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Stephen

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About Stephen

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    Stephen
  • Birthday 11/08/1956

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    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
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  1. I agree in that navigation signage should be as as at the airport, there was an update to P+P Gatwick but I haven't downloaded or checked it yet.
  2. Scenery Review : HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport by FSDG/Aerosoft Africa is like Australia in that you can fly for over four hours and not see anything, so after the constant buzz and cosmopolitan feel of Europe it all feels a bit empty and even flat as you grind your way towards the horizon. So in reality in the simulator is a sort of barrier to places that are far more remote out of the safety of the friendly two hour flying circle. Personally I love the emptiness as I would living in Australia, as you feel you are going somewhere different and interesting, and I can keep myself interested in many ways anyway of working my way through the hourly fuel burn figures and FIR regions. Flying time is 6h 43min over a distance of 3006 nm, but I was late departing LIRF-Rome for HKJK-Nairobi because the JARDesign A330 wouldn't load correctly, partly my fault in not flying the A330 for a long time, but also because a few bugs I had to workaround. The later 12-noon departure now meant I would now arrive at NBO-Nairobo in the dark and an hour and half late, and not at my planned twilight arrival time... This is the second Africa scenery by FSDG under the Aerosoft banner after their earlier GMMN - Casablanca back in late April. I did like GMMN overall, but I noted it as "workmanlike" as it all felt a bit production line with not a lot of finnese, but it was good to get a scenery in a different local than the usual US/European centric. HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport In earlier X-Plane one of the key bland aspects was that the autogen out here in Africa was not very good, so most areas even when populated were shown as empty spaces around the airport. Views of autogen like this around Jomo Kenyatta Airport is now a saviour and welcome here even if the autogen is a bit unAfrican... .... and the sharp zig-zag tree line both sides of NBO looks like a developer lazyness idea, but it is actually really shaped like that on Google Maps. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Uwanja wa ndege wa Kimataifa wa Jomo Kenyatta IATA: NBO - ICAO: HKJK - WMO: 63740 06/24 - 4,200m (13,507ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL: 1,624 m / 5,330 ft Only one runway at HKJK, but it is a very long one at 4,200m and 13,507ft, and to note that very high elevation, so you have to be aware of your landing altitude. Main terminal is circular like an African Apple Spaceship design... Thankfully FSDG have made a better fist of covering up the photo images in the centre of the terminal landside zone and but it is still Lo-Res, but still far more passable than the awful Casablanca landside scenery. There are two terminals. Terminal 1 which is arranged in a semi-circular orientation and is divided into four parts: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E are used for international arrivals and departures while terminal 1D is used for domestic departures and arrivals. Terminal 2 is used only by low cost carriers. Parking stands 4 -21 all have SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges. 2A-2C/3A-3C T3D are all walkon/off stands. Outer circle remote stands cover J1-J9 and H1-H10. Terminal 2 is used by low cost carriers is separated on a smaller (M) apron with six M1-M6 walkon/off stands (below). This is a prefabricated terminal which opened in April 2015 and has a capacity of 2.5M passengers and was required to take the pressure off the main terminal building. This FSDG Nairobi scenery is a crossover from FSX, so in areas it it is dated, and just spruced up a little for X-Plane, and that aspect is evident in the modeling and certainly with the textures. Airside close up it is well done and it overall does have a lot of variety and detail in the modeling. In the main yellow sectioned Terminal 1A the FSX elements are highly noticeable, they look slightly aged and the windows have a flat bland look about them, it works though but only just, but you seriously notice the missing HDR feel and realism. And a lot of the design is like this, as they don't hit the mark either in matching to the photo-based textures... Clutter is mostly Swissaport branded, but a lot of the ramp vehicles are local and custom made. Traffic animations are very good, with a lot of movement and lovely rundown African buses doing the remote ramp transfers. Between large spaceship T1 and the Lo-Cost T2 is the nice Kenya Airways administration building and a very nice Control Tower... .... both are well done especially the Control Tower, but the Tower View is set deep into the T1 Terminal and is practically useless. Cargo and Airport Infrastructure Apron Two southwest is the large Cargo facility that hosts Emirates SkyCargo, Kenya Cargo and Tradewinds Logistics and all are represented. Nine cargo parking slots F1-F9 are available on Apron 2 and note the large and very visible Fuel Depot on the southwest boundary of the airport. Again like FSDG's Casablanca scenery the airport support infrastructure again to a point saves the whole scenery... situated behind the cargo zone and part of the road approach to the airport there are a lot of infrastructure buildings and administration buildings.... that covers a fairly large area. Kenya Airports Authority head office and hotel chains Sheraton/Four Flags and the Crowne Plaza are all well represented as are a lot of factories and warehousing... overall the area is a great backdrop to the airport and for the realistic departure and arrival views. Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) On Sunday 9 March 1958, Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) was opened by the last colonial governor of Kenya. This facility is situated directly across the 06/24 runway and was the forerunner of what is now currently Nairobi Airport, the further expansion of the airport to it's current layout including a new international and domestic passenger terminal building that also included the airport's first dedicated cargo and freight terminal, new taxiways and the associated aprons which were all completed in 1972. Situated here is the original Nairobi terminal, but now the area is used by the Kenya(n) Air Force and is sometimes referred to as the Old Embakasi Airport, in the scenery it seems to set out more as an aircraft storage parking area, with loads of nice static Kenyian KQ B747s, B737s and even a few ATRs. Kenya Airways have two main maintenance hangars and a third large open hanger, all are Boeing 737 size hangars which are well represented with again some nice static KQ B737 models. Ground Textures Casablanca did have nice reflective (wet) ground textures, but I don't think the HDR process has been used here at HKJK... as they look a little too ordinary. Edge and taxi lines look newly painted and don't feel very worn or realistic, at all so overall the ground textures are no better than the default X-Plane textures... No 3d grass also adds in to the blandness of acres of Lo-Res textures that needed to have been broken up, in one airport that needs 3d grass it is Nairobi. Apron and taxiways are again just passable, it works but that word always keeps on coming to mind "Workmanlike". Lighting 6h 41min after I hit the timer clock on throttles up back at Rome, I am now approaching HKJKs Rwy 06, first signs are good as the approach lighting is bright and sharp, the lights of Jomo Kenyatta Airport are to the right and they look good as well, but as I get closer to the threshold I notice there are no centre line markings? Just the width and a lot of black space between the runway parameters... not a good start. Once down and a taxiway exit with Taxiway L and then it is the long ride back down the parallel Taxiway G towards the terminal area. I needed the full A330 lighting on, on the aircraft to navigate my way around the taxiways and thankfully it is good, as it is dark down here, yes there are no taxiway green guidance lighting either... I know this IS Africa and the country can be known for basic airport lighting, but I didn't expect to be crawling around in the dark at a big installation like Nairobi International. The lighting around the huge spaceship terminal was however excellent.... my parking bay is No.7 and I really love the full apron coverage as I work the aircraft into the gate. Yes I love arriving from a dark flight at night to that bright city airport feeling at your destination. Into the bay and the marshaller pops up for the SAM system, but he is very hard to see as he is small and partly hidden by a building support. But SAM is always a great feature to have, and better still when it actually works as it does here. Note the nice reverse service road lighting... well done. Full Airport overview is that the runway boundaries are well lit and so are the terminal areas, but inbetween it is a huge blank blackhole. Overview of the main terminal has all that great lighting on the main aprons and the remote stands. Landside lighting is good as even if mostly like GMMN it that it hides the Lo-Res ground textures and another aspect between Casablanca and Nairobi is the night terminal textures are better than the daylight versions, overall they are not bad with their T1A orange glow feel. Up closer and the window textures are not too bad either, but it looks like the Africans are having a Christmas Party inside... Overall though I like it. Terminal 2 lighting is lame.... but the Cargo ramp looks great. Rear infrastructure area is quite good in a FSX way, but no detail but just coloured blocks, and no lit up Hotel or business branding is a real disappointment.... Embakasi Airport ramps are okayish, but at least you have a lot of Nairobi city lighting behind to give you for some realism. Summary FSDG or FlightSim Development Group have been doing cross over conversions of their FSX sceneries to X-Plane under the Aerosoft banner. First conversion was GMMN - Casablanca that was a basic crossover scenery. In reality the conversion of the HKJK - Nairobi has a lot in common with the Casablanca scenery in that it has the advantages of being a exotic scenery, but the same disadvantages in the conversion. FSX textures and modeling are very obvious in Nairobi XP, so that means older designs and flat textures, no X-Plane features like HDR are used to convert them to a more modern and realistic feel, and in many areas you get that model on a flat base feel. That said in context Nairobi XP is very good overall in definition, as long as you don't look too deep into the detail. Like all FSX convertion it depends on the developers understanding of the X-Plane features and dynamics. Here is is about half and half in that the lighting is overall excellent, but missing the critical runway and taxiway centre line lighting? Missing 3d grass is another dynamic loss in covering the excessive ground textures which are also a bit average and not very realistic. The tower view is also not set? Thankfully SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges are excellent here and so is the traffic animations and good detailed clutter, so again the call is if you don't look too deep there is a lot to like here. The view is that again if FSDG was too just do a little bit more on the X-Plane dynamics these sceneries would be far more attractive and deserve the sales they could achieve. I noted in the FSDG Casablanca scenery that it was "workmanlike" and that moniker can be said for the same here in Nairobi as well, but there are a few extra points to weigh up with this African scenery. First it is African and any scenery that can add to your X-Plane routings in an exciting way is always welcome, secondly is the sub-US$15 value price and for that price set then it is a great if even overall brilliant value. Recommended? Overall yes, I like Nairobi XP, but it deserves just a little more attention to make it the really great scenery it can be. _____________________________________ Yes! Nairobi XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Nairobi XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (HKJK) Realistic shadow and light rendition Optimized for great performance and compatibility Animated jetways (SAM plugin required) Compatible with all known add-ons including Ortho4XP Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 310 MB Download-Size Mac: 900 MB Current and Review Version: 1.0 (June 19th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Nairobi_XP Total scenery installation is 694mb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Nairobi_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 4th July 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  3. Well my UH-1 works and so does the aircraft for everyone else? So there is either an install issue... or my guess the authorisation key has not been done or reloaded correctly... there is nothing wrong with the product.
  4. Behind the Screen : June 2020 On the quiet I have had a private war with my simulator through most of early June, yes this has reflected in my slow posting of reviews and adding content to the site (Thanks Casa), but this was not a war I started or even wanted to fight. Obviously a beta is going to cause havoc and that didn't help, but the original cause was Microsoft and not Laminar Research. Microsoft did their update 19041and sent everything totally haywire... I knew I was in trouble when Laminar Research asked me for my authorisation key, in fact every authorisation key, firewall setting and pretty much everything else connected to my setup was wiped, I was defaulted big time. So it was "work the problem" and reset everything back to normal, a lot was easy but a few settings just would not play that game. Finding and resetting my firewall was a major headache. I use two computers set out side by side and one is an iMac and the other is a Windows and they are connected together via an ethernet connection and the Wifi, so getting them to talk to each other again was simply frustrating in breaking down or getting through the firewall... my system is set up to protect my Windows, so most of the incoming internet traffic is via the iMac and then transferred to the windows as the iMac (Apple) security is more robust, the very few access points on the windows is via the firewall. The system works as I have had a few attacks and even a ransomware attack that didn't get through. So the cross-connection between the computers is very important in that I use a lot of great X-Plane apps on the iMac while flying on the Win, these include WebFMC, Navigraph, SimBrief that all access X-Plane while in flight, but get them to talk together again was a nightmare. More importantly was the ethernet connection in that when I do an X-Plane screenshot it pops up in my Adobe bridge on the iMac to be selected and then processed by Photoshop for the reviews, so reconnecting the ethernet connection was vital... I did fix the lot even if the cross computer connections took a full afternoon, and the ongoing restarting of all the authorisation keys is still an ongoing affair even weeks after the cleanout. That done I hit another issue and this time it was X-Plane itself in that the nosewheel would not connect to my yaw on the X56 Rhino addon. This one was really frustrating in that I just could NOT solve the issue, I couldn't fly either as I simply could not steer the aircraft... I went as far as even downloading a completely new X-Plane application that still would not configure my Joystick settings and in the palaver I lost or threw away my main keyboard settings as well, and I have a LOT of keyboard settings. THe Issue was when I reconfigured my joystick the settings went apeshit? I sent a report to Laminar but they replied they couldn't repeat my issue, I said you "have an issue" they say "no we don't" as usual you have to fix these things yourself, and the fix is still odd? I found some two year old saved joystick preferences and put them in and it all worked perfectly again correctly? I still have them in there and have not had a problem since, but I saw in the X-Plane b11.13 notes a few referred to Joystick preferences... coincidence? Then there was the palaver of resetting EVERY joystick and keyboard preference, that took a full afternoon as well... That done I then hit another issue with a freezing of X-Plane when going to an outside view... this one thankfully was a common garden XP 11.50b10 bug as a load of other users were have the same annoying issue, and really annoying it was. Oddly it usually crashed at a STAR or SID insertion point on departing or arriving at an airport, but after all your hard work of setting up the aircraft and for only it to crash for absolutely no reason at all made you go quite red and angry. My gut refers to actually the Gizmo plugin for the IXEG B733, I changed it to the "beta' version and the issue went away. In Beta's I have had a roller coaster run... 11.50b6 was golden, no issues, then a run of bad ones with 11.50b7,8,9,10 all being wonky or just plain bad in most cases, 11.50b11 finally sorted out the poor resolution and thankfully a return of some decent framerate, the just tested 11.50b13 is again golden and a keeper... Oddly many users had a completely opposite beta run, in b6 being poor and b7,8,9,10 being really good then b11 being really poor again, so how can you work that out? I personally think that my settings (as I would) are the actual correct ones. I am very much aware of my system and the way it runs X-Plane, a lot of users that post their settings are way over their own limits on what they expect their computer to deliver, to a point I am very conservative on what I set and allow X-Plane to use and most cases what others and Laminar see is very similar to what I get as well. All signs are that the v11.50 Beta run has now run it's course and should start to wind up into an RC (Release Candidate) in July. Ben Supnik noted it was going to a long and hard road, it was, but my gut says the recent 11.50b13 is very good and that a final release version is soon to be closer than you think. So most of June was test, test and test again. I can't do reviews if the simulator is going to crash all the time, play up or even worse be out and give me the wrong perspective on a review. This did however give me the chance to fly a lot of aircraft and do a lot of routing, and sometimes three routes a day to run the simulator seriously hard. The winner of all this flying was easily the updated IXEG Boeing 733. So is this aircraft the best ever developed for X-Plane, personally I think it deserves the placard as it is a brilliant simulation and considering the age of the original release and on how outstanding and challenging the aircraft still is, obviously the update was well timed to bring the B733 into the age of Vulkan, and yes it will reign for many years still. In the May edition of BtS I touched on the now available "Reflections" option in X-Plane 11.50 Vulkan. In June I focused reviews on areas that again could take a big advantage of using this feature with the Faroe Islands and Stewart B.C. both included. One review was for the Nimbus Britten Norman Islander and the other review was for Dan Klaue and his team in the Pilatus PC-6 which is an outstanding aircraft. Vágar Airport and it's surrounding Islands are as big a feature as the aircraft in review, with the reflection feature doing it's magic the arrival and certainly the departure from EKVG were simply spellbinding, certainly the outstanding coastline vistas, and those factors shows off how good a simulator with the right combined elements that X-Plane can now be. Both the Maps2X-Plane Faroe Island and Stewart B.C. are both yearly winners of the best scenery of that year, and revisiting them shows why they won the awards. Stewart B.C. was by an outfit called Beti-x and they only developed two sceneries for X-Plane in Stewart B.C. and Bella Coola B.C. and I was interested if the scenery in Stewart still delivered after all these years. The surprise was on how good if not how still exceptional the scenery still delivers in it's realism, not doubt the reflections of the valley helped in bringing out the best in Stewart, but it is with Bella Coola a few of the sceneries that every one should have in their custom scenery folder... The point is Beti-x were well ahead of their time in scenery development and we were lucky they gave us some exceptional work, sadly now they are gone... but at least two places still show what can be achieved with some immense skill and talent. June also gave us a chance to see again into the future when with the cancelled Expo that was supposed to be in Las Vegas during June 2020. Then Austin Meyers put himself into a podcast to be asked some very difficult questions that were left wanting with the Expo cancellation, and mostly what is Laminar Research doing about FS2020 and can it compete with the new Flight Simulator in the future. The result's were in a full post on those very answers... noted here in a special "Behind the Screen : Laminar Research... X-Plane 4Ever!". One thing Meyers was quite clear about was the factor of not using photographic images to cover the globe for the X-Plane simulator, and as noted in the post was that I totally agree with him. Most users would be aghast as in that they have already spent thousands of dollars (and pounds, Euros) in covering their mesh with those very images... In many cases it does work, but it is not a totally effective solution either. Worse is the fact that many scenery developers are currently adjusting their sceneries to match up with them as well... the effects are that we now have darker custom photo meshes, standing out of the lighter coloured surrounding default mesh, and to be honest it is ugly and in many cases even horrible? worse is the shear amount of hard-drive space you need to cover the huge Gb sizes of this photo mesh, I don't use it for that very 1Tb size of my SSD drive. I will always promote the perfect transition from the default mesh to a custom scenery, and when well done by a developer the seemless transition is what simulation is all about, but to have sharp black lines in the cockpit windows on approach is not going to make X-Plane a better simulator. For Laminar it has a huge undertaking on how to make non-photo images look like the real world. If one aspect of the simulator that you could point out it was the X-Plane simulator was those bland green patches around scenery, you know those Lo-Res different green and spotted feel markings that made you think you had landed on another planet... I did a VR fly promotion in a helicopter and all I saw was these horrible green patches everywhere that told me that X-Plane still had in many aspects a long way to go for that ultimate realism we require and certainly for the use of a professional setup, in fact it was even embarrassing. Don't get me wrong as at 30,000ft they do look good... but the challenge is to make them look real at 2,000ft, more so at 6ft as you are standing on the ground. Certainly starting with the really Lo-Res orbital textures would be a good start, as the current X-Plane world from that height is simply really quite poor. In X-Plane10 since the introduction of far better texture mesh, the time has come to take another giant leap forward in quality ground texture mesh and certainly better mountain realism... to have even a chance to compete with Microsoft's FS2020 then that is the biggest ever challenge for Laminar Research and if Austin Meyers wanting to go down the non-photo graphic route... Stephen Dutton 1st July 2020 Copyright©2020 X-Plane Reviews
  5. Aircraft Review : Lancair Legacy RG by Aerobask While work continues on the announced Dassault Aviation Falcon 8X, then Aerobask can still surprise us with another aircraft to fill in the immediate time. This is a Lancair Legacy, and your first thought is "well there is already a Lancair Legacy, so why do another one?". The point is first the earlier Lancair Legacy is from 2014 (yes that long ago), and that version was the FG or "Fixed Gear" version... this new version is the RG, or "Retractable Gear" and although based on the earlier version, then this new version is quite different in really the only similarities between the two aircraft is that they both have the same outer skin, otherwise they are quite different aircraft in every other area. Also in the last six years no other developer has improved and advanced their skills to the level Aerobask are at today and that is no mean feat. To note the RG version is actually the original Legacy version, the FG version came later as the Colombian Air Force ordered 25 modified Legacy FGs to be used as basic trainers. The main advantage that Aerobask have over most developers is their ability and the unique understanding of textures, not just materials, but metals, composites, glass and then ccombine that with excellent mapping skills you get something quite unique. The Lancair Legacy is also an extremely hard aircraft to get any realistic look and feel out of the design, as composites can be called "Plastic Aircraft" because the design is so clean, so plain and even to some eyes even bland. But that is not the case here as you are in the hands of masters, yes believe it or not this is still the same exterior as the FG version, but with very high quality PBR effects and great mapping creates something out of the sheer plain design, it is extremely well done. The FG had only a twin-propeller arrangement, were as here on the RG you have the more powerful Hartzell 3-bladed constant speed version and the 310 hp (231 kW) Continental IO-550 engine can be seen through the air intakes, the shape and the lovely panel fit here is excellent. The retractable three point gear design is simple but very well reproduced here, all the links and struts are perfect with even the different metals and materials that are produced and used really well here. Note the landing light on the main strut, and there is a light on each of both of the main gear struts. The Legacy came out of the design of the Lancair 320, so it is a turn of the century built and designed aircraft in kit form. Considering the 90's design the Legacy aircraft form even today is extremely modern and clean. There is not a lot of actual detailing but for a few access panels and registration plates, but it is very well done in the perfect modeling and lovely contoured shapes Glass is simple as well with a forward bubble canopy and single right/left rear windows, glass is excellent in shape, reflections and thickness. The huge canopy tilts forward for access to the two-seater cockpit... .... you have to unlatch the canopy in one of two ways. First there is a latch side rear right or use the large handle set between the seats, once unlatched you then push/touch the canopy open, same in closing... again touch the canopy then latch it, a nice detail is the slight gap between the canopy and fuselage until it is totally and securely latched down. Cockpit quality and internal detail is an Aerobask speciality and they don't disappoint here. The mixture of the choice of materials and fabrics are excellent, as is the detail to create a realistic cockpit environment, note the excellent metals (seatbelts), straps and the reproduction of the expensive headset... X-Plane 11 is visible in the door pocket, a nice touch but we haven't used DVD disks for years? Two bags are situated in the well tailored rear shelf and overall the cockpit presentation is outstanding. Although basically a kit aircraft which means that most instrument panels don't have much commonality, the layout here is what you would expect as the standard for a modern layout with a semi-glass installation with modern avionics.... again the panel presentation is exceptional with a lovely facia and perfect reflection elements. The highlight though is the use of aluminium as the centre console material and it is so realistic you can feel it's rawness and this item alone shows you the advances in materials from in the earlier FG version, rudder pedals are highly and beautifully detailed as are the rubber hand grips on the between the legs sticks.... ..... Alcantara is used for the covering of the instrument glare shield and it has been reproduced highly realistically here, again a huge attention to detail and the though use of specialist materials. Note the nice Throttle, Prop and Mixture push/pull knobs centre console. There are two very nice lifelike pilots, a male and a female... but sadly they are both not animated. Instrument Panel Power on and the avionics are powered by a separate bus and switch... turn on the bus and the AVIDYNE logo is animated to scroll up the screen... ... once powered up the EXP5000 EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) is also known as the "FlightMax Entegra" The display has both a Primary Flight Display (PFD) top that combines all standard instruments (airspeed indicator, altimeter, vertical speed indicator, slip/skid indicator, attitude indicator with flight director FD) and a Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI), with selectable textual and numerical bearing information, incorporating information on wind speed, true airspeed (TAS) and ground speed (GS) are shown lower. The EXP5000 is actually a nice and simply display to use. Selections on the left use the lower knob for adjustments as does the right knob for the adjustments on the right side selections on the screen. The left selections are the more actual selections in (top to bottom) NAV - VLOC 1 & 2, GPS1 and to note the COURSE adjustment is also set here, BEARING is NAV 1, NAV 2, GPS1, IAS is Airspeed adjustment and finally is the Range/View adjustment. Right side selections are for the more aircraft's in flight adjustments in (top to bottom) Heading, Altitude, VSI (Vertical Speed) and BARO setting. Very easy and a nice simple layout to use with a lot of detail. Two digital trims surrounding the EXP5000 show AoA (Angle of Attack) left and Aileron Indicator top. And the electrical and lighting switchgear is set out below. Left panel is a CO200 digital clock and Outside Air Temperature display produced by Aerospace Logic Inc. It is a clever instrument in delivering three displays that cover 1) Clock and OAT, 2) Stopwatch/Countdown and 3) FlightTime and reminder... ... note the blue line that moves across the bottom of the display and when it reaches the left side the instrument goes back to the default clock and OAT setting. Top centre is a very nice annunciators panel that can be tested. Below is a Garmin GMA345 radio. GPS instrument is the default Garmin GNS530 or you can use the optional RXP GTN750 in the same slot. A Garmin SL70 mode C transponder is next as well as a very nice Garmin combined COM/NAVSL30 COM/NAV radio... bottom of the stack is a Avidyne DFC 90 autopilot which is both is Digital Autopilot and Flight Director FD, and obviously it is part of the EXP5000 avionics suite. Three panel and cockpit lighting adjustment knobs are top right. The right side panel is dominated by the huge VM1000C VISION MICROSYSTEMS Engine Information System. It covers all the engine parameters including Manifold Pressure, RPM, EGT (Engine Gas Temperature), TIT (Turbine Inlet Temperature), Oil (Temp/Press), Fuel (Temp/Press) and quantity in both tanks at 65 US gallons (246 litres) and electrical Voltage and Amperes. Notable is the five buttons under the VM1000C in that you can get more accessible engine and display information... left to right, (Short press) toggle Peaking Mode on/off brightness down and (Long press) switch between MAN and %HP display and brightness up, Cycle through each cylinder, Toggle Autotrack Mode on/off, switch between Gallons and Litres and finally (Short press) switch between °F and °C, (Long press) adjust night brightness. Sadly the VM1000C is now discontinued, but still well regarded as one of the best for engine system displays. To the right of the VM1000C is an MD302 backup Artificial Horizon and Speed and Altitude Tape instrument. Lower is the flap indicator and EDS-2ip oxygen management system is which is produced by MHOxygen which is fully workable in D and N modes. To note every instrument here is covered by a separate indepth instrument manual to get the very best out of these modern tools at your disposal. All are also custom designed and made for Aerobask by Lionel Zamouth. There are 32 fully functional circuit breakers (Fuses) that can be set to of various reliability in: Perfect, Realistic, Entertaining or Challenging... the range goes from no fuse actions to a lot of intermittent fuse failures depending on your nerves. All the major elements of flight displays and avionics all pop-out and are scalable for ease of use and for Home-Build cockpits. Menu The aircraft's pop-up menu can be accessed in three ways: by clicking the ‘Lancair’ icon on the panel, use the selection on the Avitab tablet or use the X-Plane menu ‘Plugins’ menu. On the menu there are four tab selections: Main Items, More Options, Sounds and About. Main Items: Covers the Co-Pilot in being installed, visible externally and visible always. The above Fuse/Breaker reliability, Instrument and Canopy Reflections on/off and to enable or disable the Librain (rain effects). Selections for the static elements of Chocks and Pitot cover are quite basic, and a battery "StartStick" that is eyewatering expensive! The Stick also acts like a GPU for ground power. Also you can refill the Legacy's oxygen supply lower right menu. Not in the actual menu but related in options is the AviTab... situated on the right side canopy the AviTab can be hidden and stored in the left side pocket. This setup is one of the better AviTab placements, not too big, but not to small either for use and the attachment detail is also an excellent detailed window sucker. More Options: covers the layout of the EXP5000, VM1000C and EDS-2ip oxygen pop-ups, again focused more for the Home-Builds as you can hide the bezel and force the proportional resizing and finally to keep the inside screen on all three instruments. You can also set the nosewheel to "Free-Castor" as on the real aircraft. Sounds: Sound adjustments cover Master, Aircraft Interior and Exterior, Co-Pilot, Radios, Environmental and the user-interface volumes. About: Listed are the collaborators that created the Lanclair Legacy. All menus are very good and nice to use, but there is not a Weight and Balance tab with CoG graph included with the aircraft? Flying the Lanclair Legacy RG Fuel on and press the lovely starter to bring the Continental IO-550 into life... I really like the avionics flicker when you push the starter, very realistic. Sounds are taken from a real Legacy RG to get that realism and they do sound very nice... all set and off goes the parking brake and your ready to roll. Power is good as you have a lot of bite to the air, but I like the throttle feel as you need a little power to move forward, but pull back on the throttle and you feel the weight pull back in again and the bite of the thrust dies and your speed slows. You would be surprised how many developers get this on then off throttle feel wrong in that you can actually feel the weight of the aircraft as you adjust the throttle. Propeller movements are also very good, the prop shows one way spinning then the effect of the reverse as you reduce the power, the effect of idle to power throttle is also very good. The cockpit feels also very open with the full bubble space around you, there are no obstacles in any view point angle at all unless you turn almost completely around and look rearwards. To taxi cleanly is a little tricky as the hockeystick feel of the front strut is very fine and you need only very slight movements to stay on the centreline, my worry was immediately apparent in the fact of keeping the aircraft straight on the takeoff roll if the steering is already shifty enough like this on the taxi? You feel a little vulnerable with the huge canopy exposure even when the threat is only an Airbus 319, so I let him go first. The nose gear anxiety was not as bad as I thought it would be, the Legacy tracked pretty straight and was no worse than the usual Carenado, but the same slow build and then higher power through the throttle trick was still required, in the air the Lanclair felt a little twichy, so you need to very smooth in the way you fly this tiddler of an aircraft, it is not in that very extreme light aircraft feel or category, but it is still quite small and light. Clean I rotated around 110 knts which is pretty fast and it took a fair amount of takeoff roll to do so, unlike the FG version you can reduce a lot of the drag with the RG and retract the gear and so it feels far faster... a nice touch is that the landing lights go off as the gear retracts. Trim is all electric, and tricky to use in this low console position... ... the trim steps quite wide as well so you don't have that finesse setting of a wheel, you can however easily find that neutral setting and balance, but you will need a key or joystick input to do so. I do like as it was set out in the earlier FG version the active AoA display on the left of the panel. I earlier expected the EXP5000 to be easy to use and it is... just select and adjust and it is a very nice system to use without any confusion... the DFC 90 autopilot is sensational as well, big buttons and it is very easy to see and use, and by pressing the "Straight & Level" button (the centre BIG BUTTON) it does what is says in setting the aircraft straight and level and holding the altitude. The pop-up panel is nice as well. Performance is really impressive... 276 mph (444 km/h, 240 kn) at 8000 feet is the cruise speed and the RG DOES feel very fast, and people are known to race them and in this form the max speed is an impressive 274 kts. Climb rate is impressive as well at 2,000 ft/min (10 m/s) and that is at full gross weight! so any lighter then 2,300 ft/min is easily attainable. Service ceiling is 18,000 ft (5,500 m) as you have oxygen and the range is 1,150 mi (1,850 km, 1,000 nmi) at 8000 feet with reserves. A note on the use of oxygen is that you need to seal the canopy via a switch on the panel before using the oxygen system, and to unseal again to open the canopy when at a lower altitude. There are fabulous if lethal airbrakes built into each wing, when activated they can pull you back with force, so use sparingly, the action is very well done. Lighting Internal lighting in the RG is excellent... there are three adjustment knobs in: Back, Hood and Ceiling. Back is short for background, which is the lighting of the switches and avionics buttons in a nice blue tone and very nice it all is too.... ... the main adjustment is "Hood" and that adjusts the amazing LED strip lighting under the glareshield... ... final lighting choice is "Ceiling" for two lights on the rear roof pointing forward to light up the forward cockpit. Externally the cockpit looks brilliant. I was very easily able to find that comfortable panel lighting condition, nice! Externally lighting is pretty basic with navigation, strobe lighting and the landing/taxi lights on the main gear struts. You power across the landscape at an incredible speed for an aircraft this small, so if you want to cover ground quickly then the Legacy RG is perfect... ... thoughts are that if you are flying under manual control is the Legacy too niggly or very nervous, the answer is really no, but you do have that aerobatic fine control feel, so inputs have to be very fine and smooth... you don't treat it like an aerobatic aircraft though, but as a super streamlined machine. I simply powered my way over Florida back to KRSW, Florida Southwest. I love the blank ILS vertical marker until it becomes active... Flaps are 0º, 10º, 20º, 30º and 40º, but the system is one of those "no you can't have that flap angle until you reach the right speed" affairs", and I felt the gap between 10º and 20º was way too wide and a bit nose high for me until it pointed down again to the flap movement. But at least you have a lot flap angle choices... approach speed 40º flap was around 80 knts. A 2 knt gust threw me left, I would have usually landed manually and caught it, but under the ILS it took me too far left as I approached Rwy 06 78 knts and then into flare around 73 knts, but it felt too slow as the Legacy was grabbed by the X-Plane gravity hand and dragged it down to the runway... .... the the wind gust and gravity pull and I was soon right over on the left side of 06, not the best sort of landing that I like, but then I was confronted by that spindly nosewheel and over-reacting the Legacy started to twist around on me, I caught it, then over reacted to the twist and then finally got the squirming under control. Not the best landing of the year, but it highlights the sort of precision and focus required to land the legacy well, certainly you have to control the approach speed better and the same... if more power in that flare mode, stall is noted at 65 mph (105 km/h, 56 kn) flaps down, but I didn't get even close to that low number? So the Legacy needs a bit of practice, but I don't remember the LG version being this nervous. A note is that I do have the "Experimental flight model" activated, but there is no notice if the selection has to be on or off?. Liveries All twelve liveries are all excellent. Although a few look the same and are of the same theme as they were with the FG version like the "Stars and Stripes", they however are all new and with more variations. The Yellow N335AJ is the default, but there is also a 2K version of the same livery. Summary Aerobask created a Lancair Legacy in 2014 in the FG (Fixed Gear) version, this latest version of the aircraft is the RG, or "Retractable Gear" version that is the main original kit-form version of the Legacy that was created out of the early and successful Lancair 320. Outwardly both the earlier FG and RG versions of the aircraft look the same. but in reality they are worlds apart in the sheer differences of the high end quality and extensive avionics of this later RG version, in truth you can't really compare them on any level except they are the same shape. Detailing quality of most Aerobask aircraft are usually off the scale in the use materials in fabrics, metals and even here Alcantara, and certainly the Legacy RG that will not disappoint even the most faddish expert in aircraft interiors, yes in realism it is simply off the scale but in a brilliant way. All avionics are also highly specialised and created. The excellent EXP5000 EFIS FlightMax Entegra system is also joined in here by a DFC 90 autopilot, VM1000C Engine information System, GMA345 radio, SL70 mode C transponder, EDS-2ip oxygen system, MD302 backup Artificial Horizon and Speed and Altitude Tape instrument and even the clock is a three mode digital selection. Sounds are recorded via a real Legacy Continental IO-550, and also the Librain (rain) and AviTab are plugin tools are included. The aircraft is fast, and even furious to fly and more speedster than aerobatic, so some skill is required to get the very best out of this airframe (Real Legacys are used for racing!). Aerobask aircraft are fully formed directly out of the box, lovely design and huge deep layers of systems and highly defined quality design, could you really ask for more.... not really, Highly Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Lancair Legacy RG by Aerobask is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Lancair Legacy RG Price is US$34.95 Main features: Highly detailed 3D model interior and exterior PBR 4K textures High quality FMOD sounds from Daniela Rodríguez Careri, based on custom recordings from Legacy reg. N637PG High accuracy flight model by X-Aerodynamics (tuned for experimental flight model) Real and custom 4K liveries with assorted interiors Stock but highly realistic GNS530 Native support of RXP GTN750 in replacement of GNS530+SL70 (Windows only, separate product needed) Continental IO-550 310hp engine VR ready Custom-coded SASL instruments: Avidyne EXP5000 EFIS Avidyne DFC90 Autopilot J.P. Instruments VM1000C engine management system Mountain High EDS-2ip oxygen system A.F.S. AOA Pro angle of attack indicator Garmin SL30 COM/NAV Apollo SL70 Transponder Aerospace Logic CO200 digital clock Mid-Continent MD302 Standby Attitude Module Other Features Full-mode FMOD aircraft (no legacy/default sounds) Full Continental IO-550 simulation (separate combustion, prop, starter, exhaust sounds). Accurate doppler, distance attenuation and flyby effects. Aviation headset simulation based on binaural recordings. Oxygen system sounds (mask donning, breathing for both pilot and copilot) Custom ambiance sounds (rain, skid, rolling on different surfaces, strut compression, airframe shaking). Dynamic airflow effects on extreme manoeuvres and airframe stress on high Gs. Custom radio sounds (morse, markers) Canopy airflow simulation (if you don't follow proper canopy procedures!) Based on actual recordings and references from a custom built real life Lancair Legacy. Tested intensively in VR for maximum immersion Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current and Review version: 11.1.20 (June 23rd 2020) Installation and documents: Download is 969mb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.03gb Librain and AviTab plugins are required for use with this aircraft. Documents supplied are: Quick-Doc AOA Pro.pdf Quick-Doc CO200.pdf Quick-Doc VM1000C.pdf Quick-Doc SL70.pdf Quick-Doc SL30.pdf Legacy RG - Checklist Normal.pdf Quick-Doc EDS-2.pdf Quick-Doc DFC90.pdf N8448J notice.pdf Legacy RG Flight Manual.pdf Quick-Doc EXP5000.pdf And all the documents have extensive information on the aircraft and all the avionics _____________________________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  30th June 2020 Copyright©2020 : 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 - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and X-Plane 11.50b10 (fine in the beta, but the Librain effects don't work?) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Traffic Global US$52.99 Scenery or Aircraft KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95
  6. You are not noting your trim? If you haven't trimmed the aircraft, then the trim will still be set in the takeoff position and the aircraft will revert back (usually to your takeoff trim setting) to the default trim setting, do you see the issue, yes she will go into a dive as the trim is set at that setting unless you adjust it correctly... while the AP is on the trim is auto.
  7. First I am confused at your version number? v3.2... the latest current version for the F33A is v1.1? that is re-released version for XP11, my guess is you are trying to use the XP10 version in XP11, If you upgrade it also means repurchasing the F33A in XP11 standard, My little Bonanza critter is flying fine but it is the XP11 version, and I only flew it a few weeks ago and quite extensively for a review.
  8. Behind the Screen : Laminar Research... X-Plane 4Ever! The Coronavirus killed a lot of normal events that post out your X-Plane year. In this case was the Expo Simulation FlightSim event that was set to be in Las Vegas in June 12-14 2020. With the event cancelled you also lost the exposure of the main yearly Laminar Research demonstration but worse was their forward announcements on the future or the roadmap of the X-Plane Simulator. The timing couldn’t be worse as the simulation community is now also getting closer to the FS2020 simulator release from Microsoft, due around the third quarter of 2020. Would the Expo have brought on a FS2020 vs Laminar Research first shot of conflict in on how each of these currently dominant simulators will be ongoing in the future of the best simulator experience, a lot of users have already made their minds up in that camp, but have they? But certainly at the Expo, would have then Laminar Research had to face up to the inevitable questions on how their roadmap going forward was compared to the coming FS2020 onslaught… we will probably now not know because the event was cancelled. But a podcast just recorded recently had X-Plane’s founder Austin Meyers finally put in the hot seat on those very future of the simulator questions and the answers were not as you would have expected, which is typical Austin Meyers. Overall, his comments on which direction and the expected confrontation with FS2020 are actually not very dissimilar to my own feelings which come as a relief and my thoughts were closer than even than I actually expected. But the results are extremely interesting and finally some sense from Laminar since their silly drunkgate debacle back in December late last year. Overall Meyers was quite upbeat about the future of X-Plane and didn’t feel the threat of the coming Microsoft product, that to a point is to be expected. But there was some extremely interesting comments on the where and in what direction X-Plane is now going to go, obviously nothing noted here is to be seen as gospel as Austin Meyers noted that everything is still “on the table” and not locked down yet, which is understandable considering the ultra-long Vulkan/metal beta program that is still in motion. But the main points put forward were still solid… There will be no photorealistic scenery mesh? An interesting one in that the new FS2020 system is built upon that very basis, Austin Meyers doesn’t like photo scenery and personally I can second that after reviewing a thousand or so airport and city sceneries and their horrible burnt in buildings, offset buildings and vehicles. So, the current detailed mesh system will be retained but totally updated from it’s initial X-Plane10 format with better autogen. It is a very big risk to do this direction, but also an interesting one, and a bunch of new Eastern-European scenery artists have been brought on board to achieve this high goal, which is something I have campaigned for simply years in that Laminar needed a much more larger art department as one or two artists even if they are talented artists are simply not going to cover that much detail in a year or even a decade. To be honest the whole mesh system was highly constrained by the processing power, but more so via OpenGL, the API was great thirty years ago, but that is a point as the it was based on a application of THIRTY years ago and the newer Vulkan/Metal API changes that game completely, and so will the systems and the detail of the mesh can be significantly more detailed with far more modern and powerful force of better processing behind it. So once the current Vulkan/Metal conversion is installed then Laminar can then move in the directions it was restrained by before. The prospect of the new direction of staying with the current mesh is certainly an interesting one to deliver than a more photo-realistic rendition of the world, and a hard one to pull off than just using Landsat photographs, but Laminar has surprised us a lot of times in the past in this aspect as well. I have even with our current mesh in place with good foliage coverage, great weather interaction and great lighting effects that this photo-realistic look and feel can already be achieved, some images coming out of X-Plane currently are already breathtakingly good, so it is not overall an impossible goal. The tough angle is the reproduction of the actual man/woman-made context in 3d cities and infrastructure, this is an advantage that Microsoft has via their Bing mapping, but I am still going to say it will be more restricted than mapping the whole actual globe and restricted to certain high-visible zones. How Laminar covers that 3d mapping equation will make or break the idea between the simulators and just creating far more Global Icons is just not going to cut that immersion realism factor. Multi-player online flight is coming soon to X-Plane-mobile (now in beta testing), but also it is a big target feature for the desktop version as well, yes we do sort of have a multi-player experience, but not in a fully connected and detailed one with a high mass appeal online presence in that everyone is totally connected together, seeing each other and interacting with each other. It is an interesting dynamic area to be explored, but personally I don't want a thousand other X-Plane users flashing around my nice approach path, but I also know that a lot of users love the interaction of others in their world and yes I would be likely to even give it a try... for a while. Austin Meyers also noted large changes to the weather, as he wants a more dynamic moving weather and a more realistic representation in what Meyer notes as “location and time”, in changing or challenging dynamics between your departure point and your arrival destination, my point would be the same aim as exciting dynamic weather changes are also important to that factor in feel and for the visual look of the simulator... we always want and need better weather. Although not actually set in stone yet is the subscription factor for the X-Plane simulator, personally this is going to be a change we will have to “subscribe” to.. as in the pun. X-Plane will go to subscription for several reasons, one the cost of $US80 to buy X-Plane and yes there are more free demo users out there than more than they will actually admit, as the cost factor against say a US$5 a monthly subscription to FS2020. But mostly it is the bigger factor for Laminar in the fact that the ongoing income is restricted to the same one off payment (although a large one initially) which is then spread out over four or five years of ongoing development, as a monthly subscription then changes that aspect in that it delivers income consistantly for Laminar and with that it was noted we may see the disappearance of the current X-Plane versions to say a subscription version of “X-Plane-Global” or as Meyers noted “X-Plane-Forever” in a subscription model. The reveals here do not cover all aspects of the future of X-Plane as a simulator as for like for still where still is our ATC system? But it does sort of give you a sort of a few glimpses of the direction X-Plane will take in the shadow of the coming release of FS2020. As Austin Meyers noted is that X-Plane as a simulator goes to the core of what the real dedicated users actually want in a simulator, in true flying dynamics and the availability to test your own theories of any aircraft you personally want to create, even established aircraft manufacturers also use the simulator to test out aerodynamic theories and that is still basically the core of what X-Plane is and still does well. Meyers does not even with it’s newer dynamics in seeing FS2020 in becoming an experimental application like X-Plane is, as ultimately FS2020 is and always will be a game based simulator more than a pure one. Yes FS2020 will move a lot of users to it’s platform, but how many will come back to X-Plane and the more deeper and fundamental basis for realism in flight, more so is the factor of doing actual personal changes to the simulator as a whole, the tinkerer will soon bore of the constricted game world of FS2020, and that is what Austin Meyer bases his beliefs on and to a point his business... but it is also what I feel also deep down. However X-Plane as a simulator still has to develop and match any competition in features and more importantly in the realism experience… in that area it still up to Laminar Research to deliver and expand their product to and match the expectations of users demands.... but now soon it will be on a monthly basis more than a multi-yearly basis. Stephen Dutton 24th June 2020 Copyright©2020 X-Plane Reviews
  9. Aircraft Update : T-7A Red Hawk v1.1 by AOA Simulations X-PlaneReviews covered the initial release of the Angle of Attack (AOA) Simulations Boeing/Saab T-7 Red Hawk multi-purpose new generation trainer, the aircraft came out of the winner of the T-X program requirements. Overall it was a great effort in developing an aircraft that is not actually in service yet, but that is the X-Plane experience. Overall though there was a few areas that X-PlaneReviews found a little wanting (you could say rushed to market) that hid the more well done development in recreating the T-7 Red Hawk. So here is the v1.1 update and quick in the response it is to cover the unfinished and remaining areas that we found a bit wanting. The first area that was very unrefined was the most visual was in the external textures. The textures where overall very Lo-Res, in fact more X-Plane9 than X-Plane11 in look and feel, and X-Plane has come on a very long way since XP9. In the update v1.1 the textures have been thankfully upgraded. PBR effects have been added as well as better mapping, so there is now a far more thicker realism to the skin of the aircraft... the Lo-Res jaggies are still there though on the text detail, but overall the effect is far better. Some wear and tear effect has been added as well that takes away some of that model kit look, in areas the T-7A was just a bit too overall white clean, so a few dirt and oil areas has made the aircraft now feel more realistic with now there also a more detailed normal map has been added for the landing gear. I was not a big fan of the GE F404 after-burning turbofan single engine exhaust outlet and that aspect has not been changed here, but with the far better quality textures around the jetpipe, it does actually look better than it should (or used to) do, a pass now... yes I think so. There is still some exposed modeling joints that should be textured and highly visible, maybe in a fix coming in another update? There are four versions now noted for the T-7A/F7A Trainer with the additions of a Red Hawk "EFT" (External Fuel Tanks), Red Hawk "CAS" (Close Air Support) and very nice Red Hawk Navy T-7N. Red Hawk "EFT" has two under wing fuel tanks to increase the fuel load from 4,000lbs (internal) to 8,000lbs and of course the range. Red Hawk "CAS" (Close Air Support). This version has external stores that includes 4xGBU-53B, 4xAIM 9X, 1xGAU-25mm "Equalizer" centre store. Red Hawk T-7N (Navy) has also been added to v1.1, and this Naval version includes a tailhook, double nose wheel and a fixed refueling probe... ... Naval livery is super nice! and AOA also provide a A.I. (light) version of the T-7A to use for tag fighting or refueling. Your thoughts are that a few of the above items could have been incorporated into the aircraft's menus? Yes the Naval version is different enough for a full separate version, but items like fuel probes and fuel tanks would have been easier and more accessible from just a menu selection... overall there is now Four (Five with the A.I) different aircraft versions? Other updates include larger scale pilots and re-textured (mapped) ejection seats, and with the addition of an engine exhaust cover and wheel chocks in the ground equipment (menu). AViTab: The AViTab plugin is still weird as you can't hide it? Excellent for VR (Virtual Reality) but just looks odd on the seat in normal space. Manuals: Thankfully with this version there are now fully finished provided manuals, as it was hard to understand earlier on how the modern weapon system (modes) worked and even the complex Up Front Control (UFC) display needed some explanation, now provided are three guides: 1.1 User Guide.pdf 1.1 Quick Look.pdf 1.1 Quick Weapon System.pdf (28 Pages) And thankfully they are all very good, but they all should have been provided in the release version. Still super nice to Fly! Push up the throttle, pull back the stick and your flying like a bullet... easy peasy. Yes this is a very nice fast military jet to fly. There is not the total deep immersion of say the JustFlight Hawk T1/A, but it is very modern and even fun up here... Cockpit feels different? it is more polished and even shall I say... realistic! These modern displays are notorious to get any sort of feel and realism into their black and green style panels, but I now think that AOA have done a great job here... even down to (drumroll please!) fingerprints on the screens... ... very nice but the same idea on the upper UFC would benefit more than less use lower main screen, if there are already some grubby marks then it needs more "Smudge" to make them stand out, but otherwise the screens now have a true real depth to them. IFR - In Flight Refueling is not restricted just to the probe... there is now the working body version mid-top fuselage. There are now also working "cardinal" heading letters to HUD (situated above the mag heading)... ... clicking on the OAT (Outside Air Temperature), it will now switch between Fº and Cº. Keypad has now built in views, I still mostly override these presets, because that is the arrangement I prefer, but they are good to use. The T7A is absurdly easy to fly... but is it too easy that in can comfort you into a false sense of airmanship? It is an interesting question? One thing I don't like still is the switch back on AutoThrust from .M - Mach to Knots, it locks the speed in at 131 knts, and you then can't adjust your Knot speed? I really hate that factor as the only way around it is to disconnect the ATH or to fly totally manually, the 131 knt speed is the final approach speed, but you have no control of the aircraft above that set speed... the HUD "manual" ILS mode has been added here in this v1.1, but I couldn't use it, because I was locked out on the 131 knts speed for adjustment... so is it all too AUTO? to a natural pilot it just feels weird. Overall though I really do love flying this aircraft once you do adjust to the Hi-Tech systems of the aircraft, there is still a bit of unrealistic hard banking, go to altitude unrefinement in the aircraft's movements, but overall you fly this machine with a huge smile on your face and thoroughly enjoy totally the overall experience that has benefited hugely from this v1.1 update. Summary March 2020 saw the release of the Boeing/Saab T-7A Red Hawk v1.1 by AOA Simulations, the Hawk is a new-gen trainer designed for and won the T-X program requirements for this modern multirole trainer/fighter. As with all releases the T-7A was overall very good, but felt underdeveloped in a few areas, mostly with the poor textures and clean detailing. This is the updated version of the T-7A in v1.1 and overall it is a very comprehensive update. Covered in the update has been major improvements to the textures, in quality, mapping and PBR effects, there are still a few Lo-Res text areas, but overall the visual look and feel has been greatly improved, it now looks and feel more realistic than the model kit look of the release version. New textures also cover the undercarriage, ejector seats and better scaled pilots. Added has been separate versions for EFT - External Fuel Tanks, CAS-Close Air Support and a full version of the Red Hawk Navy T-7N. AOA has also provided a A.I. (light) version to use for tag fighting or refueling. The three missing manuals are also a welcome addition that cover the general overview of the T-7A but also cover a Quick Start and most importantly a guide on how to use the modern weapons system. As usual this update creates an aircraft that really should have been the release version a few months ago, but it is now certainly a far better quality and far better detailed aircraft with a now a lot of usable options, simply brilliant to fly as anyone can control an aircraft this automated, but with more skill and the maximum use of the modern avionic system details can deliver more than expected and can turn your simulation into a serious experience... now a recommended aircraft. _______________________________ The T-7A Red Hawk v1.1 by AOA Simulations is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store: T-7A Red Hawk Priced at US$36.00 Original purchasers of the AOA Red Hawk T-7A can update to v1.1 for free by going to their account at the X-Plane.OrgStore Main features T-7A advanced trainer and F-7A light fighter Highly detailed, fully animated 3D model and weapons PBR textures Advanced Features SASL 3.8 based plug-in system “Roll to See” dynamic pilot POV camera option (non-VR mode) points pilot camera based on pitch, roll and G forces "Target Track" points, locks and follows AI planes with pilot camera Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System Fly from forward or aft cockpits as student or instructor "Virtual" ground and In-Flight Refueling capability Track-IR and VR compatible AviTab tablet integration (Download AviTab plugin separately) Cockpit based on preliminary assessment of prototype T-X screen shots Head Up Display Up Front 32 points touch screen control and display panel Large format glass panel with embedded G1000 color moving map Multiple sub panel page options Dedicated engine data display Navigation Fully autopilot control thru Up Front Control panel Dual ADF GPS Nav1 & 2 VOR / ILS Low altitude, all weather Terrain Following Radar Air to air, with radar lock on AI targets Dedicated threat situational awareness cockpit display Terrain mapping radar Weapon system Master jettison switch Weapon display panel 4 x AIM-9X Infrared A2A missiles 8 x Small Diameter Bomb II's GPS aim point bombing mode Gun Pod Miscellaneous FMOD Sounds, aural warnings Particle systems effects Animated ejection sequence Ground support equipment Removable test probe (T-X prototype) Three liveries Additional liveries available free on X-Plane.org download manager Paint kit Download Quick Look PDF from our support page for a preview of the aircraft Requirements X-Plane 11 4Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 447 MB Current and Review version: v1.1 (May 30th 2020) Changelog v1.1 T-7A version 1.1 changes.txt ________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton  26th June 2020 Copyright©2020 : 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 - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in X-Plane11.50b11 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 
  10. News! - Released : Lancair Legacy RG by Aerobask Aerobask have released a new version of the Lancair Legacy in the RG version. This not the first Lancair Legacy from Aerobask as they earlier had released a Legacy FG version. FG is "Fixed Gear" and the RG is the "Retractable Gear" version. The FG Lancair was released in 2014, so although extremely good for its time this newer version will be certainly a very Aerobask quality level version to match the current X-Plane dynamics in design and with the famous Aerobask internal detailing. Main features: Highly detailed 3D model interior and exterior PBR 4K textures High quality FMOD sounds from Daniela Rodríguez Careri, based on custom recordings from Legacy reg. N637PG High accuracy flight model by X-Aerodynamics (tuned for experimental flight model) Real and custom 4K liveries with assorted interiors Stock but highly realistic GNS530 Native support of RXP GTN750 in replacement of GNS530+SL70 (Windows only, separate product needed) Continental IO-550 310hp engine VR ready Custom-coded SASL instruments: Avidyne EXP5000 EFIS Avidyne DFC90 Autopilot J.P. Instruments VM1000C engine management system Mountain High EDS-2ip oxygen system A.F.S. AOA Pro angle of attack indicator Garmin SL30 COM/NAV Apollo SL70 Transponder Aerospace Logic CO200 digital clock Mid-Continent MD302 Standby Attitude Module Other Features Full-mode FMOD aircraft (no legacy/default sounds) Full Continental IO-550 simulation (separate combustion, prop, starter, exhaust sounds). Accurate doppler, distance attenuation and flyby effects. Aviation headset simulation based on binaural recordings. Oxygen system sounds (mask donning, breathing for both pilot and copilot) Custom ambiance sounds (rain, skid, rolling on different surfaces, strut compression, airframe shaking). Dynamic airflow effects on extreme manoeuvres and airframe stress on high Gs. Custom radio sounds (morse, markers) Canopy airflow simulation (if you don't follow proper canopy procedures!) Based on actual recordings and references from a custom built real life Lancair Legacy. Tested intensively in VR for maximum immersion Overall an excellent aircraft and also with Aerobask quality... Now available at the X-Plane.OrgStore! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Lancair Legacy RG by Aerobask is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Lancair Legacy RG Price is US$34.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current version: 11.1.20 (June 23rd 2020) ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 24th June 2020 Copyright©2020: X-Plane Reviews
  11. Let us get this absolutely straight!... all my reviews are not so called "Official", they are unbiased but are aimed at two major directives, One that I present my position in the position of the purchaser not the store or the developer... Two comments are directed at the developer in fixing and refining products to meet the price and quality expectation of the purchase. I certainly don't think I was bias on the SAAB 340, in fact there are many areas I criticised the aircraft in what was not up to standard... menus, throttle speeds etc, but in the main aspect this was an excellent product that I fly regularly and I do revisit my initial thoughts on what I liked and didn't like... I personally think your assessment is wrong, and being a Carenado customer you should know what to expect, I have been personally disappointed by current Carenado products as they are feeling more and more older, but also having more issues that is not living up to the Carenado standard, that said the F27 and SAAB 340 is not part of those aircraft, as value they are some of the best Carenado have produced... Stephen Dutton, X-PlaneReviews
  12. I don't have access to the TorqueSim version for a comparison, but considering the last huge update list, I'm not sure currently a comparison review is a good idea either, both need more development to get them to a stable situation. Stephen
  13. Yes I was very aware of that, so I checked and in a lot of images the wing is clean, I think that is a resting position with power off, that is why it looks odd.
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