until you add in more power and you also now need a fair bit of throttle to get the aircraft moving forward, so you now feel the weight of the aircraft in the thrust requirement, so taxiing is now far, far better and for also not in wearing out your brakes all the time. The mixture levers have also (thankfully) had attention, in that now you can move the levers easily as before it was an odd manipulator that moved them for you, as it was almost impossible to then set the mixture correctly, now it is perfect.

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_11.30 3.jpgAerostar 601P_Flying 4.jpg

 

Another quirk that has been refined was that nasty bad right bank when you took off or landed...  it was a weird one and even odder on a twin-engined aircraft that you should be able to cancel that sort of thrust imbalance out with your throttle settings..  it is slightly still there, but certainly not as hard and the noticeable banking as it was before.

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_11.30 4 LG.jpg

 

So moving to the 11.30 dynamics by my feeling has greatly improved the aircraft in all phases, and that was a sort of refinement missing in the original. The Aerostar came with a turbo-charged engine... so now the engine is turbo-normalized, and the main consequence is that the turbo-compressor Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors are limited to 29.92 inches pressure. Still on air pressures you can now also change from inHg to QNH by pressing the Altimeter pressure window.

 

The 601P already had an authentic cabin pressure system...

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_11.30 5.jpgAerostar 601P_v1.4_11.30 6.jpg

 

...  in 11.30 the focus was on oxygen pressure, most notable to masks (crew and passengers) but point here is oxygen pressure and the more refined way the smaller oxygen pressures are pressurised and used by the aircraft's systems, so this makes the 601P's custom pressurized system more realistic.

 

Avio71 has also taken advantage of the new 11.30 icing features that uses the leading edge inflatable boot de-ice system. The new feature will show authentic icing in that ice accumulates on the wing, and then the inflatable boots blasts the ice off in irregular  intervals. Amperage will only be consumed from the assigned electrical system (the same sources and datarefs as the electric and thermal surface heat) when the compressor is actually running, so it will only generate amp spikes of boot actions instead of a continuous load.


The new SASL 3.3 is also now used on the aircraft. SASL 3.3 in reality is only for X-Plane11, and so it is not trying to bridge a gap now between different X-Plane versions, most notably XP10 (so the 601P is now only a XP11 aircraft)...  this was causing many issues and mostly with authorization reactivations and pop-out windows hence the new menus above. SASL 3.3 is also forward looking for the new coming Vulkan/Metal API's

 

The FMOD sound was also updated, but mostly the adjustments are just minor tweeks.

 

Aerostar 601P_v1.4_Head 6.jpg

 

Summary

The Aerostar 601P is certainly one of the more really interesting aircraft in X-Plane, but interesting in a really different aircraft to explore and enjoy, it is also for the skilled but also want to stretch their skills to something unique. So a mainstream Cessna or Piper it isn't, but then the real life counterpart aircraft was also very much the same.

 

Although this update review notes this update as v1.4, the actual stream of updates since the release of the Aerostar back in July has been comprehensive, this release is for mostly VR (Virtual Reality) and X-Plane final 11.30 compatibility.

 

The VR aspect is mostly new menus (SASL 3.3) and better interactivity with touch zones and VR manipulators.

 

It was good on release, but the constant refining including back structure like the latest SASL 3.3 is now giving the aircraft a more mature feel, certainly in the areas of performance and in using the X-Plane11.30 dynamic features of which here are highlighted by the better oxygen and Icing systems, but the handling is also now vast improved as well, on the ground as well in the air, so the main feel I get back is that a lot of those original quirks (except for PBR and exterior and interior panel lighting) have now been mostly addressed.

 

At the head of this review I noted words like intriguing and vastly underestimated, and that sums up this Aerostar 601P, I will add in "interesting" as well, so check it out as it is still currently at a sub-US$30 sale price, and a worth addition to your collection... Highly Recommended.

 

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X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the Piper Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia71 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Aerostar 601P

 

Price is US$34.95 (sale price is US$29.95! A Great deal for a US$35 aircraft)

  

Features

Ultra High Definition Model
  • 4K Textures throughout
  • Full PBR
  • High quality 3D model
  • Optimized for X-Plane 11
  • FMOD custom sounds
  • Fully VR compatible
    Reality-XP's GTN 750 integrated (when available)
Features
  • Fully functional 3D cockpit
  • Custom menu containing checklists, weight management, cabin altitude calculator, maintenance, stats, options
  • Custom instruments
  • Custom pressurization system
  • Custom animations
  • Disengageable system for saving parameters between flights
  • Customizable documents holder (read your charts, checklists... in flight)
  • Custom fuel feeding system
  • Complete set of original checklists
  • 7 liveries + paintkit
Auto-Updater
  • Keep your aircraft up-to-date with SkunkCrafts auto-updater
  • Easy to use (nothing to do, really)
  • As usual, updates will be free of charge for customers

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac, or Linux
2Gb VRAM Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Review version 1.4.2

 

Installation
Download of the Aerostar 601P is 392.35mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 551mb folder.
 
This aircraft uses the SkunkCrafts auto-updater for updates, v2.2 version is recommended
 
Full Changelog attached
 

 

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Update Review by Stephen Dutton 
22nd January 2019
Copyright©2019: 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) 

 

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In your review, you mention the 'bank behavior' after takeoff. The reason that this is noticeable, even though it's a twin engine, is because this twin, unlike most other twins, is not equipped with counter-rotating propellers. This means that the torque and P-factor of the two engines doesn't cancel each other out.

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