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  1. News! - Incoming! : Saab 340 by Carenado Release is getting close for Carenado's next big regional aircraft for X-Plane11... the Saab 340 is a niche aircraft for commuter and regional hub and spoke operations, but that niche with Beechcraft B1900 is very tight market. Interestingly the Beech 1900 is not actually directly competitive with the S340 because the B1900 has only 19 seat to the Saab's 36, but they do the same sort of routings... After the huge success of the last major new design of the excellent Citation Jet then Carenado has "runs on the board" with the S340. No doubt most will compare the new S340 with the Leading Edge version, but although the Leading Edge aircraft has had a lot of updates throughout the years, it is now overall a far older design. Carenado have released some newer images to view over... Expect GTN 750 integration, full custom real world S340 FMOD sound, HD quality pro textures (4096 x 4096), also expect also 9 HD liveries and 1 HD Blank livery. The FSX/P3D version is priced at US$44.95, so I expect that price to be current for X-Plane as well.... release, well soon, but I would say later next week. Images and text are courtesy of Carenado ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 23rd January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  2. Aircraft Update : Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia 71 Avia71 has updated the Aerostar 601P to X-Plane 11.30 and v1.4.2 One of the most intriguing aircraft released last year was the Aerostar 601P by Avia71, and a vastly underestimated aircraft was my consensus at the end of the year. If you read the release review, there was a still few little areas that were needing a little attention, but nothing more or nothing less of a newly released aircraft and general X-Plane updates. Aircraft Review : Piper Aerostar 601P by Avia71 Since that review there has been twelve updates which can be accessed by the Skunkcrafts updater (I recommend in using the latest v2.2 version). The last of the twelve updates v1.4 was specifically for two areas... X-Plane 11.30 and VR (Virtual Reality) compatibility. I don't have VR to show you the effects of those changes, but here are the notes with now all the commands are VR compatible and there are now (better) 3D menus and start ignition in VR is now more accessible. First changed (3d) menu is the tab version that has been moved from the left side "71" to a VR clickspot on the centre magnetic compass. The menu is basically the same as with the original tab version and scalable, except for the option now to have the passengers visual in the cabin or not. The original "Documents" holder lower left footwell pocket is in the same place but it is now also VR activated, but more so it has been changed to use the Aerobask system of navigation. but more importantly it is now moveable and scalable for use. The original was totally useless, in it's tiny fixed distant position... The three menus noted are Charts, Cheklists (sic) and Miscellaneous... The charts uses the Aerobask system to break down the charts into categories, whereas the Miscellaneous selection can cover separate documents. It does feel like it is still a WIP, but the navigation is very good, and it is very quick in getting the documents from the files (png), which are held in a folder called "CUSTOM DOCS". Checklists are now available twice, as above in the tab menu and now here in the Documents holder, in reality they are both the same, it just depends on which view or look you like but the Doc version has a better navigation... Aircraft now also has Reality XP GTN 750 panel integration as well. PBR Lighting There has been attention in update 1.4 to the aircraft instrument panel and lighting. The Speed dial was not very clear, complex and very hard to read, but now it is far better in some circumstances... noteably as the behind the instrument lighting has also had attention (it is supposed to be brighter) but somehow there feels there is still something not right with the PBR and the way it interacts with the internal part of the aircraft... If the lighting conditions are a certain way favorable to the panel, then it lights up fine, but in most lighting conditions it is deathly dark? and you can't read most of the instruments? Even with the new lighting adjustments they are still very dull.... Even in mixed conditions the digital readouts are almost blank (arrowed left), but put some light on the digital readout panel and it looks bright and fine and easily readable (arrowed right).... isn't that supposed to be the other way around? So the cockpit and cabin in most conditions is a very dark place to fly in. 11.30 and performance With X-Plane 11.30 a big part of this update covers the X-Plane 11.30 new features, but also the dynamics of 11.30. And they are all in this case quite significant. In the review I found a few areas of the aircraft's performance a little off, but the reset to 11.30 has fixed most of those niggles. When taxiing the aircraft had really no idle position, so as you unlocked the brakes and you would instantly taxi or power forward... ... now if you unlock the brakes the 601P will sit nicely until you add in more power and you also now need a fair bit of throttle to get the aircraft moving forward, so you now feel the weight of the aircraft in the thrust requirement, so taxiing is now far, far better and for also not in wearing out your brakes all the time. The mixture levers have also (thankfully) had attention, in that now you can move the levers easily as before it was an odd manipulator that moved them for you, as it was almost impossible to then set the mixture correctly, now it is perfect. Another quirk that has been refined was that nasty bad right bank when you took off or landed... it was a weird one and even odder on a twin-engined aircraft that you should be able to cancel that sort of thrust imbalance out with your throttle settings.. it is slightly still there, but certainly not as hard and the noticeable banking as it was before. So moving to the 11.30 dynamics by my feeling has greatly improved the aircraft in all phases, and that was a sort of refinement missing in the original. The Aerostar came with a turbo-charged engine... so now the engine is turbo-normalized, and the main consequence is that the turbo-compressor Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors are limited to 29.92 inches pressure. Still on air pressures you can now also change from inHg to QNH by pressing the Altimeter pressure window. The 601P already had an authentic cabin pressure system... ... in 11.30 the focus was on oxygen pressure, most notable to masks (crew and passengers) but point here is oxygen pressure and the more refined way the smaller oxygen pressures are pressurised and used by the aircraft's systems, so this makes the 601P's custom pressurized system more realistic. Avio71 has also taken advantage of the new 11.30 icing features that uses the leading edge inflatable boot de-ice system. The new feature will show authentic icing in that ice accumulates on the wing, and then the inflatable boots blasts the ice off in irregular intervals. Amperage will only be consumed from the assigned electrical system (the same sources and datarefs as the electric and thermal surface heat) when the compressor is actually running, so it will only generate amp spikes of boot actions instead of a continuous load. The new SASL 3.3 is also now used on the aircraft. SASL 3.3 in reality is only for X-Plane11, and so it is not trying to bridge a gap now between different X-Plane versions, most notably XP10 (so the 601P is now only a XP11 aircraft)... this was causing many issues and mostly with authorization reactivations and pop-out windows hence the new menus above. SASL 3.3 is also forward looking for the new coming Vulkan/Metal API's The FMOD sound was also updated, but mostly the adjustments are just minor tweeks. Summary The Aerostar 601P is certainly one of the more really interesting aircraft in X-Plane, but interesting in a really different aircraft to explore and enjoy, it is also for the skilled but also want to stretch their skills to something unique. So a mainstream Cessna or Piper it isn't, but then the real life counterpart aircraft was also very much the same. Although this update review notes this update as v1.4, the actual stream of updates since the release of the Aerostar back in July has been comprehensive, this release is for mostly VR (Virtual Reality) and X-Plane final 11.30 compatibility. The VR aspect is mostly new menus (SASL 3.3) and better interactivity with touch zones and VR manipulators. It was good on release, but the constant refining including back structure like the latest SASL 3.3 is now giving the aircraft a more mature feel, certainly in the areas of performance and in using the X-Plane11.30 dynamic features of which here are highlighted by the better oxygen and Icing systems, but the handling is also now vast improved as well, on the ground as well in the air, so the main feel I get back is that a lot of those original quirks (except for PBR and exterior and interior panel lighting) have now been mostly addressed. At the head of this review I noted words like intriguing and vastly underestimated, and that sums up this Aerostar 601P, I will add in "interesting" as well, so check it out as it is still currently at a sub-US$30 sale price, and a worth addition to your collection... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________  Yes! the Piper Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia71 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Aerostar 601P Price is US$34.95 (sale price is US$29.95! A Great deal for a US$35 aircraft)  Features Ultra High Definition Model 4K Textures throughout Full PBR High quality 3D model Optimized for X-Plane 11 FMOD custom sounds Fully VR compatible Reality-XP's GTN 750 integrated (when available) Features Fully functional 3D cockpit Custom menu containing checklists, weight management, cabin altitude calculator, maintenance, stats, options Custom instruments Custom pressurization system Custom animations Disengageable system for saving parameters between flights Customizable documents holder (read your charts, checklists... in flight) Custom fuel feeding system Complete set of original checklists 7 liveries + paintkit Auto-Updater Keep your aircraft up-to-date with SkunkCrafts auto-updater Easy to use (nothing to do, really) As usual, updates will be free of charge for customers Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Review version 1.4.2 Installation Download of the Aerostar 601P is 392.35mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 551mb folder. This aircraft uses the SkunkCrafts auto-updater for updates, v2.2 version is recommended Full Changelog attached changelog.txt _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton  22nd January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) 
  3. Aircraft Review : Cessna 172SP SkyHawk XP11 by Carenado As the Cessna 172SP is overwhelmingly the most popular general aviation aircraft in the world with 44,000+ built since 1955, you can expect then that X-Plane or any other simulator for that matter, has too represent the aircraft on their platform... In X-Plane there are quite a few, first and foremost is the default version from Laminar Research in both the analog and G1000 versions, plus the REP (Reality Expansion Pack) for this aircraft from SimCoders. AirFoilLabs also have a very deep version with the same sort of REP pack built in... and so did Carenado with their C172N Skyhawk II. So you have quite a choice of the same sort of C172 design, certainly the Laminar version has an enormous advantage in that it is delivered as part of the simulator and is free. So here Carenado have released the X-Plane11 (and 11.30 compatible) version, but it isn't anything like the earlier C172N. For one the new version is totally rebuilt even redesigned from the ground up and also changed with the (Garmin) G1000 avionics suite, and oddly enough it is the same Laminar system that is installed as the default aircraft. The analog dial version is now gone, as so also has the dual wheel/float versions... it is to say really that the original aircraft has been replaced with a more modern single version of the aircraft. I don't know if the older analog version will still be ongoing and in the future available, but currently it is still displayed on the X-Plane.OrgStore. Obviously it is an XP10 aircraft but the aircraft will still fly fine in XP11, but this aircraft doesn't take advantage of the XP11 features. So if you prefer the analog version, then the AirfoilLab version is your best choice, but it is deathly slow.... even with a tail wind! Cessna 172SP SkyHawk XP11 Obviously the point of this review is why pay for an aircraft when there is a pretty good free version, and it is a very fair point. Because at it's heart the C172Sp is a pretty basic aircraft in the first place. So it is hard to distinguish the differences, but they are there, you just have to look for them. I have always looked at aircraft of the genre in that you don't just buy them just to fly. You are in a way more of taking an ownership of them, certainly when it comes to vFlyteAir aircraft... it is a personal thing. More so if you actually fly a C172, or even more so if you want to fly a C172... or even have done so in the past the significance of ownership is going to be a factor in wanting the aircraft. So authenticity is then the main factor here in any purchase in to be as real as the same Cessna is in real life, and that is more important an aspect than what you think it is... more so if you want to spend your flying hours mostly restricted to only a few types of aircraft of which a real world or as a past life pilot would only do so. In that aspect then again the AirfoilLab's version would tick a lot of boxes. But as you get closer to the new Carenado version, something else again strikes you on how again the game has moved forward... to the normal eye this C172SP all looks the same outwardly, but it isn't... Outwardly developers have always wanted to create aircraft panels with detail, perfect rivets, screws and panel fit. But the realism factor can be a wide margin from flat panels with drawn rivets to the intricate detail... detailing. Careando have here gone that next step further in this aspect. Carenado panels were always very good, and highly detailed. But with a new process they are now taking the quality to another level and using the PBR materials to even a higher level than ever before, and with a better framerate to boot as well. Yes this process has been on most Carenado aircraft on all of their XP11 releases, but not to this newer level as 11.30 pushes the game out further. Note the shape of the tail-fin metal in the light, it is curved or bending as the metal shapes into being pulled or stretched across the aircraft's inner frame, the trick here is that the warping of the surface in an inner dent movement reflects that construction aspect as well as panel fit and outward bulges. Riveting is now not only the quality rivets, but it is in the dent itself it is as they create the fastening movement into the actual metal to more show realism... ... what is far more remarkable about these images, is that they are created in the X-Plane quality texture setting of "Maximum" and not in the top notch setting of "Maximum (no compression)" either. And as we will see the quality of this sort of detail at this setting is set out right throughout the aircraft, so in other words "you can have your cake (In lower quality settings) and eat it as well (with high sharp quality detail graphics). On an odd note though, the lighting wicks are now not animated and don't flicker in the wind, like they used to do on all Carenado aircraft. So all the detail is simply absolutely top notch, and as a highly realistic Cessna that you can almost touch... With the 11.30 new dynamic features you get of course particle effects, but to note that there is a difference between the effects in 11.30 and the actually adjusted effects in X-Plane11.30 as shown here... the C172SP was late in release in waiting for Laminar to go 11.30 final, but with that case then you get the effects, and the correctly adjusted ones by the developer now included... more on the 11.30 performance aspect later. The C172SO is a tiddler of an aircraft, so these effects are going to be minimal. However the hot exhaust is well done, you also get the odd small contrail off the wings and the wheel housings, wet conditions also brings flumes of spray off the propeller thrust, and all give the C172SP a bit more dynamic realism, but the point is that these new particle effects are finely adjusted for this aircraft, and not just with the switch over factor in using 11.30... and there is a difference. You get in the options the choice of the aerodynamic fairings, or the plain open wheels. Strut and assembly wheel detail is of course excellent. Cabin The internal cabin is all new, and reflects the more later variant of the C172 than an early model... nice soft leather seating with lovely dark grey plain weave inserts have the same materials reflected on the cabin walls..... One piece molded roof with fittings gives this standard C172 a more executive feel than a bare bones trainer.... note again the high quality and the sharpness of the detail.... with the quality texture setting that is still not at the full Max setting... ... but you can still see every single screw, every mesh screen and you can easily read any of the many notices set around the panel and cabin in sharp detail. Glass is marked or worn, but the excellent internal reflections deliver that realism required, and for once the reflections are not set as overwhelming... but perfect. Instrument Panel Although the instrument panel surround and to a point the instrument layout itself, it is exactly the same as any other C172 panel. The sharpness of everything is again very clear and realistic when laid out on that nice dark grey background, but also in a very clean if delivering a slightly new aircraft feel. The Garmin G1000 avionics suite does dominate the panel in selection and style. Both Yokes as per usual can be hidden or visual. From the outset the G1000 suite does not look exactly like the Laminar default version, because there have been some visual minor tweeks. It is the same system, but with the artificial horizon on the PFD (Primary Flight Display) being more authentic with the slight central zone being more lighter (brighter) than around the edges, If you remember (or it still is) the default G1000 system is still a very dark brown lower and hard blue upper horizon, which I never ever really liked... this version is excellent, but I will note the display lightness (non adjustable) in that the displays can be slightly dark at different lighting angles, but again it does look far, far more professional than the default G1000... it is branded as Garmin as well instead of G1000. The displays pop-out, but again they are different, in here using the X-Plane11 window layout than just the straight display pop out? You may not like this version as you have to adjust the blank background areas to fit neatly around the display screen, the default version is just as tricky as the G1000 panel can be pulled out of it's scale and shape, but it does look better without the top tabs... but there is a reason for this new pop-out change, as you can now also pop the window out now as a computer window to separate the displays from the simulator, and that is obviously for home cockpit builders or second monitor screens. Most are now very familiar with the default G1000 system, but it does still have a lot of depth. Standard speed and altitude ribbons with built in vertical speed are really good with the rate of turn indicator and all set within the huge Artificial Horizon with built in FD (Flight Director) pointers, as is the radio and autopilot settings in the top banner. Insert (MAP) is switchable and with a good range, but I rarely us it, and all this with those new background graphics... and all together this layout set out in this PFD in actually helps in to making this G1000 feel more realistic All lower keys access ALERTS, NRST, TMR/REF (Timer) and of course the Wind strength and direction with comes with three settings, and the same three switchable DME/GPS/VOR1/2 backgrounds with all their points shown are on the heading rose dial. I earlier found these menu driven systems quite confusing, but is now far more used to them, but however at times you can still get lost in overriding key settings. Two set items are the AP (Autopilot) buttons are down the PFD left panel side as well as the MFD (Multi Function Display), and it is surprising that most G1000 layouts don't do this, but habit means I still use the MFD buttons (the yoke covers some of the buttons on the left). Another item thankfully missing on the PFD is the engine monitor system display, again it crowds up the artificial horizon if set hard in place. On the MFD There has been some quiet additions that rounds the system out more. It feels now far more comprehensive. Engine readout covers RPM, Fuel Flow GPH (Gal per hour), Oil Pressure and Temperature, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature ) and Vacuum. Fuel quantity is for both tanks. Lower is the Electrical Bus Volts M and E and Battery amps M and E. System switchover (data) covers top RPM, Oil Pressure and Temp. Fuel Calculations show Fuel Flow GPH, GAL USED, GAL REM (Remain) and can be reset. Lower is the same Electrical Bus Volts and Battery amps. All flight plans can be tedious to input, but they do then give you the data feedback. Any imported flightplans do work fine, but you miss out on the detail You can select either Narrow or Wide in the flightplan screen layout, I prefer the wide (unless I need the large navigation map) as it gives you a lot of detailed info on the display. The default G1000 always gave you more detail and airport information than most custom G1000 systems.... .... Terrain and coloured terrain elevations are all in the package, but overall there are far too many settings and uses for this review. Carenado do provide a full G1000 Manual (Laminar) in the set of documents with the aircraft, it is a long read (133 pages) but if you want to completely master the G1000 avionics system, then it is worth all the effort and time. Lower instrument panel is a basic C172 layout... Switchgear dominates, with main power and avionic switches upper left, panel lighting adjustment and external lighting switches below. Center are three backup analog dials that cover Speed, Artificial Horizon and Altitude. Lower panel is the starter switch, fuses, throttle and mixture levers... far right is the three stage flaps lever with UP - 10º - 20º - FULL positions with a nice graphic showing the flap extraction speeds. Two knobs cover cabin heat and cooling... One switch is interesting as it is noted as "Cabin PWR 12V" that has an outlet on the lower centre console panel, and a higher set switch that is the "Standby Batt" Standby Battery switch. Lower is the park brake handle left, rotating pitch trim wheel, and fuel selector on the floor. Fuel selection can left or right tanks or both, but there is a pull knob to shut off the fuel supply (in red). Menus The standard two Carenado menu tabs are on the left lower screen with selections: C ) Is for the standard Carenado with ten preselected Views, Field of View and Volume panel but included are now two views for each of the new G1000 displays. And O ) which is the Options panel. Options include Window and Instrument reflections. The Static elements provided and here they are still quite basic with only two cones, manual electric aircraft puller, engine inlet and flag pitot covers, but no chocks? The wheel "Fairing" selection is here as well. Door animations include both pilot and co-pilot doors and a small baggage door left rear (behind the rear seats). The twin highly realistic (and new) animated pilots do disappear when you activate the static elements. This classic Carenado menu system has been in operation for ages, and yes it is tested and true. But I am starting to find it a bit limiting compared now with other GA aircraft offerings of the same category. It is in the flexibility that you miss. If say you have the static options on then you get everything including the ugly puller, as there is no flexibility to say to just have the chocks, or the tie-downs or even the pilots off/on as it is simply all or nothing? Flying the C172SP XP11 If you had read my last review of the Faroe Islands. I did a twin hop from Gatwick (EGKK), and so my return flights it was my intention to go back via Sumburgh on the Shetland Island, because I had simply not been there for a long time. The aircraft in the review was FJS Q400, but I thought why not go back to Scotland (via EGPB) in the C172SP... which is really a dangerous thought with the Faroes being right in the middle of a weather hell on earth with the mid-winter North Atlantic at it's seasonal worse, it wasn't a choice I had a matter in? But low and behold the day (mid-January) was a lovely and with a brightly shining morning with a light 3knts breeze... good enough to give the C172 tiddler a chance of doing the open water crossing to the Shetland Isles... Fuel was 133kgs (as noted by SimBrief), but the actual block fuel was only 49kg for the actual trip, but 53kg extra was needed for any diversion? At least it gave you a security blanket. Pre-flight checks done and the 133kgs of fuel loaded, it was time to warm up the engine. You have to have the "Stby Batt" armed (for the extra heave to start the engine) and set the fuel selection to both tanks.. it took about 4 min running to get the Lycoming O-320-D2J (160 hp (119 kW) at 2700 rpm) up to the right temperatures. 11.30 has more functionality with carb icing and fuel flow with icing... but in the C172 you don't have a lot of control over that. So you have to be aware of the engine instruments to watch out for any inconsistencies, so this is not the review to convey or review those 11.30 changes, anyway a twin-prop would be a better aircraft to observe and document the effects. A bit of throttle and you instantly realise you don't need that usual Carenado high forward movement here to turn the aircraft, as the 172SP will turn almost as soon as you are moving, it all feels smoother as well. Note the PFD display, dull in the shade but perfect in the bright light. You still can't use wide movements to steer the Cessna, just slight intricate motions to keep it straight, again it does feel far smoother. Line up on RWY12 and a last check around the instruments. You still need that Carenado very slow throttle adjustment as you add in the power, as the C172SP will still pull heavily to the right under the prop thrust, you go from a little right rudder to a lot of right rudder to again a little right rudder as the speed builds, it can be still quite slippery almost yawing if you push in the power too hard, but there is an enormous amount of feel being fed back to you and far more than before... personally I like it a lot, the 11.30 dynamics are certainly better in this Cessna, but I am still doubting if Laminar have still got the ground friction numbers right, more time and different aircraft will build up that theory, but my first feel is no. 550fpm is the climb out rate and the aircraft feels sprightly for the 1160 kg all up weight. Handling... very impressive and responsive, I love the feel of the aircraft, as it feels about perfect. I am climbing up to 3000ft, then trimming the aircraft out which is easy (and to do the adjustment) and getting the aircraft stable. You only have a pitch trim, so you have to watch any drift to the left or right, but in reality, however when once trimmed out you can adjust even any direction with slight single finger movements of corrections... lovely. The flightplan takes the aircraft over the main island of Streymoy, but I want to go around the headland before joining up to the plan, it gives you a bit of a better sightseeing view as well... it is lovely up here in the crisp clean morning light. Once clear of the headland, I made a beeline for the flightplan line... Once on the right track I decided to climb up to 5,000ft, up out of any low cloud. SimBrief noted to stay at 3,000ft, but 5,000ft felt like the better option. Climb was at 450fpm, with the mixture high in not losing any speed, once I got up to the altitude I leaned the aircraft out and settled in for the long passage. In reality this is a very simply aircraft, certainly to fly, but that does not mean that you are getting a very dull experience in return, in fact it is quite the opposite as the aircraft is certainly very realistic to fly, but the feedback and even the depth of the G1000 instruments are as deep or as light as you want them to be... MFD is very versatile, with many map configurations and layouts... ... from full navigation screens to both narrow and wide flightplan views... note leaning the fuel to find the right balance is a bit of an art, but if you find the right point of just on the white band on the RPM you will find the rest of the fuel flow and engine temperatures will fall into place, depending of course on the weather conditions. Topo, Terrain and airways can all be shown and used... One odd thing is that the standard manipulators on the panel are different to the pop-out hand pointers? The hand pointers can be hard to use until you work out where the active areas are? Lower panel is a red button labeled "DISPLAY BACKUP" this changes the displays as if one display goes wonky, or blank... They change into an emergency "get you home" mode, with a black background and PFD instruments on the MFD, and the engine display comes on in the PFD, if you like this style then it is yours to use, but access to the panels are restricted.... it is only a get you home tool. Sounds Sounds are FMOD and come with the usual 360º doppler effect. They are of course very good, but the C172 does not come with a huge range of sounds, the bonus is of course they all sound really good, as they don't have those bad repetitive or droning phases that drive you so batso or annoy you. all in all the sounds covered the full spectrum that you want and you enjoy the aural experience. The Shetlands are now large on the map, so it is time to lower the altitude, and set below the cloud cover are the islands... when descending you have to work the throttle with a bit of feel and precision, so as to not let the speed runway as you descend and then rethrottle perfectly when you arrive at your altitude so as you don't lose too much speed... all management. I go to manual and fly neatly around the headland, Sumburgh's RWY 09 is quite tricky for an approach as it is snuggly positioned well back into a corner... .... at least the weather is good, it is a hard and even a dangerous approach in bad weather, which is usually most of the time up here. I am finding the manoeuvrability of the C172SP really nice, you get a certain flow that you enjoy the movements. I do find a big difference though between the older and newer 11.30 dynamics, and I will be honest I will have to adjust my flying skills to the new feel and flow, it does feel sensational though but requires more thought and yoke and rudder inputs, I have landed the C172 several times now, but I still don't think I perfected the feel, this is certainly not the aircraft but the changes in the aerodynamic performance, it feels though really great... My old style approaches are now landing me too high and too long? speed is correct under flap FULL, but the C172SP just won't descend or slightly floats in the final section of flight.... I feel I need to be more braver on the lower throttle speed. 60knts-58knts is the balance speed, go too high and you float, but go below and you start to stall (Stall is a low 40 knts).... tricky but fun. The numbers worked for you as well which shows that the simulation of the aircraft was excellent... I used in fuel 53 kg (SimBrief noted 49 kgs) but that was at 3,000ft and not 5,000ft, so my guessing with the extra climb and engine warm up is that the fuel use was on the number. It will be interesting too look back at this review when I have flown a few more types of aircraft that have been processed in the new 11.30 dynamics, but let me stress this isn't the Carenado C172SP here or even X-Plane itself, but me in adjusting to the new feel and dynamics, overall it is excellent, far more smoother to your inputs and I didn't get or feel that huge downward pull of the X-Plane landing phase... and maybe that is the answer in my landing hesitation in the fact I am always ready to counter that negative landing effect, and maybe it is now in 11.30 not as overwhelmingly strong a force as it was before? Night Lighting Internal and panel lighting is quite basic, but very good. You can get the right amount of lighting, but still have very good vision out of the windscreen at night, although the reflections can be strong... here again those slightly dull G1000 displays work to your advantage, and are not over bright in your face... very nice. There are two adjustable (map) lights in the roof over the front seats that illuminates the two front seats and the rear is illuminated by a single on/off switch overhead light. Externally again it is basic... navigation lights, tail beacon and twin in left wing lights for taxi and landing (SP version and above), for once they all feel nicely adjusted. The strobes are bright and sharp, but if you like your replays then fly with them switched off as they are static over bright and don't flash? Liveries You get the standard Carenado livery set with a white blank, then five all American registered designs. Quality as noted is extremely high (4K 4096x4096) resolution, but the designs are all a basic wave or flame on a white background airframe design... so overall they all come out a little boring, Carenado needs to get a little more creative, and add in a few more variations. Summary Don't even compare this Cessna 172SP to any other Carenado (or Alabeo) C172's, as for one it is all brand new from the ground up, effectively a new aircraft, the odd thing is it doesn't look it, until you really look at it's amazing skin and highly detailed design. The interior is all new and modern as well, and of course it comes with the latest Garmin G1000 avionics suite, but again even that default system has had some nice tweeks to make it feel all very non-default in look and feel. The 11.30 enhancements are also the a nice top layer of a very nice all rounded cake, as the C172 flies like a dream and so overall it is quite a nice if perfect little aircraft. But I will note the Carenado brand as a whole as it is in some ways related to this aircraft. No doubt any earlier Carenado aircraft were very high in the list of quality and design, and to a point they had that exclusive mantle to themselves. But Carenado have been around now for a few years, even in X-Plane, and make no doubt in many areas like the sheer quality on show here with is amazing C172SP. You are however now still starting and in getting the feeling that in areas Carenado are becoming too stiff in their packages. Notably in the menu's and features, and that many features that were also standard are now slowly disappearing, like here with the loss of the animated wing edge wicks or chocks, so overall the Carenado's are starting to feel quite basic and not as feature filled as before, and no doubt the opposition are closing in fast and delivering what Carenado don't, the Weights and Balance menu's, separate static elements, active fuses, and not only in supplying a few boring liveries and even a manual to work out the instruments... you sort of get the idea. So the main aspect of this review is why buy the same type of aircraft that is essentially available for free, and comes also built in with X-Plane, but believe it or not there is a significant difference. I'll come back to that ownership feel. Yes the Laminar C172SP is a nice aircraft, but it is quite basic and to be honest it doesn't have any intimate feel about it, not only in the flying aspect, but as an aircraft as a whole... fly this Careando version and you feel like you have signed the purchase papers for it, you will want to run your hands down it's flanks and say "it is all mine"... all MINE and "I love my little C172" and that it is a significant feeling to actually own it, and keep it in your life for the rest of X-Plane11 and even pay to have it all back again for X-Plane12. In other words it is perfect, in a Carenado sort of way... and you will fly it around for hours and hours of absolute joy and maximum simulation, and that is far better deal instead of being stuck in a boring default bland Cessna, even if it is free... Highly Recommended. _______________________________ The C172SP Skyhawk XP11 by Carenado is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : C172SP Skyhawk XP11 Priced at US$32.95 Special Features Designed and Optimized for X-Plane 11 Fully VR compatible Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections) Updated X-Plane default G1000 Features Specially designed engine dynamics for X-Plane 11. Flight physics optimized for XP11 standards Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries Goodway Compatible Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy Requirements X-Plane 11 X-Plane 11.30 is also required for this aircraft Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 410Mb Current and Review Version : 1.1 (January 16th 2019) Installation and documents: Download for the C172SP Skyhawk is 390mb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 461.40mb. Documentation: Overall Carenado provide a lot of documents, including the full Laminar Research G1000 operations manual. C172SP G1000 Normal Procedures PDF C172SP G1000 Emergency Procedures PDF C172SP G1000 Performance tables PDF C172SP G1000 Reference PDF Recommended Settings X-PLANE 11 PDF ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 19th January 2019 Copyright©2019 : 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 11.30 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$45.99 - EGPB - Sumburgh Airport - EGPB 1.0.0 by Relicroy (X-Plane.org) - Free - X-Plane was converted to the "Winter Textures" by xflyer by the JSGME MOD
  4. News! - imminent Release! : Epic E1000 - G1000 by Aerobask Aerobask are rounding off their beta testing of the Epic E1000 with the new default G1000 system in place. This was a nice aircraft before but believe it or not this is now an oldish aircraft, coming out originally from Aerobask way back in March 2015... Review: Aircraft Review : Epic E1000 by Aerobask So this will be the full new X-Plane11 version and my guess a 11.30 adjusted aircraft as well.... Aerobask have issued a few images. It will be interesting to see what 11.30 features and ideas have been brought to this already really interesting aircraft.. No date, but expect very soon, price will be I am expecting to be around the mid-thirties. Images and text are courtesy of Aerobask ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 17th January 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)
  5. 11.30 notice! : Non working aircraft and upgrades Most users were flummoxed when they did their X-Plane 11.30 upgrade into finding a lot of their aircraft don't work? Mainly the FlightFactor A320 U and a few others... First be aware that updating to 11.30 will create a different set of rules for the aircraft behaviour. And unlike the earlier days of X-Plane many developers now side on the defense of caution than putting out upgrade fixes before X-Plane goes final with a new version. It does totally bewilder me that users expect everything to running as per the older version when upgrading to a newer more advanced version? The aircraft and in some cases even sceneries need to be upgraded to the newer rules before operating as normal. AND DON"T go back to 11.28 as you will just totally confuse the simulator with both 11.30 and 11.28 rules.. stay in 11.30 and you will quickly resolve most of the issues. So yes there are aircraft not currently viable with X-Plane 11.30, and yes they won't work either, but note that developers will update very quickly to resolve the issues, as already there has been a flurry of updates from Aerobask, FJS and Magknight. So currently check your updaters regularly and keep an eye on the X-Plane.OrgStore for version changes. I recommend to update to Skunkcraft's Updater v2.2 and run the updater currently to reset your current upgrades to 11.30. The FlightFactor A320 U is a different case because the aircraft does not run under the X-Plane simulator specifications but under a CEF or Chromium Framework. So the issues are completely different and won't be resolved quickly, but I will note that Flightfactor are working to resolve all the issues , but I am as so flummoxed that they didn't start early as well when the aircraft was in RC (Release Candidate)? but to wait for a total final release... as most developers seems to have started their update changes earlier... A "storm in a tea cup" and with this comment it is basically yes on the 11.30 release, in a week or so it will all be forgotten... ______________________________________________________________________ Notice by Stephen Dutton 16th January 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)
  6. Scenery Review : Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane Sited almost directly between Norway and Iceland, and 200 miles (320 km) north-northwest off the coast of Scotland is the Faroe Islands. This archipelago area of 18 islands is about 540 square miles (1,400 km2) with a general population of 50,322 and is part of the 1814 Treaty of Kiel that granted Denmark control over the islands, along with the two other Norwegian island possessions of Greenland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948. In world terms these islands are absolutely nowheresville, and buffeted by the strong winds of the North Atlantic on one side and the cold arctic winds of the Norwegian Sea with a climate that is classifed as subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) or very windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. Temperatures are usually average to above freezing throughout the year, and it is all so desolate and windswept that there are the only two images that comes to mind when thinking of these groups of windswept rocks, so why would you want to really go there?... then why not, because the Faroe Islands are perfect for everything we love to do in flying simulators. It is a remote destination, it is very challenging flying wise and it is somewhere very different to explore... Faroe has got it all in three and plus with a great name like "Vágar!" that is very Viking in origin, and that makes it all sound like a brilliant destination. (Apple Maps) I will note from the off that the scenery is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, but a very clever one but also hence the requirement of a large download (1.5gb) and the install (2.35gb) of which in reality supply two sets of the same terrain mesh and textures... one for summer and one for winter. They switch depending on the time of the year, so if you want the summer textures then set your calendar to July or August, if you want the winter then set the date to December or January, the best way to switch is via the reload scenery selection in the developers X-Plane menu, also the "Runways Follow Terrain Contours" checkbox needs to be on. As it is currently January at this time of the review my settings are set in the winter mode, but I will show both seasons. First Impressions I started services to the Faroe's with a twin hop... one from EGKK (Gatwick) to EGPH (Edinburgh) and then the second service on to EKVG (Vágar). I am flying FJS Sim's Dash Q400, so I figured I needed an extra service to sharpen up my skills in that I haven't flown the Dashy for a few months and that the approach to EKVG was going to need all of my skills ready and fine tuned for a interesting landing, and certainly my foresight was well founded. Being the dead of winter it was certainly very cold up at FL220 (22,00ft) and the Dashy needed the de-icing switched on to cover the -38º cold air, It was already on my mind what conditions I would have to face when I got to the Faroe's as Scotland was already at it's freezing drizzly best. 40nm out and the start of descent and it didn't look any better as the cloud cover was thick and far to the horizon, once under it was as expected seriously murky... Approach was from the south into EKVG RWY30, there are no VOR stations on Vagar (the island) but only two NDB frequencies in (VAGAR - 348 VG) and (MYGGENAES - 337 MY) close to the airport (there are overall four NDB stations). Both runways have ILS approach systems with RWY 30 (110.30 MF) and RWY 12 (109.10 SF) but to note that RWY 12's ILS is offset to 111º. So with the conditions I picked RWY30. In the murk I finally saw the canyon terrain as you thread your way up the Hestfjørður between the southern part of Streymoy the main island of the Faroes and smaller Hestur Island on the east, on the tracking you go slightly west and the chart notes not to go lower than 4,000ft, with reason. I didn't and went down to 2000ft to help with the visibility to my bad... The next island after Hestur is Koltur and it is all mountain peak and it made it's presence known very quickly within the murk... I judged the height, but it was still very close with the terrain warnings raining over me, next time I will stick with the 4,000ft limit. Once past Koltur then Vagar Airport is directly in front of you on Vagar Island, but again still don't start descending as the terrain is still quite high on the left.... and spectacular it is! and more of a warning if you want to do a short approach and cut around through Vagafjørður to avoid Koltur Island, as you still need that height judgement on the approach. If you have the tools then use them, and ILS glideslope into RWY30 is a good guide, but be very aware if you want then switch over early to do the manual landing phase, as with switching off the Autopilot can then put you in a very tricky place as the side crosswinds across the Vagafjørður are savagely ferocious... I held on, but it could have also gone all seriously wrong and right down to the threshold, as I really had my hands full just keeping the aircraft tracking the centre approach lighting correctly... the charts are noted with a lot of cautions! Just to note this is midday in Vagar as daylight in January from sunrise at 9.41am to sunset at 3.26pm as that is barely six hours of daylight, and it is mostly dull even then. Both runway approaches have RAIL guidance, but to note the runway 12/30 1,799m (5,902ft) on approach looks very short, it isn't but sloped, but I would call it more curved at both ends... Maps2XPlane have done a great job getting it very exact to the the original gradients. Both ends of the 12/30 runway have turnaround areas, but they are both quite small, so watch the tight turning for say a B737/A320... the taxiway in is central runway, so it is a fair taxi back to the turn entrance... the Vágar airport looks however extremely authentic that was created by Albert Ràfols, so I am certainly getting a quality feelback to the scenery, it feels a little like the old Truscenery Tampere-Pirkkala airport, but not quite as detailed. Aerosoft in their manual noted to turn on the "draw parked aircraft" selection in the X-Plane menu, but what appeared was not what I expected, but a Hawaiian A330??? I though that Aerosoft had their own static aircraft library? They do, and obviously it doesn't work... so the HA A330 was quickly banished. I parked at stand 4 in front of the newer opened 17th June 2014 terminal, with the older one to the left and a small cargo facility to the right (Stand 5). Stands 1 and 2 are both turn around stands as 3, 4 and 5 are nose in parking and there are three helicopter pads are available directly in front of the main apron (one has a static aircraft). So the first impressions are overwhelmingly great even if you can't actually see much of the scenery, and even more so with the difficult conditions raging around me, but I would expect that at this time of the year as it is possibly normal, but with the winter effects running it certainly was very realistic in creating that extreme environment (note the weather was created by xEnviro). EKVG - Vágar Airport The airport was built by British Royal Engineers during World War II on the island of Vágar. The site was chosen mainly because it was hard to see from the surrounding waters and the area was hidden from any potential guns of a German warship. The first aircraft landed here in Autumn 1942. Also British engineers had similarly first built Reykjavík Airport in Iceland in 1940, then known as RAF Reykjavik, following the British Occupation of Iceland. After the war, Vágar airfield was abandoned and left unused until 1963 when it was reopened as a civilian airport at the initiative of two Sørvágur residents, Hugo Fjørðoy and Lars Larsen. The two worked with the Icelandic airline Icelandair which began the scheduled flights to Bergan, Copenhagen and Glasgow using a DC-3 aircraft (Just think flying around here in a DC-3! good god). In 1964 a separate airline, Faroe Airways, operated flights, The company ceased operating on 28 September 1967. In 1971, Icelandair was then operating Boeing 727-100 jetliners into the airport with weekly nonstop services to Glasgow and Reykjavik. In 1988, Atlantic Airways was formed and flying British Aerospace BAe 146-200 jet services nonstop to Copenhagen. Until 2004 Maersk Air also operated flights into the airport. Maersk Air flew Boeing 737-500 jetliners into the airport with services to Copenhagen, with aircraft's short airfield performance of the British Aerospace BAe 146-200 which was the best type until the runway was extended on 3rd December 2011. Atlantic Airways is now the only Faroe airline with one A320-200 and two A319.100's. SAS also started a Copenhagen service in March 2016. Vágar Airport Vága Floghavn IATA: FAE - ICAO: EKVG 12/30 1,799m (5,902ft) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL 280 ft / 85 m As a landscape the setting for Vágar Airport is breathtaking, certainly in the winter setting. Note both approach lighting pylons that are in brilliant detail. Airport and terminal layout and is exceptional by Albert Ràfols, you have the detail and weathering for authenticity and for the perfect local Faroe ambience. Basically there are three areas, the long rear Cargo/New Terminal/Old Terminal area, the forward Control Tower and built-in fire station and the only large airport maintenance hanger which is also a base for Atlantic Airways. There is a great contrast between the two terminals, with the glass and steel of the new building and the old wooden timber feel of the original 1963 terminal, note the original hut style "Customs" hall. There is really great lattice work on the modern terminal landside and all the glass and surfaces are reflective and PBR active... ... carpark detail is also first rate with great ground textures and markings, with the excellently detailed covered walkways and the quality 3d static vehicles. Only notable omission is the no active ramp vehicle traffic, but the point is that EKVG is not going to be really buzzy busy airport, so I think that aspect would work more against the scenery than for it. The hanger/base for Atlantic Airways is visually the standout, mainly because of it's yellow colour scheme, but it looks very authentic, shame the doors don't open, SAM style. Control Tower - Fire Station The distinctive control tower is really well recreated, as two levels cover the approach and ramp activities... there is a static S&R helicopter on standby out front... No poking out the door with any Fire Engines, but again I think that is again for the better here, as with the static vehicles in there is enough, but not an overwhelming feeling of clutter... in other words perfect. Tower view is set perfectly... with the setting just above the aerials and with that you get a full complete 180º unobstructed view of both the approaches (on a clear day). Helicopter Pads Besides the main airport at Vágar there are also eight helipads that are spread out all over the islands as in most cases it is only by air that is the main way (or the only way) to navigate the islands, all have this great infrastructure or buildings built around the pads and as they are not just plonked straight in there as most scenery developers usually do... the Heliport at Tórshavn is the standout (below left). Runway textures All textures and ground elements of the runway confines and surfaces are excellent, there are also perfect ground surfaces that looks realistic with weathered wear. note the authentic snow sticks for taxiway edge navigation.... all surfaces are also reflective and fully PBR active, nice. Faroe Islands The scenery is not just a focus on the airport, but on the whole archipelago area of the18 islands that makes up the Faroe chain. Provided is high resolution HD terrain mesh that is extremely detailed. There is 1.400 km² of Faroe area to be explored and all are in high quality mesh landscapes, yes it is all very highly impressive, and highly realistic as well. As the only thing missing are the puffins on the craggy cliff faces. Faroe settlements, villages and townships are dotted totally throughout the scenery on all islands with connecting active traffic (unless on the outer islands)... ... with the township of Sørvágur which is on the approach to RWY 12... ... and Sandavágur that is on the right on the approach into RWY 30... note the fishing circles. And the village is voted the most famous village in the country, and also best voted as a traveling experience and highlighted by the beautiful red-roofed Church has a distinctive architecture that was built in 1917. This point highlights the only real adverse area of the Faroe scenery. There are yes the distinctive Faroe architecture in houses and dwellings but not much else... as the distinctive churches are also critically missing, as say there also is neither any industrial buildings in sheds or warehouses... not even the fishing boats on which that the Faroe economy depends on? Which brings us the capital of Faroe in Tórshavn. Overall Tórshavn is very disappointing in context with the very high quality of the rest of the scenery. The capital is just more of the same of a lot of Faroe housing with no port? or any commercial infrastructure or buildings visible either? There is no ferry in the harbour or really anything at all... The capital has a lovely fishing village feel with coloured housing surrounding the port (very Dutch) with the distinctive buildings on the entrance to the port... you are not expecting a complete recreation of the capital here, but you do expect something to sort of represent it? Summer Seasonal Textures Switching to the summer season in Faroe is visually extremely dynamic, it is almost a completely different style and feel of scenery. I debated on which seasonal scenery was the best season to represent the review... but in reality they are really completely Jekyll and Hyde in comparison. The landscape is all quite breathtaking in scale and detail... Night Lighting Overall the lighting is very good at EKVG - Vágar... with a nice contrast between the airside and the brighter landside illumination. Aprons are bright and workable, but like most developers with reflective glass the new terminal feel is a bit flat, and even dull.... ... the nice spot lighting on the lattice work terminal landside however does lift it up, as does the great lighting in the carpark. The Atlantic Airways hangar is very imposing and there is a large amount of very well done drop down spot lights on most of the buildings... .... so it is a high pass on good lighting. Summary At US$45.99 then Faroe Islands XP scenery is not cheap and that high price might put some users off in purchasing this excellent scenery... but even with that high price then there is a lot of value to take in here. As for being quality scenery Faroes XP does certainly deliver, and it is also an interesting diversity as in reality you really have two sceneries in one as there is the huge contrast between teach of the seasonal textures which are quite unique... and they both certainly deliver that "Wow" factor, as noted was my arrival in mid-January which was very dynamic and authentic, but any arrival in the summer would give you just another style of an astounding experience. And there is this huge expanse of high quality landscape to explore, either by helicopter or even with a general aviation aircraft, or say a very light aircraft (or glider) of even the Aerolite 103 style, which would allow you to soar around those magnificent cliff formations. Airport quality and detail is excellent, but Faroe has no active apron traffic, (dynamic vehicle traffic however covers all the drivable islands) but as noted it is debatable that a lot of ramp activity is actually required. Night lighting gives you a dull terminal, but otherwise it is all very good. Negatives... actually not a lot, but for the money, the oversight of not developing even a basic foundation of the Faroe capital in Tórshavn with a port, is one that should be quickly rectified, these islands are here to be explored and the area with Tórshavn in my mind is very important into delivering the full exploring island experience, a few local (colourful) churches would not go amiss either. If you read a lot of X-PlaneReviews you will know that I support that scenery value comes from the usage, or the versatility within the simulator. Even considering the remote aspect of this Faroe scenery in that context the scenery is a very worthy addition to your X-Plane simulator, certainly if you fly within the northern European context. For one the scenery is extremely challenging on approaches (certainly in poor weather conditions), but also visually it is very comprehensive and dynamic. Routing can be very interesting between Iceland, Norway, Denmark and the UK, but Atlantic Airway's do services as far away as the Mediterranean ports and SAS also do services... overall it is the huge amount of landscape that is on offer and in very high quality visually aspect as well, and that credible distinction will certainly draw you here, it is just one of those types of sceneries you could get easily addicted to like I did with Aerosoft's Keflavik Airport, and keep coming back to again and again, Faroe XP is a very worthy addition to the X-Plane landscape.... Highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Faroe Islands XP Price Is US$45.99 Features: Realistic recreation of the complete Faroe Islands with an area of about 1.400 km² High resolution terrain mesh with various texture sets for a seasonal representation Customized local terrain details, e.g. realistically sloped runway at the Vágar Airport Detailed rendition of the Vágar Airport and the eight helipads spread over the archipelago Faroese themed autogen, navigation obstacles and dynamic traffic on the islands Hundreds of custom objects with PBR materials, 3D vegetation, night lighting WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and the scenery will generate a set of routes. No custom routes are yet available. Yes they work, but only in a limited capacity with only the Atlantic A319's doing all the traffic work... Many GA or Jet arrivals just disappear on landing, but the runway layout with turnarounds makes EKVG hard to navigate... a custom adjustment would certainly help... but overall WT3 works. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum Download size: 1.3Gb Review version v1.0 Installation Download scenery file size is download 1.5gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are three install folders: Faroes4XPlane - Overlay (206.40mb) Faroes4XPlane - Airport (2.01gb) Faroes4XPlane - Terrain (311.4 gb)  Total scenery Install is : 2.35gb  The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the Faroes4XPlane - Terrain Mesh is below the Airport and overlay files. Documents Manual_Faroe_Islands_XP11_de-en_web (In German and English) ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 16th January 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 11.30 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 Scenery or Aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$30.00 - AW139 4.0 - By Laminar Research (default) - Free
  7. FlightFactor are doing a test beta now for 11.30... I find that even the X-Updater isn't working either. Keep an eye on the news for the 11.30 update.
  8. News! - Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.2.0 by Green Arc Studio Developer Green Arc Studio's have release version v1.2.0 of WebFMC. This release covers now more aircraft and added to the list of available is now JARDesign with the Airbus A330 (note it does require X-Plane v3.11+) and the JARDesign A320. The full list of supported available aircraft is now : he complete list of supported aircraft with version 1.2.0 is: JARDesign 330 NEW! JARDesign 320 Toliss 319 FlightFactor A320 Ultimate FlightFactor 757 Pro v2 FlightFactor 767 Pro Rotate MD-88 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (with x737FMC only) Zibo Mod 737-800* 737-900 Ultimate* * both aircraft will work with the demo free version. Support for Mac OS (built and tested on Mac OS Mojave). Support for Linux (Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or their derivatives, 64-bit). A version (Demo Really) is available as 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 1.2.0 X-PlaneReviews release review is here: Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.2.0 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.2.0 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version. ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 14th January 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)
  9. Laminar Research : X-Plane 11.30 Analysis On Friday 25th October 2018 (US time) Laminar Research released the next version of X-Plane11. This is version 11.30, and as per all new releases this originally was the beta test version of the simulator. You could get the test beta version via the "beta" checkbox on the X-Plane Installer app. (Steam users were excluded). The full release of X-Plane 11.30 is now (final) and is available for download (Steam users update is to follow) and you can update to 11.30 by doing an "Update X-Plane" on the Installer app. Officially on release it is version 11.30b1 or by my moniker 11.30 2.0. As this is a very significant update, and will certainly be a companion the coming Vulkan update now noted for 2019 if targeted for Q2 or mid-year which will be a noted another significant milestone for the simulator. That is a yes in performance, but the ground work for that Vulkan version is actually built into this 11.30 update and so this is in reality the really important one. As with most groundwork code you will very rarely see it, but as I noted earlier this year it is in that the whole internal structure of the simulator that is currently undergoing a total revolutionary change as it is significantly being rebuilt from the ground up or inside out, so it is just not about Vulkan/Metal we are talking about here but the whole complete internal X-Plane code structure itself that is undergoing an extensive transformation to another new era.... "Yes Jim, it is X-Plane, but not as we know it". And so in this 11.30 beta you are starting to feel it's presence, as the changes do however pop up here and there, but mostly they are still all still well hidden and buried from view. This approach can make many users think that it is only what they can see is only what has only been changed, but also a lot of this analysis can't be revealed until other parties (i.e. developers) start to use and mostly adjust their products to take advantage of the full suite available of the new features and ideas presented here, in fact it will be months long after 11.30 has gone final in that it will be then that everyone realises the large effect this version will have on X-Plane. Obviously the special effects noted below will come in all shapes and sizes and many will be totally (even stupidly) overdone, but in many ideas it will be also very clever (as X-Plane users can be) and show off how good the simulator has become. Since the release of X-Plane11 and in many respects the simulator has already changed totally beyond our original expectations, now here there is the start another level of transformation that has got even the most hardened FSX/P3D users wondering what baby they are now left with to hold on to. Internal changes 11.30 is the first installment of API (Application Programming Interface) changes that will switch from the older OpenGL API to the new Vulkan (Windows/Linux)/Metal (Mac) API's. This is to update the simulator to work far better with more modern hardware in processors and graphic cards (a graphic card moniker is really a bit outdated now? as they are more now the size of a mini-computer itself and than be rather of what the installed graphic engine producing machinery really is). Originally we expected that the new Vulcan/Metal API's to all come in together with one major update, but the introduction here shows that is not the case as the API's can be introduced in blocks of areas, and it may also serve as a good test on how X-Plane itself responds to the changes out here in complex-land before going in for the full change over API deal. You may find the API change over in not one but maybe even as many as four updates to complete the full API changeover, you could with this release to note it as the block 1 release. The area most affected in v11.30 is the shader system, so it has been completely totally Vulkanised because it won't work with the .glsl format, so it was changed early. There are huge bonuses here as well, in that the older slideshow shader system was pretty crappy anyway, slow, not very realistic and even really annoying as the light faded or increased in brightness in the significant changes from one shader to the next. The new system uses a very much larger spectrum of shades, it is also quite complex and even fully updatable. More interesting is the new shader system is now off limits to the tinkerers, so you won't be getting loads of experimental shader downloads any more, as there was a full X-Plane industry running on that side of the simulator. An interesting side point is that Laminar note the new (and very complex) shader system will get intermittent updates as the shader system can be refined or reshaded to match conditions and on the fly with updates, which is a sort of window to what to expect from all the different areas of X-Plane in the future, this new feature is one of the most important to understand, because it is the future in not only for its assembly in Vulkan but also in the way it brings in a much more different engine into the original X-Plane machine. So you are starting to see the future changes of X-Plane happening right here, and right now in this version 11.30 update... think of it more like the windows ongoing system updates than major releases. One of the biggest first impressions of beta 11.30 was how brighter it all was, and the change of the basic X-Plane background in light and colours. Besides the actual new shader system, 11.30 has had a lot of fine tuning of the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) effects as well, this is noticeable in those sudden light to dark light changes in the cockpit, that were just as (if not more) annoying as the slideshow in the dawn and dusk periods. Seriously impressive the shaders are... lighting changes are minimal and the only way to see the actual lighting shader movements now is via speeding up the simulator to fast forward. Does the PBR still pop!, unfortunately yes it does and sometimes in a dramatic annoying way, but it also shows the PBR can be fine-tuned... I just don't think this area is the focus for Laminar right now. What strikes you the most though is the sheer smoothness of the simulator, it felt almost quite crude before to what you are experiencing now. Yes you will still get pauses (as scenery loads) and the odd pause as X-Plane shifts from one tile to the other which is still a major obstacle for ultimate smoothness, but that constant shutter and stutter in flight is gone, and it now all feels far more linear. I lost 2fr -4fr frames in the changeover as my 11.30 beta download was nearly 2gb, but I expect to claw that back and far more with the full Vulkan conversion later in the year, but that minimal framerate loss is somehow eliminated because the simulator seems to be not working as hard to achieve the same results, hence the smoothness. Everything feels sharper, cleaner than before. I will note that the framerate was better in the beta 11.30b2 than b1 and more gains came in v11.30b6 (b4 and b5 were absolute duds), but it all came good again in b6 and b7... by the RCs (Release Candidates) 11.30 was excellent. The star patterns at night are back, yes they were fixed before 11.30, but now you can actually see them feel them now while traveling at night, and with the even more refined night ground patterns, it is like X-Plane9 all over again, but far better... yeah! It certainly all bodes well for the future. Particle Effects Yes the showstopper! The particle effect generator has been in development hell for as long as I can possibly remember. "It's coming" was the usual mantra in X-Plane version release after version release, but now it is finally here... was it worth the wait? Of course it was. Like a lot of areas in b11.30 it is important to understand that although the current aircraft all work with the new particle effect engine, most of the aircraft have not been adjusted to get the best of the effects just yet, which it is like when the FMOD sound engine was first introduced... so every aircraft will have to be tailored to the effects engine to get the very best out of the effects, and then some more. Because certainly many developers will want to push the boundaries on what can actually be achieved with the custom particles. It is certainly an exciting time to be in that scenario. Vortices are amazing... and a far cry from the old smoke effect. They are extraordinary at night, as you can see the trail standing rearwards in the turn, as they dissipate of where they stand, and then fade away realistically back slowly into the sky. It is in the subliminal as not the direct effects that the effect change the nature of the simulator. The engine heat blur is excellent as the haze unfocuses the background with absolute realism. You knew something was missing before, and now you realise what that "something" actually was... realism. The biggie effect was always going to be fire. X-Plane already had a sort of animated fire effect, but not the adjustable realistic effect of fire. Now here it is and it lives up to it's dramatic entrance. The are different types of (particle) emitters from smoke, haze to fire and different styles for say streaming continuous smoke or for violent explosions, other effects cover wing vortices, engine blast, tyre contact smoke and wing, engine cowl condensation. The Particle Effects will have a multitude of uses within X-Plane, but currently they are restricted to only aircraft use, and with the odd ground explosion. This has been highlighted by the issues during the beta of smoke or particles in the aircraft (cockpits!)and not the filtering out of the new elements, and more fine tuning of the contrails in certain lighting conditions are still required. But static ground objects will soon have access to the same effects which will be interesting. As a note I never really took to the old X-Plane smoking "puff, puff" chimney effect, I thought they didn't look very realistic and even looked cartoony awful. However I really like the idea more of a hazy chimney or a steam (power plant) effect than the usual and expected black puffing variety. All elements for developers (or anyone) are accessed by the new "Particle System Editor" in the "Developer" X-Plane menu and the layout and the use is very similar to the FMOD sound editor. Access to the various elements are through the particle system definition files (.pss files), which brings up an editor to create, adjust and even delete the particle elements set out in the texture menu. A full dynamic adjustment of : rate, speed, velocity, pitch, heading, size, Alpha and Lifetime (Seconds) are available via keyframes of the all these different elements. ATC Voices A surprise feature included in v11.30 was the new A.I. based ATC voices. There was a comment about these new speech tools by Chris Serio in the mid-year Q&A session, but we never expected the actual release until in 2019, or even longer. The new ATC system now builds up real commands and sentences, as was in the older current version in that the ATC as it was then built up around .wav files to say they were very stilted conversations was an underestimation. But the main problem with this system was it was totally inflexible and very limited in speech capacity. So the new way is to use a text to speech (TTS) engine that is used in Amazon Alexia and Google Voice and of which are both a development of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software. TTS can learn and be adjusted on the fly and you will be even able to contribute to the engine. So instead of the older communications of just the repetitive "X-Ray, Beta two five.. Runway five left" you can or will have "Speedbird 231, taxi cleared to runway five left"... The ATC system will learn and grow and get better as does all current TTS software working now. The system will be also able to work with a multitude of different voices and not just the current male and female choice or no choice at all. Accents in regional or national voices will be available as well as the ATC is more fully developed. Obviously the ATC voice system is still only very limited to the style and the current natural feel vocally until the full ATC system is intergrated later, but it does show that the pace of development is certainly taking place and going forward, which also means that the full ATC feature should be expected during a beta run in 2019. 11.30 Systems and Avionics Phillipp Ringler outlined the extensive navigation and avionics coming in 11.30 in the Vegas seminar. Ringler's overhaul of the X-Plane navigation and avionic areas since becoming part of the main Laminar team have been a total revolution in detail, dynamics and data use and most notably the GNS 430/530 pair, G1000 and the native X-Plane FMS. Certainly Phillipp's unique talents has certainly totally enhanced the basic avionics of the simulator. With the main navigation elements in now place (although I do find the main FMS still a bit wanting in detail), his attention has moved on to the more cosmetic areas of the systems and most notably the Autopilot. So 11.30 comes now with brand autopilots that can installed in your GA aircraft. These include the position based units GFC-700, KFC-250/Century and the rate-based S-TEC 55, KAP-140 and the Piper Autocontrol. The autopilots come as single or dual axis and with or without altitude select and also with or without electric trim functions. The GFC-700 Autopilot is also now part of the G1000 system, which is a high-end position-based digital autopilot, and the new version is now giving the G1000 more realistic capabilities. The Piper Autocontrol Autopilot is a generic low-tech non-microprocessor autopilot, and this AP can be either rate-based or position-based and has the usual dual-axis modes, but does not have any logic for automatic mode reversions. The AP modes are obviously quite basic as all Laminar default systems are, but entirely usable and effective. Here is the S-TEC 55 (C172SP) and the KAP-140 which are the most popular and both can be set as noted with/without altitude preset. One major surprise is that the AP panels don't pop-out?.. ... as with the already branded C90 Collins APS-65 (below) it is impossible to use effectively without a pop-up panel, as the distance from the AP panel to the navigation display on this aircraft is very wide... an oversight? Airliner autopilot systems have also been upgraded as auto-throttle can now use both N1/EPR modes, Control Wheel Steering (CWS) (yoke movements to adjust pitch, mostly on older aircraft), Master FD (Flight Director) or source selection, duel and triple channel preconditions and checks (computers compare two or three channels of data and select the best option), flare and roll out guidance and a three axis DAS/Data Acquisition Systems. GPSS autopilot mode is also now available. All these AP operations are quite comprehensive but mostly hidden, but you will suddenly find you will have more options and get closer to the real world operations of flight deck autopilots once their features start to flow through to the aircraft. In 11.30 system changes the areas focused on have been for the more realistic oxygen systems and anti-ice/de-ice systems, and the propeller itself now has four different propeller failure modes of fine pitch, anti-feathering springs and the full feather position... as not on all aircraft if when the engine fails does the propeller go straight to full feather mode and auto-feather. Also included are more extensive systems to replicate the unfeathering of the propeller realistically with pumps and negative torque sensing, and also fuel-topping and overspeed governors, vacuum gyro limitations and caging is now also being available. With the release of 11.30 Phillipp Ringler is also now responsible for these system changes besides the avionics portfolio which was once the domain of Austin Meyer, so expect more extensive and thankfully more speedier changes to aircraft systems than was the case in the past. While in the realm of systems, in that X-Plane is now also 8.33kHz aware. The old 25kHz spacing has been divided by three 25/3 = 8.33333. to allow more channels to be used which will help in congested airspaces, it became mandatory in Europe as of January 2018 if you are flying in controlled airspace in Europe, as you must have now an 8.33kHz radio to meet that mandate, as you now do also in X-Plane 11.30. The panel resolution has be enlarged to 4K (4096x4096) to get rid of poor resolution text and give a better quality fascia, which is another step away from the original X-Plane standards. Flight Model Although X-Plane is known for its incredible ability to simulate real airflow and air dynamics through its “blade element theory” calculations, it is still not the full range of forces on the aircraft while flying through the air, or on the ground. The aerodynamic basics are of course correct, but in the last few years Laminar has been focusing on more detail of the more secondary forces that affect the aircraft. To that end Austin Meyer has been doing some pretty outlandish if quite bizarre experiments with a Telsla S car to get more realistic data on fuselage, wing forces (post stall), inboard wing air dynamics (the join between the wing and fuselage), propwash and helicopter downwash and tailwash is also being done via more conventional data driven calculations and a follow on from the earlier 11.10 dynamics, as with the earlier asymmetrical new airfoil formats for Reynolds numbers (fluid flow past a body in this case an aircraft). All these new calculations are now included into PlaneMaker 11.30, but you can have the choice in to either opt in out opt out of using the data. These changes are not actually for the X-Plane simulator per se, but for more comprehensive real world data of forces that can be applied to the aircraft's airfoils and wing forces, and PlaneMaker will now do a batch convert to the new settings, but also show you where your drag was not realistic. This aspect is to find a more realistic feel with say the landing and flare dynamics, and with an emphasis on post stall drag factors which are still X-Plane's main limitations, as also for better helicopter downwash and tailwash dynamics which are also currently still not totally highly realistic. My personal beef on this has been the ground friction (or grip) that seems lacking in the simulator... or in other words the weaving and poor tracking on the ground when taking off or landing as I just don't feel that rubber contact grip that I expect to be real world realistic. So has that aspect been fixed or at least refined better than the last set of changes? again personally I don't think so, but in reality the jury is still out on that aspect, it depends on if the 11.30 default aircraft have been updated to the new aerodynamic data, if so then the answer is no, but it will be extremely interesting when the developers do their own calculations... they know their numbers far better than the default aircraft developers as in reality Laminar default aircraft at their heart are quite simple, it will be the specialist developers that will refine and home the data closer to the real world conditions, so when the top payware releases come around after 11.30 goes final then that will be interesting and ralso eflected in the reviews and I will certainly be focusing hard on that aspect. Ditto for helicopters, once say a top helicopter developer like say Dreamfoil does the new 11.30 downwash and rotor dynamics will we see if the improvements are actually realistic. A side note to that is the new "joystick curves" see below... in fine tuning your hardware gear to be also more refined in their inputs. So the changes in 11.30 are actually quite extensive in these areas, but again to stress that you won't see any of these extensive benefits until the developers sort out their own flight model calculations and dynamics to match the more comprehensive flight modeling avaliable to them. Late in the beta run (RC 1) Laminar also inserted the Toe-Brake option for users that have NO hardware (i.e. Rudder Pedals) in controlling aircraft such as tail-draggers, which are notorious to control currently. Previous versions of X-Plane we had this automatic toe-brake behavior that was automatically applied based on some rules that were originally coded into X-Plane. Now aircraft authors can now explicitly control whether toe brakes are auto-applied for users without hardware, and if so, how aggressively. This control is auto-populated for older aircraft with the choices set for X-Plane 11.26 and earlier versions. Engine Improvements Austin Meyer since the start of the X-Plane 11.00 version has been focusing on more realistic engine dynamics. Earlier focus (11.26) was on turbine outputs, specifically in single turbo-turbine outputs. In 11.30 the focus is more of the same but more on the larger jet-turbine aircraft (B737/A320). Believe it or not until 11.30 both the twin-spool tracking of the n1 and n2 engine outputs was done not separately, but notably as one joined calculation. But now it is possible to select both single or twin-spool jets in Plane-Maker to really get the jet engine dynamics (output numbers) better in the spool-up and spool-down phases, and watching N2 lead the N1 output on the spool-up, or the other way around on the spool-down. And the engine output modeling has also be validated of real engine starts and throttle run-ups and shut-downs taken on a (real) Airbus A-320 for realism. (throttle input/output data was a real mess on the release of X-Plane 11.00) Specifically the area noted is the improved Jet 1 spool. Again Jet 1 spool in X-Plane is currently still very basic and the data comes actually from the earlier (now really outdated) X-Plane releases .This current 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 which was in the past sort of close, if you don’t look at how fast the various turbines spin up and down compared to each other. Jet 2 spool is also a new jet engine model for X-Plane as well with N2 is the power turbine is in the hot section, and it spins up and down as fuel is applied. and is independent of the N1 that is spun by the torque generated from N2, spinning the bypass fan. So a more accurate model, taking into account that the N2 can surge while N1 takes some time to respond, and N1 can windmill briskly even if N2 is shut down and is barely spinning. You can see where all this is going with more internal engine dynamics being realistic in the simulator, and with N1/N2 windmilling which are now more accurate as well. This new modeling should also be more specific in the cruise phase as well. There has been also focus on fine tuning and the modeling of actual dynamic pressure and the resulting Bernoulli effects in the Venturi tube itself to see when ice will form, this will give you a more realistic feedback on ice formations as the Bernoulli principle applies to the motion of air over an airplane wing, to air flow through a carburetor, to the flag flapping in the breeze, and to the low pressure systems in hurricanes. The earlier focus on PT6 turboprops still continues in 11.30, which now in the new model, of which is more accurate and very carefully matched to real PT6 performance. This uses now N2 for Ng which is more accurate, of which there is also now a new manifold pressure model for non-turbo airplanes. The new functionality now allows the simulator understand that lower back-pressure at altitude for non-turbo airplanes provides a bit more power per inch of manifold pressure... all in the quest for realism. Garrett turboprops (Honeywell TPE331) that is an fixed turbo-prop engine that is used extensively with X-Plane aircraft like with the Dornier Do 228/King Airs/Turbo-Commanders is next on the list after the PT6 for the same intensive attention. Aircraft There was a lot of noise in discussion of an F-14 (Tomcat) in pre-release notes, but the actual F-14 Laminar default aircraft didn't appear in the 11.30 release, but is that a spelling mistake? Could it be the F-4 Phantom that has had all the attention and could it all be just misleading? Including the noted F-14 above there was no new aircraft released in 11.30, but a few aircraft had some significant work done on them... obviously the Cessna 172SP was given a lot of attention to highlight most of 11.30's new features including the new S-Tec autopilot (above) and performance/tuning gains. The Boeing 737-800 is of course the showcase aircraft for X-Plane11, so besides the new performance, particle effects and new triple-channel autopilot features the aircraft also acquired something special... ... a cabin! But not just a filler cabin, but a full and very detailed cabin. And it puts even most payware cabins to shame... yes it is that good. At night the internal lighting is even better to sensational with the "Sky Interior" theme... ... even if the Austin Meyer graphic is a bit cheeky, the detailing is just as good in the excellent and realistic galleys that are also payware quality. With the internal structure in place (cabin) then you can also have opening doors as well... ... even if they are not actually attached to the aircraft? and they are hard to open in all have to manhandled directly, I am not sure if the cargo doors open? but the cargo internal 3d containers are in there, so if not now, then certainly the cargo doors will open in the future... obviously still a WIP. Boeing 747-400 has had attention as well... as neglect goes it was way on the top of the list, in fact it was totally unflyable as I found out earlier last year... which is certainly not good enough for an aircraft that is there to promote the simulator. The bug XPD-9644 "747 catches on fire in replay" said it all. In a short flight I found the 747 aircraft at least now usable. there are important elements still missing like the heading pointer on the rose navigation display, but "hey who needs that!" but a lot of the major issues have been addressed including the reverse thrust (yes you need the reverse thrust as well!)... it is flyable... maybe even usable for a long haul, I'll do a route and see how it all goes. Autogen While you have been flying around overhead, then Laminar Research has been very busy filling in your autogen. Europe got the treatment back in the v11.25 release. This is mostly to fill in Urban Industrial Autogen aspect and in 11.30 the US got the same makeover, and it is all pretty impressive, although here it is a much more dirtier and darker theme than the steel and glass of Germanic Europe. Government buildings with the old PWA Moderne 30's 40's styling, glass office towers and excellent modern residential buildings now fill a large area of your X-Plane autogen landscape... even Ben Supnic has now got his own Computer outlet chain! along side the usual US fast food outlets. Building quality is also high class and it all comes with great nightlighting detail as well East US coast New Jersey terraced housing is also now visible and it is again highly detailed. Urban industrial is now also filling in nicely those empty grey spaces, and it is all very highly detailed. And while you are flying around, then the kids can have a go on the swings. Still no churches though? I always get a little annoyed when the scenery developers cover over this expansive quality autogen for something usually quite flat and average with mostly poor orthophoto textures, why not take advantage of the already comprehensive tools the simulator delivers... you won't find better. Landmarks Dubai has been added into the landmark list with two buildings now present... The tallest (for now) building in the world with the Burj Khalifa and the sail like Burj Al Arab, but the modeling comes with no Jumeirah hotel at the rear. Both landmarks are well done, but feel a bit lonely as being the only buildings sitting in a vast landscape, no tall city Dubai autogen and only housing leaves them markedly exposed. User Interface U.I. Some fine tuning of the U.I. interface includes options to enlarge font sizes and the new layout to configure joystick curves in more detail with the option to set the joystick curves per axis., and users can also now submit joystick config files. Other items on the interface include new added sector altitudes in the VFR map. U.I. Options to enlarge the U.I. font size. You are now able to re-enabling of the notification windows that have a “don’t show this again” checkbox and the situation files can now get you close to the landmarks for quick sight seeing. X-Plane data The default simulator data has been updated its airspace to 2018 & Navigraph default data 1708. Which is out of date unless you have an account for the latest cycle (1901) 3rd Jan 19 - 31st Jan 19, but at least it isn't years old. And the total Global Airport count with 3-D scenery in the 11.30r1 release is now 8247. Summary For all its new features and tools, X-Plane 11.30 is a still a bit like an iceburg, there is a little bit sticking up out of the water, but with a lot going on in size under the surface. It will be months and even months before X-Plane users will get the full effect of the update as the developers adjust to the new tools and feature details. We also have to get used to the delay of change than the usual instant gratification of an update and that instant wow factor... like the new autogen in 11.30, it sort of creeps up on you now more than coming in an explosion and all of a sudden you realise that just how much more expansive, responsive and smoother the simulator all is, and just thinking back to even the release version of X-Plane11 you then realise how far the simulator has come in just two years, it makes X-Plane10 now feel almost arcane. And that change didn't come either with huge system or framerate set of penalties, as if you only have even still a fair 4K graphic card you will still find a lot of efficiency. This is also again the underlying factor of this 11.30 update, efficiency, but with not yet getting the full effects of the Vulcan/Metal API core changes. Yes some parts and others are now operating on Vulkan API, like the new shader system... but overall it is all still very much a Work In Progress, as noted... 11.30 is just block 1 of many components that will probably go in and keep going in right up to the X-Plane12 new version release. Highlight visually in 11.30 is of course the Particle Effects and their earth wind and fire elements. Yes it is nice to have them back and it will be interesting to see how the developers use the editor skillfully to use their maximum effect. Scenery particle effects are coming soon. ATC A.I. Voices were a nice surprise but limited until the rest of the ATC is intergrated, as is the nice finer details of new autopilots and avionics, Flight modeling has again improved upon earlier changes with even more adjustments available as has deeper engine modeling and this time focusing on larger jet engine output. Default aircraft had all the above features inserted and with that bonus cabin on the Boeing 737-800. 2018 saw the X-Plane simulator finally shake off it's "hobbist" tag and with respect... thus 11.30 update again pushes the boundaries higher and better again, but this version update is however not a final solution waiting for the next update, but part of a simulator in transition, but a transition that will build it into a far higher platform of a quality and an extremely efficient simulation platform... the words "head and Shoulders" and "above" start to come to mind. _________________________ X-PlaneReviews can't cover absolutely every change or bug fix with the version update, and so the 11.30 Release notes are available here at the Laminar Research Development pages: X-Plane 11.30 Release Notes X-Plane 11.30 is available now for download. Run your X-Plane installer application or download from Steam. ______________________________________________________________________ Analysis review by Stephen Dutton 12th January 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)
  10. I understand why you won't run the 11.30 beta, but it is now extremely stable and only a step away from final... personally I would click the beta box and enjoy the benefits?
  11. News! - Aircraft Released - C172SP SkyHawk HD XP11 from Carenado Usually on announcement, then Carenado release only a week or so later. But the C172SP SkyHawk has been released exactly a month later, here is the original announcement... There are a few significant differences between the earlier XP10 version and this release. One this C172Sp XP11 is a single variant with no wheel/float/ski option (it was the N version), but it does come with the full G1000 (X-Plane default) avionics suite package. Special Features Version 1.0 Only for X-Plane 11 Fully VR compatible Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections) Updated X-Plane default G1000 Features Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics optimized for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Included in the package 5 HD liveries. 1 HD blank texture. C172SP G1000 Normal Procedures PDF. C172SP G1000 Emergency Procedures PDF. C172SP G1000 Performance tables PDF. C172SP G1000 Reference PDF. Recommended Settings XPLANE 11 PDF. Images and text are courtesy of Carenado Recommended System 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) 430MB available hard disk space Price is noted as ... US$32.95 Now Available from Carenado ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 8th January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  12. News! - Announcement : Imaginesim coming to X-Plane With the start of a new year, and here comes the announcement of another FlightSim vanguard coming to the X-Plane simulator platform. This one is ImagineSim a scenery developer and their entry choice is KAUS Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. ImagineSim are an interesting choice, because their sceneries are not totally USA/European centric focused, announced also coming for X-Plane is Singapore Changi, Shanghai Pudong International and LaGuardia.... VHHH Chep Lok Hong Hong is also one of their sceneries. Only two images of KAUS have been released... ... and no release date is announced, price in FlightSim land is US$22.99 ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 8th January 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)
  13. Aircraft Reissue : Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Aviator’s Edition by Magknight If you want to follow an aircraft's development, then the MagKnight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a good story. Or an idea that went way out of proportion to the point of the initial design is now a very different aircraft than that it originally was intended to be, and that is not a bad thing because as what X-Plane as a simulator is simply begging badly for is a quality Boeing 787. The design started off as a basic freeware donation development, it was also originally based on the default X-Plane PlaneMaker system as well, which in parlance means the aircraft is or was basic with a capital B. In reality at this point the development could have taken two routes... One was the Zibo B738 direction were as the developer changes the basic systems into a better aircraft above the PlaneMaker basics. Or two go down the route of a more significant development path towards a study grade aircraft, obviously the secondary path is more to our liking if we want this New-Gen aircraft to use and fly realistically to the real world performance and operations. It is also to our benefit in this case as X-Plane is quite void in aircraft for medium to long haul, so in our desire again this secondary route is again the most preferable. The choice was made last year on the secondary route when the developer MagKnight made the project a Payware version, to the absolute displeasure of most of the freeloaders, or cheap beta testers, which ever way you look at the viewpoint, and at a price-point of US$25 it was positioned in context to of say a fully graded aircraft like the FlightFactor Boeing 767 which is 70+ dollars (US$72).. but the design was also very lacking in many areas as noted in our review: Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner by Magknight and certainly in the performance aspect which is critically important with these New-Gen aircraft designs, as you will want to feel the benefits of these more ultra-modern machines and their extraordinary performance and range profiles. I did note in that above review that one of the main limitations with the aircraft was the PlaneMaker development base, so to be a quality Payware and to have the flexibility to develop the aircraft then a move to SASL or relative plugin is required.... and that change brings us to this "Aviator’s Edition" of the aircraft. With the secondary elevation change in six months comes also another price hike to US$44.95, although the original purchasers can upgrade to the Aviator’s Edition for just $10. Yes my mouth dropped at the same time the price was announced, and more certainly with the earlier review still set hard in my recent mind. The costing is for of course cover the subscription to the SASL plugin systems, and to note that it is not just that the plugin is just dropped into the aircraft, and then wired up to it, but the SASL developer will tailor the SASL plugin to the requirements of the developer and the effects and ideas he wants to include on his project, in other words future proof it. This aspect goes a long way to explain the wide gap between freeware, PlaneMaker and (SASL) plugin aircraft, and to a point that is what you pay for when you buy a payware aircraft in this specialist development. Another significant point is that with the higher price the developer has brought on board other developers with so the sole developer of MagKnight is now a team, or development house (expect a formal name change soon) to increase the depth and speed of future development, so expertise will now now go into the different areas instead of the sole developer doing or covering all the aspects of the design process. Aviator’s Edition v1.0.0 Outwardly the Aviator v1.0.0 release is not that much different from the earlier v1.0x. Here is update v1.7, and yes that is already seven updates from the release version only back a few days before Christmas 2018. Wing profiles and flap angles have already been adjusted, but overall don't take these changes too much for granted, as the whole fuselage will be redesigned from the 3d object up, as will the low-def textures (they are actually 4K 4096x4096), but don't look it in the flesh. Wingflex is now much better improved and so has the inner wing detail. All the external lighting have been redone to be smaller, sharper and more realistic. Bigger changes are very highly noticeable in the cockpit. Gone is the older grey/dark grey and in comes a more mature light grey/grey and it looks far more realistic than the original visual feel. The dark blue sheepskin seat covers are also out and a more brighter light grey is in as this is now well adding also into the overall lighter effect. Reflections are in as well... flight display panels are now reflective as are the windows. One of the areas that showed average before was the flat bland displays, so obviously they look far better and again more realistic, as is the display text (new fonts) that is now far sharper and actually readable, but only changed on the upper PFD (Primary Flight Display) as the lower radial is still blurry and low-res... but overall it is a huge step forward. The under glareshield LED lighting is a "nice" moment, and the new more detailed yokes make the aircraft feel more authentic. Electronic Flight Display There is a new "Electronic Flight Bag" or EFB with a built-in aircraft menu. It covers areas like Terminal charts, Performance calculator (WT & Balance), Ground Services (Pushback Tug and GPU), Aircraft Setup and team credits. Airport Search is quite basic: Search "Origin" will put the airport ICAO code in the origin box? and pretty well that is it?, Search "Dest" and it will put the destination ICAO code in the... destination box? You expect it to do more, like if you go back to Search Dest, then you expect the original set "Dest" (YMML) to still be there, but if you have changed the "Origin" ICAO code then that will be shown in the "Dest", so it is only really a search ICAO box, and a poor one at that and in not holding in your original "Origin" and "Dest" choices in the correct selection tabs? Input keypad (scratch pad) is however very nice to use. Performance calculator (WT & Balance) The performance calcuator is a bit hit and miss as well. I tried to convert my numbers of the SimBrief (VHHH-YMML) routing, but they didn't translate over very well (I found using the X-Plane weights and Balance menu mostly an easier way of converting it). Do the "Calc" and all your inputs disappear? The point is here if you can't convert your routing numbers over exactly (many entries won't accept . decimal 20.1) but only 20. So you don't know if it is working correctly or if the aircraft is set up correctly or not... I just finally set the fuel and weights in the X-Plane W&B menu and was more confident of following my SimBrief fuel flow and burn. All the set configurable units for weight, altimeter, minimums saved per-livery which is an interesting idea. You can load in .pdf files for display (charts?) but in trying load/insert two single page .pdf's I only got an EFB freeze on the first load? The ACD or Aircraft Config Data page was however excellent. Systems With the SASL plugin then in come realistic systems. MagKnight has started with the electrical system which has been redesigned from the ground up. EFIS (electronic flight instrument system) has also been moved to it's correct position central panel from the secondary FMS location. The actual status buttons still don't work, but instead you still use the panel button called "NEXT PG" to change the pages, they don't appear in button order either with the Elec page last... But listed are: STAT (Status) - Fuel - FCTL (Flight Controls) - HYD (hydraulics) - ELEC (Electrical) Certainly a WIP, but the new panel position shows off the detail to a better extent, small annoyance is that the Fuel is noted in lbs on the EFIS display, but the menu selection between either kgs or lbs can be changed everywhere else, it need to be available in both settings on the EFIS as well. But the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) is now operational and displayed. It does however take a fair time to reach it's full operating speed and temperature, as you sit there going "come on". Aviator’s Edition Impressions My earlier first impression of the MagKnight Dreamliner in the earlier review was that the modeling was very good, and there was a fair bit of quality in the detail, certainly no photographic feel of realism that you desire, but it is way above the average... again the cockpit textures (for the fourth time) have been redone, and it is starting to feel very nice in here "Thank You very much", remember the B787's feel and design is not going to be like a well worn, dirty B757, and yes there is plenty of scope for more wear detail, but it does give you that modern ultra cockpit feel that you want to experience, thankfully the swichgear is now scrollable adding into the experience. The negative effects still come that a lot of the switchgear and knobs are still basic, and non-operable... but overall I now certainly feeling far more immersed in the aircraft and it is thankfully leaving that basic PlaneMaker feel behind, and that is greatly helped by the now reflective displays and surfaces. Engine start is very simple, just turn the start knob to "Start" and the B787 does the rest for you, no bleed settings or routing, no flipping up the fuel flow switches at the correct n2... just click and wait for the start procedure. I am not sure yet if the B787 start sequence is this totally automated, I would still think you would need to flip in the fuel flow switch at the right start point, so it feels just a little too basic on the start sequence. VHHH (Hong Kong) to YMML (Melbourne) is 4098nm (GND Dis) and the aircraft is loaded with the required 52382 kgs fuel (block), but I added in another 1000 kgs in case the B787's fuel flow was off, it was on my last LON-JFK flight and it was off by a long way. Total weight is 218567 kgs, but as noted I couldn't set the aircraft's performance to this setting, but it is pretty close via the X-Plane W&B menu. It was nice for a change to do a long-haul, the last few years have been centered solely around Europe and of course the US. The reason was the complete dearth of good scenery out east, but thanks to TOD's amazing efforts, we now have a very decent and impressive VHHH and a quite good WSSS (Singapore), and both are routings that are perfect for the Dreamliner. But from the left senior seat I felt far better than the last time I sat here six months ago, and yes the experience is vastly improved and thankfully now also losing that PlaneMaker early basic X-Plane feel, and for the first time I felt, this is now finally a Dreamliner we can use and enjoy. I liked the detail of the aircraft data on the side panel, tail, SELCAL, XPDR, UTC time, date and Elapsed time. The most obvious feel change is the LED lighting under the glareshield that lifts the panel out of the ordinary. Runway roll and takeoff, and the aircraft felt more responsive biting into the air in climbing out of VHHH - 07R, power felt fine at a 2000fpm departure slope, and the required bank to the right to cover the SKAT1E SID to OCEAN departure point was effortless, with this controllable manual flying the B787 quickly brought a smile to my lips, yes this Dreamliner is very good. You feel good as well... and any aircraft that delivers a return on emotion is a good investment.... but this is simulation. One of the biggest issues with the original MagKnight B787 is that it wasn't a good simulation on the performance side, and it was this mostly that was my biggest turnoff from the aircraft, as the aircraft was totally unrealistic performance wise... so is this version any better? Overall thankfully yes it is far better, but there is still some way to go. MagKnight has completely redone the performance aspect of the aircraft and to the new XP11.30 settings (you can only use the aircraft in the 11.30 version), so it does respond now to the parameters, but not totally to the expected numbers (SimBrief is a guide). I have flown on a B787 and boy do these things go, a climb to FL400 (Yes forty thousand) was effortless at over a 2,500 fpm climb, as it went literally straight up, but those numbers are a bit askew in the fact there was barely 50 passengers on board and only the fuel weight for a 726nm flight. This routing takes my up to FL370 and the TOW weight is 218567 kgs (in line with SimBrief). Overall the aircraft struggled to meet the TOC marker, and I met the FL target a good 50nm past the required insertion point, but fuel consumption was comparative to the climb numbers. So there was a lot of climb rate changes to keep the aircraft within the limits of keeping on speed and not dropping behind the speed marker... i made it and overall the climb went well, but it had to be managed carefully... I doubt the real aircraft would require this much climb attention. So now we come to fuel burn? It should be around 5200 per hour (Kg/h) as an average, so what would this Dreamliner consume? At several points at the required .85m and FL370 the aircraft protested with a yellow n1 alert, but soon recovered to settle down at 92.3% n1. ... and so you settled down into the eight hour cruise and the number watching. Yes the aircraft is far more responsive to performance, but the numbers are not realistic? FF (Fuel Flow) is around 3200 Kg/h, and at 2500nm distance I still had 31.0 kgs fuel on board.. by SimBrief I should have 20.5kgs (taking in the extra 1000kgs) in the tanks at this distance, weight and fuel burn? So is SimBrief wrong? no because I use it regularly with other aircraft and they usually hit the numbers. Those fuel burn numbers are brilliant if you want to attempt the PER-LON QF 17 hour+ flight, but it is still not realistic enough here for pure simulation? The n1 percentage numbers are better as well, but again not perfected. The original MagKnight n1 numbers were awful in being stuck on 98% all flight long, and do not reduce as the weight lifts or with altitude FL changes, here they are now actually working and reducing slowly to the fuel burn, but not effectively enough, the wrong fuel burn and fuel weight reflects this as well... the throttles have a habit of bouncing around at cruise for no reason as well, but a lot of X-Plane aircraft do this annoying anomaly as well. The lighting has been redone (or refined) to parametric lighting on the aircraft. It is not perfect (it glows through the front gear doors) but it is a big advancement... ... I particularly like the glowing navigation lights on the wing and flap runners, and the strobes at night are also particularly effective. As there is no cabin and the cabin widows are only graphics? I thought the night lit textures were far too bright and so photoshopped them down a little to be more realistic. The call for a full cabin is strong here, it would be great in looking out at the dramatic lit wings. Cockpit ambiance is actually quite good in a limited selection. If you are a long-hauler then getting the right cockpit ambiance is critical for realism, and you can certainly achieve that here... Rear overhead lighting is exceptional and can be used to control the mood in the cockpit, from low set to bright. I have enlightened myself by learning not to have all the system and overhead panel lighting at full volume, but to soften the effect to create a better mood in the office, and here it works very well with the LED adjustment which is again a highlight. There are knobs for MAP lights and other indirect lighting, but they don't work yet, but certainly when corrected they will add well into the dynamic lighting range. Arrival in Melbourne was on time and with plenty of unused fuel... Simbrief notes I should have 7700 kg on arrival (44,700 kgs used), but when I had actually 22.000 kg's still on board at a gross landing weight of 166000 kgs? So fuel burn is 3200 kg to the required 5200 kg/h consumption (the 787-8 uses 4800 kg/h) So performance wise the QF30 flight was a littttle out.. a bit, okay a lot! Landing lighting still needed more fine tuning, but more on the runway turnoff lights than the main landing lights which had to be left on to cover the inept side lights The above may make you think the flight was a bit average, when in fact the opposite is true. This was certainly the best Dreamliner flight I have done yet, the flight overall block to block was excellent, and I totally enjoyed the experience... so it all comes back to the huge potential this aircraft really has... Summary Your first thoughts are to that purchase price and what effectively is an aircraft still well into it's development cycle. In most cases you don't see this progression of development until the developer releases either the aircraft or the update version, and here that aspect is all open to one and all, so it isn't pretty in many areas, but you are very aware and even part of the progress and the movement of the development forward, and already the short period of the SASL install is already showing huge benefits, if still a little more refining needed. As with the original version just over six months ago in that it was really quite basic, I liked the idea of a Dreamliner to fly, but as a simulation it was quite wanting in many areas, and it was if just back then only a pretty aircraft to fly... but the potential was certainly notably in there. Six months later and with this "Aviator Edition" you have to have a bit of a belief in what is now going forward, but that belief does come with a lot of interesting comparisons with the earlier release... like I said earlier there is a lot of potential already built in here, so it is not thankfully anymore a blind faith. When I flew the original payware release as noted I found it wanting, certainly by payware standards, but if I would have had to put down my cash for the aircraft at that time, I certainly would have still done so, because I knew it was going forward and at a quick rate. This "Aviator Edition" certainly overwhelmingly confirms that initial assessment, as this version is simply in every area far more developed and is now delivering on that payware requirement, but you would say "yes but this is not now a $25 dollar, aircraft either" and I would certainly acknowledge that point of view. But here it gets interesting, and with the "faith" bit in all of this. If MagKnight and his now quite large team keep to the deal of delivering on the promises of a authentic FMC, Cabin, doors, lighting, developed systems et cetera, and by the sheer development done over the last six months to this version, then the $45 price is going to start to get interesting and to the point that the upgraded devotees at the upgrade fee S10 will have had a relative bargain, and then there should come that crossover point where the value catches up to and then passes the quality and feature aspect. The situation of that aspect in six months time for another reassessment of the project will be of course critical. In noting the above, I did really find the aircraft in a routine long-haul flight a great experience both in the day and night flying... I loved the feel and immersion as this Dreamliner is now starting to deliver, I flew the earlier version, but didn't try or bother flying it again until this newer release, but with this aircraft there is no doubt it will be getting far more of my attention and have the flying hours in the left seat... absolutely I accept it is not perfect and certainly still in the performance aspects, but it is also certainly worthy now of serious consideration, and in the long run may even to turn out to be a great bargain as well, as overall this is now at least a worthy Dreamliner to use and fly, you are going to see a B787 a lot more in the future in our reviews. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 787-900 Aviator Edition Dreamliner by Magknight is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : B787-9 Aviator Edition Price is US$44.95 This version is X-Plane 11.30 only! Earlier XP10 or XP11 versions are not supported. Upgrade cost to the "Aviator Edition" from the original payware release version is US$10, see your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the upgrade. Features General Brand new flight model built for X-Plane 11.30 Improved wingflex Custom IRS simulation, with quick align Auto-update for the lifetime of X-Plane 11 LED exterior lights (exclusive) Revised font for cockpit textures New yoke model Revised cockpit textures Electronic flight bag Take-off calculator PDF chart loader Fuel, cargo and passenger loading Configuration Most settings saved globally Configurable units for weight, altimeter, minimums saved per-livery Support for metric altitude Optional custom cursor Custom electrical system Designed from the ground up for the 787 Ground power unit Custom anti-ice, simulating the resistance in each mat HelpfulPointers (exclusive) Designed for online flying The aircraft advises you if you forget something important such as lights or transponder. Liveries 10 liveries are included by default; many more are available online: Air Canada, Air China, American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines (pre-merger livery), LOT Polish Airlines, United Airlines, Factory (white), Factory (standard) Requirements: X-Plane 11.30+ (Prior versions of X-Plane not supported) Windows only at this time (Mac and Linux coming soon) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb + VRAM recommended Current and review version : 1.7 Installation : Download is 255.14mb which is unzipped and is inserted in your Heavy Aircraft folder as a 321mb folder (with downloaded liveries) Liveries are downloaded and inserted into your B787 root folder separately as a 34.4mb Folder. Documentation : Manual ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 8th January 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 11.30b2 (aircraft will only fly in 11.30) 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 - VHHH - Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International 2.0.0 by TOD (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YMML - Melbourne (ISDG) 1.01 by ChrisK (X-Plane.Org) - Free