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Stephen

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  1. Aircraft Review : Epic E1000 - G1000 Edition by Aerobask Like a lot of developers, the Aerobask have had to rethink their range of aircraft to migrate to the dynamics of X-Plane11. In the past between X-Plane versions the changes were large, but in most cases an update or two would cover the conversion and the overall aspect of the design would in someways not change. But for the migration to X-Plane11 and certainly to X-Plane11.30 then that earlier transfer does not really work.. the differences are just too different and most aspects of the design, from the modeling, the performance and PBR effects and the now minimum requirement of 4K textures and all... and plus all these new elements all have to be far more efficient and computer friendly. This has to a point made the aircraft migration of any developer's past range of aircraft a slow and tedious process and like with the new dynamics of 11.30 as you sort of go suddenly back to the bottom of the ladder again with all these newer updated dynamics. So it is all to the good of course as the product is usually far more dynamic and sensational, but the process means that even now in the two or so years since the release of X-Plane11, then most developers are still ticking of their past aircraft, and more so in than creating new aircraft. But the above process can be used to your advantage as well. As no matter at the time even if you have created your best work, there was always something better you could have done, but then couldn't change because it required usually a new design from scratch. So in reality although these aircraft are the same original designs as the pre-X-Plane10, they are also completely new... and from the ground up. And so it is with Aerobask's Epic E1000 which was released originally just under four years ago (E1000 Review), and at the time the aircraft was the state of the XP10 art. This new version is the state of the XP11 art. It was back then so brilliantly created, but the four years in simulation development now shows us how much has really changed within that period, and as a yardstick the differences between the simulations. So this new Epic E1000 from Aerobask is even if it looks the same is in reality a completely new aircraft from the original, no updates, no adjustments... but a completely brand new design, and so you know that feel straight away as it is new and different. The developer themselves would admit they alone have come a long way in four years, always very good, always very innovative... you now usually buy on the Aerobask name alone without even looking at the details... and for any developer that is a very high reverence to achieve, but Aerobask do also deliver, again and again to achieve that prominence. And the new E1000 certainly also delivers on that promise. Modeling is now perfection, no bumps or 3d odd angles and that is a certain smoothness of design that captures the difficulty of creating a featureless composite aircraft. It took years to perfect it, and here it all is now in it's glory. Certainly the PBR effects go a very long way in creating the feel and reflections that bring that sleek almost dolphin shaped design to life, and no matter what the visual angle it always looks glorious. Glass and chrome are also now hyper realistic and not faked liked in the past, metal variations of materials are also beautifully represented. X-Plane users have come to expect a lot, and you are even "spoilt" for this short of hyper realism... but the developers deliver it, so why not absorb it and revel in the greatness of it all. The trailing link undercarriage looks standard from a distance, but the detail is evident when close up. Cabin Detail "Careful" and not to trip over the latch on the door while boarding... Internally in the cabin it is an odd layout, just in the rear a four club seating but with a huge space between the seats and then again a space between the passenger and pilot seats in the front... you automatically say "You could easily fit another row in here". Renowned for their cabin fit-outs and materials, then Aerobask don't disappoint in here with the E1000 either. Detailing is excellent, with modern materials and that feel of executively. The attention to detail in here can be overwhelming. The cockpit is almost the same layout, but it is in reality a very different look and feel from the original. The modeling detail is that so much smoother and the materials are light years in difference. You have to also really admire that paneling curvature and molding, and even the trim changes colour to the external livery... It is a very modern cockpit and far removed from the older Beechcrafts and Pipers.... this is all slicks and curves. There are also some significant differences between the two aircraft... the old and this new version. The biggest change is on the stub console. The original version was dominated by the aircraft's menu panel and above the MEGGiTT autopilot and Garmin GMA350 radio unit... .... now there is a "Remote Control Key Pad" for access to the G1000 avionics suite, which is very similar to what you use on the Cirrus aircraft. The MEGGiTT autopilot is also gone and replaced by a annunciator panel, but the Garmin GMA350 radio unit installation is still the same.This GMA 350 is really the only external avionics unit now in the aircraft. Note the extremely different design and feel of the yokes. Laminar Research G1000 As there was no decent G1000 glass system around four years ago. The various developers came up with a wide range of ideas to create in most cases a hybrid avionics system to replicate the Garmin suite. Aerobask tried in someways the hardest to create a functional and realistic system. Aerobask created a Garmin G900 Primary Flight display (PFD) for each pilot, and the center display (MFD) as a modified X-Plane GNS530 unit. And note these G900's were only an accurate representation of a real G900 even then. It worked, but the MFD was a bit of stretch in more ways than one. But at the time it was actually very good. Since that time Laminar Research have created as default a full G1000 avionics suite, and so the "G1000" moniker on the this aircraft reflects the install of that default system on the E1000. But a bonus here is not only is this G1000 more authentic, more powerful... but also adapted for use with the Remote Control Key Pad and also includes the GFC700 autopilot. One thing also becomes very apparent is the install of the three displays. The centre MFD is more pronounced and set more forward than the two PFD displays set either side... and yes it was the same set up on the earlier version (I checked). But here it is far more noticeable if even with a more visually perspective. The earlier version came across as just three displays in a line. It is outstandingly done, as you feel the installation of the displays are very realistic, and it is highly noticeable in flight. Primary Fight Display The Laminar G1000 is now quite extensive, but there are a few differences between this one and the older version, some good and some removed. The display can be opened in a window via pressing the small aircraft symbol in the centre of the heading rose. The main PFD has the the split horizon which is here to the darker even dreary brown and blue of the default look... of which I don't really care for, the older version was the far nicer gradient version, and this bland default background display can be adjusted as Carenado did on their Cessna 172SP G1000. Secondly is the optional Engine Information System (EIS) is only available on this version in the PFD in the Emergency mode (see below). The G1000's PFD main flight instruments that are all correct with the artificial horizon, speed and altitude tapes, bank roll scale and roll pointer and HSI (horizontal situation indicator), course and heading pointer which are all in one. The FD (Flight Director) elements are also shown. Other features include "Inset" map, alerts, REF/TIMER, NRST, XPDR, both VOR 1 and 2 pointers, DME and Wind (3 options) ... top banner includes Radio NAV (left) and COM (right) Autopilot info (centre). A feature is that you can adjust the radio frequencies directly with a mouse scroll wheel while holding the cursor over the frequency you want to adjust. Another pop-out adjuster panel can also be used on like the "Altitude" (press arrowed) and Baro pressure.... press the green band to insert the number. Multi Functional Display The centre MFD is quite different from the hybrid forebear. The pop-out selector is also quite hard to find as it is not the PFD centre aircraft symbol, but a hard to find touch spot hidden in the top banner under the GS (arrowed below left). The side panel Engine Information System (EIS) Engine readout covers TRQ (Torque), NP (low-pressure rotor RPM), ITT (Inter Turbine Temperature), NG (N1 for Turbines). If these readouts look different it is because they are. This is a custom set of engine performance readouts created by Aerobask to be more authentic to the E1000 avionics readouts. If you want the default, then can have that via the menu (below right). Lower EIS shows Fuel Flow GPH (Gal per hour), Oil Pressure and Temperature, Electrical Bus AMPS and Volts, Fuel quantity (GAL) is for both tanks (145.5 Gal per tank) in a scale. More engine readouts can be accessed via the "System" button. Fuel readouts are top with Fuel Flow GPH, Fuel Flow PPH (lbs per Hour), Fuel Pressure (PSI) and quantity left and right tanks (lbs) - Fuel Totalizer shows lbs Remaining and lbs Used. Totalizer amount can be increased, decreased or reset Lower is the Electrical Gen A (amps)and ALT A (amps) and Bus 1 Volts and Bus 2 Volts. On both EIS displays are also the Aileron position marker, Rudder position marker, Elevator position marker and Flap position UP-10º-40º Pressing the RED button upper right on the pilot's PFD will change the displays around for emergency flying and bringing the EIS onto the PFD and moving the PFD to the centre in then replacing the MFD (got that?) Flightplanning The really big advantage is using the "Remote Control Key Pad" to create route planning via the "FPL" key (arrowed). Input is easy via the keyboard even in VR (Virtual Reality) My route is from EGKK (Gatwick) to ELLX (Luxembourg) and you can easily assemble the routing data, however I chose to create the route in SimBrief and then import it directly into the planner. The bonus is that you have the options of adding in easily via the "PROC" button any Departure or Arrival routes (SID/STAR) or a certain approach that you would like. The bonus is that the added on Dep or Arr segments don't mesh up your central route planning either and it all fits in seemlessly together. You can set the display to either "Narrow" or "Wide" orientations. The days of data planning and input frustration are well and truly over. Lower Panel On the left side shoulder panel is the main switchgear. The E1000 aircraft has a unique way of switching on the various systems... the three rows of buttons are set out to be used at the various points of getting the aircraft ready for flight and in switch order. Top row is the "Pre-Start" Second row is the "Pre-Taxi" and the lower row is the "Systems". The layout although arranged by the same rows of buttons as the earlier E1000, but the sequence of activation of the items are actually arranged differently, so you will need to relearn the buttons sequence. Pre-Start includes - Batteries (Batt 1 & Batt 2), Avionics Master, Fuel Pumps (Left & Right) and Starter Gen selections Pre-Taxi Includes - Igniter, Start, Stby Alt, Fuel Autoselect and Pusher Systems Includes - Auto Pilot, Trim, Press Air, Emerg Press, Dump Valve and Emerg Oxygen On the right is the "LIGHTS" panel the lighting panel. Items include Ice (wing light) Land and Taxi lights, Strobe and Navigation lights and a Beacon (a new light). Another lower button panel is your "ICE" buttons for De-Ice Boots, Propeller Heat, Window Heat, Inertial Separator, and the Pitot Heat (Pitot Stall HT). Bottom panel are the circuit breakers and they are all active, pull a breaker and the item stops working. Right side shoulder panel are the cabins Air Cond and Cabin Oxygen controls and more active circuit breakers. Both yokes can be hidden, but only together and not independently. Left side of the Remote Control Key Pad is the gear lever and on the other the flap selector switch. Pedestal is in two layers (beautifully moulded) with the top section holding the Throttle, Propeller (feather) and Condition levers (Throttle has power "Max/Idle" settings and a "Beta" reverse thrust setting). There are four buttons above with "warnings" on them, so you don't touch them, the manual says that you NEVER touch them. Lower section has the lovely crafted Fuel Switch for OFF- LEFT- RIGHT (Tanks). On the floor there is a Manual Gear Extraction feature... and it works. Again amazing detailing and functionality. MD302 SAM The MD 302 Standby Attitude Module (SAM®) made by Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics and the unit is placed left of the PFD. This is a set of backup instruments, but in reality an avionics suite by itself. Upper panel is an artificial horizon, turn rate and compass heading... lower panel is the Speed and Altitude (Baro centre). The single knob does all the adjusting and selection. Turn the knob to adjust (arrowed) the Baro (note the Baro on the SAM is not connected to the G1000, so you have to adjust the pressure manually here as well). Press the knob and turn to adjust the MD302 brightness. Hold the knob down for a full menu of adjustable settings. Above the MD302 SAM is the instrument and forward spot cockpit lighting knobs. Menus There are four ways to access the E1000 menu. One is from the pull down plugin menu, Two is from the 'a" tab lower left of your screen, Three is the Epic Logo centre panel and Four is via the iPad in the side storage bin. The menu is laid out in the new Laminar XP11 pop-up style and there are four tab selections with : Ground, Options, Sounds and About. Ground : Is both a menu and a basic Weights and Fuel setup in one. Fuel sliders top will set the amount of fuel required in both kgs and Gal and show the fuel weight... A side note here on refueling the E1000. You have to be really careful to balance out the fuel on the E1000, both on the ground and in flight. If you don't then you will get this, yes this is an extreme example, but it also shows how sensitive this aircraft is to the loading of the fuel and weights. Well done though. You can select passengers (pilot is free but he still counts in the aircraft weight). With a Co-Pilot, R&L Passengers, R&L Children, baggage is None, 60kg and 120 kgs... and all weights of loaded Fuel and passengers are shown in detail with full all up weight and Maximum weight allowed. There is no CoG scale or graph. All passengers are shown and the bags are shown on a luggage trolley, but they are not visible internally and only externally, which is a shame as the modeling of the people is very good. Static elements include: Chocks, Engine inlet/outlet covers, pitot covers, towbar and loads of flags... but they are all or nothing. So it makes closing up the aircraft a bit awkward with say the towbar attached or if you just want the chocks after a flight? The Ground Power Unit (GPU) is now a more heavy duty design than on the earlier E1000, it is very nice... but also extremely noisy if the door is open. Button will open the single door or via the internal handle. Options : Are mostly for selections of the G1000 and custom features, like the change of the custom to default G1000 engine display, but a few are still experimental. You can choose to keep the pop-ups inside the screen (VR) and switch on/off the instrument and window reflections. Top of the menu is the reliability of the electrical system via the circuit breakers, or you can reset them all in one push of the button. Sounds : The sound panel is just a carbon copy of the X-Plane11 sounds panel and if you adjust it here, then you adjust it there and vice-versa, with just two added buttons with the "Enable Sounds" and "Enable Speech" selections. About : The final selection is a credit page on who created the aircraft. VR iPad AviTab One of the great features is the iPad and it located in the side storage bin. Obviously created for VR interaction, it is highly useful for the 2d generation as well as It works with the Avitab (Aviators Tablet) plugin. It works quite well in a basic form with mostly for access to stored pdf files and note taking, but internet access would be a nice feature. My use here was with the Navigraph Chart access that is now available (make sure you have AviTab v0.3.14). You login and create access to your Navigraph account, it is all seemless and works extremely well... You can bring up all your charts and airport information to have it all by your fingertips. My only wish is for the tablet to be in both landscape and Portrait modes because most charts are in the portrait orientation. But it is highly usable as you can (in 2d mode) move the tablet out of view (it goes smaller) or keep it in eyesight when taxiing or flying. As noted the aircraft's menu can be accessed on the tablet as well. Flying the Epic E1000-G1000 Starting the 1200 HP Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A engine is a simple as following the keys in order... Pre Start row done, fuel on, mixture lever to idle... then follow the Pre-Taxi row of buttons until you get to START... easy peasy. Marvel at the propeller as it moves ready from it's feathered position to half way, then that familiar PT6A whine comes in from the forward engine compartment, it does take a fair while to start, run and then settle into that smooth turbine idle speed and sound. The E1000 does come with all the latest fine-tuning from Laminar of this turbine engine, which has been a focus project for most of X-Plane11. This includes the newer 11.30 performance details with separate 2-stage free power turbine and 1-stage gas generator turbine internals now also available on this engine in X-Plane11 (output is now divided between both stages, were as before the output was only one stage). Of course it sounds incredible, looks incredible as the powerful exhaust flows out past and down the side of the aircraft, and courtesy of the particle effects. You wait and let the output numbers settle down, then you are good to go. With the Throttle at idle and the COND at idle, I still needed to put the PROP position half-feather to keep a decent taxi speed, if not the E1000 will run quickly away from you. Flaps have to be set at the takeoff position... ... view out of the cockpit is excellent as there are no obstacle or blind spots in your view point, but the reflections are quite strong. On the original E1000 had the stick like undercarriage that took some getting used to, that version was harder in give (hence the solid stick feel) than the far better set up here as the undercarriage has certainly more give, but it is still tricky until you get used to it... as you still sit still tall and narrow on the wheels. So forward movement needs to build very slowly until really the aerodynamic forces give you more control, then you can give the throttle more power and also still have directional control, and powerful is that PT6A on an aircraft of this size, so use it wisely. Rotate is around 85 knts and the aircraft will climb out easily under full power, 2000fpm is also easy but if you want to really go for it then the official climb rate is around 4,000 ft/min... "wow". This aircraft climbs and goes up like hell even with a fair weight aboard, so you have to be in control of the machine and not the other way around. So instead of being cocky and flying the E1000 like fighter pilot, then try to fly it as a professional and stay well within the boundaries, and there is a reason for this. I have my X-56 joystick quite well set up and refined, so like the spindly undercarriage the aircraft in the air feels the same, a little nervous, any strong wrist action will make the aircraft do sharp movements... so you have to keep everything really very intimate, slow and precise. As it is like an aircraft balanced on top a sharp stick, and it will move to any position very sharply. Like bank and you go down wing very quickly, so you tune into it but do it slowly, but you need focus and use slow movements to guide the E1000 in an easy and thoughtful way. Yes so that is very strong aspect of the flying in the E1000... focus. Just pressing AP (Autopilot) and the NAV on the G1000 MFD left panel won't activate the Autopilot? There is still another button on the "Systems" menu before it will activate... ditto the PRESS AIR that seals the aircraft for the high altitude flying. The environmental cabin controls are on the right side, and yes they really work via the 11.30 Oxygen feature. The G1000 flightplan is very comprehensive and the Laminar G1000 Manual is well worth the download and study. But if you are using the VNV function and importing a flightplan (SimBrief) then make sure ALL the waypoint altitudes are correct and filled in, instead you could get almost a straight up and then straight down climb and descent, you need to control the flightplan profile correctly. Here I am checking and adjusting my descent into ELLX and then seeing the changes in action. The Epic is a turbine propeller alternative to a small four seater private jet, so the numbers have to stack up to compete with the same performance, with cost being the major factor. Maximum speed is 325 kn (374 mph; 602 km/h) Max cruise which seriously fast for a prop aircraft and Cruise speed in Eco mode is 265 kn (305 mph; 491 km/h). Range: is 1,385–1,650 nmi (1,594–1,899 mi; 2,565–3,056 km) at either max cruise - eco cruise with a Fuel Burn of 300 kn (560 km/h), FL340: 40–60 US gal (150–230 l)/per hour and the Service ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m) can be well within the reach of jet transport. Impressive. The window reflections can be quite heavy in certain lighting conditions, but overall they are very realistic. Lighting The lighting is very good to brilliant but limited in the ways you can adjust it. Those big G1000 displays put out a lot of candle power, but you need them bright to read the screens. All in the G1000 displays and switch instrument lighting can be adjusted, but only globally and say focused just on the pilot's side. Cabin is all LED lighting and two forward lights cover the cockpit... ... the cabin overhead LED's are amazing and are all adjustable, but only directly. And floor strips of LED lighting is in front of pairs of seats and the door entrance when open. External lighting is good but the standard layout... Two wing edge LED landing lights and a single nose wheel taxi light. There is a left wing Ice light, belly rear beacon and the navigation and strobe lighting. For all it's high speeds the E1000 is very good at low speeds... you can set the flap to 10º and set your speed at a low 148 knts, which is great for aligning up to a runway and the aircraft is rock solid (180 knts is the 10º max). Want to go even slower and you can, 130 knts is the limit for 40º flap (down) and you can then reduce your approach speed to an amazing 100 knts - 97 knts... not even a Cessna 172 can go that slow? Can it? You can keep this position and speed and control the descent via the throttle and the adjustment of the pitch, it is all very hands on but very controllable. Your aim is to just let the E1000 sink slowly... those stick legs can be quite stiff if you try to go in to fast or down too quickly, yes there is more give in the trailing edge gear, but you mustn't try your luck too much. You don't need a lot of flare either, just let it down via the speed throttle control. 85 knts is the touchdown speed and the stall speed is a low 61 knts. There is a built in BETA reverse, and the best way to access it is to use a key input "Toggle Beta Prop" from the X-Plane menu. It works, but I haven't used it enough to see how really effective it is. Using the brakes is your last option, and if you have runway space then use it to run off the excess speed and keep control. Overall I was very impressed with the low speed approach, it gives you time to adjust and fly the aircraft with time on your side. With most aircraft in this category (mostly price wise here) in that these are very finely tuned aircraft need time and practice to get the very best out of them, certainly brilliant for flying, but they require certain skills and professionalism to extract the full potential from their dynamics. Liveries A wide selection of twelve liveries gives you plenty of choice and use, but mostly based in Europe and USA... they are all high quality and 4K refined with the Metal skin COBALT and the magic N333AK the highlights, N410LT is the default. There is a White (for painters) and Lo-res liveries that are also available through Aerobask website. Summary It is an Aerobask aircraft... many will purchase on the name alone. That is for a quality aircraft, huge features, brilliant ideas, massive internal detail and materials. So does the E1000 - G1000 Edition live up to all that high acclaim... of course it does. This the second version of the Epic 1000 from from Aerobask, but discount the similarities right there, because this is a complete ground up redesign of the aircraft, and for not only X-Plane11 but for X-Plane11.30 as well... it is all in here, and it shows in every dynamic of its PT6A turbine performance and also real world latest certification prototype performance and in it's complete dynamics of the perfect use of PBR in glass, reflections the sheer quality and depth of its design. X-Plane11.30 boots-based wings and stabilizer de-icing system and working oxygen system (11.30 again) and functional breakers are also part of the in-depth systems. Features are clever and well thought out, including the various tools required for Virtual Reality use and even the use of AviTab. Menus are clean and well thought out, but the static elements are all grouped together with limited flexibility. The title says G1000, and that is the main feature of the E1000... the Laminar Research G1000 avionics suite and tools. And very good it is if you are willing to study the manual in depth to get the very best out of the avionics suite. There are no compromises now unlike with the earlier G900 based system, it is good and works well in here. Only point is the dark and bland default PFD Artificial Horizon screens, not a fan, and they spoil the customised side of the aircraft and a surprise they were installed here, and I have seen a better AH on the Laminar G1000. The other avionic features includes the MD302 backup instruments and GFC700 autopilot... nice. Flying dynamics are good to excellent, but the aircraft requires skill to get the really best return out of the aircraft, then the E1000 will return the favor back in full. Sounds are also fully dynamic with full FMOD spatial surround sound. A comprehensive review details a very comprehensive aircraft... that is nothing new for Aerobask, they deliver... they deliver brilliantly - Highly Recommended. _______________________________ The Epic E1000 - G1000 Edition by Aerobask is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Epic E1000 G1000 Edition Priced at US$34.95 Features : Aerobask quality 3D model Completely reworked and re-scaled exterior and interior model New 4K PBR textures 11 stunning liveries out of the box Color-matching interior based on livery White (for painters) and Lo-res liveries available through Aerobask website Smooth and VR-friendly manipulators Professional Flight model New flight model by X-Aerodynamics Tested by actual owner Gianfranco Somma of Somma Aviation Matches latest certification prototype performance High quality sounds full FMOD environment by Daniela Rodriguez Careri samples from real PT-6 engine in-game volume control without pausing the sim Enhanced Laminar G1000 Integrates new XP11.30 GFC700 autopilot Custom MFD PT-6 engine parameters (on PFD in reversion mode) Optional mouse, scrollwheel and dialpad support for easy data input Optional keyboard support for dialpad and flight plan input Custom detachable popups with fixed ratio and all optional features above Note: some of the optional features may need VR-mouse at the moment Deep system emulation Realistic engine startup procedure Implements new XP11.30 boots-based wings and stabilizer de-icing system Implements new XP11.30 oxygen system for emergencies Functional breakers, with configurable reliability Fully simulated MD302 Standby Attitude Module Special effects Rain and windshield icing using librain plugin from Saso Kiselkov Dynamic reflections custom heat blur effect on both sides custom engine twin-contrails Other Avitab tablet, with integrated options panel Detachable and VR-friendly 2D options panel Preferences, fuel and payload saved between flights Requirements X-Plane 11.30+ Windows, MAC or Linux - 64 bit Operating System 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current version and Review Version : 3.22 (Feb 12th 2019) Installation and documents: Download for the Epic E1000 - G1000 Edition is 446.70 Mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 521.40 mb. Avitab (Aviators Tablet) requires the download of the plugin and for the Navigraph charts you need a Navigraph account. Documentation: Huge amount of documentation, with full manual, (including training flight), Laminar G1000 manual, Performance, checklist and guidelines included. Documents for MD302 and AviTab are also included. A real world document (Get to) "Know your PT6A" is also part of the package. Avitab integration.pdf E1000_2019_manual.pdf Epic E1000 G1000 Edition Checklist Normal.pdf Install Recommended settings.pdf Performance Guidelines Epic E1000 G1000 Edition.pdf Quick-Doc MD302.pdf Know_your_PT6A.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 16th February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : Avitab (Aviators Tablet) - Free Scenery or Aircraft - EGKK - London Gatwick Airport v2 by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 - ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport XP11 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.80
  2. News! - Aircraft Updates : JustFlight updates ALL aircraft to 11.30 JustFlight/Thranda have updated ALL of their aircraft to X-Plane 11.30 specifications... All changes include: Common to all aircraft Support for rain effects (requires free 3rd party "librain" plugin) Improved VR (VR Pop-up support, cleaned up yoke, more supported knobs, etc.) Improved sounds and sound effects Upgraded to SASL 3.5.1, which now includes pop-out window support Revamped RealityXP configuration to bring it to the latest capabilities of the GTN750 Revamped flight dynamics for XP11.30 Broke out checklist to "manifest.json" file, so it's end-user editable now. Moved cockpit.obj file into "objects" folder, for neater top directory. Numerous optimisations and improvements. TB10/TB20 v1.1 New graphics, improved PBR materials, fixed textures. Added VR magnet attach point for XPad Added VR click spot for Just Flight pop-up menu Hawk T1 v1.2 Smoke effects (red, white, blue smoke with smoke pod attachment). Added VR click spot for Just Flight pop-up menu Fixed some texture artefacts Improved rotational inertia around the roll axis Integrated XP11.30's oxygen system Fixed some VR knobs Improved throttle latch logic C152 v1.1 Added VR magnet attach point for XPad Added VR click spot for Just Flight pop-up menu Added RealityXP support (GTN750 now integrated in 3D panel) Closed up compass Improved ground handling Added paint kit Fixed quick-look views Arrow III v1.6, Turbo Arrow III/IV v1.6, Warrior II v1.6 and Archer III v1.1 Added VR magnet attach point for XPad Made spark plug fouling rate and Vapour lock configurable via manifest.json file. Hide Yoke system now responds to X-Plane's default command Optimised performance. Fixed case sensitivity issue for Linux Removed default wing condensation effects. (They're excessive by default). Note the new feature for the Librain (rain effects) plugin on all the aircraft.... see here: librain (rain) library for windshield effects If you have a Just Flight account, then go and click on 'Your Orders', you will be able to re-download the installer(s) for the aircraft you have purchased to get the latest updated version(s). X-Plane.OrgStore updates are available ________________________________________ (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) News by Stephen Dutton 14th February 2019 ♥️ Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  3. News! - Scenery Update : EDDM - Airport Frankfurt v1.10 by Aerosoft Aerosoft with Stairport Sceneries have updated the EDDF - Frankfurt scenery to version v1.10. The focus of the scenery update is the install of the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) on all gates... All the various EDDF airbridge designs have been catered for authenticity to the real layout... ... action! and you are in the passenger loading business... courtesy of SAM. Sadly unlike at ShortFinal's EDDM, the hangar doors are still firmly shut, as there is no animation that have been set on either of them.... shame. Other changes are ground decals have been updated to high-res and the slow loading textures have been given a more refined loading process, and it does show on the quicker (and smoother) load up of the scenery. Full X-PlaneReviews EDDF - Frankfurt review is here : Scenery Review : EDDF - Aerosoft Airport Frankfurt XP11 So a nice update to SAM, and a few areas have been refined as well. To update to EDDF v1.10 is you have already purchased the scenery then go to your X-Plane.Org account, to purchase see the details below. Note the SAM plugin is required with this scenery; SAM - Scenery Animation Manager 1.0.5 ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 v1.10 by Aerosoft is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Frankfurt XP11 Your Price is US$32.99 Requirement: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.10 (Feb 12th 2018) ________________________________________ (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) News by Stephen Dutton 14th February 2019 ♥️ Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  4. Scenery Preview: LIME - Bergamo by Aerosoft There are three airports for Milan, Malpensa which is the big international one, Linate is the one close to the city and the third one is the one no one really knows about which is 45 km (28 mi) north-east of the city of Milan and it is called Bergamo or to give it it's full Italiate name Orio al Serio International Airport and it is actually the third busiest international airport in Italy. The airport is also named after it's local hero in Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio or Il Caravaggio... all very impressive, we will just call it Milan/Bergamo like everyone else does. Bergamo is an airport beloved by Ryanair, and yes they fly here in numbers. It is cheap to fly here because it is as far away from the actual destination as you can get, but still close enough to say "I went to Milan", but it is also very handy if you are going to stay around the lovely Italian lake area. This is of course another Aerosoft redevelopment airport for X-Plane. One scenery that has been around on the Aerosoft product pages for FlightSim as long as anyone can remember, or forgot about. So here it is dusted off and given the X-Plane transformation, like Aerosoft's Genoa was last month. LIME - Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport Il Caravaggio International Airport IATA: BGY - ICAO: LIME 10/28 - 2,934m (9,630ft) Asphalt 12/30 778m (2,552ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL782 ft / 238 m The alpine Lombardy city of Bergamo surrounds the airport, so the autogen has a big part to play in creating the mood and feel of the scenery. First impact is the far more higher saturation of the textures around the airport, almost a very darker tone than the rest of the feel. Yes the Google images show the same, but it is grating to the eyes, in saying that the scenery is well inserted into the surrounding mesh. The Alps in the background do provide a nice frame around the airport visually. From these external aspects then Bergamo looks really good and is a great looking scenery visually. A large cargo facility for DHL and UPS dominates the eastern end of the airport. The very iconic and distinctive control tower dominates the central area.... Ground textures are excellent with great detail and authentic construction materials, Lineage and navigation is also rated high and very good... grass is a feature. The International Terminal is modern and not only in it's real design but in X-Plane scenery design, because the building has a lot of new dynamic features... like great reflective see-through glass, materials, active traffic and.... ... a very good internal layout, so the full modeling of the terminal here is very good. A note in that the terminal's position to the light, as it makes it quite dark on the airside and no matter what the season, and so in the shorter winter months it is really very dark. SAM is here!... the active SAM runs only two gates in 207 and 209 as per the real layout, but they are sensational as well, with their long fully reached boarding arms that are correct to the local airport signage. Bergamo is a significant cargo hub for the area, and as noted DHL and UPS have a big presence here. In the scenery this freight area is really well done and well laid out in detail and clutter. The distinctive control tower totally dominates the scenery... very Italian, but also well designed here and again it comes here with internal layouts and reflective tinted glass. But the developer has got confused between the ramp tower (also well done) and the field tower (hint, it is the bigger one!) so the tower view is looking straight at the larger tower, great for the internal tower viewing, but useless for watching the RWY 28 approach. North Boundary On the north side of LIME there are two areas, one is a general purpose area with some stored Fokker F27s, the second area is the General Aviation area next to the smaller 12/30 runway, which again has a great surface and texture layout. Note the very colourfully painted hangar.... Field radar is animated and their is a significant amount of custom buildings set out around the airport's (mostly southern) boundary. So from the outset then LIME - Bergamo looks like sensational scenery, but it is about here... it all gets a bit frustrating and even confusing as well. The point is the main ground textures and all the modeling in the scenery is absolutely first rate, or even exemplary within the airports boundaries. But the photo mesh is horrible, and yes Aerosoft can seem to not to learn to change their out of date source (see Genoa for more) and in most areas it is all over saturated as mentioned. On the final approach to RWY 28 you get this eyesore (below left) and you are distracted by it... no bridge, then a 3d bridge will do the job... not. Roads don't match the horrible grass green ones, and most flat areas are saturated to the extreme, but we have seen all these once too often now from Aerosoft. Where the underlay was simply too bad, then they just use plain old X-Plane textures (below) to cover the mess up, and yes it looks horrible and unauthentic. Nicely modeled buildings are ruined by their placement as well, and there are a few custom urban commercial areas. The replaced roadway is nice, except it is empty of life past a busy airport, so X-Plane puts a join in there to make it all worse with the disappearing traffic of course. In the few areas the X-Plane autogen (below) is allowed to work it does a very nice job, so why not use it more effectively? Landside areas come across as bland, more than realistic... and there is the odd parking of a static aircraft on the departure line of the Italian in-out system of stand parking and it ruins your taxi flow on departure... Lighting The lighting is a bit haphazard as well... Approach lighting, runway and taxiway lighting is all very good. The main aprons and in front of the terminal parking is passable, but the cargo apron is in complete darkness? so when do cargo operators operate... at night of course. Terminal lighting is again just passable but not too bad, the central tower zone is very good and the highlight of lighting here with the... ..... very well done Orio Centre that is brighter than the airport itself. Shame about the cargo ramp lighting as the freight terminal looks nice at night. WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, and no ATC traffic routes are set in here either? so you can't even generate a set... bum!. There are some old LIME ground routes, but they are way out of date and the aircraft disappear on landing? Traffic is here of the LCC catergory. Parking here is split between nose in for the airbridge and terminal gates and the in-out parking favoured by the Italians on most of the outer aprons... Preview Notes The pattern is very strong. When Aerosoft sceneries are good they are brilliant like EDDF-Frankfurt and ENGM-Oslo. But the when they redo an original Flightsim scenery for X-Plane the results are very hit and miss and mostly a poor update of the original because the original is already outdated. The really big frustration with this LIME-Bergamo is that it could have been a real showcase for Aerosoft in quality and detail for X-Plane scenery, but it in fact shows that these sceneries are just being rolled over quickly to fill in a niche with as little money spent on them in development as possible. The basics that are all in here are really, really good to even great with top rate 3d modeling and textures, the ground runway, taxiway and apron layouts are again sensational... but the rest is simply horrible and those photo mesh textures are out of date and over saturated, in other words years old... yes wonderful in 2009, but horrible in 2019. Expensive for the money that has been spent on the conversion and you expect more. Features Custom jetways (using SAM plug-in) Custom lighting 50cm/pixel aerial image with hand-placed autogen PBR ground textures Animated radar Animated ground traffic Animated windsock All airport buildings including surrounding buildings Dynamic lighting High-quality ground and building textures Static aircraft Volumetric grass Positives: Main building modeling is very good with good airport ground textures, Nice grass. Distinctive control tower is a standout. SAM plugin activity (Two gates), and with a well laid out cargo area and good clutter. Negatives: Poor old underlay texture mesh quality is horrible as is the ideas to cover it all up, poor detailing landside. Lighting is good in areas but sporadic and patchy in others, no cargo apron lighting is a hanging offence. No ATC (WT3) built in ground routes is another offence and a requirement for any payware scenery. Static aircraft is parked in the wrong place for traffic flow. Expensive for an old scenery. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... LIME - Bergamo by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Bergamo XP Price is US$28.99 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Last updated Feb 8th 2019 Version v1.0 and review copy Download Size: 1.1gb : Install Size 2.02gb Installation Installation is with only one single airport folder that is inserted into your X-Plane Custom Scenery folder. Extras and Documents: Manual in German and English (24 pages)  Manual_Airport_Bergamo_XP11_de-en_web.pdf ______________________________________________________________________  Preview by Stephen Dutton 13th February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - E-Jets 195 Evolution by SSG (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$44.95 
  5. While we wait for the imminent release of Supercritical Simulations Group's (SSG) new ERJ-700... the developer has released images of their next release which a complete redesign of the Boeing 748i to version v2. The SSG Boeing 748 series has had a bit of a troubled history since it's release in December 2013 (yes it is actually SIX years old). So was the project a bit too ambitious for a fledgling if very talented developer house, and the B748 version was also a bit of an odd choice as well when the B747-400 would have certainly been embraced with a bigger enthusiasm. It is a hugely complex aircraft as well one that was not the most efficient on the computer power of that era. So for most of it's early life the SSG B748 was a bit of a troubled soul, if also for some odd reason it was also a bit boring to fly with a very vexing FMS, and I am one that adores that Big Queen of the Skies and humpback fame of the 747. But I was certainly very surprised when I checked out the last update in v1.9.1 as the B748 was finally feeling really quite good, I actually enjoyed the flight and FMS was now well sorted and I liked the aircraft so much that I turned around and flew straight back to my original departure point of Dusseldorf from Sweden to see if my feeling were not a fluke, they were not, I enjoyed the aircraft immensely. So big improvements with a lot of updates were finally showing results. No doubt that SSG could have just kept on updating the skin out of the B748, but instead have gone for a complete clean sheet approach, and this looks really interesting... you have also to gotta love that v2 livery! SSG notes... - New fuselage - Added fuselage animations and details (pretty much anything that can open/move on the aircraft Is modeled). - New cut windows instead of textures - New stabilizers with added details - New nacelles and engines - Reworked landing gear - Improved flaps "The textures for the entire aircraft are also new to match the new model in 4K resolution and of very high quality, along with decals for certain detailed areas, right down to most of the external placards. We are working closely with our technical advisors to ensure all the main details are present and that we are getting them right. Similar work is being done in the cockpit, cabin, and for its systems, autoflight and FMS. It is not a mere update, this will be a whole new aircraft." SSG do note though that a 11.30 upgrade is coming next and soon for the B748 before the v2 is released, this is to keep the aircraft current to the X-Plane-11.30 specs (In other words to keep you flying). So this will be a very interesting update, not only externally but also internally as well as everything internally and opening doors will be modeled (cargo version is currently modeled inside, but not the passenger version). The trick area is the cockpit textures and there has been countless revisions from both SSG and users in trying to fix the feel of the B748 flightdeck, and currently it is actually not to bad but still a dark ominous place to fly, and somehow it is still "that" missing something (It is very nice at night though). Personally I am hoping that 2019 will see the revival of the long haulers in X-Plane... someone asked me not long ago what was the best purchase for long haul flying, and personally I couldn't recommend anything really substantial to fit the category, all current long haulers are well below par, in fact the B748 was actually the best on offer. The FlightFactor B777, A350 are well over due as is the new A340 from JARDesign, Peter's Aircraft A380 is also in a new but slow development cycle. The Dreamliner by MagKnight is progressing well and is now at least useble, as that is saying something of the default B744 which quite frankly is still a total mess. The coming Rotate MD11 will be a an amazing addition, but if you are a real world flyer then the aircraft will be mostly flown on cargo routes... so to a point this current B748 from SSG is flying the long haul X-Plane11 flag alone.... here is to a better 2019. Images and text are courtesy of Supercritical Simulations Group Facebook page for Supercritical Simulations Group ________________________________________ (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) News by Stephen Dutton 11th February 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  6. Aircraft Review : Spectr-Aero SP-30 by Mad Flight Studio I expected when coming into the X-Plane simulator to want the experience of flying aircraft that was notable to my desires, mostly the big long haul designs that had been in my life from an very early age, say the Boeing 747, B707, VC10 and Concorde, but even the everyday machines like the DC-9, B727 and the Trident (Yes I grew up in the sixties). To a point X-Plane has filled out that desire, but there is in reality still no high quality B747, except for the B748, but it is an an aircraft I can't relate to. But the real surprise of the simulator have been the real odd-balls, the quirky machines and not the mainstream of aviation. What you find is a sort of really basic flying machine, but the rewards are quite substantial... the problem is that most users won't even consider such an utilitarian aircraft like this Spectr-Aero SP-30, and mainly it is because they can't relate to it, worse when it is going to cost nearly US$45. First did you actually know of the Spectr-Aero SP-30, which is a Russian built and basically flying toobox with an engine stuck out on the front, as utilitarian goes it is an aircraft that is about as basic as you could basically get.... so Russian!, so Soviet, a flying farm tractor. But the SP-30 isn't actually Russian but Canadian, as the aircraft is based on the Zenith STOL CH 701 that is a kit aircraft from Canadian aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz through his Midland, Ontario based company, Zenair. Both aircraft are powered by the same engine as well in the Rotax 912 ULX four-cylinder liquid-cooled piston engine, 100 hp (73 kW)... a tiddler of a powerplant, with an engine output to match... you would think that this odd, queer little aircraft is about as far away as your dreams can allow, but the surprise is, it is simply brilliant. First thing to understand is that the Russian design team behind the aircraft is quite substantial with fourteen people contributing to the design and all aspects of the aircraft, including Sergei Mironov who is already a well known X-Plane developer and Mark Kirichenko who are the two main principle developers. And so when you fly and use the aircraft you see, feel and understand the amount of work that has gone into the machine in bringing it to X-Plane... it is all quite unique. The detailing is quite if sensational, and we are already used to being blown away by extreme detailing, but the construction and modeling here on this SP-30 is absolutely top rate.... The aircraft is built to the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association of Canada (LAMAC) design standard DS 10141, in its native country of Canada the CH 701 can be built and flown as a basic ultralight, advanced ultralight or amateur-built or it can be flown under microlight or ultralight rules in several other countries also. American pilots may fly the CH 701 under Light-sport Aircraft rules or as an experimental amateur-built design, those are the regulations for the CH 701, but as the SP-30 is a carbon-copy of that aircraft then I suppose it would come under the same safety standards and rules. Circlips and plastic ties abound, but they are all also highly realistically done, obviously the nuts and bolts and the riveting of the aircraft are all on show and near perfection... note the cables coming out of the pitot tube and into both the wing and wing tubing structure. ... the aircraft only comes with those mid-sized Tundra tyres, the Zenith came also with floats, but that option is not available here. Instrument panel is quite basic, but it hides a few say Russian quirks... Instruments are glorious, beautifully built and with lovely reflecting glass, the highlight is the delicious Avia ACS-1 Clock. Instrument layout is left to right top row... Speed Indicator, Variometer (Vertical Speed), Altimeter, Oil Temperature, CHT (Cylinder Head Temperature) and Avia ACS-1 Clock. Lower row... is RPM counter, Turn Coordinator, Elevator Trim (Electric), Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure, FlightLine FL-760 radio and VDO hour indicator. Note the duel throttle handles and the left high set mixture knob. Fuel gauge (20 US Gal (76 L)) is far left panel and Ammeter is far right. Note design detail of the built in GNS 430, as you get the full unit slung under the panel, the full Bendix/King KT76A transponder is fastened up the same way. Switchgear is lower row and some organ stops do the various venting on the top. As mentioned there are a few quirks, there is no parking brake? so you use the chocks... the braking action is only via the X-Plane regular braking action, via the lever on the pilot's stick, which is very well done and authentic. Fuel shutoff valve is far right on the lower panel, and the flap handle is on the pilot side lower left, with 0 - 7º -15º settings. Under the instrument panel and the rudders come with active cable controls are excellent, and realistic... rear shelf has headphones that really work as well, select them and the sound will lower from a major racket to a lesser racket, there is a bag that sits here as well... the aircraft menu is situated on the shelf as well and you select it via the handle, and then swoops around for a VR input (or hovers in front of your face), a cockpit light is situated on the above frame. The menu board is well done with two conversion charts for "Height" and "Pressure", below are five tickboxes or menu selections. They include "Plane Condition" save or not (It will save the aircraft's last state of wear and tear condition), Instrument units in Metric or Imperial, Cockpit language in either English or Russian.... note with the Instrument unit change then some of the actual instruments facias change as well. .... Pilots shown on External view and "Plane Shake" or aircraft vibrations completes the internal clipboard. You would note there are no static elements on the menu? To activate the static elements you touch them directly.... but there is a trick! You can only access static items by using the internal view externally, personally I love this idea, and it is sort of the same idea that AirfoilLabs use with their C172, but using this system, it does give you more freedom of movement. Two tricks, one use the shift key to move quicker, and two use a set smartkey to move outside quicker... see more later... but make sure the door is open to move externally, otherwise you will hit the boundary layer. Static elements include... Chocks, wing and tail tie-downs, pitot cover and propeller cover. The propeller can be turned by hand as well if you use the circle manipulator on one of the props, for the cover then press the centre of the spinner. Position your view above the engine bay and you will get a second menu external clipboard! Click on the engine cover (arrow) to reveal the Rotax 912 engine! and yes it is absolutely perfect... on the clipboard as you use the aircraft there will appear items that need servicing? and this is what you have to do... You can change the oil (arrowed), air filters and fuel filter, clean the spark plugs.... ... change the oil via first taking off the cap, then lifting out the dipstick... the oil canister appears and you can then top up the oil. If any areas of the engine need servicing then you do that on the clipboard, shown in red, but I found that it didn't fix the starter motor without a X-Plane restart, even the X-Plane failures didn't rectify the issue, and I found this annoying as I couldn't start the aircraft without a complete desktop restart (reloading the aircraft didn't work), other items that needed attention worked fine. You do perform maintenance in a certain strict servicing order that is laid out in the manual, say drop out the dark dirty oil, before you add in the new fresher and lighter oil, and that sort of stuff... again it is all very and highly realistic and you get your hands dirty. The clipboard allows you also to set the aircraft weights, via two passengers in either 75kg or 45kg weights with the 75kg represented as men and the 45kg weight as women. A baggage weight is represented by a nice leather bag on the rear shelf. The "Chemicals" cylinder holds the spraying chemicals and the spraying boom can be activated by pressing an area under the aircraft. Two other selections on the clipboard allows you to select the prop pitch of Max: 5200 rpm, Mid: 5600 rpm and Min: 5800 rpm... I set it at mid-pitch and a 5600 rpm limit. There also is the "Control Surface Visualization" with normal or defective? whatever that is? Like the airfoilLab and REP packs you can directly test the flying control surfaces for movement. In most cases your feature list is usually at this point about completed, but not here with the SP-30... you have to also drain off the water from the fuel tank. You do this by putting a stool under the aircraft and clicking the drain pipe (arrowed) until the measure tube is about half-full. But you are still not finished yet as to now you have refill the aircraft with fuel, and to do that you have to click on to the fuel cap... this will give you a red 44 Gal drum of fuel to load into the aircraft, It is tricky to see both the fuel gauge and the drum, so it is best to set up a "Quick View" to switch between the two views, it is also shown on the clipboard in a yellow tank, but you can't see the drum aft of the wing? To pump in the fuel you turn the handle, and it is back-breaking work, and especially if the tank is nearly empty, but I simply absolutely loved it, as it was realism 101. You have to turn on the electrical master switch to see the gauge, so watch out for the battery drain if you forget to turn it off after doing the refueling. A full tank of fuel is 20 US Gal (76 L). But there is more work to do If you decide to use the spray gear, as then, that tank has to be now filled as well? The chemical tank cap is right front and again touch the cap to remove it... here you now get a blue filled 44 Gal drum of chemicals It is possible here to turn the handle and see the loading of the chemicals into the tank on the clipboard, that is shown via a blue tank on the sheet... ... but you will find that as you fill up the lower chemical tank, as you are also putting on a lot more weight on to the aircraft... Max gross is 495 kg, and if you are using the spray gear, then be light on the fuel, take out the heavy bag, throw out your passenger, and I even had to change the pilot for a Female of 53 kg weight (She is on a diet) to get under that 495 kg gross weight limit, and all that information is also shown on the clipboard. As noted with my fuel loading I used a little of the battery change, so a recharge was required on the service sheet, and if you are flying in extreme colder climates, like Russia or Canada, then there is a portable heater that plugs into the lower part of the engine to keep it warm, or to warm it ready to start. So the feature list set out here is very comprehensive and extremely realistic... and we haven't even started the aircraft or even got it off the ground yet? Spectr-Aero SP-30 Like loading and servicing the Spectr-Aero SP-30, then even when starting the aircraft is a bit of a palaver.. or a strict set of instructions to get it all right, or to simply not break the aircraft and then start all that servicing palaver all over again... you don't want to do all that lot again do you... no. There is provided a step by step set of engine starting instructions in the manual, but I recommend on printing the instructions out as you will need them handy every time you redo the start sequence, as to get it wrong (and it is very easy to do) and your then simply back to square one, or in having a broken engine... the SP-30 is a very, very fragile little critter. First open the fuel shutoff valve lever (Right rear footwell), and then set the throttle to idle... Battery on, and circuit breaker to on (ALL), this switch is hard to find next to the FL-760 radio... With the throttle closed you build up the oil pressure to 2 bar, by turning the engine over for about 10 secs, then the fuel pump switch ON to build up fuel pressure to 4 bar... Then both twin ignition switches to on (up) and the throttle to 1/4... the MIxture knob is then pulled out, but that is really counter to using the usual mixture knob setting, as you still use this same position to turn off the engine as well? so that aspect is very confusing... You have to know that the mixture on start up is automatic, and as the engine starts it will regulate the mixture automatically (knob will go in)... but it is very confusing at the start. Then hit the Starter button after grabbing the brake handle... and then if your planets align, the gods are very kind to you, or even if you are going to have a good day... then the plane will rock violently and either start... or not start? One or the other? If extremely lucky with a powered up violent shaking Rotax running then turn on the avionics with the radio, transponder and lovely custom set GNS 430... Annoyingly there are no short cuts? A restart via the X-Plane menu or with an X-Plane restart and with the engine now running, the aircraft completely resets all your hard work done on setting up the fuel, chemicals, doors, passengers, weights, baro settings the lot... it is very painful, and also a short of a major shortcoming if you just want to set up and fly, after doing a lot of these resets it took a bit off the shine off the aircraft, you don't mind resetting say the baro or the radios, but losing the weight, fuel and passenger baggage settings is a bit infuriating after doing it all again and again five or six times... and you can't re-access the external clipboard either to do so when the engine is running? So it is constantly back to the bottom of the snakes and ladders reset ladder. Don't leave the aircraft in idle for longer than 5 min either unless you want to change all the spark plugs and most importantly control the Oil pressure and Oil Temperature via the oil and Radiator flap knobs to keep them both in the green zones, this is the same in flight as well and very importantly, unless you want and or to create an engine fail. There is a lot to remember and things to do actively to keep the SP-30 either in the air or running. Sounds are of the real Rotax engine, and they are LOUD, really loud with the doors open and the headphones off, the SP-30 shakes like demon as well (you can turn that effect off) but for authenticity then the whole sound set is extremely realistic and dynamic... Another feature is that if you are in extreme cold or heat (like I am in Australia) then the cockpit will fog up... to clear the dense foggy windows then just open the doors, the demisting is extremely realistic. Flying the Sp-30 is both complex, but rewarding. One thing to note is that the aircraft is very removed from the X-Plane standard settings and usual controls like with the above clipboard settings, so everything is inside the aircraft and not via anything with the simulator settings, this can be good for absolute realism, but also a negative if it starts to interfere with a good simulation... that is your prerogative and feel with the aircraft. So the point is that if you do get it all PERFECTLY set and corrected, then you will fly, and enjoy the huge experience... but there are no errors for judgement in here, in absolutely zero... and this can then cause a bit of frustration and even to the point of giving the simulation away. Can you have one without the other? In the developers eyes probably no, as they seek to create a perfection in realism, but from a user point of view then that extreme can be too extreme in no give even in basic errors. It is like in the real world if you have a fouled sparkplug, and you get out and fix it, then the fuel you have already put in the aircraft, the 3 kg bag, and even the passenger sitting patiently in his seat are still all there ready and waiting when you get back in to restart the aircraft, in this case it isn't so, as they have all been wiped away to start again, so is that actually realistic, well no? You can't even reset the aircraft to a default position to clear up all the built up errors either... in other words it takes all the fun out of the simulation. In the flying aspect, if you get all those setup and settings correct then the SP-30 is very and a highly rewarding aircraft to fly. Power up and the roar of the Rotax fills the air, depending on the weight the little SP-30 will either sprint off the handbrake hold, or casually start to move and build up speed. 60 knts, is the usual slight back pitch to flight time, and the aircraft is a dream in flight with a huge amount of control feedback. Climb is steady, but in reality you don't really care either, because this is real fun with a capital F, with brilliant feel and those lovely input changes to the controls. Climb rate is an amazing 1000 fpm, but unless empty or having the spraygear attached you would never use that... 600 fpm to 700 fpm is perfect. There is a huge advantage to set up the electric trim as soon as you can get a level flight... centre takeoff trim is noted by a double LED selection, to balance out you need to go up the display by pressing the top part of the rocker switch... the problem is that the switch does not adjust correctly to your inputs? even with accounting for the slow movement of the adjuster? so you are finding yourself poking or clicking at the switch in frustration on maybe up to three times to get the adjuster to actually move to about the second LED marker from the top, so adjusting it finely becomes a slow and annoying process, same with resetting the trim back down to the neutral position? Get the SP-30 trimmed and settled at around 130 knts and it is a lovely little aircraft to now skim across the landscape as only a lightweight frame aircraft can, with the aircraft shaking and a huge wind noise making it all fiercely realistic. Sorry there is no autopilot, as you are the only pilot. But watch those temperatures like a hawk with oil pressure 2–5 bar; oil temperature 90–110°С (maximum 50–130°С) and cylinder heads temperature of around 50-130°С, so if they go out of those greens then start praying... so control the organ stops with care, same with the visible cowl flap and the engine is kept sweet around 4200–5200 RPM. Open the doors in flight to get the full exposure experience.... the whole cockpit feels open to the elements, but this is flying through the air at it's very best.... and with the noise to match. Maximum speed is 85 mph (137 km/h; 74 kn) at sea level, range is an amazing 372 mi (323 nmi; 599 km) and your ceiling is another amazing 12,000 ft (3,700 m). The partical effects and 11.30 dynamics are adjusted here, but the Rotax is not the most climate friendly engine in the skies. Approach speeds are around 75 knts, which gives you a great platform for surveying the area. Flap extension (if you could call it that) is very draggy even at the 7º point and extremely draggy at the full 15º, but the aircraft is very stable and quite nice to manoeuvre and adjust to line up with the runway... ... only aspect to be aware of is wind as you are basically flying a kite, you can't fly the SP-30 above 12 knts anyway, but even small gusts are highly noticeable in an ultralight, but adjustable. A single nose light is all you get... I would have rather had preferred the real world lighting on the SP-30, which are two lights and mounted on each left and right wing support. Final approach is at the 60 knt mark at the end of the green zone, a little more throttle off to around 50 knts and you glide down slowly to the runway, but still watch out for those wind gusts. Stall speed is set at 30 mph (48 km/h; 26 kn) and get it wrong and the picture is not pretty with bent undercarriage, flat tyres and a nose wheel strut deep into the inside of the Rotax. Open the doors for the fresh air and feel for the sense of freedom on the ground, but when parked the Rotax stops with a sudden violent clonk. Lighting The SP-30 is not really an aircraft to fly at night, I doubt the rules would allow it to anyway... the instrument panel is not backlit either but there is an overhead light that does illuminate the instruments if you are running for home in the dark.. the lovely Avia clock however is beautiful, and the GNS 430 looks nice in the dark as well. Externally there is that single nose light, but it is pretty useless and blobby as well, the navigation, strobe lights are well done as are the two red beacons, with one under the fuselage and one on the tail. Liveries There are seven liveries of which are in reality all the same theme and Russian, but some are a different colour and one is the blank white. All are very high quality, but you wished for one or two that could have been a bit more creative as some CH-70's were quite different to zany, there is provided a paintkit, so... Summary Extremely eccentric is this Spectr-Aero SP-30 that is based on the Canadian Zenith CH 701, but classed as a ultralight or VLA. Rugged and Russian to it's look and feel, it is an exciting aircraft to fly, certainly with the immersion factor here that is realistically deep. The feature list is spellbounding and simply huge and you also get a huge interaction with all the required elements like the real realistic Rotax engine servicing, fuel and chemical manual loading, great selection of passengers, bags and weights... static elements like chocks tie-downs, covers, misty windows and clever VR (Virtual Reality) interaction... the list is endless and it is all very good and highly interactive. The recreation of the SP-30 is minutely detailed, certainly one of the best in this category, and the aircraft feels alive in use, movement and real world sound, it should do as it took two full years and a room full of Russians to create it... in all it is almost the absolute perfect simulation... almost. The clever idea to use the internal view to access the external elements is without a very good one and should be copied by other developers, but I think it also creates a problem. The separation of the internal and external means that if you can't start the engine or just want to get into the SP-30 for a flight, you are simply left into a strange position. Any settings made on a previous flight are always wiped and so if you spend twenty minutes or so refueling, checking the water in the fuel tank, setting up the passenger and baggage weights or setting up the spraying gear (note that there was no aerial spraying section in this review as I gave up), then if the damn engine won't start or you simply make a slight mistake in starting procedure, or simply just want to go flying... then all your past work is dunk and gone with no global settings? You are then caught between resetting it all again, for it to only fail again, and after a few constant rounds of that you are ready to throw in the towel, Using the setting of "Save aircraft" just builds up past aircraft wear and tear to the point you are again grounded, switch off "save aircraft" as it only saves the wear and tear elements and you get back the other issues, and you are at the mercy of again going around in circles... The SP-30 needs simply a global setting, to reload all of your last setup or to save your last setup if you are leaving the simulator or restarting within the simulator, and a simple reset to basic aircraft settings to clear out all the wear and tear, if like in this review in that any service area is buggy? (the X-Plane failure system doesn't work here). You basically in the end give up a fly without all the options in place. So an overview is that you have an absolutely totally perfect simulation of a extremely interesting and magical aircraft to fly, but it is overly frustrating to use because of one simple area... no doubt to the developers they can't see the issues, but we didn't create it or build it either... so we need to meet somewhere in the middle to get the best out of their amazing work or go like the developers slightly mad.... it is however.... Absolutely Highly Recommended! _______________________________ The Spectr-Aero SP-30 by Mad Flight Studio is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Spectr-Aero SP-30 Priced at US$44.99 Main features: Dynamic model, handing characteristics, systems controlled and tested by real world pilots and engineers. Full 3D manual ground service propeller covers Pitot cover parking ties parking chocks control surface check fueling (gasoline and chemicals) fuel drain check outside engine heater chemical works equipment Full 3D manual engine service propeller manual rotation oil level check oil change oil filter change air filter change fuel filter change spark plugs change prop pitch selection (from service menu) a lot of failure repairs (from service menu) IFR flying adaptation GNS transponder slip and turn indicator navigation lights landing light cockpit light Realistic gauge operation Custom radiostation FL-760 (with AUX connection simulation) Custom fuel system Custom oil system Custom engine operation A lot of custom failures Custom shake and G-effect (compatible with TrackIR and view-effect plug-ins) Custom 3D sounds (over 170 real sounds) Custom windshield effects (rain, ice, mist) Custom particle effects Fully VR compatible (without additional plug-ins) High Quality PBR textures High accuracy interior and exterior 3D models High accuracy fully animated aircraft 3D ground service and general options menu Two Language manuals and aircraft menus (Russian/English) Two cockpit languages (Russian/English) Two gauge options (Metric/Imperial) Layered paintkit included Requirements X-Plane 11.30 and higher Windows, Mac OSX, Linux 64bit 2Gb VRAM Video Card (4GB+ VRAM Recommended) Current version and Review Version : 1.0 (January 24th 2018) Installation and documents: Download for the Spectr-Aero SP-30 is 749.35mb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.30gb. Documentation: Manual (26 pages) is excellent and covers all aspects of servicing and flying the aircraft. Manuals are in both English and Russian as is the instrument and clipboard languages (note the clipboard language has to be changed manually via a supplied image file) SP-30_manual_En.pdf SP-30_manual_Ru.pdf Paintkit and the language pack is also supplied. ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 27th January 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.30 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - YBNA - Ballina Byron Gateway Airport 1.0 by Stricko 101 (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  7. Aircraft Review : PA-28-181 Archer III by JustFlight and Thranda Over the 2018/19 holiday break I flew both the earlier JustFlight/Thranda aircraft in the Arrow lll and the lV Turbo. This was to see how the aircraft still lived up to their reputation of the best of the rest. Overall they did, but a few things also came to pass. First and foremost, the aircraft are slow, the Turbo was a little better at around 165 knts, but an average ground speed in the Arrow lll of 125 knts is a twiddle or play with your fingers time... even after two hours flying I had barely moved across the map, and yes that average cruise speed is correct. As a realistic simulation with immersion then the Arrow lll was very good, but if you like faster aircraft then you will find this new release of the Archer lll by JustFlight/Thranda down in the low cruise speed zone... it is certainly not boring, but you don't cover the ground very fast either. Secondly do we really need another PA28 aircraft? many on the threads moaned that enough was getting enough... but the trick is that not all PA28 aircraft are created equally, as there is always a variation somewhere in the PA28's very long but illustrious career. We have already had the Cherokee, Arrow, Warrior and the only missing PA28 was the Archer. It was released by Piper after the Cherokee and the Arrow variants as the Archer variant had again another five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, larger horizontal tail and a small gross weight increase over the Arrow. This release is the Archer lll from 1994, so that makes the aircraft a sort of a more modern variant, than say a 60's or 70's Cherokee, and so that gives the aircraft a more later open lighter feel. The Archer's distinctive smaller round engine inlets also help in the streamline effect of projecting a more contemporary look, that of say a more composite aircraft would than it would an early 70's aircraft design. The Archer lll does look and feel a size slightly larger than the Arrow (because it actually is), so overall it doesn't feel as connected to the PA28 family as the other family members. By now after a few releases with Just Flight you expect the high quality of the design that is reflected in the price, and you are not disappointed here either. Modeling and detail is really good to excellent, with some really nice weathering to make it all look extremely realistic as well. It is very easy now to take this sort of HD quality now for granted, but it is still important to realise how far we have come in X-Plane in a very short time with this high level of ultra realism. Although complex in the convex and concave curves and it is also surprising the modeling is so outstandingly good, note the lovely air vents and NACA air-ducts. The corrugated ribs in the tail are beautifully done and the required antennas and RF aerials are excellent, note the nice vent in the upper leading edge of the tail. Build and registration plate is a nice touch, as is the tie down hook. Glass is now again expected to be now first rate, and here it is in that high quality class in shape and reflections, and also comes with a look of a mottled feel in the glass. Two doors open with the passenger door and a locker baggage door like on all PA28's behind the rear seats. Passenger door internally opens via two locks and then a slide along the door trim... The PA28 cabins are tight, more so in the rear. The cabin colour scheme is a bit to your own taste, with a salmon lower trim and motif upper design, there is here only one interior design. Seats are nice and leather crumpled, with sheepskin covers on the two front seats which is really well done. Note the huge clipboard on the pilot's yoke... it is very large and a sort of in your face (or belly), I am not sure if I like that? Instrument panel feels more Cessna in design with the lighter plain facia than the usual with a Piper, with the either usually covered or molded 70's panel trim on the earlier aircraft that is not used here. Electrical rocker switches are overhead. The trim wheel is low and tight between the seats with the three stage flap handle, all very familiar PA28. Nice rudder pedals are well done with the fuel tank switch on the left sidewall... always check if the tank switch is on before starting as the default position is OFF. Instrument Panel Overall the instrument layout in the Archer is quite basic, but it is an interesting layout as well with some unique details. The Standard Six (SS) flying instruments are quite small by design... Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator are on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial/Course and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the SS is a clock, Gyro Suction and ADF pointer... note the interesting compass slaving switches far left lower... Right of the SS is the GNS-255 driven OBS VOR2/ILS dial, with a Stormscope set below. Lower panel are four engine readout dials that cover Oil Temp, Fuel Press, Oil Press - EGT (Exhaust gas temperature) - Left Fuel tank (24 Gal) and Right Fuel tank (24 Gal) - Tachometer. Top panel has a very nice set of (testable) Annunciator panel lights There are no instruments on the right panel side except for a standby Attitude Indicator. Avionics stack is the usual Bendix/King KMA 24 TSO radio which is above the S-Tec 55 Autopilot with the GNS530 below (the Reality XP's GTN 750 unit can also be fitted, but this is an addon extra and costs you another $49.95.) Note the power switch for the S-Tec 55 is below right and hard to find... until the green light comes on to show it is powered up. Top of the stack is an active intercom switch and a Monroy Traffic-Watch ATD-300, this is a useful tool that displays traffic on a Garmin 430/530, personally I don't know if it works in X-Plane or with the Reality GTN 750. Second stack has top an interesting transponder in the Trig's TT31, that most pilots retro-fit over the Bendix/King KT76A and KT78A transponders. It is really nice to use and set. The COM2/VOR2 unit is a different unit as well with the Garmin GNC 255 which is a current modern avionics set. A Bendix/King KN 64 DME unit (ground speed and distance) and a Bendix/King KR 87 is the ADF unit.Upper right is an usual digital ammeter. Lower panel has the main Throttle lever, Mixture lever and a hidden Friction control. There is a full set of circuit breakers which are noted to be active.. but I couldn't get them to work? which is real surprise as they did on the Arrow lll/lV. The outside temperature gauge is up on the lower side window frame left. Menu The menu is set on the left side tab (mouse scroll to hide!) and this brings up the now familiar JustFlight menu. There are seventeen menu tiles to use including: Top row : Open/close cabin door - Open/close baggage door - Toggle GNS 530 GPS pop-up window (or the GTN750 payware add-on by RealityXP) - Toggle window reflections and interior glass dynamic reflections - Toggle dome light if the engine is running, or flashlight when starting cold and dark. Middle Row : Toggle autopilot pop-up window - Toggle Wheel Fairings - Toggle automatic fuel selector (switches fuel tanks automatically) - Toggle fuel refill menu window - Open weight and balance window - Toggle volumes window  Bottom row : Select ‘ready for takeoff’ or ‘cold and dark’ state - Toggle checklist pop-up window - Toggle flight computer pop-up window - Toggle logbook pop-up window - Toggle ground handling pop-up window - Toggle chocks and tie-downs. The arrows at the very bottom of the menu panel allows you to select the livery you require and far more quickly than the X-Plane menu. Oddly missing is the usual altimeter barometric pressure scale between InHg and mb? The weight and balance window is very good, with weights for all four passengers, and baggage, fuel can be set here also as can the change from kg - lbs. A full list of weights, CG and a large graph of your settings are all very helpful into balancing the aircraft. Chocks, tie-downs and a ground pull handle are visible when activated. Switching the wheel fairings ON/OFF gives you a more exposed gear that I tend to favour. The animated pilot disappears as well, and yes he is realistic, but certainly not in the way of the better Carenado style human realism. Flying the Archer lll There is a fuel "Prime" button that is required, but don't over use it, a few seconds is fine, and then hit the starter (you did set the fuel tanks position?) And then the Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW) should easily fire into life. The missing barometric pressure scale between InHg and mb are both shown directly in the Attitude Indicator, but either can be very hard to set unless you get very close... the standby attitude indicator on the far right has to set independently as well. Brake off, and they is a nice feel of weight (1054.7 Kg) that you feel under the throttle, and it needs a fair push to build some forward momentum. You also feel the difference of the mixture setting from lean to heavy, so you keep the mixture lever around the 3/4 mark. This aircraft feels that is now under the new X-Plane11.30 rules in better engine refinement, you just feel those new differences more now, and yes you do. The sounds reflect those minute throttle changes as well, but this more a gentle refined aircraft, than the earlier noisy shaking if over realistic forbears. Taxi speed is easily kept to, but pull the throttle back too far and the speed will run off and you quickly slow, so it is a bit of a trick to keep it all moving at a nice pace. Full mixture and throttle up... don't push the throttle right up quickly to the forward position but feed the fuel in nicely, then slowly the aircraft will start to move and then build up speed, again the required propeller thrust is felt before any movement, that is not sluggish in feel, but in realism. Flap is set at the first notch, and the aircraft tracks very nicely. Around 80 knts you can pitch up and fly, but once you feel the airflow over the wings lifting well, then quickly retract those flaps to gain more speed. Climb rate officially is 667 fpm but you can be liberal with that, I found even 700 ft fpm easily achieved, but you won't do that would you... stay at 550 fpm for the best results of a climbing speed and the nice gain of height at the same time. First thoughts on handling are "Predictable", "Solid"... even "Undemanding" but also engrossing. It is a nice aircraft to bank, climb and fly. Your certainly not going to throw it around, so your movements are very precise and slow to the actions you want to convey. One of the things I really didn't like on all the Just Flight Arrows was the manual trim... The Arrow lll was a monster to trim, and I tried everything to make the aircraft balance itself, even then it also had a nasty tendency to porpoise to any wind movements, and that made the vertical speed to always pitching badly between the positive and negative movements and sometimes for as much as 300 ft either way, and that took a lot of pleasure out of the flying. it also would have the odd effect of the aircraft having a hiccup every now and again. And the nasty trim wheel location with no panel indicator just sent you mental in trying to trim it out anyway in the first place. I tried knob adjustments (worse) and key adjustments (better but still too big a trim step). So to a point I was fearing the Archer lll would have the same behavior? but it is not... There are some interesting differences between the Arrow and the Archer. One is X-Plane 11.30. I think the better dynamics of 11.30 have calmed the aircraft down, and two there is now a better trim adjustment for your key input in "Pitch trim down-Mechanical, not servo". The adjustments feel smaller so you can now get more finer trim control, there is a very nice "Electric Trim" on the Yoke (left handle), but you really need that very fine trim adjustment that only the keys can give you. But the aircraft (thankfully) can now be trimmed out. The only note is that the Archer still has the tendency with the thrust to tilt to the left, so there is the requirement to just slightly keep a light force on the yoke to the right to keep it in a straight flightpath. Note to trim the aircraft with the yoke force applied, as if not it will be set wrong. It will be interesting to test fly the Arrows when they have been updated also to 11.30 to see if the trim issue has been reduced to be more realistic like this Archer. The now 11.30 default S-Tec 55 Autopilot is a nice bit of kit... (remember the hidden switch!) but like for all the avionics the autopilot pops-out for use. Here it is in the new X-Plane panel window system (for VR and home panels) that can be adjusted from very small to incredibly large. But you do have to adjust the background to fit the unit. Speeds are noted as 75% power, best power mixture, 8,000 ft 128 KTAS/3.8 hr (63 pph/10.5 gph) and 65% power, best economy mixture, 12,000 ft with both at 125 KTAS/4.5 hr (54 pph/9 gph) with a service ceiling of 13,236 ft and a range of 522 NM (Max Payload), So you don't cover the distance very fast, but the Archer does feel actually faster than the Arrow lll? Throttle adjustment is required to get the best downward vertical speed as well as setting -3 on the S-Tec, the thick white band on the airspeed is your performance band, and the upper yellow is the caution zone... the flap zone beneath 100knts is the smaller white band, but it is very hard to read. Time to head back in.... The one thing I really loved about the JustFlight Arrows was the low speed balance and manoeuvrability, it was a fun factor to fly, again and again. Dancing between 70 knts and 65 knts to control the height, more throttle to slow the descent and less to drop a little more was highlighted by an 8 knt crosswind. I was on the centreline and then I wasn't, so it was a balance between the right rudder and right or left yoke movements to correct the line. I eased the Archer into the correct position and then slowly reduced the throttle and at around 60 knts to sweet touch the runway... "ahhh... " nice that. So the low speed handling is again brilliant but also challenging to your skills, also it is highly rewarding, and I have done three landings now and each one was perfect, even in these blustery conditions. So the aircraft is great for both in the fact if you are a bit of a novice it is a great platform to learn on with excellent feedback, but also challenging enough for the pros to show off their skills. Lighting The instrument panel lighting is simply gorgeous... instruments have in-direct lighting, but the various avionic systems colours fill out the rest, again the lighting looks more Cessna than Piper. Two adjustable blue roof lights give off an off-world glow that is highlighted by the lovely rocker switch-gear lighting.... There are two overhead rear lights that brightens up the rear seats, these are activated by the switches on the side wall by each seat. All in all it a lovely place to cruise at night, but functional as well for serious night flying. The external lighting is a bit sparse... ... there is a landing light set at each wing tip, but otherwise the rest of the lighting is all set together in the wing-tip assembly. There are the navigation lights, the end strobe lights (bright) and in a different layout the white rear pointing navigation lights are also here in the same assembly.. there are no beacons or other external lights, so the aircraft can be silhouetted quite dark at night. A tip if you like your replays, then leave the strobes off while flying. Liveries There are ten liveries, all 4K HD high detailed quality. The choice is nicely varied and mostly focused on Europe, but a few are very similar in the variation of the same burgundy colour scheme. There is also the standard blank/white. Included are: C-GUXL (Canada), D-EFVC (Germany), EC-JQO (Spain), F-GNCH (France), G-CCHI (UK), G-CIFY (UK), HB-PPN (Switzerland), N6092U (USA), PH-AED (Netherlands) and VH-PPR (Australia). Summary This is the fourth variation of the PA28 aircraft from JustFlight/Thranda, the others being the Arrow lll, Turbo Arrow lll and the Turbo Arrow lV. The differences of this Archer lll besides the variant changes is that this is a more modern in 90's design and feel than the others in their late 70's disguises. The differences are down just not to the actual different panel and interior design, but also to the avionics packages that are quite different and unique to X-Plane with a Monroy Traffic-Watch ATD-300, GNC 255 and the Trig's TT31 transponder as the highlights... So this is a PA28 with a difference. In this mid-forties price range you expect a lot, and JustFlight are very good of delivering the quality and features that you expect. The aircraft is also up to date with the current specifications in X-Plane 11.30, and yes you notice the differences between the adjusted and the non-adjusted aircraft, and that is a significant bonus here as the Archer flies far much better than most PA28's and loses a lot of the irksome characteristics that is noticeable on the other JF PA28s and mostly in the trim area. Modeling is as noted very good, but the Salmon interior design is to your own taste, and it is certainly not like the very dramatic reds of the Arrow lll, but the more you fly the Archer then the more you love it as it sorts of through it's realism and flying characteristics in that you realise that this is certainly the very best PA28 yet. Features are very good and plentiful as is the lighting is excellent with the interior that is simply beautiful as are all the sounds which are all top quality FMOD and 180º dynamic. So the package is very strong. You don't purchase these aircraft to just put another aircraft into your hangar. In most cases it is for a personal reason, in that you have flown or owned one or want the very best dynamics of a certain aircraft. So it has to deliver on many levels as this is a serious investment. I personally think it does, but the real verdict will really be only out there with the owners that can relate to the aircraft on their own personal level.... Highly Recommended _______________________________ The PA-28-181 Archer III by JustFlight and Thranda is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-28-181 Archer III Priced at US$41.99 Special Features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modeled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR capable avionics fit including: KMA 24 audio selector Fully featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases) GNC 255 COM/NAV 2 radio KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2 S-TEC autopilot with lateral hold modes (HDG, NAV, APR, REV) and vertical modes (ALT, VS) TT31 transponder KR 87 ADF Traffic-Watch ATD-300 traffic awareness unit Strikefinder stormscope HSI and ADF gauges Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction GoodWay compatible Ability to change barometric units from InHg to MB in altimeter adjustment Option to activate flashlight from within pop-up window, to aid in those pitch-black cold and dark starts at night Pop-up autopilot window Option to remove window and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Functional throttle quadrant tensioning system Radio knob animations routed through plugin logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers, avionics power circuit and emergency bus controls. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tire rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning carburetor and primer controls Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapor lock condition Simulated vapor lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) Functional electric trim control on yoke Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB+ VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux Current and Review version and : 1.0 (January 30th 2019) PS: Owners of any the PA28 by JustFlight can purchase this new Archer lII with a $7 discount ( $34.99). Find your coupon code under your Arrow invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Arrows from other designers) Installation and documents: Download for the PA-28-181 Archer III is 730Mb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 818.60mb. Documentation: There are two manuals provided. The ODM is full of performance graphs and data and the X-Plane Manual is a full detailed manual of the aircraft's systems and layouts, a good if basic tutorial is also included PA-28-181 Archer III ODM manual X-Plane.pdf PA-28-181 Archer III X-Plane manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft review by Stephen Dutton 9th February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - LMML- Malta International Airport by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.30
  8. Scenery Review - LMML - Malta International by JustSim LMML - Malta is for me an anchor of a scenery, as a lot of my early X-Plane flying and reviews were centered directly around this airport. The position of the Island of Malta that is almost in the centre of the Mediterranean was significant in routes to lower-mid Italy, the northern coastal African ports, and more with Spain and Greece being also close by. Another point of my flying was with the RAF and mostly the C-17 freighter to RAF LUCA (Malta) that is also (was) based here. Another point with LMML was it's use for early WorldTaffic3 ground route testing, because of the airport's quite complicated high + Cross runway intersection and a difficult taxiway layout, overall WT3 worked out the complicated routes, but it was also highly interesting with wind changes from the approaches of RWY31 to RWY05. So yes I have a big affection for the airport for the serious amount of time I have X-Plane wise spent here, but like a lot of scenery LMML then sort of got left behind as the original scenery dated. TDG did a version, but I never really took to it... so when JustSim noted that their next release would be the coming LMML - Malta, I was really and hoping that they could restore back to life my previously loved location to it's full glory... that was a very big ask in not only providing a quality scenery but also in fulfilling a big internal emotion as well... so did JustSim succeed? Malta the island as noted is in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily and north of Tunisia. LMML - Malta International is positioned just slightly inland southeast of the capital of Valletta in the village of Gudja. (Apple Maps) Obviously with Malta's strategic position in the Mediterranean then Malta's first aviation airport was going to be military, and the British got there first... RAF Luca was the location of RAF Mediterranean Command headquarters of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Particularly during the Siege of Malta from 1941 to 1943 and was active right up to 1979 when the airport was passed over to Maltese control, but I would note that a lot of the original RAF facilities are still active, but in a sort of "we left a long time ago, but still keep the odd hand in" sort of way, and and sorties are still run out of these remote outposts when required, and mostly on also Crete or in a transition logistic capacity. The base is currently maintained by The Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta, with a pair of Italian Air Force helicopters that are used for search-and-rescue also based here. The first air terminal at Luqa was inaugurated on 31 March 1958, and it is still there opposite RAF Luca. The present air terminal in Gudja was laid out in September 1989 and it was inaugurated in record time 29 months later along side runway 13/31 in February 1992. Malta International Airport then became fully operational on 25 March 1992 and the old Luca passenger terminal was effectively closed down after 35 years. Even in it's newer disguise the terminal still has an iconic look that denotes the Malta airport of Luca. LMML is a hub for Air Malta and Medavia besides being a base for Ryanair. It is also home to the Area Control Center. Malta International Airport Ajruport Internazzjonali ta' Malta IATA: MLA - ICAO: LMML 5/23 - 2,377 (7,800ft) Asphalt 13/31- 3,544 (11,627ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL : 300 ft / 91 m LMML - Malta International by JustSim My first impression of JustSim's scenery was in that how much different and up to date it was compared to most of the other sceneries I have used here in the past. Yes the older elements are still there like with the original RAF Luca and the huge Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics facilities that are still represented, but the area around the terminal was far much more complex and better designed... The standout building that now totally dominates the airport is the new "Skyparks Business Centre", that is also the base for the head office of Air Malta on Level 2. Note the M McDonalds in the foreground. The main terminal is excellent in capturing that Malta feel in it's design... Stands 1 to 8L front the terminal, and the mid-apron stands are 9 to 24. ... detail and clutter is excellent, with viewing decks, solar panels, thrust barriers, air-con units and great reflective glass for realisam. Landside is just as complete with great advertising, vehicles, 3d passengers and even their luggage. JustSim notes activity with ground vehicles (X-Plane11 only) but on the airports aprons I saw nothing, but there is traffic running around the airport. Sunken elevation carpark is a standout in detail, and the VIP centre shows the airports comprehensive detailing. There is another sunken 3d roadway in front of the Skyparks Business centre that snakes down under the main F taxiway and RWY 13/31. the idea is very good, but with no traffic running makes it a bit bland and a very odd tunnel exit on the other side, and the join of the vehicle bridge and textures is a bit messy as well. Apron 8 to the west of the main Luca Terminal, is the Cargo terminal and it is well represented here. There is great variation in building styles in showing the different aspects of the changes to the buildings, both old and modern or in other words a collection or motley of old and very old buildings, with the odd new building also thrown in there. The Air Malta 1950's maintenance hanger (Hangar 6) is the standout and is excellent, with worn brickwork and rusted roofing, the metal door runners are also well done in detail. Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics Alongside most of the western side of runway 05/23 and taxiway L is the large Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics maintenance base, it is split by the runway safety area (RSA) of RWY31 creating the high + cross. The older Lufthansa Technik hangar is too the north of the + cross and the main facility with the more modern three larger hangars is to the south, with a big general aviation and supporting hangars zone splitting neatly up the two areas... ..... the Technik hangar reproduction is excellent, and with great detail, but the ugly rear solar roof installation is a bit too much of a facade quick style that does not look authentic, yes the solar installation is there in reality, but it could have been more refined in the area that is quite visual. Shame there is no SAM on the hangar doors here as with ShortFinal's EDDM, but that may yet happen in an update. The general aviation Apron 3 area is super nice, and very authentic if you are dropping in to refuel if you are crossing over the Mediterranean. There is a nice collection of hangars and buildings for aviation support services. Note the excellent authentic apron lighting pylons and comprehensive 3d grass. Aprons 2 and 1 is the original Luca airport area, with the original terminal is very well represented and the older terminal stand parking still here. There is post war 1950's feel to the zone, but it is overshadowed by that huge Technik hangar that sorts of dominates the area, but the hangar is not new, as close up it looks to be 1960's vintage. I like the detail of the storage of the non-required airport service vehicles behind the second British style hangar. RAF Luca The old RAF Station is well represented and it also looks deserted. Inside of the high + cross of the runways the Control Tower is positioned here as well, and this tower is an updated version rather than the old wartime version... but in the distance it still does look like the older field tower. The two aprons one just stands and he other with hangars are noted as 5 and 7 and are noted for military use only. The Area Control Center radar is located here as well. The tower view is set perfectly with all runway approaches perfectly visual, with no obstacles to interfere into the view. SAP - Safi Aviation Park The head office of Medavia is situated at the airport on the threshold of Runway 31. The zone is noted as SAP or the Safi Aviation Park. Three large maintenance hangars dominate the SAP area, two for Medavia and one multipurpose. Airport infrastructure and local custom Autogen There is a huge amount of custom infrastructure and buildings set out between the main apron areas and behind the terminal areas. It is all just really basic modeling and textures, but they do a very good job of filling in the more open areas and completing the scenery's visual aspects, and all are matched correctly to the ground photo textures. There is both industrial and custom housing of the area. The Malta Freeport and large fuel depot is on the approach to RWY 31 and is also represented, but it is also again a bit basic? As it is a visual clue on the most used approach into LMML, it could have been a little more detailed on the port side with containers and even a ship to hide the photo textures. JustSim have always tried to recreate the environs of the area around the airport, and mostly with great success. Here in Malta they have used an autogen approach of their own custom Maltese housing. The idea works extremely well, but some of the default darker tone autogen also pops through... personally I like it a lot, as it usually denotes the more industrial side to the capital city area and breaks up the constant white buildings. Sadly missing are a few of the Maltese capital Valletta's iconic structures as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like the Fort St Elmo, Fort Tigné and St John's Co-Cathedral... nothing too detailed, but would still have been great for some VFR flying around the island. WT3 & Ground Textures The taxiway and runway layout at LMML is complicated, because the early RAF Luca runway layout was a cross of four runways, that have been reduced down to two, so parts of the earlier layout is still used as hard areas and taxiway links. The RWY31 end loop is really well done. This complex system highlighted the challenge to WorldTraffic3 ground routes, and it actually worked out a way to use and navigate the ground routes effectively. The RWY31 end loop also works very well with holds at taxiway 3 until the runway is clear to proceed and to taxi and then to turn around on to the runway... only one thing is wrong with the provided WT3 ground routes... the entrance to the main terminal apron is the wrong way? you taxi to the east side before entering the ramp, so the lines are the correct way in for parking, instead the aircraft are entering from the west end and have to turn hard left to park.... it also feels the flow is wrong? Ground textures and signage and marking are all authentic and excellent and the texture surfaces are also nicely reflective. In some areas the photo mesh textures are well over-saturated, and poke through the landscape, but visually you just get away with it as they are not central to the main scenery, except behind RAF Luca.... Lighting The lighting is overall fine at LMML, but it comes with some dull and empty areas. The whole island of Malta is very well lit on the STAR phase into LMML. And so it is quite a dramatic approach visually at night. Approach lighting is very good, and all the lighting for runway 13/31 is excellent, but although the approach lighting is fine, then Rwy 05/23 does not have any centreline markings or any white lights, so it is harder to use. The aprons look very good, but the lighting is actually a bit hit and miss... ... as Stands 4 and 9 are in complete darkness, as are the close areas of the airside and landside of the main terminal? So the terminal does not stand out as good as it could have, the word I would use here is "Rushed" as it feels lighting wise it is a little incomplete. Carparks are fine, but in a few areas and again they are only half lit.... The Skyparks Business Centre looks good as does the substantial lit advertising... but the McDonald's is nowhere to be seen in the darkness? Autogen lighting is very good, but thankfully it is all mixed in with the default urban industrial autogen that lifts it up from the average repetition effect. Other aprons and airport areas are also well lit, in again a passable if not overly lit way, the lit hangar signage is however excellent... ... certainly on all the large Lufthansa Technik and SAP hangars. Summary First I will note this Malta scenery in context with it's price, which is US$22.30, so first of all the extensive scenery and great value is certainly on show here. I am and always will be a supporter and admirer and high user of JustSim's releases. As noted LMML - Malta is a very important scenery to me for it's position in the mid-Mediterranean Sea and for its routing versatility. So the question is does this JustSim scenery live up to my high requirements... the answer is yes it does and extensively so, but there are a few areas here that still need attention or just finishing off. Perfection could also have been easily achieved with just a little more attention before release. Some lighting feels rushed to finish and has a few dark areas, the areas of Valletta and Malta Freeport would have benefited with a little more attention and is missing VFR landmarks or port infrastructure. But the custom Maltese autogen is very well done, and fills out the complete island with housing and structure. In modeling, layout and design then LMML is very, very good and JustSim was always very good in using the X-Plane dynamic features with clever ideas, hence reflective runways and custom autogen. Clutter is excellent as is the immersion on the ramps in detail and obviously I love it all and will certainly get a lot of flying done in this region again. So in other words "I'm Back". Good WT3 is crucial to making LMML work, although it needs some flow attention, but overall WT3 does work very well here. First impressions and the time now spent reviewing the scenery says this will easily be my main scenery for Malta, and again overall JustSim have developed and delivered a great and authentic scenery addition to X-Plane... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! LMML - Malta International by JustSim is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LMML - Malta International Airport Price Is US$22.30 Features Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings Custom airport lights Custom autogen for Malta island Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Animated ground vehicles (X-Plane 11 only) Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Excellent night effects Realistic reflections on glass World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance WT3: Ground routes are provided with scenery. The runway and taxiway layout here really tests the WT3 ground routes, but overall WT3 works fine. Only comment is that the flow on the main apron is in the wrong direction, as it is west to east, but it needs to flow east to west Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 895Mb Version 1.0 and review version(February 2nd 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 873.95mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are two install folders: LMML_JustSim_1_v1.0 (1.96gb) LMML_JustSim_2_v1.0 (12.8mb) Mesh Total scenery Install is : 2.08gb The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the "LMML_JustSim_2_v1.0 (Mesh)" is below the Airport and overlay files, but above the Global Airport folder. Documents No manual except for "Installation" notes WT3 Ground Routes, Airport Operations and Parking Def files are provided ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 6th February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free Scenery or Aircraft -none- 
  9. Behind the Screen : January 2019 Welcome to the New Year and a new version of X-Plane in version 11.30 going final. The release didn't make Christmas 2018 (the original Laminar roadmap goal) but it was quickly through the Release Candidates once they restarted in 2019, sometimes it is great just to give up. That is the one thing I find really weird... a lot of developers try to make the Christmas deadline and then put out the product, and it is either in aircraft, scenery or mostly plugins and then just close it all down until the next year.. so most then say to the huge amount of bug comments "I'll look at it in the New Year", which is really dumb, in that you have this really very nice and shiny new X-Plane application, but you can't actually use it because it is usually very buggy to use and has to be sidelined anyway... for now the developer is away on his Hol's or Vacy and wishing the family well with a nice big turkey, meanwhile you are stuck with the other style of a Turkey... a none working application... so why not just wait until the New Year to release correctly and then be available to update the fixes to a wanting audience, at least Laminar had the good sense to do this. As sometimes a very nice early Christmas present, can just turn into a burnt out dud bird. It was an odd Christmas and New Year break... in the past X-Plane for the holiday break went to ground and was very quiet, but this year it was the opposite of that with the chattering classes telling us all about their coming wares or projects and announcing this or announcing that... but first we all still have to get over the 11.30 final mountain. And a big one it will be. Having their fingers burnt with the extended 11.00 release from the constant changes and the to and throwing from Laminar, the developers this time around are being doubly cautious and who can blame them. Plus there is the added learning curve of several new built in applications now inserted into the simulator... it was very surprising how long it took the devs to get their heads around the FMOD sound application, even months later they where still being trickled out if still very slowly. The Particle engine application is very similar to the FMOD application, but there are far, far more elements to consider, but it is a very impressive piece of kit, and something that drags you back to the older Adobe After Effects days, I am hoping it will be extendable as well for more effects and ideas in the future, as this is really a big hidden application that is build right into the simulator. And that is the huge advantage that X-Plane has over any other simulator, and very much in the old style of Apple's approach to computing, give them the brilliant applications to turn out outstanding brilliant work... but hey services today for Apple make more money than creativity... thankfully in X-Plane it is still the other way around. But now here comes the tsunami and the huge wall of 11.30 updates that will overwhelm you and swamp you to death, with update after update filling out your days (and nights)... and that is from just one or two developers. Certainly the new updaters with X-Updater and SkunkCrafts are helping out, and personally I prefer the Java version, but the lastest Shunkcraft's v2.2 is far better, in now not making you wait for long periods just to start up the simulator, I really never liked applications that took over your computer and worked away in the background installing items you don't know what are being installed. A small note in don't update to be new Java update SE 11.0.2 as it kills all the FlightFactor plugins, reload in the previous version to keep the plugin working... I found that one out the hard way. It just shows how much bigger X-Plane is now, the volume of updates on already released aircraft and scenery, but the release list for the next few months is simply huge, again with most waiting for 11.30 to go final. Even Carenado have noted that every aircraft that they released for X-Plane10, even updated to use for X-Plane11, then won't however get the full XP11 treatment, and so a few will now be left behind and that is really sad if one of your personal favorites is on that list, as most of the XP11 conversions from Carenado are exemplary. But maybe some really do needed retiring, as their design is ethics now getting a little if dated... or feeling very out of date to the newer more dynamic feel of the simulator. Overall X-Plane 11.30 is a huge jump forward, but as I noted in the overview review, then there is a lot buried deep in the code in there as well, and you don't see it or feel it yet, but it will transform the simulator to a far more efficient and better application. Currently you are like going forwards and backwards at the same time and simply ending up in the same place as you were in X-Plane11.28. Let me explain. You certainly have already received some nice Vulkan/Metal efficiencies, but they have been countered with the negative aspects of even more features and tools, overall you came out slightly ahead, with say between a 5 to 10 framerate gain, but mostly you have not seen that huge "oh wow" speed and framerate space factor. Don't despair however as for that aspect it will come later, but also don't expect your early Win7 era computer to suddenly act like a Win10, as the Vulcan/metal still needs those modern processors to do the higher efficiency scaling. Laminar have noted the basic Vulkan/Metal code is now actually completed, it just refining it and testing to get the best results from the new code. I even finally gave in and went and posted a note on the forums in the fact of the really annoying comments of the "Really Bad Framerate" with every update or version that Laminar released... I will say that yes the simulator can be overwhelmingly complex sometimes, with one thing here affecting something else over there, but right through the whole beta process my framerate was actually pretty steady, unless Laminar made a muddle, which was about twice, again I will stress it is sometimes extremely hard to keep everything running in alignment with one or another area of X-Plane going bonkers to keep it running all smoothly. But what did get seriously annoying was the fact that these idiots didn't even do the basics of updating 101... clean out your preferences is absolutely no.1 on the list. If you have older beta preferences and you add in an update then those old preferences will then go and merge with the new settings and in then creating a hybrid setting that you are trying to run and gauge the new updates though... in other words you are going to get a really mixed up running a simulator of crap code and yes the results are really bad framerate. You just have to redo the basics of the preferences and clean out the layouts, then even an X-Plane rebuild is also required to find the basics of X-Plane when the update goes final to clean out all that old waste, simple steps but a requirement when wanting efficiency, and house keeping is yes a chore, but an essential chore to keep everything very clean with no clutter within the system. Those comments just make everything totally worse, and it reflects on those users naivety on how they use the simulator with a sort of the blind leading the blind... and yes they are extremely distracting and annoying in their own total incompetence. Housekeeping is yes and a huge chore, and this year I went at it with gutso over the break. For once that backup of a backup went in the bin, I needed space on my drives as now with the 1gb to mostly 2gb average download files now it is amazing how quickly the available space is gobbled up, some sceneries are now averaging 6gb and the 14gb of TNCM - Princess of the Caribbean is nothing to the new mega loads of Orbix's UK FTX 100gb... even with my updated SSD drive I only still have 600gb of working space, so how long is that going to last, and no I will not ever go back to a platter drive as my erratic history with them are... well history. But a full on two day housekeeping trial shows how much work you have to do now to keep the simulator in top condition, and I could have easily spent another full day doing more. The new Stairport SAM plugin is already making it's huge presence felt in X-Plane, The updated Zurich was simply great, but it is the master's Misterx6 in ShortFinal's monster EDDM - Munich that really shows off on how brilliant the plugin is. This scenery was so complex and so huge it devoured a huge chunk of last week, but the feeling is that it is also a showcase of what X-Plane in features now is really delivering when all these different dynamics of the simulator come into play together, and the interaction is now becoming first rate... notable are two other plugins now in final upgrade betas, with xEnviro and WorldTraffic3 both coming soon very close to a computer near you. Both applications have been slow with updates and so both really require now a real step forward, certainly with the case of xEnviro. If you follow these comments on the end of the month rambles you will know I have not been exactly charitable towards the xEnviro developers and that they didn't take up my offer to beta test the new version shows that their feelings are were not exactly reciprocated. But the one area that I find really vexatious with developers is the fact that they don't do quick updates to fix immediate issues before continuing on with their highly profiled roadmap. Yes it looks brilliant to layout all these future exciting breathless roadmap features, but if the current version is complete version of buggy crap, then the developers are doing themselves absolutely no service what so ever... it is called "Ticking off" the very people that you are trying to sell to or to keep as a customer for future products... a year is too long without an update in any product, but with a buggy one that is an eternity... or even a miracle the plugin is well still in there and being used, it is only in the strength of the actual product and with no real replacement that xEnviro is still a major factor in the reviews and my general flying... and yes I have tried them all so don't send me environment combo's of this that will work with that... as I have already been there. I will most possibly still note the same xEnviro mantra again around next month, or even the month after that, but the point is developers need to start to heed the warnings, as we are only trying to protect them from their own devices. But there was some standouts in January that really showed where we are going... one is the Boeing 787-900 from Magnight. The aircraft is not even close to actually being even a beta at this point, but it is fused with genuine ideas and forward momentum that is added in day to day via the updater. I finally got a full flight out of it from Hong Kong to Melbourne and really enjoyed the experience, it will be amazing when finished. This was flight alone was also now available because finally X-Plane has a decent VHHH or Hong Kong via the extensive work of TOD, and the latest version v2.1 also comes with SAM interactivity... Asia in X-Plane, it is a Beautiful thing and finally we are moving around the world again to some decent scenery. WSSS - Changi is also part of TOD's packs, but I found it was not as updated as the VHHH version, but I haven't yet tested or used the updated the newer 1.2.1 Jan 19 version. WT3 work's exceptionally well on both airports and adding into the excitement, and for me there is a feeling around of going back to airports that were a big part of my earlier X-Plane experiences like VHHH, WSSS and the new LMML Malta, all but were abandoned because they all fell behind badly as X-Plane design moved forward, any ex-fsx converted scenery are thankfully now very much buried in the past. The other was another immersion experience up in the very distant Faroe Islands, this is brilliant scenery and yes it is expensive, but when coupled with the right aircraft or helicopter and even the weather aspect thrown in you are delivered an experience that you would never have even imagined a few years ago, most will count it like Misterx6's EDDM as another scenery, but between both of them as they deliver a really big step forward in immersion and realism, which is a really nice way to start a new year... And with all this in an updated new X-Plane11 version, with brilliant new clever sceneries and a new clever active element with the SAM plugin.. It was a big month in January, now we move into February and yes it is an exciting but still very demanding period for the simulator... "how many updates? that many?"..... Oh God! Stephen Dutton 5th February 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  10. Yes absolutely, but with the volume of releases we have to prioritise... I'll try to fit it in soon.
  11. Scenery Review : TNCM - Princess of the Caribbean - Part 1- SXM by AWD In either tourism or aviation it is one of the most famous images known... the image of a KLM Boeing 747 passing over Beacon Hill Road (Maho Beach) on finals and about to land at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) in Sint Maarten. It is now history as well as KLM don't fly Boeing 747's to Sint Maarten any more since they started in 1990, as the final flight was held on 28 October 2016. The aircraft would generally fly from Amsterdam, making a stop in Curacao before heading to St. Maarten. But however you can still fly on the route (but only direct AMS - SXM) and now on an Airbus A330 (FL KL789). Besides trying to duplicate that image in X-Plane (it is far harder than it looks) Sint Maarten is a great base to explore the Anguilla area and islands, this is island hopping par excellence and X-Plane has had a variety of TNCM airports over the years but not one to do the area real justice, so here is Airworthy Design's version and it is a big if huge scenery of the area. I will note is that "is this now the era of Mega Sceneries" for X-Plane, it feels like it, as scenery is now expanding, not only in cost but certainly in size. But the size aspect isn't in area, but in actual scenery size... in Gigabytes. This scenery is a total of 14.71GB... yes that is 14.7 big ones! with a 6.5gb download. The recommended requirement is 4Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum and a 8Gb+ VRAM recommended in graphic cards but you will need at least 16gb of memory as well. An update reduced the download to 5.5GB, but the file size is the same. So the scenery is asking a lot of your specifics, and even I with my review Windows setup, the size just only crawls under that line. I will note my graphic settings here as they are important to the running of this scenery (as to all these newer mega sceneries) they are High (HDR), Maximum (Texture Quality), Highest Quality (AntiAliasing), High (Objects), Minimal (Reflection). The scenery is also part 1 of two editions of the area, this scenery covers the main entrance to the area with Princess Juliana (TNCM) and Grand Case airports (TFFG) and photo scenery over the island of Anguilla. The second edition will cover St Barths (TFFJ) and Saba (TNCS). But the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport on Anguilla will not be covered, which is an odd omission? To clear up a slight confusion is the names of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, the island is split between the Dutch (Sint) 40% and the French - Collectivité de Saint-Martin (Saint) of which is the Northern 60%.and the Princess Juliana airport is just south of the border in the Dutch zone and is Dutch in operation, for the French national interests it is the Aéroport de Grand Case or L'Espérance Airport (TFFG) that is positioned in the north of the island. You get a good idea of the large area provided with the scenery by turning off all of X-Plane's weather features... and see the layout of Sint Maarten. I have always noted that X-Plane has required an good Sint Maarten for years, yes as noted there has been a few, but the trick with this island scenery is not with the actual airport itself, but the overall surroundings and the overall feel of the Anguilla islands... ... and the trick of course is the water, or the colouring of the aspects of the water to note the islands tropical look and feel. TNCM - Princess Juliana International Airport The airport was started as a military airstrip in 1942. It was converted to a civilian airport in 1943. In 1964 the airport was remodeled and relocated, with a new terminal building and control tower. The facilities were upgraded in both 1985 and 2001 and the airport airport handles around 1,829,543 passengers and around 60,000 aircraft movements per year. Noted is that TNCM is famous as the 4th most dangerous airport in the world because the approach to Runway 10 which is over water and pilots can become easily disoriented regarding their perceived altitude when operating under visual flight rules. Normal instrument checks, coupled with experience and situational awareness, mitigate potential problems. The departure from Runway 10 presents more "difficulties" than the approach, with a turn required to avoid mountains in the departure path. Arriving aircraft approach the island on the last section of the final approach for Runway 10, following a 3° glide slope flying low over the famous Maho Beach. Pictures of low-flying aircraft were published in several news magazines worldwide in early 2000. The thrilling approaches and ease of access for shooting spectacular images, made the airport one of the world's favorite places among planespotters and of course simulator users in wanting to recapture the challenging approaches and departures. This scenery covers the latest upgrades to the airport (since damaged badly by Hurricane Irma on the 6 September 2017 which struck the island as a Category 5 hurricane). Princess Juliana International Airport IATA: SXM - ICAO: TNCM 10/28 - 2,300m (7,546ft) Asphalt/Concrete Elevation AMSL14ft / 4m In reality TNCM can be set into two zones, the main area with the single large international terminal building (top) and the inter-island area for the mostly twin-engined island hoppers (below). Note the very large radar installation here at TNCM. As since the official opening of the new control tower, PJIA air traffic controllers have two radar systems now at their disposal with ranges of 50 nautical miles (93 km) and 250 nautical miles (460 km). PJIA controllers manage 4,000 square NM of airspace known as the Juliana TCA around the airport, roughly between 25 nautical miles (46 km) and 42 nautical miles (78 km) of the St Maarten VOR-DME. Besides providing approach, tower and ground control at PJIA, these controllers also provide airport approach control for Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (Anguilla), L'Espérance Airport (French Saint Martin), Gustaf III Airport (St. Barths), F.D. Roosevelt Airport (St. Eustatius) and Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Saba). The terminal's design and textures are first-rate, with great graphic design to highlight the island destination. It is a big building and very striking in construction, The Terminal has four air-gates (A1 - A4), but they are not active DGS gates and excellent reflective (see-through) glass. All the interior check-in and departure areas are modeled with not only the usual chairs and shops, but people as well, and you can actually see out of the windows of the parked aircraft. There is a huge amount of everything available in this scenery... static aircraft, tons of ground support equipment, cars, buses and almost every item to convey an island lifestyle you could dream of... It is very extensive and in fact in a few areas a bit overcompensated with a bit of editing that could still convey the same thing, but with less clutter... like why are there private jet aircraft in the Cargo area and why some signs are reversed and how many Fire Trucks does an Airport need? The Inter-Island area is very well done with hangars and aircraft, but again it is crowded and you will have to find a parking stand on the main apron, as this area is again full to capacity. Some users have noted floating objects around the terminal (mostly the airbridges) but in checking my installation it is fine. All AutoGate and GroundTraffic as well as Maritime Traffic and AI Aircraft is not yet included and that also means "traffic". You can use the older WT3 ground routes for TNCM, but they are not tuned for this scenery, so aircraft are spread around in the wrong parking areas and clash with the terminal... Tower View The tower view here is well... different. The idea is to give you view as the controller, but it doesn't work. You are too far back from the actual point of view of where the control would actually stand and so the tower's broken framework intrudes into the view and the point of tower view is to give you a clear view of the approaches to the airport. Maho Beach The scene at the famous Maho Beach is very well done, it is party time and the only thing missing here is the Caribbean beat music... ... The extensive network of hotels on either side of Maho Beach are very well done from a realism of the area point of view. There is a huge amount of detail present, but also a few missing textures or unfinished areas like at the back of a few of the hotels. But you are certainly not lacking here for the island's tourism infrastructure and general facilities, and the vegetation is also very extensive. TFFG - Grand Case-Espérance Airport You are expecting another large airport facility for the French support of their territory, but Grand it is not, if not in that sense of the word. L'Espérance Airport Grand Case Airport Aérodrome de Grand-Case Espérance IATA: SFG - ICAO: TFFG 12/30 1,200m (3,937ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 20ft / 6m The single 12/30 runway is situated in a valley but is opened ended at both approaches for a exciting arrival, but the runway is short and even ATR turbo-props have to reverse up to get the run required to takeoff. Incoming aircraft usually approach TFFG on short final for runway 12 over the bay of Grand-Case, with a corresponding view. When wind direction changes, which is common, incoming aircraft then change the approach to the island on short final for runway 30, in the opposite direction. TNCM is actually not that far away to the south, you just take the coastal long way around to the French airport. There is a nice if small ramp area and a larger GA area to the east . The airport is known for quick transfers from the larger turbo-props to the smaller GA aircraft for inter-island transfers, hence the layout. Small terminal is well done with a combined field control tower and Fire Station with the usual three fire engines per runway criteria. Detailing as as usual very good, with a lot of static aircraft (not much parking space though) and vehicles and excellent island/airport signage. The biggest issue here though is the runway is unusable? The actual runway surface (textures are like TNCM in being very good) but the surface has been set as a X-Plane "grass runway" setting and not tarmac. So when you land the aircraft it gets bogged suddenly down and it is very difficult to taxi or turn around until you get back on to the ramps harder areas? Takeoff is full power and hold on.. not doubt the issue will be fixed in an update, but currently it ruins the use of a great scenery. Reefs and Coastal areas The one area that Flight Simulator did very well in was the presentation of shallow waters, mostly in tropical and coral regions of the world. X-Plane has sort of done the same thing, but it's water system was not very good at depicting or recreating such environments, so mostly it was a confined area with big differences between the two areas with a) the shallow water in place, and b ) the hard edge where they joined up. Now these shallow tropical water environments are coming into X-Plane, and there was a few nice ones with the French Polynesia scenery, but recently it was Butaru's TFFJ - Saint Barthélemy Airport by Nimbus Simulation Studios that finally lead the way. FlyTampa with their new FlyCorfu XP scenery that was pretty impressive as well... But the depiction here of such shallow water and coral scenery is one of the best and even the highlight of the scenery. So I took the Carenado Caravan for a spin around the island to have a look. It is really spectacular flying, and in the right atmospheric lighting conditions also very realistic. The area is very large as well which includes both the St. Maarten Island and the full area of Anguilla, south to Saba and far, far more. There are highly-decorated cruise ships (they can also be used as a pointer to an airport runway!) but four of the same ship in one cove is a bit unrealistic? Another note that a few wakes on boats that don't exist are quite noticeable, sometimes this effect can work or work against the scenery? Detail is excellent as the shallows pass under you, the only thing missing is the swimming sharks... ... if you are willing to explore the outer coral banks then the rewards are simply outstanding. If you venture too far you do also come across the hard line of the sceneries boundary? And so more gradual transition would have made the impact more real.... but overall this is X-Plane flying par excellence! Nighlighting This is an extensive scenery, so the lighting does have a fair area to cover. And overall here the lighting is very, very good, but that comes with a penalty. This scenery is quite possibly the largest scenery I have ever loaded into X-Plane, and it has some strange effects on to my Graphic Card's functionality (8GB). One is I get black areas and the shadow effects can sometimes go black, black instead of shaded greys, and it has a very weird effect on my WT3 aircraft view as well. But the strangest effect is on framerate... with the noted settings I have been getting mostly 50fr-60fr over the scenery (left image) and my framerate is noted in the top left corner as a respectable 57 frames... ... but the same viewpoint (abover right) in the night environment it is crushed down to 20 frames and mostly stays in the 16fr-18fr zone? Why is that so? and move the camera viewpoint and the lighting disappears completely? So there is a basic issue here, or is it just too big a scenery for my computer to actually compute? if so then why does it work fine in the daylight? Lighting is however very good, especially around the Airport and Terminal area, but it is quite inconsistent everywhere else. The highlight to the night scenery are the hotels on either side of the Maho Beach approach, as a lot of work has been done here and it shows, it is very good on the RWY 10 approach at night. But move away from the TNCM airport and some areas are well lit, but other areas in the same context are not? so it is all a bit inconsistent. Over at TFFG Grand Case it is more of the inconsistency aspect than the other way around. The runway has no centreline lighting (neither does TNCM, but the real airport doesn't have any centreline lighting either) The harder point is that the lighting here at TFFG is quite small and even finding the non-lit taxiway from the runway to the ramp is a bit of an ordeal, it is arrowed here, but good luck in finding it. There are a few spots lit on the ramp and a nice lit carpark, but mostly this is not a place to fly in to or out of at night, the GA parking apron is very dark as well. But with the right atmospheric conditions (okay X-Plane effects) it is a great place to fly into is this Sint Maarten... Summary Great iconic world airports are always welcome into any simulator, and the TNCM - Princess Juliana International Airport at Sint Maarten is right at the top of the list. There has been a few good, Sint Maarten sceneries for X-Plane, but this is the first real custom one created for the simulator on a larger scale. As scenery goes it is very good, and even nudging into the excellent category, as there has been a huge amount of work and certainly a lot of effort put in to pleasing the requirements of what we the X-Plane users would expect from such a iconic scenery. In that context it does deliver and deliver very well. My gut feeling is that scenery development of this size and scale is now really a team effort more than the single developer in wanting to deliver quality scenery, it overall feels a bit overwhelmed and consistency is brilliant in many areas but lacking in others. This is where team experience kicks in as one developer is excellent in some areas, then other team developers are good in other areas, as this is a first scenery release there is that factor to add in as well. What is missing here is that last bit of refinement, the standing back and crossing the t's and dotting the i's. I have no doubt the developer will cover the small list of issues and quickly, but in reality I would have liked more of the AutoGate, GroundTraffic, ATC routes and certainly the traffic features working far above the lovely but really unimportant flashy features of say inside the terminal building, and the scenery needs a bit of editing here and there. More of a worry is the sheer size of this scenery (13.5gb)? There seems to be a refinement missing to create efficient textures and ortho images, already the 4K textures have been downsized to 2K to counter that huge size, but the night images crushing of framerates seems to suggest that there is also something more required to make this scenery a more refined and efficient scenery for the simulator to absorb, this is also reflected on the computer requirements in order to run the scenery as well. Remember the developer is going to add in even more to this already huge scenery size in part 2 of the package, I see my computer giving up at just the thought of that, and if I can't run that sort of size and requirements then certainly a huge base of users won't be able to either. The size and scope of this scenery is simply huge, and with the just released FlyCorfu XP by FlyTampa you feel X-Plane is now moving into a new era of "mega" sceneries. Overall this is very good scenery, and those excellent outer reef and shallow water conditions are flying heaven and there is plenty to explore here as well. And of course there is that iconic Maho Beach approach! you so you will just have to recreate that iconic image won't you and fully test your flying skills to the limit, and it is well worth the effort when you do so. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the TNCM - Princess of the Caribbean by AWD scenery is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : TNCM - Princess of the Caribbean - Part 1- SXM Price Is US$32.95 Features: Scenery created by use of on-site photography references Area of coverage: Sint Maarten island (Princess Juliana and Grand Case airports) and the island of Anguilla (only photoscenery) Custom Mesh: Handcrafted mesh to match runway slopes as per the AIP and terrain modifications to give the most realism possible to the scenery Satellite Photo: 50cm/px resolution licensed from Airbus Custom Grount textures: over 10px/cm nearby the airport surroundings HD Buildings: The Famous Maho Beach rendered with HD textures and PBR shading effects for reflections on water and metallic surfaces Terminal Interiors 3d People and Trees Custom Night Lighting: realistic apron lighting matching colors and light intensity of the real airport Custom Autogen: the whole Island is covered in scenery Custom Static Aircraft Multiple detail configurations available planned for detail or speed Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM recommended Please read the manual about rendering options before you start. Download Size: 5.5 Gb (please do not get if you have an unstable internet connection. you have been warned!) A minimum 16gb of RAM is required for efficient running of this scenery, and even then you are lineball. Installation Download scenery file size is 5.5Gb. With the full installation installed package is 14.71gb in your custom scenery folder is as follows: AWD TNCM - 2 - Apt (14.71gb) AWD TNCM - 3 - Mesh (4.4mb) If you have installed in your custom folder TFFJ - Saint Barthélemy Airport by Nimbus Simulation Studios then be aware of the mesh conflicts between the two packages, the AWD sceneries need to be lower in your .ini list than the TFFJ Nimbus scenery or the AWD scenery will cancel out TFFJ? Otherwise they work very well together. WT3 ground routes are here : GroundRoutes_TNCM V1.0 But they are certainly not adjusted or created for this scenery, they work and that is about that... Documents A single two page pdf manual is included but no charts These TNCM charts are worth downloading : TNCM uvairlines ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 14th April 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$34.95 - Boeing 747-400 by Laminar Research (default Aircraft X-Plane11)
  12. Scenery Review : EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs The track record is certainly very impressive. From the mid-sized but mostly with the mega airports then ShortFinal Design (aka mister6x) is certainly a formidable scenery developer, his last release of LAX is a masterclass of the best scenery you can have in X-Plane right now. Only in one area to all of the sceneries that they compliment each other and that is all of them including mister6x's earlier freeware sceneries are all set within the boundaries of the North American continent. So the announcement that the next release would be Germany was actually a surprise, and a bigger surprise in the fact it would be EDDM - Munich, the capital of Bavaria in the southern part of the Bayern country. So the expectations went into overdrive and more so in the fact there already was a pretty decent freeware EDDM by Schaeble that has had a lot of attention over the years, but it is still basically an early X-Plane10 design and scenery... what could ShortFinal pull out of their magic hat to top that, well a lot actually because as noted this is a seriously talented developer at the very top of his game. Munich Airport EDDM is the seventh-busiest airport in Europe, handling 44.6 million passengers in 2017. It is the world's 15th-busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, and was the 34th-busiest airport worldwide in 2015. As of March 2018, the airport features flights to 266 destinations, making it the airport with the fifth-most destinations worldwide. Munich Airport serves as a hub for Lufthansa including Lufthansa Regional , Lufthansa Cityline and its Star Alliance partners. airport is located 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich near Freising and is named after former Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Strauss who was born in Munich. The new Munich Airport commenced operation on 17 May 1992, and during one night the whole airport moved to the new site. The former original Munich-Riem Airport closed on 16 May 1992 shortly before midnight. EDDM was a 3,892 acres (1,575 ha) area green field construction and not based on any existing airport layout, which is very rare in Europe, and the only extension was of Terminal 2 Satellite which was completed in June 2003 and it was inaugurated as an exclusive facility for Lufthansa and it's Star Alliance partners. As noted EDDM is a hub for Lufthansa and Lufthansa CityLine, but Air Dolomiti and Condor are also based here. EDDM - Munich First Impressions To me the most significant thing about a new scenery is the first feel and immersion into the scenery, it is bit like being blindfolded and having the blindfold taken off at your destination and absorbing in the area around you for the first time. Does it work? does it deliver that realism, that placement of standing in the zone and seeing the viewpoint of what the scenery is actually delivering in expectation and the complete sense of being in the location that has been replicated in the simulator, but mostly in the fact there are no eye jarring views or poor details that destroys the illusion of what the scenery is trying to represent. In most cases this factor is because the developer is short-cutting in detail to save time or money... ultimately it is a false economy. So the best first aspect is to fly into the scenery in question, and not just opening the simulator on the ground to ruin the first impression effect. Certainly a long distance is a nice aspect, but time does not allow that factor, so in this case I flew in from EBBR - Brussels which is about 300 nm away, so it is from one high quality scenery to another to gauge the differences. First a few notes... One feature of ShortFinal's EDDM is that you get both "Summer" and "Winter" scenery textures, it is set up for the "TerraMaxx" system, but I used the JSGME MOD "Winter" package, which works fine... the only difference is that I have to switch the textures manually by changing the "Library" file in the sceneries main folder from the "Library_Winter" file of which I edited out the _Winter (I just labeled the current "Library" to "Library_Summer") to create the new vista. So the "Impression" section of the review is in the winter setting, and the main review is set in the summer setting, and that gives you a great contrast of between the two different seasons. Second note is for WT3 (WorldTraffic3). There are no WT3 ground routes yet provided for EDDM (and none are provided with the scenery). So I am using very old WT2 (German Airports) ground routes and they are seriously out of date from 2014, so take all the aircraft views in that context, but they work. My reasoning that even if I did a WT3 generation of the ground routes of which are completed and done in this scenery, they still would not be customized enough to still do justice to the size and scale of the airport, so here is hoping a pro WT3 master will create the required custom routings? My equipment for this service is the ToLiSS319 and the same equipment (and A320) does the real world route for Lufthansa, Cityflyer uses the EMB195. My approach is via ANOR3A from the north, and once into the circuit, it was very hard to distinguish EDDM from the whiteout countryside. This denotes two things.. one the winter textures are very good and two the scenery is well blended into the default textures. Even into the glideslope of RWY 26L the airport was still highly indistinguishable from the surrounding areas... so a bit of faith in the flightplan was required. The integration is excellent, so you don't see or or feel any boundaries between the custom and default textures to the seemless transfer between the two. The infrastructure of EDDM is to the right on this approach and it looks very, if highly realistic... Runways are really well done texture wise, with worn and wet oily touchdown zones, in later heavier stormy conditions I had the dry line more condensed into the centre for realism of a dynamic feature provided by the scenery of which I was very impressed with... ... note the runway ribbing which is excellent with the runway edge textures. EDDM is a huge airport in size, so you need some navigation charts to find your way around. More so to know which area you are parking at, as there are so many to choose from and in finding the right zone to suit both your size of aircraft and airline, so a little planning before takeoff is really required if landing here blind. The quality of the buildings are outstanding, this is apron 9 or south cargo, and with the three huge Technik maintenance hangars in the background, and more on them later. Like most airports in these parts of Europe they love their huge building advertising canvas posters, and Munich is of no exception, as Keysight, Lexus and Lufthansa are all sprawled over mostly the blank areas of carparks and buildings. Internal views are exceptional in an arrival feeling, note the moving traffic on the airport's elevated circular motorway system, mesh elevation detail is excellent and highly realistic, gone are the days of flat roads and bridges, this is as real as it gets. There are four cross motorway bridges and you have to pick the correct entry point for your terminal parking, miss it and it is very embarrassing, so again your navigation has to be right. Traffic animation is again the best I have seen, the traffic flows above and then under the bridges, note the weather worn bridge textures, and they look so good in this winter setting. Finding your gate is hard, as the long line goes on forever, You are very seriously impressed by the sheer scale of it all. The taxiway reflections are PBR active and very good, and adapt to the different weather conditions and viewpoints making the airport very dynamic. ShortFinal's EDDM comes with the SAM plugin, and EVERY single gate is covered with the features of this tool (note to have installed the latest version of SAM v1.0.5) with VDGS/Marshaller and Safedock T2-24 VDGS guidance. All terminal glass is transparent and reflective, the terminals also have internal areas as well, and the effect is highly realistic. Note the "M" Munich Airport logo, it has been applied on all items required like the airbridges, ground support equipment and buildings... Some gates have the low-rider airbridges for regional aircraft like the CRJ-200... but they haven't been yet adjusted to work with the CRJ-200, so they work in animation wise and they don't align with the CRJ, but this a SAM issue and nothing to do with ShortFinal's EDDM. A shame because it would have looked brilliant So this was one very impressive arrival that left a huge impression on this review, it was faultless and very immersive. The winter textures are seriously impressive... __________________________ Munich Airport Flughafen München IATA: MUC - ICAO: EDDM 08R/26L 4,000m (13,123ft) Concrete 08L/26R 4,000m (13,123) Concrete Elevation AMSL1,487 ft / 453 m The summer transformation is very different in feel and look. One area of airport boundaries that ShortFinal struggled slightly with a little, like at KSLC are not present here as it is a seemless intergration with the airport's surroundings, and there isn't a lot of autogen, as EDDM is 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich. But there is a few slight built up autogen areas around the airport to give it a lot of realism. The Germanic autogen housing and light industry works well into your favour here as well. With most sceneries of this size, you can usually pick out flat or underdeveloped areas, there is none here in the central area, but just a few flat texture buildings on the 26R/26L approaches, but that is not noticeable from the air, and minutely from the ground. EDDM Layout Because of it's clean sheet design, EDDM is not constrained like most airports into fitting in or being set out around existing older infrastructure. So the developers built the airport around an central plaza, that is both a hub, underground S-Bahn station and shopping centre all in one... outside non-airport customers are welcome and even encouraged to come here by not having the local Bavarian laws governing retail hours. This is the Munich Airport Center (sometimes shortened to MAC) and the plaza style central building is fantastically represented here, with sublime glass detail and great construction detail by ShortFinal, it is a centrepiece and important to get right into the context of the airport. Most developers relegate these sorts of buildings to the basic level, but they are supremely important to the whole feel and the overall look of the scenery. There is a Hilton attached to the MAC on the north side. Terminal 1 This is the oldest and largest terminal at Munich, and it is straight row terminal with two satellite ground level terminals centre apron that are accessed by buses. It has several zones with A–D as well as Arrivals in E. It is not only the sheer quality of design that is on show here, but this scenery detail is certainly now a level above in what you would expect from any scenery. In a overview context it looks excellent, but get up close and the words of phenomenal are then more apt... ... to highlight the fact is the sheer complexity of the designs and they are also merged in perfectly with the custom areas of the airbridge SAM plugin. This new active tool brings airports alive with custom docking, working airbridges (up to three and different airbridges are on show here) and bay guidance and all with a working menu... with more SAM features later in the review. But the really clever area is the glass... glass is the realism key to any really good scenery, and here at EDDM it is simply astounding, as you have PBR reflections, but also tinted glass and clear see-through glass as well, and all of it is perfect. This aspect allows the internals to be shown well inside out, in stairwells and internal terminal detail... but don't expect to walk internally, it is not set out to do that, but only set up as a reflection of external detail... but it is all total realism 101. The terminal's textures in walls, wear, tear and design is all very, very good as well, as is the excellent detail on the roof... landside it isn't hugely overly detailed but still enough to convey the scenery's intentions without the framerate hit. This is a masterclass of current X-Plane11 scenery development. Ground clutter is a ShortFinal speciality, and here at EDDM he does not disappoint with just enough clutter to fill out the bays with space to work around the aircraft and with the oil marks to match. There is great animated traffic and all the clutter is branded correctly to the airport, with walking animated personnel filling out all the working ramps as well... airport animated ground service vehicles are well represented as well, there is an overwhelming amount of movement, but enough you you to get that authentic working airport environment. The two satellite ground level terminals are going to be the most used if you fly mostly regional services, and they are excellent for those hop around Europe and then to return to EDDM services. Terminal 2 In a way Terminal 2 is a mirror of Terminal 1, but with the mid-field area including a larger and bigger single satellite terminal... this 2007 building is known as "Terminal 2 Satellite" but in reality it is a full terminal and exclusively for Lufthansa and Star Alliance partners. Unlike terminal one you can see the huge Terminal 2 hall behind the MAC. And unlike Terminal 1 the terminal only has two zones in G and H or North and South. The gate walkway buildings are a different style to Terminal one and more a Frankfurt modern than the older all glass construction of the other terminal. The reproduction with again the excellent glass is just well and above, even far better then excellent work that was done in Aerosoft's EDDF, the sheer detail is again immense and highly realistic. There is a side terminal called F, but it is only for restricted access and it is hidden and sited behind Terminal 2 at the northern position. Terminal 2 Satellite style is just slightly different again, but now more modern, but in keeping with the same overall feel and Gates K and L are located here. .... as David Bowie sang "it will blow your mind". Remote Parking East there are two remote parking zones. Apron 5 is to the north side (below both right), and Apron 13 to the south, but the rear of Apron 13 is used as a general aviation area (the darker area at the rear). Apron one opposite the Terminal 1 satellite gates also has a lot of stands in 171 to 196 or actually 20 parking stands with missing numbers, but still a lot of parking choices. Control Tower The EDDM control tower is nicely recreated here. Clever sliver reflective windows actually work better than would say the see through glass, design work is very good. The radar on the top is animated, so that looks authentic as well, with another radar working around the airport on a ramp tower. Tower view is set, but you get lots of obstructions in the viewpoint, but it can still work if you need the approach view. Cargo M Cargogate is also Lufthansa's Cargo München large cargo hub. The huge stands can accommodate easily any B744 or B748 cargo freighters, but also a few Lufthansa Cargo DC-11's (hint coming Rotate DC-11) The AeroGround Flughafen München GmbH building is a standout, but it is also an eye trick with just some very good detailed textures. Maintenance hangars There are three huge maintenance hangars next to the Cargo hub... In order left to right... Lufthansa CityLine Technik, old now abandoned Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik and on the far left is an engine test bay. Hangar detail is immense with matrix framework and reflective glass, they are all beautifully designed... .... standout feature is the SAM plugin "Open Hangar" doors. Yes it works and brilliantly with double doors on the Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik hangars and a single opening door on the CityLine Technik hangar.... The Lufthansa also has two static A320's inside, I feel a few clutter items in here to break up the huge spaces would have been the total icing on the cake.... otherwise it is totally brilliant. Rear hangar detail is also excellent with a lot of clutter with vehicles and shrubbery. Engine test bay is also first rate with a nicely designed fuel depot sitting behind, detail even on these smaller items is excellent. Munich Airport entrance The main entrance causeway into EDDM, was always a focal point to the scenery, and an important area not to be missed or not developed... that is certainly not the case here. To the south of the entrance causeway is the already mentioned cargo and maintenance areas, with a major long term carpark and the Lufthansa Flight Operations Center. This area is connected by a U-Bahn station "Besucherpark", with it's distinctive circular walkway, the LFOC is in the background. There are real custom U-Bahn trains running through and stopping at the Besucherpark station and then continue into the central part of the scenery, note the amazing detail even down to the correct rail power poles and cables... and with the complex road system and all in 3d with a lot of animated traffic. The northwest side are the main airport support facilities and offices. The area is again very highly detailed and really a quality scenery just by itself... There is the Besucherpark des Flughafen München or Visitors park with the lookout mound Besucherhügel.. and the three display Lufthansa aircraft are also all on show... Lufthansa Service Sky Chefs are based here and is the largest set of the buildings in the area... detail and clutter is overwhelmingly good. Audi AirTraining, power cooling plant, airport maintenance and there is even a Ringeltaube supermarket in there as well... ... the Stadtsparkasse München bank building is very distinctive and well recreated... with the Novotel Hotel that is faithfully reproduced just behind. The northwest area is extremely comprehensive in detail, even down to a Agip service station and cargo lorry park. So the whole scenery has so much density and objects it all becomes a bit of a overwhelmingly feeling of "just how much can you display here"... this is the airport bus maintenance facility. Environment You can add in as many objects as you want to, but that doesn't mean the scenery would work as a collective whole... this aspect is related to foliage and trees to fill in the blank areas to make the whole scenery sing (and probably dance as well). Skillful use of the foliage can create the real feel of the area, and here it is again and above the usual quality.... all areas are covered with no really blank spaces, and it all blends in well with the default surrounding foliage as well. Grass is also included and it is also very good, the lines can show here and there, but it is at least very comprehensive on all the inner field areas. Runway textures are sublime... so realistic with the required grooving and rubber soiled landing points, yes they reflect in the sun for realism, but the runways and taxiway textures are active as well, like with the snow, and they will change to a highly reflective wet look if it rains as well. As they say... "it is a beautiful thing" Lighting If there is a weakness in any scenery of this scale, it is usually here in the lighting.... But as you are already going to guess is that issue of any weakness is not going be here in ShortFinal's EDDM Munich either.... and you are going to be dead right. As the lighting is also excellent. You have only really two sets of lighting, with the landside bronze and the highly bright halogen on the aprons. All approach and taxiway lighting is excellent, you certainly won't get lost here, but there is even multicoloured taxiway - runway approach lighting which looks lovely in the wet... Airport signage is also first rate and they all reflects very realistically onto the ground surfaces. Airport entrance "M" signage is masterful... note the powerlines in the fading light. Airport carpark advertising is also spectacular with individual down spot lighting. Central core lighting is brilliant... EDDM is certainly to be high on your list for any decent night flying activities, it is one of the best ramp lighting conditions I have ever worked in... MAC is amazing! great lighting textures create an incredible feel if you want to explore the centre... ... note the lighting in the control tower, very subtle... but highly effective. We come now back to transparency and glass. Very few developers get night transparency and glass working correctly at night? they mostly end up with a bad blue or usually a grey shade that really is more detrimental than the vision they are aiming for, they usually put up with the effect because it works in the daylighting... but not here as ShortFinal has also mastered glass reflection and transparency in the dark. The effects here highlight the detail inside the terminals. Only area is the internals of the Terminal 1 boarding structures that are not lit internally, you get away with it because the SAM airbridges don't have or can't have any internal lighting either... so it is a compromise. The wet PBR effects at night or in creative lighting can be simply extraordinary, you are now "living the dream". Note the colourful reflections around the Lufthansa flying crane and not only on the wall behind the logo, but on the ground as well (bottom right). Mostly all airport buildings are covered, a few on the outer could be a little more detailed brighter.... .... but otherwise the transition from the aprons to the field is highly realistic, note the excellent lighting on the overpass bridges. Summary There is a very crucial difference between a very good X-Plane scenery developer and a maestro. Any good developer can develop the objects, create the right ground textures and build a quality scenery. But a maestro has something very different in that they understand the deep fundamentals and the effects of the simulator at their disposal. This is usually the biggest downfall of any crossover FightSim scenery developer, it looked perfect in FSX/P3D but the scenery looks flat and average in X-Plane for not taking advantage of the tools available or built into the simulator. We already knew that ShortFinal Design was or is one of the really high quality developers with usually with every release in breaking barriers and upping the ante higher and higher. His LAX was excellent, but again the level in this EDDM Munich scenery has been raised far higher... again. Not only for the really outstanding framework and terminal construction, quality textures, insane clutter and overwhelming detail, SAM plugin interaction, but also in the sheer scale of it all... this is a mega scenery in size, but it has the detail of a small regional airport, but more so in the use of X-Plane's dynamic features, with PBR glass and reflections (a highlight), reflective surfaces in buildings, runways and taxiways, wet and snow effects and the best X-Plane lighting dynamics you can get... in other words you get every single dynamic option that the simulator delivers in active here, in reality this EDDM is a showcase for X-Plane11 as much as a working scenery, and all is provided in both winter and summer season textures. On top of the physical benefits of EDDM there are two more? One is the sheer efficiency of the scenery on your computer, for it's size it is mega light on framerate... but note it is still a big airport with an insane object count, but you don't feel that on your computer or in use. LAX was just as good, but it had the disadvantage of having a huge amount of autogen surrounding it, here that is not the case... so it flies. ... secondly is that price of US$26.95, yes that price is only a single meal price in a restaurant, but this is a scenery you will dine on for years in its sheer quality and use, in other words it is totally excellent value. So how to sum this EDDM - Munich scenery all up? you can't really, as "It just blows your mind". ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDM - Munich Airport Price Is US$26.95 Features Ultra-High Definition Airport Accurate models for all buildings with baked ambient occlusion Dynamic reflections on objects and ground textures Custom high resolution ground textures HDR night lighting High resolution photo scenery (30cm/px) Randomly placed static aircraft, can be toggled off in the X-Plane settings Animated Airport Animated airport vehicles (using GroundTraffic by Jonathan Harris) Custom animated jetways and DGS (using the SAM plugin) Taxi network and gate assignments WorldTraffic 3 and X-Life ready Weather Support Summer and winter version Weather effects on the ground for rain and snow Performance optimized WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and the scenery will generate a set of routes (very slowly). No really good custom routes are yet available. I used for the review an very old set of WT2 (German Airports) ground routes. and custom adjustment would certainly help... but overall WT3 works. A side note that there is an odd area of the WT3 aircraft passing over the overpass bridges, they don't? as both animated traffic in the underpasses don't work with the overpass? Hopefully a solution will be found. Requirements: X-Plane 11 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 875Mb Current version and review version: 1.0 (January 31st 2019) The jetways in the scenery use SAM instead of AutoGate. https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/49066-sam-scenery-animation-manager/ SAM requires v1.0.5 to work. MisterX Library can be installed to get a larger selection of static aircraft (optional). Installation Download scenery file size is download 854.43mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are two install folders: ShortFinal - EDDM - Munich Airport (1.39gb) z - ShortFinal - EDDM - Mesh (27.2mb)  Total scenery Install is : 1.42gb  The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the "z - ShortFinal - EDDM - Mesh" is below the Airport and overlay files. Ortho "Ortho4XP Patch" is also provided to cover the changes to Ortho4XP mesh "library_Winter" text document is supplied in the main scenery folder the current "library" text document is the "Summer" textures.  Documents Two manuals are provided in both German and English. Manual - ENG Manual - GER ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 1st February 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.30 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free Scenery or Aircraft ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  13. Aircraft Review - Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado Can you have your head in the clouds. Of course you can, and you can even let your thoughts wander a little as well. It helps if you are more than 6000ft above a Greek island, and it is the largest Greek island at that, which is named Crete (Kríti) and as it is the first day of spring you are also in a happy disconnected from reality frame of mind. The transport is a very nice SR22 from Cirrus, and your first thought would be "hang on, haven't we been here before lately?" Well you have in vFlyteAir's version of the SR20 that X-PlaneReview's reviewed only six months ago. But this is the SR22 version that is a development of the SR20 and this aircraft has the larger wing, higher fuel capacity, and the more powerful Continental IO-550-N 310-horsepower (231 kW) engine. It is Turbo-Charged as well for a bit more Vroom, Vroom which is never a bad thing in a small aircraft. The flight is from LGKC on Kithira to LGIR - Heraklion which is on the central northern coast of Crete. And on how I got into this happyish frame of mind started back only a few hours ago when I first saw the SR22 back at Kithira Island National Airport. SR22 Menus There are three menu tabs on the lower left side of the screen. Standard Carenado in the (C) or Views/Volume menu that has the standard internal and external views plus two for switches and the G1000 screens, the volume slider is up/down on the side and point of view slider across the top. Center tab is the (O) or Options tab that covers Window and instrument reflections (always very good on a Carenado), Static elements in mostly just tags and bollards. Mouse Scroll, which is important for me with a single click mouse. Pilot, Passenger and baggage doors, which all can be separately opened and closed, both main doors can also be opened by the latches inside. Bottom (A) tab is a big popup centre panel that covers the A/P Autopilot. HDG (Heading), CRS (Course) and ALT SEL (Altitude Select) knobs. And G1000 input keyboard and control panel. The panel can be resized but is better in the full size for easy button and knob manipulation. Internal Cabin Nicely fitted out cabin is pure Carenado detailing. A lot darker than the vFlyteAir version, but then Carenado cockpits are always like this. In the cabin you have four seats that are beautifully rendered and designed with great almost to the touch signature leather padded textile upholstery. Cabin fit out is bar perfect, very real and well detailed, no complaints in anywhere here. The instruments and panels are all angled and set around the flying left seat pilot. The right hand seat pilot can fly the aircraft with a yoke and rudder set, but the screen panel and switchgear would be offset to them. Overall the aircraft has minimum switchgear and controls, just the basics you require and nothing more. That does not mean the aircraft is not well equipped because it is, but unlike the older generations of aircraft these modern versions have been refined to a higher easier flying level. Yoke or flying handles are unique, in their push/pull and twist actions, but they also clear a lot of space in front of the pilots. Here they are both beautifully rendered. SR22 Instrument panel The SR22 is the second aircraft to have Carenado's unique Garmin G1000 twin-panel display system after the CT182T Skylane G1000 HD Series last year (2015). It is a totally comprehensive system that requires its own separate GPS database that has to installed in the X-Plane root folder, it is a big download at 870mb. The G1000 system for X-Plane has been in development at Carenado for some time and it is almost a fully working direct copy of the real world G1000 system. When you turn on the aircraft's (battery power), you have to wait (a fairly long time) while the database loads into the system. Power is supplied by the first two rocker switches in BAT 1 & 2 on the switch panel located on the shelf under the left hand panel, next two switches are the ALT 1 & 2 (alternator) switches but the last rocker switch to the right of the set is the "Avionics" switch to start up the right hand G1000 screen. When the avionics are switched on you still have to activate the screen by pressing the ENT (Enter) button on the middle console panel or the menu button far right on the display. Before we go into the complexities of the G1000 system, let us look at the instrumentation and the rest of the switchgear. The rest of the main switchgear panel covers the Ice Protection On-Off, MAX or NOR Ice setting, Pitot Heat, Exterior lighting (Nav - Strobe - Land). Three knobs on the far right adjust the panel and interior lighting. First knob adjusts the instrument lighting, then the red cowl lighting and the last right knob covers the overhead spotlights. The red cowl lighting is quite vivid at the full setting, I tuned it down to be more somber in tone, but it looks very good against the fake wood grain paneling. Directly in front of the pilot are three lower standby dial instruments in "Airspeed", "Artificial Horizon" and "Altitude". All backup dials are very clear and well presented. On the centre console at the top is dominated by the huge A/P Autopilot and G1000 input keyboard and control panel, that we mentioned earlier and as noted then it pops up via the menu for ease of use. Then a standard Garmin GMA 350 radio set and lower an ADF Bendix King KR87 TSO direction set. Lower centre panel is the Oxygen selection and Flap selection in "up", "50%" with a 119kias restriction and "100%" flap with a 104kias restriction. Nice big throttle lever dominates the lower console in look and feel. This "Single Lever Throttle Control” automatically adjusts the propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever on the aircraft. To the right is the red knob "Mixture" lever with "Rich" to "Lean" adjustment. You can switch to each fuel tank via the switch, but have to press the red "OFF" panels to turn it off. Very nice tank gauges are set out above and are very clear for use. Sets of fuse breakers are on the left inside of the centre console. Very right of the main panel is an environment control panel for fresh air and heating turn switches. Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit Garmin twin panel G1000 gps sets are now becoming common in X-Plane. These systems are menu driven, which means you select the different functions you require via the lower row of buttons and the changing menu selections to show the items you need. Yes they are very good these G1000 sets but you can get lost in the various menu trees to find sometimes something very simple as say the VOR2 pointer. There are some real world layouts of the various menu trees and the Carenado manual does give you an excellent overview of the complexities of the system, but it does need some study to not find yourself spending a lot of time going through all the many various combinations of menu selections to get to the function of what you want. There are many on screen options and featured here in the lower displays around the heading rose is your NAV1, ADF and right VOR2 pointers. You can fill up your PFD panel with a lot of information. Including NEAREST Airports, A small view of the MAP, References and an engine monitoring side panel. But all this takes away the main objective of these huge displays to deliver clear simple information of flying the aircraft. The objectivity is the use of the huge artificial horizon that covers the whole display. It has built in Pitch, Rate of Roll (very nice with built in indicators called "Trend Vectors"), speed and altitude tapes (built in Vertical Speed - or +) and lower Heading, noted Lower rose heading dial has built in CRS (course) and The Course selector is also your Nav 1, Nav 2 and GPS (autopilot) selection modes and built in CDI (course deviation indicator) for runway ILS alignment. Top of the PFD is an information grid that covers "Engine Power%", Autopilot status, Prev and Current waypoints when the flightplan is active, Distance to the next waypoint, Est time to next waypoint, COMM 1&2 Frequencies. displayed also in the top lower grid is your active GPS/NAV1/NAV2, AP (autopilot), ALT and VS (Vertical Speed) status, Altimeter and VVI and bottom are Baro and OAT temp. If you are familiar with the default X-Plane GNS 430/530 GPS system then the knobs and buttons down the right of the display will be a no brainer. Comm 1&2 selector, CRS/Baro adjustment, Map range, (buttons) Direct-to, FPL (flightplan), Clear and Enter (ENT). PFD/FMS inner/outer is at the bottom. The right hand MFD (Multi-Function Display) display is the more flexible screen that covers a lot more variations and different areas of the aircraft's position and condition. Note that both screens can be swapped around if required for use. There are two main modes for display on the MFD, in MAP (Navigation) and ENG (Engine) modes. We will cover the ENG mode first. Note first the engine here is not running. Engine parameters covered are "Engine Power%", "Engine RPM", "Man In HG" (Manifold Pressure), "FFlow" (Fuel Flow), "Oil" Pressure and Temp. "Engine Temperatures" are covered in CHT ºF and EGT ºF. Anti-Ice Amount (in GAL) and Oxygen Pressure. Electrical output section covers both Current (A) and Bus Volts (V). The Fuel section displays "Fuel Qty" (in GAL) for both tanks, and fuel calculation data in "Used" - "Rem" (remaining), "Time Rem" and "Range" on the remaining amount of fuel in both tanks. I found the fuel data really helpful in planning and in flight on managing your range and fuel tank selection. Air data in altitude and OAT (outside Air Temp). Switch to MAP mode and the engine status parameters are located on a side panel that covers the RPM, FFlow, GAL used (fuel), Oil Pressure and Temp, Current (A) and Bus Volts (V), CHT ºF and EGT/ITT ºF. This engine status panel is the one that can also be visual in the PFD. At the top of the MFD is a duplicated grid of information that is situated across the top of the PFD except the PWR % is missing and is replaced by the NAV 1&2 Frequencies with adjoining adjustment knobs and slider button. Biggest feature of the G1000 is the huge GPS map and terrain options, One thing to keep in mind is that to show a screen of terrain data at this size requires a lot of processing, and a huge task of your computer processing needs. This can make the screen sometime quite slow in responding and mostly if the screen (or the aircraft) is turning to a new heading or redrawing the images on the display. Terrain options include, Traffic - Topo (topographic) - Terrain - Airways. You have a built elevation guide to evaluate the current terrain. Creating and using flightplans are accessed by the FPL button (Green Arrow) on the G1000 Control Unit panel. This button brings up flightplan panel on the MFD display, and here you can create, save, adjust, reload and delete flightplans. To start to create a new flightplan then use "FMS Knob" in the centre of the top part of the main programming control panel. This will give you the standard half-moon manipulators in large and small and also note your current GPS position on the display. The large manipulators are used to move down or up a line of your flightplan (segments), the same as your standard GNS GPS. The smaller higher manipulators will open another window to insert the Nav-Aid/Fix and these inputs are done via the alphabet/numeric keyboard. Note I found the console manipulators really hard to use (mostly the small right half-moons, Carenado note it is the angle you use the manipulators, but it is still too hard) but the manipulators used on the popup panel with the menu tab was fine, and the inputs on mostly the first letter of a waypoint/fix was also very slow and or had to be backtracked and done a second time to insert, the rest of the digits were not so bad. When the GPS Nav-Aid/Fix is done then press ENT to insert the waypoint in the flightplan. Again select the second waypoint by using the inner manipulators to bring up the insert window and inserting in waypoint code. When entered you will note the first departure point of the flightplan the altitude for the airport is automatically inserted. On the second waypoint line you have to insert the altitude you want to use when you arrive at the waypoint. This is inserted in the right hand selected (larger manipulators) box. Then again ENT to save the waypoint into the flightplan. You repeat the process until you have the full route from Departure to Arrival airports completed then you activate the first waypoint of the flightplan (departure airport) by using the MENU (Options) button and selecting "Activate Leg" and pressing ENT to load the flightplan into the system. You can SAVE your flightplan here also, INVERT it (or swap the whole flightplan backwards to start at the current arrival airport) or DELETE the flightplan from the full list which is shown in a separate page window. Basically the G1000 system is still like the standard X-Plane GPS GNS430/530 system, just slightly different on the way you access it. You can zoom in or change the range of the flightplan in MAP mode via the large knob on the right (RANGE). DCLTR will "declutter" the map in three positions. Also like the X-Plane GPS GNS430/530 system, you have a menu system along the lower right part of the MFD. Changed by the manipulators (High/Low) it gives you access to a lot more information. Most are a replica of the standard Garmin system in MAP, WPT (Waypoint), AUX, FPL, NRST. The different one here is the AUX (Auxiliary). AUX has many display pages starting with TRIP PLANNING, UTILITY (timing), GPS STATUS, SYSTEM SET UP ... ... SYSTEM STATUS and CHECKLISTS (Standard and Emergency). A lot of the data shown above is not full realised because the aircraft is stationary and not running, so we will revisit a few moments when in flight to see how they perform in action. Menu panels and G1000 displays all pop-out for ease of use and can be moved around your screen for the best position to access. Pop-outs are just as clear and the same resolution as the fitted panels and that is sometimes very rare. Flying the SR22 GTSX Turbo I tanked up the CIRRUS to give me 5.0hr of flying. You need to select a tank with the pointer selector on the centre console. The "Mixture" lever is moved to "Rich" but it is hard to get at as it is hidden by that large throttle handle, from the Pilot's position you can't move the mixture unless you move the throttle itself, or move your view right over to the passengers right hand seat. You can close the doors from the inside via the latches, and they close with a nice "thunk". Adjusting the panel lighting and you are ready to start that Continental IO-550-N 310. Pump boost on and a turn of the key allows the engine to turn, churn then roar into life. Sounds are as per usual Carenado's in very good if not excellent here. Set the CDI to "GPS" and that it is now ready and waiting for the flightplan locked in once you are airborne. The SR22 has the new Carenado feature that allows castoring of the front steering. I found it a bit too twitchy for my liking, and you need a bit of momentum before it will actual release from the straight ahead position. A lot of Carenado steering is like this and you get used to it, but the slightly higher speed required here to get the steering working smoothly can have you putting on too much speed initially to bring it quickly down again to find your taxi line with it then suddenly locking up again. Once you do get the right momentum and speed it is fine but a bit more usability would be nice. On the line and your ready to go... The Cirrus will track the centre line quite nicely without too much rudder adjustment and you can rotate up at around 100knts. Feel in the air is good and you can easily change the altitude and bank to keep the right momentum and climb with ease. Once leveled out and clean, I selected the A/P on the centre console to take control of the NAV (flightplan) and the rate of climb to the set altitude of 6500ft. The layout of the autopilot and controls on this console panel are excellent, very easy to use and operate. Rate of Climb is around 1000fpm (official is 1,250fpm) and here the Turbo comes into its own, more importantly is the performance as you go higher. The aircraft's ceiling is 25,000 feet, but it's easy enough to estimate that at an average of close to 1,000 fpm for the entire climb would take between 25 and 30 minutes from sea level to FL 250. You would never really do that height as you would waste too much performance. The turbo performance makes a lot more sense down low at the non-oxygen-required altitudes from 9,000 to 12,000, but this is far better performance than the non-turbo normally aspirated Cirrus, or any other non-turbocharged airplane for that matter, because once you get much higher than around 6,000 or 7,000 feet, the lack of air starts to cut down on the airplane's performance, reducing your rate of climb substantially, but not with the turbo as you can keep on giving on with all that extra power, but below 5000ft though the aircraft flies the same with either the normally aspirated Cirrus and turbo versions unless you need that extra push when required. Most sales now are with the turbo versions of the SR22 than the normally aspirated Cirrus. Top speed in the thin air is 215knts but the average at 12,000ft is 194knts in cruise mode. Range is 1,049 nmi (1,207 mi; 1,943 km) with reserves at 65% power. Now as we leveled out at our 6500ft altitude you can see the engine performance on the ENG mode page and the huge amount of data available on the AUX-TRIP PLANNING mode page. Both are impressive in flight. NRST (Nearest) options include AIRPORTS, NDB, VOR and Waypoints and there is a DIRECT-TO function that can be accessed and activated if required. These menu page screen provide so much information you can't cover everything here, but they are excellent in operation and detail. We are cruising now high above the Greek Islands, yes it is nice place to be... best moment in a while actually. The view forward is quite restricted and the blinds tend to make it even narrower to look through the windscreen than it needs to be. You can easily move them to the side while flying and that gives you a more open fuller screen vision. External design of the SR22 is excellent, this is a Carenado after all and you would think of nothing else from them. The tri-gear is a fixture, so don't go looking for an undercarriage lever because there isn't one. But the detailing is superb, first rate and you simply can't fault it. The aircraft's textures are quite shiny, so it can be very washed out in the high Greek sunlight at certain angles, but overall the external aircraft is excellent. Terrain mode on the MAP display is very good. As I skimmed along the Crete northern coast the mountainous ranges were well represented on the display. A must for flying at night or with minimum visibility. You have to watch your fuel usage and be ready to switch tanks as you hit the minimum section in the earlier selected tank, you can lean the mixture a little to find the best performance to economy range and experiment to get performance you like the best. The Cirrus has a built in safety feature of a parachute called the "Cirrus Airframe Parachute System" in case the engine goes wonky or you forget to switch over the fuel tanks. It is set out on the roof and you can pull off the cover and pull the handle. It is however not advisable to use if you are running well on the flightplan. Unlike the VflyteAir SR20 version were as the parachute does actually work... here you are just sent to the closest airport runway in an instant. LGIR - Heraklion “Nikos Kazantzakis” is now just over the next range, time to slip down and get ready for landing on RWY27. At 1500ft I turn off the flightplan and select a heading to be in a circuit parallel line with the runway and a pass and return to the airport is required for the 27º heading landing. Tight, tight 360º turn is neck straining as I search then find the direct line back to RWY27, speed down and flaps down two positions. Flaps and mechanism are very well constructed, but the inside wing texture is a little dubious. Note the excellent panel work on the wings and fuselage... "Heads up mate we are landing!" Even with a small slight crosswind the aircraft is very stable, around 70knts in the final approach and a slow clean descent can give you little bounce on contact. You have to rub off a lot of speed before touching the brakes... I mean a lot. If you are tempted earlier you will simply disappear off the runway to the left and go off straight into the scenery, get it right and you will turn neatly on to the side taxiway. Shutdown and when opening up the door the hot humid Greek air fills the cool cabin, Job done. Liveries Standard Carenado blank/white livery and five designs are all very high 4K quality. Night Lighting There are three adjustment knobs for Instrumentation and displays, the red cowl lighting and overhead lighting. There are four overhead spot lights that are + manipulator adjustable to shine in any direction in the cabin, two front and two rear. The front spots however are under the front blinds, and so to be used effectively you need to move the blinds out of the way. You can certainly find the right feel in the cabin, but full on red under cowl is a bit stark and distracting. External lighting is basic with just Nav, Landing (single light) and flashing strobes. Nice touch are small sets of LED lights located at the front of each wingtip. Summary It is a Carenado and with this brand you know that quality, features and flight dynamic depth are usually first rate to excellent. That is certainly delivered here at a quality price. So you get a lot for your investment. The SR22 is a great aircraft to fly and the depth of instrumentation and details are certainly first rate, that is a given as well. The G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit is certainly a huge feature here, but it comes with a big stick. It is a colossal complex sized system that has a huge amount of data to process. It takes time to separately load in all that 3.83gb, yes gigabytes worth of data (It thankfully does not use it all at the same time but just loads a few area tiles). But it does all have a significant impact on your frame-rate and Carenado aircraft are not the lightest aircraft in the hanger in the first round and so your computer processor has to cope with a large chunk more with this GPS G1000 system on top of the aircraft again. My i5 Mac computer just scraped through with its average processing performance, so it is usable. But I would highly recommend a machine with a pretty grunty or powerful sets of processors and memory to give you a fair amount of working headroom and data space. Only other quirk is the twitchy castoring steering which will need mastering at slow speeds. Overall the Cirrus SR22 ticks all the right boxes and gives X-Plane users another great step forward in sound, design, features and even more better quality in a general aviation aircraft. A real nice aircraft to fly as well and with all that Turbo power for great performance. So another great winner from Carenado. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : SR22 GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series Price is US$34.95 Developer Site: Carenado Dev Support : Carenado Support _____________________________________________________________________________________ Special Features Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit All-new surround sound architecture. Volumetric side view prop effect. Features Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Aux- Trip Planning Window Checklist mode Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Ice and Rain effect _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 209.50meg and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 256.90 meg. Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file. Carenado G1000 data package is also required and has to be installed in the X-Plane root folder (Main X-Plane folder) before using the aircraft. Data download pack is here; GPS database and it is a big download at 870mb. Documents supplied are: Carenado G1000 Perspective PDF SR22 Emergency Checklist PDF SR22 Normal Procedures PDF SR22 Performance Tables PDF SR22 Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows 7, 8, 10+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.40 (or higher) running in 64bit mode 2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.1 (last updated Feb 29, 2016) Carenado G1000 Database must be installed ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th March 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - LGKC - Kithira Island Airport Greece 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - LGIR - Heraklion International Airport Greece by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  14. My guess here is that you didn't read the requirements? For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. CARENADO G1000 DATABASE (MUST BE INSTALLED). Both are needed to fly this aircraft
  15. News! - Aircraft Released : Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXc by FlyingIron Any reference to the Battle of Britain and you automatically think of Boris Johnson!... oh sorry, not Brexit, but the other Battle of Britain and against basically the same foes... Lately the British don't have what advantage they had back then in the thirties with just the perfect fighter for cutting up the European Schumpeterian democracy... But in X-Plane we now do with the release of FlyingIron's Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXc, this is FlyingIron's second release after the Republic P-47N Thunderbolt, which in my eyes was the most ugliest aircraft to ever fly. Which is one thing you could never hold against the Spitfire, as this lovely creation was the ballerina against the rheumatoid negroitis (google it). Variants and the feature list is long : Spitfire Mk IX comes with 4 variants: Spitfire LF Mk IX (Merlin 66) Spitfire LF Mk IX with clipped wings (Merlin 66) Spitfire HF Mk IX (Merlin 70) Spitfire HF Mk IX with clipped wings (Merlin 70) Art & Sound Ultra-realistic 3D Cockpit Model that is used for SimPit recreations of the Spitfire (provided by Heritage Flight Simulations) Incredibly detailed modelling & texturing, both in and out of the cockpit FMOD Sound Design with 50+ Custom Sounds Dynamic multi-sounds to increase immersion & avoid repetition 10 Liveries included Animated 3D Pilot Flight Model Highly detailed & realistic simulation of the Spitfire Mk IX, performance matched to be within a few % of real-world data in all aspects of flight Custom simulation of the differential braking system & ground handling Tested by a team of real-world pilots to ensure accuracy & realism Simulation of unique Spitfire quirks, such as the need for nose-down trim on take-off and many, many more. Realistic spin & stall behavior for aerobatic flying Complex Engine Simulation Code-enhanced simulation of both the Merlin 66 & Merlin 70 engines, with the ability to switch between the two in-cockpit Complete custom simulation of the 2-stage supercharger of the Merlin engines Realistic operating limits, enforced by dynamic failures Systems Modelling Complete fuel systems simulation Realistic navigation systems simulation Emergency systems modeled Simulation of the original preset-radio system, as well as an optional cockpit-integrated modern radio system Complete oxygen systems modelling External Tank systems realistically modeled Particle FX Engine exhaust flash/flame FX Engine over-prime flameout FX Heat-Blur FX Dynamic Smoke FX Ultra-realistic canopy rain FX (powered by Skiselkov’s Rain Library) VR/GUI Box GUI Panel is VR-ready & integrated into the cockpit for maximum immersion (optional – can be hidden) Ability to switch between engine types, toggle ground elements and optional cockpit elements. Autopilot feature for long-distance flights Extra Features Static Elements modeled (Chocks, Tie-downs & GPU) Functional & adjustable RAF Reflector Gunsight (optional) Optional cockpit-integrated 3D GPS (Garmin 530) Functional weapons & controls (Guns & Bombs) Optional landing light But the manual isn't completed yet? which makes for a first look around and even a first flight a bit of a head scratcher?... the brake handle anyone? so I will just show you some nice pictures of all the nice things you don't know what to do with yet... X-Plane 11.30+ Requirements: Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (January 29th 2019) Download Size: 1.3 Gb Requirements are of a large download (1.3gb) but you do get both the archetypal round tip, and those speedy clipped wing variants.... .... just the thing for Boris to go over there and straffle those uncompromising Euro buffoons "eh"... Overall excellent... Now available at the X-Plane.OrgStrore! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Spitfire Mk IX by FlyingIron is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Spitfire Mk IX Price is US$34.95 ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 30th January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  16. I understand where that point of view is coming from. I had also sticker shock when I saw the price, but the fact is the more I progressed within the review then the more of the price was the less and less the focus of the aircraft, I expected the same result at the end of the review that I had felt at the start, but that was very far from the fact. The so called "gadgetry" was not the point either, but for the actual simulation of the aircraft and the realism that the developers are aiming for... to reduce the SP-30 to say a $25-$30 aircraft would have made it bland, so the point is that the blandness would have quickly consigned it to the same lost aircraft folder as the rest of the same style of $25 aircraft, so in a way that is more of a waste of your money, and more so than the $45 dollar aircraft that you will actually fly consistently and with a far more growing and rewarding simulation... I found this excellent video of the SP-30... watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKdB3SiiaGg The point is that having flown the aircraft and then watching that video, you could feel the perfect synchronicity between the real and simulation, so the more you fly this SP-30 then the more you understand the dynamics at work from the developers, and to a point that is what you pay for... It is also worth the look of the poor passenger in the video, in being totally absolutely terrified in being cramped into the aircraft as his look and nervousness is absolutely priceless.
  17. Scenery Review : Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini All my life there has been a connection to a mountain, and it is the largest and most formidable piece of rock on the planet. The mountain is Mount Everest or Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan it is noted as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ). The monolith straggles both the borders of Tibet and China and dominates the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The mountain's full height is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), but that estimate changes from year to year, but extremely seriously high is close enough. As I was born in the United Kingdom in the 50's then the conquest of the mountain in 1953, with a ninth British expedition led by John Hunt was a national empire success story. Hunt selected two climbing pairs as then as the first pair failed just 100m from the summit, it was the second pairing of the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali Sherpa climber that the feat was finally successful when they reached the summit at 11:30 local time on 29 May 1953 via the South Col route. With this conquest it was rallied and celebrated thoughout my childhood, so you couldn't really ignore the celebration, I knew more about a damn mountain on the other side of the world than my own family sometimes... Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini As in all areas of life then also as in X-Plane it tends to break up teams into specific categories. For the names of Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini it is in the specialist area of mountainous regions. It started with the their excellent "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery, then there was the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D as reviewed earlier this year... now it is the turn of the largest mountain range on earth with the Everest Park 3D scenery. The Everest Park 3D scenery is noted to cover territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with another eight thousand in a lower resolution and situated along the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains included here besides Mt. Everest (8,848m) are the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129) ...The scenery area included here is in the degrees +27.086 +27.087 + 28.086 +28.087. Airports and Helipads included are VNLK - Lukla airport, VNSB - Syangboche... Helipads Base of HELK - Lukla, Base of HENB - Namche Baza and coverage of Lukla and Namche Bazar, Everest base camp, Tengboche which is home to an all important Buddhist monastery and Gorak Shep. Noted as well is the Pyramid of the CNR (Italy) at 5050 mt. Laboratory and Observatory in the Khumbu Valley, it is a center of study and medicine on the reactions of the human body at high altitudes. Mount Everest Folklore of my childhood was the trek from Katmandu to the fabled mountain. You walked for three weeks carrying mountain gear along Sunkashi River, then up through the Khumbu Valley via the Dudh Kosi (Kosi River System) with names like Namche Baza and Tengboche then Dingboche and finally the Village of Gorak Shep at 16,942 ft (5,164 m) which was the last stop before reaching the Everest Base Camp. It was treacherous, dangerous and the survival of the fittest and required rest days to acclimatise to the altitude. It was exotic and a world away from today's consumer travel expeditions that make the same trek almost like going to the South of France. It still isn't easy to get to Everest Base Camp, but it is now just a rubbish tip like everywhere else we populate. I have seen Mt.Everest in X-Plane before, I used to route regularly over the area when returning from Shanghai, China to Bahrain on my criss-cross of the globe with my F1 Racing freight in the rear. There are no air routes over the Himalayan area and for a very good reason. Mt. Everest is nearly 29.000ft high, so at 35.000 ft at altitude the mountain's sheer size can be still frighting to be passing only 6000ft below the aircraft's belly, do that in bad weather and it can go seriously wrong, but on a clear day the view was excellent, if to the limited capacity of X-Plane's early standard mesh. But note that FL290... that is a normal flight height on any short main route around the world, say in Europe, and with that aspect in mind you can feel the sheer size of the mountain. The hard part is getting up to that flight level, and that is just to gorp at the mountain. Another aspect is the type of aircraft to use up there in that thin air, A jet is more than capable but it is too fast, and there are not a lot of props with the power to operate in the area, most will use a helicopter, but be aware of the aircraft's limitations at these altitudes, so my choice (quite wisely) was the Carenado Do228. It is a very popular aircraft for this area, and used by all the local operators, but it still has a 7620m (25 000 ft) ceiling and here you are going to use every inch of that. I am going to show the X-Plane local Map of the route, it has to really be all VFR, you could create a FMS route, but I don't think you would have enough waypoints to make it safe, there is a lot of directional changes you will be doing anyway to try to automate the route. I worked out the fuel required by time and distance, I wanted to find the best balance in having more than enough and I ended up with 4500kg or 9900ibs, without the weight of full tanks for safety. But flying into areas like this is a bit like going out over the sea, as once airborne there are limited areas or places to land or to find safety, and that has to be taken into account for margins of error. I dug out a very old VNTK - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl. But I have absolutely no idea where it came from? but there is a global airport version built into X-Plane. There is also a rumor that Cami de Bellis also did a VNKT? Even sitting on the apron at VNKT, you can see the Everest 3D Park scenery as the Himalayan range is very visible to the north. VNTK is tricky as well. It sits at 4400ft, but Katmandu is sitting almost like in a crater, and you need to climb almost straight up out of this hole to clear the surrounding walls of mountains, hills are maybe a bit of a stretch, as you need to climb at least 12,000ft straight up in a short distance, I am going to 18,000ft. An early note is you have to choose if you are either going to fly to Everest the mountain, or to VNLK - Lukla at 9,334 ft/2,845m instead because the differences in altitude between the two are quite substantial. So all you do is climb, climb and do more climbing at a steady rate of around 1000fpm. In climbing up higher and higher then the sub-range becomes even more visual, even at this distance it looks very realistic, even against the foreground default mesh. The view out was starting to get exciting, as you felt you were nearing something special.... .... the crawl up to 18.000ft was a slow and steady climb, but finally the gap to Khumbu Valley finally opened up. It can be very hard to find as it looks just like every other valley opening, but a clue is the airport VNPL - Phaplu Airport as it gives you a position to turn north. Once in the valley... you just start climbing again, but now you are targeting 25,000ft. The outside temperature is plummeting as well as you go higher, and already it is below -20º and by the time you get to Everest it will be -40º, and simply that is why you die out there. As soon as you move into the valley then Lukla is on your right far below (arrowed)... Note that distance in altitude? Namche Baza at 3,440m is set higher and not too further down the valley on your left, note the grass/gravel runway that is set above the village. Finally Sagarmatha fills the windscreen. The mountain is very impressive, as it should be, it is biggest block of rock there is on the planet. You are then trying to put every thing into perspective as the detail allows you to do that... The valley floor, the immense Khumbu Icefall... and the twin peaks of Lhotse and Everest itself. ... the area covered is huge and very spectacular. Looking through the aircraft's windows gives you a more high feel of the detail available here. All the scenery is 3D and according to the DEM data (digital elevation model) and further elaborated with many structural details. Many textures (over 40) are based on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. Moving around to the north (Chinese side) and it the visual aspect changes quite significantly, you could call it the "back side of the mountain", it never was as very photographic or dramatic as the Tibetan side, and could be noted as just mountainous. Lhotse (8516) (arrowed below) is right next to Everest, but to the east is Makalu (8463) which is just as dominating as the main attraction. I feel I am just a little too close to the peak of Makalu, but the weather today is fine, but I wouldn't try this in poorer visibility. Heading south again you are looking for the doorway between Tobuche (6543) and Ama Dablam (6812). And with one last look left at Everest I turn back down Khumbu Valley with Ama Dablam just glazing to my left. Moving away from Everest and you are making trails back to Katmandu, there is only one thing to do now... and that is to go all the way down again, and at least it will be far, far faster than when you were clambering and coming up here. Mount Everest Detail Go to ground level and the very familiar images of Mount Everest all start to appear. The Everest Base Camp is reproduced here. I always thought that the base camp always looked like a moonscape, and to an point it does here also.... ... a view of the mountain that many climbers have seen, and know they will be going up there tomorrow. The usual route up was via the Khumbu Icefall or icefield. Which is really a river of deep frozen snow. It was in many ways it still is the most treacherous parts of the ascent, with open crevasses, rock falls and the odd Avalanches. Camp 1 and camp ll are simulated as is camp lll (arrowed), then get up to the South Col and one of the most photographed views in the world comes into view, the aspect is looking east towards Makalu and Baruntse. The South Col is also known as the "Death Zone" or the depletion of oxygen at 8,000m (26,247ft), and many climbers are still here buried in the snow, like Rob Hall from New Zealand who was leading the1996 Mount Everest expedition in which he died trying to save a customer climber. There is another camp called camp IV at the southern pass, and three climbers are sited at the higher Hilary Step... The mountain's detail is exceptional, certainly in the different layers of time built up rock, this is the certainly the most authentic representation you will ever get of Everest, and you can feel every niche of this formidable rock face. It has been hard to assemble the actual rock faces because there is no actual satellite images available, this representation came completely from photographic images. On arrival at the summit you will find that two other climbers have already beaten you to the apex of the mountain... ..... the view up this high is however well worth all the effort. Streaming and falling back to earth, as only you can in X-Plane11.30. VNLK - Lukla airport - Tenzing–Hillary Airport This airport is one of the most famous in the world and easily holds the title of "the most dangerous airport in the world" and the attraction for any simulation is just to take on the "the most dangerous airport in the world"... it is a no brainer there. The strip (if you can call it a strip) was built by the great man himself Sir Edmund Hillary back in 1964, it was only paved in 2001, and so earlier on it was only a gravel strip. The runway 06/24 is 527 m (1,729 ft) × 30 m (98 ft) with a 11.7% gradient, and the airport's elevation is 9,334 ft (2,845 m). It sounds easy but when you see that gradient in stu, then you can see the challenge, add in high winds along the mountain sides and with absolutely no go-around procedures, you have to land or do an early missed approach, once committed, your really committed. Certainly you are restricted to the type of aircraft you can use here and VNLK is accessible only to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft such as the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier Do 228, L-410 Turbolet and Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. There are only four parking slots at VNLK and space is at a premium, and so the aircraft can get seriously busy at peak Everest trekking periods, then add in the weather factor. Most services are VNKT - Katmandu to VNLK - Lukla, and mostly it is a ferry service, but no doubt a brilliant experience. Fares are USD $161 each way and the flight lasts for 30min, which is a bargain really considering the significance of the route. VNLK - Lukla as scenery has been in X-Plane for some time, but what we are looking at here is an authentic approach and a perfect representation of the runway and it's famous gradient. This aspect is not to taken too lightly as it is incredibly hard to model the scenery perfectly, in other words it needs an expert in mountain modeling to get the modeling right, that to a point it is what you are paying for here, the perfect experience of the hardest airport in the world to land in. The developers do provide a chart for the best approach to RWY 06, and note the altitude numbers carefully, as to get them wrong is not just hitting something really, really hard... but to be in the wrong altitude in being too high or too low to get the correct approach path. I have tried landing at VNLK a few times, and it is incredibly hard to get it right, you are looking for a speck on a mountain side, so a sort of dummy run is always the go if you are flying this challenge for the first time, the advances in the X-Plane simulator help a lot now as well, the aircraft are far better tuned to do what you want the aircraft to do... My choice of Carenado's Do228 was perfect and I recommend it highly with this scenery. Height and speed are obviously critical. Speed is as low as you can get away with, without stalling down into the valley. In the Do228 it is at 70 knts on the red line, full flap. Lukla is 9100ft above sea level, so you need to be just slightly above that at 9300ft... and your aiming for the mountain side on your left to land at VNLK on your right. Once past that outcrop you begin a nice steady approach curve to the right. A critical point to make is that the 06/24 RWY can look flat on approach, but in reality it isn't as it has that 11.7% sloping gradient. That can be useful as well, as you can sort of... if the aircraft positioned correctly use the gradient to come to you, rather than you landing on the ground, bringing up the nose in a slight flare can also help in that effect... I started out with the perfect approach path, but once closer to the runway, the wind was very blustery and I was suddenly fighting the rudder to stay in a straight line... ... this is were the real skill comes in, and it can get very, very tricky. You are holding your breath, almost at stall speed at 60 knts, and fighting the aircraft... then that nice flare that has to be absolutely perfect. A carrier landing, yes absolutely, but with no arrestor wires... Your on the hard stuff but not out of the woods yet... as you have to time perfectly more power and thrust to not only stop the aircraft sliding backwards back down the slope (and off the side of the mountain), but to keep the momentum moving forward perfectly correct as well... ... get that right and now all that thrust is now a liability as you kink over lip to the flat area on the top of the runway. There is not much space between you now and a hard wall! The pro's are amazing to watch on YouTube videos as the get all these sequence of actions perfectly in line to swing right into the small ramp area with four slots. It is very tight squeeze in here, and the poor turning circle that Carenado only allows you at low speeds, means I couldn't do the full 180º parking turn. Note the strong windsock, and up here when the engines are shutdown and the propellers are feathered, they still keep on turning at a high windmilling pace. Tenzing–Hillary Airport तेन्जिङ हिलारी विमानस्थल IATA: LUA - ICAO: VNLK 06/24 - 527m (1,729ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 9,334 ft / 2,845 m The reproduction of Tenzing–Hillary Airport at Lukla is very well done and authentic, but the resolution of the textures are a bit low unless you can run your texture resolution at full settings, and that is tricky, because even if around the airport the textures are quite minimal... there is the huge amount of custom textures covering the actual Everest Park area adjoining. It is the same sort of feel and quality as the Matterhorn scenery, detailed, but not extremely detailed in a walk-around fashion. As a rule Lukla is only a small village, and although a major tourist hub, it is in most cases quite small. The area around the ramp is the most complex, and the airport terminal and ramp is very well done and highly detailed with some great clutter. Note the largest hotel in Lukla is set directly behind the airport terminal. There is a static Do228 set on stand 4, but the rest of the stands are empty for your use. There is a helicopter landing area set just down the runway to the left... ... there is space to land two helios on the top level, and two with a static set on the lower, but there is no set X-Plane H landing pads? The control tower is more of a ramp tower, and in my version the tower view was not set (I has been done for the release version), but the tower is basic, but workable in a Tibetan sort of way. The famous Shangra -La Lodge and cafe is well done at the end of the runway, and the rest of the area is covered with Tibetan housing and small lodges with a lot of shrines thrown in. There is a very alpine feel to the village, but in a good way, but don't look for highly detailed Tibetan housing, it looks good, but it is still basic and well fitted well into the landscape. Lighting at Lukla is very moderate. Obviously night operations are out of the question, but there is a set of green taxiway lights up the runway is you want to have a suicidal try at it. But the lighting does reflect the sort of feel you would have being up here surrounded by the mountains, watching dawn or dusk is a sublime moment, in a feel sort of way the scenery is very good. Namche Baza - VNSB - Syangboche - Tengboche All three areas that cover Namche Baza, VNSB - Syangboche, Tengboche are close together. The village of Namche Baza is by the airstrip of VNSB - Syangboche, which is set out just above with the Khumjung small settlement set out on the flat level just behind. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is just across the valley further north. Namche Baza is just a typical if very famous Tibetan village and the layout is very similar to Lukla, but thankfully the all important shines were not forgotten. VNSB - Syangboche (IATA: SYH - ICAO: VNSB) Runway 1,312ft - 400m /Elevation AMSL 12,402ft /3,780m is an unpaved runway and is the closest landing strip to the Everest Base Camp, so it is a vital point to deliver to. Most rescue operations are flown from here of the injured or for the required elevation acclimatization. The Hotel/Terminal is basic, and there is a static helicopter and a little clutter to make it a worthwhile stop. Up behind is Khumjung Village and the aptly named "Hotel Everest View"... Again there is sort of alpine feel to the area. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is across the valley further north. Tengboche and the Tengboche Monastery complex which is built around the village is considered to be the oldest Sherpa celibate monastery in existence. The rebuilt monastery is large and an impressive structure with a camping area in its front and with a number of lodges and shops.Tengboche is surrounded by the ancient mani stones (flat stones inscribed with the mantra, "Om Mane Padme Hum"), prayer flags flying atop the high peaks (flags are flown in 5 colours denoting the five Buddhist elements: earth, wind, fire, water and consciousness. The courtyard and storerooms are large to facilitate the monks' religious rites and activities. The main building has the mandatory Dokhang, the prayer hall, where a large statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is deified. The statue extends to two floors of the monastery and encompasses the "Ser sang lha khang", the first floor shrine room. Sakyamuni Buddha is flanked by Manjushri, the deity of wisdom and Maitreya and of the future Buddha. The scriptures of the Kangyur, the original teachings of the Buddha translated into Tibetan are also part of the sanctum. In small areas set around the scenery are other resting lodges to cover the trek route to the Everest base camp, and these are represented as well. The only thing missing is that plume of icy wind from the peak of Everest... maybe that with the new 11.30 particle effect generator that could, be done as well? even so it is still all very dramatic.... the "Roof of the World". Summary It is a strange feeling... If you have invested in Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's spectacular sceneries and they are part of your X-Plane scenery, then you get this sort of completeness. No airport, maybe a large city scenery, but not on a scale like this do get that feel your X-Plane world is more complete, fulfilled and realistic. Dolomiti 3D Scenery and the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D scenery covers the Alps, there are few areas like Monument Valley as well that are covered, but this scenery with Everest Park 3D now covers the "Roof of the World" and the Himalayas. The scenery covers territory of about 1000 square kilometers in high detail, and 8000 square kilometers in lower quality detail, and DEM data (digital elevation model) are modeled on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. The results are of course spectacular, but the main thing to remember is that the most important areas are the ones you don't see. Any mesh can be molded to shape, but to get accurate mountain modeling you have to create the actual mountains from scratch, it looks easy... but it isn't and that is what you are investing in here, pure geographical layouts to replicate the real mountainous chains and individual mountains that make up the areas ranges, in other words total realism. Other highlights include the "Most Dangerous Airport in the WORLD" and that is big announcement, but that is what VNLK - Lukla is, and a huge challenge for any X-Plane flyer of distinction, VNSB - Syangboche, Namche Baza, Tengboche and the famous "Everest Base Camp" are all in here if you want to follow the footsteps of some of the greatest climbers that ever climbed. The quality in context is extraordinary, but you will need full resolution texture settings to bring out the best of the textures, if not they look a little low res... One of my journeys in X-Plane has not just been the flying or the learning of different aircraft and their systems. It is also exploring the planet in the many ways that you never expected before... the mountains on the coast of Oman, the sheer beauty and vast expanse of Greenland, the vastness of Australia to the mountains of Afghanistan, sheer beauty all and with high quality mountain ranges like these from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini' it again brings the scenery of the simulator up to another higher level of realism and immersion... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Everest Park 3D Price Is US$28.95 Features Area Included Everest Park 3D includes a territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with other eight thousand, on the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains include the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129). Airports included The Lukla airport (icao VNLK) is considered by the pilots, one of the most difficult especially in the landing phase, the track is just over 500 meters long. and has a significant change in slope in the initial part during take-off (12%). Syangboche (icao VNSB) in clay ground, just over 400 meters long, secondary airport but officially coded. It is located just above the village of Namche Bazar, a mandatory stop for hikers to the Everest base camp. 7 Helipads: inserted in the most important points of the scenery, normally located in residential areas, scattered at various points along the route to the base camp. Ultra-High Definition Scenery Pack The main mountains of the area have been rebuilt with 3D models. DEM data was used and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Later the textures were applied, mostly in 4K, taken from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified mesh was very accurate, respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain.\ Summer only scenery Manual included. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM (absolute minimum) - 4 or 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 500Mb Installation Download scenery file size is 512.10mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder There are a lot of elements to installing this scenery. And more importantly it has to be installed in the correct order as listed below. The developers have provided with the scenery an INI list to directly insert into your X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... install sizes are noted on each scenery 3D_Everest_Park (407mb) Himalaya_Scenery (249mb) Mesh_Himalaya (236mb) MHimalaya_lib (332mb) Full installation is 1.19gb It is a bit messy in your custom scenery folder, but it is what it is.... Documents 3D_EVEREST_Manual Scenery Features INI_Scenery Configuation ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th November 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Dornier Do 228 100 HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$37.95
  18. I am going to state this is with this Everest scenery? It really doesn't as any framerate differences are in fact negligible in the fact the scenery is self contained with zero autogen that could pull down the framerate. If the question is about 11.30 framerate to 11.28 or 11.30r1 then I find absolutely very little change depending on your graphic settings
  19. I only flew to the Do228 ceiling of 25,000ft, the rest is clever camera angles, and perspective manipulation 😊
  20. News! - Sound Update! - BSS updated v1.3 A320 Ultimate sound pack Blue Sky Star Simulation's have released an v1.3 update pack for the FlightFactor Airbus 320-314 Ultimate... Personally I wasn't too taken with the release version of BSS - Blue Sky Star Simulation's sound pack, it actually felt dull after the JARDesign version, of which I though was magnificent. I expected at least the same sort of immersion from BSS in the A320U, but it just didn't deliver... and more confusing is the fact that it is basically the same aircraft and almost the same engine in the CFM56-5 to the A320U CFM56-5B4? I haven't yet tested the new version... but here are the changelog notes: General Changes Heat blur/contrails now are working New wind system Empennage wind Mid wing and engine nacelle wind Nose wind All electric contactors remade E&E bay transformers sound PTU distance fixed inlet/extractor sounds Blower resets Advanced settings for Switching/Levers/buttons etc Avionics caused loud speaker pop (when off and on) PAX volume, noise off outside ambiance when front door is open ground roll/brake sounds Air conditioning/packs improved Avionic vent sounds improved Avionic start beep Avionic start bus power high freq. noise CFM56 overhaul blades windmill sounds complete outside engine sounds all 360 degrees with start/stop sounds (full remade) jet blast sounds hitting fuselage while aircraft is on the ground with max power, disappears when aircraft leaving the ground effect. Intake rush sounds (smart), depending on thrust input Engine spool-down goal, low thrust, spooling down famous CFM sound. Custom high thrust that causes engine to whine more at around 70-80% N1 which fades away with more air into cowling and gets replaced by steady "saw" sound. N2 Core sounds All engine sounds inside change every 3 seats, like they suppose to, basically every PAX seat has its own authentic sound of engine. Jet blast rumble (back) Reverse sounds CFM buzzsaw fixed volume. Remember that X-Plane11.30 has now N1 and N2 differential outputs, and the notes very much take those new dynamic actions into account. The FlightFactor Airbus A320 Ultimate BSS Sound Package is available now from the X-Plane.OrgStore... and too update to version v1.30 then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new version... install is the same. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Blue Sky Star Simulation Sound Packages is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : BSS Flight Factor A320 Ultimate Sound Pack Price is US$19.98 (Yes! you do need the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate aircraft and it is Required for the use of this sound pack US$89.95) ______________________________________________________________________ Blue Sky Star Developer Site : Blue Sky Star Simulations Blue Sky Star Developer Facebook : Blue Sky Star Simulations News by Stephen Dutton 16th January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  21. News! - Announcement : PA28-181 Archer lll by Just Flight - Thranda In the same vein as their Piper Arrow and Turbo Arrow, the next release from Just Flight is the PA28-181 Archer lll... This aircraft fits into the Piper PA28 family with first the earlier Cherokee, then the Arrow and next in line was then the Archer variant which had a five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase over the Arrow, it will also be a analog gauge aircraft as this version is the Archer lll that first flew in the mid-nineties, it is the current Archer LX and DX that have the G1000 avionics suite, the aircraft is visually different because of the iconic Archer round engine inlets. So here are some nice pictures... Features: Accurately modelled PA-28-181 Archer III, built using real-world aircraft plans and comprehensive photography of the real aircraft Numerous animations including multi-animation passenger door that, when open, responds to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window and sun visors Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs HD textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR capable avionics fit including: - KMA 24 audio selector - Fully featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases) - GNC 255 COM/NAV 2 radio - KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2 - S-TEC autopilot with lateral hold modes (HDG, NAV, APR, REV) and vertical modes (ALT, VS) - TT31 transponder - KR 87 ADF - Traffic-Watch ATD-300 traffic awareness unit - Strikefinder stormscope - HSI and ADF gauges - Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction GoodWay compatible Ability to change barometric units from InHg to MB in altimeter adjustment Option to activate flashlight from within pop-up window, to aid in those pitch-black cold and dark starts at night Pop-up autopilot window Option to remove window and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Functional throttle quadrant tensioning system Radio knob animations routed through plugin logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers, avionics power circuit and emergency bus controls. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning carburettor and primer controls Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapour lock condition Simulated vapour lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) Functional electric trim control on yoke Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Realistic and accurate flight dynamics based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from PA-28 pilots Authentic sound set, generated using X-Plane's state-of-the-art FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, doors, warnings and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when window or door(s) are opened, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Comprehensive manual with panel guide and performance data PSD Paint Kit included so you can create your own paint schemes Dedicated pop-up window for sound mixing, allowing for individual adjustment of the volume of exterior sounds, in-cockpit sounds and various effects Custom weight and balance manager window The Archer III is supplied with ten liveries from the UK, USA, Canada, France, Australia and Germany: G-CIFY (UK) G-CCHL (UK) N6092U (USA) D-EFVC (Germany) PH-AED (Netherlands) C-GUXL (Canada) HB-PPN (Switzerland) EC-JQO (Spain) VH-PPR (Australia) F-GNCH (France) All earlier Just Flight GA aircraft and the Arrow are priced around US$42.00, so I would expect the same... release is noted by Just Flight as "coming Soon!" JustFlight are here: JustFlight Should be on the X-Plane.OrgStore very soon... Images and text are courtesy of Just Flight ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 24th January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  22. News! - Incoming! : Saab 340 by Carenado Release is getting close for Carenado's next big regional aircraft for X-Plane11... the Saab 340 is a niche aircraft for commuter and regional hub and spoke operations, but that niche with Beechcraft B1900 is very tight market. Interestingly the Beech 1900 is not actually directly competitive with the S340 because the B1900 has only 19 seat to the Saab's 36, but they do the same sort of routings... After the huge success of the last major new design of the excellent Citation Jet then Carenado has "runs on the board" with the S340. No doubt most will compare the new S340 with the Leading Edge version, but although the Leading Edge aircraft has had a lot of updates throughout the years, it is now overall a far older design. Carenado have released some newer images to view over... Expect GTN 750 integration, full custom real world S340 FMOD sound, HD quality pro textures (4096 x 4096), also expect also 9 HD liveries and 1 HD Blank livery. The FSX/P3D version is priced at US$44.95, so I expect that price to be current for X-Plane as well.... release, well soon, but I would say later next week. Images and text are courtesy of Carenado ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 23rd January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  23. Aircraft Update : Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia 71 Avia71 has updated the Aerostar 601P to X-Plane 11.30 and v1.4.2 One of the most intriguing aircraft released last year was the Aerostar 601P by Avia71, and a vastly underestimated aircraft was my consensus at the end of the year. If you read the release review, there was a still few little areas that were needing a little attention, but nothing more or nothing less of a newly released aircraft and general X-Plane updates. Aircraft Review : Piper Aerostar 601P by Avia71 Since that review there has been twelve updates which can be accessed by the Skunkcrafts updater (I recommend in using the latest v2.2 version). The last of the twelve updates v1.4 was specifically for two areas... X-Plane 11.30 and VR (Virtual Reality) compatibility. I don't have VR to show you the effects of those changes, but here are the notes with now all the commands are VR compatible and there are now (better) 3D menus and start ignition in VR is now more accessible. First changed (3d) menu is the tab version that has been moved from the left side "71" to a VR clickspot on the centre magnetic compass. The menu is basically the same as with the original tab version and scalable, except for the option now to have the passengers visual in the cabin or not. The original "Documents" holder lower left footwell pocket is in the same place but it is now also VR activated, but more so it has been changed to use the Aerobask system of navigation. but more importantly it is now moveable and scalable for use. The original was totally useless, in it's tiny fixed distant position... The three menus noted are Charts, Cheklists (sic) and Miscellaneous... The charts uses the Aerobask system to break down the charts into categories, whereas the Miscellaneous selection can cover separate documents. It does feel like it is still a WIP, but the navigation is very good, and it is very quick in getting the documents from the files (png), which are held in a folder called "CUSTOM DOCS". Checklists are now available twice, as above in the tab menu and now here in the Documents holder, in reality they are both the same, it just depends on which view or look you like but the Doc version has a better navigation... Aircraft now also has Reality XP GTN 750 panel integration as well. PBR Lighting There has been attention in update 1.4 to the aircraft instrument panel and lighting. The Speed dial was not very clear, complex and very hard to read, but now it is far better in some circumstances... noteably as the behind the instrument lighting has also had attention (it is supposed to be brighter) but somehow there feels there is still something not right with the PBR and the way it interacts with the internal part of the aircraft... If the lighting conditions are a certain way favorable to the panel, then it lights up fine, but in most lighting conditions it is deathly dark? and you can't read most of the instruments? Even with the new lighting adjustments they are still very dull.... Even in mixed conditions the digital readouts are almost blank (arrowed left), but put some light on the digital readout panel and it looks bright and fine and easily readable (arrowed right).... isn't that supposed to be the other way around? So the cockpit and cabin in most conditions is a very dark place to fly in. 11.30 and performance With X-Plane 11.30 a big part of this update covers the X-Plane 11.30 new features, but also the dynamics of 11.30. And they are all in this case quite significant. In the review I found a few areas of the aircraft's performance a little off, but the reset to 11.30 has fixed most of those niggles. When taxiing the aircraft had really no idle position, so as you unlocked the brakes and you would instantly taxi or power forward... ... now if you unlock the brakes the 601P will sit nicely until you add in more power and you also now need a fair bit of throttle to get the aircraft moving forward, so you now feel the weight of the aircraft in the thrust requirement, so taxiing is now far, far better and for also not in wearing out your brakes all the time. The mixture levers have also (thankfully) had attention, in that now you can move the levers easily as before it was an odd manipulator that moved them for you, as it was almost impossible to then set the mixture correctly, now it is perfect. Another quirk that has been refined was that nasty bad right bank when you took off or landed... it was a weird one and even odder on a twin-engined aircraft that you should be able to cancel that sort of thrust imbalance out with your throttle settings.. it is slightly still there, but certainly not as hard and the noticeable banking as it was before. So moving to the 11.30 dynamics by my feeling has greatly improved the aircraft in all phases, and that was a sort of refinement missing in the original. The Aerostar came with a turbo-charged engine... so now the engine is turbo-normalized, and the main consequence is that the turbo-compressor Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors are limited to 29.92 inches pressure. Still on air pressures you can now also change from inHg to QNH by pressing the Altimeter pressure window. The 601P already had an authentic cabin pressure system... ... in 11.30 the focus was on oxygen pressure, most notable to masks (crew and passengers) but point here is oxygen pressure and the more refined way the smaller oxygen pressures are pressurised and used by the aircraft's systems, so this makes the 601P's custom pressurized system more realistic. Avio71 has also taken advantage of the new 11.30 icing features that uses the leading edge inflatable boot de-ice system. The new feature will show authentic icing in that ice accumulates on the wing, and then the inflatable boots blasts the ice off in irregular intervals. Amperage will only be consumed from the assigned electrical system (the same sources and datarefs as the electric and thermal surface heat) when the compressor is actually running, so it will only generate amp spikes of boot actions instead of a continuous load. The new SASL 3.3 is also now used on the aircraft. SASL 3.3 in reality is only for X-Plane11, and so it is not trying to bridge a gap now between different X-Plane versions, most notably XP10 (so the 601P is now only a XP11 aircraft)... this was causing many issues and mostly with authorization reactivations and pop-out windows hence the new menus above. SASL 3.3 is also forward looking for the new coming Vulkan/Metal API's The FMOD sound was also updated, but mostly the adjustments are just minor tweeks. Summary The Aerostar 601P is certainly one of the more really interesting aircraft in X-Plane, but interesting in a really different aircraft to explore and enjoy, it is also for the skilled but also want to stretch their skills to something unique. So a mainstream Cessna or Piper it isn't, but then the real life counterpart aircraft was also very much the same. Although this update review notes this update as v1.4, the actual stream of updates since the release of the Aerostar back in July has been comprehensive, this release is for mostly VR (Virtual Reality) and X-Plane final 11.30 compatibility. The VR aspect is mostly new menus (SASL 3.3) and better interactivity with touch zones and VR manipulators. It was good on release, but the constant refining including back structure like the latest SASL 3.3 is now giving the aircraft a more mature feel, certainly in the areas of performance and in using the X-Plane11.30 dynamic features of which here are highlighted by the better oxygen and Icing systems, but the handling is also now vast improved as well, on the ground as well in the air, so the main feel I get back is that a lot of those original quirks (except for PBR and exterior and interior panel lighting) have now been mostly addressed. At the head of this review I noted words like intriguing and vastly underestimated, and that sums up this Aerostar 601P, I will add in "interesting" as well, so check it out as it is still currently at a sub-US$30 sale price, and a worth addition to your collection... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________  Yes! the Piper Aerostar 601P v1.4 by Avia71 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Aerostar 601P Price is US$34.95 (sale price is US$29.95! A Great deal for a US$35 aircraft)  Features Ultra High Definition Model 4K Textures throughout Full PBR High quality 3D model Optimized for X-Plane 11 FMOD custom sounds Fully VR compatible Reality-XP's GTN 750 integrated (when available) Features Fully functional 3D cockpit Custom menu containing checklists, weight management, cabin altitude calculator, maintenance, stats, options Custom instruments Custom pressurization system Custom animations Disengageable system for saving parameters between flights Customizable documents holder (read your charts, checklists... in flight) Custom fuel feeding system Complete set of original checklists 7 liveries + paintkit Auto-Updater Keep your aircraft up-to-date with SkunkCrafts auto-updater Easy to use (nothing to do, really) As usual, updates will be free of charge for customers Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Review version 1.4.2 Installation Download of the Aerostar 601P is 392.35mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 551mb folder. This aircraft uses the SkunkCrafts auto-updater for updates, v2.2 version is recommended Full Changelog attached changelog.txt _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton  22nd January 2019 Copyright©2019: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) 
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