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  1. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Airbus A340-500 by JARDesign After a very long development period, JARDesign have now released their Airbus A340-500 aircraft to join their already successful A320neo and A330 Airbus aircraft fleet. The A340-500 model is the long-long range champion of long but thin routes, if you want that challenge, then this is now the best airliner currently in to do so... and very good long-haul aircraft are also very thin on the ground in X-Plane and this aircraft fills in a nice niche that is missing from long-haul flying with a sensational 16,670 km / 9,000 nmi range. JARDesign as a developer is one of the sort of pioneers and to a point even a renegade of development for the X-Plane Simulator, they have produced aircraft for as long as I have been in simulation, and mostly all are Airbus aircraft. Their aircraft in the A320neo and A330-200 have been the mainstay of Airbus flying in the simulator, but also there is the addition of some very clever addons, with Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD), FM (Follow Me) Car, X-Life (Traffic) and their latest in a fully operating Co-Pilot feature. Feature list is extensive! Beautiful and Detailed 3D Model: External, Cockpit and Cabin 3D model based on real aircraft data Hi-Resolution External 4K PBR textures with normal maps Advanced wingflex simulation with ultra-smooth animation Highly detailed Landing Gear animation Animated cargo and passengers doors controlled via MCDU 3-class passenger cabin with automatic controlled 3D lights Virtual Cockpit Animated Switches, Knobs, Levers and Tables in the cockpit Animated wipers and windshield sun visors in the cockpit Custom plugin based Realistic cockpit and external 3D lights Advanced custom real-feeling FCU knobs control system Pilots seen in cockpit in external view mode Hi-Resolution PFD, ND, EWD and SYS displays Flight Model and FMGS: Custom FMGS system with all main features required for normal flight Common failures can be triggered SID / STARS procedures based on NavData Take off data - V1, V2, VR, DTo and THS/FLAPS calculated by helper on MCDU Perf page Multi-function MCDU for full aircraft control, optimum flight level, fuel prediction, etc. Multiple ECAM pages for review and selection Ground Handling operation via MCDU or automatically by Ground Handling plugin (by JARDesign) Easy-to-use PayLoad and fuel loading via MCDU menu Embedded Flight Plan generator based on navdata cycle Enter Flight Plan manually or read from SimBrief/PFPX text file Aircraft systems with real aircraft logic and indications Custom Fly-By-Wire system with Normal law and Flight Envelope Protections Custom terrain radar Custom DCDU Metar reading System modelled Air Conditioning, Pressurization, Ventilation, Auto Flight,Communications, Electrical, Equipment, Fire Protection, Flight Controls, Fuel,Hydraulic, Ice and Rain Protection, Indicating/Recording Systems, Landing Gear, Lights, Navigation, Oxygen, Pneumatic, Information System, APU, Doors , Power Plant Other systems Weather radar for default XP weather Custom Hot-Start function MCDU 2D pop-out widget Sound volume control 2D widget Lateral and Vertical Flightplan 2D widget Realistic 3D sound based on real aircraft sound recording CoPilot (by JARDesign) plugin compatible (not included) Ground Handling (by JARDesign) plugin compatible for free (not included) X-Life (by JARDesign) plugin compatible (not included) Better PushBack plugin compatible (not included) Integrated tablet using popular Avitab plug-in The long awaited JARDesign Airbus A340-500 is now available for the X-Plane Simulator from the X-Plane.OrgStore Images are courtesy of JARDesign X-PlaneReviews extended review of the new JARDesign A340-500 will follow soon... So look out for it! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Airbus A340-500 by JARDesign is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: JARDesign 340-500 Airliner Price is US$59.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (Linux NOT supported at this time) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 415 MB Current version: 1.0R1 (August 1st 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 1st August 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  2. News! - Scenery Released : SBSP - Congonhas Airport, Brazil by GloballArt After many new scenery airports in North America and Canada, GloballArt have returened to their Brazilian roots to create SBSP Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil. After four brilliant Brazil sceneries in SBDN Presidente Prudente Airport, SBRJ Rio - Santos Dumont, SBGb Rio de Janeiro and SBSV Salvador / Bahia, X-PlaneReviews wondered why the experience of this crowded São Paulo was not in the same mix... why because it is an awesome airport to get into and out of, by being situated right dead center of the São Paulo metropolis, certainly one of my favorite destinations. Wait no more because it is now available, and a great quality GloballArt version of Congonhas it is as well. São Paulo/Congonhas Airport - Deputado Freitas Nobre, or simply Congonhas Airport, (IATA: CGH, ICAO: SBSP) is a domestic airport in the city of São Paulo, the second busiest in Brazil. The aerodrome is located in the south of the city, in the Vila Congonhas district, Campo Belo district, and part of the Jabaquara district. It is 10.6 km away from the center of the capital and 35 km from the São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport. It is considered the executive airport in Brazil due to the large number of its passengers traveling on business between São Paulo and other major centers such as Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont airport) and Brasília. Features Scenery Features Accurate replica of Congonhas Airport, updated 2021. Precise modeling, based on original references, plans and other studies. Fully customized pavement, with ambient occlusion included in textures. Customized taxiway sign. Auto Gate by Marginal compatible custom jetways. Customized VGDS system, Congonhas. Controlled by Dataref Marginal Plugins. Static objects, vehicles and aircraft are present in the scene. Avenues and streets with custom and standard vehicle traffic. Controlled by the Marginal Ground Traffic Plugin HDR lighting with custom night textures. Custom textures with ambient occlusion. X-Plane standard animated traffic service. Custom Approach Light Systems (ALS). Included taxi routes for aircraft, “taxi route”. Compatible taxi routes configured for World Traffic (WT3) and other plugins. Ramp Start set for airlines. Terminal 1 with rendered interior. New Control Tower with the interior rendered. Very precise mesh of fully edited terrain in the Airport area. Mesh Remexe Joz Package Includes BR-A-SBSP Roads BR-B-SBSP Congonhas Airport BR-D-SBSP Mesh Instruction Manuals The amazing SBSP - Congonhas Airport, Brazil is now available for the X-Plane Simulator from the X-Plane.OrgStore Images are courtesy of GloballArt ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the SBSP - Congonhas Airport, Brazil by GloballArt is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : SBSP - Congonhas Airport, Brazil Price is US$19.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows. Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 375 MB Current version: 1.0 (July 30th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 31st July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  3. Thanks... I am seriously worried that the decade old textures will also get a miss, and that effect will have big repercussions on the whole simulator, and as you noted, that one aspect will overwhelm all the very good presented. The better and higher quality global textures are required for far better airport fit into the scenery, for intergrating the 3rd party city addons, and for good VRF flying, plus the overall look while flying high... they are essential for X-Plane to step forward to it's Next Gen title, we hope, or pray that they are coming in a big surprise feature....
  4. Behind The Screen : Oshkosh 2021 Webinar Review "X-Plane - Past, Present and Future" Laminar Research promised an on-line "Webinar", at the Oshkosh 2021 Flyin EAA AirVenture. The first broadcast was cancelled (probably by bad weather, as the event has been effected by summer storms (welcome to Australia!)), but the second webinar went ahead as planned with Austin Meyer, Martin (Marty) Arant and Philipp Ringler in attendance. Over the last few months Laminar Research have been putting out their so called "Next Generation Previews" videos, but that nitty gritty detail of the coming X-Plane version change was always hidden away in the blurbs. Don't get me wrong there is a lot of detail going on here, and all of it is to the very good. If you expected a full run down of the currently noted "X-Plane12" then that aspect was not noted, if it will become X-Plane 12 anyway as Austin Meyers noted that the "Focus was on building the next generation of X-Plane", and that the "Next Generation" moniker was thrown around a lot in the broadcast. Austin also didn't commit to the X-Plane12 serial number either, as that version numbering would come at a later date, or if at all... so how does "X-Plane Next Generation" sound to you? Laminar noted that these details in marketing, titles and even a release date will be announced at the upcoming San Diego, FlightSimExpo on September 24-26, 2021... plus a running visual copy of the new X-Plane version could also be shown if Ben Supnic can assemble one in the next seven weeks. This does also open again the door to a subscription model for Laminar Research. When I announced such an idea on the X-Plane forums, it was received with a fireball of crucifying reverberation of anguish. But as a business model it makes a lot of sense for Laminar and building up a consistent professional team that required now to create a world class simulator... Monthly income, can create consistent revenue, and not the waiting of every four or five years for a payback, the monthly figure will be low, but it will also allow Laminar to grow significantly, the old model like everything else in the 2020s, is just too outdated to run a modern business on, oddly it will also attract more users and even the huge numbers to the simulator, as gamers are used to subscription high turnover models, with low entrance fees. That point is a significant one here, and strongly reinforced in the webinar. The Next Generation X-Plane simulator will leave behind a lot of the older or even current X-Plane11 staples. Gone will be OpenGL, the new simulator also will be very heavily loaded with a lot of quality art, or quality autogen, and the announced new items are going to hit your framerate, that is a given... not so much if you have already a modern computer with a fairly powerful graphics card, but those users are still consistently hanging on to their very dated hardware, are certainly going to be the very hard losers in the version change over, sounds a bit also like the current Windows 11 all over again. So it all sounds very much like the decade old X-Plane9 change to X-Plane 10, but a least back then, you could sort of run X-Plane10 on a wheezing old intel, but most to keep their old hand in stuck for years with X-Plane9... that will certainly be the same scenario, but with X-Plane11 now being the default for the older processors and cards, to the front will be the New Generation leaving it all behind. So a lot of the old guard my not like or even revolt at the coming changes to the X-Plan simulator, but remember to survive, and certainly to compete with MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator) then in reality X-Plane has to move forward, so you should just really get used to that factor now, and not expect anything else otherwise... as Austin in reality over hinted that very fact. Themes rising from the webinar and the promo videos are interesting and very Laminar Research in context... take what you have and then revision or re-engineer them to be far, far better than the current aspects and deliver big in quality and clever ideas. That theme was very, very strong here... so don't expect a big, if huge difference in change to the X-Plane Simulator as we currently know it, but oddly expect a very different feel and quality as it moves into it's next version phase... this in context is very similar to the X-Plane10 changeover from X-Plane9. One area that will remain is that the interface and user layout will stay the same, yes the art and look will be revised... but the base menus, configuration and settings will be very much the same, of which is no surprise to me as the interface was totally overhauled only a few years back in early X-Plane11. However Laminar do plan a complete minor overhaul of the tools such as PlaneMaker, which are still actually X-Plane10 based Current aircraft and addons should also not be affected, as the Vulcan/Metal transformation is now also mostly completed. Austin also noted there will probably be currently no MSFS "Marketplace" as the current system already works very well. In reality it would mean that Laminar would have to set up a whole new department and hire staff to cover a "Marketplace Store", and at their core that is not what Laminar are about, as they would be setting themselves up against the already entrenced; X-Plane.OrgStore, Orbx, SimMarket and even Aerosoft at a push. I have no doubt that Laminar has looked at the MSFS set up, but in reality Austin won't want more business work to take him away from his real world projects. Personally I think that Laminar are being very clever here. So what was revealed in detail... Like I mentioned the significant idea is to change the even now quite outdated core X-Plane assets, and mostly all those files sitting in your Resources folder. So the clever bit is that by changing over these core assets you get suddenly a complete change of look in the simulator itself, a plus is that the already built Global Airports, will also get a sudden, modern and more realistic update as well. This may even be like runway surfaces and as shown on the Webinar taxiway and apron areas, with a lot of grunge and realistic ragged edges... there will be a huge choice of new surfaces as laid out below. Wet surfaces are also coming and the effects are built in... you have to admit, they are great water effects! .. and even ice and snow. Obviously most of these assets are focused on the WED core building tools, like more gate variations and fuel depots But a lot of new elements will be landscape fillers, like Golf Courses and (above) Tennis Courts. The autogen industrial assets were a great success, mainly through the quality of the buildings, so more elements are to be added. And even graveyards for your post X-Plane eternity... is your name on a gravestone? They will make for interesting reading. Docks and shipping are also very much highlighted, and the detail is excellent. Long desired for X-Plane are lighthouses, so long no more as they will be included... ... and so there will be a far more varied and quality control towers. As notable and brilliant as all this is? Is it enough to hold off the MSFS onslaught, it feels a bit X-Plane+ more than a comprehensive scenery revision... Austin also noted that new textures were not a priority or 'down the list" of priorities... but are Laminar holding back new ground textures for a "Ta Da!" moment later, he did note that a lot of items are still not going to be announced or shown yet, so we do get some "Wah!" moments at the release announcement stage... but one video did certainly make you sit up and go "Wow!" in the "Next Generation Forestry Preview". The trees (and fauna) will all be 3d and finally a real quality 3d tree it really is (no more cardboard single or cheap crossed art trees), but not only are the trees brilliantly good in detail, but they move with the wind and change with the seasons as the seasonal rendering is dynamic and driven by the already installed (X-Plane11 updated) shader system, to which the shaders are controlled by local data in latitude and time... and Austin announced that yes "Seasons" are finally coming to X-Plane (whateveryoumaycallit) New Gen. New seasons in; Summer, Autumn (fall), Winter and Spring must also mean new ground texture assets? hopefully yes. But to watching those trees change seasons will be worth the entry price to X-Plane Next Gen alone. After spending a decade of reviewing scenery, I have learnt one thing... you can't cover all the globe and expect quality detail everywhere, as there has to be a balance. It is a bit like a magicians trick, the base is very basic, but it is what you use to cover (or illusion) over the bad, with using something dense and pretty on the top, MSFS actually uses this same slight of hand, but not very well. Austin noted that no, never will X-plane go down the photo ortho based texture route or do streaming scenery. No doubt the photo base is sometimes realistic as from the air, but it looks simply horrible on the ground with it's burnt in cars, building and dark shadows, for again the main reason I hate them in custom scenery, being perfectly flat is also horrible... so I see and support Austin's point of view there, but getting around that aspect is not at all easy either. As Austin quoted that "crisp, clean, modeled buildings and trees, a believable and plausible world trumps an approach where approximate data driven, streamed scenery is relied upon, a set of high quality art assets that are intelligently applied to construct a believable world will produce more believable results", and a big yes to that. A sub note on believable scenery is the current use of the "OpenSteeetMap" data... this data system came in on X-Plane10, and was certainly a huge step forward in realism, but that was also now nearly a decade ago or old, and in areas that the OSM data is not very dense either (China or Russian anyone) it now actually fails the simulator dismally. My wish for the future is for a more modern and detailed world data map, and that aspect will certainly go a long way in recreating the dense world that MSFS does so well. Austin stated which he believes that different thinking drives a different approach, which in turn delivers diverse products that benefit the consumer in choice and features, meaning MSFS and the differences to the X-Plane Simulator, and certainly you have to note his approach is very different from the Microsoft aspect. Those trees will however go a very long way in creating a realistic landscape, MSFS went one further and created grass as well, so I hope that aspect will be also part of the Next Gen simulator, as the idea works extremely well in MSFS. Also is the lighting effects. Laminar have already previewed their (or Ben Supnic's) new new photometric lighting mode and also Austin has noted that a new weather system is also on the cards with a move again away from art based clouds to volumetric clouds... Yes X-Plane already has a sort of "cloud puff ball" system, but this is a full volumetric cloud system, but could also come with realistic winds and hopefully towering clouds. My gut says, in don't be too hopeful on that a new and complete weather system will come with the release of the Next Gen simulator on release. Weather is a complex and very time consuming addition to perfect or get right as many 3rd party developers have already found out, expect this addition as more part of the Next Gen version run, more than a new feature, but Austin went to great lengths to explain his vision in creating realistic and immersive flying, by being a mosquito as a light plane, confronted by huge tower head clouds, violent weather and flying realistically or around such common air-bound dangers, but noted he is actually currently working on dynamic weather transitions... certainly a grand vision worth pursuing, but it won't as noted come overnight. Austin was also highly effused by the new coming drone based aviation era. Drones are not aircraft, but not model flying machines either, but sort of mixed together hybrid to create a completely new type of vehicle that flies... ... so certainly expect these new vehicles and their very different style of flight dynamics to come to X-Plane, and even expect a drone type vehicle or two as part of the release announcement (not the Airbus one shown above, but it would be a great simulation). Austin noted an involvement with a new startup called Beta, who is developing a VTOL electric powered air vehicle that is not a flying car or drone; with capabilities to eliminate the use of fuel and runways, and the ability to drive on roads, which is very Austin Meyer. On aircraft coming in the New Gen, only the announced A330 was noted, and more default aircraft were coming with the release, but no elaboration of what was in the pipeline, but Austin did note they were all very good... Notably Javier Rollon (JRollon) the mainstay aircraft default developer for X-Plane has moved on, or is not this time noted as a developer, but a new developer team has been assembled to do more and better system realistic default aircraft for the simulator, the noted previewed A330 is the first to evolve out of these changes. A story came out of the Webinar about the X-Plane ATC system... I have noted repeatably that a good ATC was (well) overdue for X-Plane, it is certainly a problem child to deliver. Chris Serio has worked on the ATC at Laminar for years (and Chris is no slouch coder), but when he presented his version to the group, it didn't go down very well.... Austin thought he could do better and did his version, and that ATC system went down even worse, so Austin went and hired the "very" best developer in ATC... he is currently working on the earlier Chris Serio ATC version, with additions to bring a realistic ATC to life. Austin's vision is however to do away with the text aspect, and make the ATC much more AI (Artificial Intelligence) realistic, but could the current AI be advanced enough for such a step forward at this time, that will be the interesting answer, but if Laminar can pull it off, then the ATC system could or would be certainly a major drawcard to the Next Gen simulator. An interesting side note was that Philipp Ringler noted that part of the new ATC system includes air traffic areas (zones) and FIR (Flight Information Region) zones, and that would certainly transform international and even local flying in the three tier ATC system. Philipp Ringler also pitched in to note that Laminar are working on a single, and not multi display system. Laminar's thinking is that one well co-ordinated display is far better than many separate ones, as offset settings for each of the three monitors means a lot calibration and each display can be colour co-ordinated. So one massively powerful system of one instance of X-Plane displayed is certainly beneficial on computer rendering and the quality of the images, but pulling all those complex variations together as one, can be very hard to do, interesting though. Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG, or more commonly known as MMO) for X-Plane created a “yes, but no” response from Austin Meyer. Certainly not in the current aspect, but Austin envisioned a future where, when you get online, you get connected to all other copies of X-Plane, regardless whether it’s mobile or desktop, as Austin personally wants to build a virtual world where all X-Plane users, regardless of the X-Plane edition and device, that they can connect and all fly together at the same time. Personally in theory it is a great idea, certainly from a gamers approach, as they like to compete with each other, myself to fly next to or with a gamer approach to simulation fills me with absolute horror, but that is to my own personality traits... Sound or sounds have never really been a top priority for the X-Plane Simulator, But for the South American based Daniella Careri, now Laminar’s main sound engineer that will significantly change in the future Next Gen version, By sounds, Austin mentions not only aircraft, but the surrounding environment too. Austin noted a blank or black screen promo video and only an aural soundscape to showcase Daniela’s work, “sounds are something easy to forget” but Laminar are seriously committed to deliver a stunning sound environment, brought to you by Daniela Careri's genius... can't wait or to hear that one. Other areas in the Webinar were basically noted as "No Comment" for now... Performance and VR (Virtual Reality), performance areas were address earlier, but personally it is an area even Laminar don't currently know until they build a working version of the Next Gen Simulator, even then it would need to refined, especially for VR... but as noted above, if you get the same numbers as you currently do, then it would be a bonus not a negative, but older setups are going to finally be put to rest. For VR, Austin noted that again it was a technology race in that the current addon equipment is still not perfected or advanced enough for it to be really fully accessible (I.e. on it's expensive price). On physical objects crash damage, or buildings and trees, or even other aircraft, “not in my flightplan” as Austin noted and added “I’m here to make a flight simulator, not a crash simulator.”, but he did like the idea of Helicopter rotor blades being damaged. On the question would there be wind, valleys, mountains, terrain effects in clouds, is a point Austin found Interesting, But noted the team hasn't gone down that road that far yet (Which also notes in the light development of the whole weather system at this point of the simulator development). But they are working on it, and noted that when you enter the weather in the UI, the rendering and simulation is being constructed as accurately as possible and currently modeled by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) model, which likely also may not be able to replicate all the current data features. But Austin noted the question for future reference. The final question was "Would there be raindrops on windshields?"... Austin replied that "we don’t want to take away the fun". A final word goes to Philipp Ringler, whom was quite disappointed that question of no one this time mentioning or texting about the map symbols on the default 737 NAV map, he noted gleefully he has finally fixed them... bless. Summary Laminar Research have put out now a few promo videos to promote what the called the "Next Generation X-Plane", and that theme was very strong through out this webinar from the Oshkosh 2021 EAA AirVenture. Finally however we do get an admission that the version (not yet named, noted as currently as "Next Generation") will be after five years of X-Plane11, a new version of the simulator. And that the marketing, titles and even a release date will be announced at the upcoming San Diego, FlightSimExpo on September 24-26, 2021, with hopefully a running version to view. Laminar Research are going in a different route to the MSFS simulator, but that is not a surprise here as Austin Meyer dislikes the photo based, streaming model. In a lot of cases a lot that has been shown is basically the true X-Plane elements. Far more art elements and far more Autogen art... biggest reveal was the excellent Forestry and Fauna video that 3d trees move with the wind and change with the seasons, so that brings the announcement that seasons are coming to X-Plane as well. But there was a bit of distancing of if the actual base textures would be all new or replaced? To be competitive with MSFS that is certainly a major requirement, as the current textures are a now a decade old? Also out is OpenGL and dated or feeble computers, it will be finally time to upgrade if you want to use the Next Gen Simulator and all it's features. ATC is also coming, noted as problematic, Austin has brought in house the best ATC coder there is to finally fix it, notable was the air traffic areas (zones) and FIR (Flight Information Region) zones will be included. Weather is also changing from art based to a volumetric cloud system (it is a sort of hybrid now), but that aspect feels it won't come at the release date but later in an major update, as Austin's ultimate vision was still more a vision than actual reality. The already announced photometric lighting effects will make a huge impact and certainly change the feel of the simulator, and better Daniella Careri created sound elements are also to be included. New types of Hybrid flying Vehicles or Drones (even flying cars if you want) are also coming with their very unique aerodynamic forces to be replicated realistically, that should create a very new flying experience in the simulator, and even expect a few of the hybrid vehicles included in the Next Gen Release. And finally Laminar want a single display model for multiple displays for home built cockpits, but creating such an co-ordinated display and it's difficult calibration, is a challenge to do so. Out of al the elements that Laminar Research have now revealed, you are sort of getting an overall view and feel of what this "Next Generation" of the X-Plane Simulator will be, but my feeling is that for everything already announced, and it was noted a few times in the Webinar, that there is also a lot that has not been said or revealed, for those answers, then the FlightSimExpo in late September will be a final overall revealing of the coming new X-Plane version, and even a move to a controversial subscription monetary model... As usual anything could or will change, but at least we are now moving forward into the new era of the Next Generation of X-Plane Simulation. ___________________________ Analyse by Stephen Dutton 30th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  5. NEWS! - In Beta... First look Felis Boeing 747-200B Classic! This is a brief and first look of the coming Felis Boeing 747-200B Classic that has now started it's beta development phase. Note the aircraft depicted here is a Beta version, things and items can be changed or revised on release, as this post is just an overview of the aircraft in the current beta phase state. The initial surprise is that the aircraft here is that it is an American? Felis Aircraft are usually Russian in context, like his last release of the Tu-154M and AN-24, Yak 40. But there is nothing to doubt this X-Plane developer and his impressive development skills. First impressions of the B742... well very impressive, if even totally brilliant. If you follow X-PlaneReviews you will know I am a Boeing 747 fanatic, but sadly really good and certainly a classic Boeing 747's has not been available in any quality form on the X-Plane Simulator in the past... that aspect has now seriously changed with the coming release of this quality Felis developed aircraft. The tighter 10 window hump signifies the -200 version, and the classic 747 profile. Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7's are also impressively modeled and finely detailed, they all sound pretty great as well... Nose gear and the traditional four gear bogies are excellent in quality and detail, yes it is all very real now... a 747 Classic. The Felis B742B feels the huge heavy it is, feedback on the ground is simply excellent, and a great choice of steering inputs. Sluggish performance (and noise) shows the age of the aircraft, you take ages to get up to speed for rotation... absolutely perfect. Simply stunning in the air... but it's in the feel and feedback that really gets you, so perfectly 747 good. Nothing really prepares you for the complexity provided here in this cockpit... it is absolutely overwhelming. Worse is that everything in here is active, almost every switch and every system panel are all authentic as well (most with a satisfying click and a co-pilot feedback)... Study grade? Certainly, with even far more system depth than FJS Boeing 727 Series, this is the very best authentic system for the era in aircraft I have yet seen in X-Plane of this 70's style aircraft, complex and it certainly requires serious study to fly the machine to it's performance limits... so you WILL require time to learn the systems as in a lot of procedures, as in here it is not just a one button or one switch press, it is all very complicated but also devilishly rewarding to fly. Both the Autopilot and Autothrust are as per the period and are both accessed via mechanical switch gear and systems, there are also the various modes to select and use. Engineers Station is dense... very dense in authentic working systems. Supported are both the Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System. Nicknamed "CIVA" (plugin required) and the standard X-Plane FMC are both provided. Both side Pilot and Engineer station tablets are excellent, includes AviTab, Options, excellent Load& Balance Sheet that you can actually print out!, Load calculator, Payload Settings, Ground settings (JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe is required) and a "fast" load option. Night lighting is also excellent and all is highly adjustable... Cabin is also fully rendered! Main lower deck with three cabins... Economy, Business and that famous pointed nose First, and the bubble upper deck. There is a lot of the feel of the FlyJSim Boeing 727 Series in here, but with far, far more development and with a much more bigger system depth... Currently there is no release date or pricing from Felis, and I am not at this time going to predict either, but certainly a release in August is a certainty... barring any bugs or hiccups. My thoughts are, if you want serious in depth simulation, then again this Felis Boeing 747-200B will certainly deliver in spades and again available only in the X-Plane Simulator... I was expecting good, but what you get here is simply brilliant and complex simulation... on Approach and coming soon! Felis Boeing 747-200B Classic KLM Livery is courtesy of Delta_Who On release the Felis Boeing 747-200B will be available from the ___________________________ News! Profile by Stephen Dutton 27th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  6. NEWS! - Aircraft Announcement : FlyJSim Q4XP (Dash Q400) Coming Soon! FlyJsim have announced that their second total revision of the De Havilland Canada (DHC) DHC-8 Q400 series is on final for release. Their first Q400 for the X-Plane Simulator, now renamed the Q400 Legacy, was finalised over two years ago.. this the complete revisualization of the aircraft called the Q4XP is a masterwork in the wanting for regional propeller aircraft. Make no doubt, we expect a lot from this new development, but I am very sure that FlyJSim can deliver on it's promises... the highlight of course will be the unique and the first for X-Plane, the Universal UNS-1Ew FMC unit, but expect also the depth of systems and cabin details as the FlyJSim 737 - Twin Jet that took features and detail to another level only a few years ago... Details released are listed below; . . . . Let’s start with the outside and work our way inwards. The Q400 Legacy has a reasonably well made exterior model when it was released, however as time has marched on its age has shown through. Working from this, it quickly became apparent that a completely new aircraft was in order. In fact, the only thing we kept in the end is the propellers model. The Q4XP that we will present soon is not a v2, but an entirely new aircraft, rebuilt and redesigned in totality. Briefly, here are some of the most important features in this aircraft: External Details The texturing takes advantage of X-Plane 11’s lighting model, using plenty of 4k texture maps to fill in a lot of details. The propeller and spinner have been retextured, and additionally we have included engine intake covers and prop tie downs for those extended stays. We have modeled the wing details to the extreme, flaps extend and retract, and there is even a jack screw moving if you care to look that close. Also included are inflating de-ice boots and, of course, wingflex. The landing gear has about as much detail modeled as the rest of the exterior, giving it a strikingly sharp look. The tail is included with its million and one rivets, and a shiny APU exhaust port. We have included all the exterior lighting, this includes all your normal lighting, plus the logo light and wing inspection lights. You may open all the doors, main cabin door, L2, R1, R2, and main cargo door. Following the airstair theme from the 732 we have included the airstairs for the rear boarding door, which is optional in real Q400. A ground scene included that reveals the chocks, cones, and other items present when the aircraft is parked on the ramp. Also a GPU will appear for you. 10 liveries will be provided with the default aircraft, they are Air Baltic Air Canada Air Iceland Alaska Austrian Eurowings FlyBe Purple FlyBe White Horizon Porter Qantas WestJet Wideroe We have teamed up with the most talented painters in the community to help bring to you a whole set of liveries to choose from come release time. We have already added over 20 additional liveries that will be available for download on release, with more being worked on every day. Cabin On the Q400 Legacy, the cabin was more of an afterthought than a plan executed. This time we wanted to fully realize it so let's show you what we had executed for the Q4XP. We now have a fully realized cabin interior complete with 78 seats and each overhead bin fully animated. You will note the inclusion of passenger signage over each seat. The main cabin door can be opened from the inside as well as through the menu, with a fancy falling animation. The Flight Attendant control panel allows you to adjust the cabin lighting as well as temperature settings The cabin lighting includes fluorescent panels running along the windows and ceiling. Each cabin shade is adjustable and randomly positioned. The forward cargo bay is included, with entry from inside the cabin or from the exterior. The main cargo bay is fully modeled as well with its massive door. And to top if off, you can forget to put the seat down. Cockpit The place you will spend most of your time is of course the cockpit, and we have given it the attention that it deserves. Just as with the exterior, we built the cockpit from scratch, using the most accurate dimension information available, as well as all our knowledge from previous developments poured in. What came out is a pure work of art; all textures are PBR, much of the surface detail hand crafted by our amazing texture artist. One major change over our previous work is how we implement our animations. You will see fluid movements throughout the cockpit and the rest of the plane. Just about everything and anything that can be animated, was animated. To highlight for you some major features: The cockpit seats are just as detailed as in the original, but this time we added a few things extra, as well as moving arm rests. Each EFIS display operates and is configurable like the real aircraft. We have the real fonts, and a better color palette. Even the correct bevel on the displays has been painstakingly modeled. You will have a jumpseat, along with its own radio panel just in case your invisible friend shows up and wants to tag along. We also saw fit to model the escape hatch, which can be opened up either just slightly, or all the way so you can get out. The Q400 legacy had few lighting options, so this time we included all the lighting options. Everything from dome to storm and pane lighting, to reading lights, to map lights, to ice detection lights, and even breaker lights. We hope we can give you as good of a night flying experience as we have given you in the 732 and 727. Wiper animations used to be the staple of what made a good flight sim product, so of course we had to add them in. They include a three speed switch, and we included the alternate wiper switch which turns on the pilot’s wiper independently of the knob on the overhead. Sometimes we get feedback saying users couldn’t read the placards in the cockpits, due to low resolution. This time we have given each placard a texture just for them, so they are high resolution and readable at all times. Isn't technological advancement amazing! The Breaker panels are modeled with all 360 breakers included, each with readable text. Under the breaker panels are the avionics equipment bays, which house most of the avionics and electrical equipment and are fully modeled. We also include items like the hatchet and fire extinguisher, which are modeled in detail. You will feel right at home here. Systems We believe we have created one of the most detailed cockpits to come to flight sim. What really makes the cockpit and aircraft complete are the systems. We rebuilt the systems from scratch, continuing the high level of systems accuracy you have come to expect from our 727 and 737. Truly, the meat of the Q4XP is here, and we’d love to show it off to you. The first step in modeling any aircraft’s systems correctly is the electrical system, and we have surely taken it to a new level. We have created a system that accounts for each battery, bus, bus connector, transformer, generator, and other electrical components. Each is connected and relays power as they should, and obviously not when they shouldn’t. This takes into account feeders vs distribution busses, and the breakers on them. The result is a system that properly simulates at any time various states the electrical system may be in, nominal or otherwise. Similar in execution and just as important to the foundation of the plane is the hydraulics simulation. This as well was built from the ground up, accounting for all three hydraulic reservoirs, and all 4 hydraulic pumps, plus the PTU. Our hydraulic system faithfully and accurately simulates the Q400s hydraulics. You will also be able to operate the alternate landing gear extension, so get ready to pump. Closely related to the hydraulic system are the flight controls. The Q400 has a hydraulic rudder, elevator, flaps, and spoilers, but the ailerons are good old fashioned cables. Naturally, the entire flight control system is faithfully and accurately modeled in the Q4XP. As a cable system, the ailerons have their own gust lock. Of special note, you will be able to use the pitch and roll disconnect, and the side of the cockpit you are flying from will change which yoke you are using. Everything is working just as you would expect. As a propeller driven aircraft, the Q has its own unique power management settings that may not always translate well to your hardware. To this end, we have created an on screen visualization that appears on the bottom right of the screen to show you the positions of your engine and propeller levers when a control input is made. This will help guide you as the power and prop controls are linear, however, you must get the power lever into just the right spot for the FADEC to take over. We hope you will find this feature very helpful. This was described in more detail in development update #6 The ARCDU radio system that the Q400 uses is fully simulated here with dual and separate interfaces, and all buttons and volume selectors workings, all sub pages and their functions there-in. It really is a neat little radio that stands out as something wholly unique to the Q400. Certainly the most unique and highly visible system in our Q4XP is the FMS, the UNS-1Ew . A significant amount of development time has been spent working to make the most accurate representation of the real unit in the aircraft. Price? The 737 - TwinJet is priced around the US$70, mark, so I would expect the Q4XP to be around the same price point, even at that price for a regional airliner it is great value for what the aircraft will deliver... Release, FlyJSim have mostly always released aircraft mid-to-late August on record, and I think that is the same timetable set out here... so start saving up those pennies right now! All images and feature text are courtesy of FlyJSim FlyJSim are here; Home l FlyJSim On release the FlyJSim Q4XP Dash 8 will be available from the ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 26th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  7. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : X-Crafts updates the E175 and E195 to v2.5 X-Crafts have updated their E-Jets in the E175 and larger E195 to v2.5. The main focus of this update is on Performance optimization, and for users with lower-end machines that are most likely here to notice a performance increase. These two aircraft should not to be confused with the upcoming E-Jet Family aircraft that are now in development at X-Crafts. X-Crafts also note this v2.5 will be the final concluded update for these aircraft in the foreseeable future, to concentrate on the all new E-Jet Family series. And the update also covers the final change over to the full X-Plane Vulkan/Metal support. V2.5 Update notes Converted textures from PNG format to DDS format. This finalizes full Vulkan/Metal compatibility. Cockpit and Fuselage textures now also allow Resolution change. This depends on the "Texture Quality" slider in your X-Plane settings. Fixed a bug where the shadows of the exterior of the plane were not rendered properly in the 3D cockpit view. Included Better Pushback in the package X-Crafts also recommend a full clean download of the aircraft from the X-Plane.OrgStore (not a Skunkcrafts update) for a good installation. Currently the twin E-Jet (E175/E195) package and the single separate variants have a 30% off deal, see details below. All images are courtesy of X-Crafts ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Embraer E175/E195 v2.5 by X-Crafts is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-175 v2.5 Price is US$27.95 (30% OFF) Embraer E-195 v2.5 Price is US$27.95 (30% OFF) The Twin Embraer E-175 and E-195 v2.5 Package is also Currently available for only US$37.95 (30% OFF) Embraer E-175 and E-195 Package Features of both models: NEW: Load Manager NEW: Fully integrated 3D sound system! Accurate dimensions based on drawings and documentation provided by Embraer © Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Custom TEKTON FMS© by Steve Wilson Custom improved pushback plugin with animated tug. A white silhouette will show the final position after the pushback! On-screen checklist plugin Plugin menu for door control, ground objects or GPU Suitable for beginners - Just load and fly within seconds! Great for advanced users -Enjoy the complexity of the Custom FMS! Mouse scroll wheel support (E195) This add-on comes with the NavDataPro dataset by Aerosoft CUSTOM FMS Both the custom and stock FMS are available on the pedestal or as popup panels More details about the TEKTON FMS© below INTERIOR Amazing 3D modeling of cockpit and cabin – now more than ever, I have spent months working on the cabin of the airplane! High resolution textures High resolution Embraer style PFD, MFD, EICAS displays Pop-up screens, pop-up radios and FMS panels MFD with 8 synoptic pages High resolution textures on panels - Text is crisp and clear with any rendering options Intuitive cockpit manipulation - I have always taken great care to make the cockpit as easy to use as possible. This means all clickable areas in the cockpit are very big so that you can easily click on any button, knob or lever in the cockpit Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated Detailed cockpit lighting - All cockpit lights are controllable Cargo area modeled HUD equipped in forward view EXTERIOR 4K High resolution textures (fuselage 10000px/meter squared) Highly detailed landing gears, Flap and speedbrake mechanisms Realistic Wingflex animation Pilots in external view All doors are animated and can be controlled via the plugin menu OTHER FEATURES Compatible with UFMC Awesome exterior night lighting. You can operate any of the following lights: NAV, Strobe, Beacon, Left/Nose/Right landing lights, Side/Nose taxi lights, Inspection lights, Logo lights. All lights including Nav and Strobe lights cast light on the surroundings. Audible Alert System Set of custom sounds TEKTON FMS© Features Custom MCDU Interface SID, ROUTE and STAR waypoint lists are treated as separate editable items Color keyed data presentation Scratchpad data entry Interactive feedback Direct Keyboard Entry (DKE) Procedures Enhanced for V2.x: SIDS and STARS from X-Plane stock or third party custom data New: Altitude constraints for procedures New: Refined procedures leg routing New: More flexible STAR element selection New: Default visual departure and approach New : Edit and reload STAR while enroute while in autopilot Ability to easily edit SIDs, Routes, STARS and the loaded FLT PLAN New AIRWAYS options New Progress Monitoring on two new pages New Performance Flight Planning: New PERF 1 page providing preflight and takeoff data New PERF 2 page allowing route fuel planning New PERF 3 page for approach data New Audible Alert System Additional Features: NEW: Trust Rating Select page (TRS) added to the FMS New FMS reset function New: Simplified manual waypoint altitude entry File Load and Save for ROUTE waypoints New: FLT PLAN page now automatically advances with destination waypoint 8.33mhz tunable radios Comprehensive Status Page Easy to navigate paging system from a master index. The stock X-Plane MCDU is also provided as a backup for less experienced users. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 2.5 (July 22nd 2021) X-Crafts Support Forum : Support forum for the E-195 ______________________________________________________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton  23rd August 2021 Copyright©2021: 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) 
  8. NEWS! - Aircraft Release : Legendary Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT by Ted Cook One of the true first pioneers of passenger aviation was actually built by a car company, it is the legendary Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT. Ford Trimotor (also called the "Tri-Motor", and nicknamed the "Tin Goose") it is an American three-engined transport aircraft. Production started in 1925 by the companies of Henry Ford and ended on June 7, 1933. A total of 199 Ford Trimotors were made. It was designed for the civil aviation market, but also saw service with military units. The 4-AT is the smaller but more powerful of the Tri-Motors as the 5-AT was larger. This package from Ted Cook contains several (three) versions of the 4-AT. The basic 4-AT model comes in both wheel and float versions and includes 11 liveries (Ford, Stout Aerial Tours, Standard Oil, Ford NC1077, Miss Niagara, United Air Transport (Canada), Northern Airways (Yukon), Maddux, Curtiss-Wright, NYRBA (South America), and the Tri-Ford). Making headlines became a Trimotor trademark. On November 27th and 28th, 1929, Commander Richard E. Byrd (navigator), chief pilot Bernt Balchen, and two other crewmen, the copilot and the photographer, made the first flight above the geographic South Pole in a Ford Trimotor that Byrd named the Floyd Bennett. This was one of three aircraft taken on this polar expedition, with the other two being named The Stars and Stripes and The Virginian, replacing the Fokker Trimotors that Byrd had previously used. All models feature: FMOD custom sounds Highly detailed PBR textures A pop-up to control co-pilot functions such as the fuel controls located behind the pilot and for quick readout of engine-mounted gauges The Garmin 430 can be displayed if modern flying is desired POH flight manual The Tri-Motor was powered by three 220-hp (165-kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial piston engines, accommodation for two pilots and 12 passengers. This classic design is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore. Images are courtesy of Ted Cook Productions _____________________________________ Yes! - Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT by Ted Cook Productions is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT Price is Currently US$19.95 (You Save:$6.00(23%) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1.0 (July 20th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 23rd July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  9. NEWS! - Scenery Releases : Boundless releases EGPB Cotswold - EGHH Bournemouth - EGNV - Teesside Airports For regional airports around the United Kingdom, then now available at the X-Plane.OrgStore there is the choice of three new locations by Boundlesss Simulations. EGNV - Teesside Airport Located in the North East of England, Teesside is an important hub for the area. Airlines including KLM, Loganair, TUI, Eastern and Ryanair fly a range of domestic and international routes from the airport. As well as the standard airline traffic, Teesside is also a base for Draken Europe, who operate their fleet of Falcon 20 aircraft from the airport. The airport has also handled military traffic, as well as visits from Air Force One. EGHH Bournemouth Bournemouth Airport is yet another interesting and diverse UK location. Originally opened as an RAF base in the 1940s, it was transferred to civilian control and briefly served as London's International Airport and was also major aircraft manufacturing facility in WW2. In more recent times, the airport has expanded into low cost passenger operations and is frequently visited by both TUI and Ryanair who operate to various short and medium haul destinations. EGPB Cotswold Cotswold Airport (Kemble) is known primarily as the base of ASI (Air Salvage International) who handle the decommissioning and scrapping of various airliners - most notably the famous Boeing 747. This gives Cotswold Airport the unusual position of being home to both GA aircraft, as well as some of the world's largest airliners. All three of these sceneries in EGNV, EGHH and EGPB are all priced at US$18.95 All images are courtesy of Boundless Simulations ___________________________ EGNV - Boundless - Teesside Airport Price is US$18.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 430 MB Current version: 1.0 (July 20th 2021) ___________________________ EGHH - Boundless - Bournemouth Airport Price is US$18.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current version: 1.0 (July 20th 2021) ___________________________ EGBP - Boundless - Cotswold Airport Price is US$18.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 570 MB Current version: 1.0 (July 20th 2021) News by Stephen Dutton 21st July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  10. Classic Aircraft Review : Let L-200D Morava by PWDT&NHAdrian Lots of time you wander around an airfield or museum and you see an aircraft... It sorta looks familiar, but at the same time it doesn't look like anything you know about all the certain types of aircraft, it is an oddity and In most cases it is usually an Eastern-Bloc or Russian in design. The Ruskies had looked at a western aircraft design, took the basics and then built it into their own design paradigm. So the design looks the same but in reality it is a copy of the real thing. Some Eastern-Bloc designers take another angle, as they look at current aircraft designs and mesh them together to create a sort of hybrid aircraft, and one that looks like one aircraft design but is in reality many aircraft in cohesion, again it is an oddity. So your first view of the Let L-200D Morava reminds you of all of these sort of elements at work... It certainly does not look like a western design, and areas like the spread twin-tail arrangement, there is even a bit of World War Two look about it or even an early Lockheed aircraft. But the lovely smooth shaped cabin is from another era, the jet aircraft era... Twin-engined, tri-cycle landing gear, and large wing-tip fuel tanks, lovely machine, but it all looks a bit odd with all these different elements at play. The Let L-200 Morava is a retractable four seat light twin, that was one of the few light aircraft to be exported to the west from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War era, albeit in small numbers. Ladislav Smrek of the Czechoslovakian State Aircraft Factory (Let) designed the L-200 in the mid 1950s to develop a replacement for the very successful early postwar vintage Aero 45 and 145 light twins. His resulting design is similar in many ways to its contemporary western twins, with a four or five seater cabin, a low wing, wingtip tanks, metal construction and retractable undercarriage. However the Morava is highly distinguishable by its twin tails, standard thermal wing deicing equipment and inverted inline engines. This excellent Let L-200 Morava aircraft for the X-Plane Simulator is by developers Pannon Wings Design Team (PWDT) and NH Adrian, in having already developed a Zlin Z-142, a Yak 18T, also done a C152 Mod and also created the ASK21 in freeware, their latest is probably their most ambitious project yet with the iconic Let L-200D Morava which is their first payware aircraft. First impressions count a lot, the look and feel of the aircraft (certainly a vintage or classic aircraft) can set the tone not only for the way you like the aircraft but how it also comes through in the review... In this case it is exceptional, not totally perfect as nothing ever is, but you know there has been a lot of love and time spent on creating and bringing this particular machine to life. Realism is the key... I know, the two words I write consistently in reviews are usually "realism" and "authentic", sometimes these comments are even overused, but that is ultimate goal we are all aiming for, in that real world look and authenticity. We will take the excellent canvas cover off and look at the aircraft under it. Lovely cabin shape isn't it, there is some great modeling work here, and look at those unusual blue side windows, and yes they are real, and I am showing my age in remembering them. The intricate work is a nice feast on the eyes everywhere you look as there is some great detailed elements... Overall many designs can look very good, but the differential in the higher quality stakes goes into the intimate details, any developer can do a nice fuselage and wings, but it is in the details that really count. Detailed instances around the engines are quite spectacular, note the propeller installation with detailed filament, noted highly shaped engine inlet(s) and excellent detailed exhaust with securing circlip... ... propellers are fully animated in pitch and feather modes, panel screws are nice work, with slight wear rust. Aileron control rods are also animated and are beautifully recreated. All the wing construction is perfectly realised, gaps between the panels and perfect rows of rivets to hold them all in place, you totally feel this aircraft and not just look at the details. Aerodynamic wingtip tanks are also beautiful to the eyes, note the detailed lower drain panel, excellent modeling. As a throwback to another era, those twin-tails are simply gorgeous, with its built in fine lateral trim tabs and left horizontal trim tab on that wide elevator. All mapping is excellent to bring out the surfaces and the strengthening ribbing down and around the fuselage, lovely stuff to feast on. I really love the shape of this cabin, so teardrop and even 50's jet in shape and design... Intimate design is very evident, with lovely handholds and the flush door latch.. that actually works. Highly visual is the inserted left screen access window (yes it opens as well). Single (left) wiper and right side gauge are again highly visible, GA 35 GPS Antenna for the Garmin avionics is also very authentic, and again beautifully done. All the cockpit glass is excellent, thick and reflective... there is also a glass feature that builds up dirt and bugs on the screen, from clear to dirty (adjustable) The flies and dirt also collects on the engine intakes and the wings leading edges. There is another detailed "King" antenna on the lower fuselage, and the tail skid and higher rear wing brackets are all again excellent detail. The main trailing link landing gear sits (very) very close to the ground underside of each of the engine pods, so it is quite hard to see them, but the link and strut detail is again first rate, worn and and very realistic, the correct era tyres are also very, very good, inside gear bay door looks modeled, but it is an image, but a very good and realistic one at that... .... the gear highlight is that extraordinary single nose wheel structure and assembly, incredibly realistic and expertly recreated, yes it is worth a few moments of your attention to take in all the excellent work done here. Nose wheel tyre is unusual in that it has a concave tread structure. There is so much detail to absorb on this aircraft, fair and good kudos to the developers on their attention to absolute detail. Before for we inspect the cabin, lets see the features presented externally. Only a few of these features are accessed by the menu, as most of the items (or actions) are accessed directly by touch, but notably only from the internal view and not from the external view, so if you want a closer look you have to move internally to the external view manually.... Touch the rear mains tyres for wheel chocks (very nice) and the pitot left wing for a pitot cover... touching the rear right side engine will give you a Battery pack ground power unit. The most exciting feature is in touching the engine panels... they open to reveal an extremely detailed Walter M337 (Avia M 337) air-cooled six-cylinder straight engine of 160 kW (210 hp) each. Opening the engine cowls will also make a beta work trolley and cones appear.... sensational work, no doubt. Another access point are the fuel tanks... Open the tank flap on the wing (each wing) and turn off the fuel cap, and it springs up to reveal a fuel gauge. You can set the amount of fuel you want into each tank by moving a pair of arrows up or down the gauge (There is the choice of Imperial or Metric quantities), the same can be done on each of the wing tanks and the cap (filler), the detail is again extraordinary. More features include a propeller spinner (required to start the engines)... touch the prop and it will turn (cold turn) to remove the accumulated oil known as "Hydrolock" or hydraulic lock, you have to turn each prop 10 times, it can be done via the pilot's seat. You can also move the aircraft around engines off on the ground... select the puller via touching the nosewheel, then move the aircraft via moving your mouse in the direction you want to go. Both cabin doors can be opened by the external latches or internal door levers... The extremely realistic cabin cover is toggled via the second screw on the inner door (that was not mentioned in the manual, and yes I lost a precious whole 15 minutes of my valuable life looking for the damn hot spot!) First view of the cabin shows the aircraft's age, it has a sort of Carenado heavy detailed heavy feel about the space, the same sort of materials and details, but done very well here... A nice blue and tan trim is expertly done, with great seat patterns and lovely well shaped seats, with a sort of huge lounge room couch for the rear, the seatbelt detail is also expertly and casually done... The main switchgear is mounted on the roof, with two headsets for both the pilot and co-pilot. It is the feel of the space that is interesting to convey here, great authenticity to the eastern-bloc feel but also to the western influences injected in there... two worlds in one, that it works so well in feel is a credit to the developers and their extreme focus on the detailing. The quality of the era fittings is really outstanding, like mentioned you don't just look at the items but feel the era around you, it must be amazing in VR. Pressing/selecting the map in the left door lower pocket will bring up the X-Plane Local Map. Menu The menu book is positioned under the instrument panel on the left side... hard to again find and only noted as the "setup-sheet" in the manual... it pops up VR-Virtual Reality style in front of you to the right. Left page is your setup (options) and on the right side is the checklist... Top left is the "Aircraft Properties", with Fuel "Metric" or "Imperial", AviTab, Instrument reflections, Static Elements (chocks and pitot cover), then the interesting "Dirtyness" slider. You get dirty speckles on the windscreen and the leading wing edges, very nice, but I expected more "Dirtyness" dirty than this to be honest? but still a nice to have feature. Then a choice of Cockpit Language with; Hungarian, English and Czech available (changes text details). Here is English and Czech. Like the non-direction of the aircraft canvas cover hot-spot... the menu has another quirk as well? There are the Master Volume and Field of View sliders, but they appear blank with no adjustment knobs? As is also the lower small Weight & Balance setup sliders... top includes Pilot, Co-Pilot, and a Passenger (child)... finally is baggage weight and all of these sliders are blanked out as well? The trick is to select the Pilot, tickbox... then all the sliders appear for use. A great feature to close up the aircraft to allow the aircraft to be nicely completely empty and parked up, but annoying as well if you don't how it works? (and no it is not mentioned in the manual... again). Selecting the Pilots and passenger puts very nicely created people in the aircraft, the Co-Pilot is animated as is the girl in the rear seat... ... weights of each are shown with two bags put in the baggage locker rear left side... again the hot-spot can be hard to find to open the locker door (Baggage weight is restricted if you have a passenger in the rear selected). Finally are the fuel tanks were you can set (as well as the external way) the fuel quantities of the inner and wingtip tanks, full capacity is 103 Gal (389 lt). The CG (Centre of Gravity) is shown (MAC), and the total weight (Gross) of the aircraft loaded. Left side is a basic but an easy to use checklist. Instrument Panel The instrument panel is not the most ergonomic layout for the ease of use, but then what was 60 years ago... The main upper panel is generally well laid out, but the lower area resembles a WW2 era twin-engined bomber layout with all the multiple levers. The really nice styled yokes are again beautifully rendered and feel authentic to the era, and both (not individually) can be hidden by pressing the centre button brings up the X-Plane ATC panel! Sitting left in front of the panel there a bit of claustrophobia with the very large LUN 1222 Whiskey Compass jutting out above the panel, and the restricting view of the access window (again the internal access window detailing and animation is excellent). The panel is mostly flying instruments left and aircraft operating dials and gauges right, there are no flying instruments for the Co-Pilot... except an odd altitude dial. Dead centre in front of the Pilot is an LUN 1202 Artificial Horizon (noted incorrectly in the manual as a Attitude Indicator?) It has two knobs for (left) an horizon marker of which can be adjusted, and right a Cage knob noted A and brings up a red flag A in the instrument. Also note the Sky and Ground colours are reversed here or upside down on the AH. Below is the Bendix-King KL-525A HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator), the HSI has a built-in ILS indicator, but to note as it is a guide only, as there is no Autopilot or APP function on the aircraft. To the left of AH is a Variometer or Vertical Speed indicator, far left is a Airspeed indicator in both metric and Imperial speeds, still on the far left lower is an Altimeter (ft), and to it's right is a LUN 1213-8 Slip indicator. Right of the centre is top a Bendix-King KI203 Course Deviation Indicator (CDI). Below the CDI is a Bendix-King KI 229 ADF pointer, and that pretty well covers the main flight instruments. Top of the panel is a LUN 1694 landing gear indicator (very nice) and next to it is a Bendix-King KDI-574 DME panel, then a LUN 1685 Flap Indicator dial 0º-15º-30º degree settings, but the flap setting is actually variable... Two more instruments make up the rest of the left side panel with top right a really lovely ACS-Stopwatch (timer) and clock, and it is fully workable, and below LUN 1315 RPM Twin-engine indicator. Centre panel lower is the standard Garmin GNS 430 GPS unit. The RealityXP GNS430 v2 is also supported in the same slot if you have that payware addon. Right side of the instrument panel covers the aircraft's systems in gauges and dials. Starting top is a LUN 2741 Volt/Amper indicator, then a row of four gauges covers (LtoR); a MV 18M Manifold Pressure gauge (both engines), then a LUN 1394 Cylinder Head Temperature gauges unit, then a Fuel Quantity left side (inner-top and wingtip-lower), and finally the same Fuel Quantity setup on the right side. Lower row is the both left the engines parameters in Temperatures ºC and Pressure. Right two gauges cover left the (Engine) Heating ºC temps and far right is another Altimeter, but oddly in km. I do like the layout, but you need to study it to know which gauge is which, in that most detailed text is in Czech. The lower left panel is a busy place. First to note the way that the button switches work in here, larger bottom button is the activate button, and the smaller button above it then deactivates the button by clicking it out again, yes I have used this style of switchgear, but again showing my age, but the system is really well done here for authenticity. Far left are the two ignition switches (buttons), then a standard Bendix-King KMA 24 Audio panel, and below is a Bendix-King KX-155 radio (NAV2/VOR2). Next centre is a really nice authentic Landing Gear and Flap lever panel and below is a six pack of switch buttons... A note currently on the six-pack buttons, as they are set the WRONG way around? OUT for active and IN for off, very confusing? They will be fixed in the first update. Next is the Feather/Propeller indicator (green light is feathered). Two dials now cover; MA-100 Hydraulic Pressure top and the MG-60 Brake Pressure bottom, note the nice three diamond warning lights for the left and right Generators. The left lower panel is more simple, with centre top a Bendix-King KT 76A Transponder, and below a Bendix-King KR 87TSO ADF receiver, there are a few circuit breakers (fuses) far right but they are not active. The monster mash of levers on the centre console can be at first a bit confusing, but in reality it is simply to operate. Blue levers are the two Propeller (Prop) levers (LandR), and the tall black ones are the twin throttle levers, and the right twin light tan levers are the Mixture levers. The outer red levers are the Fuel selection and closed valves levers, the rest are engine cooling and air vent levers. Between the front seats is another collection of levers and knobs... dominating is the large Hydraulic pump lever, then the Parking Brake lever and Emergency Release lever for the landing gear and flaps. Rear right is the propeller de-ice regulator knob with the rudder trim on the left, forward is the lovely Elevator Trim wheel with the amazing green trim diamond lights for noting the neutral position... rear are left and right engine fire extinguisher levers. There are two headsets hanging from the overhead switchgear panel. One is clickable to dilute the sounds, the other moves to the Co-Pilot when he is selected.... The switches are really well modeled and are nice to use, top row covers cockpit and external lighting, comm and XPDR (Transponder) and De-Icing. Centre row are the engine switches and the bottom row are the main electrical switches. Forward are two dropdown instrument panel lights. The AviTab Plugin is available in Morava. It is installed very nicely on the centre of the left Yoke, handy and easily used, and a bit of modernity in a classic aircraft. Flying the Let 200D Morava The Morava is basically a ritual aircraft, as you have to do certain procedures repeatably to get the aircraft into the air and keep it there. First is the interesting hydraulic pressure system.. it is manual. To do even simple things like setting the parking brake or using the landing gear, then you have to build up hydraulic pressure in the lines. This is done via the lever between the seats, and the pressure is shown on the lower mid-panel gauge. First you have to set the parking brake lever to "Parking" or the centre position (if not the hydraulic pressure in the system won't work, then click the centre handle to pump up the pressure as shown on the centre lower gauge... You will need to pump above the 40 kgs/sm2 line and then switch the packing brake lever to "Fixed" (or Park) to contain the pressure in the system... ... if not the hydraulic pressure will fall back to zero, if correct it should hold the hydraulic pressure at the 40 kgs/sm2 point, easy... no. Next is starting the twin Walter M337's. Setting the levers correctly is important, and note the turn bar (arrowed below left) on the Prop levers, so you can't feather the props by mistake, a nice touch. Turn the prop x 10, which can be done via the internal view, then prime the pumps (turn them on) and hit the the starter... The M337's are not the easiest engines to start, but finally the engine will blaze into life... then start the procedure all over again to start engine 2. Although the manual is very nicely detailed, it is a bit lukewarm as well... aircraft like this Let need very detailed instructions on how to do these complex procedures correctly, some bits are there, but a lot of the needed required detail here is seriously missing? which can be very frustrating if you are new to the aircraft. Once the engines are running, you need to wait while the fluids hot up and the systems settle down, but the Let L-200D feels extremely Alive, it is an excellent place to be in control in here. Note the red diamond warning lights for the generators (arrowed above), they will stay on until the engines get more power. Sounds are excellent, the external engine noise is extremely high compared to the internal, but note if you have the pilot's headset hung up on it's bracket, if not it is almost impossible to hear the internal sounds... by default the headset is on the pilot's head! There is a really low vibration grunt from these gutsy engines, and they sound brilliantly from the pilot's seat. A bit of throttle and the L-200D will pull away with a nice weighty feel. Taxiing is slightly tricky as the protruding front nosewheel will weave around quite easily, the trick is to keep your taxi speed low and steady... god I really love those mechanical piston throbbing engine sounds Like most things you can set the flap postion anywhere you want it, but it is a bit of a trick to do so, in one click down and a quick click up again to hold the degree position you want, here I have set a 9º flap. If you want to again use the parking brake, yes you have to pump up the pressure and click the parking brake lever twice just to hold your position. Throttles up and your moving... it is best to give far, far more throttle to the right engine than the left to keep the L-200D in a straight line down the centre of the runway and avoid the massive asymmetrical thrust to the left... it can be seen here on the RPM gauge (both indicators are on the same dial), however you can easily find the right RPM feel to go straight. Takeoff sounds are fantastic... noisy ground vibrations, wind and high engine sounds create a cacophony of realism, then around 90 knts you can pull back on the yoke and leave the runway, quickly pushing up the left throttle to match out the right for more thrust. Can something as simple as putting up the gear become a massive headache... well in my early case yes? The Let uses the same systems as most Eastern-Bloc aircraft in that engine pumps keep the pressure solid in the lines to operate the gear and the flaps, so when you use one system or the other you have to seal the valves again by putting the lever back mid-way to the centre, easy yes... no The problem can be caused by your angle of view... what is the actual centre point for the levers? The left image below looks like the levers are correct and centred, but the valve centre right (arrowed) is actually open... So the levers look in the down position, even if they are actually centred as there are no centering markings on the panel, however set here the valve is now closed. A trick is to use the set gear (toggle) G command to centre the gear handle, the flaps can be centred by using the opposite selection to reset the lever (meaning if you switch down the flaps, then switch up directly again to centre, and vise-versa via key commands). The rate of climb is 6.4 m/s (1,260 ft/min), and so climbing around 1,000 ft/min is about perfect. The Morava is simply a sensational aircraft to fly... but you will need your expert flying skills in setting up the aircraft trims perfectly, as once leveled out you need to find that sweet central balance between both the pitch and rudder trims to set the aircraft up naturally, it needs to be perfect as there is no autopilot to take over the reins. So the trick is to find that perfect neutral balance and use your yoke for just the minor corrections to keep a straight flight line, this is essential over a long distance, if not the L-200D will tire you out with it's consistent corrections to both the rudder and the yoke.... basic flying stuff, but really essential here. Maximum speed of the Let is 290 km/h (180 mph, 160 kn) at sea level, Cruise speed is around 256 km/h (159 mph, 138 kn) at 2,500 m (8,200 ft) (known as econ cruise), the Range is a respectable 1,710 km (1,060 mi, 920 nmi) and the Service ceiling: 5,700 m (18,700 ft) Up to now the sounds have been exemplary, but in a stable cruise... you only get an odd rushing wind noise in the cockpit? (the pilot's headset is hung up on the bracket, so it is not the hiding any of those sounds?) to be honest it is really annoying in that it disconnects you from the aircraft, from the reality and no engine noises... and I don't like it at all? On trying the gear lever (down) and the gear extended, I was not going to throw a gift landing away, so I turned straight around and headed back to Bristol Airport, I also put on full flap to slow the speed and headed straight for Rwy 27... The L-200D will easily fly very nicely at around 80 knts full 30º flap (note the variable adjustment). The double twin-rudders and the huge whale tail of elevator gives the L-200D a tail control feel, you love the flying and amazing control you have over the aircraft, and even a strong cross-wind can be controlled and focused more here, as any other aircraft would be crabbing far more right in this stiff breeze. 70 knts is your descending approach speed, throttle control is excellent in height and descent adjustment, but to note the X-Plane "Experimental flight model" has to be OFF here. Gradually reduce the throttle, but be careful not to pitch the nose too high... speed is critical on approach, come in too fast and the Morava will weave when down, but fly in too slow and you get a nasty nose up approach, so you have to find that small sweet spot in the middle and closer to the 65 knt mark... ... down and speed rubs off nicely, but you will need to get the power down quickly and evenly. There is no doubt about the exceptional feel of this aircraft, every limb is working to feel the controls and fly the aircraft the best way possible, and the feedback is excellent, one thing the developers really got right here was the feel and control of the aircraft... it is quite outstanding in that respect. oh... and the internal engine sounds came back on approach? Lighting Like the aircraft the lighting is quirky? The main panel lighting is great, but the main flying instruments are actually completely dark... very odd? for as old Russian instruments have illuminescence paint that glows in the dark, but only lighting the actual needles and not the whole dials... so it is authentic but very hard to read in the dark. There are however two above vivid bright red drop down spot-lights, but they overwhelm the instrument panel so completely it would be hard to fly the aircraft in this state, but this what you have to use on approach if you want to read the main flying instruments?... In the rear there is a single overhead light. External lighting has an upper landing light in the nose globe housing, and a lower strut light that shines through the undercarriage front panel... very nice. The rest are the standard navigation lights and a beacon under the cabin and set to the left. Liveries There are four liveries and blank white. All are very good, but you feel there should be a couple more at least. G-ARYJ is default. Summary The Let L-200D Morava was one of the few light aircraft to be exported to the west from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War era, albeit in small numbers and was built in the Czechoslovakian State Aircraft Factory LET in the late 60's. The L-200D is a Twin-Engined four or five seater cabin aircraft, in a low wing with wingtip tanks complete with a metal construction and retractable undercarriage. However the Morava is highly distinguishable by its twin tail configuration. The developers are the Pannon Wings Design Team (PWDT) and NH Adrian, in having both parties already developed a Zlin Z-142, a Yak 18T, also done a C152 Mod and also created the ASK21 in freeware, so they are Eastern-Bloc aircraft specialists, this is their first payware. The quality and detail in the L-200D is extraordinary, it is no doubt a labour of love attention to detail of the era. Quirky sums it up in the way the aircraft is and also in the way you access and fly the machine. Modeling is excellent, with great detailing and attention to even the smallest details, it feels and it is a vintage aircraft, but in a modern sense as well, if that makes sense. Features are outstanding, but again all are very much hands on to activate. Opening doors and baggage locker, opening engine cowls with detailed Walter M337 (Avia M 337) engines, Beta trolleys, opening fuel caps and fuel settings, turning propellers, push/pull bar, opening access window and a lovely cover over it all. Internally it is simply gorgeous in an Eastern-Bloc 60's way, lovely trimmed cabin, with authentic LUN instruments that can be noted in either Hungarian, English or Czech, dirty windscreens and wings, Pilot, Co-Pilot and passenger with all fuel and passenger weights adjustable, and a nice if brief checklist. Both Avitab and RealityXP GNS430 v2 are also suppported. Sounds are very, very good, but notably in cruise, were they switch and just become some weird wind noises, and some switchgear is currently set the wrong way around (confusing if you don't know). Undercarriage can be troublesome if you don't know how it works and can stop working altogether if the lever settings are wrong, the Russian/Czech detail is very good, but can be also confusing until you work out the quirky methods, and that can in many ways sum up the aircraft... the Let certainly needs time and attention to understand it's quirks and oddities. The manual although very authentic, is just a bit too light for the require details wanted here in the complex systems and the ways of the machine, it needs far more explaining and more diagrams to help out the new and inexperienced on these sort of exotic aircraft (even I struggled as an expert reviewer). To sum up, exceptional! Yes there are a few real oddities to be refined, and also even a few bugs in there to be rectified, but there is no doubt of the quality and authenticity of this amazing machine in the X-Plane Simulator. The developers have done a very decent and though job, even a bit too though in some aspects. The price of this aircraft is also a major bonus, US$25.99 is a shockingly low price for the detail and quality of an aircraft you get here.. but overall it is in the sheer involvement that you get in every aspect with this aircraft, is why I love it so much and in the authenticity it delivers, just watch out for it's odd quirks, and you will love it as well.... Highly Recommended! ___________________ Yes! the Let L-200D Morava by PWDT&NHAdrian is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Let L-200D Morava Price is US$25.99 Amazing Details Full PBR materials in 4K resolution Blank livery for talented painters Amazing Night Illumination with dynamic lighting system. Incredible amount of detail on internal and external model Lot of custom animations Accurate flight dynamics tested by real L-200 pilots and instructors Accurate system modelling Incredible VFR sensations Virtual Reality (VR) compatibility 4 Liveries Custom FMOD Sounds Immersive Virtual Cockpit Seats (pilot / copilot / passenger) are modeled Use of manipulators throughout Easy to read high quality panel AviTab support RealityXP GNS430 v2 support Full 3D instruments with real 3D lights All switches, arms, levers, knobs are functional 3 different cockpit language (English / Hungarian / Czech) Checklists Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1GB Current and Review version: 1.0 (July 13th 2021) The AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft RealityXP GNS430 v2 install available Installation and documents: Download is exactly 1Gb. Installation size in your Aircraft folder is 1.6Gb. Documents A very pretty and authentic manual, but not much on real detail considering the unusual systems installed on the L-200D (13 Pages) Readme_PWDTL200DXPL Design by Pannon Wings Design Team and NH Adrian (authors of the top-rated freeware Z Lin Z-142) Support forum for the L-200D _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGGD - Bristol International Definitive by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.95 (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  11. I believe that users should talk to the very available developers before shouting to the masses... I am very sure they will address your concerns, sometimes it is not the product that is the problem...
  12. NEWS! - Aircraft Release : Let L-200D Morava by Pannon Wings Design Team (PWDT) and NH Adrian Let, sounds Eastern Bloc doesn't it, and it is. Aircraft Industries, a.s., operating as LET, n.p., is a Czech (formerly Czechoslovak) civil aircraft manufacturer and its most successful design has been the L-410 Turbolet. Formally LET initially built gliders, but moved into full aircraft production with the LET Aero Ae-45, a teardrop shaped machine that sold very well. Now released is the LET L-200D Morava, which was produced between 1957 and 1963, it was a two-engine touring, twin-tail and light passenger aircraft designed and produced by Let Kunovice and the first pure LET aircraft, for the period the L-200D was simply an revolutionary aircraft in design and performance. The developers are not actually new, as Pannon Wings Design Team (PWDT) and NH Adrian having already developed a Zlin Z-142, a Yak 18T, also done a C152 Mod and also created the ASK21, their latest is probably their most ambitious project yet with the iconic Let L-200D Morava. Features Full PBR materials in 4K resolution Blank livery for talented painters Amazing Night Illumination with dynamic lighting system. Incredible amount of detail on internal and external model Lot of custom animations Accurate flight dynamics tested by real L-200 pilots and instructors Accurate system modelling Incredible VFR sensations Virtual Reality (VR) compatibility 4 Liveries Custom FMOD Sounds Immersive Virtual Cockpit Seats (pilot / copilot / passenger) are modeled Use of manipulators throughout Easy to read high quality panel AviTab support RealityXP GNS430 v2 support Full 3D instruments with real 3D lights All switches, arms, levers, knobs are functional 3 different cockpit language (English / Hungarian / Czech) Checklists The Let L-200 Morava is a retractable landing gear four seat light twin which was one of the few light aircraft to be exported from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War era, albeit in small numbers. The Morava is distinguishable by its twin tails, standard thermal wing deicing equipment and inverted inline engines. The prototype XL-200 Morava flew for the first time on April 8 1957. The XL-200 prototype and a series of preproduction. L-200s were powered by 120kW (160hp) Walter Minor 6-III inline sixes. The L-200D remained in production until 1969, and 5 aircraft were licence built in Slovenia (then part of Yugoslavia) by Libis. Most L-200 production aircraft was sold to customers within the Soviet Bloc - Aeroflot for example operated a large number in a range of different roles. However small numbers were exported to western Europe, the USA and Australia. Please be aware, Morava is a multi engine aircraft without autopilot, so not an easy-to-fly aircraft! Always use appropriate checklists when you fly. The Let L-200 Morava is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore There is a Support forum for the L-200D Images are courtesy of Pannon Wings Design Team and NH Adrian _____________________________________ Yes! - Let L-200D Morava by Pannon Wings Design Team (PWDT) and NH Adrian is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Let L-200D Morava Price is US$25.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1GB Current version: 1.0 (July 13th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 14th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  13. NEWS! - Scenery Release : KLGA – La Guardia International Airport 2023 by FeelThere La Gardia airport, New York is one of the most iconic airports in the world, it is also the most dangerous with it's complex approaches and short runways. But overall it was really an old airport, a 1940's 50s design in a modern world (it was originally opened in October 15, 1939), as the issues of totally outdated facilities required a change on a massive scale. So the New York Port Authority finally decided to do a full redesign of La Gardia for the 2020's, and that meant removing almost everything of the old terminals and rebuilding a completely new modern facility, which is mostly to be finished in 2023, and finally in 2025. So here is a new release of the coming La Gardia 2020 vision for the X-Plane Simulator, but not the first scenery of the conversion as AirportTech released a La Gardia 2020 way back in 2016. It was at the time very good but a bit soul-less as well, and after the iconic master of the original La Gardia, I don't think it gave out any feel of the new world. This new version of LGA, has also an odd birth from newcomers FeelThere. The original release video actually had the stock X-Plane Global Airport active instead of the custom scenery... a real "what the" moment, then the X-Plane.OrgStore had no preview images either? all very unprofessional for a pro custom product. Now everything has been fixed, but plus also the scenery comes with now an almost embarrassing low price of US$9.95, or is that a misprint on the original US19.95? Anyway you do get a great scenery for a low, low price... Features High detail models Detailed satellite imagery surrounding the airport Auto gate animated jetways (free SAM plugin required) Highly detailed textures with reflections and night lighting 3D grass 4K asphalt and concrete ground textures that cover the entire airport Another point is that currently the Feelthere LGA is Windows only at this time, and is not compatible with Mac or Linux platforms, which is because the scenery uses an .exe installer to install the scenery. A quick view of the FeelThere LGA, is that it is very good, certainly for the low price... Images are courtesy of FeelThere ___________________________ Yes! KLGA – La Guardia International Airport 2023 by Feelthere is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KLGA – La Guardia International Airport 2023 Price is US$9.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 1.8 GB Current version : 1.0 (July 12th 2021) Windows only at this time - NOT Compatible with Mac or Linux ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 13th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  14. Scenery Review : LTFM - Airport Istanbul XP by Aerosoft To understand the importance and the major relocation of Istanbul's major airport from the former Atatürk Airport to the newer mega airport at Arnavutköy, is to look at not only the major updating of the facilities and the use of the more airport and runway space than with the overcrowded older ISL. As the new development is much more in a strategic positioning and a significant major change of the world's routing to capture a bigger, if not the biggest world passenger traveling market. East to West and vice-versa and to ultimately accommodate 200 million passengers a year traffic at a cost of €7 billion. That is a lot of money even for an airport, so let us understand why the Turkish Government are so willing to invest in such an extravagant project. Well it is for a purely strategic reason, but one even important for X-Plane users if you do a lot of medium to very long haul routes. The story really goes back to Qantas and British Airways, or the very lucrative "Kangaroo Route". These were a set of hops from the United Kingdom to Australia, and even to the other colonial routes such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. It was basically all two-way traffic for decades, but this was also an age through the 70's and 80's when the other Asian ports were not quite as developed as they are today. The Arab States were the first to want to change the olde world order, the idea was for the UAE and surrounding Emirates, with a focus on Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in that to be future major global hubs between the now growing if huge Asian markets and connecting them through to the African and European markets. The idea was to fly say from Asia to Abu Dhabi/Dubai, then reconnect onto an African or European hub, and in so bypassing the nasty reverse routes that were built in solidly by the Kangaroo Route hub into London. These older routes required backtracking, if say you wanted to fly to Rome... a route from say Seoul to Rome would be now Seoul-Dubai-Rome and not the old sectioned route of Seoul-Singapore-London-Rome, that routing added in not only a lot of extra mileage but also the longer time traveling, but also in a wasted flying distance as well. So the Emirates built mega hubs, but they also made one fundamental mistake in their planning... they made the transition from one flight to the next extremely expensive in and around their hubs as to recoup their huge expenditure, plus the serious heat of the deserts. These aspects just turned passengers off in droves of these Middle Eastern hubbed routes. But the basic idea of connecting the west directly to the newly growing east was correct. The biggest growing area of aviation at the moment is in the empty space between Europe and Asia, and spreading one of the borders of these two continents is literally Turkey, and its hub at Istanbul. This strategic position of Istanbul totally changes the game, certainly with economic reasons for airlines. With the UAE hubs you will always required a large twin-aisle aircraft to fly in and out on each section from the Middle East, so the UAE is dominated by B777s, B787s, A350s and of course the huge fleet of Emirati A380 aircraft. But Istanbul's position changes the game a little in that any of the European hubs can instead use a single-aisle (even better the newer long range XLs) from any European/Eastern Europe capital straight into Istanbul and then use the medium wide-bodies to go the rest of the way to Asia, again in reverse in that a wide-body from Asia and then a single-aisle aircraft to cover the mass of segments directly to really any airport in Europe and fly even as low as North Africa and as high as Scandinavia. The game plan is quite perfect, certainly if like me you are traveling say to Budapest from Australia, or even directly to Rome, as it would be only one stop and direct all the way. IST will be the hub of hubs in the centre of the routing world universe... and that is why they spent their €7 billion So to a point this LTFM Airport Istanbul XP scenery is important to X-Plane if you are into serious routing, as IST will give you loads of options, either if you want your jollies from a short European sector to Istanbul, or to do full European to Asia routes. Istanbul to Singapore is only 4688 nautical miles and also and well within a standard A330 range, and to that end then note how many A330-300 Turkish Airlines have bought over the last few years... as it is currently 40 aircraft and the fleet is still growing daily. So Turkish Airlines don't need mega sized or even extremely expensive aircraft to cover Asia from Turkey, or from Europe for that matter. Paris to Istanbul is only 1198 nautical miles with an estimated flight time of 3 hours 6 minutes and well within an Airbus A320s range, so at both ends you can get a lot of routing in and out of a very good Istanbul scenery... do you see where I am coming from. There was a freeware LTFM that was very good, but totally diabolical to install, in the end I pulled it out with the consistent crashing CTD the scenery caused... disappointed. But then I got wind that Stairport Sceneries were also doing a payware LTFM, and that certainly got me very excited. It is released under the Aerosoft banner, but this is totally a Stairport Scenery project. It is very hard to get a grasp on the size of Istanbul's new airport, it is simply HUGE, massive and the nearest airport I can think of in the same scale and the spread out in layout terms is KDEN-Denver. The airport currently has only the one terminal in service for domestic and international flights and four runways that are currently in operation. The two 17/35 runways are both 4,100 metres (13,451 feet) long, while the 16/34 runways are both 3,750 metres (12,303 feet) long. Runways 17L/35R and 16R/34L are 60 metres (197 feet) wide, while 17R/35L and 16L/34R are 45 metres (148 feet) wide. All runway surfaces are asphalt. Istanbul Airport İstanbul Havalimanı IATA: IST - ICAO: LTFM 16L/34R - 3,750m (12,303ft) Asphalt 16R/34L - 3,750m (12,303ft) Asphalt 17L/35R - 4,100m (13,451ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 4,100m (13,451ft) Asphalt 18/36 - 3,060m (10,039ft) Asphalt & Concrete Elevation AMSL 99m / 325ft Notable is that there are two more runways coming to the east of Rwy 18/36 adding up to a total of seven by 2025, in the scenery five of the seven are noted and currently active. (Navigraph) The opening ceremony of Istanbul Airport took place on 29 October 2018, and scheduled so as to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic. The airport had been unofficially known as 'Istanbul New Airport' during construction - and the new official name of 'Istanbul Airport' was announced at the opening ceremony. The first flight from the airport was Turkish Airlines flight TK2124 to the Turkish capital Ankara on 31 October 2018. On 1 November 2018, five daily flights began to arrive and depart from the airport: from Ankara, Antalya, Baku, North Nicosia, and İzmir, followed by Adana and Trabzon starting in December. Before the full transfer, all flights were operated exclusively by Turkish Airlines. Regularly scheduled flights to all of the new airport's destinations continued to depart from Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports alongside these trial flights. It was originally planned that on 31 December 2018, all equipment from Atatürk Airport would then be transferred to the new airport via the O-7 Motorway. As of 17 January 2019, then transfer phase was set to start 1 March 2019. However, on 25 February, the transfer phase was moved a fourth time to 5 April 2019. The full transfer of all scheduled commercial passenger flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport took place on 6 April 2019 between 02:00 and 14:00. Hundreds of trucks carried more than 10,000 pieces of equipment, each weighing about 44 tons were moved to the new airport over 41 hours. Istanbul Atatürk Airport's original IATA code IST was also transferred to the new airport. The new mega main terminal at IST will have an annual passenger capacity of 90 million and an area of 1,440,000 m2 (15,500,000 sq ft) – making it the world's largest airport terminal building under a single roof, despite Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 having a larger floor area at 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) but only due to tunnels connecting its two concourses. The mammoth terminal has been really well recreated here, with some very good and authentic modeling... detail out front of the main terminal is that lo-res photo-ortho look, as you know I am not a big fan of such low resolutions in priority areas like with the immediate Landside environs, however there is something interesting and to keep in mind for the scenery overall... as the original area that covers the airport boundaries are actually old open-pit coal mines, which were later filled in with soil, ultimately it is still also an ongoing building site, so open rough areas like this are correct when viewing the scenery, but the open visual mosaic aspect is still not good to the eyes... ... the İstanbul Havalimanı Camii (Istanbul Airport Mosque) positioned in front of the terminal is however excellent and highly detailed, but the join to and the surrounding Lo-Res ortho images are really awful. The IST Terminal's modeling is very good, and the highlight is the lovely well done canopies in a Islamic and ottoman design pattern, very Turkish in design. Overall though four architects worked on the airport's design, but three of them were UK-based in Grimshaw Architects, Scott Brownrigg, and Haptic Architects. The four huge carparks fronting the terminal look like they are still under construction, but they are completed, with only the 3d cars on the top floors, the roof skylight domes also are very significant in the design pattern.... but overall the terminal and landside environs looks and feels empty, or even totally deserted, with no intimate detail or even advertising... this is carried on with the glass, which very good and see-through, but inside it comes also with blank areas that again make the terminal look closed and not fitted out or even half developed in context. Glass however is very good, and nicely reflective.... but one word sums it up as "empty". The gate layout is deceptively simple. Each side of the Terminal are two concourses built together with a single long concourse on the front. A and B Concourses are on the west, and F and G are on the east, with the north single Concourse D. Four each C and E gates are position directly on to the terminal between obviously B and D and D and F. Gate or bay detail is excellent, in detail and modeling. Obviously being Stairport Sceneries, the built in SAM functionality is first rate, and it is all wrapped up with great HSBA Banking advertising. There is a huge remote parking area directly opposite the main Terminal, this is Apron 1 (stands 109 - 149) but also there are the H Stands for Deicing in Aprons (Deicing) 3 and 4... In time Apron 1 will front a new satellite terminal and then incorporating this now remote standing area. The airport's main Fire Station is set on the end to the west of Apron 1, and there are also two ground radars to watch the aircraft movements, but the radars are surprisingly not animated, which is usually something in their detailing that Stairport do. Airport infrastructure is still in it's infancy here, but already there is a large column area to the west of the terminal zones that is already quite built up. Included in this zone is the Control Tower and Cargo facilities. The control tower is noted to be in the shape of the Turkish national flower, the Tulip. it is 90 meters (295.28ft) high over an area of 6,085 m². To me though it doesn't look like a flower but more of a King Cobra snake... or I'm missing (or hissing) something in the transition. Tower view is perfectly set, with views over all of the airfield, however the threshold of Rwy 36 is partially obscure by the main Terminal building, there is a smaller tower on the western side of the field to cover this abnormality, but you can only have one tower view setting. Cargo Currently there are two major cargo areas and four cargo aprons at IST, and the main one is set near the base of the control tower. This is the growing Turkish Cargo operations centre, totally new and very large and created for growth and expansion. The modeling and detail of the significant Turkish Cargo facility is very good and covers the Cargo Aprons of 2 and 3, and this includes the Ptt or Posta ve Telgraf Teşkilatı the Turkish Postal service also has a huge facility here... like noted all buildings are really good, but everything set around them is sadly not... .... a lot of the layouts on this central zone corridor is basically extremely low res images with a bit of facade bases, with the custom buildings placed on top, and in areas the layouts are really quite ugly and not even at all authentic to any realism... ... if you do use these brightly coloured underlays, then at least cover them with something feasible, but that is certainly not the case here, and worse they are all highly visible from the aprons or the aircraft cockpits. Cargo Aprons 5 and 1 are on the corner of the DHL facility, with the MNG Kargo facility fronting Apron 1. The position of this cargo zone is directly between the 34L/16R - 34R-16L and 35L/17R - 35R/17L runways and you have direct access to all of them via a short taxi and taxiway A1 connects them together, again to the south is another deicing area Apron (Deicing) 2. Cargo Apron 4 is directly opposite the Turkish Cargo areas fronting taxiway A, a smaller four stand (K50-K53) apron and it serves Celebi, FedEx, TNT, UNSPED and Fevzi Gandur logistics. Airport Infrastructure To the far north of the central control tower, there is another deicing area Apron (Deicing) 1 and stand parking on Apron 4 (not to be confused with Cargo Apron 4)... here there are nine stands 401-409. Set on Apron 5 is one huge Turkish Technic facility and a smaller hangar sized one, and another Fire Station (West) opposite. There is another major Turkish Technic facility at the southern boundary on the entrance to the airport... noted as the THY (Turkish Airline) facility. This is a very imposing hangar that can be seen from most of the southern approaches and the detail is excellent, but Stairport certainly missed an opportunity to show off their SAM door opening feature, as the doors set here would have been perfect for animation? Highly noticeable though is the detail, in that there is no fencing and the photo-image lines are clearly there to separate the highways and roads from the airfield I am a fencing nazi, no fencing is a big deal in not covering even the basics of doing good scenery, and most of the fencing and hence the good detailing is certainly missing here at IST. The fencing point is not for just show? If you are taxiing around taxiways and areas of the airport, and missing fencing gives you a view that is totally unrealistic, as it does here at IST, the fencing breaks down the view between the flat surfaces and the far open flat surface that looks and is horrible, no one wants this view out of an aircraft window. South of the central corridor, is mostly a commercial industrial estate dominated by the new Turkish Airlines impressive "Turkish Airlines Operations Center" and most associated THY operations and food catering. Again the simply layout of (very) lo-res photo textures, facade bases and custom modeling tiered above each other is about the best way to fill in a large area, but that doesn't mean it looks very realistic, as it comes across as just quick cheap fill-in modeling. Notable on the eastern south side is the VIP Terminal with a very nice four stand parking area (316 -319) that can take large twin-aisle private jet aircraft, and the smaller VIP jets as well. There is a secondary VIP Terminal (the same custom building) placed over on the western airport boundary, and accessible by the same A1 Taxiway, this is noted as Apron V. Behind there are some animated Wind Turbines, but the wind needs to strong enough to make them turn. Textures The taxiway and runway surfaces are excellent. Obviously this is a very, very new airport and the surfaces are going to be very new and clean as well, without a lot of dirty grungy areas... but Stairport have been able to add in some nice rubber wear and surface details... so it is all very good, linage is excellent as well. Nice and well done also are the joins between the asphalt and concrete aprons, no straight lines here, but a realistic join. Burnt in ambient occlusion effects are excellent and bring out the best in the HDR surfaces, which again are highly realistic. Reflection and surface sheen is also first rate. Stairport Sceneries include a "Seasons" pack for their SAM Plugin (Seasons are a separate SAM install). It gives a full winter coverage (and thankfully covers over the mosaic mess), but the track and runway/taxiway wear is not all defined in the fallen snow, so overall it is pretty average. Notable is using the Traffic addons with Aerosoft's Istanbul. Here Traffic Global is working very hard to cover the sheer numbers of flights departing and arriving at IST. At first I thought the long queues were because of faulty built in taxi flows, but no... finally the sheer numbers slowly but surely sorted themselves out to depart or go their assigned gates, great to watch if you have the time to do so, it also means when arriving, it could take a fair while to get to your gate if you arrive at a busy timetable period. Also the default X-Plane Global Airports, do a good job of replicating the old Atatürk Airport on any of the southern approaches. Lighting Overall pretty average is the lighting at Istanbul International. Approaches and runway/taxi lighting is very good, as are the huge array of navigation boards, which they need to be, as it is a complicated place to taxi around at night, but the Nav boards are not ground reflective. The problem with using clear glass, is it looks great in the daylight, but is really dull and flat at night, as it does here on the Main Terminal building, the only bright aspects are the excellent under the roof support lighting which is very impressive... ... down on the aprons it is not toooo bad, but the dull towering terminal and gate towers however don't give you much in the way of detail, but at least it is bright down here to work on the aircraft, but overall dull is the word. The THY Maintenace Technic hangar and operation centre both look good on the southern approaches, but that is about it. Control Tower is nicely lit, and there is a a lot of building branding that does look great in the dark, but there are also a lot of dark patchy areas. __________________________ Summary Istanbul's modern new mega airport at Arnavutköy, replaced the older and outdated Atatürk Airport on 29th October 2018, it cost (or is costing) a staggering €7 billion to build and is when finished expected to cater for 200 million passengers a year. Both very big numbers. Important is the strategic position of Istanbul of not only in it's formal line of being the crossroads between the east and west continents, but also in air routes of being a mega hub between the now impressive number of Asian hubs to connect over to the major European and North Africa ports. This scenery is a Stairport Scenery airport development released under the Aerosoft banner, and big in every way it is. I need this to be clear. Airports at this huge scale don't deliver the finer details and intimate quality textures of the smaller scenery airports, it is just not possible to do that aspect in delivering an airport of this size as your framerate would crash, or take the fun out of using the scenery in the simulator... and anyway the developer would never finish the product. However the basics should also still be delivered in a quality fashion. Another point is that the IST airport is brand new, and built over old open-pit coal mines, so don't expect a pretty surrounding landscape. The massive current terminal building (second largest currently in the world after Dubai) is really well modeled and designed, certainly the gate towers and bay areas, there is nice clear tinted glass but sterile empty innards that can be clearly seen. The Airport Mosque is also a great focus point, as is the THY (Turkish Airlines) Technic and operations areas. The Control Tower is very stylish (if Snakeish) as well and there are a lot of great Cargo aprons to choose from. Runway and taxiway surfaces and linage is also first rate, and overall it is a great and well done layout. SAM is implemented on every gate and works fine, as expected as Stairport created the plugin themselves, SAM seasons are also available if required. Negatives concern the over use of very low density orth-images, and in places they are quite noticeable and jarring... not helped by the missing of important aspects like fencing, 3d grass (there is a little grass, very little) and even basic working animations like radars on the many field towers. Placed elements of buildings on top of facade bases is also quite evident with no creative input for realism. Night lighting (with the clear glass) is dull and flat, but apron, runway/taxiway and brand lighting is very good. In areas overall the detail could be far better, of course within reason. Make no mistake that this new Istanbul International airport is a very important airport to X-Plane, it's positioning globally is very important for your routing and hubbing in going from the west to east or vice-versa, or even doing a European or Russian domestic to the airport. Overall I found the flights into and using Stairport's IST very good, but in many areas it certainly it could also be significantly better, as it is a major airport to use regularly... and a needed destination of significant value, very useful at the moment, but also currently requires more development to realise it's full potential, is that like the real world's newest of world's major hub in Istanbul International... maybe it is as again that X-Plane parallels the real with the simulation... overall currently great, but could be in the future sensational. ___________________________________ Yes! the LTFM - Airport Istanbul XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LTFM - Airport Istanbul XP Price is US$29.95 Features: Highly detailed virtual replica of the airport buildings and its surroundings Photorealistic textures on airport buildings and vehicles Custom high resolution ground textures, detailed markings and full PBR Custom 3D Taxiway signs Animated jetways, VDGS and marshaller (SAM Plugin required) Custom animated vehicles (SAM AirportVehicles required) HDR night lighting Custom surroundings with hand placed autogen and water Realistic static aircrafts included Custom road layout Seasonal texture adaptions (SAM Plugin required) Compatible with Ortho4XP Navdata AIRAC 2104 included Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.3 GB Current and Review version: 1.01 (June 16th 2021) Installation and documents: Download consists of; AS_AIRPORT-ISTANBUL_XP11.zip (2.38Gb) Install in your X-Plane Custom Scenery folder includes two folders; SceneryTR - LTFM Istanbul - 01 - Airport (2.58Gb) SceneryTR - LTFM Istanbul - 00 - Seasons (1.93Gb) Full Installation in your Custom Scenery folder is: 4.21Gb Note Nav data: In order for the newer nav data to be recognized by X-Plane, the “Custom Data” folder in the “Custom Scenery / SceneryTR - LTFM Istanbul - 01 - Airport / NAVDATA_AIRAC_2104” folder must be copied into the X-Plane main directory. If newer Nav data are already installed, this step is not necessary. I use Navigraph data, and it is noted as up to date for the use with LTFM. SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents Manual is provided (11 Pages) in German and English Manual_Istanbul_XP_de-en_web ________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 15th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 - Free Scenery or Aircraft - B 747-8 Series Anniversary Edition by SSG (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$54.90
  15. Scenery Released : LDZA - Airport Zagreb XP by Aerosoft Under the Aerosoft banner, Stairport Sceneries have released Airport Zagreb XP. Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport is an international airport serving Zagreb, Croatia. It is the largest and busiest airport in Croatia. In 2019, it handled 3.45 million passengers and some 13,000 tons of cargo. It has already been a busy year for Stairport, with already both the Split and Airport Istanbul airports of which have already been released for the X-Plane Simulator, and here is the third in Zagreb. Stairport Sceneries are the original developers of the SAM plugin, so you can expect a lot of SAM related features included in their sceneries, and here at LSZA this includes; Custom animated jetways, Custom VDGS system, Animated radars, Custom FollowMe vehicles - Custom AirportVehicles textures, and the custom all seasons tool is also implemented. Features Include: "Franjo Tuđman Airport" (LDZA) with all the buildings and service facilities, translucent detailed new terminal buildings with interior designs, complete military area with hangars and buildings as well as TV tower "Sljeme" and old ruins of "Medvedgrad" are included Custom orthophoto covers airport and surroundings Detailed ground markings based on recent charts of parking stands and new taxiway layouts including recent changes of taxiway layout Custom taxiway signage Custom HDR lighting Complete PBR + normal texturing of all objects and ground Most models and textures based on photos taken at the airport Custom static aircraft and vehicles Customized road networks and autogen Including patch for optimized X-Europe integration Full SAM compatibility (SAM Plugin required) Custom animated jetways Custom VDGS system Animated radars Custom AirportVehicles textures All seasons implemented Custom FollowMe vehicle Also included is a lot of little details around the LDZA airport which are all animated, e.g. the windsocks, flash lights, apron traffic, and jetways. In the distance, you can also spot the TV tower on the hill at Sljeme and the ruins of the medieval fortified town of Medvedgrad. Images are courtesy of Aerosoft/Stairport Sceneries ___________________________ Yes! Airport Zagreb XP by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Zagreb XP Price is US$17.99 Customers who own the v1 can get this new v2 for 60% OFF. Get the coupon code in the original Berlin Brandenburg invoice Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Current Version : 1.0 (July 9th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 10th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  16. Replay sorta works, the water can be dropped over the fires, but separately from the replay.... just make sure you have a load of water on board.
  17. Aircraft Review : PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project by VSkyLabs Armed services around the world when revitalising their fleets, usually do what they call "Off the shelf" purchases, or take an aircraft already built, and then reconfigure the aircraft to suit their services requirements, it is supposedly to save you money, buy an already produced aircraft and not pay the development costs... but it never really seems to work out that way, and so they usually end up with a far more expensive result. Sometimes you also may need an even more specialist configuration to the aircraft to meet your specialist requirements, then even an "Off the shelf" option won't fit those requirements either, in this case you then have to build the aircraft yourself, or to meet the needs of the role the aircraft has to fulfill. This was the situation the RAAF (Royal Australian Airforce) and RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Airforce) was in, in the early 70's, as they needed a specialised trainer aircraft that was relatively cheap, but still a nice aerobatic aircraft to train RAAF/RNZAF pilots on. The solution was to take an already successfully built Australian aircraft in the Victa Aircruiser (and yes Victa is renowned in Australia for their lawnmowers!) and reconfigure the aircraft to be an all-metal-construction, single-engine, two-place with side-by-side seating (with a single rear seat), and was also to be a fully aerobatic, piston-engined, basic training aircraft, and this development and assembly work was done by the maintenance firm Aero Engine Services Ltd (AESL) in New Zealand. Externally the CT/4 differs from the Airtourer and Aircruiser designs by its larger engine and the bubble canopy of which was redesigned in to an aerofoil shape. Structurally there are changes to the skin and upgrading of the four longerons in the fuselage from sheet metal to extrusions. Earlier aircraft were powered by a 210 hp Continental piston engine and was later upgraded to a 300 hp Lycoming and with a three-bladed propeller and the wing was also moved 5 cm rearwards to compensate for the altered centre of gravity (to balance the extra weight of the Lycoming) this is this vSkyLabs version in the CT/4E . The vSkylab philosophy is in that you are purchasing an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed or is completed to 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft and all the development is free and ongoing. These projects are under constant development: the development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements. Second is that the aircraft is designed around the powerful, native X-Plane 11 'Experimental Flight Model' environment, so that means in the Menu/General "Use the experimental flight model" tickbox has to be selected on. Only two months on since their release of the excellent Aeroprakt A22-LS Project, VskyLabs are already back with another project, this time it is the PAC (Pacific Aerospace Corporation) CT/4E trainer aircraft. The Victa was a small but very sweet designed aircraft by the famous Henry Millicer. Then AESL's chief designer, P W C Monk redesigned the Airtourer/Aircruiser into the CT/4 for it's trainer roles that were then built in Hamilton New Zealand to a total of 155 aircraft. Initial views are that this is a nice tight little aircraft, and you knew it was going to be as sweet in the air. vSkyLabs are already well known for their really excellent modeling skills, and that aspect is certainly evident here, the CT4 is superbly done in design and detail. From front to rear the detail and mapping is first rate, all the rivets can be counted and the flying surface louver panel work is also bang on... ... I'm not really sure about the fully coloured in navigation lighting, but overall you can't fault the work here. One area that stands out is the white rear beacon tail assembly. Outwardly it looks bland, but on closer inspection it is really quite good, it is the way it looks and not actually what it is... The landing gear is extremely basic in design, but again like the earlier Aeroprakt A22, the front strut looks a little under-developed, or really basic as do the two engine exhausts that just protrude out of the cowling, with the no surrounding cowling cut-outs to accommodate them, a small but significant detail folks. The canopy is however a masterwork. Brilliant and detailed glass, surrounded by the metal frame, is exceptionally well done, no matter what angle you look at the canopy, you can see the construction and rivet work of the frame, and the glass is perfectly worn and marked. To open the canopy, there is a lever externally, and a twist handle internally (arrowed), that disconnects the latch, then you push the canopy upwards... ... the mechanism and animations are excellent and also very realistic, and when open below the canopy is a very highly detailed interior. There are three seats in the aircraft in the tight space, two front trainee pilot seats and an instructor seat in the rear, all seats are a metal can based design, with just a rear and cushion base, but all looks totally authentic here. Note the large roll-over bar centre cockpit. Nice smaller details include a large first aid kit and on the floor fire extinguisher, both bright red to stand out in an already complex cockpit... overall the detailing is masterful in here. The instrument panel facia, is also metal, but superbly nice and worn with wear scratches and whatnot... very very nice. Instrument detail is also off the charts, clear and highly legible... perfect. There are two sets of Throttle, Propeller and Mixture levers, one set for each pilot, but there is also a second flap lever built into the left hand assembly (arrowed)... There is a centre panel of where the main flying instruments are positioned... not really in a three instrument across layout as the Speed indicator is central left and not top, with a Rate of Turn indicator below. Centre instrument down line includes a ball Artificial Horizon top, with a nice adjustable setting line (orange line). Lower is the Heading Dial compass, and bottom is an OBI twin pointer compass (note the heading bug, is on on this instrument, and not on the above heading dial)... right row (top to bottom), is the Altitude Instrument, Vertical Speed (V/S) and lower a Course Deviation Indicator (CDI). Each side of the primary flight instruments are to the left, Fuel Quantity (75 lts per tank) and lower are the Trim Indicators. Right side are the RPM indicator, Manifold and Fuel Flow pressures, and bottom a combined Oil Pressure/Temperature and Cylinder Head temperature gauge. Centre panel top there is a main Temperature gauge, the Ignition Start/Off Switch, Ampere/Volt meter (push knob to activate the volt readout) and G-Meter (acceleration) bottom. Top of the panel are three lights for; Low Oil Pressure, Low Voltage and Engine Fire. The avionics stack is quite stock standard X-Plane... S-Tec Fifty Five X autopilot top, Then both a Garmin GNS 530 and a GNS 430 gps units below. The transponder is a Garmin GTX327 and bottom is an ADF Bendix/King KR87. On the right pilot's side is a simple four instrument layout of primary flight instruments. Including a Speed indicator with a Rate of Turn indicator below, then the Altitude Instrument and Vertical Speed (V/S) instrument to the right. There is a Whiskey Compass on the top of the centre panel. Lower panel has the electrical switchgear array, and on the right the fuses (Circuit breakers) that are non-workable, but note the odd switch on this panel is to power the AP - Autopilot. Below are three instrument lighting knobs. It is all a very non-fussy but a good training instrument panel, not complicated or messy to use. Center console is quite basic... top is the left side pilot's Throttle, Prop and Mixture levers. Below is the cabin heat and (right side) Flap lever in UP-HALF-DOWN selections, but in reality it is a more fluid flap selection then that you need by selecting any degree selection you want. Rear is the Fuel Tank selector and Parking Brake. The AviTab is attached to the far right side of the screen, and a bit small where positioned for the pilot to read? Selection is via selecting the point on the screen (AviTab plugin is of course required). Important to note the Trim controller is a HAT switch on the nice joystick, it moves your trim; UP-DOWN and LEFT-RIGHT via the knob, of course you can set the same HAT on your own joystick or by the keyboard commands, but it is a very authentic set up and shown on the right panel indicators. There are two nicely modeled trainee pilots, the main pilot is female and a secondary pilot is also of the fairer sex. Selection is done via the Payload Weight slider on the X-Plane IOS screen. When exceeding the 80 kg / 176.4 lbs of payload (by using the slider), the second pilot will then be visible.... the main pilot is visible all the time. The main pilot's arms are also animated to the movements of the stick. vSkyLabs don't do menus, popups (except for standard X-Plane elements (i.e. GNS units)) or static elements, so there are few extras to note, anything that is not an "Interaction zone" is not added into the aircraft. But the PAC CT4 is highly compatible for VR-Virtual Reality and it is marketed that way. As with all vSkyLab aircraft the "Experimental Flight Model Mode' must be checked on. ____________________ Flying the PAC CT4 Trainers are pretty basic aircraft, nothing more and nothing less is required not to mess with the new flyers introduction to aviation, as it is here with the PAC CT4E Airtrainer. The 300 hp Lycoming is also quite a powerful engine for such a small airframe, so you have to be aware of that factor. Starting up the Lycoming is very, very easy... mixture lever forward, fuel pump on and turn the start switch and the engine sprightly springs into life, then you just wait for the instrument readouts to settle down... Start up sounds are very good as are the running engine sounds, but the external sounds are far, far higher than the internal (yes the canopy is down, and you do have a helmet on) but you always have to turn your speakers down or adjust the external sounds lower on the X-Plane sounds panel to a more even balance. Highly notable is the amount of turn on the front nosewheel compared to the rudder movement... the CT4 has this restriction, and also the use of using the braking on the main wheels to give a wider turn (which is like in turning a taildragger)... ... it means a lot of wider turns and a lot of space in manoeuvring around the taxiways. The small nosewheel movement can also catch you out if your speed gets to fast and the aircraft will start to weave, so you need to keep your taxi speed down a little, overall though, with half a throttle the CT4 will taxi quite nicely. You also need to set your trims to neutral... you need control of your trims either by the HAT on the joystick or keyboard control (any training aircraft should be set this way anyway to learn about aircraft trims)... ... instrument backlighting with the full setting is quite average in the daytime, the instruments are actually lit, but only bleakly so... so it makes the instrument panel look darker than it actually is. The VOR Pointers on the OBI are not working either, here the VOR array is just the over the other side of the field, but the pointer is not registering it or is it an ADF pointer only? Which is pretty useless nowadays. When trying to takeoff on my earlier test flights of the CT4, I found that front nosewheel restriction a barrier to taking the aircraft off and landing cleanly, or mostly impossible to do so, as once you reach a certain speed the aircraft just weaves incredibly badly and you simply lose control... I tried the fast throttle up approach (really bad), and the slow, slow throttle input approach and both failed with a loss of control.... ... the problem is that the rudder and nosewheel are totally out of sync in angle, so when you need more rudder to counteract the powerful asymmetrical thrust, the nosewheel is at the wrong pitch or position, hence you weave and badly... my solution was to kill the tighter movement via the "nosewheel steer toggle", and that gives you back full control of the nosewheel again, but also making it again in sync with the rear rudder movements, cheating, I don't know, but at least I can takeoff and land the aircraft normally without consistently destroying the scenery. As noted that asymmetrical thrust from the 300 hp engine is quite strong, so you need a very firm hand to control it and keep the aircraft straight, 90 knts and you can slightly pull back on the stick and grab the air... ... once off the ground, you need to quickly realign the balance to the centre and get the aircraft level and straight. So the CT4 is tricky to takeoff and for the initial control of flight. Climb out or rate is 9.3 m/s (1,830 ft/min), so quite high, but watch your speed does not trail off. So a climb of around 130 knts at 1500 fpm is about ideal. Note the Vertical Speed indicator is very wide, it looks quite high, but you are only pulling 1,000 fpm. the 2,000 fpm marker is directly and right around to the right (3 o'clock), so it can be a bit disorienting. Once at your altitude, then your first job is to set your trims. You are surprised on how much trim you actually need, especially the rudder trim to get the aircraft balanced and flying straight and level and the controls back to their neutral position... but it is important you have to trim it out before doing anything else. Turns are slightly odd in that you don't nudge the CT4 in the direction and centre the stick again, but sort of hold the angle of the turn, it becomes natural quickly, but it is a more physical way to fly.... so in the air the PAC is a very physical aircraft to fly. The CT4E is a semi-aerobatic aircraft, so you can do some pretty extreme manoeuvres in the aircraft, within reason. But when pushing the aircraft to it's limits you do get great feedback and control response, that extra power really helps as well, overall the PAC is a lot of fun with it's excellent and superb flight dynamics, authentic performance and flight handling characteristics. Lighting The lighting is quite basic... In the daytime as noted the instrument panel feels quite dull, but it is not as bad in the dark. There are three knobs to adjust the overhead and overhead (red) seat lighting, but they both have no light sources, the panel lighting adjustment is the third knob. There is a switch on a light between the roll-over bar, and that activates the X-Plane white flashlight to use on the panel or wherever, not as good as say a proper animated spot light, but I suppose a clever workaround... only the background instrument lighting is okayish, but the dials are clear, so that is what matters, but overall in the cockpit I wanted more brightness everywhere. External lighting gives you Navigation, Red, Green and a White tail-light, Landing and Taxi lights are blobby, and not tuned. Strobe lights are connected to the upper beacon (also white) and all are also very blobby, but effective at night, so is the blobby bright lower red beacon. Once adjusted, overall I like the sounds, not extremely dynamic, but still quite good in realism. Maximum speed of the PAC CT4 is a fast 387 km/h (240 mph, 209 kn) at sea level and the cruise speed: 282 km/h (175 mph, 152 kn) at 2,590 m (8,500 ft) (75% power)... Range is 963 km (599 mi, 520 nmi) (max fuel, 75% power) and the Service Ceiling is 5,550 m (18,200 ft), but do the last two performance figures matter? not really. I miss the VOR pointer to find the airport... so I use the Course Deviation Indicator (CDI), to centreline the runway, and use it to turn directly into the approach path... I am not on the Autopilot or using the APP selection, but it is available if you need it, but in just using the instruments to guide me in... Flaps are as noted variable, so you find the best degree to suit your speed, but I never got under the white marker banner on the speed dial, until I had almost full flap and 90 knts. You can adjust your altitude easily with your power or throttle inputs... more power to climb and less power to descend, and the CT4 reacts very, very nicely to your inputs of power, so it is very easy to get the perfect right speed and slope into the runway... ... you have to focus, but overall the CT4 is great on the final approach and responds nicely to your inputs, once close to the threshold you let the power drop slowly and you sink nicely and gradually, Stall speed is 82 km/h (51 mph or 44 knt) flaps down. So at FULL flap the final landing speed is of 70 knts, and the CT4 feels a bit fast, not much, but I expected around 65 knts or even slightly less, but that does not say you cannot do a nice sweet touch and a no bounce landing at this speed... ... also give yourself a slight nose up flare to show off your landing skills and the CT4E will respond nicely. I have already done about eight landings in the PAC Airtrainer, and each one was absolutely checkbook perfect, so the aircraft is very, very good in this area with great feel and control. vSkyLabs uses the STMA Plugin for aircraft updates thoughout the project, the updater can be found on the left side of your screen as a pop-out... personally a loath these sort of annoying pop-out affairs, and in most cases usually remove the plugin from the aircraft folder, I up date by inserting it again, doing the update and then remove it again... it is a seriously screen hogging popping out annoying tool. Liveries Three... in a RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Airforce) "Red Checkers", RAAF (Royal Australian Airforce) and RTAF (Royal Thai Airforce) liveries, all well done and highly detailed. ______________________ Summary In only another few months since their last release with the excellent Aeroprakt A22-LS Project, VskyLabs are already back with another project, this time it is the PAC (Pacific Aerospace Corporation) CT/4E Airtrainer aircraft. A New Zealand built aircraft for both the Australian and New Zealand Airforces, The Royal Thai Airforce also bought 24 aircraft. Designed out of the Australian built civilian Victa Aircruiser, the CT4E here is a twin (with a third if required) seater trainer for a specialised single-engine trainer role. You would never fault vSkyLabs quality modeling, and very good in detail it is here as well. Nice externals, but the cockpit detail is exceptional, not crazy about the coloured navigation wingtip lights, or the poor front nosewheel assembly, but the canopy and glass quality is extremely good. Blobby external lighting and daytime instrument lighting is also a few marks down and I didn't at all relate to the restricted nosewheel movement... but overall the aircraft is first rate. There are very few extras or no menus at all... there is however AviTab intergration and exceptional VR-Virtual Reality is also available. If you have purchased or tasted before any of vSkyLabs project aircraft, then you probably know what you will get here. Great modeling, great detailing and an extraordinary flight model. They are great projects, but to note that you are purchasing an ongoing project with any vSkyLabs aircraft and that all the development is ongoing, so this is not a 100% fully developed project. Updates maybe infrequent if sometimes at all. The PAC CT4 requires the experimental setting, and as usual for vSkyLabs the aircraft delivers a very credible if brilliant flying and performance related machine, always interesting and always a very interesting aircraft to fly, then flying the PAC CT4E a lot and you will get a big rewards for your investment... simply another winner from vSkyLabs. ___________________ Yes! the PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project by VSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project Price is US$32.95 Project Main Features: VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project: designed for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental flight model environment, featuring superb flight dynamics with authentic performance and flight handling characteristics. Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage. Engineered and designed as a default X-Plane aircraft (Like all VSKYLABS projects). The VSKYLABS projects are practically show-casing X-Plane, as they are stretching X-Plane default features, systems and flight model to its limits without any dependencies on complementary plugins or software...delivering a very robust simulation model, having maximum compatibility with the ever evolving X-Plane flight simulator. Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots, including aerobatics. Built-in Avitab Plugin Compatibility (AviTab plugin is not included). STMA Autoupdater plugin is included - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap). Highly responsive VSKYLABS support forums: VSKYLABS is offering continuous professional support from aircraft related aspects (operating and flying) to X-Plane technical support. The project is under constant maintenance and development. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (July 1st 2021) The AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft. Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com. Aircraft download is 217 Mb, and unpacked then installed 367 Mb Documents VSKYLABS CT4E POH.pdf Designed by VSKYLABS Support forum for the CT/4E Airtrainer _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 8th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  18. NEWS! - New Images : Aerobask shows off more images of the Falcon 8X Teasers are the name of the game lately, keep you wanting... but still waiting. It is Aerobask's turn this time with new images of their ongoing development of the Dassault Falcon 8X, the long range version of the successful Falcon 7X. The aircraft is being developed with Dassault Aviation as a partner (or authorised in partnership with Dassualt) to create the most authentic Private Jet yet. Details continue to filter out, but again there is no release date or even any idea of a release of this most anticipated aircraft for the X-Plane simulator, but notable was the book and vase of flowers in the aircraft... personally I would rather have a coffee machine, but then again that is just me. Note the excellent EASy III Flight Management Window display... Price, around US$50 would be about right... The Aerobask X-Plane.Org development page is here - Dassault Aviation Falcon 8X Images are courtesy of Aerobask ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 6th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  19. Aircraft Preview : SSG shows new EJet modeling Rumors went around that SSG - Supercritical Simulations Group had abandoned their already announced EJet updates, plus the inclusion of an upcoming E2 195 as well... news to me and even to SSG themselves, so SSG have published some modellng renders to show that indeed they are still revising and updating their EJets. My guess it is in the confusion of last year 2020 the departure of AJ Borysewicz that had been one of the developers of the CRJ-700 with the core of SSG, but left the developer group to do the CRJ-700 himself, many have probably got the wrong end of the stick and thought it was the EJet(s) and not the CRJ that had been discontinued by SSG... but that is not the case. So here are the working EJet renders, and so coming straight from the modeling 3D mainframe program with all the higher quality details on show, and very nice they are. Supercritical Simulations Group also note that current owners of the EJets will have a good discount on the new updated version when it is released! Jeeez... I wish people would check their facts before hitting the keyboard? Images are courtesy of Supercritical Simulations Group _________________________________________________ The Embraer E-Jet Evolution Series by Supercritical Simulation Group is currently available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-Jet170LR Evolution Your Price:US$34.95 SALE US$29.95 Embraer E-Jet195LR Evolution Your Price: US$34.95 SALE US$29.95 Twin package of both advanced E-Jets by SSG is also available: E-170 Evolution E-195 Evolution Embraer E-Jets Evolution Series Your Price: $64.95 SALE US$34.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (Linux coming soon) 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.6 (April 17th 2021) ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 5th July 2021 Copyright©2021 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All rights reserved.
  20. News! - Laminar Research : (another maybe) X-Plane12 Preview Another preview video has been released from Laminar Research, and it is noted as the X-Plane "Next Generation Fleet Preview One" (you mean there is more!). This video notes the release of an Airbus A330 as a new default aircraft for the X-plane Simulator, and it is noted as "Coming Soon"... it does not clarify however if the A330 is being in a X-Plane11 release or part of a new X-Plane release due (well about seven months ago) supposedly to be called X-Plane 12. Obviously it quickly sparked the interest of a "Zibo" style makeover, which would make it a very interesting proposition. But don't get your hopes up too soon. Airbus aircraft are a very different sort of aircraft than the Boeing family, and quite specialised in their systems. It would need a very specialised skill set to do a "Zibo" on the A330, I "never say, never again"... but you have to be aware of that, and also how deep is the new A330 going to be with it's systems anyway, I might be actually very good as a spearhead for the new simulator version as the B737-800 was for X-Plane11. The video however was also shot in the new HDR next generation lighting model, which means that feature is now completed... it is all now looking very much like a release (teaser) program.... I very much doubt at this late stage in releasing the A330 for X-Plane11, and why would you do that anyway, unless X-Plane12 is still a long way off... we hold our breaths on what is the actual reality! Video and Images are courtesy of Laminar Research __________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 5th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  21. An aircraft above FL 195 unless the aircraft radio equipment has the 8,33 kHz channel spacing capability. this became law in 2014, however most X-Plane aircraft (as X-Plane itself then allowed 8.33 kHz channel spacing) have been converted, but the FlightFactor B777 is quite old and up to date has not had the radio conversion done... a very odd situation for such a heavy and popular aircraft in X-Plane... FlightFactor need to address it, and a load of other issues on the aircraft.
  22. Aircraft Release : Bell Civilian UH-1 by Nimbus Simulations When Nimbus Simulations released their excellent Bell UH-1 "Huey" in September 2019, they noted at the time they would be doing a "Civilian" version of the UH-1, and here it is. Plus it comes with a few nice configurations as well, a Basic seating version, Medical version, Crop spraying version, and an unexpected Fire Fighting version... all very nice to have in a single model. There is a separate Float (Water) variant also included. There was a lot of shouting initially that this new release is a full repurchase of the aircraft? If you don't have the earlier UH-1 Military "Huey" then yes it is the full price of US$37.95, but if you do own already the "Huey", then this civilian addon comes with a 40% discount, or US$22.77, which is still great value for what you get included here. Installation We have to note the installation early, because it has elements that require explaining. There are two separate downloads; Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6 civilian uh-1 liveries When the packages are opened the "Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6" pack has two more folders; Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6 Nimbus Firefighting v1.0 The "Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6" folder goes into your aircraft folder, but the "Nimbus Firefighting v1.0" goes into your Resources/Plugins folder (Not in the aircraft folder?). The contents of "civilian uh-1 liveries" folder called "Liveries", is now placed into your "Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6" aircraft folder... slightly complicated but easily doable. Recommended is the "Use Experimental flight model" to be ON, and the "Flight models per frame" to be set at 4. X-Plane commands (Keys), also need to be set as well to cover or activate the external operations and mostly for the hoist controls. Bell Civilian UH-1 by Nimbus Simulations I went over most of the major details of the instruments and the exceptional detail in the earlier Helicopter Review : Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" by Nimbus Simulations, so I won't go over the same intimate descriptions again, but I will note the highlights. Externally the UH-1 in Civilian form is very similar to the military version, but there is one major difference. (you can choose) to have the original older tail configuration, or a more "Modernised Tail" that is more efficient and it gives you more rudder authority. It certainly looks very different from the original tail shape, and the difference in yaw feel is highly effective. The Float variant is excellent, the pontoons are absolutely HUGE, and really well done here, note the excellent well modeled attachment frame to the fuselage, but there are no wheels, just the water based pontoons. There also three choices in texture detail... High, Medium and Low (But only one selection for the float variant, and is my guess the "High"), all are provided by .acf choices in the menu... this covers most low rent computers, but to be honest, even the "High" choice is not a framerate killer, but the options does give choices to those that run X-Plane on laptops and etc... Rotor head design and detail is again outstanding, and all the elements are fully animated (again I did a full rotor description in the earlier review) to the movement of the controls. Tail rotor and yaw animations, are also perfectly created, wonderful seeing them all again and it brings back to you the sheer quality of the detail presented here. I had a small beef about the green roof tinted windows in the "Huey" review, this aspect to a point it has been fixed... but only internally, but viewed externally they are still clear... but anything is still better than nothing. Menus The six original menu tabs of: Checklist, Maintenance, Controls Position, CoPilot, Weight & Balance and Doors & Accessories are all still present and mostly unchanged from the "Huey" version... but added in for the Civilian is a new menu option called "Configuration" Another addition is a "Mini Menu" lower left of your screen, this can be thankfully switched off in the main banner (plugins) menu.... ... but it is a little odd to use, you can only show the MIni-Menu or not, nor it does not flip out of sight when not selected, so unless you are willing to put up with it consistently or if needed or required on the screen, then it is either on or off, which does not make any sense really, why not just use the drop down menu? You can however use the "Key" command function to also toggle the "Mini Menu", and that works far better... and to note that all the earlier set "Key" commands on the "Huey" settings, also work for the Civilian version. Again a full description of the menu details are in the "Huey" review, but minus the door mounted guns! All the great features are still here, opening doors and you can take them off as well, pilots and crew are all here are dressed in civvy gear, and not the heavy military uniforms. There are two pilots and eleven crew, a lot, count them all. Cockpit is exactly the same instrument panel layout with the same authentic feel and the perfect details of an original UH-1... note the AviTab plugin feature provided. Configurations The "Configurations" menu is quite extensive. Top of the list is a co-pilot bubble window and upper fuselage steps, then the expansive (HUGE) spraying crop dusting boom, that is really well done. The "Bambi" Bucket and the "FireFighter" module is fitted below (only the FireFighting Module is shown here, as we will look at the Bambi Bucket when in the air). The Simplex Firefighting tank module is simply sensational in detail, highly realistic in design, shape and attachment. Note the hanging hose. The Medivac option is also simply excellent, you can choose to have the patient visible or not, and the medical equipment detail is just really, really well done, the best Medivac layout yet for X-Plane. Lower nose mirrors can be attached, and the next option is the "Modernised Tail" of which we have already noted. Next is the "Internal hoist", which is again simply sensational in detail. You have to set the "Key" Commands to use it (or any hoist on the aircraft) on the "Keyboard Menu" in "deploy", "extend" and "retract". However the quality and action of the hoist is again the best yet I have seen. There is also the option for an "External" hoist positioned on the upper cabin on the right side, quality and detail is again excellent... .... the UH-1 already comes with a mid-mounted under fuselage attachment hook for a third carrying point. You can also switch over from the older Radio Comm units to a more "Modern" avionic fit-out... THE GNS 530 stays the same in both configurations, but the older style panels are replaced by a BendixKing KX 165 Comm unit (COM2/NAV2)... (COM1/NAV1 is set in the GNS 530), BendixKing KR 67 ADF unit, BendixKing KR 71 Transponder and bottom a BendixKing KMA 24 Radio. The centre panel does look far more empty and even quite sterile with the newer radio elements, but it is also more convenient and familar to use. Last two options on the configuration menu is a large white external carry basket, and two front seats in the cabin. Fire Fighting The biggest feature of the Nimbus Civilian is the "FireFighting" role playing. There is a separate window to be used and it is accessed via the "Nimbus FireFighter" window in the plugins banner menu... ... there is also a control panel situated just above the GNS 530 gps unit. The pop-up on screen panel has three actions... Fire, Activate and Reset, to start you press the centre "Activate" to start up the plugin, and when "Active" it turns green, this is also reflected on the Configurations Menu. Obviously the underbelly "FireFighter" module has to be selected. First you have to set up your fire(s). In my case I did a low pass and then pressed the "Fire" symbol repeatedly to create the fire line. You can do this with up to a huge (firestorm!) 300 fires, but here I did a row of twelve fires... That done it was now time to do the fire bombing water run... but two things first. If you are not happy with your fire spread, you can reset the fires to zero and start again by pressing the right "Reset" symbol. Secondly, you know how much water you have on board via not only the water control unit on the upper centre console, but there is also a four light water level marker (in the tank) right in front of you (arrowed below right). I set the "Open Tank Doors" trigger to my joystick, via the "Joystick" menu (you can also use a key setting), but note, that to not have the trigger available in a too vulnerable position, as if you accidentally hit it (like I did), then your water load is quickly gone? And it is actually very hard to get back up to the full tank level again. So I did a bombing run and pressed (my inner trigger button) and dropped the water load and was soon snuffing out two fires... It is a lot of fun, but it is not as all as easy as it all looks either... a full heavy underbelly tank makes the UH-1 very, very unbalanced and nervy (It already has a habit of leaning heavily sideways to the right with the twin blade configuration), and also as the water is used (or dropped) then the aircraft becomes suddenly normally lighter... it also becomes unstable after rebalancing the weight, so it needs a lot of control (and some very steady nerves) to get it right... Underbelly tank detail and animation is again absolutely first rate. With all my (water) resources gone, I headed to the nearest lake to refill the underbelly tank... oddly there is no option to refill the tanks on land? So if you use up the water, it is gone completely unless you do this complicated refill routine... and that can be far easier said than done, as the UH-1 is very tricky machine in the low hover... you can do a hard refill of the tank by closing X-Plane down completely, and then restarting, but that is a messy simulation breaking option, I think you should have the (lazy) quick option of refilling even if it is not authentic to the mission, a ground tank appearing when refilling the water would also be a nice option. Again you have to set up a "Command" (key) option to pump up the water into the tank, Water/Command "Water pump on", and hold the key down to make it work in sucking up the water... the indicator on your instrument panel shows you how much water there is in the tank and all four dots of green says it's full... ... once full it is quickly back into the firefight. A second FireFighting option is the Bambi bucket. This is again selected in the "Configuration" menu (above the FireFighter selection). Again the plugin has to be "Active" to use the Bambi Bucket. Trivia... "Bambi Bucket" isn't a nickname. It's actually a trademarked name owned by Canadian industrial fabrics manufacturer SEI Industries, and also nothing at to do with a small fawn (deer). There is more to do to attach the Bambi bucket than just selecting it from the configurations menu, as you also have to attach it to the aircraft... this process is the same for also attaching all the eight sling (Slung) loads provided... and they include; Air Conditioning Unit, Generator, Single Logs, Logs, Small Container (quite large and heavy actually), Air Compressor, Hook and a Person. To attach the load you have to go to your X-Plane "Weight, Balance & Fuel" Menu... Then select "Select New" and up comes the UH-1 Civilian aircraft folder, from there you select the "Slungload" folder... In the open folder you then select the "Load" you want via it's "Object" symbol (not the images). If you want to change the load then when you go back to the "Weight, Balance & Fuel" menu, you now have the option to "Select New" again, but this time it will take you directly to the "Slungload" folder for another selection. You can remove the slung load by pressing the "Remove Slung Load" button, but I found pressing the "Restore Defaults" button a better, quicker and cleaner option. The noted "Hook" object is required to be selected to use the Bambi bucket feature. You can adjust the Length of your cable or note the Maximum Length of the cable by the settings at the bottom of the Configure menu panel. A note that these load items are ridiculously heavy for this sized chopper, the weight will swing you like a pendulum, with you as the lighter partner... It will take a lot of skill (and an immense amount of patience) to get it right, not only in the takeoff, and lift phase, but even when changing any direction in flight... one small mistake, and your easily cactus, Note no Helicopters were hurt while compiling this review, but it came very, very close a lot of times. Liveries There are nine liveries provided for the USA, Canada and Australia. Included are Tasman (CAN/Default)), Airfast (AUS), C-GEAG (CAN), CalFire (USA), King County (USA), Plain White, Tennessee State Trooper (USA), Vahalla (CAN) and Fleet Helicopters (AUS). _______________________ Summary This is the Civilian version to the Nimbus Simulations UH-1 "Huey" helicopter released in Sept-2019. The UH-1 is the famous renowned twin-blade "Vietnam War" chopper, but it is also highly used in a civil form (there was a lot of reused military aircraft) in a load of different services and roles. This Civil release does cover a lot of those roles and civil services. The original "Huey" was already a very highly featured machine and extremely well modeled and highly detailed, so quality wise and performance wise it is already a very exemplary machine, but to note it is a tricky handling aircraft due to it's twin-blade configuration. All the same huge feature list on the "Huey" version are replicated here (except for the machine guns!) and include; Checklist, Maintenance, Controls Position, CoPilot, Weight & Balance, Doors & Accessories and a long feature and menu list it is, in reality you are won't for nothing, including opening doors, door removal, thirteen crew and a highly authentic UH-1 instrument panel. The Civilian feature list is just as long... There are a load of configurations you can do; Floats (Water Variant), Medivac, Crop Spraying, Police work, SAR (Search & Rescue) with working hoists... but the highlight is the FireFighting roles with both an active underbelly tank or Bambi Bucket to put out a created (up to 300) fires, by dropping the internal or carried water loads. There are is also the option(s) to carry eight slung loads under the helicopter. There is also the option to have the original UH-1 tail, or a more modernised version. All the different roles and the installed equipment are all extremely well done and of high quality and give you a huge variation of challenges to show off your flying skill sets. Odd points are that the upper green windows are clear from the external view. And there is no quick refill option to fill up your water tank if you accidentally drop your water load (guilty as charged m'lord). Refilling the tank can be very challenging and requires a lot of skill and it is also time-consuming (if very authentic)... so a quick apron fill would be a nice quicker option. Users complained that it was expensive to repurchased the same aircraft again, but that is not the case if you already own the original Nimbus "Huey" aircraft, as you will get 40% off the price for the Civilian version... even with that aspect, the amount of extra features and detail presented here is to the extreme, and in both cases and well worth the investment. Challenging, Adventurous, Role Playing... the Nimbus UH-1 Civilian has it all and more.... Highly Recommended. _______________________________ The Bell UH-1 Iroquois Civilian by Nimbus Simulations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store Civilian UH-1 Priced at US$37.95 The Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" by Nimbus Simulations is also available! from the X-Plane.Org Store Nimbus UH-1 Priced at US$30.36 (20% off) Customers who already own the UH-1 can get this non-civilian version for 40% OFF Features High quality 3D model High, medium or low skids Floats version Firefighting module Several objects for external load operations. PBR textures High quality 4K textures VR ready Black and also white panel and interior Nothing beats the sound of a helicopter sound in real live so we are using High quality professionally recorded sounds to give you a realistic experience, every switch and knob, doors, guns, blade slap, engine and rotor sound is there. Vibrations play a big role on helicopters, the Nimbus UH-1 is full of animations and vibrations. Accurate systems simulation, fuel, electric and hydraulic systems are simulated, all the logic of switches, warnings and annunciators is present. Accurate handling and flight characteristics Accurate performance based on performance charts. Realistic night lightning with custom lights and textures. Particle system. 8 liveries and a white one for repaints. SASL powered Firefighting module A highly requested feature is now available, easily create fires and then fight them with your helicopter, use the belly tank or the bambi bucket to extinguish them. Menu Windows for managing maintenance, weight and balance, doors and accessories, joystick position, copilot, configuration and checklists. Configuration Chose the equipment you want installed on your helicopter, firefighting (bambi or tank), crop dusting, medical, hoists, modern or classic radios, basket, bubble window and modernized tail are some of the options available. Maintenance module: if you want a more realistic experience you can choose if you want the helicopter to require maintenance with time and usage, depending on how you fly and engine exceedance the mechanical components will degrade and performance will be affected. Copilot: We created a "copilot" module that will allow you to hand over control and forget about flying so you can move to the back, enjoy the view, the sound Weight and balance: A graphic interface gives you the chance to modify the cargo, passengers, fuel and CG, handling of the helicopter will change depending on the CG lateral and longitudinal position. Doors and accessories: Doors opened or closed, wire cutter or not.....customize it as you want. Checklist: Checklist are easily accessible through the menu on the left, this window will also allow you to see some performance charts. Joystick position indicator: A small window on the right bottom corner will show the position of your controls, it seems simple but is a very good way to refine your flight technique. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB VRAM Recommended Download Size: 750 MB Current and Review version : 1.6 (June 28th 2021) Installation and documents: Download for the Bell UH-1 Civilian is 711 Mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "Helicopter" X-Plane folder. The civilian uh-1 liveries are a separate download at 965 Mb... and is deposited in the main Civilian aircraft folder. The "Nimbus Firefighting v1.0" Folder is deposited in the X-Plane Resources/Plugin folder Total aircraft install is: 1.80 Gb The AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft. Documentation: One manual that is required reading, not only for the install, but for activation of the complex features (33 pages) Manual CIVILIAN UH_1 V1.6 ________________________________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  3rd July 2021 Copyright©2021 : 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 1Tb gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.9 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99
  23. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : Embraer ERJ Family v1.4.1 by X-Crafts Already here is another big and serious update to the X-Crafts ERJ Family, note the update also covers the individual E145 & E145XR packages, then the Version v1.4.1 update also covers those aircraft as well. The last ERJ update details are here; Aircraft Update : Embraer ERJ Family v1.4.0 by X-Crafts from April earlier this year. The focus this time around is focused on the more authentic details of the aircraft, including a lot of small things like a realistic engine startup sequence EICAS and sounds, Revised Mach / KIAS conversion code for more accurate display of overspeed on the PFD, flap lever has also new animation and a more intuitive manipulator and the Position 18 is now also enabled, and the cockpit and fuselage textures now allow for a resolution change (for very poor computer graphic cards) as well. Version 1.4.1 (June 30th 2021) AIRCRAFT • This version has a big update of the engine performance of all aircraft. The engine performance should now such closely represent the real performance in all stages of the flight. Startup sequence improved for more accurate representation of the startup sequence on the real jets • More accurate representation of the EICAS instruments during the startup sequence(See video above) • Increased the brightness of the textures to counteract X-Planes very dark rendering of the cockpit. The cockpit is sometimes still very dark and this issue will hopefully be fully fixed when we get the new X-Plane lighting system • Modified pedals animation to be less exaggerated • Added "AUTO" to the pressurization knob to indicate automatic function • Flaps lever has new animation and a more intuitive manipulator. Position 18 is now also enabled • The pop-up 3D FMS now has dynamic lighting as the rest of the cockpit FMS • Made the Initial and Final cruise altitude data entry and update easier and more consistent throughout flight planning • Cruise altitudes now automatically update with all flight plan edit modes: added significant checks for INITIAL and FINAL CRUISE altitudes • VPI now dependent upon cruise altitudes in order to provide more stable TOD and VPI results: cruise altitudes are now required before EXEC is permitted • Adjusted CIFP procedures to always provide STAR runway transition waypoints even if an approach has been selected: previously these waypoints were only provided if an approach transition was not selected • Corrected various nuances of CIFP data reading to provide more accurate waypoint data • Overhauled the STAR altitude calculator - some constraints were being missed because the constrained waypoint should have priority. Also, in some selection cases, the airport waypoint was not being created properly • Using INSERT AFTER for new, inserted procedure waypoints will now ignore the constraints of the initially selected waypoint if present and will be treated instead as hard altitude constraints • Fixed automatic runway assignment during approach selection that was not working for some approach types • Added circling NDB approaches to CIFP extraction code and corrected descriptors for these approaches • Fixed VA type waypoints when they are the first waypoint of a SID so that the correct runway heading is used • If the flight plan has not been loaded, resetting cruise altitudes with an implied step climb will automatically adjust all entered ROUTE waypoints to reflect the step at the approximate midpoint of the route • All altitude data entry can be done using flight level (FL330) or three digits (330) in addition to the normal 5 digit altitude entry • Loading a SimBrief flight plan will now automatically set the departure and arrival airports AVIONICS and CUSTOM COMMANDS • Parking brakes are now a toggle in the normal 3D as well as the VR cockpit • Updated APU switch to be "OFF" when starting the aircraft with engines running • Revised Mach / KIAS conversion code for more accurate display of overspeed on the PFD • It is no longer possible to start the engines without the ingition knobs engaged • Added requested N1 bug to the N1 indications (EICAS) VR CONFIG • Added vertical speed knob to the configuration (thank you Ken Brand) • Cleaned up duplicate entries • Changed the Altitude Knob sensitivity for VR GENERAL • Cockpit and fuselage textures now allow resolution change: this will likely increase your frame rates if your machine isn't very powerful and your Texture Quality slider is not on maximum • Added invitation popup for the X-Crafts Not a Newsletter: appears when the aircraft is loaded for the third time and then never again, even if the aircraft is re-installed • Added "Re-enable" function for Recommended VS to the X-Crafts ERJ plugin menu • Added X-Crafts tech support link to the X-Crafts ERJ plugin menu • Fixed some typos in the FAQ and checklist • Changed Aircraft names from EXXX to ERJ XXX SOUNDS • Spool down sound is now only triggered below 22% and you should not hear it if the engines are on idle • Adjusted engine sounds to account for lower idle • Removed the three dings warning from the T/O button when all is well - "takeoff okay" • Added “GLIDE SLOPE!” aural warnings • Removed the engine shutdown sounds which could previously be heard when the plane was loaded cold & dark A video was provided to show the new spoolup (engine) dynamics and sounds... Full update is 305.35 Mb, and you can use the Skunkcrafts plugin to update immediately to this extensive updated v1.4.1. Images are courtesy of X-Crafts... There are five ERJ packages now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore for purchase _______________________________ The Embraer ERJ Family v1.4.1 by X-Crafts is NOW available at the X-Plane.Org Store: Embraer ERJ Family - Package Includes ERJ 135/ERJ 140/ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR/Legacy 650 Priced at US$89.95 Embraer ERJ 135 - Includes: ERJ 135 Priced at US$49.95 Embraer ERJ 140 - Includes: ERJ 140 Priced at US$49.95 Embraer ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR - Includes: ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR Priced at US$49.95 Embraer ERJ Legacy 650 - Includes: Legacy 650 Priced at US$49.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux - 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 869 MB Current version: 1.4.1 (June 30th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 1st July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  24. News! - Aircraft Release : PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project by vSkyLabs It doesn't take long until you get another sprightly release from vSkyLabs, or in their case another Project to deeply delve into. This time it is a twin-seater trainer called the PAC CT/4E Airtrainer from New Zealand. The Pacific Aerospace Corporation (PAC) CT-4 (New Zealand) is a two side-by-side seater, single engine, low wing, all metal monoplane with fixed tricycle undercarriage that is able to operate in VFR and IFR conditions. The CT-4E variant is equipped with the powerful 300 hp Lycoming engine and three bladed propeller. It provides a very capable aircraft, highly suitable for flight training, including aerobatics. Its stability and robustness makes it a very forgiving aircraft as well. Project Highlights: VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project: designed for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental flight model environment, featuring superb flight dynamics with authentic performance and flight handling characteristics. Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage. Engineered and designed as a default X-Plane aircraft (Like all VSKYLABS projects). The VSKYLABS projects are practically show-casing X-Plane, as they are stretching X-Plane default features, systems and flight model to its limits without any dependencies on complementary plugins or software...delivering a very robust simulation model, having maximum compatibility with the ever evolving X-Plane flight simulator. Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots, including aerobatics. Built-in Avitab Plugin Compatibility (AviTab plugin is not included). STMA Autoupdater plugin is included - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap). Highly responsive VSKYLABS support forums: VSKYLABS is offering continuous professional support from aircraft related aspects (operating and flying) to X-Plane technical support. The project is under constant maintenance and development. To note the VSkylab philosophy, is that you purchase an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed and 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft, all updates to the aircraft are free but changes can come infrequently if sometimes slowly. Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs... The PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore _____________________________________ Yes! - PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAC CT/4E Airtrainer Project Price is US$32.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (July 1st 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 1st July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  25. Behind the Screen : June 2021 Boom! and we are already half way through 2021, that is a full six full months... gone already. So what are the patterns, the feel and the flow of the year. First off it has been a real stop-start year, great highs with some really great product coming out, and seriously low, slow lows when everything just grinds to a stop. June 2021 was like that, it was if the aircraft had pulled into the gate, shut all the systems down, and locked the doors and walked away from an inert machine... it was as they say "deady dead". The missing June Expo, in being moved to September 24-26, 2021, didn't really help at all either, most the users just then turned off their computers and headed for the beach or the mountains, and can you really blame them, as with their vaccinations done, they were now free in not spreading the deadly Covid virus, or either being infected... freedom. Laminar released a video teaser in compensation of the non Expo. The coming new HDR effects for the (We are not announcing X-Plane12) announcement. An odd situation, but I think a big welcome relief from South Carolina as they were granted even more time to work on their pet project, so the Expo in September is going now be it (again), so put it on your calender, right next to the already notable crossed out past dates, that Laminar may have already missed on announcing X-Plane12 or whatever they will call it. Yes I am again going over old news, but in case you missed the memo, it is a very big deal, hence the excitement over just this a single video called X-Plane Technology Preview One. If you use already the xEnviro environmental application, it isn't as a big deal as you would think it is, as xEnviro does most of this clever HDR stuff now, for a high cost of course, but the revelation, is that X-Plane will do the same HDR effects at the default level and thus saving you the frame rate hit of xEnviro on your system, and probably do it better than the exclusive application, so it is all a coming bonus there... I had xEnviro sidelined for a few months last year because Dark Space had not upgraded the application to the Vulkan/Metal 10.50 level... and yes I seriously missed the exceptional effect generation the plugin creates, in fact I really hated, but had to accept the bland vistas of the basic X-Plane application for months on end, and I also had to work twice as hard to get the same level of quality into the reviews. So yes the coming HDR effects are certainly going to have a huge and even massive impact on the look of the simulator (and even lighten up those cockpits, no bad thing there), so what looks as even a small announcement from Laminar is a really a very big deal, and I am not saying this factor, just because I am trying to make something as small as the HDR effects announcement to say a lot to compensate for so little or even the trickle of news coming out of South Carolina, but that it is actually IS an important step forward, that said, as the announcement was noted as "Preview One', then expect more of these trickles or drips of news from Laminar over the northern summer. That said, there was (another) announcement from the hosts of the 2021 FlightSimExpo of the main exhibitors coming to the Expo in Sept... This is of course only the initial list, but it was a big surprise in any shakes. For one the list is very one-sided towards X-Plane... Laminar Research (of course), Orbx, Navigraph, Thrustmaster, virtual hosts and surprisingly even our own X-Plane.Org are going to have a booth. But what of Fiight Simulator, the only presenter here currently is Lockheed Martins Prepar3D and that is the older FS standard platform, not the wizz-bang new one... so do you notice something really odd here? There are no MSFS or Microsoft Flight Simulation or partners on the list... no Microsoft, PMDG, QualityWings Simulations, AEROSOFT GmbH (not really expected at 2021), but remember on how at Orlando back in 2019, in how the FS crowd dominated everything, including prep talks from Robert S. Randazzo of PMDG with his strutting around, and Laminar were reduced to the bottom of the list in appointees, but still however stole the whole show with their landing competition. Yes it is very days early yet, and anything can change between now and September... but for now it looks like Expo 2021 in being a one sided X-Plane dominated show. I am not going to hide the reality check of this same time last year for X-Plane. There was some serious worried faces behind the scenes on how much disruption the MSFS release and to a point the ongoing Covid effects on the X-Plane Simulator would have been. Yes Laminar had (and still does have) X-Plane12 up it's sleeve to pull out that new defining extra level on the simulation platforms. But even yours truly spent some time reflecting the worst case or of even the best case scenarios and what they would be (collated into one important post "X-Plane and in the future the new world order") of which I thought was an important statement. But now one year on and mid-year 2021 the pattern has somewhat evened out, so you can see a much more realistic visible future for the X-Plane simulator as the year continues to pan out. For one the simulator didn't at all lose momentum, the X-Plane.Org is as busy as ever, if slightly busier, so no change there or even a significant drift to MSFS. Aircraft releases and their updates have not been affected either, a few are being released a bit later than expected (mostly Covid releated), but all the same they are still rolling out periodically and all great in-depth releases they are to. The only odd pattern is that in the first six months of 2021 it has been full of Helicopter releases, in the past one or even two releases of a helicopter was a lot, but this year it has already been a gut of vertical flight or related to it. After two or even three years of almost nothing, it appears they are all making up for lost time... but it is odd. Scenery as noted last month in BtheS is where it was a noticeable drawdown. A lot of the FS scenery developers decamped back MSFS and that certainly showed a slow down of converting FS scenery to X-Plane and moved on to converting the same scenery for MSFS. But here again there has been some good scenery still released, and also soom great custom freeware and Global Airport scenery as well, so it is again not all bad news, in perspective X-Plane as a simulator has been tootling along quite nicely thank you, so the huge significant threat we all feared this time last year has not yet initially appeared, certainly the doom and gloom clouds have moved away, but we are however still in the transition era of Simulation. But as earlier noted, June was deathly quiet and oddly so was MSFS, I was out of action as well with a bad head cold, so reviews were a little slower this month than usual, but I suppose the timing couldn't be better, maybe we all need a breather from our addiction some time or the other anyway... but overall as the land lies it is far better mid-year than everyone actually expected. Developers are the significant key to simulation, and I will be doing a future BtheS post totally designated on that aspect soon, but the biggest fear last year was the movement of key developers over to the new MSFS platform, a few dipped their toes in and few unexpected developers at that, but most stayed very loyal to the X-Plane platform, and the ongoing key of why X-Plane is in the brighter situation that it is expected to be... but let us not forget. That the X-Plane simulator's past long history is also a significant part of that particular factor, from a developers point of view, X-Plane does deliver and provides the tools they need to create their creations, only the market doesn't live up to the size of the returns they truly deserve, I am hoping that the coming changes brought through X-Plane12 will also change that aspect. But I also think that as a simulator X-Plane and its community also needs to do better marketing to get the message out there of what simulation is and the depth of flying these machines (and what we) can do... one thing Microsoft is very good at is marketing, so the next twelve months and once X-Plane12 has been settled in, then let us get us more serious in attracting more committed souls to the brethren, we can't keep our little intimate world to ourselves forever, one thing MSFS has put out there is that simulation is out there and brilliant entertainment for those who want it, the only issue is, most don't know in what or in how we spend our time... so as we now live in the 2020s, we are also to understand that are also not still in the older dark ages, but competing with other larger forms of entertainment and that is even the pivotal point of MSFS, as they know that aspect and I am not just talking of gamers here (as they make lousy pilots) but for everyone who wants to learn about aviation and fly,and about in depth aviation and flying. In that vital aspect X-Plane is a world leader, when X-Plane12 is released, it should also be a world class leader in that forum... we just need to tell everyone else out there about our little world as well, Laminar can only do so much with their resources, the rest is up to the X-Plane community and it connected services to market simulation and show off the best simulator to the world. See you all next month Stephen Dutton 1st July 2021 Copyright©2021 X-Plane Reviews
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