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Stephen

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  1. Aircraft Review : Embraer E-190 by Flight Procedures Simulation In July 2023, Flight Procedures Simulation released the Embraer E-195 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator. This aircraft although all new for X-Plane 12, also has a historical connection to the SSG Supercritical Simulations Group E-Jets version, but now called under another name in "Flight Procedures Simulation" (FPS), it is in many ways related to the same aircraft that was earlier released by SSG in X-Plane 11. SSG had released both the E195 and the E190 variants of the Embraer E-Jet, so as the E195 is already available, then the smaller E190 was expected to follow... here it is, and in many ways it is the same aircraft as the E195, but with a few new extra features added into the aircraft. Notable is that the same new features released in the E190, will also be cross-updated to the E195 if you own that aircraft. Actually the E190 variant is the pick of the E-Jet Series, E 170 - E 175 - E 190 - E 195. As it has the best of both worlds, it has a high passenger load (114 seats) as in being slightly shorter (36.25 m (118 ft 11 in), but also comes with a longer range in 2,450 nmi (4,537 km; 2,820 mi) and being able to fly an extra 150 nm than the E195 (124 Seats). The E195 feels long, even tube like, but the E190 is the more better and proportioned aircraft. One of the highlights of the E-195 by FPS, was the very good value price to features and quality, in being set in the mid-$50 price range. In other words you get a lot of quality aircraft for your money. The SSG/FPS also had great value to the featured systems provided, even right back to the early days, then there was a authentic FMS (Flight Management System) as part of the price... most deliver the same now, but that is just to highlight the point of the early advanced features from SSG that other developers didn't provide. The FPS E-190 is obviously almost identical to the earlier E-195, just a little shorter airframe. Both aircraft have been totally revised for X-plane 12. It shows in the quality of the modeling and detailing, that X-Plane 12 "shine" or aura is very evident. Same nice tinted glass and reflections.... the detail is nice, landing light surrounds and lovely flared winglets are also well carved and designed. All wings have the more variable Wing Flex animation for more realism. One area I thought on the E-195 that was clunky, were the internal mechanisms for the leading edge, still the same here sadly, so I disappointed it wasn't attended to... it's just feels a generation behind the current formula of detail in these current intricate leading edge, flap and airbrake combos... as which it is from the earlier SSG E-Jet Series. Undercarriage is very well conceived with highly detailed strut body and pistons, all hydraulic lines are well detailed, as are the scissors.... The side strut, although well done, is still left hanging in the wheel bay with no upper connection, as again on the E-195... this connection should have certainly been fixed by now (on both aircraft)... worse it is so highly visible from many visual angles, certainly on the approach/landing. Engines are the GE CF34-10E with 20,000 lbf (89 kN) thrust, compared to the 8E on the lower E-170/175 Series with only 14,200 lbf (63 kN), both engines are equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Engine pod detail is again excellent, great intake and the exhaust detailing is very well done. External features include all opening doors, Passenger left forward and aft, right Forward Service door, two Baggage holds and rear Service door. There is a nice GPU (Ground Power Unit) and you have wheel chocks on all wheels. Internal Cabin The E-Jet cabin for X-Plane 12 (E-195) was totally redone, or modernised. It's the same cabin here in the E-190, but it is a nice cabin with some really nice detailing. Seats are modern, as is the upper luggage bins are all also the new style with working Seatbelt/No Smoking signs and lit EXIT signs. Only niggle again are the differently set window shades from open to closed, still something I don't like?... same also is you have these excellent seat-back screens with the Airline logo, a highlight is that the seat colours/logo can also change with different liveries. Front and rear galleys are well done, but not overly meticulously detailed, a bonus for framerate. Cockpit In the cockpit, you could be in the E-195... It's exactly the same, great for your type rating! Both pilot chairs were all new on the E-195, they came with better sheepskin covers and hard-back rears, sadly the armrests are still fixed. (another area I thought would be updated for the E-190). The rear bulkhead was also completely different, and so is the entrance/door, and a modeled (non-working) jump seat on the bulkhead. Overall all the cockpit fixtures and textures have been totally redone with the same colour. Note the nice stitching, and netting rear on the pilot seats. EFB Tablet The Tablet EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) is also the same as the one in the E-195. One tablet each side for the Captain and First Officer and both are not changed in their detail. The Tablet menu screen on the left side is a huge step forward and it is easy to use. When turned off you can then use it as an AviTab, via the button top right of the screen. (plugin required) The Tablets can be added or removed on both the pilot's and the First Officer right side, but you have to select (On/Off) EFB or AviTab from only the left side tablet, but once the mode is selected it works on both as the tablets mirror each other. There are ten icon options across the top of the tablet... The first three options cover the GPU, Chocks and Cabin Lighting selections. The Circular arrows icon is the INIT page that has three options; "Unpowered Cold & Dark", "Powered at the Gate" and "Unpowered And Parked". You select the flight state, then press the green button left to activate that state.... it works well. Fifth Icon is the External options page has two options... "Doors" and "Pushback". You can open and close all six doors noted, but only from here in the Tablet and not manually. The Pushback mode is a bit limited... There is only the option shown to pushback in reverse or forward, brakes have to be off to activate and there is a procedure to follow to turn. Sixth icon is the Payload page... here you can add in your Passenger, Cargo weights... It is a single entry (Payload) entered via the keys 1K/100/10 then you load the aircraft (or compute the load)... you can change from Kgs to Lbs in the lower centre icon. Seventh Icon is Fuel. Basically the same as the payload page, you enter your Block Fuel load, then on pressing Fuel/Defuel it will load/unload the aircraft, the page will also display your fuel trip prediction (but only when you have programmed the FMCU. Eighth icon is the Takeoff Speeds. Here you select the Takeoff mode, or derated power setting (T01/T02/T03) then flap position. It will insert the current (airport) outside Temperature º and the set Gross Weight, then compute the V Speeds, CofG (Centre of Gravity) and Trim position ready to insert into the MCDU Takeoff page. All three set up pages (Payload-Fuel-Takeoff Speeds) are extremely easy and fast to do, so setting up the aircraft isn't going to take ages if you just want to fly. Ninth icon is the Sound page. Seven sliders cover three areas of Engines, Flight Deck and Environment, with a Master slider right. Final and tenth icon is the Options page, divided into "View Options"; Hide Yoke Captain side, Hide Yoke First Officers side, Hide Outside Pilot Figures and Show F.O. Side Tablet. "System" Options include; Link Baro Instrument Settings and Pause 10 NM to TD, again the Weights from KG to Lbs can also be changed here. Obviously the Tablet is a huge change from the fiddly X-Plane 11 window idea, far better for access and for setting up the aircraft... it is simple but also well done to use and mirrors the E-195 tablet as well. Systems Power on via the Battery power and the systems show the "Backup Mode". Only when you add in the direct power (GPU/APU/Engines) that you get the fully loaded system. Most of the Systems are a carbon-copy of the E-195 instrument layout and functionality, so a lot is repeated here as described in the E-195 Review. The Embraer E-Jets systems use the Honeywell Primus "Epic", Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) glass cockpit. It is very nicely done, the system CAS (Crew Alert System) messages, Aural warnings, Takeoff configuration warning, Stall protection system, Windshear detection and escape guidance, Non-normal operations are all represented. The SSG/PFP E-Jet basic systems has evolved over many years, improved and is now quite substantial, I was very impressed by the CAS warnings and alerts. Five displays across, with outer main displays PFD (Primary Flight Display), MFD (Multi-Functional Display) and in the middle EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System), they all pop-out via the left corner screw, are scalable, also home cockpit ready. The PFD displays information such as airspeed indicator, altitude indicator, ADI, HSI, vertical speed indicator, radio aids, autopilot, flight director and radio altitude data. In the event of a display failure, information will be automatically presented in the MFD. The display controller portion of the guidance panel allows the selection of PFD HSI formats, navigation sources, weather display, and bearing pointer selection. The MFD presents map and plan navigation formats and various systems synoptic formats that are all selectable. The MFD provides redundancy to display both the PFD and EICAS formats based upon reversion. It also has the ability to display maintenance information. The MFD consists of menu softkeys, on the top and bottom of the screen, which are used to select formats and to control the various systems. Note the lower screen "Vertical Profile Display", SSG was one of the first to include the feature on their aircraft, and it is very good here. There are three option menus; Map, Plan and Systems... And six system displays; Status, Flight Ctrl (Controls), Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, ECS and Anti-Ice. The EICAS displays engine and system parameters such as flap, gear, spoilers and trim positions, total fuel quantity, APU and environmental information. The EICAS also displays warning, caution, advisory, and status messages. In case of failure in the EICAS display, its information may be presented in the MFD by appropriately setting the reversionary panel. An automatic mode de-clutters the EICAS after takeoff. De cluttering occurs 30 seconds after landing gear and flap/slat retraction. The Advanced Advisory System CAS logic has more than 100 messages in logic, comprehensive, and I love the block alert system flashing it is very visually authentic. Multifunction Control Display Unit (MCDU) The FPS E-190 uses the same FJCC UFMC by Javier Cortes, again the same as installed in the E-195. Also refined over the years, it is pretty solid now. Based on the EPIC Load 27 FMS it is easy to use and has also quite a lot of functionality built in... both left and right UFMC units are individual and can be used separately by both pilots. The MCDU allows FMS control, radio tuning, PFD radio tuning display setup, manual engine rating selection, engine takeoff data set and avionics display setup and test. There is also a UFMC pop-up, activated by the F8 key, there is no pop-up for the right hand display. If you haven't used the FJCC FMS before, then you have to install the UFMC data (folder). This is stored in the X-Plane12/Custom Data folder... FPS supplies a full AIRAC-2303 set of data, in the "Documentation" folder, and the full contents are all to be put in the said Custom Data folder... notable is that if you use Navigaph or Aerosoft data, then a separate update link is required to this folder to update the monthly AIRAC. Note- If you already have the UFMC installed and updated to the current AIRAC, then there is no need to do this step. Also notable is that the Flightplans for the E-190 are stored here as well, again if you use the Simbrief Downloader, an address link is required to direct the file to the right flightplan folder. The Flightplans also use a unique .ufmc lauguage, so you have to specific with the flightplan. The colourful FMS Flightplan requires THE full insert of TAKEOFF REFERENCE DATA (3 pages). There is a reason for filling in the FMC data to the full extent as we shall see later, and it requires every i dotted and T crossed. PERFORMANCE PLAN pages (5) show fuel predictions for each waypoint, CLIMB/CRUISE/DESENT/LANDING pages show full flight performance and detail, including vRef landing speeds... PROG (Progress) page is highly detailed as well. The flight system provides Full TOGA/VNAV/LNAV/RNAV/LOC/GS/Missed APPR functions. SPEEDS with CLIMB/CRZ/DESC come with a custom Autothrottle system. All speeds thoughout the flight phases can also be changed into the flight plan and on the performance pages. Overhead OHP is the same/identical to the E-195, so there is no need to relearn anything... X-Plane 12 brings a different feel into the cockpit, provides more feel and depth to the controls and instruments... Centre console was also retextured, and still you have those lovely ceramic throttle levers, you can feel them, the smoothness of the surface, and the Auto-Throttle disconnect is built in... works as well. The lovely Ram Horn yokes are also still perfectly nice. They come with built in (working) Trim switches and a working PTT button. Lighting First lighting impressions are excellent. You have a lot of adjustment via five knobs at each end of the glareshield, and three (MAIN PNL/OVHD PNL/PEDESTAL) knobs on the OHP, plus the standard DOME switch. DOME lighting is very effective via two (bright) lights in the roof rear. Each pilot also get a MAP light which is also very good... ... so you can also tone everything down to just the instruments, or just to find a little down-light to see the console switch gear, perfect for night landings or takeoff phases... its all very good, and have a very nice place to fly in at night as well. If you remember the E195 cabin lighting was a bit unfinished, as in being only half way completed... In the E190 it is done, but the light spreads don't match up to the light source on the fixed rear zone? A shame as it looks great. You switch on the cabin lighting via the button on the Tablet, off and you get only the floor light strips. More so is that both galleys are connected to the cabin lighting, so all ON or OFF, they should be separated for better illumination. Another small annoyance is the red beacon still flashes in the cabin like on the E-195? Externally it is very good. All lighting is the X-Plane 12 lighting, so it is more XP12 LED in feel... notable is that the lighting will be updated in the next X-Plane 12.1.0. release by Laminar Research, so what is seen here could be even more refined. Navigation, Strobes and beacons all look good, as does the Tail lighting. There are runway turnoff lights, three landing lights that covers both wing and nosewheel positions. There are very effective Wing/Ice lights (here noted as "Inspection", which are great for cabin views at night. Flying the Flight Procedures Simulation E-190 Yes we are in Brazil... this flight is from SBGL (Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim In, Rio) to SBSV (Dep L E Magalhaes Intl, Salvador). Starting the E-Jet 190 is Simple Simon, no bleeds to worry about here, as the start is fully AUTO, once you have turned or selected each engine switch. Then watch the ITT (N2) kick off and start the start procedure, which is very long here and takes around a minute per engine, as you hear all the separate processes come in and the fans starting to twirl, its all very, very good and very authentic in realism, as you see the full authority digital engine control (FADEC) in operation. Startup sounds are excellent, thankfully with those engines sounds with their many startup stages that are recorded from real GE CF34-10E engines. That explains the perfect if long start up procedure, as they are timed into the soundtrack of the real thing, and it is very good aurally to listen into the full startup experience. The adjustment of the sounds is excellent as well with the great sound control (tablet) to get the right external, internal feel. The "Pushback" system is a little tricky until you work it out, devilish simple when you do... Release the brakes activates the Pushback mode, then press the pushback option... the tricky part is having the tiller selection up, to steer the aircraft yaw (Joystick), if not you can't steer. Select to Pushback in reverse, or when you are ready to pull forward, then use the other arrow... centre selection is STOP. Just using the park-brake will disable the pushback... you will soon get to like it. Betterpushback is however not an option here as the plugin does not work with this built in system, and thankfully the old silly stick pushback on the X-Plane 11 version is gone, of which I really didn't like at all. Note that to switch the Tiller back to normal to steer with the Yaw. On the E-195 I wasn't very happy with the touchy yaw steering (joystick), so I adjusted the yaw sensitivity way down to give me more leverage on my yaw axis. Here I found I had more rudder travel in the steering, so I didn't adjust the sensitivity this time around, but you do use a lot of rudder movement in the fine tuning of the centring, but now more evenly than using the sharper joystick (yaw). So what is new compared to the E-195 on the E-190? Well the E-190 has a completely new LNAV/VNAV alghoritm, that is different from the earlier version. So the note made earlier on making sure the FMS input data is completely done and correct is important, as the E-190 will follow this data absolutely, certainly the VNAV profiles that are all shown in the "Vertical Profile Display". Also new to the E-190 are the RNP departures (Required Navigation Performance). RNP is a family of navigation specifications under Performance Based Navigation (PBN) which permit the operation of aircraft along a precise flight path with a high level of accuracy and the ability to determine aircraft position with both accuracy and integrity. It is well worth studying the differences between RNP and RNAV procedures. Before you start the takeoff roll... you set the LNAV and VNAV modes ready. Power up and put the throttles to the full (takeoff) position, now once moving and the PFD will show the system is active... ... it doesn't matter into regulating the thrust power, for as one you have set that in the FMCU, and so two, the FADEC system will keep the engine thrust within the limits or 92.0% (TO.1). The CF-34 wail is nicely heard in the cockpit, a totally different sound as it is in the cabin, but highly realistic, and all sounds are doppler and 3D. There is a full "Custom Fly By Wire" system that provides flight protection limiting and control laws according with the FMS Protection System logic, again all very Airbus. The flight model performance has also been revised from the E-195 to the E-190, and yes it handles even far better and it feels now very good. I found the E-190 more refined, certainly from the earlier E-195 climb, and this time with no engine surging... "Thank you very much, I will take that one". Once in the "Positive Climb", now select the AP (Autopilot) and both the LNAV and VNAV modes become active... note the VNAV now goes into the FLCH (Flight Level Change) mode and then chases to your VNAV set altitude. (LNAV will follow the Flightplan route) Even if you break the profile and level out at say 15,000ft. Just reclick the VNAV button for the aircraft to resume the profile. When in the VNAV mode. The ALT (Altitude) will change from green to magenta, not only will the aircraft follow the vertical profile, but it will also select the Flightplan set speed (m.65) and adjust were required, like say TOC (Top of Climb). But you have to be aware of the Airspeed - Mach switchover point. You need to check the fightplan of the point it changes over from IAS to Mach, and to physically do the switch, or the VNAV speed gets confused on the wrong setting, same going back from Mach to IAS. Note the excellent rate of turn indicator when in the "Bank" mode. In X-Plane 12 the FPS E-190 looks amazing in the right lighting conditions, high in the FL330 cruise level, you are purring along, sounds are really good and authentic... the FPS E-190 looks excellent against the real time cloud formations. Max. speed / Ceiling Mach .82 @ 41,000 ft (12,000 m), Cruise Mach .78 (447 kn; 829 km/h)... It is also a very nice feel on the E-190 flightdeck, and the great thing about flying in the cruise, is that you can just stop sometimes, just look at the world around you. TOD (Top of Descent) and you watching the VNAV (PATH) to see if it will perform the action of going into the descent phase... it does, but I found you still have to control the speed, if not the steep descent will runaway with the speed as the descent vertical speed is steep at around 2600 fpm? The system will also alert you that you will also have to reset to the landing altitude (here 2,000ft), if not the system will recapture the altitude and not descend correctly... so you will need to do this altitude reset before reaching the TOD point. The initial descent angle I found a little too steep, but it levels off around the approach phase... I like a descent speed of around 2200 fpm, but here like noted it is around 2600 fpm, so the cause of the excessive speed. But like I mentioned in controlling that speed, certainly if you have the correct velocity in the final approach turns, it IS important, as you will then have better control in the approach phase... You can now use RNAV approaches (and their charts) with the FPS E-Jet Series, in so making for tighter arrival procedures. Autoland 1 and Autoland 2 and CAT I, CATII approaches are also now all available, but Autoland 2 is only active at FULL flap with the ILS APP selected. Great immersion on the final approach phase, a good simulation is when everything is working together, sound, instruments, control feedback... your in there! The E-190 has a very low final approach speed (Full Flap) of 120 knts, 115 is the absolute minimum, or below the stall speed. Disengage the Auto-Throttle at 500 ft and cruise into a slightly higher final flare. Spoilers activate automatically with pressure on the wheels, then retract again when the wheel speed is below 45 kts for at least 5 seconds. Reverser sounds are really excellent, as you can hear them roar from the cockpit, and they are very effective as well. Autobraking was set to "Low" as I like a lot of foot braking control in the final landing phase, this aspect also worked very well, with a nice braking feel. Note the great view from the cabin of the spoiler rear internal detail. Again rudder steering comes into action on the ground, don't touch the joystick yaw though... it is too touchy. And we are in Salvador. Liveries There are a couple of liveries from the older X-Plane 11 batch, namely the Alitaila and Air France HOP!, KLM and LOT (Polish). Missing again however is the nice Dolomiti. Some new ones provided as well, Azul, British Airways and Breeze all part of the download pack... more have also been added by FPS to the X-Plane.Org, these liveries include JAL, Lufthansa Regional, Alliance (Australia) and two Jet Blues __________________ Summary This E-190 is the follow up aircraft from Flight Procedures Simulation (ex SSG Supercritical Simulations Group) of their released the Embraer E-195 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator in June 2023. SSG released both the E-195 and the E-190, so this release is the shorter, but the more potent in the E-Jet Series of the E-190. The E-190 has a higher passenger load (114 seats) as in being slightly shorter (36.25 m (118 ft 11 in), but also comes with a longer range in 2,450 nmi (4,537 km; 2,820 mi) and being able to fly an extra 150 nm than the E195 (124 Seats). The E195 feels long, even tube like, but the E190 is the more better and proportioned aircraft. In most cases there is not much difference at all between the E-195 release and this E-190. The Systems and cockpit layout is exactly the same between both, so that is great for your cross type rating. Obviously the cabin is shorter with less seats, but the E-195 updated cabin and those lovely (logo) seat back screens are also moved over. The cabin lighting has also been fixed, well sort of. SSG provided one of the first and best E-Jet FMS systems, the same has had consistent updates over the years and is now very good and stable here. Notable is that study and a complete install of flight data is required for the use of the completely new LNAV/VNAV alghoritms behind the systems, it is again very good, but speed control is required on the descent. RNP departures and RNAV approaches are also now possible. Autoland 1 and Autoland 2 CAT I,CATII landings are also available. Externally the modeling was again updated from the SSG version to X-Plane 12, and the aircraft looks and feels very good in X-Plane. But a few areas like the leading edge tracks and gear support are dated or not connected, these niggles were still passed over to the E-190 from the E-195. The Tablet and it's features are very good in not being over complicated, and the in-built pushback tool is really very clever. The biggest benefit of these E-Jets in both the E-195 and this newer E-190 is the value price to the feature and quality ratio. You get a lot of aircraft for you money, and a great E-Jet as well with all the trimmings. If have purchased the E-195, you can also get the E-190 with US$10 off the price... so another saving there. So the Flight Procedures Simulation E-190 like the E-195 are both a great investment all round. __________________ Yes! - the Embraer E-190 X-Plane 12 by Flight Procedures Simulation is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FPS Embraer E-190 Price is US$55.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 8GB + VRAM Minimum Download Size: 626 MB Current version : 1.0 (April 20th 2024) Owners of the E195 by FPS can get the E190 for $10 off. Coupon can be found in the original E190 invoice Designed by Flight Procedures Simulation (ex SSG) Support forum for the FPS 190 Download The FPS E-190 is a 626.00MB download with an installation size of 2.34Gb, in your X-Plane Aircraft folder, this is an X-Plane 12 aircraft only. All updates are via the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Notable for new users, is you have to install the FJCC FMS data in the Custom Data folder, install instructions are provided and so is a more up to date current 2303 AIRAC data pack. Documentation There is excellent full coverage documentation and installation details for the FPS E-190, including; AIRAC_2303_manual_install.zip Custom_Commands.txt FPS EMB 190_Checklist.txt FPS EMB 190 - Lights and Switches v1.0.pdf Installing the FPS EMB 190.pdf FPSEmbraer_190_Changelog.txt Installing the FPS EMB 190.pdf Normal_Procedures_EMB190.pdf _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.05r1 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - SBGL- Rio de Janeiro International v2 by Globallart (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 - SBSV - Salvador/Bahia International Airport by Globallart (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 Review by Stephen Dutton 24th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  2. Sound Addon Review : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series sound package by Mango Studios As noted in the review/tutorial of the modification of the Rotate MD-80 Series to use the IAE V2500 Series engines. That coming soon from Mango Studios would be a sound package to modify the original P&W JT8D-200 sounds to the IAE V2500 engine sounds. This is that sound pack, and both JT8D-200 and IAE V2500 sounds are included, plus both new bonus external and custom internal sounds are also provided in the package. The feature list is extensive as noted here... Exterior: Custom Sounds for Exterior Aircraft Systems -APU, Hydraulic Pumps, Fuel Pumps, Packs, etc External Environmental sounds, including light and hard rain Custom Engine Sounds for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engines -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Custom Engine Sounds for the IAE V2500 Engines -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Interior: Custom Sounds for cockpit switches, buttons, covers, knobs, and handles -Overhead Panel, Pedestal Panel, Autopilot Panel, and Eicas Panel all reworked Custom Cockpit System Sounds Including -Higher Quality GPWS Sounds, all the way from 2500ft to 10ft aural warnings. -Higher Quality McDonnell Douglas Warning Sounds -Higher quality and realistic Battery, packs, wipers, and avionics generator effects Custom, and ultra-realistic cockpit environmental effects -High-quality landing gear roll, cockpit rattle effect, gear retraction, gear extension, gear drag, and cockpit wind. New cabin effects include -New Air conditioning effect, Fuel pump, Hydraulic Pump, Flaps, Slats Custom Interior sounds for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engines, which include: -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Custom Interior sounds for the IAE V2500 Engines, which include: -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Downloaded the Sound Pack looks like this... how to install. First there are two options in "Engine Volume 1" and "Engine Volume 2"... the choice is that Eng Vol 1 has "Realistic" normal volume sounds in the cockpit. Eng Vol 2 has a "loud" (or higher level) engine noise in the cockpit... it's your choice? Note; If you created a separate aircraft for the modification of the "IAE" engines, then you would need to install this Sound Pack in Both of the aircraft files. Then just select the optional FMOD set you have selected and move it to the Rotate Aircraft root folder. Next to be installed is the "Plugins", select both "MangoStudio MD80" and "MD-80 Core" folders and install them in the (MD-80) Plugin folder... It will ask you to replace 102 files in the MD-80 Core plugin folder, select to overwrite the files. Last install item is the "Sounds". Open the MD-80 Sounds folder, and now replace the "Alert" folder, again you will be asked to overwrite 25 alert sounds.... ... now the Mango Studios Sound installation is completed. Starting the Simulation, I loaded the IAE V2500 Engine aircraft. In the X-Plane Plugin Menu, there is now under the "MD-80 Soundpack", a settings menu "MD-80 Sound Preferences". This is a selection and sound adjustment panel. There are Options on the left, and a "Volume Control" panel on the right... In the options we will look at the most important one first. This is the "Engine Select Option", or the selection of either the IAE V2500 or the JT8D-200 Engine sounds. Selecting either will allocate (save) those engine sounds to that aircraft. Here I have selected the IAE V2500 engine. Other selection options include; "Speedbrake Deploy Sounds", or the sound the Speedbrakes make on landing, "Rotation Noise" the noise when the nosewheel lifts off the runway, here you can also set the point of the rotation degreeº point of when this effect comes into play (5º is default), and finally you can have "Passenger Noise" in the cabin. There are seven Volume 0%-100% adjust selections; Master, External, Interior, Radio, Environment, User Interface and CoPilot volume adjustments. Aural feedback Obviously I want to hear the sounds of the IAE V2500 engine... It's actually really "weird", but not in a negative way. You are always used to to the lower raw compressor sounds of the P&W JT8D, however here it is the high whine of a Airbus A320, on a McDonnell Douglas MD80? It sounds like the Airbus in every way, even in the reverse thrust mode. I like it because it is what I wanted, a differential feel and environment to the standard MD-80 Series aircraft. The sound is "doppler" in the source, and there is also different source sounds in the rotation from front to back (180º) and so you are highly spatially aware of all the different changes of direction. Externally the sounds are VERY loud, and my External percentage was finally set as low as 60%, (but I don't like large volume changes from the Internal to the External)... Start up and spool down sounds are excellent (great spaced timing), however so different in the engine being a more modern installation than the 60's based Pratt & Whitney. In the cabin, the rear is aurally loud, with the set passenger noise coming in on top, and the engines are set only in the idle mode.... move to along to the front of the cabin and the distance to engines make a difference to the lower sound levels, very good. But oddly so does the noise level of the passengers also decrease, which feels very odd? I am sure they talk as much at the front of cabin, as they do in the rear. The Rotate MD-88 cockpit was always a very "clickity clackity" cockpit, and one of the main reasons why I love it.... the Mango Studios cockpit sounds are certainly not as loud, or as noisy as the default sounds, even hard to hear. So you have to put the volume up (a lot) if you want to hear them as you do in the Rotate MD-80? So it is very noticeable in the far lower Speedbrake arm and the trim setting noises, and you can barely hear the usual noisy landing and taxi light switches? This is with the "User Interface" settings set at 100%? They are definitely good sounds, but they are simply not loud enough, or you also don't have enough adjustment to find your own personal level of acceptable switch noise. In the taxi, the IAE MD-80 sounds great, nice roll sounds and engine noise... .... power up the throttles (N1) and you get this lovely high IAE whine rising from the rear, runway rumble is also very good, but those engines sound so excellent as the power gets to the takeoff throttle speeds, this is the point of difference... I absolutely really love the aural feedback you get here as those IAEs reach full thrust power. Externally the takeoff noise is really good. Once off the ground you get that nosewheel gear custom wind sound, it is good, but to be noted as far too loud on a quiet cockpit to be realistic? Yes you can turn it off, but that is in creating the opposite effect, volume just needs to be turned down a little to be authentic. Climb-out and altitude climb sounds are very good, then cockpit settles down into a background rumble in the cruise, that I also like. Once at cruise altitude I run a flypass of the IAE MD-80... It is very good, but the rear exhaust sounds when in view are very loud, and stay loud even as the aircraft retreats well and long into the distance... doesn't feel very realistic to be honest. At each step of the approach, first with the flap extension in that the sounds are extremely realistic, and the engine note also changes with any extra drag applied, then say the lowering of the gear, in it then adds on another heavier layer. Yes this is what should happen on the approach phase, but the point here is in how well you can differentiate between the different wind or drag sounds, as the layers are very well done for a feel of the spatial direction of that particular sound. Get it right as it does here, and it sounds all very realistic. The real action starts when you touch the runway, up go the spoilers, and then the reverse thrust powers up. Again the spoilers feel a little loud (like the front wheels on takeoff), but the IAE engine reverse blast is excellent, again very A320 IAE in reflection. Aurally the landing noise (touch), drag and thrust noise is excellent from the cockpit, but extremely loud if you are anywhere near the engines in the rear. I think the idea here is to make the engine package "dynamic" special sounds in being heightened (i.e. nosewheel on rotation and airbrakes), but in other areas the sounds are quieter, in say the cockpit switchgear and in the various sound directions. So you need a bit more of a balance for it to be perfect. So there is a case for some sounds need to be more reduced, and others more heightened to find a better balance... otherwise the overall dynamics here are very good, even extremely good. ' JT8D-200 Now you select the JT8D-200 selection on the MD-80 Sound Preferences panel. Externally the JT8D-200 version sounds better? The rotation of the sound (rear to front) is far better, and feels more authentic. There isn't that blast of consistent rear engine exhaust noise like you get with the IAE, until you push up the throttles, then it sounds excellent. Again the rear cabin is also extremely loud, even with the interior sounds set at 40% and the throttles set at idle? but the aural reduction to the front of the cabin is excellent, but also set higher level than the IAE, same with the cockpit sound level in the front, higher volume than the IAE. This aspect is to be realistic, the noisy 60's era engine compared to the 80's higher bypass era. Switchgear noise is the same as the IAE, as you can't again hear them working? unless you increase the volume (a lot). I again miss this interaction with the aircraft. Power up and the JT8D goes LOUD, okay I can live with that, and you feel the louder noise in the cockpit. Rotate and the nosewheel drag is highlighted, again I feel it is too loud... but the climbout and the doppler sounds are really, really good... ... certainly the JT8D is more balanced all round than the IAE. You however get the same high exhaust note when past the camera position, as the loud thrust is still very audible as far or as long as this last image shows, and so again rumbling too far into the distance from the viewer to be realistic. But don't get me wrong, in flight the JT8D sounds brilliant, in the cockpit, on the flypast and in the air from most directions. Rear cabin passengers would however ask for their fare back with the consistent high noise level? Notable here is that the high rear cabin sound level stays the same at engine idle, and the same in flight (increases though on a full throttle setting), and so why does this annoy me... because I do a lot of replays sitting in the rear cabin, so to use I would have to turn the volume right down to be seated back here in comfort. On LEBL (Barcelona) approach, with the gear down and full flap, the wind and drag sounds are again really good, yes in context very similar to the IAE in the audio experience, but certainly not in engine tone, so it is very good expression between both of these aircraft and their different powerplants. Good sound, or an all round high aural experience can certainly give any simulation a more credible immersion to the user/pilot. It is Simulation's ongoing advances that seeks to create the real environment in your own world. Sound is as important as the visuals, so these sound-packages are a very important addition to your flying, and one of the best options to heighten the simulation... as I go over the fence at LEBL's Rwy 02, I am totally in there, eyeballing the runway, but also in needing the feedback aurally from the aircraft, that is the important statement, it is what is being signaled to you or is reverberating around you can be the difference between the best experience, or just an average one. On touch down and into reverse mode, the aural sensation is excellent, yes you get the extra noise from the speedbrakes, but you can turn that off in the options. Gotta Love the Maddog! _____________________ Summary Mango Studios released a modification for the Rotate MD-80 aircraft to add on the IAE V2500 engine to the already installed Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200. Here is a sound package to deliver custom sounds for both those engines IAE V2500 and JT8D-200 and aircraft interaction. The package is most effective when you have both engine types installed, as you get both custom sound packs for both engine types. So the IAE V2500 Engine Addon from Mango Studios is highly recommended here. This is a very good high quality sound pack, that can differentiate the unique sounds of both the IAE V2500 and JT8D-200 engines, the IAE is of course the more modern engine and is mostly associated with the Airbus A320 Series. The range of custom sounds here are excellent on both engine type installations. Great doppler effects, different source sounds in the rotation from front to back (180º) and so you are highly spatially aware of the different changes. Both engines have excellent spool up/spool down sounds and the excellent reverse thrust activity. Flap, gear and wind noise is also very good and engine thrust realism is excellent. With options that cover custom "Speedbrake Deploy Sounds", "Rotation Noise" the noise when the nosewheel lifts off the runway, and "Passenger Noise" in the cabin. Option for "Loud" or louder engine noise in the cockpit. However there are few consistencies highlighted the same on each pack. Switchgear/Interaction sound levels are very low compared to the excellent default Rotate MD-80 sounds... rear engine exhaust is also too (extremely) high and remains too long after the aircraft has passed your point of view. Rear cabin sounds even at throttle idle are not realistic, passenger chatter also disappears as you move forward in the cabin, optional custom sounds (nosewheel & speedbrake) are set higher to be "dynamic" when selected, are not very realistic. The attraction here with this package is the sounds for the IAE V2500, the tone and feel is completely more modern than the 60's inspired feel of the JT8D low-by pass engine, effectively an Airbus engine on a McDonnell Douglas MD80 aircraft. In this aspect the package is excellent and a great companion to the MOD pack for the IAE V2500, the JT8D-200 is as good, with extra features over the original Rotate sound pack. Overall I totally love the idea and the choice of the two different engine types for the MD-80. It gives you a very and more flexible choice in flying this unique McDonnell Douglas aircraft, not just in appearance, but also here with a unique aural experience for both types... well worth the investment! _____________________ Yes! the Mango Studios MD-80 Sound Pack is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Mango Studios MD-80 Sound Pack Price is US$14.99 The Rotate MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 is required for this add-on. The Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on is highly recommended. Requirements This is a Sound pack. The Rotate MD-80 is required for this sound pack. Will not work with any other MD-80 Download Size: 52 MB Current version 1.0 (April 16th 2024) Documentation Manual provided by Mango Studios is a bit basic, hence the Tutorial here in this review Rotate MD-80 Soundpack Manual.rtf _____________________ Aircraft Sound Addon Review by Stephen Dutton 19th April 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.09rc5 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - LIRF - Airport Rome XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.99 - LMML- Malta International Airport by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.30 - LEBL - Barcelona XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.99 (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) All Rights Reserved
  3. NEWS! - Aircraft Announcement : Toliss notes the Airbus A330 as next project At the developers conference in early February 24 in Toronto... ToLiSS put up a chart in the session to note the already released fleet from the developer, but of also which aircraft could come up for development next... Candidates included the A318, A330ceo, A330neo, A340-200/300 and of course the Airbus A380. The A350 (v2) has already been announced as a joint project with FlightFactor (same arrangement as the current FF A350) at the same conference. The choice is now between the A330ceo (Current Engine Option), and the A330neo (New Engine Option)... image depicted here is the default Laminar A330-300, so it is a not a signal of the coming ToLiSS A330 type. The question "But Which One?", will keep you guessing, but on past record ToLiSS has usually kept away from competing directly with already released products, also they usually always do the NEO versions of the same aircraft (hint A320neo, A321neo). So the A330neo is probably the pick of the two versions. And into also not competing directly with the same A330-300 Laminar offering. The A330neo has two variants, the -800 based on the older ceo -200 and -300 variants, that has a range of 8,150 nmi (15,090 km; 9,380 mi) with 257 passengers. The second variant is the -900, it covers a range of 7,200 nmi (13,330 km; 8,290 mi) with 287 passengers. Both variants are powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 which has double the bypass ratio of its predecessor. ToLiss Features include... Accurate Systems ToLiss Fly-by-wire and autopilot module, with support for Alternate and Direct Law Unique feature: Control Surface hinge moment modelling allows the surfaces to float to the appropriate position after loss of all actuators on a surface or to not reach full deflection if running on a single actuator. fault injection interface allowing to inject custom selected failures, or randomly selected failure based on fault probabilities with over 210 failure modes available. Custom TCAS with resolution advisory function. Terrain on ND and Weather radar available (WX radar works with default X-plane weather engine) Brake temperature model based on the detailed physics of heat transfer between the individual brake components Hydraulics model with proper hydraulic flow computation as function of surface motion, flap/slat motion, gear extension etc. You will see this by the pressure dropping when flying on RAT Custom engine model for accurate thrust and fuel flow modelling including oil pressure and temperature model as well as many engine failure modes. Thrust and fuel flow modelled for each engine type. Special engine logics, such as dual cooling on the PW1127G engine, are also modelled. Detailed model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs and Aps Quantitative bleed system modelling affecting engine fuel flow Electrical system simulation with correct bus reconfiguration and load distribution, simulated electrical transients as well as emergency generation from the blue hydraulic system. Fire detection simulation for engines and APU Custom radio navigation computations including ability to perform backup RADNAV tuning through the RMPs Custom air conditioning model supporting high altitude operations at airports like Cusco in Peru or La Paz in Bolivia without spurious warnings Flight warning system with ECAM actions supporting numerous system failure scenarios, e.g. engine failures, generator failures, hydraulic failures. Custom indicating system including DMC and SDAC simulation. Choice between Multifunctional runway lights or the classic landing light configuration Useability features Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times. This feature reinstates the complete aircraft state (except communications with ATC, such as AOC and CPDLC messages or ground service states.) Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly. Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like. Integrated takeoff performance calculator supporting the use of flex temperature. 4 different start-up configurations from Cold and Dark to engines running and ready to go In-screen popup displays or use of x-plane windows for popups Interactive audio control panel to change ground services, fuel, loading, passengers etc. without breaking immersion Electronic flight bag on both sides with Avitab integration, weight and balance computation, take-off and landing performance calculator as well as a user customizable interactive checklist. Print function for AOC messages, CPDLC messages and selected FMGS functions Release would be around October, as this is also a ToLiSS release period with the other time in being March... ToLiSS notes that the new A330 is obviously compatible with X-Plane 12, but will also support X-Plane 11 backwards compatibility, but without the X-Plane 12 effects. Start saving now, price should be around US$89.99! ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 16th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  4. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LFNA-Gap-Tallard, France by FSX3D FSX3D has made a splash in X-Plane 12 over the last few months with some interesting Corsican and French scenery releases. First was LFKC -CALVI - Sainte-Catherine Airport in Corsica, that was followed soon by another Corsican scenery in LFKF-Figari 16th March. For their next release, FSX3D has move to mainland France and Gap-Tallard aerodrome, located in the town of Tallard 12 km south-southwest of Gap in the Hautes-Alpes (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region). Gap Tallard airport is at an elevation of 1,966 feet (599 m) above mean sea level. The primary runway is designated 03/21 and has a paved surface which measures 965 by 30 metres (3,166 ft × 98 ft). There is also a parallel grass runway measuring 700 by 80 metres (2,300 ft × 260 ft) and paved strip measuring 443 by 10 metres (1,453 ft × 33 ft). The Héliport Aérodrome de Tallard is also part of the scenery. Features Include: Ultra detailed car parks, taxiways and track PBR on all objects Ambient occlusion (Objects and ground) Wet track effects Dynamic lighting Altimeter patch for Ortho4XP Compatibility AutoOrtho Gap-Tallard very well value priced below $10 US dollars at US$9.99. This scenery is only available in the X-Plane 12 option. Corsica, and now Hautes-Alpes are finally getting a lot of X-Plane 12 attention via these FSX3D excellent releases... check them all out now. Images are courtesy of FSX3D _______________________________ LFNA-Gap-Tallard, France by FSX3D is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: LFNA-Gap-Tallard, France Price is US$9.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 515 MB Current version : 1.0 (April 14th 2024) ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 16th March 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  5. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane by BCSceneries Yes... that is the title in "LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally Insane", but this new package from BCSceneries is part of the original, still long worded "LIMJ - Genova COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution" package for X-Plane 11. That Revolution package consisted of a Genoa scenery that covered an area of 243 squares kilometers with the LIMJ-Genoa airport, the Harbour, the ancient port, the fair and industrial areas with hundreds and hundreds of buildings and architectural complexes, and several thousands of objects like ships, cranes, containers, trucks, parked cars, parked trains and so on... it was HUGE scenery, complex, X-PlaneReviews gave you a quick overview (NEWS! update) here. Now from BCSceneries is an expanded version of Genoa, also plus it is for X-Plane 12. The coverage now includes three airports (LIMJ Genova Sestri, LIMG Albenga Airport and LIQW Sarzana Luni Military Airport) and three cities in (Genova, Savona and La Spezia), the scenery has been expanded to cover the entire Liguria region in Northern Italy (7000 square Kilometers). It is a large area covered, and the package has grown from 4.3Gb, to 7Gb in size. Scenery detail includes; The region include coasts, mountains, plains and cities (each with an harbour). La spezia city include an Italian NAVY with UHD military ships (work by Dario Ruga). The entire region with the cities include 1/0.5 m pixel (ZL 17/18) Orthophotos. City of Genova features 100 UHD landmarks (included the LIMJ airport) distributed in the airport, the harbour, industrial areas, Ancient Port, Fair and residential areas UHD landmarks in Genova city are: La Lanterna (lighthouse), animated Ferris wheel, San Giorgio Bridge (former Morandi Bridge), the fair, the static Canadair airplane at LIMJ (all works by Marcogrifo), Genova's Aquarium, the skycrapers at Administrative center and many others. Savona and La Spezia includes In the Ancient Port (near the Galata Sea Museum), there is a submarine (Nazario Sauro S 518) ultra high detailed. Helipads in the airport and in the fair (Eastern of the city). The airports of Albenga (LIMG) and Sarzana (LIQW) are made in a quite good quality with all the buildings present in real life. Both has single runways. They serves GA traffic. In a part of outback there is hand placed vegetation (for forest and agricultural fields - trees for forest and fruit trees for agricultural fields). Sea from photoreal textures. Extensive documentation for the airports and the city (wikipedia). Included Patch to the compatibility of the scenery with X-Plane 11. LIMJ airport features the runway (10/28) on a peninsula into the sea. It serves airline and GA traffic. The entire airport is built in high definition. It features 20 architectural complexes in HD. The LIMJ Terminal is an UHD model and it has partial pre-rendered generic interiors. Further there are custom ground services moving near the Terminal. Also at the Terminal there are moving (walking) people. Rebuilt Terminal, that now is updated to the next 2025 year (in real life there are currently works on expansion of the Terminal). LIMJ airport features the runway (10/28) on a peninsula on the sea. It serves airline and GA traffic. The entire airport is builded in high definition. It feautures 20 architectural complexes in HD. The LIMJ Terminal is an UHD model and it has partial prerendered generic interiors. Further there are custom ground services moving near the Terminal. Also at the Terminal there are moving (walking) people. I've rebuilded the Terminal that now is updated to the next 2025 year (in real life there are currently works on expansion of the Terminal). The control tower at LIMJ has generic prerendered interiors. Realistic and accurate ILS offset of 2 degrees at LIMJ airport. Totally "Insane" this scenery is, so the title is totally correct! as only big words come to mind here... Extensive, Huge, as the area and detail covered in the scenery is well... MASSIVE! To update to LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new "Totally Insane" X-Plane 12 version of the scenery, it is a free update for v5 owners of Revolution, you can purchase the COMPLETE LIMJ Ligurian COAST scenery below. A X-Plane 11 patch is also included if required. _____________________ Yes! the LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane by BCSceneries is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane Price is US$32.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 ( XP11 patch included) 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 7 GB Current Version: 6.0 (April 11th 2024) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 12th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Right Reserved.
  6. Scenery Upgrade Review : KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude One American State that is highly supported with X-Plane scenery than most, and that is Florida. From the lowest point of Key West, to the state boundary in the north, there are some really great quality destinations for you to chose from. My flying time in X-Plane has found me chris-crossing this one state more than any other. Some developers like FS Designs specialise in the Florida State, another in Skytitude has a few quality destinations in there as well. This is Skytitude's upgrade for their original KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport X-Plane 11 scenery, released only in November 2021, so it is not as would say an old scenery in quality, it is still available if required for US$19.95. Before that release the only scenery available for KTHL Tallahassee was an odd version from Rim&Co. A messy piece of work, that was discontinued as it had illegal, meaning stolen objects from other developers work, so best forgotten for more than one reason. So here is the X-Plane 12 upgraded version of KTLH Tallahassee International Airport, which is not actually an international port, as it doesn't have any international services to other countries. However KTLH is noted as a full-service "Service Port" for U.S. Customs. The title allows international cargo and general aviation flights to directly come to Tallahassee, which is the leading cargo handler in the Panhandle area of Florida. Tallahassee handles around 9.5 million pounds of cargo a year, Most services here are what you would call feeder (Hub & Spoke) regional routes, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Dallas and Washington DC. But Tallahassee is also the Florida State Capital, it is the largest city in the Florida Big Bend and Florida Panhandle region. Tallahassee is also a college town with student population exceeding 70,000, home to the Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, a large state college that serves mainly as a feeder school to Florida State and Florida A&M. The KTLH city-owned airport is situated five miles southwest of downtown Tallahassee, in Leon County, The airport covers 2,485 acres (1,006 ha) at an elevation of 81 feet (25 m). It has two runways: 09/27 is 8,000 by 150 feet (2,438 by 46 m) and 18/36 is 7,000 by 150 ft. (2,134 by 46 m). Helicopter operations are generally confined to the Runway 18/36 area, or direct approaches to the Million Air FBO ramp area. Tallahassee International Airport IATA: TLH - ICAO: KTLH - FAA LID: TL 09/27 - 8,000ft (2,438m) Asphalt 18/36 - 7,000ft (2,134m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL81 ft / 25 m A new passenger terminal was built just north of the new 09/27 runway on November 2, 1987, and the new terminal prompted officials to rename the airport from Tallahassee Municipal Airport to Tallahassee Regional Airport. On December 3, 1989, the city opened the $33 million terminal, and on February 20, 2000, the terminal was soon renamed the Ivan Munroe Terminal in honor of Tallahassee aviation pioneer Ivan Munroe. It is a simple layout. A terminal building with a pier that is connecting to a concourse, or a split single concourse into A and B, from the side it is in a H design. The Munroe terminal is really well replicated here by Skytitude, very realistic with very good building detail and adornments. The terracotta roof is in contrast to the brown main building and pier exposed concrete. Scenery clutter is very good, but not overwhelming... there are no animated service vehicles here, and it is noticeable in creating a static sort of environment. Note the excellent aerial installation on the forward part of the connecting pier, and the very nicely done ramp lights. There are eight detailed, white Airbridges A1-A6/B1-B6, like the real ones they come with no branding... they are powered here by the built in X-Plane 12 "Ground handling" menu. A lot of developers are moving away from the SAM system (and it's problems) and back to this updated older version, in lots of ways it is currently a better solution than the fiddly SAM experience. There also five static walkon/walkoff gates for smaller regional aircraft in A7, A4, A2 - B2, B4, B7. The landside terminal is very nicely done, even in a walkaround way, with nice well done 3d vehicle carparks and really reat fauna. But there there is no internal terminal detail. There are also no people, or traffic, again in creating a more static feel at TLH than an active one. On the roof are solar panels, in fact there is a loads of solar panels here as we shall see later. Trees are all X-Plane 12 3D quality, seasonal as well, but you won't get a lot if any snow in Florida. But the fauna quality is high here. Million Air FBO Next largest facility at TLH is the Million Air Fixed Base Operator. Besides for private operators, Million Air also provides contracted fuel services to U.S. Military and Department of Defense aircraft. TLH is regularly visited by U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, Lockheed Martin C-130 family aircraft, as well as Dornier C-146 and T-6 Texan II aircraft on training missions and practice approaches from nearby AFB. The ramp area is massive, and surrounded by maintenance hangers and aviation services FL Aviation and Flightline group. Main large FBO executive building is really well done in brick, next to it is the field's FireStation. Missing is the "Million Air" sign that sits outside the entrance, a small but noticeable overlook, but any signage is also missing here at TLH. But overall the detail and fill of this FBO area is very well done with a heliport with 6 landing pads located at South Apron. Aero Center Tallahassee North is another large ramp for Aero Center Tallahassee and the Epic Flight Academy. The buildings are basic here, as the entrance to the Aero Centre is quite ornamental, missing also is the roof detail of the air-conditioning systems. The brickwork however is well done. Far north are rows of aircraft storage, and this is a great parking ramp if flying into KTLH while exploring the region to refuel, as there are a few refuel stations set around these aprons for your convenience. Cargo The freight facility is FedEx. It has two major gates (1 & 2), and three regional ramps for the FedEx feeder network. But as noted it is used as a U.S. customs international feeder "Service Port" area coming into the US. Control Tower The KTLH field tower is set on the Southside. The facility and its surroundings is excellent, with great roof aerial detail. Infrastructure Is this where all digital pilots go when they leave the X-Plane mortal coil? Yes it is a cemetery, set to the east of the airport called Southside Cemetery, a big one at that, and well done. Also west is the City Of Tallahassee Utilities Water Treatment plant, really well done with real (X-Plane) water in the large pools and even in the treatment ponds... note in the background are the six animated wind turbines. Before leaving the west it is interesting to note the excellent merging of the Custom TLH airport to the default autogen, here the commercial Infrastructure blends in well with the airport boundary, making it a realistic viewpoint if arriving on Rwy 27. Obviously the Tallahassee City owners are very big into efficiency and saving the planet. Surrounding the south approach and the left side of Rwy 18/36, are hundreds of solar panel farms. And all well done here, but I wonder if these massive sun farms could blind a pilot on an approach? The noted "largest airport-based solar station in the world" here is however excellent for the visual detail on approaches 36 and 09. Ground Textures The ground textures are fine, but have no depth of detail, only a sheen, could be even noted as flat to the eye. They look okay with nice grunge, but they are not what you would call "high quality". As this is an X-Plane 12 scenery, you get the excellent weather effects. And again X-Plane 12 does it's miracle showing... water/rain and reflections are all very good, certainly in the right lighting conditions... so the PBR reflective (wet) active textures and burnt-in ambient occlusion works well. Highlight here is the 3d grass, it is excellent and not prone to LOD visuals. The main infield areas are all covered, but there are a few blank areas with no grass... the grass realism makes a big difference to the quality of the scenery. TLH Lighting In the overview of KTLH the lighting is good, with the expected (XP12) ICAO lighting standards adhered to... The ramp areas and external terminal/concourses are nicely lit, with intelligently placed drop lights. Carparks all look great as well... but the terminal/concourse has no window lighting, making the buildings dark, even blacked out at night? Other building lighting in Aviation services hangars are also well done with the well done drop lighting, but the main ramp lights for the Cargo ramp area and FBO ramps are weird, they glow, but don't give out any reflective light to the ground or their surrounding area? I'm going to throw the problem to Laminar Research and not to the developer here, as this new light (flare) bloom effects are coming in the next X-Plane update v12.1.0. We will look at this lighting again when that update is released, so ignore it for now. ____________ Summary Florida is a very well serviced American State for X-Plane pilots to explore with consistent quality destinations. Here with Tallahassee International, it is a very Northern State airport, with great regional connections to Atlanta, Dallas and the Florida State. International in the name is for U.S. Customs "Service Port" only. The KTLH Scenery from Skytitude is overall excellent, with great field landscaping and and excellent reproduced terminal and the Million Air FBO centre. Aero Center Tallahassee is also very good but missing the finer details. Grass and X-Plane 12 weather effects are also excellent. Fauna and overall layout is also first rate. The minor details are just that in minor, but they still count. Terminal Window lighting is missing, ground textures are a bit plain but have nice grunge, and not a lot of signage except for a FedEx sign, and non-lit at light? No ground or traffic animations also give a very static feel to the scenery. Yes I really like this excellent Tallahassee scenery from Skytitude, it has a very nice quality about the package, better as well with the X-Plane 12 effects, and has excellent performance or a very light impact on your computer. This KTLH is an upgrade to X-Plane 12 from the still available X-Plane 11 version, but it is a heavily revised and more modernised scenery than the one released in late 2021. There is also an upgrade offer of 25% off for previous users of the XP11 scenery. How much do I like it? well certainly expect to see KTLH Tallahassee appear in many future reviews from X-PlaneReviews, if any scenery passes that substantial test then it must cover a lot of credentials, most of all in a realistic visual quality... for that aspect alone, it is great investment! ________________________ Yes! KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 Price is US$19.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux Download Size: 703 MB Current version : 1.0 Owners of KTLH XP11 can purchase this new XP12 version for 25% off, please find the coupon code in the original KTLH Invoice. Installation and documents: TLH is download of 520Mb download. There are two folders as part of the installation; skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp-b The second "skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp-b" has to physically moved (cut&paste) lower in the scenery_packs. INI, below the main "skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp" folder. All details are noted in the provided; "INSTALLATION GUIDE. 648Mb is installed into your Custom Scenery folder. Review System Specifications Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.07r1 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft -Rotate MD-80 Pro XP12 - (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 ____________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 11th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  7. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Sherpa K650T Turbine Bush Plane X-Plane 12 by STMA STMA - Shade Tree Micro Aviation have released the Sherpa K650T for X-Plane 12. Although based on the Sherpa X-Plane 11 version (Still available here). This new X-Plane 12 version is heavily revised, with an Improved float package, 3D instruments, Improved autopilot response with flight director steering, totally new FMOD v2 sound pack and X-Plane 12 performance tweaks and effects. The Sherpa cockpit has also been completely rebuilt to include a G530 navigator and comm package plus a Garmin GFC 700 autopilot. The aircraft specifications are interesting in being an experimental bush plane of the Sherpa design. The K650T concept includes a 1050hp Garrett turboprop engine, Wipaire 6100 amphibians, Rossi-Fernandez skis, and Alaska Bush Wheels in a configurable package. Features Short field performance – 300’ takeoff with full payload, 350’ landing with reverse prop Improved float package from the XP11 version – better stability and tracking 3D instrument package with sync and select features for airspeed, altitude, and VVI A great instrument flyer – stable and responsive Improved autopilot response with flight director steering Revised flight manual and operator manuals for systems FMOD Sound Package. Rain and reflective glass package for realistic weather in Alaska or northern Norway Along that last line – a complete anti-ice package to keep you on mission Images are courtesy of STMA STMA Developer Support : STMA Hangar and repair shop .Org The Shade Tree Micro Aviation Sherpa K650T for X-Plane 12 is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore... ______________________ Yes! the Sherpa K650T Turbine Bush Plane XP12 by Shade Tree Micro Aviation is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Sherpa K650T Turbine Bush Plane XP12 Price is US$29.95 Requirements : X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows , Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 175 MB Current version : 12.1 (April 9th 2024) ______________________ News by Stephen Dutton 10th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  8. Aircraft Modification : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series IAE V2500 Engine The McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series MD-80 was the second generation of the DC-9 family, originally designated as the DC-9-80 (DC-9 Series 80) and later stylized as the DC-9 Super 80 (short Super 80). It was a stretched fuselage, enlarged wing, and was powered by higher bypass Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines. The MD80 Series made its first flight on October 18, 1979, and was certified on August 25, 1980. In response to the environmental concerns that began in the 1970s, Pratt & Whitney began developing a new version of the JT8D engine, designated the JT8D-200 series. Designed to be quieter, cleaner, more efficient, yet more powerful than the earlier -15, -17, -11 and-9 series on the DC-9. The -200 Series power-plant was re-engineered with a significantly higher bypass ratio (1.74 to 1) covering the 18,500 to 21,700 pound-force (82 to 97 kN) thrust range and became the standard engine in powering the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series. This is the engine on the Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD88. It's a long thin (still low) higher-bypass engine with clam-shell reversers. Mango Studios have done a modification (MOD) to change this JT8D-200 engine to the later bulkier IAE V2500 Series engine. The look and feel of the V2500 modification is really well done, with high quality 4K Textures and new PBR (Physical Based Render) effects, the quality and installation is simply excellent. Internal exhaust detail is totally authentic, with the correctly fitted outer fins for the correct airflow around the engine pod. The V2500 does not have the clam-shell thrust reversers, but the same arrangement like on the A320, were as the full cowling door opens for the thrust reversal. This aspect is very nicely done here as well, nice operation, with great internal detail of the air vent grid and internal mechanism. This IAE engine was installed on the next stretch of the MD80 Series, third generation of the DC-9 family in the MD90. The engines were notably mostly installed on the MD-90-30 Series with the IAE V2525-D5 engine, with the option of upgrading to the IAE V2528 engine. The V2500 Series is a two-shaft high-bypass turbofan engine built by International Aero Engines (IAE) which also powers the Airbus A320 family. This engine also has an option to add 3,000 lbf for use in Hot & High conditions if needed by activating a switch in the flight deck. The V2525-D5 is fitted with different mounting hardware and accessory gearboxes to facilitate the rear MD-90 T-Tail installation, than say the under wing pylon of the A320. First look at the larger style of the IAE engine and as the MD90 Series had later the enhanced MD-90s glass cockpit, you could say it is the Boeing 717 aircraft, but it's not, as the 717 (MD95) had Rolls-Royce BR700 family engines installed, not IAE Engines. Important to note that with this modification, there are no IAE Engine sounds, strangely odd as Mango Studios are well known for their Sound Packages, and the quite different IAE engine note would have been a nice feature, but it has been noted by the developer IAE sounds are coming real soon. The performance of the Rotate MD88 is not changed either, so any power (V2525-D5 111.20 kN (25,000 lbf)) and fuel-efficiency benefits of the IAE are not available with this installation. Installation Tutorial It is a slightly tricky installation, to switch the original JT9D-200 to the IAE V2525-D5. In the downloaded "IAE V2500 Engine Model" pack there are four three folder items; liveries, objects and a paintkit (psd)... there is also a manual supplied. First you have to "duplicate" the original Rotate-MD-80 aircraft, and add into the title "IAE" From the package objects folder you transfer the 12 files to the MD-88 IAE "objects" folder, and replace (overwrite) the noted 4 files with the new files. Now for the tricky bit... You have to go and open up the X-Plane-planemaker application (in your X-Plane root folder), and open up the MD-80-IAE aircraft (acf) file. Under the banner menu "Standard" is the "Objects" selection. You have to scroll to the bottom of the objects tool, and then using the "ADD" button, insert THREE new layers... Far right on each layer is a slot to insert the file, with the selection button to the left of the slot... then insert the three new objects (V2500_I.obj, V2500_r.obj, N1_fast.object) in the MD-80 IAE "Objects" folder... into the correct slot, then "Save" (File) the changes. If correctly done, then the new IAE powerplant should be seen on the main planemaker page... and the MD-80 IAE aircraft is now ready in the X-Plane Configuration menu. Although there is a folder called "liveries", they are actually only the MOD files FOR the liveries, not the completed new livery. So you will still need the original "livery" to add in the MOD livery files... Each livery folder includes four files; md80_cola_der.png, md80_cola_izq.png, V2500_l.png, V2500_r.png and all four are transferred to the said livery "Objects" folder... Again you will be asked to overwrite two of the object files. You have to do this same process for ALL the liveries provided. Note the livery "Delta retro" is in fact Delta Old, or the default livery? Five livery conversions are provided; Allegiant, Delta (Old), JAL, Lion and Scandinavian. All look excellent, and note how the larger engine can highlight the decals. If you want to update another favorite livery, there is a paintkit (photoshop) provided, the paint kit covers the L & R engines, so you also have to still add in two files "md80_cola_der.png" and "md80_cola_izq.png" to each new set of the new livery conversion into the same objects folder. In the air the IAE V2500 conversion looks amazing! X-PlaneReviews - Rotate MD80 X-Plane 12 update review is here... Aircraft Upgrade Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 by Rotate Summary This is a modification to change the Rotate MD80 (MD88) from the original install JT8D-200 engine to the later bulkier IAE V2500 Series engine as found on the Airbus A320 Series. The IAE engines were notably mostly installed on the MD-90-30 Series with the IAE V2525-D5 engine, with the option of upgrading to the IAE V2528 engine. Mango Studios have provided a modification kit to change the over the engines by duplicating a Rotate MD80 aircraft and installing the V2500 engine via X-Plane planemaker application, it's not too hard to do, and the tutorial is above. Also provided are MOD files to change five liveries to match the new engine installation and paintkit to do your own changes on other liveries. This modification really gives you a more modern looking MD Series aircraft, sounds for the IAE are coming soon as well to highlight the package from Mango Studios, that will also be noted here when available. Simply... a big yes, I love the Rotate MD80 in X-Plane 12, this conversion gives you another engine version to widen the aircraft's appeal and only for less than US$6, so a big yes, yes and it comes more flying options with the Rotate MD80 Series... winner, winner. _____________________ Yes! the Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on Price is US$5.99 The Rotate MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 is required for this add-on. Requirements The Rotate MD-80 is required for this add-on. Download Size: 415 MB Current version: Initial Release (May 9th 2024) Documentation Manual provided by Mango Studios is a bit basic, hence the Tutorial here in this review Manual.pdf _____________________ Aircraft Modification Review by Stephen Dutton 9th May 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.09rc5 Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - LIRF - Airport Rome XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.99 (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) All Rights Reserved
  9. Aircraft Review - Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA by vSkyLabs One of the most interesting things of the changing of the eras, is the transition point, or a certain revolutionary design that in itself creates the new era. These time periods are interesting, exciting as well... as you are seeing the forward advances of a particular genre. In Aviation's case, these forward advances in design and increasing engine power was in the early to late 1920's, this period was breathtaking in the changes of aircraft. From the frame and fabric (tri) biplanes of the First World War, to the first steps of commercial aviation that changed the world. Center of this explosion of sweeping change, is Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG, a maker of boilers and radiators. "Junkers" as they are known created the first all metal designed aircraft in the Junkers J1, nicknamed the Blechesel (Tin Donkey or Sheet Metal Donkey), that was the monumental transition point from the frame/fabric to a Monocoque construction. The J1 was only an experimental aircraft, but it did create a subsequent series of monocoque metal based airframes, and created success for Junkers. With this success, Junkers wanted to expand into other aircraft categories. Most current Junker aircraft were medium to large by the day's standards, but what of a Junior or smaller "Sports" aircraft or "Sportsplane". The Junkers A50 Junior was the first sportsplane designed by Hermann Pohlmann. It had the same modern all-metal construction, in being covered with corrugated duralumin sheet as the larger Junkers passenger planes. But the A50 was small, only a crew of two, sitting in tandem in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). powered by a Two-bladed propeller, and had a conventional fixed split axle mainwheel landing gear, with a rear skid. The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by further four prototypes, in order to test different engines, but eventually they settled on a 80-hp, 5-cylinder radial engine. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The high prices probably inhibited sales... but the design had created a new category in aviation. However the Junkers A50 Junior was able to set a number of FAI world records around the world and became famous, amongst other things, because Marga von Etzdorf was the first woman to fly her Junkers A50 Junior from Berlin to Tokyo in several stages in 1931. The aircraft however has not been resigned to the original's past. In 2022, (The new) Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 for LSA approval. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 of these new A50s have been sold in Europe, and plans have been made for the American WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category is a small 2 seat aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 600kg. The modern interpretation of the Junker A50 is the version here for the X-Plane 12 Simulator by vSkyLabs. This aircraft is part of the ‘Test-Pilot’ Series, an open ended on going project with regular updates and changes as part of the process. The vSkyLabs Junkers A50 Junior is based on the modern German version, there will also be no X-Plane 11 version. Like a flying cigar, the A50 is long and very sleek. Although this version is the modern interpretation of the 1929 classic, the lines and construction are exactly the same. It is very easy to behold this futuristic design in those early days, it looks and feels very Pre-war WW2 Junkers as well. The reproduction of the corrugated duralumin sheeting or an early type of age-hardenable aluminium–copper alloy is excellently well done here. The term is a combination of Dürener and Aluminium. It was also used extensively on Zeppelin Airships of the same period. The aircraft is all basically duralumin, except for the shiny Aluminium engine cowl and wheel struts. The propeller is actually a modern composite MT-Propeller, than the old wooden version, for weight and strength. On the real A50, you can remove the wings, or fold them backwards, but not on the vSkyLabs version. The exhaust is modern as well, and the oil cooler gives the modern engine type away. The gear design from the 1920's however has been retained, with a bicycle spoke style design, pencil thin tyres and with disc brakes. It is a basic arrangement, but works and it is very nicely replicated here in it's simplistic but metallic splendour. The twin cockpits are wildly spaced apart along the narrow fuselage, not at all combined together forward like of the Tiger Moth and such aircraft. The brown leather cockpit surround is lovely, but missing is the cover for the front cockpit when empty? expect in an update... There are two pilots (slightly animated) and lifelike (meaning realistic). They are selected via the X-Plane "Weight, Balance & Fuel" via the sliders. In the rear is the pilot, in the front is the passenger... and to note the severe Centre of Gravity position with only the rear pilot in the aircraft, so you have to find ways to balance the aircraft in better to compensate for the odd weight distribution. Both pilot and passenger are not hands or legs animated as noted, but if you press Command "G" (Toggle landing gear) then the front passenger will slip sideways for the rear pilot to see ahead, a nice feature. And an override of the fixed landing gear on the A50. Cockpit In the (rear) cockpit it is all metal inside. Incredible is the design of almost 100 years between the two generations of A50s. But in here the metal design and construction it is almost the same, it is like living in the past, now in the future. It is very well done in recreating this construction aspect of the aircraft. Simple stick and rudder pedals are well done, as is the housing for the cables. There is a "Remove Before Flight" safety pin (Emergency Parachute) that is stored in the right side satchel. On the left side are two levers, rear is the Elevator Trim, front the Throttle... left rear floor is the fuel tank selector. The real (modern) A50 Junior has installed a Garmin G3X Touch 10” with a Garmin G3X Touch 7” or GI 275 with Winter altimeter/Winter airspeed indicators as instruments. Here in the vSkyLabs version we have the customised Laminar Research Garmin G1000 fitted. And nicely intergrated it is... Power switches and start button are on the left, (active) Circuit Breakers (Fuses) with ELT and USB Charge panels on the right. Up top are the two bus (ECU) lights, and on the very top is a AOA (Angle of Attack) avionics upgrade, based on the 'Alpha Systems AOA' Eagle AOA kit. (we will look at this in flight) The G1000 is the standard default Avionics system... Speed and Altitude/Vertical Speed tapes, Artificial Horizon, Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) with NAV 1/GPS BRG (Backgrounds), Speeds, Baro, Altitude, Wind, HDG (Heading) and CRS (Course) are all shown. There are however two configurations (custom) of the PFD (Primary Flight Display). One (above) has three readouts, in being overlaid with top left Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT), below is the Manifold Pressure and for right lower is the Engine RPM. Turnoff the "AVIO" switch far left and the screen changes to the standard G1000 engine readout panel. Here now shown is the RPM (top), FF (Fuel Flow), Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), VAC (Vacuum), Fuel Quantity, Electrical (Bus/Volts) and Battery (Amps). Pressing the P/MFD (red Button) with change the screen to the Multi-Function/MAP Display. Standard adjustable G1000 popouts are available in both engine display modes, but the three custom instruments don't show on that setting. Obviously a very simple instrumentation set up, but really well done here in this basic Sports style aircraft. _________________ Flying the (Modern) Junkers A50 Junior Turning on the power, even selecting the twin ECU Buses doesn't bring the A50 alive. So there is also the need to push in all the CBs (Circuit Breakers/Fuses), then while doing so you see the different systems on the different CB selections relating to the various avionics. Fuel selector is on the floor, and their is no "All" tank selection, just Left-Right (tanks) or OFF, so you have to select one of the L-R tanks for fuel flow... Fuel capacity is 95L (25 US gal; 21 imp gal), Range is an amazing 600 km (370 mi, 320 nmi). When ready just press the Starter Button to easily fire up the engine. Unlike the original A50, this is a modern powerplant, a 100 hp Rotax 912i that comes with more power as well than the older original installation of the Armstrong Siddeley Genet which is a five-cylinder, air-cooled, radial engine for aircraft use, that was then built in the UK, and first run in 1926. The Genet developed 80 hp at 2,200 rpm in its final form and was in this era a very popular light aircraft powerplant. The later Rotax 912 is a horizontally-opposed four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated, four-stroke aircraft engine with a reduction gearbox. It features liquid-cooled cylinder heads and air-cooled cylinders. Originally equipped with carburetors, the later versions are now fuel injected. It sounds brilliant, although these Rotax engine sounds are now very common in the X-Plane Simulator. There is no "Novice" setting for the tailwheel, it is either locked or free castoring under the X-Plane "Toggle tailwheel lock" setting... so taxiing is a tricky business, either power up with the tailwheel locked and use the toe-brakes heavily to drag the tail into the direction you want to go. Or use a combination of going straight, then "Toggling" the tailwheel on/off by the key Command and using a lighter touch on the toe-brake to turn, or if the aircraft is actually castoring in the right direction... then locking the tailwheel again to go straight when turned to the right direction of travel... messy and hard work, especially if you are not very competent with this taildragger style? You can't see much either when taxiing, as your just not positioned close up front behind the passenger, but sited way down in the rear, but central position in the aircraft. Overall the A50 Junior is just a simply Stick and Rudder aircraft, with a few modern tweaks. So you fly the machine in a very basic way. Tons of right rudder is needed to keep you straight and you will have to find that sweet position to counter the engine asymmetric thrust, your tail lifts just after 30 knts (33 knts) then the rudder aerodynamics now need the control, still giving right rudder, but your moving the pedals around now a bit finer. Takeoff is around 45 knts and officially noted as 250 m (820 ft), no flaps here. You don't really have a Vertical Speed, just a gradual climb out of around 400 fpm. You feel like Louis Blériot, the first person to cross the English Channel in 1909... exposed in a simple aircraft, the wind rushing past your face (a small in your face fan helps with the effect)... but it's great fun, aviation in it's very basic form in this very striking looking aircraft. Unlike the 1929 version, here you have on your A50 a few modern conveniences, like a full G1000 avionics package. So this gives you an Autopilot, and even Flightplans at your disposal (handy if you want to actually cross the English Channel). Only one slight annoyance is that to switch between the PFD and MAP/Flightplan popup displays, you first have to close the current screen, then move over to the other selection, and then reopen the other pop-up, it is slightly annoying when setting up a flight plan and having to keep going back and forth to each of the different popup displays. As noted you can move the head sideways with the front passenger, but the head still moves as well with the angle (bank) of the A50, which is very realistic, and both pilot and passenger heads move together in partnership. There are no liveries with the package. Although there is a choice of colours of the fuselage from the Modern Junkers A50 brochure, including; White Aluminium, Glacier White, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Papaya Metallic, Saffron Yellow Metallic and Frozen Blue... I think they would be a nice addition to the package here. Lighting is of course extremely basic... no landing lights, just wing navigation and strobe lights. Light comes from the G1000 displays, but there are two side lights that have no lighting source. The AOA base is pretty as well. The A50 Junior is actually very nicely balanced if you get the Elevator Trim right, like most of the era, these light aircraft are fun and fine to twirl around the sky in, with no loss of height in steep banks or with heavy manoeuvres... lovely actually. But these Light-Sports are very susceptible in winds, and the forces will shake you and buffet you around, as seen in this video. I need to have a look at my landing field, EGHR - Goodwood in the south of England. So I do an orientation pass over the field, and note the grass strips are very hard to see? But the G1000 does give you a few tools to help... the Course Pointer in the HSI is great for aligning you going downwind in the landing pattern (then for runway course alignment). The G1000 HSI also has ILS alignment, but not here with the grass landing strips, but good to know if you want a landing alignment tool. Going downwind I drop down to 300ft and 73 knts, ready for the approach... then a 180º turn back to the field, again using the course angle to set the Runway 32 approach. Now down 200 ft and dropping the speed to get the best descent angle... a lot of feel (feedback) through the throttle is very good. There are no flaps here to reduce the speed zone, but it feels like a bi-plane in lift, pulling back on the stick, the A50 easily rubs off the speed to make the approach quite perfect, the Junkers Junior handles so well. Coming into finals on the 32 Approach, I'm not familiar with the airfield, so I'm a little off angle, but I'm fine with that... Now the AOA "Eagle" feature comes alive, and I'm tracking too low at the rear... gradually I adjust the pitch nose down to move the AOA upwards. It is very good, it sets the A50 up to the almost perfect angle for landing, throttle power is now my other tool to control the final descent. consistently adjusting the speed and AOA angle until they both perfectly match... ... On the perfect AOA blue circle, and your set, and then you glide down onto the grass, and then touch! Then let the rear settle. Considering the almost One Hundred years between the first A50, and this new modern counterpart. The flight aspect in the stick and rudder, metal long tube fuselage and lovely wings. It is just the instruments that are different, but the actual A50 flight experience is remarkably the same. _____________ Summary The Junkers A50 already is a legend. As it was the first Sportsplane, and designed by Hermann Pohlmann in the Junkers works. The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by a further four prototypes, in order to test different engines, but settled on a 80-hp, 5-cylinder radial engine. The A50 was an all metal construction sports plane, conventional in layout, with low cantilever wings and stressed corrugated duralumin covered, the same material as used in the Zeppelin Airships.... Two-spar wings could fold rearwards or be detached. Crew of two, sit in tandem, in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). The A50 used a Two-blade propeller and conventional fixed split axle main-wheel landing gear, with a rear skid. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The aircraft however has not been resigned to the past. In 2022, Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 called the "Junior S" for LSA approval. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 of these new A50s have sold in Europe, and plans have been made for WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category is a small 2 seat aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 600kg. This A50 aircraft is from renowned vSkyLabs, and it is based on the modern German version, it comes with a dual display G1000 Avionics system, 'Alpha Systems' Eagle AOA (Angle of Attack) and semi-animated pilots. Beautifully designed and well recreated of the original look and feel of this unique material, it is also tailored for perfect VR (Virtual Reality) realism. Flight dynamics and (Rotex) engine sounds are also first rate. Basically the A50 is a simple stick and rudder aircraft, from originally a dynamic era of change in aviation. So the aircraft to use and fly is simply excellent for novices, but beware the taildragger steering is tricky and difficult to use on the ground with no artificial helpers. So recreate and fly in this 1920's innovative era aircraft, with a modern twist, I really loved it... once in the air, and to have the features of using modern tools (Autopilot, Flightplans, HSI, ILS alignment) should feel odd in this environment, but I still loved it. Even if I will always desire the authentic 1920's experience. The vSkyLabs A50 Junior is great value as well, as is the excellent on-going support from vSkyLabs... so in my eyes the Junkers A50 Junior is an all round winner. _____________ Yes! Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12 Price is US$29.00, on sale for US$20.30, You Save:$8.70(30%) Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac and Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (March 29th 2024) Project Main Features: VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project: designed for use with X-Plane cutting edge flight model environment, featuring superb flight dynamics with authentic performance and flight handling characteristics. Superb Flight dynamics: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior simulation is a highly engineered, robust tail-glider S-LSA simulation model which makes use of X-Plane 12 sophisticated flight dynamics and physics simulation, extracting it to its limits. Simulated systems: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior features X-Plane 12 latest native features, systems and physics. This assures a 'high airworthiness' in X-Plane, throughout its update process. Some systems may be restricted to X-Plane default systems algorithms. General cockpit configuration: Equipped with a full-scale and fully-featured X-Plane 12 G1000, in a single-screen / dual-display configuration, to allow maximum usability. Equipped with Alpha Systems AOA 'Eagle' indicator replica. Passenger leaning-aside feature for better takeoff and landing forward visibility (by demand via interaction/assignment). Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage. Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots: The aircraft is designed to be flown from the back-seat cockpit. This configuration requires higher piloting skills, and it *will* make you a better pilot!. The front-seat cockpit is fully functional as well, with the limitations which are derived from the real-world Junkers A50 Junior front-seat operations). Wonderful FMOD sound package that includes authentic Rotax 912iS engine recordings and an interactive set of dynamic sound layers that will "wrap" your open-cockpit flying experience, setting a whole new level of immersion! Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater (XP12 only) - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap). Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com. Aircraft download is 290.1 Mb, and unpacked then installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 408.5 Mb Documents How to INSTALL your VSKYLABS aircraft.pdf How to UPDATE your VSKYLABS aircraft.pdf VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior ESSENTIALS.pdf VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior POH.pdf Designed by VSKYLABS Support forum for the Junkers A50 Junior _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport by NKdesign (X-Plane.orgStore) US$15.00 - EGHR - Goodwood Chichester 1.0.0 by jbnemo (X-Plane.Org) - Free ___________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 5th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  10. NEWS! - FunnerFlight upgrades KJFK - New York John F Kennedy International v3 X-Plane 12 FunnerFlight have upgraded their extensive KJFK - John Kennedy International to v3 and X-Plane 12. The older X-Plane 11 version of FunnerFlight's JFK is still available and is currently on sale for US$13.97 The KJFK v3 upgrade includes a load of changes and new features are included in the package... Complete realignment of airport with added Aerial Photography Deletion of hundreds of unnecessary objects for better FPS. Added Laminar Research roads for a busier look Added Laminar Research Ground Service vehicles and routes Almost 20,000 objects. Old Terminal 3 demolition area. Terminal 4 Extension on Concourse B New XP12 Auto Jetways at every ramp (shift+g) Improved lighting. And most importantly: TRAFFIC GLOBAL TESTED AND READY! Tested Wind Rules and separate runways for Arrivals and Departures Notable is the refining of better FrameRate, important in this very complex and high density autogen area. Current JFK changes around the old Terminal 3 (old PanAm Worldport) and the new Terminal 4 extension are also both included here. John F. Kennedy International Airport is a major international airport serving New York City, United States. The airport is the busiest of the seven airports in the New York airport system, the 6th-busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America. The facility covers 5,200 acres (2,104 ha) and is the largest and busiest airport in the New York City area. John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally called Idlewild Airport after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that it displaced. It was built to relieve LaGuardia Field, which had since become overcrowded after its 1939 opening.  In late 1941, mayor Fiorello La Guardia announced that the city had tentatively chosen a large area of marshland on Jamaica Bay, which included the Idlewild Golf Course as well as a summer hotel and a landing strip called the Jamaica Sea-Airport, for a new airfield. Later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month and two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. proposed the airport's renaming. Since then then it always been known as JFK. I would recommend a strong video card with at least 8Gb of VRAM for this scenery, you can run a 4 GB Video Card as a minimum, but there are a lot of objects to absorb (15,000), and some very large graphic textures. The FunnerFlight v3.0 KJFK is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, but for X-Plane 12 only. ________________________________ The KJFK - New York John F Kennedy International v3 - XP12 by FunnerFlight is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore... KJFK - New York John F Kennedy International v3 - XP12 Price is US$19.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ Video Card recommended. Download Size: 600 MB Current version: 3.0 for X-Plane 12 (April 2024) Customers who own KFJK v2 by FunnerFlight can get the new v3 XP12 version for 50% off. Coupon code can be found in the original KFJK v2 invoice (does not apply to other KJFK models from other designers) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  11. NEWS! - X-Crafts Celebrates 10 Years! To be a developer you have to have a wide range of skills, it takes guts and intelligence to deliver products for any Simulator, certainly when delivering consistently in the higher quality study category. X-Crafts has everything in spades, From their very first release, it showed the future was very bright, and X-PlaneReviews was there from the start.... and XPR noted "certainly X-Craft was a developer house to watch because the work is very good". Ten years on and the output and service has been truly excellent, certainly in the last year with the step up into the highest quality category of the X-Plane 12 Simulator. To celebrate this ten year anniversary in X-Plane, X-Crafts are celebrating with a big giveaway to celebrate their new milestone, with a chance to win many of their products, and even win a ticket to FSExpo 2024. PRIZES: One ticket to Flight Sim Expo 2024 - June 21-23, 2024, Las Vegas, US Embraer Fleet by X-Crafts - A bundle of all our products Full E-Jets Family by X-Crafts - A bundle of all our E-Jets The E175 by X-Crafts - Our most popular E-Jet HOW TO ENTER: Simply subscribe to our Not-A-Newsletter™ using this link between the 1st of April and the 30th of April 2024. Existing Not-A-Newsletter subscribers can still fill out the form to participate. In May 2024 we will randomly select four winners. BY SUBSCRIBING, YOU WILL ALSO GET: A download link for our Free E-Jets for X-Plane 11 (and in a few weeks also Free E-Jets for X-Plane 12!) The latest edition of our eBook: X-Plane Explained Our Free Preview models of the E140 & E170 Exclusive look behind the scenes of flight sim development Insider tips & tricks that only X-Plane developers know Terms & Conditions: This contest only applies to subscribers who signed up through the dedicated form on our website, linked above. You can unsubscribe at any time, but you will no longer be eligible to win. The winner of the first prize can decide whether they would like the tickets to FSExpo 2024 or the Embraer Fleet by X-Crafts instead. Part of the giveaway includes a free package that feature their older freeware E175 and E195, which have been updated, enhanced, and fully optimised for X-Plane 12. The enhancements include a higher resolution map displaying a top-of-descent indication, seamless visualization of ILS deviations using the preview mode while still in LNAV, and more. But to note, they are not the latest E-Jet Series on sale, just the older X-Plane 11 designs updated for both versions of the Simulator. Notable is that soon, X-Crafts will also be releasing the ERJ X-Plane 12 Series, with the same quality and features on par with the sensational E-Jet Series packages... So it's a big year for the X-Crafts Team and in particular for Marko Mamula. So congratulations from X-PlaneReviews to X-Crafts on their decade anniversary! More information and the giveaway can be found here: X-Crafts ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  12. Behind the Screen : March 2024 On the 4th of February 2024, there was a Developer's conference in Montreal for X-Plane Simulator platform. Here the best and most prominent developers joined together to work out not only the future of the X-Plane Simulator, but also to share their friendship in meeting their fellow workers in arms. Laminar Research was at the same conference as well. That should have been a huge advantage in working with the very people that do the core workings of the X-Plane Simulator, the setting was ripe for setting a future roadmap and an agenda for X-Plane from both sides of the Simulator... but the conference didn't end to that satisfaction. At the height of the conference, Laminar Research announced that they were going to create a product store within the X-Plane Simulator, a reflection of the same arrangement that is part of the MSFS 2020 (Microsoft Simulator) platform. This sudden announcement did not unite the developers to the Laminar cause, in fact it divided the conference, and in itself created a rolling discontent among the the attendees, certainly when the news hit the forums, all sorts of comments came out. Initially most users were very supportive of the internal store idea, yes another store, and one built directly into the Simulator, this aspect is a major plus.... but X-Plane is not at all structured like Microsoft's Simulator, it is not a large single central entity, but a Universe with many different revolving planets, and set at it's centre are two massive Jupiter sized planets called Laminar Research and the X-Plane.Org. Initially Laminar Research never dealt with the user side of the Simulator, it was (still is) the founder and on going developer of the Simulator. The X-Plane.Org grew out of the need for users to interact, create and support the X-Plane Simulator. In the early day's it was a sort of clubby meeting place to share and communicate all things X-Plane. I'm not saying that MSFS also has this same network of user sites and forums set around it and in giving support and communication to the platform, in fact every platform has it's own network. But the central core of development and selling product at MSFS is embedded directly into the system, it is even hosted and run as an online game. But X-Plane's in it's arrangement was more focused and generalised than the others. Someone noted that the X-Plane.Org is not the centre of the X-Plane universe, as other sites contribute to the platform, and yes I agree with that aspect in file sharing and product sales, like the Fly Away Simulation sites, but most are only sales sites (Orbx, Just Flight & SimMarket). But the X-Plane.Org is different in that it supports the Developers directly or even indirectly in the support of creating the products to use in the Simulator. Early days of X-Plane were mostly based around the PlaneMaker tool provided with the Simulator, mostly aircraft were then generic, but clever in a customised way. So the clubby .Org supported these products as they were mostly freeware based. But even in these early years, the X-Plane.Org struggled for support. Sites and platforms cost money to host and maintain. Free is all very nice, but it doesn't buy you servers and software to run it all, and very quickly the site required money to support the ever expanding user base. Donations was an early trial, but failed as they were not very consistent and worse in not really giving enough financial support to the .Org site. The solution came with Nicolas Taureau, and he set up a store to sell the now more quality based "Payware" products, but the funds also supported the .Org in succession and allowed it to thrive and grow into the big utility it is today. Most of this important support is not aggrandised or visually translated, as is Taureau's personality, understated is more to the point, but important is the support of the .Org system to the X-Plane platform, of which X-PlaneReviews is also a benefactor. So now you have the X-Plane Universe, with Laminar Research and the X-Plane.Org running in parallel or in orbits around each other, Laminar in not wanting the commercial side of the Simulator, bar of selling a few cups and T-Shirts. And the X-Plane.Org system supporting the developer and user base. So what happens if you move the financial base of developers and sales of the X-Plane Simulator directly to the new store? in reality, you are blowing the X-Plane universe apart, and I really don't think that a lot of users realised that the amount of the support funding of the X-Plane.Org, developer support and loads of other auxiliary items that was generated by the X-Plane.OrgStore... and neither did Austin Meyer's, head honcho of Laminar Research. All he saw was a store in MSFS and the money he could generate if he installed inside X-Plane the same system as Microsoft, a good idea financially, but structurally unsound for his own creation. We have to understand, and oddly the original mission of X-Plane was for it to be a platform of experimentation of all things aviation. That is the core of PlaneMaker as well, although that aspect was left behind more than a decade ago. In wanting far better functionality and higher quality Simulation, it had move on pass the basic origins of PlaneMaker to plugin based custom products. This now is really the contention of the issue and where the money goes to. Obviously Laminar Research want to expand beyond being just the gatekeeper of X-Plane. So there are currently a lot of issues created by the announcement of 4th February 2024. Certainly it has the promise to unstable a very balanced current system, and the ramifications are enormous if Laminar Research get this idea wrong, and creates questions... but what of a store with very few products to sell? Would they in the future also financially support the user base... they made a very big message over the decades of not getting or even involved at all in this aspect, but they would be either the demise of it, or even damaging it beyond repair... if that scenerio was possible, could it also damage the X-Plane model as a simulator entirely? Kill the very goose that lays the golden eggs... I'm doomsaying again, but this time not without reason. So we are at a threshold, not a runway one were X-Plane gets to land safely beyond the fence and onto the hard solid runway. Since the 4th of February announcement, there has been no forth coming new announcements or details from Laminar Research, except for a few flashy images on the X-Plane website and social media. Obviously the next announcement will be the launch of the store, and it's insertion into the X-Plane Simulator. It will be very good, as Laminar are very good at these sort of things. But there is far more required than opening a store, but of the quality of the stock inside of it. Loyalty to Nicolas Taureau is also extremely strong, and why not. He has supported and cultivated the core product of the Simulator for more than over a decade, and make no mistake here in not doing it selfishly for just for the product to sell, but to give talented developers the resources and support they needed to acquire the skills we take for granted, and with the excellent products we all use. How this current store scenario plays out will be important to the future of the Simulator, hopefully we will have an answer by Q3 as announced for the opening of the LR Store in the 3rd quarter of the year... one thing is very sure, the X-Plane Simulator we used only last year, will be a very different to the one we will be using at the end of 2024. There was no edition of BtheS in February 2024, as I went of a well earned holiday, break.. or a cruise around the South Pacific. Obviously the 4th February announcement traveled with me, but I did get a well deserved change of scenery and a big sea refresh. But my demur was already more brighter before the departure, in fact since late 2023, when X-Plane through version 12.0.9, and behaved itself. A second South Pacific X-Plane related revisit to Tahiti in the same region was simply sheer coincidence, but translated the same to the X-Plane Simulator in how it mirrors the real world. Now we are looking forward to X-Plane 12 v12.1.0... the v12.1.0 update is expected to be a landmark release outside of a formal version change. Most of the focus is on graphics, including the nasty Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) Improvements, Water improvements, RCAS (Robust Contrast Adaptive Sharpening), Bloom effects and better particle effects. Systems include a better G1000 functionality, Stormscope, Traffic Map and Airport METAR flags... a new STEC ST-360 Autopilot is also included, new tools include better screenshot effects, which suits us really well... it is quite a list. With everything, then this post Easter holiday will be one of the most interesting yet, and the version v12.1.0 was highlighted with great reception at the FS Weekend in the Netherlands. Expect a beta release within weeks. Importantly those on-going v12.1.0 is more better system refinements, in shifting the heavy workload from your Graphics card over to the Processor. We expected this aspect for the release of X-Plane 12, but it will come now about mid-term in the X-Plane 12 version run. The changes will not magically fix your framerate, as heavier graphics will equalise out the benefits of less load on the Graphic Card, but it will overall make the X-Plane Simulator more efficient. I was a little annoyed about this aspect as I invested heavily in the processor side in my last system upgrade with the earlier announcement, then finding that Laminar was leaning even more heavily than ever onto the Graphic card side, so more expense was required to beef up that hardware side, now they are going back to the original focus, it is annoying and expensive as well to cater for these changing whims. Another change over the month was the upgrading of scenery for X-Plane 12. Finally the slow dribble has started to be a better flow from scenery developers, Aerosoft particularly was very active in releasing replacements and improvements to scenery that have been a long time dormant, and obviously we need more to come, a lot more. Although noted as an ever constant developing Simulator, X-Plane 12 will hopefully reach a mature point with the release of v12.1.0. Then that aspect bringing in even more resources for users to experience. So Q2 has a lot of potential to be one of the best period of 2024 for some big quality releases, even if it dribbles into the Northern Summer. But developers need a better more mature Simulator to bring quality releases to the Users, that aspect was something quite lacking over the last few years... it is time for X-Plane 12 to turn the corner... and that is said on April Fools day! See you all next month. Stephen Dutton 1st April 2024 Copyright©2024 X-Plane Reviews
  13. NEWS! - Scenery Upgraded : KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude Tucked north in the east of the Gulf of Mexico in the American state of Florida is Tallahassee. The capital of the state, and it is the largest city in the Florida Big Bend and Florida Panhandle region. Tallahassee is also a college town with student population exceeding 70,000, home to Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, a large state college that serves mainly as a feeder school to Florida State and Florida A&M. Tallahassee International Airport is a city-owned airport five miles southwest of downtown Tallahassee, in Leon County, Florida, United States. It serves the state capital of Florida, and its surrounding areas; it is one of the major airports in north Florida, the others being Pensacola, Northwest Florida Beaches, and Jacksonville. Despite its name, it does not service any international destinations. Rim&Co did a weird X-Plane 11 version of KTLH Tallahassee, but they got into trouble for stealing other peoples objects. Another version of KTLH was from Skytitude for X-Plane 11, and this is the re-released X-Plane 12 version. Owners of KTLH XP11 can also purchase this new XP12 version for 25% off, and Skytitude importantly note that this NEW scenery for X-Plane 12 was completely renovated and does not contain anything from older version. Features: ❯ Complete and Accurate representation of Tallahassee Airport ❯ Custom Materials and Surfaces with Physical-Based Rendering Effect (PBR) ❯ Spectacular Buildings and Objects with Realistic Night Lighting ❯ Tons of High Density Hand-Placed Forests and Plants ❯ Wet Surfaces Using New X-Plane 12 Weather Technology ❯ Custom 3D Grass Using New X-Plane 12 Vegetation Technology ❯ Moveable Jetways Using New X-Plane 12 Technology ❯ AI Traffic Routes for Airliners are implemented ❯ Accurately Built Large Surrounding Area with Thousands of Hand-Placed Objects ❯ All Surrounding Area Lakes have Realistic Water Masks ❯ Huge Solar Power Farms are Implemented in Outstanding Quality Without Performance Impact ❯ Water Treatment Facility on Runway 27 Final Approach Area ❯ Well Optimized, Awesome Performance even on Low-End or High-Loaded Machines ❯ Highest Precision of Surface Markings, Lights, Signs and other Ground Elements ❯ Markings and Signs are strictly complains FAA rules 150/5340-1M and 150/5340-18G as real one's Images are courtesy of Skytitude ________________________ Yes! KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 Price is US$19.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux Download Size: 703 MB Current version : 1.0 Owners of KTLH XP11 can purchase this new XP12 version for 25% off, please find the coupon code in the original KTLH Invoice. ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 30th March 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  14. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA by vSkyLabs The Junkers A50 already is a legend. As it was the first Sportsplane, and designed by Hermann Pohlmann in the Junkers works. The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by a further four prototypes, in order to test different engines, but settled on a 80-hp, 5-cylinder radial engine. The A50 was an all metal construction sports plane, conventional in layout, with low cantilever wings, stressed corrugated duralumin covered, the same material as used in the larger Junkers passenger planes.... Two-spar wings could fold rearwards or be detached. Crew of two, sit in tandem, in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). The A50 used a Two-blade propeller and conventional fixed split axle main-wheel landing gear, with a rear skid. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The high prices probably inhibited sales... but the design created a new category in aviation. The aircraft however has not been resigned to the past. In 2022, Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 called the "Junior" for LSA approval. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 of these new A50s have sold in Europe, and plans have been made for WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category is a small 2 seat aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 600kg. The vSkyLabs ‘Test-Pilot’ Junkers A50 Junior for the X-Plane 12 Simulator is based on the modern German version, and equipped with a full-scale and fully-featured X-Plane 12 G1000 avionics in both cockpits. Display configuration consists of a single screen/dual display bundle, which allows ‘flicking’ of PFD/MFD on during flight and on the fly. There will be no X-Plane 11 version. Features Include Superb Flight dynamics: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior simulation is a highly engineered, robust tail-glider S-LSA simulation model which makes use of X-Plane 12 sophisticated flight dynamics and physics simulation, extracting it to its limits. Simulated systems: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior features X-Plane 12 latest native features, systems and physics. This assures a 'high airworthiness' in X-Plane, throughout its update process. Some systems may be restricted to X-Plane default systems algorithms. General cockpit configuration: Equipped with a full-scale and fully-featured X-Plane 12 G1000, in a single-screen / dual-display configuration, to allow maximum usability. Equipped with Alpha Systems AOA 'Eagle' indicator replica. Passenger leaning-aside feature for better takeoff and landing forward visibility (by demand via interaction/assignment). Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage. Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots: The aircraft is designed to be flown from the back-seat cockpit. This configuration requires higher piloting skills, and it *will* make you a better pilot!. The front-seat cockpit is fully functional as well, with the limitations which are derived from the real-world Junkers A50 Junior front-seat operations). Wonderful FMOD sound package that includes authentic Rotax 912iS engine recordings and an interactive set of dynamic sound layers that will "wrap" your open-cockpit flying experience, setting a whole new level of immersion! Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater (XP12 only) - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap). Avionics - The new Junkers A50 Junior enjoys a high-tech cockpit interface which blends elegantly into the retro design. The back-seat (the main cockpit used for flying the aircraft) is equipped with Garmin G3X Touch 10”, while the front cockpit can host the Garmin G3X Touch 7” or GI 275 / Winter altimeter / Winter airspeed indicators. This project is part of the VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' series, designed specifically for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental Flight Model. Development note... he VSKYLABS development of the Junkers A50 Junior project for X-Plane flight simulator was approved by ‘JUNKERS Aircraft GmbH’. However, it is an independent VSKYLABS project which is not affiliated with ‘JUNKERS Aircraft GmbH’. Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs... Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore! ___________________________ Yes! Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12 Price is US$29.00, on sale for US$20.30, You Save:$8.70(30%) Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac and Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (March 29th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 30th March 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved
  15. NEWS! - Beta Available : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.09 Rotate have released a new "Beta" version for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 in v1.09. Notable is this first and foremost a "Beta", and so you can expect issues and bugs, but an interesting update it is. First it tests support for Apple Silicon architecture, which has become a more restless problem for developers than first realised, developers are getting on top of the problems, but Silicon is certainly not of the same configuration of the older Intel based processors. Another big new feature is the "pop up" instrument displays are now available. Rotate aircraft (MD88/MD11) have always had fixed displays/screens. Now you can "popout" the instrument panels including the MCDU units. It was always hard to programme with their position relative to the MAP display (PLAN MODE)... You still have to use the MCDU for inputs, but it saves you from flicking back and forth between the MAP display and MCDU. Yes all the popouts are scalable in size and can be used in Home Cockpits in the usable Window configuration. And YES I really "loved" the new feature. Lighting has also had a bit of a revision, fine tuning you can all it. The lighting was always really good in the MD11, but it feels now more natural, Softer? but it looks excellent. Windows are now more cleaner, clearer... I personally found them a bit "Too" clean, clear... I would like the option for dirty windows as my preference, or the dirtier the better. There has been attention on the landing roll. The MD11 has one of the fastest landing speeds of any aircraft, so this aspect point is important. Here several areas on the approach phase have been tuned. Including AP1/AP2 annunciator in (the) FMA during dual land mode has been fixed, FMS SPD deceleration select/preselect now have safeguards during approach, FMC now does calculated IAS values for deceleration configurations. The MS speed target was rising above the approach speed below 100AGL in some cases... and finally the landing roll brakes have better deceleration. All are aimed to the approach and landing phase sequences. The v1.09 changelog is the usual lengthy output from Rotate, mostly nips and tucks to this of one of the very the highly specialised Simulations for the X-Plane 12 Simulator... - Added pop up windows for screen displays. - Implemented MIN PROF field in STAR page for RNAV procedures. - Implement FMS SPD deceleration select/preselect safeguards during approach. - Show FMC calculated IAS values for deceleration configurations. - Improved VNAV descent prediction during non-clean configuration. - Improved VOR interception accuracy. - Tuned landing roll brakes deceleration. - Added VERT ALERT annunciation in FMA when approacing T/D. - Filter airports displayed by runway length. - Reset CLB/ACCEL FMC fields. - HDG SEL (pull) must allow edition of the heading target until <3º difference. - Pushing FMS SPD (with no wheel change) resets to ECON. - Added warning and logging for route loading process. - Improved LED lighting of LCD displays. - Inhibit DEFINED WAYPOINTS deletion when used in the flight plan. - TCAS TA Only mode should be engaged automatically on ground and below 1000AGL. - Improved manipulation of ELF switch. - Reorder SID/STAR listing after applying filters. - Reset ADG with maintenance button. - Reduced dirt on windshield texture. - Fixed FMS SPD indication glitch during climb at cross-over altitude. - Fixed a problem with navaid selection with duplicate names. - Fixed AFS pitch limits during SOP. - Fixed a problem when transitioning from PROF to ALT HLD/SOP during descent. - Fixed navaid DESELECT for ILS navaids. - Fixed APPR/ILS guidance response when signal is not available. - Fixed HDG turn direction problem when crossing 0. - Fixed HDG bug reset after being hidden. - Fixed AP1/AP2 annunciator in FMA during dual land. - Fixed a bug in bank limit during non curved transition. - Fixed FMS SPD target rising above approach speed below 100AGL in some cases. - Fixed draw order of flight director bars in PFD. - Fixed Aircraft floating over the runway during autoland in XP11. - Fixed DME only stations not showing correct data in ND. - Fixed ATS too responsive during cruise. - Fixed compatibility problems with A Pilot's Life and other plugins. - Fixed N2 going over red arc during TO in high altitude airports. - Fixed bug in FPA discreet stepper when going down. - Fixed problem in "fix all failures" function. - Fixed a bug in landing gear disagree lights. - Fixed a typo in stby airspeed indication. - Fixed a bug in logic of CRZ and CLB thrust mode auto-selection. - Fixed A-ICE ALL ON shown along with all other A-ICE alerts. - Fixed reverser indication color during deployment on air. - Fixed engine fire handles annuciators. - Upgraded to newer Aerosoft database. The update v1.09 is currently only available from the Skunkcraft Updater, with the "BETA" mode selected, as will any subjacent Beta version releases. Requirements show the current v1.08 version for purchase. Designed by Rotate Support Forum at X-Plane.org or http://support.rotatesim.com/ _____________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.08 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rotate MD-11 Price is US$83.95 The feature list is HUGE, so if you want to read it, then open the text file. Feature List.txtUnavailable Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows 8 or Mac OSX 10.12 or newer (using Rosetta for ARM Processors) , Linux Ubuntu 64b 18.04 or newer 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version: 1.08 (November 1st 2023) You can download this updated v3.0 Updater free here; SkunkCrafts Updater Standalone client Full download v1.09 changelog is here; Changelog v1.09.rtf ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 29th March 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Right Reserved.
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