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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. I have a Saitek X56.. that is throttle unit and yes I set the flaps, gear and airbrakes via the front switches (up/down) if it is a continuous flap than you just hold the switch down, or flick once (up/down) if it is slotted selection. SD
  2. Aircraft Review : SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 by JRollon and SimCoders The SF.260 was designed by Italian aircraft designer Stelio Frati, with production work originally performed by Milan-based aviation manufacturer Aviamilano. It was even before the aircraft's maiden flight that the project was then purchased out in the whole by SIAI Marchetti, who had purchased the rights to the design and the manufacturing which continued to be performed by this firm until the company was themselves bought out by Aermacchi in 1997. The aircraft is two-four seat single engined trainer, that also had the capabilities as a very light-weight strike aircraft, and that made it very popular for small airforces. It is renowned aerobatic aircraft as well, and so this is a very versatile aircraft was built to the standards of a jet aircraft rather than a light-weight trainer. Around 850 aircraft have been built since 1964, and the aircraft is still in production. JRollon and SimCoders Javier Rollon is a very early X-Plane designer from Spain. His aircraft include the CRJ-200, BAE Jetstream 32 and the T34-C Mentor, but more unknown is that he is the main developer that is responsible for most of the default aircraft that comes with the X-Plane simulator, so fly the Boeing 738, or Boeing 747-400 or even the Space Shuttle and you are flying in one of JRollon's aircraft. SimCoders are a specialist plugin developer studio that started out with their excellent "Headshake" plugin, but their main focus has been on REP's or Reality Expansion Packs that give both the X-Plane default or payware (mostly Carenado) aircraft added capabilities and features not included within the original package. With this SIAI Marchetti it is the first time that SimCoder's have been included in the original development of the aircraft, so this package is not a divided or addon pack, but both areas have been developed together as a one single whole package. First impression is that the included feature list is huge for such a small aircraft, add in the SimCoder pack and it gets really big. So no expense has been spared here by either developer on this little trainer/strike aircraft. Walkaround The SF.260 uses the Simcoder REP as it's menu system, so any or most menu options or features are accessed through that system. But first let us have a walkaround of the Marchetti, and have a look at the intimate details of the aircraft, however to access some areas it is required to use the REP pack menu system... I have always been a bit contentious towards some of JRollon's designs, no doubt they are excellent. But they sometimes they come across as a bit heavy handed, note the X-Plane Boeing 747-400, or the CRJ-200. They are very good make no mistake, but usually feel a bit heavy and dark in their designs and graphics. So my first thoughts on the Marchetti, was then is this aircraft going to go down that same dark dirty route, but to be fair Javier has not done an external payware aircraft for years, as the Laminar contracts have kept him away from the main stream so to speak. So in someways this aircraft is a new look at his current design philosophy and in the way he has adjusted his style to the newer X-Plane11 era and it's dynamics. There is one thing that has been very highly noticeable from about the same time last year and that is the sheer upward thrust of quality in detail and realism... from a reviewers point of view this level and the sheer speed of this upwards movement, can also make you look like a bit of a twat. Go back to last year and the gushing of "Brilliant", "Authentic" and "Realism" can look now a bit outdated. But the announcements were made in context to the level of design and the version of X-Plane you were working with at that time. All you can say here is, this is a new higher level of dynamics for X-Plane once again... If you love detail, then this Marchetti will be an aircraft that will really get your jollies off... words of "Incredible" and "amazing" do so easily roll off your tongue. The undercarriage is the point of truth for any design, and yes there are a lot of great assemblies out there, but "this" detail is something else, and I have a few thousand real aircraft gear images to back me up. The detail and complexity is absurd, almost an art form, but overwhelming is the wear and tear detail... the liveries that come with the Marchetti are large in size at 4096x4096 and downloads are 131mb each, but they hold some incredible detailing. It is not just the wheel assemblies that are outstanding as in their craftmanship, but the wheel-well boxes are highly realistic as well. Just look at those tyres and tell me you have seen better... Wing profile and detail is again excellent, but it is in the minute that you see brilliance... note the wing-tip fuel tank drainage plug. Lighting assemblies on the wing-tips are a work of art. The static wicks are highly realistic, as they flop in the static position but are animated in flight; they are positioned on the wing, elevator trailing edges and rudder trailing edge. Panel fit, riveting and design is first rate, as it is hard (and so many developers get don't the right amount of groove to make the panels realistic and so they look wrong), but not so here... note the lovely NACA duct on the fuselage. I have a bit of an obsession with glass, as to me perfect glass means a perfect aircraft, it is all in the shape, the thickness and the reflections.... and just when you thought it couldn't get any better, like with JustFlights Hawk T.1a then along come this masterpiece, with not only a perfection of a glass canopy, but a section of tinted glass set within the glass... and look carefully and the glass is also scratched by the elements in the air, these scratches are very and highly realistic when viewed in flight, and more so the VR (Virtual Reality) mode. Part of this extraordinary detail is the engine as well.... a Lycoming O-540-E4A5, 195 kW (260 hp) 6 cyl horizontal opposed engine! You can only access the engine via the REP menu... which I found a little annoying, surely we could have a selection to access the engine like the other static items? Note the excellent air-cooling pots or cylinders, and every nut, screw, wire and pipe is here... it is simply extraordinary detail. Cockpit and Cabin It has been a journey around the Marchetti's exterior, so how is the interior and does it live up to the same quality and detailing? Some how you already knew that this not going to be the usual case... ... although the instrument panel looks excellent, it is the seats that really early on that catches your eyes. This is obscene to almost sick in realism... the folds of the leather, the inner seat panels... agggh... it is just... well. The highlight (yes there is more than that that leather) is in the seatbelt stitching, ribbing and design... ohhh! beautiful, and tell me where there is better? Internal cabin paneling is also exceptional, lovely leather (this is an Italian aircraft after all) and again those ripples and folds... note the metal foot plate with screws on the floor. Instrument Panel Getting to the business end of the Marchetti you know it is already going to be good... ... and the detail, features and quality is going to be very high, and so you are certainly not going to be disappointed either. It does feel military but not that far removed from a general aviation aircraft. Note the lovely folds in the leather on the edge of the glareshield. First point is quirk or is it a intentional point. The lower "Avionics' switch does not turn off the avionics suite? (it is actually switched off in flight?) even with the battery switch flipped off. The only way to stop the avionics draining your power is to pull out the circuit breakers? (arrowed) and yes they all are active. There is another avionic kill switch I found later (almost hidden) in the "Emerg Avionics Master". This Emergency Battery is made by 28 AA batteries, and the Emergency Battery is connected to the ESS Bus and so over-riding the standard avionics Bus . All the instruments are beautifully done with wear and tear scratches on the glass, but they are also very realistic in that the cockpit instrumentation needles will be more precise with a newly calibrated gauge rather than with an old one. So you can tap over an indicator or a bulb light to try to correct its error or fix it while in the cockpit. And I like the way the artificial horizon is lazy and floating with no power. Instruments are complex, heavily detailed and focused on the left seat flying pilot. Standard Six instruments are in the classic layout with Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator positioned top, and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial with built-in Course Deviation Bar (CDI) centre and the Vertical Speed Indicator complete the lower set. Lower row has a fancy chronometer, a ADF/VOR pointer and a CDI or Course Deviation Indicator (VOR 2, and switchable to VOR1) Right side pilot has backup instruments with RPM dial, Manifold Pressure and Attitude Indicator line of sight with a secondary Attitude Indicator right lower. Suction dial, Fuel Flow and Temperature gauge. Centre panel has landing gear lever and Flap switch Up to 50º in continuous movement and not stepped. Then there is two rows of engine gauges that cover Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature, Cyl Temperature, LoadMeter (top) L(eft) tip tank Fuel, L(eft) wing tank Fuel, R(ight) wing tank Fuel, R(ight) tip tank Fuel (lower) - (64 gallons). The full set of active circuit breakers and lighting switchgear is on the bottom row. Under the glareshield there are four dials, they cover L to R: Fuel Pressure, Engine EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), Flap position and Acceleration G movement. Outwardly the Avionics stack looks like the standard fit-out you usually have, but this layout has far more built in active features. Top of the stack is the standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel with the X-Plane Garmin GN430 GPS system below (COM1/VOR1). The Bendix/King KX165 NavCom is quite a comprehensive unit with: Active/Standby frequencies mode, Channels mode, CDI mode, Bearing mode, Radial mode and Timer mode. The next Bendix/King KR87 ADF Receiver is also very comprehensive with ANT/BFO/ADF modes and FLT/ET mode with SET/RST button. The Marchetti uses a Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot with highly realistic Startup animations, ROLL and PITCH mode, HDG/NAV/VS/ALT modes and Yaw Damper... finally bottom is the Garmin GTX330 Transponder with built-in Altitude Monitor mode, Count down mode, Count up mode, Flight Time mode and OAT/DALT mode, altogether they are quite impressive to use. None pop-out and that includes the default GNS 430? but the KFC225 is very easily accessible from the pilot's position. You can use the XSaitekPanels plugin and also install the RealityXP's GTN750 GPS as it can also can be used if you have that (expensive) option. Centre pedestal is tiny but excellent with; standard Throttle, Propeller and Mixture levers which are lovely and beautifully designed, the Fuel tank switch is set below... note the nicely crafted joysticks (can be hidden) and trim wheel. The SF-260 has twin-throttles with another on the far left... Italian trainee's are expected to learn to fly via the left hand on the left throttle and the right hand on the stick... Another lever lower down is a feature, with if you use Simcoder's "Headshake" plugin with the aircraft you can adjust the vibrations of either a loose or tight seatbelt, by just adjusting this lever! Rudder pedals are beautifully crafted, and the guides as they are animated are also very realistic (arrowed). Lighting The panel lighting is sensational as well, there is only one adjustment via both knobs at each end of the instrument panel... the phosphorous lighting dims slowly at night, and looks highly realistic. There is also a small yellow light above the pedestal for maximum detail and the lighting glows beautifully at night. External lighting is very good as well. Strobe and beacon lights are bit strong but fine, navigation lights and there is a single nose landing light.... that single light however is quite strong. REP or Reality Expansion Pack The built in REP package is pretty well the standard version that SimCoder's produce for other aircraft. But because it is already interwoven into the aircraft it does feel far more solid than the other REP packs. I personally am not totally a user of REP packages as they can be a bit over excited on the various systems (early engine starts were almost impossible), but they have improved quite a lot lately, so we shall see how the fully installed REP is either a bonus or a negative to this aircraft. The REP can be accessed by two menu options... one is in the X-Plane plugin's menu and the other is a pop-out on the left side of your screen... The left side screen menu tabs can be partially or fully hidden. The top plugin menu has more options with the screen version only using the centre six tabs. The first two include; "Settings" and "Wear out to". Settings include: Enable the plane damages, Show failure messages, Show tips, Show side menu on mouse hover only, Save and restore the plane status between sessions, Enable hypoxia effect, Roll axis drives ground steering, Use US Customary (pounds and inches), Pilot/Copilot altimeter use InHg and Enable engine monitor. Most of the above can be switched off, like the failure messages, tips and engine monitor. The mouse hover option is best ticked off as well... but the Save and Restore option is excellent in leaving X-Plane and coming back to the aircraft, which is then set exactly the same way as you left it, including warm fluids, CHT and Oil Temperature, switches position, the fuel on-board, the loaded weights, the engine fluids quantity and quality and the feature is excellent. To reset to cold, just uncheck the box. Wear out to; The aircraft comes with some significant failures built in and you can regulate them by setting the "Wear out" condition, there are four settings with: Brand New or the engine is brand new and all the onboard systems were just as tested. Privately Owned (new): this is an almost new aircraft that has been privately owned with care. The engine as well as the other systems will have some hours logged but no issues are in place. Privately Owned (old): this is an aircraft that has been owned privately for years. The engine as well as the other systems will have much hours logged but no issues are in place as the private owner kept the plane with good care. Flying Club: Buggered! The centre six selections on the plugins menu are the same six on the left side tab menu, they include: Kneeboard Mass & Balance Walkaround Tow Maintenance Report Automatic Engine Start All menu options have pop-up panels and you can move them around the screen, but you can't scale them, which is a bit hard as some are quite large and can cover vital instruments... so the panels can get in the way in flight, not so much on the ground. For VR users there is a custom system to access the menus and text inputs in the VR mode, so there are both systems available in the 2d and 3d environments. Kneeboard: This panel contains the aircraft normal and emergency checklists together with the performance reference tables (there are also key assigns to operate the kneeboard without using the menus). Mass & Balance: This panel is used to precisely load the plane, a Center of Gravity envelope is provided. There are settings for Pilot/Passenger/Baggage weights, Fuel Weight, Landing C.G protection and an aircraft summary is also provided. Walkaround: The walkaround feature is a combination of several areas, in settings for the aircraft in fluids and fuel, opening features and static elements. A lot of users are already very familiar with this REP system and it is excellent, but if you want say just the chocks positioned it is a long way around the walkaround to do so? The pop-up panel has two areas of walkaround choices, one is the main "Pre-Flight Check" and the other is the "Lights Check" Lights Check: This checks all the lights around the aircraft, and includes the instrument panel lighting. Note the excellent tip tank fuel cap detail! Pre-Flight Check: Does two actions in testing areas around the aircraft for flight and adding or removing static elements. It also shows fluid levels of the various systems. Static elements include: Wheel chocks, Canopy cover (nice), Wing and tail tie-downs, engine inlet covers and pitot cover. Tyre condition and wear is shown, in case they need replacing. Contentious for me is that this option is the only way to get access to that amazing Lycoming O-540-E4A5? It would be nice for the engine access to be part of the static elements? You can check the oil and its condition level. Fuel quantity and contamination levels are also shown, nice fuel cap... The active flying surfaces test feature is still here and it is very good.... ... with the surfaces covered which are the ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder. All in all the walkaround system is excellent, and there is a key command available to manoeuvre quickly through the walkaround menu. Tow: The tow feature allows you to pull the aircraft from the front nose position, you use your joystick to move left-right and backwards-forwards and at different speeds. Maintenance Report: There is a comprehensive clipboard that is a Maintenance Report... It is important to understand that the Marchetti is when used very vulnerable and has a significant built in "Custom Damage & Maintenance System". And ANY system can be damaged if used the wrong way. The Maintenance Report is one way to keep the pain away if used regularly, and it shows you the current condition of the aircraft. Note it can only be used if the engine and power is switched off, and then for the maintenance to be done on the aircraft. Engine Autostart: The REP provides you with a way to automatically start the engines. So get down on your knees and say "Thank God" for this option... It can be a pain to start, certainly from cold. Final two menu options are: "Toggle Static Elements" which is all on or all off, with no individual choices (it can be a key input as well).... and "About" which is what the current REP pack is being used. Flying the Marchetti! Outwardly this a computer program, but inwardly this Marchetti behaves like a real aircraft. The O-540-E4A5 engine breathes, has the correct (or poor) fuel flow and there is a combustion model to which all power outputs, the Cylinders Head Temperatures or the Oil Pressure which are all regulated. so the power output can be depending on climate and certain conditions, like for instance altitude... yes it is all very complex, but also highly realistic. Noted features include... Oil type, quality and quantity affects the engine behavior and the spark plugs may foul because of carbon deposits, Leaning the mixture at the wrong time or in the wrong way may cause damages to the engine, there are carburettor dynamics and ice accretion. Engine preheater and winterization kit: the engine may be preheated on winter using the provided electric engine heater. If the engine is not heated correctly, it then won’t start or may be damaged after start. There is an animated pilot... at first I thought it was a young Austin Meyer? not to sure close up... he is fully animated with lovely movements reflecting his pilot's position, and in a nice effect is that he moves his head and upperbody forward in some movements and his hands move perfectly with the joystick. Simcoder's "Headshake" plugin is recommended and so do I recommend it here also. You can use the XPRealistic Pro plugin as well if you wish, but a few extra features are used with the Headshake version and it is free. Startup can give you the shakes literally, but with great cold engine sounds and intermittent running until the engine warms up (with a bit of throttle for a fair while and then idle). Close the canopy and the external sounds dull, press on the lovely headphones between the seats and the sounds dull even more to reflect wearing the headphones... A bit of thrust, brakes off and your away, you don't need a lot of throttle to get the SF-260 moving, but I have the twin throttles on my Saitek X56 Rhino set for one lever as the throttle and the right lever as the mixture, and using both you can find a nice taxiing balance. A bit of flap 14º (the secondary runway is really short at LIML-Linate 17/35 6011ft, (972m)) and with full rich mixture and power up... the headshake can make the aircraft feel more twitchy than it really is and propeller yaw (to the left) is extreme, but around 90 knts I pull back on the joystick... Flaps to zero as soon as... and up goes the gear. The Marchetti is complex on the ground, but a very simple aircraft to fly in the air... ... it is an aerobatic aircraft, but it flies beautifully and is quite an easy aircraft to manoeuvre around it's solid axis... Simcoders note that "Low stick movements are sufficient to cause a high roll speed. If pilot over corrects it may easily end up in Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIO) around the logitudinal axis." Performance is not really exceptional...Rate of Climb is 9.1 m/s (1,791 ft/min), Cruise speed is 330 km/h (178 knots, 205 mph)... with 236 knts Max. The range is 2,050 km (1,107 NM, 1,274 mi) and a Service Ceiling of 5,790 m (19,000 ft). But I found it hard to get into the 180 knt range, and so I backed off in case I blew something up... you feel that way in this aircraft. But this is a very nice place to be in, visibility is excellent, the SF-260 must be absolutely brilliant in VR. The SF.260D engine is normally aspirated. That is, the maximum air pressure that affects the engine is the outside atmospheric pressure. It is also affected by visible moisture, the Carb Heat knob must then be operated to avoid carburettor icing at low engine RPMs or icing conditions. Icing and effects are not on the aircraft yet, but with the new icing and carburettor effects being in the X-Plane11.30 version, I would expect them on the aircraft in the near future. Sounds are custom, are fully customised and are not actually FMOD... and they come with custom engine sounds that ensure high performance and the best aural quality with dynamic immersive sounds in both the internal and external views. They are very good and highly original, but I found the cruise sounds a bit droney and almost a "ooooonnnn" sound that you soon got really tired of. KFC225 Autopilot is super nice to use even it it does not pop-out, at least it isn't buried somewhere hard to access... From the point you drop the gear (note the above read warning light that the gear is up?) you get the buffeting, highly realistic... ... but the Marchetti is a tricky aircraft to fly at low speeds, but I don't know if the Headshake is overswinging the effect, but the aircraft is very swinging in the horizontal (not much wind either). so you can over compensate. Approach speeds are 80 and 90 kt in the landing-configuration and stall speeds are right at the 61-kt limit, but you get a buffeting right at the approach of the stall speed (around 67 knts), but it makes it tricky to land and it feels quite fast as you arrive as well. Any throttle reduction is with care, as you can very easily lose height and lift... so the aircraft needs a fair bit of practice and even skill in flying the SF.-260 at this approach phase of the flying. And I have had three or so landings and still need to totally get to grips with the low speed handling, but again we don't spend this much cash and expect the aircraft to be basically very easy to fly.... we expect total realism, and that is what you have here. X-Plane does have a bad habit of grabbing you at the final phase and pulling you down on to the runway, and even with these several landings I haven't been able to dial that out, which I have done with other aircraft... but I will keep trying to find that last minute fine balance. Overall the SF.-260 has an amazing feel, and it is highly realistic in flight... There is a rain effect, that puts water droplets on the glass... but overall it feels more like flashing Christmas tree lights than raindrops? and they don't wash away in flight as you gather speed very well either... other developers have done a better set of water drop actions in this area. A final note is that if you use X-Plane's replay mode, the aircraft has a habit of jumping badly when you come out of the replay, it always hop's or jumps a small distance? Liveries There are eleven liveries with the JRollon Yellow set as the default... All are huge 4096x4096 4K textures of extremely high quality. Note the very nice SimCoder's Promo livery. Summary When I first saw that US$40+ price I went 'oooh", that is high for a small single-engined aircraft. But as this review went on, and on and looking at the size of this review and then work your way through the very extensive feature list, then this Marchetti is now looking like an absolute bargain. There is no doubt that Javier Rollon is a master developer. Certainly this aircraft will put his skills at the very top of the tree, list... whatever as one of the very best in X-Plane, and thankfully his older dark heavy period seems to have been buried. But this is simply sublime work... even you could class it as one of the best in this category in X-Plane currently. The detailing and the quality of the modelling here in the SF.-260 is off the scale, jaw-dropping it's sheer complexity and with ultra-fine detail... this is realism 101. You won't find better, and there is some excellent aircraft out there now in X-Plane. Overwhelming is the sheer interior detailing, the excellent exterior work including the magnificent undercarriage... and... and... that fully complete working Lycoming O-540-E4A5 engine, it is all "gone to heaven stuff" Features and the depth of immersion of the systems, switchgear and even the avionics are all ultra deep and very accessible... and we haven't even got to the intergrated SimCoder REP's or Reality Expansion Pack yet. Yes this package is worth US$20 alone, but here it is fully immersed into the Marchetti, with all the walkaround and static element features the package provides and it is extensive in depth and again in the way it is interwoven with wear and tear, and the general use of the aircraft... this is a machine you have to look after, even babysit to keep it in a fully functional form, just like... well the real aircraft. After all the "oohs and aahs" then is there any negatives? Well no access to that lovely engine as a static element, I feel is just crazy, you want to look at it and even see it with the machine running?, more access to the individual static elements and I think the rain effects need another rethink... It is a tricky aircraft to fly as well, very easy in flight, but taking off and in the low speed zones you really need your best flying skills, I'm not crazy about the in flight cruise sounds either, but it is highly probable they are totally authentic. So the Marchetti SF.-260 master class from the master, and come also with the excellent SimCoder REP package as part of the deal, Look back through this review and you can't say you are not getting overwhelming value for your money and it is also VR ready... and so is this Marchetti maybe even the best aircraft in depth and detail that has been released this year in 2018 as well?.. Highly Recommended! _____________________________________________________________________________________ The SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 by JRollon and SimCoders is a new release for X-Plane11 and is available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 Price is US$44.95 Features:  Code driven flight dynamics - Super fun to fly, requires your attention all the time - Realistic takeoff, landing, cruise, and overall performance - Realistic aerobatics - Realistic stall behavior (watch your ailerons!) - Impressive spin behavior - Realistic roll speed at both high and low speeds Outstanding 3D model and liveries - Very light on FPS - High performance 4K texture - 10 Liveries included - Blank textures with PSD available to create your own livery - Tire blowout is shown - Propeller blades bend on belly landing - 3D modeled engine components - Custom rain and ice effects Realistic onboard systems and procedures - Pre/Post flight walk-around - Custom hand towing mode: use your joystick to push/pull/steer the aircraft on ground - Realistic Mass and Balance - Complete electrical system with working Circuit Breakers - Custom landing gear warning system - Custom stall warning system - Custom vacuum system - Custom flaps system with realistic white-arc behavior - Custom fuel system - Custom cabin ventilation and windshield defrost system - Working Emergency Avionics switch with Emergency Battery - Working emergency landing gear extraction procedure - Canopy can stay slightly open during flight Custom Damage & Maintenance System - Any system can be damaged if used the wrong way - Persistent aircraft state: each livery has its own state that is saved between flights. Damage is cumulative. - Maintenance Report available to check the status of the aircraft and do the maintenance and repairs 100% Custom Piston Engine - The Lycoming O-540-E4A5 is modeled down to the smallest bolt and breathes air like a real engine - Custom fuel pump and fuel filter - Realistic Oil System affected by Oil Viscosity. Choose the best oil grade for your kind of operation. - Spark plugs fouling. Change the spark plugs type in the maintenance report. - Working engine preheater - A custom algorithm simulates the fuel/air mixture and its combustion - Custom carburetor system with custom icing behavior - High fidelity power curve - Custom system failures - Realistic startup behavior and procedures - Automatic startup option for quick start High fidelity cockpit - All switches work like the real ones - The cockpit is illuminated by 3D lights - The instruments wear out and may give incorrect reading. Tap over them to temporarily try to reduce their error. Fix them in the maintenance report. - The cockpit light and indicators bulbs may start blinking and fail. Tap over them to temporarily try to light them up again. Replace them in the maintenance report. - Realistic phosphorous lights that dim at night as time passes by - Working Circuit Breakers that you can use to shed the battery load in case of generator failure - Support for RealityXP GNS - Bendix/King KX165 NavCom - Realistic startup animations - Active/Standby frequencies mode - Active only mode - Program mode - Channels mode - CDI mode - Bearing mode - Radial mode - Timer mode - Bendix/King KR87 ADF Receiver - Realistic startup animations - ANT/BFO/ADF modes - FLT/ET mode with SET/RST button - Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot - Realistic Startup Animations - ROLL and PITCH mode - HDG/NAV/VS/ALT modes - Yaw Damper - Garmin GTX330 Transponder - Realistic Startup Animations - Altitude Monitor mode - Count down mode - Count up mode - Flight Time mode - OAT/DALT mode - PA mode HeadShake Integration - Use a custom lever in the cockpit to strengthen the belts and reduce the G-Force effects during aerobatic flight Custom three dimensional sounds - Custom sound engine that ensure high performance and quality - Dynamic immersive sounds in both internal and external views - Sounds are muffled by closing the canopy and wearing the headsets - The canopy can stay slightly open during flight to let some fresh air in: you will feel the wind blowing on your face - Enjoy the engine sound suffering the torque effects during aerobatic flight VR Compatible Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended (release and review version v1.01) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation: Download for the SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 is 264.45mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Fighters" X-Plane folder Download of the separate SF-260 Liveries file which is 1.07gb is also required... ... and the combined installation is 1.35gb. Key authorisation is required for the Simcoder REP package and a restart is required. Skunkcraft's Updater is also installed Documents: User documents are extensive with both a User Manual and Checklist -References REP-SF260-checklists-references.pdf REP-user-manual.pdf It is highly recommended to read the user manual before flying the aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton  16th November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25 (tested also in X-Plane b11.30b4) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : Headshake Plugin - Free : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - LIML - Milan Linate Airport 1.0.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free 
  3. I didn't know either?... thanks for the tip, and video SD
  4. Dreamfoil Creations and Nemeth Designs Ecureuil AS350 B3+ There has been a Service Pack (1) released for the AS359 B3+. Mostly the pack contains fine tuning and performance updates with other items including the crew now adding weight and the Co-Pilot will disappear if you view from his seat. There are few changes are for the joystick with the reverse axis (you don't do this?... you should) and joystick functions and I agree it feels far better with movements under my Saitek x52pro setup. A full list of the changelog is at the end of this Mini Review: The Eurocopter AS350 B3 (Plus) Ecureuil (Squirrel) is a single-engined light-utility helicopter that was originally built by Aérospatiale but is now part of Eurocopter Group (Which will soon be again rebranded as Airbus Helicopters). This version is the High-performance version, is powered by an TURBOMECA-Arriel 2B1 engine equipped with a single channel (DECU) Digital Engine Control Unit with a mechanical backup system. The AS350 B3+ from Nemeth Design and DreamFoil Creations is an FSX (Nemeth Design) Helicopter that has been transfered into X-Plane10 (DreamFoil Creations). Some of the best and most successful aircraft that have come into X-Plane over the last few years have been crossover products that were created for FSX/P3D platform and are usually totally overhauled for the X-Plane10 platform. And here the AS350 B3+ is certainly the best blend of both platforms using FSX strengths are usually in the excellent 3d modeling and textures, and X-Plane's better flight dynamics and HDR features. It is best first however to explain how the AS350B3+ Helicopter is configured to understand what you are looking at. There are three standard aircraft: Basic- with no added equipment (default) Complete Medical Complete Police Both Medical and Police versions are the "complete" setup of each aircraft for its genre. This is setout in a "Equip.cfg" file that can be edited in a text editor. In this Equip.cfg file is a list of items which are: SearchLight, Hoist, WireCutters, Mirrors, LatTow, FLIR, Medical (equip) and a Basket on each side of the aircraft. Any of these items can be selected (0 = no, 1 = yes) to be put onto the aircraft, For the: Complete Medical version you have: Medical, Wirecutters, Mirrors. Complete Police version you have: Searchlight, Hoist, Wirecutters, Mirrors, LatTow, FLIR, Left/right Basket. The great thing about this Equip.cfg system is that you can change and set up the aircraft with just the equipment you want to use, and if creating a specific livery it also allows you to set out the equipment that is associated with that livery. A great feature is that you can carry a box under the helicopter swinging from the underside winch, just don't attach it up to to high winch... because it will pull the AS350 B3+ straight over? There is also a "smartmenu" that is accessed on the right-top of the glareshield of the instrument panel. This menu access makes the AS350B3+ highly equiped and detailed, walking around the aircraft in its different versions the quality and the detail is excellent. On the AS350B3+ the linkage 3d work is exceptional and intricate and all the movement animations are perfectly realistic, the main and tail rotor blades are also carbon copies of the original items. The Eurocopters fuselage and tail boom have also been very well crafted with excellent detail, The burnt crafted exhaust gives out a slight black smoke with HDR off and a heat blur with HDR on. It is very easy to set up the aircraft for a specific mission. Just selecting the Medical option will give you a full medical layout and you can select if you want a badly injured patient or not on the side stretcher by the (small) pop-up menu screen. (note: it cannot be adjusted outside the aircraft, you have to go into the 3d cockpit mode before selecting the patient). The AS350B3+ is a single pilot helicopter, and so the instrument panel is quite basic in its layout and functions. Instruments are mostly the basic set of altitude (with radio altitude), horizon, airspeed, compass, engine revolutions and clock. There is a VEMD (Vehicle Engine Monitoring Display) with Engine and Vehicle displays and both have selectable systems screens. The central equipment stack is the standard setup of a KX155A COMM (VHF/NAV2), a GTX 327 Transponder, GMA 340 Radio, standard Garmin GNS 430 and a ADF panel. Lower down is the central console with a very easy to navigate SCU panel with buttons for most of the main functions on the aircraft like lights, DCT/BAT, Avionics, winch (outside) a set of trim controls and a great test function If the FLIR attachment is operational then on the left side of the panel you get a Infrared screen that works in the day or night, it is highly adjustable as well in movement including zoom. Cyclic is beautifully made and adjustable for friction at its base. The Collective is functional as well with a lock - hydraulic isolation and Search-light (toggle) switch, all other cockpit items including the rudder pedals are worn and realistic. Overhead is a light, the rotor-brake and the fuel valve switches (on/off) and an optional headset.(a note is that you need to flick the grey switch on the rotor-brake to start the engine). Panel night lighting is selected by buttons on the SCU panel and you can adjust the brightness on the main panel. If FLIR is attached the the night-screen glows green in the cockpit and which is highly effective. Outside lighting consists of two underside lights (one taxi - one landing) and the usual, beacon, strobe and navigation lights... a major feature is the spot-light that is positioned just under the rear of the main cabin. You can select specific controls (In the "buttons Basic" menu) to turn the spotlight on/off (also on the collective) and set up a hat switch to rotate it around and up and down, with the HDR on it is highly effective. There are 9 liveries included. But the first three are the "Standard" versions in Basic, Complete Medical and Complete Police as noted above. The other six are: Medical 1 Medical 2 Police 1 Police 2 PP-EOY Transport 1 Sounds on the AS350 are excellent as Dreamfoil created the DreamEngine sound engine, so you expect the sounds on this Eurocopter to be good, and here it does not disappoint. You get 3D positional sound, 3D coning,here yo have layered sounds with the doppler effect and the DreamEngine can hold up 128 different sound sources. One of the best features with the AS350 from Nemeth Design and DreamFoil Creations is that you can select Arcade Mode... ... So simply put is that Arcade Mode will take out all the real aircraft reactions and replace them with more sedate versions. But I found the mode more realistic than that. In fact because it dumbs down the movements you can understand the way helicopters behave a little better. you do still have to fly the machine the same way even with the arcade mode switched off as with it on, but it makes it easier to anticipate the machine's movements in both modes, which means what you learn flying the helicopter in Arcade mode is then very easily translated into normal vertical fight flying, Arcade mode is really like having training wheels for helicopters as it sits between starting to fly and learning of how-to-control the helicopter - but with out the full agony of crash after crash after crash. Conclusions The Eurocopter AS350 B3+ was released in April 2013, and like many new Add-On's, some can take time to understand in depth. This aircraft is so multifaceted that it can take a while before you explore all of its talents and combinations. Flying the AS350B3+ is a learning curve as well, in the normal mode it is a tricky beast to learn, but that is the nature of the beast as well. Get it right and the rewards are outstanding and you keep wanting to go back for more. Helicopters are like that, they are highly addictive because they demand skill and precision to fly correctly. And you have to process that information and practise the skills to get to a high level. The creators of the AS350 B3+ have created a very highly tuned machine to fly with skill. But have still given you a get out clause with the Arcade Mode to learn without failing. In that it is possible for anyone to fly this aircraft even if you don't have the time to get perfection. For me, I can fly to Zermatt (Switzerland) and land on a platform that in real life looks impossible to achieve. I can do it in Normal mode, but Arcade Mode can make it possible for anyone to achieve the same results. The aim is not to be lazy and stay in Arcade Mode for life, but to go beyond its training limits and progress to the normal mode. And that sums up the aircraft, It is very highly crafted with incredible textures and modeling, If you want the detail and the perfect recreation of the Squirrel AS350 with a huge feature list, then you won't find a better Helicopter... But it is still very assessable to anyone and anyone can fly it.... For value it is outstanding. Documents: There are three manuals with the aircraft. AS350_Manual (22 Pages) AS350_Procedures (12 Pages) FAQ (2 Pages) Price is US$34.95 and is available from the .Org Store : Eurocopter AS350 B3 Plus Updated store# Mini-Review by Stephen Dutton Developer Site: Dreamfoil-Creations 8th August 2013 Service Pack 1 (changelog) - Fixed memory leak on DreamEngine, used to cause crash after few reloads. - Fixed issue with livery load for null paths, was causing CTD randomly at reload or aircraft change. - Improved DreamEngine camera transitions - Added RMI on ADF - ALT mode fixed on transponder - Improved Autorotations - Fixed incorrect pitch for tail rotor animation - Fixed GPS NAV1/VLOC frequency range - Fixed issue with reverse for axis on the joystick - Copilot and Patient now automatically add weight to CREW - Fixed 1 Blade out of tracking at low rpm caused by wrong plugin calcuations - Fixed Trim that caused rotor disc to tilt right - Improved cockpit vibrations - Replaced the joystick functions, works better and without jitter - Mouse work as control again - Improved cyclic 3d model (its now twisted as real one) - Fixed HSI Flags - Fixed LIT problem on OAT gauge - Improved Radar ALT night texture - Improved Governor Performance - Copilot disappear when you¥re with view on his position - Added Yaw String Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  5. News! - Plugin Release : Hi Fi Simulations releases ActiveSky XP A quality stalwart brand in FlightSim Hi Fi Simulations have released their premier product ActiveSky for X-Plane11... features include: Active Air Effects: Replaces internal X-Plane turbulence and air effects, providing enhanced turbulence, drafts, thermals, terrain-based wind effects, surface friction, gusts, variability, wake turbulence, microbursts and more High-Performance Weather Depiction: Uses internal X-Plane 11.2x/11.3x cloud depiction for maximum performance and smoothness, with multiple weather depiction modes including theme cell “real weather” mode and global static mode – VR compatible and optimized! Active Sky Weather Engine: An evolved version of the Active Sky platform brings the core features that made Active Sky the leading weather engine for other platforms: Advanced weather synthesis and interpolation, high-resolution global winds aloft, realistic air and atmosphere effects, a comprehensive weather data network, integrated visual mapping and planning, and much, much more Voice Weather Delivery: Active Sky ATIS and Flightwatch are available at any time by listening on 122.00, 122.02 or 122.03 for closest station, actual/current interpolated conditions and destination weather reports, respectively Surface Crosswind Attenuation: Optional, for better ground handling in crosswind conditions while preserving headwind/tailwind component for performance accuracy Mobile Companion App: Use any device/browser to connect with Active Sky over your network and view and control the weather There are a few notes to take in below before consideration of a purchase. Not a complete visual cloud rendering replacement We have put our previous X-Plane visual cloud rendering replacement efforts on hold (until next year) due to performance considerations and changing API environment/tools that are not yet finalized We expect our visual cloud rendering replacement technology to debut in Q4 2019, subject to change based on many factors ASXP features high-performance cloud depiction with a focus on conditions accuracy, utilizing the X-Plane internal cloud rendering via a hybrid API approach, with two different modes available ASXP also features an optional high-performance photo-realistic cloud texture replacement with a simple texture installation wizard Windows 64-Bit (v7 or later) Only Mac, Linux and 32-bit X-Plane/Windows versions are not supported In a networked environment, the ASXP application/client may run on Windows 32-bit (7 or later), but X-Plane must be 64-bit on Windows 64-bit (7 or later) We hope to bring additional OS/platform support in the future X-Plane version 11.26 or later (64-bit for Windows) is required Requirements: X-Plane v11.26 or later, 64-bit Windows Version (Mac and 32-bit Windows versions are not compatible) Windows 7 or later, 64-bit Version Active and stable internet connection (broadband recommended)* 500mb available hard drive space 1GHZ+ CPU 2GB+ RAM OpenGL 3.3 graphics device (nVidia GTX500 or or equivalent, or better) 1024×768 minimum available screen resolution to display all user interface features I would note that the plugin uses the default X-Plane11 cloud system for now... and obviously Hi Fi are waiting for the full implementation of the Laminar Research Vulkan API changes before adding in the more custom visual cloud rendering replacement (3d clouds) for speed and efficiency of course. Hi Fi note that the full product with visual cloud rendering will not be available till the end of 2019, and that any charges to upgrade to the visual cloud rendering is to quote... "work to maintain and enhance our products, with several free updates planned. The details of what would be included in such updates are yet to be determined." ActiveSky XP is now available from HiFi's website for 35.99 EUR. (US$40.78) Images and text are courtesy of Hi Fi Simulations ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 12th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  6. Scenery Review : NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia by Cami de Bellis Positioned just above New Zealand and 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia in the South Pacific ocean is the French outpost of New Caledonia. New Caledonia became an overseas territory in 1946 and by 1953, French citizenship had been granted to all New Caledonians, regardless of ethnicity. A recent independence vote resolved to keep the hundreds of French bureaucrats from Paris in place and that basically keeps the island afloat with French Euros, and so the population 278,500 simply went back to their normal french lives in a paradise certainly far removed from the French Capital. And what a life it is... don't for instance arrive in Noumea (the capital) on a Sunday, because in reality nothing happens, the only action is at the odd bar or cafe where the madame will smoke her Gitanes with passion while sipping from a weak wine, and giving you the evil eye of being a customer. I know because I have been there, twice.... and twice only on a Sunday. But you don't come to New Caledonia for the shopping either (as there isn't any, or any bus services as well) but certainly come for the outstanding natural beauty of the islands with a French accent... find the right area and you would break down at the sheer immense beauty of the planet earth we exist on, as New Caledonia is in reality Tahiti-lite without the huge expense required to stay there. This is Cami de Bellis's second payware scenery after her "VQPR - Paro International Airport" late last year. It was a very good first introduction into payware for de Bellis, but a difficult first choice to do as well. Cami is highly known for her extensive detailing and the sheer object placement in numbers. Which is very good in freeware, but it can also overwhelm a scenery of simply too much placement... but they were all freewares, and payware is a very different game altogether in finding a balance and more importantly authenticity. NWWW La Tontouta Noumea La Tontouta International Airport is the main international airport in New Caledonia. The airport is in the municipality of Païta, approximately 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Nouméa. La Tontouta International Airport serves international flights, while Noumea Magenta Airport, located 38 km south-east within the city of Nouméa, serves the domestic flights. The airport is regularly served by four airlines, including Aircalin which is based at the airport. Tontouta International Airport Aéroport de Nouméa - La Tontouta IATA: NOU - ICAO: NWWW 11/29 - 3,250m (10,663ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 52 ft/16m Note: First up on the review is a note. Make sure you have or download v1.1 and if you have downloaded the original release then to go and redownload the new version. The update fixes a bad mesh join line (below right) directly in front of RWY 11, and now it looks far better. The mesh join elevation hole is still there, but now not as noticeable as with the original mesh line. This issue is a Laminar mesh issue and cannot be resolved by the developer. La Tontouta is a split airport with the commercial area on the central northeast that includes an extended terminal and a Aircalin maintenance Hangar... ... and across the 11/29 RWY is a military zone that was originally built as a WW2 (small) US Airforce Base, now named Nouméa Air Base "BAN Tontouta". La Tontouta Terminal NWWW airport's terminal extension was completed in 2012. The completed project resulted in a significant increase in the terminal's size and included a new arrivals area, a larger check-in area and the installation of two jet(air)bridges. The terminal now has five stands capable of handling commercial jet aircraft, two of which are served by the new airbridges and three of which utilise stairs to access the aircraft. In addition, the airport has several more stands designed to handle smaller prop-regional sized aircraft. Sensationally modeled, this one of the best terminals I have seen in a while. The La Tontouta terminal is very detailed with a huge amount of intricate detail, and it looks extremely realistic... .... the highlight is the terminal's latice work. It is to reflect the same design as the sails of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, that was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano on the narrow Tinu Peninsula that celebrates the vernacular Kanak culture, the indigenous culture of New Caledonia. It was obviously most important to get the latice work and style correct, and the result here is excellent. The remarkable Cultural Centre is well worth a visit. In the extension they added in two airbridges, and they are both well defined here, they are active as well (marginal plugin required), but your parking position has to be perfect to get them to activate because of the long angle. Building detail and clutter is excellent, both on the roof of the terminal and in the receiving trolley bay and baggage area. Landside is exceptional as well, with a well laid out carpark, and huge clutter detail (This is after all Cami de Bellis!) The large Aircalin maintenance Hangar is very prominent and well recreated with fine weathered detail. Two static Aircalin aircraft fill out the scene. Service yards, freight buildings and administration areas are plentiful and thoughtfully crafted and cluttered, with great detail. Several new buildings are all glass, and really well modeled, but the over reflective effects are from most angles set too high and need or require a more less saturated natural look and feel. The Control Tower is set up on a hill to the east is excellent with great quality detail. Tower view is set and both approaches are easy to see, but at certain angles you get railings that intrude into the view. Northwest of the Terminal is the Fire Station that is very well detailed and runway facing building. Tontouta the village is well represented with authentic buildings, but not with an over population of housing, but there is still enough in here to give the area that right fill and appearance feel. The housing detail is very good, but in areas the fencing goes a little wayward here and there, and also missing is the fencing around many areas of the boundaries of the runway. All vehicles are French to add into the authenticity and many are animated, I love the little Peugeot 307 police car that rotates around the aprons, with the Cofely branded animated food truck. The airports Pacific history is well represented with the disused Douglas abandoned on the airfield. Nouméa Air Base As airbases go "BAN Tontouta" isn't very large, it is just really a collection of hangars and barracks... but it is well done and well detailed. Authentic is the word that comes to mind. Textures Runway, taxiway and apron textures are first rate, with excellent detail and worn in treaded tyre wear detailing. Linage and signage is also top notch and highly realistic. There are some 3d grass (and plants) inserted, but not in a large area ground coverage way. There is however a lot of hard different ground elements that are not blended in to each other or are cut sharply to match? It gives the scenery an oldish earlier X-Plane scenery feel that we have now moved on from, you do sort of ignore it, but this is payware and you have seen and expect better. Lighting Lighting of NWWW is overall excellent... All approach lighting (RAIL on RWY11) is well defined and nice to use. Taxiway lighting and lit navigation signage is also all well done. The latice is well lit... but is it a bit too bright or blue oversaturated? The real latice structure is as highly lit so the effect is debatable, but my gut says just a little less oversaturation would just tone it down enough to make it realistic. The airbridges are debatable as well, because the real ones are clear at night, where as here they are shades of green. The Terminal itself looks excellent and has a nice feel with image window/glass night textures. Ramp lighting is excellent, with great coverage and different lighting tones. Landside and housing lighting is again top notch, with plenty of fill and down lighting. BAN Tontouta's flightline is again well done, as is the internal military hangar lighting that looks very authentic externally. Summary La Tontouta International Airport is French New Caledonia's main airport. There is another called Noumea Magenta Airport that is located 38 km south-east within the city of Noumea, but that airport serves only domestic flights. Overall this NWWW - La Tontouta from Cami De Bellis is an excellent scenery, with great modeling and as expected also great, but thankfully not this time filled with overwhelming clutter, the balance here is lovely. Detail and especially the terminal is expertly done, with the iconic Kanak culture latice frame that is central to the look of the airport, with the texturing and quality building look that is excellent. Lighting is overwhelmingly good, except for the oversaturated latice frame. There are a few notes... The newer (Glass) buildings are over-reflective in their effects, different ground visual elements are also a bit too cutout and not blended in with sharp lines defining the shapes and some of the fencing is either, not where it should be or not there at all mostly surrounding the runway boundaries, and the airbridge colours at night and even in the daytime are also debatable. But mostly this is all a nice to fix than essential. This NWWW certainly the best work yet from Cami and she is certainly getting into her stride in completing quality payware scenery. The most important thing here is that she has captured the Frenchness/South Pacific feel of New Caledonia as well as the reproduction of the Island's main airport, and that is hard to do, but also very essential in conveying the essence of the area and place. So a big yes as an addition to your South Pacific Airport collection, and certainly a great destination for any flying in this Oceania part of the world, Highly Recommended... but just don't fly to Noumea on a Sunday. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia by Cami de Bellis is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia Price Is US$22.40 Features Highly accurate scenery for NWWW with all buildings modeled Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic) Autogate by marginal Mesh of airport corrected exclusively for this scenery, created by Matthias Seewald/Maps2Xplane and expressly authorized by Austin Meyer Photoscenery for the entire Airport area Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings buildings Custom airport lights High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures – all in 2K and 4K Excellent night effects World Traffic 3 compatible Manual included WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and will generate a set of routes. They do however focus on more to the GA aspect than AFRE routes. There is a set of custom routes provided by ysfsim: Ground routes for NWWW La Tontouta Noumea but they don't create much action with the AFRE selected. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended CDB-Library v.2.4 is required Version and Review copy is v1.1 (Dec 9th 2018) Installation Download scenery file size is 397mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as: NWWW_Noumea_La Tontouta N. CALEDONIA (1.12gb) yxz_CDB_Mesh (95mb) Total scenery Install is : 1.13gb The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the ysx_CBD Mesh is below the Airport files. The updated CDB-Library v.2.4 Library is Required for this scenery Documents La tontouta_manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 10th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - default X-Plane by Laminar Research (Free)
  7. Scenery Preview: GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands by MK Studios FlightSim developers discovering X-Plane has been one of the stories of the 2018 year in scenery. We call them conversions, it is taking the original FS/P3D scenery, stripping them out and then rebuilding them from the ground up to the X-Plane laws and layouts, and then you add in the X-Plane11 dynamic features as the icing on the cake, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The main reason it doesn't is that the original scenery used as the host is usually already out of date, so the conversion is behind the 8 ball already, but with many conversions were as the host is already a quality and successful scenery the conversion to X-Plane and can and even be an enhancement of the original. MK-STUDIOS was founded back in 2008 is a Polish based studio, so they are already an established scenery developer in FS land, and this is their first foray into X-Plane with this GCRR - Lanzarote scenery. The conversion is courtesy of Emma Bentley and Ashley Jones of Windsock Conversions, and Emma who is a well known established X-Plane member. GCRR - Lanzarote (also known as Arrecife Airport), is the airport serving the island of Lanzarote and is located as part of the Canary Island chain . The airport is located in San Bartolomé, Las Palmas, 5km (3.1mi) southwest of the town of Arrecife. GCRR - Lanzarote Lanzarote Airport Aeropuerto de Lanzarote IATA: ACE - ICAO: GCRR 03/21- 2,400m (7,874ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL14 m / 47 ft First to note is the large size of the scenery, altogether (four files) and it is a whooping 7.54gb of mostly photographic terrain that covers the whole island of Lanzarote. The runway 03/21 looks newly laid, as does the taxiways and aprons. The real 03/21 is more darker grey than the darker brown here but it is a darker texture than most runway surfaces, but it looks and feels nice close up... ... textures are nice and so are concreted areas and the markings are nicely worn in as well. Note the excellent RAIL approach lighting on RWY03 Approach and the only runway at GCRR with an ILS (IRR - 109.10) installation. Many pilots note it as a difficult approach, but it looks like an easy over-water approach to me, my guess they are confusing GCRR with Fuerteventura airport on another nearby Las Palmas island. The aprons are well done and with good navigation signage, so it feels nice on the ground. Lanzarote is a very white airport in a moroccan sort of way... ... so the only way to break out of that 3d blank modeling feel is to have some clever texture detail. There is some here but not enough raw detail to overcome the modeling aspect, so it feels of what it is and that is an FS/P3D scenery. Control tower is well done, but you don't get to feel that depth of realism. Glass is not see-through, but looks good and brings a lot of life to the buildings. Tower view is set and gives excellent coverage of both 03/21 approaches (below). Landside car/coach arrival and carparks ground textures are a bit of a mess... over-saturated, low resolution they look totally disconnected from the terminal and surrounding photoscenery, and it doesn't even try to matchup, twice? The original passenger terminal (1946-1970) which is now Aeronautical Museum, is well presented. The newer (above) terminal was opened on 3 March 1970 and international and domestic flights began using the airport on that date. Clutter is very good and correctly branded, not too much and not too little, gives the airport the right coverage. There are no animated vehicles (traffic) and the airbridges are solid. Custom buildings There are provided custom personally placed 3d buildings to cover Arrecife and the surrounding Lanzarote area... .... custom building design is quite generic, basic and only a few different styles. But there is an issue that the objects have a very poor LOD (Level Of Detail) distance at X-Plane's Field of view setting 73º. And even on final approach to the runway the mesh can be flat one second and start filling out (popping up) of 3d objects the next.... but closer to the ground level and the flat bland ortho textures do tend to flatten everything out? From an altitude point of view the islands features are however very good photographic wise. You get the same LOD issue at the airport itself, noted here by the airbridges that pop-up even when you taxiing in on the taxiways and aprons. So all round the LOD's are quite poor. GCRR Lighting The scenery lighting is actually quite good. 03/21 approach lighting is good, but the off runway taxiways don't have any green taxi navigation lights? The Main taxiway R (sections 12345) does have the green navigation lights, but they are rather dim and hard to see from the cockpit. Ramp lighting is excellent and highly workable, with the old original terminal (Aero Museum) and north cargo area the best. Landside lighting (different tone) almost hides the over-saturated textures, almost... but it all looks good. The night replica glass is very good, certainly on the welcoming original terminal, that almost glows. Tower glass is lit, but doesn't need to be or needed just a little lighting to make it realistic. Preview Notes: Any new to X-Plane user from the FlightSim world would probably feel right at home here. It is a classic early FlightSim scenery crossed over to X-Plane complete with over-saturated textures as well. Modeling is very basic and a throwback to the good olde days of early FSX design. You do get the full island photographic scenery, which could be seen as a bonus (if you like that sort of thing) or a backward step as it flattens out the landscape at ground level. LOD (Level Of Detail) for custom scenery and airport objects is poor in a few areas (objects pop up). All custom buildings are quite generic with no local landmarks, if you don't count the revolving pylon generators. Ground runway textures are very good (if a little too brown and not dark grey) with great signage, and have X-Plane dynamic runway features to represent different weather conditions in say the rain, but you won't get to use the feature a lot as Lanzarote only has seven days of rain a year. Dynamic night lighting is very good, with nice glass lighting features. Features noted are: High quality rendition of Lanzarote airport and ALL island, Accurate and detailed airport infrastructure based on real sizes and dimensions High resolution ground textures, Photo real terrain coverage of all island Hundred thousands of custom placed autogen buildings all around the island 3D night lightning, Very realistic airport night lighting, based on real pilot’s point of view Optimized to take advantages of X-Plane features. WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, and the ground routes are not built into the scenery either, hence the lonely B738 on the ramps. MK Studio's note the ground routes are coming soon. Positives: Very FSX, if you like FSX scenery in X-Plane, full island photographic coverage and extensive custom buildings and nice lighting and good branded clutter. Negatives: Very FSX in a X-Plane world, so it feels a little dated in design and textures, LOD is poor and custom buildings are very generic with no customised Lanzarote landmarks. Landside textures are over-saturated and poor resolution. Not many X-Plane11 dynamic features including autogates and animated traffic. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands by MK Studios is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands Price is US$19.99 Requirements : X-Plane 11.26+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5Gb and installed is 7.54gb Warning: The download size is indeed 5Gb. If you do not have a fast, stable internet connection, please do not buy. MKStudiosLanzarote1Airport MKStudiosLanzarote2Overlay MKStudiosLanzarote3Ortho1 MKStudiosLanzarote4Ortho2 Extras and Documents: - Manual ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 8th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - default X-Plane by Laminar Research (Free)
  8. Yes it is THAT time of the year again. Carenado's "I must have that before Christmas" sale is now on and you can get up to 50% off most lovely Careando aircraft. Some nice biggies are available here (and for X-Plane11 as well) including the Beech 1900D, King Airs B200 and C90B and the XP11 Caravan. All deals are available till December 16th, so update your hangar now, and have a "very Happy (Carenado) Christmas"... All the deals are here on the X-Plane.OrgStore. ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 7th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  9. News! - Coming! - C172SP SkyHawk HD XP11 from Carenado Carenado have been publishing images of their next XP11 release which is the Cessna C172SP. This is not a totally new release from Carenado as their was the X-Plane10 version of the C172SP SkyHawk ll There are a few significant differences between the earlier XP10 version and this release. One this C172Sp XP11 is a single variant with no wheel/float/ski option (it was the N version), but it does come with the full G1000 (X-Plane default) avionics suite package. All Carenado XP11 aircraft comes with these features*: Features Optimized for X-Plane 11 State-of-the-art configurable FPS-friendly logic system Largely VR compatible Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections Specially designed engine dynamics for X-Plane11 Flight physics optimized for X-plane standards Ground handling adapted for X-Plane 11 ground physics Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries X-Plane GNS530 (FPS friendly) Support for RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available) *features noted are not official to this aircraft, but generic to all HD XP11 branded Carenado releases No release date or specifications are noted yet, but mid-next week would be a good guide. Price, my guess is around the mid-30's USD$. But already X-Plane already has a few good C172SP's available, with the Laminar (default version), Airfoillabs and the Alabeo C172RG Cutlass, so it better be good or above average to compete. Images and text are courtesy of Carenado ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 6th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  10. Behind the Screen : November 2018 It is almost a decade now since I discovered and joined X-Plane. And over the course of that time I have come to know many developers through their work, and obviously the impact of their work on the simulator. Ten years ago the X-Plane scene was very different (X-Plane9®) than the familiar feel and look we use today. For developers it was even a more arcane age. Back then 95% of X-Plane aircraft were "PlaneMaker" based with 2d flat panels. but don't get me wrong as developers were very inventive and clever, and the aircraft were actually very good. X-Plane developers back in that age were mostly friends or groups of buddies developing their love of aircraft for their hobby, and the word "hobby" was or is significant. X-Plane is a hobbyist playground and that aspect is still very highly encouraged today. The areas to be explored and created are boundless, and all have the one single aim in creating an interaction to create one of the best simulators in existence outside of the professional aviation arena, and even then those boundaries can be crossed as well. But for a commercial product or simulator to survive it has to grow beyond the hobbyist realm, this area is probably caused the biggest conflict of all aspects of X-Plane. For FlightSim users it was not an option, it is a commercial industry based on business more than the hobbyist angle that X-Plane created, and to a point these forces have almost created a war between them inside of the simulator, this area has become more apparent no more than in this 2018 year in the "free" aspect to the "pay" position of enhancing the simulator. My point is taken here. The one major fundamental highlight of this 2018 X-Plane year have been aircraft. With the shear leap in detail and design and features that have been created and delivered. As X-Plane11 and its more advanced effects and features have moved on to a more mature stage then the developers have used these elements to create some of the almost outstanding work and deliver some of the most excellent aircraft in any simulator. But here is the significance of the point I want to make. All the developers that delivered this outstanding work, are all original early or foundation developers of X-Plane and all of them came out from that original hobbyist era. You could say it is because of their early induction of being X-Plane developers that they have an advantage, but in reality the opposite is the case. Most current forces should in fact reduce the potential of these developers from delivering the product they do. For mostly they are all disadvantaged by the fact they are mostly all still single entities. Most developers in the business market are now teams, mostly between three to five specialists that come together under one studio to create a product. Their gain is that the work can be parceled out to each specialist area, either in the modeling, coding, art or special effects, and recombining to create the product and test it. The huge advantage here is time, as most projects can be completed as a team within a 12 month cycle and in scenery project even on a 4 month cycle, were as for a single developer it is usually 16 months or longer to create an aircraft. I will note that of course single entity developers do have external input of work on their projects, but they are not teams as such as they and they alone create all the main aspects of the project's creation from the modeling to the coding and art. But right from the get go, 2018 in X--Plane it has been a seminal year. First off the rank was Jack Skieczius's (FlyJSim) Boeing 732 TwinJet, and admittedly an update, but the aircraft was very far removed form just being an update, it was and still is in reality a completely different aircraft than the original. At this point the TwinJet is still the front runner for aircraft (airliner) of the year by our calculations, but the 2018 year is still not over. The really odd thing is that the aircraft is known more for it's cabin than anything else, but the flying and system features are up there as well. Developers as a rule see cabins as "left-over" items on a project's grand list of agendas. But here it shows that if you deliver a supremely developed cabin as it was delivered here (with independent cabin lighting, airstair control, overhead lockers and window blinds) it creates a totally complete immersive airliner, and in what should be an addon, then becomes it's major feature... yes the rest of the aircraft is sublime as well and the quality is off the planet, but it was the TwinJet's completeness as an all round machine is what totally resonates with you, and that it delivered a complete new level of simulation involvement, not only on the flying practical level, but also on the sub-conscious emotional level as well. Second developer noted is Daniel Klaue. His work has been mostly the developer in creating the Carenado brand in X-Plane, all excellent machines. But Klaue is restricted to the Carenado design boundaries in that the X-Plane version has to be almost a replica of the FlightSim version, but Dan does in a few areas throw in a few notable ideas and features that are X-Plane specific. But lately through his own Thranda Design, Dan Klaue has released his own projects but also now does conversion aircraft for Just Flight. Just Flight give Klaue more flexibility in the designs, with their excellent GA aircraft in the Arrows, Tobagos/Trinidads have all been high-quality, but it was the seminal Hawk Trainer T.1a that showed us all the skill and sheer design that takes X-Plane to another complete level of realism and high-quality of aircraft available now in X-Plane. The aircraft is breathtaking in design and has a curved glass (canopy) in absolute brilliance, yes it is a copy of the FlightSim, version... but in reality they couldn't be more different. Torsten Leisk is another legacy developer. More for his Airbus systems than modeling. His release this year of the Airbus A319 brought a new high in extremes of the way an airliner handles in the simulator, and also brought to X-Plane new and clever features we only dreamed of a few years ago. The aircraft gives you real world airliner handling that you could only dream of a few years ago. It is an astounding feeling that was very present from the very first landing I had in the aircraft. Again that moment was one of my flying highlights of the year. Walker Guthrie is vFlyteAir. All projects coming out of vFlyteAir are personal, or the actual developers know or own the aircraft they simulate. True to a point vFlyteAir are a small team. But it is the modeling skill and work of Walker Guthrie here that elevates the aircraft to higher heights of quality and design. This year it was the VLC Comco - Ikarus C42 C. Here is another breathtaking advancement of design, with material and complex modeling (Internal aircraft frame) that delivered another advancement of X-Plane design and quality. Again it was an aircraft that the more you looked closer then the exploring brought out the sheer advances the aircraft was making to realism in modeling and feel... the C42 C flew very nicely as well. Just when I really thought that X-Plane in design and the already delivered sheer detail was at it's peak.... then along comes Javier Rollon and the SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 trainer. This release was even more breathless than anything I have seen before in the X-Plane simulator. On the surface it looks very good, but dig deep and it is an almost mind-blowing experience on detail and and quality... and yes the level was raised another higher extreme level again, so you can't say anything or see anything that puts a line of how high X-Plane can go in depth and quality. I am not going to absolutely discount the brilliance and work of Rotate, Aerobask, Dreamfoil Creations (no releases this year, but my guess he would have easily joined the above elites) and X-Trident. The point of this month's Behind the Screen is that all of the above developers are original and still are single project developers. They come from the period I joined X-Plane in nearly ten years ago. Not only has their work been totally outstanding this year, but they between them brought an absolute new and even extreme level of quality, new features and a higher breathtaking depth of realism to the X-Plane simulator. In reality they should all have been easily consigned to history to the reality of advancement and high-quality (well funded) development studios, they "should" be relics of a past era... but as 2018 has shown, they are all very far from that position and even showing that their craft is of a certainly very, very high standard. From my point of view (besides being totally in amazement of their achievements) was that I was also very proud of them all, for their devotion to their craft, their skills and the supreme quality of their work. They are as they say "still hitting the balls out of the park" in delivering outstanding product and even could be the very best overall developers in simulation... above all they are our developers and we should support them. Which brings us back the same "free" aspect to the "pay" position of the simulator... free was very good for X-Plane, it was back then all mateship and buddies and all focusing and delivering on delivering great designs for the simulator. But as all of the above elite developers started out in the same arena, they had to move forward as well. Not only just to personally to make a living to carry on doing what they do. But because like everything, X-Plane has to move forward as well, if the free economy worked a decade ago, it doesn't today as X-Plane has grown up, it is now a serious tool. As if these developers don't make any returns on their work, they will simply have no other option but to go elsewhere to use their talents and craft. So take 2018 and delete all the projects from the above developers and what would you have left, certainly a stagnation of quality and design... but also that missing vital element of forward progression and advancement for the X-Plane simulator. So it is vital to support their work and craft, and also be very proud of their achievements... because simply and more so is that they are our own developers as well. Notes I noted back in October that I was doing a full update on the X-Plane 11.30 version release. Yes I started the assignment, but then the v11.30 at around b4 went backwards, as betas do. It seems more stable now and with more features delivered as well... the indepth coverage will still be released for when X-Plane11.30 goes final... unless it goes backwards again. December in the X-Plane year is a short month, and the yearly round up of the simulator and "best of..." awards will be soon released before the Christmas/New Year break... so happy flying to all till then Stephen Dutton 1st December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  11. Classic Aircraft : Rutan Model 61 Long - EZ by VSKYLABS In the early evolution of aircraft design it was the singular force of an pioneer engineer that drove the design and innovation. Think of the names of Curtiss, Boeing, Douglas, Hawker, Dornier, Junkers, Hughes and many more. But as the designs became more complex and they required more od the differential skills then most of these individual pioneers were replaced with teams or companies to build the aviation industry into what we know today, most of these manufacturers were still exceedingly clever in what they produced, but were also very conservative in the same sense in that their expensive products had to also be sold and be highly reliable, and so the maverick pioneer of the early times was reduced to the outcast nutjob the dreamer who lacked funds to create their designs. The only major aviation advances then mostly came from the expensive military aspect of pushing the boundaries, and then out into space itself. But one man in the last half decade has still been a total maverick an honor back those earlier pioneers and in the process has turned the principals of aviation on their heads, his name is Elbert Leander "Burt" Rutan. Burt Rutan is now retired but his legacy is certainly amongst being one of the aviation's greats. A "maverick" and yes that title is perfectly acceptable for Rutan, but his list of achievements is simply extraordinary... early designs were mostly homebuilt aircraft and specialized research aircraft, but it was the Voyager project in designing an aircraft that could fly a nonstop, unrefueled flight around the world, and do something that had never been done before. In December 1986, Voyager took off from the famous Edwards Air Force Base in California and flew around the world (westward) in nine days, fulfilling the aircraft's design goals. The oddly shaped Voyager was retired and now hangs in the Milestones of Flight exhibit in the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) main exhibit hall, alongside with the Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis and Bell X-1 and all barrier breaking aircraft.Then came the GlobalFlyer which set a record for the longest flight in history at 41,467.53km (25,766.73 mi), and in doing so gaining the third absolute world record set with this aircraft. Then later again came Virgin Galactic SpaceShipOne and its carrier aircraft in the White Knight Two, and that is the spacecraft to bring space travel to everyone or anyone that can afford the 200,000 seat cost. His name is forever associated with the company he formed called "Scaled Composites" or SCALED and they are based in Mojave and only a stones throw from the huge Edwards Air Force Base complex in the high southeastern California and southern Nevada desert were Burt started his career in 1965 to 1972 , when back then Rutan was a civilian flight test project engineer for the U.S. Airforce. Rutan's first personal projects were the VariViggen and VariViggen SP which first flew in April 1972. It had the large rear wing, forward canard, and pusher configuration design elements which became his trademarks. But it was the VariEze and Long-EZ that came next that became the default Rutan design, in that with the unusual aerodynamic surfaces they were also built of the then new composite design. It was a collaboration with the great English Formula One designer Colin Chapman that both men wanted the new material to create both extremely light but far stronger racing cars and aircraft, but sadly Chapman died before the ideas were brought to fruition. (John Barnard created the first carbon-fibre composite chassis that was first seen in 1981 with McLaren F1 Racing). Rutan Model 61 Long - EZ Although the VariEze was a successful design, Rutan thought the idea could done be better with the use of the more readily available Lycoming aircraft engines in lieu of the VariEze Volkswagen-derived engines and so the Long-Ez was clean-sheet scaled-up total redesign of the earlier aircraft. Changes from the VariEze included a larger main wing with modified Eppler 1230 airfoil and less sweep—the canard uses the same GU25-5(11)8 airfoil as the VariEze—larger strakes containing more fuel and baggage storage, and a slightly wider cabin. Plans were offered from 1980 to 1985. As of late 2005, there is still approximately 700 Long EZ's are FAA registered in the USA. At that time Scaled Composites was then known as Rutan Aircraft Factory, Inc. But some owners complained of the "rain trim change" that had been experienced by all Long-EZ pilots. This trim change is usually a nose down trim change experienced when flying into rain and then requiring a small aft force on the stick to maintain altitude, which is easily trimmed out, using the bungee trim system. So a new canard was designed with the Roncz R1145MS airfoil, which produces considerably more lift than the original GU25-5(11)8 airfoil. Any Rutan design is always going to throw the aviation rule book out of the window, and so the Long-Ez looks nothing like your standard GA or even a homebuilt aircraft. It looks more like a sports racer from Star Wars film or any futuristic video game. Performance: Maximum speed: 185 mph (298 km/h; 161 kn) (max cruise) - Cruise speed: 144 mph (232 km/h; 125 kn) (40% power) - Range: 2,010 mi (1,747 nmi; 3,235 km) - Service ceiling: 27,000 ft (8,200 m) and the rate of Rate of climb: 1,750 ft/min (8.9 m/s) There are two liveries provided with the original test aircraft N79RA and a "Thunderbirds' (aerobatic display team) Red, Blue and White scheme, there is a very nice Swiss version but that is not included here. I'm going to stick with Thunderbirds as the original test livery is a bit bland. My thoughts of these series of aircraft was to create an aircraft that were extremely easy to fly, more car like in operation with fewer controls and sturdy handling than the rather with the complexities of flying normal aircraft. It feels and certainly flies that way compared to a normal general aviation aircraft There is a double-seater glass canopy, but the high lower sides means only your heads sit right above up there in the glass, it feels all very 70's Formula One one sitting in here with the high sides and with the front canard also highly visible... The view all round though is very good and the aircraft would certainly be great as a VR (Virtual Reality) candidate and is already VR compatible and the Long-Ez sorta also handles like a flying F1 car as well, tight but with flowing in directional changes. Instrument panel is quite comprehensive for such a small tight aircraft. Top row are all the electrical power and lighting switches... Standard six flying instruments are not all here with just the four in... Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Vertical Speed Indicator bottom far right. An excellent EXPERIMENTAL/LSA autopilot type system is far left (we will come back to that instrument in a minute) and a Garmin OBS VOR indicator (VOR1) dial centre, below is a Bendix/King KT76 Transponder with a Mitchell Volt meter left... note the Heading Dial down lower centre. Key start and panel lighting knobs are far, far left. Native X-Plane GNS 530 also the standard pop-out, a floating compass is far right. Engine gauges are grouped lower left with a large manifold pressure (inHg) and fuel flow (gallons per hour) and RPM gauge. Oil temperature and Oil pressure gauges are above and below the centre Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT) gauge. On the right side wall are three gauges that cover both 26 GAL fuel tanks and an outside VDO temperature gauge ºC. Left side is the connected canopy release with below a trim lever and BRKE (airbrake). Mixture, Throttle and Carb Heat levers are front. Right side lower is the joystick and Aileron trim rear... The aircraft design plate is nicely well done here as well. The big handle is to retract or extend the front landing wheel gear, but the X-Plane key setting will do all the work for you... the (arrowed) hole allows you to see if the gear is down. Behind is the fuel tank switch in Left - Right and OFF. The internal cabin materials are excellent, with the weaved carbon-fiber matting and exposed fibreglass surrounding you and your single passenger... ... the aircraft has "EXPERIMENTAL" pasted across the glareshield, but that is what this aircraft actually is, a basic bare-bones flying machine, there are no comfort features in here, and the well created detailing also gets that message across, and you also feel the slight age now of the aircraft as well (1980) as that aspect has been very well recreated, in the wear, tear and soiled fabrics as this X-Plane aircraft has been designed around the original Long-EZ (NR79RA) prototype. Some Long-Ez's are equipped with a rear-seat fuel tank, and a Long-EZ has flown for 4,800 miles (7,700 kilometers) in this configuration. Flying the Long-Ez Externally the aircraft is of composite construction, and in X-Plane that aspect can come across as a little bland, but if you look closely then VskyLabs have created some nice wear, tear and visual points to give the fuselage some detail and aging, but it is still a hard aspect to cover completely. The pods beneath the wings are not fuel tanks but luggage containers or really places just to stow items than say full sized luggage. The undercarriage is unusual in that the rear gear is a one piece molded s-fibreglass/epoxy (resin) set out as two struts that is extremely strong but also flexible with excellent energy absorption, and also highly efficient aerodynamically. The front gear is as noted manually retractable, but again immensely strong. Most owners usually retract the front gear when parking up the aircraft to create a sort of nose down attitude and to start the engine via handpopping, the nose down in the dirt stops the aircraft running away from you... which when you think about that it is a good idea. One of the most interesting aspects of the aircraft is it's rudder arrangement... the rudders are on the end of each wingtip. But when you yaw or use the rudder pedals then only one rudder then moves while the other rudder stays straight, and vice-versa, both rudders can also go outwards to act like an airbrake but that is not simulated here. That nosewheel can be tricky? It is freewheeling or a bit like a taildraggers loose tail wheel situated on the nose and not the tail, so if you try to turn too tight it flickers from side to side... there is a trick to turning and taxiing smoothly and you will soon master it, but it is a strange feel to get right at first. Sounds of the Lycoming O-235 air-cooled flat-four engine, 115 hp (86 kW) are spot on and highly realistic, a pair of headphones can highlight the air-cooled engine. Sounds are 180º FMOD and I particularly liked the lower idle throbbing... With the Long-Ez I use the XPRealistic Pro dynamic movements plugin, which I highly recommend here, make sure you have the engine throttle movements (shaking) quite high to get the engine shake for realism... Throttle up and it is a neck back snapping experience, the Long-Ez just goes like a rocket with so little weight and the power of the 115 hp Lycoming. Rotate is around 70knts, and watch for any directional wind as this light aircraft can easily be buffeted off line by even just a breeze. There are no flaps at all, just rudders and aileron's, and the huge canard forward which does the lifting and the balancing act. If the trim is correct the Log-Ez is super easy to fly as you would expect it to be, as the turns and manoeuvrability are excellent, but don't go doing over excitable acts as this aircraft does have odd performance areas that you just don't want to go there, full performance and their limits are provided in the manual. The EXPERIMENTAL/LSA autopilot type system is an interesting tool. It has a built in rate-of-turn indicator by the red five boxes set either side of neutral. Then to hold an altitude and the heading you press the "ALT" (mode) button which acts like a hold and you get a green marker to say that action is activated... ... if you use the UP (Climb) or DN (Descend) buttons the green turns to yellow for the ATT mode, pressing the ALT returns you to the (ALT Mode) or straight and level. If you press the LT (Left Turn) or RT (Right Turn) buttons it stays in the ALT mode but banks to the required turn red box, clicking the opposite direction button will neutral the turn. I found that when in the normal ALT mode you need to centre the LT/RT to keep it tight on the heading or you will drift to the left or right (sort of trimming the heading), once set right the heading will stay on course. To disengage the LSA just press the ALT again to disconnect (cycle). The LSA is extremely easy to use and is very effective for long flights like In 1997, when Dick Rutan and Mike Melvill flew two Rutan Long-EZ aircraft that they had built, side-by-side around the world. This "around the world in 80 nights" flight was called The Spirit of EAA Friendship World Tour, and some of the flying legs lasted for over 14 hours. Landing can be a bit tricky with no flaps, but you have a great almost fishbowl outside view that helps in the coordination and focus of the runway. You have a two stage airbrake situated under the fuselage that helps in controlling the excessive speed, but the full position can easily stall you if you use it wrongly, but it is good in the case of losing height and speed. The single extension gives you the best option, but again you use it sparingly... The trick is to believe in the aerodynamics in that both that huge delta wing behind you and that canard in front of you will totally support you and give you the efficient lift you require, it takes a few landings to trust them, but in doing so and then the landing phase become easier, although I did find I used a lot of runway before accepting the ground as the ground effect lift is quite strong... You need to keep the approach above 70knts, but you landing speed target is usually around 55knts, but I found just under 60knts was fine, and overall the aircraft is quite stable unless you have a strongish crosswind, and then it is simply horrible! Lighting The Long-Ez has very simple lighting, the two knobs on the instrument panel control the main instrument lighting and the avionics lighting... ... but the instrument lighting does look nicely aged and authentic, as all the dials glow sweetly in the dark. External has the navigation lights and a two stage single light in the nose that covers the different taxi and landing light brightnesses, not totally effective, but most Long-Ez's don't have landing or taxi lights either. The strobes are very bright at night and it feels like your are flying through a bad lighting storm most of the time... Summary It is important to note that all VskyLabs aircraft are "Projects", and are not completed aircraft, in other words the work is on going and you must be aware of that in the purchase, this aircraft doesn't even have rudder pedals? which seems to be a really odd missing item, even on any launch aircraft. But they will come in an update soon, as with more canopy detailing (internal - strut), back cockpit detailing and extra liveries. The aircraft is basically a simple machine, not only to use but to also fly, but that is also the same brief set out by it's designer in the first place. There are no menu's, static elements, pop out checklists (they are checklists in the supplied extensive manual) or any other fancy features to devour, this is all about the unusual flying characteristic of a very if again unusual design and a Burt Rutan design at that. In that context VskyLabs have done a brilliant job in creating this classic aircraft, it is far harder to do than you can imagine as the flying performance is quite different from your usual GA aircraft, but the Long-Ez does fly and perform very much like the real aircraft. Certainly a lot of thought, sweat and tears have gone into the aircraft to do justice of it's original design and honor one of aviation's greats. So here is the test... would you fly right around the X-Plane world in the Long-Ez, and that alone is great challenge, but a worthy one. So overall this Long-Ez is a great aircraft, but still slightly unfinished in a few areas, but that is the "project' aspect of the deal. So if you like the very different, challenging experimental style of aircraft then this is your type of aircraft, it is certainly different and also very interesting at the same time. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Rutan Model 61 Long - EZ by VSKYLABS is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Rutan Long-EZ Project Price is US$27.50 Features The project is designed and engineered around the original 1980 'LONG-EZ Plans' and 'Pilot Operating Handbook' (N79RA). As a result, the VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Owner's manual is based on the real LongEZ owner's manual. The manual for the VSKYLABS LongEZ aircraft can be downloaded for free. The core of the project is a superb flight dynamics model with authentic aircraft performance and handling characteristics. Aeromatic propeller configuration (fully automatic variable pitch propeller). Highly detailed and animated aircraft model along with 4K textures. VR-READY - Highly detailed and functional 3D cockpit environment. FMOD sounds engineered with a 'rough and tough' feel for enhanced flying experience. IFR capability. Autopilot - Experimental/LSA grade autopilot included. Additional Features: Highly responsive support system/forum. The VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project is under constant development. All updates are free. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements: X-Plane 11 - (X-Plane 11.20+ is required for VR) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM minimim. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 220Mb Installation Download of the Lon - Ez is 216mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 302mb folder. Documents Documentation is excellent with one (large) manual included: VSKYLABS-Rutan-Long-EZ-POH-001 (download) More Information: BurtRutan.com: Burt Rutan's web pages - contains interesting articles, 'must read' PDF documents etc... Burt Rutan Wikipedia page: The Aerospace Legend Burt Rutan Wikipedia page. Rutan Long-EZ Wikipedia page: ez.org - A community of Rutan canard aircraft enthusiasts: Includes Forum, articles, links, various downloads (drawings, POH plans etc...). Canards for X-Plane: An interesting resource of freeware, good quality models for X-Plane: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 9th May 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KMHV - Mojave Air & Spaceport - Scenery Packages (v11,v 10, v9) (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  12. Sorry no... it uses the new layout of the WebFMC plugin folder (introduced by X-Plane 11.10) ... no harm in trying the free version? WebFMC 1.07 to check anyway. SD
  13. Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios One of the great features on FlightFactor aircraft is the ability to use the aircraft's FMC (Flight Management Computer) on an external screen via a web browser. In my case with my iPad, in that shows up the FMC panel on the iPad display and you could then easily input in all the performance and navigation data. This is available for the FlightFactor Boeing 757/767/777 and the A320U. It is an exceptional system and one that I use all the time and it looks good when flying as well as a visual readout of the FMC in flight. So why isn't this visual tool available for the other X-Plane aircraft? Well it wasn't until now. WebFMC by Green Arc Studios Green Arc Studios has taken the same idea and set up a plugin so it can be used on other X-Plane aircraft and it comes currently in two versions. The first version is a free plugin that you can use with the Zibo Boeing 737-800 Mod and the associated 737-900ER Ultimate. That version is available here on the X-Plane.Org: WebFMC 1.0.2 The second version is WebFMC Pro and this plugin is a payware version and currently works with a selection of aircraft including the: ● 737-300 by IXEG ● A319 by ToLiss ● A320 by Jar Design ● 737-800 Zibo Mod ● 737-900ER Ultimate Certainly the list will quickly grow and as the JarDesign A320 is on the list then the JarDesign A330 shouldn't be far behind and many others should be also available soon. Noted and as this list can change at any notice, then here are the aircraft planned for future updates and they include: EADT x737, X-Crafts E-Jets, SSG E-Jets, SSG 748, JD330, FF A320 Ultimate and A350, FF Boeing 757, 767, 777, JRollon CRJ-200, Rotate MD-80 and hopefully their coming DC11 (we’re are touch with Rotate on this one). Installing WebFMC It is easy to install, just download the plugin and unzip it into the X-Plane Resources/Plugin's folder. A note on those who think that the free version will work with the other aircraft is just wishful thinking... the Pro version looks the same but it is completely different internally. For the Pro version to work you also have to install a authorisation key (arrow right) in the WebFMC folder that is provided when you purchase the plugin, this activation is noted when you first startup the plugin in the web browser. Select and load the aircraft you are flying and select a browser on your choice of another computer or device (iPad, Tablet). The browser recommended is Chrome, but I found WebFMC still worked fine on Safari and Firefox via your WiFi. The hard part is setting up and sending the data to the device and its browser. The required browser address is http://localhost:9090 or where as "localhost" is your computer (the one running X-Plane). This is found on the Network menu on the middle left of your screen under This Machine's IP Addresses (arrowed). There are several other options to connect up WebFMC say via a network that are covered extensively in the manual. Computer firewalls can also be an issue, but If set up correctly then the WebFMC should instantly appear in the browser window. The presentation on the iPad is excellent, although it does depend on the quality of the original FMC layout and fonts, but otherwise what you get in the aircraft is what is shown on the device. It is a great idea to save the address page as a "Home Screen Button" (above right) for an easy startup, and that setting works instantly. So any portable device in say a Samsung Tablet or Windows Surface that can run a browser is ideal. On my Mac the WebFMC looks great as well The obvious question then is why do I need a floating window FMC on my computer when I already have the pop-up FMC in X-Plane? There are several reasons. One is you don't clutter up your X-Plane cockpit space with the popup FMC but you will still have access to it and that makes it very useful on monitoring the aircraft's progress, Second is that you get direct keyboard access that will speed up the data entry enormously, like here (below right) with transferring navigation data from SimBrief, all arrow keys and and Page Up/Down keys to CDU arrows and PrevPage/NextPage keys do work on your keyboard to save you input time. I always found that on a lot of aircraft I have had to put my screen angle oddly to see both the navigation display (set on PLAN) and with the FMC panel in sight together, so here it can be more adjusted visually directly on the Navigation display to check the route data as the FMC is now on another screen. The FMC can also be scaled as per using the browser, but the size of the panel here (below left) is as small as you can go. WebFMC works on the iPhone (Safari), but I found on the iPhone 7 - 375 x 559 px (mine below) it is a very, very tight squeeze and the keys can be really too small to use with your fingers but I was able to actually programme with it, otherwise you would need a pointer or something to input the data. It also tends to flip easily around the screen if you get it wrong and also zooms in close to an area in trying to help you by making it larger, so you are always resetting it back to the correct size. The iPhone Plus 414 x 628 px size screen or larger maybe far better, but mostly I wouldn't usually use my iPhone 7 as the input tool. Currently there are three different types of panels to be seen, ToLiSS319 (left), Zibo B738 Mod (centre) and IXEG B733 (right)... But any new aircraft added and the panel will instantly change to represent the same panel style as in the aircraft. These panel facias are all dirty, but there is the option to have a clean look as well. Menu The menu can be shown by pressing the upper right area on the facia... There are six menu options that covers: Automatically checks for updates Shows the latest update automatically on loading Button sounds Yes/No Dirty or Clean LCD Screen Dirty or Clean Buttons Two panel screens note the current state of the plugin. One is when there is no connection to X-plane (below left), and the second is when you are changing the aircraft, reloading elements or that X-Plane is live but not in a running state (below right). FlightFactor One question you might ask about is why include FlightFactor aircraft when they already have the same FMC web linked set up? And that question is very good one. If you have an up to date device or iPad then the current B757/767/777 and A320U do work, but my iPad is an older series 3, and I can't update my browser apps or even load the chrome browser on to the device? Currently the B757/767/777 application does still work, but the newer A320 Ultimate doesn't (neither does the EFB) and my guess is that the B757/767/777 app version will change to the same in the future as well. So if I want access to the A320 Ultimate FMC then WebFMC would certainly be my current and only choice if it was available. Another point on in why not just go and update your old iPad, then that point is certainly in the future and I will do so (or will have to), but in my thinking is that a lot of the cockpit builders will probably use these older tablets or old IPad-Mini's in their home built cockpit setups on a cost basis, and for that setup then WebFMC would be the only plugin to use to get around the same older and out of date browser situation. Summary The problem with most of your essential tools is that you didn't think you needed it or would use it until you actually had it. I use the FlightFactor feature like this a lot for inputting in the Performance and Navigational Data, you just need it, but this plugin has far more versatility than the the Flightfactor FMC and that version was very good. But having the FMC and being able to interact with it on another screen or even more than one for cockpit builders is a big bonus for simulation flyers. Time spent now inputting aircraft data can be very time consuming, and prodding buttons can be a slow process even if realistic, so the addition of a keyboard input then certainly speeds up the process, the visual aspect of having the progress page running while you are flying is also a great feature, I sometimes take my iPad somewhere else in the house if I have to leave my desk-bound set up and I can then still monitor the progress from afar (i.e. get back to the aircraft for when it is time to descend from altitude). Yes any web based network can be tricky to set up? but all the bases have been covered here, from networks to firewalls which are all noted in the manual. WebFMC is very light and very responsive to inputs and the system has no drag or wait time from screen to screen and that is even on my old iPad 3 which is a slow device. Ultimately WebFMC depends on how many FMC panels are incorporated into the plugin, certainly the more there is then the more versatile the plugin will be, but there is a definite feature advantage for any developer to advertise that their aircraft as "WebFMC" ready and make use of the tool for their product, it also helps in programming for difficult setups like with Rotate's MD88, so WebFMC would be a definite advantage in situations like that and working with older style browsers, plus there is the quick switch from aircraft to aircraft and it's custom FMC panel if you change aircraft in X-Plane, and from that aspect i works and works very cleanly as well. So WebFMC, overall works and it is an excellent tool, try the free version, but the WebFMC Pro is really required if you have most of the major payware aircraft and above all else it will save you a lot of time when inputting data and is giving you more time to fly, and that alone can't be a bad thing... Highly Recommended. _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 Features: Quick and easy access to the FMC Get easy access to the FMC: quickly edit the flightplan, monitor flight progress, set up your approach and do all the typical work of the pilot without having to move around in the cockpit, even if the plane doesn’t support FMC as a popup natively - on the same PC, or different monitor, tablet or phone - in fact you can use multiple displays at the same time! Make pilot tasks easy and comfortable Enjoy external views during cruise while monitoring flight progress on separate screen or take a quick look at your phone to verify calculated landing speed with just a glimpse of an eye during busy time on approach. Make flying complex SIDs / STARs easy as you can focus on the important flight parameters while having overview of the constraints all the time. Take your mobile to the kitchen as you cook a dinner during a long haul and never miss T/D again! Convenient to use Use physical keyboards on PC and Mac with extra keys such as Prev/Next page mapped to keyboard keys for easy access. WebFMC scales dynamically to fit any display or window size and can look as native app on mobiles by using browser's "Add to home screen" feature. Aircraft support WebFMC Pro supports growing number of 3rd party aircraft starting with ToLiss 319 JarDesign 320 IXEG 737-300 Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate Immersion Mimics real CDU with optional wear and smudge effects for better immersion. Uses CDU textures and keyboard layouts specific to the aircraft type in use - so it looks completely different in Boeings, Airbuses etc. Simple installation Just drop WebFMC into X-Plane plugins folder. No need to install any software on the devices, no hassle - all you need is a web browser. Requirements: Plugin The WebFMC plugin requires X-Plane 11 running on a 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or newer. The plugin doesn't require any extra CPU/memory on the system. Web Client The CDU can be displayed on any modern and up-to-date web browser with JavaScript support. We recommend the latest versions of Google Chrome on PC or Android and Safari on iOS. No internet connection required, remote device needs to be on the same local network as X-Plane PC. Documentaion: Manual... (17 pages) WebFMC manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 19th May 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 757 Pro Series- FlightFactor/VMAX (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$64.95 - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00 - Airbus A320neo by JarDesign (Xplane-.OrgStore) - US$59.95 - Boeing 737-800X X-Plane default aircraft with ZIBO MOD installed - Free - Boeing 737-900ER Ultimate Project - Free
  14. Scenery Review : Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini All my life there has been a connection to a mountain, and it is the largest and most formidable piece of rock on the planet. The mountain is Mount Everest or Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan it is noted as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ). The monolith straggles both the borders of Tibet and China and dominates the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The mountain's full height is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), but that estimate changes from year to year, but extremely seriously high is close enough. As I was born in the United Kingdom in the 50's then the conquest of the mountain in 1953, with a ninth British expedition led by John Hunt was a national empire success story. Hunt selected two climbing pairs as then as the first pair failed just 100m from the summit, it was the second pairing of the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali Sherpa climber that the feat was finally successful when they reached the summit at 11:30 local time on 29 May 1953 via the South Col route. With this conquest it was rallied and celebrated thoughout my childhood, so you couldn't really ignore the celebration, I knew more about a damn mountain on the other side of the world than my own family sometimes... Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini As in all areas of life then also as in X-Plane it tends to break up teams into specific categories. For the names of Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini it is in the specialist area of mountainous regions. It started with the their excellent "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery, then there was the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D as reviewed earlier this year... now it is the turn of the largest mountain range on earth with the Everest Park 3D scenery. The Everest Park 3D scenery is noted to cover territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with another eight thousand in a lower resolution and situated along the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains included here besides Mt. Everest (8,848m) are the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129) ...The scenery area included here is in the degrees +27.086 +27.087 + 28.086 +28.087. Airports and Helipads included are VNLK - Lukla airport, VNSB - Syangboche... Helipads Base of HELK - Lukla, Base of HENB - Namche Baza and coverage of Lukla and Namche Bazar, Everest base camp, Tengboche which is home to an all important Buddhist monastery and Gorak Shep. Noted as well is the Pyramid of the CNR (Italy) at 5050 mt. Laboratory and Observatory in the Khumbu Valley, it is a center of study and medicine on the reactions of the human body at high altitudes. Mount Everest Folklore of my childhood was the trek from Katmandu to the fabled mountain. You walked for three weeks carrying mountain gear along Sunkashi River, then up through the Khumbu Valley via the Dudh Kosi (Kosi River System) with names like Namche Baza and Tengboche then Dingboche and finally the Village of Gorak Shep at 16,942 ft (5,164 m) which was the last stop before reaching the Everest Base Camp. It was treacherous, dangerous and the survival of the fittest and required rest days to acclimatise to the altitude. It was exotic and a world away from today's consumer travel expeditions that make the same trek almost like going to the South of France. It still isn't easy to get to Everest Base Camp, but it is now just a rubbish tip like everywhere else we populate. I have seen Mt.Everest in X-Plane before, I used to route regularly over the area when returning from Shanghai, China to Bahrain on my criss-cross of the globe with my F1 Racing freight in the rear. There are no air routes over the Himalayan area and for a very good reason. Mt. Everest is nearly 29.000ft high, so at 35.000 ft at altitude the mountain's sheer size can be still frighting to be passing only 6000ft below the aircraft's belly, do that in bad weather and it can go seriously wrong, but on a clear day the view was excellent, if to the limited capacity of X-Plane's early standard mesh. But note that FL290... that is a normal flight height on any short main route around the world, say in Europe, and with that aspect in mind you can feel the sheer size of the mountain. The hard part is getting up to that flight level, and that is just to gorp at the mountain. Another aspect is the type of aircraft to use up there in that thin air, A jet is more than capable but it is too fast, and there are not a lot of props with the power to operate in the area, most will use a helicopter, but be aware of the aircraft's limitations at these altitudes, so my choice (quite wisely) was the Carenado Do228. It is a very popular aircraft for this area, and used by all the local operators, but it still has a 7620m (25 000 ft) ceiling and here you are going to use every inch of that. I am going to show the X-Plane local Map of the route, it has to really be all VFR, you could create a FMS route, but I don't think you would have enough waypoints to make it safe, there is a lot of directional changes you will be doing anyway to try to automate the route. I worked out the fuel required by time and distance, I wanted to find the best balance in having more than enough and I ended up with 4500kg or 9900ibs, without the weight of full tanks for safety. But flying into areas like this is a bit like going out over the sea, as once airborne there are limited areas or places to land or to find safety, and that has to be taken into account for margins of error. I dug out a very old VNTK - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl. But I have absolutely no idea where it came from? but there is a global airport version built into X-Plane. There is also a rumor that Cami de Bellis also did a VNKT? Even sitting on the apron at VNKT, you can see the Everest 3D Park scenery as the Himalayan range is very visible to the north. VNTK is tricky as well. It sits at 4400ft, but Katmandu is sitting almost like in a crater, and you need to climb almost straight up out of this hole to clear the surrounding walls of mountains, hills are maybe a bit of a stretch, as you need to climb at least 12,000ft straight up in a short distance, I am going to 18,000ft. An early note is you have to choose if you are either going to fly to Everest the mountain, or to VNLK - Lukla at 9,334 ft/2,845m instead because the differences in altitude between the two are quite substantial. So all you do is climb, climb and do more climbing at a steady rate of around 1000fpm. In climbing up higher and higher then the sub-range becomes even more visual, even at this distance it looks very realistic, even against the foreground default mesh. The view out was starting to get exciting, as you felt you were nearing something special.... .... the crawl up to 18.000ft was a slow and steady climb, but finally the gap to Khumbu Valley finally opened up. It can be very hard to find as it looks just like every other valley opening, but a clue is the airport VNPL - Phaplu Airport as it gives you a position to turn north. Once in the valley... you just start climbing again, but now you are targeting 25,000ft. The outside temperature is plummeting as well as you go higher, and already it is below -20º and by the time you get to Everest it will be -40º, and simply that is why you die out there. As soon as you move into the valley then Lukla is on your right far below (arrowed)... Note that distance in altitude? Namche Baza at 3,440m is set higher and not too further down the valley on your left, note the grass/gravel runway that is set above the village. Finally Sagarmatha fills the windscreen. The mountain is very impressive, as it should be, it is biggest block of rock there is on the planet. You are then trying to put every thing into perspective as the detail allows you to do that... The valley floor, the immense Khumbu Icefall... and the twin peaks of Lhotse and Everest itself. ... the area covered is huge and very spectacular. Looking through the aircraft's windows gives you a more high feel of the detail available here. All the scenery is 3D and according to the DEM data (digital elevation model) and further elaborated with many structural details. Many textures (over 40) are based on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. Moving around to the north (Chinese side) and it the visual aspect changes quite significantly, you could call it the "back side of the mountain", it never was as very photographic or dramatic as the Tibetan side, and could be noted as just mountainous. Lhotse (8516) (arrowed below) is right next to Everest, but to the east is Makalu (8463) which is just as dominating as the main attraction. I feel I am just a little too close to the peak of Makalu, but the weather today is fine, but I wouldn't try this in poorer visibility. Heading south again you are looking for the doorway between Tobuche (6543) and Ama Dablam (6812). And with one last look left at Everest I turn back down Khumbu Valley with Ama Dablam just glazing to my left. Moving away from Everest and you are making trails back to Katmandu, there is only one thing to do now... and that is to go all the way down again, and at least it will be far, far faster than when you were clambering and coming up here. Mount Everest Detail Go to ground level and the very familiar images of Mount Everest all start to appear. The Everest Base Camp is reproduced here. I always thought that the base camp always looked like a moonscape, and to an point it does here also.... ... a view of the mountain that many climbers have seen, and know they will be going up there tomorrow. The usual route up was via the Khumbu Icefall or icefield. Which is really a river of deep frozen snow. It was in many ways it still is the most treacherous parts of the ascent, with open crevasses, rock falls and the odd Avalanches. Camp 1 and camp ll are simulated as is camp lll (arrowed), then get up to the South Col and one of the most photographed views in the world comes into view, the aspect is looking east towards Makalu and Baruntse. The South Col is also known as the "Death Zone" or the depletion of oxygen at 8,000m (26,247ft), and many climbers are still here buried in the snow, like Rob Hall from New Zealand who was leading the1996 Mount Everest expedition in which he died trying to save a customer climber. There is another camp called camp IV at the southern pass, and three climbers are sited at the higher Hilary Step... The mountain's detail is exceptional, certainly in the different layers of time built up rock, this is the certainly the most authentic representation you will ever get of Everest, and you can feel every niche of this formidable rock face. It has been hard to assemble the actual rock faces because there is no actual satellite images available, this representation came completely from photographic images. On arrival at the summit you will find that two other climbers have already beaten you to the apex of the mountain... ..... the view up this high is however well worth all the effort. Streaming and falling back to earth, as only you can in X-Plane11.30. VNLK - Lukla airport - Tenzing–Hillary Airport This airport is one of the most famous in the world and easily holds the title of "the most dangerous airport in the world" and the attraction for any simulation is just to take on the "the most dangerous airport in the world"... it is a no brainer there. The strip (if you can call it a strip) was built by the great man himself Sir Edmund Hillary back in 1964, it was only paved in 2001, and so earlier on it was only a gravel strip. The runway 06/24 is 527 m (1,729 ft) × 30 m (98 ft) with a 11.7% gradient, and the airport's elevation is 9,334 ft (2,845 m). It sounds easy but when you see that gradient in stu, then you can see the challenge, add in high winds along the mountain sides and with absolutely no go-around procedures, you have to land or do an early missed approach, once committed, your really committed. Certainly you are restricted to the type of aircraft you can use here and VNLK is accessible only to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft such as the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier Do 228, L-410 Turbolet and Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. There are only four parking slots at VNLK and space is at a premium, and so the aircraft can get seriously busy at peak Everest trekking periods, then add in the weather factor. Most services are VNKT - Katmandu to VNLK - Lukla, and mostly it is a ferry service, but no doubt a brilliant experience. Fares are USD $161 each way and the flight lasts for 30min, which is a bargain really considering the significance of the route. VNLK - Lukla as scenery has been in X-Plane for some time, but what we are looking at here is an authentic approach and a perfect representation of the runway and it's famous gradient. This aspect is not to taken too lightly as it is incredibly hard to model the scenery perfectly, in other words it needs an expert in mountain modeling to get the modeling right, that to a point it is what you are paying for here, the perfect experience of the hardest airport in the world to land in. The developers do provide a chart for the best approach to RWY 06, and note the altitude numbers carefully, as to get them wrong is not just hitting something really, really hard... but to be in the wrong altitude in being too high or too low to get the correct approach path. I have tried landing at VNLK a few times, and it is incredibly hard to get it right, you are looking for a speck on a mountain side, so a sort of dummy run is always the go if you are flying this challenge for the first time, the advances in the X-Plane simulator help a lot now as well, the aircraft are far better tuned to do what you want the aircraft to do... My choice of Carenado's Do228 was perfect and I recommend it highly with this scenery. Height and speed are obviously critical. Speed is as low as you can get away with, without stalling down into the valley. In the Do228 it is at 70 knts on the red line, full flap. Lukla is 9100ft above sea level, so you need to be just slightly above that at 9300ft... and your aiming for the mountain side on your left to land at VNLK on your right. Once past that outcrop you begin a nice steady approach curve to the right. A critical point to make is that the 06/24 RWY can look flat on approach, but in reality it isn't as it has that 11.7% sloping gradient. That can be useful as well, as you can sort of... if the aircraft positioned correctly use the gradient to come to you, rather than you landing on the ground, bringing up the nose in a slight flare can also help in that effect... I started out with the perfect approach path, but once closer to the runway, the wind was very blustery and I was suddenly fighting the rudder to stay in a straight line... ... this is were the real skill comes in, and it can get very, very tricky. You are holding your breath, almost at stall speed at 60 knts, and fighting the aircraft... then that nice flare that has to be absolutely perfect. A carrier landing, yes absolutely, but with no arrestor wires... Your on the hard stuff but not out of the woods yet... as you have to time perfectly more power and thrust to not only stop the aircraft sliding backwards back down the slope (and off the side of the mountain), but to keep the momentum moving forward perfectly correct as well... ... get that right and now all that thrust is now a liability as you kink over lip to the flat area on the top of the runway. There is not much space between you now and a hard wall! The pro's are amazing to watch on YouTube videos as the get all these sequence of actions perfectly in line to swing right into the small ramp area with four slots. It is very tight squeeze in here, and the poor turning circle that Carenado only allows you at low speeds, means I couldn't do the full 180º parking turn. Note the strong windsock, and up here when the engines are shutdown and the propellers are feathered, they still keep on turning at a high windmilling pace. Tenzing–Hillary Airport तेन्जिङ हिलारी विमानस्थल IATA: LUA - ICAO: VNLK 06/24 - 527m (1,729ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 9,334 ft / 2,845 m The reproduction of Tenzing–Hillary Airport at Lukla is very well done and authentic, but the resolution of the textures are a bit low unless you can run your texture resolution at full settings, and that is tricky, because even if around the airport the textures are quite minimal... there is the huge amount of custom textures covering the actual Everest Park area adjoining. It is the same sort of feel and quality as the Matterhorn scenery, detailed, but not extremely detailed in a walk-around fashion. As a rule Lukla is only a small village, and although a major tourist hub, it is in most cases quite small. The area around the ramp is the most complex, and the airport terminal and ramp is very well done and highly detailed with some great clutter. Note the largest hotel in Lukla is set directly behind the airport terminal. There is a static Do228 set on stand 4, but the rest of the stands are empty for your use. There is a helicopter landing area set just down the runway to the left... ... there is space to land two helios on the top level, and two with a static set on the lower, but there is no set X-Plane H landing pads? The control tower is more of a ramp tower, and in my version the tower view was not set (I has been done for the release version), but the tower is basic, but workable in a Tibetan sort of way. The famous Shangra -La Lodge and cafe is well done at the end of the runway, and the rest of the area is covered with Tibetan housing and small lodges with a lot of shrines thrown in. There is a very alpine feel to the village, but in a good way, but don't look for highly detailed Tibetan housing, it looks good, but it is still basic and well fitted well into the landscape. Lighting at Lukla is very moderate. Obviously night operations are out of the question, but there is a set of green taxiway lights up the runway is you want to have a suicidal try at it. But the lighting does reflect the sort of feel you would have being up here surrounded by the mountains, watching dawn or dusk is a sublime moment, in a feel sort of way the scenery is very good. Namche Baza - VNSB - Syangboche - Tengboche All three areas that cover Namche Baza, VNSB - Syangboche, Tengboche are close together. The village of Namche Baza is by the airstrip of VNSB - Syangboche, which is set out just above with the Khumjung small settlement set out on the flat level just behind. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is just across the valley further north. Namche Baza is just a typical if very famous Tibetan village and the layout is very similar to Lukla, but thankfully the all important shines were not forgotten. VNSB - Syangboche (IATA: SYH - ICAO: VNSB) Runway 1,312ft - 400m /Elevation AMSL 12,402ft /3,780m is an unpaved runway and is the closest landing strip to the Everest Base Camp, so it is a vital point to deliver to. Most rescue operations are flown from here of the injured or for the required elevation acclimatization. The Hotel/Terminal is basic, and there is a static helicopter and a little clutter to make it a worthwhile stop. Up behind is Khumjung Village and the aptly named "Hotel Everest View"... Again there is sort of alpine feel to the area. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is across the valley further north. Tengboche and the Tengboche Monastery complex which is built around the village is considered to be the oldest Sherpa celibate monastery in existence. The rebuilt monastery is large and an impressive structure with a camping area in its front and with a number of lodges and shops.Tengboche is surrounded by the ancient mani stones (flat stones inscribed with the mantra, "Om Mane Padme Hum"), prayer flags flying atop the high peaks (flags are flown in 5 colours denoting the five Buddhist elements: earth, wind, fire, water and consciousness. The courtyard and storerooms are large to facilitate the monks' religious rites and activities. The main building has the mandatory Dokhang, the prayer hall, where a large statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is deified. The statue extends to two floors of the monastery and encompasses the "Ser sang lha khang", the first floor shrine room. Sakyamuni Buddha is flanked by Manjushri, the deity of wisdom and Maitreya and of the future Buddha. The scriptures of the Kangyur, the original teachings of the Buddha translated into Tibetan are also part of the sanctum. In small areas set around the scenery are other resting lodges to cover the trek route to the Everest base camp, and these are represented as well. The only thing missing is that plume of icy wind from the peak of Everest... maybe that with the new 11.30 particle effect generator that could, be done as well? even so it is still all very dramatic.... the "Roof of the World". Summary It is a strange feeling... If you have invested in Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's spectacular sceneries and they are part of your X-Plane scenery, then you get this sort of completeness. No airport, maybe a large city scenery, but not on a scale like this do get that feel your X-Plane world is more complete, fulfilled and realistic. Dolomiti 3D Scenery and the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D scenery covers the Alps, there are few areas like Monument Valley as well that are covered, but this scenery with Everest Park 3D now covers the "Roof of the World" and the Himalayas. The scenery covers territory of about 1000 square kilometers in high detail, and 8000 square kilometers in lower quality detail, and DEM data (digital elevation model) are modeled on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. The results are of course spectacular, but the main thing to remember is that the most important areas are the ones you don't see. Any mesh can be molded to shape, but to get accurate mountain modeling you have to create the actual mountains from scratch, it looks easy... but it isn't and that is what you are investing in here, pure geographical layouts to replicate the real mountainous chains and individual mountains that make up the areas ranges, in other words total realism. Other highlights include the "Most Dangerous Airport in the WORLD" and that is big announcement, but that is what VNLK - Lukla is, and a huge challenge for any X-Plane flyer of distinction, VNSB - Syangboche, Namche Baza, Tengboche and the famous "Everest Base Camp" are all in here if you want to follow the footsteps of some of the greatest climbers that ever climbed. The quality in context is extraordinary, but you will need full resolution texture settings to bring out the best of the textures, if not they look a little low res... One of my journeys in X-Plane has not just been the flying or the learning of different aircraft and their systems. It is also exploring the planet in the many ways that you never expected before... the mountains on the coast of Oman, the sheer beauty and vast expanse of Greenland, the vastness of Australia to the mountains of Afghanistan, sheer beauty all and with high quality mountain ranges like these from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini' it again brings the scenery of the simulator up to another higher level of realism and immersion... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Everest Park 3D Price Is US$28.95 Features Area Included Everest Park 3D includes a territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with other eight thousand, on the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains include the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129). Airports included The Lukla airport (icao VNLK) is considered by the pilots, one of the most difficult especially in the landing phase, the track is just over 500 meters long. and has a significant change in slope in the initial part during take-off (12%). Syangboche (icao VNSB) in clay ground, just over 400 meters long, secondary airport but officially coded. It is located just above the village of Namche Bazar, a mandatory stop for hikers to the Everest base camp. 7 Helipads: inserted in the most important points of the scenery, normally located in residential areas, scattered at various points along the route to the base camp. Ultra-High Definition Scenery Pack The main mountains of the area have been rebuilt with 3D models. DEM data was used and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Later the textures were applied, mostly in 4K, taken from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified mesh was very accurate, respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain.\ Summer only scenery Manual included. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM (absolute minimum) - 4 or 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 500Mb Installation Download scenery file size is 512.10mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder There are a lot of elements to installing this scenery. And more importantly it has to be installed in the correct order as listed below. The developers have provided with the scenery an INI list to directly insert into your X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... install sizes are noted on each scenery 3D_Everest_Park (407mb) Himalaya_Scenery (249mb) Mesh_Himalaya (236mb) MHimalaya_lib (332mb) Full installation is 1.19gb It is a bit messy in your custom scenery folder, but it is what it is.... Documents 3D_EVEREST_Manual Scenery Features INI_Scenery Configuation ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th November 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Dornier Do 228 100 HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$37.95
  15. There is lot to get through here? the full Beta 11.30 process and then the aircraft upgrade for 11.30 and then the VR refining... it will take some time to sort it all out. It should be fine in Xp11.26.
  16. I think this was resolved because you used the XP10 acf folder and not the XP11 acf?
  17. Aircraft Update : Boeing 777 Worldliner Pro/Extended v1.8 by FlightFactor/VMax FlightFactor/VMax have updated their excellent Boeing 777 Series Pro and Extended versions to v1.8. This update is basically revolves around the cockpit and not many changes to the flight or external sections of the aircraft. This aircraft is quite mature now (as I have noted in other updates) but the odd tweak now and again does not hurt the design. There was a lot of discussion around the cockpit textures since the release of the aircraft, most notable was that they were average or poor. Personally I couldn't see the argument to the point of how notably the textures of being that bad, not perfect I admit as were the gaping holes in the windshield. Even a 3rd party redid the whole lot of textures to which again I couldn't see the really big significant difference? and it was worse on your framerate. But everyone was happy, and what we need in X-Plane is happiness. So FlightFactor/VMax has redone the cockpit textures and cleaned up a lot of the knobs and switchgear and the right hand side MFD can now be used. At first it doesn't look much different (because it is so familiar) but after a short period of flying the aircraft you do notice how much more sharper and cleaner everything is, notice the active lighting on the buttons and you can see how much more realistic they are, and some areas are based on the textures used by the 3rd party (pumper) that was significant in the redefining of the cockpit textures. The side (autopilot) eyebrow/glareshield form is much more better as well, and finally you can't finally see the outside scenery through the main instrument panel (top under the glareshield) so your eyes are picking off the changes all over the place and overall it looks far better. There has been far more changes here than meets the eyes, but most will be overlooked as we are very used to most of it. The older night textures looked like this... They have gone from a yellowish glow to a greenish glow, but the newer upper images version does look more restrained and more natural. Spot light lighting is also improved as you can see behind the pilot's chairs, these lights are well up and behind and buried in the rear of the cockpit. Side airport map panel looks better as well for quality and readability. There is now also new mouse wheel support (Microsoft C++ redistributable 2013 is required for this to work) for Windows users. Another change is that now you click the actual speedbrake lever and not the area by the side of the lever. For me this is welcome because you actually had to move you point of view to arm the speedbrakes, a small thing but nice... I also found you can now see the Co (company) route to load it into the FMC system. That will save you having to go to the aircraft file and delving through the plugins folders to remember what route "Co" name you saved it under, a nice time saver. There is no doubt the Boeing 777 philosophy in this being a great aircraft for simulation in X-Plane. FlightFactor/VMax have been very good in the updates and keeping the aircraft as one of the best for deep simulation and incredible systems that give you a real understanding and feel of what the Boeing 777 is as an aircraft. I will just re-note the packages in the Boeing 777 Series. Boeing 777-200 LR - (Boeing Worldliner Professional) Boeing 777-200 ER - (Extended Pack - With PW4090 engines) Boeing 777-300 ER - (Extended Pack) Boeing 777-200 F - (Extended Pack) 777- 200LR 777-200ER The -200ER is significant because the Pratt&Whitney PW4090 engines are noticeably smaller than those giant GE90-115B turbofans on the -200LR. PW4090 GE90-115B 777-300ER The B777-300ER is a 33ft stretch over the standard Boeing 777. Now one of the most common B777 version with 721 ordered and only 250 aircraft left to be delivered, you will see plenty of these at your major local hub. 777-200F (Cargo) The excellent 777-200F comes with a huge side loading cargo door, great for all the haulers... The v1.8 update covers all versions including the Professional and Extended packages. Summary No doubt any update is a good update and again this is a good one, the greenish texture colour is debatable but far better than the ghastly yellow hues. Some areas that should have been addressed, like the over animated wingflex and still none opening front doors? and still you have no-accessible second officer separate FMC (input) unlike what you have on the FF B757 and that is surprising considering how long the aircraft has been released. But this is a great aircraft, extensive systems machine designed to work like the thing with an accurate flight model. It is certainly a classic in X-Plane and one of the top ten in the simulator. Yes get the Boeing 777, in fact get all of the versions in the extended package you will be wanting nothing. Full changelog: 1.8.0 change log (all X-Plane 10.30+ 64bit) - added mouse wheel option - added new panel 3d and textures (based partially on pumper's add-on) - added right side mirror control and MFD screen manegment - changed the way the speedbrakes are armed - click on the lever Note: starting from v1.8.0 FMS version and model version might differ. This is done for the convenience of the customer which does NOT need to update this libraries and redisributables. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The 1.8 update is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Price is US$59.95 - Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Price is US$84.95 - Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional - Extended Pack - Designed by FlightFactor (Philipp and Ramzzess) and produced by VMAX The 1.8 update is free to all users that have purchased the Boeing 777 (Pro and Ext) Series. Just go to to your X-Plane.Org Store account and log-in to download. Features: Fully Functional FMS - Plan your routes like a real pilot Custom designed Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures Custom designed Navigation Display Tterminal procedure database with RNAV approaches and transitions VNAV managed climbs and descends Takeoff and approach speed calculation Custom autopilot modes for autoland Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation True-to-life radio navigation with procedural-, route-, and navigation support auto-tuning Custom programmed FMC navigation using GPS-, radio- or inertial navigation with individual position errors and management of actual and required navigation performance Magnetic, true and polar grid course reference Alternate airports, diversion and arrival management Ground proximity warning system using real sounds FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the new iPad Excellent 3D modeling: Amazing virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections Custom 3D sounds and Announcements Add-ons: Push-back truck, Fuel Truck, Passenger bus and Emergency slides ... On-Screen Menus: Configuration and loading menu, Quick Zoom new in v1.80: Superb night lighting in cockpit. see cockpit pictures at night _____________________________________________________________________________________ Developer Site: facebook Dev Thread : X-Plane.org _____________________________________________________________________________________ Technical Requirements: Windows XP , Vista, 7 / 8/ 10 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.7 (or higher), Linux Ubuntu 14.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) X-Plane 10.30+. 32 or 64 bit (64bit recommended) 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM (1GB VRAM Recommended)- 1Gb available hard disk space Current version : 1.80 (last updated June 23rd 2015) Update Review By Stephen Dutton 27th June 2014 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews
  18. Aircraft Update : ToLiSS319 v1.2 by ToLiSS Many updates come at set periods throughout the year, and some come regularly. Mostly the ones that come in the second category are interesting projects covering areas of updating the aircraft up to a full standard, were as the first category are mostly reactionary to global X-Plane changes and a significant version update. The ToLiss319 certainly falls into the secondary category. When released earlier back in January this year, it was stated that the aircraft was completed to a standard, but wasn't finished to full completed standard. When you purchased the aircraft you took that on as a sort of "Gentleman's Agreement" that the developer will deliver consistent updates to bring the aircraft up to the full standard that you have paid for... it is a trust thing, a handshake agreement between you and the developer on the fact you get the aircraft earlier, but not to the fully completed aircraft with every i dotted and every t crossed. This is the third update of the year, and again it clears up a few bugs, but again it mostly adds in a lot of new (if small detail) features to keep the project going forward very nicely. As a reviewer, you enjoy these updates as you can see a significant movement forward in the developing process and there are certainly a lot of very nice little new features in here to explore. Although this update is noted as v1.2... you need to make sure your release version is v1.2.1 as there was a significant bug in the MCDU that was fixed in the .1 change. Update v1.2.1 When taken into context the changes from the original release version of the ToLiSS319 to this current version are quite significant. This update focuses more on detail than the overall larger changes, but they are all quite pronounced when they are added in together. Visually externally there isn't much difference, except for one item... and maybe your eagle eyes out there see it above? It is a Wi-Fi SatNav dome and it is about as ugly as ugly as it could be... ... the Lufthansa system is called FlyNet® which is Lufthansa Technik's own system, but I suppose we will have to get used to them ruining the clean dynamics of our aircraft as these domes are here to stay. This version is done by Matthew MD, and he adds in a few other small visual tweaks on the wings, engine blades, windows and the strobe lights, and a few texture updates. ECAM The main focus of this v1.2 update is on the ECAM or to be specific on the ECAM status messages. They are not all here, but the main majority status messages and alerts are now implemented... and very good it all is as well. It will of course also go hand in hand with the failure system (Fault Intervention) that was implemented back in release v1.1. You are now starting to get more of the direct feel of how deep the aircraft systems that are available to you now on the A319. First are the temporary alerts (like the HYD PTU) which is the power transfer unit 'barking dog' that comes into action when the hydraulic power from one of an aircraft's hydraulic systems is transferred to another system (arrowed above right). Here you can also see and resolve the systems logic and see the condition of the aircraft... there is an automatic call of system and status pages (the ECAM displays the system page of the alert), and EWD (Engine/Warning Display) overflow logic. The arrow notes (below left) that there are more alerts or status items lower to be addressed... .... Airbus logic notes that you work from top to bottom in fixing or addressing the faults, so to access the lower alerts you then clear (CLR) the list top down via the CLR button on the lower ECAM control panel (arrowed above right). The system depth now is now matching the A320 Ultimate, or study grade in operation. You could of course already pop-out the ECAM panels (also with the PFD & NAV)... however now they have the more modern X-Plane11 design surrounds that makes it all look a bit more professional. Aircraft doors open alerts are now also implemented. It was promised from ToLiSS very early on at the original release for the feature of instrument panel display switching, and now here it is... ... the console far right ECAM/ND XFR switch (arrowed) will switch the ECAM to either the left or right and replace it centre with the ND (Navigation Display). The PFD/ND XFR (arrowed below) on the left LT CTL (Light Control) panel switch will swap over the PFD and ND displays and both pilot positions are independent of each other. Any display switching will cause the displays to go blank then show the new display positions, and it looks highly authentic. You can use the two sets of switches together to get the instrument layout you require. The TERR ON ND select pop-out has also been refined to the X-Plane11 panel design and the detail made more sharper, and it looks great and you get far better terrain detail in the smaller and larger form. To round off the faults the actual displays can now fail as well... via the failures menu. The failure does not take effect until you close the TISCS screen... the restart "test" notice looks great as well. There is now full synchronisation of baro settings between the Captain, Copilot and ISI, and that is set in the TISCS/Settings page (below left) Installing realism is an area that most developers don't do, others try but fail. Let take one action to highlight this point... starting up the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit). Many times you click on the switch or button to start the APU, and instantly it is there working and producing power... is that realistic, no not really. But getting the feel and timing just right can add into the simulation experience. In that frame the APU has had a lot of attention in that now it is not the actual startup that takes the right amount of time (that is already correct), but the APU now runs for another 120s after switches it off to cool down as in real life. (Generator and bleed not available during this time.). There is also now the possibility to start the APU off batteries when in mid-air and... a new battery model allowing the proper charge/discharge procedure to allow the APU start in the air off those batteries. It is total realism 101. More fine tuning allows PACK 1(2) OFF ECAM messages now have a 60 second delay to allow the pilot to switch them off after thrust reduction. There is a lot of these fine tuning elements now in situ in the aircraft with this update version including Probe and Window heating to the electrical bus loads. One last note is the "Resume from last time" setting in the "Positions Situation" feature. This new setting can be used to restore the last autosave (in case of crashes) or the last aircraft state when X-Plane was shut-down/with the ToLiss unloaded. In other words if you load up the aircraft at the same place you shutdown X-Plane, the A319 is restored itself to it's last flying condition, another lifesaver from an already very clever and usable feature. The replay mode can do strange things to the aircraft, one was the stutter gear movement... so the Gear animation in the replay mode is now much smoother, and the non-linear stick-to-command mapping for the FBW control laws to approach the real-life implementation is now even closer... ... and this aircraft was already one of the best handling airlines in X-Plane, and another area more finely tuned is the custom ground effect model to make landing flare even more realistic. You can make the Airbus A319 as easy or as difficult as you want. That is the flexibility you have at your disposal here. The good news is that if you want to access that system depth then it is all built in here, and to an almost perfect Airbus simulation. And the differences between the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate and the ToLiSS319 are closing closer every day. Like I said earlier in the year, it is that one Airbus or the other is not a better simulation, but in reality they compliment each other depending on the route you want to fly... both are excellent simulations. Summary Like most previous updates this year since the initial release back in February earlier this year, the v1.2.1 is full of new features, nice tweaks and the cleaning up of some bugs. With the introduction of a failure systems in v1.1, here in v1.2 we get the ECAM failure alerts and system diagnostic status with EWD overflow logic on the centre displays, and a very fully indepth system it is now. It will be an interesting scenario with the inclusion of the X-Plane11.30 features when sorted later (Engine fire anyone!). Systems including electrical and APU have had serious attention, as the Baro setting is now global and not singular. All instrument displays are now switchable, including PFD, NAV and ECAM screens. All pop-out screens are now in X-Plane11 layouts (3d cockpit only). Fine tuning covers tuned cruise-fuel consumption, mapping for the FBW control laws and manual flare. And visually the addition of a Wi-Fi SatNav dome. Every update just adds in a little more in features and fine-tuning, but overall from the original release aircraft it all starts to add up to a full and comprehensive simulation, this is the third and although it has taken for most of the year to get here, there are no backward steps, but just good development going forward, and that is in reality all you can ask for to cover your investment. I'm not going to shout again how great a little airliner this ToLiSS319 is as I am getting raspy in doing so, but it is brilliant.... and if you already don't have the aircraft, then Christmas is coming.... so go on and treat yourself, as you won't regret it. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the ToLiSS319 (A319-122) v1.2 by ToLiSS is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : ToLiss A319 Price is US$69.00 Note make sure you have v1.2.1 when downloading, All previous purchasers can now update via your X-Plane.OrgStore Account IAE Sound Pack for Toliss A319 Price is US$9.95 TSS IAE Sound Pack is activated by inserting the key activation code in the "ADDON" tab on the ToLiSS Interactive Simulation Control System panel. Features Include: Highlights: FMGS with SID/STAR, Airways alternate flight plans, performance prediction, etc. Out of the box with TSS (Turbine Sound Studios) custom sounds for the CFM engine Realistic FBW with Alternate and Direct law reversions Fault injection interface with support for roughly 90 different failures and probability-based random failure injection Choice of CFM and IAE engine, and wingtip fences or sharklets. Choices affect aircraft performance and FMGS predictions. Detailed list of features: FMGS: Support of SID/STAR, including all leg types (Arc, course or heading to intercept, Radius to Fix, Holdings, etc.) Temporary and alternate flight plans Full VNAV guidance with TOC, TOD, Deceleration point, speed limits, fuel prediction, etc. Altitude and speed constraints as the real aircraft deals with them Ability to change the selected STAR while already in the STAR Support for go-arounds and diversions Step altitudes Airway support 2 independent MCDUs and autopilots Top-notch aircraft systems ToLiss uses the QPAC Fly-by-wire and autopilot module, augmented to support Alternate and Direct Law Unique feature: Control Surface hinge moment modelling allows the surfaces to float to the appropriate position after loss of all actuators on a surface. Fault injection interface allowing to inject custom selected failures, or randomly selected failure based on fault probabilities. Custom TCAS with resolution advisory function. Terrain on ND and Weather radar available (WX radar works with default X-plane weather engine) Brake temperature model based on the detailled physics of heat transfer between the individual brake components Hydraulics model in which the pressure is dependent on usage. This is most notable when dropping to RAT mode Detailed model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs Custom air conditioning model supporting high altitude operations at airports like Cusco in Peru or La Paz in Bolivia without spurious warnings Flight warning system with ECAM actions supporting numerous system failure scenarios, e.g. engine failures, generator failures, hydraulic failures. Eye- and ear-candy Detailed 3D cockpit 3d exterior model with CFM and IAE engine Choice between classic wingtip fences or modern sharklets (controlled via livery names) Custom sounds from Turbine Sound Studios (TSS) included for the CFM engine. IAE engine soundpack available as addon for a small fee. Usability features Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times. Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly. Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like. Integrated takeoff performance calculator supporting the use of flex temperature. Requirements X-Plane 11 (or X-Plane 10) Windows (64bit) , Mac (OSX 10.11 and up) or Linux (tested on Ubuntu 14.10) 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Version 1.2.1 (Nov 24th 2018) Installation Download of the ToLiSS319 is 488mb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 1.30Gb folder. On start up you will have an activation screen presented to enter your Serial Number (Key), and then press the "Activate" bar to authorise the aircraft. I recommend to restart the aircraft from your desktop to realign all your plugins and load the aircraft cleanly. There is extensive full instructions on how to set up the aircraft to your X-Plane settings (commands) and addons (Joysticks/Throttles) and other 3rd Party items in the ToLiSS A319 V1.2_SimulationManual. Documents There are Three Manuals Included with the package. All are extensive and well laid out with great details Simulation manual : Describes installation, and setup of the model as well as usage of the “Interactive Simulation Control System”. Tutorial flight, which provides a step-by-step description of a complete flight from cold & dark to aircraft shut-down after landing. This is the best manual to learn flying the aircraft. Aircraft manual, which is primarily intended as a reference after the tutorial has been completed. It provides a reference for standard operating procedures, as well as a more in- depth look into the different systems of the aircraft. Extra Airbus system information is highly recommended and SMARTCOCKPIT is a great place to start. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 27th November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - EDDF - Airport Dusseldorf XP11 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$32.99 - EGCC - Manchester Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$22.00 Full v1.2.1 Update list: Changes from build 971 (V1.2) to 973 (V1.2.1): Bug fixes: - Fixed the "Crash during loading of city pair" crash - Removed the spurious "Gravity feed only" Status message during startup from cold + dark - Improved sequencing for SD pages when more than ECAM message is shown at a time - Improved representation of Terrain on ND for the popup windows. Changes from build 939 (V1.1.1) to build 971 (V1.2) Major new features: - XP11 style windows for the popup displays - you can move your MCDU or your popup to another screen now. - ECAM rework: Automatic call of system and status pages, and EWD overflow logic. - Implementation of the majority of ECAM status messages. - You can switch PFD, ND and ECAM around like in the real aircraft. (3D cockpit ONLY) - Added display units as failure modes to the Fault injection screen - Custom ground effect model to make landing flare more realistic. (You will have to retune your flare technique!) Minor new features: - Added option to synchronize baro settings between Captain, Copilot and ISI - APU now runs for another 120s after switches it off to cool down as in real life. (Generator and bleed not available during this time.) - Warnings for DOORS open is triggered now if you forget to close them before takeoff. - New battery model allowing proper charge/discharge procedure and allowing APU start in air off batteries. - The different engine types now also have the appropriate individual oil pressure, EGT and fuel injection time during startup. (Besides N1, N2, Fuel consumption and thrust which were already different in previous versions.) - Addition of non-linear stick-to-command mapping for the FBW control laws to approach the reallife implementation even closer. - Ice detection system to warn you of the impeding performance degradation if you don't switch on Anti Ice. - Some visual tweaks from Matthew on wings, engine blades, windows and strobe lights plus addition of a SatCom Antenna. (Thanks!) Bug fixes: - Fixed the QNH reset to zero when popping up the ISI - Fixed the spurious MCDU resets during power transients. - Fixed issue that rotating the BARO knob in mode STD had an effect on altimeter. - Added Probe and window heating to the electrical bus loads - Fixed possibility to start APU of batteries when in mid-air. - Fixed saving of the XPDR compatibility preference setting. - CVR ground control switches off now, when starting the engines or being off ground. - PACK 1(2) OFF ECAM messages now have a 60 second delay to allow the pilot to switch them off after thrust reduction. - Retuning of the volume levels between TRU and air conditioning in the cockpit. - Fixed the bug that SIDs are not available if the runway designator in the apt.dat file and the procedure file are off by 1. - Fixed the import of altitude constraints that are stored in the CIFP file in the format FLxxx instead of altitude in feet. - Improved pitch trim wheel mapping between animation and actual stab position. Changes from build 936 (v1.1) to build 939 (V1.1.1) Minor new features: - ESC key can now be used to close the ISCS. - Improved CI-Mach relationship - Implemented an external volume slide to adjust external vs internal volumes to users preferences. - The default x-plane commands for EFIS mode change and Map zoom in now work on the captain ND - "Resume from last time" - can be used to restore the last autosave (in case of crashes) or the last aircraft state when Xplane was shut-down/the ToLiss unloaded. - Gear animation in replay mode is now much smoother. - Texture updates from Matthew Bug fixes: - Fixed the issue with Crashes on Take-off when random faults are enabled - Fixed automatic Sharklet/Winglet selection based on livery string. - Fixed the crashes occuring when scrolling through the flight plan with ND set to mode PLAN - Made display of AUTO BRK Memo more accurate - Added performance parameters to the list of parameters to be cleared on FMGS reset after landing - Increased park brake pressure to value listed in AMM - Some FMGS bug fixes for particular SIDs/STARs/VIAs. - Fine tuned cruise-fuel consumption. - Fixed a FMGS bug leading to the program hanging in the vertical prediction under certain circumstances. - Fix for Transponder issues with third party traffic/ATC add-ons. - Increased lighting distance for landing, taxi, and runway turn-off lights.
  19. Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.07 by Green Arc Studios Green Arc Studios have updated their WebFMC Pro to v1.07. This update adds in more FlightFactor aircraft with the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft (latest releases only). New Features are! support for Boeing 757v2 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 757 2.2.13+) support for Boeing 767 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 767 v1.2.6+) new glow/fade effect configuration options (757/767 only) updated for 739 Ultimate Pre-release 1810 fixed the bug where WebFMC would stop working after connecting with an old web browser that doesn't support web sockets standard RFC 6455. new layout of WebFMC plugin folder (introduced by X-Plane 11.10) All aircraft now in v1.07 supported are: FlightFactor 757v2 NEW! FlightFactor 767 NEW! Rotate MD-80 FlightFactor A320 Ultimate Toliss 319 JarDesign 320 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (with x737FMC only) Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate And the coming 739 Ultimate v1810 WebFMC works If your aircraft has a pop-out FMC (Flight Management Computer) or not... in creating an active FMC panel of then which can be reproduced with active buttons on a internet browser and used via your wifi network on your Computer/Tablet and even on your phone. I personally is a HUGE fan of this plugin. I use it regularly and it makes the programming of FMC's actually a pleasant experience rather than a tedious one. This update gives the FlightFactor B757/767 a better remote FMC that is actually far better than the default version, It looks far better and comes with nicer new glow/fade effects and is easier to use. I compare the two FMC's together with the default FlightFactor Boeing 767 remote FMC to the new WebFMC Pro version here : Aircraft Update : Boeing 767 Professional/Extended v1.2.7 by FlightFactor/VMax Review A version (Demo Really) is available as a free plugin that you can use with the Zibo Boeing 737-800 Mod and the associated 737-900ER Ultimate. That version is available here on the X-Plane.Org: WebFMC 1.07 X-PlaneReviews release review is here: Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.07 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.07 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version. ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd November 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  20. real feedback is always a good thing... 👍
  21. News! - Released! - X-Codr Designs KDEN - Denver International HD X-Codr Designs KDEN - Denver has been released, and it is HUGE... in more ways than one, in a huge area covered, a huge download 3.87gb and a huge install at 6.76gb. Surprisingly it runs very nicely if you have a decent graphic card and drive space.... This KDEN has been a 8 month project by X-Codr and the detail is excellent, highly XP11 dynamic... Features included here are very impressive. Terminal and Westin Hotel, with detail and ground textures that are first rate. Huge amount of clutter and vehicle animations. Blow your mind! - feature 1... internal terminal detail. Blow your mind! - feature 2... See through glass. Blow your mind! - feature 3... internal and external terminal sound. Blow your mind! - feature 4... custom land gradients Lighting... K-Man WorldTraffic3 ground routes are included in the package... First impression is that if you like Misterx6's (ShortFinal) sceneries then you will love this KDEN as well as they have the same overall feel and vibe. Now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore... the price, a brilliant US$27.95 ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! KDEN - Denver International Airport HD by X-Codr Designs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD Price is US$27.95 Features This scenery is a ultra detailed recreation of Denver International Airport. Some of its features include: Ultra detailed rendition of Denver International Airport Winter and wet rainy versions are included as well Highly detailed custom buildings Most parts of all concourses have detailed custom interiors Detailed yet performance friendly models Normal maps for great bump mapping and glass reflections Ultra detailed ground textures 1 pixel per 6 inch orthophotos equivalent to ZL20 Orthophotos have been cleaned of duplicate flat textures under 3D models (such as traffic and bridges) Extreme detail for pavement, while still maintaining minimal repetition Highly detailed normal maps for impressive specular reflections X-Codr Designs SoundXP Plugin (Windows 10 ONLY) Ambient airport sounds will be played based on your location in the airport - a first in X-Plane Listen to chatter, announcements and other sounds when inside the terminal, trucks rumbling by and beeping when near busy ramp areas, and the drone of traffic speeding by when on the landside of the airport Dynamic living airport Watch heavies, regional commuters and other air traffic bring the airport to life with superb WT3 routes by Brian "Cpt. K-man" Navy (Bird Stryke Designs) Animated jetways using Autogate by Jonathan Harris (marginal) Animated car traffic using Ground Traffic by Jonathan Harris (marginal) Native ground services will service your aircraft upon request Highly detailed custom mesh using Ortho4XP Detailed under and overpasses Sloped runways and taxiways, and ditches Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.8Gb ________________________________________  News by Stephen Dutton 20th November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews 
  22. Aircraft Update : Boeing 767 Professional/Extended v1.2.7 by FlightFactor/StepToSky//VMax Was it? Was it really? Was the FlightFactor Boeing 767 already an Extended version of the aircraft... it actually seemed so, but it wasn't. The FlightFactor fleet of Boeings in the B777 and B757 are of course all "Extended" three aircraft packages, so you just simply assumed then so was the B767. So here in this release is the "Extended" version of the Boeing 767, and the deal is the same as all the other Extended packages. The full price (US$72.00) of the original 767-300ER and the Extended version that will cost you US$20 extra that includes two more aircraft variants with the 767-200ER and the 767-300F (Freighter) or you can purchase the full Pro/Extended package for US$93.00. Not cheap, but then again you also get a lot of aircraft for your money. So all the FlightFactor Boeings are now "Extended" versions of the aircraft and each 767 variant also comes with different engine types... Boeing 767-300ER Boeing 767-200ER 767-300F (Freighter) Both the -300 (ER/F) have three engine choices (L to R) Pratt & Whitney PW4000, Rolls-Royce RB211 and General Electric CF6 engines and all with power ranges from 48,000 to 60,600 lbf. The -200ER has only two engine options with the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and the General Electric CF6. This update review focuses on the update changes, so to get a full overview of the B767-300ER then go to this review: Boeing 767-300ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor Boeing 767-200ER There are two new variants in the "Extended" package and the first one we will look at is the Boeing 767-200ER. Proportionably the -200 looks quite odd. The fuselage is 21.1 ft (6.4m) shorter than the -300 at 180 ft 3in/54.94m in length, but the wingspan is the same width 156 ft.1in/47.57m. Then add on those optional Aviation Partners winglets at 11 feet (3.35 m) in height and the proportions look even stranger, to a point the -200 looks more like the original babybus 737 than a 767. Personally I think the -200ER looks better without the winglets. Like with the B757 v2.2.5 updated cabin then this updated 767 version has also has had a nice new modern cabin fit-out, but at a first glance it looked quite stark, and to the point at first I wondered if the textures were actually missing? Black leather in Business class and a grey/black pattern in the rear in Economy is all very well done in detail, but a bit dour in colour... the B757's v2.2.5 purple shades look more modern and well... nice and colourful, and thankfully the earlier horrible blues with eastern block hints are finally gone. No seat back video gives the cabin a bit of empty feel though. The -300 cabin (below) is in the same dark style, but it is so looooong, as it goes on forever in length, but it is a great place to stretch your legs in flight. I am quite sure the painters will quickly brighten up the cabin materials. But overall it is a very nice and classy cabin. You can separately adjust the cabin lighting, from dark to extremely bright.... .... and it looks excellent. But there are no smoking and seatbelt illuminations as they don't work and neither does the "Exit" signs, at this price they both should. Entrance and galley areas are also excellent, beautifully done and one of the best now in X-Plane (however FJS B737-200 is still a class ahead). 767-300F (Freighter) A mid-sized Freighter is always welcome, and the new -300F is simply sensational. The freighter adds in a whole new dimension to flying the Boeing 767, as also most 767's are now being converted to these freighter operations, and even Boeing is still producing the freighter version for the ongoing demand. All cargo doors open, and so does also the left cabin door... .... but frustrating is the fact you can't access the cargo deck because FlightFactor are very insistent on very heavy boundaries! annoying. JarDesign's Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD) plugin is a must have, as there is a specialised .set available here: GHD Full Service Set Boeing767-Freight X Plane 11 Great detail allows for a different cockpit layout than the passenger version. Update 1.2.7 This update covers both updates 1.2.6 and 1.2.7... In reality it combines both updates to bring the aircraft in line to the same position as the Boeing 757 v2.2.5 as it currently stands. It does not cover changes for the beta 11.30 or v11.30. It does however include the use of VR (Virtual Reality) with custom menus and full comparability with HTC VIVE and with the added appropriate test page data. The v1.2.7 of the Boeing 767 does fly very well in the 11.30 beta (Currently 11.30b6)... but FlightFactor do present a warning that the aircraft is "not yet supported". External updates include new fans and rear exhaust cone, and the blades (front and rear (arrowed below)) are also now animated on the ground (windmilling). The flaps and, tracks and inner detailing have all been significantly redone. All the control flying surfaces have been recalibrated (below left). The spoiler shacking effect is now dependent on SHAKE ON TURB checkbox being checked, but it is very realistic to leave switched on, and there is now a shaking and sound effect on spoiler extension. Like with the updated B757, the ground vehicles have also been updated and are now far more modern... Included are: APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), High Pressure Unit, Passenger Bus, Stairs, Fuel Truck, De-Ice Truck, Aircraft Cooling Unit (ACU), Two Baggage Loaders (LSU), Waste unit and rear (Cargo) loader.... There is a C-Loader but it is only available with the passenger version, and then positioned in the wrong place (rear left door?). Which is an odd thing as the C-Loader is really required on the Freighter... right? Internal updates: You can check on the aircraft's current version (arrowed) via the pop-up iPad (Menu). Electronic Flight Bag as many of these iPaddies are called and you can select the iPad by the smaller version in a pocket on the left of the Captain's position, and it pops up on the top right of your screen. The X-Plane menu and key access (recommended) can also be used. The iPad can be moved around the screen, but be careful as it can also disconnect you from the cockpit controls unless you re-click on the cockpit area in the background if you want the iPad on screen but want to also move around the cockpit..  The iPad/Menu has had a lot of attention for this update. For one now you can now rotate the pad vertically, and also still scale it and move it around the screen, It can also be popped out as a separate window. The iPad can also be accessed by the X-Plane menu, which is sometimes easier and quicker than using the "down left then look selection", so I tend to use the drop-down menu more often. The menu layout has been cleaned up, but the actual settings are the same. The checklists have also been moved on to the iPad from the overhead menu. And the checklists looks far better in this new layout, but the iPad is quite large in scale, and you can of course resize (scale) it, but with limits, because as it gets smaller, then the text gets a little harder to read, so you have find the overall best compromise. The Failure menu has been completely redone (or reorganised). It is now much easier to use and more flexible, with scenarios. You can set the "scenario" to happen Immediately, or in time or at a certain speed or altitude. It can be random, or with a certain instrument, and you can change the scenario, even when to set (activate) or delete. If you have a Navigraph account, you can now also access the "Charts" feature, and all Navigraph charts and information are now right there at your fingertips, and the charts also can show you your aircraft's position on the charts. And yes, I am totally in love with the idea... it is brilliant! Cockpit and Panel The Freighter cockpit is ballroom sized compared to most aircraft cockpit zones, as there is so much space... .... but it can get a little dull in here sometimes? This is X-Plane v11.25, so the adjusted 11.30 maybe a little better. The cockpit textures have again been redone as with new lighting technology and new text fonts on the panels, and it isn't as overwhelmingly dark in the feel as before. But in areas it all seems like a slight set back as well... as the flight instrument dials feel more darker when set to maximum, and the screen glow on the FMC and middle EICAS screens look not as blurry when using the effects? They feel overall either incomplete or a missed job on the list? They were far better in the earlier version. Dual-FMS with two independently working CDUs are the highlight of the aircraft, beautifully done and one of the best Boeing CDUs in X-Plane11. Both CDUs pop-out for ease of use, but you also have the remote FMS version that you can use in an internet browser on any computer, that is the default version (below left)... The right FMS is the latest version of the WebFMC Pro that will from version v1.07 have also this FlightFactor Boeing 767 and Boeing 757 CDU with access now added to the list, Screen Glow and Screen Fading is also a feature on the new WebFMC 767 version... ... the WebFMC version is actually now far superior to the default FMC. It looks better, has direct keyboard access and has more features, so it comes highly recommended if you have one or both of the FlightFactor Boeings. Direct keyboard access can be done on the pop-up CDU (not on the remote version). Move your cursor over the left top of your CDU glass panel until a K appears, then position the cursor over the CDU screen to keep it active, and now you can input in the route data directly. Overall the FMS has had not much attention (In reality it didn't need any) but several points covered are, direct-to via the first line in legs in non original variants, fmc CTD in some complex situations during using dep/arr CDU pages and the CDU now supports loading of co-routes in ICAO format. Flying the Boeing 767-200 v1.2.5 Changes in the cockpit from the last update is pretty well minimal, not that it need it in the first place as this Boeing 767 was very well sorted and quite complete from the start of it's introduction. So the FMS and instruments and systems are pretty well exactly the same and you shouldn't really notice any real differences. Is this a "Study" grade aircraft? personally I think so as the set up for flight is pretty comprehensive, you have to know your way around the instrument panel and the FMS data input to get it all right, if you are new to the aircraft then make sure the "Failures" are switched off until you are far more knowledgable about all those complex systems, as otherwise it can be a frustrating experience. Pushback has had a fair bit of attention... the default pushback has been refined with a few bugs having issues, and even causing a crash to desktop. However I don't use the default (and it is one of the best), but the BetterPushBack option, which again has had attention and has also been refined for use on the aircraft (a Clash?)... now it works perfectly. Ready for engine start! The tiller now works (arrowed)... I bet you didn't know that before. and the whole steering time has been retuned, it does feel far better, but now more like the usual slightly delayed airbus feel? There has always been a slight problem with the thrust on FlightFactor's B767, ever since the change over to X-Plane11, and most issues have been gradually refined out... but the B767 will still quite easily taxi with the throttle levers set in the idle position, and you need to keep on touching the brakes to keep the forward speed in check? And you could note me a slightly heavy here at 118482 kgs... so I feel the thrust factor it still needs more attention. I have never been a big fan of FlightFactor's cabin windows either? As they all have this tint shade, that darkens the view out, and worse the tint does not even fit the window correctly? The cabin itself is very, very nice but a little flat with no seatbelt signs or with the exit signs activated, the seatback blank screens don't help either.... and don't get me started on the flapping window shades? and at least you can turn the action off. I have had to learn to not give the B767 full throttle on takeoff, but to set a takeoff speed position, if not the aircraft can runway with the speed once you gain flight and over-ride the flap limits, get it right and the aircraft comes nicely to you... v2 or rotate is at 163 + 10 knts at flap 05. The 767 is not a brutal as the B757, in performance or in the sheer noise it makes, it is a more considerate aircraft, certainly not benign, and it is excellent to fly. Note that the undercarriage gear sequencing has been redone here for a more realistic operation, the same as was done on the B757. The B767 is not an easy, easy aircraft to fly because it is quite complex, and so you have to know your stuff in here, and it takes time to really get totally proficient on the airframe...definitely an aircraft you need to spend a considerable time in flying, you have to know it through and through to feel totally in control of all the aspects of flying the machine, so spending a week or more in the same 767 zone does payoff in it's return rewards. The FlightFactor B767 sounds were on release a major significant step forward in the range and quality of the sound package, it was realism 101... and only a dedicated addon BSS sound pack was or is only better. In the basic sound pack it is still the same, but there is significant differences in the selection of engine that you choose, as they are all quite different in their sound ranges... overall for the best it is certainly the RB211 Rolls Royce, as it certainly has the most dynamic sound.... so excellent sound quality in all areas is a given. The only note is that if move around the aircraft fast, the sounds dynamics then sort of not keeps up with you, because it is try to go to through far too many different ranges in a short time, so you get of a strange wail at certain engine angles. The FMS is fully featured, and fully adaptable (there is nothing worse than an FMS that won't do what you want it to). 8.33Khz radio is also now supported. New Navigraph charts feature is excellent, easy to use and very useful in operation, here I am setting the ILS approach frequency. The cockpit lighting is excellent at night, but as noted it does feel the instrument lighting is far duller than before, it can be hard to set as well as some knobs on the OHP (Over Head Panel) are set in the opposite direction that does not feel right, so you keep adjusting the panel illumination the wrong way. The FlightFactor B767 came with as a major feature both a WRX radar (weather) and Terrain warning system (TERR), here I am checking the terrain radar as the approach to MKJS - Montego Bay which is quite hilly. Next images shows the Terr Radar in operation, You need a fair bit of skill to land the B767, but (a lot) of practise does help. Tricky is that you can't use the autoland (Autopilot) all the way down, the last few feet has to be pure manual control, and in the dark you really can have your skills tested... ... but you are a Pro.... Right! and again it is all very rewarding if you get it right. Liveries B767-300ER For the B767-300ER you get (noted as "Free") liveries, including: American Airlines, Air France, Garuda Indonesia, British Airways, Star Alliance Lufthansa and Canadian Westjet as part of the package. There are also nine livery packs available at $US10.00 per pack, noted are: Asia 1 & Asia 2, Europe 1, Europe 2 & Europe 3, Middle East, North American, Oceania and South America, and that is altogether over 100 + liveries for the aircraft... B767-200ER The B762 shares the same free liveries as the -300ER plus two extra with the Boeing House and X-Airways ... but there are no extra addon packs... B767-300F You get two cargo liveries as part of the package with: UPS Freight and X-Airways There is also an extra addon cargo pack available for US$10. This package includes: Amerijet Inter, Canadair CargoJet, DHL, FedEx, JAL Cargo, LATAM Cargo, Prime Air (Amazon), Silkway Cargo and Tampa Air. _________________________________ Summary This is a dual release of one being an update pack of aircraft changes, new features and a lot of bug/issue fixing. The second is the introduction of the "Extended" version of the FlightFactor/StepToSky/VMax Boeing 767 Pro. The "Extended" pack is US$20 more than the original -300ER aircraft cost, of which you need to add in the extension. The "Extended" version included the shorter 767-200ER and the 767-300F (Freighter) and both aircraft are certainly we worth the extra outlay in the sheer variety it gives you in access to the Iconic 767 aircraft. All variants come with excellent engine options with P&W/RR/GE on the -300 versions and P&W/GE on the -200ER variant. The FightFactor Boeing 767 Pro was on it's release another step forward in X-Plane aircraft development in quality, performance, system depth, advanced sounds and the sheer study detail that came with flying the aircraft. And most if not all of those highlights are still very much in vogue here. The aircraft does require some skill to operate and fly, but deep simulation with detail is what this sort of simulation is all about, and that is also what you pay for. Highlights in this version include the highly revised iPad/EFB with now Chart intergation and a better failures layout, and there is now access to the Navigraph charts (with your subscription required), New cabin fit-outs that are stylish and modern with excellent galley areas. Complete VR (Virtual Reality) intergration with virtual menus and comparability with HTC VIVE. WebFMC Pro intergration and BetterPushBack intergration. Lots of areas around the aircraft and certainly the airbrakes/flaps and engines have had significant attention and remodeling. There are no real negatives here with this new extended pro version of the B767. But a few areas seems to have been missed either because of the limited time-frame or just overlooked. The cockpit has had a significant overhaul of new lighting technology and font text, and it does look better, but some of the panel back lighting is far darker and the glow/fading effect is now not working on the CDU's. The excellent new cabin layouts are let down a little via the non working no smoking/seatbelt/exit sign illumination, blank rear seat monitors and poor heavy window tints that don't fit correctly (why have them at all?) and a drab colour seating scheme. Heavy boundaries restrict access, and a C-Loader that wants to load the wrong aircraft in the wrong position? Hopefully all will corrected ready for the X-Plane11.30 introduction including the idle smoke issue. Many reviews are preaching to the converted, as this Boeing 767 Pro series is already an iconic aircraft in X-Plane. The added in "Extended" version just now gives you more of more of now three variants of the Boeing 767 to choose from, as both the new -200ER and for me certainly the -300Freighter will get a lot of operational use from this reviewer and I already know the high rewards for the investment are for significant returns. Overall it brings the full FlightFactor Boeing lineup into the same three aircraft "Extended" category together, so that is a huge amount of choice if you are a FlightFactor Pro collector... of the three choices the B676 is now certainly at the top of the list.... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 767 Professional/Extended v1.2.7 by FlightFactor/StepToSky//VMax is NOW! Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 767-300 ER Professional Price is US$72.00 Boeing 767-200ER/-300F Professional Extended Price is US$92.00 Boeing 767-200ER/-300F Professional Extended Upgrade Price is US$72.00 + US$20 You must already have purchased and own the current Boeing 767-300ER Pro version to be eligible for the US$20 update to the aircraft Requirements X-Plane 11+ (X-Plane 10 is NOT supported!) Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.10+ or Linux 14.04 LTS or compatible, 64 bit mode 8Gb RAM / 2Gb VRAM Minimum, 24Gb+ RAM / 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1.2.7 (last updated November 14, 2018) Free auto-updates for the entire XP11 life-cycle ________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 23rd November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.09 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95 - MKJS - Montego Bay Jamaica by Skyline Simulations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95
  23. News! - Another EMB! : Embraer 120 by Dreamfoil Creations It was a shock to the system! Dreamfoil Creations did an aircraft, as the chopper maestro went all "Fixed Wing"? Once you got over that shock, then there was the secondary hit to the system in that it was brilliantly good, if quite difficult to fly. That aircraft was the Embraer 110 Bandeirante, that had an X-Plane11 update only recently back in August 2018. Yes I loved that aircraft, but now here comes the next aircraft in the Embraer linage with the Embraer 120 which is still a turboporp, but a larger if next size up in commercial aviation circles. A few images were posted on Dreamfoil's facebook page, but I would recommend NOT to go and look at the nice images, because you will want it right now! It looks like a beautiful, beautiful thing... ... look away now as you DO NOT want this aircraft! as It will eat away at your soul.... LOOK away... you don't want it. Of course you do! All images are courtesy of Dreamfoil Creations ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 19th November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  24. Thanks interesting, and I agree... I note in the review that the sounds are "debatable" I personally was not much taken either, but remember that X-Plane11.30 has very different systems now for engines of this caliber, so the next update should be interesting... and yes updates could be more frequent. SD
  25. Aircraft Review : de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series v2 by RW Designs It is just under three years ago in Feb 2015 was when RW Designs first released their version of the DHC-6-300 or the Twin Otter. It was a competent design as we saw in the review : Aircraft Review : de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series by RW Designs. The aircraft did however have some traits that divided the purchasers into the "very much like" and the "missing something" divisions, I personally didn't mind it as it was at least a decent Twin Otter to fly. And here now is v2 or the X-Plane11 version of the aircraft and at first glance it looks like the the next update for X-Plane11 for the aircraft. But to think that and you would be wrong, and in fact completely wrong as this Twin Otter is a completely new design from the ground up, and only a few elements have been passed over from the original design. Everything has been completely remodeled, from the actual aircraft, its systems and its features and it is also X-Plane11 tuned and uses X-Plane11 features in its design. So this DHC-6-300 is a full upgrade, not an update. And what you are purchasing here is a completely new aircraft, but there is also a discount for users to update from the original version to this all new v2 aircraft that allows access without the full cost of the purchase price. The overall external design of the original was very good with great detailing of rivets and paneling from the X-Plane "draw per pixel lighting" shading effects and the aircraft body fittings, but there was also a few clunky areas of like the thick rear doors and the average cabin, but overall in the right lighting conditions the original DHC-6 did look very nice. But that was three years ago, and an eon of ages in X-Plane terms and with all the changes to X-Plane11. It was a smart decision to not to try to and simply adjust the design to this new era, but to create a completely new version directly for the changes. Yes that does create a lot of work, extra work, but it also puts you in a far better position because you will have raised the quality standard at the same time and also the intimate quality of your own work. Yes starting afresh allows you do it better and with a better design and a far better approach than just trying to fix up those poor kinks that would be hard to fix anyway. So looking closely at the v2 aircraft the distinct quality is certainly far better, and the aircraft more far more detailed. Certainly the X-Plane11 PBR features help any developer, but to use them effectively still takes skill, and you see that here on the excellent external area and flying surfaces, and also where it counts and this new aircraft can look spectacular in the right lighting conditions. Here is the original design... ... and the new v2 design. The quality and detailing is quite significantly modeled far better with the specular lighting effects bringing out the quality. Baggage areas (front and rear) are now lined, but we have lost the bags in transit? The cabin window detailing is now excellent and they are a huge difference from the original bulky frame idea. And were as the cabin in the original felt like an after thought, the v2 cabin is now excellent. For the insanely beautiful steel floor and the exquisite leather seats. Now this Twin Otter feels like a complete aircraft. Menus The aircraft also now has menus... The menus are located in a flight book down in the pilot's door pocket. The main menu also opens up three more menus in Radios, Checklist and Weight/Balance The main contents include a flashlight (X-Plane native) opening the front and rear baggage doors, external power supply and GTN 750 Support... but no menu options to open the main cockpit and cabin doors, of with which with the rear doors being hard to move to every time you want to open/close them is a bit of a side head scratching moment. Lower menu is four cockpit colour options... In Green, Blue, White and Black. Green is green, but the Blue feels like very light Grey, White feels Grey and Black feels light brown. Only the cockpit colours change and not the cabin textures including the seats, which would have been a nice touch. The Checklist is excellent and covers all aspects of operation from start up to shut down, and the binder is moveable and scalable for ease of use. There is a very good "Weights&Balances" menu as well. You can set the fuel in kg's and the weights of baggage and passengers (Payload). Your aim is to keep the CoG (Centre of Gravity) around 30% of MAC. The full Empty Weight and Total Weights are all shown. Nose versions There are both the "Long" and "Short" nose versions available. They are switched via the liveries with "LN" denoting the Long Nose and "SN" denoting the Short Nose. Besides the Standard wheel version there are three other variants in Float, Ski and Tundra tyres. Float The float version is well done and the undercarriage can be raised up into the float via the undercarriage lever, but there are no rear float rudders for water steering to raise or lower... ... the aircraft handles nicely on the water (without a high swell) and with the opening rear doors, they both open out and not down for exit and entrance. Ski The ski's are fastened on tight, as some developers make them raise or lower below the wheels. Overall the quality is very good. Tundra The huge balloon Tundra tyres are very well done here, and you don't get that bouncy floaty movement on landing but a nice grounded feel. Flying the DHC-6 Twin Otter v2 The early morning service today is the from EGPH (Edinburgh) to EGPD (Aberdeen) a simple hop of 93nm. Aircraft was set up with 611kg of fuel and 1380kg of payload (passengers and baggage), for a gross weight of 6147kg. You need a bit of thrust to get the aircraft mobile, but once moving you can mostly keep it back in the idle position, and contain any speed with the brakes. Flaps are set at 10º and the indicator is on the centre windscreen bar. A final check and it is power up or power forward with the twin overhead drop down levers. Rotation is around 95kt to 100kts depending on the wind direction, but the aircraft is nice in the pitch and then the bank... .... The differences with the X-Plane11 performance is quite considerable. The original was not in performance as close as it should have been, certainly in the handling as this Twin Otter feels far much better as of the simulator changes. As with a lot of moving over to XP11 style flying, you need a short time to adjust to different feel and reaction, so any first flights won't give you the feeling you would expect from the aircraft straight away, but it does come in time and then and only you start to really love what you then have to fly, and after a few flights you will really understand what I mean. In the original DHC-6 we were a little confused by the Collins AP106 system and as you will notice there is no V/S (Vertical Speed) button or V/S climb or descend knob? Only an Altitude (ALT) and Heading (HDG) buttons. As the Collins system does not use that type of system to climb or descend. The AP106 is tricky to still use, but as the actual aircraft performance is better, then it works better in here now as well. The trick is to find the right speed in your throttle position and then lock that speed in via the IAS button. The system works by then adjusting the throttle to climb or descend. You aim or goal is for a speed of around 105kts to 110knts and a climb rate of around 1000fpm as noted here for the best of both worlds, and the specified climb rate is around 1600fpm. To descend you do the reverse in reducing and locking in the speed around 80knts and descend around the same 1000fpm. This is a big change over the original version as the aircraft wouldn't descend at all unless you went to extreme measures like even setting the throttle to idle and then even feathering the propellers to go down, which was ludicrous. ALT ALERT button is really the altitude hold button for the selected required altitude, and it works in both modes of ALT and IAS disconnect when the set altitude is attained, but it can be tricky to set sometimes. A note on to have the trim correctly set is now important, not only for the initial takeoff but for the AP106 interaction... if the trim is out, then the AP106 will do silly things like climb or descend too quickly. so a set trim and a level aircraft helps in AP106 transition. An item to note is that you have to manually disconnect the AP106 by both the buttons and the switch. If you use a key or in my case a joystick button to disconnect the autopilot then here it doesn't deactivate the AP. Debatable is the sound package on the aircraft. It is a FMOD setup and has 3d surround sounds and good variation in sound. The package uses a professional PT6A soundpack, which is noted as one of the best for the Twin Otter. And in most areas like start up, idle and takeoff power the sound is very good, but the in flight internally sounds are very buzzy, light and don't have much depth or even drone and the sound pitches don't change much with any throttle changes. The sounds do come well regarded and so I am going to put the aural question out there as some aircraft like the Twin Otter do have a particular feel and sound, so feedback is welcome, but they did grow on me. Another point to make is that the RW Design's Twin Otter doesn't like the xEnviro weather plugin very much in the visual stakes, the view from the cockpit is fine, but if you look at the propellers at any time they show the real scenery through the movement. This of course an X-Plane/xEnviro issue and not the developer's issue, but it is currently not the best external view with xEnviro active and the normal X-Plane weather is used here in this review. Although a few of the original elements like instruments have been moved over and updated, in context this is a completely new cockpit and instrument panel. The main panel does feel slightly duller and flat, than the lighter smoother approach on the original, but the quality is far, far higher and detailed. We are used now to excellent metal style instrument panels, but here it is authentic to the flat grey used on the aircraft. The excellent glareshield is really well modeled and textured, so overall it works very well. The classic dual yoke is well reproduced, but it can't be hidden. The iconic Twin Otter overhead panel (OHP) is excellent, fully featured and really well produced. The OHP was good before, but this complete redesign is now even more authentic and realistic, but you do have to set a key "quickview" to get a quick upside down view of the rear of the panel if you want to access the switchgear, overall it is all really well done. Under the panel and floor is also very well completed and realistic, with lovely crafted DHC rudder pedals, centre upright fuse panel with built in fuel gauges. And note the great Brake Temperature display panel. Cockpit quality and seats are as good as the cabin, and the only noticeable point is the cockpit/cabin divider is not a clean arch. The excellent trim controls on the pilot's right seat arm, are however beautifully created and authentic and very nice to use.. The Instrument panel layout has had a few changes. First up is the completely new BendixKing electronic Artificial Horizon, replacing the flat (awful) design of the original on both sides is a huge improvement there. The Collins AP106 system's button panel has been moved from the right-centre instrument panel to the pilot's side for easier use, and there is now both a VOR(2) and ADF dial bottom left (only a single ADF dial before). The Course Deviation Indicator (OBS) looks like it was moved, but in fact it is still in the same place, as the Radar altitude has been moved below it to allow the fitting of the AP106 button panel above. The equipment avionics stack is different as well. The KMA 28 audio panel is top, with the GNS 530 below. The radios are more basic, but also more realistic with two KX 155As for COMM1/VOR1 and COMM2/VOR2 receivers. A KR 87 is your ADF and centre below is a KT 70 BenedixKing Transponder. You can if you have purchased the (expensive) RealityXP GTN 750 or GTN 530, use them in the aircraft and replacing the native GNS 530. The GNS 530 and the radio panels all pop-out for ease of use. All instrument and radio panels have nice reflections, real, but not overly done. Panel lighting is indirect, but looks great even in the daytime. On the lighting theme, the cockpit is very good, in a black and white way. But the dials are very clear and concise for night landings. All instrument lighting is adjustable and the cockpit is lit by only one light above your head. The cabin is sensational with pairs of spot lights for each set of seats... ... The seatbelt and no-smoking sign is nice touch. External lighting is very good, with a single front strut taxi light and two wing mounted landing lights, standard tail-beacon and navigation lights and excellent strobes. Landing light throw is very good as is the powerful single centre taxi light. Aberdeen is waking up as we arrive at Dyce. After doing the controlled descent, with the IAS set at 80knts and around 1000fpm to 1500ft. You set the approach speed with 20º flap and just in the green zone at 90knts. Remember this is a STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) machine, so those flaps act like barn doors when lowered, but give you super slow control. Full flap at 40º will give you a slow speed of around 70knts, but if the sea breeze is strong you have to work the rudders hard to keep the runway alignment as that large DHC tail works for you and against you at the same time. I took me a few landings to get the feel just right... ... it is an aircraft to get into the right groove with, but once there you are really into the aircraft and it comes to you. Landing speeds can border on the 60knt stall, but you seem to hold it fine to gently touch down, the speed is so slow you can just roll the speed off more, but if you need it then there is reserve prop thrust by setting the "Full reverse thrust" setting, but I never did. As the propellers wind down, you notice the animated feathering of the blades, they are really well done... ... but is quickly time to load up and return to Edinburgh, not a bad way to make a living is it... Liveries There are nine liveries with two as the short nose version with a very nice RWDesign logo (default) and a Kenn Borek Air The rest of the liveries are all long nose and every livery works with every variant in Float, Ski and Tundra. All are excellent Hi-Def quality with the lovely Air Seychelles a highlight. Summary First glance is that the Twin Otter from RW Design's is just an update, but this aircraft is very, very different from that fact. This is a complete rebuild of the aircraft and only a few of the original elements are actually present. This comprehensive upgrade is really an all new aircraft and with the excellent quality to match the better detailing. Highlights are many with an excellent cabin with lovely well done textures and realistic metal flooring, and luminescent lighting. A menu system that can change the cockpit colours and an easy to use Weights&Balance page, Checklists and pop-up radios. The depth of the quality grows with every flight. X-Plane11 features have made the aircraft far more dynamic, not only in the way the aircraft uses the PBR, but with the better X-Plane11 performance dynamics, something in performance was missing on the original release aircraft, but fully restored here and the images here in this review don't lie as the aircraft looks brilliant in great lighting. Four variants with the Standard Wheels, Float, Ski's and Tundra tyres is a value four aircraft, with also Short and Long Nose versions available. Overall this is an outstanding upgrade, but I question the sounds, and they are FMOD great, and they do actually grow on you, but can be tiring over long distances. More menu options would be a nice option and certainly for opening all the doors (the rears can be hard to reach), hiding the Yoke, static elements and making the change of the colour scheme to cover the cabin as well as the cockpit. A cargo version with that metal floor would be nice as well. Currently if you own the original version v1 then you can get an upgrade to this excellent v2 for 50% off, which is great deal, so be quick. Overall this is a comprehensive upgrade to a classic aircraft, in reality it is completely different design in every area, but a very good one. It is also a significant upgrade of quality and design from RW Designs, who was good before, but design is now at that much more a higher level... It was a brave thing to do to completely redesign an aircraft in time and dedication, but that has paid off in spades here... and that is in making this DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 v2 an excellent aircraft to own, fly and use. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series v2 by RW Designs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 Series v2 Price is US$29.95 Note - If you have already purchased the DHC-6 Twin Otter v1 you can purchase this new v2 Twin Otter for 50% off. Find your coupon code under your DHC-6 Twin Otter invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Twin Otters from other designers). Features Four versions included in the package ! Standard Tundra Floats (with the ability to remove gear entirely) Skis All of which work with both short and long nose variants! High Resolution 3D Model Brand new model built from scratch for X-Plane 11 X-Plane 11 specular lighting Detailed exterior model New high resolution 4K textures Interactive night-lighting Choose interior color Rain effects Superior Interaction New scroll manipulators for finer tuning of interaction New menu's allowing extended interaction and choice of aircraft parameters Radio pop-up with improved 3D input methods. Mutli-phase checklist Real-time weight and balance manager Improved Sounds FMOD Powered 3D sound High quality source files recorded from the real Twin Otters High fidelity flight model Custom airfoils Developed in conjunction with Twin Otter pilots Custom Systems Custom electrical and anti-ice systems Programmed radios RealityXP Compatible GNS 530 GTN 750 AutoUpdater Always fly the recent aircraft version! AutoUpdater Licensed from STMA Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 2.0 (January 20th 2018) Installation Download of the DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series v2 is a huge 547mb and it is installed in your Aircraft Folder as a 671mb folder. There are four different aircraft files in the aircraft menu to access depending on the variant that you want to fly in : Standard Wheels, Float, Ski's and Tundra Documents Documentation is excellent with a AOM (Aircraft Operating Manual), Aircraft performance charts and Flight Tutorial included: AOM.pdf Charts.pdf Flight Tutorial.pdf _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th January 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - EGPH - Edinburgh Airport UK 1.0.1 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - EGPD - Aberdeen Dyce for XP10 4.1 by anthony_d (X-Plane.Org) - Free - Forth River Crossings 1.2.2 by John M D (X-Plane.Org) - Free