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.
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.
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 :
Price is US$34.95
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
FMOD High Quality Enhanced 3D system sounds, including Doppler and Flanger effects
Keep your aircraft up-to-date with a convenient auto-updater
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)
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
Documentation is excellent. Great manual with feature details, checklists/Performance tables and MD302 manual.
DA62 Flight Manual.pdf
DA62 Checklist Normal Operations.pdf
Airspeed Normal Operation.pdf
DA62 Checklist Emergency Procedures.pdf
DA62 Performance Tables.pdf
Aircraft Review : BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer by JustFlight - Thranda Design
The Folland Gnat T.1 was the mainstay of RAF jet training onwards from 1959. The aircraft was a nimble and extremely good training aircraft for pilots moving into military jet aircraft and then moving on upwards to the heavier Hawker Hunters and English Electric Lightings. But in the early 70's the RAF realised that the next generation of jet fighters would require a more advanced trainer and a two-seater to accommodate the Sepecat Jaguar and the Panavia Tornado. The result was the Hawker Siddeley Hawk T1 (Trainer Mk1).
In reality the relationship of the Hawk to it's predecessor the Gnat is actually very close and highly related. Hawker Siddeley had bought out Folland in 1959, as British Aerospace Systems (BAe) would also merge with Hawker Siddeley in 1977, however the Hawk was built and still assembled in Hamble at the old Folland factory where the Gnat had also been produced. The Hawk also followed the Gnat in being the mainstay of the RAF British Aerobatic Team, known as the "Red Arrows" and still holds that coveted position today.
JustFlight - Thranda Design
It is just under a year in that the partnership of JustFlight and Thranda Design released their first aircraft for X-Plane11, that was the PA28R Piper Arrow III and since then there has also been the PA28R Turbo Piper Arrow III/IV in February and the TB10 Tobago & TB20 Trinidad in May and finally the excellent Cessna 152 ll in June. All aircraft I thought brought far more to X-Plane in features and to the general aviation category, but more so in the highly realistic handing of the aircraft. They are not cheap aircraft and all sit on the top of the scale in price for general aviation aircraft, but they also do deliver in another level in quality as well.
This is JustFlight's and Thranda's next release with the BAe Systems Hawk T1. First it is a radical change from the usual general aviation style of aircraft and it also took a long time to get released? The aircraft was initially first announced back in February earlier this year, then another promotion in the middle of the year sent our heart's a flutter again but then it all went very quiet, this time it is actually here... so was it worth the wait? That is what reviews are for, so let us see.
BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer
We have come to now expect a very high quality aircraft from JustFlight/Thranda, as it should be in this price range as that is what you are paying for, in high very high quality and for loads of features.
There is no doubt the Hawk stands out there in the quality stakes, the level here is extremely high, if the best fighter/trainer now in in X-Plane11. To be fair there is not a lot of competition to compare the Hawk with as very few modern fighters have yet made the transition from X-Plane10, coming and in the same category is X-Trident's Harrier AV8B, so that aircraft will be a better benchmark.
Would this aircraft pass the Airshow walkaround test? you know the one where you walkaround the aircraft noting it's details and equipment points, take a few pictures to remind you of the aircraft... in this case yes. The quality of the detailing is phenomenal, and I am set at a lower resolution setting.
Another level of detail again for X-Plane? If not then it is close... aircraft modelling is absolutely first rate, perfection, not a 3d bump out of place.
In realism you have glass and reflections that really deliver (note the explosive cord for seat ejection on the canopy glass)... again are you looking into a real jet at an airshow? if not then you are pretty well close to it.
It is the smaller details that create a believable realism, note the slightly worn landing light nose glass and wingtip lighting enclosures, the tail leading edge material and the correct accurate layout of rivets and paneling. As a note, the Hawk uses the Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca "Adour 151" non-afterburning turbofan with 2,360 kilograms (5,200 pounds) thrust. It is a more expensive engine, but also more economical to use; like the Specate Jaguar it also uses the "102" version of the Adour in a twin-engine installation. The engine drops down out of the Hawk's belly just behind the wings for service, and in principle can be replaced in one and a half hours. The Hawk is built with ease of serviceability in mind, and almost a third of the aircraft's surface is covered by access panels. There is a "Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter/Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU)" that is installed above the engine to permit self-starting, and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. If the aircraft loses power in flight, a ram-air turbine can also automatically pop up in front of the vertical tailplane to provide emergency electrical power and the RAM is featured here and works realistically on the aircraft.
The Hawk has two main and one forward strut trailing link undercarriage assemblies...
.... detailing is the very best as you would expect in this class, but even more so. Every joint, component, hydraulic line, hydraulic piston, nut and bolt is here, even the strut labels and markings are also correctly applied. Animations in ground movement and retraction/extraction are perfect, even more so as the trailing link assembly can give the taxiing of the aircraft a feel that is quite different from normal, but perfectly authentic.
Back to the airshow... usually you stand in line, and usually for a long wait. But your turn does come and you have a fleeting few moments...
... you can look of course but can't touch! but what would you give to sit in there? "sit in the real jet"...
The aim of the ultimate in simulation is break down that barrier, and to be able to not only sit in the aircraft but to actually flying this expensive complex machine as well, to live the dream.
But for to that to work in simulation then the detail must above and beyond, you thought what was excellent even a few years ago, but here with this Hawk you see the level go higher again, and in a few years it will go even higher... but for now this is the best of the best current standard.
First glance inside the Hawk cockpit is the usual overwhelming complexity.
But usually as you decipher and break the detail up and work it all out it all comes to make sense... Panels are grouped as:
Left console – throttle, engine starting, electrical and flying control systems
Left main panel – weapon selection and radio
Centre main panel – flight instruments and weapon sighting
Right main panel – engine instruments
Right console – avionics equipment
You can't expect every switch or button and knob to work in the cockpit, but I would guess the number is still very high in here at around 90%. In the rear seat that percentage is around 70%, not bad, but you still miss a few things you would like to control.
Cockpit detail is to the extreme. Many fighter cockpit have been exceptional in detail, but don't convey that realism factor, but that is not the case here, it is about as real as it gets, every seat belt, material stitching, pipe, metal panel, screw, nut and bolt is visible and all have highly realistic textures...
... the highlight is the instrument panel glareshields, they have that dusty, not touched since installed look about them, you just want to move your fingers in the dust to create a mark, perfection.
The menu is fully featured and positioned via the usual JustFlight left screen side arrow, scrolling on the arrow will make it transparent. This menu layout is far better than the earlier menus, as they had just a red transparency when selected and they looked very dated. This version has coloured items for selection and looks the business.
There are 21 selections and features to choose from, and not in any order we will start with the pilots. There are two animated realistic pilots that you can select via the menu, you can also select if you want their visors up or down...
... one note is that if you put the front seat pilot's visor down the screen image goes slightly darker, but the rear visor does not create the same effect? also the pilots selection is only external, so if you are seated in the front or rear seat, then the other seat internally is empty, which is a bit odd as you can select if you want this feature or not? (arrowed) Why not show the internal pilot if you so wish for realism? Overall the pilots are excellent in detail.
Selections include static elements like: chocks (rear wheels), tags and pitot and engine inlet/outlet covers, and a very nice work maintenance step frame...
... another ingress option is the aircraft's built in steps, or pop out extensions that are well done (arrowed above).
Options include the external diesel tank carried by display aircraft, or the M61A1-Vulcan 6,000 rounds per minute centre mounted cannon...
Four armament racks allow a variety of weapons, that are selected via the X-Plane "Weapons" menu, here we have the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM120-AMRAAM, but bombs can be carried as well, but just watch their excessive weight are balanced! Nice detailing on the armament racks that will change to the correctly selected armament. Forward locker opens to reveal the avionic equipment racks.
There are two Hawk versions to choose from in the T1 or the T1a. This is noted via the extension over the exhaust outlet...
... but in reality it is a bit useless? The difference between the T1 and T1a versions is that the T1 is the trainer, and the T1a is the armed or fighter version? so why not use the selection to denote the different types by having the armament off for the T1 and the aircraft armed for the T1a version?
Menu options internally include the aiming gunsight, and two left and right flip up frequency display panels...
... they don't actually display any frequencies? but there is a fix by MatthewM that adds in the frequencies via an texture file. The same display fix is also in the Red Arrows display livery by Christophe, and here you also get with the livery the lovely Red (Arrows) flying suits as well!
With the external diesel tank attached you get a double panel of a set of coloured lights on top of the glareshield (yellow arrows), but there are no notes on if they work, or why?
There is a good kneeboard for checklists that pops up. It can be moved around the screen, but it is not scalable, which makes it a bit of a blocking visual distraction in the air (as you can't see anything forward!) as the menu itself is also locked to the left side of the screen and again not scalable.... joysicks front and rear can be hidden and note the "Rudder Lock" (arrowed)
Final menu options include a "Cold and Dark" to ready (electrical on/off) and a full engine start up that starts the engines and configures hydraulic and electrical systems so that you are ready to taxi feature, you could call it a "Scramble mode!". There is a feature that configures the aircraft so that weapons are live (ready to fire) and you can select/change the livery from the menu.
Power up and the Hawk comes to life. Panel lighting is excellent and adjustable for the left, right and main instrument panels. Annunciator warning panel (CWS - Central Warning System) can be tested.
Main cluster of flying instruments covers clockwise... Turn-and-slip indicator, Main Artificial Horizon, Backup Artificial Horizon. Main Altimeter, Vertical speed indicator (VSI), Horizontal situation indicator (HSI) or heading indicator, Directional gyro indicator (DGI), Combined speed indicator (CSI)... top centre left is the Accelerometer.
Right front panel is clockwise: Standby altimeter, Cabin Altimeter, Oxygen supply contents, Fuel gauge, TGT indicator (Turbine Gas Temperature), Engine LP shaft rotation indicator/RPM indicator. The Oxygen flow indicator will flip on and off if the oxygen is flowing correctly. lower right is the electrical switchgear and panel lighting adjustment knobs.
Depending on if the Hawk is armed or not (T1a) then the firing panel is located upper left... The Lock/Live switch is upper right (magenta arrow).
Pylon (rack) selection and armament selection is on the Weapon Control panel, but don't for "heaven's sake" fire it off on the ground like I did...
... as it is not pretty and I suppose that is what the "Safety" is for!
The Hawk has a CCS or Communications Control System which provides overall control of the elements of the communications system. The CCS integrates the VHF transmit facilities and the audio signals from this equipment and from the ILS and TACAN receivers. It also integrates the audio tone of the tone generator in the Central Warning System. The radio below the weapons panel is the UHF radio set, but with X-Plane11 you can't access UHF, so the Hawk uses regular VHF frequencies. This radio will control the COM 1 frequencies. It is very nicely done anyway, and super easy to set and use. There are also 20 preset frequencies you can use and if you want a certain frequency, it can be set via the ‘manifest.json’ file with a text editor.
Right panel has the other radio set and this unit is again a UHF unit, but set to the regular VHF (X-Plane) frequencies. This radio controls the COM 2 frequencies. Again the radio can be preset to frequencies and details on the correct insert order (‘manifest.json’) can be found in the manual. The radio panel layout and detail here really good and quite authentic (to a point with X-Plane restrictions).
An ILS installation is comprised of a localiser and glideslope receiver and a marker receiver, there is no autopilot, so the ILS is a visual reference only.
The Hawk is fitted with an IFF/SSR (Identification Friend or Foe/Secondary Surveillance Radar) system which provides identification facilities and IFF, and civil SSR including ‘Mode S’. The system provides facilities for an IFF or SSR ground radar station to interrogate the aircraft and for the aircraft to rapidly and automatically transmit an identifying reply. The system replies to Mode 1, 2, 3/A, 4, C and S interrogations, including civil and military emergency interrogations. The IFF/SSR control display unit (CDU) is used to control the operation of the IFF/SSR transponders. It works in this aircraft in the MODE 4 interrogations 4A and 4B and for civilian M3/A or auto selection. Note the oxygen valve (yellow arrow above right).
Lower panel known as the "Leg" panel is on the upper panel is the AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System) control unit, and the lower is the ISIS control unit (Ferranti ISIS Century Series Gunsight). The AHRS is used to calibrate the artificial horizon or align, and if the balls (both main and standby) are lazy then you haven't done this before flying the aircraft.
The Ferranti ISIS Century gunsight is adjusted via the left and right knobs (arrowed above right), but I can't see any brightness adjustment, so the sight is quite hard to see? Mode selections include: GA – for air-to-air firing, G – this mode is for air-to-ground gun attacks. With G selected, the aiming mark is then depressed to cater for the gravity drop of the shell, R – same as G, but drift control will adjust the horizontal position of the sight, B – when B is selected, the sight is initially depressed, but can still be moved with the depression control. S – same as B, but the sight is not initially depressed. M - air-to-air missile attack mode is not available.
On the left the console covers the aircraft's throttle, engine starting, electrical and flying control systems. Note first the rearward and slightly hidden main fuel cock lever. Engine start and aircraft (electric) trim switches are rear panel. The lovely stubby throttle is excellent, but note the catch? (arrowed), to move the throttle and the catch needs to set in the up position, but be careful if you hit the catch in flight to click down, as then if you go back to idle the throttle will then lock, unless you release the catch again to up... not the best idea to do if you are on an approach?
A set of five gauges cover: No. 1 and No. 2 hydraulic system pressure, Brakes supply pressure and Left and right brake pressures.
Left lower main panel are buttons to raise and lower the undercarriage, "UP" is retraction, and "DOWN" is extraction, very different from the usual lever... a manual gear release for both the nosewheel and main gear is here as well.
More unusual is a switch (arrowed above right) to lower the flaps between: Up - Mid - Down. and confusing is the flap setting of 0 -5 x10 (degrees). The battery "Volts" gauge is on this side panel as well.
Rear position has a few items removed...
... with the ISIS Gunsight panel which is missing and AHRS is disconnected, and the left upper armament panel (T1a) shows the weapon activity, but there is no access to the switchgear.... side consoles lose the IFF/SSR panel right and the engine startup panel left.
Overall I think the aircraft finds the right balance on providing a realistic immersion in the cockpit, without that overkill of the minute of details.
Flying the BAe Hawk T1a
Back to the airshow... you know when the air display is going to start, and everyone runs to the fence by the runway. Usually I go the other way and run to the parc fermé, as there is nothing, I mean nothing like a jet aircraft or helicopter starting up it's engine(s). (hint turn up your sound volume a little)
Starting up the Hawk is actually quite easy. The T1 has a Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter/Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU) installed above the engine to permit ground self-starting and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. So there is no ground power cart (GPU). The system is comprised of a gas turbine air producer and a free turbine starter motor. The air producer (GTS) is at the top of the fuselage, forward of the ram air turbine. It supplies air via a solenoid-operated start valve, and when the dump valve is closed it supplies air to the starter motor which is fitted to the engine external gearbox and drives the HP shaft through the gearbox. It is really a bleed system, but a sort of that it builds up the pressure and then blows it into the starter motor, and that then turns the engine. The GTS also automatically supplies fuel to the nozzles in the combustion chamber containing two igniter plugs, then when you light the match.. oh, ignite the fuel it starts up the Adour jet engine.
So fuel cock off, and switch on the fuel pump... Then you press the Start/Relight button forward on the throttle, which is a sort of primer button, but it is building up the air pressure ready to flow it into the turbine starter, and priming the fuel into the engine. When ready or primed you get a green light GTS lit up ready on the right panel... Then you just flick the start switch to "Start".
The Adour's startup sounds and start sequence is amazing, highly realistic and the sort of a grin of ear to ear of excitement! Loud, keep it loud... bugger the neighbours sort of loud. Engine LP shaft rotation indicator and RPM indicator wizz around into action... then you get a "Rotation" light come on!
At this point you need to nudge the throttle slightly forward, and you get the same sort of fire up that you get in an airliner when you turn on the fuel switches at around 18-20 N2, but then the Adour powers up to full power. The CWS will show HYD and AC (1-3) warnings so you have to reset them on the upper left panel by pressing the buttons (arrows upper right). And you are good to go... remember there is an easy start feature in the menu that does all this for you, but in reality it isn't that hard... If you get the start sequence wrong though it is 3 min wait to retry for another engine start. Remember to turn on the oxygen (switch right middle console), if working correctly the flow is seen via a flicking on/off flow meter upper right panel... however the rear seat oxygen switch and flow meter does not work?
Ready to fly... The parkbrake lever is hard to access (or find) far right down by the seat. When moving then be aware of the front nosewheel. First it has a very long trailing link, but it can be very flickery as well (It flickers badly even when standing still?), and so it is very easy for it to go quickly at an odd angle... it works and works fine, but you have to get used to it when taxiing, it is a bit like the A320's remote tiller feel.
Sounds when taxiing are excellent, with all that turbine power but whistle flow aural.
Note the mirror reflections of the explosive cord. Usually I find these internal mirrors are quite poor, but in here they are the opposite and have very good and realistic reflections. Flaps are set to "Mid" for takeoff, and required if you are carrying a lot of fuel and full armaments.
Your forward view is quite restricted at the normal FOV setting (73º), you could make it higher, but that is not realistic either, but it is hard to look forward and read the lower instruments at the same time at this FOV...
... throttle up and you give the aircraft about 80% RPM, not too much to make sure at first the front gear is tracking correctly... gradually to 90% then a third down the runway you give the Hawk the full 100% thrust.
You want to feel that punch in the back, you certainly get the thrust but it is more slower building up speed than you would think it would be...
... I found 160 knts to rotate (officially JF note 190 knts?), and you quickly need to get the flaps to zero 0º (500 ft!) and the gear up, so I flick both switches at the same time, but remember to counter the flap lift loss!
Ground and air gear animations are excellent, aural retraction (and extraction) gear sounds are also top notch, and the aircraft's excellent FMOD 360º sound externally and in the cockpit is as expected at this level are extremely good.... and yes the hairs on you neck will stand up and get quickly prickly.
The Hawk's feel depends on the weight, you feel the extra weight of the T1a fully loaded compared to the far lighter T1 trainer, and although you felt it a bit sluggish on the ground the aircraft will accelerate very quickly to 300 knts in the air, and even while climbing set at 90% thrust. The T1 can climb at a whopping usual 9,300 fpm and one aircraft was known to climb at 11,800 feet per minute, light of course, but that is still phenomenal. Other statistics are still overwhelming with a maximum speed of 1,040 Kph 658 Mph/572 Knts and a service ceiling of 50,000ft and a range of (with only internal fuel) 2,400 kilometers 1,490 MI/1,295 NMI.
That acceleration can deceive you, if you don't watch your artificial horizon, as with a quick glance at the Vertical speed indicator it will surprise you, for when you think you are flying nice and level as but the Hawk is still actually climbing easily upwards, so you will need to be aware of the aircraft's tendency to keep on lifting even when you want level flight and the required need adjust to that flight pitch angle and thrust requirement.
There are no helpers in here to fly the aircraft for you, so this is all stick and rudder flying. To make it a bit more easy than relaxing then adjust the trim...
... the main tailplane trim is hidden under a safety cover rear left console (arrowed) and it is tricky to use as it is electric, but to be honest I have struggled with all JustFlight trims as the Arrow lll was a nightmare to trim easily. The far back position makes it hard to use as well visually (Any keyboard/joystick trim ideas are even worse), but if you do finally get the vertical trim set then the Hawk feel nicely balanced and requires only slight adjustments to it's flight path, but still watch those wide vertical speed swings with any adjustment of thrust (certainly more power). This is an aircraft to fly in the focus and fine movements as than the chucking it all around the sky, although it is a lovely almost aerobatic machine.
If you want to fulfill your Airshow fantasies then this is the best aircraft into doing so...
Approaching EGOV (RAF - Valley) RWY 14, you keep the Hawk at 170 knts and 200 ft off the deck, and don't forget to wave as you flypast, then
just power up and climb away at 2000fpm, yes it is all as good as you thought it would be!
Getting the speed down can be tricky though. You do have a two-stage airbrake far rear under the fuselage, but remember if the wheels are down, it doesn't activate? So any serious rub off of speed has to be done before you extend the gear.
The aircraft systems included here are very comprehensive. Most of the major systems are covered including... Fuel system, Electrical systems, Central Warning systems (CWS), Hydraulic systems, Flight Control systems, Communications Control System (CCS), Air-Conditioning systems and Oxygen systems, Engine systems (Including the comprehensive start up system) and all systems have built in failures, and in most cases more than one system can fail at a single time. Full details of each system are well detailed in the manual.
Internal cockpit lighting is excellent, as three knobs adjust the main panel and the two side consoles front and rear...
... there is "Emergy" panel dim switch, but in reality you adjust the panel lighting down anyway from the very bright full panel setting. Note the great night glass canopy reflections and to also note the reflections on the instruments and glass cannot be switched off, which may annoy a few fliers.
External has both (the same) taxi and landing light in the nose, that X-Plane wise is highly visible, navigation lights and selectable Anti-Collision red or white strobes. The white flashing strobes at night are highly visible in the cockpit, but realistic.
Time to land... fighter jets can be tricky to land, as they are built for the extremes of speed and manoeuvrability and not the basic areas of flying.
150 knts is a nice approach speed clean, but once the flaps are down full and the gear is extended then your goal is 130 knts, but be aware of the fall in performance below the 130 knt zone as it is severe...
.... I have found several times at this point in the approach the aircraft will start to behave oddly, of which I call the "Wobbles", power percentage is critical in staying out of the zone, because if the aircraft starts doing the "wobble" then in over correcting, you can lose it... more power or stopping the stall doesn't really fix it either, but helps, so the best way to get out of it is just to abandon the landing, go around and get it better and cleaner in the next approach and not in trying to fight it.
It is groove thing in that when you get the aircraft into that fine groove of approach and then controlling the speed, then it can all come clean...
power off to around 110knts and let the Hawk sink down, but be aware that the final stall speed is around 106 knts which is very close to the 110 knts required. Flare and touchdown has to be smooth as the gear is very supple, get it wrong or hit the tarmac to quickly or too hard and the T1 will bounce, so there is a fair bit of skill required to land the Hawk smoothly and professionally, but then again this aircraft is not for the average flier.
There is a bonanza of liveries available. Twelve are provided with the aircraft package, and another twelve are available as a separate livery pack. Focus is totally on the RAF and RAF Valley, with a few international airforce users, but no Australian livery version, which is an odd one?
Blank is default... The free Christophe Red Arrows "Flag" is noted here (below right) as it is a great livery.
Livery pack has some excellent RAF celebration and production factory designs...
X-Plane has had some very good fighters or military aircraft of this category, the best is the AMX jet, FA-18F Super Hornet, X-Trident Panavia Tornado and MiG-29. But all fall short mostly now, as in most cases they are still all X-Plane10 (or with minor X-Plane11 modifications) aircraft and in reality all are very dated, only the GR4 Tornado is really what you would call modern... also they are all not in this price range or quality class, so that leaves this Hawk T.1 all in a category on it's own.
The price in the mid-40's of US Dollars is to be considered in this summary. Again no fighter has cost this much, so you are expecting a high level of quality and a load of features. Yes you get both, as the quality here is exceptional and there is a realism with the cockpit from the external and internal views that is certainly a new level of real world reflection and hence the exceptional glass. So the aircraft in design is certainly top notch, and so does the custom sounds live up to their high expectations as well, the start up engine noises are simply the best yet for a small jet engine. Features are very good as well, with the expected static elements, quick engine starts, aircraft stands, opening canopy and equipment bay and yes the animated pilots are also highly lifelike and can be inserted or not, and you can also have their visors up or down, shame you can't have one in the other seat while you are flying in the front or the rear. Also the menus are good, and better than the earlier JustFlight/Thranda menus, but are not movable or scalable.
The version change from T1 to the T1a is a bit of an odd one, where as the T1 is the trainer, the T1a is the armed version, the menu option just adds on a small tail extension? So there are a few quirks with the aircraft, but all are rather minor.
Aircraft dynamics are excellent, but require skill and focus, but that is what you need when flying a fast small jet, and it is all physical manual flying as well... the aim here is to out fly yourself, and fly the aircraft to the best of your ability to do so, then the rewards will come.
It would have been or even will become even more interesting when the aircraft acquires the X-Plane 11.30 new particle effects, as that was one feature that really kept on coming back to me as I reviewed the aircraft.. I hope we don't have to wait too soon for an 11.30 update for the Hawk as those dynamics would be excellent here.
The development process for this Hawk was quite long, but the results have been well worth the wait, and the aircraft is certainly more highly refined for that wait, and overall JustFlight/Thranda are bringing a very much more highly refined and detailed aircraft to X-Plane, yes they cost more, but to have this level of quality and design, then that is also required in the new higher level of simulation that is now available to X-Plane, and it is a level we only dreamed of a few years ago, and more so.
So to that person who stood looking at an aircraft and wonders what is it REALLY like to sit in that display aircraft at an airshow, and to actually fly it... well now and here with this excellent JustFlight/Thranda Hawk Trainer you now finally have that answer... Highly Recommended.
The BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer by JustFlight - Thranda Design is a new release for X-Plane11 and NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore
BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer
Price is US$44.95
Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer Livery Pack is also available...
Price is US$14.99
This aircraft is a noted aircraft for X-Plane11 only.
The aircraft is directly available from JustFlight as well.
Accurately modelled Hawk T1 and T1A, built using real-world aircraft plans
Numerous animations including a storage hatch, ram air turbine (RAT), canopy and crew ladder
Ground equipment including chocks, access steps and engine intake covers
4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity
PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism
Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features
A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled ejector seats and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations
Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment
Interactive checklists for every stage of flight
Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground)
Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit, including AN/ARC 164 UHF radio, plus a retrofitted modern AN/ARC-232 UHF/VHF unit and TACAN/ILS radio units
Authentic head-up display (HUD)
Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native)
Adjustable canopy mirrors with real-time reflections of the environment
Animated toe brakes
Radio knob animations routed through plug-in logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation
Custom-coded electrical system with AC and DC resets and loads
Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks
Custom-coded hydraulic systems, including functioning RAT
Realistic lighting system with rheostat controls
Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism
Capable of loading and firing X-Plane's default weapons. The currently selected loadout is automatically saved for the next flight.
CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster
8GB RAM or more
DirectX 12-capable graphics card from nVidia, AMD or Intel with at least 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD)
Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux
2GB hard drive space
Download for the BAe Systems Hawk T1/A Trainer is 629.40mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.12gb (including all 24 liveries) Key authorisation and a restart is required.
Highly detailed manual covers installation and all instrument notes, systems details, panel and menu guides and a basic tutorial flight.
As a long time PA28-pilot with experience on any models except the -235 I would like to emphasize that flight characteristics and performance on this model are exceptionally realistic. By far the best single engine airplane I ever bought for X-Plane!