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  1. 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
  2. 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!"
  3. 2 points
    Yes I'm with you all the way on this, I am really, really disappointed there is no internal cargo option... 😢
  4. 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
  5. 1 point
    Scenery Review : Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design The Seattle Airports XP Package for X-Plane11 is part of two packs from Drzewiecki Design that cover the full Seattle, Puget Sound area of the American north west. X-PlaneReviews has covered the excellent city of Seattle scenery pack in a review here: Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design The two packages are created to work seamlessly together, and the area covered is quite substantial from North Everett in the north, and right down to Federal Way in the south. As noted in the city scenery review, to cover such a wide area with so many objects is going to require a certain amount of power from your computer, and a few tricks on how to best run the packages are covered in depth in that city scenery review. In context these packages are created to a level of detail and are refined to their best ability to get the very best ratio of quality to quantity and still get the very best efficiency out of the packages, in this area Drzewiecki Design have done an outstanding job... certainly each package can be purchased separately as together they cost a substantial US$67.00 with this Airport pack being the most expensive at US$43.00. Personally were as the Seattle City XP scenery can be purchased and used with freeware airports, I don't think you could purchase the Airport pack without the Seattle City scenery, you would just lose too much of the iconic skyline to make it totally realistic (but there are a few Seattle skylines on the .Org if you want to take that approach). The airports covered in this package include: KSEA Seattle-Tacoma, KPAE Paine Field, KBFI Boeing Field, KRNT Renton and S50 Auburn and one major missing field is of course KTCM - McChord AFB of which was included in the Tom Curtis version of the Seattle area called "Gateway to Boeing Country". A few notes first before we deep dive into the airports. First is that if you do use both packages together then the custom scenery load order on the .INI is very critical in the scenery running correctly, Drzewiecki Design do or can set this load order correctly via the installer, but I prefer still to set my own .INI order as not to mess up a.. my already correct set ups and other scenery load orders, and b.. I'm a control freak! Second note is you have the options for both static aircraft visible or not and the quality of your texture mesh (personally the the difference between 2K mesh and 4K mesh in most cases is minimal), but it may make a difference in some cases. But with the static aircraft option is that it is all or nothing... this means that at every airport in this scenery you can have those lovely static aircraft or not. In most cases this is not an issue if you use WT3 or X-Life as static aircraft is switched off, but in this package it can make a huge difference? K-Man has created a set of perfection in WT3 ground routes and layouts for KSEA, so you will want to use these right? absolutely... but killing the static aircraft at KSEA to run WT3 also kills all those perfectly created static aircraft in various states of last stages of fitting out at the Boeing factories at Boeing Field, Everett (Paine) and Renton? The solution is to keep the static aircraft option on, but to use the overlay editor to clear away the static aircraft at KSEA. I really doubt you would need WT3 at the other airports and I found this option the best compromise in having KSEA active with traffic, but keeping the excellent visual aspects at the Boeing factory airports. This review is created in that setup of WT3 at KSEA and the rest of the airports with the custom static aircraft still in place. KSEA - Seattle–Tacoma International Airport or Sea-Tac (KSEA/SEA) Sea-Tac has had a long association with my flying and reviews in X-PlaneReviews, but not lately. Sea-Tac is also Laminar Research's own default airport for X-Plane and has been since X-Plane10, and the area is an excellent place to show off the simulator. Basically you have everything here from gorgeous backdrop volcanic mountains, great local VFR flying destinations with Canada and Vancouver on your doorstep. Most of my early flying was usually up (and down) the Puget Sound to Victoria or CYYJ airport and the learning curve of VOR navigation... it is simply a sensational area to fly around... but. I fell out of love with Sea-Tac for one reason, the runways. Every scenery from the provided X-Plane "Demo" to the payware versions of KSEA all have one major issue, as the runways at KSEA are all a roller-coaster of hills with the "Runways follow Terrain Contours" switched on, switch off the follow contours tickbox and then KSEA becomes then a plateau of "Lost World" proportions, with autogen housing clinging to the sides at very odd angles? so setting either choice does not work. Seattle–Tacoma International Airport Sea–Tac Airport IATA: SEA - ICAO: KSEA - FAA LID: SEA - WMO: 72793 6L/34R 11,900 (3,627m) Concrete 16C/34C 9,426 (2,873m) Concrete 16R/34L 8,500 (2,591m) Concrete ELEV 433 ft / 132 m AMSL Your first impressions of Drzewiecki Design's version of Sea-Tac is that it is superb, obviously the very best yet and believe me there has been a lot of different versions of KSEA in X-Plane. Currently Sea-Tac is under an expansion development, but the scenery here is noted with the newer expansion construction work as completed - with the new International Arrivals Facility, both Satellite Terminals modernised and with the additional structures added to the A terminal and with the amazing new Skybridge. But all that and even everything else is of now of no consequence if the basics don't actually work? but thankfully they do and are done here to best solution as well. So the first really big feature and to me this is the most important one, is that the KSEA runways have been built on a false base and are not allowed to follow the mesh contours, add in some really lovely and totally correct landscaping and walls, then you have perfection... .... and note the excellent approach RAIL lighting gantries on all the northern approaches, ditto the smooth and thankfully flat runways, this is finally a Sea-Tac we all deserve. Terminal Detail We have noted that these packages are created for their best efficiency, but that has not come with any real loss of quality and the trimming of detail. All the terminals and island terminals have been recreated in detail and with the correct reflective glass... ... as all of the internal terminal areas are fitted out and that can be seen from the ramps. Ramp detailing and clutter is also first rate with not only the service and ramp equipment, but 3d people as well external and internal. The airport's airbridges are all active but only a certain number have the guidance system, loads of animated vehicles move around the airport, but there is no an overwhelming amount of vehicle movement, however this is to the better and not to the detriment of the action with using the scenery. Maintenance and Cargo You could call that Sea-Tac is the supply depot for the north or further to Alaska. So all the cargo facilities here at KSEA are large and varied. These important areas are really well covered with this scenery... ... cargo zones (and there is a lot of zones to choose from) are all expertly recreated and with just the right amount of cargo clutter to make freight moving at KSEA a joy, there is also some great branding (mostly Alaska Airlines) and realistic ramp textures. South Sea-Tac are the prominent maintenance hangars for Alaska Airlines and Delta. Hangar detail is not just external which is very good anyway, but internal as well with aircraft under maintenance set out inside. Landside Detail, detail landside is not high high if you get what I mean, but the the amount of buildings and airport support infrastructure including the required hotels and carparks is immense. And in many ways the layout reminds me of Aerosoft's Frankfurt. Detail is not restricted to just the terminal side of the airport, but right around the the whole perimeter. Warehouses and a small GA ramp are notable to the southwest... ... working (or animated) radar tower is to the west and the concrete detail of the elevation of the field are all standouts. Control Tower The distinctive control tower is really well created and looks highly realistic. The tower has excellent internal detail as well, but with no set tower view? KBFI - Boeing Field or King County International Airport. (KBFI/BFI)  Except for the World War II period, when it was taken over by the U.S. government, Boeing Field was Seattle's main passenger airport from its construction in 1928 until Seattle-Tacoma International Airport began operations in the late 1940s. The Boeing Company continues to use the field for testing and delivery of its airplanes, and it is still a major regional cargo hub. King County International Airport Boeing Field IATA: BFI - ICAO: KBFI - FAA LID: BFI 13R/31L 10,000 (3,048m) Asphalt 13L/31R 3,710 (1,131m) Asphalt ELEV 21ft /6 m AMSL KBFI is a large and complex scenery in that it has so many different elements. It a Boeing Company airport but also a working one for light GA and private jet aircraft and smaller regional services (Including helicopters). The northwest area is dominated by the Boeing Company as it is a last fit-out area for overflow aircraft from the Paine and Renton plants... The main Boeing hangar is well reproduced as is the fit-out ramps which are highly detailed, and note the excellent static aircraft that were left in the scenery and not removed. The southern part of the Boeing zone is related to Boeing's military business, and here it is a separate area for those top secret military aircraft fit-outs (above right). Seattle Museum of Flight Nestled between the factories is the famous Seattle Museum of Flight and right beside the museum is the "Red Barn" that is also known as Building No. 105. Built in 1909, the building was used during the early 1900s as Boeing's original aircraft manufacturing plant. A lot of attention has been given into recreating the museum, not only in with the high detailed museum buildings, but the with all the correct aircraft on show as well. The eastern side of the runways is the private and business areas of Boeing Field. There is the historic terminal building on the east side with the original terminal that is still operating, but now as a cafe. And there is a huge amount of ramp area parking not only in front of the old terminal, but also for the use of a designated private jet service terminal next door as well. There is a huge amount of choice for parking GA aircraft and medium sized jets on the eastern side, so you can just make your extensive choice from the long list of branded operators located here, and so it is as well for helicopter services with HeliJet dominating with services to Victoria and Vancouver. Note the 3d grass which is excellent and covers all the airports in the package, clutter is again excellent and there are also a few animated vehicles moving around the scenery. Control Tower is mid-field west... ... the tower is well done and authentic with built in Fire Station... Tower View is actually correct! KRNT - Renton or Renton Municipal Airport (KRNT/RNT) Renton is really two airports set around one single runway. On the west side is the Renton Municipal Airport, which is really a General Aviation/Seaplane base, and on the east side is the Boeing Renton Factory that churns out the hundreds and thousands of B737 series aircraft. The factory has had an illustrious career in producing Boeing aircraft from the start of WW2 to today. Famous aircraft built here includes the Boeing B-29 Superfortress (built 1,119), Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (built 943), Boeing 707/KC-135, Boeing 727, Boeing 757 (built 1,050) and the B737 series that is currently in production today. Renton Municipal Airport IATA: RNT - ICAO: KRNT - FAA LID: RNT 16/34 5,382 (1,640m) Asphalt/Concrete EVEL 32ft / 10m AMSL Renton is an extremely hard place to reproduce and to make it look authentic. It is situated in a valley and the autogen does not take to kindly to the mesh and so and intergration to make it look even believable is a task by itself, but Drzewiecki Design pulled it off by using custom placed objects to cover over the weak areas, so it works and it works very well. The highlight at Renton are the huge aircraft factory buildings... ... not only is the external buildings done to be realistic, but the internal production line is also created, it is all very basic texture wise but I do like the different variants of the B737 series in production, and not just the same single-800 variant. East Renton The eastern side of the runway is in two sections, one section to the north are several fit-out areas and in the south is a GA and business receiving area. The engine test building is the standout building and is well detailed at the rear.... the Ace Aviation hangar and Aero-Dyne Aviation are both well represented, and this is a very nice GA and usable arrival area. The overall idea seems to be "if you have a space then put a B737 on it!" but there are still lots of parking bays left over for your own aircraft, note again the required static aircraft setting as it makes a big if not huge difference with the correct static aircraft in various states of completion. Work ramp detail is again exceptional, highly detailed and "Boeing" branded. The highly visual sports fields including the Renton Memorial Stadium and Liberty Park are also well represented for detail. RWY 34 approach has numerous buildings for eye detail including a Walmart, McLendon Hardware and Fred Meyer store and more sports fields. West Renton The western boundary is "Renton Municipal Airport" but Boeing seems to have helped itself to most of the significant parking areas, so the area is a mixture of GA facilities and more Boeing fit-out parking bays. Renton Municipal Airport itself is sort of boxed into the centre, but there is still a lot of parking spaces if you land here in a GA. Animated vehicles are represented around Renton, but not too many. North is the seaplane base or the official name as the "Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base", as it was here Wiley Post left for his fatal last flight. The water ramp and jetty is not as good as the Tom Curtis version, but it is still usable. Apartment blocks and light industry buildings are all custom made to fill out the open areas and this is a significant point of making the overall scenery very effective, the detail and even the style is very, very basic, but it still does a very good job alongside the autogen in creating a very realistic Renton. KPAE - Paine Field or Snohomish County Airport KPAE/PAE Paine Field was originally constructed in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project. At the time of development, it was envisioned that the Airport would create jobs and economic growth in the region by becoming one of the ten new "super airports" around the country. Paine Field was taken over by the U.S. Army prior to entry into World War II as a patrol and training base. In 1947 it was transferred to the U.S. Air Force which continued that operational plan until the early 1960s. On July 25, 1966, Boeing announced that it would build the Boeing 747, a jet airliner capable of carrying nearly twice as many passengers as previous models. To build the giant jet, Boeing had to construct a facility large enough to handle the world's largest commercial jetliner. Land just north of Paine Field was chosen to construct the new facilities, including some development on the airport itself. Both the local government and the FAA concurred with the development. Work on the massive building began in August 1966 and the first employees arrived in early 1967. The 747 made its first flight at Paine Field on February 9, 1969. There has been numerous ideas to restart scheduled air passenger services or air cargo service from the airport, mostly by Allegiant Air and Horizon Air, but to date it is still Boeing that totally dominates the Snohomish County Airport. KPAE does however have four flight schools — Chinook Flight Simulations, Regal Air, Northway Aviation and Everett Helicopters — making it a popular destination for flight training. There are also a number of flying clubs on the field. Today Paine Field is the primary assembly location for Boeing's wide-body 747, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Paine Field Snohomish County Airport IATA: PAE - ICAO: KPAE - FAA LID: PAE  16R/34L 9,010 (2,746m) Asphalt/Grooved 11/29 4,504 (1,373m) Asphalt (not active) 16L/34R 3,000 (914m) Asphalt ELEV 606 ft/184.7 m AMSL You can never get your head around the scale of the Boeing aircraft factories at Everett, they are one of the huge step forward 1960's projects that stunned your mind, the other was the VAB building and Saturn 5's rockets that took men to the Moon. The Boeing Everett factory is still the largest building in the world by volume at 13,385,378 m3 (472,370,319 cu ft) and covers 399,480 m2 (98.7 acres; 39.948 hectares; 0.399 square kilometres)... big enough to build a 747 in! It is to great credit to Drzewiecki Design in that they have created all the assembly lines for the versions B748, B777 and B787, there is great detailing in not just shoving aircraft in the buildings, but to also have them in their various states of assembly... radar domes up, missing engines, or cowlings open, gantrys and all the clutter required to build aircraft. The huge triple engine test buildings are also really well represented... .... and the numerous bays are stacked out and full of out-fitting aircraft, did I mention about the required static aircraft... yes I think I did. There is the Boeing delivery centre with working airbridges and docking guidance, just the perfect place to take delivery of your new Boeing X-Plane aircraft. There is the new "Dreamlifter" operations centre over on the western boundary... and it is highly detailed with a Dreamlifter and cargo. Snohomish County Airport Internally within Paine Field is a commercial airport called Snohomish County Airport. Over the years commercial passenger traffic has declined almost to nothing, so Snohomish County Council has created with a private company a new passenger terminal that was commenced on June 5, 2017. The 30,000 square foot building will have two gates and will be capable of handling about 16 flights per day. That terminal is represented here as complete and is due to open now or Sept 2018. Opposition to the new facility was fierce by local communities, but note the overwhelming heavy commercial operations by Boeing... I doubt a few Dash8's or B738's are going to make that much extra noise or traffic in or out of KPAE? Terminal detailing is excellent, with a full interior and reflective glass... Alaska Airlines, United and Southwest all have plans for services. Attached to the new terminal is a new control tower, again it is well created with internal control room, but no tower view? And note the lovely pre-war hangar on the new terminal ramp, it is a nice reminder of early Paine Field. Southeast is still the older remnants of Paine Field including the very small GA runway 16L/34R... and RWY 11/29 which is now only for aircraft parking. To the south there are more Boeing facilities, but also a few museums with the "Flying Heritage Collection" and the "Historic Flight" Museum. There is a huge amount of custom buildings to the south and to the west of Paine Field to give you a great approach and visual stimulation, like at Renton the buildings are still quite basic and light on detail, but they serve a purpose, however a lot of the buildings to west tend to float? S50 Aurburn Auburn Municipal Airport is known as "Dick Scobee Field", after Francis "Dick" Scobee, an Auburn and Washington native who was the commander astronaut for the Space Shuttle Challenger. Scobee was killed in the 1986 Challenger disaster. The small airfield is also part of the "Emerald Downs Horse Racing" complex. Auburn Municipal Airport Dick Scobee Field IATA: none - ICAO: none - FAA LID: S50 Overall there is not much here at Auburn Municipal Airport except for GA hangars and loads of excellent stand parking... .... but that is not to say it is not the best place to use to base your GA to fly and around the Seattle area, in fact it is the perfect location, and so expect this field to show up a lot in a few GA reviews in the future. All of the airports in this package have excellent runway textures and excellent realistic reflective surfaces. All runway and taxiway signage is top notch and correct for navigation via charts... oh and a lot of 3d Grass is thrown in on top of the deal. Seattle Airports Night Lighting The lighting throughout this extensive scenery is excellent and quite varied. KSEA - Sea-Tac Sea-Tac scenery is very good, but the most basic scenery with only a few tones, overall it looks and is very good to fly into and use on the ground... ... but on closer inspection sees okay look and feel with the see-through glass to just plain greys for some other terminals and outer buildings, internal areas inside maintenance hangars are excellent and highly realistic. Branding and hotel lighting is fine and well done. Ramps including the cargo stands are well lit and the highlight is the nice upward spot lighting on the control tower. King County Boeing Field is not a 24hr airport in operations, so the lighting reflects that aspect, it is well lit, but in areas the lighting is only sporadic... The fit-out flightline is the brightest area as are the other Boeing work zones, the control tower is well done and looks authentic on arrival. Highlight is the lovely private jet terminal that looks welcoming at night on arrival.. note the nice ramp reflections and textures Renton Overall the best lighting in the package goes to Renton... ... different lighting tones separate the manufacturing/carparking areas from the airfield, and it looks spectacular around the main assembly buildings. There are different tones also to note the football (soccer) field and the many other sports facilities, the Ace Aviation building is the highlight. Again the Boeing fit-out stands are very well lit as are all the surrounding apartment buildings. The approach into Renton at night from the south is excellent and certainly well worth doing. Everett Paine Field is a lot like Renton in lighting but more spread out in area. Different areas have different tones but not to the full extent of Renton... ... fit-out areas are again very bright, and the internal work areas of the factories are well lit for 24hr aircraft production. Highlight is the amazingly lit delivery centre! (below) Snohomish County Airport is lit well one side with the carpark... but dark on the airside? The control tower looks however lovely in great lower area/ground lighting. Southern areas are sporadic but well done and overall KPAE is a well lit scenery. Auburn Municipal Most lighting at S50 is indirect, but it looks nice at night from above, but it feels a little odd on the ground as the lighting can be bright in one direction and very dark in the other, but overall S50 is a daytime operation airfield... disappointing is the racetrack and the Emerald Downs Horse Racing complex is in the dark... ... note however the amazing surface textures with the indirect lighting. Summary Where do you start with a scenery this expansive and so highly detailed. Price of course and value. Yes it is US$43.00 for just this Airport package and another US$24.00 if you then add on the Seattle City package. Breaking that down and just take KSEA Sea-Tac as a scenery alone, and what would you expect to pay for that US$25 or US$28.50... it is certainly worth that in benefit, so in context then the full five airports are all good value. Object count and clutter numbers here are in the outrageous category, you are bewildered just on how much detail there actually is in here and the coverage is uniform across all the airports, ditto the amount of custom objects surrounding the actual airport boundaries as well to make up a significant visual viewpoint of almost visual perfection (in context) of what you have in the Seattle area... and this all comes with an amazing efficiency and not creating overbearing pressure on your computer's hardware, and even in the context of a lower texture quality setting, you still get a sensational high quality visual package... in other words it all more than usable and even if you only have a 4K graphic card. Negatives are few, with only a few floating buildings and some night textures that are a bit bland, and many custom objects are created for a high efficiency more than detail are noticeable, but the objects are not positioned of where it counts. Many tower views are not set correctly? Scenery like the Seattle City/Airport packages are not your usual purchase... they are a major future investment for your simulator. Yes all up the packages are expensive, but the return of what you actually get and also to get to future proof your Seattle area for years to come and with all the significant flying you can do here in Seattle... and that then all adds up to a worthwhile investment of including and using extremely good high quality scenery in X-Plane. The jury will always be out on what is the very best scenery currently in X-Plane, in absolute detail then no, but in expansive and with the absolute sheer volume of coverage and detail you get here, then certainly this Seattle Airports XP package is right at the top of the list. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Seattle Airports XP Price is US$43.00 Scenery Features 5 high quality airports included: KSEA Seattle-Tacoma, KPAE Paine Field, KBFI Boeing Field, KRNT Renton and S50 Auburn in the most up-to-date versions possible, including the new International Arrivals Facility and Satellite terminals at KSEA and the new passenger terminal at KPAE. Extensive though performance-friendly internal modeling including Boeing Everett Factory (the whole assembly building with 747, 777 and 787 assembly lines), both delivery centers of Boeing (at KBFI and KPAE) and all terminals at KSEA. Autogates, VGDS, many custom animations, advanced lighting Highly advanced performance-friendly design World Traffic 3 compatible Recommended for use with: Seattle City XP Price is US$24.00 Review is here: Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 1.2Gb Current version: 1.1 (September 6th 2018) Download and Installation Installation : Download file size is 786.41mb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is 2.70gb. Package comes with installers for both Win (.exe) and Mac-Linux, and be sure you download the correct version for your system. DD Seattle Airports ARoads (66kb) DD Seattle Airports XP (2.43gb) DD Seattle Airports XP Documents (6.9mb) ZZZ DD Seattle Airports XP Terrain (23mb) If both the Seattle City XP and Airport scenery XP files are installed then the correct .INI order is required, but the installer will arrange that for you. Recommended is K-Man's KSEA WorldTraffic3 in WT3 ground routes and layouts Editing is required if you want to keep the specialized static aircraft. For the full visual impact the "World Object" (autogen) setting is required at the "maximum" setting, and it is well worth the framerate drop. Extras and Documents: Manuals for installation are in English, Polish and Russian. Airport charts are provided for KRNT, KPAE, KBFI and S50 KBFI Diagram.pdf KPAE Diagram.pdf KRNT Diagram.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - English.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Polish.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Russian.pdf S50 Diagram.pdf SEATTLE_AIRPORTS_XP_MANUAL.pdf ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 12th September 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 v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
  6. 1 point
    Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 by Green Arc Studios The latest update to the excellent WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 plugin is not a large one, but it is highly significant. This version adds in the default Laminar FMC to the usable selection of aircraft FMS systems to the user. The WebFMC is a plugin that allows you to use a FMC (Flight Management Computer) on an external screen via a web browser. That is an another computer or tablet. It is a remote tool, but a very beneficial tool and even a powerful one in programming in route and performance data and following the set aircraft route in flight and in mirroring the aircraft's built in FMS (Flight Management System). Added into the functionality is a load of features in the use of the FMC on another screen.... and yes I am a huge fan. Any plugin or tool that you use is highly valuable if you actually use it, if not it is a waste of money. So for me the value of this plugin is that I use it all the time and in fact most times that I have to programme in a route and and aircraft performance and preferences data. There are two versions available and the PRO version is now listed with an impressive 16 aircraft, but three in the list of the Zibo Mod 737-800 and the 737-900ER/700 Ultimate are also available in the Free Demo version. WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 This version is significant because it breaks the boundary in the aircraft already listed into another dimension. Before it was the actual FMC per aircraft, but here in this version has been added in the default Laminar Research FMC... that fact opens up the plugin's scope to cover any aircraft that uses or has installed the default FMC feature. These aircraft include both FlyJSim's Boeing 732 and 727 by FlyJSim, KingAir 350 by Airfoil Labs, Challenger 300 by DDen, many of the aircraft from Carenado and a lot of others - the list now is really open-ended in the use that any developer that adds in the default X-Plane FMC will now be be automatically added to the list. The full current v1.5.0 list is: The complete list of supported aircraft / FMCs with version 1.5.0: Default X-Plane FMC with all aircraft that use it NEW! SSG E-Jets Evolution Series (both variants) SSG 747-8 Series (both variants) FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced (old style MCDU) JARDesign 330 (requires v3.1r2+) JARDesign 320 (both v3.2x and new v3.4+) ToLiss 319 FlightFactor A320 Ultimate FlightFactor Boeing 757v2 (all variants) FlightFactor Boeing 767 (all variants) Rotate MD-80 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (x737FMC required) Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate 737-700 Ultimate Default X-Plane FMC This may not sound great, but I find the current Default X-Plane FMC a bit average? Yes I will admit I have been very overindulged with some very exceptional aircraft FMC's. X-Plane as a simulator and 3rd party addons have come a long way in this area since the first in the JRollon CRJ-200, and still I am slightly flummoxed in that the same developer in Phillipp Ringlar actually programmed both the first and the default FMC's. There is no doubt the Default X-Plane FMS is extremely basic, but that aspect is fine because as there is a wide variety of aircraft it has to cover, it can't do the deeper data for aircraft performance or preferences... and I get that. But my issue is that it is currently quite average in loading in the basic and required SID (Standard instrument departures) and STAR's (Standard Terminal Arrival Route ). I create most of my flightplans in SimBrief of which I wholly recommend and it is free. And you can import the created (Flightplan) route directly into X-Plane and it's FMC. But in most cases the required SID is missing, so the aircraft usually goes direct (DCT) to the first waypoint. Worse are the STAR's in that they are usually again a very basic import with a lot of significant waypoints missing, I will note that a lot of the STAR approaches are just plain weird like at EDDM - Munich so they do require editing. Of course you have to route edit even the very best of FMC systems, that is a given, but the Default FMC is just too basic in even laying out any selected SID or STAR route, yes you can select them, but they usually are nothing like the actual SID and STAR you are loading in, and consistently they send you directly to the runway threshold. An important note at this time is to make sure all your navigation data is collated across the board with both the Simulator Nav Data and the Aircraft Nav Data are the same. Yes it costs a little to do this via either a Navigraph (recommended) account or Aerosoft's NavDataPro data cycle. I found the IXEG B737 Nav data so out of date I was landing in fields far off the runway. If short of funds then only download the data two or three times a year, but it is the collation of all the nav data across all aspects of the simulator that is important, not the age of the nav data (in other words it is all the same). So currently WebFMC Pro is just about invaluable for fixing up these nav data errors in the default FMC... here the plugin is now available in the lovely Fokker F50 by Carenado via both the Default FMC and WebFMC Pro. Style of the FMC is based on a facia of a Boeing like with the Zibo 738. Here we have a route from EGCC - Manchester to EKYT - Aalborg. Departure for MCR is actually DIRECT to DESIG via SID DESIG 1S, so even the default FMC could not get that wrong? But at the other end at Aalborg it was a mess of an arrival route, Problem is that there are no arrival STAR's for EKYT RWY 26R? but there is an RNAV chart via insertion waypoint BAKIT. First bonus of the WebFMC Pro was that I was able to input data via the keyboard directly, which you can't do in the aircraft version and even in the pop-up, second is that the data is fully accessible on your desktop, in this case set out between SimBrief (right) and the Navigraph Charts (left), so no head movements back and too from another another screen of which you would have to constantly do in the aircraft, so it is like a sort of work-desk arrangement. So inputs of the last official route waypoint of KEMEG to VABUT to BAKIT and then DCT to RW 26R, of which gives us a very nice approach route to the EKYT runway. A bigger bonus for me and I accept that you will need the Navigraph Chart Application is that the Carenado F50 has no PLAN mode? This mode allows you to check your route directly out of the FMC on usually the NAV screen of the aircraft. So if you input in the same navigation waypoints into the Navigraph Chart App you can see if you got the routing correct. You can input the full route into Navigraph directly from SimBrief, but your edits can be checked also in the Navigraph App directly. Nothing is worse in not knowing if your arrival route is wrong, and once the route is completed, a save in the default FMC will keep all your edits in place. So I found WebFMC Pro is excellent in working with this basic FMC, it actually adds in functionality, but also makes it easier to use. On the aircraft WebFMC Pro will only adjust the left FMC, the right side unit is not editable. That is the only aircraft(s) addition to WebFMC Pro v1.5.0, but there is another change to note. JARDesign A320neo This aircraft was part of the original release list for WebFMC Pro. But JARDesign have completely redone the aircraft's MCDU or Mulifunction Control Display Unit. This is from version JD320-V3.4R2, or v3.4+. The original MCDU still works, but you can use this WebFMC Pro version with the newer updated MCDU as long as you update to the JARDesign v3.4+ version. Again the advantages on the work-desk setup are excellent... however here you do now have the advantage of the PLAN mode on the MCDU as a guide to double-check the arrival route. The JAR A320 has the larger, newer PW1100G Engines as well, and don't forget this is still one of the most popular payware aircraft in X-Plane. And v1.5.0 also comes with Enhanced FMC key mappings (as an option in the menu) and Improved screen scaling for cockpit builders. Summary This WebFMC Pro is a great plugin tool that can be used in a browser on another computer or a tablet. It is a remote tool, but a very beneficial and even a powerful one in programming in route and performance data and following the set aircraft route in flight in mirroring the aircraft's built in FMS (Flight Management System). This version v1.5.0 adds in the versatility of now using the Laminar Research Default FMC on a remote screen or tablet, other changes is the addition of a new MCDU for the JARDesign A320 neo in the newer v3.4+ version, the older MCDU works as well. And enhanced FMC key mappings with Improved screen scaling for cockpit builders are also noted in this new version. By and large this is not a big update but still a significant one. The option to use your fingers directly on a tablet screen to programme a FMC is not to be underestimated, but my work-desk arrangement is a great setup to layout routes and input data, performance and routing quickly. My biggest choice here is how good it is for editing and creating routes with both the SimBrief and subscription Navigraph Chart applications, all brilliant tools to create the most perfect routes to fly with... Highly Recommended _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.5.0 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version. Access CDU / FMC of select X-Plane 11 airplanes via any modern web browser running on your PC or mobile device over local network. Quick and easy access to the FMC Get easy access to the FMC: quickly edit the flightplan, monitor flight progress, set up your approach and do all the typical work of the pilot without having to move around in the cockpit, even if the plane doesn’t support FMC as a popup natively - on the same PC, or different monitor, tablet or phone - in fact you can use multiple displays at the same time! Make pilot tasks easy and comfortable Enjoy external views during cruise while monitoring flight progress on separate screen or take a quick look at your phone to verify calculated landing speed with just a glimpse of an eye during busy time on approach. Make flying complex SIDs / STARs easy as you can focus on the important flight parameters while having overview of the constraints all the time. Take your mobile to the kitchen as you cook a dinner during a long haul and never miss T/D again! Convenient to use Use physical keyboards on PC with extra keys such as Prev/Next page mapped to keyboard keys for easy access. WebFMC scales dynamically to fit any display or window size and can look as native app on mobiles by using browser's "Add to home screen" feature. Aircraft support WebFMC Pro supports a growing number of 3rd party aircraft starting with New: Default X-Plane FMC (requires X-Plane 11.35+) FlightFactor A320 Ultimate FlightFactor 757v2 FlightFactor 767 ToLiss 319 JarDesign 320 (both now for v3.2x and new v3.4+) Rotate MD-80 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (x737FMC required) Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate JARDesign A330 SSG E-Jets Evolution Series SSG Boeing 747-8 Series FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced (old style MCDU) 737-800 Zibo Mod* 737-900U Ultimate* 737-700U Ultimate* * Available on the free demo WebFMC plugin Requirements: The WebFMC plugin requires X-Plane 11 running 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or newer Mac OS 10.14.x (Mojave) Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS (64-bit) Web Client The CDU can be displayed on any modern and up-to-date web browser with JavaScript support. We recommend the latest versions of Google Chrome on PC or Android and Safari on iOS. No internet connection required, remote device needs to be on the same local network as X-Plane PC. Support for WebSockets RFC 6455 standard is required which implies at least iOS version 6. Current and Review version: 1.5.0 (Sept 1st 2019) Not required but highly recommended is SimBrief (Free) and Navigraph Charts (Subscription) ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Update Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd September 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 11.33 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : SimBrief (Free) : Navigraph Charts (Subscription) Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Fokker F50 by Carenado (Carenado) US$39.95 - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$49.95 
  7. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Antonov An-2 by Red Eyes (X-Plane aircraft design Bureau) The Antonov An-2 is known endearingly by the Russian nickname of "Annushka" or "Annie" that was built by the Antonov Design Bureau (now State Company) to meet a 1947 Soviet Ministry of Forestry requirement for a replacement for the then popular Polikarpov Po-2. It is a Soviet mass-produced single-engine biplane for utility/agricultural use and hence its other nickname "Kukuruznik" which means literally "cropduster". The Antonov An-2 was a large single bay biplane of all-metal construction, with an enclosed cockpit and a cabin with room for seats to accommodate up to twelve passengers and cargo. The first prototype was designated SKh-1, and was powered by a Shvetsov ASh-21 radial engine, and it first flew on 31st August 1947. The second prototype was fitted with a more powerful Shvetsov ASh-62 engine, which then allowed the aircraft's payload to be significantly increased from 1,300 kg (2,870 lb) to 2,140 kg (4,720 lb), and it was in this form it was ordered into production. It was first built in the State Factory 473 in Kiev, in the Ukrainian SSR where the bulk of up to 5,000 units had been produced by 1960. Later Soviet production (after 1965, of model An-2M especially) was at the State Factory 464 at Dolgoprudniy, Russian SFSR. After 1960, most of the remaining An-2s were built at Poland's WSK factory in Mielec, with over 13,000 aircraft being made there before full production ended in 1991. For the long period of 45 years the An-2 held the record of the aircraft of the longest period of any aircraft in production, that record was held until just recently when it was finally exceeded by the Lockheed Hercules. The An-2 has many design features which make it suitable for operation in very remote areas with unsurfaced airstrips. The features include a pneumatic brake system, with the option of an air-line which is fitted to the on-board compressor. With the air-line you can change the pressures in the tires and shock absorbers which can then be adjusted without the need for any other special equipment, the batteries are large and very easy to remove, so the aircraft does not need a ground power unit to supply power, There is no need for an external fuel pump to refuel the aircraft, as there is an on-board pump that allows the tanks to be filled from simple fuel drums, the crucial wing leading edge slats that give the aircraft its slow flight ability are fully automatic, and are held closed by the airflow over the wings. Once the airspeed drops below 64 km/h (40 mph) then slats will extend because they are on elastic rubber springs! And the An-2 has a very short Take-off run of 170m and a landing run of only 21 m (these numbers will of course vary depending on take-off/landing weight, outside air temperature, surface roughness, and headwind). Antonov An-2 To recreate a modern airliner there is without doubt a multitude of resources. But what about an aircraft that is over 64 years old? There are a few An-2's still flying and at last count it was around 72 aircraft. However you would be pushed to find the harder details to put such an aircraft together. Once over that hurdle then where would you start? To a point all modern aircraft have a sort of similarity, but the An-2 was created in a time before standardization became the normal and then on top of all that it was then created in Russia. Russian aircraft were very advanced for the period. But also Russian Aircraft tended to be more agricultural, practical and stronger than their western counterparts, because of their poor distribution and service networks over a very vast area. The Antonov An-2 legend would come out of such beginnings and to make it one of the most versatile and practical aircraft ever built. However to recreate the legend it was going to take far more than being a hobby project - It would require dedication and passion for the aircraft to bring it to life. One look of the cockpit alone and you can see the scale of the problem. The panel is a complex design of switches, dials and levers. Not a computer in sight or any real electronics either. This was the world before the micro-chip, silicon chip and even before the potato chip as they were called "Saratoga Chips" back then. So the first view of the An-2 is it looks at first like a complex mess. and made worse in that it is all written in cyrillic. And is totally indecipherable to anyone this side of Poland. It is not that you couldn't work out where everything is, because there is a very ordered configuration of the items.... But what they are and what they do is another thing entirely. Ignore this and just go for a flight will mean you will just crash... badly. At the heart of what everyone calls lovingly "Annie" is a deep procedural mechanical system, that has to followed to the letter to make "Annie" performs or at least fly a decent distance. Close up the panel detailing is extraordinarily beautiful, gauges and dials are like crafted jewels and their glass has excellent reflections. The central pedestal is festooned with levers and switches that you can't wait to get your hands on. To be able to zoom in close with the 3d cockpit is a huge advantage in finding out the detail (or details). The Yoke is restrained by a tie to the crafted rudder pedals and has to be removed for flight. The visual aspect is quickly added by the aural as well... A ringing telephone sound that sounds like the Kremlin is calling you. It is a low fuel warning that can be silenced (thankfully) by a switch on the pilots side panel. But where to start to understanding the An-2? The best way is through the Menus's which are activated by a zone on the glareshield and they pop up on the lower left of your screen. There are four menu's available, and here are the first two. External Visual Inspection/Ground Service : In the top section you can see the views on a walkaround of the aircraft and install or remove the tie-down cables, Tags and rudder-tags. In the lower section you can: Connect the "Ground Power", "Recharge the Fire Protection System", Add the "fuel pipe", add or remove the "recoil devices" (or Chocks to you and me) and Repair (Or reset failures). Weight and Balance : Another menu is the weight and balance (W&B)sheet. To use the the W&B sheet is to use the first An-2 feature, which is using the on-board pumps to fill the tanks. The fuel system consists of 6 tanks with three connected each side. On the side panel there is a big switch to select each set of tanks or back to the flow of fuel to the aircraft. First in the "Ground Service' menu you connect the external fuel pipe. Connect to "ground power" or the battery and then select the set of tanks you want to fill, when selected then flip the switch under the red cover. Deep within the aircraft the pump will then noisily fill the tanks selected and it will show the amount on the W&B sheet. The sounds on this aircraft are extremely realistic. pumps whirr and switches clunk and handles crank... Get the process wrong and the aircraft will complain at you very loudly. So you are very much involved in the process of the aircraft through these aural connections. You can then select in the menu the cargo weight and the number of passengers (and their weight), assign the fuel required to each wing and when completed you can press the "Load" button to activate the configuration (and the total weight). Electrical Systems Understanding the An-2 can go a long way if you can know how the way the electrical systems are installed on the aircraft. The An-2 has a main power supply unit : TCH-3000 that provides a DC voltage at 28.5V (volts) and a current supply at 100A, The standby (large batteries are 25V at 27Ah. The An-2 has an automatic system that if the Ah drop below 15-35A then the system will switch the supply to the batteries. You can see this on the Volt-Ammmeter (long yellow arrow) when the engine is past the idle position and is providing engine RPM. Pull the throttle back into idle and the voltage will suddenly drop to zero as it switches over to the battery supply (Short Yellow arrow). You can select either the battery supply or the External power supply by the second switch on the lower row of switches (for refueling). There are other items however that require an AC voltage. To do this there is another converter, the NO-500 that converts the DC power of 27V to AC Voltage of 115V. And that is situated on the central panel. The NO-500's main purpose is to supply power for the APK-5 which is an early Navigation tool that can select the operation of the compass selector and adjust to a frequency of a Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) in the Ranges: 150 to 310khz - 310 to 640khz and 640 to 1300khz. A warning in switching on the AC current of the radio altimeter and the APK-5 (loading devices before the NO-500 is switched on. There are two NO-500's - a main and a backup that can be switched to by putting the three way switch to the bottom and the switch is noted as "operation - Off - Backup. Pneumatics The An-2 has an interesting pneumatic system. The red lever behind the pilots wheel (yoke) is your braking system, that uses compressed air to turn the aircraft and control the brakes. You can see (and hear) the system in operation by pulling on the red lever, which is set up using the X-Plane key request "brakes_regular". I already have that set on my trigger on my joystick and that works very well. Pull the lever to help with your taxiing and general braking conditions and the pressure is noted on the dial (both sides) on the dial on the side panel. Starting "Annie" Slightly different variations are required to start the An-2 with hot or cold conditions. Engine and Oil cowl's must be closed in cold weather and the start depends on ground power, or if enough voltage then you can start from the batteries. Set the switches, then make sure the fuel tanks are "open". Then pressurize the fuel line by the knob by your left, Then prime engine cylinders by cranking the arm down to your right of the pilots seat. Setting the carburettor heat (green lever is to get the right setting). Pop the red lever full up to "open the cocks". The starter switch is on the top panel and set the Magneto switch to 1+2. Ready to start then pull then pull the (lower) KC-3 (starter, spin-up and clutch) when the engine starts to fire, then adjust the throttle to catch the sequence of cylinders lighting up the fuel... when you have a running engine then let it settle to 700-800rpm and then as the engine warms up up the throttle to 1200rpm. Sounds easy. It isn't. It takes practice and a lot of patience to get it all right. This An-2 is a cantankerous old bird to get the sequences right, and you will never get it right the first time or the second. Do it four times wrong and you are looking at a grounded aircraft. Checklists To help you there is a set of "Checklists" in the menu to help you along. You go through the list and tick-off the done jobs. Ready to fly the An-2 is holding on the brakes. The detailing overall is very good, but there are a few unfinished objects like the flap runners, aerials and the front suspension. They could be noted as metallic gray, but they really look like untextured objects. The double-wing flaps are unstepped, and so you really have to chose your degree of angle by just guessing and looking at the actual flap position. The An-2 is a tail-dragger and that creates a lot of unintentional fun while taxiing, It can flip on the tail if you push the rudder to far, but after a bit of practise you can steer "Annie" quite well. Power up and the short take-off is very short. The flaps depend on the weight, and even then you don't need much angle. "Annie" will climb with all that lift as its cropduster heritage shows through. But don't get carried away... ...nothing is more critical that pleading with "Annie" to keep herself in the air. You have to caress her and gently adjust her controls to keep her in a very tight band of happiness. To help you there is a performance and data menu that you lie in bed at night and recite it, until it is known off by heart and then still do the mantra all over again and again. If you don't want to pop off! a cylinder or two, then "Annie" has to be kept quite cool and at or under these critical numbers and data. It is not as easy as you think it is to do. Each lever is crucial in adjusting the dials to keep everything in check. Yellow Arrow: Throttle or boost pressure. This matches the "Vacume Manometer" boost pressure that must be kept between 6-8. Purple Arrow: Propeller pitch that has to keep the revs at 1600 in the Tachometer Green Arrow: This is the carburettor heat/cold lever (Green) and dial. and the setting must be kept at 0 (zero) Easy, from a distance yes. But it can be challenging over a period, get it right and "Annie" will fly all day. Another help to keep the engine cool is to adjust the cowlings for the Oil and Engine heat (The switch is behind the levers) Once airborne "Annie" is endearing and great fun, The aircraft clatters it's way across the country side as you hold on to the vibrating yoke. The view is magnificent out of that huge glass cockpit. You have fans on each side that rotate (I had a fan at home and set it up next to the computer for realism... It stops the sweating from the stress). The windows open, and the wipers work and the ancient radio sits on the side. It is quite brilliant to fly. Heavy as you would expect but not ponderous, turns have to be watched for loss and gain of height, stall is quite non-existent unless you do some thing really stupid, but otherwise fun to toggle along behind the banging and poofing cylinders. No autopilot? Well yes there is actually. It called a Co-Pilot!. Red Eye has created an autopilot where you set up a Keyboard "Key" function (Via the custom cmnd) and assign a key (You can set the Scoop function the same way). Set "Annie" level and at the right height and speed and press your assigned "key". At first you think the Co-Pilot is a bit of a dork as the aircraft lowers or rises as the idiot takes the control "He say's something like "OH God" in Russian as well. But then "Annie" rights herself and flies on that heading until you change it. Then the aircraft will just keep the new course until you take command again via the say key stroke.... Brilliant. Liveries The liveries are exceptional. And there is a lot of them to choose from. Aeroflot has the most in "Wright" (default) (top line) Blue - Red -Yellow (second line) Alaska - Arizona - Green - MCHS (third line) Orenair - Polar old - VVS (bottom line) "Polar old" is a masterpiece of faded paint, however all are very good. Nightlighting Back on the ground. The night lighting is very good. The cockpit is sensational at night with the glow from the instruments and lit switches. The yokes are also beautifully spot lit, Forward lighting has taxi, landing in the lower wings and Nav lights on the ends of the top wing. The aircraft has ultraviolet lights as well in patches over the wings and fuselage. The cabin is quite basic with no cargo or any finer detailing except for some curtains and shelving. The rear door opens but only the cargo (larger) section via the F2 key slider. No frame-rate issues were noted - as the An-2 never went below 30fr in any situation. Conclusions In the first week "Annie" will make you curse. Then in the second week you will caress her and lovingly guide her and will be hoping you are doing everything right to keep her happy. If any aircraft has personality then the An-2 has it spades, Red Eyes has put his personality into the aircraft as well, with not only the great design and the detailing of the cockpit. But also with the sounds and mechanical movements of the activity of this past history of Aviation. It is a very hard aircraft to understand and to get behind its Soviet - Russianness. The manual In English and Russian does not help in the matter either. It is very authentic. And detailed. But it is missing the vital information that connects you to the aircraft that bridges the gap between helping you understand the systems and design. There are however excellent video's that can help (and the music is great as well) - all are listed below. But the An-2 does bring something very unique to your simulation world. An experience of the past and the joy of flying in an aircraft that was both before its time and now well behind its time. Loving "Annie" is sitting behind all that noisy chatter of that huge radial engine that shakes you and your yoke across the sky. This means you are flying in a time of freedom and the clear skies before the world closed in and regulated the dream to just regulations and on-time performance. This versatile machine stayed in production for so because it could do so many things. Master the machine and the An-2 gives you the challenges to do so much. If any aircraft is as rewarding as this for the experience that is returned - then I have yet to fly it. ________________________________________________ Yes! this amazing Russian aircraft is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Antonov An-2 Price is US$35.00 Documents : Dev Thread : AN-2 Support - videos avaliable Video 1 - Video 2 - Weight and balance - Startup - Shutdown ________________________________________________ Review By Stephen Dutton 24th November 2013 ©copyright 2013 : Stephen Dutton Technical Requirements: Windows XP , Vista, 7 or 8 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.3.9 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.20+. 32 or 64 bit. or X-Plane 9.70 4GB RAM- 1GB+ VRAM Recommended. X-Plane 9 version is not included in the download package but it is available on demand. Just place the order and send us an email to get it. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - General Electric 9 inch Fan Scenery - EDFH - Frankfurt Hahn : Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgShop US$17.06)
  8. 1 point
    Aircraft Update : Diamond DA62 XP11v1.04 by Aerobask "Where did that time go?" I thought the release of Aerosbask's excellent Diamond DA62 was still earlier this year, no last year... "Middle" no it was actually "March" last year, so already the new X-Plane11 version is now 14 months on from it's release... "Where the hell did that time go?" As it only did seem like a few months ago since I was reviewing it here at X-PlaneReviews, here is that review: Aircraft Review : Diamond DA-62 by Aerobask Not that Aerobask have been sitting on their hands or not updating the DA62, because they have been very busy with quite a few changes this year alone... so this update review covers v1.0 to v1.04 or four updates. We packaged them all together here because even with the few version numbers there wasn't a lot to note as the first two updates only covered SASL (Plugin) updates from v3.4.3 to v3.5.0. Stunning the DA62 is, so XP11 in dynamics and feel... and Aerosbask do this modern age design so well. Still so different are those twin Austro E4 engines (marketed as the AE 300) which are a liquid-cooled, inline, four-cylinder, four-stroke, diesel piston aircraft engine of which the DA-62 has the 180hp AE330 version.... and both engines come with those fancy bulky cowlings. Note the deluxe paintjob, I don't think I have seen better in X-Plane. XP11 v1.04 Updates G1000 Screen brightness was a noted issue in the original version, so they have been brightened here, there is also in direct lighting as well under the glareshield... ... well certainly the G1000 displays are far better in daylight, but are also still quite high in saturation, so I still don't think they are perfect, but they are however better... at night they look really, really good. It is really nice in here... Both displays pop-out (PFD is the centre aircraft, MFD it is an area left of the radio frequencies), but it can be tricky to find the scale area. Updated here is the AP to the newer Laminar GFC700 Autopilot, although it is hard to tell as the facia plate is still the same and the changes are in the details not the display. Another change is that the SYSTEM page on MFD that has been updated and Aerobask have removed unused key inputs. More SASL updates to v3.6.4 covers some mouse and display fixes. The Oxygen system has been updated to take advantage of the X-Plane 11.30 changes, in that the oxygen is now depleted "on demand" instead of all ways on as in a continuous flow. Therefore duration may depend on the altitude you use, in someways this means your oxygen will last longer, because it is not always being used, but when it is, then it uses more... but you have a pretty big tank for supply. The fuel pump switches lighting now goes out when switched off, before they were always on. Glass reflection has been fine tuned for more realism in the different conditions, the reflections were good before, but are now excellent... .... and the cabin interior is still one of the very best in X-Plane. Somewhere between the release version and this update, then Aerobask have done a menu upgrade... mostly to add in tabs and pages. The original "Options" page is still the same, but added in now are: "G1000", "Sound" and "About" G1000: gives you options for the G1000 system... you can now disable the G1000 pop-ups (2D) for VR flying, Enable Custom Features (see review), Disable Bezels for pop-outs, Show TAS in Knts under the speed tape, Display custom engine display, G1000 Flightplan mouse features (scroll) and there is an experimental flightplan keyboard you can try out. Lower are two options in: Enable Rain Effects (see below) and keep the Pop-up screens inside the cockpit (for cockpit builders). Sound: the "Sound" panel is a duplicate of the X-Plane default sound panel and is really just a shortcut. But there is one extra option to enable/disable speech. About: Credits for creators of the DA62 One note with the "Options" is that the statics elements were not always visible in C&D, and that has been fixed. Librain The Saso Kiselkov's librain.plugin support has also been added.... very nice. The DA62 already had nice rain support and icing, obviously the librain is a better option, but I checked if the icing effects were still in there? the tests proved inconclusive. One note I will make is that Aerobask says to download the 3rd party librain plugin and insert it into the DA62's plugin folder... I have my librain plugin in the X-Plane/resources/plugin folder? and it still worked fine and here it is more global in it's effectiveness. Summary This isn't really an update per se, even with all the point version releases put together it is more of what I call a "nip and tuck". In reality the Aerobask Diamond DA62 was pretty well conceived right out of the original release aircraft. All Aerobask does here is keep the aircraft within the current standards and features (X-Plane v11.35) and that is simply what you get here. Updates include a lot of SASL plugin updates, display and reflection refinements, new Autopilot to the GFC700, Librain water effects and the menu system has been upgraded with more tabs and pages. Aerobask's standards are now always some of the best in X-Plane, all their aircraft are so well sorted on release, in quality and with clever innovated features and with that you can never really go wrong with any of their aircraft... and so it is here with their Diamond DA62... is it corny to say it is a "gem of an aircraft" maybe... but it is. Highly Recommended. ________________________________________ Yes! the Diamond DA-62 by Aerobask is NOW! available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Diamond DA62 Price is US$34.95 Features: Advanced Flight model Flight model by X-Aerodynamics, very closely matching real performance (based on public data) Aerobask Systems Suite Fully Integrated Laminar Garmin G1000 with custom EIS and annunciations (In 3D only) Customized FADEC/ECU with test procedures allows engines and propellers to deliver their documented performance with unprecedented accuracy, including in fuel usage Auto-feathering is also accurately managed, for a total immersion Simulated oxygen system Simulated ice protection system MD302: custom coded Standby Attitude Module Fully functional breakers (configurable reliability) New Laminar oxygen system New Laminar GFC700 Autopilot Saso Kiselkov's librain.plugin support Support for Avitab Plugin High Resolution Model High quality 3D model with high resolution PBR textures (4K textures) Fully functional virtual 3D cockpit, with smooth and VR-friendly manipulators Windshield effects: reflections, rain and frost Many parameters saved between flights Configurable pilots, passengers and luggage Optimized to save FPS Custom Sounds FMOD High Quality Enhanced 3D system sounds, including Doppler and Flanger effects Auto-Updater Keep your aircraft up-to-date with a convenient auto-updater Requirements: X-Plane 11 (Fully updated) Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended For Avitab, version 0.3.10 or higher is required Current and review version: 11.1.04 (last updated June 11th 2019) Installation Download of the Diamond DA-62 is 376mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 638mb folder. Framerates are good as those textures have been highly refined for use and with my specs I got framerates in the mid-30's to the early 40's Documents Documentation is excellent. Great manual with feature details, checklists/Performance tables and MD302 manual. Quicklook views.pdf DA62 Flight Manual.pdf DA62 Checklist Normal Operations.pdf Airspeed Normal Operation.pdf DA62 Checklist Emergency Procedures.pdf DA62 Performance Tables.pdf Install_Settings.pdf Quick-Doc MD302.pdf v11.1.04 Changelog v11.1.04 Changelog.rtf _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 14th June 2019 Copyright©2019: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  9. 1 point

    Plugin Update : xEnviro v1.10

    I'm still hanging in there with v1.10... the benefits outweigh the negatives and yes those clouds need a big fix, but having no issues on framerate as it is pretty solid for me, so my guess that is settings area... but I have never been greedy on my settings.
  10. 1 point
    Yes a full FMS with SID/STAR is coming for the FF A350, yes it really is... but you can get around and still use SID/STARS with the current default system... I detailed how to do that here.... Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.4.0 by Green Arc Studios It is detailed in the A350 section. SD
  11. 1 point
    Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios One of the great features on FlightFactor aircraft is the ability to use the aircraft's FMC (Flight Management Computer) on an external screen via a web browser. In my case with my iPad, in that shows up the FMC panel on the iPad display and you could then easily input in all the performance and navigation data. This is available for the FlightFactor Boeing 757/767/777 and the A320U. It is an exceptional system and one that I use all the time and it looks good when flying as well as a visual readout of the FMC in flight. So why isn't this visual tool available for the other X-Plane aircraft? Well it wasn't until now. WebFMC by Green Arc Studios Green Arc Studios has taken the same idea and set up a plugin so it can be used on other X-Plane aircraft and it comes currently in two versions. The first version is a free plugin that you can use with the Zibo Boeing 737-800 Mod and the associated 737-900ER Ultimate. That version is available here on the X-Plane.Org: WebFMC 1.0.2 The second version is WebFMC Pro and this plugin is a payware version and currently works with a selection of aircraft including the: ● 737-300 by IXEG ● A319 by ToLiss ● A320 by Jar Design ● 737-800 Zibo Mod ● 737-900ER Ultimate Certainly the list will quickly grow and as the JarDesign A320 is on the list then the JarDesign A330 shouldn't be far behind and many others should be also available soon. Noted and as this list can change at any notice, then here are the aircraft planned for future updates and they include: EADT x737, X-Crafts E-Jets, SSG E-Jets, SSG 748, JD330, FF A320 Ultimate and A350, FF Boeing 757, 767, 777, JRollon CRJ-200, Rotate MD-80 and hopefully their coming DC11 (we’re are touch with Rotate on this one). Installing WebFMC It is easy to install, just download the plugin and unzip it into the X-Plane Resources/Plugin's folder. A note on those who think that the free version will work with the other aircraft is just wishful thinking... the Pro version looks the same but it is completely different internally. For the Pro version to work you also have to install a authorisation key (arrow right) in the WebFMC folder that is provided when you purchase the plugin, this activation is noted when you first startup the plugin in the web browser. Select and load the aircraft you are flying and select a browser on your choice of another computer or device (iPad, Tablet). The browser recommended is Chrome, but I found WebFMC still worked fine on Safari and Firefox via your WiFi. The hard part is setting up and sending the data to the device and its browser. The required browser address is http://localhost:9090 or where as "localhost" is your computer (the one running X-Plane). This is found on the Network menu on the middle left of your screen under This Machine's IP Addresses (arrowed). There are several other options to connect up WebFMC say via a network that are covered extensively in the manual. Computer firewalls can also be an issue, but If set up correctly then the WebFMC should instantly appear in the browser window. The presentation on the iPad is excellent, although it does depend on the quality of the original FMC layout and fonts, but otherwise what you get in the aircraft is what is shown on the device. It is a great idea to save the address page as a "Home Screen Button" (above right) for an easy startup, and that setting works instantly. So any portable device in say a Samsung Tablet or Windows Surface that can run a browser is ideal. On my Mac the WebFMC looks great as well The obvious question then is why do I need a floating window FMC on my computer when I already have the pop-up FMC in X-Plane? There are several reasons. One is you don't clutter up your X-Plane cockpit space with the popup FMC but you will still have access to it and that makes it very useful on monitoring the aircraft's progress, Second is that you get direct keyboard access that will speed up the data entry enormously, like here (below right) with transferring navigation data from SimBrief, all arrow keys and and Page Up/Down keys to CDU arrows and PrevPage/NextPage keys do work on your keyboard to save you input time. I always found that on a lot of aircraft I have had to put my screen angle oddly to see both the navigation display (set on PLAN) and with the FMC panel in sight together, so here it can be more adjusted visually directly on the Navigation display to check the route data as the FMC is now on another screen. The FMC can also be scaled as per using the browser, but the size of the panel here (below left) is as small as you can go. WebFMC works on the iPhone (Safari), but I found on the iPhone 7 - 375 x 559 px (mine below) it is a very, very tight squeeze and the keys can be really too small to use with your fingers but I was able to actually programme with it, otherwise you would need a pointer or something to input the data. It also tends to flip easily around the screen if you get it wrong and also zooms in close to an area in trying to help you by making it larger, so you are always resetting it back to the correct size. The iPhone Plus 414 x 628 px size screen or larger maybe far better, but mostly I wouldn't usually use my iPhone 7 as the input tool. Currently there are three different types of panels to be seen, ToLiSS319 (left), Zibo B738 Mod (centre) and IXEG B733 (right)... But any new aircraft added and the panel will instantly change to represent the same panel style as in the aircraft. These panel facias are all dirty, but there is the option to have a clean look as well. Menu The menu can be shown by pressing the upper right area on the facia... There are six menu options that covers: Automatically checks for updates Shows the latest update automatically on loading Button sounds Yes/No Dirty or Clean LCD Screen Dirty or Clean Buttons Two panel screens note the current state of the plugin. One is when there is no connection to X-plane (below left), and the second is when you are changing the aircraft, reloading elements or that X-Plane is live but not in a running state (below right). FlightFactor One question you might ask about is why include FlightFactor aircraft when they already have the same FMC web linked set up? And that question is very good one. If you have an up to date device or iPad then the current B757/767/777 and A320U do work, but my iPad is an older series 3, and I can't update my browser apps or even load the chrome browser on to the device? Currently the B757/767/777 application does still work, but the newer A320 Ultimate doesn't (neither does the EFB) and my guess is that the B757/767/777 app version will change to the same in the future as well. So if I want access to the A320 Ultimate FMC then WebFMC would certainly be my current and only choice if it was available. Another point on in why not just go and update your old iPad, then that point is certainly in the future and I will do so (or will have to), but in my thinking is that a lot of the cockpit builders will probably use these older tablets or old IPad-Mini's in their home built cockpit setups on a cost basis, and for that setup then WebFMC would be the only plugin to use to get around the same older and out of date browser situation. Summary The problem with most of your essential tools is that you didn't think you needed it or would use it until you actually had it. I use the FlightFactor feature like this a lot for inputting in the Performance and Navigational Data, you just need it, but this plugin has far more versatility than the the Flightfactor FMC and that version was very good. But having the FMC and being able to interact with it on another screen or even more than one for cockpit builders is a big bonus for simulation flyers. Time spent now inputting aircraft data can be very time consuming, and prodding buttons can be a slow process even if realistic, so the addition of a keyboard input then certainly speeds up the process, the visual aspect of having the progress page running while you are flying is also a great feature, I sometimes take my iPad somewhere else in the house if I have to leave my desk-bound set up and I can then still monitor the progress from afar (i.e. get back to the aircraft for when it is time to descend from altitude). Yes any web based network can be tricky to set up? but all the bases have been covered here, from networks to firewalls which are all noted in the manual. WebFMC is very light and very responsive to inputs and the system has no drag or wait time from screen to screen and that is even on my old iPad 3 which is a slow device. Ultimately WebFMC depends on how many FMC panels are incorporated into the plugin, certainly the more there is then the more versatile the plugin will be, but there is a definite feature advantage for any developer to advertise that their aircraft as "WebFMC" ready and make use of the tool for their product, it also helps in programming for difficult setups like with Rotate's MD88, so WebFMC would be a definite advantage in situations like that and working with older style browsers, plus there is the quick switch from aircraft to aircraft and it's custom FMC panel if you change aircraft in X-Plane, and from that aspect i works and works very cleanly as well. So WebFMC, overall works and it is an excellent tool, try the free version, but the WebFMC Pro is really required if you have most of the major payware aircraft and above all else it will save you a lot of time when inputting data and is giving you more time to fly, and that alone can't be a bad thing... Highly Recommended. _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 Features: Quick and easy access to the FMC Get easy access to the FMC: quickly edit the flightplan, monitor flight progress, set up your approach and do all the typical work of the pilot without having to move around in the cockpit, even if the plane doesn’t support FMC as a popup natively - on the same PC, or different monitor, tablet or phone - in fact you can use multiple displays at the same time! Make pilot tasks easy and comfortable Enjoy external views during cruise while monitoring flight progress on separate screen or take a quick look at your phone to verify calculated landing speed with just a glimpse of an eye during busy time on approach. Make flying complex SIDs / STARs easy as you can focus on the important flight parameters while having overview of the constraints all the time. Take your mobile to the kitchen as you cook a dinner during a long haul and never miss T/D again! Convenient to use Use physical keyboards on PC and Mac with extra keys such as Prev/Next page mapped to keyboard keys for easy access. WebFMC scales dynamically to fit any display or window size and can look as native app on mobiles by using browser's "Add to home screen" feature. Aircraft support WebFMC Pro supports growing number of 3rd party aircraft starting with ToLiss 319 JarDesign 320 IXEG 737-300 Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate Immersion Mimics real CDU with optional wear and smudge effects for better immersion. Uses CDU textures and keyboard layouts specific to the aircraft type in use - so it looks completely different in Boeings, Airbuses etc. Simple installation Just drop WebFMC into X-Plane plugins folder. No need to install any software on the devices, no hassle - all you need is a web browser. Requirements: Plugin The WebFMC plugin requires X-Plane 11 running on a 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or newer. The plugin doesn't require any extra CPU/memory on the system. Web Client The CDU can be displayed on any modern and up-to-date web browser with JavaScript support. We recommend the latest versions of Google Chrome on PC or Android and Safari on iOS. No internet connection required, remote device needs to be on the same local network as X-Plane PC. Documentaion: Manual... (17 pages) WebFMC manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 19th May 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 757 Pro Series- FlightFactor/VMAX (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$64.95 - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00 - Airbus A320neo by JarDesign (Xplane-.OrgStore) - US$59.95 - Boeing 737-800X X-Plane default aircraft with ZIBO MOD installed - Free - Boeing 737-900ER Ultimate Project - Free
  12. 1 point

    Behind The Screen : April 2019

    The season thing wasn't bad. From what I remember Laminar has mentioned that IF they would do seasons, it wouldn't be texture-based, but they would have to develop a new way to do it with shaders. So this would be for sure new technology that people would be glad to pay for.
  13. 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
  14. 1 point
    Fixed, but I was positively sure it was a 350i in the notes... anyways SD
  15. 1 point
    Saved me some dollars there - you're right, the original release looks to be way better so sticking with that. 👍
  16. 1 point
    Plugin Review : World Traffic 3 by Classic Jet Simulations World Traffic by Classic Jet Simulations is one of the most significant plugins you can use in X-Plane. I will put my hand on my heart and say that I am a devoted follower of the plugin from its early days and here it is in it's latest and greatest manifestation as World Traffic 3 (WT3). World Traffic So what is World Traffic. Basically it is a plugin to create a dynamic world around your flying aircraft, this is in the form of other aircraft in which you can interact with and create a visually dynamic environment that fills up airports and its gates and has real form routes that the aircraft will fly between with built in ATC (Air Traffic Control). It all sounds quite simple but the machinations of creating this environment are extremely complex on top of an already complex simulator. The original World Traffic (WT) plugin was released in early 2013, by Greg Hofer of Classic Jet Simulations and is a concept by Francesco Missarino of Aircraft3D. X-Plane does come with it's own built so called A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) dynamic world, but it is very basic and mostly restricted to the areas around yourself, if mostly concentrated on to your current airport. The A.I. has made significant strides over the last few years, but basically as everyone will tell you it is still plainly average, restricted to 20 aircraft and in most cases I personally have never used it. One of the benefits of World Traffic is that it does not use or is connected to the base X-Plane simulator, it is in reality set a layer above. This allows it to be very frame-rate positive and better still give you a lot of control of the plugin. But this interactivity also created a barrier or complication that if we be honest created a time consuming and limited application of the idea. A few diehards doggedly soldiered on and created the networks and ground routes to make World Traffic at least plausible and workable, and don't get me wrong as when World Traffic did run and smoothly it was was simply overwhelmingly excellent, and so overall WT was certainly well worth persevering with. My way was to create small WT networks. Tight hubs of working ground routes and airline routes that interacted with each other, and to a point it worked very successfully, but the problem was that if I added in a new airport into the network there was a lot of work in doing so, it was not just a point and click and you could fly, but usually an afternoon of work was required to create the details of making it just work. So this was the biggest impediment to World Traffic in being wildly acceptable was in its just plain inaccessibility. World Traffic 3 The inaccessibility of the original World Traffic concept has required a total rethink of the way World Traffic works. For current WT users a lot does and and still is the same, but the interaction with the plug is actually totally changed. The biggest concept of older users to WT3 is letting go of their old ways and embracing the new, once done then you will see how totally changed the plugin is. Once converted, you will then revel in the new, new. I will in this review and semi-tutorial note the changes between the old and the new, most of the old WT files you will actually throw away and after all that hard work that is a hard thing to do. But the benefits are certainly worth all the changes. World Traffic is made up of three components. The main X-Plane root folder called "ClassicJetSimUtils", the actual plugin "World Traffic" in your resources/plugins folder and the "WorldTrafficRadar" plugin also in your resources/plugins folder. Installer World Traffic 3 now comes with a installer. The Installer will do a full install of World Traffic, or if WT3 is already installed then any updates. It will also convert World Traffic from versions 1-2 to the new 3 so you don't have to go through your folders. Older WorldTraffic (1&2) user will however need to remove these folders... • X-Plane\ClassicJetSimUtils\WorldTraffic\AircraftTypes • X-Plane\ClassicJetSimUtils\WorldTraffic\AircraftObjects • X-Plane\Resources\plugins\WorldTrafficRTG You should also delete the Random Flight Plan Generator plugin folder from here on as it is now obsolete First a License Agreement to agree to, then the root file of your X-Plane folder to install the plugin (note you don't need to stipulate the resources/plugins folder just the main root folder) The plugin requires Navigation Data. If you have a Navigraph or Aerosoft NavDataPro account then you can dismiss this data install, if not then it installs the Navigation Data for you. Then the installer will install World Traffic 3 and when "Completed" will show you what has been installed. If you have to set up WorldTraffic3 without the installer or when it is installed by the installer it should look like this... First column is the plugins folder with both the WorldTraffic and WorldTrafficRadar plugins installed... note the installer and running txt files (arrowed) Second column is in your X-Plane main root folder with the ClassicJetSimUtils file inserted here. Inside the ClassicJetSimUtils folder column three (top) are three items in: CustomAirportRouting Data Navigraph Data WorldTraffic The only folder you need to interact with is the final one in the "WorldTraffic" folder in column three (bottom section). AircraftObjects The aircraft for World Traffic are highly modified by Bluebell for X-Plane and they are actually freeware and are not part of the package. You can download the aircraft here WORLD TRAFFIC UPDATES with Airbus 1-4, Boeing 1-4, Regional 1-2 and GA - Military and both png and object files are to be inserted into your "ClassicJetSimUtils" World Traffic/AircraftObjects folder and all txt files go into the "X-Plane\ClassicJetSimUtils\WorldTraffic\AircraftTypes" folder. It is important to note to remove ALL your old aircraft if you are converting over from WT 1-2 before installing the new aircraft as they are all significantly different, as a mix of the two object types will mess up the new version. It is highly recommended to update the "WT Alternative PushBackTruck" as well and insert it into the same AircraftObjects folder. AircraftTypes All the specific data to run the aircraft objects is held in txt files in the "AircraftTypes" folder AirportOperations All the specific data to run the services from airports is held in txt files in the "AirportOperations" folder Airports All the specific data to run the services (airlines and routes) from airports is held in txt files in the "Airports" folder GroundRoutes All the specific data to run the ground routes from within the airports is held in txt files in the "GroundRoutes" folder. Folders are split between DEP (Departure) and ARR (Arrival) folders ICAO Operators List of ICAO operator (airlines) codes for use in WT OpenFlight Route, airline and airport data which is used to create routes is stored here. ParkingDefs Stand and gate parking information data RouteFiles This was in WT 1 and 2 the route file folder, this is now disabled, but two files are still stored here in the "AFRE_Real_Traffic" and "Cargo_Tabular" with information on real airline schedules (AFRE) and cargo routes that are separate from the main routeing data. both items must be activated for both Scheduled and Cargo routes to run in the plugin. Sounds Aircraft and airport sounds are stored here. In most cases once the Aircraft object files are installed, you rarely need to interact with the above folders, it is mostly all background information and data for the plugins use, were as before you would install routes and ground routes for the plugins use, this interactivity is now not required in WT3. _____________________________ Setting up World Traffic It is important to get the (easy) access and the setup correct to use WorldTraffic3, to do this you need to set up your key input in the main X-Plane11 menu "KEYBOARD" under... Keyboard/cjs.... I use just four main F Keys in: F9 - F10 - F11 - F12 Main Keys are: F9 - Radar Toggle / F10 - ReSync / F11 - Go To Previous Menu (backwards) / F12 - Activate Key Command Menu (forwards) Under the SHIFT/ key are: F9 - Flight Info Key / F10 - Camera Track Key / F11 - Activate ATC / F12 - Previous ATC Instruction Two extra keys in SHIFT + and SHIFT - are used for the aircraft zoom (in and out) There are more key inputs available, but the above key commands will cover 90% of all your basic operations and the simple ease of WT3 use. Using World Traffic 3 To use WT3 you have two items in the X-Plane plugin menu with "WORLD TRAFFIC RADAR and WORLD TRAFFIC. World Traffic Radar is just really the same toggle switch as you have set via the key input (F9) to show the radar popup image. World Traffic has two menus with... Flight Setup Parking Assignments Flight Setup This is your main interface in setting up World Traffic 3. When you select "Flight Setup" a window will appear for you to setup your flight details. Top panel is for ATC communication, but also to identify your aircraft in the route files and on the radar screen. You fill in the Aircraft's ICAO name and operator ICAO with the airlines Callsign. Right side requires your Arrival airport ICAO, Cruise Altitude and your departure and arrival time (approximately). In most cases if you use the same aircraft then just change your arrival airport and you are p[retty good to go, but it does require changing if you change your aircraft. Flight Plan Generator The heart of WorldTraffic3 is this panel in the "Flight Plan Generator" In the earlier versions of World Traffic you had the "WorldTrafficRTG" or World Traffic Route Generator. That plugin is now thankfully gone. Instead of creating your own routes , the whole route system is now automatic and all those thousands of route files you created are now quite obsolete! (and yes you have to throw them all away...) ... and I do admit the RTG did allow you to set up very, very specific aircraft flying under selected airlines at certain flying periods, the RTG was however quite slow to set up and laborious to fill out (certainly with all the airlines and their route frequencies). Four sliders are now the go in: Max Number of Flight Plans to Generate slider Traffic Density slider Percentage of Gates with Parked Aircraft slider Flight Plan Load Radius for Arrival and Departure Airports slider First instinct would be to MAX out all the sliders, which is just going to cause you to overload the system, so a bit of restraint will give you better results and better flowing system, the above settings are about right for most uses. Max Number of Flight Plans to Generate slider The first slider will generate your flight plans up to the max setting. Flight plans are now auto-generated to be approximately close to the correct routes with the correct equipment. This means that US airports will have mostly US carriers and international arrivals. In say Norway at Oslo (ENGM) you will get mostly SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle, but the system at this point is not totally perfect in that you may get say Qantas Boeing 738's instead of Qantas Boeing 747's at airports that Qantas do fly to but with the wrong equipment in mostly long-haul services, in time these fine tuning points will be tuned out, but overall the system works very well in tabulating the correct aircraft to the correct airport on the correct routing. The routing data will also be in continuous development with AFRE_Real_Traffic and Cargo_Tabular regional data becoming more and more reliable, so for the really excessive pedantic users that list every known departure time and routing and expect WT3 to follow suit exactly, then it will come but not straight away as the routing data from AFRE is more and constantly refined in the future. Traffic Density slider The second slider is the traffic density adjustment. This will set the density of the aircraft flying around you and takes the percentage from the amount of flight plans generated, again it is very easy to overload the system if your density is too high. A note in that at large multi-runway airports you can pull the density below half if your system is struggling with too many services and the opposite with say a light regional airport that can benefit with more services in light traffic periods. Percentage of Gates with Parked Aircraft slider This slider can adjust the amount of aircraft parked at gates in either making the airport full or give you a few spaces and gates to park at, this parking area has another adjustment we will address later. Flight Plan Load Radius for Arrival and Departure Airports slider This slider will adjust the radius that local airports surrounding your departure airport has active routes from, I found 50nm was enough, but if you wish you can close it down to few nautical miles to get the best framerate, this will eliminate most local traffic in GA and prop regional aircraft, but if you want more of this sort of local activity then move the slider up, which is good for local point to point GA flying. Three checkboxes in the lower part of the panel cover: Auto-Gen Ground Routes checkbox Auto-Gen Flights checkbox Augment User-defined Flights at Airport with Auto-Gen Flights Auto-Gen Ground Routes checkbox If ground routes are not available then with this checkbox checked then WorldTraffic will generate the required ground routes automatically. Auto-Gen Flights checkbox World Traffic can either auto-generate flights or you can load flights from the AFRE_Real_Traffic and Cargo_Tabular regions data. If this checkbox is off you will use the real world data... but you will find the arrivals and departures will be far slower than the auto-generated routes. Augment User-defined Flights at Airport with Auto-Gen Flights If you use the above AFRE routing data then it won't contain data for local GA (General Aviation) or military traffic and so you need this checkbox on to fill those routes in with auto-generated routes. If you want active airports and lots of activity then use the auto-generated routes, they may not be perfectly specific in the airports activities but I found they were very close to the airports operations and gets you there amongst the activity straight away. A final bottom bar will then "Create Flights" and activate WorldTraffic3 _____________________________ Ground Route Generator Another area to be totally refined and changed is the generation of WT ground routes. If any area that created the most frustration it was in the creation of the ground routes specific to the requirements of WorldTraffic. Earlier ground routes were a complicated and slow process with a few editors like the AGRE ground route editor by Chopinet to trying to help out in making it a more simplistic way of a very complex way of creating the many ground routes from one end or start of the ground route and then multiplying that factor by the amount of gates and runways that was in that particular airport, it was a very slow and painstaking process... a few users created an auto-gen system but in most cases it just made the situation worse in refinement and in the sheer amount of gates the ground routes totally overwhelmed (I counted nearly 1400 ground routes once for LEBL?). So a lateral think had to done to make ground routes a more flexible, easier and most importantly a more exact art in making WorldTraffic a more accessible plugin. The solution is to use the built in X-Plane ground route system, or the ATC ground routes and Taxi Flow created by the WED (WorldEDItor)... and it works extremely well. But here is a major point to be highlighted. WorldTraffic3 ground routes and traffic flows are only as good as the built in WED ground routes and traffic flows! So if a current airport either payware or Freeware does not have any built in WED ground routes then the generator will not work and generate new ground routes? The better setup the WED ground routes and taxi flows are then the better WT3 will run. As a note all your older specific created ground routes will still work fine, but if they are old then a regeneration of the routes will certainly help in creating a more modern flow around your airport if your scenery has now the currently correctly built in WED ground routes. Biggest problem is for airports that don't have any built in ground routes? Most notable here is tdg's amazing sceneries and there are now 300 of them... But not a single one has any built in WED ATC ground routes? And tdg has given no indication of even wanting to rectify the situation, so in effect all of tdg's sceneries are not usable in WT3? that does create a BIG PROBLEM? So if your favorite airport local or otherwise does not have any built in WED ground routes and taxi-flows then your only option is to create the WED ground routes yourself or I hope than users will share their new WED ground routes to cover the in blank airports, again the standard generated WT3 ground routes are all that needs to be uploaded to the X-Plane.Org WorldTraffic section as you don't need to actually share the WED ground routes themselves. As a note most WED built "Global Airports" are required to have the correct routes and flows built in before they allowed to be up loaded. Ground Route Generator If your current airport or arrival airport does not have any built in WT3 ground routes then WT3 will tell you and offer to generate the ground routes for you (If the WED data is available). If you wish and you have just say loaded in a new scenery in either payware or otherwise, the you can enter in the scenery ICAO code and generate the ground routes ready to use with WT3, just hit the "Generate Ground Routes" bar to generate the routes. First the Generator will tell you if the ground routes exist or not, and the time it will take to Generate the WT3 ground routes. Depending on the size of the scenery in runways and gates it may be quick or take a few minutes to generate all the required ground routes, and insert them in the ClassicJetSimUtils/World Traffic/GroundRoutes folder as Departure (DEP) and Arrival (ARR) routes. When the Generation is complete it will show you a complete list of all the ground routes generated and the ones that failed and why. A trick or tip... is if your favorite airport scenery does not have the built in ground routes and a Global Airport version does, then swap them over and generate the WT3 Ground Routes and then swap the sceneries back again to use them... The ground routes may not be absolutely totally perfect but at least you can use the scenery in WT3 and I have done this a few times with a very good success rate. Activating or running World Traffic3 To start running WorldTraffic3, all you have to do is press the large bar "Create Flights" This action will generate the flightplans, load in the correct airport ground routes and select the correct SID and STAR vectors for the current airport. Then finally it will place all the correct aircraft at the gates ready to fly... It does take a few seconds and depending on the size of the airport to do these actions but the results are well worth the short wait, now WorldTraffic3 is active. If you want a refresh of World Traffic or change to the AFRE routes via the checkbox (Auto-Gen Flights checkbox) then just press the "ReSync" key (F10) or on the WT menu. The simplicity of WT3 is just when you startup X-Plane, in then just running the Flight Setup and setting up your flight details and just hitting the "Create Flights" bar is soon to become second nature, but in most cases you just open the window hit the bar and away you go and WT3 is quickly running... this is a far cry from the original WT setup... it is now just so easy? Depending on the current airport's activity, aircraft will now start up, taxi and depart and via the correct SID (Standard Instrument Departures) patterns, concurrently aircraft assigned to arrive at the airport in this case South Florida KRSW will now also be active and following its route to the airport and via the correct STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Routes). This is Delta flight DL853 from KDTW - Wayne County Airport, Detroit. All relevant information is located on a lower left "Flight Info" panel that can be toggled on and off the screen via our key setup Shift/F9. Detailed is Flightplan Name, Aircraft Type, Altitude, Heading, Position Lat-Lon, Next Waypoint, Waypoint distance and current aircraft state and in this case "Following STAR SHFTY2.06" WorldTraffic Radar So how do you check out which aircraft you want to see? There are several ways as a more options will be shown later, but the easiest way is to use the World Traffic Radar plugin, that is located in your plugins menu... As noted earlier that to set up the Radar pop-up via a key toggle input (F9) and that saves you going to the menus all the time and is a wise choice. You have to input the airport "KRSW" that you want to see and click on the "Select Airport ICAO" button to centre the radar on the airport. You can have four distances from the airport in 10nm - 20nm - 40nm - 80nm and I use mostly the 40nm setting. You can then select any aircraft on the radar screen to see it... this is the aircraft in red. After selecting the aircraft then press the upper right button "Track Camera" to go to that aircraft, the aircraft viewpoint is simply adjusted via your mouse position, if you want to get in closer to the aircraft or zoom out then use your Shift + or - keys as you set up earlier. (you can also scroll though all the active aircraft visually via the SHIFT key: F9 - Flight Info Key) To get back to your normal viewpoint then just hit any other X-Plane view key and you are back in your own aircraft. Checking out the Radar is great for arrival information, because you can see the patterns on how the aircraft are landing at your arrival airport and what STAR's the aircraft are using and what runways are active. Aircraft can also go into holds before landing and they are noted as circled lines but in time they will form into straighter lines and line correctly up to land. The information you inserted on the Flight Planning section will show you your aircraft on the radar screen as we will see more below. Arrival aircraft will follow the correct STAR then line up correctly to land on the assigned runway. World Traffic aircraft are awesomely good, in fact the quality is as good as your own aircraft and the only real giveaway are only the more slightly square wheels. The aircraft have been highly modified for WT3, there are a lot of new and better animations in engine fans, flaps, airbrakes, aileron and rudder movement and aircraft lighting... aircraft sounds are also highly realistic. WT aircraft performance mostly matches the published performances aircraft data and they are also affected by wind and turbulence. The planes will respond to crosswind takeoffs and landings. published performances aircraft data is also used to determine suitable runways for aircraft when looking for takeoff runways. Fuel weights are calculated based on the max fuel weight and the aircraft range as defined in the aircraft definition file. Watching these aircraft on approach is excellent as they adjust and readjust to wind and alignment, did I say addictive, yes it is very addictive to watch. Aircraft behaviour is excellent with runway alignment and even for wind adjustments on the approach. If a heavy is flying across the ocean it's calculated starting fuel weight will be quite high so it will use a lot more runway than if it's on a shorter flight. More runway is also required too at airports with higher field elevations with lower air density and lower indicated airspeeds. On landing planes will use higher braking levels for short runways and they will touch down closer to the runway thresholds and they will leave their engine reversers on longer. Then the aircraft will taxi to their assigned gate, the taxiway and gate details are all shown on the info panel... You can follow the aircraft all the way to its assigned gate, and then you still get the full shutdown procedure, no just a quick cut off here as there is a full gate to gate experience from start up to shutdown. _____________________________ Parking Assignments One of the annoyances of earlier WorldTraffic versions was that if you landed at an airport you would find every single gate was full of traffic, and there is nowhere for you to actually park? Another visual issue was that if there was a static aircraft as part of the scenery at that gate you then also had a doubled up aircraft then also sitting in the same position which was not visually pleasing? Now I like to always park at Gate B2 at KRSW so I would like that gate free anytime I arrive at the airport? Now in WT3 you can do that... From the plugin menu and World Traffic then select "Parking Assignments" A popup will allow you to select an airport (above right) and then the gate or bay you want to adjust (below left).... Again it very important to emphasize that the Parking Assignments selection is only as good as the WED data that it has to interpret. So if the WED gate numbering is poor and there are few airports out there with no numbering completed then you won't find or be able to edit your gate selection, so it important for WED developers to make sure the gate data is correct for the scenery. The "Parking Assignment Edit" panel allows you to adjust and edit that gate, stand or bay situations. It covers the Type/Operator Aircraft name and tail number specifically for that gate (if you want it there). Parking position... this allows you to fine tune any gate position so the aircraft is sitting there correctly and the correct pushback distance and also the correct aircraft door and wheel alignment. If you wish to disable that gate completely for either your own use or if there is a static aircraft sitting at that gate then you need to uncheck the checkbox "Enabled" at the bottom of the edit panel... ... to save the changes then press the "Regenerate Ground Routes" Bar lower right and you will get a panel showing the changed ground route details, and then do a Resync. Gate information is stored in the ClassicJetSimUtils/World Traffic/ParkingDefs folder. You can also select in Parking Assignments on what aircraft and aircraft type you require at a a certain gate or stand. Biggest standout will be cargo aircraft sitting at passenger gates? Selecting the gate (or gates) you can select the aircraft type (or size) that you want to use that gate, and lower even the actual airlines (arrowed below left) via their ICAO code and you have twenty choices allowed. Lower is the definition of either civil, military, cargo only, non-cargo or both cargo and non-cargo aircraft via tickboxes, a regenerate will save your all your gate preferences and a Resync will produce the required results. The parking gate assignments will allow you clean up your airports to your own tastes, but more importantly put cargo aircraft at cargo stands and adjust the gates to the correct type of aircraft or even airlines to specific areas (or concourses), this will be a continuous action with any scenery added to X-Plane, but it does make your airports highly realistic. Ground Route Testing You can test any ground route by using the "Test Ground Routes" button lower right bottom. On that gate or stand selected you have the option of seeing all the available Arrival and Departure ground routes and running a test. When you select the departure and aircraft type and run the test you get four border poles (black and green) and the aircraft park position pole which is a white and red stripe pole, white and blue stripe poles note the ground route path... ... the white and blue stripe poles note turning and hold points and the test poles continue to the main runway hold point. The arrival ground route points are also available with the aircraft appearing directly on the immediate approach. Any ground route editing is now done with WED, that makes it easier to set out ground routes and do any adjustments with the new "test" system able to recheck or track your changes. _____________________________ WorldTraffic Menu To most older World Traffic users the menu is mostly still the same. Accessed through your key input with F12 to bring up the menu panel, F11 is your back track key, and so if you go one step into the menu you can then step backwards and even out of the menu by using the F11 key... easy. There are five menu items listed including: Display Flight Info for Airport Display Flight Info Enable/Disable Regions Preferences Resync Most interesting is the new "Flight Info board" which is selected via the first line. This board lists all the current flight plans for the airport listed at the top of the flight info board. Green lines note non-active flight plans and blue denotes active flight plans (or aircraft that are flying around in WT3). They are listed as ARRIVALS and DEPARTURES with the current ZULU time and date. A third line denotes flights in Yellow Lines are which are departing aircraft, they activate about ten minutes before departure (Zulu) and at that point a pushback truck appears on the departing aircraft. When arriving aircraft could be accessed via the radar screen, you access the departing aircraft via this menu screen in selecting the departing flight you require. Once departure time arrives (Zulu) and then the pushback commences... ... engine start is once the pushback truck disconnects, but you can adjust the engine start time or wait time at this point via a menu preference. You always have access to the lower left flight info panel set up via the Shift-F9 key. Once the aircraft commences its takeoff the flight departure line will change from Yellow to Blue to denote it is now an active flightplan. As with the arriving aircraft following their STAR patterns, then the departing aircraft will follow the correct SID as well. Once the aircraft has become an active flightplan it is now available on the radar screen in red, and you can access the aircraft later if you wish as it leaves the area. The Flight Airport Info board is quite new to WT3 or really a last minute addition, so it is a bit raw in this release version. It works and it works well, but it will also get more attention in future updates as it is a really great addition to WT3 Other menu items are also covered with first the "Display Flight Info"... ... Display Flight Info covers all the flightplans generated, and there can be thousands (and thousands) of them. Any flightplan selected (as long as it is active in blue or yellow) can give you the same aircraft view as the radar. There are sometimes a few duds in red, but ignore them and all the green routes are just parked up aircraft at the various airports. Second Menu option is the "Enable/Disable Regions" This is the old WorldTraffic option of selecting regions to save overloading the plugin and keeping the active aircraft with flightplans within a certain area or airport... this has been discontinued, but the AFRE and Cargo flight data is now stored here (and more data will probably come) and you need to have both data sources switched on to use (in Green). Third Menu option is the "Preferences" The preferences are just simple commands that can change your - Max Track camera distance, AI aircraft volume, Plugin control of X-Plane Aircraft (usually ON), Ground Routes Required for arrival runways (Always ON), Start on runway if there is no ground routes (usually in close by airports to start flightplans), Ground Collision Avoidance (required so aircraft keep separation), Ground Collision timeout, (If a collision does occur then the aircraft won't freeze or stay opposite of each other), Aircraft Startup time in minutes, Navigraph approaches ON/OFF and Radar (Filter) options. _____________________________ Interacting with World Traffic 3 So what is X-Plane like with WorldTraffic3, brilliant... is the first thought. Your empty airport looks bleak, but after the "Create Flights" process has finished (ReSync does the same process) then your airport comes alive with aircraft, this is Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo. One thing to note is that you won't get activity instantly. WT3 takes a short while to get things running, but check out the radar screen and there are already aircraft heading your way or flying past to other destinations... ... and it doesn't take long before the pushbacks get started, my guess is around ten minutes before the airport is crawling with active aircraft depending on the time of the day and size of the airport, usually around 8.30am is the best for full departure activity. ATC My flight today is with the Zibo B738 from ENGM - Oslo to ENBR - Bergen as SAS - SCANDI. I have cut and pasted in my flight details (below right). Access to the ATC is via Key SHIFT - F11 and the information is shown upper screen (no audio), this will give you a runway selection available, but note if you select a runway not active (or wrong wind direction) then WT3 will totally ReSync to match that, and that does sort of spoil the departure theme, so a check of the radar will usually give you the current working active runways. Then ATC will give you taxiway and runway departure information with the SID you are going to use for departure and bring up the X-Plane communications panel for the airport frequencies. At any point you can go back to any previous ATC instruction via your SHIFT - F12 key input. You have to be very aware of activity around you, as the airports can get seriously busy with aircraft traffic. All around the airport there is activity... aircraft do taxi at correct speeds and slow for corners or tight turns, aircraft separation is excellent, both on taxiways, waiting their turn to takeoff and in sequence in landings. Earlier WorldTraffic versions had poor landing separations that caused a lot (too many) aborted landings, but WT3 is far better in separation, not perfect as you still get some aborted landings and this area is still under more refinement, but overall in WT3 the separations are now pretty good. Your awareness must be not just the local traffic around you, but there are aircraft turning to finals above you as well, it makes it a busy time in the cockpit... ... you also have to form a queue. Yes I have sat in line for long periods before getting my place to depart, a look at the radar showing lots of stacked arrivals can make you wonder "how long will I be stuck here?" when all you want to do is fly, but that is WorldTraffic's realism as well, in most cases you love the aspect of just waiting your turn and checking out the paperwork. Note that is you (below left) at the hold point from the WT3 aircraft perspective! Then ATC as gives you the clear, you have to on the ball and move as there is traffic coming at you, but other times it will allow you to line up on the runway as an arriving aircraft departs on to a taxiway a long way down the runway, here I get a lineup until the Lufthansa has cleared the runway Then the ATC gives you the all clear to go with heading vectors and speed constraints. Once airborne you will get vectors to follow the SID (ATLA8B) and it will set up you up in going into the right direction. If you have a running SID flightplan then ATC will ignore you. You are noted on the radar screen (as long as you have filled in your "Flight Planning" details), again if you are not sure of your last instruction then press your for your previous ATC instruction via your SHIFT - F12 key input, added details include your current status. ATC arrival is the same as departure with you following the assigned STAR procedure, but again you might be put in a hold before being assigned a runway. The WT3 aircraft will navigate around you and you have to follow the ATC instructions to the letter on the STAR's and with aircraft separation, again your radar screen is your best friend. There is a Baltic Dash 8 to my north-west (red) and so I keep an eye on it and fall into a landing pattern behind it for ENBR RWY35 (arrowed above). It is great to land at an airport with plenty of activity, and ENBR is busy... A point to make is that a feature I would like is to be able to change my arrival airport enroute? You can't do this at the moment, but I think that would help, it helps in another way if you have to ReSync to make a dull airport active. These areas are still in refinement and overall it works fine, but a few times you may have to Resync an airport to reset it after you have landed. "Oh, where did he come from?" The Baltic Dash 8 suddenly reappears as he is far slower and took a longer route before turning off the runway, now he is suddenly in my ten o'clock... So I let him pass and fall in behind. One of the great features is that aircraft will go to their correct parking areas in gates or stands, so the Baltic DHC8 goes off to the stands while I head for the gate (27). Even when parked the activity doesn't stop as we here (above right, arrowed) have a departure, a Norwiegan shuttle B738 taxiing in and a Widerhoe DHC8 also arrived and heading to the stands... did I say this WT3 can lose you hours and hours of your life just watching airport activity? no... well it does and it is very, very addictive! Did I also note that night operations are also very highly addictive? "No", well they are also with all aircraft having great lighting with full landing and taxi lighting (that turn on/off as required), logo lights and the usual strobe and navigation lights. There is a huge range of liveries with retro and promotional painted aircraft as well... Aircraft types and airlines are very varied, even to some very obscure ones and every continent is covered around the world and not just focused only on the US and Europe. _____________________________ Summary A few of the World Traffic purists will go "What the!" But what happened is that World Traffic in its third version is that suddenly it went very accessible and easy to use. The total benefits of the original innovations originally on offer here with WorldTraffic are now available to everyone. In reality now it is a click and almost instant airport activity, not just from the actual aircraft taxiing, departing and arriving, but in the way you can also easily set up any airport with the correct WED ATC traffic data in just a few minutes, no more hours and hours on the ground route editors any more, it is now just a click and go setup. And that is the whole theme around Worldraffic3, in making it totally accessible and easy to use in every area. Everything else has also had attention. The aircraft are far more animated and the quality is excellent, some GA's are a little average in textures but in the main you will be hard to be not taken in by the quality of the aircraft, they are very varied now as well, with everything from light GA Cessna 172's, twin-props, regionals in both props and jet, light B737/A320 and heavy jets up to even the modern Dreamliners and A350's and of course the super heavies in B744's, A380's and Cargo aircraft and their schedules and routes are also covered. Airline liveries also cover all bases with specialised liveries also presented, in fact it is all very expansive in all areas compared to the original WT versions as is the real world route and schedule information, SID and STAR departures and approaches are also now part of the new WT3 system. One thing to note with the release of WT3 is there is still a bit of ground to cover in complete coverage, is some areas it is still a bit early on release. There is a lot of airports and their distinctive layouts to be fine tuned, ground routes to be generated and it will take time to get full coverage. I have found that setting up new airports (mostly payware) is a breeze, as most new releases do have that important WED routes completed, but many older sceneries don't have such built in WED data... here is looking here at you tdg? But X-Plane users are an industrious lot and we love nothing than challenges like this, and to a point that is also part of the fun... Older ground routes do work, but many could also be outdated, so if they can be updated and regenerated then it is worth the effort, but older ground routes are still valuable on airports that don't have built in WED ATC routes and have been carefully crafted for certain airports. ATC is still quite basic, but to a point that was not the focus of this current new version and that will be part of the feature list in the future, and a lot more features are certainly coming. For most of this year and throughout all the early WT3 betas we have used WorldTraffic and it has been very highly visible within our reviews, The plugin adds in a totally new dimension to the way we use our simulator and it is a huge bonus to any one that uses the features provided, empty airports suddenly become bustling hubs of activity and the plugin adds in great visual and interactivity into our flying. For current users versions WT1 and WT2, there is an upgrade fee to WT3 of US$10 (if purchased since 1st Mar 17 the update is free), Originally WT3 was just going to be an update, but the development aspect took a more major turn that then turned into a total 3000hr redesign and the basic philosophy change to make the plugin far more accessible which has certainly been delivered in this comprehensive upgrade. For anybody else then this is a plugin you need or should have as part of your X-Plane system... I am a true believer in WorldTraffic so I will state my case here honestly, but I not going to blind to the fact that WT3 is a significant step for X-Plane and is very if highly addictive... once used it is now never forgotten, it is that great and WT3 for X-Plane activity, interaction and the sheer visual spectacle it is just highly addictive and simply brilliant. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The World Traffic 3 by Classic Jet Simulations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : World Traffic 3.0 Your Price: $29.95 For past users before 1st March 2017 there is an upgrade fee of US$10.00, go to your X-PlaneStore account to get the discount. If purchased since 1st March 2017 this version upgrade is free. Version 3 new features: Automated Installers Flight Setup Window Auto Ground Route Generation Auto Flight Plan Generation Airport Operations File has expanded functionality Parking Assignments Window Flight Information Window Updated Aircraft Definition Improved Traffic Separation SID/STAR/Approach improved see the full list of all new features here Requirements X-Plane 10 (any edition) or X-Plane 11 - running in 64 bit mode Windows, Mac, Linux in 64 bit mode Installation and documents: World Traffic has three components. The main X-Plane root folder called "ClassicJetSimUtils", the actual plugin "World Traffic" in your resources/plugins folder and the "WorldTrafficRadar" plugin also in your resources/plugins folder. There is a full installer and details on how to install WT3 into X-Plane. Aircraft packages are downloaded separately and inserted into the "ClassicJetSimUtils" World Traffic/AircraftObjects folder. A QuickStartGuide and a full Technical Manual manual is also provided... WorldTraffic3 and all aircraft download links can be found here: World Traffic 3 Update Page A key number is required and it is placed within the "World Traffic" plugin folder to activate the plugin World Traffic development forum is here: World Traffic - X-Plane.Org Forums A note of thanks to both Chopinet for his skills in creating a lot of WT3 detailing and editors, Bluebell for aircraft conversions, and without them then WT3 would just not simply exist in its current form. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review and tutorial by Stephen Dutton 26th September 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 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 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - ENBR - Bergen Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$21.59 - Zibo Mod Boeing 737-800 - Default X-Plane11 aircraft by Laminar Research
  17. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Alabeo PA-38 Tomahawk II Route : YROM Circuits We all start our flying career somewhere. 95% percent of the time it is usually in a very lightweight aircraft or if you are really serious a trainer. Usually trainers are two seats (one for you and one for the instructor) and the controls are very basic and clutter free. The main aspect of a good trainer is perfect balance, spin recovery and power. Most learners usually have got their wings on a Cessna 150, 152 or 172, but one of the very best trainers around is the Piper PA-38 Tomahawk. Piper Aircraft wanted to share some of the trainer market, and so consulted many flight instructors not only in the design of the aircraft but also in the testing. The result was the Tomahawk, a T-Tail, two-seat, fixed tri-cycle undercarriage aircraft that has exceptional spin recovery that was better than the current standard bearer the Cessna 152. The first flight and introduction was in 1977, but it was noted as a 1988 model. The aircraft was highly successful with 2,4854 built when production ceased in 1982. Besides being a widely used primary trainer, it is also an effective budget cross-country aircraft for two persons with its spacious and comfortable cabin. Though it shares similar performance and costs of operation to the Cessna 152, the PA-38 has more shoulder room. It also has good cabin ventilation, using automotive-style air ducts. The 1981 and 1982 models were designated as the Tomahawk II (this version). They incorporated improved cabin heating and windshield defroster performance, an improved elevator trim system, improved engine thrust vector, 100% airframe zinc-chromate anti-corrosion treatment, better cockpit soundproofing, larger 6" wheels and tires for greater propeller ground clearance and improved performance on grass and dirt runways. Specifications : Maximum speed: 126 mph (109 knots, 202 km/h) at sea level : Cruise speed: 115 mph (100 knots, 185 km/h) at 10,500 ft (3,200 m) (65% power) : Stall speed: 56.5 mph (49 knots, 91 km/h) (IAS), flaps down : Range: 539 miles (468 nmi, 867 km)at 10,500 ft (3,200 m), (65% power) : Service ceiling: 13,000 ft (4,000 m) : Rate of climb: 718 ft/min (3.65 m/s) Alabeo has released the PA-38 Tomahawk. This is another quality aircraft from the Alabeo team. For its age the Tomahawk looks very modern for a non-composite machine. There are a few Tomahawks in Australia, but none flew with the RAAF (Royal Australian Air-Force) but I like the livery. First hands on and you quickly realise this is a very sweet aircraft to fly. It is the sort of machine that with a slight trim you can steer though the rudder pedals and just revel in the balance. Hands back on the yoke and the aircraft will do anything you want with just a slight input of movement in the direction you want to go, even downwards. The throttle response is in perfect relationship with the controls, so you find the aircraft so very easy to fly. You could sit your elderly grandmother in the pilots seat and show her the controls, and I am quite sure she could fly the Tomahawk quite easily. (what do I do now dear?) I doubt though you would want your grandmother to go into a spin. Here the aircraft is exceptional, The Tomahawk's GA(W)-1 Whitcomb airfoil addresses this requirement by making specific pilot input necessary in recovering from spins, thus allowing pilots to develop proficiency in dealing with spin recovery. And because of its stall and spin characteristics, the PA-38 earned the nickname "Traumahawk" from some pilots and instructors. The PA-38 is powered by a single Avco Lycoming O-235-L2C air-cooled flat-four piston engine, 112 hp (83.5 kW) that is required for its power to train pilots on the specifics of the important stall and spin recovery aspects of flying. First of all the Tomahawk climbs exceedingly well, It can easily pull seven hundred feet per minute to get you to a safe altitude. Slip the wing and put yourself into a bad spin. With ease you can bring in the strong power to pull yourself out of the spin and simply back into a near level flight. Impressive. You can see why the aircraft is a very nice long distance tourer as well. It will power along all day without you fighting the aircraft and so you barely don't tire at all. There are no Auto-Pilot functions but you don't need them here either. A little trim and your happy. Landing is a breeze as well, The landing speed is super low at around 75knots (stall is at 50knts). Even dropping the flap (twice) barely makes a ripple if your power setting is right. A quick look left at the airport and you can make your smooth turn. There is a slight cross-wind that I have to correct for, but otherwise the touchdown is just a small bump and touch of rubber. The aircraft is very good at touch and go's, even with full flap you can be quickly back into the air to go around for another practise. Our Trainee looks quite pleased with himself. Alabeo PA-38 The gap between Alabeo and aircraft from Carenado is closing certainly, Not only in price but in quality. This aircraft is more in style of a Carenado in every form. The design and detail is better now than ever before and that is even by Carenado's high standards. It is sublimely good in the way the rivets are completed and the panels hang on the airframe, The NACA duct is a prime example and so are the door hinges. The opening doors (Both Pilot's and Instructor doors) are wonderfully designed in the way they pull away from the roof section. The detailing behind the seats in the small baggage area with support struts Is also perfect. The main attention must be given to glass and their reflections, it is about as real glass as you could get. The shading is breathtaking but the detailing is more skin deep as we will see in the dark. The wings and high (T) tail section ribbing is also absolutely first rate. The propeller has some volumetric side view and dynamic shine effects. Put the aircraft into a low mixture setting and the shimmer of the low speed rotation is excellent., Undercarriage. Front and main is very simple in just struts, but the detail is excellent right down to the nuts on the brakes. With open doors you can see the excellent door detailing and the interior of the cockpit. Every area is well designed and textured. Cabin and Panel Inside the unpowered cabin the quality is again excellent, This Alabeo doesn't have that usual signature black hole as you look down towards the worn seats, carpets and metal heel scuff plates, The little trim wheel is expertly crafted and wonderful to use. The twin blinds are fully movable around both the front and side windows. The glareshied textures are so real and touchworthy that you can easily smell that 70's vinyl. And you easily want to put your hands around the lovely chunky yokes with thumb tabs. It does not take much imagination looking here to know what the real Tomahawk would smell and feel like. A nice touch is that when you hide the yokes the "Alabeo" icon fills the hole. Being a trainer then the panel is going to be very simple. It is but with a quality feel. The standard six instruments are added (to the right) by a VOR (2) The Omni-Bearing Indicator (OBI) and Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) bearing indicator, Below is a engine RPM and hours insturument and clock on the far left. 70's rocker switches for main power (battery/ALT), lighting and Pitot heat and Fuel pump. The fuel pump is interesting in that turn it on and then move the (big Red) Fuel switch on (or off) and the pressure shows on a gauge. You can select left and right fuel tanks here also. The radio stack is small but efficient, Standard radio set is set with a Bendix/King KX 165 TSO for COMM and VOR(2) settings, a KR 87 TSO is your ADF. (note a Technical Standard Order (TSO) is a minimum performance standard issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration for specified materials, parts, processes, and appliances used on civil aircraft.) A Garmin GTX 320 is your transponder. It may seem a small stack but it is quite capable of navigating you across the country. The two position flaps are used via the long stick that like looks like a standard car parking brake, The actual park brake in under the panel. Note the beautifully crafted rudder pedals. The night-lighting is best seen from the air, A quick flick of the key and the engine stutters back into life, You actually have to hold the key on for a while until it finally chuggs into life, as only quick key turn will not give it enough time for the starter to give enough turns to fire it right up. Sounds are excellent in the same as Carenado 3d directional sound, There is quite a throaty power feeling at full under load power. Only issue I found was with the front turning wheel, It doesn't turn cleanly even at slow speeds, To go straight in the taxi it has to be slightly off centre in that I presume is to counteract the asymmetrical thrust from the propeller which is quite large at slow speeds. When you disconnect the steering from the rudder, It does not do so well there either. So it is slightly odd and hard to manoeuvre around. Night-Lighting External night-lighting is basic but good, You only have one landing light, and the Nav/Position lighting. The strobes are the new Carenado design. First thing that you notice as the low light comes into the cabin is the reflections on the glass, (side front), It speckles and it is excellent in its reflections of the markings on or in the glass, such detail is amazing, but it makes the flying very authentic. The dials are well lit and slightly (just up or down) adjustable by the knobs low down on the instructors side. I couldn't find any overhead lighting except for a nicely lit air temperature gauge and a Compass.? You can with the side menu (O) Options switch the panel lighting to be brighter or lower by the using the reflections options. You can also use this menu to transparent the windows and open both doors. The other © menu is the standard Camera menu, that gives you the various views and zoom function. Liveries You get the default white and six other liveries in very high quality HD Conclusions The PA-38 Tomahawk feels more like a basic Carenado than a Alabeo, and the higher price reflects that. Yes it is a basic aircraft, but it is still a fully functional one. Design and detailing is simply first rate (In fact I feel the quality has slightly gone up a notch). The glass here in the aircraft and in their reflections is simply astounding. It is a perfect trainer for the experienced pilot and also the beginner (Into simulation as well). The aircraft can be as easy or as challenging you want it to be, and still you can use it as a two seater tourer across the country. Some aircraft instantly become a favorite and the Tomahawk became very quickly one of them. I loved it the minute I felt the air under its wings. For value and quality it can't be bettered. Yes! the Alabeo Piper PA-38 Tomahawk II is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Piper PA-38 Tomahawk II Price is US$22.95 Installation : Download is 165.80mb, and installation size in your aircraft folder is 228.30mb. Alabeo supply Recommended Joystick Settings and Recommended Settings X-Plane10. However with my standard settings I had no issues. Documentation : Developer Site : Alabeo Review By Stephen Dutton 22nd January 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows , MAC OS 10.7 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.20 (or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible) 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 250MB available hard disk space Version 1 (last updated Jan 20th,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 - YROM - Aussiepak7 - Barry Roberts (Aussie Scenery Packages)
  18. 1 point
    News! - Beta Release! : Laminar Release's v11.30 beta Laminar Research have released their latest beta in v11.30!.... First impression is.... very, very impressive! It is a rather large install of around 2gb... yes two GB, so make sure you have enough space to install it. To install the new beta then run your X-Plane Installer. It is to be noted that this IS a BETA! and not a full release version of X-Plane11, so yes there will be bugs, glitches and whatever, If you don't want a buggy simulator then PLEASE opt out of the beta release and still run v11.25, by not ticking the "Beta" checkbox on your X-Plane installer. Here are the release notes for beta 11.30b1 Known bugs XPD-9388 Software hangs upon exit when using VR. XPD-9495 Particle effects get cancelled by replay. XPD-9501, XPD-9449 AMD driver bugs with displays & weapons. New features and improvements New ATC voice system. Particles editor for aircraft. Autopilot & aircraft systems updates: Summary of AP changes in 11.30 Propeller feathering Anti- and de-ice systems Oxygen system Autopilot parameters Fixed turboprop engine governor Vacuum systems Vacuum gyro limitations & caging Improved industrial zones in US autogen & reorganized library. FM improvements / experimental FM UI option Shader system rebuilt as part of port to Vulkan. All of X-Plane is now 8.33kHz aware. Panel res bumped to 4k. Updated airspace to 2018 & Navigraph default data 1708. Added sector altitudes in VFR map. Updated joystick config files to use sim/autopilot/servos_off_any. New UI options to enlarge font size. New UI for manually setting joystick curves per axis. Settings UI for re-enabling notification windows that have a “don’t show this again” checkbox. Situation files get you close to landmarks for quick sight seeing. User submitted joystick config files. Flight model improvements Now we find ground effect for each BIT of the helo rotor! This phases in the ground effect from front to back as we approach a tall helipad! Wing force improvements: New drag coefficients in the airfoil files are now much more accurate POST-STALL. This new improvement makes ZERO difference when the wing is not stalled, but post-stall, the drag is now much more accurate. NOTE: This is NOT a change to X-Plane! It is a change to Airfoil Maker and the airfoil files that we distribute! If you want to realize this new accuracy in your personal or third-party aircraft, then fire up Airfoil Maker and do the batch-update to update all of your airfoils. (BUT BE WARNED: IF THIRD-PARTY ACFT MAKERS HAVE TWEAKED THEIR AFLS TO BE JUST PERFECT FOR THEIR PLANES, THEN THOSE MODS WILL BE OVER-WRITTEN!) So, for third-party aircraft-makers, do a batch-convert on your airfoils in Airfoil Maker, and then re-test any post-stall flight that you want to. You will see that the drag is initially higher than in previous versions of X-Plane. As well as the more accurate wing forces post-stall, in Plane Maker we also draw little spheres where the wings connect, so you can see where you have (or don’t) connected wings in Plane Maker. Propeller and propwash modeling improvements: Now in Plane Maker, engines screen, you will notice some really cool new stuff. It’s in the engine screen, prop tabs: Ellipse ratio: Enter a value of 1.0, or approaching 1.0, to get elliptical props for more efficiency… X-Plane will take the Oswalds efficiency to 1.0 as the ellipse ratio goes to 1.0. Root AOA, tip AOA, and power to interpolate: Now in addition to the helix-angle prop-twist, we add some AOA to the blades to get us to the optimal AOA for the airfoil… with some washout near the tip to reduce induced drag if desired. And in X-Plane, the propwash is now much nicer: Rather than just applying wash behind the disc, we now ACCELERATE the air leading up to the disc over a distance, then ACCELERATE it behind the disc over a distance, as happens in reality! This increase in propwash speed over distance is modeled after charts showing inflow of air into the prop disc, watching the air accelerate as it is pulled into the disc, and pressurized to continue speeding up behind the disc! Hit the control-m key a few times while looking at a propeller airplane at full thrust and not moving (or slowly moving) to really see this effect. Downwash modeling improvements: I’ve combined data from a number of NACA tech-reports, and confirmed them as follows: Flight-test on the Boeing 707 in the 60’s showed that the reduced downwash over the tail due to ground-effect threw the nose down about 2.5 degrees if you never flared. With update from NACA tech reports on observed downwash, we now see the same thing on airliners of that configuration in X-Plane! So, the technical reports have been taken into X-Plane, and the results match flight-test on large aircraft where these pitch changes can be most precisely measured. Engine improvements: Better jet engine modeling: We now have single-spool and twin-spool jets selectable in Plane-Maker! We used to have only a single GEARED spool, giving the appearance of a twin-spool jet but not REALLY tracking n1 and n2 separately. Now, you can select single or twin-spool jets in Plane-Maker to really get the jet engine dynamics better in the spool-up and spool-down, watching N2 lead N1 on the spool-up, or the other way around on the spool-down. I have validated this model against careful recordings of engine starts and throttle run-ups and shut-downs taken on a (real) Airbus A-320 to make sure they match perfectly. (I’m working with some Airbus pilots to make an Airbus sim for actual Airbus pilot training, so I’m getting the Airbus engines and flight control systems really dialed in, to satisfy Airbus pilots that want to use X-Plane for training). As well in Plane Maker you can specify the correlation between N1 and N2, so even though the two can turn freely from each other, aero loads will ultimately drive them to the ratio you specify in Plane Maker (which varies with N1 and N2!) Jet N1/N2 windmilling are now a bit more accurate, based on windmilling data I found in a POH for the Boeing 737. Nice little improvement in the manifold pressure model for non-turbo airplanes (ones where you entered critical altitude of zero in Plane Maker engine window), where the sim now understands that lower back-pressure at altitude for non-turbo airplanes provides a bit more power per inch of manifold pressure. So, a nice little bit of improvement in the manifold pressure model. Nice little carb ice improvement: We now look at the actual dynamic pressure and resulting Bernoulli effects in the Venturi tube itself to see when ice will form! So this is a nice way to use physics to predict carb ice. Free N1 turbo (old) This is the PT6 turboprop model from X-Plane for many years now, where the N1 is used as the compressor Ng in the real engine. This is a rather old model, and using N1 for Ng is perhaps a bit awkward, when you understand how the real engine works. Free N2 Turobrop This is the NEW PT6 turboprop model, where the N2 is used as the compressor Ng in the real engine. This is the new model, which is more accurate and very carefully matched to real PT6 performance. This uses N2 for Ng, which makes a lot of sense, when you understand how the real engine works. As well it uses N1 for the turbine that is attached to the prop, so the N2 drives the torque, and the N1 is spun by that, just like a high-bypass turbofan engine. So, this use of N2 for the Ng makes much more sense, and the model is more accurate as well, so this is the new turboprop model that you should use. Fixed turboprop Unchanged for years, roughly modeled after the Garret turboprops. A much better Garret model is indeed coming! Jet 1 spool This is the jet engine model from X-Plane for many years now, and is simply not as good as it could be. This model always has the N1 spinning at a ratio to N2 that was a simple power curve. This is good enough to mimic a real jet engine sort of closely, if you don’t look at how fast the various turbines spin up and down compared to each other, and how they differ under load vs windmilling. It was just barely good enough to work, but not as good as I want for X-Plane now. Jet 2 spool This is the new jet engine model for X-Plane: The N2 is the power turbine in the hot section, spinning up and down as fuel is applied. Totally INDEPENDENTLY from that, the N1 is spun by the torque generated from N2, spinning the bypass fan. This is more accurate, since N2 can surge while N1 takes some time to respond, and N1 can windmill briskly even if N2 is shut down and barely spinning. So this is a nicer model because each system can spin up or down ahead of the other to really bring those dynamics into the sim! Body drag and sideforce improvements: OK this one is NICE! Look at the fuselage and nacelle and misc bodies section in Plane Maker: now there is a RECOMMENDED Cd (coefficient of drag) for that body! AFTER you have entered the V-speeds for your airplane, AFTER you have entered the geometry for that body, you can see that recommended Cd and use that as your Cd if you like. This Cd looks at the V-speeds of the plane to estimate Reynolds number, which it then uses to estimate skin friction drag, which it then applies across the surface area of the body, which it then multiplies based on the thickness of the body compared to its’ length, which it then compares to the frontal area of the body to predict a reasonable coefficient of drag if the body is streamlined and in un-disturbed airflow. Whew! So, this is a really nice way to get a good guess at the Cd for an airplane fuselage, and all the other parts on the airplane. Historically, people have not known what Cd to enter for the fuselage and other parts, so this is a really nice way to get a good estimate based on known skin friction drag and wetted area and aspect ratio. Also, we have refined the side-force on bodies tp be more accurate, and also improved WHERE on the fuselage that side-force is applied! The force application occurs at 25% of the body length at zero sideslip or angle of attack, and moves back to 50% of the body length at 90 degrees offset to the airflow, following a curve in between. So the bodies now have better lift and drag estimates, as well as proper placement of that force at the right point on the body. Now, various reports I could find do a decent job of estimating WHAT the side-forces are on a streamlined body, but i could find few references clearly showing WHERE those forces act. So how to find out? I need to find the pivot point of a streamlined body at various angles of attack… how to do that? Answer: THIS! And this is very cool: Wings and stuff that are INSIDE of bodies are now automatically hidden from the airflow! Ditto the parts of wings that are inside of engine nacelles! Cool! This takes away that little bit of lift on twin-engine props, for example, that have the nacelles hiding away part of the wing! This adds a nice little extra bit of realism, especially if you have wings going inside the fuselage or something like that, where the wings do not see any air and therefore need to be removed from any airflow. You see, the simplified theory says that the lift of the wings goes across the fuselage, but we are now better than that: We now find the lift and drag and location for those forces on the fuselage and nacelles and all other bodies, so the time has come to take the wings OUT of the bodies so lift is not double-computed! So that is the next level of realism, and is done automatically: You don’t have to take any action to hide the bits of the wings that are hidden away inside the fuselage or nacelles: Just hit control-m a few times in the external view when in flight to see how the lift vectors of the wings are gone for all parts of the wings that are hidden away inside a fuselage, nacelle, or misc body. A few tweaks for gliders: We now have give tow and get tow and also get winch locations.. so we have all 3 hook locations now. As well winches we have speed commands: faster/slower winch! DEFINE_CMND_KEY(cmnd_win_faster ,”sim/flight_controls/winch_faster” ,”Winch faster. (for gliders).” ,0,0) DEFINE_CMND_KEY(cmnd_win_slower ,”sim/flight_controls/winch_slower” ,”Winch slower. (for gliders).” ,0,0) I cannot imagine ever choosing anything except “FASTER!”, but I admit that some people use the sim differently than me. Trim and flight control deflection times are now a bit better: When you enter the deflection time of either flight control or trim in Plane Maker, X-Plane automatically scales that time DOWN for deflection-directions that are smaller in magnitude. So the control or trim SPEED is the same in both directions, even if the deflection is smaller in one direction than another. This holds constant trim speeds and control deflection speeds, regardless of direction and deflection, which is how the mechanical systems typically behave in reality. Various systems improvements: Also, for other flight-model improvements, we now have: Flap lockout if wings are swept. This keeps the flaps from deploying by mistake when the wings are swept, as is done in the real F-14. Sweep lockout if flaps are down. This keeps the flaps from deploying by mistake when the wings are swept, as is done in the real F-14. Auto-flaps near the stall, but only partial deployment, as is done in the real F-14. Auto-speedbrakes with pitch input for precise glideslope control to carrier landings, called “direct-lift-control” as is done in the real F-14. Fuel tanks can be set as being in any wing, so the fuel load sweeps back and comes inward with increasing wing-sweep, to really get that center of gravity aft, and moment of inertia in roll down, as happens in the real F-14. We now have 3-dimensional specification of the tail-hook location, which useful for airplane that have tail-hooks, like the F-14. We now apply the actual arresting-gear hook location to the arresting wires on the carriers to see if we have made arresting-gear contact. We used to just check the airplane-center location for arresting-wire contact, but this oversight has now been corrected and we check for the actual hook location. X-PlaneReviews will provide a full analysis of the new beta version soon, until then enjoy. ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 27th October 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  19. 1 point
    I could see a GNS-750 or an Aspen navigation suite because those were actually installed on some Aerostars, but G-1000?? I'm sorry. I just cannot see that. I also think it may be just a bit silly to pass up a really great flying experience, just because the dev didnt cater to your wishes. Is tyhe plane a study level LES masterpiece, or a 777 Worldliner?? No of course not. And its no Carenado either. What it is however is perhaps the most honest rendition of an aircraft I've ever shaken hands with. This [plane instantly went from "what the hell did I just buy" to "I guess i wont be buying any more Carenado's". It doesnt feel like any other aircraft Ive ever flown. Its a bit clunky, a bit down home-ish, and a total masterpiece of Ted Smiths engineering. It's a vintage MG automobile, with a Merlin engine if you must compare. It's controls are baby simple, its handling is like a scalpel. It goes exactly where you want. Because it specifically was not made to be some incredible super duper god plane from heaven, and is simply Ted Smiths maybe not quite humble contribution to aviation ( like the Aerocommander shrike ) I personally feel that this is one of the very best releases this year..
  20. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : C177 Cardinal ll XP11 by Alabeo The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is one of the most successful general aviation aircraft ever built, beloved by everyone for the family transport, flight schools, trainers, or just a damn good GA and the C172 aircraft still holds the world record for flight endurance that was set back in1958... so how do you follow a legend. Cessna had that problem in 1966, and solved it with the only negative the C172 had, the wing support. To support the high wing the C172 had a support strut, and it sort of got in the way, even when trying to get into and out of the aircraft. But the real issue with the support strut was that it was an obstruction if in a bank, or any turn that required a visual reference... the strut had to go. The result was the C177 Cardinal (originally the C172J) with the engineers resolving this problem by placing the pilot forward of the wing's leading edge, but that led to a too-far-forward center of gravity, The problem was partially counteracted by the decision to use the significantly lighter Lycoming O-320 180 hp (135 kW) four-cylinder engine in place of the six-cylinder O-300 Continental used on the 172. The forward CG situation still existed even with the lighter engine, so a stabilator was chosen, to provide sufficient elevator control authority at low airspeeds. The aircraft also had newer technology such as a cantilever wing lacking the lift struts of previous models, and a new laminar flow airfoil. A later model the C177RG, had another innovation with retractable undercarriage to complete with the Piper PA-28-200R Cherokee Arrow and Beechcraft Sierra. The nose gear folds rearward; when opened the gear door that then formed a small air brake behind the propeller. Alabeo, or as I call it (Carenado in wolf's clothing). So what is the difference between them, now virtually none at all as I can see... The original Alabeo Cardinal ll was released back in June 2015 and in the same fixed and retractable landing gear configurations of both the C177B and C177RG aircraft. That aircraft was for X-Plane10, this updated version is for X-Plane11 and it is noted as a new version of the aircraft and is priced accordingly, all updates are however free for the duration of X-Plane11. C177B Fixed Gear You change the aircraft type from the C177B to the C177RG by changing the livery. There are five C177B's and three C177RG's but certainly some enterprising users could adjust each livery to suit their own type choice. In 1970 saw the introduction of the 177B, which had a new wing airfoil, a constant-speed propeller, and other minor improvements. When empty, the 177B weighed 145 lb (66 kg) more than the earlier 177, with its maximum takeoff weight increased from 2,350 lb (1,067 kg) to 2,500 lb (1,135 kg). Some aircraft don't do well with changes, but the C177B certainly benefited from the better X-Plane11 dynamics and quality, it looks far more realistic and a more complete aircraft than the XP10 version. Better material shines and reflections now give you that full PBR (Physically Based Rendering) effect and it has transformed the aircraft as you can note the lovely shape of the fuselage and infinitely more and better detailing. You have the options of both having the wheels covered with fairings or not, both views work, with the uncovered option giving the aircraft a more utility look and feel. C177RG To offset the 145 lb (66 kg) increase in empty weight, to which much was from the electrically powered hydraulic gear mechanism, the 177RG had a 200 hp (149 kW) Lycoming IO-360 engine.This also allowed increase of the maximum weight by 300 lbs. The additional power and cleaner lines of the 177RG resulted in a faster cruise speed of 148 knts (274 km/h), and the RG is 22 knts (41 km/h) faster than the 177B. Most users would probably choose this wheels up and the more slippery configuration, as the C177 does look far more sleeker and faster. The main wheels tuck in backwards like a bird's feet in flight, it is really well done here by Alabeo. Glass (below) is now almost an art form with perfect shape and quality reflections... note the excellent panel fit and riveting. Changes to the different C177B and RG configurations also changes the cabin fittings. With the C177B you get a selection of brown trimmings... ... and with the C177RG you get a selection of blue trimmings. Both detailing fit-outs are exceptional and hard to choose from, but the blue has a slight edge. Both trimmings include the lower part of the instrument panel and front footwell lower detail. Instrument Panel The instrument panel has that late 1970's look and feel, the molded facia and intergrated right vent look, it all felt very modern and even futuristic at the time... it is really well done here as the PBR lighting brings out all the lovely 70's shapes and detail. Nice yokes can be hidden with a click... and overall the panel layout is very compact and laid out only for the single pilot, but it is well done. Standard Six instruments are centred correctly in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row with a clock left of the lower row with the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicator. Two instruments situated right cover a CDI or Course Deviation Indicator (VOR 1) and a ADF pointer. A small suction dial is far upper left. Engine instruments are all located on the lower section and are very tightly positioned together... CYL (Cylinder Head Temperature), Left and Right Fuel qualities are top left gauges (50 gal). AMPs, Oil Pressure and Temperature are lower row left gauges. A large RPM dial and large manifold pressure and fuel flow are right. Then far left is a small Fuel pressure gauge and EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) dial. Far right in front of the co-pilot is a single Artificial Horizon and Carb Temperature gauge above, and with the flap setting lever set below for: UP - 10º - 20º - FULL flap positions. Electrical switchgear is lower panel with a nice large vertical trim wheel, with the large rudder trim wheel that is situated under the throttle, Propeller and mixture knobs. One big difference is the stubby gear knob that is different between the RG and the B panels. Avionics are basics, but they are good ones. Standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel is top with the X-Plane Garmin GN530 GPS system (Comm1/VOR1) below. Bendix/King KR87 ADF tuner and Garmin GTX 327 is below... A very nice Bendix/King Autopilot KFC225 is lower, this is a more modern take on an AP than usual and it works really well with a ALT ARM/HOLD function. Unit pops-out for ease of use, but in reality you don't pop it out as it is as easy to use on the panel itself. Fuel tank L & R selector switch is positioned on the floor between the seats (US 24.5 per tank). Menus The Cardinal ll comes with the standard three tab Carenado menu. The menu tabs are on the left lower screen. A ) is for the lovely KFC225 pop-up Autopilot panel, that can be moved and scaled to size. C ) Is the standard Carenado ten preselected Views, Field of View and Volume panel. And O ) is the Options panel.   Options include Window and Instrument reflections. The Static elements provided here are still very basic with only two cones, wheel chocks (rear only) and flag pitot covers The single highly realistic (and new) animated pilot does disappear when you activate the static elements.  Doors opening include both the main front passenger doors and a separate left rear baggage door with no internal baggage. There is a another option set on the C177B to switch the wheel fairings off/on. The doors hang down when open, of which it looks like they are not connected correctly, it looks odd, but it is correct, and the different internal cabin materials are highlighted here (above) Flying the Cardinal ll A quick flight around Puget Sound, Seattle allowed me to get a feel of the C177. The earlier C172/C175 trainer heritage is still very evident, as you are not going to change something that was perfectly right and profitable in the first place. But the C177 is different, you feel it and fly it in a slightly newer adaptable way. One is speed as the noted cruise speed for both the C172 and C177 are almost the same 123 mph (107 knots, 198 km/h), but performance is higher with a top speed for the 126 mph (110 knots, 204 km/h) for the C172, and the C177 (fixed wheel version) is 136 knots (157 mph, 250 km/h).. so in other words the C172 runs out of puff very quickly. Rate of Climb is a slow 715 ft/min (3.6 m/s) in the C172, but it is higher at 840 ft/min (4.27m/s) in the C177B, it may be only 125 fpm, but it feels far, far more faster and more powerful going upwards. Once level and settled you do feel the most significant difference from the C172, in the centre of gravity... more so when you come to trim the aircraft... as it needs a lot, or loads of downward trim. If you like your full yoke view this also creates a visual problem in that the yoke handles cover your vertical trim marker... The trim wheel turns required (after hiding the yoke) is significant to finally get to the balance, you can cheat of course and let the KFC225 Autopilot do the trim adjustment for you, but that is not what you are about in flying the aircraft correctly and manually to the craft. Worse is resetting the trim after you disconnect the autopilot, as the turns required to the centre neutral setting can take time and requires a lot of trim wheel turns.. a small trick is to adjust your climb rate up to nearly the full rate of climb and the AP will adjust the trim more central, then disengage the AP... not the most natural thing to do but in certain circumstances it works. So obviously the C177 is a nice little step up from the basic trainer aircraft, you have to work a little more in the cockpit to adjust the aircraft and it is slightly faster and the C177 feels a bit bigger as well, otherwise the Cessna is a pretty easy aircraft to fly, I wouldn't say simple, but easy enough to allow you to do another type of aircraft that is not a basic, basic flying machine. The objective of the C177 is obvious as well with a better view out, it doesn't feel as closed in or upright cramped as the C172 and other basic trainers, even you could say "sports" like with those lovely rear teardrop shaped windows, however from the pilot's perspective the top of the door frame, in the left view is more down than straight out, unless you adjust your view line. Lighting Internal lighting is a bit basic, but it is still very effective. The panel has adjustable back-lighting and the instruments are nice and clear... ... overhead lighting on a separate knob lights a red forward facing and rear white cabin lamp, you can't separate the red or white lighting, but the adjustment can be used to allow the outline of the instrument panel to be seen, which works very well. Externally there are a landing and taxi light in the nose, the usual navigation and halogen strobe lights and a beacon on the tail. Approach The points are that this C177 is still a spec trainer, and so low speed capability is required, and under full flap (known as dirty) 46 knts is the boundary, the instruments tend to misguide you in that the green band stops at 60 knts, so you think that is the noted stall line, when in fact if you look closer it is the white band that goes all the way down to 50 knts and that is your actual stall marker... but then you would need to watch your sink rate. With those numbers in mind, I approach S50 Auburn Municipal RWY 16 I found the 60 knts speed the best approach speed... note the off line to the runway approach... ... as there is a power pylon right on your centreline, so I found the slow approach speed handy to navigate this object, once above the power lines I could reduce the power and reduce the speed to 50 knts and allow the aircraft to sink nicely towards the runway, and it is a fair drop of 650 ft in a small tight distance that is required to achieve the objective. Down now to around 50 knts and a slight pitch to make a flare, you still require a small but slight burst of power to keep on controlling the sink rate... ... and with a nice small float, and you contact the runway. The point I am making here is that the C177 is nice sweet aircraft to fly, but that low speed if correctly handled can also be put to good use for those tricky approaches. Liveries There is one blank (white C177B livery) and five C177B liveries. The C177RG has three liveries, and maybe they could have been evened up to four each as you feel there are not enough RG liveries, but too many B spec liveries... quality is the usual 4K HD excellent detail finish. Summary For a high wing single-engined general aviation aircraft my personal favorite has always been the Cessna CT210M Centurion ll and that aircraft is always going to be a totally tough challenge to compete with. But if outright performance is not what you are after and the requirement is to step up a level from the basic trainer category then you would be hard pressed to find a better aircraft that this C177. It has also the built in feature to switch (via the liveries) from the "B" spec fixed undercarriage to the "RG" electric stowable gear that is very similar to the CT210's undercarriage arrangement, and again you can also hide the wheel fairings on the "B" spec to give you in reality three different variants of the C177. You are not finished there either, as either the "B" spec gives you a very nice brown tones of interior, the "RG" has the blue interior tones to suit your particular tastes. Alabeo (Carenado) quality is to the usual high standards, but the X-Plane11 dynamics with PBR material shines and reflections lift the aircraft from the X-Plane10 drab to the X-Plane11 spectacular, this is certainly an aircraft that has benefited immensely from the XP11 conversion. Sounds are custom FMOD and dynamic, in other words very good to excellent. Excellent versatile KFC225 Autopilot is a surprise on an aircraft of this category, but it is however very useful and a nice to have. The reproduced and tested flight characteristics are again excellent, but you have to be aware of centre of gravity trim dynamics, you soon adapt, but it is slightly different and a step up from the usual trainer dynamics, low speed approaches are nicely controllable and even fun in challenging conditions. So is this the best aircraft for a trainer. Well yes you can use it as a trainer, certainly with that low-speed performance, but in reality there are far better basic trainers out there like the JF C152 ll. But if you wanted to spread your wings a little more (no pun intended) then this C177 is a far better aircraft to cover more territory with and you get both medium and fast (wheels up) versions to fly further and even do some VOR point to point flying, rather than constant boring circuits. Overall I found I liked this newer XP11 C177 far more than the original XP10 version, certainly it is far better in every dimension and I will certainly give the aircraft far more flying attention in the future, and overall you get two excellent variants in one package deal for an under US$30 price and that is known as outstanding value... with a nice aircaft as part of the deal. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The C177 Cardinal ll XP11 by Alabeo is a new release for X-Plane11 and is available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore C177 Cardinal ll XP11 Price is US$29.95 This aircraft is noted as a new aircraft for X-Plane11, and not an upgrade from the X-Plane10 C340 ll version, so a full cost for ownership is required.  The aircraft is directly available from Carenado as well. Two Versions Included C177B (fixed gear) C177RG (retractable gear) Features Version 1.1 Full X-Plane 11 compatible Custom sounds (FMOD) RealityXP GTN750 compatible. GoodWay Compatible Superb material shines and reflections (full PBR). High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs Accurately reproduced flight characteristics End-user configurability (via Manifest.json file) FPS-optimized model Included 8 HD liveries + 1 Blank texture 2 models: Fixed gear and Retractable gear Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 360Mb Current review version: 1.1 (September 13th 2018) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation: Download for the C177 Cardinal ll XP11 Series is 346.70mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 417.90mb. Key authorisation and a restart is required. Documents: There is Normal and Emergency procedures (checklists), excellent sets of reference and performance tables. But no full manual. There is a full manual of the KFC225 autopilot. Normal Procedures PDF - Emergency Procedures PDF Performance Tables PDF -KFC225 Autopilot Manual PDF Quick Reference PDF - Recommended Settings PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton  20th 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 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - S50 - Auburn Municipal - Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design (X-Plane.orgStore) US$43.00 - Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design (X-Plane.orgStore) US$24.00 
  21. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : 727 Series Pro V3 by FlyJSim The release of FlyJSim's Boeing 737 TwinJet v3 Pro earlier this year was a landmark moment for X-Plane11. This outstanding aircraft was really the very first large scale aircraft to really use all the full features and elements of the X-Plane11 simulator. You would note that there was already aircraft in X-Plane to take note and use the XP11 features, but the FlyJSim B732 TwinJet was really the first to do so from the ground up and not be converted across to or from one simulator version to another, and that difference was very apparent. The original aircraft here for X-Plane is not actually new, as FlyJSim released their initial Boeing 727 Series just days before Christmas back in 2012, that is now nearly eight years ago. So it was for it's time a very advanced and certainly in it's modeling it was a very high quality aircraft. In the mean time to date the aircraft has had numerous upgrades, including collecting the status of being a "Study" style aircraft and in that the B727 was then designated as a "Professional" or "Pro" Series in the v2 upgrade. The last upgrade was just to allow you to fly the B727 Series in X-Plane11 was just last in March 2017, it was fine, sort of... but in reality it was just a few performance tweaks to make the aircraft behave correctly with the very different X-Plane11 dynamics. I flew the aircraft a lot, but you felt it was not quite, quite there, then the B732 TwinJet X-Plane11 comparison then made the point that the Tri-Jet was now feeling it's age a little. So to here is now the full (and it flies only in the) X-plane11 upgrade that is designated as v3 (Version 3). First of all let us get one major point across early. This Boeing 727 Pro v3 Series does not have a cabin installed like the B737 TwinJet did... that item was noted very early on by FlyJSim and they have re-enforced the position that no cabin is forthcoming, well not in the anytime near or distant future. I personally found that item a bit of a head scratcher, because the Boeing 727 has the same barrel size (Fuselage) as the already completed B737? So a conversion, in details like the internal barrel, panels, doors, galley and seating are all in all exactly the same and just needed to be a little bit longer to fit the longer fuselage of the B727 compared to the B737? But I do acknowledge that it would have taken time to do all three versions to cover the full series here which includes the original B727-100 (short fuselage), B727-200 (most popular) and the B727-200 F (Freighter). As all are different and all would require three different internal layouts... and that is a lot of work. Boeing 727 Series v3 Pro From the very start there was these three versions of the Tri-Jet in the B727-100, B727-200 and the B727-200 F, and in the v3 Pro Series all those same three aircraft variants are still part of this v3 package, but are now not sold as separate aircraft. B727-100 Airliner short version The 727 followed the 707 quad-jet airliner of with the same upper fuselage cross-section. The 727's fuselage has an outer diameter of 148 inches (3.8 m). This allows six-abreast seating (three per side) and a single aisle when 18 inches (46 cm) wide coach-class seats are installed. And could carry 149 passengers in one-class or 131 passengers in two-classes. B727-200 Adv Airliner Long version The stretched version of the 727-100 became the 727-200, which is 20 feet (6.1m) longer than the −100. A ten-foot (3-meter) fuselage section ("plug") was added in front of the wings and another ten-foot fuselage section was added behind them. The wing span and height remain the same on both the −100 and −200 (108 feet (33 m) and 34 feet (10m), respectively). The original 727-200 had the same max gross weight as the 727-100. The MTW became 184,800 lb (83,800 kg) but the range was decreased to 1,700 nmi (3,100 km). At that short range the aircraft then evolved quickly as a series of higher gross weights and more powerful engines was introduced along with other improvements, and then from line number 881 727-200s where then dubbed −200 Advanced (Adv). The aircraft gross weight eventually increased from 169,000 to 209,500 pounds (76,700 to 95,000 kg) for the latest versions. The range increased slightly to 1,900 nmi (3,500 km) (Standard) but if you loaded the aircraft carefully you could get 2,600 nmi (4,800 km) (Optional) range with 189 passengers (one-class) and 145 passengers (two-class) with a higher Cargo capacity which was the same for the standard -200 version. Ceiling was increased to 42,000 ft (13,000 m). The first 727-200 flew on July 27, 1967 and received FAA certification on November 30, 1967. The first delivery was made on December 14, 1967 to Northeast Airlines. A total of 310 727-200s were delivered before giving way to the 727-200Adv in 1972. B727-200F Freighter A freighter version of the 727-200 Advanced became available in 1981 was designated the Series -200F Advanced and was powered by the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17A engines. The F (Freighter) version featured a strengthened fuselage structure, with an 11 ft 2 inch by 7 ft 2 inch forward main deck freight door and a windowless cabin. This was the last production variant of the 727 to be developed by Boeing and 15 aircraft were built, and all for Federal Express. The last 727 aircraft to be completed by Boeing was the Series 200F Advanced for Federal Express in 1984. In all the total Boeing 727's built was 1,832. Although only fifteen Freighters were actually built. Many Series -200Adv passenger versions were converted to -200F's. The 727 is one of the noisiest commercial jetliners in service and was categorized as Stage 2 by the U.S. Noise Control Act of 1972, which mandated the gradual introduction of quieter Stage 3 aircraft. Current regulations require that a 727 in commercial service must be retrofitted with a hush kit to reduce engine noise to Stage 3 levels. All current flying -200F's are stage 3 except for some flying in parts of Africa. Other versions of the B727 were C's for convertible - passenger/cargo version. The C had an additional freight door and strengthened floor and floor beams, with three alternate fits: 94 mixed-class passengers 52 mixed-class passengers and four cargo pallets (22,700 lb, 10,297 kg) Eight cargo pallets (38,000 lb, 17,237 kg) Detail Even the earlier converted X-Plane10/11 727 version looked great in X-Plane11, but that version still used the original textures and older lighting dynamics. The new 727 v3 textures and developed X-Plane11 dynamics are a world away from the older versions, for one the scale is far bigger at 4096x4096, and printed out together in their real size they would cover the wall like with a large Beastie Boy poster. So certainly with that large a scale you are going to get really excellent detail and quality, but they also going to tax out your graphic power as well. I found I had to drop my texture resolution a notch to "High" to accommodate them, but the scale is so large that you lose nothing in the quality of the detail (you might lose slight detail with your airport scenery or A.I. traffic), but these big scale textures are the normal now. As with the earlier FJS B732 TwinJet the quality is now just astounding, jaw dropping... as metal (in aluminium) is perfect with highly realistic reflections and are bringing in a realism that you could have only dreamed of when this aircraft was originally released, don't get me wrong the FJS B727 was always good in this area, but now it is levels again higher. Certainly the X-Plane11 dynamics do a lot of the work, but the right grading of metalness also now brings out the shear realism. Boeing standard rivets are perfect and would pass the inspection. Engine inlets and external details of the T8D-15A engines are excellent. Exhaust outlets are highly realistic and detailed, and inner Cam-Shell thrust reversers work as required, and it is superb detailing. The series comes with different engines for different variants as with the JT8D-9 for the 727-100, JT8D-15 for the 727-200 and the JT8D-17 for the 727-200F. Cockpit glass is excellent with that rainbow effect that shows off the depth and strength of the glass. Side cabin glass is fake, and it is noticeable compared to the excellent B732 TwinJet cabin windows, as you lose all those reflections, the depth and the inner cabin detail. Wing detail is better with the higher grade textures, but overall all the detail here is all carried over from the original version. The animations of the complex systems are still one of the best in X-Plane, as the Boeing 727 flap system it is very complicated to allow the aircraft to land at very low speeds (130knts!). There are leading-edge devices (Krueger, or hinged, flaps on the inner wing and the extendable leading edge slats out to the wingtip) and trailing-edge lift enhancement equipment (triple-slotted, aft-moving flaps) are in a 0º, 2º, 5º, 15º, 20º, 25º, 30º and 40º selections, but the 40º is rarely used. They also create a lot of if a huge amount of drag. Landing gear is also carried over, but it was excellent in the first place, again the higher graded textures bring out more of the detailing, and in flight the animations of retraction and extraction are again first rate. It is surprising on how low actually the Boeing 727 sits close to the ground. 8 FlyJSim was always one of the best modelers in X-Plane, and the aircraft has lost none of that experience and quality in the upgrade, in fact everything is and feels more highly evolved, and in most areas have been touched upon and the quality has been enhanced. Menus The menu arrangement is upgraded to the same layout and system as on the Boeing 737 v3 TwinJet... the only difference is the missing "Doors" panel. FlyJSim pioneered originally some of the best menu ideas in X-Plane like with their Vcard, Weights & Balance menus. This layout is now the new standard throughout all of FJS aircraft and replaces the older layout. There are five panels accessed by the pop-up tabs on the left side of your screen. The five panels consist of : Vcard, Weights & Balance, Options, Maintenance System and Pilot notes (Checklist) Vcard and Weights & Balance The Vcard works in association with the Weights & Balance manager and so we will look at them together. The Vcard is your Vspeeds for takeoff and landing. These selections are reflected in the way you load the aircraft via the Weights & Balance panel. The Weights & Balance is powerful but a very easy way to set up the aircraft with fuel, passengers and cargo and it notes the aircraft CoG (centre of Gravity) of MAC (Mean Aerodynamic Chord). Most functions given are to load the aircraft in three options with F - Full. E - Empty and R - Random, of course you can add or subtract passengers and cargo via the blue containers or set the exact fuel required. The Red items denotes aircraft over weight or warnings. The aim is of course to create the best balance on the aircraft to make it fly easier, the wrong settings on this aircraft can make it a very big handful of trouble. Options The options panel allows you to select certain general options for the aircraft. On the panel you can : Select the aircraft's time to be local or zulu... the note system (arrowed) on the bottom of your screen will also tell you the various operations and tips for using the aircraft Have the Co-Pilot call out vSpeed's for you or not. Yokes (below) can be visible or not.  Weights can be in Pounds or Kilograms Weights & Balance, Enabled or Disabled - This will disconnect the Weights & Balance system for the use of FSE compatibility Cockpit Windows can be Dirty or Clean (can be seen later in the review)  TCAS VSI A new feature in the v3 is the TCAS VSI (Vertical Speed Instrument). This instrument is a dual digital instrument that combines the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) display and the Vertical Speed Instrument. This option allows you to have the new instrument or switch back to the older original VSI. The TCAS has full integration into the VSI including full TA/RA. There is the option to turn on the Ground Power Cart and Engine Start cart. The power can be selected on the upper Engineer's Panel and is registered power on, on the DC Dials... ... but there are no physical carts sitting outside the aircraft, which is disappointing considering the overall detail and quality of the aircraft? To get around the missing items I use the JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD) plugin (US$14.95) that will provide the power cart and other aircraft service vehicles as shown above. Field of View, Exterior and Interior Sounds can all be adjusted. You can have three settings of options for the FMC (Flight Management Computer) and first is the clear empty blank panel... Second option is the for the Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System. Nicknamed "CIVA", CIVA Navigation System which is purchased as an add-on for $US10.00 and it 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 also be used in the FlyJSim B737 as well as any other other aircraft of that 60's/70's era. It is well worth the additional cost. (note the CIVA plugin is loaded into the "Aircraft's" Plugin folder and not the X-Plane/Resources/Plugin folder... and you need to load it separately into each aircraft variant). NOTE. To use the CIVA in X-Plane11.20 or higher you will need to use the recently updated version v1.31, any earlier X-Plane version or X-Plane10 will still require the v1.20. Third option is the native X-Plane FMC. The X-FMC option has been dropped, which I think is disappointing as the X-FMC is far more powerful than the native basic version as was in the earlier v2 Boeing 727 which I find a little bland and not as versatile. At least you get the pop-out feature. Maintenance System  The aircraft comes with a built in Maintenance System that covers the Airframe, both engines and the APU. If you have used the FJS Maintenance System before you will know it is quite unforgiving and all repairs can only be done on the ground, but it is highly realistic. But if you can't handle the surprises then turn the system off. Pilot Notes This is in reference a checklist... or setup helper in both ways to get through the myriad of switches and systems. Easy to use and scalable... You can also create your own notes and then add them into the book... it comes with a max of 32 pages, which is very helpful and professional. Cockpit Overview It is hard to imagine that this cockpit design is now six years or more old. So brilliant it was in the first place. But that is only really half the story, as yet over the years the cockpit has also changed quite significantly with more and more active systems being added in and more design items have also been included, as the original OverHead Panel (OHP) if you remember was actually quite blanked out and very empty compared to the comprehensive OHP version in this Boeing 727. One of the very best cockpits in X-Plane? as that point is always debatable, but certainly in a clockwork environment then the answer here is yes. As noted the aircraft went to a "Study" level in v2, but I felt compared to other study level aircraft this B727 just finely and slightly missed the mark, but here and now in this v3 then does this B727 now come up certainly to that required level of Pro skill. And so the question is to be put forth in the point "is the FJS B727 now a full Professional aircraft" The title notes that "Pro" moniker of course, but sometimes that title can be shall we say exaggerated a little bit to create sales. But not here, the one thing that really strikes you with this v3 B727 like the with the companion FJS B732 TwinJet is the true completeness of the aircraft, a single whole in feel, as systems wise this B727 was always a complicated aircraft, as it should be to reflect the 60's era design. But "Study" is now the point in question, remember you are doing the flying in this aircraft for three people?, The Pilot, First Officer and the Flight Engineer on the rear right panel, and that is a lot of workload, and a lot of systems to understand, so yes now the "Study" aspect is heightened certainly more to the fore than ever. The cockpit could be called "simple - complicated" in that the era required a simple design but it looks complicated to the untrained eye. All these flight panels are completely active, every switch, knob and dial all work and are connected to the realistic systems to fly the aircraft. Only a few panels on the rear bulkhead are active, like the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) panel and the fuel transfer panel, the rest are just perfectly matched images. Setting the texture quality to the lower setting of "high" does make the images a little if slightly blurry, but not enough to make them a visible annoyance. Detail is beyond glorious, and now with the X-Plane11 dynamic PBR effects to highlight more the pure 60's feel and environment. You pay for quality and that uber detail.... well certainly you get your money's worth here, and more. Just the best of the best. Cockpit Lighting Cockpit lighting was improved in v2. And it was extremely good before, but is even more outstandingly brilliant now. You have that great collection of eleven dials and switches (four more dials and a dome switch are on the engineers station). Left and right flying instrument and centre engine instrument panels are all fully adjustable as is the OHP and the central throttle quadrant. There is the choice of red or white cockpit illumination. This feature was on the v2, but just as a hidden colour, now in v3 you have the actual lighting domes on the ceiling for both the red and white illumination, the difference they make is excellent in lighting and also as a visual representation. Add in two fully animated reading spotlights and your life in the dark does not get any better than this. Another v3 new lighting feature is the amazing fluorescent lighting, there is one light over the main instrument panel (below right)... ... and the other fluorescent light is over the Engineers Station, turn either on and they flicker realistically and noisily as they illuminate, just brilliant and perfection. You can change (or play?) around with the huge range of various lighting conditions that can satisfy even the most dissenting pilot for low lighting judgement conditions, but remember to fly the aircraft as you can become seriously distracted with all this extensive lighting knob tuning.  Main Panel & Instruments The 727 cockpit is very different in that it is all gauges and dials (known as a "Clockwork Cockpit). There are no glass screens or menu driven tabs in here. There is also a third person to help you handle out with the aircraft systems as well with the Flight Engineer (FE) who is situated sitting rotated 90º behind the First Officer. His panel is bigger than the main panel and in today's modern aircraft as then most of his systems have been transferred over to the Overhead Panel (OHP). The instruments are all the basics that are required for flying. The Standard Six - Artificial Horizon (sometimes known as the attitude indicator) with built in turn indicator, Heading, Compass, Vertical Speed (both versions), Altimeter and Speed (in knots and Mach speed, added to the SS is the back up instruments of Artificial Horizon, Altitude, Radio Altitude, Clock and (outside) air-temperature, the DME 2 - NAV 2 (distance - in Miles) are also situated lower down. The First Officer's set of instruments is very similar except they have a TAS (True AirSpeed) dial and DME 1 - NAV 1 (distance - in Miles). The landing gear lever is also on the right side of the panel. The Flap indicators are here as well for Outbound and Inbound flaps (0º, 2º, 5º, 15º, 20º, 25º, 30º and 40º settings) dials. Lower down are the dials for Pneumatic Brake Pressure and hydraulic Brake Pressure. The center of the panel is dominated by the sets of three engine dials covering "Pressure Ratio (RPM), N1, EXH (Exhaust) Temp, N2 (RPM) and Fuel flow to each engine. To the left is the there items of the Altitude select panel, Total Air Pressure and upper and lower rudder trim pointers. The detailing of these dials is breathtaking and simply eye-widening in operation and in fact the whole panel is exquisite in detail and great design from FlyJSim. I doubt you will never get a better 60's cockpit like this. Step out of a General Aviation aircraft and into this B727 and you would feel more at home than a current line pilot would in the way you interact with the instruments. The three red fire handles are on the top of the glare shield that twist and fire for each engine and the fire system can be tested. Left is the Flight Director (FD). The full flight director system is worked together with the authentic Sperry SP-150 Block V autopilot that is situated in the middle of the throttle pedestal. The autopilot system is quite basic, and it does not pop-up either, so you have to set a point of view that where you can see the autopilot and the vertical speed Instrument at the same time, it is slightly awkward but you do get used to it. For a large airliner it is quite rudimentary. In fact your GA has probably a far more powerful AP than the Boeing 727. The AP may be rudimentary, but it is still highly effective in its simplicity. Radio Panel is also very authentic to the period. The frequency is set and then you just flip a switch over to activate the frequency that you require in all settings from COMM, VOR 1 and 2 and NDB (ADF or Automatic Direction Finder here). Below the radio are the large Rudder and Aileron "Trim" knobs. New to v3 is a fully operating WRX weather radar. which has accurate cloud reflectivity, full simulation of energy dissipation and signal attenuation and simulation or radar returns and terrain interference. You can also tune the gain and tilt to scan through the cloud layers appropriately for your position in fight. The differences with the Overhead Panel are highlighted here with the original (left) and the v3 (right). One thing to note is that the aircraft's manipulators are new and clever. They come in two forms in half-moon for each side movement and a circle to drag (and turn) in the centre, and the ease that you can adjust knobs and switchgear is excellent and fast. There is a full Anti-Ice panel and Window heat, engine start and full external and internal lighting switchgear that are all now active on the OHP. One feature has however been deleted from the last version and now the same as the FJS B732 TwinJet is the is the pushback truck. FJS recommends now to use the BetterPushBack Truck as the alternative. The aircraft has been tuned so the BetterPushback works perfectly with the B727, and the same feature is also available in that if you press on the OHP the "Ground Call Button" on the OHP the BetterPushBack truck will answer your call.... great. Flight Engineer's station is quite simply perfection... ... and it is quite complicated to use as all the major systems in : Electrical, Pressurization, Air-Conditioning, Oxygen, Air-Bleed, Heating, Fuel system, Hydraulics are all active in use and operation, yes you need to study the systems in depth to understand them all and the provided manual is a good place to start in explaining the systems, but in not confounding you in too much jargon... it is called a "study" aircraft for a reason. Flying the Tri-Jet v3 The flight today is from EDDL (Düsseldorf) to ESSA (Stockholm - Arlanda). I set my passenger and cargo loads to a ZFW of 126030lbs and a fuel load of 25710lbs for a total of 151740lbs GW, and I selected the native X-Plane FMC and I used the standard .fms file but adjusted the Departure (RWY 05R-Meve3T) and Arrival (RWY 01L - NiLU1J) routes to match the SimBrief routing. The rear stairs do work (sort of) but the view inside is quite weird with no internals? use the (shift) F1 key to raise or lower the stairs. You can start the aircraft with the provided GPU and Engine Start cart, but I started up the APU on board to make my departure quicker. It takes about a minute to power up and settle. The checklist is quite comprehensive and there is a lot of items to check off and test. The passengers are boarded and we are ready to start the engines. So first it is... Window Heat "on" (OHP) and Beacons "on" (OHP). On the FE Panel right down low you turn on the hydraulics and then the eight boost fuel pump switches on the fuel panel. High right is the Air-Conditioning panel, but right now we are only concerned with the "APU Bleed" switches (magenta arrows) to start the engines. So the Air-Con (A/C) packs (green arrows) must be off and with the bleed switches open and then the PSI will show on the dial. As noted you know the APU is pushing power to the aircraft by the AC (centre) dials (It will show the same power output on the APU panel as well). The three engine start switches are on the very top position on the OHP and are covered by black covers, flip each one open and the inner switch can go into two settings "Flight" and "Ground". Here we are starting on the ground so you would use "Ground" selection as the other setting is for restarting the engine in the air (Flight). Clicking the switch down on number 3 engine (Start sequence is 3, 2 (center) and 1) and the dial will start to move in the n2 gauge, when it reaches 17-20% you introduce the fuel by flipping up the "flow/cutoff valve" up. From here on the engine will power up to full idle and you can now start the other engines in sequence. The start up sequence still has that "oh wow" factor even after all this time, watching the dials turn and work, then settle down is highly realistic. When done you can switch on the electrical power from all the three engines and close down the APU (before flight). In it is now not requiring the "Bleed" function, then you can set your Air-Con A/C packs to provide bleed to the aircraft's pressure and cooling systems. Easy to do? yes after a few run throughs it does actually get easier. In knowing what dial or switch does what easily helps you find your way around. The trick is understanding the bleed and A/C packs and that the required pressure is correct in starting the engines. The sound of a Boeing 727 in idle is that loud whining squealing noise that was so familiar only a few years ago. The FlyJSim sounds are extremely good... Noisy, but good. And they get better. But I have a AC generator failure on Engine no.3... damn? It shows if I turn the switch to Gen 3 and the low power is shown on the no 3 Bus Tie. So I now have two choices, fly with the fault (yes you can) or fix it now by shutting down almost every thing including the GPU and doing the required maintenance. I choose the latter, fix it now and so you don't have to worry about a broken generator all the way to Sweden. All restarted and we are finally ready to go.... As I am sitting on a remote stand, and so I don't need the BetterPushBack option. The B727 needs a bit of thrust to get moving but once it does, then you can pull the thrust back a bit... At the RWY 05R hold point there a few items to checklist... Flaps at 5º, Getting the right flap setting is crucial between lift and drag... There is a hidden active area (arrowed) in the green area to set your current takeoff trim, this is one action you must not miss... unless you want to end up a crash statistic. Use the Vcard to your Vspeeds (bugs) for takeoff, i also usually note them down and add 10+ to the v2 rotate. Power up and keep the power around 90% rpm, no need to go to absolute full throttle, and if you do you will regret it. Takeoff roll start is slow, but you build speed very quickly and you need some forward yoke to keep the nosewheel on the ground until the rotate point. Rotate at v2 is here around 150knts. The B727 may look dramatic, but in reality you have to fly it with skill. On rotate you keep the pitch at around only 5º-8º until the aircraft actually drags itself into the air and then has some space under the wheels before then gaining pitch to a more 15º or 2000fpm. You have a rear skid under the rear in case you mess it up, but that would be a sign of a poor pilot if you scratched it?... The aircraft handles very smoothly under the climb and you can hold the pitch perfectly. The aircraft does have pitch hold system if you require it. The aircraft is very hands on, you are working very hard in there and you have to be very disciplined in your actions, and procedures. Aircraft handling is very, very good. FlyJSim were always the masters of getting a lot of feel into their aircraft... but now there is the added dimension of the X-Plane11 dynamics and performance. Compared to the v2 the B727 it does feel different, depending on your overall weight. So your focus is on really flying the aircraft via throttle control and with the balance of the controls, and to be honest your whole focus at this stage of the flight is just on doing all that, and even a simple thing like turning off the wing lighting and the passenger signs are usually left far later than you would usually do... Flap retraction for 5º is 189 knts, 2º 190 knts and all in just below 200 knts. You have to maintain your vigilance and focus on your "Press (pressure) Ratio". Go above the marker at 19 and nasty things can start to happen. The B727 does not have any engine management systems, so you (the pilots) are responsible in keeping the engines within their operating limits. push those JT8D engines too far and they will burn out... or you will be pulling fire handles. You work with "aims". I set up to aim for a certain speed and altitude and more importantly aim for a certain position... or waypoint. Once there you can activate the Sperry Autopilot to take over a lot of the workload, but have to know or set every thing up in advance to make sure you know in what direction you have to go (with the course needle), where you need to be when you get there. So following a set of headings to the flight-plan markers will help... ... as you simply you don't have any helpers in here, as there is no Navigation/Map display? the WRX says map, but it is only for the weather aspect, so you have absolutely no idea of where you are unless you plan it out before hand... a bigger trick is locking into your FMS flightplan, because you can't see it or even know where it actually is? the earlier X-FMC option had a built in route map pop-up, but you now don't have that feature available in here. Most departure SID's usually have a VOR point as their exit from the controlled airspace zone. Here in my case it is MEVEL, on track to the OSNABRUCK (114.30 OSN) VOR dial, so I set my VOR pointer to lock into and fly that radial that will take me to OSN via MEVEL, once close to MEVEL I do a "Direct-To" to lock in the flightplan and activate the waypoint as my next position on the flightplan... as you can guess you have to work all this out before departure, so the procedure goes as smoothly as you can execute it, so you will need your charts, heading numbers and distances to make it all work, or you can cheat and use the built in X-Plane local map, but you don't do that... do you? These 60's jets are fast, really fast... the B727 will cruise easily at m8.5 or if you want to even at m8.6, so you have to keep a sharp eye on the speed and adjust the throttles to keep the aircraft from going over it's limiter (warning), as at the same time to adjust the throttles for the lighter fuel load as you cover the ground speed rather quickly. There is not of a lot of automation in the B727 cockpit, so you have to take the notes and do the adjustments. range in the -200 adv is quite limited at 1,900 nmi (3,500 km), both the -100 and the Freighter have far more range at 2,250 nmi (4,170 km). Of course there is also the differences again with the different versions of the JT8D engines installed in each variant with each individual performance tuned to that type of engine. Now and again you can look out of the windows at that incredible view. There is the option to clean the aircraft's windows, but the "clean" option is that the window surrounds are darker than with the "dirty" option? The exceptional original wide range of sounds are still here, but the DreamEngine that has been on the aircraft since 2012 has been removed for the now standard native FMOD engine... like I noted, nothing really has been lost and in fact I found a more sonic change in moving around the cockpit (more realism) and the full 180º range around the external aircraft as well, and even down to the detail of the buzz of the fluorescent lights, and the APU is quite loud. Arlanda The trickiest part is getting the B727 down into the lower speed zones, the different markings on the Speed dial do show you where you can use which flap setting and when. But getting the aircraft down under the initial 200knt zone without putting your nose high is a bit of a skill, worse is that the initial 2º are just the forward edge flaps and not the nose leveling rear, so you need to get your speed down to the 15º flap to have that flap speed control, and it is not as easy as it looks. I have got to know the aircraft very well over the years, but the X-Plane11 dynamics have created a whole new ball game in the way the aircraft flies and you are having to relearn a lot of the differences between the new and the old, like I have already mentioned in that the FJS aircraft are very finely tuned, and this newer XP11 version now lift's your game again into that higher skill range. The Sperry Autopilot is very accurately modeled including the manual glideslope with intercept mode and altitude capture, which is available here with mode interlocks. Again even in auto mode or with your manual flying the pure thrust throttle control is highlighted on your approach slope... you can see why older pilot's enjoy the purity of this era's aircraft, as your flying skills are highlighted. One bonus is that your approach speed can be quite low, almost GA speeds. This was to help with landing at remote airstrips that isn't done with aircraft this size anymore. So 140knts and 25º flap can be used on arrival, and this gives you a great steady platform to get your landing correct. But the thrust is high compared to the speed to overcome the huge flap drag. Final approach and 130 knts with 30º flap is about perfect, and it is a total feel thing... speed, thrust and handling, as it should be. The aircraft does have both Autobraking and Flare, but you don't really need either, as for one your approach speed is quite low and you sorta automatically use your throttle and lower the speed once you are over the threshold and create your own perfect flair as the speed rubs off. Like all rear-engined aircraft (MD-88) you need to watch the nosewheel doesn't get too high, it needs a firm hand to keep it under control and also keep tracking the aircraft directly. If you watch any videos of aircraft flying and landing like this you usually see some pretty violent yoke movements at these points to keep the aircraft steady. Even though the engines are a fair way back from the cockpit... the huge roar of the reverse-thrust is still highly noticeable, and it is brilliant if seen and heard externally... a note is that these era aircraft Autopilot and Flight Director don't disengage on landing, you have to switch them both off manually. Cleaning up the aircraft and taxiing to bay 38 is a doodle after all that, you certainly get a serious workout with these older aircraft. The B727 is fully VR (Virtual Reality) compatible for the very best immersive experience. External Lighting All external lighting is excellent. There are four landing lights, but the outer lights are covered by the forward leading-edge flaps if the flaps are retracted, front wheel strut taxi (moves), runway turnoff, wing/ice, navigation, strobe and beacons are all covered as is the logo light on the tail. All lighting reflects on the ground including the strobes. Liveries All the original liveries are available, but that huge B727 collection that you built up over the years is now useless, as the paintkit has been changed to accommodate the larger scale files and quality. The painkit is already available for use, and so it won't be long before they will start reappearing again... FlyJSim have also created a site for these liveries to be hosted and can be downloaded here... FlyJSim Liveries the Painkit (1.04GB) is on the same page. Provided liveries are: 727-100 American (N1996), United (N7001U), Eastern Airlines (N8102N) 727-200 Alaska Airlines (N294AS), FlyJSim v3 House Colours (N727FJ), Lufthansa (D-AFBI), Pan Am (N4737), PSA (N533PS) 727-200F DHL (N741DH), FedEx (N466FE),Kelowna Flightcraft (C-GWKF) Summary To a point this review is preaching to the converted as this Boeing 727 Series from FlyJSim has been around since late 2012. Some of the basics are still here of that initial aircraft, but in reality this is a very different aircraft from that earlier aircraft in almost every way. Earlier updates mostly focused on systems including Electrical, Pressurization, Air-Conditioning, Oxygen, Air-Bleed, Heating, Fuel system, Hydraulics, Anti-Ice, and then the layout for both the FD-108 flight director that is fully independent from the Sperry SP-150 autopilot to bring it into the full "Study" paradigm. Even taken into account of the era of the aircraft it is at it's heart still very highly technical, if old school flying machine. This v3 upgrade is more than simply making the B727 X-Plane11 compatible, as it has been totally revised in many areas, the details covered here are huge if only intimate in changes, it may not look so from the surface, but you know the difference when you fly it. Dynamically in texture quality and performance it is levels above the previous version and this is certainly in every way THE X-Plane11 version and delivers the overwhelming features that X-Plane11 has to offer, but that is also noticeable on your computer in the effect it has on your graphic power, a step up in all the sheer detail available here, this also means another step down in the way you have to absorb it. New v3 features include the custom weather radar modeling that simulates realistic cloud reflectivity, radar scanning, energy attenuation, and interference. and the full TCAS integration into a VSI instrument, including full TA/RA. A few changes from the v2 with the removed X-FMC, which was better than the native FMC, and the older livery collection does not now work and the menu system is improved. The release of FlyJSim's Boeing 737 TwinJet set the bar very, very high, to the point it could be even be one of the very best aircraft ever created for X-Plane. The Boeing 727 is overall a far more dramatic aircraft than the B737, and so the B727 Series should be even better again, but as the B737 was a totally complete airliner, then the B727 doesn't have it's cabin and rear internal features, including opening doors. But to compensate for that you do get in almost every area better and bigger systems and the best cockpit in X-Plane, but also the three different variants of the same aircraft. FlyJSim is an exceptional developer, now not one but two of their aircraft with the release of the Boeing 727's v3 after the earlier Boeing 737 v3 TwinJet as they both sit at the top of the list or pile in their sheer dynamics and quality, both give you an extraordinary experience, but also come with the requirement that you have to study and fly them like a Pro or with the professional approach they both require, but at least you know you are getting your money's worth back with all that work you have to put in, and know in the knowledge that you have mastered and is flying the very best of the best old school airliners... Highly Recommended _____________________________________________________________________________________ The 727 Series Pro V3 by FlyJSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : 727 Series Professional V3 Your Price: $59.95 Currently the package is now for all three variants, the aircraft are now not sold separately. The v3 upgrade is however not free but it is an pay upgrade and the deal is for those who bought the complete earlier 727 Series package can get this new aircraft package at 50% off the purchase price - Find your coupon code in your original 727 order. Optional : The plugin for the CIVA Navigation System addon that costs US$10 is here: CIVA Navigation System Features Study Level Systems and Dynamics Designed with input and testing by former 727-200 pilots and mechanics. FD-108 flight director that is fully independent from the autopilot. All modes accurately modeled and with accurate mode interlocks and animation. SP-150 autopilot accurately modeled including MAN G/S intercept mode and altitude capture. Accurate mode interlocks and animation. Altitude alert system acquisition and deviation modes and flaps 30/40 cutout modeled. Autobrake system modeled to match real world data Fully custom weather radar modeling. We now simulate realistic cloud reflectivity, radar scanning, energy attenuation, and interference. Full TCAS integration into a VSI instrument, including full TA/RA. Compatible with the Pilotedge network. Accurate simulation of an APU, ground power, generator paralleling and sync lights system. Every annunciator light is push to test. Bulbs burn out, so be sure to spot the burnt out bulbs during preflight! Independent and functional navigation and communication systems, including separate nav radios, adf radios, VHF radios and more. Bleed systems and performance physically modeled, and respond to temperature, altitude, wear, and humidity. Pressurization and environmental cabin control systems faithfully modeled. Get the packs on before loading passengers on a hot day, and watch the cabin temp cool as the sun sets. Auto, Standby, AC and DC manual modes all faithfully modeled. Aft cabin zone heating system is modeled. Duct overheats and pack trips and resets are modeled. FMC and CIVA units realistically coupled to pilot HSI for improved situational awareness Fully custom hydraulic systems and electrical busses Instrument Comparator GPWS including test functionality Warning systems Fire protection systems Weather radar Extraordinary Exterior Incredible textures. Revamped textures show every rivet, crease, dent and oil stain on the exterior of our aircraft. Watch as light realistically reflects and reacts with every corner of this aircraft Detailed animations. All exterior control surfaces animated accurately to real world behavior and smoothly driven even in replay using our enhanced custom replay system. Accurately animated control surfaces, landing gear, flap deflections, and wing flex all help immerse you when piloting the aircraft. Detailed lighting. Lighting is based off real 727 data. Landing, taxi, taxi turnoff, strobe, beacon, navigation lights, wing and even logo lights have been faithfully modeled using the real angles and dimensions from real 727 documentation. Sound They called it the whisperjet… but the sounds are anything but quiet. Continuing from the success of the 732 Twinjet, FlyJSim has developed an accurate and immersive FMOD sound pack, which provides a fully 3D positional experience. Experience the realistic screech of a 727 JT8D engine at full power. You will hear every engine, switch, and greased trim wheel. Definitely an experience you will want to keep the headphones on for! Comprehensive Menu System Redesigned and unobtrusive menu that dynamically appears only when moused over Weight and Balance Manager provides detailed loading of passengers, cargo and fuel to accurately and dynamically shift the aircraft’s center of gravity (CG) V-card popup provides dynamic V-speeds for landing and takeoff including improved flap schedule calculations for user selected takeoff and landing flap config Additional customizable options menu to configure the plane and navigation systems Checklist and notes provided in sime with a 32-page fully customizable window that includes checklists and an overview of the aircraft. Have something you need to reference in the flight? Add it into the notes page! Our menu system is now 4K ready and can be easily scaled and moved to best suit your screen resolution X-Plane VR compatible For anyone who is as excited as we are for the technology, the FlyJSim 727 Series Professional is now fully compatible with X-Plane’s VR system. Now with custom and interactive manipulators, teleport hotspots and magnetic surfaces. Requirements: X-Plane 11.20+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb+ VRAM Video card Current review version: 3.0 (August 10th 2018) Installation : Download file size is 1.4gb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Aircraft Folder. All Installed file sizes are 2.31gb 727_Series_Pro_V3_-200Adv_C2 (847.40mb) 727_Series_Pro_V3_-100_C2 (931mb) 727_Series_Pro_V3_-200F_C2 (708.20mb) Documents : Four documents that cover almost everything you will need to fly the Boeing 727 Pro. The procedures manual is really well done. 1. FJS 727 Series Manual.pdf 2. FJS 727 Series Procedures.pdf 3. FJS 727 Series Manoeuvres.pdf 4. FJS 727 Series Systems.pdf FJS - 727 Series - Support forum FJS - 727 Series - Developer Site _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton  10th August 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 Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft -EDDL- Airport Dusseldorf by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.53 -ESSA- Stockholm Arlanda by tdg (X-Plane.org) - free
  22. 1 point
    Awesome review as always, and is most appreciated. I really have nothing more to add other than to say it is a good airplane and I've been having a love hate relationship with it. Mainly me learning how not to burn up the engines. I intended to use the aircraft for flight-jobs.net and eventually FS economy. But I have to say the fuel to payload ratio is difficult to make money with the aircraft. Hopefully developer in time will add some additional content to the aircraft by way of having a cargo only interior, would be nice as an example. Take advantage of that big cargo door in the back. Overall I'm in agreement with you that the airplane is very good and I recommend it to anybody who wants to fly a low wing turboprop. Cheers Dion Couple of Pictures Enjoy https://1drv.ms/u/s!AglhWNIoqRUugZY9L56vaXezGFK4Ag https://1drv.ms/u/s!AglhWNIoqRUugZY_Maifa_ElBpQ_Og
  23. 1 point
    Scenery Review : LCLK - Laranca International, Cypress by JustSim One of the great things about X-Plane is exploring, you can go to places that was never on your radar and then find something interesting there. The experience is highlighted more if you have good scenery to depict or simulate the real destination on arrival and that is why really good scenery is always great to invest in. I have noted that my X-Plane experiences are to create a network of going from one realistic airport to another realistic airport and any new scenery that I can add to that network and to be used within that network is valuable to me. Of course creating tight networks can also means not venturing or going outside your boundaries which in reality means flying mostly within the continental USA, the Australian Triangle and of course Europe. But in the last few years a few quality sceneries have pushed out those boundaries so to speak. One was to UUEE - Moscow Sheremetyevo by Drzewiecki Design with the addon Moscow City also by DD and another was to UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City in Azerbaijan also by Drzewiecki Design, and both are very interesting destinations. Cypress in reality wasn't really as a destination on my radar. But I found a really great A318 video on the Cobalt Air route between Zurich and Laranca (shown below) and I was smitten. So when JustSim released LCLK - Laranca International Cypress scenery I instantly wanted LCA to be part of my network, and what a great choice of airport that was. Cypress as a country is caught in a divided situation with the invasion by Turkey on 20th July 1974, This forced the closure of Nicosia International Airport and Larnaca Airport was then hastily developed towards the end of 1974 and subsequently as a military installation. The site on which it was built (near the Larnaca Salt Lake) had been previously used as an airfield in the 1930s but this was a new facility by British forces. Larnaca International opened on 8th February 1975, with only limited infrastructure facilities and a prefabricated set of buildings comprising of separate halls for departures and arrivals. The status of Cyprus as a major tourist destination means that air traffic has steadily risen to over 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity the airport as when it was first designed for. For this reason, a tender was put out in 1998 to develop the airport further and increase its capacity with a new terminal which was built some 500–700 m (1,600–2,300 ft) west of the old terminal with new aprons and jetways. Already completed elements of the expansion included a new control tower, fire station, runway extension, and additional administrative offices which are still there. Larnaca Airport is situated on the south coast of Cypress, 4km (2.5 mi) southwest of Larnaca and 49.4km south of Nicosia. JustSim I personally I like JustSim sceneries. They are not the most extreme in detailing and every single item is covered sort of scenery. But you do get a highly detailed scenery at a great value cost factor and they do use the X-Plane features to their best advantages. So the point is you can cover the required airports and destinations and that allows you to have more quality scenery for less. LCLK - Larnaca International Overview You can immediately see that there are extensive ortho-photographic images used in this scenery and the area used is quite large and not just confined to the airport's boundaries. The joins to the native X-Plane textures are well hidden as well and all in all it blends in together quite well. The only significant visual point is the sea colour cutoff that is quite abrupt and shows you the boundary of the orthos, a smoother transition would have helped here. The orthos are also little flat and not high, high resolution, but they work fine in context. JustSim are always very good at creating custom local buildings and then melting them directly into the native autogen and in that creating a seemless transition from the custom to the native areas. This is very evident here at Larnaca and very well done. You do have to run your object settings at the full mode, but in reality it doesn't matter as the autogen count is low here and your framerate is not overly affected. Yes the autogen housing is German but it still works fine. Larnaca International Airport Διεθνής Aερολιμένας Λάρνακας Larnaka Uluslararası Havaalanı (IATA: LCA, ICAO: LCLK) 04/22 2,994m (9,823ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 3 m / 7 ft LCLK comes with a single 04/22 Runway and the airport's facilities are situated all on the northwest side of the runway, central-northeast is the older terminal and far northeast is the cargo area... the newer terminal complex is situated to the far southwest. Terminal The central terminal area is excellent, the building construction is very well done and highly detailed, realism is the key here and it works very well. From the ground point of view it is very, very good with nice brush and grass to fill in the blank areas, It feels a bit like Aerosoft's KEF - Keflavik around areas of the terminal zone. Glass is excellent with reflections, but it is the extreme detailing in static items that are a standout, with everything from bollards, cones to safety barriers and a huge amount of ground service equipment makes any arrival a realistic event. The airport has dynamic animated ground vehicles as well to add into the environment. There is also the Visual Docking Guidance System (VDGS) that works with the stands around the terminal... but the guidance boards didn't work very well, I don't know if they are not set up correctly or just not working, so you have to guess and align the aircraft yourself to get the airbridge to connect. Another slight oddity is the carpark/rental parking area in front of the Terminal is empty? It makes it look like the scenery is unfinished, which is very odd considering so much effort has gone into the rest of the scenery with excellent 3d vehicles. There is a nice stand area southwest but adjacent to the main terminal area. This area covers stands 11-18 with stands 11, 12 and 13 having a B option. Around the main terminal are stands 21 to 48A but they are not in sequential order, so consult your charts. Surfaces and taxiways Surfaces are first rate, great textures and reflections as is the runway textures and taxiway markings. JustSim notes that the surfaces are set up to use the new xEnviro 1.08 rain (wet) feature which is not yet released, so I will be looking forward to trying that feature out. Northeast of the terminal area is the airport administration building and baggage trolley/catering storage area, this area is very active with baggage trucks going about their busy business... well done. Control Tower More central northeast is the original control tower and adjoining well detailed fire station... which both are modeled with a sort of 70's RAF feel, which it is as LCLK was originally a UK military base. Tower view is perfect with each 04/22 approach clear and with no visual obstructions. Between the central area and the far northwest cargo area is the Limassol salt lake and water feature... a nice touch is (to scale) is a flock of Pink Flamingos which are famous here in Cypress for their migration over the Mediterranean to Africa and return. The lake has been very well created with a depth of colour that gives you of a sort of 3d water effect. Old Larnaca Terminal area The original 1974 Larnaca terminal is still there, although now it only used as a VIP reception and private jet arrival area. It seems such a waste for such a iconic building to be empty, a so would it be a good terminal for LCC's? (Low Cost Carriers). The old airport infrastructure is also well represented, with warehouses and offices and storage areas to the rear, the detail is just as good here as in the other areas and that significantly fills out the scenery. Between the Control Tower zone and the older terminal area is some nice GA parking stands with static aircraft. Below is the full old airport terminal areas. LCLK Cargo Far, far northeast is the LCLK Cargo and maintenance area. The cargo area is quite large as most Island based airports are because of the logistical requirements of the area. Cargo freighters are represented with DHL the biggest operator. The large Bird Aviation Hangar dominates the far, far northeast of the airport. Stands 1 then Stands 61 to 94 covers this Apron 2 area with stand 92 designated a "Engine Run" (test) stand. Rear of Apron 2 is an GA parking area with stands G1 to G21, stands 65 and 66 are also noted as situated here. Lighting My dusk approach to LCLK - Larnaca was quite rousing. It looked really good from the air and that gave me a very good first impression of the scenery. Approach lighting to RWY 22 was visually very good and realistic... ... note the nice light reflections off the taxiways and Aprons. Overall lighting at LCLK is quite good with all areas covered and a lot of the ramp and aprons with spot lighting... Taxiway lighting and guidance lighting is very good, but not visible until close up (on the ground). Terminal lighting is very good and you have nice lit glass, but you also feel something is missing? Again that front of terminal carpark is in darkness and close into the terminal which is the inner vehicle roadway is very dark and it makes the whole terminal area feel slightly isolated and overall darker (far lower right) when it shouldn't be? Ramp lighting is not too bad and workable, but overall you feel it could have been better. Nice advertising sign in the unilluminated carpark stands out. Cargo area is just some (six) spot lighting, and feels a little underwhelming here also. Rear Cargo zone is quite good with some nice downlighting, and the old Terminal building is well lit up nicely, but a few outside overhead spot lighting would have lightened the view a bit more, instead it is another darkish area. Services Cobalt Air, Cypress Airways and Aegean Airlines are based at LCLK. And currently holds domestic, regional and international passenger and cargo services by over 30 airlines and notably that Gulf Air used to provide a non-stop service to New York/JFK twice a week. Most services are seasonal but Aeroflot services both St Petersburg and Moscow as RPT services. WT3 WorldTraffic3 notes. WT3 works here but not very well. Two generations (or retry) of ground routes created a sort of hotch-potch of activity. Too many aircraft disappear at the end of the runway and some even track all the way down the runway to turnaround to takeoff? which is odd as they don't have to. A few gates work around the terminal but most of the stands stay empty and certainly it is an empty non-active space down in the cargo area. I checked the JustSim ATC routes and they look fine, but do they have that minute detail that makes the flows work correctly? LCLK will need an outside helping hand to see its full WT3 potential. Summary Overall this is a very solid scenery from JustSim. If you have purchased their excellent scenery in the past then you won't be disappointed here either. LCLK make for an excellent destination and a great addition to your European network, yes flights from central Europe are three hours away, but Italy is only half that distance and so that makes Rome or Sicily great stepping off points. Basically the scenery design is solid and very well done, detail is excellent as is the use of X-Plane11 features in reflections and animations. The blending it to the surrounding native scenery is also well done except for the cut off water edges... But there are a few areas you feel that is unfinished, like the front terminal carpark and some lighting in the inner terminal areas and more lighting on the aprons and the non-working VDGS displays. These JustSim sceneries are great scenery fillers at a value price, but Larnaca adds in a more interesting destination as well. I believe you will more than likely find this airport a very interesting routing and enjoy the scenery, so it delivers on many counts including great value, so LCLK - Larnaca certainly comes recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the LCLK - Laranca International, Cypress by JustSim is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LCLK - Laranca International, Cypress Price Is US$19.90 Features: Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings Custom airport lights Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Animated ground vehicles (X-Plane 11 only) Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Excellent night effects Realistic reflections on glass World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Animated Jetways (plugin by Marginal) New exclusive feature: Rain effects on ground Effect will be controlled by xEnviro v1.08 (and higher) plugin. Cobalt LCA to ZUR is available as well : Cobalt Air Airbus A319 | Cockpit Flight Zurich-Larnaca | Cockpit View from Takeoff to Landing! Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current Version : 1.0 (Feb 22 2018) Installation Download scenery file size is 602.00mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as 1.34gb. Documents There are no manuals or charts incuded with this scenery. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th March 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10 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 Scenery or Aircraft - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  24. 1 point
    Hi Stephen, I don't know if your "Best of the year award" is dedicated to payware only: if it's open to the freeware, there is the absolute gem DC-3/C-47 from Aeroworx. I own the VSkyLab too and they provide both a slightly different view of the same airframe; really interesting to compare them. And they are some nice dedicated painters as well. And still about the "Best of the year award: Person of the year", they're multiple, at least regarding their activities in my scope: Franz Falckenhaus (dedicated to the SMS's Beaver by providing top notch liveries, custom objects and a marvelous engine sound mod and now member of SMS); some painters like Leen de Jager, "monoblau", ...; Bertrand Augras who's upgrading some of the XPFR gems; Claudio Nicolotti from SimCoders; X-Trident guys for the support they provide to their users lately; I agree with you about Beti-X Bella Coola (and Stewart!). The only downside, if there is any, could be the time to deliver products but, even, I still prefer a low pace in high quality than a quickly done product. Besides: I'm worry about the PMDG DC-6's future. A really nice add-on in v10 but needs some love in v11. And no news from PMDG, AFAIK... tdg's sceneries are really great, I own WT3 too (as WT2) but still don't use it: with all the respect to the huge work provided by Greg Hofer, I'm still thinking that those kind of products should work by themselves without having to upgrade all the scenes. I know that the culprit is on the data side but we should have a tool generating the missing data (in the tdg's spirit: maybe not 100% accurate but 100% plausible, and fixable if we want accuracy) As always, thanks for your reviews. Have a great New Year too Stephen, all the best. Christophe.
  25. 1 point
    X-PlaneReviews : 4th Anniversary Competition! X-PlaneReviews : 4th Anniversary Competition! Winners! Thanks for everyone who entered our 4th Anniversary Competition and the winners are! Tinmug - Finalist DC3 FlyGal - Finalist MD88 Grant543 - Finalist A330 Pilotofnothing - Finalist PA28 vFlyteAir Sukhoi Baron - Finalist - B737 Winners will be contacted by the X-Plane.OrgStore over the next few days (Don't email the store till they contact you). Thanks Again... X-PlaneReviews is four years old, but who is counting? age is in the mind not the body right. But with all the seriousness around us we should celebrate a significant milestone and so we shall, by feeling great and giving lots of free stuff away. So thanks to the generosity of developers and the X-Plane.OrgStore we have a lot of very nice aircraft for you to win. Five Winners can choose one aircraft from: FlightFactor/VMax Boeing 777 FlightFactor/VMax Boeing 767 FlightFactor/VMax Boeing 757 FlightFactor Airbus A350 FlyJSim Boeing 727 All aircraft are on offer in the competition and only for the month of August 2017 and CLOSES midnight 31st August 2017 So how do you win the prizes! We want to know what you think is the best aircraft in X-Plane, but the aircraft must have been in a review that has been released by X-PlaneReviews. So you have to refer to the review in X-PlaneReviews... a link is worth more brownie points... Example: ------ Aircraft Review - DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project Then give us 150 words on why you think it is the best aircraft in X-Plane and why it is worth the purchase. ------- Conditions for entry Just insert your entry on only this page below to enter and sorry only one entry per user is allowed so make it count. No X-PlaneReview review connection will mean your entry is invalid for the competition. The competition is only open to joined members of this X-PlaneReviews site, so you have to log in to enter. X-PlaneReviews have the rights to republish the winners on this and other sites. Winners will be picked on detail and originality of their answers, and winners prizes are final and the prizes are supported with updates, but not upgrades. Winners are drawn 1st September 2017. Do your best and enjoy, I am looking forward to seeing what your views are on X-Plane products. Stephen Dutton 5th August 2017
  26. 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!)
  27. 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.
  28. 1 point
    Looks like you have C++ Redistributables missing. If you use Windows they ALL have to be installed. SD
  29. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series by RWDesigns DHC-6 Twin Otters were quite thin on the ground for X-Plane a few years ago, but now that has all changed. First there was a great conversion of Syd Adam's version by Pedro van Leeuwen into his own freeware aircraft, and this was a great conversion. But it still had mostly default X-Plane switchgear and instruments and considering this the aircraft has still been overwhelmingly very popular. Now Jetsim has released their own payware version and this version is a complete ground up built aircraft of the veritable famous "Twotter". The DHC-6 is a Canadian 19-passenger STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and is currently produced by Viking Air. Some places note the aircraft is not in production anymore, but it is. After Series 300 production had ended in 1988, the remaining tooling was then purchased by Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, who manufactured replacement parts for all of the out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft. On February 24, 2006, Viking purchased the type certificates from Bombardier Aerospace for all the out-of-production de Havilland DHC-1 through DHC-7 aircraft. The ownership of the certificates gives Viking the exclusive right to manufacture new aircraft. Currently the production restarted on July 17, 2006, at the Farnborough Air Show as Viking Air announced its intention to offer a Series 400 Twin Otter. On April 2, 2007 production of the Viking Twin Otter, equipped with a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engine was initiated and construction began and Zimex Aviation of Switzerland received the first new production aircraft, serial number 845, in July 2010. As of summer 2014 Viking has already built 55 new Series 400 aircraft at their Calgary facility. Serial number 900 took flight in spring 2014. The production rate as of summer 2014 is approximately 24 aircraft per year. To date there has been just under a 1000 Twin Otters of all series produced. Development of the aircraft began in 1964, with the first flight on May 20, 1965. A twin-engined replacement for the single-engined DHC-3 Otter retaining DHC's renowned STOL qualities, design features included double-slotted trailing edge flaps and ailerons that work in unison with the flaps to boost STOL performance. The availability of the 550 shp (410 kW) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-20 propeller turboprop in the early 1960s made the concept of a twin more feasible. To bush operators, the improved reliability of turboprop power and the improved performance of a twin-engined configuration made it an immediately popular alternative to the piston-powered Otter which had been flying since 1951. The first six aircraft produced were designated Series 1, indicating that they were prototype aircraft. The initial production run consisted of Series 100 aircraft, serial number seven to 115 inclusive. In 1968, Series 200 production began with serial number 116. Changes made at the beginning of Series 200 production included improving the STOL performance, adding a longer nose that was equipped with a larger baggage compartment (except for aircraft fitted with floats) and fitting a larger door to the rear baggage compartment. All Series 1, 100 and 200 aircraft and their variants (110, 210) were fitted with the 550 shaft-horsepower PT6A-20 engines. In 1969, the Series 300 was introduced, beginning with serial number 231. Both aircraft performance and payload were improved by fitting more powerful PT6A-27 engines. This was a 680 hp (510 kW) engine that was flat-rated to 620 hp (460 kW) for use in the Series 300 Twin Otter. The Series 300 proved to be the most successful variant by far, with 614 Series 300 aircraft and their sub-variants (Series 310 for United Kingdom operators, Series 320 for Australian operators, etc.) sold before production in Toronto by de Havilland Canada ended in 1988. (wikipedia). Performance : Maximum speed 160 knots (297 km/h at cruise altitude) 170 knots (314 km/h at cruise altitude) : Cruise speed 150 knots (278 km/h at cruise altitude) : Stall speed 58 knots (107 km/h at cruise altitude) : Range (Max fuel, no payload) 771 nmi (1,427 km) 775 nmi (1,434 km) 799 nmi (1480 km) 989 nmi (1832 km) with long range tankage : Service ceiling 25,000 ft (7,620 m) RWDesigns de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Yes this is a great looking Twin Otter from RWDesigns (formerly Jetsim). It is the long nose version (no notes on if a short nose version will happen?) and finally we have a quality version of this great and versatile aircraft. These short distance regional aircraft are some of the best to fly in X-Plane, because they are just that... very versatile. They give you great flexibility in island hopping or airport hopping around touristy areas and delivering people and cargo to remote areas and even supplying supplies to people who have a habit of doing badly planned adventures and even then saving them from themselves (or mostly getting them back to the nearest hospital). In most cases you need an aircraft like the Twin Otter in most or all of those scenarios. Modelling wise the Twin Otter is pretty good, with great detailing of rivets and paneling from the X-Plane "draw per pixel lighting" shading effects and aircraft body fittings, although it is still a high step up into the cockpit. looking up the cockpit looks excellent in detail. This is the office and you will spend a lot of time in here and so you will require it to be very good... thankfully it is. The Twin Otter cockpit is quite short as the pilot's and co-pilots seats are resting closely to the rear cockpit bulkhead, there is not much room in there or space. the two yokes are on a V central column and are expertly created. the main power (throttle), feather and fuel (cutoff) levers with the flap selector set out behind are all arranged on the centre overhead box structure. Once up in the left hand pilot's seat the panel looks quite basic for a two engined regional aircraft. The pilot gets most of the instruments and the co-pilot really gets only the standard six instrument pack and a turn indicator. Power "on" is on one of two small switch panels on the left and right side of the main overhead structure. If you want the main switchgear then it is directly above your head and right up against the rear cockpit bulkhead. Main panel lighting are three rotary knobs right above you rear with two for the Panel/Eng-Inst pilot (left) and one for the radio/co-pilot (right). twirl them all up and the overhead and panel comes to life. And it all looks really great. Point to be aware of is you need to set your X-Plane views to cater for this straight up extreme switch and knob position, you will go up here quite a lot and you need to get there and back quickly. Not everything though is now switched on... you have to also now switch on the equipment stack one radio set at a time. A feature I really like, because it is very realistic. You have the 10.30 Garmin GNS 530 gps with a pop-out screen, to turn on it is a two button press activation with the .C button first and then an "OK?" by pressing the "ENT" button. Below is Bendix/King KX155A TSO which is COMM 1/NAV 1 only (sorry no COMM 2/NAV 2). Next down is the KT 70 TSO Transponder and finally a KR 87 TSO ADF radio set. You will find the equipment here more interactive with more changes than the standard radio sets fitted to X-Plane aircraft, button work and settings can be changed more than the basics... The KR 87 TSO X-Plane manipulators however are quite difficult to use, the worse are the smallest -/+ adjustments, they are also very hard to find sometimes. Top of the equipment stack is the standard KMA 28 TSO audio selection panel. No NAV2/VOR 2 direction finding is a real loss in an aircraft of this type? The NDB setting doesn't give you enough range and as we will see you have to take short routes across open water. I found a trick around this by using the GNS 530... Find the VOR radial that you want and put it into the GNS gps as a "direct" position. In this case it is "SSR" TACAN RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. It will give you range, direction and your position. The good news is that the GNS can accept VOR radials. The autopilot in the DHC-6 is a Collins AP106. the system is centre right on the panel and the altitude selection is just below. The altitude selection works with two buttons on the upper top of the pilot's station panel. There is an activation and adjustment button and knob missing from the AP panel... I'll let you think about that one for a moment. Engine display panel is beautiful, with great lighting. Dials include - Torque Pressure Gauges - Prop RPM Percentage Gauges - T5 Temperature Gauges - Gas Generator RPM Gauges - Fuel Flow Gauges - Oil Temperature Gauges - Oil Pressure Gauges and Fuel Quantity Gauges LEFT gauge is AFT and RIGHT gauge is FWD. An excellent Fire protection panel and DC Volts/Load Indicators. As my route today was quite long, I have put in 13 X 100 Ibs of fuel in each tank On the centre yoke support column is your "Yaw" damper button and the trim knobs are down by your right arm rest. Overhead is the twin throttle levers and propeller feather levers, far right the two fuel valve levers, all are excellent with the throttles levers having built in reverse thrust. Small panels either side cover electrics/landing lights and starters on the left and wiper switches on the right. The lighting switches are set out all over the rear of the overhead panel so you have to remember their placement, De-iceing and heating switches and controls are all up here as well. Detailing is great with attention to detail like with this overhead light and switch. Flying the DHC-6 Twin Otter One of the most highly used routes of the talents of the Twin Otter are found in the upper top reaches of Scotland and the accompanying northern islands of Orkney and Shetland. So my route was from Aberdeen/Dyce (EGPD) to Kirkwall (EGPA) via Lossiemouth and Wick, then on to Sumburgh (EGPB) in the lower Shetlands. The return route was a nonstop flight back to Aberdeen/Dyce via Kirkwall and Wick and then direct back over the water to EGPD. The area is suited well for the Twin Otter, but it is also known for its constantly variable changeable weather and add in a mid-February winter period and it was going to be interesting flying. There are two baggage compartments with one in the nose and a larger one aft of the passenger cabin. All doors open by a hand on the inside of each door (including the pilots/co-pilots doors), here a door menu would be a better fit, as the two baggage doors are quite hard to open, as you have to find the doors from the inside to open/close them? At least you can just twist around in the cockpit to open/close the main passenger doors through the cockpit/cabin opening. Passenger cabin is bright and cheerful, but a bit too bright with the cabin lighting switched on. Great baggage seen in the compartments and with the passengers on board we are ready to depart to Kirkwall. Engine start is quite easy. Ignition "on" for each engine and make sure the fuel and feather/prop levers are forward, then flick the starter switch on which engine you want to start. The process is automatic and it will take a little while to turn over and power up. You will need a little power to get the aircraft moving, but in the taxi mode it is quite easy to control, just make sure to control the taxi speed. Lighting is fine with two landing lights in the wings and a small taxi light on the front nose gear. It's not brilliant but good enough for what you need. The landing lights will work on/off by the X-Plane menu (set on my joystick), but the taxi light has to be switched off manually... which means a visit to the overhead panel every time to just do that. You set the flaps by the positioner on the overhead panel and the flap position is shown on the central window strut. The system is not notched but a continuous linear movement up or down, so you can set them where you like within the flap range of 0º to 40º Most aircraft are built to a compromise. In the Twin Otter's case it is it's low speed and STOL (Short,TakeOff and Landing) capabilities. These aspects are great in their right situations, but can work against you in other areas. In the Twin Otters case it is its speed and climbing ability, so this aircraft is not going to win any awards in either of those areas. That huge tail works against you in other ways as well. I found the aircraft is not great in cross winds, so taking off in a stiff crosswind North Sea breeze is going to make the aircraft a handful. You will have your work cut out at low speeds until that tail starts to bite the air. So your yoke is a blur and your working the throttle to get the best compromise of keeping the aircraft sorta straight. Once you get to a certain built up movement of speed the aircraft settles down quite nicely and once in the air is also nice and easy under the yoke and rudders. You are not going to do aerobatic turns or somersaults in a utility aircraft like this but it will turn and climb well within reason. A small annoyance is that after leaving the runway the wheels will continue to rotate? they will go on turning like this for ages unless you use your brakes to stop them, If you do use the brake then make sure that it is off again to land... or you may go and burst your tyres. If you have looked closely at the Collins AP106 system you will notice there is no V/S (Vertical Speed) button or V/S climb or descend knob? The Collins system does not use that type of system to climb or descend, instead it works this way. You set your speed and pitch (usually at 1000fpm) and then turn on the Collins AP system by the switch, then to activate you then press the IAS (speed) button to maintain the climb (pitch) and lock in the speed you have chosen. The aircraft maintains the pitch and holds that speed, and once it has settled its position you can actually change the pitch up or down by using more or less throttle... but the speed stays the same. It works quite well once you are familiar with how it works and how it adjusts your pitch, the tricky part is getting the right pitch and speed to be locked in at the right point so the transition from manual control to auto control is smooth and the aircraft does not go nose down and then pick up speed to adjust itself. At first I didn't like it or was simply not used to that way of adjusting my climbing vertical speed. But time and practise and I can now easily set the system smoothly, it is just getting both pitch and speed correct. As the aircraft climbs and the speed stays constant then the vertical speed will adjust to the power available and your pitch will decrease from usually 1000fpm to around 500fpm, and it works very well when you are used to it. You set the "ALT ALERT" on the panel to tell the system when the set altitude (8500ft) is achieved and the aircraft will then level off and release the throttle hold, you then need to adjust your throttle speed to the airspeed you require. The speed band is quite small with 90knts minimum and 140knts the usual cruising speed or 160kts if you are really lucky. Once in the (slow) cruise Scotland turned on an early cold morning soft misty light show. And as the sun rose more I headed north. The cockpit is a nice place to be. You work hard in the office of the Twin Otter, but the rewards are there. Those big Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 turbine turboprop engines are right there powering away in the background. Sound from them is not extreme but still constantly slightly high. Overall the sound is very good but not exceptional. Sound is also 3D directional and non-adjustable. With the Scottish Mainland behind me I headed up to Wick and then the islands started to flow under the aircraft. Close up detail of the aircraft in flight shows good detailing of the wings, tail and I like the external metal plates that strengthen the hold of the wings on to the fuselage... gives you good feeling that they won't blow off. Arriving at my first port of call in Kirkwall, Shetland and I found it difficult to lose height? Pulling back the power and pushing the yoke full forward still means the aircraft was slow to drop down, holding the IAS button on and no power didn't work either? I finally got the aircraft down to a 1000ft and studied Kirkwall below from a bypass, before looping back around to RWY27. I had good reasons to check out the lay of the land, as the blustery North Sea wind at Aberdeen was now a full blown gale of 20kts, I didn't so much land at EGPA but crab in totally sideways. The low Twin Otter 75knt landing speed gives you more space and it is very wide. once down reverse propeller thrust can stop you within a very short distance, it looks and sounds great from the cockpit as well. I was down and my passengers still were on friendly terms with me as well. But I was not happy with my approach or landing at all, at least the route did not end here so I would get more chances to put things right. It was mostly going to be all over water to the next stop at Sumburgh (EGPB) lower Shetland. And almost when I had reached my height of 12,500ft and as quick as a throwback of a dram of Scotch the weather turned even worse and darker. I climbed more up to 10,000ft to get above the cloud tops, but the Twotter did what it was best at... just kept on Twottering along. Liveries There is not a great selection of liveries, because the Twin Otter has so many operators it would be impossible to cover even a few of the best... The painters are going to have a field day with this aircraft. There are seven liveries, two white in clean and dirty, A British Airways, British Antarctic Survey and Royal Canadian Forces designs and a Maldivian Air Taxi. The other one is the Flybe livery in use. It was time to descend and I checked out the manual to see if I had done anything wrong, as this Collins AP system is quite different from the standard V/S versions. Well I had missed something and that was you had to not only set your throttles to idle... but also feather your propellers as well? I did this and down slowly I descended. It was odd (and slightly disconcerting) just having the props just windmilling around out there with only the sound of the wind showing you your speed. You have to get you distance to height right as you drop usually at 1000ft per minute. I found that if you adjust your feather angle (I have mine set up on my keyboard) you could adjust the pitch from 1000ft to 200ft per minute to get the best glide down. The IAS switch on the Collins has to be on and you select the "MDA" button (minimum descent altitude) to target the set altitude like you did earlier before when going up. I pulled the throttle power back in to give me more power as the MDA reached clickoff point to get a smooth transition from descending to powered forward flight. Down at 1500ft I couldn't see anything in front of me though the foggy windows, and I knew on the approach to EGPB that there was a big dirty mountain of a rocky point to the left of me. I saw it finally through the gloom and used the ILS Horizontal Situation Indicator alignment to guide me to end of the runway 09. The ILS beam is actually offset on RWY09 and too tricky to use in these conditions, so I just used the beam to align the Twin Otter with the runway and flew down the runway to get the correct bearing and wind direction, which I found that RWY33 would give me a direct approach with the wind directly behind me which is hard enough, but at least the bluster is not throwing me stupidly sideways. A clear 90º to 90º circuit to RWY33 and the approach was perfect and I was soon down and parked up. The Twin Otter comes with full systems including Electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, Anti-Ice and Fuel System. Return to Aberdeen Dyce was a straight through route. So I set up the Garmin GNS to cover all the bases including a few waypoints over the water section. I like to fly VOR to VOR but here I wanted to test out the NAV gps system. My route was just under 250nm and I was going to fly at 12.500ft. Just a quick ride home was the idea... but coming over Kirkwall you could see my problem? I had a 22knt headwind, and at that point only a 120knt groundspeed, it was going to take hours to get back to EGPD and it did. But that is not a bad thing in here. I just sat back and enjoyed the flight back, I had become quite smitten with this aircraft and you can see easily why it is so popular. Over Wick I turned out over the North Sea and headed for the Scottish mainland. Once the coast was in view I was ready to feather the props and pull back the power and head down to the coast to fix "NOBAL" then down the coast to Aberdeen/Dyce NDB "ATF" which gives you an almost 160º turnback to runway 34. As with everthing else today I was not going to get off easily as there was another heavy crosswind approach to the airport, but by now I was pretty confident of my abilities to touch this Twotter down as smoothly as possible. Wind, it had caused me havoc today, but I had flown well and the smile on my face proved all the hard work had not been in vain. There are four variants in the RWDesigns Twin Otter package... The standard version as flown above. A "Float" version. A "Ski" version with large ski's on the wheels. And a "Tundra" large tyre version. Summary At its heart the DHC-6 Twin Otter is a bush pilot's aircraft. It was built in Canada for the Canadian wilderness, and that makes it a tough no nonsense sort of machine. Speed is not the issue here, getting in and out of tight areas in bad weather with passengers and cargo is what it does best. At first it is an aircraft that will take a bit of time to master, that Collins autopilot is different but interesting and also quite easy once you understand it and use it. By the time this review was completed I found how much I really like this aircraft. It has some small comparisons to the FlyJSim Dash 8 in that it is an aircraft to master to fly really, really well. But once you get there it rewards you. As a design the Twin Otter is excellent from RWDesigns, but remember this developer is still very new to X-Plane (They also designed the A330 last year), and few areas still need some polishing. The missing COMM2/VOR2/NAV2 radio is strange when you have two COMM1/NAV1 settings with the one already in the GNS530. There are no menus and they are really required for the door operations, likewise there are no static ground objects that would go very well with the aircraft. Liveries are few, but good and some modeling work is still a bit chunky and some panels are bare and not textured, like the bulkhead behind the pilots and parts of the cabin... the wipers are a bit chunky as well. But where it is good it very good... The panel and instruments are excellent and so is all the switchgear including the equipment designs. Overall the modeling is very good and this is certainly the quality Twin Otter we have all been waiting for. Detailing is very good and the aircraft is a challenge to fly like a professional. As an investment the Jetsim Twin Otter is a great addition to your flying career, if you like to fly around the tough areas of the world like Alaska, Africa, Northern Europe and Australia... then this aircraft is invaluable to have. My first reaction on first seeing the Twin Otter was "wow, finally a great usable Twotter.... I love it" Now after spending sometime with the aircraft "I really love it!".... It is a great aircraft. The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series by RWDesigns is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-6 Otter 300 Series and is priced at only US$27.95 Features: High-Resolution 3D Model 3D Cockpit Hi Res 4K textures Full 3D exterior model HD Night Lighting Interchangable liveries between versions. 7 paint schemes Custom Prop/Engine sounds Custom Systems Programmed Radios Customized GNS 530 Custom airfoils and flightmodel Custom electrical and de-Icing systems Installation : Download is 273.70mb that is unzipped to 368.80mb. And a Serial Number is required for installation. Documents : DHC-6 AOM (Aircraft Operating Manual) and DHC-6 Flight Tutorial _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements: X-Plane 10.30+. Windows, Mac Linux 4Gb RAM. 1Gb+ VRAM Video card Serial Number required during installation RWDesigns - Are the same team that brought you the A330 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th February 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 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 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - EGPD Aberdeen Dyce for XP10 4.1 by anthony_d (X-Plane.Org) - Free - EGPA Kirkwall Airport 2.3 by dkm (X-Plane.Org) - Free - EGPB Sumburgh (sorry I can't find this original scenery?) EGPB is however included the X-Plane "Global Airports" 10.35b2 - Final Frontier version 10.2 by Tom Curtis (X-Plane Store $24.95) X-PlaneReviews review of Tom Curtis's "Final Frontier" here: Developer Update : Final Frontier version 10.2 by Tom Curtis
  30. 1 point
    News! - First X-Plane 11 feature and Release Videos Laminar Research have released there first X-Plane11 video, covering the new features.... Lighting, Reflection and Fog They also note... X-Plane 11 includes: A new, intuitive user interface An overhauled aircraft fleet, plus 4 brand new aircraft High-resolution exteriors and detailed 3-D cockpits on all included aircraft European buildings and roads and more! I have now added in the two X-Plane 11 release presentation video's and I will add more as they become available... X-Plane 11 presentation. *Part 1* X-Plane 11 presentation. *Part 2* _____________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton updated 9th October 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  31. 1 point
    History The BK-117 was a joint development between MBB (Germany) and Kawasaki (Japan) during the 80s and 90s. The Bk-117 has been very successful as a medevac helicopter thanks to its exceptional performances, generous cargo space and smooth flight model. After the merge of MBB and Aerospatiale in 1992, the BK-117 became part of the Eurocopter line-up. The BK-117 evolved into what is known today as the EC-145 BK-177 model from ND Art & Technology This model is not new, as it was initially released in 2009. However, it has been updated to work perfectly with X-Plane 10 and it is 64 bit compatible. Where to get it: BK-177 X-Plane.org Store Download size: 68Mb Price: $29.95 X-Plane requirement: X-Plane 10. 32 or 64 bit. Updated store# Includes: Two versions of the BK-117: Regular model and BK-117 with Weather Radar Radome PDF flight manual 7 paint schemes First Impressions When you load the BK-117, the first thing you see is a unique menu where you can decide which doors to open and close. Door controls can also be assigned to buttons. By default the Bk-117 comes loaded with a pilot, 2 paramedics and 1 (badly hurt) patient: You can adjust the number of occupants in the BK-177 using the Weight and Balance menu of X-Plane. Cockpit The cockpit is a full 3D cockpit. Instruments are well modeled and easy to read: The Bk-117 includes many systems such as autopilot, stability augmentation, and engine controls. A default GPS 430 is installed. It also comes with a Medivac G20T handheld GPS. The G20T will only give you the distance to a target coordinate. Overall the cockpit is very well made and easy to navigate: Dark and cold start-up The Bk-117 does support a dark and cold start-up. Nils from ND Art & Technology has published a video about the start-up procedure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJZtb7TcaVs Exterior and flight Model: Everything is modeled in detail: The frame, doors, Main rotor, and blades. You'd be highly unlikely to find any defect in this model. Details on the rotors: The Bk-117 is fairly easy to control. As long as you own a decent joystick you should be able to master the Bk-177 very quickly. The aircraft is very forgiving thanks to the Stability Augmentation system implemented by the designers. Thanks to the autopilot you can use the Bk-117 for longer flights such as search and rescue missions. The Sperry helicopter autopilot is fully simulated in the systems plugin. SAS Control and Sperry Autopilot: Additional Paint schemes: Conclusion: Hard to believe this model is four years old already. It still looks like a brand new release . ND Art & Technology's BK-117 is a pleasure to fly. It has everything you would look for in a payware model: Detailed graphics, systems to mimic the real aircraft, and great flight model. On top of all that, the Bk-117 is easy on your computer. I was able to maintain a frame rate of over 55fps during all my tests. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning to fly a chopper.
  32. 1 point
    Scenery Reviews : LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport - JustSim and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica - Aerosoft Two sceneries were released together quite independently but are perfectly aligned to go together as a perfect double point to point route. LFMN is on the French Côte d'Azur and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, is on the island of Corsica which are only 94nm apart or just across from each other on the Mediterranean Sea. This makes for a perfect days flying in either a General Aviation aircraft or as I have done here with a quick hop regional service. (Google Maps) JustSim are the developers of the Nice Scenery which actually will replace the default Aerosoft scenery who are the developers of the Calvi Scenery. I have already covered a few of the excellent JustSim sceneries already this year and Aerosoft are well known for their excellent European scenery so expectations are that both of these airports are very good work from each of the developers. LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport - JustSim LFMN - Nice Airport hangs out like a huge aircraft carrier deck on the French south coast just 3.7 miles west of the city centre of Nice. As noted X-Plane already comes with a default Aerosoft version of LFMN, but I have had a few if many problems with this scenery, so in most cases I have not used Nice Airport as much as I wanted to. The biggest issue with the Aerosoft version was under many of the surfaces the areas had not been covered correctly, and in most cases when taxiing or in my case when parking on the ramp west of the Terminal One (T1) I found the aircraft was going over rough ground and bouncing me and my passengers sick... not good. So my flights were mostly restricted to Private Jet or the odd UK-Nice Service, overall it was never on my flight lists. Which is a shame as it is this is great destination. So with the chance to replace the troublesome Aerosoft version with a workable one then I was not going to say no to the idea. And I am very glad I did as well. Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (IATA: NCE, ICAO: LFMN) 04L/22R 2,570m (8,432ft) Bituminous concrete 04R/22L 2,960m (9,711ft) Bituminous concrete H1 29.25x96 Asphaltic concrete H2 29.25x96 Asphaltic concrete Elevation AMSL 4 m / 13 ft JustSim has been very prolific this year with X-Plane Sceneries, with great quality at a great price. So how can they do that with most other developers taking three times as long to deliver the same content. There is a trick involved but a clever one. Most developers use a full 3d tool to create their sceneries which can give you great detail and quality, but there are downsides to this in the fact it can take a lot of time to create every 3d object and detail it and all those 3d objects have a very heavy load on your computer. Now in the main infrastructure JustSim still does just that and make 3d objects, but in many areas the developer uses also "facade" style buildings. The trick is that if the quality of the textures and cleverness in creating facade objects that are in tune with the 3d objects around them then you can easily fill out your scenery. You can't get around every item with facade as we know from tdg's work or most WED sceneries, but with great skill you can use many areas that are just really boxes or basic shapes, like warehouses or offices. By using this method you would think you are being short changed for what you are buying, but actually the opposite is true. With clever facade work it really lowers your loading time and the sheer frameweight on your computer compared to having all those bulky 3d objects, facades take a huge less time to build and like with JustSim's sceneries you can do a lot more objects and cover not only the immediate airport areas but a lot of the surrounding areas as well. And that is why these sceneries are great value at a lower price but you get more in there at that price, and that is great deal if the quality is in there and JustSim can turn out far more sceneries in a year than most do with one. There are two terminals at LFMN - Nice with T1 and T2 with a small terminal parking area on the west of T1. Terminal One (T1) T1 is the European domestic terminal at Nice and it looks the modern of the two terminals, but is actually the older building. The terminal has been really well recreated here with a lot of detail and shapes and the unique question mark style supports showing the great detail involved. The landside is a bit average as JustSim has relied on the ground images to do the road network and detail work for them, but they are too buzzy to be really effective. Airbridges are great but have too much thrash on them, there are no animated bridges in this scenery. But the detail and glasswork is excellent. Terminal 1 has 25 gates. It features flights to domestic, European and Schengen and non-Schengen destinations. It should be noted that there is a huge amount of remote parking at LFMN, and the areas between the terminals do overlap. As seen below there are no static aircraft with the scenery, and it is noticeable here. So you are going to have to get creative in either using X-Life, X-Plane 10.50 with the new static aircraft rules or hit the OverlayEditor big time... I used WorldTraffic and that plugin did the job very nicely. West of T1 is an area I like, it a small remote apron that is great for LCC's (Low Cost Carriers) and walkon boarding regional jets... I have used it for the odd VIP arrival in a private jet as well. The parking linage is extremely confusing? but it is a great place to park up. Terminal 2 (T2) T2 is dominated by circular bowl or spaceship terminal, with an arm to the west and a hall to the north. The terminal is very well done but the glass is a little more see through in the real version which is more grey and Terminal 2 is the newer and larger facility here at LFMN and has 29 gates . There is a lot of infrastructure connected to the cargo area is set out behind the terminal with the usual carparks and ramps landside, rooftop solar panels are well done and overall detail is very good. There is a small cargo facility in the nort-west zone and a radar tower, there are several radars and they are all animated. Centre field is a bright red fire station with animated fire trucks, in fact there is a lot of vehicle animations covering the whole airport including buses, trucks, vans and baggage trucks. Control Tower The control tower is extremely well modeled and is in with enclosed with the airports administration buildings, everything is not very highly overly detailed but all work together very well. Tower view is awful with chunks of the model blocking out all the views of the runways... Both 04L/22R and 04R/22L are well done with the outer runway more of the original concrete than the patched up inner runway, all lineage and signage is excellent. Nice has a huge transiant of (rich) passengers that fly on to the hot spots of the French Riviera and Monaco, so the helipads here are the best in the business, a few vehicles would have been nice. Far south there is also a working radar that is well placed. There is not a lot of off airport infrastructure, except for a cargo facility east and the excellent distinctive Parc Pheonix aviary. LFMN - Nice to LFKC - Calvi, Corsica The route is only 100nm between both airports and so you really don't have the time to do the full cruise routine, a good regional jet or prop is ideal for the run, but if you have the time then a nice GA would fill in a few hours. I'm using JRollon's CRJ-200. I am adding enough fuel to do the round trip back to Nice to save turnaround time at Calvi, at this short distance it really doesn't matter. LFMN lineage is very good, but you will need an airport layout and plan your route to the runways as not to lose any time as there is a lot of remote parking that looks like taxiway lines... LFMN is a busy airport and today is no exception, you just go when you get clearance and not look behind you. The view out of the cockpit and passenger windows is excellent as the airport looks very good and far, far better than the Aerosoft default version. The CRJ is the BlueSkyStar version with the uprated sound package and as the throttle goes up you feel the push and that really great sound behind you. Departure to Calvi is by Runway 04L using SID LONS6A Trans MERLU. And that departure means a hard right turn after you clear the airport JustSim provides a download of Nice City scenery in OSM with the package (see note at the end of the review) but it is not used here in this departure. On departure that southern Mediterranean French feel comes in really well visually, as you pull up and away from the French Coast Climb is only to 14.500ft and once you get there then the descent starts almost straight away, so the cruise section is only a few minutes of say ten to fifteen minutes. So there is no time to relax on the flightdeck. As one coast quickly faded into the Azur, another coast then quickly appeared through the mist under the hour, This was the northern-west coast of Corsica and LFKC - Calvi was just slightly inland inside a beautifully set valley. There is an ILS approach to Calvi - Sainte-Catherine which has only one runway in 18/36 and the ILS (freq 109.50) was set on the sea approach to RWY 18, Aerosoft do provide a nice few charts for the arrival and departure, but be warned in that the DME is a lock only in a horizontal centre focus on the runway, the vertical lock does not work (I checked via several aircraft) so you will need to do the descent yourself, if you wait for the lock then you will fly too high and miss the approach... The approach visuals are excellent from either up front or via the passenger experience, but it is a tricky landing that keeps you on your toes as RWY 18 is set slightly inland and you only see it through a gap in the trees. The village of Borgo is too your left. It is important to note that Calvi Airport requires your "Runways follow terrain contours" to be ON. If not you will get a lot of the off airport village buildings floating on contour edges and the airport itself is not set right. This "follow contours" creates a very demanding approach situation because as you settle the aircraft it goes over a contour change downwards (same for departing in that you are literally launched into the air like on a carrier skijump!) and get it wrong and your nosewheel will leave the ground again. With all these contour changes you bounce, bounce and bounce until you arrest the speed enough, on completing your landing and you will note the terminal and ramps are elevated to your right. To get up to the ramp you have to judge the incline correctly with enough power to get up and not stall the aircraft and to not then zoom across the ramp with too much thrust, tricky, but with practise you get it right. There are eight main parking slots with slot five taken up by a static Air Corsica A320. There are no airbridges as it is strictly walk-on or walk-off. Overall the approach was excellent with great scenery and a demanding landing, the Terminal is very good if a little blank in detail. Calvi Airport by Aerosoft Calvi – Sainte-Catherine Airport (IATA: CLY, ICAO: LFKC) 18/36 2,310m (7,579ft) Concrete Elevation AMSL 209 ft / 64 m The scenery is nestled in the valley and well intergrated the scenery is with the default X-Plane scenery surrounding it. But it is not perfect as the flat underlying ortho images are prone to show up in some areas and it is quite noticeable by their blurryness of what they are and spoiling the overall effect. However the mountain flowing streams on the east side of the runway are very visually great. There is no grass on the airport infield that Aerosoft do so well and here it would have made a significant difference to hide the orthophoto flatness, but overall the visual impact is good. The terminal is a single building is certainly well done, but is not overly detailed, detailed. Landside is great but like with LFMN the underlay ortho photos don't allow a lot of detail, and there is a lot of ground support vehicles and equipment and all around the airport the tree and foliage work is very good. Overall it is pretty good. Control Tower and Fire Station is great even if they have to work out of dismountable buildings... ... and the tower view is fine with all the runway approaches easily visible and with a 360º rotation Rear of the terminal has great support infrastructure with numumerous car hire depots (Europcar, Hertz), Undercover parking and a really well detailed Ford Dealership. There is a thing in the area for car dealerships? there are as as many as six on the google map. There is a little off airport buildings in Borgo and the "Citadel" a "Games of Thrones" style fortress in Calvi has been reproduced with a cruise ship, but the sweet town of Calvi itself is missing. Calvi is serviced mostly by Air France (Paris - Orly) and Air Corsica in regular services. Seasonal routes are very popular to many ports all over Europe. Italy is close and it is only 160 nm to Rome. LFKC - Calvi to LFMN The return service back to Nice was operated during the late hours, to highlight the night lighting. LFKC - Calvi has only average lighting at night. There is a few throw lights on the ramp and various lighting on certain places on the around the airport and that covers the airside. The poor lighting in the carpark would require you to use a torch to find your car, the Terminal is not much better. The Ford Dealership was the only highlight.. Lighting to runway is non-existent, but this a small regional airport. But even some lighting from the terminal would help you miss the A320... Watch that slope, a "feeling your way" to the runway workload. The edge lighting shows the runway's uneven pattern, you would need all your skill to land here at night... Mainland city lights come up over the horizon. X-Plane puts on a show as you get that "back in civilisation and I'm home" feeling. Arrival is by RWY 04R and LFMN - Nice looks great on approach in the cockpit windows, runways are clear and easily defined. The airport lighting looks great to the left and very realistic... The passenger arrival view is also excellent, the hills around Nice provide a great backdrop as the city lighting is in full view... The CRJ-200 does not have any runway turnoff lighting and that creates a small problem. The scenery has no centre green lighting strips? So you have to go slowly down the runway to find the yellow lineage turn off route, it is harder than it looks. It makes it hard to work out where the turn offs to the taxiways are, yes the taxiways have the lit direction boxes but you really miss those green strips and it makes it darker out here than it needs to be. You know the feeling when you have arrived and you are taxiing past rows and rows of brightly lit aircraft at the gates, it is a great feeling and it is replicated here. pull into the ramp and night turns into bright light... So in the context of arrival and working on the ramps you are going to like it here at Nice. The lighting is very good. The ramp lighting is excellent and so is most of the remote stands. The building lighting including the Control Tower is not as refined, it is good but not overly great as the glass is very grey and the terminals a just a shade of grey or blue. The T2 Terminal glows in a purple phosphorescent. At a distance LFMN as a collective works fine, but up really close the lighting it is a little average on the buildings. OSM The package comes with the optional download of NICE city scenery. This option is OSM (Open Street Map) converted to 3d objects to replicate the size and scale of the real buildings. I am not a big fan of OSM and decided not to use it in this review, one... because it kills your frame rate (15-20 frame loss!) and two... it has a loading error when you load up the scenery. But it is a personal choice. Summary In a strange way both sceneries are very much alike or even feel related, and that is why they go so well together. Both are well made, but also both use in areas the poor resolution orthophoto underlays. Lighting is better on LFMN but only over the ramp areas, if this was taken away you would find both sceneries have average building lighting, with LFKC being quite dark. Both don't have taxiway green guidance lighting and both really need them. I was just relieved to get a working Nice, compared to the Aerosoft default version, so JustSim's version of LFMN is a no-brainer for me. Now it will go more on my radar and be used regularly as the French Riviera is a great destination and positioned for many different routes not only in Europe, but North Africa, Spain and Greece are all well within the short route time zone. It looks good, feels good and the scenery is highly efficient with your framerate. You will however need to sort out the missing static aircraft. Aerosoft's Calvi Airport is not an airport you would use regularly, but it is in a very interesting position for great GA flying around Corsica. French and Italian coasts are also within easy distance and the odd Paris-Calvi flight would be interesting. It is a beautiful and technical airport as well, so there is a fair bit of value in here. Price is the key here as JustSim's LFMN is US$19.50 which is terrific value and Aerosoft's LFKC is US$18.99. No doubt you get a huge amount of more value out of NIce, but both together are certainly a worthy purchase. I really enjoyed the LFMN - LFKC route, and as all the route data is done will do a few more flights over the next few days without the pressure of a review to be completed. JustSim's LFMN - Nice and Aerosoft's LFKC - Calvi are a great double act, and are both well worth visiting, and a great way to fill out those lazy northern summer days. Dedication This Review is dedicated to the innocents that lost their lives in Nice on Bastille Day 2016 May their lives are not lost in our thoughts, because they did no wrong but be alive and were enjoying the freedom that the country they were celebrating allowed them that choice. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Both LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport by JustSim and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica by Aerosoft is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LFMN - Nice Cote d'Azur Price: $19.55 Requirements X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) Windows, Mac, Linux 800Mb HD Space Available 1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 2Gb VRAM Recommended LFKC - Calvi (Corsica) Airport Price: $18.99 Requirements X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) Windows 7/8/10, OS X version 10.6.8 or later, Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible 3 GHz, multi-core CPU (or, even better, multiple processors) 8 GB RAM - 3D graphics card with 2GB+ of on-board, dedicated VRAM Download-Size: 300 MB Features LFMN Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city. All objects are manually placed. High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures Runway reflection effect Custom apron lights High resolution building textures Optimized for excellent performance Animated custom ground vehicles X-Life traffic compatible LFKC Realistic rendition of Calvi St. Catherine based on real life images Photo real buildings Large Aerial image with 50cm/pixel in the surroundings and 25cm/pixel on the airport, carefully fitted into the default X-Plane landscape and colour-adjusted Customized terrain, runway follows terrain Realistic reproduction of ground markings including old, painted-over markings Animated marshaller (additional plugin Autogate™ required) Customized night illumination Custom made trees and forests Very good performance and implementation Animated bar on the entry of the parking lot Numerous details Changing static airplanes including wreckage to the south west Animated road traffic Recreation of the citadel of Calvi and vessel Installation and documents: Download for the LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is 506.90mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 1.21gb Install requires the scenery pack "JustSim_LFMN_Nice_terrain" to be below the main "JustSim_LFMN_Nice" folder in the INI order, if installed the "NICE-OSM" has to be below both of the above... If you are using WorldTraffic you can get the LFMN ground routes here: LFMN Nice GroundRoutes Download for the LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine is 282.10mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 937.20mb Install requires that the "runways follow terrain contours" checkbox to be ON. Package comes with a full set of charts and Aerosoft manual _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th 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 Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - CRJ-200 by JRollon Planes (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$49.95 : CRJ-200 Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$20.00
  33. 1 point
    News! - Scenery Released! - LFKC Calvi (Corsica) Airport by Aerosoft Aerosoft have release an Corsican scenery with Calvi Airport in Sainte Catherine in the North-West of the Island. Calvi - Sainte Catherine (CLY / LFKC) is located in a beautifully embedded valley 6km to the south-east of the town of Calvi. Features Include: Realistic rendition of Calvi St. Catherine based on real life images Photo real buildings Large Aerial image with 50cm/pixel in the surroundings and 25cm/pixel on the airport, carefully fitted into the default X-Plane landscape and colour-adjusted Customized terrain, runway follows terrain Realistic reproduction of ground markings including old, painted-over markings Animated marshaller (additional plugin ‘Autogate’ required) Customized night illumination Custom made trees and forests Very good performance and implementation Animated bar on the entry of the parking lot Numerous details Changing static airplanes including wreckage to the south west Animated road traffic Recreation of the citadel of Calvi and vessel Requirements: X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) Windows 7/8/10, OS X version 10.6.8 or later, Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible 3 GHz, multi-core CPU (or, even better, multiple processors) 8 GB RAM - 3D graphics card with 2GB+ of on-board, dedicated VRAM Download-Size: 300 MB LFKC is a destination for for Air France, the German TUIfly, Air Berlin, Germanwings, Swiss, Luxair, HOP, Brussels Airlines and a hub for Air Corsica. The 18/36 2310m long runway is used over 2500 times a year and is is a popular destination among private pilots as it is close to the French Mainland. ______________________________________________________________________ The LFKC Calvi (Corsica) Airport by Aerosoft is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LFKC - Calvi (Corsica) Airport Price is US$18.99 ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 22nd July 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  34. 1 point

    Behind the Screen : May 2016

    Behind the Screen : May 2016 How far should you go before you go too far? When is the line of obsession passed and you are in the position of complete neurosis in the fact that it could even be a serious addiction. I think I went very close to that line on a Saturday afternoon when I did actually have some spare time after a long week. Any normal person (are X-Plane users normal?) would have done something to make life fun and enjoyable, in going shopping, eating out, playing golf, watching a movie, reading or spending a nice time with the wife or girlfriend… fun things. Me no, I spent two and a half hours looking for a misguided lost object. Not a thing object like shoes, phone, hat or something made from physical atoms but a .obj in a scenery. No, as a sensible person would just yank the problem scenery out of their custom folder and fix the issue of it ruining the flight by constantly bringing up the bad scenery alert box. But this scenery is Aerosoft’s LSZR - St. Gallen–Altenrhein Airport and the problem with LSZR is that it’s position at the foot of the Swiss Alp’s would mean that the scenery was a major annoyance in that if you flew north-south over the alps, west - east from France to Austria or was flying anywhere in southern Germany, northern Italy, most parts of eastern France and any part of Switzerland then the painful annoying LSZR would ruin your flight. In the last few months I have reviewed Joe’s excellent LSGG-Geneva and Aerosoft’s excellent updated LSZH - Zurich and this damn LSZR scenery was always causing me to tear my hair out… It is in the wrong place or the right place if you like Swiss scenery. So I had to fix it. Why not just throw it away? Well it is great scenery, brilliant in fact and if you are flying over this area of which I do very regularly, then the scenery is very good there visually, certainly if you are flying VFR in a nice general aviation aircraft. There was a few terrain files but they were easily found and deleted. The main culprit however was a small .obj file called XP_LSZR_Ter_005.OBJ. I tried just deleting it, and that didn’t work, pull it out of the files and no that didn’t work either. Opening LSZR - St. Gallen–Altenrhein in WED just crashed it, and so the last resort was the venerable overlay editor. But finding a small .obj spot in a terminal building was like looking for an ant in a woolly carpet. I looked everywhere and restarted X-Plane maybe 20 or 30 times to get the still same annoying alert box… aggggh. I crawled the scenery almost pixel by pixel till I saw the tell-tale stripes of the offending .obj sitting by the entrance of the terminal. It was hard to see as the awning of the terminal hide the .obj from the direct above position, only with a slight angle and crawling bit by bit over the scenery did I finally see it, a delete, a restart and finally no alert box and all was right with my Swiss X-Plane world. But I lost a good two and a half hours of my life I won’t get back… do I need help yet? The point of all this is that you can’t cheat in fixing wayward things like this because I tried every single trick in the book, and in the end it really all came down to one thing… finding the offending .obj and then deleting it is the absolutely only way to fix it, I hope there is a lesson in there somewhere. I like things to surprise me and I got a few this month. VflyteAir’s excellent Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 was a real big one. I will be honest and when I opened the aircraft up for the first time I admit I was not very impressed, it looked average to be honest. But this amazing aircraft peeled itself back like layers of an onion and just kept on giving, and totally proves that first impressions are not always the right ones. X-Plane aircraft like that sometimes, as you are at first looking at something that you feel is quite average. But the PA28 140 is anything but average and I take my hat off the the developers in getting the aircraft so right and making it a really great aircraft to fly. You must sometimes dig deep and use some aircraft to understand how really great they are, in doing reviews you are lucky in a way because unlike just a purchaser you have to keep on going and keep on flying the machine to find out every last bit and item that makes up the package. Some are not great, they do happen… but some are amazing, and the more you dig, the more you fly you create a relationship with an aircraft that goes beyond just enjoying a product, they become part of you, when you fly, when you enjoy being high at night above your X-Plane world and just bouncing along and hoping the flight or this feeling won’t end…. You just want to fly forever (well till the fuel runs out). An aircraft doesn’t have to be the best, or the most featured or even the most expensive to find a way in to your X-Plane soul. The Avro Project is one constant that has continued for as long as I have been in X-Plane. The heart is in this aircraft, certainly it is a constant always being upgraded project that will never ever really be finished, a lot of things don’t actually work either and it is far from perfect, but a lot does work as well. But the point is that it doesn’t matter as this aircraft has soul, and it is fun to fly and it just keeps having to come back for more and more flights, and really is that what X-Plane is all about… I think so. For really never ending projects the CRJ-200 was back into my radar again with Blue Sky Star Simulations latest sound package, and wow that was that an ear opener. JRollon’s CRJ-200 and myself have a bit of a history going back over the years. I bought it years ago when the aircraft had just been released, but our relationship was… let us say rocky. It spent a lot of the last few years just sitting in the hangar and too a point I could have spent my money at the time on something more usable. I just could not get my head around the aircraft’s slow speed flying, I found it complex and confusing. I would pull it out and usually put it away again, but in my defence I never gave up on it. It was in the end the X-Plane learning curve. Learning how to program a FMS system correctly, knowing how to use the correct speeds for landing (and taking off), knowing how the aircraft’s complex systems work and on and on the learning goes. But at a point it did all come together to allow me to find myself suddenly flying the CRJ-200 well, really well and finally I could understand the accolades that the aircraft had gathered over the years. Then you add in those amazing sounds from Blue Sky Star Simulations and you can’t believe how good simulation is today, yes I admit the CRJ-200 would benefit from a little bit of updating and love from Javier, but this is still an outstanding aircraft and it dominated my flying month this past May, and I enjoyed every last minute. If you have the CRJ-200 then go and get the BSS sound package, you would be crazy not to. There is no doubt the impact that Blue Sky Star Simulations has made with these outstanding sound packages. Every aircraft these packages are released for is then amazingly transformed into a completely higher orbital level of simulation. I was not a big believer in great sound, but I have now been totally converted to the amazing aspects that these sound packages can deliver, they are not cheap, but they are certainly the best thing to have come to X-Plane in a long time. Crazy is a word sometimes on what you have to fly next in reviewing. One moment you are skimming the sky above Dallas Fort-Worth (Uncle Tom’s great DFW scenery) in Rotate’s MD-88. The next you are with wind in the hair and going full speed at 100mph in a World War One Tri-Plane! It was such a disjointing of the senses flying the Fokker dr.1, but I can’t say it wasn’t fun because it was, and a very different flying experience, and all in a day's X-Plane flying. Didn’t end there either because then next I had to then take the controls of Felis’s outstanding Tupolev Tu-154M. A great aircraft but very hard to understand in the Russian systems approach and the flying aspects as well. It will take time to learn this one and I doubt I will really be able to understanding at a realistic deep level for a few months either, but I am looking forward to the challenge as the aircraft is another great outstanding simulation for X-Plane. An observation to note… If you look at the lower left of the portal window of the X-Plane.Org you will see that the .Org now has (to last count) 385627 members, When did we just only pass the 300,000 mark, well it was just the middle of last year and that means we are now closing in on the 400,000 mark of users signed up to the simulator, granted not all are active, some even for years. But a gain of 85,000 members in not only a year means we are growing still very rapidly, and who says Simulation is dead… long live X-Plane. With this post it will be quiet around X-PlaneReviews for a week. I am taking a break and going to Tasmania, that Apple shaped island at the bottom of Australia. Flying for the first time on the B787 Dreamliner is something I am very excited about, and hey let someone else do the driving for a change, but if they need any help then ask the guy in seat 33A. I'll be back on the X-Plane ride on the 9th June. Stephen Dutton 2nd June 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  35. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : LISA Akoya by Aerobask If you are the champion pilot that states... "If it has a stick and a set of rudder pedals, then I can fly it!". Well here is an aircraft that will certainly test that theory. It is the LISA Akoya... and what a strange critter of an aircraft it certainly is. The LISA Akoya is a French made two seater aircraft with the unusual set up of a rear high-mounted tractor configuration engine. It looks like a flying Dolphin with wings and that is because it is designed to takeoff from land, water and ice. And only a strange critter like this would come from a developer like Aerobask, and you have to admit it is different. (note the new Aerobask logo) I am used to seeing strange aircraft outside the Florida office but the Akoya goes that one mad step further. The wings can be rotated back, either for clever aircraft storage or if you want to the aircraft to be also be towed behind a vehicle to the airport from home (on a specially built trailer). Versatile this aircraft is without doubt, you can't do that with your average Cessna 172. Open the one piece canopy and the cockpit is very simple, clean and modern. But before we go too far we have to make the road dragster look like an aircraft. In your X-Plane menu Settings/Joystick & Equipment panel you have too set up a few key assignments to extend and retract the wings. I used Shift/E and Shift/R to cover the wings of which the selections can be found on the top X-Plane addon key custom menu. (top red arrow). More key custom commands available include a toggle choice for the wings, CSC or "Constant Speed Controller" options and landing gear options. Design wise it is a very unusual aircraft. Long fine constant chord thin wings with downturned edges that have an aspect ratio of about 18:1, with those strange upper elevators with slightly upturned tips, and flipper stubby wings by the cockpit and very small airflow stub wings down on the lower tail. And all these aerodynamic surfaces are mounted on a circular cylinder tapered fuselage. All very Burt Rutan in concept. Two Menu tabs are located lower left of your screen. One is a basic weights and fuel menu and the other a basic checklist binder. You can add in fuel and a one piece luggage bag, but the that small bag can cost you a lot of fuel weight. The menu will show you in red if the aircraft is overloaded. There is the option of canopy tinting or clear (Reflections). A term for the cockpit could be "Futuristic Minimalism". It has what you need but nothing more. No key just a power button, no trim wheels or buttons, fuel is on/off, no mixture or prop pitch and altogether in here you have just that "a stick and rudder" aircraft with no frills. It all makes even a basic trainer look overloaded with equipment. The central "War of the Worlds" looking panel is dominated by a twin screen EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) and noted as the "Aerobask (DYNON) SkyView" display. The display is your standard electronic layout with located on the left side is the main Primary Flight Display (PFD) incorporating on the top with an Artificial Horizon/Pitch, Speed and Altitude tapes and built in lower rose/heading dial. A rate of turn/angle gauge is spread across the top. The panel is a menu driven system that is accessed by buttons on the lower display. In menu selections it is really quite basic. available is (left to right) BARO - ENGINE - MAP - FPL (Fightplan) - TIMER - MSG (Message). Most buttons access the information on the right side screen, with "MAP" the main navigation view and "ENGINE" bringing up the engine display. (ENGINE) Engine parameters covered are engine CHT and EGT outputs, MAP INHG (Manifold Absolute Pressure ) Carb ºF and Oil pressure psi/temp, fuel pressure (PSI). Electrical displays covers AMPS and Battery Volts. Fuel quantity and Fuel usage (Fuel flow) is noted in "Gallons per hour". Trim and flap position is also noted (MSG) the message display gives you items either active (Yellow) or (Red) warnings. (FPL) Fightplan selection is the X-Plane FMS in another form and you can create or save/load the routes in standard .fms route format. The aircraft does not have any autopilot or any means to follow the FMS route, so the flightplan is only displayed there as guide for you to fly by. Left panel are the two "Magneto" switches (turn off the engine) and two back up instruments in speed and altimeter. The left switches below cover Wings Carb heat - Fuel pump - Cowl flaps - LED test switches. Inner left top is a clever COMM 1 radio, and Start-Power-Choke switches Right Panel Inner are two instruments that are top a "Transponder" and lower the CSC or "Constant Speed Controller". The constant speed Akoya propeller is managed by a controller instrument (CSC-1/P), which monitors and displays the Engine RPM and Manifold Pressure. Instead of a lever the propeller pitch is controlled here and you can set a Propeller Mode of: MAN : Manual mode CRS : Cruise mode : Pitch 70 % CLB : Climb mode : Pitch 99 % There is a RPM overspeed warning as well. Far right are the lighting switches and panel light (Dynon display) adjusters. Mid lower panel are three large selectors... Left flaps in 0-1-2 three positions and right undercarriage up/down, the centre button we will come to later. As noted the layout is just plain basic, no more or no less than you need. Flying the Akoya It can get hot very quickly in the Florida sun, so you want to start up and get moving as quick as possible. After the walkround you need to bring in the pitot cover by pressing the "Remove before flight" tag on the rear bulkhead. Starting the Akoya is as simple as 1 - 2- 3. First turn on both the magnetos (fuel tank switch is in front of the seats, but it is already switched on) 2. give the engine a little choke if required, a little throttle helps... then 3. hit the starter switch and the noise will start up high above you. Sounds are very good and it feels like the chop, chop noise is close and is right behind your neck... of which it is. Taxiing was quite easy, but the aircraft is very high-nosed as the Akoya is a tail-dragger (sort of). So I kept the taxiway centreline to the left and visible to make sure I had a visual line to follow. Power up and you quickly realise that this Akoya flying caper is not going to as easy as it looks. I am very smooth on the throttle, and only give out small stick inputs, but it soon becomes very apparent that there is not a lot of slipstream going over the rear rudder, and whoops your gone... This second time I tried the "hold brakes and a lot of throttle" theory to try to slingshot the aircraft straight forward as the nicey, nice approach certainly does not work. To a point it was more successful. But you are hanging on for your dear life and trying to keep the aircraft as straight as a die on some sort of a straight line... then the moment the tail rises your in business and you can gain control back and then as the speed rises more you are going to finally slip the Akoya upwards and away from mother earth. overall Nasty! Once in the air the Akoya is very nice, and balanced, which is a good thing as there are no pilot-aids at all, it is all stick and rudder flying. You need only small stick inputs to do what you want, and the aircraft is very nice and neutral. Plenty of power allows you to climb easily at around 800fpm, a 1000fpm is possible, however this is not a "throw the aircraft around in the air " type of machine, its hybrid nature disallows that sort of behavior. You do feel you are being pulled (upwards?) as the Rotax 912 ULS flat four cylinder piston with 1:2.34 reduction gearing, delivering 73.5 kW (98.6 hp) does its job. I was surprised that the aircraft was as smooth and as easy to balance as it was considering its odd shape and aerofoil configurations. But the main feature of the Agoya is its waterbourne abilities. Flying around over Florida's Lakeland area means there should be something below to aim the Akoya's nose at. But first. Centre lower panel there is a large button called "Ground". Press it and it turns to "Water" to seal up the aircraft ready to do some swimming. You are going to give the little aircraft some chance of not being swamped, by setting on X-Plane's Menu/Weather page the wave height and length. I used .2 of a ft (foot) to keep the swell down to a minimum. Flaps down your speed can be less of 70knts, but you need as much a lower speed you can find. A very shallow approach can keep the aircraft at the best position for watery landing, but the speed is critical no matter how slow your descent is. You have to find the very least knots you can, which is not as easy as it sounds while not losing height and not stalling, still too fast and you will easily bounce off the surface like Mr Wallace's "Dambusters" bouncing bomb. It will take a few goes to get a clean perfect water landing just right. Once on the water the aircraft is surprisingly great and easy to manoeuvre, very easy to turn or park at a jetty. Opening the canopy will mean you can put your hands in the water and easily do a bit of light fishing, I doubt any sailfish fishing as the fish may pull you with him, than you with the big fish. But it is a nice feature if you want to hop around lakes looking for dinner or fill out the freezer. Taking off from the water is far easier than on the runway, as the water tends to help keep the aircraft more in a straight line, pretty soon you are going some knots and are easily skyways again. All liveries are French (F) with the LISA logo F-WOOA as default. The two other are WAOW a swipy green and WOOH a garlish pinky-red Nightlighting is basic but very good. One far right panel adjuster will adjust the Dynon screen, the other the amount of light in the cabin. Not much variation but you easily create the right feel you want from very bright to just showning the instruments, so it is very easy to find the right lighting point you require. Up on the roof above you there is a strange four way vent and cabin lighting arrangement, very well created. External lighting is basic with Navigation and Strobe. Landing and taxi light in the inner left wing. Heading back to KLAL (Lakeland) you reflect on this strange critter of an aircraft. Humankind are always looking to do the same thing in very different ways, and to sort of refine the idea. Here the French want to make a two-seater multipurpose aircraft in land-sea-ice operations, and as clever as it is, and it certainly covers all the bases. But it is an aircraft in the real world that is not really a usable machine in the way an DHC-2 Beaver is for example, that aircraft can still do land-sea-ice missions but can also carry more passengers and cargo. The Agoya is really nothing more than a clever hobby aircraft, and yet we need a new design of a workable DHC-2 for today's aviation, and that is why there are so many old tired Beavers still flying around and yet only a few of these sort of aircraft that are struggling to sell. Landing the Agoya on wheels is the same frightful challenge as taking off. Once again you are confronted with a very low speed and a very shallow approach as so not to do the bouncys. It is not so easy unless if your speed is not right down to crawl slow to suddenly find yourself hopping hopelessly down the runway. In finally get those narrow set wheels actually down on the hard stuff and you are then confronted with trying to keep the aircraft in a long straight line and not quickly disappearing into a rounding spin off into the scenery. It is fun the first few times, unless you master it. The Akoya is not your usual General Aviation aircraft, yes versatile it is and even fun, but I think the aircraft will be more in the oddity section of aviation than mainstream.... great for fishing though. Performance Cruising speed: 210 km/h (130 mph; 113 kn) economical Stall speed: 64 km/h (40 mph; 35 kn) flaps down Never exceed speed: 290 km/h (180 mph; 157 kn) Range: 1,250[13] km (777 mi; 675 nmi) at economical cruising speed without optional tank Rate of climb: 5.2 m/s (1,020 ft/min) maximum Summary Weird, fishy, strange but interesting. Yes the Akoya is a very critter of a strange fish. Hard to takeoff and land (on the hard stuff) but I don't doubt many pilots will see the challenge and the versatility in the aircraft. I wish there was more navigation aids, even in a course adjustment to angle in runways, but the aircraft is very basic in that area. Certainly a clever design by Aerobask, and very well created and in keeping with their usual high standards. So where can you buy the LISA Agoya from Aerobask? Well you can't just yet. The aircraft will be bundled (free) with the soon forthcoming "Victory" light passenger jet. So you get two aircraft for one price. If demand is there then the Agoya might be listed as a stand alone purchase. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download aircraft file size is 226.60mb. Installed file size is 268.40 Documents : One in depth manual and one real document "csc_manual-pv50" Developer Site : Aerobask Manufacturer Site : LISA Airplanes Requirements Windows, Mac OS, Linux (please refer to the requirements of X-Plane®) X-Plane® 10.40 (64-bit only!) or higher _____________________________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 27th January 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  36. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : FlightFactor Boeing 757RR-200 Route : BIKF (Keflavik) to EGCC (Manchester UK) In August 2012. FlightFactor with VMAX released their first X-Plane aircraft in the Boeing 777-200ER Worldliner and later the add-on variants (Extended) of the Longer -300 and Cargo version. The response was overwhelming in the simulation world of the standard that the aircraft represented in the way of quality, but more so in the depth of the systems and the excellent FMC (Flight Management Computer). The release created another upward step in the evolution of simulation standards towards realism and replication of real world aircraft operations. The announcement of the Boeing 757 series as the next release aircraft would certainly create a ready made market for the aircraft. However the B777 Worldliner was a very high standard to reach. The question is that "could the Boeing 757-Series be as good or even better than the acclaimed Boeing 777-Series"? I'll let you relax early and note that it is, and in many areas better. But it is also a very different aircraft than the B777 Worldliner in the fact it is a generation older than its bigger Boeing brother. It is a more manual hands-on aircraft and its systems are in that magnificent tween period of the transition from the standard dial and gauge cockpit to the all glass (display) cockpits of the modern era. This is one of the great attractions of the Boeing 757 as it can keep both the older and more modern pilots happy and fulfilled... The B757 also creates a bigger workload in the cockpit - so you have been warned. Boeing 757 After the success of the original Boeing series of aircraft in the 707/727/737/747. It came to the point in time where Boeing was faced with replacing its most successful aircraft (at that time) - The Boeing 727 that operated on the most important short and medium routes. Boeing knew that most airlines wanted a larger twin-aisle aircraft, but there was also significant demand for a single-aisle version as well. The result was two airframes that covered both markets in the B757/B767 Series as both had the commonality of cockpit layouts and the exchange of many parts and systems on both aircraft. The Boeing 767 became the twin-aisle version and the Boeing 757 was the single-aisle aircraft. It was a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine aircraft that can carry 200 to 289 passengers for a maximum of 3,150 to 4,100 nautical miles (5,830 to 7,600 km), depending on variant. And it was Boeing's the manufacturer largest single-aisle passenger aircraft and was produced from 1981 to 2004. Production of the 757 ended on October 28, 2004, after 1,050 had been built for 54 customers. The 757-200 was by far the most popular model, with 913 built. The prototype 757 was rolled out of the Renton factory on January 13, 1982. The aircraft, equipped with RB211-535C engines and completed its maiden flight one week ahead of schedule on February 19th,1982. The maiden flight however was not without complications, as the RB211 was affected by an engine stall, following indications of low oil pressure. After checking system diagnostics, Boeing company test pilot John Armstrong and co-pilot Lew Wallick were able to restart the affected engine, and the flight proceeded normally to landing. Eastern Air Lines operated the first commercial 757 flight on January 1st,1983, on the Atlanta-to-Tampa route. and on February 9th,1983, British Airways began using the aircraft for London-to-Belfast shuttle services as the first overseas airline to use the aircraft of where it replaced the retiring Hawker Siddeley Trident 3B trijets. The first 757 with PW2037 engines rolled out about one year later, and was delivered to Delta Air Lines on November 5, 1984. The 757 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit featuring a single fin and rudder. Each wing features a supercritical cross-section and is equipped with five-panel leading edge slats, single- and double-slotted flaps, an outboard aileron, and six spoilers. The wings are largely identical across all 757 variants, swept at 25 degrees, and optimized for a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 (533 mph or 858 km/h). The reduced wing sweep eliminates the need for inboard ailerons, yet incurs little drag penalty on short and medium length routes, during which most of the flight is spent climbing or descending. The airframe further incorporates carbon-fiber reinforced plastic wing surfaces, Kevlar fairings and access panels, plus improved aluminum alloys, which together reduce overall weight by 2,100 pounds (950 kg). Details noted here are noted for the -200 version. Cruise Speed : Mach 0.80 (530 mph, 458 knots, 850 km/h at cruise altitude of 35,000 ft or 10.66 km) Range : 3,900 nmi (7,222 km) (4,100 nmi (7,600 km) with winglets) Service Ceiling : 42,000 ft (12,800 m) FlightFactor The developer house behind the Boeing 777 and the Boeing 757 is FlightFactor. FlightFactor was formed by Roman Berezin (Ramzzess Aviation Design) and Philipp Münzel Avionics and are the main developer behind both series of aircraft and it is produced by VMAX, Roman is more on the modeling and general programming side while Philipp is centered more on the systems and avionics. But it take a lot people behind the scenes today to create these complex machines. Other highly regarded developers have also been involved who include: Andrey Germayer – in aeronautical engineering, Jack Skieczius – aeronautical engineering, Hartmut Krüger – paintkit and graphics, Bruno Gregorie – cockpit texturing, Marius Hoppmann – sound engineer, Pierre Lavaux – sound engineer. It takes a lot of talent to produce these aircraft and the days of the single developer are slow vanishing into the past. First Impressions The Boeing 757 is quite odd to look at compared to most modern airliners in the fact it is tall and skinny. The tall is that the undercarriage is higher (taller) than most aircraft, because Boeing wanted to have room under the aircraft for different variants and larger engines, Skinny is because it is a single-aisle aircraft based on a twin-aisle concept. Both these features however worked in the aircraft's favor because of its lighter weight, slender fuselage, huge power-to-weight ratio and big engines - It goes and climbs like ...... and is known as "the pocket rocket". FlightFactor's detailing is extraordinary good. And considering the detail it is very light on your frame-rate. Here the textures are set in "very high", but "high" is fine with only a slight buzzyness around some graphics at a very close range, most of the images here are set only in "high" and you would be pressed to notice the difference. The Icelandair livery is astoundingly good, It will be part of the add-on livery collections - but well worth the investment. You have the option of having Aviation Partners Incorporated winglets on or off. I like them on and they give you a longer range as well. They are well crafted into the wings with the lighting set perfectly into the leading edge. Flap construction and animation is first rate, the detailing is excellent. Not just for show but also the mechanism and detailing within the wing. The single and double-slotted flaps, outboard aileron and all six spoilers are represented. When the hydraulics are off the ailerons droop in realism. Tyres and undercarriage assemblies are again first rate, full detailing of links and hydraulic systems are almost perfect. I like the texturing of the supports and general worn dirtyness with out overdoing the effect. Perfect realism. Menu System The Boeing 757 menu system is different from FlightFactor's B777 menu... That one sits on the side of your computer screen like a blue blob, I don't care for menus that I can see, although as handy as they are. I find them distracting. Here the 757 menu is part of the X-Plane top menu under "Plugins". It means a double-click to access the menu, but it is a far more neater solution. (just be careful not to disable it) Here we require only the first two "General" and "Ground" menu pages. These pages are for setting up the aircraft and using features of the aircraft on the ground. General The "General" Menu allows you to set certain conditions on the aircraft. First is "High Challenge", "Real Limits" and "Real Time" all are effective depending on your level of skill, to start I recommend to keep them off until you are familiar with the aircraft, then introduce them to feel the effects. "Real Time" does not have as a major effect on the aircraft as the other two. You can select "F/O" First Officer to be in control to fly from the right side of the cockpit. You can plug-in a radio, select your winglet choice and load your last flight including fuel loads. "Charts" can be on/off and we will see them in the cockpit. Volume adjustment and you can save all the above as defaults. The lower section is your 6 main doors and 4 overwing (escape) doors operation (open/Close), No cargo doors though which is a shame? Ground The "Ground" Menu allows you to set up items on the ground around the aircraft. You have a large selection of vehicles and ground equipment to choose from. First you have two GPU's to use, One a general power supply, and the second a start supply that sits by the left engine. A passenger bus, Stairs on the right first door? great for servicing but you miss the door on the first left side for passenger plane/deplane... It feels odd and you miss it, a choice or better still both choices would be nice. A fuel truck that will load in your fuel load, a De-Ice Truck that is great but only De-Ices the right wing?. And chocks on the wheels. There is a "Gate" configuration button that turns off the Bus and Stairs which is fairly useless. The mid-section is for setting up the aircraft configuration for flight. This includes No.Pass, Cargo Weight, APU (fuel) time, Taxi (fuel) time, contingency (fuel), alternate (fuel) and trip fuel, total fuel and weight is shown and you can save and load in the configurations. Finally on the "Ground" menu there is a very good (Steer and power by throttle) pushback truck that is the same on the B777. very good it is as well. Cockpit First impressions of the cockpit are of the complexity and quality of the design. Looking into the cockpit, It does feel quite more darker than a B757 cockpit would look like, it helps with the detail but it does need to be a little more lighter to be more authentic. Detailing is astounding. almost every knob and switch is active and perfect in design. As noted this 757 is a generation of aircraft that transcended the era between the dials and glass cockpits. Sitting behind the beautifully rendered throttles (reverse thrust) levers is the main attraction. The FMS. It is almost the same design as the one on the FlightFactors Boeing 777, but it is the best FMC in X-Plane right now. Fully programmable with flight data (performance, Depart, Cruise, Arrival) routes x 2, Legs, SIDS & STARS, DEP/ARR airports, it is fully functional and both the FMS's of the pilot and the Co-Pilot's pop-outs and are completely and separately programmable, you can start setting up the data on the pilots side and finish on the Co-Pilots FMC or do both at the same time and can input on different modes (you still have to follow the basic input rules).... Just simply brilliant. If you look closely you will find a mode missing? Radio was not on the FMC at this stage (unlike the B777) and so you have to input your frequencies manually. One Item worth noting is that you can save a route (yah!). But to retrieve the route from file you have to input the exact letters and numbers into the FMC. You can check in the Plugin/757Avionics/Routes folder if you forget or simply write them down. The systems on the 757 aircraft are highly complex with full Electrical, hydraulic, De-Ice, Fuel (pumps and tank transfer) most of which is situated on the overhead panel (OHP). There is a multistage custom failure system with in-browser instructor’s console and you have the ability to fix failure by following the proper procedures. And between flights any failures and maintenance will carry over to the next flight that gives you the realism of a not so perfect aircraft. (you can turn this all off via the menu). Starting the engines is as complex as you would expect from a cold start-up, it requires long procedures of button pushing and systems activation. On power up the engine power comes in gradually and then they get noisy outside, they are dirty as well as the black plumes of carbon fill the air behind the engine exhausts. As it is very complex machine, you do have thankfully an excellent checklist and tutorial built into the menu. A full checklist for every portion of the flight is available. First there is a "Normal" checklist that just lists the procedures, This includes the standard aircraft walkaround. "Procedures" takes the situations a level higher. First with a highly detailed instruction of each procedure and then as a very clever tutorial that goes through all the procedures. As you click each procedure it will show you in what order and where each item is to be activated. As you click the items off the checklist it goes onto the next item. For new and even experienced users like me, it makes the systems more easily absorbed and you learn quite fast. Many times you know what to press but can't find the right function on the panel... or do the sequence in the wrong order. Here a few runs through and you are pretty well ready just to use the standard checklists. There is the "Operational" Checklists that is also highly detailed and every one of these checklists can be used in Auto mode when the aircraft will do it for you. The final item "RE-SET" on the menu will reset any of the Checklists in the lists. It looks daunting at first but the checklist menus are simply so good you will soon understand the aircraft. Interior The interior cabin is just as detailed as every other item on the aircraft, Opening the locked cabin door will find you with a "I can't do that look on your face", You can, as the (FLT DK Door) button is on the OHP and that shows the amount of detail you have. Inside the seats are beautifully rippled, and the cabin fittings, Lavatories, working galleys and all the interior lighting lighting is excellent. Flying the Boeing 757 Once the aircraft is configured with fuel (menu), FMS flight route (data) and engine start you are ready for pushback. Flaps were set at 10º. and brakes away. Taxiing is easy as the throttle response is excellent, you feel the weight and it takes a push for thrust to get the 757 moving, then you settle it back to a 10knt taxi speed. You can do cabin announcements via a great announcement menu page. There is a full list of excellent standard announcements that will bring a smile to your face, There is also the option for charts on the yoke, these are pdf's that are stored in the "CHARTS" folder in the main file folder. They have to be listed (.png's) and configured for use, but it is worthwhile for their usability and as an excellent feature. Push throttles forward and the engines spool up to full power in their own time, this takes a moment and then the push comes in. Totally realistic in the moment is that the power is just there on other aircraft, but it is simply not here on the 757 until it comes in with a growing gradient of power. The feeling is fabulous in its effect of reality... amazing programming must be required to get this just right. At rotate you just let it climb without pulling back to hard, Gear up is a two stage click upwards on the lever, It climbs like you expect, very quickly. And on the turn back towards the coast over BIRK I was already at 8000ft and climbing easily at 2000ftpm. Turn to the sun and the active shades feature will cover the windows, turn away and they go up again. Both Pilot and Co-Pilot NAV/MAP displays are independent, Usually placed on the glareshield, here they are on the pedestal. it makes adjustment tricky - but they are very authentic in operation. Glareshield Autopilot is excellent, It has full separate functions for the the Pilot and Co-Pilot, VOR 2 frequency settings are at both sides, which can be set to Manual or Automatic. Pilots side instruments shows the duel mixture of dials and glass screens with digital readouts from that era. Setting the ILS Frequency (VOR1) is a slightly more nerve racking affair if you don't know how? or where it is? It is situated at the rear of the pedestal, but the first the actual frequencies don't show unless you adjust the lighting - it is just dark or blank. When it does show it only displays dotted lines? A casual look around the cockpit became a frantic search for the badly needed ILS setting. The trick is to touch the knob on the frequency selector and the frequencies finally show a selectable freq number. Another feature is the oxygen mask, press the compartment to the pilots left hand and activate the mask, it moves as you wear it and not just where you look, but also on how you breath! Enroute and you have a lot of tools at your disposal. The FMC gives you your route while the Co-Pilot does the flying with the standard MAP mode. Engine performance and power is shown on the displays. At arrival you can easily set the correct distance to your turn fix for the correct height. Cabin and glass reflections are first class. the windows all give great reflections and they are worse at night with the lighting from the instruments.. Flying today is in good weather, But if it turns wet or stormy then the aircraft has a good weather radar (adjustible!) and great rain effects on the windows, now in X-Plane in aircraft of this category rain is mostly de-rigueur, but FlightFactor do it very well. Arrival is down to 5000ft and m62. But watch the aircraft as it will fall quite quickly if you don't control the descent, on finals as you turn but you have to watch the drag from those long drooping flaps, in fact your speed has to be quite slow at around 140knts on approach, because if you don't control the speed and you are not slow enough in the flare you will get a bang of a landing. (or a reset!) That last few feet from the ILS cutoff is going to test your skill to the limit. But get it right and you will smile for days after. The reverse thrust is very effective and blows out a lot of black dirt in front of the engines. Then don't forget to let the passengers know they have arrived... Sounds The Boeing 757 has over 200 Mb of custom sounds, in 3d of course. The cockpit has many of these and can be heard while pressing various functions. In flight the "Ding-Dong" goes off all the time as passengers call the attendants.... very realistic. There are also 3D stereo sound for the engines and they sound great with from some angle a real burring turbine sound that is excellent. Liveries There are four liveries with the aircraft package: Boeing House, British Airways (retro), Air France and Lufthansa. And eight livery packs available for US$10 per pack - Includes: Asia Pacific Livery Pack for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #1 for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #2 for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #3 for 757- Middle East/ Africa Pack for 757 North American Livery Pack#1 for 757 - North American Livery Pack#2 for 757 - Russian Livery Pack for 757 Conclusions The Boeing-200 from FlightFactor is a huge aircraft full of brilliant features. The modeling and design are first rate if not the best in X-Plane at this current period. It is a large investment, but you are getting the very best as well. If you have acquired the Boeing 777Series then you know why the Boeing 757 is also going to be great value. It has the same quality and design as the B777. But still the B757 is very different in its own way. The main feature is again the programmable FMC as it is simply the best in X-Plane, but the shear systems depth is also another real attraction. For a large file it is amazingly light on your frame-rate and the texture quality does not suffer either. The 3d sounds are another aspect as they are very good as well. The only items that I would have liked is cargo doors and the option of the stairs on the left (front) door, but both are for my own service requirements. For a novice flyer the B757 is a complex and daunting machine, the brilliant checklist system helps, but it will take time to fully understand the aircraft not only in operation but also in the air. No review could cover all the systems on this aircraft, as they are to large and complex but with this investment you will get in return of many and even hundreds of hours of simulation at the highest level. for value there can be no other greater reward. _____________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 757 Professional is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Designed by FlightFactor (Philipp and Ramzzess) and produced by VMAX Price is US$59.95 : Boeing 757 Professional Developer Site: facebook Dev Thread : X-Plane.org Review By Stephen Dutton 7th November 2013 Technical Requirements: 64bit X-Plane 10 and OS are required to run the 757. Windows Vista/7/8 64bit or Mac OSX 10.7/10.8/10.9 or Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) X-Plane 10 fully updated. 64 bit mode. (X-Plane 9 not supported. x-plane 10 32 bit not supported) 8GB RAM/1GBVRAM (2GB VRAM Recommended)- 512b available hard disk space (download size:375Mb - Custom Folder size (expanded) is 577.50mb) Current version : 1.01 (last updated November 7th, 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 - BIKF (Keflavik) - Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgShop US$19.95) - EGCC (Manchester UK) - Captain Dij (X-Plane.Org)
  37. 1 point
    Aircraft Review - Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs That first flying lesson and the moment you are free to do your first solo, are two moments in your aviation career that will always be burnt hard deep into your memory. Just you and the machine and the freedom from the earth, you are flying and you now have no bounds to the earthly core below you. There are more chances than not that both of these great moments in your life will be behind the controls of this aircraft... The Cessna 172SP. It is the trainers, trainer aircraft, the workhorse of most flying clubs around the world, first flown in 1955 (nearly 60 years ago) and there are 43,000 172's scattered around the airfields of the world. They are the backbone of the General Aviation world, the Volkswagon Beetle of the plane world, the everyman's aircraft... In other words there is a lot of them and they are all part of the aviation scenery all around you. Things you did erase however out of your gilded memories are that the 172SP is morbidly slow and shockingly noisy, but lets not damage the cloud high dream. The venerable Cessna 172 started life as a tricycle landing gear variant of the taildragger Cessna 170, that had a basic level of standard equipment. In January 1955, Cessna flew an improved variant of the Cessna 170, a Continental O-300-A-powered Cessna 170C with larger elevators and a more angular tailfin. And although the variant was tested and certified, Cessna decided to modify it with a tricycle landing gear, and the modified Cessna 170C flew again on 12 June 1955. To reduce the time and cost of certification, the type was added to the Cessna 170 type certificate that then became known as the Model 172. Later, the 172 was given its own type certificate, 3A12. The 172 became an overnight sales success, and over 1,400 were built in 1956, in its first full year of production. Early 172s were similar in appearance to the 170s, with the same straight aft fuselage and tall landing gear legs, although the 172 had a straight tailfin while the 170 had a rounded fin and rudder. Then later 172 versions incorporated revised landing gear and the swept-back tailfin, which is still in use today. The final aesthetic development incorporated in the mid-1960s, was a lowered rear deck allowing an aft window. Cessna advertised this added rear visibility as the "Omni-Vision.", and Cessna has not changed the airframe configuration since then, except for updates in avionics and engines, including the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit in 2005. Production halted in the mid-1980s, but resumed in 1996 with the 160 hp (120 kW) Cessna 172R Skyhawk. Cessna supplemented this in 1998 with the 180 hp (135 kW) Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP. AirfoilLabs This C172SP is the first design from Czech studio AirfoilLabs. And being a new design from a new direction it is quite a different feel from most X-Plane standard aircraft. No doubt the starting brief was to create the most outstanding C172SP in X-Plane, and the aircraft is nothing but highly ambitious in creating that standard and refinement. But even at this point the skill and quality is there and there is no doubt about that and certainly AirfoilLabs are another welcome addition to the X-Plane world. Cessna 172SP X-Plane comes with a default Cessna 172SP and it has already a 3d cabin and controls, It is very good and of course free if you have purchased the simulator. For many this aircraft is their first introduction to the simulator, but most new users will usually fly the huge default Boeing 747 which is a really silly thing to do as the aircraft requires a little experience with all that weight and heavy aircraft flying characteristics, and I am as guilty as everyone there. The aircraft comes in three versions: Low-res : Medium-res : High-res Which is the weight of the textures in low/med/high in quality. The first thing you notice is that the aircraft is heavy, not only in the download but in the simulator and that is the penalty that comes with quality. No doubt that AirfoilLabs are aware of that and so hence the three choices, and the "Low" is well too low, in blurry texture writing on the panel and liveries, and the high is for only people that have computers that are run directly off nuclear power stations. So the "Medium" is the best compromise and that is what we are flying here. First impressions are of a highly detailed design and the forementioned quality, no doubt this is an excellent 172SP. Detailing is deep and significant, with ribs, great paneling, riveting and the whole lot of screws and bolts holding the aircraft together. Glass is first rate and the whole machine has a real authentic look from the start. For a first time effort it is a very good design. The aircraft is fuselage full of features, there is a lot on the aircraft. But we will start with the menus. The five "Menu" tabs are situated left centre of your screen. They represent (Q) Quickstart - (C) Camera - (P) Payload and Fuel - (S) Settings and (E) Engine Service Panel We will start with the (C) Camera because it is important to understand the view system. In X-Plane you use a view system that is mostly set by using your keyboard to represent a certain view and your position inside and outside of the aircraft. The AirfoilLabs view system mostly over rules that feature by taking control of your views and giving you certain actions within that view field. That can cause some conflict between the two systems as we will see. But the way you should approach the views is to say be inside the AirfoilLabs views or out of them. The idea is to give you a full view and control of the aircraft, it is very clever but has some restrictions. On the (C) Camera menu you press the "Go Outside" box to go into the system and that is noted by the notice at the bottom of your screen " Manipulation Mode Active" you can still use you left- right and forward - back movement keys to move around but they are slower (even with the -Shift double speed pressed down). But you can then also access the many active zones all over the aircraft that are represented by the hand, press the zone areas on the forward upper and lower engine cowling panels, and there is a whirr of bolts coming off and the panel then split and rest on the ground in front of the aircraft and reveals the internal uprated Lycoming IO-360-L2A (200hp - 149kW). The beautifully constructed but fragile looking Lycoming is very well detailed and a great feature. These active zones are positioned all over the aircraft. To check your fuel, you press on the step on either the side of the aircraft, and you are lifted onto the wing and the fuel tank cap rotates off. You can then adjust the fuel load of each tank via the menu. Pressing on the flap on the cowling will show you the oil stick. You can pull (manoeuvre) the aircraft by pressing on the front strut and pulling the handle and there are check items on the wheel covers. All static items like tie-downs (wings/rear) wheel chocks, pitot cover can be individually attached or hidden. (note: when starting the aircraft and giving the aircraft throttle you may wonder why? It doesn't actually move?, it is usually the wheel chocks are still in place, but to remove them you have shutdown the engine again and move outside to do so, move again back inside and then restart the engine) Doors (Pilot's and Co-Pilot) can be opened by pressing on the latch and so can the baggage door to the rear. All move-able surfaces can be checked on the walk-around, by placing the hand on the surface, items that can be checked (they move for you) are the flaps, ailerons, rear elevators and rudder. A lot of the items noted will only work if you are close to them, any distance and they don't work... the oil stick is quite hard to animate. From the menu you can connect an external GPU (Ground Power Unit) but only if the cowling is on the aircraft, again you press the small hatch (left high) to connect. Get close to the door and the internal cabin is extremely well done, only the rudder pedals are a bit too shiny and not worn for my liking. The seating is well done and the internal fittings are first rate, the aircraft is however not grubby and tired like you find in an Carenado, but still very good. The panel is very authentic and well done, highly realistic. To get into the aircraft you press the centre of the seat and with that you are in the pilots seat. To get out again you press the step on the wheel support. Both actions are on the view "menu" and Pilot will put you in the drivers seat and Go Outside will put you on the ground again. You realize sorta quickly that you are a little restricted? you can rotate and angle up or down but not move actually left-right or up-down like you can with the X-Plane keys. To move you have to use the view menu and go to that position. You do get used to it... in time, but you feel restricted overall. A fellow user that tried the system hated it, and if it gets confused with the X-Plane system you get a bad shudder and no more movement is possible. An escape from the shudder is press your X-Plane "Cinema Verite" key or (view) menu option, it is the only one that works? In the rear it is nice and cosy back there. And the door can be closed by touching the catch, the window opens on both doors as well and the external sounds go up or down with them open or closed. A nice touch is when the engine is running the doors and windows if opened will vibrate in the slipstream and can't be fully opened, but will thankfully close. The (C)-Camera (views) menu covers a lot of options internally (including the various equipment views) and externally. The POV (Point of View) can be adjusted to get the best position and that is usually a required adjustment as it is too far back. Panel and Instruments This being a trainer then the panel is set out in a basic configuration, just the main flight instruments front and centre. But the aircraft and instruments are not basic, basic... there is a bit of power in there to do more than circuits. The standard six instruments ( Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator and Vertical Speed Indicator) are large and clear as they should be. Below is the engine RPM dial. To left are the four clear engine instruments in Fuel (both left and right tanks), EGT (exhaust gas temperature) and fuel flow, Oil pressure and Temperature and VAC (Vacuum) and AMP (amperage). In a bit of modernity there is up at the top a digital display for Temp, Volt and timer. Right of the Standard Six are two CDI (course deviation indicator) for VOR OBS (Nav2) and NDB direction, a third (top) is a ILS alignment vertical and Horizontal) dial (Nav1). Top of the panel is the NAV/GPS switch. And on the Co-Pilots side you get just a large clock. Lower panel is the main key start switch, Power switches (master) and Avionics power switches. Set out between are the seven switches for lights, pitot heating and fuel pump. All the relevant push/pull fuses work, so don't mess around with them. Lower centre is your panel lighting, throttle and mixture push/pull knobs, (note the small "lean" knob between the throttle and mixture knobs) flap lever is to the right in four positions 0º... 10º, 20º, 30º. A large lovely trim wheel is beautifully done and nice to use On the floor is a fuel tank selector (all or left/right tanks) and fuel cut off push/pull knob. The central equipment stack is quite comprehensive for a small trainer (and making the aircraft more powerful and versatile). So as we turn on the power and avionic power then the Eq Stack starts up. It is becoming common now in X-Plane to switch on individually the separate radio sets and you do so here as well. It is a full Benedix/King suite with the standard X-Plane Garmin GNS430 GPS. Top to bottom is the standard COMM KMA 26 TSO, then the Garmin GPS which is also your COMM 1 and VOR 1 settings. The KX165A radio is your COMM 2 and VOR 2 set that works in conjunction with the very bottom KN62A for VOR distance, speed and time to the set waypoint. Then your KR87 is the ADF and flight time unit and the XPDR (Transponder) is a KT76C. The autopilot is a comprehensive KAP 140 which we will come back to later, but all the equipment radio sets are excellent to use and are very authentic. A nice detailed compass sits mid central pillar. On the (P) Payload and Fuel menu there are a few options in setting up the aircraft for flight. If you don't want to go scrabbling over the wings to put fuel in the aircraft then you can do so here, and adjust the oil quantity. You can add or takeout baggage in the small compartment behind the cabin and choose not only if you want a passenger but also very cleverly both the pilots and co-pilots weight in five settings, and the full payload and gross weight of the aircraft is shown. You can adjust both front seats front and back which is a nice touch and gives you a set up your right position feeling. Yoke is beautiful, certainly it is an added bonus if you have a Yoke and Rudder pedal set up, you can hide both yokes if you want more of a panel view, but they are nice to have in view. Flying the AirfoilLabs Cessna 172SP Two more menu pages help with the start up and settings while flying. The first is (Q) - Quick Start, that gives you options on either the aircraft is quick start (auto) or cold when starting up (cold and dark is the default), "Secure aircraft" will shut the aircraft down and add in the static elements in one click. "Prepare for Start" will have the aircraft ready to the point of turning the key. The option to connect the GPU and flashlight. The other menu is the (S) - Settings menu. This page is more for the special effects (Smart Camera) and sound. You can select to start with the engine running, pilot in the seat on startup (never saw any pilot?) and a footer menu at the bottom of the screen for flight data. There is a final menu tab for (E) Engine Service Panel but that system is not yet implemented, but looks very interesting. A lot of thought has gone into making sure the 172SP is totally authentic with the real Cessna. That is apparent in the way you start the aircraft. Make sure the fuel shutoff is in on the lower pedestal (fuel pump is on), and so is the lean knob... mixture knob is too the dash and turn the key to start the engine. The propeller will turn but stutter? Try again... no it still won't start? Give the aircraft a little throttle, another key turn and... the Lycoming IO-360-L2A will burst into life! Let the engine warm up and then settle it back into idle. Love it. As the engine crackles your vision is slightly moving with the vibration. This is the G-Effect feature, and it is to give you an authentic movement as you fly the aircraft. Before departing I try out the lighting. The Navigation lights are beautiful and well done, and so is the tail beacon. There is a taxi and landing light in the left wing, but looking closer the actual light is a bit like a rough diamond than a smooth surface, but the light itself is good. Park brake off with a loud thunk and we are moving. Touch the brake to check the forward speed and Whoa! You get this severe forward movement that your head is about to go through the windscreen? Don't like that? It is not the idea doesn't work it is the severity of it. X-Plane has two brake modes "regular" in 50% brake action and "Park" for 100% brake. Here you get 100% every time you even lightly touch the brakes, so you don't actually taxi but hop and bounce your way to the runway, so you try every angle not to "touch that damn brake", on landing it is a real pain in freezing the wheels and catapulting you out of your seat and into the glass, just for trying to slow down the aircraft. It is just too violent and at 50% would have been far better and softer, I didn't like it at all, and I doubt the real aircraft is as severe (I hope). The visual G-Effect movement is quite odd as well but you soon get used to it. Sounds are exceptional, there no doubt that AirfoilLabs has got the rough aircooled four-stroke clatter down right. On the hold the aircraft sounded perfectly authentic and real, throttle up and you get that roar and wind you know well. The aircraft has the excellent DreamEngine Sound plugin with 140 different sounds and range with Doppler Effect and Atmospheric Attenuation... So okay it is very good. Throttle in and you are moving with the featured visual movement backwards, the thrust will send you slightly off line to the right but that is normal and needed to be corrected. At 65knts and the aircraft wants to fly and a slight pull of the yoke and your easily airborne. The aircraft is jittery when you first get all the axis loose together and you will find yourself looking for the aircraft's balance, certainly experience with the aircraft will smooth this out, but this is a first impression. Once found it is great to balance and fly, this a basic trainer after all. It will however if you are not smooth then give you a very moving and visual disorientation, that can be again a bit too severe, and too the point here that I couldn't fly the aircraft and had switch it off as my pitch was sending me into the ground even as I was trying to keep the aircraft level, It is distortional to what is natural if you are trying to fly the aircraft. The basics are correct but it is just too disorientating for my tastes. All these movements are certainly great, but too violent and disorientating if you don't keep the aircraft very, very smooth, but even a bank turn can make you think you are on LSD! Trimming the aircraft is essential, and it takes a little practise to get the balance right. but you can feel the changes and the feel of this C172SP is very good so that helps. But trimming the Cessna perfectly has another reason to get it right... The KAP 140 Autopilot is a real sensitive bugger unless that trim is absolutely, perfectly, annoyingly, frustratingly on the button in being absolutely minutely perfect to lock on. If not you get a beep, beep... and no activation. You actually think it is broken, but it is not... It just hates you! Once (finally and ten NM off course) activated it is thankfully very good. You will love the Yoke action that follows the autopilots commands, but if you pull on the Yoke it will also disconnect for manual flying. You are not going to go very fast anywhere in the C172SP, this little aircraft goes slower at 122knt cruising speed than most aircraft go on final approach, some even on the runway in reverse thrust... So you have tons of time to take in the very slow moving scenery, Vertical speed is not riveting either at a top of 700 fpm or usually 500fpm and wanting to test out the aircraft's ceiling altitude 13,500 ft (4,100 m) is going to take an afternoon, going down thankfully is a little faster. Once you get over the embarrassment of the laughing birds as they overtake you, it is a lot of fun up here. The aircraft just trundles along and you enjoy watching people spend their hard earned cash at Walt Disney World Florida below you. The aircraft comes with fully working systems (temperatures, electrics) and perfect performance data. Weight & balances replicated from an original aircraft with perfect lateral and longitudinal loads placement. Finally you turn to approach KORL or Orlando Executive Airport RWY25. There is a noted gap in the green speed zone between 85knts and 90kts and it is ideal to drop the flaps 10º, C172SP pilot's note the flaps come down like barn-doors and create lift, but I found it not so savage in this zone and you can easily adjust the flap setting to revolutions of the engine to maintain a good speed to lowering the altitude feeling, in other words you have plenty of control. Keep the speed in the green zone and around 50knts and the aircraft will fly there all day, but it is perfect on approach, again the aircraft has good balance when trimmed correctly. Sliding under the 50knt zone will allow you to bleed off height and the slow speed can rest as low as 40knts when kissing the runway. You feel totally in control, and just don't spoil it by smashing your head against the windscreen by touching the brakes. I couldn't sit on the ground at KORL very long as it was getting darker by the minute, and I had a long slow flight back to KLAL Lakeland-Linder. So once the passengers and their baggage was deposited I headed straight for the runway. Lighting Panel lighting is gorgeous and similar to the Carenado CT206H Turbo Stationair, in you have that strip lighting under the glareshield. The dials are clear and bright and very nice to fly by in the dark. There are two switchable spot lights over the front seats, but the rear cabin spot light does not work. A nice touch is the light over the lower fuel tank switch. External lighting is good as well in the dark. The Navigation lights look great as does the tail beacon, the taxi and landing lights are as noted before well don. In the cabin the strobe can be seen and you get this slight light flash as you crawl along. Earlier flying in the dark in X-Plane was a fraught dark affair, but with the improvements and the better HDR it is now quite exciting to do. KLAL slips by on my left as I fall into a circuit to land on RWY 05, I used WIREY (227) NDB as a pointer to the lineup. With the slow approach speed of the C195SP, you have the one thing you never have on an approach and that is time. Time to get the centre line correct and the time to get speed exactly right. Coming in over the threshold and the single landing light starts to work, the instrumentation lighting is simply excellent as you can adjust it to stop glare but have good visual readings off the dials. As you come closer to the runway, the more the offset lighting beam becomes more focused and you can see the offset spill just from the one wing distinctively. It looks very realistic and I loved the effect it gave in front of the aircraft. Back at the office I shut the C172SP down and set out the static elements and a day's job was done. No doubt this is a great aircraft in this General Aviation category. Liveries are few in - One blank white and two designs, but I sure many will soon grace the download files as every one creates their personal or private favorite. Summary For a first time release as a designer then AirfoilLabs have done a sensational job. Their aim to create the best C172SP in X-Plane is certainly a very highly ambitious, but they have certainly had a very good stab at it and to a point succeeded in that aim. The basics are very good, and there is no doubt about that. but it does not feel X-Planey in that context, but pilots that own or have flown the C172SP say that the aircraft is very true to the original and so that is the whole point. Updates and feedback from users has created a quick succession of revisions (and another to come in 1.40), but I would stress that the original release was very good anyway, this is just refining around the edges and tightening up, again AirfoilLabs are responding to the multitude of variables that can't be foreseen in the development stage, but their quick response shows skill and the ability to make this a top quality aircraft. Certainly I really liked the aircraft, but found the views system a bit tight (but you get quickly used to it). The G-Effect feature is very good, but too dramatic in that you can even get disoriented in the aircraft and those brakes are so sharp and neck twisting... ... the aircraft is very clean, nice but needs a little more realism, like the huge amount of exhaust smoke (that looks really authentic) would certainly leave a trail of soot on your pristine paintwork, so a bit of airflow dirt or worn items and marked seats would build the aircraft to a more world weary state that Carenado do so well. It can be done as the propeller wear shows off that effect well. But no doubt the list of features (and more to come) is long so you get a lot of aircraft for your investment. But that does come at a small cost with heavy textures in framerate. The Carenado C208B Caravan is 8frames lighter in the same context and X-Plane settings. That does not sound a lot, but it is the difference between dropping too low and having a smooth simulation and the AirfoilLabs C172SP did struggle in areas. Certainly AirfoilLabs are aware of this as to provide three settings (low-med-high) but really "med" is the only usable setting for most, unless you have a power computer. But you feel the frameweight. But this is nitpicking on a very good aircraft, and details around the quality that you expect at this level. For feature wise and design/detailing it is exceptional and certainly anyone going for their PPL (or have one) this C172SP is a perfect training tool, and to a point that is the aim of the real aircraft's role, I would however as a complete novice start on X-Plane's basic C172 before graduating into this AirfoilLabs version, as it is more advanced and the features can be confusing if you can't fly the aircraft on the very basic level. Ambitious, clever and fun, words you would never use for a basic aircraft trainer, but that is what the excellent Cessna 172SP Skyhawk is from AirfoilLabs, It is slightly different in feel as well but to the benefit... Yes a great aircraft and another new standard in X-Plane in General Aviation. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : Cessna 172SP Skyhawk And is priced at only US$34.95 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Fully featured and including: FLIGHT MODEL Very accurate Flight Model. Tested and approved by real world Cessna 172 SP pilots and flight instructor Realistic weight and balance - lateral and longitudinal loads placement Custom made flight characteristics derived from the real aircraft flight recordings and based on real flight manual performance data Calculation of real KIAS based on KCAS according to flight manual Realistic stall characteristics Climb performance according to flight manual performance data Cruise performance data precise match (PRESS ALT, TEMP, POWER, KTAS, GPH) Electrical system derived from the real ELECTRICAL SCHEMATIC Functional Circuit Breakers logic HIGH QUALITY 3D MODEL, TEXTURES AND ANIMATIONS High resolution 4K textures Easy to read, high-resolution panel All switches, buttons and knobs animated Volumetric side view prop effect Realistic 3D night lights effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 585.20mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 914.90mb Notes: None Documents : You get a Manual that at this point is still a bit of work in progress. Requirements : X-Plane 10.36+ - Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit version- 8Gb RAM - 2.5Ghz CPU - 1Gb+ Dedicated VRAM Video Card Current version: 1.31 - Last updated on August 15th 2015 Developer Support Site : (AirfoilLabs X-Plane.Org Support) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 10th September 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 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic v2 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note: personal added items in an office (okay demountable building and vehicles) - KORL - Orlando Executive Airport/Destination Florida v8 by Tom Curtis (updated to Destination Florida 8 WED Edition 105 by Rocketman X-Plane.Org) - Free
  38. 1 point
    It's a shame to spend that money and then not have it's proper FMS (rockwell collins FMS6000) . for VFR Flying I could just use any cockpit display. I obviously would not trigger anyone to start programming and implementing the entire jeppesen routes into planex .. but for the FMS, I think that is really crucial on this plane.
  39. 1 point
    Well Max, Dden is up to his eyes one line at a time in C++ code trying to fix just that. But the Global 6000 may get a FMC before the Challenger. But it is coming, when... well.
  40. 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
  41. 1 point
    Aircraft update : Embraer ERJ 195LR v1.3 by X-Crafts This is the second update to the ERJ 195LR to v1.3 with the earlier v1.2 () that was done in late Nov 2014. So first here is the update list. v1.3 update changelog - New SASL integrated plug-in - New GPU with cutom sound (Brakes must be set for the GPU to work!) - This plane is now X-FMC, UFMC compatible - New Pop-up menu for controlling the doors, ground objects and GPU - New MUCH more realistic wingflex - Static objects now disappear immediately after releasing the brakes - No more pushback with static objects - When loading the plane APU, landing and taxi lights are off now - Push HDG knob to sync heading - EFIS DME added to PFD - Wind indicator added to MFD - Snap sound caused by looping of the engine sound removed - APU sound is not so loud anymore - TOGA added to the throttle lever - Minus added to V/S dial - Plane now loads with APU, landing and taxi lights off - Cockpit objects is dim LIT - Strobe light intensity increased - Nav lights intensity increased - New OBS indicator - Transition speed between slow and fast nosewheel steering changed to 25kts - Flight director cues added to PFD - Seatbelt and no smoking sound working again in 3D cokcpit - Anti-Ice synoptic is working - Electric synoptic page showing the GPU now - GPU annunciator added to overhead panel There is a lot of updates in v1.3 and all of them are very good. So I flew the ERJ 195LR on my usual VA (Virgin Australia) Queensland coast route from YBBN (Brisbane) to Townsville (YBTL) to feel out the new changes. Biggest change here is the addition of a side window tab menu for opening doors and adding static elements. There is also a great GPU (Ground Power Unit) that can now be placed on the same menu. It shows the connection on the "electrics" MFD menu, but it is not lit when not used nor can be switched off on the overhead panel? But the GPU sounds very good when running. When you load the aircraft now the aircraft's lights in the landing and taxi lights are off, as is the internal APU. But move the aircraft to the gate and you are back where you started? This may work for you or against you. The FMC is the standard X-Plane basic with a fancy screen. It pops up via pressing the pop up menu on the left of the panel or by pressing the face of the 3d version. The 3d cockpit FMS can't be interacted with either so it is blank to use... However now you can now use X-FMC or UFMC to get around using a decent FMC on the aircraft. A welcome addition there. There is no doubt about the modeling here as the X-Craft ERJ195LR looks great in any light, expertly modelled it looks impressive in any light or viewpoint. You have to watch your speeding when taxiing as the front wheels now will adjust at 25knt for fast or slow movement. I found that fine but found when taxiing you had to power up and then power down the throttle all the time to keep a consistent speed. However it does sound great at the different power levels when you do this. Powerup down the runway and you tightly keep the aircraft centered, once climbing and turning away from the runway you will need a (very) steady hand and very smooth transitions to keep the correct turn radius and vertical speed. Make no doubt the aircraft is very good when hand flying and with pure airmanship... but it doesn't like anything in the slightest in quick changes or to note it is very sensitive out of its defined tight parameters. let the joystick/yoke in the slightest a given movement and the vertical speed will drop significantly and so will the speed sometimes. Click on the Autopitot (AP) and it comes on in bad "thunk" and no A/P actions (heading, altitude or speed) are yet selected, and the transition from manual to AP settings has to be very smooth to not get any -/+ in the vertical speed. Wingflex has been updated and is very good now and the whole aircraft has now a new SASL plug-in for better functionality. Nice touches include HDG knob will now sync to the heading, and flight director cues are in the PRD. The wind indicator has been added as well. Internal lighting has been tweaked and looks great. I found just the right combination of lighting settings to get the best view outside and the right amount of non-panel glare and still have good functionality behind the controls and a clear view out of the aircraft. One thing I found even more annoying this flight was the "altitude" ALT manipulator! It drove me to distraction... in just wanting to change different altitudes. You have scroll it literally all over the screen to get the altitude to your new setting, and I have a 27" screen! So going from 7500ft transition altitude to cruise altitude at FL320 and you can take ages and ages scrolling around your monitor screen, doing only 2000ft changes at one loooong scroll? Changing height from 9000ft to 5500ft at my insertion point was crazy in that to get the aircraft to lose altitude I had to start by scrolling a few thousand feet and then go setting the V/S to start the loss of altitude... then go back to the scrolling to finally set the correct altitude to meet my next altitude fix in time, this was for only 3500ft in altitude change? The Speed manipulator works fine in a half-moon -/+ without moving anywhere but just needing in keeping your finger down on the mouse button, to easy? The heading uses the same manipulator as the altitude, fine to a point as you don't have to move the heading to far, but it is a bit too loose and you always find yourself over correcting the heading? In a busy cockpit the ALT selection it is just simply a pain... Approach to Runway 01 at Townsville (YBTL) is a bit of a challenge. In the day it is as hard as it needs to be because you have to thread the aircraft between two mountain ranges (In an Australian way it is called "Going in by the backdoor!") You have almost a long curve in a RNAV approach around both the huge Mt Elliot and the smaller Mt Stuart on your right side to get down to the Townsville basin and then head back out to the coast for the airport... on your left however is another range that includes Frederick Peak and you are going to do this approach at dusk. All the lighting has been improved on the 1.3 version and it shows. Every lighting component looks pretty well perfect from the Nav, Beacon and excellent double lit Strobe lighting. Landing and taxi lighting has also been improved and it is all far better than the small dot lighting that usually comes with most X-Plane aircraft these days. The aircraft is however very speed sensitive... If you don't get your speed exactly right the aircraft will give you a - minus deflection of altitude or a + positive change of altitude. This is very critical at flap (speed) changes, you need to know your numbers (speed) perfectly and hit them just right and at the right time. Hit the money and you get that perfect transition from altitude to the runway. Get it wrong and you will mess it right up and the aircraft will be pitching up and down like a horse bowing its head wanting a good feed. maybe the aircraft is just a little too sensitive for these changes? because as noted in the climb in a manual takeoff, you have to be a little bit too perfect with no room for error? Final approach and you can enjoy the moment of control at touch down. I found that I could not "arm" the spoilers? but frantically clicked them up manually on touchdown, the reversers work well with a click to open the doors and full throttle to slow the aircraft. Touchdown speed was a low 143knts at a "full" Flap. A note in that version 1.3 will not be available for X-Plane9 users and there will be no future updates for that platform from now on either. The X-Crafts ERJ 195LR 1.2 for X-Plane9 is still available from the X-Plane.orgStore on demand. Summary Before this update the ERJ 195LR was a great aircraft. Version 1.3 does add in more features and many new refinements. So yes this is a significant upgrade. But there are a few items that need a bit more refining and as the aircraft gets better and higher in quality they stand out more than before. Overall the aircraft's handling is very good. But a little too sensitive, and get it wrong and you will easily lose 1000ft or so in altitude and then a quick positive pitch up to correct it? It can do this same behaviour in tight turns as well. This flight showed up the ALT manipulator as a problem for me (In a former flight I was scrolling so hard I was setting off buttons all over the cockpit and popping out panels!) and the FMC needs a bit more work, and if you could even make the 3d cockpit version more accessible, it would still be far better even if you can't have the real thing. But the positives are really good, great lighting, excellent sounds, great features, great new menu, far more functionality and you still have have access to all those great liveries. So this Embraer does just get better and better. I really love the aircraft and it is one of the best in this category of this type and overall it is brilliant value as well. Yes! the Embraer ERJ 195 LR by X-Crafts is now available from the NEW! X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer ERJ-195LR Price is US$19.95 Installation : Download is 395.30 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane in your regional Jet folder (if you have one or "Heavy Aircraft") at 839.10mb with the extra liveries loaded. If you have already purchased the ERJ 195LR from X-Crafts then go to your X-Plane.orgStore account and sign in to upgrade to v1.3. Support Thread : ERJ-195 by X-Crafts Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux. X-Plane 10.30 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. X-Plane 9.70 or higher 4Gb RAM - 1Gb VRAM Current version: 1.3 (last updated February 20th 2015). For X-Plane 9, the version is 1.2 and will no longer be updated. Update Review by Stephen Dutton Copyright © 2015 : X-Plane Reviews
  42. 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!
  43. 1 point
    To all those who entered this contest, good luck! What is your favorite aircraft to add-on we reviewed in the past twelve months? I never created an account here before but I always read the reviews. The review I chose was for my favorite aircraft: The 777 Worldliner. There are multiple reviews and previews here, but I enjoyed reading all of them. Why? Reading a review is like getting your questions answered by a friend. The review for this aircraft addresses [like every other review] not only the looks, the interior, and the exterior of the aircraft, but the function as well. The FMS, the features, ground services, and especially the experience flying it. When I read a review I don't want it to advertise the product too much, which is precisely what happens most of time, but I want to know how it handles, the features, the system, I want to learn the experience of someone who has flown it, who can honestly tell me whether or not I should purchase this, or download this. That is exactly what I get from X-Plane Reviews. Reliability. Flying the Boeing 777 Worldliner, my favorite aircraft in the real world and X-Plane. Congratulations on a successful first year!
  44. 1 point
    Happy birthday X-plane reviews ! My favourite review you have ever done is the VMAX 777. That review is the best! The detail of it is incredible just like the time you put into studying and learning the aircraft to make the review. You outlined all of the aircraft's features, and all of it's capabilities and made me switch my favourite aircraft from the JARDesign a320neo to the 777. It has all the real 777's features and all of it's flight characteristics (at least from what I've seen on Youtube) you really nailed that one . Although I was an Airbus fan, the extreme detail of your review has won me over and I really want to spend time and experiencing for myself this great bird. I decided to enter this competition in the hope that I could possibly win the 777 and start making my wish of becoming a real 777 pilot a reality. I am a junior with plans to become a pilot in a few years time. Again, happy birthday and good work guys. Keep it up and take care.
  45. 1 point
    The Dash is on sale now and again and certainly worth the purchase, I flew it only on the weekend and it is so good. No we have not reviewed it and yes we will do so. When we started last year a big part of the plan was to go into the back catalogue and relove the best and bring them out to show why and how good they still are. In that list is the Dash Q400, C-17 and the CRJ200, and X-Plane Reviews will certainly cover them in the next few months. The biggest surprise was that how little time we had to do this between current releases. We covered a few but we will try to move more very soon. SD
  46. 1 point
    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.
  47. 1 point
    When Alabeo release an aircraft it is a bit like meeting Forrest Gump and him offering you something from his box of chocolates “you just don’t know what you are going to get”. There are a few clues though. It is usually highly different. It is usually very Iconic and it is usually very well done but not totally absolutely functional. Their latest release is the 1930’s aircraft the “Beechcraft D-17 Staggerwing”. and it fill out all the criteria. It is different, It is Ironic, It is very well done and some small things don’t work. The “Staggerwing” (Meaning the upper and lower wings are “Staggered” to give a better view out of the front windows) was the aircraft of the 1930’s that represented you as a person of high standing. It was well loved by the Hollywood royalty of the period. The sort of same image you will get today by flouting off your new G350 Gulfstream Jet. It stood for “Rich”, “Powerful”... and a global reaching exciting image! - Of course pilots loved the power of the machine as well. History Aircraft developer Walter H. Beech and airplane designer T. A. “Ted” Wells at the height of the Great Depression, joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large, powerful, and fast cabin biplane built specifically for the business executive. The Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the “Staggerwing” was first flown on November 4, 1932. It was not popular at first because of the high cost. Originally it was called the Model 17 with its negative stagger wing configuration (the upper wing staggered behind the lower) and unique shape maximized pilot visibility while negligibly reducing air interference between the wings. The fabric-covered fuselage was created with wood formers and stringers over a welded steel tube frame. Construction was highly complex and it was for its time the most innovated aircraft available with the Staggerwing’s retractable conventional landing gear, which was uncommon at that time that was combined with careful streamlining, light weight, and a powerful radial engine which helped it to perform very well. In mid-1930s, Beech then undertook a major redesign of the aircraft, to create the Model D17 Staggerwing (this Alabeo version). The D-17 featured a lengthened fuselage that improved the aircraft’s handling characteristics by increasing control leverage and the ailerons were relocated to the upper wings, eliminating interference with the flaps. Braking was also improved with a foot-operated brake linked to the rudder pedals. In the Second World War the D-17 became even more popular as the need for a compact executive-type transport or courier aircraft became apparent, And so in 1942 the United States Army Air Forces ordered the first of 270 Model 17s for service within the United States and overseas as the UC-43. The U.S Navy also bought the aircraft and so did the British RAF and Royal Navy. Since then it has slipped in to fame and notes for its ‘muscular strength and delicate grace,’ and is rated highly for its ‘classic lines and symmetry.’” Design Alabeo is a sister studio with Carenado and so they share a lot of design ideas and features. The main feature is that the quality is just as good as the Carenado’s but in a just slightly different form in that usually the form is more of a whole and not as completely constructed as the very highly detailed Carenado’s are, and that is reflected in the lower price and being slightly under US$20. The same quality but with just a slightly different design approach. But still the same of where it really counts. And so the detailing on the “Staggerwing” is exceptionally good on this beautiful aircraft, It does look and feel slightly bulky because of that huge radial engine at the front. Look inside the cowling and you can see the wonderful air-cooled cylinders. This version uses the 9 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 with 450 hp (340 kW) at 2,300 rpm, and only the geared “supercharged” 600hp engine was bigger. The fine wires on the wings are magnificent as are the smooth wing pylons, although the rear tailplane and elevators look very standard for the period. The highlight is the construction of the front and tailwheel (retractable) undercarriage. More art than design, Its is beautifully proportioned and detailed. Steel springs and levers and it is what we really love about simulation in the fact that just admiring these items can give you as much pleasure as flying the aircraft. The animation is first rate as well as even the tail-wheel retracts up into the tail which was unusual in this period Alabeo use the same O (Options) menu panel as Carenado, but there are only three items listed here. The options are: Transparent Windshield - Instrument Reflections and you can open the - Passenger Door. The door opens but strangely stops between the wires? Very odd. Panel & Cabin Aircraft where fitted out inside very differently in the 1930’s. It was either wire and canvas or like this Beechcraft a cross between a luxurious boat or an expensive automobile. Heavy leather and wood trim would sound crazy in today’s world of carbon-fibre and plastic... however the D-17 was created for the “Distinguished Business Gentleman”. Alabeo have done a discerning job in the fit out of the cabin, with only one outstanding issue... You can’t really see any of the work - It is really black down in there, so dark you can’t even see the yoke never mind the rudder pedals. You are restricted to using X-Plane’s Night-Vision to really find anything you want to usefully use. Lovely it all is in a sea of green. The Yoke can be positioned on the left or right by flipping it over to the new position, you can remove it completely if you want to as well. Fumbling around you can find the lighting switches. A lovely thick clicky Ignition selector. A "press" to start the engine button that I really love to use and a great chunky trim wheel... The radio is a standard Bendix King 155A T50. The dials are recreated vintage with the standard six. Perfect in design and feel. The right side instruments consist of engine dials in RPM, Manifold Pressure, CHT, Amp’s, Carburettor (remember those!), Suction, Temp and Oil/Fuel gauges (LBS) - and a Omni-Bearing Indicator (OBI). As noted you can switch off the glass reflections - But why would you do that? You really feel that 1930’s vibe, The flap selector is a half metal square ring with three settings and flap use is restricted to under 95knts (110mph). The panel lighting is gorgeous, I flew the “Staggerwing” in early morning light just adore those creamily lit dials. There is a red light situated high on the central windshield pillar to shine down on the dials at night. This effect turns the panel bloody red and again gives out a lovely feel to the cockpit. There is the Carenado standard menu C (Camera) for setting “points of view” including the zoom function that is handy and the wing view (left or Right) with belly/tail cam are the highlight view points. HDR switched on the night-lighting is good with each (retractable) landing light in the wing giving its own light throw. The beacon is also totally realistic in its rotation and reflection. The Bluey/Green and red navigation lights are set out in a pod in front of the lower wing and are very authentic. Time to Fly On the lower part of the panel and hidden behind the yoke is a pull handle to lock the rear tail-wheel. To taxi is easy in theory but harder in practice. With the tail-wheel locked you can go straight but only take wide turns with the rudder. Un-lock the tail-wheel and you go around in circles on the same position?... The trick is to use both. I don’t know if this is the correct real way you would control a tail-dragger like this, but you can’t have someone in a simulator to push your tail around to straighten you up on the runway either. And you have to be kind to the brakes as well. Hit the brake and with all that weight on the nose the aircraft will tip up at every touch of the handle - It looks like the aircraft has hiccups all the way to the runway. Once on the centreline with the tail-wheel locked. The “Staggerwing” is lovely from the word go, You don’t need any flap as you have a huge amount of lift from those double-wings. You can’t lift off to quickly either as you need the speed to get your tail up and straight and the aircraft ready to fly. That huge radial sounds glorious as the sounds are all in 3D. The effects from different angles (certainly in the turns) are excellent. All that weight helps you and balances the aircraft out to perfection, and so it is a really nice feel in your hands. There are no sudden movements but the best actions are to use slow maneuvers in what you want to do in that to either turn, gain height or simply hold a line to the horizon. One thing I did notice was that you had to get the right line of sight or angle of the aircraft to keep it at a level height. It was very easy to slowly wind downwards the altitude meter if you didn’t keep a close eye on the dial... And it is very hard to keep it there as well without gaining or losing height. The trim works well in this case (but you have to find it to use it). Concentration is high as you don’t have any aids to carry the workload. So flying even across the state or around and 300nm to 400nm is going to tire you out. I loved those wide turns and the aircraft climbs with ease and power, It is no rocketship by today's standards but it must have felt like one back then - but that is the attraction. Maximum speed: 212 mph (184 knots, 341 km/h), Cruise speed: 202 mph (176 knots, 325 (km/h), Landing speed: 45 mph (39 knots, 72 km/h)), Range: 582 nm (670 mi, 1,078 km), Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m), Rate of climb: 1,500 ft/min (7.6 m/s) Adjusting the flaps down (remember to drop off a lot of speed first) will only cause a slight bump in the airflow as the speed drops away nicely to slow to your 30-40knts landing phase. The aircraft is as sturdy as a rock in this configuration, nice with turns to the runway and keeping the runway line of sight straight are very easy to do. The drift down while dropping the power will give you an easy landing and for a tail-dragger it will stay pretty straight while tapering off the speed. You will need a lot of tarmac though to run out that speed as touching the brakes is not the thing to do. Just let the D-17 find its own pace to slow down and sink the tail down to a slow speed. Back on the ground you now only have to master the taxi all over again to get back to your parking area. Liveries There are Five liveries and the standard default “White”. You can get a little confused with the “White” because there is two of them... The one on the default file and another one in the “Liveries Folder”. The livery version is really Grey not white. The Beige is very white as well and is sponsored by “Gargoyles”... The blue is an “American Embassy” livery based in the United Kingdom. And finally the bright Red and Yellow. Liveries are HD and high quality, and all are excellent and with keeping in with the period. Conclusions Alabeo stands for something different and with a quality set at a value price, and that is what you get here. The only mis-match on the aircraft is the door sitting in the wires, the tricky taxiing techniques and that dark cavern of a cabin. Otherwise it is very hard to fault this “Staggerwing” of an aircraft. It is sublime to fly, you feel the aircraft well through the controls and bask in those lovely wide turns. It finds you reaching out for your vintage aviator sun glasses and posing in a suit like Clark Gable or Cary Grant, or if of the fairer sex then Kathleen Hepburn. Stars... Hollywood stars. And this is the aircraft to match theirs and your image. The Alabeo Beechcraft D-17 “Staggerwing” is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Staggerwing D17 Price is US$19.95 This Aircraft is available for X-Plane9 and X-Plane10 Documents: Review By Stephen Dutton 10th September 2013 Alabeo : recommend certain settings for X-Plane 9 and 10... But frame-rate is a not really an issue as the D-17 has a very high frame-rate because of its low footprint. Developers Site : Alabeo.com 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 MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  48. 1 point

    Elanport : ATR72 - 500 Liveries

    Yeah, I don't like the Elanport registration Either... not realistic.
  49. 0 points

    Elanport : ATR72 - 500 Liveries

    Yes like a cloud of dust ELANPORT is gone! poof! A real waste as his work was top notch, but he just disappeared off the face of the earth... SD
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