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  1. 3 points
    Aircraft Comparison : Boeing 777 vs Airbus A350 As you can see by the title, today we are going to compare the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A350 for X-plane 11, both Boeing and Airbus biggest twin-engine aircraft. The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner is the long range variant from the 777 family, with a maximum range of 8,555 nm (15,843 km). This variant has increased MTOW, three optional auxiliary fuel tanks and wingtips. Equipped with GE90 engines it produces up to 230,000 pounds of thrust combined. Exactly 60 have already been delivered and its main operators are Delta Air Lines and Emirates, with each one operating 10 aircraft. The A350 XWB is Airbus newest aircraft. The A350-900 has a maximum range of 8,100 (15,000 km) and a MTOW of 280 tons. The -900 was designed to compete with the B777-200ER/LR and 787-10, and eventually giving airlines the option to replace their older A340-300/500 with a newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft. It is equipped with two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines each producing up to 84,200 pounds of thrust. The A350 family is considered to a success, with 930 orders and more than 360 already delivered, being its main operators Singapore Airlines (48) and Etihad Airways (54). FlightFactor Aero is well known for their study level aircraft, with system depth being their main focus, and the A320 Ultimate and 767 Professional being a good proof of that. With that in mind you would expect a high-quality add-on from FlightFactor with great systems, so in today's comparison we are going to discover if that is true when we talk about the B777 and A350. Now we are going to decide which long-haul aircraft is the best for you Exterior modeling Both aircraft will be using custom Delta liveries that can be found in Xplane.Org Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional At a first look the exterior model is quite nice even though it needs some improvements. The fuselage may look strange with that lines, however you won't notice them most of the time. The windows are transparent, showing the 3d cabin inside. Probably the best part of the exterior modeling are the GE90 engines, they look awesome. The fan blades have a very nice glossy touch. The engine running animation is very good too. The landing gear and wings are nicely modeled. In general, the exterior is good, even though some improvements are welcome, especially in the fuselage and empennage. However, you won't find many problems if you don't search for them. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced You will notice that in many cases the A350 is the opposite from the B777, and exterior modeling is one of them. Usually the first thing you notice when looking at the outside of a plane is the fuselage, and the A350 fuselage is well done, it has a glossy and reflective surface (due to the livery I am using, the fuselage doesn't appear to be glossy), transparent windows and very nice wingtips. Instead of having very good modeled engines like the 777, the A350 engine modeling isn't that great, in fact it is not good or bad, it is the minimum you would expect from a 50 dollars plane. The animations are very nice and realistic, but the engine modeling, especially when it isn't running, is far away from perfection. The wings are nicely modeled and they look very good from the outside, however, they look a bit strange from the inside. The landing gear is great and doesn't appear to have any modeling problem. As you can see, the exterior modeling is good, even though it has its pros and cons, and you won't be disappointed. Like the 777, the A350 also needs some improvements. Extra features In this section we are going to talk about other extra features like doors, ground services and many other things. Starting with ground service. Both aircraft have this functionality, with one being better than the other. You can use the 777 ground service by clicking the menu icon in the top right corner. There you will find the ground services vehicles and objects as the doors open/close buttons and many more. Note that the ground service is very simple and only the doors indicated by an arrow can be opened. The ground service feature is more extensive in the A350, even though it is a bit simple, and can be accessed through the Cpt Outer OIS. It is important to note that all doors can be opened, a great advantage over the 777 which increases the realism. The plane at gate option sets a stair at the 4L door. There is one thing that looks strange in both planes, the wing flex. In the 777 is a little bit weird in some situations, like deploying the speed brakes after landing, resulting in some strange wing moves. The A350 wing flex problem is different and you will notice it while taxing and applying brakes. Another problem from the a350 is the wheels animations, which appear to be too slow. The 777 has a kind of engine shake, which is very nice to see from the cabin. Cabin Both aircraft have a 3d modeled cabin, divided in economy, business and first-class. Usually a 777 economy class is configured in a 3-4-3 configuration, which isn't the case FlightFactor 777, equipped with a 3-3-3 configuration. The business class seems very old, and the first-class has a nice bar. The A350 cabin is more modern than the 777 one. The economy is also equipped with a 3-3-3 configuration, with every seat been equipped with IFE screens. Configured in a 2-2-2 configuration the business class has wider and more comfortable seats. The first-class in the A350 is also equipped with a bar, providing great luxury to the passengers. There is a very nice detail in both aircraft, which is the crew resting compartment. This is a place that pilots and flight attendants rest when it's the other crew members shift. The first photo is from the 777 and the second from the A350, respectively located in the front and back of the aircraft. As you can see, the cabins are pretty well modeled and look nice, but in the end, the A350 cabin looks a bit better. Cockpit Probably the most important section in this comparison, it's in the cockpit that everything happens. While reading this part of the comparison, you will notice that most of the similarities and opposites are here, starting with the cockpit door, only the 777 has a close/open animation. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Possibly your first thought about the 777 cockpit will be: It seems very outdated. Yes the textures and some of the 3d modeling aren't great, you can't deny that, but when you start flying the plane they don't seem that bad. The overhead panel is very nice, as well as the aisle stand panel, where the 3d modeling is good and textures aren't bad. The night lighting is very beautiful and distinctive in 777, making it a very nice aircraft to fly at night. Its green color isn't common between other planes. It has many light knobs, this way you can try many lighting configurations before finding the best one for you. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced At first glance, the A350 cockpit may look better than the B777, especially using textures replacement mods, which will be linked at the end of the comparison, however, there are many better-modeled cockpits out there. Everybody knows that the A350 is a very modern plane and all its 6 big screens will attract your attention while flying it. It has the Airbus style overhead panel, but its pedestal is different from any type of aircraft, having some similarities with the A380. The autopilot panel is almost identical to the A380. The night is very well done, and gives the plane a modern touch, more than it already is. Systems FlightFactor says that what sets their models apart is the system depth, so we can expect good systems, we can't compare the A350 ou 777 with the A320 due to the price difference, so good systems is the least we should expect. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Starting with the FMC. It is fully functional, you can plan your route, insert SIDS and STARS and make performance calculations. The FMC is well done and you shouldn't have problems with it. The only thing that could be improved is individual screens, so you could leave one FMC in the LEGS page and the other at the VNAV page. As you can imagine, all knobs and switches at the overhead panel work. All the essential switches are working in the aisle stand panel. Last but not least, autopilot, it has some small issues like not turning off the disconnect alarm, but it still manages to take your plane from A to B. Another improvement that needs to be done is adding individual NAV screens, with this feature you would be able to set one screen with map and the other with app, using different ranges. With that in mind we can conclude that the 777 systems aren't perfect, but still in a high standard just like expected. Yes, they need some improvements, but still manage to have the hard work done. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Probably the most known issue in the A350 systems is the FMC, where you can't insert SIDS and STARs. This is the main problem involving the A350 but there is a tool that solves this problem. It is named SimpleFMC and when used in conjunction with Simbrief flight planning tool, will give you the ability to completely program your route. As you can see, the A350 has some issues involving route programming, even though it can be simply solved and FlightFactor announced an update to fix that (will talk more about this update later). However, performance calculations and weight configuration is very complete in the A350. The best way to do that is by using the Cpt Outer OIS screen. Almost all switches and knobs work, both in overhead panel and pedestal. The autopilot works perfectly and you shouldn't expect any problem related to it. It is important to note that the taxi camera isn't working. We can conclude that none of the aircraft systems is perfect. At the moment, the 777 systems are slightly ahead, which gives you the feeling of a more complete aircraft. However, the A350 is a newer plane, leaving many opportunities to improve and add many new features, and if this happens, the A350 systems may get better and more advanced than the 777 systems. Sounds Each aircraft has its particularities. Generally we can assume that the 777 are better than the A350 sounds, especially when you talk about the engines. Starting with cockpits sounds. Both aircraft have nice sounds here, probably the A350 ones are a bit better, even though none of them is bad. However, when we start talking about the cabin sounds, you may get disappointed. They are the same all the time, it doesn't matter if you are in the front or back of the plane, they won't change. The flaps and landing gear operation sounds are nice, just what you would expect. The engine sounds are the ones you will most notice while flying a plane, and they are the reason for the 777 have better sounds than the A350. While you are in the cockpit or cabin, both planes have good sounds, even though they could be way better. But when you change for the outside view you will instantly notice the difference. While both engines are idle you already can tell a difference, you may think that this is obvious because they are different engines, but the difference is already there. However, things start to get better when you accelerate them, both sound nice, maybe a little better in the 777, but when the engines are at full power you will notice that the A350 isn't very nice, emitting a low and kinda soft noise. The 777 is the complete opposite, at full power the engines are screaming and give you the feeling that you flying the real aircraft. Blue Sky Star, most known as BSS, provides a sound pack for the 777 at the price of 20 dollars, increasing your immersion with the aircraft. Will be linked at the end. Other features Here I will list things I didn't mention yet. Checklist: Both aircraft have a checklist that tells you exactly what you should do. Cabin Announcements: You will find this feature in both aircraft. There are more than 20 default announcements. Pushback: This feature is implemented in both planes, however, I recommend using the Better Pushback plugin. Conclusion As I said earlier, we would find the best long-haul aircraft for you. After reading my comparison you may have already decided the best one for you, but if you still can't choose one I will help by listing the main features. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional -Very well modeled engines -Fuselage is good, but needs improvements -Has 3d cabin -Cockpit a little bit dated -Good systems -Better sounds (BSS package available) -Price: $59,95 Airbus A350 XWB Advanced -Better modeled fuselage -Beautiful 3d cabin -Better cockpit textures (using texture replaceament mod) -Ok systems -Good cockpit sounds, engines could be better -Price: $49,95 Note that FlightFactor said that would release an update for A350 this month and it would include the implementation of SIDS and STARS as well as a huge graphical improvement. This update would make the A350 way better. It would be nice to see BSS making a sound package for the A350, it would take the aircraft to a pretty high standard. If after all this you can't decide yet, you should take my advice. Both aircraft are equaly good, each one has pros and cons, and the best thing you could do is: buy the one you like more in real life, it is simple. Notice that you won't be disappointed with these two great aircraft by Flight Factor. I won't tell my personal choice because that may induct you. Greetings Thank you for reading this comparison! Feel free to leave your comment. This is my first review for this incredible site that has been making the best reviews for X-plane for a long time. I want to thank Stephen for giving me this incredible opportunity and providing everything I needed to make the comparison. ______________________________________________________________________ Both aircraft are available in X-Plane.Org Store here: Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Price is US$59,95 Features: Officially licensed By the Boeing © Corporation Accurate dimensions based on 2D and 3D drawings supplied by Boeing © Professional systems - Fly the 777 like a pro Systems designed to work like the thing - Accurate flight model tuned by pilots - Comprehensive Manuals Fully Functional FMS - Plan your routes like a real pilot Custom designed Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures Custom designed Navigation Display Tterminal procedure database with RNAV approaches and transitions VNAV managed climbs and descends Takeoff and approach speed calculation Custom autopilot modes for autoland Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation True-to-life radio navigation with procedural-, route-, and navigation support auto-tuning Custom programmed FMC navigation using GPS-, radio- or inertial navigation with individual position errors and management of actual and required navigation performance Magnetic, true and polar grid course reference Alternate airports, diversion and arrival management Ground proximity warning system using real sounds FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the new iPad Incredible 3D modeling - the best eye-candy Amazing virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections Custom 3D sounds and Announcements Add-ons: Push-back truck, Fuel Truck, Passenger bus and Emergency slides ... On-Screen Menus: Configuration and loading menu, Quick Zoom Superb night lighting in cockpit. Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50+ - 64 bit required Windows, Vista, 7 / 8/ 10 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher - OSX 10.9 will not work), Linux Ubuntu 14.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) 2GB VRAM - (4GB VRAM Recommended)- 1Gb available hard disk space Current version : 1.9.12 (last updated Jan 30th 2018) ___________________________ Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Price is US$49,95 Features: Superb 3D Modeling Complete Virtual cockpit in high-resolution Fully animated in and out -High-Resolution Textures Ground equipment support including stairs, loaders, passenger buses, GPUs etc. 3D people inside and outside the plane - Nicely modeled cabin Scroll wheel support for switch manipulation Advanced Systems Fully customized aircraft systems: electric, hydraulic, air conditioning, ADIRU Fully customized ECAM monitoring system with all screens and functions included Fully functional airbus style alert system with multiple status and procedural lists Fully functional interactive airbus electronic checklist system Airbus A350/A380 unique interfaces with dozens of screens and hundreds of function Fully customized and unique MFD (multifunctional display) system with most of flight planning pages implemented in a new graphical interface, as well as FCU and radio backups just like on the real plane Full OIS screen system with options, ground equipment control, passenger and cargo loading, and even a full user's manual inside the plane. Old style MCDU and fully functional aux instruments as backup Custom failures Advanced Fly-by-Wire and Flight systems Full FBW with Highly realistic implementation of the Airbus normal laws by QPAC -the most realistic fly-by-wire implementation for desktop flight simulation. Basic SID/STAR implementation using X-plane fms-files that you can create yourself and share with the community. "What you see is what you fly" flight path indication on the ND (i.e. curved trajectories with the turn radius properly computed based on speed and angular turn distance.) Implementation of all Airbus AP modes, except some non-precision approach modes (Selected and managed modes, speed constraints respected, "at or below" constraints in phase climb, "at or above" constraints in phase descent.) Full PFD and ND displays with fully independent display and different data sources for the captain and copilot displays. Independent autopilots Custom 3D Sounds Custom 3D stereo engine sound system Hundreds of system and in-cockpit sounds Interactive flight attendant helper Seven Liveries included in the package Airbus Carbon, Air France, Airbus House colors, Qatar, Lufthansa, United Airlines Requirements X-Plane 11 (latest version) Windows - Mac - Linux - 64bit Operating System Required 1Gb+ VRAM Minimum, 2Gb+ VRAM Minimum. 8Gb RAM Version : 1.5.2 (last updated Apr 24th, 2019) ________________________________________ Aircraft Comparison by Bernardo Casa 21st April 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Intel Core I5-9600K 4,30GHz / 2x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz - Gigabyte RTX 2070 - Z390 Aorus Master - Kingston A1000M.2 SSD 240GB Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Logitech Pro Flight Yoke/Pedals/Throttle Quadrant - Logitech Extreme 3d Pro Joystick - Sound: Samsung Home Theater System J5500WK Plugins: Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69,90 -Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design - Scenery Review : Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design -KLAX - Los Angeles International 1.01 by MisterX6 (X-Plane.Org) Freeware -SBGL - by AxScenery (AxScenery) Freeware -A350 cockpit textures replacement (X-Plane.Org) Freeware -Better Pushback (GitHub) Freeware (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)
  2. 3 points
    Hi Bob, Thanks, I am really happy to know that you are liking my articles. Both aircraft are extremely good. Personally, I like the A319 more, especially with the IAE sounds, don't forget that you need the CFM too. Independent of your decision, you will be extremely happy.
  3. 3 points
    Totally. Even though they look similar, each aircraft has its characteristics.
  4. 3 points
    Free Aircraft Release! : Concorde by Dr Gary Hunter Growing up in the sixties was a time of huge speed advances. The predictions were of New York in 3 hours and Singapore in 7 hours via Bahrain, and then we went far faster again... to the moon. Looking back now it all feels like we lost have something, yes we can afford to travel the world on a few thousand dollars... but the excitement and the sheer feeling of the momentum of advances in technology has now been reduced to smart phones. The real tragedy was that the machines that gave us our biggest breakthroughs were then never advanced forward, there was no Concorde Mk2 or Space Shuttle Mk2. And so there came no advancements on their ideas and weaknesses, like the noise and sound barrier on Concorde and the better insulation tiles for the Shuttle. Instead they were all consigned to museums and with that a negative backward feeling now exists. You know it can be better, as we lived through that now past era of huge ideas and advancement that actually came true and real. But you can still relive a little of what one machine of that era was, in the Concorde. Dr Gary Hunter created a Concorde for X-Plane9®, so yes this aircraft is old now even by X-Plane standards. It didn't fly very well either lately because of the advances of the simulator, so an update to v10.50 was carried out and the aircraft has been gratefully passed over to the X-Plane.Org to be released... yes that is right this Concorde is for free! And no matter which way you look at it this aircraft is still one of the very best looking machines ever built, The modeling is slightly old, but not enough not to make it feel totally outdated. The panel is from an era of X-Plane seasons past, and the instruments are quite blurry. But it is totally functional and does have a 3d Virtual Cockpit. There is also a great engineers station, and you need to watch those fuel gauges, they gulp down fuel like no tomorrow, but hey you are also covering the ground at a one mile every two and three quarter seconds! Full cabin as well with the all important speed Mach numbers and altitude. You are seriously moving at m2.2, you can feel the speed even over the smooth Atlantic Ocean, watching my moving map on my iPad, the aircraft is moving as you are watching it even at a high distance, the Nm counter is clicking over click, click, click fast as well... this is no sub-sonic slow ride to China or as in this ride... to New York. Distances of descent to any airport will need a bigger or longer distance with this machine as it is a long way down from 50,000ft or even 60,000ft if you are game. Liveries included: Blank or Eurowhite, BA Union, BA Landor, BA Flag, AF, AF Retro, Prototype and Singapore. New York and "Look Mum, no Flaps!" drop the nose and the speed to 195knts and you get that over familiar hawk look... The aircraft is surprisingly easy to fly on approach, but watch for a high nose in the air after landing. Concorde is back in New York! ______________________________________________________________________ There is a big thanks to the work of Dr Gary Hunter in creating this X-Plane Concorde, and now passing it over to Nicolas of the X-Plane.Org for you to download... for FREE!, yes just go to the link below (sign in first) and download this Concorde and go.... Supersonic! Yes! the My Planes (Dr Gary Hunter) Concorde is available for download here: CONCORDE Price is Free! Features: Accurate dimensions 2D and basic 3D Cockpit Object-based model, Very detailed model 8 liveries Cockpits have been totally redesigned. Go to the virtual cockpit and move to the center laterally (right arrow key) then translate backward through the aircraft (shift-pagedown key) to see the virtual cabin interior. All cabin windows are in 3D, and the cabin interior is modeled (seats etc). These differences are most obvious when using LIT textures as you can see inside the cabin more easily. Try circling the plane when flying in low level lighting conditions (sunset for example). Updated and tidied up the 3D virtual cockpit a little. The horizon is 3D now but its hard to notice so I may drop it in future versions. All fuselage doors are operable using keys 8 fuel tanks Full 3D Model Regular Concorde and Concorde 'B' included The model B was to have been the definitive airline version of Concorde, produced from airframe number 17 onwards. As production stopped at airframe number 16, the model B never actually took to the air, though much of the design work and improvements were retrofitted to existing Concordes. The most noticeable difference would have been the big wing of the model B, non-afterburning (more powerful) engines and a much greater range. This version also features an airbus style “glass” cockpit. ______________________________________________________________________ Overview by Stephen Dutton 6th October 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews
  5. 3 points
    X-Plane Year Review 2014 and Welcoming in 2015. Well that was 2014? What did you think of it? The usual, the different or just forget the whole year happened. Well it was different in a unusual way in that it wasn't filled with the usual things that turn the simulator upside down. My view it was quite a subdued year in a way, but a lot still happened and a lot changed. But I did feel this time last year that X-Plane needed a more stable settling period to consolidate its main base and in a big way that did happen. The word "consolidate" is the key point here, and in that context for X-Plane it was a very good year. Review 2014 The year started off with loads and just loads of scenery released, The excellent LEVC - Valencia from DAI-Media started it all off and I loved this Spanish scenery. Tom Curtis had another great year with KDEN - Denver and big updates to his great packages "Final Frontier" and "Seattle - Boeing Country" and his "Las Vegas "Glitter Gulch" through out the year had a touch more magic as well. Another good solid year from Tom. Santiago Butnaru was another who gave a lot of prolific scenery releases this year with KBUF (Buffalo-Niagara) which is underrated, KFLL - Fort Lauderdale and last week KEWR - Newark. Two stood out in CZST Stewart by beti-x and EIDW - Dublin by Aerosoft were both brilliant but in their very different ways, But as scenery goes it was a really good year, a lot of really great freeware and many new faces having a go at doing some work with a lot of the usual suspects delivering outstanding work. Two points I will highlight here in the return of ISDG with a bang with Steve K and YMML - Melbourne and the simply amazing "tdg"and If one person has single-handedly changed our scenery base it is tdg. I really loved the recently released "Winter_Package" of winter scenery from Albert (xflyer) who is the person that creates the default Laminar Research autogen art... simply amazing, and Laminar has also made hints it could be included in the base simulator in a start of the seasons feature, well bring that on. Another great late in the year release is the v3 terrain files from Alpilotx, another step up in high-quality detail, but a huge just under 100gb download for the lot (It takes two days alone if you want it all downloaded now) but it does now also include Australia. I earlier had my doubts about the Laminar Research default airport scenery system, but it works very well and not as intrusive as I expected, the updated WED 1.30 is also now very, very good. Overall the scenery aspect came along in heaps and bounds this year, 2014 was a really good year for scenery and I am getting really very impressed by a lot of the images coming out of the simulator. Not perfect by a long shot, but a big and definite step forward and X-Plane is finally fixing its biggest blackhole. Laminar Research felt like it was being diverted by another presence in 2014 and that turned out to be fact in most of the development time of the year went into an upgrade of LR's other simulator business in mobile games or X-Plane 10 MOBILE for iPhone or iPad. They note that these products help the desktop version and vice-versa, and you can't argue with that philosophy, and the launch of X-Plane 10 on STEAM has again shown that LR is aiming lately at the gamer crowd for more business and users, So is X-Plane a game or a simulator? will the roads narrow as the products come closer aligned? I still see a big difference flying on my desktop to using X-Plane on my iPad (you can however fly around the room making loud aircraft noises with your steering iPad), but my only really big fun and main focus is my addictive personality of minecraft proportions of collecting and building my huge X-Plane scenery world and flying around it. One major (and only) X-Plane release for the desktop simulator form was version or v10.30 in a mid-year release in June. But it was a beauty, and its biggest feature was how well rounded it was when it was released. It didn't feel like a beta and had no really big hidden nasties, it was also brilliant from day one and a really good well rounded product. Laminar noted that they had taken their time to do this one and it showed, great quality and great features. The standout was the inclusion of an updated GARMIN 430/530 gps which was just sensational in design and operation. Created by Philipp Münzel my personal "Person of the Year" in 2013, in he had been recruited by LR to do development work directly for LR in 2014 and that took Philipp out of the daily limelight, but his brilliance was once again shown in a great feature and also gave the simulator another big push forward. He will be there for 2015, so expect more great things from him, Chris and Guru in the next year. Again v10.30 provided a very good consolidation of the desktop simulator, it refined and changed it into a more complete application that was more reliable and even smooth. There was a few missing features that had been promised like a wider visual distance that is really (really) showing now its time and age in the simulator these days and there was still no update to the average autocratic ATC system that is so badly required to make X-Plane 10 deliver on its promised features, no better water shading or cultures either, but maybe in 2015 a few of these changes will finally grace our screens. I noted in last years 2013 review that this year would be the last year for X-Plane9, that has come to pass as most developers now don't issue X-Plane9 versions with their releases, the biggest is of course Carenado and in that the v3/10.30 upgrade was completely X-Plane10 and no new product from either Carenado or Alabeo would in the future will be in X-Plane9. If you keep X-Plane9 into 2015, you are going to find it very slim pickings indeed for (payware) aircraft and a lot of quality scenery for that simulator version. X-Plane has now moved a long, long way even from its own X-Plane10 release version, in to a point it is now barely recognisable from its own small time beginnings. The biggest satisfaction for me in 2014 was the emergence of more developers that were willing to put their talent on the line and build payware. The gap from freeware to payware is simply massive, you have to be good not only in one area but many or create a stable team to produce good aircraft. It is not easy in covering this gap, as even the very best have had their moments this year. Once you cross that line and ask for payment, you are then required to deliver in every area, but the rewards are also very good if you can pull the off the project. X-Plane now requires extremely high quality, no half-measures can pass the line and it is a tough line, but it is still very highly required. In that talent and products build the simulator and the good news is X-Plane uses will pay for quality products, and that is a very good thing. As it goes both ways in that the users get great product and the developers will keep producing great product to satisfy the need. So both the users and the developers both benefit... In that area X-plane has crossed that invisible line. But quality was there even if at first the fine-tuning points are not. So basically the work was always very good, but the real work and talent is in that very last 5% to get that tuning and the quality first rate. Stephane Buon of Aerobask was a real talent this year in not only turning out interesting modern like the Lancair Legacy FG aircraft but refitting out his older work to the 10.30 requirements, and with a flourish even finished off the year with an amazing glider (Antares 20E). The X-Trident team with their amazing Bell - 412 was another great intro. X-Crafts produced his ERJ-195ER that really was a great start in quality payware and Jetsim gave us an Airbus A330-300 with CRT instruments. MLADG gave us some WW2 German fighter experience with the Me 262. And Colimata's Mig-29 blew me away, and on a modern twist AoA Simulations released just lately their F-35B Lighting ll. But the old hand operators still delivered as well. As a group they delivered very deep immersion simulation with always new tricks to get your attention. Reviewing these challenging deep system aircraft is taking longer and longer to deliver your verdict, as you have so much ground to cover. Many need not a week now but weeks to understand and get the very best from and to understand how to fly them to their best performance. Peter's (Hager) Aircraft started off the year with his 3d A320/A321 series, but I was simply a non-starter from the very start. The aircraft no matter how much I twisted my settings could they run on my computer, frame rate was always in the low single figures and I simply had to give up any chance of giving them a fair review. It was the first time I had actually gave up and moved on, something I simply don't like to do. I tried again later in the year with the same results. JARDesign did a few updates till mid-year to his A320 but then left it to focus on the A330. SSG - Supercritical Simulations Group started the year with a bang in the B748i which was a bit raw, but steady and quality time in development brought this aircraft (And the just released Freighter version) up to a very high standard and they now both now sit in that high point quality area. Jack and Joe from FlyJSim did not disappoint with their excellent Boeing 732, another really great simulation and a great companion in your hanger with the B727 Series. FlightFactor also was busy with great upgrades (including engine options) to both their Boeing 777 and 757 series aircraft, and later in the year the release of the amazing A350-900 with a menu system that is just so unique and clever. It had QPAC airbus systems as well, and the very best in airbus laws and protections that made it something really special to fly. It was delayed and frustrated by a very stubborn bug for Mac users? Not a major issue in context, but it simply refused to be hunted down and fixed, as a beta tester on the A350 I spent hours (and hours) doing loops in trying to focus it down, but it still remained elusive. It will in time be usually something very simple that fixes it, but that is not to take away the achievement this aircraft is to X-Plane's quality and position in flight simulation, and a pro version of the A350 is still coming. Hydroz and Khamsim brought out their excellent HU-16 Albatross that was a great aircraft to get your head around, and Khamsin also updated his Mitchell. And I liked the old B-29 from Virtavia and Dawson Designs, strange to fly but very rewarding if you are willing to put in the effort. Carenado had again a huge year with constant updates right through the range and great releases. Putting the updated GNS 10.30 gps into Carenado aircraft was always going to brilliant, and it was. And Carenado also created a unique manipulator system that could change the way we operate knobs and switches in the simulator. great for scroll mouse users, but I found it a bit strange with my one puck mouse. In aircraft it started with the PA-38 Tomahawk, which i simply loved as it was simply a great aircraft to fly. Then came the brilliant B200 King Air, a monster of an aircraft that was then even later over shadowed by the even bigger and more monstrous KIng Air in the 1900D that was just the ultimate King Air you can ever get in simulation. Released in-between these two giants was the Piper PA-46 Malibu and the excellent CT206H Turbo Stationair, which is really the very best single-upper wing aircraft in X-Plane bar none. So for Carenado it was a just that a huge year, and great simulation. Helicopters did exceptionally well as well. You don't get a huge amount of releases in the rotary world. But the quality is out of this world, and 2014 did not disappoint. DMO started it out with a really great update to the S92, now a major player and a great big aircraft to fly. Then came the Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations which is quite possibly the very best helicopter ever created for X-Plane, it was simply in every area sensational. But my overall favorite was the B412 Huey from X-Trident. It is still the most addictive aircraft I have ever flown in X-Plane... When you are still flying at 4am in the morning and still wanting to have another go after five hours of flying already means this aircraft totally has your guts and heart at its controls. I now fear going near it as I know I will lose hours or a day if I do so and reviews are then left hanging half done. It is a total love/hate relationship, but the love for the B412 will always win me over. None expected shows for the year are also to be noted. The IXEG 737 classic is still going into another year of development. Real 733's are now going to the graveyard in big numbers and X-Plane still hasn't had any hours behind the controls of one of them, it is now promised before next Christmas... 2015! But still well worth the wait (ing). The EADT x737 3d cockpit aircraft was a no show as well, but the update images show an amazing experience when it does arrive. maybe 2015 will finally be the year of the B737? I doubt the PMDG B737 will join the queue, there was a lot of noise from PMDG in the middle of the year referring to X-Plane and then nothing? So PMDG is slowly going into the "I'll believe it when I see it" zone. JARdesign didn't release his A332 either, but I doubt it is very far away in early 2015. An area I am interested in is the DC-9/MD-80, There was a great freeware release from Roger2009, but three projects were announced and going into 2015 only one in "Rotate's" MD-80 is still ongoing, but what an aircraft this is. If one aircraft should be in your hanger in 2015, it will be or should be this one... looks simply brilliant. Going into 2015 and news of new work is very thin on the ground. Developers are holding their cards closer to their chests these days. But they are all out there work and creating... we will just have to wait and see what 2015 brings us. To wrap up this review of 2014 and the year, I will now list my Best of the Year 2014: Best Aircraft : FlightFactor aero A350-900 Late in the year but an excellent, fully featured and clever aircraft. Honorable Mention : X Crafts ERJ-195LR, A great debut aircraft and expect great designs from this designer. Best Classic Aircraft : Boeing 737-200 Series - FlyJSim As good as the B727 series, but smaller. Honorable Mention : Grumman HU-16 Albatross Really different and versatile aircraft, loved it. Best General Aviation Aircraft : Carenado Beechcraft 1900D King Air Just simply brilliant... thats it. Honorable Mention : Any Aerobask aircraft Very modern and very different, and now a glider as well Best Helicopter : Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations/Bell 412 X-Trident Both totally brilliant and very hard to split By design it is the B407, but the B412 totally won my heart. Best Scenery : CZST - Stewart by beti-x and EIDW - Dublin by Aerosoft Both really really good scenery, but EIDW is more usable and functional for everyday use. Honorable Mention : Tom Curtis His work throughout 2014 was just excellent again in scale and detail. Person of the Year 2014 : tdg (scenery) Airport by airport and a release sometimes daily... tdg is slowly changing the face of X-Plane Airports. His facade work is simply overwhelming and sensational, his detailing is superb. How can he do all that work? and in a single day? Honorable Mentions : Philipp Münzel and Daniel Klaue Again Phillipp has touched X-Plane with his brilliance. The GARMIN 430/530 gps in X-Plane 10.30 is another master work and Daniel drives X-Plane forward with his brilliance in so many areas that you don't see... but use all the time. Best Plugin : SkyMaxx Pro Real clouds and real weather. Honorable Mention : TugMaster - JARDesign Finally a really decent pushback truck(s) Best Moment of the year 2014 : Using the GNS 430/530 GPS for the first time. Worst Moment of the Year 2014 : Monday 22nd December 2014? Biggest distraction of 2014 : The none shows that promised us an announcement that never came. Personal Favorites of 2013 : The Bell 412, CT206H Turbo Stationair, 1900D Carenado King Air, B200 King Air in fact any King Air? and the A350-900 and finally flying the CRJ-200 correctly (It is a very long story) So that was 2014... So was it a good year or a great year. Certainly X-Plane grew and even passed the significant milestone of 300,000 users on the X-Plane.org, many will of course churn over and leave, but many are also liking what they are seeing and are joining us and most importantly are contributing to the cause. So we grew as a simulator, a lot and that is a nice feeling. The X-Plane.Org shop was overhauled and ready for 2015. A very difficult and long task, but well worth the effort. So in many ways X-Plane is in great shape for 2015 and another big year in simulation. I will be back with more and a better X-Plane Reviews in 2015, but at this point I'm not sure exactly when I will be actually able to restart? The date above of 22nd December 2014 was a day of "oh hell" as my trusty iMac went into meltdown and totally blew out its graphic chip?, Yes its true, X-Plane actually blew my graphic chip to pieces and that is how hard I have pushed it this year... In fact I am proud to say "I ran X-Plane so hard I blew my computer up!" It works but only in "Slow" mode which means no X-Plane for me at all and I am in denial. When I can get it fixed depends on when the Australian workforce decides to come back from its annual holidays and I can get the parts. Hopefully in the very early days in January 2015. I have to thank Joe Charman for his huge contribution this past year, thanks Joe and to all the incredible developers that provide me with their work and and valuable information to make these reviews work and happen. I am as always in awe in what they do. Finally to Nicolas Taureau and the backing of the guys of the X-Plane.Org that keeps the site running smoothly and give great advice and assistance. So all X-Plane flyers, have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015!... more to come and soon! "Anyone know of any good books to read, while I get my computer fixed?" Stephen Dutton Copyright©2014: X-Plane Reviews
  6. 3 points
    Competition! : X-Plane Reviews first anniversary competition and win either a Boeing 748i, 777 or 757! To celebrate X-Plane Reviews first year anniversary we are holding brilliant competition to win either a : FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing Aircraft:757 Professional SSG/Vmax Boeing Aircraft:747-8i Advanced Great prizes and well worth a few minutes of your time to enter: Well what we want to know is - "What is your favorite aircraft or add-on we have reviewed on X-Plane Reviews in the last twelve months and why?" Just write in the "comments" below what your thoughts are.... Conditions: Only one entry only, more than one will be deleted... so make it count. You must be a registered as a member with X-Plane Reviews to give a valid comment... "Guest" comments will be deleted. Keep the comment to around 350 words, monologues will be deleted. (unless very funny!) The best three will of course win one of the prizes in no order, Judges decisions are final. The winners comments will be posted as a separate post on the X-Plane Reviews site. Competition runs for 14 days till midnight 14th August 2014 (winners will be posted on the .Org) Have fun and lets us know on how really great the X-Plane Simulator really is. Stephen Dutton X-Plane Reviews Note! to sign up as a member then use the Account link : 1st August 2014 Copyright©2014:X-Plane Reviews
  7. 3 points
    My Favorite Review (probably because I'm just a C206 freak) is the CT206H Turbo Stationair review. Located Here: Awesome Detail, great layout and the amount of detail in the pictures. Very good! I really enjoyed reading the play-by-play of the flight. It was very well put together. I really appreciate it when you bring up every slightest detail in the product you are reviewing. I would have never known* that the GPS530 was in a different folder! Giving us the history of the aircraft, as well as specs,and many, many pictures just put icing on the cake. When it comes to detail, you got it for your reviews! In the CT206H Review, you went all the way to awesome when you noted this: That was a cool fact that I would have never known. Carena *Now I do not own the C206 since I have v9. But I am a C206 fan, and I wanted to look at it more for information purposes. I do, however own other Carenado Aircraft. I was impressed that you took careful note of the navigational details of the flight. Examples are: "....and track North East until I was 17nm past to a final 180º track back to RWY 24 at 1200ft." "Using the DIR (Direct) mode on the GNS530 put me on a direct course with the fix, and then when close to NEGEL I did another DIR direct back to EICK and RWY 35...." Of course, the actual play-by-play was not vital information for us who do not fly that same route, but explaining the reasons why you did what you did, I found to be good information for owners of the aircraft to know to help them better know the GPS and IFR equipment of the airplane. I found it quite adventurous reading the play-by-play of the review's flight. I do think that this review fits the bill for the best. It's a great review for a great plane. Over all, I believe that this is my favorite review. I applaud you for the detail, adventure (of the flight) and the layout of the review. Tha onli thang i fownd rong was that u speld "sumery*" rong. Thanks for the great reviews my friend! Toby Rice P.S. I have seen some good posts on this thread. I hope mine (as from my heart as it is) is "up to snuff" for one of those addons you are offering. If I win, I will donate the aircraft to a pilot of an airline of AeroFlight Alliance, through a contest.
  8. 3 points
    Hi X-PlaneReviews, congratulations on your 1st anniversary celebrating a year of great reviews. My favorite review… I would put my favorite as the 757 review, very well-done, but because I don't own the 757 in my hangar, my favorite review has to be the Carenado C208B Caravan/Cargomaster reviews. Awesome review, it made a great impression of the aircraft on me, after reading I went to buy a copy of my own. Keep up the good work X-PlaneReviews, and if I win I hope to win the 757!
  9. 2 points
    Aircraft Review : Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor After the huge success of the late 1950's and throughout the 1960's for the Boeing Commercial Airplane's Company with their Boeing 707/727/737 and Widebodied Boeing 747 aircraft, it was always going to be a challenge for Boeing and keep their lead in the aviation production business to develop and create the next advanced series of passenger jets. Other manufacturers went down the Twin-Aisle three-engined designs that was signified by the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and the Lockhead L-1011 Tristar. Originally Boeing with the code-named 7X7 looked to be going down that route of three engine design, but the Airbus A300 from Europe changed the design to the more common current layout with Twin-Aisle, Twin-Engined aircraft as engine design and power had now progressed to allow big twins to have the power and range over their three engined counterparts in that now highly competitive mid-medium to large-size, long-range market. Still Boeing backed its card hand both ways, not only announcing the Boeing 767 as their Twin-Engine Design to cover the Twin-Aisle market, but to also build a Single-Aisle aircraft in the Boeing 757 code-named 7N7, and both aircraft have a commonality design that was shared over the two different types of airframes, in the thinking that airlines would buy and operate both types with a single commonality rating with a small conversion to the larger Boeing 767. Three variants of the Boeing 767 were planned: a 767-100 with 190 seats, a 767-200 with 210 seats, and a trijet 767MR/LR version with 200 seats intended for intercontinental routes. The 767MR/LR was subsequently renamed 777 for differentiation purposes which was when finally launched a vastly different aircraft for a different market. The prototype Boeing 767 aircraft, registered N767BA and equipped with JT9D turbofans, rolled out on August 4, 1981. By this time, the 767 program had accumulated 173 firm orders from 17 customers, including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Britannia Airways, Transbrasil, and Trans World Airlines (TWA). On September 26, 1981, the prototype took its maiden flight under the command of company test pilots Tommy Edmonds, Lew Wallick, and John Brit. This version in the FlightFactor/StepToSky release is the The 767-300ER, the extended-range version of the 767-300. Which entered service with American Airlines in 1988. The type's increased range was made possible by greater fuel tankage and a higher MTOW of 407,000 lb (185,000 kg). Design improvements allowed the available MTOW to increase to 412,000 lb (187,000 kg) by 1993. Power is provided by Pratt & Whitney PW4000, General Electric CF6, or Rolls-Royce RB211 engines. This aircraft is the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 version. FlightFactor/StepToSky FlightFactor and Roman Berezin has no need of introduction for most fliers in X-Plane Simulation. Their Boeing 777 WorldLiner and Boeing 757 Series have made them the very best of the Boeing designed (and official product) available for X-Plane. Their foray into Airbus territory with their Airbus A350-900 also shows the design group's versatility. Here with the Boeing 767-300ER FlightFactor still uses the talents of avionics designer Phillipp Munzel, but are also now joined by StepToSky designers Denis Maslov and Alexander Khudekov, but the full development team is thirteen highly specialised individuals coming together to create this highly developed iconic aircraft the.... Boeing 767-300ER Review You couldn't cover every aspect of this review with a simple walkaround the aircraft and point to point flight like I usually write, because different points of the flying pointed to different areas to be explored. So this review covers three sector flights, not the quite Golden Triangle of some of the busiest air routes in the world between BNE-Brisbane (Queensland) to ADL- Adelaide (South Australia) to SYD - Sydney (New South Wales) and finally back to BNE.... MEL - Melbourne (Victoria) missed out because I wanted the longer stretch sector to Adelaide and the longer one back to SYD. When in service (All Boeing 767 aircraft have only earlier this year have been retired by QF Qantas) in the past three decades with Qantas these routes were its main service points (and also PER-Perth) and I have flown on a lot of flights on this aircraft over these routes. So there is a little mixture in the look of some images in this review here as they are taken not in order as I usually do, but overall throughout the three distinct flying sectors. External There is a distinctly different feel to the Boeing 767, yes it looks like FF's Boeing 757 and B777 series aircraft and that design feel is certainly strongly still prominent. But there is a different technique at work here in the way the aircraft's outer-skins are presented. The design of the fuselage is simply exemplary, but what you are looking at is in fact two fuselage's in objects. The usual standard inner version, but now also another object fuselage built over it. This outer object creates a brilliant shine over the aircraft (a sort of holy grail in X-Plane) and gives you (another X-Plane holy grail) great chrome surfaces. These reflective chrome areas are noticeable around the inner front wing surfaces and in the front areas of the engine inlet cowling surfaces. Certainly static images do not give these reflections a good representation of their quality and shininess, but they are very, very good. Externally the aircraft is excellent, how much detail do you want? how much more can you include in small detailing details? To highlight the sort of detailing you have here we will focus on an area, which is the wings and undercarriage (to cover every detail would take a small manual). leading edge and trailing edge wing design is excellent, fully detailed and animated. The B767 uses a unique inner flap arrangement called a "Hinged Beam Four Bar Linkage" with Fowler flap, because of the interference of a drag problem the linkage has a shallow but wide fairing which was small enough to allow it to fix the drag problems. A variation was used on the Boeing 777 in the "upsidedown/upright four bar linkage" flap system. The Boeing 767 wings are swept at 31.5 degrees and optimized for a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 (533 mph or 858 km/h). Each wing features a supercritical cross-section and is equipped with six-panel leading edge slats, leading single-and double-slotted flaps, inboard and outboard ailerons, and six spoilers. Inner wing detailing is overwhelming, only when the wing is fully extended do you get the full detailing shown, amazing detail is what you get for your money today. The B767 here is one of the best yet. As is the undercarriage design, complex and fully animated you get every link, pipe, nut and bolt in perfect harmony, it is simply a miniature version of the real gear system, but the real aspect of this undercarriage quality is in the motion of their working sum of parts, put the aircraft down in a heavy side wind and you see the whole system working to its maximum, the gear compresses and wheels work with the tarmac, and even the Hydraulic piping will flex and move to the gear movement. You can spend hours with replays watching the motions in action. So external design is extraordinary good, every fuselage join, rivet, and body construction is perfectly realized, smaller items like pitot tubes, aerials, rudder and flap joints are all there to look for and see, only slight blemish is the front strut lights can shine through the doors, which is common theme with most X-Plane aircraft (noting a Laminar Research issue and not a developers one). There is the choice between the old original straight edge wing design and the newer upturned Aviation Partners blended winglets. Internal Internally it is a quick glance left into the cockpit, but let us have a look at the cabin first. Two class cabin in five across in two - one - two first/business and seven across two - three - two in the main economy section, all blue seating is very 80's in seating design. Cabin is well designed and laid out, the fittings look the period that the aircraft was built in and the overhead lockers are tiny compared to the huge bins we have today. Overall the cabin is excellent. Cabin has "Dynamic windows" (shades) that open and close to the angle of the sun like on the FF B757, but here you have the option of turning them off (thank you), for the windowhuggers the view out is excellent, early versions of the FF B767 had very dark orange opacity window view, but thankfully for the release they have been made a lot clearer and more enjoyable. Cockpit first look. The cockpit experience is astounding, this aircraft is not fully "cold and dark" because it is waiting for a transition crew to take it on to Adelaide. The surrounding cockpit does feel different, but sit in the captains seat and it all suddenly becomes very familiar. If you already have the FlightFactor Boeing 757 Series you will find this view and all the controls, knobs and switchgear just like home, everything is the same and the only changes are the ones you can't see which is the aircraft's weights, fuel loads and fuel burn, all round the aircraft is of course heavier than its cousin in 99790 kg (220,000 lb) for the Boeing 757 which has a Max - takeoff weight to the higher 179168 kg (395,000 lbs) GTW for the Boeing 767-300ER. From a pilots instrument perspective this is not a complicated aircraft, there are only the same basic tools that you would find on even a regional turboprop aircraft. It is in the setting up detail that makes this aircraft a professional machine. This aircraft had some of the early glass style cockpits, not the full sized panels you see today, but the early style cathode ray tube (CRT) designs. These screens were and are fitted here usually two CRT's and the top smaller one is for the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and lower CRT is is for the MAP/NAV display. Two more larger CRT's cover the aircraft's performance and status are situated mid-panel. The rest of the instruments are standard clockwork gauges and dials. We will get a better understanding of the PFD/NAV displays when flying, so I will pass over them for now. But the standard gauges and dials are on the Pilot's/Captain's side far left is the main Airspeed dial (KNOTS/MACH) combined and below is the Radio Distance Magnetic Indicator (RDMI) that shows DME-VOR/ADF distances and with dual needles display (switchable). Right of the CRT's is the "Autoland Status" which can be switched to Auto1/Auto2/Manual on the OHP. Below is the Altitude indicator with barometric settings. Lower is the Vertical Speed Indicator from 0 - 6000fpm, bottom is the timer/clock. Centre are three standby/backup dials in Artificial Horizon, Airspeed dial and Altitude indicator. Autobrake setting knob is here as well. First officer right side position has exactly the same instrument layout, but there are a few extra dials and displays in a "Brake Pressure" dial, TAS/Cº display, Gear up/down lever, Flap position display (1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 degrees) and engine thrust parameter limits selection panel (also known as "thrust management". As noted the panel looks complicated but it is really quite a simple layout. Autopilot (AP) is very standard Boeing, so if you have flown any Boeing flightdecks then you would be very familiar with the layout, like the B757 each end of the AP is a frequency setting (VOR 1/NAV 1) left and VOR2/NAV2 right) both CRS (Course) setting knob are here as well. There is slight (very slight) differences on the OHP (OverHead Panel), but the familiarity aspect is very strong. All areas on this FlightFactor aircraft are covered in systems and switchgear, the panel is very comprehensive in detail. Main panels are Electrical, APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), Hydraulics, Electronic Engine Control (EEC), Inertial reference, Oxygen, heating (external and internal), Air-Conditioning, Bleed and Pneumatic air, Cooling and anti-ice, call panel, Fuel and aircraft lighting. Pedestal (or Aislestand) is well laid out as well, The central Throttle (engine reverse), Stab trim, flap lever, speed brake lever of course dominate the panel, The two start/cutoff fuel control switches are buried at the rear of the throttle set. EFIS (electronic Flight Instrument System) panels are available for both Captain/First Officer and again a replication and use of exactly the same units on the B757. Engine, Cargo and APU fire controls and main radio communications panels are mid-section, rear is the ADF/NDB frequency dials and that difficult to find VOR1/ILS frequency radio set (click lower knob to activate). far rear is your Aileron/rudder trim wheels/knob. There is a right side rear service panel, that is for observers and monitoring general aircraft systems. MCDU and Flightplanning MCDU (Multipurpose Control Display Unit) in the Boeing 767-300ER is one of the best in X-Plane. Bulletproof and well designed, you can easily programme in your aircraft's operating parameter's and route planning. Both Captain/First Officer MCDU's pop out for ease of use and are independent of each other. You can use it on your iPad as well and there is comprehensive instructions provided on the way to connect X-Plane to your iPad or if you already have that installed for the B757 system, the same one will work here also. Setting up the route is very easy, select your departure (YBBN) and arrival (YPAD) airports, select your RWY 19 and SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and "Trans" point in my case LARAVALE "LAV", sometimes you may be required to select from a selection of NAV-AIDS to select the right one is to look at the co-ordinates. Then input your route waypoints and I tend to go for DME-VOR and NDB fixes for ease of input and distance measuring. On ARR (Arrival) you select RWY23 your STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) which is the opposite of your SID and here it is "BLACK SIX" (A note is that I usually have to edit a STAR section to get the best approach, shouldn't have to, but I usually do?), when done then EXEC or activate the FlightPlan, you can save your route and also use flightplans you created in the FF B757 by moving them to the Plugins/767Avionics/routes file (the routes are in the same place on the B757). You can check your route by in the EFIS select PLN mode for the NAV/MAP display and press "SELECT" R6 Key to move down the list. To get the best performance out of these aircraft it comes down to the way you programme and set up the aircraft with weights and balances, you get help of course which we will come to in a minute. But the professional serious pilots of you out there know the good nitty gritty is in the minor details of flight planning. To show the serious depth of programming in performance with the FF Boeing 767 it is how much detail is now available for you. It is certainly important to set up your aircraft's weights and fuel before doing the final calculations in the FMC (Flight Management Computer), if not it can alter your flightplan and it will need re-editing to fit in the new settings, worse it can ruin a STAR approach and you will need for serious editing to get the correct flow to lineup with the runway. But get the W&F numbers right and there is bounty of information at your disposal. One such area is the option of using "ECON" performance. this data will fly the aircraft at the best "Economy" performance to save fuel and give you the information covering the best Climb (CLB), Cruise (CRU) and Descend (DES) and best flight altitude and speeds, transitional speeds and it is clever stuff. Positional reports (even when sitting at the gate!) and Progress data is all at your disposal and is updated right to the conclusion of the flight. But it is in the real details of the FMC that is excellent, the small things that make this FMC certainly the very best one out there in X-Plane Weather and terrain radars are not new, but this version is more adjustable and more powerful than the standard X-Plane version, you can test the unit as well to see if it is active and adjust the beam up or down to to get the best perspective that you require more on them later. Menus Another FlightFactor aircraft and another different Menu design. But this is a better version than the X-Plane menu bar approach of the B757, as this B767 version is based around the iPad or Electronic Flight Bag as many are called. You select the iPad by the smaller version in a pocket on the left of the Captain's position, and it pops up on the top right of your screen, X-Plane menu and key access (recommended) can also be used. The iPad can be moved around the screen but be careful as it can disconnect you from the cockpit controls unless when moved you re-click on the cockpit area background. The iPad has seven different tabs in : General - Ground - Airplane - Failures - Avionics - About and PA (Passenger Announcements) Main tab is "General". This tab selects all the general settings of the aircraft to select more realism or just general flying details. Items you can selects are: High challenge – sets the frequency of custom failures (none, low, high) Real limits – set the structural limits of the aircraft Real time – set the time periods needed for some physical processes f/o in control – the pilots default position is the right seat Throttles block – sets the special throttle block option Advanced windshear – sets the windshear simulation so it can appear in specific weather conditions Mouse wheel – alternates between 4 modes of mouse wheel usage (zoom, rotate, click-rotate, click-rotate-click) Interflight data – sets the option to remember data between different flights (e.g. oil qty, oxygen qty and others) Charts on – turns on the chart on yoke option (read bellow) Hide yokes – hides the yokes Realistic sound – sets the volumes of in-cockpit systems to realistic levels (instead of a mode familiar sim levels) Real weather radar – alternates between a familiar full square radar and a realistic tilt-level based system All settings and preferences can be saved, which is a huge bonus when resetting up for a new flight. Main aircraft volume can also be adjusted here as well. Second tab is "Ground". Ground is split into two areas upper for external operations and lower for aircraft weight and balance management. This is a very comprehensive tab, with a lot of settings and configurations. You have a lot of ground support vehicles, stairs, buses, fuel truck, de-ice truck, Air Start Unit (ASU), Loader (LSU) and gate configuration to park at a airbridge. On early FlightFactor aircraft these ground vehicles were really good, but now they are really feeling their age. They actually now look odd at western airports as they seem more eastern European in design, X-Plane has moved on with more current designs and the de-ice truck looks a little hokey... You can save and recall your favorite support vehicles configuration. Push back is built in here and we will get to that in a moment. Ground "Maintenance" is needed to reset the interflight data – oxygen and hydralic fluid quantities, starter usage counters etc. To make it easier the (very) top of the overhead panel there is a special flight counter which tells you how many flight have passed from the last maintenance. The lower panel is a very comprehensive way to set up the aircraft. You can set up your "passenger load", "Cargo" and "Fuel Weight". and you get the final weight and balance numbers to reflect your choices. CoG (Centre of Gravity) can be set automatically, but I found it to biased to the rear and making the aircraft nose light? The fuel truck has to connected to load in fuel, but when ready if you push the "LOAD/UNLOAD" button the aircraft will load up to your preferences. This can take a little time and with a lot of noise going on behind you, but it is very authentic. If you want to just change the cargo and passenger loads you can just do that by pressing the "RETOUCH LOAD" button. But there was one slightly annoying thing with this arrangement. And that if you are not resetting the aircraft from "cold" then you have to "UNLOAD" everything in passengers and cargo (or wait ten minutes) before you can then load up your new flight preferences and wait another ten minutes while everything is reloaded that is all going on board, meanwhile you can't finish programming the MCDU/FMC data because the final weights are not yet completed? It is I'll go and get a cup of coffee time while you are doing all this unloading and reloading business. In normal arrival and departing conditions it is fine, but in starting a new simulation it is a bit of a waiting game... All custom weights and balances preferences can be saved and recalled. But it is a very powerful setup system, and better than past FF aircraft arrangements. Next menu tab is the "Airplane" menu This menu selects the aircraft items. On the left is the option of the movable cabin window blinds we mentioned and the option of standard wing tips or the newer winglets... Either choice is great, and the detail on the non-winglet version is still to a high quality. Three menu selections covers the "Wingflex" and this does not need to be set very high as it will be a little to flexible, only a small amount on the left is recommended, "Reflections" again you don't need a lot of glossy reflections as it looks odd with a sheen across your screen that looks unnatural at mid to high settings. "Effects" can be set low as well. All settings can be saved and are configured the same the next time you load up the aircraft. Lower panel is the aircraft doors. spot click all passenger and cargo doors including that small lower cargo hold for oversized and last minute baggage. This Boeing 767 has a great upward sliding door animation that is extremely authentic. small great touchs that make this aircraft really great. Next tab is "Failures". As you use the aircraft it will start to produce failures that have to be rectified via the "Maintenance" selection... I didn't clock up enough brownie points to set this in motion... Next is "Avionics" Another big tab of settings, but at this point the dark ones noted here are not yet functional. EADI options include (PFD), EHSI (ND) and EICAS displays options. EADI Airspeed tape – this will set the airspeed tape in the EADI (PFD) FMA on Top – this will set the FMA on TOP for the airspeed tape. This options is hard connected to the airspeed tape options Integrated cue FD – this will alternate between the integrated cue flight director and the crosshair FD Advanced radio altitude alerts – this set the advanced RA alerts Round Dial RA – this set the round dial RA ILS deviation warning – this sets the ILS deviation warning Rising runway – this sets the rising runway option Trend vector – this sets the trend vector option on the airspeed tape (requires the airspeed tape option to operate) EHSI Modern EFIS panel – sets the EFIS panel type (with or without TERR and some other options). Automatically set the EGPWS type Heading up map – enables the heading up map TAS and GS – sets the true airspeed and ground speed readouts ADF pointers – sets the ADF pointers Range arcs – enabled the range arcs Digital wing bearing – enables the wing bearing indicator EICAS FF display – enabled the fuel flow readouts APU oil qty display – enables the APU oil quantity readout Hydraulic pressure – enables the hydraulic press readouts APU RPM – enables the APU RPM readout BULK temperature – enables the bulk cargo compartment temperature readout Brake temperature – enables the bake temperature readout and warning boxes Tire pressure – enables the tire pressure indication PIP FMS This setting will alternate between the classical style FMS and the newer PIP type. See the FCOM for more detail EGPWS – this will alternate between the old style enhanced GPWS system which generates the warning text and has only the standard look-ahead display and a newer system which also has the peaks mode. Lots of detail and settings available, you can see why you need time on the airframe to get the best settings configured to your own perspective. In the "About" tab everyone takes a well earned bow, it take a lot of talented people to create a modern X-Plane aircraft in today's highly detailed simulation world... This is were your money goes. The last tab is the "PA" (Passenger Announcements) Released on the FF Boeing 757 series, these are quality (meaning very long) announcements, which are great to use and use them a lot I do. Just watch you are not disconnected to the aircraft when you select the tab, and you can kill an announcement or change the announcement volume by the knob on the radio panel. Checklists and Tutorial The Checklist and Tutorial menus are not on the iPad, but still like the system on the B757 which is on the X-Plane/plugin menu bar. But nothing is missing here and very good they are. You get a full startup and flight checklists that turn green when items are completed, and auto start functions are here as well and a complete reset page to clear the checklists for a new flight... four tabs represent: Normal - Procedures - Operational - Resets. Flying the FlightFactor - SteptoSky Boeing 767-300ER You would think that starting up a huge airliner would be a long procedural business, in fact it is quite the opposite. Warning beacons on (red), main fuel pumps on, Cabin Air-Conditioning off (for engine bleed) and to note I am using the ground start air-compressor not the on board APU. Then select Ground (GND) start and finally the "Engine Start" switch to either 1 or 2, I need at least one engine running to take over from the GPU external power. The centre MFD panel "Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System" (EICAS) will come alive on the start up engine, let N2 build to 25% and then flip in the "Fuel Control" (flow) switch and the engine will then complete the startup process to idle. When both engines are running then clean up the bleed/Air-Con and turn on the aircraft's engine power supply (DC) and disconnect the external GPU and High-Pressure Units. Startup sounds are extremely good and APU and air-conditioning sounds are constant in the aircraft, and it is weird when you finally shut down the aircraft later on how quiet or noisy it actually is. The pushback truck is built in and a very good one it is... Select push or pull and let off the brakes to move. You have full throttle and yaw control if you use the keys or a joystick and throttle system, so placing the aircraft correctly for departure is easy. Only slight visual issue is the truck does not fully turn on the front gear, so the aircraft tends to drag the truck sideways? But the turning wheels on the PB truck are a nice touch. YBBN - YPAD On the taxiways the aircraft is nice to manoeuvre around but watch that length it is a big aircraft on tight taxiways and hard turns, however the perfect taxi speed is easily found... anyway you are to busy enjoying the "PA" announcements to the passengers. ATC clearance and 15º flap selected and your rolling by pressing the THR (Thrust button), on rotate Flaps up a notch and gear up, switching to SPD and Autopilot (AP) on and LNAV/VNAV are selected. The aircraft has plenty of power and I have a high takeoff weight, so climbing above 2000fpm is not a problem for this aircraft. Your friend is the "Thrust Mode Management" panel in setting TO/GA, CLB, CON, CRZ and DERATE 1 & 2. If you programmed the MCDU correctly the Thrust Management will control your engines for the maximum performance and you certainly do feel the differences. The sheer amount of information in route data and engine data available to you is extraordinary. PROGRESS page gives you perfect updates on the route and DIRECT TO is available when required. Finally at cruise you can breath out and relax. One major thing that you feel is the absolute complete environment of this Boeing 767-300ER. The way you look through those lovely port-holed windows but mostly via the aural connection of the aircraft. I have flown on many aircraft and on the B767 many times and this aircraft is the one that really captures that feeling and the very sounds like the real aircraft... it sends goosebumps up your spine in the reality of it all. I have not been a big fan of FF external sounds (very clicky), but with the "realistic sounds" option on they are a lot better here. but internally they are excellent. Only slight annoyance is still that FF cabin communication "pinging" that you can't seem to keep happy. So is the FF B767 different from the FFB757? From the cockpit yes it does even though the panel layout is the same, and it is a very different aircraft in many respects, more depth and the FF B757 was very good there. The B757 feels darker and far older than the brighter surrounds of the lovely B767 cockpit. It is 2h 30min flightime between BNE to ADL, but it felt longer with the "real time" option on, and yet the clock is right. Pretty soon you are coming over the Adelaide Hill's on the "Black" STAR approach path to RWY 23. FF created the best aircraft noises and this B767 does not disappoint on landing, throttle changes are excellent and wind noise with gear extraction is amazingly realistic, almost distractingly so, you are working hard on the pre-landing procedures and these great sounds are surrounding you with detail... realism par excellence. You are working hard but the aircraft delivers, one natural thing is that the Boeing 767-300ER is just a very nice aircraft to fly, perfectly balanced and you love being at the controls... Landing sounds are exceptional, thrust reverse can be set up so your add-on throttle will allow you to control the amount of thrust you need to stop, but pull the thrust back and close the doors before rubbing off to much speed as you will lose too much momentum as the reset period to forward thrust is quite high, if you want a bit more realism I recommend SimCoders free "HeadShake", but use it sparingly and at minimum settings. Back on the ground and you clean the aircraft up and say goodbye to the passengers, the B767 has such a great visual impact in X-Plane, just a damn nice aircraft. At Gate 14L the unloading of the aircraft works for me, but while the noise is going on behind me the reloading was now starting to start and I am working hard to finish off the reprogramming the MCDU for the next sector to SYD (Sydney), a top up with fuel is also needed but turnaround time is 45 minutes and you have a lot of work to get through... YPAD - YSSY Departure from YPAD is via RWY 23 and this is a great opportunity to test out the terrain radar which is a major feature and independent of the standard X-Plane version. The system notes the high ground to the left of the aircraft, and the radar in the nose is adjustable up or down to give you the feedback you want, the sweep of the radar beam on the CRT is really well done and is highly realistic. There is one notable aspect in that the PFD instrument has no Altitude or V/S tape, there is the speed tape but you are looking to use the standard clockwork dials for the Altitude and V/S information. This EHSI (Electrical Horizontal Situation Indicator) is a little disconcerting at first as you are so used to having both items fore and centre, but you do get used to it and it makes the display less busy to use, there is still a wealth of data and information in there and the Localizer deviation scale and pointer (Horizontal) and Glideslope deviation scale and pointer (vertical) still appear on landing. Pitch, and Rate of Roll displays are excellent as is the Flight Director cues. Lower MAP/NAV screen is highly configurable from the EFIS (electronic Flight Instrument System) panels and have all modes including VOR, APP (Approach),MAP and PLAN, switchable to the ROSE mode for heading flying. The display will also show the above Terrain/Weather displays. Weather On the face of the displays the Weather radar looks like the current default X-Plane version, but it is not. This weather radar is a totally new thing in X-Plane all together. It creates extrapolated 3D weather data and shows cross-sections using tilt and gain. Also shows windshear and turbulence visual data. It is controlled by "weather Radar" panel on the pedestal and this negative and positive look down feature into the weather is excellent. Rain and wind effects are very good, the raindrops drip realistically down the window and then go horizontal as the speed grows, the wipers will clear away the drops and only have them reappear as the wiper moves past and returns. Combined with the radar you get a great all round poor weather conditions till you break through the cloud ceiling and altitude. Route information to YSSY is again top notch. Note the T/D (Top of Descent) point which I found exactly spot on for my descent speed of -2000fpm. One sector to go at YSSY back to BNE and it was another offload... reload and re-programming the MCDU and weights and balances for the lighter load and shorter distance flight back to Queensland. YSSY - YBBN Enroute you can can access pages within pages of data. Helpful is "Wind Forecasts" for different wind altitudes, and that wind data is also translated to the flight PROGRESS (page 2) data. Aircraft cruise (CRZ) ECOM data (page 2) is also available. So you can see that the correct programming of the MCDU is critical in many areas of flight for performance and visual data, this is one very intelligent aircraft. that flies to very specific inputs and weights and balances. We are almost around the triangle and landing back in Brisbane is only a 20min away, and as the light is falling, let us look at the aircraft's lighting. Lighting FlightFactor was one of the pioneers of great internal aircraft lighting and the Boeing 767 here is very good. The only odd visual note is that the panel is more yellowish than the AP panel. It does give it a different visual look and you can certainly find that right point for having limited reflections for takeoff and landing in the dark in four different lighting adjustment knobs. On saying that if you turn up the lighting inside the cockpit the window reflections are excellent and highly realistic. Overhead in two forward spot (chart lights) and two rear main (Storm) lighting fills the cabin with great working light in flight or setting up on the ground. Power overhead (OVHD) lighting gives you full cockpit illumination. Rear Cabin is brightly lit and very realistic, feels very good and adjustable too. External lighting is slightly compromised by Laminar Research's blobby v10.45 lighting, but with HDR on you have a lot of different lighting tools at your disposal. Night view from the cockpit is amazingly realistic, your in the zone and to deep into your landing procedures to look out of the windows, you work hard in here, but the feedback and realism gives you an adrenaline rush... Finals and the cockpit again fills with the huge noise of rushing winds and gear down lights. Forward lighting is very good and the runway is well illuminated. You have three sets of turnoff lighting and with the main, taxi and turnoff lights running you light up the whole area around the cockpit... The view for taxiing is excellent and the lighting is powerful in selecting the right line around tight taxiway turns. There is excellent wing/Ice lighting, but a strange deal on the tail logo light. There is a logo button, but the tail lights don't work? Then on the ground turn on the wing lighting and it comes on, turn off the wing lighting and the logo stays on? weird? It is not centre either on the logo... Three sectors and four ports and it is a big day flying, no doubt the Boeing 767-300ER is one challenging but hugely rewarding aircraft. Liveries You get (noted as "Free") liveries, including: American Airlines, Air France, Garuda Indonesia, British Airways, Star Alliance Lufthansa (a strange choice) and Canadian Westjet. There are also nine livery packs available at $US10.00 per pack, noted are: Asia 1 & Asia 2, Europe 1, Europe 2 & Europe 3, Middle East, North American, Oceania and South America, that is altogether over 100 + liveries for the aircraft... Summary The basic conclusion to this Boeing 767-300ER Professional is that in every way and every department it is a step forward in X-Plane simulation. Three areas stand out though, the sheer depth and complexity of the aircraft and its systems, it is certainly another level again and the amount of data you have at your disposal is breathtaking. The aircraft's design quality and the weather (Radar and Terrain), over gloss and chrome features are other stand out features. Third is with all this huge amount of detail, design and the sheer amount of code that must be in the aircraft and yet.... yet it is so frame-rate friendly, so light on your computer, that alone is a significant amount of genius. Negatives... minor but there are a few niggles, It takes a long time to set up for flight, there is a lot of inputting and detailed areas to cover, so it is not a jump in and fly aircraft by any standards, but creating routes and saving them can really help in reprogramming the MCDU, but your work is certainly cut out in there. The ground vehicles are looking a bit out of date and wrong in a modern airport context, a bit 60's Eastern Bloc. That cabin crew constant communication "pinging" drives you mental, yes you are required to satisfy its needs but a lot of "pinging" 500ft out from landing it is more like "just shut up and sit down" The biggest point to make is that many uses will note that the Boeing 757 has everything the Boeing 767 has and certainly why bother as the cockpit is the same anyway. That is like saying here that my brother or sister is the same as me because they come from the same parents. They are totally different aircraft, and in fact the familiarity is actually a bonus as you don't need to relearn that side of procedural process, but in every other way, in feel, in use and certainly in the depth of the simulation they are quite different aircraft, and you will fly them for different reasons. Overall it is the feeling that no aircraft comes closer to the real aircraft in feel and sounds than this one does, start it up and fly, and your memories come flooding back of being on the real machine, up there high... yes it is that realistic. The best heavy aircraft in simulation in X-Plane, well that is a big call for this excellent Boeing 767-300ER, but certainly it again raises the standards to another level again in every area, it is not in the first look that it really delivers but in the minute detailing of systems and programming and flight performance, in that area it is simply outstanding. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor is NOW! Available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 767-300ER Professional Price is US$64.95 Features Flexible Options A very flexible architecture : You chose the set up Different options for many avionics instruments including two types of FMC. Options to composite your own EICAS, EADI and EHSI displays. Most of the options included in the real 767 Checklists and 'Autohelper' Full electronic interactive checklist with automatic action detection. Automatic mode 'Helper' who performs all the actions for you, you just CHECK the items. A tutorial which shows the user what to do and when. Perfected Flight model Accurate flight model, as close as it gets to real performance. Tested by real pilots and translated to X-Plane A dynamic and customizable center of gravity that depends on actual cargo and passenger load Fully Functional Professional FMS and EFIS System Custom Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems. Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures from updatable database. VNAV-managed climbs and descends. Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation. Two independent analogue instrument sets for captain and first officer. Two independently simulated EFIS (EADI/EHSI configuration) for captain and first officer. Dual-FMS with two independently working CDUs. Working instrument comparators. Triple IRS and triple symbol generator systems with realistic instrument source switching. Dual air-data computers with custom failure modes and source switching. Independent 2 nav and an ils recievers. Realistic inertial, radio and GPS position updating, you can see the individual inaccuracies of those systems. Triple-channel autopilot with realistic dependencies. Fail operational and fail passive auto land with mode degradations based on system failures. Load company routes generated by Professional FlightPlanner X (or other compatible programs) directly into the FMC. FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the Retina iPad. Custom Systems and Failure model Detailed and deep simulation of almost every system in the real aircraft. Custom air and pressure system. Electrical system with all AC and DC busses modeled - see which system depends on which bus. Hydraulic system that uses a little fluid when treated correctly and a lot of fluid if used incorrectly. Multistage custom failure system - over 200 more failures than X-Plane. Ability to fix failure by following proper procedure. Persistent failure and maintenance system. Aircraft wear and misuse will carry over to your next flight. Warning system and radars Fully functional GPWS with all the modes the real plane has. Fully functional terrain radar, with custom database (just like the real plane), a look-ahead warning system and many other features. Weather radar that works like the real thing. Including tilt and gain functions, ground clutter, turbulence detection and windshear prediction. 3D Modeling Accurate dimensions based on exterior drawings provided by Boeing. Very detailed exterior modelling with high resolution textures. Very high resolution 3D cockpit with every switch functional. Spatial rain simulation with high detail. Very detailed passenger cabin graphics including galleys. Additional graphic features: real working oxygen masks both in cockpit and cabin, dynamic window blinds that react to sunlight etc. New and improved wingflex. Special effects Multilayer dynamic reflections on all glass objects. Reflective metal and plastic objects in the cockpit. Glossy exterior that reflects the outside. XP weather enhancements like custom windshear. ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download aircraft file size is 2.27gb - Liveries 426.20mb. Installed file size is 2.6gb Authorisation key is required, and I highly recommend a desktop startup when Key activation is complete. Notes: You will need a lot of time to programme the aircraft before actually flying it. Documents : Both a Official Boeing B767 Operating Manual and FlightFactor aircraft manual and Remote CDU set up guide (iPad). I also recommend to download this: B767_Flightdeck_and_Avionics guide 14.6mb for a more quicker overview than the extensive official manual. B767_Flightdeck_and_Avionics.pdf Requirements : X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode. Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.9+ or Linux 14.04 LTS or compatible. 64bit mode 1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended. 3Gb+ VRAM Preferred (Note aircraft is exceptionally good on framerate, playback is current with similar sized aircraft and features) ______________________________________________________________________ FlightFactor Developer Support : FlightFactor 767 Professional ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 12th December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake Scenery or Aircraft - YBBN - Brisbane International by tdg (YBBN - Brisbane Airport 1.0 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - Free - YPAD - Adelaide International by Chris K (ISDG) (YPAD Adelaide Airport Photo Scenery 1.31 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - Free - Adelaide City Scenery by Chris K (YPPF Parafield Airport and Adelaide City Photoreal) - Free
  10. 2 points
    Aircraft Updates : Airbus A319 and 321 by Toliss A few days ago Toliss released updates for both A319 and A321, changing and improving many things in the aircraft. Systems were the main focus, adding new features and usabilities. Let's check out what changed. Airbus A319 v1.4 by Toliss The A319 is ToliSS's first add-on for X-Plane 11, which was released in early 2018. This update brought some improvements for the aircraft, like the addition of the Secondary Flight Plan, Fix Info page and a complete rework of the flight path. This last feature resulted in a more accurate computed path. The A319 received other new features which made the aircraft even more realistic. The most noticeable are the cockpit door, which can be opened now, and the addition of a standby whisky compass. This compass is very well made, giving you now the option to show or hide it. Another great change was the ISCS, it was reorganized to be more intuitive. Now you can change the performance calculator between the Active and Secondary, as well as use TOGA thrust. Most people that own the A319 already used the ToteDeMacs textures, so Toliss decided to include them as default in the new version. They are pretty nice, even though I prefer using a grey cockpit texture replacement which will be linked at the end of the review. The PFD colors were reworked, as well as the landing symbology, increasing realism. Toliss also made a few minor additions and changes. For those who don't use the incredible BSS sounds, Toliss reworked the sound balance for better immersion. Brake pedal function with a single axis is now allowed, Pause at T/D now pauses the simulation one minute before T/D, FD and AP now have smoother behavior in managed descent. Small changes to make your simulation better. Airbus A321 v1.03 by Toliss One of the most popular and awaited add-ons for X-Plane now receives its third update, which includes a few minor improvements to make it a better aircraft. Most of the new features are the same as from the A319, smoother FD and AP, reworked PFD colors and a warning, to prevent you from using Experimental Flight Model. The A321 received a few exclusive features like the Tailstrike Warning, which shows up in the PFD during landing. The Engine EPR indication was improved (IAE engine), as well as many other improvements related to the engines. Summary Toliss proved to be one of the best add-on producers for X-Plane, first with the A319 and now with the longer A321. Updates are very important, they prevent the aircraft from getting outdated, at least buys you more time, and always improves it. Both A319 and A321 both received mostly very similar features and improvements in this update, and even though they weren't big or many, they manage to make the add-on better. Probably the main additions in these updates are for the A319 to reflect the changes on the more modern A321. Opening cockpit door, functional compass, better textures and the systems changes that were were awaited for a while, and the wait was certainly worth it. All these features are very nice and make the overall simulation more enjoyable. Now that Toliss has been around for a good time and proved to have very high-quality products, there is no reason for not having one of these incredible birds in your hangar, they are 100% recommendable. ________________________________________________________ Both Airbus A319 v1.4 and Airbus A321 v1.03 by Toliss are available in the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A319 Price is US$69.00 v1.4 Changelog A319_changelog.txt Airbus A321 Price is US$79.00 v1.03 Changelog A321_changelog.txt ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Update by Bernardo Pierdoná Casa 19th May 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews ToteDeMacs - Grey cockpit mod for A319 and A321 (Threshold) (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)
  11. 2 points
    Hi, I would get the A330, even though the A319 is way better. I don't have the A320, and won't get it in a while. Payware add-ons here are almost 6x more expensive. But I have the A330, which is one of my favorites. If I was you, I would get the A330, because it is different from both A319 and A320, which are very similar. One thing is for sure, you need to buy the BSS sounds, independent of the aircraft. Your simulation will get WAY better.
  12. 2 points
    Aircraft Review : Airbus A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor Of all the battles for supremacy in commercial aviation then nothing is going to compare with the twin engine market. It already has been a ding-dong battle between the Airbus A320 Series and Boeing's 737 Series and between them they have racked up thousands of sales, ongoing now is the next generation in the A320neo and the 737max to battle it out over the next few decades. A size up in aircraft category is also very complicated, as each manufacturer in Airbus and Boeing are both trying to lock in certain sizes in what is known as the "Big Twins" of the market. The Boeing 777 Series in dominating the market in replacing the veritable Boeing 747 has been very successful, but as airlines move away from the large hub and spoke model and back again to the original point to point services, then what was bigger is now not always better. Point to point markets demand very economical and high frequency services and to fit tightly the 200-350 seater markets, known as long and thin. The Airbus A330 filled this market, but its range and now being an old aircraft by today's standards and is also uneconomical, it's problem is that the -200 version has the range at 13,400 km (7,200 nmi) but is in the 250 seat market in a two class layout, the -300 can reach 300 seats but its range is restricted to 11,300 km (6,100 nmi). So one or the other don't fit. Boeing's solution is the 787 Dreamliner in 7,850 nmi (14,500 km; 9,030 mi) for the 250-300 seats with the -800 version and sweet spot 8,300 nmi (15,400 km; 9,550 mi) 280-330 seats with the -900 version. That slots the B787 nicely below the Boeing 777 and the coming 777X and fills the market. For Airbus it has been a two pronged attack to find an aircraft to fit below the A380 and go head to head with the Dreamliner and even the lower hanging fruit of the older 777's. Their solution is the A350-800 with 275-300 seats at 15,300 km (8,260 nmi) and the -900 at 14,350 km (7,750 nmi) with 280-350 seats, and the -1000 to cover the 350 - 370 seat market over the same 14,800 km (7,990 nmi) range which is B777 territory... and to just make sure to fill in all points just below the A350, the A330 will be updated to the neo (New Engine Option) to bring that aircraft up to date and competitive. To change things around and make life interesting the -900 version has been produced first to fill in the gap above the B787-800 and go head to head with the B787-900 and the -1000 version will be next for first flight to go for the B777 replacement sales of the earlier built and well into service aircraft. After the nightmares of the A380 development. Airbus could not want to have any problems in getting the A350 into service and quickly and as efficiently as possible. The timetable was tight, but Airbus in a way played it safe in using the tested, tried and true components from the bigger A380 and not going for a full composite fuselage like Boeing did with the Dreamliner. The results was an almost perfect first flight that was on time and date, and a testing program that ran almost like clockwork, the aircraft received its type certification on 30 September 2014 and the FAA certification on the 12 November 2014, and it is expected to meet its EIS (Entry Into Service) with Qatar Airways due 13th December 2014 with the first commercial service on the Frankfurt - Doha route in mid-Jan 2015. At this point the -1000 version of the A350 with a 15,600 km (8,400 nmi) and the 350-370 seats range is due next as the -800 version has stalled with the A330neo option filling in the gap quicker. Cathay Pacific expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 in February 2016. The biggest battle confronting the A350 XWB is it's in service performance figures. Naturally the A350-900 will go almost head to head with the B787 Dreamliner in many markets, but the Dreamliner has a major advantage in it has a 20% reduction in fuel costs. Take this ANA Seattle-Tokyo leg for example as a 747-400 needs at least 136,000kg (300,000lb) to make that trip. The smaller, leaner 777-300ER needs nearly 100,000kg. But the Dreamliner, the only needs 63,500kg for the same Pacific crossing That is less than half of the B744. Yes they are in some ways different sizes of aircraft but the Dreamliner still has a notable 20% operating cost advantage. And those figures will certainly note the end of the B747's reign once the larger A350-1000 and B787-900 become more prominent around the ramps. The B787 does certainly have an operating cost advantage, but its still weaking 98.3% despatch reliability is going to be Airbus's number one target of the EIS of the A350 and its subsequent in service reliability and more importantly also meeting those high % percentage operational savings will only then mean a full order book or the success of the A350 XWB program. FlightFactor Aero No one doubts the quality of FlightFactor aero aircraft. Their Boeing 777 and 757 aircraft have been hugely successful and clever in the extension of the different variants in the "Extended" packages. The surprise was the change to another manufacturer in European Airbus in their next project which is this Airbus A350 XWB. Another challenge was the fact that Airbus aircraft are very highly intergrated with their Fly-By-Wire and Flight Control Laws, the two Boeing's were very good if not excellent in their flying characteristics, but the Airbus is completely a very different animal and only a few developers can or have been able to duplicate these complex systems for the X-Plane simulator. The best is Torsten Leisk that contributed to the QPAC Airbus A320-232 and Peter Hager's Airbus A380 Series, and here the flight laws and associated airbus fly-by-wire systems have been used in this FlightFactor A350 have been created and enhanced for this next generation of aircraft. In other words you fly the A350 more closer to philosophy and laws of flight than any other Airbus aircraft yet developed for X-Plane. FlightFactor aero have also with this aircraft created a new category or have split their product line into two separate types of aircraft in professional models (i.e. B777 and B757) and now another in the “advanced” version in that pro models have like lighting effects, particles, menus, high HD 3D graphics, textures and totally fully functional cockpits, and the "Adv" versions are noted as not so in depth but are still as hard to fly as the real machines. But in all but most cases here this "Adv" aircraft is still a very in depth simulation and the aircraft delivers more on flight and systems than most other aircraft in this price range and category, in this case you will not or never feel wanting there is something or a lot missing in the operation of the A350-800. Design wise with the aircraft power off the A350 XWB is very well designed and developed. detailing outside and inside is excellent, but I found the modeling slightly dark and more so inside. Airbuses have a very bright but grey corporate look about them and it is hard to get any directional light in here to lift the gloom a little. That is not to take away the excellent design work on show here. It is first rate and the best you can have today in X-Plane. Detailing abounds... look at the ailerons with no hydraulic pressure to support them... they all droop down. Why bother doing that? but this is the sort of detail you have around you, and excellent it all is. A start up will give you standing figures around the aircraft, this gives any ramp a busy feel and is well done. The A350 aircraft is a hard aircraft to model in the fact there is not that much information available except what Airbus gives out with their promotional material, there is no official documents and no in service details to gauge how the aircraft performs or is configured to everyday airline use. Remember FlightFactor would have started this project with even less data than what is available now. In that context they have done remarkably well, but we will have to forgive if in a few areas (and certainly in performance) that the numbers can be slightly off until the official ones start to drip through. Same is to be noted if a few things are missing or slightly wrong with the modelling. On the surface it looks absolutely perfect and very well detailed. Some small items look slightly odd at first in the fact the rear bogies are positioned front down and not rear down as with the B747 hanging undercarriage system. It is correct and so you can be sure if items like this are correct then other details are to. But close up the undercarriage here is surpremely well done, you expect a lot from a design of this price range and the A350 XWB does not disappoint. Powering up the A350 XWB Nothing will really work until you give the aircraft power if you want the full immersion of starting from cold. On the overhead (OH) panel there are two main and two backup power battery buttons. With power supplied you then need to set the ADIRS (Air. Data Inertial Reference System. ) which are three switches top left of the OH panel. Unlike some Airbus (JARDesign) aircraft there is only a short time frame for the ADIRS's to align. You have to tell the ADIRS the current position of the aircraft. This can be done two ways with the easiest by pressing the "Force Align IRS"on the "Options" page on the menus and that will align the aircraft to the its current position and start up the ND-Navigation Display. The second option is to select the FMS (Flight Management System) on the rear of the center console (it pops out) and insert your current airport (LFBO) and your destination airport (FAJS) in the FROM/TO box. This will then ask you to "Align IRS" and set up the alignment in that option. A350 XWB Displays The A350 comes with six large display screens. (left to right) Capt Outer OIS (Onboard Information System) - Capt Inner EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) which has the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and the ND (Navigation Display) - Center Up is the ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) that includes the ED (Engine Display), SD (System Display), Permanent Data, Mailbox and WD (Warning Display) - Center Lower is the MFD (Multi-function Display) which displays the same information as the two outer OIS's - both right displays are a mirror of the Capt's Inner EFIS and and outer OIS for the First Officer. The Lower MFD function is the same as both the outer OIS displays These three info displays also have a "Cross Pointer" (on the real aircraft displays) that can be aimed to select functions on the screens, some areas on the screens can also have direct input from the keyboard when required. There is another selection for Mouse Users that have scroll wheels... You can select "Manipulate" to scroll, or "Zoom Only" to use the mouse for normal selections. I use the standard single click mouse select way. (the scroll is set in the "Manipulate" state when you start up). You also have the choice to have the FlightFactor Crew visible all the time or just from the outside view The Lower MFD and the OIS displays can be changed around on both the Capt's side and the F/O's side, not only in their actual position but the inner screens can be switched around as well with the buttons on the pedestal. Noted as "Capt OIS on Center" to move from the outer OIS to the center display and "Display Cycle" to move the smaller split screens around on any of the displays. This makes it very versatile for having the right screen where you need it, I liked the Flight-plan switched around on the right side next to the PFD, and all the panels "pop-out" for ease of use (visually) if you need that function and selection. Display Menus The MFD and OIS displays have a lot of menus, almost overwhelming in detail and far too many to do in absolute complete detail here... but we will cover the main areas. Top left are the main seven menu selections in: (Options) - Ground Service - Weight and Fuel - CAB(in) Announcements - Users Guide - Charts - Options. We start with the "Options" page that it is not related directly to the A350 but the noted FlightFactor options. You can set the speed you want the simulation to go at in "Time Flow", Difficulty Level, Structural Limits, Baro selection, Default Trans Altitude (direct input), ILS Auto Alighn on start up, Draw lines and Flushing option to default, Auto Pause, FCU Font, MFD Control (the pop-up screens) Mouse Wheel (Scroll) and Auto Helper. Other menu choices are "Auto Cockpit set up" that does all the hard work for you in setting up the aircraft, "Force Align IRS" (see above), "Jump 100nm" and "Jump to next Waypoint" both of these options require the flightplan to be loaded in the FMS. You can adjust the overall sound levels and save all these "Options" settings as default for future use or use the "Restore" to the default option settings. Ground Service: The menu is split into three selection pages in: Doors & Hatches - Ground Equipment - Pushback. Doors & Hatches - Pushback There is a big menu screen that will open and close all the aircraft's doors and cargo hatches. Just select the door you want to open via a tab on the menu. All doors and hatches open and close with a very vocal sound that can be easily heard from the cockpit. You can also "Open" and "Close" all doors and hatches in one selection. The "pushback is very good and simple to use... You have the choice of either to "Push" or "Pull" and selecting one of these will call the tractor and hook it up ready for use. Brakes off and the you can steer and use your throttle to control the tractor. Ground Equipment Ground service covers all the equipment attached to the aircraft or servicing the aircraft on the ground. The first left column is all the equipment available to service the aircraft (return to that in a sec..), The second centre column is the power provided to the aircraft in two GPU's (Ground Power Units) that can be accessed on the OH Panel and required if you don't start up the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) on-board and either one or the other power source is required to set up the aircraft. The High-Pressure Unit (ground cart) is used to start the engines (or you can use the APU) and can have the AIR or Air-Con to cool the aircraft. Third or right column is the Maintenance Items (not available with this version). You can select "Stairs" to put a set of stairs at each front left side doors, Or press "Plane at gate" to put a single set of stairs on the rear left door. You wish you could select each door on the left for a stair as the two at left front feels like too many or simply have one at the front and one at the rear, but you can't. The rest of the ground equipment is a smorgasbord of vehicles and equipment... available are - Chocks, Passenger Bus, Fuel Truck (required for loading the fuel), Luggage Loader, Air-Conditioning unit, ULD Train and a Cleaning (Food?) Truck. All these items make it a very busy area around the aircraft and certainly give a great turnaround service feeling to the simulation. Weight and Fuel Here you have three menus that cover both Passengers and Fuel to be loaded (or is loaded) on the A350. First in "Passengers" you have an excellent menu to select passengers/cargo and set the aircraft's weight. You have four classes to select from and choices of cargo containers "96" Pallets and "LD3's". There is the simple option to select either Light-Middle-Heavy loads that fill the aircraft in one or the other configurations and load your preferences, you can clear the aircraft in one selection as well. Selection of "Fuel" can adjust your range which is handy because even with a light pass/cargo load can still mean a long range is required between certain long distance point to point flights. You can also cover all the other variations like with contingency and alternative requirements. Then you can load the fuel (Fuel Truck required to be attached) and you can see the loading from the ECAM displays on the flightdeck. When done you will have your correct final aircraft weight and see the fuel distribution. Third is "Cabin" where you can adjust the lighting and check out the trash and water levels. CAB (cabin) Announcements You will have a great time playing with the cabin announcements for your passengers in the rear cabin. There is a lot of choice, but the announcements are very low and inaudible sometimes? Just select what you want announced and press the play button as many times as you want to and annoy them. The cabin is very well appointed and designed in those four classes and the A350 has a great bar and passengers!... a few anyway in the first two classes, and you certainly notice the XWB (Extra Wide Body) of the aircraft with all the space inside. Users Guide There is a great built in users guide, that is a manual as well. It is also provided in a .pdf version if you like me use it on an iPad. The User Guide is very highly detailed, with the best way to set up the A350 in X-Plane with features and settings including the (plugin) "key" settings in the X-Plane "Keyboard" menu. For the biggest part though the manual (Users Guide) concentrates on the A350's systems and details, but there is no item by item descriptions on start up or instrument adjustments. A good companion to the user guide is a full checklist selection, that goes through every item to checked off or needs to be (you just have to know where they are), and itemises each selection as you work your way through the highly-detailed checklists. I recommend to study them to understand them all before using them in a current simulation, if not you will spend too much time sitting on the ramp working them and the positions of where everything is located. Charts You have Jepperson charts on your OIS, these are .png images of each chart page and that means you can't just drop in a .pdf downloaded from the internet. There are instructions in the aircraft folder on how to create your own charts and how to insert them for use... Charts provided are for airports: EBBR - EDDF - LGAV and LZIB. Options is the main menu... MCDU The MCDU (Mulifunction Control Display Unit) is positioned at the rear of the pedestal, and as noted it pops-out for convenience. The MCDU is a quite a simple but powerful affair on the A350. It is certainly not as comprehensive as the FF B777 or B757 versions which are replicas of the real FMC's on the Boeing Aircraft. It is noted that the later "Professional" version of the A350 XWB will have a full working Airbus MCDU. But you are not lacking here in the required basics. In fact it is quite clever in mating the real MCDU to this X-Plane slanted version. The bonus is you can load an already created X-Plane .fms plan from your current flight-plan folder and the MCDU will take care of the rest. You may sometimes have to do the odd join-up in clearing out any F-PLN DISCONTINUITY's to complete the flight-plan and have to also create your own SID/STAR's but I found these items easy to do and sometime far easier than spending hours trying to match up the correct SID/STAR to start or end a flight-plan. I found it just easier and faster to get the damn chart and input the fixes directiy. INIT You load in a .fms plan on the INIT page via the RK1 (Right Key 1) " F-PLN gives you your Flight-plan and you can scroll up or down through the fixes and Nav-aids. You can add in the "Overfly" (waypoint) preference if you want to as well. And input any speed/altitude constraints on the route. And you use the "Scratchpad" for input. You can see the flight-Plan on the OIS if you switch the displays around and it is excellent there for following the progress of the flight. The centre fix of the Flight-Plan will show on the ND (Navigation Display) if the NAV switch is set to PLAN. DIR DIR-TO (Direct-To) you have the direct-to option and the MCDU give you a list of options PERF You can insert your performance constraints in v1,vR and v2 and select your TRANS ALT in Transition Altitude. Thrust reduction/acceleration altitudes and temp FLEX that not must be below the outside air temperature OAT. PERF pages include: Take Off, Climb, Cruise, Descent, Approach and Go-Around. Like noted the MCDU is quite comprehensive where it really counts and gives you quite a lot of control over your performance, so the pro's will not be lacking in their ability to input their own constraints and performance tables. Ditto for the learners of this style of FMC in that it is also extremely easy to set up and fly this aircraft and learn the basics on how MCDU/FMC's work differently from a standard X-Plane FMC. It is well worth filling out all your MCDU data and complete in your preferences in every "single" box. Not only for the obvious in the way the aircraft performs, but also that the data is reflected on the MFD/OIS displays. You can't stress here enough of the importance of the pref data in the way it affects the flight of the aircraft. There are not a lot of entries by comparison to aircraft of this nature, but every data entry is important in the way the aircraft's performance at takeoff and the in the landing. You have a huge selection of data available from your OIS or MFD displays, In many ways it does mirror what is on the MCDU, and you can input directly into any of these data pages and load even your flight-plan. But the MCDU is quicker as you can do the same inputs on different pages that the MCDU will do once, and you could actually miss a page because there is so many. The Menu is the same as the MCDU buttons in: F-PLN - PERF - Fuel & Load - WIND - INIT, sub-menus cover a myriad of items about performance and your GPS positioning, radio settings, waypoints and fuel. It is really a nerd's heaven in cockpit management. Your Flight-Plan is one of the best features to monitor. You can select and install it just like you do in any X-Plane FMC (using the MCDU as noted is quicker) But it is the amount of information displayed that keeps you happy in the small hours. And also gives you the biggest note that will actually be there and still flying in the wee small hours? It is important that you set up your X-Plane "Time&Date" slider in how you want to do the flight... Living in Australia I will set my T&D to early morning or Zulu time to fly in the day. But as all you long-haulers know, the time you leave is calculated to the time you arrive, and here the A350 gives you an advantage, because it not only notes your time at every waypoint on the route but your actual arrival time! And here it is a mind-numbing to bed late 02.28 am in to the next day (or night), more cleverly is that it adjusts as you fly, so if you adjust the speed or have bad headwinds then the time will change to reflect that. So on one flight I lost 9min ETA in a speed change. You have to note that the actual time does not sync to your T&D until wheels up, which is slightly annoying, but once in the air the information is priceless including an update of your fuel load at arrival. It also notes your full distance and each waypoint distances. So you can see the importance of giving the aircraft all and more importantly the right data for the flight, the more data entered then the more information you get back. A350 Cockpit Except for the six display layout which is really the extra two OIS screens on each side, the panel and instrument layout is pure Airbus, If you know the layout of one and even the A320 layout then everything here will be in exactly the same place or position. The only item that is different is the Braking selection in "Autobrake Armed RTO" is a button press for take off and for landing you only have to adjust the braking action to the runway conditions. The PFD is the standard display with Speed and altitude tapes and V/S (vertical speed) on the right, The artificial horizon with turn indicator and landing ILS bugs are also standard issue. The PFD has the noted Auto-Pilot modes, alpha protections and flight director bars and in the lower section is the trim and flap position. Next is the ND (Navigation Display) with LS-VOR-Nav modes and ARC and PLAN and standard zoom adjustments. On the OH (Overhead) the aircraft comes with full systems in Top to bottom, Fire, Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, Air-Conditioning - Bleed, Anti-Ice and APU-Lighting, I recommend to read through the comprehensive manual on all the aircraft systems, because they are very well detailed. The center ECAM gives you a full display of all the systems and warnings, visual displays cover: Engines, Doors, Wheel, Fuel, EL/AC, EL/DC, Hydraulics, F/CTL, APU, Bleed, Cond (Air) and Press. All systems are functional and superbly reproduced in the center upper display. All pure airbus. The only real disappointment is that you can only fly from the Capt's side? you can't switch or control the aircraft from the F/O's side? and you miss that functionality. The Autopilot (AP) panel is standard Airbus, but you can only select one item at a time on the ND, you can have your Waypoints or your Nav-Aids but not together. The A350 also has the new X-Plane function of "Pull" or "Push". You can have the aircraft in "Selected" mode "pull" or manual selection or "Managed" mode "push" or automatic by the AP. Just make sure you know which mode you are in. The NDB/VOR selection for the MAP display is here in yellow. Central pedestal has the Radios, but it is in the MCDU that you set the frequencies for the VOR and ILS Nav-Aids. The ECAM selection buttons are here as is the flap selector in five selections: 0 (retracted) - 1 (1+F) - 2 - 3 - Full. There are 12 slats, 4 Flaps and 2 droop nose devices on the leading edge. Speed brake lever that is quite notchy to select the "Armed" position, so make sure it is engaged on the WD. Engine start is under the throttles to select engines IGN START (1 or 2), The throttle levers are really well done and have all the airbus modes A/THR - FLEX - TO-GA zones. The Reverse Thrust (toggle) is set either as a key or joystick activation on the X-Plane setting "thrust_reverse_toggle" (not "thrust_reverse_hold" like I usually do). To use you pull the throttles back to idle on contact with terra firma, then select the REV toggle (button or Key) and then throttle up to provide the REV thrust. Then Back to idle when required and re-key to disable the REV-THR. This system gives you great flexibility on how much thrust you want to provide for the REV thrust. Undercarriage actions and animations are first rate. But you have to get the landing right with those forward tilted bogies, the point the rear wheels touch if you get it right should be level with the runway, but it is not as easy as it looks, and they will trip if you get the first set of tyres on the tarmac before the rear set. (on a side note, you have to contact correctly... if you touch down too lightly the thrust reverse doors don't operate?) Lighting The internal and external lighting is first rate. The cockpit is a nice place to be for any period of time. It is not that highly adjustable with no moving focus lighting, but still very good with a spot light directly over the pedestal which is very handy. I found a nice sweet spot in just showing the edges of the panel with the overhead lighting as you get a dark panel with just bright buttons and displays with the setting of the overhead turned right down. And lighting in the footwells which most developers don't do. The reflections are very strong (but very good), but that requires an adjustment of the lighting to see out or landing at night. External lighting is excellent. Nose (known as take-off lights) and Wing landing lights and Taxi lights, There are very good Runway turn off lights and Wing scan (Ice) lights that light up the leading edges of both wings, both strobe and logo lights can be set to auto or manual on/off and in the right livery the logo-tail light looks excellent. The rest are the standard Nav and Beacon lighting. The cabin lighting is adjustable via the OIS menu "Cabin"and it is very good, but full brightness is to bright, and this menu also shows other items that are related to the cabin and door status. Liveries There are eight liveries with the A350 XWB package that includes a White (default), Home, Carbon and Qatar Home. The first four liveries are related to the A350 testing fleet, the other four are the airlines: Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and a (Tulip) United. There are sets of 10 liveries you can purchase from different regions of the world that includes Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. That adds up to 70 liveries plus the 8 with the aircraft. Quality is very good but not every airline (like Qantas) are flying the A350 XWB. Flying the A350 XWB The Airbus is extraordinarily interesting to fly... To a point you do allow the systems to do the work for you, but it is in the way the aircraft does this that makes it interesting, and how X-Plane now is seeing such great programming in flight. If you have flown an Airbus flight system before then you know how easy it is to set up... set your altitude (32,000ft) and just give the speed and HDG (Heading) buttons a push each to set them ready into "Managed" Mode. One of the great features here is the VD, or "Vertical Display" on the bottom of your NAV/MAP display. The importance (again) of programming the MCDU is highlighted here. If your flightplan is installed and the prefs "preferences" are filled in then the VD will show with the zoom out over a distance your profile of the climb to your set cruising altitude. The aircraft is very good at finding the very best climb rate (pitch) known as "Op Climb" (Open Climb). The aircraft will over the climb to altitude change the V/S (Vertical Speed) to match the conditions of the climb. That includes the points you retract the flaps and your transition point. Takeoff is brutal, and you can climb easily between 3,500ft per minute to 4,300ft per minute, or in other words almost straight up. Certainly if you have a heavier weight the aircraft (Open Climb) will adjust to the load factors. It is then important you match the correct high pitch on leaving the runway or you will get alarms or the aircraft when you activate the autopilot will pull the aircraft nose up to match the required Op Clb profile. Once you have left hard stuff and 300ft at the right pitch, then you select the AP1 (Pilot) and ATH (Auto-Thrust) and bring your throttles back into the "A/THR" detent or "THR CLB" on the PFD and the aircraft will then go to the flightplan and correct climb speed while managing the correct thrust and climb rate. To a point it is like riding a Saturn V, you are just sitting there as your climb profile adjusts to the correct vertical speed and is constantly adjusting the speed to flap retraction and transition altitudes. You will find around the orange marker the V/S will drop to about 1400ft per min and then resume when the speed has built up back again to a faster position to 3300ft per min till it again resumes a more relaxed 1600ft per min and continues forever on climbing upwards. Spread out your zoom into the distance and your waypoints (fixes) are noted with the climb profile all the way to your set altitude. At fixes heading changes then pull the zoom back to 10nm and note the curve of the flightplan to the new heading. The aircraft will turn with a smooth grace along the flightplan line. After the initial FL320, I stepped up to my final cruise height of FL365. Sounds are very good right through from start-up to cruise, I did find them a bit whiny in the cruise mode and after a period of time they gave me a slight earache. But high-pitch sounds don't agree with me, so that is personal thing... but I'm not that crazy about it... I have been 100m behind the nozzle of a Dreamliner and these new-gen latest high-bypass engines are whisper-quiet "is it actually running?" is how quiet they are, we may need to hear an A350 XWB to see how different they really are. You have dual adjustable screens Nav/Map screens, which are great for different perspectives on the landing pattern. And the VD (Vertical Display) is used the same way as the half-moon line on the Boeing 777 to target your initial and final approach heights. The landing brakes are set to their setting and shown on the PFD as: BRK LOW - BRK 2 - BRK 3 - BRK HI (High), the 2 or 3 is medium in the old way. Note the smooth turn curve at a low speed and height, it banks the aircraft perfectly for a final approach. On finals I took control of the speed and selected, "Selected" mode and 160knts, the purists will roll their eyes but I found the aircraft going too fast in "managed" mode or 270knts and needed to pull that speed back to get ready to align up the runway. You however don't really move out of "managed" mode on descent, So I found it was very important that the QNH "nautical height" is set on the MCDU (FMS), to set the QNH correctly for the aircraft is to also set and adjust the speed to the height (or pressure). Flying an approach with the QNH set correctly was very different than if it was not set, and the speed was then controlled perfectly in the descent. Handling at low speed is very good, the aircraft will depending on the weight will land even as low as 140knts, the A350 does tend to point nose (pitch) down on the ILS and that can create the issue of pulling the aircraft nose up to flare... but that can be quite compromising in that if you get it wrong in to much high pitch you will suddenly balloon and float (X-Plane issue) or land nose wheel first (not enough pitch) the middle (perfect) position is a bit of a feel to find at first, but possible and easy after a few landings. Once down and after the armed speedbrakes have activated, then activate the THR-REV (key or joystick button) by opening the REV doors and powering up the throttle. I love the control this system gives you on the amount of thrust you want... off the throttle and then rekey the REV doors to close. Once at taxi speed you can then clean up the aircraft and head for the stand. Summary It is in a way a contradiction the A350 XWB from FlightFactor aero. It is massively detailed and certainly with the menus and systems, but there is a simplicity to it as well. It is a clever contradiction because it covers a lot of bases from users that are new to simulation and others which require the very deep immersion that you expect from aircraft of this price range. The A350 will keep both camps very happy indeed, but it is not as deep or as involving as the Boeing 777 or Boeing 757, but then again it is not meant to be either and maybe the "Pro" version will fill in those small gaps. Like many aircraft released today for X-Plane the A350 XWB is another aircraft that the more you put into it then the more you receive back out again, It is very deep into systems and menus, so a bit of study and flight pre-planning will go a long way in getting the depth that will reward you, so a good start is putting aside some time to study the (excellent) manual that will certainly help in understanding the aircraft and get the best out of it. likewise it is also far easier to quickly set up and fly (certainly with your flight-plans being X-Plane .fms plans) that can allow you to set and fly a flight in a very quick amount of time, even from a cold startup. So you won't be spending a hour or so programming the FMC, if you don't have any saved routes like you do with the B777, B757 or JARdesign's A320neo. However the total replication of a FMS (Flight Management System) like on the B777 and in this case the SID/STAR component is missing for now, do you miss this? well yes and no, no doubt we want the aircraft to be an almost perfect duplication of the the real cockpit, but the ease of programming the route and flight prefs does make it far quicker and gets you flying almost immediately. I miss the First Officer (F/O) point of view of flying the aircraft, and the option of switching from the Capt to the F/O for takeoff and landings, you can assign the joystick to either position, but it is for a visual point only and has no control (or movement on the F/O side). For value, the aircraft is very well priced even if it is as noted not the full "Pro" version, I found the aircraft more feature loaded and with great quality than most aircraft in this competitive price range. Features abound and you will be the happiest pilot on the ramp of any hub with the way you can set up and service the aircraft. I like to fly the whole deal from start-up to shut down and everything in between including loading and unloading the aircraft. It is not just the flying in simulation that counts, it is the total experience.... and in that department the A350 XWB does not disappoint. In the flying experience it is very Airbus with the fly-by-wire, alpha protections and control laws, It has the best X-Plane Airbus plugins and you will want for nothing. This is the very best in Airbus flying yet in those perfect airbus automated procedures and laws, even if the aircraft does a better job than you... and that is the Airbus way of flying. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Airbus A350-900 XWB Advanced from FlightFactor is NOW Available from the X-Plane.Org Store. Price is currently US$ 49.95 : Get the - Airbus A350 XWB Advanced - Here Livery packs at US$10 for ten liveries are available here: A350 Liveries Include: North America, Oceania, Africa & Middle East, Asia, Atlantic, Europe 1, Europe 2 and Pacific. Documents and Install, Download is 209.10mb, that is unzipped into your Heavy Aircraft Folder of 309.40mb. The aircraft will only fly in X-Plane version 10.30. You have to insert a key to activate the A350 XWB, and it is highly recommended you totally restart and reload the A350 XWB from scratch from the desktop. To align the (SASL) plugin correctly. Features Fully custom aircraft systems (elec, hyd, air cond, ADIRU, etc.) Fully custom ECAM monitoring system with all screens and functions included Fully functional airbus style alert system with multiple status and procedural lists Fully functional interactive airbus electronic checklist system Airbus a350/a380 unique “touch screen” interfaces with dozens of screens and hundreds of functions Fully custom and unique MFD (multifunctional display) system with most of flight planning pages implemented in a new graphical interface, as well as FCU and radio backups just like on the real plane Full OIS screen system with options, ground equipment control, passenger and cargo loading, and even a full user’s manual inside the plane. Old style MCDU and fully functional aux instruments as backup. Full FBW with Highly realistic implementation of the Airbus “normal law” by QPAC – the most realistic fly-by-wire implementation for desktop flight simulation. In v1.0 an advanced flight planning interface (based on XP native data) Basic SID/STAR implementation using X-plane fms-files that you can create yourself and share with the community. "What you see is what you fly" flight path indication on the ND (i.e. curved trajectories with the turn radius properly computed based on speed and angular turn distance.) Implementation of all Airbus AP modes, except some non-precision approach modes (Selected and managed modes, speed constraints respected, "at or below" contraints in phase climb, "at or above" constraints in phase descent.) Full PFD and ND displays with fully independent display and different data sources for the captain and copilot displays. Independent autopilots Many new options like scroll wheel support for switch manipulation A very advanced 3D model with HD textures and complete and animated mechanics. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th December 2014 Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows - Linux Fully Supported Mac: Beta version at this time only - Please only buy the Mac version if you feel you can be a beta tester. 1Gb VRAM, 4Gb RAM Current version: v1.0. Last updated: December 7th, 2014 Updated store# Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.30 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - LFBO Toulouse-Blagnac - Aerosoft (New X-Plane.OrgShop US$21.50) - FAJS O.R. Tambo International Airport - tdg (Free .Org)
  13. 2 points
    NO, it isn't? The user had, had effects on by using the rain effects, when he turned them off and made them equal and they were exactly the same, it is fundamentally the same aircraft just a little longer... different users have different setups that effect their frame rate, plus in most cases they don't know what they are actually doing, then react and basically broadcast crap. As a reviewer we test everything in a set, set of conditions to get the right results, we mostly always ignore these wildcard idiots and their wild statements. Framerate is basically different to everyone in X-Plane on your system set up.
  14. 2 points
    Aircraft Review : Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution by SSG Supercritical Simulation Group's (SSG) first release was the Embraer E-Jet E-170 back in 2013. At the time of the release the aircraft was a step forward with many good ideas and features and the aircraft flew very well. But in X-Plane times move along quickly and what was once good can be average in a short space of time. But the basics were good and certainly with the external model, but the internal cockpit quickly showed its age. So here is the "Evolution" of that aircraft in the "E-Jet 170 Evolution", yes the word is in there to represent that this is a complete move forward in from that original concept and SSG have also kept the best of the original design and have completely redesigned the weaker areas and incorporated also the best ideas and features of their Boeing 748i Series aircraft. From the outside the E170LR Evo looks pretty much the same, and so it should as it was a very pretty aircraft in the first place. But the external design has had quite a significant makeover, detail is multiplied by a huge degree. Certainly a few major items have been retained like the landing gear, but overall the differences between the two images below as they are now vastly different.... as a highlight look at the detail and rivet work around the front cargo door. Just look at the door hinge and the wing light assembly and even the text is now readable. The cockpit has had an even bigger makeover, from the old... .... to the Evo new No trickery or Photoshop effects here, just the different versions in the same place and time. You can see how dull the displays are compared to the brightness of the new versions. Certainly a huge advance over the earlier displays, and I really like the inner lighter to darker surrounds in the Artificial Horizon area and the new Vertical Profile feature. But there are two things that are to be noted. The text is in "bold" and not the ordinary "regular" and that makes the text look bloated and more blurry than it should, and all the displays don't have any cockpit reflections, which is standard-normal today with aircraft in this price range. Otherwise you are looking at a complete redesign of the panels, textures and only a few small panel items are carried over. Overhead panel looks better as well. Old version on the left and the new Evo version on the right, and in content nothing is different, but everything is new including the overhead map lights. Centre pedestal looks the same, but again the refinements are discrete but highly effective, the Communication Panel shows the higher detail. One thing is very different on the pedestal though is the FMC, we will get to that in a moment. Menus The Evo's menu's have had a big makeover. In the original the single menu was covered by a grainy view of the rear cabin, which looked a little crappy. Now you have a twin option display and a third position with a blank screen. First options page (1) covers the external items in: Doors, Pushback and GPU - Show/hide: Yoke, Seat, Rain and Stair - Field of View and select lbs or kg. (All doors and windows are available on Custom Key sliders as well if required.) Second Options page (2) covers aircraft setup with: Aircraft payload with % percentages, ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight) & Payload weight, Payload settings and Fuel load and defuel. You can do the fuel either manually or use the FMC for loading. The options now available on the Evo are great, and are far better than the small list on the Original version. All doors now open, including the front and rear service doors. Lower cargo doors are also now usable as well. Cockpit windows can also be opened (below), but only on the menu and not by the usual handle grab and pull which feels odd. Excellent GPU (Ground Power Unit) and an outstanding feature is the excellent stand/stairs, with the great idea of when you change the livery the logos on the stand also change... Brilliant! Pushback truck is very well modeled, but is that stick pendulum action that is used on SSG's B748i which I am not crazy about, it is hard to use as you can only control it (forward/Aft) by the menu and you can't look in two places at once... you need key options to make it effective. Both the Yoke and Captain's seat can be hidden, but with both out you have quite a hole in there, one click also hides both yokes. Cabin The cabin has been overhauled with a more modern dark/grey look with snazzy lighting compared to the more late nineties look (above left lower). It looks very nice but there are issues with the movement from the flightdeck rearwards. Open the door and use the X-Plane keys to head to your seat and there is gap between the two virtual sections, sometimes you get through but sometimes you don't... It gets weirder in finding your view out you find missing pieces of the aircraft and in this case the airbrake spoilers (above right lower) are missing? With a lot of the cabin blinds either closed or half open your view selection is also limited. Beacon shines away on the ceiling as well. Flying the E-Jet 170 Evolution Route: KATL (Atlanta) to KDCA (Washington National) DAL375 is the perfect route for this aircraft, a hop to the upper eastern seaboard in a shuttle service from Atlanta to Washington. The E-Jet 170LR Evo now comes with the functional Honeywell Primus Epic 1000 FMC that is housed in two Multifunction Control Display Units (MCDU) at the top of the pedestal. This version is provided by Javier Cortes under the FJCC banner. The FMC faceplate pops-out for ease of input and use, and click with the F8” key in Windows and Linux with “fn” and “F8” keys simultaneously on a Mac to make the pop-up visible. Javier Cortes makes great FMC's with a lot of functions and details, but the interface is not very elegant and highly procedural. Get an input wrong and there is no get out but to start all over again, or mess up all your load's of time and work already submitted to the system. And that makes them frustrating to use until you finally work out the correct way that Jarvier is thinking and has set out the route to get all the inputs in line correct to get the final result. It works well when you do understand it, but the system is totally unforgiving, which unlike Philipp Münzel's designs that if you make a mistake you then just correct it, then "Exec" (Execute) and move on with your programming. But confusion reigns when you load in your SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and mostly over and over in that the "Exec" is actually the "Route" button, where as normally "Route" takes you to the flightplan to load in your waypoints. There is no "Exec" either? so any changes are hard to input and "route" with the input point remember then disappears? To make clear there are two "Route" functions in RTE and ROUTE? Add in more confusion in the fact that "Route" changes to "Step" in the flightplan (FPL) mode and that then becomes the "Exec" button and as you go through the flightplan the with the STEP (after doing a "Exec" to insert the current flightplan) then the <CTR> position position disappears after the first click down? Get to your Flightplan and you will be scratching your head in that the departure airport is noted as your arrival airport? (upper right). There is a "DIrect" function but no "DIR" button to activate it. When I did save the (hard won) completed route it didn't save the file? There is a good "Quick Start" manual that covers a full route from Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) including checklists, but with a FMC this procedural you need a full manual on how it works not only in detail but with arrow diagrams to programme the FMC in the way that Javier is thinking. The FMC is good, but you work with it like a maze with many dead ends or bugs and you find the core by leaving post-it notes on the wall to get it right next time. With enough time you can the full complete flightplan completed as below, and once it is figured out it is easier to use, but a more flexible way of inserting a flightplan is required at the core of the programming, so it is for the experts only. To help there is a video available in programming the FMC and I have included it below... The map view zoom is on the pedestal... a nice touch. You can use the direct keyboard input by pressing the blank button below the FPL button and the words "KEYB" appears below to show you that you are in that mode. The built-in FMC is compatible with AeroSoft's NavDataPro and Navigraph navigation databases. Multi-Function Display (MFD) There are two drop-down menus in the multi-function display with the MAP on the right and SYSTEMS on the left. MAP covers covers your: Nav-Aid, Airports, WPTs, PROGRESS (details on the route), Vertical Profile (Lower MFD, Very Nice!), TCAS and Weather and Terrain is on the lower selections. SYSTEMS covers the standard set of pages that cover the aircraft systems... Areas covered include: Status, FltCtrl (Flight Controls), Hydr (hydraulics), Fuel, Elec (Electrical), and Anti-Ice. Route locked in and the the aircraft ready it is time for departure. Start sounds are good with the Dreamfoil Sound plug-in installed, but not highly detailed and it is slightly too quiet in the cockpit. There is not that real sound detail in Air-con packs or with rear pumps starting to run, but it is good by most standards. Forward lighting is good with three landing lights with two in the inner wings and one front on the front wheel strut. There is a separate taxi-light (front strut) Side lights (taxiway turn) and wing Inspection lights. Pushback truck is called and controled via the upper mid-screen menu. Truck turns like it is on a stick pendulum of which I am not a fan, but it works. Harder to use are the small ticks on the menu screen to control it and your view is looking far away from the windows to find those small controls above and guessing where to stop your pushback point... a few keyboard controls would help. Departure was via KATL RWY08R... Taxi speed is easily controlled and you can place the aircraft perfectly on the centre line by using the kink in the glareshield. Throttle up and if the settings are correct in the FMC you will have FLEX TO-1 automatically, vSpeed tags are also in the Flight Display. Like the Airbus displays you have speed parameters in red and yellow go or no go zones (alpha floor). MAP Display and Vertical Profile is very good (shame about the BOLD text)... With the Yoke in place it is a little tight to all the displays through the ram design, but it looks very good. The manipulators are a bit tight in their active areas, and so are hard to use effectively. The V/S (Vertical/Speed) wheel is the worst but also the most highly used for constant adjustments. You use it by two small arrows (find them if you can?) and usually with these sort of arrowed manipulators you hold them down to turn the wheel either up or down... not here, as they are to be used as a button press per + or - minus altitude change. So they flicker and you search, find them and get usually the arrow you don't want and you are trying to fly an aircraft while buzzing around the Autopilot panel in the area in just wanting to adjust your V/S angle. As with everything you get used to it and clicking one click at a time, but I found in heavy work periods they are seriously frustrating. A lot of the other half-moon manipulators are also too close together and hard to find. Another quirk is the "BANK" as it is two Arrows? and with no indication on the MFD you don't know how to activate the bank function, or if it is actually activated... I think it is on, I think. On the same subject of manipulators, on the original version the engine start plastic covers were a pain to open and close. The idea has been change from a single click and start to separating the opening of the covers with a click and then a half-moon manipulator to start. It works, but just as the manipulator active area is so small you need a lot of patience to actually find it, and getting right down by the floor behind the pedestal will help you finally find that coveted opening hot spot... Three PROG... Progress pages have a load of information, and the FMC is accessible in the air. Route data and two page radio is very good. The E-Jet series was always a nice machine in the air, and the quality shows from all viewpoints. External sounds are again good but not over brilliant, but you don't get that distance droning that tires you out. Lighting The cockpit lighting is years away better than the original version, and very nice it is too. There is not a huge amount of adjustment because I don't think the real aircraft has a lot either. The downlighting of the main displays looks lovely, but the higher glareshield is more darker. The two overhead spot-lights are just a Storm/Dome set and are non-adjustable. External lighting is good and standard fair. As noted you have inspection lights and wing lights and the logo tail lighting looks nice at night. Arrival at Washington is via IRONS5 into RWY 01. Target altitude on the PFD (Primary Flight Display) is a great help in getting your correct altitude at the right distance from the airport correct. Great working VOR2 and ADF 1 & 2 pointers (selectors arrowed) in the lower PFD are excellent for navigation and lining up your final approach. There is not a lot of wind-rush in the air, but great noise sounds when you drop the landing gear, so you get that I'm ready for landing feel. There is a nice feel also from the controls to get the aircraft into a position for landing, overall the aircraft is very nice to fly manually, but who does that anymore with a modern regional airliner, automation in here is now in control. But manual flying I am doing on this approach. The E-170LR will allow you with FULL flap go down into the middle-twenties with approach speed, but beware that get it just too slightly slower and it will stall on you very quickly, so it is best to stay in the low 130knts range which is safer and more controllable The complex flaps and their animation is beautifully done, but my feather-weight landing didn't activate the wing spoilers that are automatically activated on landing. The reversers are excellent in fine detail... Regional flying is hard work with multiple sectors in one day, so it is off with one load and get ready for the next.... Liveries You get a wide selection of very good liveries, this (above) is the "New" factory E170 livery which is very nice. You also get mostly two sets of the same livery in a "Clean" version and a "Dirty" version, I have shown all the dirty versions here because of space. Factory livery (old version) is also the default. Liveries double include Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia (New), British Airways, American Eagle, Delta Connection, Eygptair, Agean Airlines (Clean only), Azul, Flybe and JAL. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Summary Three years can be a long time in X-Plane, and what was once an interesting and detailed aircraft became almost old-fashioned very quickly. This new "Evolution" version does far more than just update an old design to current standards. It is a complete back to the boards and a total redesign of the aircraft and that deep design work certainly shows here. Almost everything is new (you can see a few things moved over but they are just that... few) and so you can't really compare the two but it is nice to see the differences. There is a huge amount of great features and ideas and I really love the total concept of it all, but there are also small niggly things that should not be on an aircraft of this price range, as this is total pro territory. Yes the aircraft is very professional but that extra 3% in the finish can make or break the aircraft. It just slips over the mark because most of these niggles are easily updated as they certainly will be by SSG, but they should not be there in the first place. BOLD text looks horrible and no display reflections should not have got to the release stage. Pushback is hard to use and you need to take a deep breath and not look down through the gap if you are going from the cockpit to the cabin or vise-versa. Manipulator activation areas are too small and you can't find the manipulators and they are messy to use, with the V/S the hardest to use of all. Sounds are good, but now they have moved on, expect better in an upgrade. Overall here you are not flying the aircraft as smoothly as you can because of small factors. The very deep and extensive FMC by Javier Cortes is complex by design and has no elegance in procedure if you make a mistake and sometimes completely confusing if a ) not done one before, or b ) in that some items are duplicated to do the same action and standard button or menu items like a simple (exec) or (direct) are hard to find or use, I understand that the Honeywell unit does not have these functions but there has to be more of an elegance of getting those important actions working correctly. Get a simple command wrong and you are up short street without a torch, and the only way out is to restart the whole thing and start again, and even if you do get it right, it takes way to long (unless you are a total master or the developer) in inputting again the whole plan and aircraft parameters within the usual 30min turnaround time, in most cases you would not put yourself all through that and simply fly something else. And that is a real shame as the aircraft is overall very good to excellent when it all programmed in correctly, it is just getting to that point. No doubt FMC's are hard to use and programme, but they also have a simplicity of the way they do their job. My advice is to live with this aircraft to really understand the deepness of it. It does have a large learning curve and the FMC in it's current state would need an understanding of how FMC's are programmed and used. Once you use it more then the more it will come to you and the deeper levels of enjoyment the "Evo" can then be brought to the surface. Yes this is a huge and very nice update with a lot of investment by SSG of their E-170LR aircraft, and it has some really great clever features and it is certainly a worthy investment if you like great regional airliners. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution v1.07 by Supercritical Simulation Group is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-Jet170LR Evolution Your Price: $49.95 Note: if you are already a owner of SSG's E-170LR or the E190 you get upgrade to the "Evolution" version with a US$10 discount! to the price of US$39.95, so Please email sales@x-plane.org to get your discount code and include you original purchase order number. Features: Advanced FMC and Navigation system Custom-built FMC (done by FJCC) designed for the SSG Evolution Series SIDs, STARs, transitions, approaches, flare and rollout modes. FMC is compatible with AeroSoft's NavDataPro and Navigraph navigation databases. Manufacturer's performance data embedded as tables in the fully functional FMC. Option to use either a 2D pop-up (resizable) FMC or one within the 3D cockpit. Custom radio communication audio consoles optimized for on-line virtual ATC operations. FMC performance information based on real aircraft data, including calculated V-speeds. FMC includes capability for autotuning navaid frequencies. Vertical Situation Display (VSD) on the MFD. Terrain display mode on the MFD, which is a part of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) on the real aircraft. High-Res 3D modeling complete with detailed animations and textures. Realistic displays (PFD, MFD with system synoptics, and EICAS) External lights and strobes operating realistically. Display management similar to that in the real aircraft. Autobrakes with anti-skid system that works in all conditions and includes a realistic rejected takeoff mode. Realistic wing flex and other animations. Window rain effects and animated wipers. Option menu incorporated into the cockpit 3D. Ground vehicles include a tow truck, GPU and airstairs. Over 10 detailed liveries comes with the plane Custom systems and Flight Model Aircraft will meet most of the real aircraft's performance data for consumption, AOA, speeds, flight dynamics, etc. in close consultation with real world E-Jet pilots. Realistic 3D cockpit with high resolution. Many systems are implemented with realistic logic, such as electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, engine fire extinguishing, fuel, wing and engine anti-ice (including automatic mode), communications, and TCAS. Comprehensive autopilot functioning in modes similar to those of the real aircraft First Officer's MFD display is independent from the Captain's, and MFD has a pop-up option. EICAS messages based on the real aircraft's with lists and scrolling DreamEngine Sound System 3D sounds with DreamEngine plugin. Requirements X-Plane 10.45 + (any edition) running in 64bit mode Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit Operating System 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution is 606.30mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder at 952.80mg. There is a "Quick Start Guide" manual (44 Pages) and comes with included checklist Sheets . _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd July 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - KATL - KATL - Atlanta International by Nimbus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$23.95 - KDCA - Ronald Reagan - Washington National by Tropicalsim - No idea if this scenery is still available? And I still call it "National!"
  15. 2 points
    Aircraft Review : BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer by JustFlight - Thranda Design The Folland Gnat T.1 was the mainstay of RAF jet training onwards from 1959. The aircraft was a nimble and extremely good training aircraft for pilots moving into military jet aircraft and then moving on upwards to the heavier Hawker Hunters and English Electric Lightings. But in the early 70's the RAF realised that the next generation of jet fighters would require a more advanced trainer and a two-seater to accommodate the Sepecat Jaguar and the Panavia Tornado. The result was the Hawker Siddeley Hawk T1 (Trainer Mk1). In reality the relationship of the Hawk to it's predecessor the Gnat is actually very close and highly related. Hawker Siddeley had bought out Folland in 1959, as British Aerospace Systems (BAe) would also merge with Hawker Siddeley in 1977, however the Hawk was built and still assembled in Hamble at the old Folland factory where the Gnat had also been produced. The Hawk also followed the Gnat in being the mainstay of the RAF British Aerobatic Team, known as the "Red Arrows" and still holds that coveted position today. JustFlight - Thranda Design It is just under a year in that the partnership of JustFlight and Thranda Design released their first aircraft for X-Plane11, that was the PA28R Piper Arrow III and since then there has also been the PA28R Turbo Piper Arrow III/IV in February and the TB10 Tobago & TB20 Trinidad in May and finally the excellent Cessna 152 ll in June. All aircraft I thought brought far more to X-Plane in features and to the general aviation category, but more so in the highly realistic handing of the aircraft. They are not cheap aircraft and all sit on the top of the scale in price for general aviation aircraft, but they also do deliver in another level in quality as well. This is JustFlight's and Thranda's next release with the BAe Systems Hawk T1. First it is a radical change from the usual general aviation style of aircraft and it also took a long time to get released? The aircraft was initially first announced back in February earlier this year, then another promotion in the middle of the year sent our heart's a flutter again but then it all went very quiet, this time it is actually here... so was it worth the wait? That is what reviews are for, so let us see. BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer We have come to now expect a very high quality aircraft from JustFlight/Thranda, as it should be in this price range as that is what you are paying for, in high very high quality and for loads of features. There is no doubt the Hawk stands out there in the quality stakes, the level here is extremely high, if the best fighter/trainer now in in X-Plane11. To be fair there is not a lot of competition to compare the Hawk with as very few modern fighters have yet made the transition from X-Plane10, coming and in the same category is X-Trident's Harrier AV8B, so that aircraft will be a better benchmark. Would this aircraft pass the Airshow walkaround test? you know the one where you walkaround the aircraft noting it's details and equipment points, take a few pictures to remind you of the aircraft... in this case yes. The quality of the detailing is phenomenal, and I am set at a lower resolution setting. Another level of detail again for X-Plane? If not then it is close... aircraft modelling is absolutely first rate, perfection, not a 3d bump out of place. In realism you have glass and reflections that really deliver (note the explosive cord for seat ejection on the canopy glass)... again are you looking into a real jet at an airshow? if not then you are pretty well close to it. It is the smaller details that create a believable realism, note the slightly worn landing light nose glass and wingtip lighting enclosures, the tail leading edge material and the correct accurate layout of rivets and paneling. As a note, the Hawk uses the Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca "Adour 151" non-afterburning turbofan with 2,360 kilograms (5,200 pounds) thrust. It is a more expensive engine, but also more economical to use; like the Specate Jaguar it also uses the "102" version of the Adour in a twin-engine installation. The engine drops down out of the Hawk's belly just behind the wings for service, and in principle can be replaced in one and a half hours. The Hawk is built with ease of serviceability in mind, and almost a third of the aircraft's surface is covered by access panels. There is a "Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter/Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU)" that is installed above the engine to permit self-starting, and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. If the aircraft loses power in flight, a ram-air turbine can also automatically pop up in front of the vertical tailplane to provide emergency electrical power and the RAM is featured here and works realistically on the aircraft. The Hawk has two main and one forward strut trailing link undercarriage assemblies... .... detailing is the very best as you would expect in this class, but even more so. Every joint, component, hydraulic line, hydraulic piston, nut and bolt is here, even the strut labels and markings are also correctly applied. Animations in ground movement and retraction/extraction are perfect, even more so as the trailing link assembly can give the taxiing of the aircraft a feel that is quite different from normal, but perfectly authentic. Back to the airshow... usually you stand in line, and usually for a long wait. But your turn does come and you have a fleeting few moments... ... you can look of course but can't touch! but what would you give to sit in there? "sit in the real jet"... The aim of the ultimate in simulation is break down that barrier, and to be able to not only sit in the aircraft but to actually flying this expensive complex machine as well, to live the dream. But for to that to work in simulation then the detail must above and beyond, you thought what was excellent even a few years ago, but here with this Hawk you see the level go higher again, and in a few years it will go even higher... but for now this is the best of the best current standard. First glance inside the Hawk cockpit is the usual overwhelming complexity. But usually as you decipher and break the detail up and work it all out it all comes to make sense... Panels are grouped as: Left console – throttle, engine starting, electrical and flying control systems Left main panel – weapon selection and radio Centre main panel – flight instruments and weapon sighting Right main panel – engine instruments Right console – avionics equipment You can't expect every switch or button and knob to work in the cockpit, but I would guess the number is still very high in here at around 90%. In the rear seat that percentage is around 70%, not bad, but you still miss a few things you would like to control. Cockpit detail is to the extreme. Many fighter cockpit have been exceptional in detail, but don't convey that realism factor, but that is not the case here, it is about as real as it gets, every seat belt, material stitching, pipe, metal panel, screw, nut and bolt is visible and all have highly realistic textures... ... the highlight is the instrument panel glareshields, they have that dusty, not touched since installed look about them, you just want to move your fingers in the dust to create a mark, perfection. Menu/Features The menu is fully featured and positioned via the usual JustFlight left screen side arrow, scrolling on the arrow will make it transparent. This menu layout is far better than the earlier menus, as they had just a red transparency when selected and they looked very dated. This version has coloured items for selection and looks the business. There are 21 selections and features to choose from, and not in any order we will start with the pilots. There are two animated realistic pilots that you can select via the menu, you can also select if you want their visors up or down... ... one note is that if you put the front seat pilot's visor down the screen image goes slightly darker, but the rear visor does not create the same effect? also the pilots selection is only external, so if you are seated in the front or rear seat, then the other seat internally is empty, which is a bit odd as you can select if you want this feature or not? (arrowed) Why not show the internal pilot if you so wish for realism? Overall the pilots are excellent in detail. Selections include static elements like: chocks (rear wheels), tags and pitot and engine inlet/outlet covers, and a very nice work maintenance step frame... ... another ingress option is the aircraft's built in steps, or pop out extensions that are well done (arrowed above). Options include the external diesel tank carried by display aircraft, or the M61A1-Vulcan 6,000 rounds per minute centre mounted cannon... Four armament racks allow a variety of weapons, that are selected via the X-Plane "Weapons" menu, here we have the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM120-AMRAAM, but bombs can be carried as well, but just watch their excessive weight are balanced! Nice detailing on the armament racks that will change to the correctly selected armament. Forward locker opens to reveal the avionic equipment racks. There are two Hawk versions to choose from in the T1 or the T1a. This is noted via the extension over the exhaust outlet... ... but in reality it is a bit useless? The difference between the T1 and T1a versions is that the T1 is the trainer, and the T1a is the armed or fighter version? so why not use the selection to denote the different types by having the armament off for the T1 and the aircraft armed for the T1a version? Menu options internally include the aiming gunsight, and two left and right flip up frequency display panels... ... they don't actually display any frequencies? but there is a fix by MatthewM that adds in the frequencies via an texture file. The same display fix is also in the Red Arrows display livery by Christophe, and here you also get with the livery the lovely Red (Arrows) flying suits as well! With the external diesel tank attached you get a double panel of a set of coloured lights on top of the glareshield (yellow arrows), but there are no notes on if they work, or why? There is a good kneeboard for checklists that pops up. It can be moved around the screen, but it is not scalable, which makes it a bit of a blocking visual distraction in the air (as you can't see anything forward!) as the menu itself is also locked to the left side of the screen and again not scalable.... joysicks front and rear can be hidden and note the "Rudder Lock" (arrowed) Final menu options include a "Cold and Dark" to ready (electrical on/off) and a full engine start up that starts the engines and configures hydraulic and electrical systems so that you are ready to taxi feature, you could call it a "Scramble mode!". There is a feature that configures the aircraft so that weapons are live (ready to fire) and you can select/change the livery from the menu. Instrument panels Power up and the Hawk comes to life. Panel lighting is excellent and adjustable for the left, right and main instrument panels. Annunciator warning panel (CWS - Central Warning System) can be tested. Main cluster of flying instruments covers clockwise... Turn-and-slip indicator, Main Artificial Horizon, Backup Artificial Horizon. Main Altimeter, Vertical speed indicator (VSI), Horizontal situation indicator (HSI) or heading indicator, Directional gyro indicator (DGI), Combined speed indicator (CSI)... top centre left is the Accelerometer. Right front panel is clockwise: Standby altimeter, Cabin Altimeter, Oxygen supply contents, Fuel gauge, TGT indicator (Turbine Gas Temperature), Engine LP shaft rotation indicator/RPM indicator. The Oxygen flow indicator will flip on and off if the oxygen is flowing correctly. lower right is the electrical switchgear and panel lighting adjustment knobs. Depending on if the Hawk is armed or not (T1a) then the firing panel is located upper left... The Lock/Live switch is upper right (magenta arrow). Pylon (rack) selection and armament selection is on the Weapon Control panel, but don't for "heaven's sake" fire it off on the ground like I did... ... as it is not pretty and I suppose that is what the "Safety" is for! The Hawk has a CCS or Communications Control System which provides overall control of the elements of the communications system. The CCS integrates the VHF transmit facilities and the audio signals from this equipment and from the ILS and TACAN receivers. It also integrates the audio tone of the tone generator in the Central Warning System. The radio below the weapons panel is the UHF radio set, but with X-Plane11 you can't access UHF, so the Hawk uses regular VHF frequencies. This radio will control the COM 1 frequencies. It is very nicely done anyway, and super easy to set and use. There are also 20 preset frequencies you can use and if you want a certain frequency, it can be set via the ‘manifest.json’ file with a text editor. Right Console Right panel has the other radio set and this unit is again a UHF unit, but set to the regular VHF (X-Plane) frequencies. This radio controls the COM 2 frequencies. Again the radio can be preset to frequencies and details on the correct insert order (‘manifest.json’) can be found in the manual. The radio panel layout and detail here really good and quite authentic (to a point with X-Plane restrictions). An ILS installation is comprised of a localiser and glideslope receiver and a marker receiver, there is no autopilot, so the ILS is a visual reference only. The Hawk is fitted with an IFF/SSR (Identification Friend or Foe/Secondary Surveillance Radar) system which provides identification facilities and IFF, and civil SSR including ‘Mode S’. The system provides facilities for an IFF or SSR ground radar station to interrogate the aircraft and for the aircraft to rapidly and automatically transmit an identifying reply. The system replies to Mode 1, 2, 3/A, 4, C and S interrogations, including civil and military emergency interrogations. The IFF/SSR control display unit (CDU) is used to control the operation of the IFF/SSR transponders. It works in this aircraft in the MODE 4 interrogations 4A and 4B and for civilian M3/A or auto selection. Note the oxygen valve (yellow arrow above right). Lower panel known as the "Leg" panel is on the upper panel is the AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System) control unit, and the lower is the ISIS control unit (Ferranti ISIS Century Series Gunsight). The AHRS is used to calibrate the artificial horizon or align, and if the balls (both main and standby) are lazy then you haven't done this before flying the aircraft. The Ferranti ISIS Century gunsight is adjusted via the left and right knobs (arrowed above right), but I can't see any brightness adjustment, so the sight is quite hard to see? Mode selections include: GA – for air-to-air firing, G – this mode is for air-to-ground gun attacks. With G selected, the aiming mark is then depressed to cater for the gravity drop of the shell, R – same as G, but drift control will adjust the horizontal position of the sight, B – when B is selected, the sight is initially depressed, but can still be moved with the depression control. S – same as B, but the sight is not initially depressed. M - air-to-air missile attack mode is not available. Left Console On the left the console covers the aircraft's throttle, engine starting, electrical and flying control systems. Note first the rearward and slightly hidden main fuel cock lever. Engine start and aircraft (electric) trim switches are rear panel. The lovely stubby throttle is excellent, but note the catch? (arrowed), to move the throttle and the catch needs to set in the up position, but be careful if you hit the catch in flight to click down, as then if you go back to idle the throttle will then lock, unless you release the catch again to up... not the best idea to do if you are on an approach? A set of five gauges cover: No. 1 and No. 2 hydraulic system pressure, Brakes supply pressure and Left and right brake pressures. Left lower main panel are buttons to raise and lower the undercarriage, "UP" is retraction, and "DOWN" is extraction, very different from the usual lever... a manual gear release for both the nosewheel and main gear is here as well. More unusual is a switch (arrowed above right) to lower the flaps between: Up - Mid - Down. and confusing is the flap setting of 0 -5 x10 (degrees). The battery "Volts" gauge is on this side panel as well. Rear position has a few items removed... ... with the ISIS Gunsight panel which is missing and AHRS is disconnected, and the left upper armament panel (T1a) shows the weapon activity, but there is no access to the switchgear.... side consoles lose the IFF/SSR panel right and the engine startup panel left. Overall I think the aircraft finds the right balance on providing a realistic immersion in the cockpit, without that overkill of the minute of details. Flying the BAe Hawk T1a Back to the airshow... you know when the air display is going to start, and everyone runs to the fence by the runway. Usually I go the other way and run to the parc fermé, as there is nothing, I mean nothing like a jet aircraft or helicopter starting up it's engine(s). (hint turn up your sound volume a little) Starting up the Hawk is actually quite easy. The T1 has a Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter/Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU) installed above the engine to permit ground self-starting and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. So there is no ground power cart (GPU). The system is comprised of a gas turbine air producer and a free turbine starter motor. The air producer (GTS) is at the top of the fuselage, forward of the ram air turbine. It supplies air via a solenoid-operated start valve, and when the dump valve is closed it supplies air to the starter motor which is fitted to the engine external gearbox and drives the HP shaft through the gearbox. It is really a bleed system, but a sort of that it builds up the pressure and then blows it into the starter motor, and that then turns the engine. The GTS also automatically supplies fuel to the nozzles in the combustion chamber containing two igniter plugs, then when you light the match.. oh, ignite the fuel it starts up the Adour jet engine. So fuel cock off, and switch on the fuel pump... Then you press the Start/Relight button forward on the throttle, which is a sort of primer button, but it is building up the air pressure ready to flow it into the turbine starter, and priming the fuel into the engine. When ready or primed you get a green light GTS lit up ready on the right panel... Then you just flick the start switch to "Start". The Adour's startup sounds and start sequence is amazing, highly realistic and the sort of a grin of ear to ear of excitement! Loud, keep it loud... bugger the neighbours sort of loud. Engine LP shaft rotation indicator and RPM indicator wizz around into action... then you get a "Rotation" light come on! At this point you need to nudge the throttle slightly forward, and you get the same sort of fire up that you get in an airliner when you turn on the fuel switches at around 18-20 N2, but then the Adour powers up to full power. The CWS will show HYD and AC (1-3) warnings so you have to reset them on the upper left panel by pressing the buttons (arrows upper right). And you are good to go... remember there is an easy start feature in the menu that does all this for you, but in reality it isn't that hard... If you get the start sequence wrong though it is 3 min wait to retry for another engine start. Remember to turn on the oxygen (switch right middle console), if working correctly the flow is seen via a flicking on/off flow meter upper right panel... however the rear seat oxygen switch and flow meter does not work? Ready to fly... The parkbrake lever is hard to access (or find) far right down by the seat. When moving then be aware of the front nosewheel. First it has a very long trailing link, but it can be very flickery as well (It flickers badly even when standing still?), and so it is very easy for it to go quickly at an odd angle... it works and works fine, but you have to get used to it when taxiing, it is a bit like the A320's remote tiller feel. Sounds when taxiing are excellent, with all that turbine power but whistle flow aural. Note the mirror reflections of the explosive cord. Usually I find these internal mirrors are quite poor, but in here they are the opposite and have very good and realistic reflections. Flaps are set to "Mid" for takeoff, and required if you are carrying a lot of fuel and full armaments. Your forward view is quite restricted at the normal FOV setting (73º), you could make it higher, but that is not realistic either, but it is hard to look forward and read the lower instruments at the same time at this FOV... ... throttle up and you give the aircraft about 80% RPM, not too much to make sure at first the front gear is tracking correctly... gradually to 90% then a third down the runway you give the Hawk the full 100% thrust. You want to feel that punch in the back, you certainly get the thrust but it is more slower building up speed than you would think it would be... ... I found 160 knts to rotate (officially JF note 190 knts?), and you quickly need to get the flaps to zero 0º (500 ft!) and the gear up, so I flick both switches at the same time, but remember to counter the flap lift loss! Ground and air gear animations are excellent, aural retraction (and extraction) gear sounds are also top notch, and the aircraft's excellent FMOD 360º sound externally and in the cockpit is as expected at this level are extremely good.... and yes the hairs on you neck will stand up and get quickly prickly. The Hawk's feel depends on the weight, you feel the extra weight of the T1a fully loaded compared to the far lighter T1 trainer, and although you felt it a bit sluggish on the ground the aircraft will accelerate very quickly to 300 knts in the air, and even while climbing set at 90% thrust. The T1 can climb at a whopping usual 9,300 fpm and one aircraft was known to climb at 11,800 feet per minute, light of course, but that is still phenomenal. Other statistics are still overwhelming with a maximum speed of 1,040 Kph 658 Mph/572 Knts and a service ceiling of 50,000ft and a range of (with only internal fuel) 2,400 kilometers 1,490 MI/1,295 NMI. That acceleration can deceive you, if you don't watch your artificial horizon, as with a quick glance at the Vertical speed indicator it will surprise you, for when you think you are flying nice and level as but the Hawk is still actually climbing easily upwards, so you will need to be aware of the aircraft's tendency to keep on lifting even when you want level flight and the required need adjust to that flight pitch angle and thrust requirement. There are no helpers in here to fly the aircraft for you, so this is all stick and rudder flying. To make it a bit more easy than relaxing then adjust the trim... ... the main tailplane trim is hidden under a safety cover rear left console (arrowed) and it is tricky to use as it is electric, but to be honest I have struggled with all JustFlight trims as the Arrow lll was a nightmare to trim easily. The far back position makes it hard to use as well visually (Any keyboard/joystick trim ideas are even worse), but if you do finally get the vertical trim set then the Hawk feel nicely balanced and requires only slight adjustments to it's flight path, but still watch those wide vertical speed swings with any adjustment of thrust (certainly more power). This is an aircraft to fly in the focus and fine movements as than the chucking it all around the sky, although it is a lovely almost aerobatic machine. If you want to fulfill your Airshow fantasies then this is the best aircraft into doing so... Approaching EGOV (RAF - Valley) RWY 14, you keep the Hawk at 170 knts and 200 ft off the deck, and don't forget to wave as you flypast, then just power up and climb away at 2000fpm, yes it is all as good as you thought it would be! Getting the speed down can be tricky though. You do have a two-stage airbrake far rear under the fuselage, but remember if the wheels are down, it doesn't activate? So any serious rub off of speed has to be done before you extend the gear. The aircraft systems included here are very comprehensive. Most of the major systems are covered including... Fuel system, Electrical systems, Central Warning systems (CWS), Hydraulic systems, Flight Control systems, Communications Control System (CCS), Air-Conditioning systems and Oxygen systems, Engine systems (Including the comprehensive start up system) and all systems have built in failures, and in most cases more than one system can fail at a single time. Full details of each system are well detailed in the manual. Lighting Internal cockpit lighting is excellent, as three knobs adjust the main panel and the two side consoles front and rear... ... there is "Emergy" panel dim switch, but in reality you adjust the panel lighting down anyway from the very bright full panel setting. Note the great night glass canopy reflections and to also note the reflections on the instruments and glass cannot be switched off, which may annoy a few fliers. External has both (the same) taxi and landing light in the nose, that X-Plane wise is highly visible, navigation lights and selectable Anti-Collision red or white strobes. The white flashing strobes at night are highly visible in the cockpit, but realistic. Landing Time to land... fighter jets can be tricky to land, as they are built for the extremes of speed and manoeuvrability and not the basic areas of flying. 150 knts is a nice approach speed clean, but once the flaps are down full and the gear is extended then your goal is 130 knts, but be aware of the fall in performance below the 130 knt zone as it is severe... .... I have found several times at this point in the approach the aircraft will start to behave oddly, of which I call the "Wobbles", power percentage is critical in staying out of the zone, because if the aircraft starts doing the "wobble" then in over correcting, you can lose it... more power or stopping the stall doesn't really fix it either, but helps, so the best way to get out of it is just to abandon the landing, go around and get it better and cleaner in the next approach and not in trying to fight it. It is groove thing in that when you get the aircraft into that fine groove of approach and then controlling the speed, then it can all come clean... power off to around 110knts and let the Hawk sink down, but be aware that the final stall speed is around 106 knts which is very close to the 110 knts required. Flare and touchdown has to be smooth as the gear is very supple, get it wrong or hit the tarmac to quickly or too hard and the T1 will bounce, so there is a fair bit of skill required to land the Hawk smoothly and professionally, but then again this aircraft is not for the average flier. Liveries There is a bonanza of liveries available. Twelve are provided with the aircraft package, and another twelve are available as a separate livery pack. Focus is totally on the RAF and RAF Valley, with a few international airforce users, but no Australian livery version, which is an odd one? Blank is default... The free Christophe Red Arrows "Flag" is noted here (below right) as it is a great livery. _________________________________________________ Livery pack has some excellent RAF celebration and production factory designs... Summary X-Plane has had some very good fighters or military aircraft of this category, the best is the AMX jet, FA-18F Super Hornet, X-Trident Panavia Tornado and MiG-29. But all fall short mostly now, as in most cases they are still all X-Plane10 (or with minor X-Plane11 modifications) aircraft and in reality all are very dated, only the GR4 Tornado is really what you would call modern... also they are all not in this price range or quality class, so that leaves this Hawk T.1 all in a category on it's own. The price in the mid-40's of US Dollars is to be considered in this summary. Again no fighter has cost this much, so you are expecting a high level of quality and a load of features. Yes you get both, as the quality here is exceptional and there is a realism with the cockpit from the external and internal views that is certainly a new level of real world reflection and hence the exceptional glass. So the aircraft in design is certainly top notch, and so does the custom sounds live up to their high expectations as well, the start up engine noises are simply the best yet for a small jet engine. Features are very good as well, with the expected static elements, quick engine starts, aircraft stands, opening canopy and equipment bay and yes the animated pilots are also highly lifelike and can be inserted or not, and you can also have their visors up or down, shame you can't have one in the other seat while you are flying in the front or the rear. Also the menus are good, and better than the earlier JustFlight/Thranda menus, but are not movable or scalable. The version change from T1 to the T1a is a bit of an odd one, where as the T1 is the trainer, the T1a is the armed version, the menu option just adds on a small tail extension? So there are a few quirks with the aircraft, but all are rather minor. Aircraft dynamics are excellent, but require skill and focus, but that is what you need when flying a fast small jet, and it is all physical manual flying as well... the aim here is to out fly yourself, and fly the aircraft to the best of your ability to do so, then the rewards will come. It would have been or even will become even more interesting when the aircraft acquires the X-Plane 11.30 new particle effects, as that was one feature that really kept on coming back to me as I reviewed the aircraft.. I hope we don't have to wait too soon for an 11.30 update for the Hawk as those dynamics would be excellent here. The development process for this Hawk was quite long, but the results have been well worth the wait, and the aircraft is certainly more highly refined for that wait, and overall JustFlight/Thranda are bringing a very much more highly refined and detailed aircraft to X-Plane, yes they cost more, but to have this level of quality and design, then that is also required in the new higher level of simulation that is now available to X-Plane, and it is a level we only dreamed of a few years ago, and more so. So to that person who stood looking at an aircraft and wonders what is it REALLY like to sit in that display aircraft at an airshow, and to actually fly it... well now and here with this excellent JustFlight/Thranda Hawk Trainer you now finally have that answer... Highly Recommended. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer by JustFlight - Thranda Design is a new release for X-Plane11 and NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer Price is US$44.95 Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer Livery Pack is also available... Price is US$14.99 This aircraft is a noted aircraft for X-Plane11 only.  The aircraft is directly available from JustFlight as well. Features Model Accurately modelled Hawk T1 and T1A, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including a storage hatch, ram air turbine (RAT), canopy and crew ladder Ground equipment including chocks, access steps and engine intake covers 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled ejector seats and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit, including AN/ARC 164 UHF radio, plus a retrofitted modern AN/ARC-232 UHF/VHF unit and TACAN/ILS radio units Authentic head-up display (HUD) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) GoodWay compatible Adjustable canopy mirrors with real-time reflections of the environment Animated toe brakes Radio knob animations routed through plug-in logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded electrical system with AC and DC resets and loads Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks Custom-coded hydraulic systems, including functioning RAT Realistic lighting system with rheostat controls Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Capable of loading and firing X-Plane's default weapons. The currently selected loadout is automatically saved for the next flight. Requirements: X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster 8GB RAM or more DirectX 12-capable graphics card from nVidia, AMD or Intel with at least 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux 2GB hard drive space _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation: Download for the BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer is 629.40mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.12gb (including all 24 liveries) Key authorisation and a restart is required. Documents: Highly detailed manual covers installation and all instrument notes, systems details, panel and menu guides and a basic tutorial flight. Hawk X-Plane manual (93 pages) ____________________________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton  29th September 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 11.25 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft- EGOV - RAF Valley for X-Plane 11 1.0.0 by RCMarple (X-Plane.Org) - Free! 
  16. 2 points
    Scenery Preview : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio If your brief was to create an International airport with limited space and on the side of a steep hill, then certainly PAKT - Ketchikan International Airport, Alaska would be the result. Unique as well with this position is as the airport is located on Gravina Island, just west of Ketchikan itself on the other side of the Tongass Narrows, and passengers must take a seven-minute ferry ride across the water to get to the airport from the town. Around the World War II era until the early 1970s, longer range land plane air service to Ketchikan including flights to Seattle were operated via an old military airfield located approximately 20 air miles to the south on Annette Island. Aircraft operated into the Annette Island Airport (ANN) for flights in the local southeast Alaska area included the Grumman Goose and Catalina PBY with these amphibian aircraft being utilized to link the airport with the Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base. The current airport PAKT was opened on August 4, 1973 and was dedicated on the following day. The airport opening was the culmination of an effort by local residents, a 1965 study by the Alaska State Division of Aviation, another study in 1967 choosing the current site on Gravina Island, and land clearing in 1969. One of the first airlines to serve the new airport was Alaska Airlines which inaugurated the first jet service from Seattle to Ketchikan International Airport on August 4, 1973 with a Boeing 720 jetliner. Alaska Air primarily operated Boeing 727-100, 727-200 and 737-200 jetliners (including 737 passenger/cargo Combi aircraft) into the airport before switching to later model Boeing 737 jets. (edited wikipedia). NorthernSkyStudio The first release in scenery for X-Plane by NorthernSkyStudio, was in Hawaii with their Molokai and Kalaupapa airport package. This was a well done package, but quite a small release that would be a great addition to anyone that need's a very good Hawaiian scenery. So here is their next release with the very complex PAKT - Ketchikan International in southern Alaska. My main connection with PAKT - Ketchikan is that is a superb supply airport for CZST Stewart, and the excellent Beti-x scenery that is positioned close by there. So I have over the years toodled back and too to Stewart in mostly Bush, 208 Caravan and the odd GA aircraft from Ketchikan. But that is not using this scenery to anything but it's full potential. The airport is of course positioned central on the famous "Inside Passage" that consists of thousands of islands that are stretched right up the upper west North American continent from Seattle to Glacier Bay, and it is noted as one as THE very best flying areas in the world, for bush pilot and regional flying services. Ketchiken is also on the famous "Milk Run”. The Milk Run are routes that are run daily by Alaska Airlines and Flight 65, starts in Seattle and stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg and Juneau before flying on and landing in Anchorage. The opposite route flight, Flight 66, starts in Anchorage and stops in Cordova, Yakutat and Juneau before flying on to Seattle. There used to be B737 Combi aircraft flying on the route, but the last run was completed last year, and the combi's have now all been replaced by three dedicated 737-700 freighters. Ketchikan International Airport IATA: KTN - ICAO: PAKT - FAA LID: KTN 11/29 - 7,500ft (2,286m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 92 ft / 28 m The airport does have a very unique layout with the main runway of which is located about 30 feet (9.1 m) higher than the apron further on up the hillside, and is connected between the two areas by two sloping taxiways in Taxiway A - RWY 29 and Taxiway B - Rwy 11 for departures. From an X-Plane modeling point of view this multi-elevation layout is extremely hard to get right as you can't rely on the initial mesh layouts, so everything has to be modeled to fit. Get it right, like here at this PAKT and it makes for one of the best arrival experiences in X-Plane. To fit aircraft parking areas on a hillside, it requires different parking zones and there are two (another zone looks like a parking area on TWY A but it is large turning or holding area.). The lower, lower zone (above) accessed by TWY C is for all General Aviation parking and it is quite a large area. The upper apron in front of the terminal is the main commercial zone. If International in the broad sense is the general idea, then PAKT is not in the same capability as say like KDEN - Denver or KLAX - Los Angeles. To put that into context it is to say international here is going from the USA into Canada, not to Japan or Europe. So in that context you have one (yes only one) airbridge and only one large stand or two large (B737/A320) parking slots. The (small) international terminal and it's very striking offset control tower is excellent, really well done with even the local carving set out around the building for authenticity, all the areas around the terminal are also very authentic and highly realistic... .... including the ferry connection ramp system landside, which is highly detailed. The Ferry itself "Ken Eichner -2" is also animated and docks on both sides of the Tongass Narrows waterway. On the airport side it perfectly fits into the wharf. Only comment is that the single airbridge is static and not animated, which is a shame as that would have been a big feature for the scenery. Next to the main apron is a commercial apron for local services, in i.e. charter, sightseeing flights, and island hopping. On the apron are four large hangars of which the first "Aero Services" of who is the cargo handler for the airport. All four hangars have been faithfully reconstructed and are simply excellent. Note the excellent grass and foliage, that is done all around here very well. Ground clutter is again excellent, with correctly branded and shaped custom cargo pallets (called cargo Igloos!), ramp aircraft boarding stands and branded baggage trolleys. Static aircraft are also provided with 208 Caravans and Lear Jets and are all also correctly locally branded. Detail is also really well done. With all the correct fencing and airport aids (including the ILS System). Seaplane base is also highly detailed, beautifully done. There is also a tunnel under the runway, a small thing but again great detail. Textures and surfaces are good, but feel a little light in colour and especially with the runway and taxiway A, which both needed to be both slightly darker, and note the excellent steel drainage grids. The odd looking light green colour surrounding the runway and taxiway areas is actually correct, and not a faded poor texture as it must be a coloured concrete mix (I checked). Port of Ketchikan Where as the airport island scenery is excellent, the port area on the other side of the narrows is a mixed bag. The area looks fine from the airport view point, but I feel the issue here is the underlay ortho textures in being far too light (washed out) in colour. The textures are flat around the wharf edges and level with the water and that creates a non-realistic feel? Worse there are a few important buildings missing that in their distinctive style and roof colour looked poor in being flat, and are as well front and centre visually... overall there is that "okay we will stop there, why bother doing any more" sort of feeling. And missing is all the shipping at both here at the port zone and in downtown Ketchikan (cruise shipping) as well and because they would be noticed from the airport on arrival or departure it makes it all look again rather more empty than it needs to be ... ... there is a huge slipway building, but I can't find the same on any maps? but it looks visually very good. The sailboats don't work either? They are all a bit bright and samey... I'm not expecting every one to be different, but a few changed styles would have made it that all the more realistic. Lighting The lighting overall at PAKT is excellent... Approach lighting is fine. The signage though looks totally out of scale... ... the sign looks as big as a Cessna 152? The colour brightness reflection is far to strong as well and not realistic. A shame because the terminal building and ramp lighting is absolutely first rate. So many developers get night lighting textures so wrong? but here they are perfect and highly realistic. Detail lighting including the excellent down lights are very well done... Ketchikan Port side is more simplistic, but fine and still includes nice lighting window textures, so the lighting is very good all over the scenery. WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided with the scenery, and over all they work very well including the hard situation of a taxi and turnaround on the end of RWY 29. But don't expect a lot of traffic here at PAKT as it is pretty quiet operations wise. Preview Notes I was actually pretty surprised by this PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio as it is really very good, even excellent. Quality and detail is very through and there is a lot in this scenery to consider it's worth. And plus Ketchikan as in it's position is a pretty important airport for not only recreating the "Milk Run", but for a base to cover and explore this excellent "Inside Passage" area, as it is a bush pilot, and regional service supreme flying area. There is a lot of excellent work in here, and to say that NorthernSkyStudio is a developer to watch in delivering quality scenery, but there is the odd fumble in here that needs to be watched, but overall from them this is an excellent release. Positives: Great modeling with a very difficult X-Plane terrain (mesh) to recreate. All airport scenery is absolutely top notch, and night lighting is first rate, detail is excellent with the terminal and ferry ramp and ground clutter is branded and well recreated in detail. Negatives: Ketchikan Port feels like a bit of a left over from the main airport scenery, and feels a little half finished, no shipping is a big visual emptiness that shouldn't be? Signage is out of scale to the airport, looks odd at night and the single airbridge is only static. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska Price is US$25.00 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Review version : 1.0 (August 6th 2018) Download Size: 1gb : Install Size 2.29gb Installation is the airport folder must be set above the "terrain" mesh in the .INI order PAKT_Northern_Sky_Studio (2.25gb) PAKT_Terrain_Northern_Sky_Studio (35.80mb) There is optional 2K textures if you run a lower powered computer, but to be honest they are not really needed as there is really nothing around PAKT to overuse your processors, running 4K textures my framerate was well within the 40's to 50's Extras and Documents: Manual in txt PAKT Installation manual ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 13th August 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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 11.25r2 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
  17. 2 points
    Yes I'm with you all the way on this, I am really, really disappointed there is no internal cargo option... 😢
  18. 2 points

    Behind the Screen : June 2016

    Behind the Screen : June 2016 June started and ended with aircraft. But for a change not the virtual versions but actual real aircraft. I had a quick break at the start of June to go to Tasmania, which is the forgotten apple isle at the bottom end of the Australian continent. Beautiful beyond belief, but freezing wet and cold in winter and that makes the airfares very cheap when the weather is rock bottom, that my brother also lives there was the actual reason for the visit. The bonus of the ride to Melbourne was the chance to take a ride on Jetstar's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, con (36227) and rego VH-VKA. In the strange world of Qantas's route economics the B787 was going 2000nm in the opposite direction of its final destination at Narita in Japan, and the aircraft was barely occupied by only about 30 passengers. You had to check-in as an international flight and then go through arrival customs in Melbourne without actually leaving the country as this was classed as an international flight. Qantas does this route gymnastics quite often as when I went to Hong Kong I went from Brisbane to Sydney before flying back over the same airport four hours later that I had departed from earlier? and Qantas wonder why they are losing money with their shares going south. But a very lightly loaded new generation Boeing was going to be interesting. The pilots decided to have some fun before doing the hard yards to Japan. So it was a +3000fpm climb to a final altitude of 42,000ft, straight up and almost close to space. Up there it was more like being in the Gemini capsule in that the aircraft was static and the world now moved around under you and not the other way around. I could have balanced a pen upright and it would not have fallen over as was so smooth the Dreamliner, the landing was also one of the most slowest I have done in an aircraft of this size and well under 150knts, amazing stuff. The return trip was by bumpy bucket class A320 via Sydney. The block end of June was fun as well with an "Open Cockpit" day at the Queensland Air Museum (QAM) at Caloundra. Here they open up the aircraft so you can crawl all over the aircraft and make buzzing noises in the pilot's seat. But there was a serious side to getting up close to some really interesting aircraft. A KingAir 200B (VH-FII), Fokker F27 (VH-FNQ) and a rare Beech 2000A Starship (N786BP) and for myself to compare the real deal with the virtual versions. The main things to stand out is that the real aircraft inside are very small and tight, but huge outside in context to the actual space you work in. Vision is surprisingly limited, yokes are beyond small and tiny, levers and controls are heavyweights and very clunky to use or move and getting into and out of cockpit seats requires a circus diploma in acrobatics. Overall it gave a vital comparison to the computer versions and I will fly all very differently with the new perspectives. The Starship was an amazing aircraft that usually flew at a ceiling of 35,000ft, but sitting in that passenger and later the pilot's seat, I don't know if I would like to be that high up in it, it is very tube like and tight inside with just a small window look out on to those vast sweptback wings, the panel and instruments were quite standard early glass-era Beech. A final interesting aircraft that was in poor condition was the Cessna 336 Skymaster VH-CMY C/N 336-0005 with another very tight lovefest of your fellow pilot cabin, but those huge twin boom tails were very impressive. X-Plane 10.50 Release X-Plane beta 10.50 crashed and banged into our lives that 10.50b1 soon became 10.50b5 and now 10.50b6. But thankfully all is well with our X-Plane world now. Although the upgrade list is large, I haven't found the total complete love yet, in that I can't see any new autogen in density and it is all restricted just to the US doesn't bode well for the rest of the world where we really need it. My early framerate was shocking as well but settled down to a reasonable level, so I decided to let the waters smooth down a bit before making any major assumptions, but overall it is still too jerky and frustrating when flying even with a frame rate running high (50fr) and perfectly fine for my tastes. Like most new X-Plane versions released lately they seem to be getting shorter but are also much more stable and that is reflected in the now (slightly) larger team at Laminar Research and it shows. That said I was seriously impressed by the new features including an all new X-Plane menu and interface shown at Flightsimcon 2016 watch the video and see your new brave world coming soon, X-Plane will be seriously (insanely) good when we get to that release with it maybe even noted as X-Plane 11. Officially X-Plane11 doesn't still yet exist, but 10.50 is looking very much like the final complete 10 version run. Laminar can't hold X-Plane11 back for ever either, as it makes them huge instantaneous money or a load of new income by a new version release that goes a long way into paying the bills and wages. FlyJSim Boeing 727 Study v2 I had a strange issue with the the FlyJSIm aircraft when I moved over to the Window's killer thriller. Both the B727 or B732 would not work (the Boeing 732 still doesn't) so it took nearly a week of pain and problems to finally get the new v2 version to finally fly on the computer. Something with the sound files and the dreamengine, just wouldn't let the full loading of the files happen. So I missed the release date because of the issues, but what annoyed me more was the issues could have been cleared up months before when I first reported it, as noted the Boeing 732 is still in some sort of intergalactic machine limbo and I have just given up on flying it in Windows? I have spent over the years a fair few hours in the Boeing 727 and it certainly is right up there with the best of the best in X-Plane aircraft, the v2 update puts it even higher in quality and with the 60's style flying experience, but for all the brilliance, I just want to look out of the cabin windows at my takeoffs and landings in the replays? Is that too hard a request with an aircraft in this price range. As when all the hard work is done you can sit back and revel in your supreme handiwork and replay the whole flight and convince yourself you now really brilliantly good at this flying caper, well not still in the B727 you can't and I am now going to believe that I will go to my grave and not do so. PMDG and the whole damn fine thing Precision Manuals Development Group have a huge reputation in the Microsoft Flight Simulation (FS) world. But that doesn't say the same model works in X-Plane as many other FS developers have found out. The clever ones bridge the gap by using top X-Plane developer specialists and really circumnavigated the obvious issues, and in the process they have done very well in X-Plane. PMDG's approach is unique and clever in the fact that to just create from the ground up an aircraft just for X-Plane, and not try to bend the FS product to run on X-Plane's rules. It is certainly a brave and costly approach. But with this approach the return information on the inner workings of the X-Plane environment will pay out dividends when you really understand how the simulator deep down really ticks. You feel this newly acquired knowledge in the product and how far PMDG are willing to go to understand the platform and this approach has to be seriously applauded. So the released DC-6 Cloudmaster is quite a different but very interesting aircraft to fly and use in X-Plane. PMDG's willingness to create different but clever new features does really standout as well and mostly in the areas of usability that actual aircraft features, very clever and certainly made the flying and the use of the aircraft far more enjoyable than I ever expected. It is not totally perfect, but it is very good... ... So yes I was very surprised and very impressed by what PMDG have achieved. But as a caution to note that this release is not the best style or type of aircraft to make final surmise of the X-Plane platform for future releases as the aircraft is too much a niche product. If PMDG were to release one of their mainstream aircraft and there is a lot to choose from in the MD-11, Boeing 747-400 and 737NG series, then with the current detailing of what is included with the DC-6 then PMDG would do very well in X-Plane and certainly create a devoted following of their products like Carenado have done. My choice would be their Boeing 747-400 series and that aircraft would certainly be a notable seller on the X-Plane platform, overall I was seriously impressed by PMDG and their X-Plane approach. The paradox This of course brings us to the paradox that PMDG and Aerosoft and their like are caught up in. Can they afford to ignore X-Plane and it's small user base in terms of sales. Still the FS world is a huge but it is now a seriously aging simulator, 32bit and all as is Prepar3d. Dovetail have bought the FS rights and are claiming to reinvent and upgrade the simulator to a more modern platform, but my personal view it is just a repackaging exercise to keep the platform at least viable and Dovetail's first average training release seems to confirm that view. The problem for PMDG and Aerosoft et all, is just that elephant in the big room... 64bit? Laminar Research bit the bullet and did the switch a few years ago, but our base plugin aircraft back then were few and not the huge range we have today, but now consider Flight Simulation's huge mammoth user base and even X-Plane would struggle to cover all the aircraft that would now have needed to be converted over. Ben Supnik was right and it would hurt and it took three months to clear and fix all the plugins, but could FS do the same? or lose such a huge amount of unusable aircraft as success and market domination can at times turnaround and kill you. And then consider that X-Plane year on year well past the cut off date of FS as it has been updating and beta-ring away with very detailed new X-Plane versions of a very current simulator and soon as noted above X-Plane will be going into another new version cycle with X-Plane11, like it or not X-Plane cannot be ignored, and how many of the adopted ones that have come over to X-Plane have noted they would simply love to go back there, and the only reason they do is for the likes of PMDG et all, but most if not all love their new X-Plane environment. So still on the X-Plane.Org forums we get the cry of "why don't we still get the big names of Flight Simulation in X-Plane". Well if you look around you a lot are already here. But it does come down to fear or even survival in simulation. The ones I can't understand are scenery developers are like FlyTampa, as most airports are mostly the same objects and textures on an X-Plane base then why don't they develop for X-Plane, it is a market easy transferred as aircraft are harder to translate with X-Plane's basic "blade theory" and the way the aircraft interacts with the simulator makes it a completely different build than with FS, but in strangely weird way we get more FS aircraft than scenery? But there has to be the point of the seesaw moving the other way, as pure survival will make the difference as to change or die, can you see FS in another four or five years time as X-Plane swings into X-Plane12 (unless Austin Meyer kills himself in his driverless Tesla car). Four years is not a long way off and yes even I would admit anything can change in that period. Will X-Plane11 finally be the circumstances of change and mass migration from FS to X-Plane? The main issues in change is one the X-Plane interface as FS users hate it and won't use it, but that issue is being fixed in X-Plane11 with a whole new visual interface. The other huge barrier is the actual developers themselves... ... the biggest issue is the the huge investments that have been made in FS in aircraft and scenery, reverse the situation in that would I go to FS with all the investments I have made in X-Plane and the answer is no. So why can't the developers drop the barriers and let their clients transfer their already paid investments over to X-Plane, or ask a nominal fee to do so as it is in their own interests to do so. If you are not going to lose your favorite aircraft or scenery then the choice to change is not going to be hurt by the fact that you have to pay the same amount again to get the same thing in another simulator. Once the migration starts then all the other scenery, plugin developers and effects houses will quickly move over as well. My favorite words are "critical mass", once it generates its own power it will continue to do so, and it just takes a small amount of energy to start the process... But when will X-Plane hit that "Critical Mass" point. Like everything else in life and even for Apple Computer with the iPhone, it will be an interesting few years ahead for the X-Plane simulator. Stephen Dutton 11th July 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  19. 2 points
    X-PlaneReviews - Yearly Review 2015 “So this is Xmas, And what have you done, Another year over, And a new one just begun, And so this is Xmas, I hope you have fun, The near and the dear one, The old and the young… A very Merry Xmas, And a happy New Year, Let's hope it's a good one, Without any fear (Happy Xmas “War is Over” John Lennon). How many years since that recording was made? 44 years believe it or not and it feels that not much has changed with the world, so how would have John Lennon felt today, maybe like then it is simply a fruitless campaign, there is just too much hate around us that it still overwhelms the love. But thankfully that hate does not spill over into our X-Plane world (except on some forums), but there is certainly a lot of love around here for all of us in creation, cooperation and the love of sharing shows that it can be done when you focus and love something as much as we do with our digital and online flying, we get it right so why can’t everyone else… Overall it was another standout year for the simulator, there was no real highpoints or low points, but just a steady stream of releases and great ideas. Cohesion is certainly covering the simulator and it feels now more solid than ever, but that also depends on the huge amount of add-ons in plugins that you can hang off X-Plane now, personally myself I don’t throw everything into the box, as the main reason is I need a pretty solid platform for reviews, so when thoroughly tested and proven and mostly if it can add in a real benefit and then and only then does it go into the plugin folder. One major annoyance that I have found this year is the growing amount of developers that will only create “Windows” only applications (they say they will do Mac/Linux version but never do). One issue is that this treatment means they won’t get any exposure from this site (meaning sales) but X-Plane is a multi-platform simulator and not FS based windows sim, noting I should use “windows” is defeating the idea as Mac/Linux users still don’t have access… the total reality of this approach is the losers are the developers themselves as their sometimes brilliant work is usually mostly not taken up as a global application in the simulator and is usually then left sidelined and waysided in the process, it is not easy I admit to convert Windows code to Mac/Linux based code, but that is what the simulator is built on and more Macs than ever are being sold today as desktop systems, it is your loss dev’s not mine. Laminar Research As usual the beta run from Laminar Research is usually the high point in changes to the simulator. This year it was the v10.40 run that was very successful in being very solid in it’s underlying foundations. The highlight was of course the extended scenery and the option to load area in 4×3 DSFs (tiles) for less blurry long distance viewing. LR at the same time provided a new way of loading the DSF’s and with more multicore processing to get faster load times for more area being loaded. The result was a transformation of your X-Plane landscape that was wonderful to behold (if ages in coming) and certainly made the simulator far more competitive. The global airport domination carried on with now thousands (2,306) of 3-D default airports in situ ready and waiting for your personal use. However my original fears came back in receptive horror that every airport I landed at then had double objects and nothing looked anything like normal, so “Global Airports” are now always out of my custom scenery folder more than being actually in it (usually in there just for beta upgrades) so it is of simply no use to me? Laminar Research notes that it is the responsibility of the add-on developers to make sure there is no conflict, but I always thought that was a huge big ask from the first off anyway and that is certainly turning out to be so, the fix needs to come internally. There was some nice changes in v10.40 and some really backward steps in the lighting, before you had small tight lights but now huge blobs of lights all over aircraft and airports. If there is one area I hate it is in the lighting, awful stuff, I understand that with the change of view the light definition source becomes larger or smaller, but the overall lighting look is a severe backward step in mostly very few are adjusting their lighting to the new format. Touches were made to the weather (winds aloft and METERS, GPS, new failures, views and multi-core AVI based Video was restored and certainly a lot of great bug fixes were addressed and overall the X-Plane simulator runs far more smoother and more cohesive, and in context 10.40 was a very good clean upgrade. But, but and more but’s in the main context 10.40 didn’t really deliver in the other areas that are well overdue for attention, Clouds are still a major feature of the X-Plane 10 launch feature list, but are still as we start to pass the middle section of the beta run an area that has had the least amount of focus and is causing the most anguish to simulator users. Light clouds are fine but when they get grey or go darker you are hit with a total wall of framerate pain. No one is immune and users have been drove to desperation in creating lighter textures, adding weather add-ons and mostly screaming at their computers in frustration as aircraft will not fly in these conditions, why have all these glorious weather options when you can’t use any of them? And the moon (that jagged piece of crap in the sky), and the stars are still, still reflecting on the ground as you fly? Water and certainly your tropical waters are basically still in the X-Plane stone-age and not to mention the poor ATC (ATC is finally getting attention in v10.45) but as a warning to Laminar Research in that if these areas are not addressed soon, then users will get more and more vocal and certainly their patience will certainly finally wear out in waiting for any relief from the cloud pain… ditto for night textures as well. Plugin Add-ons Again the creative of you all brought out some great ideas and refined older ones, there was hundreds of great ideas but like mentioned not many actually came through to the mainstream (see “Windows only” above) Lots of Soundsets, Planners, Checklists, Cloud and Water options (see above) FMC helpers, Ebags and a great selection of library management tools. A few did stand out. Headshake and Expansion Packs from SimCoders were great and realistic additions, in Headshake it needed to be finely tuned to your needs, but when done was a great advantage to flying. FSFlightSchool created far more interesting tutorials, and are certainly worthy for getting your flying skills just right JARDesign brought out a great plugin that created animated “Ground Support” called “Ground Handling Deluxe”, certainly a plugin in its infancy, but its potential is enormous in the X-Plane landscape. The standout plugin application was not one that was released in 2015, but certainly matured in mid-year and that was “WorldTraffic” from Classic Jet Simulations (Greg Hofer). I started out the year in 2015 in wanting to conquer the WorldTraffic world, and even I admit it was tough going in setting it up and creating the ground and air routes, but suddenly with the v2.0 release in September it all fell finally into place and the airports were also suddenly groaning under the weight of movement and traffic. WT sits there in the background buzzing away and now I can’t get enough of it. Scenery Freeware Scenery In Freeware MisterX6 dominated all with his excellent KSFO - San Fran City, KSAN (San Diego), KLAX - Los Angeles (upgraded), KPHX - Phoenix and KPDX – Portland International. tdg went awol in the middle of the year, but still delivered some stunning and efficient scenery. And the usual suspects kept the home fires burning brightly… overall it was a very good year for good quality freeware scenery, in this area X-Plane still delivers really great work, so a slap on the back and lots of accolades to all those who put in the hours is always certainly a worthy cause. An annoying trend developing in 2015 was developers now creating many versions of the same airport in various degrees of quality, to a point it is waste of time and lots of work done for nothing, If you can design a better version than the current version then fine, but why create an inferior one? I like the approach of LIRF - Roma in that the earlier original version by Wehrlipub was passed on to Seaman and he added and kept the scenery moving and improving ever on upwards with updates, and this approach this creates great progressive scenery instead of the hundreds of stalled projects that litter the downloads section. Freddy De Pues decided enough was enough and noted that 2015 was his last year in creating scenery, so the whole kit and caboodle was handed over to Nicolas of X-Plane.Org fame to relist and host in the saving of a great legacy of work for future generations, thanks Fred, we will miss your input. Payware Scenery The United Kingdom got the best of the payware scenery this year with EGCC - Manchester from Icarus first out of the box in 2015 which was excellent and so was a big hole filler in EGLL-Heathrow from Aerosoft. PilotPlus delivered huge in EGHI - Southampton and EGGD - Bristol and the quirky EGTR - Elstree, the lighting in all was sensational, but overall all were good quality solid scenery releases. Tom Curtis recovered from cancer to deliver upgrades to Glitter Gulch (Las Vegas) and a cityscape for his huge San Fransisco “Golden Gate+South Bay” sets. Southern American State airports were in vogue in 2015 with KAUS - Austin (great first scenery from Airportech), KTUS - Tuscon, KDAL - Dallas Love Field (last two are actually freeware), KRSW - South Florida (Aerosoft), KATL - Atlanta (Butnaru) all delivering great destinations. Overall Butnaru was quieter this year with the fore mentioned KATL and KFLL Fort Lauderdale as his only two releases with a new rejigged updated ORD (O’Hare) just released with also new name in “Nimbus Simulation Studios. MB Sceneries (formerly SkyHighSim) delivered an outstanding LYBE - Belgrade, and DAI - Media revised all their main sceneries and debuted LEBL - Barcelona. Newcomer Richard G Nunes provided some interesting scenery in the first set out in the central country area of Brazil with SBDN - Presidente Prudente Airport then the Brazilian Monolith of SBGL - Rio De Janeiro with a presiding Jesus Statue (Christ The Redeemer) in October. Drzewiecki Design created some really great (and needed) scenery for X-Plane in 2015, but it was all let down by poor and difficult installation design and on my Mac sceneries there was bad pink staining on all the water boundary edges (Windows is supposed to be okay). Overall the quality of scenery is still improving with the now required inclusion of animated vehicle traffic as a default and rather than a feature, lighting design was one of the real advances as developers really created some amazing effects with little or no framerate penalty, textures were very good as well. The only area that had issues is still night glass transparency in just being grey or not in reflecting real glass well. So any payware that did not deliver animated vehicles, good lighting, perfect textured runways and taxiways and great building textures are now the default and required to be considered as payware quality, thankfully very few actually under delivered in these quality areas. Notable this year was that as these complex highly detailed object sceneries are still going higher in quality, they are also reaching a border line in framerate. Remember that the processing is not just there to deal with the actual scenery, but surrounding the scenery is not only filled with heavy autogen (and usually other airports) but also usually a very heavy complex (payware) aircraft. This is not now the light processing scenery of X-Plane Christmas past, but the really heavy X-Plane processing effort that is required for today’s Christmas present and yes you can buy a computer that can process this lot, but not everyone can afford that upgrading cost on a yearly basis, certainly if you are an Apple devotee in their high cost and lower performance yields. X-Plane is certainly more efficient (clouds aside) and aircraft developers have certainly done a major effort in scaling back errant frame weight (some like the new FlightFactor Boeing 763ER is amazingly light in performance), so that leaves the Scenery Developers to make sure that not only should the scenery be the best you can provide in objects and high-resolution textures, but take more into account that the scenery has to be highly efficient as well. Many do the works as Aerosoft’s EGLL - Heathrow was excellent for the amount of objects that is in the product, and it shows how far they have come since their EHAM - Schiphol that is still a ram crusher of immense proportions. It is not now that the problem exists, but in the Christmas future and non-efficient scenery will be sidelined which means no sales if users can’t access it. A final note on scenery in 2015 was the explosion of object libraries are all welcome of course but two things became really annoying. One was the constant updates (some even days apart) that usually crashed the installed scenery and you had to totally redownload the latest library version to get it all to work again, yes we love your enthusiasm and certainly your contribution to the cause, but just package less and more importantly note the new upgrade of the library. Which brings to the second note on object libraries, certainly a cull is needed and place to have them all accessed from one area and listed in categories. Too many now have only a few objects in them, and I would prefer less with better quality objects certainly with aircraft. (OpenSceneryX is sadly now the worst offender for poor resolution aircraft textures) Aircraft Freeware Aircraft It was noticeable this year the growing gap between freeware and payware aircraft, with their full on bangs and whistles even cheap payware aircraft were overall a better download. That is not to say there was no good freeware because there was like Beber’s Rafale C, and the AN225 by rihardstuka. The line though now is a 3-D cockpit… personally if there isn’t one in there now I will pass. Notable in freeware was ex-payware which was usually old but there was some good stuff if you liked that sort of design or aircraft, highlights of course in this vein was Mr3d’s Zero which is a masterpiece, and the Yak55. One aircraft in all it different versions was the Pilatus PC6 Turbo Porter of which I like to fly around mountainous areas and DDen’s Shavrov Sh-2. Overlooked I think is the Eclipse 400 from XPFR. Payware Aircraft It was again a full busy year in 2015 for excellent add-on aircraft, detailing and quality again went up a notch, features abounded as well but mostly notably in the areas of G-Effects and deep menus with full maintenance procedures (we will have to outsource soon. Overall it is the sheer quality of product and range that is available to you now, just think only a few years ago and how we squealed over even the smallest release (bigger than a new Star Wars movie!). Special feature of the year was the Holy Grail of Shiny Objects and Chrome for X-Plane. Dden brought out an early version for the Challenger 300, but FlightFactor created perfection with the Boeing 767-300ER, that was so realistic you were totally blown away by the detail. Lightsports Lightsports or ultralight aircraft were very abundant this year, The Cruz PiperSport from Alabeo was a cool small aircraft and Alabeo threw in the excellent DiamondStar DA40 as well. The Tecnam P2002 from DMAX was a fun machine. The Cirrus SR20 will appear in two categories it is small but “light” enough? We will move that one to the GA section. And finally the double act of the Aquila 210 and A211G that was an impressive debut from PicusX. General Aviation No category is more crowded and more competitive than the General Aviation (GA) area (yes even more than Airliners which there are less but far bigger releases), and 2015 was a bumper year in GA releases, all good and all very top quality. Overall Carenado had a quieter year than they usually do with the full range of their aircraft having an v3.0 upgrade at the start of the year, and another to close the year off with v3.1 (to cover the X-Plane 10.40 upgrade). Most of the main Carenado GA releases are now Alabeo brand releases, but in reality there is nothing to separate them now from the usual Carenado releases of only a few years ago in quality and price. I have noted the PiperSport and DA40, but I really liked (far more than I thought I would) Alabeo’s C404 Titan, a simply great cruiser and a lovely aircraft, and the lovely Alabeo C207 Skywagon was a blast from the past Carenado’s 2015 focus was on creating a viable advanced Garmin G1000 system and that system debuted on the CT182T Skylane G1000 HD Series in September, it is a complicated self focusing system but it has huge potential. VFlyteAir also released a G1000 system in the Cirrus SR20 Perspective® G1000 which was a very good and interesting machine. RW Designs Beechcraft Duke was different from the usual GA standard and Aerobask’s ViperJet was really out there in design and speed, but still a GA in everyday use. The standout GA however came from nowhere in AirfoilLab’s amazing Cessna 172SP Skyhawk. This aircraft shook the establishment to the core, as it was full of clever features and special effects. Not all of them worked mind you out of the box but in the basics as a great trainer it really totally delivered. On a side note it was as already noted the extension of these ideas to SimCoders in their Reality Expansion Packs for the Carenado CT210 and the F33A… no doubt both AirfoilLab’s and SimCoders will be interesting areas to watch in 2016. Helicopters 2015 was a poor year for our rotary right seat pilots, well nothing was released all year after a very productive 2014. Only X-Trident gave us some great updates to their excellent AB412… otherwise an empty basket, 2016 has to be better. Classic and Utility Aircraft RW Designs did a release in February and a nice upgrade in November to their DH6 Twin Otter, a better aircraft than it looks on the surface. Shade Tree Micro Aviation updated their DHC-2T Beaver Turbo and a good clever upgrade that was. STMA also took over Heinz Dzuirowitz’s Beech 18 after his surprising passing in May and updated that classic aircraft in November. The highlight of releases this year in Classic Aircraft was the excellent SoulMade Simulations DHC-2 Beaver, and what an exquisite aircraft that was and a really top notch simulation of a great old timer, one of the very best of the year. Regional Aircraft Airliners are now THE releases of the year, but they are releasing so many that they needed to be broken into different categories, “Regional” aircraft are so popular that we will note now them apart from the heavy, heavies… STMA started off the year with the Pilatus PC12/47G update, but hot on its heels was another Pilatus PC12-HD from Carenado. The Carenado PC12’s version’s reception was lukewarm, and that was a bewildering and perplexing train of thought? The aircraft was one of the best from Carenado in quality, sheer brilliant design (a cockpit to die for) and even a great special effect in a working stick shaker. Later in the year users finally started to warm to the aircraft and that was one of the big head shakers of the year. Dreamfoil Creations then surprised everyone with their release of the amazing EMB-110 Bandeirante. Better known for helicopters this was Dreamfoil Creations doing a fixed-wing aircraft? Well the situation was not what it seemed as it was not created by Conex but Lidimar Santos under the Dreamfoil banner, the surprise was not that the aircraft was coming as it was in the development pages for ages, but how brilliant it actually was when it landed, and how hard it is to fly really well, one of the other standouts of the year. Airliners The “Heavy” category in X-Plane is always the battle royal of effects, FMC’s, systems, quality textures and the sheer bloody “mine is better than yours” boasting rights. In effect there was no clear winner in 2016, as three contenders battled it out for the top honours, another in the IXEG Boeing 737 Classic is still in release limbo on this yearly summary posting, but I don’t think it would change the final outcome anyway. We will cover the smaller contenders first. Peter Hager released the Airbus A319 mid-year, but it didn’t have much of an impact, personally I have flown Peter Hager’s Airbuses more this year than ever and don’t miss the extensive set up time that you need in JARDesign’s Airbus A320neo. It is accessibility more than absolute functionality that wins here, time is short when you need to be in the air and flying a route for a review, and Peter’s Airbus is usually the best way to do that, in saying that a more better set up in the 3-D cockpit would not go astray, and his A380 Series is certainly really feeling its age now. Two developers that made a big impact on the Airliner scene in 2014, came back a little less green and far more experienced in 2015 was DW Design and X-Crafts. No doubt both these talented developers grew at phenomenal rates to deliver aircraft more mature and far better than both their debut aircraft. DW Design was even more ruthless in re-starting his A330-300 v2 from almost total scratch and delivering a really nice clean aircraft that is far better than it looks on the surface. X-Crafts also totally recreated his original E-195ER to release the smaller E-175 and did not fall into the trap of just merging everything over (keeping the best bits) and making a smaller aircraft from the original E-195ER version which was good anyway. In view the E-175 looks absolutely the same as the E-195ER, but it isn’t and it is a really nice good little aircraft when you spend the flying hours in that aircraft, quality is outstanding and the new FMC is a brave start into the complex and hardest section of all in FMC programming… both parties have learnt that the developer game is certainly not an easy one, users only see the end results, but it is a very hard game to do from scratch and the learning curve is absolutely straight up vertical, but both have certainly delivered and deserve the plaudits they deserve. The third of the top honours goes to Rotate’s McDonnell Douglas MD-88. In all honesty it would have never been the aircraft of the year as a first developer release was never going to achieve that, but third is no slouch either given the competition. This is a glorious machine, it provides every area of sensual satisfaction of flying on a computer. Before you start a comments war in “are you really kidding me!” there are here several points to be made. First the MD-88 is a completely new initiation for the developer and for what it delivers, it is not in the now but in the future that can its real impact be totally accessed. No new developer is going to deliver totally top absolutely pitch perfect product out of the box, as that is not possible anyway (just ask DW Design and X-Crafts on that issue), and to a point as a purchaser you are putting a bit of faith into a developer to deliver the full context of to fulfill the full goal of an aircraft’s full potential. The developers that have achieved this (coming next) are the ones that sit at the top of heap and they deserve to be there. So that brings us to the next thrown around question of “is the Rotate MD-88 worth $US60?” many (most) say “no” and many say “yes”, I am firmly in the “yes” camp. It is worth the investment, because that is what you are buying is an investment… and this is certainly not an aircraft for a quick flight around the block and to then announce to the world “this is rubbish” and give another throw of an aircraft into their already discarded list of so called “rubbish” into their broken toybox. I got totally angry at this comment on the X-Plane.Org because it shows the users absolute incompetence and ineptitude in understanding of what simulation flying is really about, and that incompetence can hurt a developers sales through just pure ineptitude of their own flying and assessment skills, in other words they are an “Idiot”. It took me three days just to basically access the MD-88 and never mind a few clips around the paddock. And still I have not fully accessed the aircraft to its full capabilities (note I did a preview not a review of the MD-88), these aircraft need a long period of accumulation and a deep understanding of their complex systems, just like the real aircraft do in the real world. No doubt at this release point is Rotate’s MD-88 not absolutely perfect, it is far from that point, but it can’t be anyway. No matter how much beta testing is done, things are very different in the actual open world in X-Plane with thousands of users and three different platforms and computer systems and the sheer amount of work required to deliver that in context. But still many still squawk at the top of their high pitch screams that they want their money back… The deal is here now on the developer to close the gaps and fill in the blanks, yes the MD-88 is worth US$60, but only after a few updates and changes that in most cases that usually takes about three to six months, and even twelve months is acceptable and then you can ask for your refund. But you won’t do that because the aircraft will be what you wanted in the first place and usually better, that is part and parcel of what simulation is about. And absolutely no doubt some aircraft are total dogs straight out of the box and you have every right to get a refund. But for the pro’s then let them do their job, as it is their reputation that is on the line here. If they don’t deliver or walk away leaving a totally unfinished product then they can’t ask for your investment the next time around, it is a two way deal. Two of the top releases for 2015 were JARDesigns Airbus A330-243 and FlightFactors Boeing 767-300ER (IXEG’s Boeing 737Classic is still a no show to date, even if it was released right on Christmas it would probably be pushed into 2016 as we will be by then all be drunk around the Christmas Tree anyway). In reality it is a classic Airbus v Boeing aircraft choice of personal preferences. It is a sliver of margins on which aircraft is better and both deserve the accolades of the sheer complexity and features they both provide and both certainly highlight of the level of skill and complexity that the new heights that X-Plane simulation has achieved. Both come out of former great products that shows both developers are so willing to push the boundaries and make the next one better and bigger than the last. In JARDesign’s case it was the A320neo that is an airbus aircraft through and through, and in FlightFactor’s case it was a hard step up from their Boeing 757 series that was the best aircraft in X-Plane for two years running. But both developers did push the envelope even way past those already huge successes, and that to a point is why they are both so good. The guys at the top keep on pushing the boundaries and keep on improving even the small stuff, as they say… “It is not getting to the top, as that part was easy the hard part, it is just staying there”. And not only do they keep improving with new aircraft but also keep your older investments up to date and current with X-Plane that is what you pay for in your US$60 investment at this level. If pushed I would declare the FlightFactor Boeing 767-300ER the winner by a slice, but it is a draw in reality. Some developers where very quiet this year. FlyJSim was notably absent, and we miss their excellent aircraft. Khamsin only had his Pacific Island release and Dawson Designs has sorta of slipped off the radar, at least Ddenn is back with the Bombardier Global 6000 in development, but PMDG is still deep in beta testing with its DC-6B (come on guys the water is not that hot over here). Overall it was a another masterful year in 2015, so busy now and a lot of changes to the better. X-Plane is still growing, still delivering great simulation and giving us a lot of great moments and satisfaction. We all want more out of the simulator… of course we do, but I see the journey and not the destination of part of why we are all in here together and no doubt again 2016 will deliver even more in great aircraft, scenery and add-ons to keep us more than happy with our deepest love of aircraft and aviation. This is the last post of the 2015 year and X-PlaneReview’s will be back on the 5th January 2016 with a special review to really kick off 2016 with a blast. And thankfully my computer survived the onslaught better this year without popping off or totally destroying its internals. I have to thank Joe Charman again for his huge contribution this past year and his contribution to X-Plane, thanks Joe and to all the many people behind the scenes that usually get a frantic email for help and support. The incredible developers that provide me with their amazing work and the valuable information to make these reviews work and happen. I am as always in awe in what they do. Finally to Nicolas Taureau and the backing of the guys of the X-Plane.Org that keeps the site running smoothly (a lot of changes were done this year) and give me great advice and assistance. To wrap up this review of 2015 and the year, I will now list my Best of the Year 2015: Best Aircraft (any Category): FlightFactor Boeing 767-300ER and JARDesign A330-243 Not a whisker between them, both great aircraft for X-Plane 2015 Honourable Mention : None (split between the two winners) Best Regional (new Category) : Embraer EMB -110 Bandeirante by Dreamfoil Creations Great design and a great aircraft to fly, The EMB-110 really delivered Honourable Mention : Embraer E175 by X-Crafts A huge step forward and a lovely flying aircraft Best Classic Aircraft : SoulMade Simulations DHC-2 Beaver Just a beautiful aircraft and worthy aircraft of its heritage. Honourable Mention : DHC-2T Beaver Turbo by Shade Tree Micro Aviation STMA just keep flying on… Best General Aviation Aircraft : Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs Moved the line forward in design and ideas. Honourable Mention : CT210 Centurion II with G1000 avionics by Carenado Pushing the envelop in avionics, the future. Best Helicopter : Sadly none Honourable Mention : AB412 by X-Trident for great updates and features Best Scenery Payware : EGCC - Manchester by Icarus EIDW- Dublin was a great debut for Icarus and Manchester was a greater sequel Honourable Mentions : EGLL - Heathrow by Aerosoft for payware, in a great scenery desperately needed in the X-Plane universe and PilotPlus in EGHI - Southampton and EGGD - Bristol and EGTR - Elstree which was great solid quality scenery. Best Scenery Freeware : KSFO, KSAN (San Diego), KLAX, KPHX (Phoenix) and KPDX (Portland International) by MisterX6 All masterpieces, thank god he only does freeware. Best Plugin : Ground Handling Plus by JARDesign The potential of Ground Handling Plus is stratospheric, basics are all in there to totally change the look of your ramps. Honourable Mention : WorldTraffic by Classic Jet Simulations WT came of age in 2015, amazing plugin when running full throttle… get with WT in 2016 Best Moment of the year 2015 : Realising that the Rotate MD-88 would actually run on my computer without actually crashing it. Worst Moment of the Year 2015 : Heinz Dzuirowitz’s passing, one of the great X-Plane originals Biggest distraction of 2015 : Reloading crashing library scenery and editing poor photo underlay textures. Person of the Year 2015 : Eugeny Romanov JARDesign Delivered huge in 2015, a masterpiece aircraft in the A330-243 and a great clever addon in the Ground Handling Plus plugin Honourable Mentions : Roman Berezin and Daniel Klaue Roman Berezin and the FlightFactor Group deliver great consistent professional product for X-Plane and Daniel Klaue is the grand wizard who is always helping others and leading us on the way to X-Plane nirvana, like every other year you don’t see what Dan does, but you fly it all the time. Personal Favourites of 2015 : The X-Trident Bell AB412, Carenado F33A Bonanza, Dreamfoil Embraer EMB -110, Carenado C208B Caravan, Avro RJ100, FlyJSim Boeing 727 Series, JARDesign A330-243, Ddenn Challenger 300 and FlightFactor Boeing 757 and 777 series aircraft (Boeing 767 and MD-88 are too late in the year to be considered for 2015) So to all the X-Plane flyers, thank you for your constant support for X-Plane Reviews and have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016!… … more to come in 2016! “ And so a very Merry Xmas, And a happy New Year, Let's hope it's a good one, Without any fear…. War is over, if you want it, War is over, if you want it…. Yeah! Merry Christmas!” Yearly Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews
  20. 2 points
    Airport Review : EGGD - Bristol Airport by Pilot Plus In early February 2015 Pilot Plus released their first airport scenery in EGHI - Southampton (Airport Review EGHI-Southampton by Pilot Plus). And in the now increasing competitive world of X-Plane scenery here is their second release for Bristol in the south-west of the United Kingdom in EGGD - Bristol Airport. Reputation can make you or kill you, so like a good song or film you are only as good as your last one. So consistency and quality is everything to making sure that the investments in your aircraft or scenery keep coming... So how does EGGD - Bristol compare with Pilot Plus's first release of EGHI - Southampton which was by all accounts very good. To find out we will start at EGHI - Southampton and do the quick flight over to the Bristol Channel in the leg of England and see this latest airport from this very promising developer. The Avroliner Project's Avro RJ100, is the perfect aircraft to do this short slightly circular hop. First Impressions This is not my first visit to EGGD - Bristol and I have done both approaches to the single absolute angled West-East runway of 09/27. In either direction the approaches are slightly hidden by low hills. So at first you can't actually see the airport from a distance? This makes the airport quite hard to a ) actually find and b ) centre the aircraft directly into the runways path, it is not bad... bad, but you do need to have some sort of navigation direction in say the NDB (BRI-414) which is the best solution if you don't have ILS-Localiser equipment on your aircraft. And you will need to be quite aware of your height in a GA (General Aviation) on finals if you don't want some branches and Stirling nests in your undercarriage. Pilot Plus has again done a magnificent job of inserting the scenery in the X-Plane surrounding areas, the use of trees to cover the boundries, like with EGHI - Southampton is again very well done. My approach is from the west into RWY 09. Runway 09/27 is 2,011m (6,598ft) long and had been totally resurfaced between November 2006 and March 2007. In fact the whole of "Lulsgate Bottom" (Ex RAF Lulsgate Bottom) which is a great if very British name has seen quite a significant amount of development over the last few decades, and they are not finished yet as the the £150 million plan is spread over 30 construction projects with plans to include a doubling of passenger terminal floorspace, new piers and aircraft parking stands, extensions to the apron, two multi-storey car parks and a public transport interchange. Half of the development and represented here in Pilot Plus scenery is already done. So on landing for a smallish west country airport you are surprised to find that the airport at Bristol is quite a significant and large facility that has significant links to almost all of Europe from and to Hungary, Iceland, Finland, Morocco and even as far away as Egypt? All the commercial terminal and ramp areas are on the north side of the runway, with a Flying club and GA parking area known as "Southern Parking" in the south-eastern corner area. Taxiway B is the final turn off towards the north. The main terminal areas are really two... the new and the old. My parking is at gate16 in the eastern old area which is the old Bristol terminal and ramp area. First thing you notice on reaching the (old) Main Apron is that EGGD is a very busy place! You can download a "Static aircraft and people" package to fill EGGD to the brim with every conceivable ramp and maintenance worker(s) known. Is there too many? well that is debatable, but certainly you have to be careful not to suck in a few hats into your engines on your way to your gate, but personally I love it... it makes the airport very alive, busy and vehicle animations are plentiful as well. So your first impressions of EGGD are simply brilliant. EGGD - Bristol Airport Overview (Google Maps - NATS-UK Copyright©) Bristol Airport (IATA: BRS, ICAO: EGGD) 09/27 2,011 (6,598ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 622 ft / 190 m Landing on RWY 09 will put you close to the terminal areas, but with RWY 27 there is a taxi period to take into account with. The Terminal areas are split into three areas with the "West Apron", "Central" and "Main Apron". The new area covers the "West Apron" which has remote parking ramps, but is mostly just for aircraft parking, The "central" area is the main terminal building (rear) with a set of large covered walkways to the west of the terminal building connecting it to eight pre-boarding zones. No autogates here, strictly walk on - walk off boarding. The area is separated by a Fuel Storage depot... Ramps are what you would call slightly chaotic, busy but very well set out, and marshals will call you into the gate areas. The huge covered walkways are really well recreated with the glass connecting walkway a very realistic highlight. Terminal Building The big terminal building is excellent, but the glass on the real building looks more lighter and clearer than here, which makes the building feel more darker than it is? Control Tower Central to the complex but situated just behind the walkways is the control tower which was completed in 2001. Tower design is very good, but the real version has a sort of steel/aluminium finish? Tower view is excellent, not only for the runway, but for any of the areas below on the ramps. Main Apron East of the new terminal area is the older original section of the airport called Main Apron. The old Bristol (Lulsgate) Airport terminal is still there and is very well recreated here, even if the area behind is now just a carpark... All around this scenery are bulging full carparks, very well done and it gives this scenery a sort of completion and overall perfect view and realism. Southern Parking Area Not the most exciting name for the area across the start of runway 27 on the eastern-southern section of the airport. Here is the Bristol and Wessex flying Club, their hangars, restaurant (The Flight Lounge) and general aviation parking. The area is however dominated by huge parking areas for cars. But a great place to park you GA aircraft if flying cross-country. Nightlighting Like everything else in this Bristol scenery the lighting is not done by halves... the candle-power is breathtaking and can bring your computer down a few notches... Runway and taxiway lighting is excellent and the taxiway signage is a stand out. All the main areas are very well lit, including great coverage on all the ramps and remote parking areas. Highlights are the different (whiter) lighting for the main road and access ways and the general airport lighting. You would expect the terminal building to be quite lit up, but here it is quite dark and even dull. HDR "on" and the sheer amount of lighting in here does affect your framerate, but still it is great to look at it all. Services You don't get a lot of big widebody's in EGGD (Dreamliner is coming), but you would get everything else in the single-isle type variety. EGGD is very big on charters and tours, and so the big tour operators like Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways have a lot of seasonal departures from here. LCC's Ryanair and Easyjet dominate, but you have a lot of interesting operators that you don't usually see in this part of the world like WIZZ air, Air Malta, Austrian Airlines and even SAS. Close European connections to Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris keeps it all very interesting. Closer in Ireland, Scotland and the Channel and Isle of Man islands give you great regional and quick routes. Aer Lingus Regional operated by Stobart Air - Cork, Dublin Air Malta - Seasonal: Malta Aurigny Air Services - Guernsey Austrian Airlines - Seasonal: Innsbruck[72] BH Air - Seasonal: Burgas, Sofia Blue Islands Jersey BMI Regional Aberdeen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Milan-Malpensa, Munich, Paris-Charles de Gaulle : Seasonal: Bastia, Nantes Brussels Airlines operated by BMI Regional - Brussels EasyJet - Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast-International, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bilbao, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Gibraltar, Glasgow-International, Inverness, Isle of Man, Kraków, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Madrid, Málaga, Marrakech, Murcia, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Reykjavík-Keflavík, Rome-Fiumicino, Tenerife-South, Toulouse : Seasonal: Bodrum, Bordeaux, Catania, Corfu, Dalaman, Grenoble, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, La Rochelle, Lyon, Mahón, Marseille, Naples, Olbia, Salzburg, Split, Zakynthos. Flybe - Seasonal charter: Lleida Jet2.com - Seasonal charter: Chambéry KLM operated by KLM Cityhopper - Amsterdam Mistral Air - Seasonal: Verona Ryanair - Alicante, Budapest, Castellón, Dublin, Faro, Gdańsk, Gran Canaria, Kaunas, Lanzarote, Málaga, Malta, Poznań, Tenerife-South, Warsaw-Modlin, Wrocław : Seasonal: Bergamo, Bergerac, Béziers, Bologna, Chania, Girona, Ibiza, Knock, Limoges, Palma de Mallorca, Reus, Rzeszów, Treviso, Valencia Scandinavian Airlines - Seasonal: Stockholm-Arlanda Thomas Cook Airlines - Enfidha, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife-South : Seasonal: Antalya, Bourgas, Corfu, Dalaman, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Larnaca, Mahón, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Skiathos, Zakynthos, Geneva Thomson Airways - Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tenerife-South : Seasonal: Alicante, Antalya, Bodrum, Burgas, Catania (begins Summer 2016),Cephalonia, Chambéry, Corfu, Dalaman, Enfidha, Fuerteventura,[77] Geneva, Heraklion, Hurghada , Ibiza, Kos, Larnaca, Marrakech, Menorca, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Reus, Rhodes, Santorini, Sal, Salzburg, Sofia, Toulouse, Turin, Zakynthos Wizz Air - Katowice. Routes 1 Netherlands - Amsterdam : 350,097 2 Ireland - Dublin : 331,655 3 United Kingdom - Edinburgh : 322,760 4 Spain - Málaga : 280,713 5 Spain - Palma de Mallorca : 273,371 6 Spain - Alicante : 271,457 7 Portugal - Faro : 269,899 8 United Kingdom - Glasgow International : 245,286 9 United Kingdom - Belfast International : 230,833 10 Switzerland - Geneva : 188,384 11 United Kingdom - Newcastle : 174,461 12 Spain - Tenerife : 165,519 13 Spain - Barcelona : 127,606 14 France - Paris Charles de Gaulle : 120,341 15 France - Toulouse : 112,061 16 Italy - Rome-Fiumicino : 107,364 17 Spain - Lanzarote : 103,540 18 Turkey - Dalaman : 94,304 19 Spain - Girona : 79,941 20 Spain - Madrid : 79,124 Total Passengers 2014 - 6,339,805 Summary EGHI - Southampton from Pilot Plus was very good scenery, but EGGD - Bristol is outstanding scenery. In every area except the few issues with the windows - glass (day and night in being too dark) with the main terminal building the airport is excellent. It is like noted if there is just too much equipment and people on the ground, as it does look like an airport running at full speed in the summer holidays and the carparks are overflowing. But that is okay if you like your scenery like that. Animations are thoughtful and not over done. And the lighting in here however is enough to send your power bill into orbit, or at least your computer down into the negative zone with HDR "on". Insertion into the X-Plane scenery is very good as well, with great photo textures to blend in (for absolute detail though you need the textures set very high to extreme or it gets a little buzzy) and the traffic flows are around the airport in very good and realistic. Overall... Brilliant, great outstanding X-Plane scenery... and highly usable... Love it. __________________________________________ EGGD - Bristol Airport by Pilot Plus is now available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : EGGD Bristol International Airport and it is priced at only US$22.95 Features : High Resolution ground imagery Custom night lighting Optional (free) download to add static aircraft & 3D people Animated Ground Marshaller guides you into the gate Ground traffic that brings Bristol to life! Installation : Download is 91.40mb that is unzipped to 243.70mb and placed in your Custom Scenery folder. "Static" aircraft and people add-on can be downloaded from the X-Plane.Org site - (Free Payware extension) Pilot Plus EGGD Statics and then deposited in your custom scenery folder (note: static aircraft file must be placed above your EGGD-Bristol scenery in the "scenery_packs.ini" file to work!) Documents : 1 Manual pdf, 4 STAR, 3 SID, Airport and Parking Charts and ATC minimum altitude surveillance chart. Developer Site : Pilot Plus Requirements: X-Plane 10.30 Windows XP/ Vista/ 7, Mac or Linux. Multi-core processor @ 2.6 Ghz or faster, 4GB Ram. 3D video card with at least 1GB YOU MUST HAVE OPENSCENERYX INSTALLED FOR STATIC AIRCRAFT TO APPEAR. Current version: 1.0 (Last updated April 24th 2015) __________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 24th April 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 256gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.32 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - EGHI - Southhampton by Pilot Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) US19.95 Aircraft - Avro RJ 100 by the The Avro Project (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$22.95
  21. 2 points
    John Spahn from Maxx-XP has announced the SkyMaxx Pro of which is a new cloud engine for X-Plane10. The SkyMaxx pro is not an add-on that just over-rides the default X-Plane10 weather, but it is integrated into the actual weather component that you use everyday now including METAR settings. Also you will be able to use the system's own custom settings. The system allows for clouds to move and rise with the noted wind speed and temperatures and the dreaded grey blackout is also banished. Crepuscular Rays will also shine out behind from behind clouds and move with your point of view. All clouds are full 3d in effect - and is noted to be frame-rate friendly and the performance is configurable! Maxx-XP has released a promo-video of the system in its beta form... As the new SkyMaxx-Pro is interconnected within the main X-Plane programming it requires changes that will be part of the beta 10.30 cycle release and so the actual release of the SkyMaxx Pro will be sometime within the beta 10.30 program period. More Information can be found at the new SkyMAXX site : skymaxx-extreme Development thread is here : SkyMAXX Pro Stephen Dutton 14th August 2013
  22. 2 points
    Scenery Review : LGMK - Airport Mykonos by Aerosoft This is my review of LGMK Mykonos, having been there myself I hope this review gives you a detailed insight to how Aerosofts rendition of Mykonos compares to the real thing! Publisher and Developer: Mykonos LGMK is Aerosoft's latest scenery release! Developed by Icarus, this scenery is definitely one not to ignore. Aerosoft have released many sceneries in the past, but none live up to the standard of Mykonos! LGMK is Aerosofts first scenery using new developed features such as, animated ground traffic and Ultra HD textures. This is also Aerosofts first scenery covering a whole island in lots of detail! This release is the first time I heard the name Icarus, after some research I found out that the team are also developing a DC-9 which is very exciting! So LGMK Airport Mykonos can be found on a small island of Mykonos off the coast from Athens in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mykonos island named from Mykons, son of Greek God Apollo. The place of a big battle between Zeus and Titans, where Hercules killed the powerful Giants. Even now it is rumored that the large rocks over the island are corpses of the Giants. Mykonos is the most famous island in the heart of Cyclades and Aegean Sea, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. Installation and Documentation: Mykonos could not be easier to install, just simply run the installer that you download and select your x-plane folder. After entering your activation code it will start installing. In the past I have had trouble using the installer provided by Aerosoft, others seem to have had the same issue, but installing Mykonos worked perfectly. If you are new to x-plane in general then you may install the scenery and load up the sim and see your new airport, however you can find the manual within the three folders that are installed. First locate your x-plane 10 folder and click into 'custom scenery' in here you will find three folders each with Mykonos in the title. The folder you need to open is called 'Mykonos Airport' in here you will find the very detailed 16 page manual. The manual tells you everything that you need to know, and includes extensive explanations of certain things including a FAQ (frequently asked questions). Unfortunately no charts are provided with the scenery, this could be something forgotten or the charts were intended not to be included. Anyhow it doesn't matter too much as many charts can be found online. Features: From Aerosoft: "This scenery package has been designed to take advantage of the most modern X-Plane technologies, like HDR lighting, texture detailing, object instancing, and many more. In order to experience the feeling of the actual airport during the night, the HDR option, in the rendering options, should be checked on. The night lighting was carefully designed to represent the real life lighting with the minimum affect on frame rates. The Airport is represented as close as possible to the real counterpart, with the combined use of Ultra High Definition (UHD) textures and High Definition (HD) textures. The ground is represented with custom textures with resolution 3-5cm/pixel. The whole island is covered with 50cm/pixel satellite imagery (orthophotos) with added shaders for increased resolution, with hundreds of the well known white/blue “Aegean Sea” type houses and local vegetation (trees), giving an accurate representation of the island. For the towns of Mykonos (Chora), houses are almost 1-to-1 ratio to the real world, giving you the feeling of the dense town. Moreover, every light is a “real” light, emitting and lighting the surroundings. There are plenty animations providing a “living” environment, like the windmills. Also there is maritime traffic around the island." Highly detailed rendition of Mykonos International Airport (LGMK) Complete coverage of over 140km with high resolution satellite imagery (0.5m/px) High resolution day and night scenery complex terrain mesh animated car traffic around the airport complete reconstruction of airport's lighting equipment realistic 3D grass and vegetation complex reconstruction of the town over 2,000 hand placed objects animated windmills Highly detailed manual compatible with x-plane 10 HD Mesh Scenery v2 x-plane 10 HDR lighting custom ground textures with about 5cm/px (only airport area) First Impressions: The first thing that stood out to me was the scale and complexity of the scenery, every house on the island has been placed on top of an orthophoto at high resolution! This airport is great for VFR circuits over the main town, so that is the first thing I did. I started up the Carenado Malibu Mirage and taxied to runway 34. After take off I turned left and flew over the small town. Flying over the town was great fun, from 1,200ft you can see the windmills turning and boats slowly sailing around the island! If you look closely you can also see small smoke puffs coming from the cruise ships parked in the docks! The town looks very clustered with houses from 1500ft, however close down the houses can appear to be spaced out. I have pointed this out as when I visited Mykonos the public foot paths were only about 3 meters wide! You can even tell from google earth how crammed the houses are in the town. After flying over the town I turned left and set my heading back to runway 34. The approach was actually quite challenging! As the runway is slopped at 400ft above sea level it is a difficult approach. Nether the less it was pretty fun, trying not to touch the roofs on the big hotels! Also the other thing that stood out first was how detailed the ground textures are at the airport, the 5cm/px looks excellent especially when taxiing off of the runway onto the apron. Location: Having been here myself I personally love the location of Mykonos, surrounded by islands in the Aegean Sea! But currently this gives us all one issue, where can we go to do a short flight from Mykonos? You are probably thinking of the small islands around Mykonos however there is no amazing scenery to fly to. I have done a few long flights to Mykonos however sometimes I like to jump in a small cessna and island hop! It would be great to island hop to Tinos (the island next to Mykonos) or all the way to Athens! Having been to Athens as well, it would be great to see some fantastic sceneries for around there! So the x-plane.org downloads would be a good place to search however we are in need for another good quality payware airport near Myknonos that we can fly to! Apart from that Mykonos is a nice destination for flying around europe. Textures and Frame Rates: The textures on the airport buildings are all standard white with a slight layer of dirt which looks good as the airport looks a little worn and not brand new. Cracks can also be noticed on the walls and pillars. The roof textures have to be the best, all colours match the same as real life and the roof window hatches have cloud reflections! By the way I should point out that the reflection is a picture within the texture, there are no 'actual' reflections. The ground textures on the beaches and slightly out to sea look phenomenal! The sea looks great and I feel as though I want top go swimming in it! The orthophoto sea also fades out nicely into the default sea. Overall the textures and 3D modeling within the airport from Aerosoft, summed with the high resolution orthophotos and great visuals, puts this scenery in the top list of airports ever made for X-Plane 10! Despite this the control tower windows look very dark and they do not have reflections. I believe that the texture needs to be brightened up and reflections should be added, this will then make the control tower look identical to the real one! Also the A320 parked on the apron has low resolution textures compared to the rest of the scenery. It would look great if the textures where sharpened up on the A320, in turn it would add more realism. With the addition to better textures brings us onto frame rates. All textures within this scenery are .dds, this adds performance which is good. On average I get around 28 fps. Sometimes this does drop, for example the 3D lighting has a negative effect on fps. As each light in the scenery, including the island, casts a spill on the XP environment. Overall the frame rates aren't too bad, but I would advise you to check your system first before purchasing as you want to make sure that you can run it and get good performance. You can read the manual and follow steps to increase performance however be warned you cannot change the number of objects. Changing the number of objects in the settings menu will not alter the amount of objects you see, your computer has to render each object wether it likes it or not! To improve your frame rates the most drastic thing you can do is turn HDR off,I do not like doing this as the quality of the sim gets reduced when this happens. Light is not reflected etc.. and when flying around Mykonos with HDR off you can considerably notice the difference day and night. 3D Modeling: The 3D modeling is great and very creative. Mykonos can look a bit square but thats how it looks in real life! The 3D modeling in this scenery is not ground breaking or overwhelming, but simple and life like. The architecture of the airport at Mykonos is very simple anyway so the icarus team have a faithful replica. Other Aerosoft airports can be known for their bland and emptiness, Mykonos is totally different. The best 3D model has to be the turning windmill don't you agree? The windmills turn not to fast and not to slow, a very good rendition! When I visited Mykonos the windmills were barely turning, this is because there was not enough wind that day, just blazing hot sun! Obviously the windmills in x-plane are not wind dependent but still operate great! 3D modeling just outside the airport is also very good, the benches, bins, people, signs, railings all are very detailed. The vegetation has many different varieties, shapes and sizes, lot's of work has gone into that end of 3D modeling as well. Every model is custom made with precision and high resolution textures, some models are basic but this reflects the style of the real Mykonos. Night lighting: The night lighting in the town looks okay, you definitely know you are entering Myknonos, the white walls are even further emphasized by the lights! The airports runway is extremely dark and hard to visually find 15nm from the island but this is nobodies fault, just the airports fault for not installing more lights! The main Apron lighting is sum what special. The bright cast of pale white light shines on the side of your aircraft as you move about the apron, the light even lights up inside the cockpit! However the light is very pale and not appealing to the eye. Also another thing that could be added to the light casting are rays of light coming from the bulb, I have seen this in many of Aerosofts airports for FSX, there is a picture below. There is not much else to comment about the lighting apart from it being very dark over the otherside of the island where no houses have been modeled and therefore there is no night lighting. What to find on the Apron: During my initial wander around the airport the apron looked very basic. However that's simply because there are not many object where you taxi your plane, most airport objects such as portable fire extinguishers, buses, GA Aircraft, stairs, the Aegean Airbus, cones, GPU's, belt loaders and cars etc.. As you can see the list is long and therefore creates a realistic environment. The apron is also home to the "ultra HD Ground Textures", written on paper can still impress but walking around the apron whilst oil spills reflect the sun is just great! As well as the oil spills and concrete cracks the grey grained ground looks good in HD as well. Before seeing the ground textures I did not know what to expect, I thought that the ground textures would look like the default repetitive design however I was totally wrong. The main missing item on the apron is taxi lines and markings, but this is accurate to real life as pilots have to rely on ground crews to guide them in! This is very realistic as you feel as though you have to wait for the ground crew to turn up when you're in your aircraft ready to park up! In all, this creates a very realistic experience. The biggest objects on the apron are the apron lights. These lights stretch high into the sky and have been modeled with precision, just like everything else on the apron. Summary: So is this scenery on the Beti-x Stewart level? Unfortunately no, not quite, but close! It is very nice to have a whole island with an airport, especially with orthophoto under everything. This airport brings something special to x-plane, a realistic experience wether your in a GA Aircraft or a heavy 737. It is difficult to make a replica of an international airport, also very time consuming. Despite that Mykonos is very close to the real thing, every building and visual. I would most certainly recommend Mykonos to any FS enthusiast, even though the airport is small and basic the icarus/aerosoft team have re-created the airport and island with precision. When flying long haul to Mykonos you are waiting desperately to land just to see the airport in it's beauty. It's as though you can feel the heat when you open the door and put on your sun glasses, looking around at the airport as you walk toward the enclosed passenger terminal. When flying around Mykonos I also sense a colour scheme, it's as though I have a product like Maxx-fx running (which I don't). Everything seams light blue and bright, just how I experienced the real Mykonos on my real life trip. "Overall the textures and 3D modeling within the airport from Aerosoft, summed with the high resolution orthophotos and great visuals, puts this scenery in the top list of airports ever made for X-Plane 10!" For the price of this scenery at $21.48 it is worth the purchase. Don't think of this airport as small and basic, there is so much to explore! There are always ways in which things can be improved, more objects around the dock and town area could be a start. But then people with low end machines will not be able to run the scenery, icarus can either find a balance or have an option to show certain types of objects etc.. Also it would look great to see moving objects around the airport such as belt loaders and even 3D people, such as the ones Orbx have! One last thing was the difference of colours between two of the orthophoto's just past Ornos, this left a line between the two. Just a simple fix though of changing the brightness/contrast (pictured below). But don't let this put you off, so much is already included much of which is explained above. This scenery is a great rendition of Mykonos for x-plane. Orhtophoto issue: So why not wait, you can buy LGMK - Mykonos Airport for $21.48 on the X-Plane.OrgStore. Please comment if you have any further questions. Aircraft Featured: - Robinson R66 by Alabeo - A230neo by JARdesign - C208B Grand Caravan by Carenado - PA46 Malibu Mirage by Carenado - C172RG Cutlass by Alabeo - B200 King Air by Carenado - 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim Review System Specifications: Computer System: - Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz - 4.00gb of RAM - Geforce GTX 650 1 Software: - Windows 7 64 bit - X-Plane 10 Global version 10.25 - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System - LGMK - Mykonos Airport by Aerosoft - Skymaxx Pro Review by Joe Sharman 29th June 2014 Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews
  23. 2 points

    Competition! : Winners!

    Competition! : Winners! X-Plane Reviews have listed the winners below in no order, as per usual we had four that we just could not divide on and so we have given out a special commendation prize for the huge effort put into the entry... and so a huge congratulations to them for their entries. And a huge thanks to all who spent their time to note their views on X-Plane. If you are wondering if the competition was an exercise in feedback on the site, it was not planned that way but on how you use X-Plane and how it relates to you as a simulator and this is the aspect that X-Plane Reviews based its final decisions on.. The comments are interesting in hindsight because it does mean X-Plane Reviews are on the right insights on what you want to know and read in reviews, and the pros and cons of the releaes. We could easily post photocopy (or Xerox) style reviews on every new release in X-Plane (just the facts) but that would be boring. In all scenery or aircraft there certain known items that would be boring to repeat ad nauseam in every review which would go for pages and pages. So our point is that the aim is to focus on the features and the things that make the aircraft different and attractive and the things that are not, and in doing the review process if we find something that should be explained to get yourself up to speed quickly (In other words, we have spent the time, spending days to get our heads around the issue or screaming at the computer in frustration) to fly and enjoy the best aspects of the release in X-Plane. Again to highlight the notes on frame-rate, if I don't mention it then it is fine, as my Mac is semi-powerful my point of difference is that if it works well for me then 95% of computers will have the same results. And secondary aspect is to see how the release relates to being in the simulator itself. I want to put the release to work so to speak. If it is in service or has a job to do and how well it relates to that scenarios and then shows us its strengths and weaknesses, There is nothing more valuable that running a "heavy" from one side of the world to another as it not only shows how it works in that environment, but also how the X-Plane simulator as a whole has progressed in relation to the release. In fact you are evaluating two aspects at the same time with one the release and then secondary the simulator as it progresses. Both results I will always pass on to the users. A final aspect is just to explore our X-Plane world, go to places you would never go and note the reasons we go there and the history of why it is significant, I was top every year in school for geography... my guess is I am still exploring. So the selection of the winners are based on this aspect of you getting the very best out of the simulator. Investing in add-ons is money to be just that in investing in the simulator, and we all purchase for many different reasons. If I do occasionally (okay a lot) get over excited it is because of the simple fact that "I love this so much, then you should to", a bit biased? No not really because if it is that good then you will love it as well, and share the love. Not every time does it have to be totally perfect at release, if you are paying monies then should it be? The simple fact is that simulation does not work that way. All and even the very best will be updated over the next 12 months of their release, our position is that we need need to gaze a little and see the investment in six or twelve months time and where it will be and not where it is now, many would be confused when we have effused a lot over something that quite obviously has flaws. But we are looking at the things that are quality of the basic elements and not the usual in your face issues that are usually fixed in an update or two, The Boeing 748i from SSG is a good example of a poor release version to the excellent aircraft it is today. Above all else I am very proud of our track record in that area. But the last thing to say on reviews is that the one thing that has become most important of the three years I have posted reviews is that the first impression is not always the right one. Quite a few have become firm favorites only after flying them after a period of time. Many a review has been late (even by weeks) because I have to scrap the original assessment of the aircraft (and scenery as well) and reassess it a different way, and unexpectedly many have wound their way into my heart in a way that was totally unexpected and many are not the ones that I expected to be part of my hangar collection or would have personally invested in them. So to the winners.... tsmercer - FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing 777 My favorite aircraft review was for the B200 King Air. I had been eagerly awaiting the B200 having once flown a full motion B350 sim before. I was hoping that the file would be an accurate modeling of its flight dynamics and the details in the review gave a great impression of how it flies. I love how the details of the review are presented in the context of a multi-leg flight. It gets all the details in there, but gives I nice narrative to keep it interesting. The thing that I loved most about the B200 review in particular was the not only the history of the development of the B200, but the history of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It was a neat bit of history that gave the aircraft a mission other than the executive hamburger run. It was also great how that mission lead into the context of the review flights. Thanks to the descriptions of the review, I purchased the aircraft. The review accurately captured the nuances of the aircraft and it's my favorite turboprop in X-Plane. The aircraft hits a great sweet spot in my hangar. I love that I can get in and out of nearly any airport with it, but still be fast enough that I don't get bored with long stretches of en route flight. It doesn't require nearly as much setup time as the CRJ that I also fly regularly, but still offers enough performance and complexity to be a handful and keep me engaged. On top of all that it's an absolutely gorgeous model with great cockpit ambiance. Congratulations on one year of great reviews! PJS37 - FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing 757 My favorite review is the Final Frontier Scenery review. The reason this is my favorite is because the reviewer understood my plight it felt like when he started off with Juneau (Juneau being where my wife is from an somewhere I am familiar with and enjoy flying around). Every sim I have tried the default Juneau is usually way off. Heck half the time I couldn't even find mesh scenerey that didn't incorrectly render the Juneau area. So when I saw X-Plane had an nice Juneau scenery upgrade I began my migration to X-Plane 10 (Ever so slowly) I hadn't bought the scenery however because I was worried that there would be issues with it or it would look too dated in X-Plane 10. Then I found xplanereviews.com and boy was I glad I did. You guys have single handily reviewed everything I had the slightest interest in an helped me make clear and informed decisions. The final frontier review was just what I needed to jump head first into X-Plane finally after many many month of waffling and retreating back into the safe comfortable arms of the familiar. So I reformatted my PC a week ago have only X-Plane installed as my civilian sim and started buying up add-ons. The Final Frontier review is an excellent example of the work you guys do so well. It is objective; it shows the clear issues (Such as the texture blurriness of the add-on) but also compares it across the spectrum to add-ons available elsewhere and explains to me as a consumer why this is the one I should spend my money on. Darrick - SSG/Vmax Boeing 748i Happy 1st Anniversary X-Plane Reviews!!! I might be a new member here but i've reading your reviews since last year. I really like all your reviews, so it was very hard just to pick one. But in the end i decided to go for your Aircraft review of FlightFactor Boeing 757RR-200, Cause It really is just mindblowing your review is 100% accurate describing this add-on. The Details in the 757 is just gorgeous, I enjoy looking at every detail of this 757. I also like how it handles it is a very nice and fun aircraft to fly. I also like how its nit really complicated and very user friendly. I really think all the measurements in this add-on is perfect. As soon as the FlightFactor B757RR-200 I was really excited as it was one of my 4 Favourite Aircraft. Since it was a new release I need to get reviews first before bought it, I could not find a very Detailed review till i found your review. As soon as I red the review over and over again I decided to go on and buy the add-on. Your review is different. Its more reader Friendly, It made me easier to understand for I'm still a learner to Xplane. Your reviews are very 'light' but has very deep and detailed information users should know. I like how you Divide the parts by sharing your first Impressions and share people who and what is FlightFactor. Pictures!!! Your Pictures are top notch shows the detail of the aircraft form beginning to the end. Your exterior and interior Pictures of the Aircraft is quite a lot so it gives the user lots of pictures to see before they buy the add-on. I also enjoy reading cause you tell us how the plane works so we sure know when we own the add-on. When I first tested my FlightFactor B757RR-200 I did not regret it at all thanks to your review I was sure to buy this add-on. I really like your Conclusion it gives the readers mind a confident and ready feeling when buying the add-on. X-Plane is a great game with your reviews its even better. Thank you for all your Reviews! Two Thumbs Up! Wish you all the best for xplanereviews.com and Happy Birthday!!! Hope I can be one of the 3. Thanks. Yes you are! special commendation prize MadMckMax - Daniel Klaue Embraer ERJ 140 Choice of Review Although I'm very new to this website (I was introduced via forums.x-plane.org). I've had a quick look at the content and I've chosen the since it is the review that I can most relate to. I've bought other products from this developer, and was considering this aircraft as a result. Motivation for Choice Speaking as a 13 year old wannabe pilot, one of the most exciting things about this article is how it links the simulation to the real world with historical references. The down to earth nature of the review raises its credibility and motivates me towards considering purchasing the 732. The fact that Stephen Dutton has conducted a full documented flight also adds value. His balance between opinion and fact is just right. eg."The chunky (and quite worn) Pilot and Co-Pilot yokes do take up a lot of the panel view, removed you can now see the instrumentation clearer." Good terminology, paints the picture, combined with vital information, exactly like you'd want it! Note Due to the quality of add ons and reviews here, I will be visiting this site often as long as I still fly on X-Plane (likely a long time, as I am starting gliding training this year!). Also, the community here is just superb, so far I feel very at home here and I admire how much effort the managers of the site put into communicating with the brilliant community they've created. Summary · Stephens review of the 732 offers an excellent balance of information, and personal opinion · Immersive and thorough review · Helpful when comparing products · Adding confidence to the consumer · Supplying advice/feedback to the seller/developer · Overall positive contribution to the X-Plane Community. Thanks for taking the time to read this, Max His prize is the ERJ-140 by Daniel Klaue! everyone else is a runner up... well done. A small note in some out worldly spelling mistakes that creep in, The system we use has a final click that switches the review to HTML before posting, In the process I have found it does strange odd things to the text (plus block text whole paragraphs), I fix most but some still creep on through... odd business. Stephen Dutton Copyright©2014: X-Plane Reviews 15th August 2014
  24. 2 points
    Congratulations and I'll echo others comments - you know how to describe the nuances of each piece of work, call out the unique and special features and generally encourage us to part with our £££s and invest in the payware economy! You've also saved me a few quid by telling it how it is when developers can do better... For me, the best review has been the I would never have played around with the auto-hover so much if you hadn't called this out in your review: Like all your reviews, this has the "scene setting" info to get me interested, the install details, critique of the modelling detail, a walk through of how it flies and excellent screenshots of the included liveries - all your screenshots are fabulous and really add to the articles! Well done on the first year and thanks for all the effort and time you're giving to all of us!
  25. 2 points
    X-Plane Reviews, Congratulations on your one year anniversary. Though I am very new to this website, I have read a couple of your reviews, and I am impressed with their accuracy and exhaustive description of every detail. This attention to detail is most evident in your review of the freeware A-4 Sky Hawk by Midnight7. Personally, I think this is one of your most brilliant reviews because of its accurate description of the airplane's agile flight characteristics, and because of the amount of time you spent talking about the real aircraft's historical significance. You describe the airplane as being so sensitive and agile that you could fly it with your "finger and thumb on the stick." This nails the sensation you get while flying this plane. Also, I appreciate that you gave us so much background information about the real airplane: its historic significance and role in naval aviation. As an aspiring naval aviator, I love to find out as much as possible about a naval aircraft's history before I fly it in the sim. As an X-Plane enthusiast, I appreciate the time you spent reviewing this freeware aircraft. I am grateful of the detail included in your description of one of my favorite airplanes available for the sim, and I look forward to reading more of your pay ware and freeware reviews. When I read a X-Plane Reviews review, I know exactly what I am buying before I make my purchase. Sincerely, Swimmer Pilot
  26. 2 points
    Aircraft Review : Boeing 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim Route: KDFW (Dallas Fort Worth) to MMUN (Cancun) The Boeing 732 TwinJet is the third major release from FlyJSim after the Bombardier Dash-8 and the Boeing 727 Series. Without doubt the Boeing 727 Series was the aircraft of the year for X-Plane in 2013 (It was released just before Christmas 2012) and this Baby Boeing is in a very similar if not a perfect compliment to the bigger Tri-Jet. The 8000th Boeing 737 has just been delivered and that makes it the most built Jetliner in history, But this Boeing 737-200 known as the B732 is very different and from another totally different era than the common -800NG series that dominates our skies today. First thing to note is which Boeing 737 is which. The launch aircraft that was rolled out on January 17, 1967 was the -100 version of which only 30 737-100s were ordered and delivered. Then there was the -200 version rolled only months after the -100 version June 29, 1967, and entered service in 1968 of which was an extended fuselage version of the -100. This aircraft and this aircraft released here by FlyJSim was successful at 991 sales (C-Cargo 104), but not straightaway as in fact In 1970, Boeing received only 37 orders and facing financial difficulties. Then after the cancellation of the Boeing Supersonic Transport and the scaling back of 747 production, enough funds were freed up to continue the project. Next was the Boeing 737 Classic -300/-400/-500 Series built between 1984 to 2000, 1,988 aircraft were delivered. The next version was the Boeing 737 Next Generation −600/-700/-800/-900 Series, commonly abbreviated as Boeing 737NG. which brings us up to the present day. 4,887 737NG aircraft have been delivered by the end of April 2014, with more than 6,700 ordered. In the future is the coming 737MAX and that aircraft is scheduled for first delivery in 2017. The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engined airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 it has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers. The 737 is Boeing's only narrow-body airliner now in production. The -200 seats 136 (maximum) and 97 (2-class, typical) and is powered by the Pratt & Whitney JT8D 14,500–17,400 lbf (64–77 kN) low-bypass (0.96 to 1) turbofan engine that is also in the Boeing 727. Performance : Maximum speed Mach 0.82 (544 mph, 876 km/h) - Cruising speed Mach 0.74 (485 mph, 780 km/h) - Maximum range, fully loaded 1,900–2,300 nmi (3,500–4,300 km; 2,200–2,600 mi) - Service Ceiling 35,000 ft (10,700 m) Weights: 69,800 lb (31,700 kg) empty : 128,100 lb (58,100 kg) Takeoff. FlyJSim Boeing 732 TwinJet This review has to be considered in if the user has flown the FlyJSim Boeing 727 series or not. If you have then the conversion to the B732 is quite straight forward and although the cockpits are arranged quite differently (The B727 has a third flight crew member in a Flight Engineer) the systems are organised and used is a similar way but for two engines on the B732 and not the three on the B727. If you are new to the FlyJSim Boeing aircraft then there is a bit of a learning curve to understand the various systems and procedures. The aircraft handle very differently as well, in mostly their age and the era that they flew in... There are no mod-cons on offer here. However like with our Aircraft Profile : Boeing 727 Series by FlyJSim (Part Two) "Flying the Boeing 727" we found a certain and if not more fulfilling and simplistic way to fly these aircraft and the B732 here is no exception. Looking into the cockpit of a cold (unpowered) B732 aircraft and the difference of the era compared to today's glass cockpit driven aircraft is quite a shock. How could you believe that these aircraft could and did transport millions of passengers with such naked little instrumentation, mostly from the navigation perspective. They did and they did the work very well and even today there are some aircraft still flying around up there still doing so. There are some great detailed cockpits in X-Plane today, but in both the B727 and here in the B732 the design is simply brilliant. Big clunky switchgear and almost to the touch flick switches, you are in cockpit heaven. The cockpit panel is all dials and gauges (sometimes known as clockwork cockpits) and the detail is simply overwhelming. You really do get the feel of the sixties style cockpit in perfect perspective. The chunky (and quite worn) Pilot and Co-Pilot yokes do take up a lot of the panel view, removed you can now see the instrumentation clearer. The standard six aircraft instruments are as they should be are front and centre. Very clear and easily readable. The Standard Six are - Artificial Horizon (sometimes known as the attitude indicator) with built in turn indicator, Heading with built in OBI, Compass, Vertical- Descent Speed, Altimeter and Speed (in knots and Mach speed). Then there are the back up instruments of Artificial Horizon, Altitude (spare), Radio Altitude, Clock (large) and the DME 2 - NAV 2 (distance) is also situated lower down. The compass allows for the VOR and NDB to be switched on two separate pointer needles, VOR 2 on the pilot's side and VOR1 on the Co-Pilot's side. The Co-Pilots set of instruments are very similar except they have the (outside) air-temperature, hydraulic Sys, Oil and Brake temperatures and the DME 1 - NAV 1 (distance) indicator. The landing gear lever is also on the right side of the panel. Centre stage of the panel are the main engine instrument sets of two engine dials covering "Engine Pressure Ratio" (EPR), N1, EXH (Exhaust) Temp, N2 (Percent RPM) and Fuel flow to each engine. Left of the main engine dials are the three fuel tank gauges, and to the right the twin Engine Oil - Pressure, Temp and tank quantity. Finally the Auto-brake selection switch is here as well. If you know the B727 panel you would feel right at home here as the differences are quite small, just twin dials instead of the three on the larger jet. The biggest difference of a few years of development between the Boeing 727 and the Boeing 737 is the "Sperry SP-77 (option version)" auto-pilot (A/P). In the B727 it was a very simplistic system set behind the pedestal. But here it is more of a modern version set out on the glareshield. Not quite the standard layout version we know today, as that A/P version was fitted to the later B737-200ADV. It is split between the F/D (Flight Director) on the left and the A/P (Auto Pilot) on the right. Still simplistic in nature, it was and is very powerful in operation as we will see in flight. Besides the change of position of the A/P to the glareshield. The removal of the Flight Engineer's station on the B727 also moved the aircraft's systems and operations to the now more familiar place on the overhead panel (OHP). looking over the panel quickly it hasn't really changed much since either on the subsequent B737's versions, and yet it would be very familiar to you as well as it was laid out on the B727 engineers station. Only now a few items have been made automated. They are however still grouped together in their various areas of systems (mostly in long tall sections) in hydraulics, boost fuel pump switches, electrical, APU, air-conditioning, de-ice, bleed and all the various lighting switches. The engine start is now the familiar GND-OFF-LOW IGN -FLT switches. The pedestal is almost identical to the B727 version except it is now for two engines and not three. In craftsman like work the pedestal can not really be bettered. It is sublime in detail and so real in operation you can't really believe it is only a computer generated image. in the cockpits 3d world it is realistic in every form. Besides the beautifully crafted throttle levers there is the speed-brakes (with auto), park brake, engine fuel flow idle/cutoff's levers, stab trim (electric) and flap indicators for the outbound and Inbound flaps (0º, 2º, 5º, 15º, 20º, 25º, 30º and 40º settings). The radio is set out behind the pedestal below the three red fire handles (two for engines and one for the APU) and is very easy in operation. Just set you frequencies and flick a switch to make one or the other active... how easy can that be. Comm's and (early digital!) transponder are set out here as well. Above the pedestal is an early weather radar that just shows the standard X-Plane weather images. Detailing on the rudder pedal's is to be admired. Like everything else here in the B732 cockpit they are extremely well crafted and designed. Missing from the radio panel however are the ADF knobs... they are both (one each side) situated high up besides the throttle part of the pedestal, and have a three way setting that is excellent and very easy to tune. Powering up the Boeing 732 TwinJet Nothing is more exciting than bringing a machine to life. Certainly with a flying machine, and the B732 is no exception. But first we have to set up the aircraft. There are four menu options on the middle-lower left of your screen - V/Card - WnB (Weights and Balances) - OP (Options) and INS. We will start with the "Weights and Balances" menu (manager). Here you can set all the aircraft's weights and fuel and passenger/cargo loads. And as you do so the system will calculate for you the correct number relating to the aircraft's status and also show you your CofG (Centre of Gravity). The important number is your "Max landing" number shown in red. Here I have made the aircraft quite heavy at 117988lbs but I have a fair distance to go so I will certainly be under the landing weight. Cleverly if you open the Vref menu (or V/Card) the Vref's are calculated for you correctly and so are the landing vRef's, note that if you change the flap degree the vRef will change as well to compensate... a more clever idea again. Another note is that the landing speed is incorrect at this point because the aircraft's weight is wrong, this will change as you burn off the fuel or the weight. The other Menu item is the "Options" card. Here you can set all your options in: Cold and Dark startup or Engines running (hot) and set the time to Zulu. Hide the yokes and set weights to Kg's and finally select if required the Ground Power and Air Cart (to start the engines). Views and sound adjustments can also be adjusted. Weights and fuel set we can now power up the aircraft. Battery on via the "battery switch", You know that this does give the aircraft power but not for very long. You do have the Ground Power and Air Cart in the options menu to use. I found that in many instances they don't work? or connect up to the aircraft, which is slightly annoying. You don't get a power cart or air cart either outside the aircraft which are now usually de rigueur with aircraft of this price category. Here at KDFW it does connect and you can connect up the power via the switch and turn the AC switch to GND/PWR. Another option is the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), start it up via the switch and wait, the unit takes it time to warm up... and then switch it over to APU/GEN on the A/C bus. Now ready to start the engines we can switch on the fuel pumps and hydraulics and the outside anti-collision beacons. The panel is "if it is lit, it is not active" so as you do the start up the OHP should clear until all the lights go out. Here FlyJSim has done a brilliant amount of work to make the panel so authentic, in most cases we take it for granted by using it all the time. But this is great work in that how you interact with the panel now is so real. APU to bleed and make sure the L & R Packs (air-con) are off and you are ready to turn on the engine switches to GND (start) if you are flying you then re-start via the FLT (start). As the engines power up then add in the fuel via the levers on the pedestal, and the rest of the engine start up is automatic. The engine gauges in the centre panel will spiral and note the conditions of the engine to the idle position. then all you have to do now is clean up the OHP with turning on the aircraft electrics (buses), pitot heaters and when running at idle turn off the APU bleed and the (air-con) packs on. As they say "A clean panel is a good panel" and you are good to go. One other option is the INS menu... You can purchase the Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System. Nicknamed "CIVA", CIVA Navigation System for $US10.00 that is a basic navigation system that can give automatic navigation of up to 9 waypoints. (you can load X-Plane .fms plans) and it can be used in the FlyJSim B727 as well as other aircraft of that era. Well worth the addition cost. The JT8D's are whining now outside, sounds are excellent and 3d in rotation of the aircraft and has the "Realistic Sound" engine provided by DreamEngine & Turbine Sound Studio sounds. These early engines are noisy and smoky, but you certainly miss today the futuristic missile look of those long engine pods, beautifully done here... they just were not what the future turned out to be. The original engine nacelles incorporated thrust reversers taken from the 727 outboard nacelles. Unfortunately they proved to be relatively ineffective and apparently tended to lift the aircraft up off the runway when deployed. This reduced the downforce on the main wheels thereby reducing the effectiveness of the wheel brakes. In 1968, an improvement to the thrust reversal system was introduced. A 48-inch tailpipe extension was added and new, target-style, thrust reversers were incorporated. The thrust reverser doors were set 35 degrees away from the vertical to allow the exhaust to be deflected inboard and over the wings and outboard and under the wings.[ The improvement became standard on all aircraft after March 1969, and a retrofit was provided for active aircraft. This accounts for the odd angle of the thrust reverser doors and the very long tail pipe, but the main reason was that in thrust reversal deployment the original B727 version would actually lift the aircraft off the runway on landing! The undercarriage is excellent as well, great linkages, legs, tyres and animation. the engines hide most of the work, but it is worth checking out. The wings are very similar to the B727 in forward leading edge slats (inner and outer) and the seven position trailing edge flaps. wing and flap detailing is overwhelming and work to be admired, certainly in the powering out of those flap extensions. The landing light pops out under the wing(s) as well on the flap runners, the lower the flap position then the lower and change of angle of the landing light... great detailing. Flying The Boeing 732 On the options menu you have a pushback built in. No truck outside but the aircraft will pushback when the brakes are off and you press the pushback tab. It moves a little to quickly for me, and turning is via the rudders. Brake to stop and disconnect the pushback. A final check of the takeoff vRef charts shows me my markers, note that vR (rotate) is vR (vRef) +15knts, the bugs will call out the vRef's as you pass them (you get the landing heights as well) which is very authentic. A last check of the gauges at the hold and when cleared the B732 is on the KDFW runway 17R. Power goes up but the JT8D's take a little while to build up the thrust, once there the push is long and quite powerful, the noise builds as well into that unmuffeted roar. Vr and you only need a light pull back of the stick to get airborne, once clear of the runway and you are heading slightly to the right and you can feel the great central balance of the aircraft in the yoke, the aircraft is just under MTW, but the B732 feels very good and turns and climbs without much drama. Boeing pilots note it was always the best handling version of the B737 series, and here you can quickly feel why. In this era it was mostly VOR to VOR navigation, with a few NDB's thrown in for good measure. If you have the mentioned CIVA then you have a flightplan to fly to, If not then the navigation come down to you. It is best to be well prepared with the correct headings and VOR/NDB frequencies at hand. I found like with the B727 that the VOR's can be a little slow coming on line sometimes. NDB's seem to be slightly better for giving out the right direction. It helps here that the NDB knobs are in a great place just down to your right (pilot's side, left Co-Pilot) so I found I used them more in the B732. You want to fly the B732 by hand all the way to your destination as the B732 is so easy on you. But the autopilot is very good as well, if not excellent. You do wonder if change does make system better. In this case the A/P is so simple but so powerful you wonder why they had to change it. The Sperry SP-77 (option version) is a brilliant bit of kit. As you are already pitching in your correct angle, you will notice the pitch knob is following you, engage the autopilot via the big switches and the aircraft just holds the pitch! Select the altitude you want (8500ft transition) and click on the ALT HOLD on the top of the A/P panel. Make sure the IAS-OFF-ALT HOLD switch is in the off position (It should be already) and the aircraft will then climb and level out to the selected height. Want to hold any altitude then flick the switch to ALT HOLD. Note: that to change the pitch (climb or descend) you have to OFF the ALT HOLD first. The pitch is analog so you have to be aware that it won't go back to dead centre when leveling off, It seems to wander around, in that you set it correctly on the straight and level, you could however be descending down (or up) a little. The pitch is also a little big in its click settings as well, A click up or down and you are going 400ft, a second click is nearer 2000ft in pitch, you really need more intermediate settings to get a finer pitch adjustment. but overall the pitch system is excellent in just turn the knob (ALT HOLD off) and up or down you go... You have to click on a separate switch to activate the heading mode, and the Flight Director (FLT-DIR) switch as well, then the aircraft will turn to the heading bug. you can adjust the heading bug on the A/P panel and on the heading instrument as well for ease of use... In fact it is good to note that most adjustments have two sets of manipulators, arrows and curves and both work fine to what you like to use best. The VOR needle will note your direction and the distance is shown in the lower display. The aircraft will climb very easily but don't over stress the engines (they will burn out), keep everything well with in the green or with just a little yellow if required on the dials. As noted you don't need to stress the aircraft even while it is still quite heavy. I am flying quite high at FL350 and only 500ft under the service ceiling, That will cost me a little in a fuel penalty, but still better than the stronger winds just below. At altitude the aircraft is nice and clean everywhere (OHP is nice and blank) and I only have to watch the navigation points. The route took me down the east coast of Mexico as far as Corpus Christi. The Boeing 737-200 could not operate over water as there was no ETOPS (Extended range Twin Operations) allowed in the 60's and 70's in fact only one B732 was made certifiable. most 2-engined jets were restricted by the 60-minute rule. So I kept a visual sight to the coast all the way down before heading out to cross the coast at Campeche. Liveries You get seven liveries with the aircraft and unlike the B727 there will be no livery packs for the B732. A paintkit is coming. All liveries are excellent, but a few more American based liveries would have been nice... The Westjet is the best on the aircraft, the KLM is good as well. Also I checked and there was no hull fatigue cracks on the Aloha... so you are safe there. Night-lighting The cockpit lighting in HDR is gorgeous and yet you only have two adjusters in behind the dials and a flood up high. But you can find that perfect lighting setting and just the dials for landing in the dark. There are two fully adjustable spot lights overhead either side of the OHP. Turn on at night with the switches by the captain left side you can illuminate almost anything, the lighting detailing and reflection is amazingly good. Beacon, navigation, tail (logo) and strobe lighting is very good, but the cabin windows are dark and not lit making the aircraft a black hole at night, FlyJSim says this will be fixed in the update. Landing at Cancun You have to watch your speed on the descent. Pulling back the throttles means losing the power, but the aircraft will still gather speed as it descends. so allow for a period of space to get the speed corrected just under 200knts before your final approach. Yes you can use the speed-brakes but most pilot's pride themselves on not doing so, however sometimes you have no choice if you stay at the cruising altitude to long. The speed can be controlled though but don't expect it to recover until the aircraft is absolutely level again, and then the speed falls off quickly. You will again find the handling of the aircraft to your wishes while manoeuvring the aircraft though the turn to the heading of the airport and switch the A/P back on to use the near perfect VOR alignment to the runway for Cancun MMUN's runway 12R. Be careful though as RWY12L is noted and displayed, but it does not exist in reality? So don't select that one unless you want to land on the grass. Be careful of the speedbrake arm as it doesn't click into a position, only a green light on the panel shows you it is armed. Autobrakes are set to MED. Coming in close to the airport I recheck my land vRef card at 30º flap I can use 126knts, which is very slow... As the flaps go down each notch you need to work the throttles to keep the aircraft from not going into the stall while still losing off the speed. I settled at 130knts going into the ILS system and the really slow approach allows you the one thing you never get in big jets... time. One thing noticeable was that it was also in the daylight back at Dallas are the strong light reflections from the panel. Here on approach with the setting sun behind me some parts of the panel were blanked out, it is authentic no doubt, but it makes you work just that a little bit harder. At 130knts your ride over the runway keys is very slow and the B732 giving you all the time in the world to position the aircraft down on the tarmac right where you want it. No autoland here either, so watch that float. Those wonderful clamshell engine reverser doors bang into place and start the pushing out thrust to slow your speed, but they are not nowhere near as powerful as today's powerful reversers, so don't rely totally on them to slow you down. Power off and you are in the pace taxi mode and clean up the aircraft ready for the exit to the taxiway. X-Plane's HDR lighting is great on the ground. Strobes, strobe brightly and red and green nav lights illuminate the runway, you have four landing lights that can all be turn on with a flick of a small panel behind all the switches. there are also taxiway turning lights and a turning front wheel position taxi light. All lights illuminate the areas around the aircraft to making taxiing at night one of the best and easiest yet. (hard to do in X-Plane) only the RWY turn taxi-lighting is a little dim at the source, the actual lighting is however fine. A taxi to the bay and the flight distance was 1114nm, Fuel was getting low as well with that high altitude at just over 5000lbs left. But a shutdown and connection to EXT Power and the aircraft was ready for the morning return to KDFW. Summary The Boeing 732 will be certainly compared to the FlyJSim Boeing 727 Series. If you liked the B727 then you will certainly want the B732 and you won't be disappointed. In quality and detail they are exactly the same. The B727 was a bit of a drama queen, but then that is what you really loved about the aircraft. The B732 is a more neutral flying aircraft and is really more composed in balance compared to its bigger sibling. The B732 feels smaller than the B727 and in that context you may feel your not getting as much aircraft even though you are paying less (there was three variants as well for the B727 with the full series). But that will be missing the point. there is really not much to slip between both aircraft, They would really depend on your mood in that if you want to wrestle an aircraft (B727) or if you would just want a good no-nonsense aircraft (B732) that is very nice to fly over a continental distance, and both have a time and a place and both aircraft hark back to an era in that when aircraft were in a period of a glorious adventure and breaking aviation records. If you have flown the B727 then you will easily slip into the left or right seat of the B732 and feel right at home. If you are new to these FlyJSim 60's era aircraft, then yes there is a bit of a system's and operation's learning curve, but the results are well worth the effort. All aircraft systems including: Air systems - Anti-Ice - Autopilot(SP77) - Com/Nav radios - Electrical - Fire protection - Hydraulics - Fuel - Weather radar - Warning systems and cockpit call outs are fully active. There are a few more benefits with the B732, the Sperry Autopilot is a gem to use and not hidden away behind the throttles (B727) but right there where it should be on the glareshield. The lighting (except for no cabin lighting?) is excellent and the whole aircraft is so well put together in every area. You don't get a lot of extra features with FlyJSim aircraft, but you do get quality and great flying machines. And the Boeing is certainly a great if not a sensational aircraft to fly and great overall value. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 732 TwinJet from FlyJSim update is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 732 TwinJet - Price is US$47.00 Installation and documents: Download is 294.40meg and the aircraft is deposited in the "Heavy Aircraft" X-Plane folder at 381.80 meg and requires a key-code for activation. Note: If you have purchased the xCIVA navigation package it goes in the B732 aircraft "plugin" folder and not in the X-Plane plugin folder... There are three documents covering the aircraft: -Designed by FlyJSim (Jack Skieczius and Joe Vermeulen) Developer Site: FlyJSim Dev Support : FlyJSim Support Small note : in that the actual review was conducted in X-Plane version 10.25, I also flew the aircraft in the b10.30b1 to check for any differences (there was none and the frame-rate was excellent in both versions) a few of the images however were taken in b10.30b1 to check out the clouds... In frame-rate it is worth noting that if you switch off the "draw per pixel lighting" which highlights textures you will gain 30frames!. The aircraft will look slightly plainer outside, but 30frames is still 30frames... And yes I know that Southwest Airlines fly from Dallas Love Field and not KDFW, but there is sadly no KDAL scenery in X-Plane? _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review By Stephen Dutton 30th May 2014 Copyright (2014) : X-PlaneReviews 2014 Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. X-Plane 9 is not supported Recommended: 1+ GB of VRAM, and 8+ GB of system memory Current version: 1.0 ( v1.1405.1025 ) - Last updated May 28th 2014 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final) - Hi rez planet textures from ISDG - Hi-Res Runway textures by Jack Skieczius Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - KDFW - Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport by Brian Godwin (X-Plane.org) - MMUN - Cancun International Airport Mexico by 5171 (X-Plane.org)
  27. 2 points
    Happy Birthday! : X-Plane Reviews is One Year Old... Yes! X-Plane Reviews is now One Year old today and counting. This time just only a year ago we were sitting here facing a completely empty site. Nothing except the challenge ahead. And we have exceeded even our own expectations, but without X-Plane's constant evolution and expansion then we could not have reported and reviewed so much in such a short time. Without doubt the biggest surprise over the year was certainly the amount of releases and projects that have filled these posts. We expected busy times but also the many quiet times and they never seemed to come to pass, as releases are now almost year round and average about one every two weeks, with a very large project release about every three months. Above that is simply the high quality of these releases, many are simply extraordinary in quality and features and there are very, very few that don't come up to mark. So every review was pushed higher and higher as the months went by in every area in features and quality that really any purchase today is not going to fail your expectations or live up to your investment into the simulator. The amount of releases can also push your own boundaries in that there is so much to absorb and then learn as the ideas and features are sometimes quite complex, but still need to be dissected and then explained so everyone can understand and get the very best from the project. In most cases what you see on the site posts is only a quarter that we do behind the scenes to post the very best information to you. I don't do all this by myself and I have a big thanks to Adrian, Wycliffe and Joe for their invaluable contribution and mostly giving their valuable time to post on this review site over the past year. More people to thank is Nicolas Taureau from the X-Plane.OrgStore that gives us the support and quick updates to bring you the latest reviews almost as they are released. To Dan Klaue who can explain things that are simply unexplainable (To me anyway) and to the amazing developers that have created the amazing world we fly in and let us bring their efforts and skills to our reviews. So we start another year, and still there will be more and more great projects that will excite us and to be explored and reviewed. And X-Plane will continue to become one of the very best simulators ever released and we are living and enjoying the journey that will continue well into the future. Its been an amazing ride to date and it won't slow down anytime soon... and most of all is our thanks to you the users for joining us and giving us the great feedback that is required to run sites like these, this is your site more than anything and the best place to get the best reviews in X-Plane. And to celebrate our first anniversary X-Plane Reviews is going to run a Competition! Prizes are in no order of a: FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional FlightFactor/Vmax Boeing Aircraft:757 Professional SSG/Vmax Boeing Aircraft:747-8i Advanced Details and conditions will be posted on the Competition post, So get in and have a chance to win one of the most significant aircraft that has been released in X-Plane over the last two years... Stephen Dutton 1st August 2014
  28. 2 points
    Aircraft Review : MiG-29 Fulcrum by Colimata Sorties : Frankfurt Hahn EDFH Created as a Cold War intercepter, the Mikoyan MiG-29 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-29; NATO reporting name: "Fulcrum") was a direct Soviet reference to combat the new American fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. Known as a Fourth Generation fighter, It was really a bit of a third generation as well as it had no fly-by-wire or flight protection control. It was built in conjunction with the Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker) and although slightly out manoeuvred by the F-15, The Mig-29 was certainly above the F-15. The western Allies found this fact out after the end of the Cold War In 1997, when the United States purchased 21 Moldovan aircraft under the Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program. Fourteen were MiG-29Ss. And the Western counterparts were quite shocked to find out how effective the aircraft was in air combat training. It had formidable armaments on fitted the MiG-29 which includes a single GSh-30-1 30 mm cannon in the port wing root. This originally had a 150-round magazine, which was then reduced to 100 rounds in later variants. Original production MiG-29B aircraft cannot fire the cannon when carrying a centerline fuel tank as it blocks the shell ejection port. This issue was corrected in the MiG-29S and later versions. Three pylons are provided under each wing (four in some variants), for a total of six (or eight). The inboard pylons can carry either a 1,150 liter (300 US gal) fuel tank, one Vympel R-27 (AA-10 "Alamo") medium-range air-to-air missile, or unguided bombs or rockets. Some Soviet aircraft could carry a single nuclear bomb on the port inboard station. The outer pylons usually carry R-73 (AA-11 "Archer") dogfight missiles, although some users still retain the older R-60 (AA-8 "Aphid"). A single 1,500-litre (400 US gal) tank can be fitted to the centerline, between the engines. The baseline MiG-29B has a Phazotron RLPK-29 (Radiolokatsyonnui Pritselnui Kompleks) radar fire control system which includes the N019 (Sapfir 29; NATO: 'Slot Back') look-down/shoot-down coherent pulse-Doppler radar and the Ts100.02-02 digital computer. Tracking range against a fighter-sized target was only about 70 km (38 nmi) in the frontal aspect and 35 km (19 nmi) in the rear aspect. The MiG-29 is powered by two widely spaced Klimov RD-33 turbofan engines, each rated at 50.0 kN (11,240 lbf) dry and 81.3 kN (18,277 lbf) in afterburner. The space between the engines generates lift and thereby reducing effective wing loading to improve maneuverability. The engines are fed through wedge-type intakes fitted under the leading-edge extensions (LERXs), which have variable ramps to allow high-Mach speeds. As an adaptation to rough-field (gravel) operations, the main air inlet can be closed completely and alter using the auxiliary air inlet on the upper fuselage for takeoff, landing and low-altitude flying, preventing ingestion of ground debris. Sharing its origins in the original PFI requirements issued by TsAGI, the MiG-29 has broad aerodynamic similarities to the Sukhoi Su-27, however, there are some notable differences. The MiG-29 has a mid-mounted swept wing with blended leading-edge root extensions (LERXs) swept at around 40°; there are swept tailplanes and two vertical fins that are mounted on booms outboard of the engines. Automatic slats are mounted on the leading edges of the wings; they are four-segment on early models and five-segment on some later variants. Situated on the trailing edge there are maneuvering flaps and wingtip ailerons. The MiG-29 has a ferry range of 1,500 km without external fuel tanks, and 2,100 km with one external tank. The internal fuel capacity of the original MiG-29B is 4,365 litres distributed between six internal fuel tanks, four in the fuselage and one in each wing. First Flight was on the 6 October 1977, with entry into service in July 1983. Most MiG-29s have now been refurnished as multirole fighters capable of performing a number of different operations, and are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions. The aircraft was exported to 32 operators with India being the largest non-block country with 87 aircraft. The Luftwaffe inherited 24 aircraft from its reunited East-German cousin after the end of the Cold War. Two Mig-29's famously crashed while doing an air display at 1993 Royal International Air Tattoo (UK), Both pilots survived. The Mig-29 is still in production and has yet to be replaced. The Sukhoi PAK FA is still a stillborn project and another is the MiG 1.44 demonstrator which failed in the 1990s. Over 1600 Mig-29's in various variants have been produced. MiG-29 Fulcrum by Colimata Flown here is the updated 1.5 version of the MiG-29 Fulcrum by Colimata. This release was in May 2013 and includes a completely redesigned Instrument panel(s), New low speed flight model, AoA (Angle of Attack) protection, Breathing cockpit sounds, New Flaps, New normal (exterior) maps, Hideable stick, XP10 lighting and Autopilot features and forward HUD. The extensive design by Colimata is very good, with the basic shape and details of the Mig-29 in design is first rate. These Fourth Gen aircraft are extremely beautiful aircraft for the deadly killers they are with their pronounced high-arcing cockpit to the low wide twin-set engine and twin-tail layout. Close up inspection shows great detail but many items (all over the aircraft) are untextured or use the basic 3d colouring to cover the item. Like the Landing Gear (front and main) are very well done but here are still in their 3d light Grey. But as noted the detailing is very good with piping and struts carefully modeled. The tyres are excellent close up but boxy at a distance, the green inner wheels are however excellent and very Russian in-design. The rear engine outlets have also great 3d design inside and the cones contracting actions (when putting the power down) work with great authenticity. The panels, Wings and tails are all very good with great detailing, but you will need a high texture setting to get the most out of them, and the overall finish is very glossy. Fighter interceptors don't like the sun-shining off them for the obvious reasons... It can get you killed. The Mig-29 comes with a Virtual 3d cockpit (VC) that is extensive in layout. The opening canopy has three actions : Open, Taxi and Jettison. Sitting inside the aircraft and your view is dominated by the huge HUD (Head Up Display). The unit is highly configurable and effective with 8 modes to chose from : Nav mode, Radar Mode, Infrared Mode, Close Combat Mode, Helm Mode, Gun Mode, Recticle Mode and forward HUD that puts you directly into the action. The cockpit is fully functional but not very Russian. All instrument detailing is in English, It certainly helps enormously in helping you to find your way around the cockpit items, but you wish it was a little more Cyrillic in operation for authenticity. At first glace it looks quite complicated but it isn't. Most functions are grouped together in panels and if you learn where the panels are located then they are quite easy to find. This is also helped by the very prominent set Checklist right in front of you. It is tabbed and very easy to sign off each item as you swing left or right setting up the aircraft. One run through the checklist and I was ready for flight, when done just click it out of sight... Brilliant. You can set up a flightplan with the pop-up standard Xplane fms. This again is clickable on or off in your view, a clickable GPS data screen is also available. The main aircraft (standard six) instruments are organised within a white line to separate them from the complex set of dials set out on the main forward panel. Two interesting instruments are the AoA and G indicator and the TAS Mach gauge. both are invaluable at high speed and with the AoA at low speeds. The aircraft is very sensitive to CoG (Centre of Gravity) settings and you need to make sure the setting is correct to get the best supersonic cruise and at takeoff and landing balances. As the machine does not have flight protection (fly-by-wire) you need a gauge to note the limits of the aircraft to avoid (dangerous) stalls and spins. The Panel is also dominated by the RADAR DISPLAY - NAV SCREEN. This display provides Nav and weather Information, and you can select map+radar+weather - map + radar - map (Nav). The visual was confusing at first but then I worked out that the aircraft is situated at the bottom of the screen and not at the centre-cross line(s) and after that it was easy. Standard Xplane weather and Nav points are used. The radar is great when hunting down a foe as it appears in orange if you use the Xplane Aircraft & Situations "Chase" feature, using the radar and the RWR Radar warning receiver that points out the direction to the enemy. The good news is your aircraft is far faster and more deadly than the poor foe you are chasing. The panel here is so called dirty? and the textures were upgraded in v1.5. A look at a real cockpit of a Mig-29 and it looks almost pristine. You have the option to put in the choice of "nearly clean - no dirt - weaker spots" textures if you want them. Side panels provide the most switches for the aircraft's functions. Left side is your throttle, Flap, Fuel, chute release, cabin and oxygen pressure. The oxygen switched on creates a breathing effect sound that drives you nuts after 20 min in the air. The manual says it can be turned off but it annoyingly doesn't work, You can however switch the .WAV files in the aircraft folder to finally get some sanity back. Right Side Is Electrical, Systems, APU start, Transponder, Canopy Jettison and all the aircraft lighting except for the taxi/landing lights which are on the main panel. There is an excellent Telelight or warning panel on the right upper side with a AEKRAN (Failure) display on the main panel. The navpanel (Radio) will mean you can pre-set 3 VOR (DME) 3 NDB and an extra ILS (VOR(DME). It is tricky to use and in some cases I couldn't get the system to accept my VOR (2) frequency Above the Left panel forward is the Autopilot. (A/P) it is pretty basic, in that it is just a heading and altitude hold, and there is a rudder damper and APP (Approach) button for using the ILS. The joystick (by clicking) can be hidden and over all the cockpit and functions are very useable and realistic. The gauges are reflective and well created, some are slightly confusing to use until you settle in there for a while. Time on the machine helps in familiarity. When not flying the Mig-29 you can (By pressing a zone by the left side of the canopy) deploy a ladder, Chocks and flight tags Flying the Mig-29 Fulcrum There are two aircraft versions to choose from, Standard and Armed (both Xp9.7 and Xp10 compatible). And both are flown here as the standard is basically a clean aircraft and the armed is loaded to the teeth. There is another two versions (lite) for X-plane 9&10 that uses less frame-rate and a standard 2d cockpit layout. I never had any frame-rate issues with the 3d cockpit version and there is a render setup panel available in the manual. The Armed version carries 4 Vympel R-73 / AA-11 "Archer" Infer guided missiles and 2 Vympel R-27 / AA-10 "Alamo" radar guilded (fire and forget) missiles. External fuel tank (dropable) is 1.500 lit. The standard GSh-30 30mm 2,000 round cannon is on both aircraft. Engines running the taxi speed is very easy but slow. You keep the speed low to counter the braking, in that to touch your brake handle and the aircraft will simply bounce badly (high) on the nose. I noticed in the thread notes to adjust you CoG to counter this effect. Otherwise the aircraft will trundle nicely all around the airport, unless on hard turning when the front wheel does not completely turn inline with the radius?... Notice the Engine ramps are down and the flaps open above the intakes to stop dirt being inserted in the low lying intakes. On power up they automatically open up for the required bigger chunks of air. You don't need any flap for takeoff, Someone noted on the thread that all Fulcrum's use flap, But I didn't need it on a light aircraft (No armaments), But it helped if you are very heavy. You don't use your afterburners either as that is just wasting precious fuel that is required later to go supersonic. Just under the afterburner ignition is enough to make you go skywards very quickly. The aircraft is very natural in the air. You can position it easily with lovely sweeping turns (but watch that turn stall if you go too slow). The Mig-29 powers quickly through the air. There are 3 large rearward mirrors above you that can be distracting. Going low and fast is easy with the stick, and you soon get into the flow of the aircraft and find yourself into a nice groove. There is the option of the Forward HUD that puts outside the front of the aircraft for extreme low runs that can be exhilarating if you love that sort of thing (yes I do!). In fact all the different variations of the HUD system are excellent for flying or killing. The control surfaces are excellent and the leading edges will pop out for you to get those tight powered turns to the foe. So this is a supremely nice aircraft to fly, the protected fly-by-wire aircraft can certainly go more closer to the limits and are more agile. But this aircraft is a more natural machine and it flies that way, It could be noted today as a pilots aircraft and not a technical tour-de-force. You can certainly see how deadly the Mig-29 aircraft could be in the right capable hands. It is best to set up your Joystick as a trigger to fire the cannon (I usually have reverse thrust set on the joystick trigger), and the space bar is used to fire the missiles in sequence. A sound barrier graphic appears as you hit the .m number and vortices appear when you hit certain speeds in turns or steep climbs. You can like this sort of feature or not. For me it depends on how well they are done and here they are middle of the road. One clever feature is the eject. Blow the canopy and then pull the red eject handles and you are out of the aircraft, which then disappears into the distance (arrowed). You then swing slowly down to earth, only a restart will give you your aircraft back again. You can also learn the "Cobra". (pdf included) that is a stall manoeuvre that takes skill and a steady hand to complete - It virtually sits the aircraft on its tail. Mach! To get into the best speed zone I flew up to 37,000 feet and then hit the afterburner to go supersonic. You need your CoG to be pretty good to get the balance right to get to the Outer Limits. But you are now seriously moving across the landscape. Using the AP is the best way to hold the aircraft steady at this speed or getting to the higher .M numbers as any slight wobble suddenly becomes a serious wobble and the aircraft feels very vulnerable under you. You can fly by hand of course but you really need to hold that stick steady. Using the afterburners can use your fuel at an astounding rate so you have to conserve fuel to get home or use the speed wisely. Turning off the afterburners and your speed quickly drops under the .M. You can turn now, but only in a very wide arc. Pull the throttle to zero and you are still heading forward like a bullet. The speed is dropping but you will be half way across Europe or into Russia before you can get to a lower altitude. The air-brake is in two settings and the first will get your nose down. In fact the air-brake is your best friend on this aircraft because at even lower speeds in neutral the aircraft holds a lot of speed. To get the wheels down and use the single flap setting for landing you need to use the air-brake in both settings in popping it up and down, It is like in trying to brake a runaway train. The air-brake is highly effective so now down on the lower speeds and you have to be careful not to stall your speed, again I have the air-brakes set up on my throttle system buttons and that works very well. Colimata has done a lot of work to get the lower speeds close to the numbers and the aircraft feels stable on approach if you get the speeds just right. Once on the runway you have to slow the aircraft down. Colimata has recreated the parachute. It still works with the default Xplane keyboard setting of the default parachute of which I approve of for ease of use. Once you have run off all the speed then ditch the parachute and the mission is over. Lighting and HDR The cockpit lighting for panel and overhead is fully adjustable. But there is a marked difference between using the HDR feature on or off. With HDR off you can't get the main panel to lower the backlight, with HDR "on" (third image) then that lower style spot lighting is available. Without doubt with the HDR function switched on the lighting is much more effective and the good news is it that it doesn't come at too much of a frame-rate kill. Overall the cockpit lighting is excellent. On the aircraft with HDR "on" the spots are behind the lighting fixtures. On the standard mode you have the small blobs of light. Taking off (or landing) in HDR and the lighting is excellent with three separate spots of broad lighting. HDR 'on" and the rear afterburners and the rear exhaust gases look great and authentic with the HDR shimmer effect. Conclusions The Mikoyan MiG-29 by Colimata is an exciting machine, certainly if you like going very, very fast. For carrying out missions or shooting at other aircraft it is like its real counterpart in being highly effective. Overall the detailing is excellent, but I would like just one more version to clear up a few odds and ends. The landing gear needs textures (and the steering fixed), and so does the inside of the front engine intakes. The Mig is too glossy for me, but that is a personal choice. A few more slightly reflective details of texture work (oxygen gauge/Hydraulic - Pneu gauge is at odds with the rest of the panel in quality) in the cockpit with some Cyrillic lettering would make it perfect. And even again it still needs to even a little more dirty and used. I'm not to crazy about the yellow afterburner glow either... it looks too average for an aircraft of this scale and price. In a features wish list it could use an GPU and fuel tanker. That aside you get really great value and an amazing flying machine for your money. The cockpit is fully functional and if you feel like topping it all you can then eject yourself out of the aircraft. Four versions and in both Xp9 and Xp10 is available for "standard" and "lite" aircraft, and you have options on normal image maps and different panel textures. Sounds are all round excellent (except for the annoying breathing) and are created by Artymowicz Aviation and the 14 liveries (listed below) cover almost every operator and an acrobatic version. The checklist is a great feature in setting up the aircraft ready for flight and the Manual (In Engilsh & German) is very comprehensive and easy to follow. Like many aircraft it will take time to learn the Fulcrum in depth to get the very best out of its flying abilities. It is easy to learn as already noted, but you will need time to be really as one with the machine. The more time you have on the airframe then the more you come to like it. Setting up missions will allow you use the aircraft to its full potential and certainly in the high-speed seek and destroy mode. Overall the Mig-29 is an amazing aircraft. And as good as any interceptor you can get in Xplane. Liveries Documents: Yes! the Mig-29 Fulcrum is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : MiG-29 Fulcrum Price is US$24.95 At the point of press of this review the Mig-29 Fulcrum is on sale at only US$19.95 - Which is amazing value! Installation : Download is 301.80mb, and installation size in your "Fighters" Folder is 446.30mb. It is certainly recommended to set your key and Joystick settings for flying a fighter in - Cannon, missile and chaff. I also recommend to have the Air-brake function set at your fingertips for ease of use and for easy control of the speed. All the settings required are very well documented in the excellent manual.There are various other variations of the panel in nearly "clean - no dirt - weaker spots" textures that are stored in the "customize" folder, here also you can change over the normal maps and change the checklist over to German Support Forum : Colimata MIG-29 Fulcrum Review By Stephen Dutton 8th January 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux. 512Mb VRAM X-Plane 9 or X-Plane 10 fully updated - 32 and 64 bit compatible (The store will deliver the v10 version. If you need the v9 version please send an email to sales@x-plane.org once you place your order) Current version : 1.05 (last updated May, 2013) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - EDFH - Frankfurt Hahn - Aerosoft (.orgStore
  29. 2 points
    Ramzzess Aircraft and Phillipp Munzel have announced the imminent release of the Boeing 757-Series. Their Boeing 777-Series was the aircraft of the year in 2012/2013, So will the Boeing 757-Series be the same for 2013 and 2014? There is no doubt that the B757 is one of the most anticipated aircraft in X-Plane at the moment. If you already have the Boeing 777, then you would already know what to expect in detail and depth of systems... Officially licensed By the Boeing © Corporation Accurate dimensions based on 2D and 3D drawings supplied by Boeing © For X-Plane 10 64bit- Mac, Windows and Linux The Cockpit is comprehensive and highly detailed in systems and functionality. With a fully integrated FMC that is separated for use on the Pilot or Co-Pliot stations. The menu and Checklist system is also comprehensive and excellent in detail. Highlights are - Easy settings for aircraft functions - Full compliment of ground vehicles including Pushback Truck) - Custom failures - Brilliant cabin announcements (PA) - Opening Cabin Doors - virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections - Custom 3D sounds. The comprehensive checklist has the feature of leading you through the correct procedure of switches... Is just brilliant. Detailing (below) is also highly visible and outstanding in quality. Special Effects include - Aircraft Fire and Rain (Window) effects - Active window blinds and a fully detailed cabin. Price will be US$59.95 for the standard RB211-535E4 Release Version. Liveries will be US$1 per livery in packs of 10. Four liveries with the release version are British Airways (classic), Air France, Lufthansa and the Boeing House. There is no doubt this is an outstanding aircraft and once released X-Plane Reviews will give you a thorough detailed review of the aircraft and its systems. Some features: Detailed and functional FMS - Works like the real 757 FMS Advanced auto-pilot Super high resolution 3D cockpit with every switch functional Multilayer dynamic reflections on all glass objects Spatial rain simulation with high detail Very detailed passenger cabin graphics (kitchen and toilets) Inn-cockpit custom sounds 3D stereo sound system for the engines In flight announcements Interactive communication with the crew (fault reporting) Ground vehicles and push back track – all operational Very detailed exterior modeling with extensive use of normal maps Blue-out and other visual and auditory reactions to the situation Additional eye-candy features: real working oxygen masks both in cockpit and cabin, dynamic window shatters that react to sunlight etc.. Use of particles to generate smoke, fire, sparks…. Detailed and deep simulation of almost every system in the real aircraft A multistage custom failure system with in-browser instructor’s console Ability to fix failure by following proper procedure Interflight failure and maintenance system – something will spill over to the next flight Custom menus for loading/unloading fuel and passengers, calling for pushback… Ability to customize the plane with winglets and set other options to be saved or default A fully interactive electronic checklist with all procedures programmed in Auto mode for the checklist where the AI automatically preforms the procedures and the pilot only watches and checks Tutorial mode where the pilot follows the AI’s instructions and visual aids Stephen Dutton 2nd November 2013
  30. 1 point
    Probably you won't have any problem with the 777-300er. If you can run the 767, the A350 shouldn't be a problem. Note that the 767 minimuns are 3GB Vram, and the A350 only 2GB, this way the A350 should work just fine.
  31. 1 point
    Scenery Review : Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG You feel like going somewhere and doing something exotic! But you are also wanting to fly a route for not very long, in fact you don't want to break your two hour flying rule either? You have also flown most European connections and even ventured as far north as Iceland, but you are wanting now something a bit different, even a challenge... so what about North Africa (South Africa is too far). With all these parameters then what about Casablanca, as it is a very exotic and quite a popular destination and only a two to three hour flight from most southern European ports... in reality it is a done deal. I have been to GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport a few times before, and then used a quite average freeware version, But have always loved GMMN if for it's north western coastal African position, not too far from Europe but more importantly it is also an airbridge to South America as a refueling stop. So when developer FSDG or FlightSim Development Group released CMN - Casablanca I just wanted to go back there and finally to a decent full quality X-Plane Casablanca scenery. Casablanca is situated on the very top the northwest coast of Africa, and is a mere two hours from anywhere in Southern Europe. I flew from LEBL - Barcelona which is exactly 2h flying time (okay 2h - 1m give or take a minute), Frankfurt is 3h - 21m which is a bit outside the two hour rule but still doable. The distance from Casablanca (Port) to the Mohammed V International Airport is about 25km directly south, or about 30min driving time. I will note in these views I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) local autogen to give the area a local flavour... Mohammed V International Airport مطار محمد الخامس الدولي ⴰⵣⴰⴳⵯⵣ ⴰⴳⵔⵖⵍⴰⵏ ⵎⵓⵃⵎⵎⴷ ⵡⵙ5 Aéroport international Mohammed V IATA: CMN - ICAO: GMMN 17L/35R - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 656 ft / 200 m Both runways 17L/35R and 17R/35L are exceptionally long at both over 12,000ft in length, they are in a parallel western layout together with all the airport infrastructure situated all to the eastern side of the field. The main apron is one huge continuous apron set into zones of parking in B-C main inner Terminals, E outer remote, J Middle outer Remote, D Cargo inner remote. There is a separate area to the east far south that you could note as General Aviation with parking G (inner) and F (outer) and far south is another remote... remote stand parking. Terminals Both terminals one and two are fused together via an S shaped design, Terminal One is north and more modern and Terminal Two is south. Terminal One: There are four main airbridge stations, but in an odd arrangement of three gates per bay. The use here is for either a narrow body or a wide body aircraft, but it does make it complicated into finding your right parking line and airbridge. In most cases two narrow-bodies will fit into each bay. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is available with both Marshaller (Terminal One) and VDGS guidance (Terminal Two)... .... but SAM does have it's quirks at CMN? Again selection of the right gate (airbridge) to the type of aircraft is important. The MD88 is a low to the ground aircraft, so on one gate with the airbridge connected the airbridge was then set at a steep angle to the low door? Another (image above) on the far right line (or third) didn't connect to the airbridge? but the position would have been perfect to connect to the low MD88 door position? The correct position was actually the first line into each bay for the MD88... your choice to the aircraft? SAM airbridges are again very good with Attijariwafa Bank branding. Clutter is good, but not too much in overwhelming way, so a pass here... but only a few are custom branded and most clutter visible comes from the Laminar collection. Terminal modeling is okay... ish. Overall it is not bad as a design, but you are missing any real or realistic detail, glass is reflective but still looks bland. Biggest issue is that the photo ground ortho-photo textures as they are all very low-res and flat. So this makes all the modeling looked like it is all placed on to the top of the flat surface, of which of course it is? Carparks are the same, a flat washed out photo base with objects placed on top, that there is a lot of objects on the surface to at least fill out the scenery, trees are horrible... cardboard and flat looking they don't relate well to the light at all, again at least there is a lot of well placed fauna to cover over each others flaws. And yet in an overview the scenery does actually work, the trick is just don't look for the close intimate detail and at the different areas too closely. Control Tower The control tower is mid-field and set back behind trees... again close up the glass is boring and flat, so the tower comes out the same way... but it is detailed well. Tower view (T) is however set perfectly with great views of all approaches. Cargo The cargo hub is huge and well represented at Mohammed V... Royal Air Maroc Cargo, operating as RAM Cargo has a huge base here. Swift-air Cargo, DHL and UPS are also represented. Airport operators including EADS and Regional Air Maroc are both shown with custom buildings and with hangars to the south.... .... to the north is is the large Royal Air Maroc's base and it comes with twin maintenance facilities. One twin maintenance hangar is set on the main apron north, but behind is another large apron with another large maintenance area, there are some nicely placed static aircraft including a RAM Boeing 747 that is done very well. Note the army surplus holding yards for vehicles. Area Infrastructure To a point the feature that saves this scenery is the large placed infrastructure landside behind the airport. The infrastructure comes with tenant buildings, warehouses, factories and general buildings to make up a pretty good visual aspect of the airport. Note the nice fuel depot. ... a lot of the buildings are very basic and repeated, but a lot are also custom made to fit into the area, and on the whole it works very well. Far south General Aviation area is good, but a few static aircraft may have lifted the area a little... Surfaces Runaway and taxiway surfaces are good, not brilliant, but good, the detail is there and I like the tyre markings.... all markings and signage is excellent (although there was a taxiway in the scenery not on the Navigraph chart?) however the surfaces and markings are all a bit too new with no wear or tear, but overall it is not too bad. All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) and have nice reflection details, wet and damp conditions are very good (does it actually rain in Morocco?), but there is no 3d field grass or flowers in creating a very flat airfield. Lighting I was genuinely surprised by the lighting at GMMN, as it is very good. Mainly it is because there are two hues in bright apron lighting airside and a copper lighting landside, but it is visually very effective. Approach (RAIL) and taxiway navigation lighting and signage is excellent, so you won't get lost here. All apron areas are well lit, but it is the landside... .... that stands out, mainly because I think the lighting hides the poor Lo-Res photo textures, but it does all look very realistic and pleasing to the eyes. Also helpfully is fact that the street lighting is done well into the landside areas and goes out a fair way from the terminals. Again very effective from the air when departing or arriving at GMN. Terminal glass is better at night as well, as there are lit images on the glass, not even close to good, but still better than the daytime blandness, the landside images though look like a car showroom? Summary GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport is the main port into Morocco and a great destination that is available within the two to three hours flying time from central or southern Europe. FlightSim Development Group (FSDG) have released a good payware airport with Aerosoft for X-Plane to cover this very exotic destination. Overall the airport is very good, with a lot of features and great detail going landside, but the word that keeps coming up here is "Workmanlike", good but so close to being excellent. The scenery is let down by the usual Aerosoft practise to use very Low-Resolution textures for the scenery's base, very zig-zag blocky, washed out and no detail, the lo-res textures create a flat (boring) surface that shows up the placed above object elements, it could have been so much better with more detail, poor cardboard looking trees also don't help in the visual impact. Glass is flat (meaning bland) but better with images at night that don't help either, but still this Casablanca scenery does not give up without a fight to be good, because the (If complicated gate arrangements) SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin tool is excellent, and well done here. Overall I actually do like this GMMN - Casablanca, and yes I will use it and probably on a regular basis, because in the areas I want it does actually create a worthwhile Mohammed V International Airport. It works like a lot of Aerosoft sceneries do, you want them to be better and they can easily be in that aspect, but you use them anyway because they work for you well in another aspect... workmanlike, but still so close to being a very high-quality scenery. _____________________________________ Yes! Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Casablanca XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco (GMMN) Includes new ground layout Superb quality and performance Animated jetways and marshallers (with SAM plugin) Animated ground traffic Routes and positions for AI traffic and static aircraft included Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (April 9th 2020) Download Size: 1.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Casablanca_XP Total scenery installation is 1.3Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Casablanca_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 29th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : 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)
  32. 1 point
    Yes, i think we expect that the main elements are done properly. This is not a down- or upgradable thing, nor should the price relate to whether things are done sloppy or professionally. At least not in X-plane. Just aim for the professional level or keep away from the stores. Most customers have this plane in mind when it comes to steep landings like the world famous St. Bart, which you probably are familiar with. And there is plenty of similar places most and for all in the caribbean. If you are a developer, and you decide to pick this very special plane, you gotta face this particular expectation customers have when they buy it. To make sure, i am understood right: The plane is not bad, i like it. But there is these issues i mentioned which to tackle should be have been a next step. To people who look at it for a potential purchase, yes, i would buy it again. I hope the developer - who as Stephen mentioned - had to be hospitalized, is recovering to well, that should be in our all minds. As there is no information on his status, here My very best wishes and prays.
  33. 1 point

    Behind the Screen : November 2019

    Behind the Screen : November 2019 It is great and even a relief to be back behind the computer after a very demanding house move, actually we moved just 150 meters, but it was a difficult transition. So thanks for all your patience. And then we hit the keys hard in trying to catch up the lost ground, and covering the new releases, and boy what a big month it was in November, and so much going on and even a few mis-steps as well. In another note is that we will again be missing again a few weeks in December also as with the move holding everything up a family situation was put on hold, now we have to travel to sort that out as well, so the dates 3rd Dec to 14th Dec will again mean the site will be quiet, but we will try to fill in everything happening before and after those dates. And a big end of 2019 it is. Obviously the release of X-Plane 11.50 is the BIG one and ditto the Q&A session from Laminar Research on Tues 19th Nov (or 20th Nov here in Australia). A trainwreck dosen't even come close to the session... I watched it live (the broadcast timezone actually for once worked for me) and it wasn't pretty. It was nothing that really Laminar have not done in the past, but this one was more of a group get together at the bar after work sort of affair, a lot of fun for them and not for anyone else... the video was pulled for the obvious reasons. The problem is Laminar are still actually just a very small group of developers, highly talented mind you, but still an extremely small team. So any development and certainly a very extensive change like with the API (Vulkan/Metal) can mean very few resources are available for anything else. Vulkan/Metal has been a total complete year worklog, everything in resources at Laminar has gone into translating these API's, and the benefits are huge like with the 64bit changeover... but the overriding situation now is of course Microsoft's new 2020 version of "Flight Simulator". In most cases Laminar could have just gone on in their own merry way, but the explosion of MS2020 has totally changed all of that, and that is why the Q&A session was such a debacle and why it didn't look good on Laminar Research. Overall they are trapped, as noted everything is focused on those API's but the discussion is showing all the other fatalistic areas of X-Plane that have not been covered, or have been simply left to long on the "Too Hard" development hell list for too long, devotees wanted answers and what they got was hi-jinks and waffle, but overall it just looked like Laminar are simply not prepared for the coming onslaught. Personally I will disagree with that aspect to a point. First no simulator developers have been as forward looking than Laminar, in fact most of the main features being promoted by MS2020 are the very things that X-Plane users have used happily for years, and even years, including flight modeling and dynamic PBR/HDR, but in areas like the ATC and weather Microsoft has had it far better than X-Plane. That is why over the last few years X-Plane has soared with crossover MS devotees in suddenly finding a far better simulator, now most will go back to their favorite home and X-Plane will again feel and look like the hobby outfit they all labelled us all in the first place, there is simply no loyalty in today's market. Most X-Plane leaders including Laminar are noting that "This is really good for X-Plane" but in the way of attracting more gamers or users to simulation, and yes they have a major point there as Microsoft will spend a fortune promoting their new simulator to the world, so yes X-Plane will also get a nice slice of the new action. MS users are of course all wide-eyed and fist pumping the ceiling as all their desperate prayers and that their frantic rose bead rubbing has actually paid off. But their confrontation with the new MS2020 simulator will actually be more confronting than their begrudgingly move was to X-Plane, and probably even more expensive. For one in that only a small part of their huge legacy systems will actually work in MS2020, certainly all the aircraft will not work until they are updated to MS2020 standards, and no doubt the money desperate MS developers want serious payback in delivering the new (if same) products to the users... in time yes a lot of the 3rd party MS machine will move to MS2020, but a lot if not mostly will also be totally discarded if MS want to keep to a more gamer style environment, so if you want that total experimentation and huge add-on experience then actually X-Plane would actually still be for the hard-core users the better versatile option... Hype is also everything. I will note that yes the MS2020 promo's of MS2020 are simply outstanding and yes I am seriously impressed. Calls of "hundreds" of developers are working on MS2020 and millions and millions of dollars are being spent to create it, so you can stop there in believing the truth... the team is realistically about 100 (110 was mentioned) but I would even say it is far less than that (still a huge number against three or four developers at Laminar) and not halve of the Vancouver population as recorded, but the team has had the huge advantage of creating the simulator from scratch (and stealing all the best ideas at the same time). But if you understand simulation that in reality it is one of the most complex multilayered coding than most computer programs, even if the code only runs on one type of operating system. What MS2020 will be out of the box is still covered in hype, yes the few that have access are claiming it is outstanding, but the only test is the one were we make the ultimate choice of use and not the view of a corralled few. I still think it will be subscription based, and again that will still keep many of the one payment and fly for years in X-Plane devotees stay the course, a big percentage of simulation users are also the meanest with their cash. Which brings us back to X-Plane and realistically X-Plane12, due this time next year. Ben Supnic noted that the beta 11.50 will be a long and never ending rollout, well Ben I don't think that can really happen now, in reality Laminar need to have the API beta wrapped up and done by even March, all hands on deck, move the API off the table as it has already has spent out too much time and held the focus at Laminar. I have noted over the last few BtheS about X-Plane's shortcomings, but now the points are now more obvious. Weather, that damn ATC, traffic, water and terrain are all very tired or simply out date by two versions of the simulator.... actually all can be easily fixed. Chris Serio and Tyler Young have been banging away on the ATC for years now, so there has to light at the end of this painful tunnel. Weather needs actually xEnviro? The actual X-Plane cloud formations are not too bad, but need more types of formations... xEnviro's trick is to create the highly realistic weather feel and environments, the conditions created are exceptional, but their heavy 3d cloud system is simply a mess... you can see the idea here, both systems need each other to fix both their weaknesses and to take on the MS2020 system. Realistic water has also been on the cards for years, and shown in demos. Another area to be finally fixed and released and that leaves the outdated terrain textures, certainly the orbital textures need to be seriously updated... and with the loss of alpilotx and no updated mesh for a few years now, and so that is another critical area with a need to be filled. Can all that be done in a year... personally yes I think so, certainly if Laminar bring on board a dedicated person for the terrain and mesh revamp, do that and the the differences between MS2020 and X-Plane12 will actually be quite small with X-plane actually having the advantage of the current large range of current aircraft, plugins and scenery. A lot of the forward movement currently is from Laminar's point of view restricted by the API itself, all or any new features require a lot more better and efficient processing power and the now completed API X-Plane will be finally be able to breath again and run these very heavy processor intensive features, perhaps that was the overall feel at the end of the year Q&A party, but it again came across the wrong way, either way... 2020 is shaking up already to be a huge and very interesting year for simulation, exciting as well. The release of SSG's v2 Boeing 747-8 Inter was one of the most perplexing of the year. I am always totally in full support of any developer, and certainly developers that wear their hearts on their sleeves and are simply trying their very best. But their B748 release in version 2 was simply an odd one all round. Over the years I have had my run ins with a few very inflexible developers, they have a single vision of the way things should be and will give not one knot of space to changing anything, ego is a very big part of this stonewalling inflexibility.. they are always absolutely correct and that is simply the last word on the matter.... the problem with this attitude is that some say 80,000 users see it another way, and a lot if not most of them are quite vocal with that. My job is to warn the victims in the case of the developer before they do a lot of damage to their brand and reputation, most obviously they ignore the comments and usually end up in going to into oblivion anyway, but the greatest developers are the ones that listen, tune in and fix the issues, they go on to usually being the greats and survivors in simulation and SSG have always done this. The original release of the Boeing 747-8 was a very ambitious project from the start and maybe it was a bit too ambitious for a new and fledging developer crew, but they did sort the aircraft out through the numerous updates through the years, the last (legacy) version is not actually that bad overall. But a clean page and a completely new design from the ground up was promised to be all round the things the older version wasn't. The oddness of SSG is that they have been around X-Plane for years now, so they are not an inexperienced crew, and they have been there before. The aircraft however didn't feel like a completely new design from the ground up. It was heavy frameweight wise (I found it to be 4K heavy), visually externally it didn't have the dynamic impact of more current X-Plane large aircraft releases and the most bewildering factor of all was the 3d (virtual) cockpit. All through the original versions of the B748 the virtual cockpit was the most biggest issue. It is an odd place in there, dark, no light dynamics and very dull textures. You got used to it, but it wasn't one of the most nicest of places to do 10 or 12 hours of flying. So everyone wanted a better 3d cockpit... SSG did redevelop that cockpit, but it came out exactly like the old version... you looked around you and it didn't feel or actually look any different in there... very odd. The truly sad thing thing is this factor hides all the really great work done on the systems and features, but again a 3d upper deck and no lower deck was another odd matter as well, and then considering that the doors opened out onto a missing deck? but my thoughts were that with another full 3d deck that would have put the frameweight over 6K, so it was actually a good job it was missing... final note was that all the manipulators touch zones were totally out by miles, so you were operating buttons in areas that didn't have the actual switches or buttons and the new tablet menu wasn't finished or again actually touch zone usable... no doubt SSG will fix up this Boeing 747-8 and they already have released the first v2.1 (or service pack 1) that covers a lot of the issues including the touch zones, but after years of users noting the issues, then why ignore them? And yes it maybe all new, but the aircraft didn't actually feel new, or the more forward modern design we have probably been overindulged with (or expect), and certainly not in it's complex design and weight. Like Apple with their iPhones, every year we just expect more and more from developers, but there has to be a ceiling (no pun intended). But that has also been a constant issue all year really, developers releasing aircraft as a sort of (Early Access) or beta version, in reality it is money grab and selling you an unfinished project disguised as a "enjoy the ride of development" or to beta test the hell out of it, and Colimata's lovely Concorde is a case in point, it has now finally gone to the full release version v1.10. Personally the aircraft was unfinished to fly in it's "early access" incarnation, and problems are getting worse with more and more aircraft now being released unfinished in this fashion, and if I can't fly it, then how are the new users going to be expected to sort it all out. But this sort of business deal can also seriously ruin your brand. If you read BtheS often you will know I have my beefs, mostly I repeat them often and again here I go again... the one overriding annoyance this year and was particularly bad in November is in scenery or there is actually two of them, or first in particular the "Ground Routes" or those ATC route thingys that most scenery developers have absolutely still no idea on how to do them correctly? I have had countless new sceneries this year and last year, and with most they were delivered with very poorly inserted ATC routes in WED. Yes the developers insert the ATC routes, but don't actually a) connect them up to the gates (or even b) label the gates most times) and certainly never ever complete the route flows and AirportOperation files. Yes I know they can be a) hard, b) extremely laborious to do all of these ATC points, but the scenery is crap without these items sorted correctly. A few developers have done a brilliant job with the ATC routes and their work comes alive directly out of the box, but most are downright feeble in traffic action (meaning WT3 and now Global Traffic), and of all the features this one is THE most IMPORTANT.... I hope 2020 is far better in this department, and don't get me even started on poor mismatched brightly coloured photo mesh textures... aggggh! As usual there will be no Behind the Screen December 2019, but the usual 2019 total round up of the year including our best picks of 2019 in the week before Christmas, so look out for the years grand finale post then Bye for now Stephen Stephen Dutton 1st December 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  34. 1 point
    Scenery Upgrade : LEBL - Barcelona XP11 by JustSim There is sometimes no rhyme or reason of why you are attracted to certain aircraft or sceneries. You just are. And that is surprisingly in the case that the actual scenery chosen doesn't have all the features and dynamics that it really should have. But a few like EDDL - Düsseldorf (also by JustSim), ENGM - Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (Aerosoft) and EGCC - Manchester (the old one from Aerosoft) have all been very prominent in many of our reviews, added into that list is LEBL - Barecelona which is again always an outright choice for any flights to or from Spain... if looking hard there is one common theme amongst all these favoured sceneries and that is they all run the WorldTraffic 3 plugin very well, that maybe the connection, but even then JustSim's LEBL - Barcelona was always a favoured first routing choice of any Mediterranean destination. More interesting is the fact that JustSim's version of LEBL - Barcelona although good out of the box, still had a lot of areas that I would usually rally hard against as not being up to standard, truth be told then LEBL should not have even come close to being listed on my main usage list, but I was willing (why) to use it despite these in some cases high limitations, so there must be something good going on here, and when this new upgraded XP11 version popped up I was really quite excited and hoped that many of the earlier areas of missed features and dynamics had been rectified. I noted at the time "you get the feeling the scenery has been released quickly and before it is finished" as the Christmas (2017) holiday season was the point of the original release. So let us look at the changes in the XP11 version of LEBL. The original review is here: Scenery Review : LEBL Barcelona El Prat by JustSim Outwardly visually there isn't much much difference than the original, in reality it didn't need it either as it was already quite comprehensive, I will note that included and they are situated in these images here are the addon city objects of the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot, as they add in a lot and to the feel of the Barcelona city skyline. Terminal One was really well done originally, it thoroughly looked the modern and stylish building it was supposed to represent, no issues with that aspect at all... JustSim note the terminal has been remodelled here, I think it has had improvements, but more to the finishing off stage than any major structure changes, the only physical change as I can see is on Ramp R-15, the covered walkways have been removed and the stands have been rearranged, the ground signage in front of R-15 is now different as well, your old WT3 parking is now out of alignment as well with the new layout. When you arrived at your assigned gate originally it was simply not a great experience, it was then very bland, empty and inactive (below). The XP11 version has fixed pretty well everything in this aspect... .... a huge amount of good clutter has fixed most of these barren areas, and every gate and even around all the aprons there is now a significant amount of clutter but none is BCN branded, but it is still very good. I particularly like the variations of different ground equipment, like all the neoplans (buses) that are different. There are animations now also present as well, it is noted as still a WIP, but there is enough animated vehicle activity to satisfy into bringing in some movements into the work areas. The X-Plane ground service now also works, I rarely use this because I use the JARDesign GHD plugin, but it is an additional feature for those that use the default version. VDGS - Visual Docking Guidance System Another fix is the now inclusion of the VDGS - Visual Docking Guidance System, or animated airbridges. This is the older Marginal version and not the more recent SAM plugin, and for some reason JustSim is not embracing the SAM system over the Marginal version, weird because JustSim usually use the latest ideas and features with their sceneries... One of the biggest LEBL drawbacks has thankfully now been fixed as it was very odd (boring) with those fixed old fashioned airbridges. The feature is very well intergrated into the terminal as well with a similar design and the correct see through glass. Even if they are the older system, these VDGS airbridges are very nice, but some of the pole navigation electronic displays are a little tall, I had to crouch down low in the MD88 to see the display. Terminal 2 west has the VDGS system as well and JustSim noted that the VDGS system is still a WIP... but I tested two airbridges over here and they worked fine, they are of a solid construction in design than the glass airbridges of T1 but look authentic. Like Terminal One in that Terminal 2 was a very empty place, it is now highly active and thankfully more realistic... .... I usually avoided Terminal 2 because of its blandness, but now in this XP11 version it is perfectly active enough for me to come over here, still mostly for LCC use, but that is fine. HDR active All glass in the terminals, buildings and airbridges are now HDR reflective... .... again this is another step forward in making the gates and buildings more realistic and not dull. LEBL - Barcelona now also comes with HDR ground and surface reflections, so if you have a bit of wet weather into the airport, then the effects shine. The lighting effects show off the great textures on the runways, it is really great for any nocturnal flight activities at LEBL, night arrivals and certainly at dawn or dusk were always extremely dramatic. Wet areas around the brightly lit ramps are excellent, it is brilliant down here and to note the excellent wet shine on the empty baggage carts. Tower view has been fixed... yeah. All approaches are now available, rather than an apron, still set slightly too high, but at least it is working... .... you would be surprised how much you missed something as simple as the tower view here. The control tower itself (which is really well done) has acquired a autogen traffic road around its base? and cars appear and move where they shouldn't. Lighting at El Prat was always good, at night and in use the airport is excellent, certainly from any approach or departure aspect. Terminal 1 night-lighting has been redone, but it is still slightly blueish too dark, Terminal 2 however is excellent. The only negatives are the landside terminal approach roads lighting have still not be added, so you get this very dark blank area in front of the terminal, it is an easy fix, but again overlooked. Another overlooked area is on the RWY 25R, even RWY25L and RWY 02 Departures. In the distance the Barcelona dock cranes have always been a great view filler, but also on those approaches there is a very blank area associated with the docks and it is noticeable... ' .... JustSim have added in a few low warehouses, but it is not enough for the large flat area and it creates a flat hole in the scenery and on these northern significant approaches as well. There has been a little added to the custom autogen, but there are still a few noticeable spaces, but overall the custom autogen is very good... add in the default autogen and you get a great visual feast, it is one on of the main reasons I use LEBL - Barcelona so much. Summary I really liked LEBL - Barcelona El Prat airport by JustSim from the very first landing, and even if at the time it had significant missing X-Plane active features, and as I noted at the same time it also felt a little unfinished... but this new upgraded version puts a lot of those missing features right. Terminals, aprons and buildings felt empty (because they were), are now full of great clutter, there has been added in a lot of nice vehicles and general airport ground infrastructure, you certainly don't feel lonely down here anymore and arrivals are far more realistic. VDGS - Visual Docking Guidance Systems on both main terminals is another huge bonus of interaction. More fixes includes animated vehicles (not a lot yet), ground service and a nice variation in all custom vehicles, but they are not BCN branded. X-Plane11's HDR dynamic features are also another great new added in feature here; includes HDR ground textures for wet,rain and lighting reflections, building glass reflections and even to the HDR use on static clutter (baggage trolleys and more) is very good to exceptional. All lighting is very good as well and the "Tower View" is sort of fixed (too high), but still better. Negatives are small, but notable in missing street approach lighting landside Terminal 1 and an empty flat dockland area on the northern approaches Two options are certainly to be considered at this JustSim LEBL. One is the city objects of the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot, and the other is Classic Jet Simulations World Traffic 3 - WT3 (World Traffic 3.0). The running of WT3 is excellent here and it all works perfectly with the complex taxiway and runway layouts, WT3 is one of the big attractions to using LEBL. LEBL - Barcelona El Prat airport is in my high rotation of routing, in other words I use this El Prat scenery a lot, use the scenery yourself and you will see why, more so now as most of the niggles have been comprehensively addressed in this XP11 version upgrade, now it will be more addictive than ever, great value, upgrades from the older version is US$5.00 but it is now only for X-Plane11... A simply must have on your European routing network. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! LEBL Barcelona El Prat Airport XP11 by JustSim is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LEBL - Barcelona Airport XP11 Price is US$21.00 Previous owners of JustSim's LEBL-Barcelona (XP10/XP11) version can upgrade for US$5.00 to version XP11 Features: New version optimized for XP11 Custom runway, taxiway and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings Manualy placed a lot of autogen buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Ground service World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Animated jetway and airport traffic - work in progress ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is 370.10mb and is 1.08gb when installed as a single folder in your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder. The addition of city objects in the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot package is well worth the installation. Marginal AutoGate plugin 1.72 Is required for use of this scenery, install in your X-Plane Resources/Plugin folder This scenery can now be ONLY used in X-Plane11with this XP11 version Documents: None Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.3 (July 2nd 2019) ______________________________________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 4th July 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 / Checked install in X-Plane11b6 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic3 US$29.95 : Environment Engine v1.10 by xEnviro US$69.90 : AutoGate plugin 1.72 Scenery or Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas MD-80 by Rotate ((Rotate MD-88 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95
  35. 1 point
    Scenery Review : EGCC - Manchester XP11 by Aerosoft After breakfast I did the usual bookmark rounds to see what had been released while I was still in the land of sweet dreams and the thoughts of Scarlett Ingrid Johansson doing nice things with me (I'm not married so I can have these thoughts). First up was a new version for X-Plane11 of EGCC - Manchester from Aerosoft... it was going to be a very good day! This scenery staple was originally created by the now split Icarius Studios : Scenery Review : EGCC Manchester Airport by Aerosoft/Icarius. Over the years this excellent Manchester scenery has been one of my absolute staple go to sceneries for not only reviews but also for a lot of my own simulation flying. It is an important scenery to me personally, as I was born only a few miles away just over the Welsh border, but also for the sheer quality of the scenery for realism in the simulator. This X-Plane10 EGCC is also part of my 10 ten best of sceneries in X-Plane.... so yes I like this Aerosoft/Icarius scenery and use it a lot. The Good So an upgrade to X-Plane11 is very welcome and certainly as Aerosoft have now included the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin feature as well... the grin then got a lot bigger. First impressions were good as well... the new underlay and ground textures are nice... EGCC never looked better and looked gorgeous. Some of the original Icarius building modeling is still here, but updated with X-Plane11 dynamic glass reflections and PBR effects... Glass in the ramp and old control towers are now clear... but it all looks strangely odd? Runway and taxiways have PBR reflection dynamics for that wet surface look... and yes I like that wet surface look. ... so all the new ground textures are redone and X-Plane11 and the ground textures now have Full Orbx (TrueEarth) compatibility. The SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin has also been added and obviously it is a very welcome addition... but I am still a little perplexed to see that a lot of the airbridges still however don't match up correctly to the aircraft doorways... some aircraft like the FlightFactor A350 are still well out or even completely out of alignment? The ToLiSS Airbus A319 alignment is slightly too high as well... as these airbridges are manually configured by Stairport Sceneries and don't rely on the developers to do the alignment, which makes the whole point of the out of alignment issue a bit more of a head scratcher. There is also now a "Winter" MOD as well... the winter mode can be used with the various version from winter textures and colour corrections for Orbx sceneries, TerraMaxx with and the JSGME MOD, of which I used here.... ... the MOD works, but there are areas of joins that are (green and sharply) noticeable, trees and many buildings are white... whited out, so they don't look authentic alongside the default winter trees.... but any winter settings are always welcome. The bad and the Really Ugly To this point the new EGCC - Manchester in X-Plane11 form looks very good... but I was realising that the scenery was not showing a lot of the detail that was present on the earlier XP10 version, and then the more I looked at the detail then the more horrified I became in what I saw.... No I ❤️ MCR? (XP10 left, XP11 Right) Yes I know that the ❤️ logo is now a faded mess at EGCC, but I still like it... Taxiway J Blast wall is missing and you have the wrong warehouse design? The "Airport Hotel" pub detail is stripped bare? Oh the pain! "Oh my god what have they done to this scenery!" All the scenery fencing is missing and it is highly noticeable, certainly around the northeastern boundary, where the road networks are completely totally ruined as well... You get better detailed 3d vehicles, but the rest is simply a mess, there is no carpark lighting, no fencing, no entrance gates... well nothing? The quality detailed carparks have been replaced by crap flat versions, and again with no fencing or lighting? Airport approach road networks are totally ruined, they are just now a flat green not anything. Old MCR Control tower is missing the ground radar, the building textures are also different, and have lost their worn decades old feel? The filled in green tower windows look years better than the newer clear versions. The "Runway Visitor Park" has not been spared the murdering either? The Cafe/Museum with the internal Concorde that can now not be seen... all detail here is wiped away. ... no fencing... oh why not!... just let the kiddies play on the taxiways. Engine test area is missing the inner blast fence.... .... and the Runway 05L threshold radar tower is also completely missing.... "but oh who by now really cares anymore!" Lighting Obviously with so much detailed lighting removed, you knew beforehand that the EGCC XP11 lighting would be bad, and it is... (XP10 left and XP11 Right) Even if the lighting is slightly dated in the XP10 version, it is still world's away from the horrible lighting in the XP11 version... lovely lit carparks are rendered into black holes in the XP11 version? Nicely lit motorways are also replaced by a darkness of gloom... Summary Icarius Studios created one of the best loved and highly detailed sceneries of EGCC - Manchester for X-Plane10, this was of course in association (or branding) with Aerosoft. This is the newer X-Plane11 version from Aerosoft. With the upgrade to XP11 comes all the X-Plane11 dynamic features like reflective glass, taxiways and runways. Newer and better ground textures for use with Orbix TrueEarth compatiblity and AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 compatibility. Winter textures that will change with the seasons and of course the current scenery must have in the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin. All very nice. The general idea with an upgraded project, either in an aircraft or scenery. Is that the newer version is usually a big step forward in quality and features than the older version it is replacing in line with the advancement of the simulator.... in most if not all cases that is usually the case or the deal. But this newer X-Plane11 version of replacing the Icarius Studios XP10 version is simply a devastating mess, 60% of the original detail is simply gone, road networks ruined, average modeling and textures, missing elements like radar (and their towers), no fencing, road, street and carpark lighting and all the original quality is now in tatters, file size is now enormous to the detail, Winter textures are over whited. Words like "Epic Fail", "Monstrosity" and any other thesaurus crap you lavish on this scenery is well deserved. God help us if Aerosoft do the same hatchet job on Icarius Studio's other sister scenery in EDIW - Dublin. If you already have the original XP10 EGCC from Icarius then simply don't replace it, you don't need to as you will be installing a far more inferior scenery... I would personally will pay anyone to install the SAM plugin on the XP10 older scenery to have that functionality, the rest shown here is simply not worth bothering with... Aerosoft's EGCC XP11 is certainly NOT Highly Recommended... Just keep the old one! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! EGCC - Manchester XP11 by Aerosoft is Available (sic) from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Manchester XP11 Price Is US$19.99 Features HD ground textures including PBR Custom HDR night lighting Custom static aircrafts HD vegetation Animated service vehicles Animated jetways/VDGS/marshaller (SAM plugin required) Full Orbx compatibility (Orbx TrueEarth required) Compatible with default AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1.0 (April 2nd 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 1.30Gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder at a huge 5.05Gb One folder: Aerosoft - EGCC Manchester Replaces the original three install files: EGCC - Manchester Ground Traffic EGCC Manchester Airport EGCC Manchester Mesh OPTIONS Folder holds "Winter" files. They cover Orbix, TerraMaxx and JSGME MOD Colors + Seasons JSGME Mods SAM - Scenery Animation Manager Plugin - Free, is required for this scenery Documents One manual with notes in English and German  Manual_Airport_Manchester_de-en.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd April 2019 Copyright©2019 : 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 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free (required) Scenery or Aircraft ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  36. 1 point

    Aircraft Update : ToLiSS A319 v 1.0.2

    Aircraft Update : ToLiSS A319 v 1.0.2 After the initial direct after release update in v1.0.1, this second update in v1.0.2 is now also available. The earlier v1.0.1 release was the expected tidying up of bugs and to cover a few things that were missed in the release version, but the added feature to key command to open up the ISCS (Interactive Simulation Control System) window was a nice touch and the fix to control the native sound volumes between switching into the A319 and then switching out to another aircraft was also most welcome as well. In version v1.0.2 there is now even a few new features creeping in. First off you can now set the regular brake pressure (default is 50%). So the point is here is you like the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate brake feel which is set very (very) low, which at first I really hated it, but then got very used to the feel very quickly... you can now have that same sort of feel on the ToLiSS A319. A note is that the brake feel adjustment on the ISCS can only be done once the aircraft is running on the Settings/Actions page in the Preferences section. In the release version the ISCS menu was large and was also fixed solid in the centre of your screen. Now you can move it around the screen via the title bar which helps a lot, but the menu is still quite large and still the menu has no scaling, but the option to move the ISCS while setting up the MCDUs (FMS) is very welcome indeed. The axis of the aircraft to the airbridge has been adjusted and the aircraft will start with the airbridge now ready and attached... ... but the alignment is still not quite right as the airbridge still sits a little too high compared to the height of the door (arrowed)? The flap lever now notches with flap position selection, small detail but it makes it more realistic. ILS has had attention with the fixed behaviour of the LS button (I don't remember anything wrong with it before?), and the issue of ILS turning by 180 degrees half-way through the runway has also been fixed. Other bugs addressed in this update includes the important mapping between pedestal pitch trim indicator wheel and actual pitch trim position which was off by 0.2deg in some areas and the issue with toggling the descent profile. The AP (AutoPilot) now disconnects on pedal deflection as it did on sidestick deflection earlier and the time out on the Master Caution/Warning for AP and ATHR instinctive disconnect has been adjusted. There has also been a fix for FCU behaviour when you manually switching between SPD and Mach mode as sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't and the XP11 specific brake behaviour has had attention as well, but all XP11 behaviours are all very transient at the moment in X-Plane so expect another adjustment with another X-Plane version later in the year. Summary The ToLiSS319 is coming along very nicely thank you with this already second update since release. A few new features are being implimented with the ISCS (Interactive Simulation Control System) window now keyable and movable around the screen. The regular brake adjustment is an interesting one, it allows you to set the A319 like the A320 Ultimate braking action and this feature could spread out more to other high grade airliners. And a lot of the bugs and other issues have also had a lot of attention. More and more quality liveries are also coming available for the A319 like this excellent quality Cobalt Air (above) by ComSimPilot (his Aegean Airlines is very good as well) and these more higher quality liveries are making the A319 bus even better again. The ToLISS319 is an instant classic and its high sales since its release in X-Plane shows it is already a very popular aircraft, and rightly so as this is one of the best handling airbuses in X-Plane. And with these constant and clever updates coming along at a mighty click and speed then this aircraft is well worth your investment. Highly recommended! X-PlaneReviews full release review on the ToLiSS A319 is available here: Aircraft Review : ToLiSS319 (A319-122) by ToLiSS ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the ToLiSS319 (A319-122) by ToLiSS is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : ToLiss A319 Price is US$69.00 Features Include: Detailed FMGS: Support of SID/STAR, including all leg types (Arc, course or heading to intercept, Radius to Fix, Holdings, etc.) Temporary and alternate flight plans Full VNAV guidance with TOC, TOD, Deceleration point, speed limits, fuel prediction, etc. Altitude and speed constraints as the real aircraft deals with them Ability to change the selected STAR while already in the STAR Support for go-arounds and diversions Step altitudes Airway support 2 independent MCDUs and autopilots Top-notch aircraft systems: ToLiss uses the QPAC Fly-by-wire and autopilot module Brake temperature model based on the detailled physics of heat transfer between the individual brake components Hydraulics model in which the pressure is dependent on usage. This is most notable when dropping to RAT mode Detailled model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs Custom air conditioning model supporting high altitude operations at airports like Cusco in Peru or La Paz in Bolivia without spurious warnings Flight warning system with ECAM actions supporting numerous system failure scenarios, e.g. engine failures, generator failures, hydraulic failures. Eye- and ear-candy: Detailled 3D cockpit 3d exterior model with CFM and IAE engine Choice between classic wingtip fences or modern sharklets (controlled via livery names) Custom sounds for all systems, engine sounds, APU etc. based about 80 custom samples Useability features: Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times. Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly. Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like. Requirements X-Plane 11 (or X-Plane 10) Windows (64bit) , Mac (OSX 10.11 and up) or Linux (tested on Ubuntu 14.10) 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Installation Download of the ToLiSS319 is 729mb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 1.19Gb folder. If you have already purchased the ToLiSS A319 from the X-Plane.OrgStore then just go to your account and download the new v1.0.2 version. The ToLiSS319 also comes with the X-Updater application that can also update the aircraft without doing the complete download, and that App is found in your main root ToLiSS319 aircraft folder. ______________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 29th 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 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 ______________________________________________________________________ Changelog covers both versions v1.0.1 and v1.0.2 v1.0.1 Features: - Modified runway acceptance criteria from 1500m length to 1200m length to accomodate SBRJ - Added a command to open ISCS window: toliss_airbus/iscs_open - Popups can now be scaled to sizes greater than 500x500 pixels, if the horizontal screen resolution is > 1920px. Bug fixes: - Added filters on flap/slat lever and speed brake lever to prevent spikes from joystick axes to affect the configuration - Correct joystick axis decoding bug - Wrongly displayed speed trend on scaled popup PFD fixed. - Fixed the "missing SID transitions" bug. Issue occurred whenever there were more TRANS than SIDs. - Sound volumes reset properly when changing airplanes or quitting xplane. - Some FMGS bug fixes, e.g. lack of procedures after flight plan load. v1.0.2 Features: - Allows transparent runways (custom scenery), ice/snow runways (arctic/antarctic operations), or dry lakebed (KEDW) as valid runways - Modified frequency management to allow use of ATC2Pilot (Note: RMP1 must be set to VHF1 and RMP2 must be set to VHF2) - Modified regular brake force such that it can be adjusted via the ISCS now. - Aircraft is now autogate compatible and starts with the jet bridge attached when in the right location with engines off. - ISCS is now moveable by dragging in the title bar of the ISCS Bug fixes: - Made the flap lever snap into detents. - Reduced mouse handler lag on some computers - Fixed activation issue for some users - Fixed issue with FMGS crashing when importing FMS files that include active and alternate flight plan. - Fixed a crash that occurred when loading a situation file with temporary flight plans active. - Removed differential braking from nose tiller. - Fixed behaviour of the LS button - Fixed the issue of ILS turning by 180 degrees half-way through the runway. - Speed constraints are now considered in GA legs - Fixed behaviour of the ALT knob when switching between 100ft and 1000ft steps. (No retaining the 100ft value) - Fixed mapping between pedestal pitch trim indicator wheel and actual pitch trim position (was off by 0.2deg in some areas) - Fixed an issue with toggling descent profile - AP now disconnects on pedal deflection also (did on sidestick deflection previously) - Fixed FCU behaviour when manually switching between SPD and Mach mode - XP11 specific brake behaviour fix.
  37. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado The single Turbo-Prop Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was one of the earliest X-Plane aircraft releases back then in mid-year 2012, that is five years ago now to date. The first Carenado releases were really average to good, basically test pieces for X-Plane. Both the Mooney and the PA 32 Satatoga felt old before their release, but then in May we got some release images of the Caravan and then in June 2012 the aircraft was released in X-Plane. Finally X-Plane users got the glimpse and a taste of why in Flight Sim Land of all the reverence and praise that was lavished on Carenado. It was back then and to a point still now a great aircraft, but we also saw Carenado for what they really were and more importantly they were also taking X-Plane as a simulation platform seriously. That gamble paid off massively for Carenado as they now dominate most General Aviation releases in X-Plane, although I will admit a few other developers like vFlyteAir and Aerobask are now pushing them harder in quality in what was once only a Carenado domain. There is no doubt that the C208B Caravan has been a huge seller if not their best seller year in and year out for Carenado, and it is not hard to see why. It is an amazing aircraft but versatile as well. The aircraft is basically a workhorse, a short hop regional gap filler for two pilots and eleven passengers, or a single pilot and twelve passengers, and it's speciality is island hopping. Carenado also then broadened the C208B's already great attraction by an add-on and an extra in the form of a cargo version called the "Super CargoMaster", so now not only could you move your passengers point to point, but also cargo was now also the go. The great suddenly became the brilliant. I am not going to hide the fact that in the last five years I have done a huge amount of flying of both the passenger and cargo versions in this brilliant aircraft, the hours spent in the C208B's left seat are simply to large to count, but it must be a lot. So of the many aircraft I have spent flying in X-Plane then the Caravan must be at the top of my list and it is in my all time list as it came in at number 3. But I will admit with the transition to X-Plane11 the old bird was starting to feel a little worn around the edges, and that is despite a few nice upgrades (v2/v3) in the X-Plane10 run. So here is the X-Plane11 upgrade. And now this C208B aircraft is now X-Plane11 compatible. You will have repurchase the aircraft in full as well, but the cost covers all updates throughout the X-Plane11 run or about four to five years and Carenado have noted that there will be some great new features coming to the Caravan but not until the other listed aircraft have been upgraded as well, and don't forget that there is still the G1000 Executive version still waiting in the wings. C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 This is both a light overall review and an upgrade review in one, because the original X-PlaneReviews Caravan review is now quite old from 2013 and so I think it requires an update and refresh on the aircraft. The first most significant detail is that the original add-on "Super CargoMaster" package is now part of the overall package. In other words you don't have to purchase a separate package and merge it with the main Carenado C208B Grand Caravan purchase to get both versions, and you can also change to both versions from within the one aircraft and not have two separate aircraft to switch between or reload. The standard three Carenado left lower screen tab menus are still here with C for the Views, Field of View and Sound adjustment which the same as usual for Carenado. D covers "Doors" in the Pilots and Co-Pilots door(s) (with a great swing down ladder) and a double (upper and swing lower) main Cargo door and on the passenger version a passenger door on the right rear side of the aircraft. The Caravan comes with a detachable lower cargo pod with opening doors, but the selection of opening the pod doors is a separate selection on the cargo, however the pod doors can then only be opened with the right side passenger door on the passenger version which is slightly odd. You can also switch to each the passenger or the cargo version here on this menu tab as well, via the lower left tickbox. (if you change the livery to either a passenger or a cargo version the type will also change automatically). Livery selection can also be done from this menu in selecting left or right to go through the options, personally I use the XP11 menu as it was quicker. O covers the "Options" on the lower third tab. First selection is the optional cargo pod and the then the static elements of Chocks, Tow Tractor, Pivot Cover, Engine and Prop covers. Lower selection allows you to have tinted or clear windows. This options menu also allows you on the passenger version to select the rear seating arrangements with either single seating for eight or single/double seating for eleven. I usually use the eleven seater. The option menu on the cargo version is the same except that there is no seating but cargo options. “Load Configuration 1” is with the parcels loaded and that adds “1607” Pounds to the aircraft’s weight. “Load Configuration 2” is with the parcels removed and no penalty of weight. The cargo area is very well presented with the webbing hanging with the space empty and everything tied down tightly with the load on board and when not used the hand aircraft puller is strapped to the rear bulkhead, there is a nice touch to the cockpit rear with a net over the the entrance to keep the cargo in place. External Detail I usually fly with the pod off, my flying in the Caravan is mostly passenger sightseeing or point to point airport connection services. The Caravan style is between a pure utility aircraft, but still has a miniature airliner feel as well with all those side windows (seven). For the job it is about perfect and in the real world it is extremely popular and would be a very hard aircraft to replace and most operators usually don't but with another Caravan. Since its first flight on December 9, 1982 and into service in 1983 there has now over 2,500 Caravans built and flying at a cost of US$1.95 million each (2017 costing). External detailing is phenomenal. Every rivet is counted for, all latches, hinges and handles are perfect, (ice) lighting surrounds, lovely flap tracks, vents, animated static wicks and antennas. Glass is superb with great reflections and a very slight convex look. In reality the earlier detailing on the Caravan is not much different here, but it has been totally enhanced with X-Plane11 features and of course with PBR or Physical Based Rendering (material shines and reflections) and the textures are all 4K and have been reprocessed for the best quality to FPS (framerate) optimization. So the most noticeable factor from the earlier Caravans to this version is the sheer gloss on the aircraft and the highlighting of the aircraft's construction. This is mostly highly noticeable with the wing construction and detailing, it is beautiful work, almost perfection. But in certain lighting conditions you get a frazzled feel, it can be a little over shiny for the eye, a slightly more wear and tear feel would be more authentic, but don't get me wrong this is the best of the best in detailing. The spinner is now chrome, real chome. Carenado always did do great chrome fittings but the extra shinyness now adds to the effect (X-Plane11 metalness effects). This shinyness is highlighted by the lovely curves of the lower fuselage and the air cooling vents. The Caravan has a powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A engine connected to that lovely crafted Hartzell 3-Blade Metal, Constant Speed - full feathering propeller... great stuff. Note that huge if slightly ugly right sided exhaust, but it does give off a great whine sound. The aircraft undercarriage support is also superb, there is a lot of animated flexibility and dynamic loading/unloading of the gear that adds amazing authenticity to the simulation. Minor detailing on the internal construction of all the wheels and braking systems are pinch perfect. Open the doors and the extreme detailing is even more evident. Looking into the cockpit you are immediately reminded on why the Caravan was such a big deal back when Carenado first released the Caravan. It was a modern cockpit (mid-80's compared to the other far older Mooney and the PA 32 Satatoga cockpits). Internal Detail That light on dark panel was and still is amazing as is the whole of the Caravan's cockpit. The panel is now even more dynamic with the X-Plane11 dynamic lighting effects, more realism and even more of a great place to be. All instrument and glass is reflective, instruments are all of the highest quality Checking around the panel there hasn't been much changed or added except that those tree style manipulators have been replaced by the standard half-moon style manipulators, this is for another reason as well as for just easier manipulation as they are required for the coming VR interaction. Those lovely hide away yokes do also have a working elevator trim, which is very usable. And above your head is still the standard tank switches and oxygen switch and dial readout. Your workplace seating still looks very comfortable and the quality is mindblowing, again the dynamic lighting brings something new to this already very familiar cockpit. Instrument Panel In reality this is not a really over complicated instrument panel and I think that is the overall sweetness on flying and using the Caravan. The row of engine status dials on the top row are (left to right) Torque, RPM Prop, ITT (Interstage Turbine Temperature), Gas Generator RPM, Oil Pressure PSI & Oil ºc Temperatures, Fuel Flow and both L&R fuel tank gauges dominates the panel, the lovely set of excellent annunciators that can be set for day and night visual brightness or test mode. Full Standard Six instruments for the flying pilot and the co-pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the ADF dial, Heading Dial/HSI and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Pilot has added Turn/Slip indicator below and Radar altitude (x100) meter. Left of SS is a VOR OBS pointer and Bendix King VOR data panel below. Far left is Prop Anti-Ice dial, Clock, and Engine Suction dial and approach marker lights. A nice working feature is the Voltage dial that has four switchable selections with Gen (Generator), Alt (Alternator), BATT (Battery) and Volt lower left is the external lighting switches and lower panel is six switches that covers the aircraft's Anti-Ice protection. There are also four rotary knobs for the instrument lighting which is in-direct and not back lighting, also here is the bottom brake pull and the Inertial Separator T handle that blocks debris coming into the main engine inlet. Air-conditioning and cabin heat switches and knobs are lower panel as well. There is a stand alone electrical and fuse raised box structure to the pilot's left... ... switches cover top - External Bus (GPU), Main Battery, Generator and fuel boost. Lower panel - Standby Power, Ignition, Engine Starter, Avionics Standby, Avionics Bus Tie and Avionics 1&2 OFF/ON. By today's standards the avionic package here is quite basic for a working aircraft. Top is a Bendix King KMA 24 radio set, with below a default X-Plane GNS 430 (COMM 1 and NAV1) settings. Mid-panel is a Bendix King KX 165 COMM 2 and NAV 2 (VOR) radio and a Bendix King RDR 2000 weather radar with the X-Plane radar overlaid below. Right stack has top a Garmin GTX 320 transponder then below a Bendix King KR87 ADF radio with finally the Bendix King KFC 150 autopilot. The autopilot has a indication panel and altitude adjustment, vertical speed adjust panel on the pilot's side top right. Throttle Pedestal Mid lower panel is a nice throttle pedestal. Left to right there is a power lever to be used only in emergencies, then a single main "Throttle" lever with a "beta" reverse gate. The "Prop" lever is for MAX and MIN RPM and gated lower is the feather adjustment. Then there is the "Condition" lever again gated with High and Low idle and the lower gate is the shutoff. Far right is the "Flap" setting in Up - 10º (150knts) - 20º Full (125 knts). Left pedestal is the elevator trim wheel and front panel is the aileron trim knob and rudder trim wheel. There is the main fuel shutoff pull knob as well. Flying the C208B Grand Caravan I have done this YMLT (Launceston) to YMHB (Hobart) route about twenty times so I know it backwards, with a few heading notes I don't even have to put into the GNS430 a flightplan. It is my usual passenger transfer with a little bit of sightseeing thrown in to the deal. I tank up per tank of 765lbs or 1531lbs total with a full weight of 7840lbs, a fair bit of fuel, but then I wanted to return to YMLT directly without refueling at Hobart. A glance around and all the seven passengers are in and the baggage is loaded. I have asked (nicely) for Carenado to put their excellent animated pilot and co-pilot as passengers for years, but still we have to pretend that there people in the rear. Starting up of the Caravan is still one of the great aircraft engine starts in X-Plane. You don't get FMOD sounds here (yet), but Carenado's 3D 180º controlled sounds are just as good if not better for all the different sound ranges and bass depth. Put the ignition switch on and set the starter... you get nothing for a short while and then that familiar faint whine grows from somewhere deep in the front of the aircraft, still the whine grows louder until finally the propeller starts to turn in to action. The start sequence is full automation, hit the switch and just wait. Even after years of flying the Caravan I still question if the External (GPU) actually works? I have pressed the switch (arrowed) but there seems to be no action and the battery has a habit of quickly discharging, so my guess is no. Once the engine temps are good I pull the condition lever back to idle and a RPM of around 650RPM. The original Caravan was a little bit faster in the idle, but it looks the new X-Plane11 performance settings have settled it down a little, for taxiing you don't have to fight it as much as you did in the past with far too much power. In fact the 208B feels quite perfect now. Power up and the whine builds, but so does also the deeper turbo grind, so familiar but still neckline hair raising fantastic, this is the Caravan we totally love. As noted the 208B is far easier to taxi without fighting the too powerful thrust now in the condition low idle setting, a big nice change... but don't forget to put the condition lever into the "High Idle" position before takeoff... or you won't, well takeoff. The asymmetric thrust will still pull you really hard to the left with all that very powerful 675shp Pratt & Whitney pushing you forward. So you have to be aware right from the point you let the brakes go to give only a little thrust until you can lock the nose-wheel in straight and then give it full power after a certain speed and usually around 45knts. It works but still with a little deft right rudder. The C208B will however still try to wander and you are working hard with the yoke and the rudder to keep it sweet on the centreline I’m also very heavy here ( 7840lbs) so that slightly helps, but the speed climbs quickly to a rotate at around 95knts. Climbing out and into a turn to the due southwest (210º) I settle in at a 1000fpm (feet Per Minute) climb as 1,234 ft/min (6.27 m/s) is the maximum. But even with this weight the Caravan takes the tight turn and climb all in it's stride. As I am so familiar with the Caravan I know its limits, I know how far to push the aircraft before it will fail me, and the 208B has a fair bit of slack in that area, it is a very sturdy aircraft, sweet to fly and manoeuvre but you need a firm straight hand on the yoke and rudder. One thing I do notice more on this XP11 version is the green window tint is quite strong in the glass reflections, it is highly noticeable if not slightly distracting. There is the short straight route to YMHB, or the scenic route which is going straight southeast out from Launceston and hitting the coast around the spectacular Freycinet National Park and the famous Wineglass Beach, clients don't mind the extra cost or time as the Tasmanian east coast views are worth the detour. But first you have to climb high to clear the Ben Lomond National Park, and so I set the altitude to 7500 AMSL. My passengers were also not getting a lot of views for their cash either as the cloud cover was pretty extensive... The Caravan has a Cruise speed of around 197 mph (171 kn; 317 km/h) and a Range of 1,240 mi (1,078 nmi; 1,996 km) with max fuel and reserves. Your ceiling is an amazing 25,000ft as you have oxygen on board, but I have never really flown over 15,000ft. The Bendix King KFC 150 autopilot is a treat to use, quite simple but effective. Vertical speed can be a simple up or down, or you can set the separate digital display in the rate of climb and then ARM the altitude you want to hold. I found that you can't have the manual trim set (via your joystick or in my case x56 throttle twist knobs) as it interferes with the aircraft's trim systems, so I had to disconnect the x56 controls. As I neared the east coast I could descend down through the thick cloud to see if the views would be better and more effective. But I would still have to be careful as there is still a fair bit if land elevation around the Wineglass Bay area, in other words it is hilly. Note the blue ignition on warning light? I have lived with this one for years, in the fact that if you start the Caravan with the engine running then the ignition light stays off, but start the 208B from cold it stays on even if the ignition switch is now off, it is more annoying than you think. Coming out of the lower 4000ft cloud base I got a real "whoa" moment. It wasn't dangerous in a sense of the word, but it still needed a hard turn south so it wouldn't become an issue, my altitude was set at 3500ft for the sightseeing. My passengers only got a quick glimpse of Wineglass Bay, the weather is nothing I can control, and thankfully the further south I flew the brighter the weather became. You get a great view out of the Caravan's cabin windows, that is why these aircraft are great in the sightseeing role, but in some lighting conditions the the glass reflections can be very strong. In the new strong light you can see the excellent X-Plane11 PBR lighting effects and how beautiful they are on the Caravan, it certainly is glossy and the light is fantastic (I popped the pod back on for the full dynamic effect) but I will admit to debating (with myself) if the Caravan is too glossy in this form, sometimes it feels like there is to much gloss and other times it is just right, so I am in neither camp. I have spent countless hours over the years looking over this view out of the Caravan, I still totally love it and you still admire how great an aircraft it is. The Caravan is one of Carenado's greatest successful aircraft even after all these years, that actually comes with no great surprise, and now in X-Plane11 form it certainly goes up a notch again. Time is getting on and the light is starting to fade. I usually go further south and around the peninsula and give the patrons a view of the Port Arthur Convict site as part of the deal, but today I am taking a short cut over Blackman Bay and directly to Dunalley Bay which leads into Frederick Henry Bay. The views are still spectacular, and once over the passage I see YMBH's lights far to the west of Frederick Henry Bay . I drop the altitude another 1500ft to 2000ft and start the approach phase as the light faded more... The Caravan's amazing instrument panel in-direct lighting (the main Standard Six dials are also backlit) is still spectacular, it is adjustable as well. Overhead lighting is provided by a single roof mounted light that gives the cockpit area and the panel a more workable light, the adjustments knobs though even with the new manipulators can still be hard work, you have to grab and pull hard to make the knobs turn, there is also plenty of spaces for extra lighting switches on the lighting panel. But the lighting overall is disappointing. Carenado pioneered great lighting effects that allows spot lighting to be adjustable, fade in and out and manoeuvrable in aircraft cabins. But here it is just plain dark back there, and the external Ice/Wing light doesn't work either? Externally you have taxi and landing lights on both outer front wing edges, and the standard beacon and great strobe effects. It may or may not be correct per the performance of the C208B but I always put the condition lever to the "low Idle" position before landing, yes you lose a slight bit of performance... but rather that than the huge fight to control the speed after landing with the thrust level too high to stop you cleanly and without wavering all over the runway and then losing direction in trying to bring "that damn lever back" to control the aircraft, I find I still have enough power and more control with it set even in the "low idle" position. I am learning that the performance of aircraft in X-Plane11 is quite different than before in X-Plane10. Certainly in the final landing phase. In the Caravan that sense is heightened. The area in question is throttle management, the ratio of speed to power. The stall point of the Caravan is 70knts, but let the airspeed drop below 100knts here on approach and you suddenly lose height, this is becoming a common theme if you have been reading other reviews since X-Plane11's release. The control is there and luckily the flap limits are quite high on the Caravan with 150knts for 10º and full (20º) at 125kts, so you drop 10º then adjust your speed then later the full 20º to 75knts on final approach. But by controlling the throttle (which you do a lot) can gain you either more height with more power or with less throttle to lose height, pure aircraft control. Certainly this effect was there before in older X-Plane versions, but the effect in X-Plane11 is certainly more finer and more noticeable now in the feel factor. I find it quite exciting and I feel I am having more control over the aircraft in flight, a fine tuning area but a very important one and the Caravan really brings that effect out more than other aircraft I have flown lately in the past. In other words you are flying far more by you throttle inputs as much as your hand and feet input. Get it right and you will boast about your landing for days, but it does take a fair bit of practise to be perfect. One highly noticeable change in the XP11 version is the "beta" or reverse thrust position that gives you full reverse thrust after landing. It still works as usual by the gauge (arrowed) on the Prop dial, but you don't get that "roar" of sound you used to have? It is now more of a whimper? (I checked both high and low idle positions). Passengers note the trip as "exciting" and "amazing" but I have flown the route in better conditions, but there is overall a more intimate feel with this X-Plane11 version than I can remember in the past with the older X-Plane versions of the Caravan, and that is a really great thing. Liveries The sets of liveries for both the Passenger and Cargo versions are the same as in the past, and any older liveries that you have collected don't work either. Included is for the Passenger version the: standard blank, Camo (camouflage), Exec 1, Exec 2 and that excellent GoTropical. There are three Super CargoMaster liveries with the: Civil, FedEx and DHL. You get the Civil Cargo livery with the package and the two other liveries in the FedEx and DHL can be downloaded here.: Carenado FreeLiveries Summary This Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and optional Super CargoMaster has been one of the most successful Carenado aircraft in X-Plane to date, and it is really not hard to see why. I have loved the Caravan and more than most aircraft in X-Plane over the last four years because it is so versatile and just really a great aircraft to fly. The release of the Caravan in X-Plane11 bring certainly all the great features of the new platform including PBR (Physical Based Rendering) and the performance enhancements that are really noticeable in the pilots seat. The added feature of both the passenger and super cargomaster versions together in one package also adds hugely into the appeal. A lot of work has gone into the quality of the detailing for X-Plane11 and quality is what Careando are known for. But in another point of view, if you know the Caravan really well you won't really notice anything new or different in new features, from the pilot's seat you have the same position as you always have had but just only now in X-Plane11 with its excellent features, that is a positive but also a slight negative. The lighting feels old, because internally it is compared to most later Carenado releases and the no Ice/wing light is highly noticeable, no new liveries over four years is not going to be fun either and since now the older custom ones now don't work either. (I lost fifteen liveries, gulp) Carenado have noted though that FMOD audio, full VR support, SASL 3.0 upgrade, re-vamped pop-up windows and more are coming along in the update path, so my advice is to enjoy now and that more changes and features will come along as part of the overall package. This is as noted a new purchase of the aircraft in full as well, but the cost does cover all updates throughout the X-Plane11 run or for about four to five years and any new features that Carenado have promised to add in to the overall package and I think that is overall a very good deal. So here is one of the greats, and the Grand Caravan now comes in X-Plane11 clothes and performance. If you have read this full review, then you would know how important this aircraft is to my X-Plane flying, now in X-Plane11 the flying can now go on (and on) and I know I will absolutely love every moment of it, as a validation of a great aircraft this Grand Caravan is then one of the very best and you simply can't go any higher than that... _____________________________________________________________________________________ The C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado is NOW available! at the X-Plane.OrgStore 208 Grand Caravan HD Series Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Features: Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Requirements: Windows XP - Vista - 7 -10 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 570MB available hard disk space Installation and documents: Download for the C208B Grand Caravan HD Series is 498.40mg and the unzipped 589.20mb file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder with this aircraft version X-Plane11 only. Documents C208B GC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B SC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B GC Reference document PDF C208B SC Reference document PDF KFC150 Autopilot PDF Recommended Settings XP11 PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 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 Scenery or Aircraft - YMLT - Launceston, Australia 1.2.0 by CDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YMHB - Hobart International Airport & YCBG Cambridge Aerodrome 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - AustraliaPro 2.03 Beta by Chris K (X-Plane.Org) - Free (recommended for any Australian flying!)
  38. 1 point
    Sorry but that reads as if you’re trying to gloss over something bad and make excuses for it and to be honest the negative points in a review are just as important as the positives. So, we all know X Plane 11 has ground handling that feels like you’re on ice but what you’ve managed to confuse me about is if the 1900 is actually better or worse than normal.
  39. 1 point

    Behind the Screen : July 2016

    Behind the Screen : July 2016 July carried on of where June left off, fixing scenery. As a recap I spent too much time one weekend looking for a errant object buried in the scenery that kept bringing up alert boxes and this was a payware airport. A great tip on finding these nasties came from a friendly user, thanks for that. But here I was back again at square one with another annoying scenery issue. I wanted to use a long forgotten but a good scenery of Washington National or KDCA for a review, but when opening up the scenery I found there was two control towers, overlapping static aircraft and gates sticking out of buildings of where there should be none. Easily fixed? Not on your brother it wasn't... Pulling out all my KDCA and Washington objects out of the Custom Scenery folder left the culprit bare, it was an old 2003 era KDCA alright, but with all my KDCA's and all my Washington objects removed then why was it still visible? After an hour or so of twisting folders in and out it of X-Plane it steadfastly refused to go away, all checks with X-Planes default "Scenery Gateway"didn't result in any conflicts either... So how to find the culprit? Here you have to go Sherlock and use a lot of creative thinking. But the only way really was to home in on the tile it is placed on. This was +38-078.dsf and bringing up a search of +38-078.dsf brought back a still a huge number of choices. But I had eliminated already most of the obvious and went through the rest, slowly, file by file. Annoying is the fact this KDCA or DCA scenery was not made with DCA in the file title, so a search of that region didn't work the magic either, but I finally found the offending objects and they were buried in a side addition of a Baltimore scenery, you had to go way two tiles over in the OverlayEditor just to finally find them? A quick grab of all the objects and a "delete" and "save" and the buggers were finally gone, so was another three hours of my life and that goes on the list to St Peter for when I want the time lost in this life in that I want the time back or added on to my set lifetime for wasting time on things that you shouldn't or didn't want to do in the first place, but at least KDCA is now fully workable and back in my route network, who says this X-Plane world building caper is easy. July was by and large a bumper month in releases. You had a little bit of everything from a very nice helicopter in the Schweizer 300CBi from Dreamfoil Creations, and a note that Dreamfoil's next aircraft is the Hughes 500D of Magnum P.I. "Island Hoppers" fame. The MD-88 by Rotate is maturing nicely now as more and more features and bugs are refined in the version 1.20 Update. I note that these aircraft are an investment, and certainly the aircraft was wanting more at it's initial release. But when a developer is new to the game and certainly at this level, you have to cut them some slack, which certainly didn't happen in this case. But if the developer doesn't deliver you have every right to go apeshit and demand your moneyback, but the sign of a good and even great developer is just too deliver and learn from the experience. Even JARDesign with his early A320neo was another case of learning a vertical learning curve, but the work since has been prodigious. So as a critic we have to sum up the parts and balance the raw from the truth, as noted an aircraft and scenery is a long term investment and you have to review it that way even though the current events are saying the opposite of the fact... Our family motto is "Keep the faith" and that is sometimes the best thing to do. The annoying developers are the ones that don't learn and repeat the same mistakes ad nauseam, poring out the same small issues over and over again and wonder why they are quickly discounting to sell all their hard work, you can only play that game for so long before your reputation starts to go south. There is no point in adding in feature after feature if the basics don't work, the basic operations are what in reality simulation flying is all about. I was very surprised on how really good the FlightFactor A350XWB was now. Like I noted in the upgrade review Airbus A350 XWB Advanced v1.3 by FlightFactor. There was far more in here than adding a gloss shine to the hull in this upgrade, and I admit the missing FMC or in Airbus speak the FMGS does certainly not put the aircraft at the level of FF's Boeing products, but there is no doubt the basics are more than ready for that next step to "professional" status, overall it was a very nice aircraft to use and fly. In many of my scenery reviews I tend to note the airport's services and routes as much as its usually very good quality and infrastructure. Mostly other reviews usually only focus on the actual scenery and features. My point is that, you could have the very best scenery ever produced, but if it isn't being used it is a total waste of money. I have mentioned this before in "Behind The Screen" but it is a worthwhile point to make again. The trick on using X-Plane to it's full value is to create a strong network of destinations and the great use of certain areas. Laminar Research's data noted that most user flights are under or around two hours or mostly between dinner and going to bed or for an afternoon's flying. And that is fair enough as "Games of Thrones" is also wanting to share your personal downtime. X-Plane to a point is not a shared experience unless to get the odd "Will you turn that bl...dy sound down!" from the family or the neighbour's. On a funny side note to that, my very patient neighbour's couldn't understand why they kept on hearing a fully blown Boeing 737 at the very late hours in their bedroom and miles away from the nearest airport, they are Japanese as well to add into the confusion... I now wear headphones after 9pm. But back to valuable scenery and networks. I found to get the very best experience out of the simulator is to build up a strong if small network. All destinations are high quality scenery, routes can be refined and set for various approaches and saved for instant use. I use WorldTraffic (but X-Life is fine) and that system is refined to use the same network and again refined to get the most optimum services and aircraft. Ditto with JARDesign's Service plugin for ground services for departure and arrival, they can also be refined with the correct airport logo's or airline services. Yes you can have many of these tight but excellent networks of which you keep building and refining and even cross between them if you want to (i.e. UK-European network to the US network or US network to your Australian network and so on). This is why I wanted a better LFMN - NICE because it was in a valuable position in my UK - Italy - Spain network and the Aerosoft version was crap, and so a big hole was filled and the scenery can now be used effectively. The point is that all the sceneries within the networks are used and used very often, so they no matter how much they cost they have a lot of value, and any scenery added to the network is not going to a wasted purchase or a waste of your money, and that should be your main consideration of any scenery purchase... the amount of use you can get from that purchase. So links or routes to the scenery are important, even if it is not a major port. Effectively you can purchase a scenery just for that one position and not for a network, providing it gives you a return for your investment. That is say for local GA flying or by say a feature area like the Grand Canyon, again the main factor is how much you can use that investment in return of your purchase. Aircraft are again the same thing, don't buy something you can't use... but buy something you will use a lot and return time and time again to that cockpit, it is no use having the largest Air Force in the world if you only fly a few of it's aircraft. I do like also to add variety to my flying life in replicating a real life event. As noted I follow the Formula One Racing Car circus around the world with the flyaway races (European Races are done with trucks). I have followed F1 since the middle 70's and so it has been a big part of my life, but this flying to the race destinations creates a lot of work in preparation in routes, liveries and making sure the correct scenery is in place for arrival (and departure). You are also moving every two weeks to another destination, and gives your flying a reason to go somewhere you would never usually fly normally, and Baku of Azerbaijan was a new one this year to emphasise a destination that is not only different but highly challenging to fly to. Another flight in the same vein was to replicate the "TeamGB" flight from London (Heathrow) to Rio (Galeão) which was my first flight from Europe to South America, different, challenging and quite involving in preparation and then 11 hour flight itself. So as July went, it was a very busy month in X-Plane, very busy. Stephen Dutton 4th August 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  40. 1 point
    Stephen, I absolutely agree, FMC's as the heart and soul of an aircraft should precisely mirror their real world counterpart. I have not test found the discrepancies that you mention, and indeed, that sounds like it is a bug of a critical nature. I had hoped to put a positive spin on the negativity surrounding this model. Let me put that another way; my newly found enthusiasm for the Embraer E-Jets led me to reinstall my old feelThere product, but to my surprise, it was showing its age more so than I had expected. In turn, this served to highlight the good points of SSG's effort, such as the really rather good modelling, though it did rather show up the FMC's discrepancies. My gripe with the X-Crafts E-Jet was the non-standard FMC that neither looked like or felt like an Embraer unit, whereas SSG have made an effort to visually match at least some of the Embraer's FMC. The entire FMC unit, however, should have zero Boeing-esque elements to it, even if the underlying structures are indeed JC's UFMC. SSG, to enter into the upper echelons on this market, the detailing, texturing, and systems of the aircraft must more resemble in form and function the product that they based upon. The Evolution does this to a reasonable extent, but to fully warrant its price, the aircraft should have deeper and more reliable systems depth at it heart, and an enhanced quality at its interface, and by this I mean where we as pilots sit as well as how we interact with it. Good try, nice aeroplane, though this won't stop me looking forward to more in the way of revisions. Best wishes, Fabio
  41. 1 point
    To be clear any E-Jet in X-Plane does not have a FSX version, so whatever you flew in FSX is not any of these aircraft. Unless you buy an older Embraer like Dan Klaue's ERJ 140 Regional Jet then all the modern aircraft now use FMC's and can't input X-Plane's fms flightplans, but they are worth learning as X-Plane moves more and more to built in FMC aircraft. SD
  42. 1 point
    Hi Dionsol thanks for your comment , expressing your point of view. We plan to release the Old E-jets as freeware, then you should download in any time you like in the X-plane Org forum or in our proper page. Stay tuned.
  43. 1 point

    Hello! - Welcome To X-Plane Reviews

    This is X-Plane Reviews! As X-Plane from Laminar Research expands and grows, Aircraft Simulation in all its different forms is now becoming a huge interest to many people in every part of the world... ... only of this July 2013 the X-Plane.Org then went past the record number of users registered of 250.000 users, that is a quarter of a million X-Plane users!... or Pilots. So It was only worthy and timely to have a site dedicated to reviewing and supplying you with the latest news of the ever expanding X-Plane universe. And so here is X-Plane Reviews, we will give you all the latest news and reviews with an insight into what is happening and what is worthy of your simulator interest. No doubt the last year has seen many exciting releases and changes outside and within the simulator, these announcements and releases will become even more prominent as the simulator moves ever forward and from this moment you will have another home to bookmark to access the right information of these great product releases and in-depth XPlane analysis. Items that will be covered by X-Plane Review will range from: News Add-on... Announcements - Development - Releases - Reviews and Updates Developer... Interviews Scenery... Free and Payware - Development - Reviews - Updates Laminar Research... Developments - Betas - Updates Comments and Columns from myself and many other commentators and X-Plane users. In fact anything that is connected to the X-Plane Simulator. Many will know myself from my news and reviews over on the X-Sim Reviews site (as Flightime56) and here you can join me with your own views and comments on the way you use and expand your simulator world. If you have anything newsworthy then contact me at : xplanereviews@bigpond.com If you are new to the X-Plane Simulator then you are in for a treat. Many new users to simulation are surprised on how deep the platform is, like a game it has many, many levels of involvement... but don't call simulation a game. The aim is of course to replicate and fly just like you do in the real aviation world and X-Plane recreates a whole virtual world for you to do so. The world you fly in is in real time and with real distances that covers the whole area of the earth. So first off, X-Plane can be very time consuming if you want to go long distances. But that does not mean you can not just hop in an aircraft and do a quick flight around your own backyard. Besides the huge variety of aircraft available from both purchase (payware) stores (like the .OrgStore), there are also hundreds of machines available for free(ware) downloads at many other sites to add to your hangar. But X-Plane does not stop there, you can download sceneries, plugins, new aircraft liveries and a huge variety of items that can fill out your own unique collection that makes up your own virtual aviation world. (a sort of minecraft for aviation), and it is addictive!... In fact X-Plane should have a sticker on the box that says (This product is extremely addictive!).... And X-Plane wants for you to be involved. You can create your own aircraft, sceneries and other items to add to the collection folders of other users, They will use your work in their virtual world and enjoy your contribution to the X-Plane experience. So, thanks for joining us here at X-Plane Reviews to expand your X-Plane experience. Stephen Dutton
  44. 1 point
    Sorry to hear about the Mac calamity and thanks for all your detailed reviews again - although you keep costing me money as I'm forced to buy them all... Get yourself to the "fruity store" at Robina and I'm sure they'll turn it around for you as quickly as they can!
  45. 1 point
    Thank you for the accurate review (and for helping us tune the AP) I am currently working to fix the biggest issue of v0.9 (the collective disengage) - with help from the beta testers I found the issie and I am testing the best fix. There will be soon a v0.9.1 Version 1.0 will probably be some time in september Regards Alberto (x-trident)
  46. 1 point
    Aircraft Thoughts and Opinions : Boeing 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim Test Route: LSZH (Zurich Airport) to EGGD (Bristol Airport) The FlyJSim 737-200 TwinJet is a massive release for the x-plane community, its not often that somebody makes a massive jet! This 732 is special; its not as technologically advanced as its bigger brother the 777, yet it is easier to fly than a 757. This aircraft has been long awaited by many of us, and finally its here! If the "200" part of the name (737-200) puts you off, be assured that the systems have been greatly modeled. And you can also wait about another few months or less for the new release of a 737-CL by IXEG, but that "classic" model still classes as a 737-100/200. Today I am going to give my views and opinions of certain features on this fantastic jet, starting with aesthetics. Exterior Aesthetics: This aircraft looks almost vintage from outside, its a shame some of the liveries do not support this and look "clean". However from its design you can clearly tell that this aircraft is old and well maintained. One of many of my favourite features are the long sloped Pratt and Whitney JT8D's, with their reflective mirror like look, nowadays by chance it is very unlikely that you will see these engines attached to a 732 as normally airlines choose the later updated 737-700/800. I also like the thickly shaped fuselage with the fat nose, it looks and feels like a tank when flying! Despite all of that there is one thing that I do not like about the exterior of the 732, the passenger windows. In my opinion the window textures are to clean and repetitive. The glass texture that jack and the team chose for the passenger windows looks dull and to bright, I believe that to improve the texture FlyJSim should use more of photo-real glass texture so it feels as though you are looking in when viewing the aircraft exterior. But an argument against that is when you fly you sit in the cockpit, not outside the aircraft ;-) Another thing I also like about the 732 exterior are the landing lights! These lights are amazing and greatly animated and designed! The lights under the wing hang off of the flap runners and move when the flaps are extended etc.. A great feature! Interior Aesthetics: Pictures do not do justice for the 732, you need to see it to believe it. The B732 is very immersive, with a slight window reflection on the captains and first officer side in the cockpit and high resolution textures, I nearly forgot I was sat at my desk and not flying high in the sky! My favourite part of my journey from Zurich to Bristol was having to go-around at 600ft on my landing due to a casual yet annoying feature in x-plane, deer on the runway! My normal reactions would be to click "local map" and move the deer far, far away, but I forgot I was in a simulator so I decided to go-around at 600ft when I spotted them. This turned out great as the low 6200ft sharp turns over the city of Bristol looked great! So you can relate to my previous comment about being immersed in the B732. When looking behind toward the door to the cabin the back wall texture in the cockpit is slightly blurry, it still is at a high resolution just not as high as the main panel textures. It would be great if the circuit breakers were modelled just like in the FlyJSim 727, but unfortunately they are not. However the photo textures on the back walls of the cockpit have been taken in the pilots perspective, this means that the photo real textures on the back wall look slightly 3D. The yoke looks phenomenal, it has an amazing worn look which looks very realistic. I also like the fact that you have the option to disable viewing of it however it is much easier to click on it to disappear such as in a Carenado aircraft. The gauges also have nice textures, a slightly worn affect. Jack Skieczius (lead dev of FlyJSim) did comment during his live stream of the 732 that he is planning on adding another seat texture where you will be able to switch between the two. The new seat texture will be "fluffy" it will look near enough identical to the seat texture in the 757 by Flightfactor. Despite the great things listed above the cabin is not modelled? The closest you can get to the cabin is through the "call flight attendant" the button simply plays the PA sound. I did ask Jack during his live stream why the cabin was not modelled, he replied with something like: "well, the cabin wasn't modeled because I simply don't go there in flight, I sit in the cockpit". This is a very fair point by Jack, sometimes though I think its nice to have a look back there in flight whilst the pilot is 'stretching his/hers legs'! Across the main panel you also get reflections from the sun, I am not talking about shadows, no, I am talking about the sun leaving a white cast on the gauges. This is a fantastic visual effect, the only issue I have is that it is a bit bright and when holding short at Zurich I could not monitor my engine gauges as I could not see them! Overall though I suppose all visual effects add to the great realism. The overhead panel contains many switches and knobs that all have the same cream texture, this looks great but it could be even better if some have a weathered look. This point is just being really picky and it doesn't matter really. The cockpit floor is pretty detailed, you can see the dirt and mud engraved into the groves of the metal, in my opinion when entering the cockpit the dirty floor adds to the realism. Overall the interior looks very close to reality which makes this 732 cockpit/plane one of the best modelled and available for X-Plane 10. Lighting: The in-cockpit lighting is truly first class! You have many options for lighting, my favourite is the overhead moveable light (map light), you can spin the light and it will cast a spill on wherever you have positioned it. Ass well as this you get your general lights such as "dome" , "overhead switch" lighting, "main panel" lighting etc.. all of the lights look great as you would expect. There is not a lack of lights but it would be even nicer to have a few more such as the orange lighting which casts over the A/P panel. Apart from the main lights you expect I find not much more here. Systems: Nearly all of the systems aboard the aircraft are modelled in detail which I think is great and therefore worth the $47 price tag. The following systems are simulated: . Air system . Anti-ice . Autopilot (SP77) . Com/Nav Radios . Electrical . Fire protection . Hydraulics . Fuel . Warning Systems . Weather Radar My favorite three systems are the Sperry SP77 autopilot, the weather radar system and the warning system. The SP77 Autopilot is very simple to learn and use. For a detailed explanation read The autopilot is easy to operate and see, despite its simplicity the autopilot is very effective. my second favorite system aboard the aircraft is the weather radar. I love how you can adjust lots of options you have for the weather radar! Next to the radar on both sides is a yoke. The yoke itself isn't really a system that FlyJSim spent many months on but it is connected to a system that they did, the A/P (autopilot). The yoke moves around by itself as the autopilot navigates the plane, it's phenomenal seeing the yoke and the trim wheel both working together in unison. Another system that I think should also be implemented is ground services. The a320neo does a fantastic job of this, it would be great to see moving airport utility vehicles around the 732 also. If you would like a detailed explanation of all of the systems and how to use them then I suggest for you to check out Stephen's 732 review. Overall I believe that the systems are simulated spectacularly. Sounds: First the warning system. The sounds of the warning system are very realistic, especially the altitude call outs. I believe that the altitude call out (500, 100, 50, 40, 30 etc..) have been recorded real time and refined. I also like the sound of the over speed warning, the loud repetitive sound will surely grab your attention! Also the autopilot disengaged sound is near enough perfect to match the real thing, according to youtube videos! Another thing I noticed was the v1 and rotate call outs! After hearing Jack's voice from his live stream I think that the call outs are actually him! so your virtual cop-pilot is Jack ( lead dev of FlyJSim) and he is with you for every flight you go on! The call outs that you hear are v1 and rotate, it would be great to hear many more of these whilst flying such as 'positive rate of clime' and 'gear up'. The engines sound great this is because the sounds are from dream engine and turbine sound studio. Although my personal opinion is that they sound a bit strained, the engines still look and sound realistic. The only other sounds the aircraft makes are the knobs and switches. They all make clicking sounds that sound okay, maybe a bit quiet? Sidebar menu: The side bar menu comes with many different options. You have four boxes that you can select to bring up options, the level of options is great but it could be even better if you have the options of service vehicles like I mentioned above. Despite that there are still many different options you have. I think that the options menu can feel a bit basic after a while but its still a great feature that's there. The artwork behind which looks good. The blue and cream colour scheme for the release of the 732 can really be seen here especially behind the weight and balance manager. The weight and balance manager is also great, my favorite feature is the one to click in the blue rectangles to fill up the passengers, the same is applied to the cargo which is nice. Liveries: The aircraft comes with 7 liveries that are all at a high resolution. only including 7 is a bit strange, but not to panic there are many extra to download for free on x-plane.org. Here is a list of the default liveries included: blank (white) Southwest Westjet Aer lingus Air france Aloha KLM My favourite livery has to be the Westjet, don't you agree? if that's not enough then there are many to download for free: Pan Am ( clipper morning glory ) (two liveries, one clean and the other dirty) Pan Am ( traditional ). US Air Force : this livery is just fantastic! Air One United Airlines Cayman Airways Continental "red meatball" Air North Lufthansa (the livery used in this "thoughts and opinions" post) There is now also a category dedicated to all new painted liveries for the B732: on the x-plane.org Landing at Bristol International: Overview: Overall this aircraft is truly phenomenal and you have to experience the simulation in x-plane yourself to agree to the praise I have gave it. The FlyjSim team have really gathered all of their talents for this plane and it that is shown throughout the plane. There are many sounds that play behind the scenes but it would be nice to have a few more such as the extra co-pilot call outs! You have a range of options to chose from but it would be even better to have more such as: changeable cockpit textures from 'worn' to 'clean' the option to change the seat texture options for service vehicles such as 'catering' and 'stairs' But apart from those small picky points not much more can be changed. It was a shame that the interior cabin was not modelled however Jack gave a valid reason for not doing that! This aircraft is most definitely worth $47, every cent is well spent!! Especially when you also receive a free copy of KILM Wilmington worth $30! I would urge you to grab a copy for yourself just to experience this amazing aircraft, I forgot I was sat at my desk and not at "27'000ft"! Just imagine this with the oculus rift virtual reality headset! Here is my personal list of my favourite features: just to list a few: cockpit textures flight dynamics aircraft systems sounds night lighting So there are all of my truthful thoughts and opinions of the B737-200 TwinJet by FlyJSim. If you are looking for a full review please read Price : $47.00 - Boeing 732 TwinJet You also get a free copy of KILM Wilmington with your purchase!!!!!!! This"thoughts and opinions" post for the B732 was conducted in x-plane 10.25. If you wish to find out about the B732 in 10.30b1 you can refer to the bottom of Scenery used for the test route: LSZH : Zurich Airport EGGD : Bristol International Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews Review System Specification: Computer System: - Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz - 4.00gb of RAM - Geforce GTX 650 Software/hardware: - Windows 7 64 bit - X-Plane 10 Global version 10.25 - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System - 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim - Skymaxx pro
  47. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Carenado Piper PA28 181 Archer II Route : VFR Circuits at EGKK - London Gatwick Carenado make the best general aviation aircraft payware, but does this Piper Archer live up to Carenado's high standards? Well I will get to the main message of that in the conclusion but first its time to analyse everything. Despite the size of this small GA plane (general aviation) it is very complex. Carenado have really showed their talents in this plane, it is absolutely fantastic! Over the next few paragraphs I will describe everything about the plane and give an overall summary. Below is a list of features for this aircraft. According to Carenado: - SASL plug in added functionality - 32-bit and 64-bit Mac, Windows, and Linux support. - Stereo 3D sound, with new dynamic effects - Custom prop, which adds realism to the spinning prop etc. - 2D pop-up windows to control camera presets, FOV etc. - Interior lighting optimized for X-Plane v9 and v10. - Overhauled lighting system. - Strobe lights blink in a custom pattern and order. - Landing light features tightly-focused “glare” effect. - Navigation lights have been improved. - Improved ground handling. We start we some real life pictures of the Piper PA28 181 Archer II which can compare to the model made by Carenado, these pictures show the cockpit and the exterior. From the real life pictures you can tell this small GA is great fun to fly, and from past experience I can tell you it most definitely is! With a 180 HP Lycoming engine and an advanced Garmin G1000 Avionics Suite, the Archer is a modern and reliable aircraft for both teaching and cross-country flying. All Specs can be found by clicking the above picture. Having flown this aircraft prior to this review I can say this plane handles lightly, with a rotation speed of roughly 65kts and a cruising speed of 128 ktas, its the feather of the skies. Now onto the Carenado Archer! Exterior The first things I am going to evaluate are the textures of the aircraft. We begin outside which I can easily say looks stunning! From every nut and bolt to door seems can be seen at a good resolution which is always nice when flying in VFR (visual flight rules). However the outside visuals cannot be described as crisp. As well as high resolution on the side of the aircraft we can also find this on the wheels, the tires are crisp pixel sharp and even reflect the sunlight! When in “chase” mode a 3D pilot appears in the cockpit, this is a nice effect when viewing the externals although there should be an option to get rid of him! But he is not just sat static, his head turns according to the input of your flight controls as well as his arms to the yoke and throttle and his legs to the rudder. The prop has been modelled with great care however as the textures are at an acceptable standard we can still find that two logos are blurry (see picture above) but, the prop is only static when the aircraft is stationary so this can go un-noticed. All outside lights have been modelled well especially the navigation lights on the edge of the wing. All the control surfaces have the delay of input movement just like on the real Archer, and the control surfaces are also modelled well. The main feature that stands out though is the reflections on the tires, this is a stunning feature as the sun wraps its rays around the tire. This is also important though as the hear is not retractable, so when your in 'chase' view taking in the scenery, you can constantly see it. 3D Cockpit Moving through the door and into the 3D cockpit the textures are at an amazing resolution, this can be expected as all carenado models are! I believe that the images below speak for themselves, as you can tell the textures in the 3D cockpit and surroundings are photo-realistic which adds to the immersion. The seats and yoke have a weathered effect which adds more realism when flying, it is not an old and battered model nor a brand new plane, but just right for a good weathered look and feel. Moving down toward the floor we find an aluminium plate as a floor scratch/foot pad which has a photo-realistic finish along with the pedals which perfectly match the real ones! Looking back up to the ceiling of the aircraft we find two lights which are interactive. One is a general lamp whilst the other is a night vision light for night VFR flying. There are also animated sun-visors with information on them however the information is blurry. But all information needed looks fantastic if you print out the documentation.The 3D gauges in the aircraft are spectacular the textures on these are great too. Despite living in the 3D cockpit when flying I never had a loss of frame rates which was good, my average FPS was 31. The radio stack and all other knobs are easy to use, this helps a lot if you are flying on vatsim. Above is a mounted compass with a photo-realistic casing, the compass is well positioned meaning it does not interrupt your visual display. Near to this is a window which is nicely animated, sound is also affected when opening or closing the window which adds to the realism when in the 3D cockpit. Even the compartments on the armrests are animated! Also I have a comment which may be debated in the comments, space awareness. To help you understand I will explain. Everything has been positioned well in the cockpit despite whatever filed of view angle you have set in the pop-up option menu everything remains to a realistic degree. This plane will be my first of choice to try with the upcoming release of the Oculus Rift VR headset! As its so close to the real thing! The option menu’s are a great feature of this aircraft, you have two options to choose from, “camera” or “options. The camera menu offers a wide range of camera shots whilst flying, see the picture below. However despite this great camera option there is a slight snag, by the way this is NOT a bug of any kind. For instance I have a 3D cockpit button and a chase button assigned to my hardware flight controls, if you are in the 3D cockpit and switch a camera view via the menu when you go to chase view everything is normal. However when going back to the 3D cockpit using my assigned button I go back to the previous view set by the menu. This gets slightly annoying at times but does not affect anything to do with the plane or my view of the plane. There are two menu’s that are 2D pop-ups which can be accessed on the side of the screen or on the panel in the clicking zones. The camera menu was described in the last paragraph so I will now explain the nice features and animations of the options menu. The first option is used to open the passenger door, the second opens the baggage door, the third triggers static elements, and finally the last option is for wheel fairings. All of these options work perfectly and with ease, changing the options during flight does not effect the frame rates. Night lighting is a big issue with many planes, but not this one. Outside you have the navigation lights and the landing lights, all lights effect the surface glare of the plane. Moving back inside there is a option of three lighting affects. In the cockpit there are two lights on the ceiling, one is for night lighting on the panel which is controlled by a knob and the other is for passenger lighting controlled by a switch. The only thing I don't really like about the ceiling lights is the lack of 3D. It would be nice to see a rounded dome shape on these lights, but mainly your looking out the front windshield so this doesn't bother me too much. The third effect is for integral lighting on the gauges, this scan be controlled by a scroll positioned next to the outside lighting switches. Placed together all lights create a pleasurable night flight experience. Liveries Now to the liveries, excluding the default white paint there are an additional four liveries with this aircraft (pictured above) which are pretty nice. All liveries have been based on real life replicas which is a neat feature of this plane, as a result of this if you have your PPL I am sure you will recognise these like I do! All liveries have reflections etc.. And make the aircraft a beauty to fly. All liveries have the option for wheel fairing's on/off. You can get some extra liveries on x-plane.org under the downloads section but not many which is a shame. When I was flying for real in the Archer the plane had the Gold_Blue skin, its not identical but its similar and I am sure there are many American variants! Flight Dynamics Having flown the real Piper Archer myself I can comment on the flight dynamics of this aircraft compared to Carenado's version. So first I will start with the in-air model. The model of this aircraft behaves quite realistic however it cannot be compared exactly to the real thing. The real Archer behaves with a delay, as you would expect, however Carenado's model does not simulate this to a detailed extent. This model from Carenado is extremely responsive, and if the controls are held in a certain place the aircraft will dive and spin around, this simply wouold not happen in the real Archer. The next test was the stall test. Throttles back, pitch up, and enter stall. Carenado's version responds very quickly, in fact too quickly. When the throttles are applied again and the nose is pitched down the aircraft recovers fast, this is unlike the real Archer as when I conducted a Stall in the real thing it took a lot longer to recover. With throttles and flaps full for take off at a speed of 70 KTAS the Archer "sticks to the ground" this feels very realistic. When pulling back at take off speed the Archer wants to resist as though its very heavy, this feels real and the same as when I took this plane for a spin in the UK. Also when taxiing this plane it took 1/5" throttle to get it moving, in x-plane its a lot less. Overall the flight dynamics are "Ok" at an acceptable level. To lower the response time it may be worth changing the joystick settings. However its not necessary to have an enjoyable flight! Sound Now we move onto sound. The sound for this aircraft is phenomenal, when the throttle is 1/4 open the prop sounds normal, then when the throttle is positioned 2/4 open and you reach 2000 RPM the sound changes and you are then listening to many different .wav files playing. The sound is so close to real, but it does not pan around you like in the new Carenado Mirage. Its a shame but this is an older plane of Carenado's, although in the version 2 update many new features were added with the help of 64 bit processing. To hear this for yourself I recommend visiting you tube to take a listen. As highlighted earlier the door and window changes the sound heard in the cockpit, just like in real life! Conclusion Overall I would highly recommend purchasing this aircraft, whether you are a beginner or post PPL this aircraft will become one of your favourites by far. The systems and animations all simulate the functions just like a real life archer. It is a Carenado plane, Carenado has quality written in its name, this Archer wont disappoint. Another thing is Frame rate. My x-plane settings are all relatively high, despite this fps on this aircraft is an average of 31. This is great as my computer can handle detailed scenery, cloud puffs and extensive framerate killing options. I suffer absolutely no lag when flying this beauty. The only bad thing about this aircraft would be the unclear textures in some areas such as the cockpit interioir roof and prop. Apart from that this is a great plane to add to your virtual hangar! Is it worth buying this aircraft? Yes! Well, its available on the x-plane.org store for the price of $24.95 : Carenado PA28 181 Archer II Carenado Aircraft support: Click here Reviewed by : Joe ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux XPlane 9.6/9.7 or XPlane 10.11 (or higher - 64 bit compatible) Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM 250MB available hard disk space Version 2.1 (last updated June 2013) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz - 4.00gb of RAM - Geforce GTX 650 Software: - Windows 7 64 bit - X-Plane 10 Global version 10.25 - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System - Carenado PA28 181 Archer II
  48. 1 point
    Scenery Review : LEVC - Valencia Manises by DAI-Media Route : LIRF (Fiumicino, Rome) to LEVC (Valencia Manises) Valencia Airport in Manises (IATA: VLC, ICAO: LEVC), also known as "Manises" Airport is the 8th busiest Spanish airport in terms of passengers and second in the region after Alicante. It is situated 8 km (5.0 mi) west of the city of Valencia. The airport has flight connections to about 15 European countries and 4,599,990 passengers passed through the airport in 2013. Valencia is a very popular port in the fact that the Americas Cup and Formula One Grand Prix races were held in the city. The airport has one terminal and one runway. The former runway 04/22 is not in use and has no ILS but has a helipad at the southwestern end. (Images GoogleMaps) First Impressions Departure was by Fiumicino's (LIRF) runway 34L to a cruise altitude of FL325. The service from LIRF to LEVC is only around 1h,50m. You cover across the Tyrrhenian Sea to Sardinia and then to cover the Island of Majorca, then direct to Valencia on the east coast of Spain. A side note on the images, here we are using the Aerosoft "skytools" and the effects are very good in - Sun Halo and 3d clouds. The set I am using is the "chilled air" and "theme 1" settings. And the effects speak for themselves. Entry into LEVC is via "Mulat" (RIKOS -> TULNO -> MULAT) which is a straight forward approach. We are using runway 30 and arriving from the east. 12/30 3,215m (10,548ft) Asphalt The Valencia airport is situated a few kilometers (8K) inland, and you cover the south of the city on your approach. The first impression is how well the airport is integrated into the Xplane scenery. Major roads cover the (approach) Eastern boundary (leading to the southern) and northern boundary of the airport. The city is very closely built in to the airport as well. DAI-Media were always very good at this sort of landscape intergration were as the effects between the custom scenery is perfectly aligned with in the default scenery set out around it. Their process of using photo underlays in being matched to the default landscape is very well done. As a visual approach to LEVC this is very highly rated. You have to be aware however that if you have your default settings for buildings and distance set to high it can use a lot of frame-rate power. The airport itself is very frame-rate friendly, but to get the most of the great effect of the approach you must find the best balance of having your default settings then set to get the best outlying coverage you can. Runways are extremely well detailed with runway grooves and texture. All runway (and taxiway) lineage and markings are excellent with great visual rubber patches on the turns at intersections. Closer to the single terminal the direction markings are first rate. The terminal is a bit of old and new as most European Airports usually are. The standard terminal in central but to the right is a new section and left is the newer soaring curved roof design that is the new regional terminal, which includes extended carparks and larger apron area that was recently constructed for the 2007 America's Cup. There are six airbridges on the main terminal that has built in "autogates". The gates are very well done but are not set to work correctly. You have to come in off the center bay line to align with the system. In the B757 the alignment device ends up somewhere in the first class compartment and the bridge ends up halfway across the aircraft (I will note that the autogates do require the aircraft to be set correctly to align with the gates), but the x737 (which I know is correctly set) is just as badly set out. Your Co-Pilot would have to hang himself outside of his cockpit window to send the instructions to the manoeuvring pilot to align the aircraft?... all alignment system boards are way to close to the aircraft and all settings are not aligned to the bay markings? The ramp areas are excellent for gated bays and remote parking. There are well placed static aircraft of the correct airlines that service the airport, static aircraft textures can be a little blurry on lower render settings. The overall feel on the area is excellent in that it is well equipped with plenty of visual stimulation without it being overloaded... in other words the right balance. Terminal and Central Area The terminals look to be three buildings but are in fact just one inside. The older cream building is central and the newer glass and steel structures are built on each side. Set out behind the terminal is the well curved and set in carpark, that makes the whole set look well connected and visually appealing. the trademark terminal roof louvers are well set out. Design work here is excellent with all details well noted, certainly on the newer buildings and their curved roofs and glass areas. The slates on the new right building can be buzzy at points, but that is the way the building is constructed. There is not a lot of really highly detailed texture work here, but just very good 3d modeling and building design that is one stage above the very good but not totally excellent in the scale of almost everything like rubbish bins and building piping which is the very small stuff that make some of the latest scenery so highly detailed. That said, the scenery here is certainly very good in its design and has very good signage, trees and good carparking details. All airport buildings are present and many of them slip into the standard default scenery area, in then creating a seemless transition from one to the other. Traffic ramps are well situated between the terminal and the carparks, there is a some traffic around the inside of the airport but not in the central area. The Control Tower is at rear of the terminal is a stumpy affair that has blind spots on some areas of the ramps (the same in the real tower). It is noted to have your "runways follow contours" switched "on". If not you get some building float (carpark). Ramp side known as "Apron North" there is a lot of detailed work in bollards, caution fences and ramp equipment with plenty of vehicles. There is a lot of space to park the aircraft in the bays, but also plenty of visual equipment to make you feel you have arrived. The main traffic road is well detailed but there is no ground traffic to create any movement. Cargo and General Aviation West of the main terminal area is the Cargo area and GA faciities. By world standards Valencia's cargo hub is quite small, but very busy. The ramps are well marked and there is plenty of space to park your freighter. Like the rest of the airport there are some nice details like pallets and loaders and trolleys but not so much you have to wonder where to site your giant Boeing 747F. Plenty of detail here at the rear with trucks loading and parking space. All airport areas are well fenced with great detailing. Small details I admit, but they make up the difference between good scenery and excellent... and here it is excellent. The General Aviation area is quite small and Valencia is not really noted as an GA airport. There is a parking area and a refueling area and an Aeroclub (Real De Aeroclub Valencia) large hangar. A single row of hangars also are sited in this area with a large covered (long term) carpark set out behind. Further west is a Golf Club and links that is very well laid out (It is known that police pull out plane spotters out of the links on a regular basis?). Apron South As noted runway 04/22 is now not in use but it used to connect over to the South (Apron). It is the main base of Iberia’s regional carrier Air Nostrum which have their base here and the office and maintenance buildings (hangars) are situated over on the south apron area. There is a small tower and a Cessna dealer noted here also. Ryanair used this area as a southern European maintenance base but with drawn a few years ago. Latest news it that they are back but only in a smaller capacity. There is a big helicopter pad and facilities and Iberia also uses the area to park up and store their spare aircraft. Night Lighting Night lighting is uniformly excellent. Great spot lights in the dull daytime with great spread lighting over all the ramp areas with HDR switched "on". Reae terminal lighting is different and looks excellent in contrast to the bright ramp lighting. Terminal building lighting is good and slightly bland but not the focus here. The regional terminal building is more gradiented in its glass and there are people situated in some windows. Cargo and South Areas are similarly well lit, with not only tower lighting but building down lighting as well. Runway approach and runway lighting is excellent. Taxiway lighting and direction signs are perfect and the ramp areas are also first rate in throw and brightness. The huge amount of default highway lighting and local lighting around the airport gives it a great view in any direction. A later in the day as I prepared to leave LEVC the weather changed quite dark and moody. The images here are worth looking at with the new "skytools" and the excellent lighting at Manises. The ground lighting reflections on the low lying cloud layers were very authentic. Operators Most services out of Valencia is mostly regional, in fact 50% of flights are to Madrid? A lot of flights are also seasonal, mostly to northern European ports. Air Algerie - Seasonal: Algiers (begins 26 June 2014) Air Berlin - Palma de Mallorca Air Europa - Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tenerife-South Air Europa - operated by Swiftair Madrid Alitalia - Rome-Fiumicino Blue Air - Bucharest Darwin Airline - Geneva EasyJet - London-Gatwick Iberia operated by Air Nostrum Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Bologna, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Málaga, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife-North, Seasonal: Arrecife, Funchal Lufthansa Frankfurt (begins 30 March 2014), Düsseldorf Niki - Seasonal: Vienna Royal Air Maroc - Casablanca Ryanair - Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Brussels (begins February 2014), Charleroi, Dublin, Gran Canaria, Hahn, Ibiza, London-Stansted, Málaga, Marrakech (ends 1 October 2014), Memmingen, Moss/Rygge, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Porto, Rome-Ciampino, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife-South, Treviso, Weeze - Seasonal: Bristol, Manchester S7 Airlines - Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo SmartWings operated by Travel Service Airlines - Seasonal: Prague Swiss International Air Lines Zurich TAP - Portugal operated by Portugália Lisbon Transavia.com - Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam Turkish Airlines - Istanbul-Atatürk Volotea Asturias, Bordeaux (begins 2 June 2014), Nantes Vueling - Brussels, Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino, Seasonal: Amsterdam, Ibiza Wizz Air - Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Sofia, Timişoara Wizz Air Ukraine - Kiev-Zhulyany, Lviv (begins 30 April 2014) But you do get a nice selection of operators from around Europe and Eastern Europe. Africa is a nice bonus as well. In domestic including Portugal then there is also a lot to choose from. Certainly Air Nostrum dominates here and so does Ryanair. But to pop in and out as a refuel stop with a private jet would not go astray. Conclusions I was extremely impressed with DAI-Media's LROP Henri Coanda at Bucharest, RO (LROP Henri Coanda). The airports integration into the default Xplane landscape was one of the best I had seen and so were the runway textures and signage. The 3d work was very good with the newer work but slightly dated with the older main buildings. Here at LEVC the newer work in 3d design is like the best at LROP, So that is its best points, but there is still another level to go to be at the very best end of excellent scenery design. Not with saying this is not very good because it is, certainly far better than most of what Aerosoft deliver and with the far better photo underlay blending in perfectly with the surroundings. The Golf Course is a point to how well this is done... Most photo underlays (green especially) are gaudy and stand out, here it sublime in the right colour and setting. The amount of building detail is extensive and very well done and everything in requirements are in there. The airport is full of static aircraft, equipment and vehicles but not overwhelmingly so. Only the "autogates" need attention and a few ground traffic animations would be very nice. Lighting through out is excellent except for the slightly bland building windows. The airport itself is not very frame-rate heavy, but your settings need to be adjusted carefully to get the visual aspect of the airport and the surrounding default scenery. If you can turn your settings up high then your in for a treat, for the rest of us we may still get a great visual effect on landing or leaving LEVC but you will be in the low 20's in doing so. As scenery goes LEVC - Valencia by DAI-Media is very good. Certainly if you use the airport's great position to cover Europe and North Africa, It also a great jumping off point to the many Spanish ports in domestic and out-lying Islands of the Mediterranean (Ibiza/Majorca) and Atlantic (Gran Canaria/Tenerife/Funchal) destinations. The step from Bucharest's LROP to Valencia's LEVC is a good one and it will be interesting in what destination DAI-Media chooses next. Overall this a very good scenery package to have. Yes! the LEVC - Valencia is now Available from the DAI-Media : LEVC - Valencia Manises Price is Euro 25.00 € (US$34.16 - current conversion 14th Jan 14) Installation : Download is 100.80mb that is unzipped into your "Custom Scenery" folder (132.80mb) with a 3 page "read me" manual. Charts are noted but you have to join (and pay) to acquire them. Requirements: - Software plataform: X-Plane 10.25 - Specification: Sames like X-Plane 10.25, runways follow contours - IVAO / VATSIM, compatible. Current version : v1_1401_1 (last updated Jan 4th, 2014 Review by Stephen Dutton 14th January 2014 ©copyright X-Plane Reviews 2014 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - LIRF - Fiumicino, Rome - LIRF Roma Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci Airport 2.21 by Seaman (.org)
  49. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Carenado C90B King Air HD Series v1.1 Route : KHND - Henderson Executive to KGCN - Grand Canyon NP One of the great tourist routes (on everyone's bucket list) is a flight over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, US$250 is the average fare. Nowhere else does the aircraft really come into its own for viewing spectacle than from the position of a couple of thousand feet above this monstrously huge gnawed dug out mountain in the Arizona desert. Most operators leave for the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas's, McCarren International. But if you want the private exclusive tour then you would then head up north to Henderson Executive (KHND) and pick up a private operator that will treat you like a VIP or a celebrity for the day. It costs a lot more of course but you also get the free French champagne thrown in as part of the deal. The ideal aircraft to fly four to six passengers in comfort is the Beechcraft C90B, with its big windows, but also the power to get to the Grand Canyon quickly adds to the benefits. In the fleet we also have the X-Plane Default C90B, and a very nice aircraft it is. If you have already bought X-Plane 10 (It comes with X-Plane9 as well, but not the upgraded version) then it comes free with the simulator, and it is with no-doubt the best default aircraft in your General Aviation Folder. For me though today I got the newest addition to the fleet the just released Carenado C90B. Outwardly they look very much the same aircraft but then get closer to the Carenado version and things start to get a lot better. Carenado provide a menu (O) of Options (bottom left). Here you can give the C90B tinted windows, static elements (including chocks, warning cones but no tags, and the pilots stay seated in the cockpit), You can open the main "Passenger door" on the left rear and even open up the left and right engine cowlings. Want to check the engine oil or fluids before flight then, well now you can.... this adds to a great feature on the aircraft walkaround. The C90 is a seriously nice looking aircraft, it comes with Carenado's HD (High-Definition) series textures (2048 x 2048) and it shows in the quality of the livery. Get in very close and the detailing is superb. Panel detailing (with rivets) and vents are all very lifelike. The undercarriage is excellent with full struts, hydraulics and braking systems, and are all as real as... the real things. The Propellers are the standard quieter Hartzell four-blade, constant-speed and full-reversing 90-in diameter versions. And not the Raisbeck Swept Blade Turbofans, which were retrofitted to later C90 models. The C90's four distinctive chrome exhausts are beautifully crafted here. The wings with the updated (v2) lighting is excellent and so is the tailplane and tall tail, looking side on at the dimensions and the full perspective of the aircraft - it looks perfect. History of the C90B King Air The Beechcraft King Airs are a little confusing as they are listed in to two separate families. The Model 90 and 100 series are known as King Airs, while the Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with the "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996 (although it is still often used to differentiate the 200 and 300 series King Airs from their smaller stablemates). The Model 90 King Air was conceived as the Model 120 in 1961. In May 1963, Beechcraft began test flights of the proof-of-concept Model 87 with a modified Queen Air and fitted with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-6 engines. On 14 July, Beech announced a new type, and a month later began accepting orders for the "King Air", with deliveries to commence in the autumn of 1964. After 10 months of test flying the Model 87 was delivered to the United States Army as the NU-8F in 1964. On 24 January 1965 the first definitive prototype, by now designated Model 65-90 and also fitted with PT6A-6 engines, flew for the first time. The first production aircraft was delivered on October 8, and by the end of the month 152 aircraft had been ordered. The Model C90 was introduced in 1971, with the wingspan increased over earlier models by 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m) to 50 ft 3 in (15.32 m), Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) increased by 350 lb (160 kg) to 9,650 lb (4,378 kg) and it was fitted with the newer upgraded PT6A-20A engines. The C90B (and C) were marketing names for the updated versions of C90A which were produced between 1992 and 2005 and were 456 built. Maximum speed: 311 mph TAS (270 knots TAS, 500 km/h TAS) : Cruise speed: 260 mph TAS (226 kts TAS, 416 km/h TAS) : Stall speed: 90 mph (78 knots, 145 km/h) IAS (flaps down) : Range: 1,530 miles (1,321 nm, 2,446 km) : Service ceiling: 30,000ft (9,144 m) : Rate of climb: 2,000 ft/min (10.2 m/s) The default C90 suddenly powers up and departs for its tour. So it is time to get on board and get the aircraft ready for our own passengers. The easiest way to get inside the aircraft is using Carenado's © Camera menu. It is the standard menu on all Carenado aircraft. And it makes it easy not only to jump quickly into the 3d mode and into the aircraft, but you also have 9 other views and a "Point of View" slider. Inside there are 4 large leather seats in a club layout. And two other (smaller seats) in one facing inwards on the right and one situated on the rear bulkhead. In theory you can carry six passengers, or four and an attendant or two. The internal cabin doors can be closed via the (O) Options menu for privacy in the cockpit. The shutdown cockpit is unfussy, very clean and business like. It is not hard to find your way around everything, but there are some specialised items that we we will come to. On the overhead panel (OH) there is only the electrical dials and the lighting knobs for all the instruments and cockpit overhead lighting. One big switch on your left of the panel will turn everything On/Off in a one click each way. The power now on and the panel lights up nicely with reflective lighting. All the main power/lighting switches are grouped down low behind the pilots yoke (removable). There is a Ext Power (External Power) supply that you must remember to switch off when not needed. On the pilots side wall there are the (twin) fuel gauges and fuel transfer and supply switches. The text here is quite blurry, but easily remembered. The small windows open on both sides and the engine noise is quite significant when the open gap is there. This is great for starting the engines. Detailing is simply excellent, some switches are hard to read but very much in keeping of the panel design... Carenado are masters at this sort of detail application and it shows here with this sort of depth and quality. Each engine has its own "Ignition ON" switch, and then another switch to start the each engine that both sets are situated low and behind the yoke. It takes awhile to wind up and then start each turbine to full power. Multi-track stereo sounds are excellent as the whine and then the power as the engine comes into life. When running, don't forget to turn off the Ignition ON switches as displayed on the glareshield. Ignore the RVS, as it notes the levers are not in the up position. You can do a full test of all the alerts and very impressive it is. I set both the Prop (feather) and Idle to as low as I could get away with... In the full up position of both of these levers the C90 will taxi like a speeding bullet, you need to calm the engines down for an effective taxi. One of the highlighted features now on Carenado aircraft are the rain and Ice effects. The rain drips down the windshield, and the wiper clears it away (but the rain spots are not replaced), Ice covers the windows (but I couldn't see anything on the wings). But with both the rain and ice together is very effective. Pulling away from the stand the taxi is good if you have controlled the RPM, only small nips of the brakes are required to keep the speed. You don't use much flap, just 20º. On to the power slowly because it will leap away, and then build up the speed. As both props rotate together in the same direction there is a slight pull to the right, but only a little left rudder is required to keep the center line straight. Rotation is clean and you don't need a lot of angle to climb out, once you have a certain speed then let the C90B climb. In The Air If you have flown the X-Plane default C90, then at this point in climbing away from the runway, you will have to usually move to the Autopilot (A/P) that is situated down behind the pedestal. The problem with this is that you have to scroll away from the horizon and your forward view. To a real pilot it is only a glance down to the right and then adjust the autopilot by feel... but for you it is usually the situation that when you come back to the forward view after setting the A/P that you will either be - inverted or going in a totally different direction? In Carenado's version you have a popup (A/P) that is selected by the (A) or Autopilot on the lower left menu. This beautiful rendered panel is an excellent A/P, but it is quite large. It can thankfully be moved anywhere around you screen, It can be also resized as well by the lower right corner into any size you like. Close the A/P and come back to it later and it keeps the position and size. "Heading" is selected with the left knob and the "Course" is selected with the right. Press the center of either knob to select current heading or course. Vertical Speed (V/S) has a few different variations. You can either just set the V/S or press the rocker switch to go either up or down. The best however is "CLIMB" or "DEC" (descend). Select your height (higher or lower) in the center panel and then press either the CLIMB or DEC buttons and the A/P will set you on a - or + 800fpm altitude change. It will set the ALT SEL (Altitude Select) automatically as well to level you out when you get to correct set altitude. The Autopilot is also connected to the EFSI (Electronic Flight Instrument System) that is connected to the Electronic Attitude Director Indicator (EADI) and the Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) on the main (PFD) aircraft panel. The EFSI is very detailed and functional and the displays on the small Glass panels are excellent. The EDHI has many functions including Autopilot Mode Annunciators, Marker Beacon indicator, Glide Slope Indicator and Lateral Deviation Indicator (bars), Flight Director Guide, Ground Altitude and Decision Height Annunciator. The EDSI panel has Identifier and distance to VOR or Waypoint, Course Control Symbol, VOR TO/FROM indicator, selected pointers and lateral deviation and Course selection (degrees). The various EHSI functions include In-depth and accurate fuel logic and it works like the real thing, and also takes all the failures into account. However you must turn the system EFIS system on, and the switch is on the A/P panel? Note above the EAHI is the terrain (TERR) warning system, turn it on and you get alerts from 1000ft to 500ft of your lower terrain values. In the center of the main aircraft panel there is an AVIDYNE Entegra EX500. This unit is very good but limited in application. It has fixes, but they are way to small to register. And you can have the Heading or Rose modes. The weather is also displayed and this is best function of the display. A standard GARMIN GPS400 and the standard radio (COMM and VOR) tuning knobs complete the equipment package. All powerlines lead to our first attraction - The Hoover Dam. The C90B was powering along at comfortable 200knts and easily climbed to 12,500ft. (it will climb 2000fpm with ease) In the air as on the ground the C90B is a lovely aircraft. At every angle you like the silhouette against the desert sky. It flies wonderfully as well, light to the touch and easy on the turns (just a touch of power sometimes). There is a small warning though in using to much power in the cruise as if you push the engines too hard for long periods at full throttle they will simply burn out. The trim is easy to set up and you have to be careful because the trim switches work on the craftmanship yoke. The window shades (both sides) are clever as well, They are movable right around their tracks and adjustable up and down as well. The main cabin windows can also be dimmed as well. Liveries Liveries are the standard white (default) (top), BlueGold, Deepbluered, Silverblue (upper line), Beigered, Ejercitodelaire and the famous Japanmaritime (lower line) The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa; Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la) is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 meters). It has been carved over billions of years as the plateau raised up out out of the desert to the elevation of 2,600 feet (800 m) to an average of 8,000 ft (2,438 m) above sea level. In fact the Canyon is a big plateau with a huge gap carved through it. The biggest misnomer is the that everyone thinks the canyon was big cut down into the ground, when in fact it is the opposite in that it rises up very high. To cover this you have to quickly fly high. 12,000ft will then put you only at a slight height above the canyon. For the C90B this was an easy task. I started my run from the west looking for Point Sublime and then followed the zig-zag off to a slight angle to give the passengers the best view. The French champagne was out with a small meal that is helped by the foldaway tables. The view outside the windows was spectacular and so was my view from the cockpit. Keeping close to South Rim and over the Grand Canyon Village you turn North at just before Zuni Point and then held that heading until past Chuar Butte and then flew out over the plateau before doing an almost 170º turn back and heading down the eastern side of the "Palisades of the desert". The view right out of the cockpit windows was spectacular, and every time you do this Canyon run it will always run a tingle up your back. The Carenado C90B has great nightlighting... The panel is simply beautiful at night and entirely adjustable via the OHP selection of lighting knobs. There is the new feature of the swivel lighting on the roof of the cockpit. You can move the light in any direction and bright or fade the lighting on the light itself. This shows the power of the HDR in X-Plane and how versatile the HDR system is. In the rear cabin (switchable) the lighting is spot lit on to the seating. The ambience inside is excellent, but the HDR switched on is a real framerate buster. down to only 2-3 frames on my system. Grand Canyon National Park Airport (IATA: GCN, ICAO: KGCN) is just south of the South Rim and Village. I did another 90º turn to the West and another 90º turn to line up with RWY 03, but watch your elevation here as it is 6609ft (ASL), and the C90's height radar is the item you keep your eye on. Reducing height with the DEC makes your life very easy, and the EADI shows you your cross hairs with the glideslope. Manually or automatic the descent is very easy as you reduce your speed. Flaps will slow you effectively, and the deployment is not going to give you too much lift if you get the correct speed at each drop, but watch that stall speed that is quickly in the red zone at 80knt's, so you aim for just above at 90knts to 95knt's. In the flare you add a little power before settling down the wheels and reversing the propeller pitch for reverse thrust. (well noted on the pedestal) The thrust is very effective and KGCN's runway 3/21 at 8,999ft (2,743m) is very long for a General Aviation aircraft so in fact you can take your time to slow down or flare late to get to the terminal that is situated at the far north end. The company does the tagging system to return passengers back to Henderson, I will sit here and refuel quickly as the first group will return soon that went out on an earlier flight, my group will come back to KGCN in a few hours of seeing Canyon from the visitor centre. Conclusions As Carenado aircraft get larger, then so does the file size. The C90B will average around 460mb so if you have only 512 VRAM (like I do) available you are going to start to feel the pinch. 1gb VRAM is recommended by Carenado and I second that recommendation. If you have downloaded your C90B from Carenado (ver1.0) then I recommend to update as soon as possible because the 1.1 version (the .org version is the correct 1.1 ver) fixes a lot of - if not all the issues with framerate on the Mac and a few lighting issues. The review here has been updated to the v1.1 version. And the updated version is now very good. And yes because of the minimum VRAM available you are going to have to compromise somewhere if you are running very large sceneries or if the weather is heavy on your system. In this review I averaged 50-40fr dropping as low as in the high 20's with clear skies, and that is very good. Direct comparisons to the X-Plane default C90B is always going to be put forward. Because the aircraft is very good in its basic form. I have had many hours behind its controls and it has a place in my heart if not the earliest of my own X-Plane experiences. The Carenado C90B is however a far more advanced and far better quality machine. It's detailing and functionality is way above the standard version. Outwardly they look the same. But on closer inspection they couldn't be more further apart in quality, equipment and certainly in the outstanding features. Fly the C90B once and you won't want another twin. And that is big claim with so many twins in the Carenado hangar. It is a lovely large machine. The A/P is very comprehensive, convenient and resizable. The only issue is the HDR on less powerful equipment in that it brings the framerate to its knees. But in every other area of quality, functionality, cockpit lighting, excellent 3d surround sounds and system realism it is simply outstanding. Value!... In value it is a Carenado aircraft, and that is always a great investment. And the bigger the Carenado aircraft grows then the better it seems the value and the return for your money. Overall the Carenado Beechcraft C90B HD series is excellent. Yes! the Carenado C90B King Air HD Series is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : C90B King Air HD series Price is US$34.95 Documents : Developer Site : Carenado Dev Thread : X-Plane.org ___________________________________________ Review By Stephen Dutton 20th November 2013 ©copyright 2013 : Stephen Dutton Note: Carenado have released an C90 King Air Service Pack, dated 20131119. that addresses the ver1.0 framerate issues, HDR lighting has been updated and other minor tucks and fixes. Go to Carenado to login and download this updated 1.1 version Technical Requirements :Windows XP, Vista 7 or 8 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.3.9 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 9.70 or X-Plane 10.20 (or higher - 64 bit compatible) 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM Version 1.1 (last updated November 19th 2013) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - Hoover Dam & the Grand Canyon version 10 - chris noe (X-Plane.org) - KLAS - KHND (Glitter Gulch) - Tom Curtis (X-Plane.OrgShop US$24.95) - KGCN Grand Canyon National Park Airport - myb (X-Plane.Org)
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