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  1. News! - Reality Expansion Pack for Laminar Cessna 172SP by Simcoders Simcoders have released one of their Reality Expansion Packs (REP) for the default Laminar Research Cessna 172SP. Extensions of Laminar Research's default aircraft are becoming the rage lately, and that is not a bad idea either in just ask anyone about ZIBO's work on the default Boeing 738. If you are not familiar with Simcoder's Reality Expansion Packs then they are a plugin that adds in functionality into an aircraft that covers areas like: Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior Dynamic ground roll sounds The plugin changes the complete behaviour of the donated aircraft, and goes far beyond the basic set of systems in adding more features like: Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Full engine management and interaction! Realistic IO-360-L2A Engine Simulation Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Correct fuel consumption Oil System Realistic oil viscosity Interchangeable oil type Oil pump failures Realistic oil filter Injection Fuel System Realistic fuel pump behavior Realistic fuel filter Interchangeable spark plugs: default or fine-wire Spark plugs fouling Realistic Lean of Peak and Rich of Peak operations Starter Realistic startup procedure Realistic engine temperatures Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Electrical & Avionics System Realistic Battery The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down Learn with the non invasive in-flight tips A tip about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A tip about how to fix the problem is shown when you damage the plane Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Fuel quantity check Oil quantity and quality check Interactive towing Push, pull and steer using the joystick Towbar simulation Weight & Balance Tool Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves Popup Kneeboard Complete normal operations checklist Complete emergency operations checklist Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane As X-Plane is launched, the engine temps are restored basing on the elapsed time Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab And! Stunning sounds Realistic engine clicks and stutters Dynamic ground roll sounds Real starter sound Fuselage wind sound Landing gear wind Independent touch down sounds Real avionics sound This is a complete package to totally enhance the standard C172 up to a payware standard aircraft, highly recommended... You do require X-Plane 11 to use this package, and it is available for all platforms in Windows, Mac or Linux Current version: 3.10 (August 17th 2017) _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Reality Expansion Pack for Laminar Cessna 172SP by Simcoders is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reality Expansion Pack for Laminar Cessna 172SP Your Price: US$19.99 The Cessna 172SP comes free with X-Plane11 ____________________________________________________________________________________ News Announcement by Stephen Dutton 18th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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) Images supplied courtesy of Simcoders
  2. X-PlaneReviews : 4th Anniversary Competition! X-PlaneReviews is four years old, but who is counting? age is in the mind not the body right. But with all the seriousness around us we should celebrate a significant milestone and so we shall, by feeling great and giving lots of free stuff away. So thanks to the generosity of developers and the X-Plane.OrgStore we have a lot of very nice aircraft for you to win. Five Winners can choose one aircraft from: FlightFactor/VMax Boeing 777 FlightFactor/VMax Boeing 767 FlightFactor/VMax Boeing 757 FlightFactor Airbus A350 FlyJSim Boeing 727 All aircraft are on offer in the competition and only for the month of August 2017 and CLOSES midnight 31st August 2017 So how do you win the prizes! We want to know what you think is the best aircraft in X-Plane, but the aircraft must have been in a review that has been released by X-PlaneReviews. So you have to refer to the review in X-PlaneReviews... a link is worth more brownie points... Example: ------ Aircraft Review - DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project Then give us 150 words on why you think it is the best aircraft in X-Plane and why it is worth the purchase. ------- Conditions for entry Just insert your entry on only this page below to enter and sorry only one entry per user is allowed so make it count. No X-PlaneReview review connection will mean your entry is invalid for the competition. The competition is only open to joined members of this X-PlaneReviews site, so you have to log in to enter. X-PlaneReviews have the rights to republish the winners on this and other sites. Winners will be picked on detail and originality of their answers, and winners prizes are final and the prizes are supported with updates, but not upgrades. Winners are drawn 1st September 2017. Do your best and enjoy, I am looking forward to seeing what your views are on X-Plane products. Stephen Dutton 5th August 2017
  3. Aircraft Review : C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado The single Turbo-Prop Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was one of the earliest X-Plane aircraft releases back then in mid-year 2012, that is five years ago now to date. The first Carenado releases were really average to good, basically test pieces for X-Plane. Both the Mooney and the PA 32 Satatoga felt old before their release, but then in May we got some release images of the Caravan and then in June 2012 the aircraft was released in X-Plane. Finally X-Plane users got the glimpse and a taste of why in Flight Sim Land of all the reverence and praise that was lavished on Carenado. It was back then and to a point still now a great aircraft, but we also saw Carenado for what they really were and more importantly they were also taking X-Plane as a simulation platform seriously. That gamble paid off massively for Carenado as they now dominate most General Aviation releases in X-Plane, although I will admit a few other developers like vFlyteAir and Aerobask are now pushing them harder in quality in what was once only a Carenado domain. There is no doubt that the C208B Caravan has been a huge seller if not their best seller year in and year out for Carenado, and it is not hard to see why. It is an amazing aircraft but versatile as well. The aircraft is basically a workhorse, a short hop regional gap filler for two pilots and eleven passengers, or a single pilot and twelve passengers, and it's speciality is island hopping. Carenado also then broadened the C208B's already great attraction by an add-on and an extra in the form of a cargo version called the "Super CargoMaster", so now not only could you move your passengers point to point, but also cargo was now also the go. The great suddenly became the brilliant. I am not going to hide the fact that in the last five years I have done a huge amount of flying of both the passenger and cargo versions in this brilliant aircraft, the hours spent in the C208B's left seat are simply to large to count, but it must be a lot. So of the many aircraft I have spent flying in X-Plane then the Caravan must be at the top of my list and it is in my all time list as it came in at number 3. But I will admit with the transition to X-Plane11 the old bird was starting to feel a little worn around the edges, and that is despite a few nice upgrades (v2/v3) in the X-Plane10 run. So here is the X-Plane11 upgrade. And now this C208B aircraft is now X-Plane11 compatible. You will have repurchase the aircraft in full as well, but the cost covers all updates throughout the X-Plane11 run or about four to five years and Carenado have noted that there will be some great new features coming to the Caravan but not until the other listed aircraft have been upgraded as well, and don't forget that there is still the G1000 Executive version still waiting in the wings. C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 This is both a light overall review and an upgrade review in one, because the original X-PlaneReviews Caravan review is now quite old from 2013 and so I think it requires an update and refresh on the aircraft. The first most significant detail is that the original add-on "Super CargoMaster" package is now part of the overall package. In other words you don't have to purchase a separate package and merge it with the main Carenado C208B Grand Caravan purchase to get both versions, and you can also change to both versions from within the one aircraft and not have two separate aircraft to switch between or reload. The standard three Carenado left lower screen tab menus are still here with C for the Views, Field of View and Sound adjustment which the same as usual for Carenado. D covers "Doors" in the Pilots and Co-Pilots door(s) (with a great swing down ladder) and a double (upper and swing lower) main Cargo door and on the passenger version a passenger door on the right rear side of the aircraft. The Caravan comes with a detachable lower cargo pod with opening doors, but the selection of opening the pod doors is a separate selection on the cargo, however the pod doors can then only be opened with the right side passenger door on the passenger version which is slightly odd. You can also switch to each the passenger or the cargo version here on this menu tab as well, via the lower left tickbox. (if you change the livery to either a passenger or a cargo version the type will also change automatically). Livery selection can also be done from this menu in selecting left or right to go through the options, personally I use the XP11 menu as it was quicker. O covers the "Options" on the lower third tab. First selection is the optional cargo pod and the then the static elements of Chocks, Tow Tractor, Pivot Cover, Engine and Prop covers. Lower selection allows you to have tinted or clear windows. This options menu also allows you on the passenger version to select the rear seating arrangements with either single seating for eight or single/double seating for eleven. I usually use the eleven seater. The option menu on the cargo version is the same except that there is no seating but cargo options. “Load Configuration 1” is with the parcels loaded and that adds “1607” Pounds to the aircraft’s weight. “Load Configuration 2” is with the parcels removed and no penalty of weight. The cargo area is very well presented with the webbing hanging with the space empty and everything tied down tightly with the load on board and when not used the hand aircraft puller is strapped to the rear bulkhead, there is a nice touch to the cockpit rear with a net over the the entrance to keep the cargo in place. External Detail I usually fly with the pod off, my flying in the Caravan is mostly passenger sightseeing or point to point airport connection services. The Caravan style is between a pure utility aircraft, but still has a miniature airliner feel as well with all those side windows (seven). For the job it is about perfect and in the real world it is extremely popular and would be a very hard aircraft to replace and most operators usually don't but with another Caravan. Since its first flight on December 9, 1982 and into service in 1983 there has now over 2,500 Caravans built and flying at a cost of US$1.95 million each (2017 costing). External detailing is phenomenal. Every rivet is counted for, all latches, hinges and handles are perfect, (ice) lighting surrounds, lovely flap tracks, vents, animated static wicks and antennas. Glass is superb with great reflections and a very slight convex look. In reality the earlier detailing on the Caravan is not much different here, but it has been totally enhanced with X-Plane11 features and of course with PBR or Physical Based Rendering (material shines and reflections) and the textures are all 4K and have been reprocessed for the best quality to FPS (framerate) optimization. So the most noticeable factor from the earlier Caravans to this version is the sheer gloss on the aircraft and the highlighting of the aircraft's construction. This is mostly highly noticeable with the wing construction and detailing, it is beautiful work, almost perfection. But in certain lighting conditions you get a frazzled feel, it can be a little over shiny for the eye, a slightly more wear and tear feel would be more authentic, but don't get me wrong this is the best of the best in detailing. The spinner is now chrome, real chome. Carenado always did do great chrome fittings but the extra shinyness now adds to the effect (X-Plane11 metalness effects). This shinyness is highlighted by the lovely curves of the lower fuselage and the air cooling vents. The Caravan has a powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A engine connected to that lovely crafted Hartzell 3-Blade Metal, Constant Speed - full feathering propeller... great stuff. Note that huge if slightly ugly right sided exhaust, but it does give off a great whine sound. The aircraft undercarriage support is also superb, there is a lot of animated flexibility and dynamic loading/unloading of the gear that adds amazing authenticity to the simulation. Minor detailing on the internal construction of all the wheels and braking systems are pinch perfect. Open the doors and the extreme detailing is even more evident. Looking into the cockpit you are immediately reminded on why the Caravan was such a big deal back when Carenado first released the Caravan. It was a modern cockpit (mid-80's compared to the other far older Mooney and the PA 32 Satatoga cockpits). Internal Detail That light on dark panel was and still is amazing as is the whole of the Caravan's cockpit. The panel is now even more dynamic with the X-Plane11 dynamic lighting effects, more realism and even more of a great place to be. All instrument and glass is reflective, instruments are all of the highest quality Checking around the panel there hasn't been much changed or added except that those tree style manipulators have been replaced by the standard half-moon style manipulators, this is for another reason as well as for just easier manipulation as they are required for the coming VR interaction. Those lovely hide away yokes do also have a working elevator trim, which is very usable. And above your head is still the standard tank switches and oxygen switch and dial readout. Your workplace seating still looks very comfortable and the quality is mindblowing, again the dynamic lighting brings something new to this already very familiar cockpit. Instrument Panel In reality this is not a really over complicated instrument panel and I think that is the overall sweetness on flying and using the Caravan. The row of engine status dials on the top row are (left to right) Torque, RPM Prop, ITT (Interstage Turbine Temperature), Gas Generator RPM, Oil Pressure PSI & Oil ºc Temperatures, Fuel Flow and both L&R fuel tank gauges dominates the panel, the lovely set of excellent annunciators that can be set for day and night visual brightness or test mode. Full Standard Six instruments for the flying pilot and the co-pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the ADF dial, Heading Dial/HSI and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Pilot has added Turn/Slip indicator below and Radar altitude (x100) meter. Left of SS is a VOR OBS pointer and Bendix King VOR data panel below. Far left is Prop Anti-Ice dial, Clock, and Engine Suction dial and approach marker lights. A nice working feature is the Voltage dial that has four switchable selections with Gen (Generator), Alt (Alternator), BATT (Battery) and Volt lower left is the external lighting switches and lower panel is six switches that covers the aircraft's Anti-Ice protection. There are also four rotary knobs for the instrument lighting which is in-direct and not back lighting, also here is the bottom brake pull and the Inertial Separator T handle that blocks debris coming into the main engine inlet. Air-conditioning and cabin heat switches and knobs are lower panel as well. There is a stand alone electrical and fuse raised box structure to the pilot's left... ... switches cover top - External Bus (GPU), Main Battery, Generator and fuel boost. Lower panel - Standby Power, Ignition, Engine Starter, Avionics Standby, Avionics Bus Tie and Avionics 1&2 OFF/ON. By today's standards the avionic package here is quite basic for a working aircraft. Top is a Bendix King KMA 24 radio set, with below a default X-Plane GNS 430 (COMM 1 and NAV1) settings. Mid-panel is a Bendix King KX 165 COMM 2 and NAV 2 (VOR) radio and a Bendix King RDR 2000 weather radar with the X-Plane radar overlaid below. Right stack has top a Garmin GTX 320 transponder then below a Bendix King KR87 ADF radio with finally the Bendix King KFC 150 autopilot. The autopilot has a indication panel and altitude adjustment, vertical speed adjust panel on the pilot's side top right. Throttle Pedestal Mid lower panel is a nice throttle pedestal. Left to right there is a power lever to be used only in emergencies, then a single main "Throttle" lever with a "beta" reverse gate. The "Prop" lever is for MAX and MIN RPM and gated lower is the feather adjustment. Then there is the "Condition" lever again gated with High and Low idle and the lower gate is the shutoff. Far right is the "Flap" setting in Up - 10º (150knts) - 20º Full (125 knts). Left pedestal is the elevator trim wheel and front panel is the aileron trim knob and rudder trim wheel. There is the main fuel shutoff pull knob as well. Flying the C208B Grand Caravan I have done this YMLT (Launceston) to YMHB (Hobart) route about twenty times so I know it backwards, with a few heading notes I don't even have to put into the GNS430 a flightplan. It is my usual passenger transfer with a little bit of sightseeing thrown in to the deal. I tank up per tank of 765lbs or 1531lbs total with a full weight of 7840lbs, a fair bit of fuel, but then I wanted to return to YMLT directly without refueling at Hobart. A glance around and all the seven passengers are in and the baggage is loaded. I have asked (nicely) for Carenado to put their excellent animated pilot and co-pilot as passengers for years, but still we have to pretend that there people in the rear. Starting up of the Caravan is still one of the great aircraft engine starts in X-Plane. You don't get FMOD sounds here (yet), but Carenado's 3D 180º controlled sounds are just as good if not better for all the different sound ranges and bass depth. Put the ignition switch on and set the starter... you get nothing for a short while and then that familiar faint whine grows from somewhere deep in the front of the aircraft, still the whine grows louder until finally the propeller starts to turn in to action. The start sequence is full automation, hit the switch and just wait. Even after years of flying the Caravan I still question if the External (GPU) actually works? I have pressed the switch (arrowed) but there seems to be no action and the battery has a habit of quickly discharging, so my guess is no. Once the engine temps are good I pull the condition lever back to idle and a RPM of around 650RPM. The original Caravan was a little bit faster in the idle, but it looks the new X-Plane11 performance settings have settled it down a little, for taxiing you don't have to fight it as much as you did in the past with far too much power. In fact the 208B feels quite perfect now. Power up and the whine builds, but so does also the deeper turbo grind, so familiar but still neckline hair raising fantastic, this is the Caravan we totally love. As noted the 208B is far easier to taxi without fighting the too powerful thrust now in the condition low idle setting, a big nice change... but don't forget to put the condition lever into the "High Idle" position before takeoff... or you won't, well takeoff. The asymmetric thrust will still pull you really hard to the left with all that very powerful 675shp Pratt & Whitney pushing you forward. So you have to be aware right from the point you let the brakes go to give only a little thrust until you can lock the nose-wheel in straight and then give it full power after a certain speed and usually around 45knts. It works but still with a little deft right rudder. The C208B will however still try to wander and you are working hard with the yoke and the rudder to keep it sweet on the centreline I’m also very heavy here ( 7840lbs) so that slightly helps, but the speed climbs quickly to a rotate at around 95knts. Climbing out and into a turn to the due southwest (210º) I settle in at a 1000fpm (feet Per Minute) climb as 1,234 ft/min (6.27 m/s) is the maximum. But even with this weight the Caravan takes the tight turn and climb all in it's stride. As I am so familiar with the Caravan I know its limits, I know how far to push the aircraft before it will fail me, and the 208B has a fair bit of slack in that area, it is a very sturdy aircraft, sweet to fly and manoeuvre but you need a firm straight hand on the yoke and rudder. One thing I do notice more on this XP11 version is the green window tint is quite strong in the glass reflections, it is highly noticeable if not slightly distracting. There is the short straight route to YMHB, or the scenic route which is going straight southeast out from Launceston and hitting the coast around the spectacular Freycinet National Park and the famous Wineglass Beach, clients don't mind the extra cost or time as the Tasmanian east coast views are worth the detour. But first you have to climb high to clear the Ben Lomond National Park, and so I set the altitude to 7500 AMSL. My passengers were also not getting a lot of views for their cash either as the cloud cover was pretty extensive... The Caravan has a Cruise speed of around 197 mph (171 kn; 317 km/h) and a Range of 1,240 mi (1,078 nmi; 1,996 km) with max fuel and reserves. Your ceiling is an amazing 25,000ft as you have oxygen on board, but I have never really flown over 15,000ft. The Bendix King KFC 150 autopilot is a treat to use, quite simple but effective. Vertical speed can be a simple up or down, or you can set the separate digital display in the rate of climb and then ARM the altitude you want to hold. I found that you can't have the manual trim set (via your joystick or in my case x56 throttle twist knobs) as it interferes with the aircraft's trim systems, so I had to disconnect the x56 controls. As I neared the east coast I could descend down through the thick cloud to see if the views would be better and more effective. But I would still have to be careful as there is still a fair bit if land elevation around the Wineglass Bay area, in other words it is hilly. Note the blue ignition on warning light? I have lived with this one for years, in the fact that if you start the Caravan with the engine running then the ignition light stays off, but start the 208B from cold it stays on even if the ignition switch is now off, it is more annoying than you think. Coming out of the lower 4000ft cloud base I got a real "whoa" moment. It wasn't dangerous in a sense of the word, but it still needed a hard turn south so it wouldn't become an issue, my altitude was set at 3500ft for the sightseeing. My passengers only got a quick glimpse of Wineglass Bay, the weather is nothing I can control, and thankfully the further south I flew the brighter the weather became. You get a great view out of the Caravan's cabin windows, that is why these aircraft are great in the sightseeing role, but in some lighting conditions the the glass reflections can be very strong. In the new strong light you can see the excellent X-Plane11 PBR lighting effects and how beautiful they are on the Caravan, it certainly is glossy and the light is fantastic (I popped the pod back on for the full dynamic effect) but I will admit to debating (with myself) if the Caravan is too glossy in this form, sometimes it feels like there is to much gloss and other times it is just right, so I am in neither camp. I have spent countless hours over the years looking over this view out of the Caravan, I still totally love it and you still admire how great an aircraft it is. The Caravan is one of Carenado's greatest successful aircraft even after all these years, that actually comes with no great surprise, and now in X-Plane11 form it certainly goes up a notch again. Time is getting on and the light is starting to fade. I usually go further south and around the peninsula and give the patrons a view of the Port Arthur Convict site as part of the deal, but today I am taking a short cut over Blackman Bay and directly to Dunalley Bay which leads into Frederick Henry Bay. The views are still spectacular, and once over the passage I see YMBH's lights far to the west of Frederick Henry Bay . I drop the altitude another 1500ft to 2000ft and start the approach phase as the light faded more... The Caravan's amazing instrument panel in-direct lighting (the main Standard Six dials are also backlit) is still spectacular, it is adjustable as well. Overhead lighting is provided by a single roof mounted light that gives the cockpit area and the panel a more workable light, the adjustments knobs though even with the new manipulators can still be hard work, you have to grab and pull hard to make the knobs turn, there is also plenty of spaces for extra lighting switches on the lighting panel. But the lighting overall is disappointing. Carenado pioneered great lighting effects that allows spot lighting to be adjustable, fade in and out and manoeuvrable in aircraft cabins. But here it is just plain dark back there, and the external Ice/Wing light doesn't work either? Externally you have taxi and landing lights on both outer front wing edges, and the standard beacon and great strobe effects. It may or may not be correct per the performance of the C208B but I always put the condition lever to the "low Idle" position before landing, yes you lose a slight bit of performance... but rather that than the huge fight to control the speed after landing with the thrust level too high to stop you cleanly and without wavering all over the runway and then losing direction in trying to bring "that damn lever back" to control the aircraft, I find I still have enough power and more control with it set even in the "low idle" position. I am learning that the performance of aircraft in X-Plane11 is quite different than before in X-Plane10. Certainly in the final landing phase. In the Caravan that sense is heightened. The area in question is throttle management, the ratio of speed to power. The stall point of the Caravan is 70knts, but let the airspeed drop below 100knts here on approach and you suddenly lose height, this is becoming a common theme if you have been reading other reviews since X-Plane11's release. The control is there and luckily the flap limits are quite high on the Caravan with 150knts for 10º and full (20º) at 125kts, so you drop 10º then adjust your speed then later the full 20º to 75knts on final approach. But by controlling the throttle (which you do a lot) can gain you either more height with more power or with less throttle to lose height, pure aircraft control. Certainly this effect was there before in older X-Plane versions, but the effect in X-Plane11 is certainly more finer and more noticeable now in the feel factor. I find it quite exciting and I feel I am having more control over the aircraft in flight, a fine tuning area but a very important one and the Caravan really brings that effect out more than other aircraft I have flown lately in the past. In other words you are flying far more by you throttle inputs as much as your hand and feet input. Get it right and you will boast about your landing for days, but it does take a fair bit of practise to be perfect. One highly noticeable change in the XP11 version is the "beta" or reverse thrust position that gives you full reverse thrust after landing. It still works as usual by the gauge (arrowed) on the Prop dial, but you don't get that "roar" of sound you used to have? It is now more of a whimper? (I checked both high and low idle positions). Passengers note the trip as "exciting" and "amazing" but I have flown the route in better conditions, but there is overall a more intimate feel with this X-Plane11 version than I can remember in the past with the older X-Plane versions of the Caravan, and that is a really great thing. Liveries The sets of liveries for both the Passenger and Cargo versions are the same as in the past, and any older liveries that you have collected don't work either. Included is for the Passenger version the: standard blank, Camo (camouflage), Exec 1, Exec 2 and that excellent GoTropical. There are three Super CargoMaster liveries with the: Civil, FedEx and DHL. You get the Civil Cargo livery with the package and the two other liveries in the FedEx and DHL can be downloaded here.: Carenado FreeLiveries Summary This Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and optional Super CargoMaster has been one of the most successful Carenado aircraft in X-Plane to date, and it is really not hard to see why. I have loved the Caravan and more than most aircraft in X-Plane over the last four years because it is so versatile and just really a great aircraft to fly. The release of the Caravan in X-Plane11 bring certainly all the great features of the new platform including PBR (Physical Based Rendering) and the performance enhancements that are really noticeable in the pilots seat. The added feature of both the passenger and super cargomaster versions together in one package also adds hugely into the appeal. A lot of work has gone into the quality of the detailing for X-Plane11 and quality is what Careando are known for. But in another point of view, if you know the Caravan really well you won't really notice anything new or different in new features, from the pilot's seat you have the same position as you always have had but just only now in X-Plane11 with its excellent features, that is a positive but also a slight negative. The lighting feels old, because internally it is compared to most later Carenado releases and the no Ice/wing light is highly noticeable, no new liveries over four years is not going to be fun either and since now the older custom ones now don't work either. (I lost fifteen liveries, gulp) Carenado have noted though that FMOD audio, full VR support, SASL 3.0 upgrade, re-vamped pop-up windows and more are coming along in the update path, so my advice is to enjoy now and that more changes and features will come along as part of the overall package. This is as noted a new purchase of the aircraft in full as well, but the cost does cover all updates throughout the X-Plane11 run or for about four to five years and any new features that Carenado have promised to add in to the overall package and I think that is overall a very good deal. So here is one of the greats, and the Grand Caravan now comes in X-Plane11 clothes and performance. If you have read this full review, then you would know how important this aircraft is to my X-Plane flying, now in X-Plane11 the flying can now go on (and on) and I know I will absolutely love every moment of it, as a validation of a great aircraft this Grand Caravan is then one of the very best and you simply can't go any higher than that... _____________________________________________________________________________________ The C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado is NOW available! at the X-Plane.OrgStore 208 Grand Caravan HD Series Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Features: Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Requirements: Windows XP - Vista - 7 -10 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 570MB available hard disk space Installation and documents: Download for the C208B Grand Caravan HD Series is 498.40mg and the unzipped 589.20mb file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder with this aircraft version X-Plane11 only. Documents C208B GC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B SC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B GC Reference document PDF C208B SC Reference document PDF KFC150 Autopilot PDF Recommended Settings XP11 PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 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 Scenery or Aircraft - YMLT - Launceston, Australia 1.2.0 by CDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YMHB - Hobart International Airport & YCBG Cambridge Aerodrome 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - AustraliaPro 2.03 Beta by Chris K (X-Plane.Org) - Free (recommended for any Australian flying!)
  4. tinmug said: The story of the twin, the sweaty palms and the forgotten hamburger. She has been described as perfect, beyond compare. She can only be replaced by another which, no doubt, will want to take you a little left. Or perhaps right. Every one has her own way. This is as much about the twin as it is about the shapely perfection in between. About marking territory, then going off to find new horizons. It's about the incredible DC-3. And more specifically, the VSkyLabs DC-3, as so thoroughly outlined in the xplanereviews write-up right here. Pilots are like quite simply like this. Seduce the practical J3 today, want the racy P51 tomorrow and yearn for the twin the day thereafter. It's in our blood. We want more. We want it all. But this particular twin makes us sweat. Sweat and work at it like no other. Makes us focus on the task, eyes never straying from the intimate details. The mind is always trying to keep abreast with the twin's zesty streaks. A sense of fun, adventure, accomplishment all rolled into one noisy yet utterly memorable affair. Why this twin? Perfection is why. Like no other you are implicitly aware that you are kept aloft by those five shapely foils. The lightest touch provides a response, and not always what you had hoped for ... feisty. Never entirely predictable. Always striking, enthralling and bewitching. Satisfy her needs and you walk away with a wry smile. And you'll be back, wanting more. To go further. A little better this time, more balance, more anticipation. The twin knows about the J3 and the P51, and she doesn't care because she knows you will have to be back. Why this twin, an not the other? The sweaty palms, her response to your touch, the aural sensation and perhaps the fact that when you first had your way with her every other gal was a hemisphere away. Whole days – weeks! – spent with her perfecting your touch, the never-ending endeavour to please her and enjoy the journey even more than the destination. Because she is unsurpassed. And all that for the price of a hamburger.
  5. News! - Aircraft Upgraded to XP11 : 208 Grand Caravan HD Series by Carenado You would actually be surprised on how old Carenado's 208B Grand Caravan actually is in X-Plane. The original release is now five years old, with a big v2 update a year later in 2013. As I fly this aircraft quite a lot I did find it feeling quite old lately as it is, but I didn't realise that overall it was over five years old. So the upgrade to X-Plane11 will be certainly really welcome for this grand machine, the C208 is one of the best and I would guess one of the biggest sellers for Carenado in X-Plane. Like all older upgrades to X-Plane11 from Carenado you have to repurchase the aircraft, this is not an update, but a completely new version. With that there is an interesting change to the package in that the Super CargoMaster add-on is now included in the full package and not as an add on purchase, so buy one and you get both versions. I know this excellent aircraft more than most machines in X-Plane, it is a brilliant simulation of one of the world's most versatile aircraft. The C208B is the most workable local short route aircraft you can fly and there are a lot of great features and options to get the best out of this aircraft. The Super CargoMaster version also comes with an extra download of DHL and FedEx liveries as well. Features Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. I haven't flown the new XP11 Caravan yet but those specifications look excellent. Note the different engine performance, better flight physics both in the air and on the ground and the X-Plane11 feature Physically Based Rendering (PBR) has been incorporated in the new version as well. Included in the package 5 HD Liveries 1 HD Blank Llivery 2 models: Grand Caravan (GC) and Super Cargomaster (SC) C208B GC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B SC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B GC Reference document PDF C208B SC Reference document PDF KFC150 Autopilot PDF Recommended Settings XP11 PDF Recommended System Requirements Windows XP - Vista - 7 -10 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 570MB available hard disk space The X-Plane11 Grand Caravan 200B and Super CargoMaster package is now available from Carenado ______________________________________________________________________ The 208 Grand Caravan XP11 HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : 208 Grand Caravan HD Series Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 10th August 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  6. Aircraft Review : Evektor EV-55 Outback by Auctusdelineations First thing to note is that because part of the name of the EV-55 is "Outback" it is not an Australian built aircraft. You wouldn't be wrong in thinking that actually as Aussies do call their few odd aviation exports after things set around Australiana like jackaroo, jabiru, brumby and outback wouldn't be a far call for anyone really. But it isn't as the aircraft is designed and is built in the Czech Republic by Evektor-Aerotechnik. The EV-55 is a two-engined utility aircraft that carrys up to 14 passengers or 4000 lb (1800 kg) of cargo, and operates from unimproved fields and at high-altitude airports. The aircraft will has three configurations: passenger, cargo and combined operations with cargo space in the front part of the fuselage and passengers accommodation in the rear. The EV-55 is a conventional high-wing utility design with a T-tail. The prototype aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-21 turboprop engines (535 shaft horsepower), driving four-bladed propellers. The wing is mounted atop a nearly-square fuselage, which has five windows per side. The trailing-link tricycle landing gear retracts into the nose section or pods on the lower fuselage, and it has a maximum cruise speed of 220 knots (407 km/h). The first prototype, was the EV-55M (military version), and it flew from Kunovice Airport on June 2011, with the company pilot Josef Charvat and a military pilot Maj. Jiri Hana at the controls.The first production aircraft flew from Kunovice in April 2016. (wikipedia) There is no doubt that there is a huge market for a modern utility twin-engined aircraft of this size that can go anywhere and land in not so perfect conditions and come back. Think Twin-Otter, Do 228 or the older DC3 territory and you have the general idea and the range available is huge at 2,258 km (1,403 mi; 1,219 nmi). Auctusdelineations You know the name? no not really as Auctusdelineations is very new to the X-Plane developer scene. Actually this Evektor is his first project for our simulator so there are no former expectations or any guide on what their quality or design is like, but so we have reviews to cover the aircraft and give you an overall feel and information on what this aircraft is and what you get in the package. Evektor EV-55 Outback As noted this EV-55 is a first release for Auctusdelineations, but what an excellent fine start it is. The EV-55 does look great in X-Plane11 and it does take advantage of the XP11 lighting features. The modeling and detailing is very good as well, not in the extreme minute style of detailing, but still very good and the aircraft has great quality throughout. External Detail There is the good finer external detailing and great rivet work is highlighted, there is all over the aircraft the nice chrome touches as well (engine exhausts, latches, door hinges and spinners if chosen) and so it shows Auctusdelineations understands XP11's metalness feature well. The aircraft has been processed for X-Plane11's featured PBR quality so more XP11 features are noticeable there as well. (note there is an X-Plane10 version also provided but without the XP11 features). Glass work is also excellent with great forward cockpit windows and very nicely and if slightly convexed are the side windows, to a point the developer didn't have to do this, but it shows an attention to detail. Front cockpit doors open, but not the rear passenger/cargo door. There are no menus, ground elements or special features (yet) but the basics are well done. The doors are opened/closed via the internal door handles. Detail around the engines and those excellent four-blade propellers are modern in feel and use. Trailing undercarriage detail and animations are also excellent, the wheels are not completely covered in flight, but become hawk like when you drop them. Again nice touches of chrome creates realism Flaps (three position in up, mid and low) looks plain on the top, but the internal detail is very good. Internal Detail It takes a moment or two to get your head around those weird looking yokes? You don't know if they are left over bull horns or something out of a B Grade Science Fiction film... To date there has been only two EV-55's built (and one test hull) so the panel layout is still in traction. The original prototype EV-55 had a G1000 three panel display set up and that could come to this aircraft as another version when the default G1000 GPS version is released by Laminar Research. But for now it is a mixture of dials and modern digital displays. The cockpit has been very nicely developed by Auctusdelineations. The aircraft feels new, for what it actually is and the roof mounted switchgear is nicely done but most of the switches are not functional. The rear is still to be set up as with currently the two well modeled pilot and co-pilot seats and in the rear a bare green skeleton prototype layout. Although this layout is very original to the current aircraft, then I would certainly like the service types with switchable passenger seating and a cargo version. Instrument panel The instrument panel is very well done with nice (if very small) switchgear and that mixture of traditional and digital instrumentation. With the power off you highlight which is which as the digital elements go dark. Instrument glass is reflective, but the reflections are not overly emphasised, in the right lighting this looks the right approach as digital displays are not as shiny as glass instruments. The pilot's side yoke can be hidden, but not both. There is a nice texture to the facia, but you need the right angle of light to see it, but then that is the materials job to provide an anti-glare panel. Instruments are dials for aircraft instruments, digital for engine information and the switchgear is located in three separate layouts lower panel. You get the full Standard Six instruments for the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the VOR dial, Heading Dial/HSI and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below, however the Turn/Slip indicator is far left and lower with the magnetic compass to the right. Far left there is a Radar altitude (x100) meter and a Astro Tech Chromometer is top right. Some dials very close up can be slightly blurry, but in most cases they are all quite readable and clear. There is however a noticeable lack of backlighting and no adjustment either. To note the Heading Dial/HSI instrument is a Bendix King Ki825 which is the advanced, color LCD display version with built in heading, course and ILS alignment and VOR/ADF pointers. it is a complex thing for such a small instrument and you want more control on which points you want to use. The Bendix King Ki825 is also the highlight of the co-pilot's side with in a row above (L-R) Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator and again the Turn/Slip indicator which is to the lower far right this time. There are two digital ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor) displays covering (top) both engines TRQ (Torque), ITT (Interstage Turbine Temperature), NP/RPM and NG RPM readouts and eight nice coloured circlular readout displays. Lower ECAM covers both engines Fuel Flow, Oil Temp, Engine Pressure, PWR (Power), N1% and N2% outputs. This ECAN has vertical coloured readouts. Note top right with the excellent set of annunciators that are very well done and the boxes do have that slight convex look for realism. Radio fit-out is very good as well with top the standard GMA 340 Com radio, then two default GNS430's with COMM1/VOR1 top unit and COMM2/VOR2 lower unit. Bottom is a Bendix King KN62A DME/VOR unit (selectable), but you have to set the frequency by hand, the X-Plane local map VOR insert doesn't work? Right stack has a very welcome S-Tec Fifty-FiveX autopilot, Bendix King KR87 ADF unit and finally a Garmin GTX 327 Transponder. Lower panel is the switchgear located in three separated panels. From left to right is the first panel with the items for Steering, EXT Lighting, INT Lighting. Middle panel includes Prop Autofeather and Sync, Probes Heating, hydraulics pump, Yoke show/hide, Brakes anti-skid, Landing gear, Fuel Pumps and X-Feed. Ignition and Engine Start (L&R). Right panel is the electrical panel that includes master/battery switches and generator (DC) L&R and Volt/Amp selector. Switchgear is a little small to see (text) and use but feels and looks authentic. Centre Console The centre console is very modern and very well presented. Twin throttles are small but chunky and nice to use. Other levers cover (both engines) for RPM feather (Max/Low) and Mixture for Flight Idle, Low Idle and Engine cut-off. I really like the plastic red knob feel on the mixture levers and cut-off guide levers, very authentic. Lower console has Trim indicators and knobs, Flap indicator and small selection lever and full De-Icing switches that covers the props, airframe and windshield. Again very close up the diagrams and text is again slightly blurred (certainly the trim indicator diagrams) but still more than usable. Footwells are well done with nicely crafted rudder pedals and fuse panels. External Lighting The EV-55's external lighting is not bad. All the usual lighting in Nav, Beacon and strobe are well done. There is a nice if small tail light as well. There is a set of landing lights and taxi lights built into the undercarriage pontoon (pod) structures that has a nice glass enclosure when inspected closely. But when used together the two sets of lights then tend to merge together. Internal Lighting The lighting on the dials in the daytime feels a little dull, but the instruments are not as bad as night and can be read quite easily, certainly I would like some adjustment here, but it is fine for most circumstances. It is a nice panel at night especially with those digital readouts. The rear is dark, there is a passenger light for the rear but it doesn't seem to do what it says it should do? There are two spots on the roof for highlighting both lower switchpanels, with one for the co-pilot and one for the flying pilot. Liveries There are only two liveries with the default factory livery and a Czechoslovakian registered livery, both come in different white or chrome spinner versions. There is a painkit provided but in the gimp (.xcf) and not photoshop (.psd) format. In the air The engine startup sequence is very good, with the slow turn until the fuel and ignition kicks in, it sounds good as well, but overall the sounds are only average to good. Good in the start up and taxiing lower revolution areas but a bit droney in the cruise and not a lot of throttle sound feedback, but to be fair my guess is that custom sounds for the EV-55 would be hard to find and replicate, FMOD sounds would certainly be a great addition here. The EV-55 is great to fly, but not perfect. My guess it is about 95% but the Outback needs that final fine tuning. First is the engine output is not consistent and you see that on the displays and in flying the aircraft, the power is there, but not consistently. This is also noticeable on landing and if you drop below 100knts then you start to stall were as the stall speed is around 64knts, this EV-55 is a STOL or Short Takeoff and Landing aircraft, but you can't get down to those slower speeds at around 70knts to 80knts without losing height and sometimes pretty quickly. So you play it safe and even with full flap down at around 100knts and throttle power is still needed to control your height. I actually adapted to the EV-55 pretty quickly, but it will take a few flights to lock into its foibles and slightly odd characteristics, I will also make the point that they could actually be correct and these performances are part of the EV-55's character as well and it is still only a prototype only - built for evaluation aircraft. And all aircraft are different and the point to make is that this is a very different style of utility aircraft and without not much in rear passenger and cargo weight. Summary Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by the EV-55 Outback. I received far more than I actually expected. The modeling is first rate and with some really nice design touches and there is a lot of skill in here that could have been very easily not been bothered with, like the very nice convex glass, warning panel and the great overall small chrome detailing that both enhance the aircraft to a far more professional level than what you expect for most first time developers to complete. It is an interesting aircraft as well, to fly and learn, but as noted some areas of the performance still need a little tuneup but nothing an update can put right but remember this is a prototype only - built for evaluation aircraft. You do easily adapt to this EV-55 and quickly learn to fly it with some skill, but it will take a few flights to see all the areas you have to aware of, but from then on you just enjoy it and it grows on you the more and more every time you fly it. A few other areas are noted in daytime instrument lighting, and a few text and image areas are slightly blurred, but only really close up. Sounds could be better and FMOD sound would be a really nice addition. The most interesting thing though is where the developer wants to take this aircraft? It has a load of potential in the way it could be set up in cargo, passenger and military versions, and the option of it being fitted out with the coming X-Plane default G1000 three panel GPS system would be a great in here addition as well, it really depends on how and in what direction this aircraft will go. So yes a very interesting aircraft, surprising actually and user feedback is very good. Another bonus is the price, as the EV-55 is priced under US$15 and that makes it a total bargain as well and one easily investing in without breaking the bank account, so all round this is a great deal and an interesting aircraft. For a first time developer this Evektor EV-55 is a great introduction for them to the X-Plane simulator and one developer to watch out for again in the future. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Evektor EV-55 Outback by Auctusdelineations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Evektor EV-55 Outback Your Price: $14.95 Features: Accurate flight model Detailed, animated 3D model inside and out High quality textures Animated pilot Fully functioning cockpit Cabin doors open/close Wreckage model PBR reflective metal and transparent glass Start-up sheet and control map included 2 liveries Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB+ VRAM Video card Current version: 1.1 (last updated July 24th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for the Evektor EV-55 Outback is 119.870mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 181.10mb in size. Documents provided are: EV-55 CONTROL MAP (panel diagram) EV-55 spec sheet EV-55 Startup Procedure (checklist) Startup checklist EV-55 painkit (gimp) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99
  7. Yes and no Mat. In the buildings and central area it is heaps better, but some areas are just blank without any static aircraft. Overall I use this version than Freddy's, but have added in some statics to fill in the western areas. SD
  8. Scenery Review : KMCO - Orlando International by Nimbus Studios I have covered almost every area of Florida in my beloved Carenado F33A Bonanza. From the top of Daytona Beach to the end of the earth location of Key West. Based at KLAL (Lakeland Linder) I have somehow have found an virtual home in this on screen presence and start there mostly for every (GA or Regional) aircraft review to note down the details of the aircraft's effect on the X-Plane simulator, same with any beta or X-Plane upgrade... KLAL is my bench mark on where we actually currently are in the simulator. So Orlando is usually my first stop going east. It is easy to find Orlando from KLAL flying VFR as you only just need to follow the long and bright at night HWY 4 and there it is. You can use the Orlando VOR (ORL - 112.20) if you wish, but I know the area too well now to want to set it. So on my treks back and too across the heart of Florida you can't miss KMCO, or Orlando International Airport as it is a massive airport required to process all the millions of minions of arriving tourists that pilgrimage to the area's renowned theme parks. But in X-Plane KMCO has not been a particularly high on any developers list for attention, so most of my flying around Orlando and then KMCO was mostly Ted's Scenery version, which is mostly a very basic stick and round object piece of scenery. Then NAPS Advanced Sim Scenery did a great version and finally this Nimbus Studio version of KMCO and the area around it came to life. So let us look here at Nimbus Studio's (Butnaru) version and as a full payware version. First Impressions So I was eager to take a look and at my new nearest neighbour of a colossal international airport. Up at dawn I ran the F33A for five minutes to warm the engine and it's fluids up and then went KMCO airport hunting. It is not hard to notice KMCO, even at this early distance it stands out on the right side. As I have the ORL VOR set for my heading and the HWY4 is down to my left side, this route however it won't take you directly to KMCO as the VOR is positioned north of the airport in Orlando itself. So at some point I would have to deviate a little to the right to cover the airport for a closer look. Finally it was time to leave HWY4 behind and there is KMCO... You don't have give away your highway navigation either as if you follow the Arthur Anderson Beachline Expressway it then will then also take you right pass the northern boundary of the mega Orlando International airport. In the dawn light the Nimbus scenery looks very impressive, lighting is excellent and there is a lot of scenery to take in. So, so far so good as I certainly like what I see down there. So once over the airport I fall into a circuit to take me back to land on RWY 36R. KMCO has four major runways in 18R/36L - 18L/36R -17R/36L - 17L/36R. Two in 18R/36L - 18L/36R are to the west of the central area and are parallel to each other and both 7R/36L - 17L/36R are to the east and slightly offset and 17L/36R is the smallest of the four. At the top of the circuit you will find the huge East Lake Tohopekaliga, which is a very good guide if you skim the southern and then the western side it will line you up directly back towards RWY36R. KMCO's approach lighting is very good, some have RAIL guidance. Finals is in straight, Florida is very flat countryside as is the airport, flat and straight. Water treatment plant to the left on finals and the main airport's terminals are to the right of the aircraft... Even in this light you notice the boundary of the scenery as it is a darker (brown) but the boundary is covered by a road which helps, but it is noticeable. The very distinctive control tower is silhouetted perfectly by the rising morning sun There is no General Aviation parking in the central area, GA is on the western boundary and to my left. It is a tricky taxi from 36R to the GA and maintenance area because you have to pass over RWY36L on the way... easy no. Because there is no straight taxiway link directly from 36R to the west ramp area. Get it wrong or don't consult your airport layout chart and you will find yourself taxiing up or down 36L/18R trying to find an exit. Link taxiway J north and E south are direct, but the one you will usually use is taxiway Y of which you need to dogleg left to catch taxiway A2 to reach the west ramp, miss it and you are in nowhere's ville. So a point about KMCO is that there are a lot of complex taxiways and many will take you a fair way away from the central area and so a ground chart is invaluable around here. Once finally on the west ramp, I found it a huge space... and a very empty one as well. There are a lot of buildings on the western boundary but nothing else, no ramp markings, no aircraft parking markings, no static aircraft (okay a few by the maintenance hangars) and no ramp equipment or anything. Overall the first impression was very good at arriving at KMCO, but the empty west ramp was a real downer in you felt quite lonely out there. KMCO Overview Orlando International Airport (IATA: MCO, ICAO: KMCO, FAA LID: MCO) 17L/35R 9,001ft (2,743m) Concrete 17R/35L 10,000ft (3,048m) Concrete 18L/36R 12,005ft (3,659m) Asphalt/Concrete 18R/36L 12,004ft (3,659m) Concrete H1 44ft (13m) Concrete (Heli) Elevation AMSL 96 ft / 29 m Airport layout KMCO's terminal arrangement is quite different from most. It has central large receiving terminal with each side is flanked by two very large carparks called A (north) and B (south). From this central location shuttle trains take out to the four large satellite terminals for arrival or departure. These are called Airside Terminal 1 (Gates 1 -29), Airside Terminal 2 (Gates 100 - 129) which are connected to Terminal A (north), Then Airside Terminal 4 (Gates 60 - 99) and Airside Terminal 3 (Gates 30 - 59) which are connected to Terminal B (south) The Control Tower complex is positioned just south of Carpark B The whole central area is immensely complex, there is a lot of work in here and it looks very authentic in design and layout. Carparks A and B are huge with great intricate design, 3d cars and great foliage cover the area as well. The trees however look fine at a distance, but are very basic if even old fashioned closeup, but are good for framerate. Central receiving terminal is very impressive, I like the worn roof and textures. But dense is the word I would use in this zone, lots of everything in buildings, foliage, 3d cars and great building detailing. The four train tracks are animated and all trains go into each terminal and out towards each airside terminal on both ends. The trains are a faithfully reproduction of the real cars, that are currently undergoing replacement. Airside 1 and 2 Major domestic carriers based in Terminal A to Airside 1 and 2 include Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America Major international carriers include Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, Avianca, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Norwegian Long Haul and WestJet. These two satellite terminals were part of the original airport and were opened in 1981. Airside 3 and 4 Major domestic carriers based in Terminal B include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit and United Airlines. Major international carriers include Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat, British Airways, Emirates, Icelandair, LATAM Brasil, Lufthansa, Thomas Cook Airlines and Virgin Atlantic which primarily operate out of Airside 4, the airport's main international arrivals concourse. Airside 4 is the biggest satellite terminal and is recognisable by its ramp tower. Terminal detailing is very good, not overly worn or textured, but well done. There is a lot of standard equipment on the ramps and there is the featured Nimbus animated ramp walkers that add a lot of life to the scene. Animated vehicles trundle around the scenery as well, so the ramps are nice to be and buzzy. All the satellite terminals also have built in marshall guided docking and animated jetways (Marginal plugin required). Another Nimbus feature is see-through glass and internal passengers and departure lounges, sign textures are a bit blurry though but overall it is well done. A nice departure terminal is Airside 1, which is mostly run by Southwest Airlines. There is a more Floridian in appeal and feel here as from the others and there is some nice stand parking by the palm trees. Control Tower The Control Tower and base block admin centre is the highlight of the scenery. As control towers go, this is is a very nice one to admire from afar or close up. good detailing and nice textures adorn the structure. Tower view is good if you look to the north... But look to the south and a part of the tower's radar gets into the view, which notes the tower view position is in the wrong place. There is nothing better on departure or arrival than an aircraft taxiway over a busy road. Here at KMCO there are actually two on taxiway J in the north and on taxiways E and F in the south. The north taxiway does have an issue when viewed from below, as the supports don't connect with the taxiway. For this effect to work of course you will need to have the checkbox ticked for the X-Plane item "runways follow terrain contours" (General Menu) to allow for the elevation changes. Northern Boundary Outside of the central terminal area there is also a lot of scenery to add into the full KMCO package. There are mostly in two areas in the northern boundary along the Arthur Anderson Beachline Expressway and down the airport's western boundary... first the northern boundary. Northeast covers one of the huge car hire yards and the very prominent JetBlue maintenance hangar and offices. The JetBlue base is very well done, and in a way a very beautiful looking building, the added two JetBlue A320's certainly adds to the scene. An issue with the whole scenery though is highlighted here. Most of the main textures are not sharp, but a little poor in resolution. My "Graphic" settings are full up in "Texture Quality" and "Antialiasing" but still most textures are not sharp... sharp. You can forgive me for a little nostalgia here. Early in the X-Plane10 release I flew from KLAL to Orlando in the BK-117 helicopter and after a full afternoon's flying I put it down in this spot to have a rest. I spent a few hours, yes hours watching the X-Plane traffic file by until it went dark and I marveled at the greatness of it all. It is still clever stuff and the traffic is still as busy now as it was then... X-Plane however has also moved on as my landing point in the BK-117 is now a rental carpark. Further west along the northern boundary is the Gate Gourmet complex and various MCO authority buildings. More west is more of the same, but this time for Sky Chef. There has been a lot of attention given to this northern boundary area and it looks very complete. There are a lot of carparking and car rental areas and all have been filled with realistic 3d vehicles. Good water effects create the spaces in the areas that give it a very realistic view, the water reflects the lighting colours at night very effectively as well, That feature and more makes this area really well complete. West Ramp The West Ramp is the commercial area of the airport and includes maintenance hangars (United), Cessna support centre, Cargo and Mail facilities. But this wide space is empty and lonely. United maintenance hangars There are two maintenance hangars on the west ramp for United Airlines and separated to the north and central areas, they are known as United Maintenance North and United Maintenance South. Both hangars are the same and are well done, but the textures are a little blurry. Centre ramp is the main cargo facility... but it looks closed or closed down. There is a fuel depot set out behind. A known fact is that Orlando Intl is a U.S. Customs Service Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) for International shipping. Another fact is that Orlando was a also designated Space Shuttle emergency landing site. The west-side runways, Runway 18L/36R and Runway 18R/36L, were designed for B-52 Stratofortress bombers and due to their proximity to NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, were an obvious choice for an emergency landing should an emergency "return to launch site (RTLS) attempt to land at KSC have fallen short. The runway was also an emergency divert site for NASA's Boeing 747 Shuttle Transport Aircraft when relocating orbiters from either west coast modification work or divert recoveries at Edwards AFB, California or the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.... so there you go. Cessna have a support base here for their Citation Jet, and this facility is slightly off the airport in the north section on Arthur Anderson Expy. Far south on KMCO is dominated by brand cargo facilities, United State Postal Service have a big depot here and so does FedEx. The United State Postal Service depot is well done (above), but the FedEx receiving warehouse (below) is missing.... too bored to finish it? Orlando Intl was initially an airforce base called McCoy AFB which was closed in the 1970's. But a few remnants remain in the form of which the military still uses such as the 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from the Florida Army National Guard in the former McCoy AFB Officers Club complex, an Army Reserve intelligence unit in the former SAC Alert Facility. Far, far south is the water treatment plant we saw on arrival... KMCO Lighting In the area of lighting at KMCO then Nimbus has done an excellent job in covering such a very large area and in using good lighting diversity. Runway approach, taxi and lit signage is excellent, it had to be to land a Shuttle! The whole central area is extremely well lit, and KMCO stands out for miles around. There is a great choice of lighting ideas, using colour to highlight certain aspects of the buidings and a great use of downlighting to highlight certain areas brings the buildings to life. The downlighting is evident all through the scenery, and is used to great effect to fill out even the outer areas of the scenery. The four satellite terminals are just as well covered, all look excellent and the ramps are fully usable once the sun goes down. Again Airside 1 is the best choice. Lighting ideas are very imaginative and that is constantly hard too as the area covered here at KMCO is immense. Building lighting close up is very good, but the same layouts are mostly used on every satellite terminal building. A highlight is again the JetBlue base, the building looks gorgeous at night and you get a brilliant view on the 17R approach at night. West Ramp north is dark, but mid-ramp is fine, again like noted the use downlighting is excellent on the myriad of mulit-use buildings here. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Summary Overall this is excellent scenery and very complex in areas like the central area and surrounding hire car and carparking areas, there is a lot, a lot of objects in incorporated in here and you can see the work that has gone into this scenery. So it is even more dumbfounding in that on the West Ramp it is so empty of static aircraft and ramp debris and the FedEx building is actually missing. So much and so close to perfection, but this area's empty absence is very noticeable in the air and certainly on the ground if you are wanting to use the area for GA or Cargo operations. That is not to say there is no static aircraft as there is, but not where it is most needed on that huge ramp... The under ortho-photographic images are far darker than the surrounding default X-Plane imagery, so the boundary is highly visible, but roads have thankfully been used at the point of the crossover. This does still however make the scenery stand out on arrival. Many of the textures are slightly blurry and so that makes them very highly processed for higher framerate more than their visual appeal, fine at a distance but average close up which daunts the total realism of the scenery. Night operations are to be welcomed at KMCO, as this one great airport to arrive in at night. There is great lighting at work here and the departure and arrival looks brilliant from any angle with runways close to the satellite terminals of which 17R/35L is the top pick. The scenery has great features in animations in walking people, inter-terminal trains and vehicle traffic, great glass and internal terminal detail, full guided aircraft parking and correct ATC routes ready for operations. Orlando demands a good scenery, and here it is... you may have to hit the Overlay Editor to make it absolutely perfect, but overall this KMCO from Nimbus Studios is very, very good! _____________________________________________________________________________________ The KMCO - Orlando International by Nimbus Studios is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KMCO- Orlando International Airport Your Price: US$24.95 There is both an X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 version included in the package. Features Compatible with X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 10 Two separate files included High-Resolution Airport by Nimbus Studio Dynamic terminal glass and water reflection on X-Plane 11 HDR lighting Taxiway bridges Fully customized HD ground textures 3D trees (like you haven't seen before) Static planes Optimized for better frame rates Animated Airport Custom animated jetways (AutoGate plugin by Marginal) Ground traffic with animated vehicles and people (GroundTraffic plugin by Marginal) Animated trains ATC taxi routes Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit Operating System Required 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards Installation and documents: Download for the KMCO - Orlando International is 537.24mb and the unzipped file is 821mb deposited in "Custom Scenery" Folder You will need to have the checkbox ticked for the X-Plane item "runways follow terrain contours" (General Menu). This NEEDS to be ON. Marginal's Autogate plugin is required for this scenery: AutoGate plugin 1.72 Documents: No Installation notes No charts are provided but these are good : KMCO.pdf _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd April 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Bonanza F33A HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95 - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note: personal added items in an office (okay demountable building and vehicles)
  9. Aircraft Review : Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT by Ted Cook Productions There was a time when you went to a field, yes only a green grass field, you climbed into a machine and flew to another green field at your destination. There was no carparking, no security, no scanners, no food courts, no flight boards, no wifi, no boarding gates, no airbridges, no taxi holding, no waiting in line to takeoff, no holding patterns, all you did was pass over your bags and got into an aircraft and flew in the air... it was the first "Golden age of Air Travel". It was impossibly dangerous as well? The machines were to say very are very basic, flying was rough, noisy and the chances of you crashing in bad weather were very high... but it was all very exciting as well. These were first all metal aircraft after the earlier even more dangerous fabric and wire designs. The all metal construction was pioneered by a German called Professor Hugo Junkers with his Junkers J1. Clever advanced manufacturing in control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and rudders) which were not now fabric-covered, but they were also made of corrugated metal in making airframes strong but light. These basic principles were the picked up by an American called William Bushnell Stout who adapted an airframe very similar to Junkers single-engined Fokker F.VII and even then still using the same airfoil cross section at the wing root. But Stout required investment to further his designs and his company. And so he asked for shares to create a new aircraft company In the early 1920s called Stout Metal Airplane Company. Henry Ford, along with a group of 19 other investors including his son Edsel, invested in the new company and very quickly in 1925 bought out the company lock stock and barrel and then Henry Ford also had an aircraft manufacturing company as well as his car company. The result was the single-engined Stout monoplane which was then turned into a trimotor, the Stout 3-AT with three Curtiss-Wright air-cooled radial engines, and it flew for the first time June 11th, 1926. The original (commercial production) 4-AT had three air-cooled Wright radial engines. It carried a crew of three: a pilot, a copilot, and a stewardess, as well as eight or nine passengers .The later 5-AT had more powerful 420-hp (320-kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial piston engines, accommodation for two pilots, a stewardess and now 13 passengers, the wingspan was increased by 3 ft 10 in (1.17 m). Success for the aircraft was immediate, The Tri-Motor now nicknamed the "Tin Goose" was cheap ($42,000 in 1933 which is about $736,000 in 2013), strong and reliable and that was all you required to start an airline service. Just under 200 were built as aircraft design advanced very quickly and the stalwart DC2 and Boeing's 274 suddenly became the aircraft to have. In July of 1929, Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) then inaugurated “coast to coast” air/rail service. This was a route developed by Charles Lindbergh, and passengers could cross the country in 48 hours travelling by rail at night and Tri-Motor by day. TAT would later become TWA and soon inaugurate all-air service from coast to coast. and many other American airlines emerged with the Tri-Motor like American Airlines, United Airlines and Pan American Airlines flew and also created significant routes like Miami to Cuba under the wings of this aircraft. And many aircraft were used by the military as well as C-3 and C4A's. You also have to understand how much Ford and this aircraft helped in introducing many aspects of the modern aviation infrastructure, including paved runways, passenger terminals, hangars, airmail, and radio navigation, he created the airport from the field innovation. More so that on November 27th and 28th, 1929, Commander Richard E. Byrd (navigator), chief pilot Bernt Balchen, and two other crewmen, the copilot and the photographer, made the first flight above the geographic South Pole in a Ford Trimotor that Byrd named the Floyd Bennett. Significantly many Tri-Motors still survive today, 18 are still in existence and eight are still airworthy and one of the most famous was the Scenic Airways Ford Trimotor N414H which was used for 65 years as a sightseeing aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon. Sadly these few if great aircraft was Henry Ford's first and last foray into personal aircraft production but the Tri-Motor was not to be Ford's last venture in aircraft production. During World War II, the largest aircraft manufacturing plant in the world was built at the Willow Run, at his Michigan plant, where Ford produced thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers under license from Consolidated Aircraft. Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT One of the most brilliant things in simulation is you get the chance to enjoy these great pioneering aircraft. I loved VSKYLABS amazing DC-3 only a short time ago (and still fly it regularly) and now here is the famous "The Tin Goose". Overall the modeling is not bad, the Fokker style corrugated surfaces and the metal wings are faithfully reproduced, but all surfaces are more in a light grey and not in the silver, silver metallic look you would expect. You have to be aware of how basic these aircraft really where, although advanced for their day, they are at their heart a very simple machine with just the very basic items required for flight. Nice highlight is the metal cowling around the rear of the front engine. The Wasp radial piston engines R-1340 which was a nine cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with 1,340 cubic inches of displacement (hence R-1340). Engine detailing is very good, and important on an aircraft of this era. The intricate inlet and exhaust outlet valves cover mostly the air-cooled inner cylinders (think Volkswagen air-cooled engines) and the exhaust manifolds are connected to a circular exhaust exiting under the airframe with the front engine and to the side on the outer engines. They look very fragile today, but they were more solid and reliable than they looked, only strange thing is the outer engine cowlings on some liveries have a tendency to go transparent from some visual angles? The double-spoon like "Standard" propellers and don't twist for feathering, they are well done and look authentic. Another note to this era is the external wire or cable pulley system to the control surfaces, the front cable is the rudder and the rear is the elevator. It does look extremely fragile and a primitive way of flying the aircraft, but even fast jets and airliners used this system only to a few decades ago, only you didn't see the cables exposed like you do here. They are fascinating to operate and watch in action. Front undercarriage is solid, with the huge balloon tyres do most of the suspension work. Modeling is good, solid without being exceptional. Rear passenger door opens, but only from the inside. You can use F keys to open and close four items including the rear door Shift F1, internal bathroom door Shift F4 and two strange ways to carry your suitcases... in the wings? Press Shift F2 to open the right side luggage rack to drop down from the wing, or Shift F3 for the left rack... all animations can be set with the sliders as well. There is no static elements or external features, menus are not provided either. Cockpit The cockpit is beyond weird! Part airship, part car and part battleship and a bit of WW2 bomber thrown in for good measure. No yoke or joysticks here, just a hybrid wheel and left over Ford Model A parts. The four on the floor is your hand-operated "Johnny brake" or Johnson Brake. The control system is very basic as both yokes are mounted on a single crossbar, forward and back in your pitch and turn the wheel for bank. Instrument panel is basic. Centre instruments covers air speed (MPH) top, then three instruments covering Altitude, Turn Rate (bank) and Pitch (Climb/Descend) in 1000ft markers. Lower panel is a clock and AMP gauge, and that is it. Far left is a basic COMM 1&2, NAV 1&2 and ADF 1&2 radio with a transponder set below. Right panel is the engine readouts for RPM and the temperatures for the Engine and Oil. But these dials are only for the front engine? If you want the RPM and Temperatures for either the left or right engines, you have to look out at the particular engine strut as the dials are located out there. An early style of pedestal has the lovely three throttle levers set up on top. Lower front are the three engine start switches and ignition, lower pedestal is the mixture with RICH and LEAN. A lower lever is for the front engine carburettor heat. Electrical switches are under the co-pilot's seat? Including the Master, GEN (generator) and Position (Navigation), Landing Lights. There is case behind the co-pilot's seat that if pressed will bring up a GNS430 at the top of the main window strut, it is very small but can be opened in a window for use. Cabin Think old fashioned Wild West Railroad and you will understand the design of the Tri-Motor's cabin. Wicker chairs and simulated gas lighting is so very far removed from Boeing latest LED mood lighting, I don't know if I could sit in them flying for hours of a time, but the seat pitch is brilliant! The curtain design is simply awful, flat, looks more like wood than fabric and not very realistic? But the cabin window view is excellent, and in these slow, low altitude aircraft the views must have been heavenly is noisy. There is a bathroom in the rear, with a full sink and toilet... Again toilet space you can dream of today, you can actually turn around in there... Overall the cabin was quite dark, it is very hard to get any light into the internal areas of the aircraft Flying the Tin Goose Starting these old radial Wasp's is a bit of fun, until they don't start. Like anything with carburettors you have to be patient and get the mixture and throttle positions correct. Part of the problem is in X-Plane that you have to lock in your throttles in together, as you can't assign an left or right throttle to each engine, so the throttle position is the same for every one of the three engines. So it is mixture RICH, unless you over flood those carburettors, then throttle to about a third. Then you have to primer pump the engine (three strokes) then turn the particular engine's Magneto IGNITION switch to start... Then pray! That is starting the centre front engine, but what of the other left and right engines? Well the engine primers and carburettor heat is up high behind you on the bulkhead? Also up here is the fuel tank switches, fuel tank gauges and elevator trim controls... yes you have to physically get out of your seat to set the aircraft's trim? In X-Plane we can get around that by having a pop-up screen with those controls, switches and dials, in this case you press the button on the panel for it to open. The tailwheel is locked so the Tri-Motor is easy to taxi, but it is hard to see out of, I had a habit of taxiing too close to one side of the taxiway... The pilot's and co-pilot's side windows open, in the real aircraft it would be easier to stick you head out to taxi... but this is X-Plane. You have to use the throttle slowly to get away as this is taildragger and getting the air around the ruder for control, but there is far more power than you expected and the Tri-Motor is more faster and less lumbersome than you expect it to be. Again I still held my takeoff run too far to the left? The Tri-Motor is certainly a more feel than instrument aircraft, in fact you barely look at the instruments, except for the vertical pitch guide. Takeoff is around an easy 95mph. There are no flaps to set, in fact nothing at all but put up the power and fly... You never really get used to that heavy battleship wheelhouse feel in the cockpit, it is weird! Climb is just under 1000fpm at 950fpm, which is very good for an old aircraft and you settle down at a top speed 135 mph and with a cruising Speed 115 mph. Your range is an impressive 510 miles (normal), 650 miles (maximum/ferry) and you can climb as high as 17,000ft with a ceiling at 18,500ft which is highly impressive. You must switch the fuel tanks via the pop-up screen and not the real bulkhead switches for you to get the transfer, and obviously setting the trim up there is hard, or interesting depending on the way you do it. Overall though the Tri-Motor is not an hard aircraft to fly... it is very basic with a basic sort of semi-heavy aircraft feel, so don't think you need any special flying skill's to fly an aircraft this old... because you don't Sound is FMOD, so they are modern and not bad, nice aspect is you feel the bass and thrumming of the radial engines, so there is nice comforting noise as you thump your way through the air. Autopilot... "get outta here"... Your it mate! So correct trimming of the aircraft will take away a lot of the hard work at the yoke except to point it where and which way you want to fly. So the feel is nice, if like I say basic. In landing you don't have any aids or flaps, so it is strictly stick and rudder stuff. Landing is a little tricky in seeing the runway with that all heavy metalwork around you and in your line of sight. Stall is around 64mph, so an approach is usually around 95mph to say just under 80mph on landing. There are no reversers or airbrakes, and you can't hit the brakes either unless you want to flip the aircraft end over end... So you have to run the speed off as much as you can while steering the aircraft straight, which is slightly harder than said. Eventually the Tri-Motor will settle and you can taxi off the runway with now a slight touch of the brakes. Landing on a grass runway does help a little more in running off the speed more quicker, but most will still land on the harder surfaces. Lighting The internal lighting is about as basic as you can get. The dials on the panel faintly glow in the dark, but you can adjust the overhead lighting via a panel knob to give you some more light to read the instruments, but overall this would not be an aircraft that would have been flown at night. The cabin looks like it is lit by candles in a horror ghost haunted house film, dim and dimmer. External lighting is again basic. Two good wing landing lights help, but otherwise there are just three position lights (navigation) and no strobes. Liveries There are nine authentic liveries including : Ford (default), TWA, Pan American Airlines - PAA, Northwest Airlines, NAT - National Air Lines, TAT - Transcontinental Air Transport Inc, Stout Air Lines, American Airlines and a blank livery. Summary What you get here is a transport, a transport in time to another era of when airline operations where in their infancy, the start of a new era and one that will in time totally change the world. The flying was completely different as well. These aircraft are very basic, they function as only flying machines, and there are simply no gimmicks or flying aids. The Tri-Motor is just a simple flying machine pure and simple. The modeling is fine, just as you don't want anything too deep and classical, ditto that on mostly everything here. There are no menu's, or standout features except for a few pop-up's and a really not needed GNS430. Sounds are pretty good and the handling is quite good as well, so everything in here is not too deep or throughtful, but just a plain but old aircraft. But the Ford Tri-Motor is an interesting aircraft, one you can enjoy and if you want something special to coexist with from the same period then download the "1940s Lighted Airways" feature on the X-Plane.Org... these are a replication of the early navigation towers and their position along the early flight routes that these Tri-Motors flew along with, so you will be able to live out a bit of history as well as also learning of this bygone era... well worth the download... So lately with the excellent VSKYLABS DC-3 and now this Ford Tri-Motor, you can fly and enjoy a different era, I enjoyed it immensely as this aircraft was a simple quick ticket to the early past of aviation's glory years. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT by Ted Cook Productions is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT Your Price: $19.95 Features: For X-Plane 11 Fmod custom sound integration PBR texturing A pop-up to control co-pilot functions and give quick readout of engine-mounted gauges A portable Garmin 430 can be mounted in the cockpit if modern flying is desired Documentation POH manual timetables for TAT and TWA 'Coast to Coast Service'. Pilot the Tri-Motor on the routes planned out by Charles Lindbergh for the first coast to coast air service in the United States. Recreate these epic flights and enjoy the Golden Age of Aviation with the Ford Tri-Motor, one of the most significant aircraft in history. Liveries Eight liveries are included Ford, Stout, TAT, TWA, NAT, Northwest, Pan American, and American. A blank paint is also included. Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1..0 (Last updated July 28th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for the Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT is a hefty 693.70mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 768.30mb in size. Documents provided are: Tri-motor POH TAT_TWA Timetables The timetables allow you to recreate the original routes as set by these airlines in their early days, they are well worth simulating. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 8th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 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 - KPVG - Hampton Roads animated HD Photo-realistic airport 1.0 by Marc Leydecker ((X-Plane.Org) - Free
  10. Scenery Upgrade to XP11 : LOWS-Salzburg XP11 by JustSim/Digital Design Here is an upgrade to Justsim's LOWS Salzburg to X-Plane11 status. The original LOWS was released just over a year ago in late June 2016 and it did bring to and introduce some great new features in to X-Plane. There is no doubt that LOWS is a dramatic airport, as much for Salzburg's position at the foot of the central northern alps as much as the scenery itself. As old X-Plane hands know that LOWS was the original X-Plane9 default airport (now KSEA-Seattle). This was because of the dramatic element to introduce users to the simulator, and that drama was created by any arrival or departure with the areas outstanding scenery. The JustSim/Digital Design scenery is outstanding, but the scenery is just as notable for using great placement of objects to create a complete visual experience around the airport as much as the airport scenery itself, you can see this and all the rest of the original scenery in the X-PlaneReviews release review here: Scenery Review : LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport by Digital Design Again notably in this area X-Plane11 changes the game to another level with better regional autogen and is used significantly throughout most European JustSim sceneries. LOWS- Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart XP11 A large percentage of the changes in the LOWS XP11 version is in the textures. Basically the overall actual airport and facilities are not really changed from the older release version. So any first view of the LOWS XP11 may give you the impression that it is not really any different, but it actually is. All the textures have been given shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on the terminals and other airport buildings to X-Plane11 standards and it is certainly more highly noticeable in the quality and sharpness. Even if your computer is set at a lower resolution and anti-alias you know these textures are far better, they have been totally redone for performance as well. These changes can be highlighted by the ramp concrete textures... You notice and even feel the concrete slab effect on the ramp, and in the right lighting you can see the excellent grooving and shine on the material and in the right weather and rain conditions he wetness shine on all the surfaces. Reflection textures which use the X-Plane11 metalness feature have also been done to great effect. Reflective glass surfaces are excellent as highlighted by the secondary terminal building, at night there are extremely realistic. And brings more to life the "Hangar 7" which is the sponsored museum by "Red Bull" drinks. And the space age designs of the two half hangars that are positioned on the eastern boundary of the airport. More X-Plane11 features are used by using the X-Plane default ground traffic and equipment... ... so there is a lot of action and movement and with more placed static elements to make up the scenery. The LOWS approach and departure visual aspect with loads of objects was one of the big features with the release version. Again at first glance it feels and looks the same but it isn't. The objects have been replaced by the Germanic default autogen which looks fine in Austria and with that change you get a framerate lift as well. And the original version had a great placement of local buildings and factories to help in the correct local flavour. More of these specially created items have been added including... a nice football stadium (Red Bull Arena), Kaindl plant (flooring), IKEA and many more. The Salzburg "Old Town" (Altstadt) city centre area with the Hohensalzburg Castle is still in there as well with still many of the famous baroque churches also reproduced. Departure from W.A. Mozart, Salzburg via RWY15 (south) highlights the scenery in the actual airport and then later in the surrounding environs. Taxiway and runway textures are first rate, and note the excellent 3d grass. All included details are fully photorealistic, it is very impressive. Departure like arrival is spectacular at LOWS, more so if you are going north as you need to do a very hard 180º in the valley to clear the alps. Extended visuals are excellent, and the clever autogen works for you until the very good ground textures seemlessly then take over. You work for your money leaving Salzburg, but you love it really... Summary This LOWS-Salzburg XP11 does exactly what it advertises on the packet... updates to X-Plane11. The update however does also take full advantage of every great feature X-Plane11 has to offer in better autogen (Germanic), better high-texture quality, metalness reflections, concrete runway/taxiway textures, default animations traffic and static objects. All the textures in someway have been enhanced or processed to take advantage of the new version of the X-Plane simulator. Also added is more placement of 3d local items in stadiums, factories and buildings. Negatives, a few including still a strange tower view, it has been moved but the view is still not in the right place but now below the tower and to the side? and a little bit of texture thrashing. Nightlighting is good but not brilliant and unchanged from the original release ... and that is it. This is an upgrade and not an update and so any previous X-Plane10 owners of LOWS Salzburg can buy this new XP11 version for only $5 and to do so then check your original LOWS invoice at the store for the discount code that will be listed there for the offer. And this XP11 version obviously can only be used in X-Plane11. I do admire the way JustSim do totally take every advantage of X-Plane and certainly X-Plane11's features to enhance their sceneries and they do all this at a brilliant price. Always I am impressed by their work and their sceneries are the best to use in X-Plane and certainly in X-Plane11 if the scenery has been upgraded. Either way if you are upgrading or buying the JustSim LOWS scenery for the first time then you get a lot of scenery for your money, great value as well, and an even better dramatic place to fly too, so you can't overall ask for more than that... can you? ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport XP11 by Digital Design (JustSim) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LOWS- Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart XP11 Price is US$19.50 Note: Previous owners of LOWS Salzburg can buy this new XP11 version for only $5: Check your original LOWS invoice at the store. the discount code will be listed there Features Include: New X-Plane 11 version, designed for X-Plane 11 Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city All autogen objects are manually placed New High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures New Runway and taxiways reflection effect Custom apron, taxiway and runways lights High resolution building textures PBR materials on airport buildings World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Requirements: X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 1Gb HD Space Available 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version : 1.0 (last Updated July 27th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for LOWS - Salzburg is 478.10meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 1.05gb. Just deposit LOWS-Salzburg_Digital_Design_XPL11_v1.0 into your X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder A basic manual (3 pages) is provided. There are no charts, but a good LOWS download charts package is available here: VACC LOWS_Package_Complete Package ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 2nd August 2017 Copyright©2016: 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 - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - B737-800 X-Plane Default - Free
  11. News! - Update Coming : Cirrus SR20 v2.5 by vFlyteAir vFlyteAir have been busy lately with releases of their Cherokee 140 and the excellent Twin-Commanche. Older aircraft are being updated as well with the announcement of the Cirrus SR20 now coming soon. In our review X-PlaneReviews really liked the way vFlyteAir created their own G1000 system : Aircraft Review - Cirrus SR20-G1000 by vFlyteAir But the problem is that the original X-Plane system it was built upon is now gone, replaced by LR Philipp Münzel's new gps foundation. Certainly the new system is better, but it does require a completely new system for the SR20 to replace the old one to run in X-Plane11. Mario Donick has been working on this W.I.P.: Cirrus SR20 v2.5 and notes the project is now almost done. The vFlyteAir Cirrus SR20 will get another update for X-Plane 11, which will not only fix several bugs, add FMOD sounds, improve the PFD, and add our new weight & balance menu to the aircraft, but also introduce a limited support for procedures -- i.e. you can now select SIDs, STARs, transitions and approaches, and load their waypoints into the flight plan. They have also issued a new video to highlight the changes and procedures... ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 1st August 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  12. Behind the Screen : July 2017 This edition of "Behind The Screen" brings X-PlaneReviews to its 4th Anniversary or four years into the world of X-Plane simulation and all its glories. 1st August 2013 was the start date and here we still are in 2017. I am surprised more than you would be actually. My usual personality was that I would totally devour any fascination with something within months, then move my attention quickly on to something else and then devour that, so I expected my then X-Plane fad to pass within a few months, soon bored and then wanting even more simulation from another source and that is how I have lived my life. But no here I still am and that from my perspective that is eternally fascinating. The so called fad started earlier, back in 2011. A Mac Mini and X-Plane9, then my trusty iMac of which still all the X-PlaneReviews work is still outputted from, but a move to Windows was required to run X-Plane in a serious requirement for the site. Before X-PlaneReviews I wrote for XSimReviews, a crazy place with Simon and Chip but a great introduction to the X-Plane community, then a short spell with ASN (Aerosoft Sim News) but then the option to run my own site was a call from the ether and thus X-PlaneReviews was created 1st August 2013. So then why am I still doing X-Plane. Why still the total fascination with a simulation program for aircraft? My first reasons was to fly, or fly correctly. Being slightly deaf since childhood an actual career in aviation was never going to happen, but I love aviation in all its forms. The odd thing was that I was pointed to X-Plane because it was the best simulator for a Mac, I tried early Microsoft simulators and Fly! but I have been always a Steve Jobs believer (even through the weird times) and so X-Plane it had to be. In some ways I saw the Steve Jobs vs the monolith Microsoft as part of the X-Plane to Flight Simulator or the creative vs monopoly and I still think that is still relative, but like Apple then X-Plane is getting the traction with the best product. But it still comes back to the point of why am I still totally fascinated with X-Plane. There are a load of reasons, but basically the simulator is still totally endlessly interesting, very creative and very diverse. You don't have to be totally in love with aviation to be part of it (though that does help) but it does attract very creative people willing to donate their time. Many move up higher to not only contributing to X-Plane but making their living from it. Let us get this straight that no one will ever be made rich from X-Plane except for maybe Laminar Research, but that is missing the whole point on why it actually works. There is always a lot of comment out in the world that life is better when you have stuff, bigger house, better car and a load of cash in the bank, it helps of course but in reality it is a very empty existence, our world today is built in to create status and yet in reality do we really admire tossers that in reality contribute nothing but only take for their own vanity and undeserved accolades for being in reality only shallow human beings, and for some reason these tossers actually think they are better than you and me for reasons only known to their selfish selves. X-Plane is actually the opposite of that, and thankfully the simulator does show that a.. human beings can actually get along with each other, b.. that there are no racial or continental barriers and that we live in a brilliant unthought of online electronic world were we are all connected together by one endeavour to do something that we all can participate in together with a common goal in to learn, be creative and to contribute. X-Plane is the internet dream come true in reality, a modern day society and an entity to itself. There is no doubt more and even bigger online societies than X-Plane, but it is its ideals and goals that give it a status we should all be proud of. More importantly is the fact the simulator is fulfilling, by giving you receive, X-Plane gives you something you can't buy... happiness. X-PlaneReviews and in fact my reasoning for being part of X-Plane is to be part of the living organism and give to build a better place for people to enjoy a community. The aim of the site is to promote peoples creativity, guide and to showcase what X-Plane has to offer the world. My place is not to put myself on a pedestal and say this or that is good or not. Obviously as the standards in the simulator are getting now to a very high level, certainly as X-Plane11 takes the level now quite high in quality and demands. My position is to highlight the great work being done out there and what we can experience on our screens in real time flying. Photorealistic vision is now commonplace and not just in your dreams, as noted the standards are now extremely high, and to a point a high barrier for any new budding developer that wants to enter the market. This is now far removed from the time I started in X-Plane, the basics in reality has not changed, but everything else has. My contribution with this site is to showcase X-Plane to the world and spread the gospel, but also to be source of information to enhance your simulation experience. To a point a lot of it is very complicated and needs to be explained in layman's terms but it is in the hints and the way I use X-Plane that others can get the very best out of the simulator as well. The site has always promoted talent and creativity, and although I would like to cover almost everything released for X-Plane but that is simply not possible. So I see the site as a sort of filter to what is very good to brilliant, or items that do have potential in X-Plane in the future, or simply what is very good does always rise to the top. This does result in most times that reviews are more to the positive than the negative, that is because I mostly only filter out the areas that are in the average or to not waste your time on. Opinions and criticism is an interesting area, we are a review site, but the points are that we are reviewing the items for two audiences, one the paying purchasers and two the creators and developers of the product for X-Plane. For the first you want an overall view of the product you are paying for and is it worth your hard earned cash. The important element to our reviews which I have stated numerous times is what I call the "value" aspect of what you purchase. Anything bought has no value unless you use it, and often. Scenery is the most notable because it is out there somewhere unless you actually fly there, if you never fly there then it is waste of money and to those who do hoard huge collections of scenery freeware or not, then it still has no value unless you use it and the same with aircraft in the fact if you don't fly it it has been a waste of cash. So purchase or download only what you will actually use, and build up clever networks that take full advantage of the X-Plane experience, I know because I was the worst hoarder ever... I mean ever! Reviews of developers products is a harder game. No one and certainly not me wants to criticise someone's great work and worse have them have the loss of sales at the release, this is their reward time after all. But the aim is to be fair to both parties. The buyers deserve something good for their cash and in my mind at least a certain level of quality and features for the purchase price, the problem is as noted is that the level is going up and up and is now quite high. But let us be frank that some of developers are asking more than their actual product is worth for the return on their investment, a bigger problem lately is that to many developers are now releasing product before they are ready for the market and then get really annoyed when you point that actual fact out, the "I'll release it and fix it up later" is better left to Apple and other online business than X-Plane. Certainly I understand that everything in X-Plane is always under development and nothing is in reality is ever finished, but the prospect of cash coming in can in most cases totally override the point of reason in that the product usually only needed a more short points of time to clean up the and fine tune the product and it is usually only a few months extra work for bigger sales. They just don't see that a reputation is hard earned and is just as easily lost by assuming that the punters will simply buy what they put in front of them and are aghast in the fact that reviewers will note that their product is not actually ready for sale. But come to their next release and the punters are certainly are going to be wary even if the product is far better. Reputation is consistency and quality, get the equation right and you will do well, the best and successful developers are the ones that take care of the tiny details as much as as the broad canvas. Some developers do get your admiration as well. They release, but work quickly and efficiently to deliver a fully rounded product in a short period of time and quickly do sort out the areas of bugs and details. So criticism is a fine line between noting the issues and not deriding the product, an issue is an issue to be faced and fixed, If you don't note it then a thousand voices on the forums will tell you anyway and there is the point to be made. X-PlaneReviews does note that, It is not a personal vendetta on any developer or product, but the simple fact there are areas to be addressed on the product and its purchase price, and that X-PlaneReviews is still here after four years and for many more it is testament to that. Credibility is hard won in the age of "fake news" but in reality I think it is needed now more than ever to give users the best information and the best ideas that X-Plane has to offer, but overall the past four years the development has been astounding and more this year than any of my past time in X-Plane have I had with no exaggeration more jawdropping experiences from the return from the simulator. X-PlaneReviews Site The X-PlaneReviews site has evolved as well. On the surface the layout has not changed that much in many ways, but it has in lots of others. We are bound by the IPB board systems layouts, but that is to our advantages and not the negatives. Yes we have twiddled with various ideas and layouts, but the one we use is there for a reason. The main objective is that the site is available to everyone and everywhere. Yes we could have loads of fancy huge graphics (I am a graphic designer) and loads of buzzy animation, but the site is built around speed to download, and to be perfectly available on every platform from desktop to smartphones to tablets and any other portable device we use. There is no use in have big expensive graphics if you can't scale them on to the various different devices, and what looks nice on a desktop, is mostly horrible on an iPhone or iPad, so simple layouts do have a job to do and we have worked very hard not only in the look of the site but in the way the reviews are actually laid out on all the platforms. Changes on the IPB have helped in site over the years as well, but the biggest has been the ability to size the images in the site. This aspect gives you the flexibility to highlight areas in the review, but in most cases just to show off the great images you can now achieve in X-Plane, which are almost photographic quality in X-Plane11. One area that is a minor note is that every now and again the IPB will do an in house update. These updates over the last few years have created a few visual issues in the way the layouts are set out in the reviews. They scrunch up was they lose their spacing and a few graphics in logos have disappeared? The reviews can be edited back to their correct form and we endeavour to cover them all, but we did do them and then the IPB reupdated and sent them all back to zero again, so yes a few reviews are not laid out correctly, but we are getting through them and reediting (again) them back to their correct form. Problem is there are over a thousand reviews now, so it takes time to fix them all up. X-Plane Simulator Overall it is the sheer change the X-Plane simulator has created within the years that have been part of the experience. When I started most simulation punters were noting the end of the desktop simulation and that the golden years were now behind it. The naysayers went on and on that the shrinking hoards were going to other areas to get their thrills. Personally I think that is a load of tosh. In fact X-Plane when I joined had only 183.000 registered users, currently officially there are 464,709 registered users and yes a certain amount of the registrations are not regular users, but the numbers are still rising, still joining and X-Plane will certainly pass half a million users by the years end. That is not simulation in retreat. You feel it in reviewing as well. When I started reviewing you had maybe a major payware release twice a year, maybe three. Now it is mostly bi-monthly with groups of major releases before the Christmas and Easter holidays. Mostly there was a feature release of say a scenery or plugin twice a month, now it is mostly three a week, we used to have slow periods and heavy periods, now you are busy every week, every day. Most weeks we try to post two to three reviews, so take a few days off or have a holiday (ha!) and you quickly fall behind. Workload There is certainly an enormous amount of information to process, a huge amount to learn and layout for you to read. And the sheer depth of the simulation now in X-Plane was simply unthinkable when I started. Setting up scenery and certainly aircraft does take time. Most high-end aircraft take around twenty minutes even before you start the engines, just like the real thing and if your computer is having an off day and won't co-operate even if you yell at it, then it gets all a little of "hows your father". A few tricks can save time. I try to vary the reviews as much as I can to not bore you to death with the same scenery and viewpoints. But solid routes can and does help in comparison between the different versions of the same aircraft and it does a sort of continuity in the same theme. But a lot of the time is wasted in programming out FMS (Flight Management System) navigation systems. I have created cheat sheets that covers all SID/STAR and waypoints with required the frequencies for certain routes. The main area that you lose time is finding correctly working waypoints and SID and STAR routes, certainly you can download routes from the internet, but these are tried and tested inputs that will deliver the complete gate to gate required route without any complications across a variety of aircraft. It works, but mostly in the fact that when I input the route in it will not give me an error to be found in a non-existent fix or a STAR that is not correct with the runway (A lot of STAR's will turn you in too close to the runway or send you miles away to an odd entry fix, just try LIRF if you want to have some fun). But the wonderlust does still happen, that draw that should have faded years ago is still there, not flying and you get ichy, even addictive, you just want more and X-Plane is the drug that just keeps on giving... I just hope I don't end up in Rehab! July 2017 I nearly did end up in care in July. After a heavy six months my eyesight finally gave up early in the month after another bad cold in late May that I never really got over. Blurred vision, bad headaches and a drop in eyesight meant I needed new glasses. But it was still a week with the old ones till they arrived. Then the last week of July I got another cold that floored me again and this is the third this year... I am so over colds. It was a busy month as well with plenty of releases, with some really great scenery including LAXv2, Salvador Bahia and ENBR-Bergen Norway. The X-Plane11 compatibility aircraft roll-out continued as well with aircraft from Carenado with their B1900D, B200 and PA-34 Seneca V. Rotate updated their amazing MD88 Pro to v1.31 and SSG updated their E-170 and B748 and Wilson's Aircraft DC-8 got the compatibility make over as well. I really liked the work in progress DC-3 by VSKYLABs, Great to fly, but slightly hindered by average textures, I think it is a great DC-3 for X-Plane and one aircraft to watch and at that price a real steal if there ever was one, it was an aircraft you just couldn't forget or want to move on from. So there was a few reviews I didn't get around to in July because of the colds and don't mention a summer holiday will help. I live in Australia and it is winter here (like in Games of Thrones) and not in the hot throws of summer, so hopefully August will be a time to catchup. I am still in throes with XPRealistic Pro's, amazing effects and did a landing at SBSV Salvador in the default B737 that I replay to death just to experience it over and over again, well worth the money. I am still a huge fan of xEnviro, but the developers are wearing a lot of users patience really thin in July almost to the point of breaking point. Their instance to wait for the next update in 1.07 is fine, but it is eight months since the last update? The real issue is their insistence of the plugin being directly connected to their server to work, fine, but again if the server goes off line which it has done three times in July then you get a bad CTD (Crash To Desktop) on either starting up XP or in mid-flight. I myself lost a full days work because the sever was off line for a full day, then the work had to be totally redone to match when the server came back on-line, xEnviro has its moments with frame-rate crashes in X-Plane11 as well, that also needs an update... And here is crux of the problem. The xEnviro team is doing itself no service and other developers should to take note on how to NOT create a good reputation and the subsequent loss of future sales by not doing a simple service update. The problem is worse by the fact xEnviro have boxed themselves into a corner in the fact that the big update coming is now months overdue as problems arose, and those problems are compounded that the big update is too far along now to fix even the basic areas that need addressing. The lesson to all developers here is keep it simple and have regular updates. Just an earlier simple update to bring the plugin up to X-Plane11 compatible and unlink the plugin from the server if it is down, would have saved them (and us) a lot of torment. Users would have been more than happy to wait a longer period for the bigger featured update as their current "updated" version still runs nicely along, instead xEnviro gets a lot of very bad press every time it does a donkey and a lot of flack... and to be honest it is mess of their own creation... that is the lesson to be learn't, but will they learn it? So July 2017 was a chaotic month, but with X-PlaneReviews starting into it's fifth year we will move on and to something bigger and better. The site is as always reliant of other people to function. First thanks goes out to all the developers that give out such outstanding work, they all have created this amazing intimate world with their creativity. I spend a lot of time with many of them, and although they wonder why I am there suddenly 100% then disappear only to reappear again later and it is that because there are so many projects ongoing, and I try to follow all of them, but time is limited. Overall I try to see for the benefits of X-Plane on how the work is going forward. Laminar Research is always a foundation we constantly complain about, but in reality they have really delivered in the last few years. It is a far more professional business today than when I entered X-Plane. Give them a round of applause I think they have deserved it. The X-Plane.Org and the X-Plane.OrgStore is the centre of our X-Plane universe, take both out of the equation and would X-Plane be were it is today, would this site even exist? I would doubt it. A lot of users note it is a monolith, but I see it as a steady hand in allowing the simulator to thrive as passionate people give a lot of their free time to help and give service to so many others, both Laminar Research and the X-Plane.Org are two binary stars orbiting each other that keeps the balance and the X-Plane engine running, surviving, so it is important we support both. I have no problem in saying X-PlaneReviews supports the X-Plane.OrgStore because they do supply a lot of the releases for reviews, it allows us to cover a far larger area than most review sites, but my real reason for supporting the X-Plane.OrgStore is because it supports X-Plane in the best way it can in service, and developers trust it and the users do as well, in other words it is a sound foundation you can rely on and that is a rare thing in this day and age. But overall it is the users, you that make X-Plane work... see you all next month. Stephen Dutton 1st August 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  13. Aircraft Upgrade to XP11 : Douglas DC-8 Series by Wilson's Aircraft Mike Wilson has upgraded his Douglas DC-8 Series to X-Plane11. The upgrade is known as 11x and also adds in another variant of the DC-8 family in the DC-8 -71 passenger version. This goes with the already included in the package the original 61, 63 and the 71F (Freighter) variants. I love these old birds, they are interesting and a more manual analog style of aircraft to fly and they give you more feedback and control. The release of the DC-8 in X-Plane from Mike Wilson was a welcome addition to my flying and I covered the aircraft in a full review here: Aircraft Review : Douglas DC-8 by Wilson's Aircraft This is the 63 with the CFM International CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofans (22,000 lbf (98 kN). In reality all the aircraft here has the same 187.4ft fuselage length, it is the engines and age that makes the differential difference. Personally I love the huge turbofans of the later aircraft, they seem to fill out the airframe to a better degree, and so this 71 is a nice addition. The other engine variants are: DC-8-61 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3 turbofan (18,000 lbf (80 kN) DC-8-63 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B turbofan (18,000 lbf (80.07 kN) ) Internally the new passenger 71 is the same as the 61 and 63. There are two new liveries with the new 71 variant for Zambia Airways and Air Sweden, two current liveries for Delta and United are also available. All the liveries for the other variants are all listed in the original review. The aircraft now also comes with two FMS versions. The modern 71 has the standard X-Plane FMS built in... ... the 11x version in the earlier 61 and 63 also has now the era 60's xCiva plugin built into the upper pedestal. The CIVA (Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System) was the mostly widespread early navigation system and it can be used in the DC-8 but it is an add on (xCIVA Nav System US$10). It is also deposited in the "Aircraft's" plugin folder and not in the general X-Plane plugin folder. I fly mostly in this package the DC-8F (Freighter) variant. In the 11x update I got a nice surprise in that now I also have a nice cargo door... that also opens. That nasty royal blue carpet has gone as well and now there are rollers and a hard floor. Some containers are welcome as well. The doors now also open without the stairs in the way as well. It was odd to park at a gate and you couldn't open the doors without the stairs in position? The doors are now thankfully on a separate switch from the stairs as is the Ground Power Unit (GPU). However the power cart does still not provide power if the engines are switched off? The DC-8 bird is a nice aircraft, I love the sheer bulk of the machine. A few details have also been attended to with the wing texture sharpened and leading edge riveting removed on the older 61 version, it is more cleaner now. This is the 11x or X-Plane11 version. But the textures have not been updated to X-Plane11's PBR (Physical Based Rendering) feature. So the aircraft is pretty much the same as it was in X-Plane10 and slightly dull, the mapping is just a little better in the better XP11 lighting, but overall these DC-8's don't take advantage of the PBR feature. It is the same on the internal textures as well. So the cockpit comes across not as X-Plane11 dynamic as it really should be? The cockpit looks the part though, and there are some great 60's era detailing features throughout the design... and still in here it is a very nice place to be, but overall it feels like a missed opportunity. Another change is an odd one as well... The instrument reflection texture has been reduced, obviously because someone complained. The instruments with the change are certainly now more clearer, but also far more duller too add in to the overall picture, the whole visual has lost that panel sparkle and it feels quite greyed out. And even with the lighting knobs on full there is no backlighting to the instruments. The IAS needles on the co-pilot's side are also missing? It does look thankfully very nice at night. But you have to watch how much you turn down the pilot's and co-pilot's panel lighting, if not you get black holes instead of instruments. So there is no happy medium of separate instrument adjustment and panel brightness, it is or either one or the other. The ridiculous 30º + bank is still in there as well, with XPRealistic Pro running I thought I was going to die as I went into a total lunge into the never never, with the plugin off it still churns your visual aspect... You can still choose your crew including a male and female co-pilot. The speedbrake has had some attention in appearance and the arm function now works as it doesn't cut into the pedestal anymore... ... also the fuel transfer panel is now fully operational and you can select where you want what fuel to go where. Other notes include the NAV 1&2 and transponder numbers are now correct and the old (very old) extra rocket engines sound system is gone and has been replaced with a new sound system. I have flown the Mike Wilson DC-8 a lot since its initial release over a year ago, I particularly like the cargo version with the huge CFM engines. It is not a complicated aircraft to fly either, but there are some foibles to get used to. It is challenging as well, and certainly at slow speeds on using those huge barn door flaps and DC-8's are well known for their exciting crab (sideways) landings in crosswinds. Another run done, so a turnaround and back to KATL is in order, now in X-Plane11 as well! Note: This is an X-Plane11 version and a new version of the package including the new extra 71 variant. So a full purchase price is required. There is a discount on this X-Plane11 version for older purchasers of the XP10 version at 50% off. The coupon code is located in the original DC8 order on your account page at the X-Plane.OrgStore. Summary You do now get 4 different versions of the DC-8, the DC-8-61, the DC-8-63, the DC-8-71 freighter version, and the DC-8-71 passenger version. Which is four aircraft for the price of one with three engine options. The aircraft is also now compatible with X-Plane11 in performance and specifics, but it doesn't have X-Plane11's PBR features or textures and with that a bit of the dynamics of X-Plane11 is lost externally, internally and it shows as well in the cockpit with the loss of the instrument reflections as well and a lot of the original foibles and quirks are still in there. Added new features like the cargo door and a more modern FMS and built xCiva are also very welcome and adds in a lot of new functionality to the aircraft. But as noted I really love the DC-8 and it is very welcome to fly it in X-Plane11 in all its glory. Reimageining these classic aircraft into something usable and enjoyably fun to fly is always a crusade for me and certainly that aspect is applicable to Mike Wilson's DC aircraft and they are all very welcome into your X-Plane hangar. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The DC-8 Series from Wilson's Aircraft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store. Price is currently US$ 35.00 Get the - DC-8 71 XP11 Series - Here New Version for X-Plane 11 new DC-8 71 passenger version 3D civa added (version 61-63) new v11 3D FMS: two distinct FMS (version 71-71F) removed extra rocket engines sound system, instead uses new sound pack with new plugin fuel transfer & selector added (x-plane default) new custom gauges nav 1/2 + transponder numbers corrected instruments reflections texture reduced speed brake handle corrected (arm function + texture) GPU and stairs can show separately now DC-8-61 version: wing texture sharpened and leading edge riveting removed animated cargo door added on freighter version two new liveries: Delta Airlines & Zambia airways new v11 custom icons for all liveries Full features list: Flight testing by retired DC-8-63 and L-1011 pilot Andre Poirier, and DC-8-71 Captain Carlos Roldos, and DC-8-63 captain Gerhard Opel 42 functions on the flight engineers panel however plane can be flown with out using the flight engineers panel Total of 15 high resolution liveries with a paint kit for user to make their own liveries Transcontinental, United, Quebec air, UPS worldwide, UPS classic, United, Eastern, KLM, ATI, Garuda Indonesian, Transamerica, Japan Airlines, DHL, , Eastern, UTA 3D cockpit by Julien Brezel Animation of the doors includes the animation of the corresponding stair car. Two choices of textures for the cockpit are provided, low definition & high definition, depending on your graphic card abilities. Visible hot air jet exhaust Animated thrust reversers and spinning fans Choice of 3 pilot figures, male and female. Custom slider keys can be defined in your "joystick and Equipment" menu in xplane to show/hide First officer and Flight engineer, also show/hide ground services GPU/stairs), also front door opening, and aft door opening. Uses 3D lighting for both interior and exterior night textures. For the best experience, ensure that the HDR is activated in your rendering options. The rudder illuminates when taxi light is ON. Comprehensive user manual and full checklist including cold and dark starting based on scans that Andre sent me of his flight manual Detailed pneumatic hoses underneath spoilers and flaps The most realistic way to fly a jet plane of this era is to use the CIVA plug in which is available at this store Requirements X-Plane 11 Only Windows, Mac, Linux in 64bit mode 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card DC8 XP10 owner can buy this new XP11 version at 50% off. The coupon code is located in the original DC8 order Installation and documents: Download for the DC-8 XP11 Series package is downloaded via four zip files: DC-8-61_v1 4216 393.00mb - 447mb Installed DC-8-63_v1 6837 403.00mb - 458mb Installed DC-8-71_v1 6837 358.10mb - 392.40mb Installed DC-8-71F_v1 2149 449.00mb - 543mb Installed ... and the unzipped files are deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder. Note the download is slow, so allow time (30min) for each download. There is a secondary download package consisting of: Manuals and ADDONS - Download 291mb CoPilots (objects to change crew) Manuals: Checklist - Cold and Dark, Checklist - Running, DC-8 Flight Profile, DC-8 Landing Speed Chart and DC-8 Manual (20 pages) Painkit Textures (high and low resolution) CIVA If you own or purchase xCIVA Nav System US$10 It can be installed in the DC-8 in only two variants 61/63. The plugin is installed in a folder called "plugins" in the aircraft file (not the X-Plane plugin folder). There is NO such folder with the aircraft... so you will need to create a "plugins" folder in each aircraft and then insert the xCIVA plugin into that folder to make it work, an operating manual is provided. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th July 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95
  14. Hardware Addon : Saitek Pro Flight x56 Rhino HOTAS Selecting the right addon hardware for use with your Flight Simulator is very important as to get the very best out of your flying skills. To a point your selection is a very personal choice to fit to your specific needs and taste. One factor is that if you have flown on simulators for a period of time you will of course find a set up that suits your flying tastes, but in most cases you usually want to replicate the same arrangements that are present in the aircraft itself and duplicate what you use on the screen in the actual hardware in your hands. There are three types of basic hardware you can purchase... Standard Joystick, Joystick and Throttle System and a Yoke and Rudder Pedal system. Standard Joystick : Standard Joysticks come with a X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) axis, but no Yaw (Rz axis) so in reality you will need a set of rudder pedals to get the yaw aspect. However clever X-Plane will allow you to fly the aircraft as it will combine the bank and yaw together to do turns (banks). Overall although they are cheap you should avoid two-axis joysticks if you are serious about flying. Joystick and Throttle System : A twin Joystick and Throttle System is the most popular set of addons you can buy. They combine the three-axis (pitch - bank - yaw) joystick with a throttle system. They also come with a lot of switches and knobs that can be set to interact with the simulator to activate your on screen aircraft. Yoke and Rudder Pedal system : A separate Yoke and Rudder system is the ultimate goal but a requisite if you are learning to fly or using X-Plane as a training tool. Cost is usually the barrier to a full Yoke and Rudder layout, but they are also devoid of features as well that come as standard with Joystick and Throttle systems, so in most cases you need even more addons in mostly a throttle system to get the complete setup. Addon Transitions Over the years I have progressed through a few transitions of addon hardware. My first joystick was a Logitech Attack 3 which lasted about 3 days as I found out that with no yaw it was practically useless, but it did have 11 buttons to set. I will note as it is mentioned a lot with these systems is that H.O.T.A.S stands for "Hands On Throttle-And-Stick" Second addon was a Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X which was a big upgrade from the Attack 3. It had actually a nice joystick feel, but the layout was the wrong way around with the throttle on the left and the joystick on the right and they were connected together by the shortest cable that you could wrap around under the throttle. I added a cut up mouse pad to the base of the throttle to gain an extra precious few centimeters between the two items. Overall it was big and bulky on the desktop. Next I went pro... Saitek x52 Pro Flight H.O.T.A.S. System There is only a small differences between the x52 and the Pro version, the colour is different from the silver to the more classy black and the spring is more stronger. The x52 was released in 2005 and the Pro in 2007. These x52's are very well liked and are really the mainstay of simulator flying, mine has been very good, but does have a few niggles that has worn me down over time. These niggles were very much in consideration when I wanted to upgrade to the next system and were very forefront in my choice of my next system. I will cover these points as I review the x56. Saitek As a brand Saitek has been very dominant in simulation although most serious users swear by the HOTAS Warthog Joysticks. But Saitek do cover a broad range of addons for simulation, including Joysticks, Flight Panels, Rudder Pedals, Yoke systems, Throttle Quadrants and Trim Wheels. Saitek was founded in 1979 by Swiss technologist Eric Winkler as a manufacturer of electronic chess games, and grew quickly. In 2007 Saitek was bought out by Mad Catz a company that created accessories such as control pads, memory cards, connection cables, headphones and other human interface devices for the PC and various video game consoles. But in 2016 Mad Catz had a sales failure with the "Rock Band" product that eventually sent them bankrurpt, but the Saitek name, products and brand live on as Logitech acquired Saitek last year for 13 million dollars. But currently the products are still listed under Saitek and not the Logitech brand banner. Saitek when under Mad Catz released the X65F which was a metal based system in 2008, but it did have duel throttles. finally they followed up their x52 range with a new version called X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. System in 2014. Like the x52 range there was a quick follow up with this review version here with the X-56 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. System in 2016. Differences again are small but the x56 has LED lighting and two small analog sticks with one on the stick and the other on the right throttle replacing buttons. Saitek Pro Flight x56 Rhino HOTAS First let us see what you get in the package. The package is quite a big box at 29cm x 29cm x 23cm and weighs around 4.4kg Opening up you the packaging and you have a "Thank You" letter with internet addresses for information and downloads, coloured installation leaflet and Safety, Compliance and Warranty information (Logitech) and also a nice set of "Saitek" Stickers! Lifting out the eggshell protection layer you then have the internal selections of the two bases, joystick head, wrist rest, and tube spring box First Impressions The very first impression is you notice is how much larger the x56's footprint is over the older x52, both units are quite large and take up a fair more space of your desktop real estate. Notice that the Joystick is missing on the x56 but it comes as a complete unit on the x52. The Throttle unit looks far taller, it isn't but actually the same height as the x52 throttle but it is far, far more bulkier. x56 Joystick and Throttle The far larger bases of the Joystick and throttle units is a significant step over the x52 versions. The system is built with a hard heavy durable plastic construction with rubber feet to keep it planted, a welcome relief as both the x52 units tended to move around when not wanted (I gaffer taped them down to the desk), but the heavier bulkier x56 units don't move around and stay firmly planted. Both units have a dazzling array of switches, sliders, buttons, rotary switches, triggers and HATS in both Witches and Castle designs. Like most joysticks the x56 stick is very much focused on the fighter or military aspect of the layout of usability. Trigger buttons and weapon selection is highlighted as is the pinky and flying pinky buttons. In airliner mode in which most simulator users operate they are mostly not required and usually set for other purposes like most high hats are used for POV or Point Of View actions. The Joystick covers all X,Y and Rz (yaw) axis modes. I was attracted to the look and feel of the throttle unit and it's wide selection of switches, rotary dials of which selection here is excellent. The switches have a quite forceful click-clack feel that I like. I also like the military look and feel of the front aspect switch metal separators, they allow you to feel which switch you require without taking your eyes of the screen and they look very purposeful as well. In keeping with the military aspect the design and patterns on the units are very militaristic, but the x56 blue looks better the the same x55 yellow design. The base of the Joystick does not have any switches installed at all now, as it is a clear square base... and for all the better for it. The main three toggle switches have been moved to the Throttle unit as upright switches more than the key switches on the x52. This was one of my biggest reasons for selecting the x56 as you had to crossover arms (right under left arm) to activate the switches (speedbrakes-landing gear-flaps) while taking off or landing... now they feel they are in the correct place. I usually set the switches to replicate the same as on the pedestal in speed brake lever (right) landing gear up/down (center) and flap lever (right). Night lighting of the units is excellent if quite beautiful. The Joystick now only has lighting at the top and it is a subtle blue and all the switchgear lights up blue on the throttle base. You can change this LED lighting to almost any colour you want, but I couldn't make the software work (see below)? Throttle has POV and one each witch and castle selectors. One button facing you and one on the right side and a large trigger button rear. I usually set my servo toggle (autopilot on/off) on the front button and nosewheel toggle select side, the trigger is set at "Toggle thrust reversers". There is a toggle switch halfway down on the left, and around the base a pinky button and flying pinky lever. Now I wasn't sure of the lever gizmo, as I usually set my brake (regular) on this button, but here I was able to use the lever for the regular brake (50%) and the pinky button for the full brake toggle (100%) and I love the setting up, it works really well. On of the big highlights for me was the advantage of dual throttles. They actually take a bit of getting used to as they are quite touchy in adjusting the aircraft's rpm, this is a more a nice to have though than a pain to have. If you wish you can lock the two throttles together as one via a lock shift on the lower left throttle you can, but on three to four engined aircraft you have to reset X-Plane as one whole throttle setting and if not only the 2 and 3 engines adjust. Separately each throttle is quite nice, but push the two together and it is quite stiff to use (still new?). There is an adjuster tightener on the left side, but it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference? Most users say it is too stiff, but I got used to it quite quickly, and if the base slided around with the force of moving the stiff throttles then they it would be an issue but it doesn't. On the rear of the throttles are two buttons on the right handle and a two way selector on the left, I set my "full reverse thrust" (propeller) setting on one of the rear (I) buttons. On the right throttle there are two axis wheels (F) & (G) top and bottom. Most users found them very loose, but mine are not that bad but they could be tighter. Top one I sometimes use as a tiller taxi adjustment. Front side right throttle is the noted "SLO" slider but it only selects button selections. Left throttle side is a vertical wheel but in X-Plane it accesses two buttons. Lower side right throttle is a set of two (H3) & (H4) toggle switches for button select and one toggle switch left for axis selection, above is a single button (E) which I set for "Speedbrakes retract full". On the base of the throttle unit on the left is a great three way switch selector, it is for "Mode" selection but in X-Plane it is just a selection for three separate button selections. I want to make the best use of this switch, but I haven't yet decided what to use, maybe fms1, fms2 and GPS selection. There are three chrome switches front in SW 1-2, SW 3-4, SW 5-6 to which I set as noted the speedbrakes-landing gear-flaps. For speedbrakes it is (lever) up and down one setting, for Landing gear (lever) it is up/down and for flaps (lever) up and down one setting. On the side there are two nice feel rotary knobs RTY 3 & RTY 4 and another four chrome switches. The knobs again can be used with X-Plane's axis (I use one for a separate GA throttle adjustment and one for GA mixture). The four rear switches are TGL 1-4 which I use for aircraft lighting (Landing & Taxi) and livery next and before selection. Overall the selection (total of 231 selections available) and the choice of buttons and switches is excellent on both units, but I really like the way they are grouped on the throttle base as it looks and feels like a real pedestal system (Which I think was the general idea). Installation Hardware Both units come with separate 2m USB cables. Although this does take up more USB sockets the system is far more flexible than the connected together x52 cabling which ran a connecting cable from the Throttle to the Joystick. The connector on the rear of the x52 joystick would sometimes becomes slightly loose in creating a flip on the screen that got worse over time as it aged. Two separate USB cables also gives you more length of cable to the computer as well and eliminates the chance of another disconnecting connecting cable issue. One of the big features introduced on the X55 and continued on the x56 is the choice of spring force on the joystick called the F.E.E.L. Spring System. There are four choices of spring forces from Red - Green - Yellow and Blue Red has the maximum resistance and the Blue the lowest with Green and Yellow set between on a scale, I personally selected the Yellow (I tried all) as the Blue was a bit too weak and the joystick a little too floppy. But I didn't want a high resistance either. Changing the springs is easy. There is an outer collar clip that comes directly off upwards, then there are two side clips that come off sideways that holds the spring in place, but you will need to use a slight pull on the spring downwards to release the force on the clips to pull them out. Replace the new spring and again hold the spring down while you put the two side clips back into place (they will only clip in one way) then release the spring and make sure it is centred correctly. Then replace the collar clip to hold the two side clips in, but make sure the collar clip is correctly down and seated, if it is slightly set on an angle then it is not. It feels very solid when in and you know it is correct via the click it makes as it seats down and feels locked and level. Now you will need to fasten on the Joystick handle to the base. There are large and small guides on each section, so it is easy to match up. Then when correctly seated just turn the knob to secure the handle to the base, you don't have to over tighten because it will be hard to turn off again if you do. Note the outstanding pins to connect to the base section, so no tight movement means no wear. There is step plate you can add to the joystick to raise you hand rest a little. This addon just clips on and just make sure all the clips are connected, if not it will work loose. I do have a strange way of using the joystick, I use the base mostly with my lower palm against the rest. I don't use this position for taking off or landing obviously, but when I want fine adjustment like with taxiing or helicopter flying I find I have a more minute control. That is the Hardware set up completed. Installation Software With the x52 you received a DVD with all the drivers and manual required, but that aspect of delivery is now long gone as everything is now downloaded from the Saitek site. Manuals are here Manuals for Saitek Pro Flight and cover languages of English (EN), French (FR), German (DE), Italian (IT), Spanish (ES), Portuguese (PT) and Swedish (SV) You can download drivers for the x56 system but make sure you select the 64bit versions for X-Plane. There are three drivers you can select for Windows with a x56 Rhino software, x56 Rhino Driver and a X-Plane (64bit) driver. The x56 Rhino software includes HUD software and need to have Microsoft's .Net installed to work. The HUD allows you to set response curves and deadbands. But I found it wouldn't install? It feels however out of date with a Mad Catz logo and notes my computer (Windows10) won't run the software. I was disappointed as the software gives you access to changing the LED lighting and creating Profiles that remember your settings and can be changed or recalled if you use different flight simulator products. In reality for the main response curve settings it is not needed as because X-Plane has it's own response curves settings under the "Joystick" menu tab, Only the Windows driver needs to be installed from the above as nothing is required for X-Plane and Apple Mac computers as will both run X-Plane without any drivers, no drivers for LINUX either so I suppose that LINUX will work as the same as the Mac system (Mac and LINUX do share the same basic root software). Saitek x56 System X-Plane setup X-Plane10 The setup for the Joystick and Throttle in X-Plane10 is quite easy. First go to X-Plane10's Menu and select "Joysticks & Equipment" then the "Axis" tab. If you have connected up x56 correctly with the two USB's then the Joysticks actions though out the all X,Y and Rz (yaw) axis should show on the sliders, red is not set and the green is correct, just move the stick around in every position to set. Then in the side menu selection by each axis you have to set the correct axis to the command like "Pitch" or "Roll" or "Yaw". Same with the throttle selection, but in the side menu you have to select "throttle 1" & "throttle 2" for each throttle. Both Joystick and Throttle rotary settings are also set with the sliders as well the same way. To reset all settings then just press the "Calibrate Joystick Hardware" button. The "Nullzone" tab allows you to set the joystick response curve settings for augmentation and response (0-100%), you can set the joystick's nullzone as well, but if your x56 is new it should be pretty good. When you are happy with the settings then set via pressing "Center Yoke And Hit This Button". Button, switch, trigger and HAT settings are via either the "Buttons: Basic" and "Buttons: Adv" tabs. Just press the button or pull your trigger on either your Joystick or Throttle and it will show on either tab. The button allocation number is shown in the box top left. The Buttons: Basic though is just that a basic selection, so mostly all settings are usually done on the "Buttons: Adv" settings. Again press or pull your trigger or button to see the item you have selected, then select the item area (eg: engines/) and select the option you want on that button from the right column and in this case "toggle thrust reversers". X-Plane11 The setup menus are all changed for X-Plane11, and what a difference it is. The location is on the new "Joystick" tab on the right side menu. There is a totally new visual look to the interface, but this is the x52 (below) and not the x56 to show you what it is like, as the x56 graphics to date have not been done by Laminar Research (the x52 only appeared a few weeks ago). The x56 menu is unlike X-Plane10 in now it is split into two sections for each component in a display page for each both the Joystick (below left) and Throttle (below right). Each display page is selected via the dropdown menu top left under "Devices" Press the "Calibrate" button to set up your axis settings. Again you move your Joysticks actions though out the all X,Y and Rz (yaw) axis and X-Plane will record your movements and you can then set set the correct axis to the command like "Pitch" or "Roll" or "Yaw" from the drop menu on that slider. Note the axis items 3 & 4 is the joystick left hand side toggle switch in a scroll mode. When done you do have to however clear any none usable axis zones by clicking the "Ignore Axis" tabs by each slider and it will show "Ignored" to note the axis zone is deleted, only then will the "Next" button allow you to move on to the next item. Which is the automatic calibration (nullzone) of the joystick (below left). Now your Joystick is calibrated. Now you can set up your HAT and button, switch or trigger choices by pressing the item on the Joystick (or Throttle) you want to choose which is highlighted white. Note the POV HAT uses the top "Hat Switch 0" selections. Press the "Edit" button on the highlighted item to select or change your selection. All the X-Plane selections are listed (below left), plus any addon in plugin or aircraft that have selection choices. The full list (below right) is huge now in X-Plane Thankfully a major new feature in X-Plane11 allows you to use the search box top right to narrow down your selections... brilliant. Throttle page is set up the same way (top right). Except with the calibration selection "throttle 1" & "throttle 2" for each throttle. All button, toggle, switch or slider selections are done the same way as with the Joystick. First User Impressions I noted that I really liked the x52 Pro, but it had a few quirks that I didn't like. First and the biggest one was that on the x52 Pro the disk would drag badly up and down the centre shaft, no matter what you did. I used (a lot) of petroleum jelly or vaseline to keep it lubricated. It worked but most times my takeoff's were mostly still very ragged with the joystick sticking at the worst points... the x56's new spring feature eliminates the problem, I like also you can adjust the pressure to suit. I did put a little vaseline on the centre shaft to help with the movement as you still have a disk on the centre shaft. Overall all the x56's joystick movements are very good, but there is small "click" and movement in the center of the yaw that can hinder a little. This is caused by the top section slightly dragging on the lower section in the left - right movement action. The bottom assembly feels a little rough in parts as it came out of the mould. I don't know if I got an odd unit or they are all like this, but a small file and a little lubricant fixed the clicking and I have no doubt that in time it would wear in perfectly as it is already doing so and the yaw now feels great. I will note that I am very if over sensitive to drags and clicks, but that is a personal taste. But I really like the weight and feel of the x56 Joystick with the correct spring setting and it is very good for those minute movements in taxiing or helicopter flying and altogether there is 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) within the joystick's axis. The change of position of the switches to the throttle base makes me smile as well, with my speedbrakes-landing gear-flaps layout there it feels perfect and real, real also is the flick of switches in turning on/off the aircraft lighting, as all the switches are precise and click-clicky. Some toggles and rotary dials do feel a little plastic but (mostly on the throttle handle) but most hardware is like this today. Twin-throttles are brilliant, yes and loving it more because the detents in the x52 throttle have also been removed. I didn't like them either because the throttle would stick again at the very wrong place. Idle was awful on some aircraft and flying at mac speeds created a choice of m80 or m83, you couldn't have m82 (where you wanted to be because you had a annoying detent there... gone on the x56 and good riddance. Throttle is stiff, but nice to use, singly they will move easier, but not together, but I soon adjusted to the force and it feels better and better the more you use them. The larger x56 bases do take up more deskspace, but are also far more stable, they don't lift now or move if you push the joystick or throttle too far, so yes another great advantage. Two USB cables on the x56 fixed my screen flipping (jumping) and I have a bigger distance available to the computer if I want to take advantage of that as well. So overall I find the x56 layout a big step up from the x52 setup and it eliminated all of my quirks with the older setup without creating new ones with the x56 Rhino. Summary I have listed most of the pros and cons through out the review on why I selected the x56 Rhino to replace my x52 Pro Joystick and Throttle setup. Without doubt the x56 Rhino more than covered all the points that I wanted to be better than the x52 Pro and didn't thankfully add any others to the list. I think it is a far better and certainly a more stable setup than the x52 Pro. More switchgear, more functionality that will take time to set and find the best use of all the huge amount of selections with 231 programmable selections that you can use, and the layout of less on the Joystick and more on the Throttle base in switchgear feels and it is better to use like a real aircraft setup. Only points I will make is the yaw movement (was) a little notchy centre and the downloaded software was out of date for Windows 10 (drivers are fine). As to the look and feel of the x56 Rhino, I love it and even admire it (great in the dark while flying long haul) and for X-Plane connectablity and functionality it is top rate. The proof though is in the flying, no doubt the x52 Rhino will help in my flying in its functionality and use. Is the x56 the best combo Joystick and Throttle system out there, many users have their own personal opinions about that, but I think yes, certainly a great upgrade step from the x52 range but also overall for value, more functionality and features I think it definitely is. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Saitek Pro Flight x56 Rhino HOTAS is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Pro Flight X-56 Rhino H.O.T.A.S Your Price: US$249.95 If you buy now you get a Free Detailed Scenery package with your purchase - a $25+ Value ! Only at X-Plane.orgStore Product Includes: X-56 Rhino Stick Unit with USB Connector Cable X-56 Rhino Throttle Unit with USB Connector Cable and blue Backlighting Spring System with 4 Springs of Varied Resistance Features : The X-56 Rhino's control surfaces are incredibly accurate, courtesy of a 16-bit aileron and elevator axis, each employing hall-effect sensors. Developed from the ground up, Saitek's 16-bit axis solution enables extremely precise flight. Adjustable Stick Spring Force via Advanced 4-Spring F.E.E.L. System RGB Backlighting Customise lighting to suit your setup H.O.T.A.S. Configuration Software Enables Programmable Controls At least 231 Programmable Controls A ground-breaking, adjustable stick spring system allows pilots to alter the force required to move the stick. Four springs of varying resistance are included to provide a total of five different options. Choose the spring or no spring at all which best accommodates your style of flying. Twin Throttle With Friction Adjuster and Throttle Lock The X-56 Rhino boasts twin throttle and ideal for situations in which your primary engine is disabled and you're down to one and also provides the option to adjust the friction required to move them. And if your aircraft of choice is single-engine, a handy throttle lock effectively converts the twin throttles into a single unit. Requirements X-Plane 10 or X-Plane 11 2x USB Ports Windows or Mac Installation and documents: Full installation is noted within the review All Drivers, Software is downloaded from the Saitek site. Documents: In the box: "Thank You" letter with internet addresses for information Coloured installation leaflet Safety, Compliance and Warranty information (Logitech) "Saitek" Stickers! Downloads: Manuals are downloadable here Manuals for Saitek Pro Flight and cover languages of English (EN), French (FR), German (DE), Italian (IT), Spanish (ES), Portuguese (PT) and Swedish (SV) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Product Review by Stephen Dutton 28th April 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 and also used in X-Plane v10.51 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft -none-
  15. After a few months since the review I am very happy with the choice of the X-56. The slight yaw sticking has settled down, you can still slightly feel it, but it is not an issue I thought it would be. I love the switchgear, twin-throttles and lighting, overall 9 out of 10. I'm not sure what you mean by x56 profile files? Is that the X-Plane joystick pref's? SD
  16. Aircraft Update : Boeing 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim FlyJSim have done an update noted as Version 1.1508.1036 on the Boeing 732 TwinJet, and it is a very good and extensive one. FlyJSim's approach to aircraft is highly detailed and functional... you could even say complex. But I would prefer to say they have extensively developed systems and they are certainly some of the most immersion types of simulation you can fly in X-Plane. The focus is also on older aircraft in the Boeing 727 Series and this Boeing 737-200 TwinJet and the bombardier Dash Q400. The link between the aircraft is they are all very manual to fly in dials and throttle control and modern automation is rarely used and that makes the aircraft also extremely interesting and challenging to fly. The aircraft has had a lot of adjustments (Full Changelog below) but it is more than just a fix up of smaller details as new items have been added or original ideas have been updated. The menu system located on the lower left of your screen is excellent, as noted the aircraft is complex but FlyJSIm have been thoughtful in the way you can quickly set up the aircraft for flight and have a lot of data you require at your fingertips to not only get airborne quite quickly but to be able to fly at the performance boundaries in an visual way, the system is excellent in that case Menus are noted as - WnB (Weights and Balances) - V/Card - OP (Options) and INS (CIVA GPS optional). WnB (Weights and Balances) It is extremely easy to set up the weight, aircraft load in passenger and cargo and fuel load. All the information is there and easy to read or noted, and your center-of-gravity is also easily balanced and noted. In the update you can now disable the Weight and Balance system from changing X-Planes values for payload and CG. This was a request from FS-Economy users. V/Card I really love the V/Card visual menu on both the FlyJSim B732 and B727 Series aircraft, it is totally brilliant. When you set your aircraft weights and balances via the WnB menu it translates directly to the V/Card to give you your V speed references, your weights are also noted and updated on the V/Card to the current weight and fuel as you fly so you know exactly what the aircraft is in weight and can note that for takeoff and landing. The speed bugs automatically set to the vRef's required as well to make that perfect takeoff in speed and your landing speed is noted on the Landing tab. Another brilliant feature is that if you press the green zone on the trim setting indicator it will automatically set the trim to the weights and balance for takeoff. These few setting helpers can get you perfectly set up in a very short time, but also have the aircraft correct and ready for flight. There have been a few changes to the V/Card in the update including an added trim setting to the takeoff Vcard, the EPR setting on Vcard for takeoff now changes, which is used usually for hot and high takeoffs. When the Vcard is open to takeoff, the EPR bug on the engine display is updated for you if takeoff flaps are not set in the Vcard, it will now actually sync to your takeoff flaps when passing 80 kts during your takeoff roll to ensure you get the proper bugs and callouts for the V1/rotate. OP (Options) On the OP-Options Menu you can now disable Copilot Callouts if they get annoying and the HF wire from the fuselage to the tail can be hidden. Both the external APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) and start up (Engines) Air Cart can be accessed by the menu, but no physical units are shown outside which are now usually available for aircraft of this quality? INS (CIVA GPS optional) For the FlyJSim Boeing 727 Series and this Boeing 732 aircraft the Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System, nicknamed "CIVA" can be purchased as an addon: CIVA Navigation System for $US10.00. it is basic navigation system that can give automatic navigation of up to 9 waypoints. (you can load X-Plane .fms plans) but it is quite a difficult beast to use, but also very authentic for navigation systems of the 60's and early 70's eras. It was installed in classic airliners like the Boeing 707 and 727, the Lockheed Tristar, the Douglas DC-10 and the Boeing 747-100 to -300 and a special variant, the Carousel IV-AC was also installed in the Concorde and used to cross the North Atlantic at supersonic speeds. But like I noted it is a bit of a bully to use, and personally I wasn't greatly supportive of the feature as it was just to time-consuming to program. (every Lat/Lon had to programmed in) That was then and this is now as there has been since a great plugin released to ease all the pain and make the navigation system more user friendly and far more easier to program. This is called the CIVA Helper plugin 1.10 by Yoyoz and it is a great piece if kit (You will need Sandy Barbour's Python interface installed) Another bonus also is that the xCIVA is now in this update actually installed on the lower part of the panel of the aircraft if you own the feature. The popup is still there if you need it, but somehow the 3d version is far better to use, and it looks sensational. (For the B727 Series pleeeese!) You can input a set of waypoints (fixes) or just cut and paste a route from a route planner and make up a flightplan in seconds, then just push the fix directly into the xCIVA, the great thing about this plugin is that you can select only the waypoints you want to make up the maximum of the nine allowed, you don't need the airport as your first fix but POS in "Position" to tell the xCIVA the current coordinate position of the aircraft. Zero numbers are not also allowed as the xCIVA will not accept them. Another bonus is that you can create a double flightplan with inputting the first nine into the system and then having nine or more ready to input as you fly along to compensate around the nine fix input barrier (like they did in the old days). You can also do a sort of Direct-To by jumping to a certain waypoint or diversion fix. So the helper plugin makes the xCIVA an everyday usable system so it is a well worth download and the new panel location really helps as well. Pushback The built in pushback feature has had a few changes as well. You select the pushback now by pushing the "GndCall" button on the overhead panel. And it appears as a popup menu. You now have two choices in Manual pushback, or Automatic pushback. Manual will allow you to steer the aircraft with your joystick or rudder pedals and the Auto mode pushback allows you to set the distance, tail turn and turn degree. You can also display a ghost of the aircraft as an estimate of the pushed back position on the ground. KOAK - Oakland Intl to KPDX - Portland Intl I flew the updated Boeing 732 from Oakland, San Francisco to Portland to have a look at MisterX's new scenery, I had the aircraft very heavy but only half-full of fuel for the relatively short hop to Oregon. I will be totally honest and admit I never was completely in love with the B737-200 from FlyJSIm, mainly because it was so overshadowed by the bigger more dramatic Boeing 727, of which I love more than I can explain. But with this update the aircraft and myself have had a more closer if more intimate relationship with each other. I feel I didn't use the aircraft in the right context enough to get the best return from it, but now we seemed to have reached an understanding of each other and will move on to the next level of getting to know each other more closely and intimately. I felt more at home and enjoyed the aircraft immensely this time. So was this the update or has X-Plane matured more to meet the combined goals of the aircraft and myself or just the xCIVA now working better that created a more better atmosphere. There is no doubt in the depth of the aircraft's systems and more have been added in a new Instrument Comparator system, the GPWS system, has new system sounds and functionality and the Compass/NAV/Vert Gryo switching system is also new. I also liked the new Trip/Date recorder system, which you can change to whatever you like, just hit the button and it saves it for you. I am still wishing on the B732 like with the Boeing 727 Series that the rear cabin would be completed and installed, and the doors would open (Other close users note the missing items to me as well), And although the cockpit is without doubt certainly one of the very best in X-Plane, It still feels a little empty back there. But as a pilots aircraft it is astounding in design and in performance, it uses the excellent Dreamfoil - DreamEngine & Turbine Sound Studio sounds. The B732 rumbles and it roars in that 1960's unhushkitted noise as those JT8D-15A engines pore out the power and dark smoke that bellows from that more less environmental period. New sounds have been added in here as well as all the switches, knobs, buttons all now have 3d positioned sounds, recorded from actual 737 panels and the click and tick just as they should. You can hear APU now as well in the background. I love the wizzing around Trim wheels on these aircraft and the sounds have now been realistically heightend, spoiler arm deploy sound for landing and spoiler deploy low rumble are also significant aural changes that sound great. You can adjust the external and internal sound volumes by the menu to enjoy the audio to the maximum. The basic Sperry 77 Autopilot is quite different from today's fully automated cockpits but excellent to use, so it gives you a totally different dimension to flying a heavy aircraft, Radio's are really good for flying VOR radials and NDB's which you heavily rely upon. The red line on the MAP display has been removed. I accept that it is not a realistic point on the aircraft, but its removal means you don't know if the xCIVA is running the right waypoints or if it is set correctly at all or even working... so do you need that red line back? This is the -200adv version of the 737 family and you can see the larger Boeing barrel size (six across seating with a single aisle) on the shorter fuselage length. But there is no doubt it is a nice looking aircraft and a pure Boeing. Nice details are the retracted undercarriage (FlyJSim always did amazing undercarriages) and the long tube almost rocket looking engine pods, a different era. The yaw damper was too sensitive in turbulence and has been adjusted so you can now keep it on. And you will noticed that the on the HDG and CRS display they now show values greater than 360 degrees. Cabin lighting now shows externally at night and park brake light, trim light, marker lights, Fire lights and some radio lights now work correctly. You get one blank white livery (there is a paintkit available) and five airline colours in WestJet (very modern) Aer Lingus, Air France. Aloha (old) and KLM. But you are not short of liveries and restricted to just these five, as there is 132 available on the X-Plane.Org site! It is a lot and all are very good, like this superbly nice DeltaExpress livery in this upgrade review. Portland Intl was now on approach and I was seriously impressed with MisterX's work, the scenery is simply excellent. The FlyJSIm Boeing 732 is certainly a very challenging aircraft to fly in X-Plane, it demands to fly it well a knowledge of its deep systems that are crafted to perfection and the aircraft requires time to really get the best performance on all levels out of it. You get those angled offset clamshell reverser doors which are very dramatic and the airbrakes are armed as noted on the panel, the before noted V/Card approach and landing speeds are excellent and the often neglected autobrake system has been better tuned now with proper deceleration rates and the aircraft feels better in that speed reduction phase. The door alignment has been done (I did it earlier anyway) so the airbridges (jetways) now connect correctly, but not here at Portland as they don't go lower but only sideways. Smart CoPilot features have been added to cater for that addon in the 3D CIVA is now synced and master controlled, and the files have been updated to this new version. And of course the most important item to be fixed is the PAX chime now bings when turned off as well, Thank god that has been done. Summary This update Version 1.1508.1036 is more than just an aircraft bug fix and clean up, there are a load of small but good new features in there, but the most significant thing is the aircraft really feels more complete and satisfying. You really can't put your finger on it, but like most upgrades when they come you realise that those items either didn't work or were missing, but there is still more going on here this time. Like I noted earlier, I never really felt totally comfortable in the aircraft and I could not put my finger on it, but certainly the B727 Series overshadowed it. Now I find the B732 TwinJet a lot more to my liking and I flew the aircraft more consistently, so maybe there was something more in there I was aware of but couldn't actually touch that has been ironed out. No ground vehicles or equipment like APU's and AirCart or pushback truck makes the aircraft look a little lonely now out there on the ramp, and no opening doors (so well done on FlyJSim's Dash Q400) makes it boring sitting at the gate, and you expect that now at this price range and features. But overwhelmingly is the sheer dynamics of the aircraft and THAT cockpit, that is with the FJS B727 an amazing design and certainly both are the best in X-Plane for 60's era heavy jet flying. They are both amazing places to be in, use and very different in the context that one (B727) is a three crew aircraft and this B732 is a more advanced two crew machine. So a very good update from FlyJSim to a now excellent period aircraft, for flying a early period classic jet Boeing airliner, you can't invest in any aircraft better than this and go back to fly in a period of a glorious jet age that will always be a classic period of aviation. Yes! the Boeing 732 TwinJet from FlyJSim update is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 732 TwinJet - Price is US$47.00 Current Version 1.1508.1036 is Aug 15 and if you have already purchased the 732 TwinJet then go to your X-Plane.Org Store account and upgrade now! _____________________________________________________________________________________ Features include: FlyJSim quality, including attention to detail and flight dynamics Realistic Sound engine provided by DreamEngine & Turbine Sound Studio sounds Detailed exterior Accurate replica of the 737-200adv Detailed textures Detailed animations - Wing flex Detailed lighting Superb Cockpit Interior Detailed 3D cockpit High resolution textures on panels Detailed cockpit lighting - Intuitive cockpit manipulation Systems Simulated Many custom systems have been coded to replicate the behavior of the real aircraft: Air system - Anti-Ice Autopilot(SP77) Com/Nav radios Electrical - Fire protection Hydraulics Fuel Warning systems Weather radar Other features: Realistic flight model Weight & Balance Manager Detailed manuals 6 liveries included - Designed by FlyJSim (Jack Skieczius and Joe Vermeulen) Developer Site: FlyJSim Dev Support : FlyJSim Support _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements X-Plane 10.30+ (any edition) - MAC, Windows, Linux - 1Gb+ dedicated VRAM Video Card - 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. X-Plane 9 is not supported - Recommended: 1+ GB of VRAM, and 8+ GB of system memory Current version: Version 1.1508.1036 (Last updated August 17th 2015) _____________________________________________________________________________________Full Changelog:Bugs fixed: Fixed bug in APU bleed pressure staying around even if APU was turned off. PAX chimes now sound when turned off as well. Fixed Engine start sounds playing when no bleed pressure to start engines. Fixed BUSS typo. Fixed typos in options menu. Fixed issue where the Flight Director knob would not turn to approach mode. Fixed the stick shaker sound not playing with the system test. Fixed issue were aircraft would turn the wrong way when capturing the ILS. Spoilers now retract if throttle moved up for takeoff while in ground. Fixed issue with yaw damper being too sensitive in turbulence. You can now keep it on. Fixed door position for autogate. Fixed Gen drive temp issue where they were only shown if generator was attached to the bus. Added breakaway thrust so the plane will no longer roll forward with idle thrust at the gate or after pushback. Fixed APU fuel consumption, APU now takes fuel from the left tank. Fixed issue with APU sound playing when no fuel in left tank Fixed HDG and CRS displays from showing values greater than 360. Fixed some LIT texture bugs on the copilot side. Added text for the aft console FLOOR and PANEL lights. Map FMS red line removed from the weather radar. Fixed fuel valve closed lights. Now show as dim. Fixed Vertical gyros to be wound down on cold and dark properly Redid the autobrake system. Now should work properly, with proper deceleration rates.New Sounds Switches, knobs, buttons, etc, all now have 3d positioned sounds, recorded from actual 737 panels. Added APU sounds. Added Trim wheel sound, Added spoiler arm deploy sound for landing Added spoiler deploy low rumbleNew Systems added Added Instrument Comparator system Added GPWS system, with new system sounds and functionality Added Compass/NAV/Vert Gryo switching system Added Trip/Date recorder system. You can change these to whatever you like, hit button and it saves. Added Compass system panels. Changed graphics on cockpit voice recorder panel, including the test needle animation Added 3d CIVA panel for those who have CIVA installed on this aircraft. Added voice recorder test functionality(needle moves)New options - Added Option to disable Copilot Callouts Added option to disable the Weight and Balance system from changing X-Planes values for payload and CG. This is a fix for FS-Economy users. Added option to remove HF wire.Vcard changes Added trim setting to the takeoff Vcard EPR setting on Vcard for takeoff now changes, usually for hot and height takeoffs. When the Vcard is open to takeoff, the EPR bug on the engine display is updated for you. If takeoff flaps are not set in the Vcard, they will sync to your takeoff flaps when passing 80 kts during your takeoff roll to ensure you get the proper bugs and callout for V1/rotate New Pushback system Added Pushback popup system, activated by hitting the Gnd Call button on the center overhead. Gives option for Manual pushback, or automatic pushback. Auto Pushback allows you to set distance, tail turn, turn degree. Can display a ghost of the aircraft as an estimate of the pushed position.Cockpit light changes Added light glow to several annunciator lights in the cockpit, including the park brake light, trim light, marker lights, Fire lights and some radio lights.Exterior lighting Added cabin lighting to exteriorSmart Copilot Smart Copilot files updated to reflect system changes. With 3D CIVA, now synced. Master controlled. Update by Stephen Dutton 17th August 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews
  17. I don't have the current version of FJS B737 TwinJet, I think it was selected in the plugin menu settings? or it may have moved to the Options panel like on the B727 in the update? You also have to have Sandy Barbour's Pyhon installed as well.
  18. Aircraft Review - DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project What marks the ultimate in greatness. In most cases it is something or someone that has had an significant impact and has created enough of a shift in the way the whole world works or lives. In the case of aviation the impact it was total. From the destruction of distance, time and even the cost of moving around the planet can not be challenged in any shape or form. But like most brilliant inventions the changes that we take for granted today are usually in steps, and some steps are small but important, but some are huge and changes almost everything in the way we used movement and in the way you traveled before that introduction of absolute change. In modern thinking you could say the same about the before and after the iPhone and the effects on the way we communicate. We are today too far removed from the changes of aviation in its formation years between the World Wars, but the effects from that era are all around us every time we go to an airport and fly. In the area of greatness then that title has been lavished onto the DC-3 or Douglas Commercial 3. The aircraft was one of the greatest machines to have ever been built, but the reality could have been different. In truth only 607 DC-3's were ever built and the aircraft was already in line to be superseded except for the insertion of the Second World War. The military need aircraft, in fact thousands of them and they needed to be reliable, fast (in 2WW terms) and mostly cheap and quick to produce. So the DC-3 became the C47 Skytrain and over the course of the war they manufactured 16,000 of these Goony Birds. War time surplus demands then put a huge majority of these cheap flying aircraft on the market and the rest as they say is history. Even in innovation it was the DC-2 that was the innovation aircraft in being an all metal aircraft with a tapered wing, retractable landing gear, and two 690 hp (515 kW) Wright radial engines driving variable-pitch propellers. It seated 12 passengers. The DC-1 was in reality just a development prototype aircraft and only one was actually built. The DC-3 was just an upgraded version of the DC-2 with 21 passenger seats, 1,100-horsepower (820 kW) Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines but also filled in that sweet niche point of making and in creating RPT airline routes (now known as regional) profitable. So you have cheap to buy, fast at 200 knts (370 km/h (230 mph) at 8,500 ft (2,590 m)) with a cruise speed of 180 knts (333 km/h (207 mph)), cheap to run and bingo you had an airline. Beyond just the obvious the DC-3's claim to ultimate greatness was simply reliability. These strong tough wartime birds would simply keep on flying no matter what you threw at them, pilots loved them and the rest is history. Incredibly even after eighty years since they first flew there are operators with 2,000 DC-3s still in revenue service and as many converted as cargo aircraft. But most DC-3's today are now either in restoration or flying around at air shows. The oldest current DC-3 still flying is the original American Airlines Flagship Detroit (c/n 1920, the 43rd aircraft off the Santa Monica production line and delivered on March 2, 1937), which can still be seen at airshows around the United States and is owned and operated by the nonprofit Flagship Detroit Foundation. VSkyLabs Douglas DC-3 "Flying Lab Project" Vskylabs have been around for a few years. There are not in a general sense full developers, but more of a an older style X-Plane community that loves aircraft in all their shapes and forms. So their output is very varied, mostly cheap but interesting aircraft like the Tecnam P2006T Project, Phoenix S-LSA Project, Hang Glider Project and the Autogyro Project and many more. But note the word "Project" behind every aircraft. As noted most developers develop aircraft for X-Plane for income, a few do it for the love of aircraft per-se. But Vskylabs create projects of aircraft that you can invest in. They are built to a price and are not developed to the high end degrees of detailing and systems, yes Vskylabs do create interesting aircraft but not to the so called "Study" depth of simulation. This background is important to note when reading the review below, the aircraft is an ongoing project and there is more to come as it is developed out more, but it is important to note that the aircraft is certainly developed as to a current fine flying state, and so most of the on going development is more in the detailing and filling in areas than the main systems and flying performance, and it is priced accordingly in that category. The aircraft comes in the now famous "Buffalo Airways" livery from the "Ice Pilots NWT" TV series run by Joe McBryan (aka "Buffalo Joe"). External modeling is very good, but does not have extreme detailing that comes with say a Carenado. One reason is that the liveries are not created in house but are used from "Flightgear Liveries" and are flightsim textures and not X-Plane art. They are 4k or 4096px x 4096px in size but the quality is noticeable. More liveries are available, but you will have to adjust them yourself to fit, in saying that the effort is worth it as they can look actually quite good in X-Plane11 considering their heritage, and I show a few converted liveries at the end of this review. They are freeware Flight Gear DC-3 liveries and they are under a GPL licence, which means you can adjust them but you have to acknowledge the source. There is also paintkit also available, but it will be interesting to see if any of our great artists can up the game for this DC-3, in fact one for Lufthansa has already been released. The Buffalo livery has been more extensively modified by Vskylabs and is now part of the project with permission from flightgear But there is no doubt this bird looks great, certainly in the great light of X-Plane11. X-Plane10 is also available as well but you will not get those great lighting reflections you see here. You don't get a load of intimate riveting and panel detail, there are some really very nice detailing work where required. The engine cowling and the internal detailing of the Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engines looks magnificent, but the highlight here is the lovely chrome prop spinner. The undercarriage is also well detailed, I would have really expected a bit more grease and wear and tear, but otherwise the struts look good. The retraction animation is very good as well as the gear goes up slowly into its bay, or extracts easily down for landing. There are no menus or ground elements with this DC-3, and the doors don't open either, which would have been a great feature and certainly in it's current cargo role. But the old bird does look great on the ramp, it is a DC-3 and DC-3's are a very unique aircraft. Cockpit and Cabin Internally the Vskylabs DC-3 is quite good. The textures are in places a little average in resolution and so slightly blurred, but otherwise it is well done. This aircraft is from the 1930's in technology, and so panels with instruments mounted on them is par of the course. It is all straight forward in that there is no detailed wear and tear or worn levers and yokes, which would have added in a bit more period authenticity, but it is well done and you feel the age of the aircraft from the flying position and in the way you access the controls. A highlight is the aircraft's glass. The windows are aged worn and feel great when looking through them in an authentic way, a bit of poor weather highlight's their old faded transparency... I like them a lot. In the cabin is is pretty much in the same vein with average textures and seats that look too small, certainly in the width. For all the ages then aircraft back then had a lot of seating width within reason, more like the luxury trains of the same era, and nothing like the tight pitch of today. The DC-3 could be four seats abreast, so a three abreast like here would give you a lot space to play with, remember there was no aisle carts either back then to bang up and down the aisle between the seats. Again the faded windows are great as are the fancy red curtains, there was no overhead lockers then either but instead shelving for pillows and hand baggage. Instrument Panel You can see why these aircraft were so highly regarded as their instrumentation is very good even by modern standards. Not in the glass cockpit sort of fit-out, but any good GA is not that dissimilar to the familiar layout viewed here. You can click on the base of the pilot's yoke to make both of them disappear, which is a great feature as they do hide the rate of turn instrument and even a little bit of the rate of climb instrument as well. It is a slightly odd feeling of finding the right perspective of looking out of the high windows and wanting all of the instruments in view as you can't have both. None of the standard six can be in view unless you change your perspective quite significantly as they are positioned well down the panel, and then in perspective they look odd in that fishbowl look. So viewing up and down will take a bit of practise in the way you fly the aircraft and setting up for landings via the instruments does mean a limited view out of the windows, so you can only have one view or the other. Instruments are highly reflective as well. Maybe too reflective in some conditions, but I would far rather have the feature than not. All the instrument are huge, large and easy to read... no squinting in here to read anything. Standard Six instruments are low set for the flying pilot but with a different set of instruments set high for the Co-Pilot. On the left is the Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator and the Artificial Horizon on the top row and the Radial compass (heading), Turn Coordinator and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack is a clock and top of the panel center is an Omni Bearing Selector, or OBS and to the right a VOR 1&2/ADF 1&2 pointer. On the panel's far left is your flap position indicator, it is basic but easy to see. For the co-pilot there is only the Airspeed Indicator and Altitude Indicator with the free air temperature gauge between them. Second row has the (both engines) Oil temperatures, Cylinder temperatures and Carburettor Temperatures. Lower row has fuel gauge (switchable), hydraulic Pressure and De-Icing pressure. Centre panel is the Sperry Type A-3A autopilot, which we will cover more in the air. And below four gauges covering (both engines) Oil Pressure, R.P.M, Fuel Pressure and Man (Manifold Pressure). There are two overhead panels with one over each of the pilots upper left and right. Pilot's left side covers all the aircraft's power, external, panel lighting and de-icing switches, with a big red left propeller feather button. The right side panel covers L-GEN and R-GEN (Generator) switches and Carburettor de-icer. The red right propeller feather button and the main external aircraft navigation lighting, the co-pilot's instrument lighting switch is here as well. Overhead centre is lower the two engine ignition switches and above the radio panel to cover your COM 1&2, NAV 1&2 and ADF 1&2 frequencies. Also here is the DME-A and DME-B (Distance Measuring Equipment) and ATC frequencies (ATC is the aircraft's Transponder). On the co-pilot's side wall are two sets of instruments covering with gauges Landing Gear pressure and Hydraulic System pressure. There is another panel for two switches that operate the engine cowling (cooling) positions from open to close. You can also use the X-Plane default GNS430 GPS system by pressing the VOR pointer dial and you can still set your COM1 and VOR1 frequencies here as well. Pedestal Central pedestal is a lovely bit of gear. Like the nice thin metal yokes you get the full vintage long lever feel that covers both engines in P-Propeller, T-Throttle and M-Mixture. The mixture levers have two zones that you can pre-select either Auto-Rich or Auto-Lean like on the real DC-3. The main switchable fuel tank switches in MAIN or AUX are on either side of the levers. On the left of the pedestal is the main trim wheel (very nice) and the Aileron and Rudder trim wind handles are on the lower front of the pedestal. Two other items here cover the "Autopilot" on/off switch and the tailwheel lock lever. Park brake is just a small pull switch hidden low on the front of the pedestal (arrowed), and difficult to use. As are also both the undercarriage gear lever (lower) and the longer (higher) flap levers on the rear right side of the cockpit, I have all these three items set on my joystick/throttle system, so it wasn't an issue, but if you want to use any of the three manually it does mean taking your eyes and hands a long off the all important flying matters... ... they would all be easy to use in a real world sense, but in a 3d virtual cockpit you would have to have a different solution. Flying the DC-3/C47 This aircraft is not a study sim, so you won't be put through all the pain of starting those old tired cantankerous Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines. This point is a debatable one in either you want a complete realism simulation, but too many then starting these old style aircraft can be more frustrating than the fun aspect of the flying. Starting engines on many simulated aircraft can be an absolute painful experience, but it depends on how you want to approach realism. Here it does help to use XPRealistic Pro by rk Apps and their realism effects. Set up correctly it does at least give you some more general feel and shudder to create a more realistic environment around such older style aircraft, in reality this app should be part of the deal with the aircraft, but on start up it does create an excellent prop shudder and running effects. I have flown in a DC-3 and even if it was a $50 joyride, but it was a sensational ride that you never forget if you love aviation. It is noisy, bumpy but the aircraft does sort of come alive around you as a living breathing machine that is quite unlike modern era aircraft. Old taildragger hands will do the deal and fly the aircraft with the tailwheel loose. It is a trick to do, but using a twin-throttle arrangement does allow you to do that... but it is not easy. I have mastered it.... to a point, but when it lets loose it just goes... So a sort of sanity does and has to prevail. A flip of the tailwheel lock on the front of the pedestal will make the tailwheel behave to the laws of X-Plane and you can control it with the yaw aspect, in other words taxi where you want to go and not where the tailwheel wants you to go. Certainly a major miff from the diehards, but I feel the X-Plane freewheeling tailwheel is not right either in it's actions, I never see tailwheel's go opposite rearwards when taxiing straight ahead on real aircraft but it does here, so it is bit of both. Anyway the tailwheel has to be locked for any takeoff or landing, keeping it unlocked will certainly mean a crash. The view forward is very restricted, but that is part of the fun, not so much fun is that you can't see your instruments, so there is a bit of guessing going on on speeds, experts say it is normal, you just know and feel on what the aircraft is doing where and what. It is very easily if touching the controls manually to select the wrong levers? It is the P-Propeller and not the T-Throttle levers that comes to hand easily as the throttle levers are in centre here and not to the par de course to the left, so you have to look to make sure you are pushing up the correct ones, personally though as I am using a twin-throttle system it is not an issue, but I did try the manual operation and had to check to see if I was doing it right, again a twin-throttle system is great for keeping the old bird straight on the runway, certainly if there is a bit of a crosswind. Tail lifts quite easily at around 60mph and that helps the view, but with that tail hanging out back there then needs some fine rudder control to keep it aligned straight. Thankfully at only 110mph you are airborne. Undercarriage animation as noted is excellent, as one wheel assembly will be slightly behind the retraction of the other wheel for authenticity. The DC-3 has a climb rate of 1,130 ft/min but you keep it around a 1,000 ft/min as so not to strain the Wasps, but she will climb and with no fuss or loss of speed. Total ceiling is around 23,000ft (7,100 m) but I will climb only to 8,500ft for this trip. If you are familiar with PMDG's DC-6 you will find it easy in here. The same conditions count with the first important issue which is to fully trim the aircraft. As you know on the DC-6 it is a far more easier aircraft to fly than to fight it, if the trim is wrong. And so it is in this DC aircraft as well. Second is when you have trimmed the aircraft is too manoeuvre the aircraft to a clean and level flight, and trim again if you have to. The Sperry Type A-3A autopilot is about as basic as you can expect it to be. This is not a complicated in depth system, and in fact all it does is adjust the basic flying surfaces to your settings. It is activated by the switch on the lower front of the pedestal. And like previously mentioned the aircraft has to be steady, ready and trimmed to accept it. Three dials in RUD (Rudder), AIL (Aileron) and ELE (Elevation) will adjust your flying surfaces, in reality it is just a trim function but one that you can control easier. Turn the ELE and you will see your yoke go towards you to climb, same movement in forward to descend. AIL will bank the aircraft to a new heading and so on. It works quite nicely but you have to watch your instruments in that you are going in the right direction and not slightly banking towards another one. Overall it take the strain out of holding the controls for long periods of time. The DC-3 has a range of 1,500 mi or 2,400 km (1,346nm), which is very impressive, but in most cases around 400 to 500nm is usually the go. Note the built in excellent gyro bank and climb instruments, and they work as real too. This is vintage flying. You are certainly not going to get anywhere very fast, but there is a sort of trundling along with the engines pounding away on mostly on all cylinders in the background, the excellent XPRealistic Pro giving the old bulkheads and window frames a constant shake and everything feels quite nice with the world. Sounds are not to bad actually, but VSkyLabs has noted that FMOD sounds are coming soon (to X-Plane11) and that will be certainly a great addition to the all round aural experience. Could this be called "Classic" flying, I think so as the world sorts of moves by rather than flies by under the aircraft and at only being 8500ft up you get to see a lot more of the landscape. If you are familiar with PMDG's DC-6 you will understand most of the actions here also, so you will feel quite at home in either aircraft, the DC-3 is certainly easier to fly than the bigger DC-6, but feeling is the same. The DC-3 is known as a pilot's, pilot's aircraft. And I can understand that, as the bird is very hands on, but more to the point you feel the DC-3 in the way you fly it, well trimmed it is a nice aircraft to manoeuvre as long as you understand it's limitations and performance. Overall the aircraft is very addictive, in that fly it once then you just want to have another go and in that aspect VSkyLabs has got something very right here. Wipers do work. There is no actual switch at the moment and so you have to press the centre of the wiper motor box to activate them, but they are great in poor weather... The DC-3 is nice to manoeuvre when setting up for landing. "Hands on" is the thought that comes to mind, but you know you are in control. Flaps are not stepped but continuous, so you have to hold the lever down all the time to drop them, but harder is that they can only be used at around or under 100mph, so you have to get down to that speed before using them... and it is harder than it sounds. Once there you can then actually lower the flaps and then they provide their own drag to adjust your approach speed, so then it becomes a balance of flap drag vs throttle thrust to keep the approach correct. Stall is around 60mph so 80mph feels about right. She will float very easily, but the trick is to use it and not fight it... ... you are very conscious of your tail. Even in light crosswinds the DC-3 can be very tail light and of course we have all seen the great footage of these taildraggers in real action in heavy winds, and then they are a real handful. But once you are over the threshold you have to learn to straighten up the tail by instinct before you put the aircraft down, so yes using the float point is a great benefit to you if you can get it right, so you hold, straighten then hold it tight and reduce the speed to meet the runway. It took me a few landings to get it perfectly right, but then it just becomes a background natural instinct and feel. Nightlighting As to be expected the lighting on the DC-3 is basic. External lighting is not adjusted, but it is effective. Note the high light on the tail. Instrument panel lighting is not overly dramatic, but it is easy to use and t actually read at night and so in that case it is effective. Taxiing at night is a pretty dark affair, but it does feel very authentic, the frosted old windows certainly help a lot to the atmosphere. Overall a bit more work is required here. Liveries As noted the only livery is provided is the Buffalo Airways which was created originally from "Flightgear Liveries" but with permission is now part of the project. And if you want to you can convert more for the aircraft from the Flightgear site. It took me about 20min to do about four... in a very nice Air Atlantique, BUA, CP Air and a Chilean Airforce livery. They are (very) basic and there are sadly currently no Military C47 liveries in the list. There is a paintkit here on the X-Plane.Org. One livery for Lufthansa (below) has already appeared so there is no doubt this aircraft will attract a lot of painters. It is in the liveries that others can help this project as to throw some serious talent at these liveries would certainly lift the already underlying good aircraft. A final note that this review was completed with the v001.1 update that has a had a lot of changes since the release version. A few images in here were still from the original release version (mostly the reflective instruments). Any new purchase will download the v001.1 version, but if you haven't then do so as the update is significant. Another point is that I highly recommend both a twin-throttle system and the use of XPRealistic Pro by rk Apps effects as they both are a huge bonus in flying this aircraft. Summary To be clear what you are purchasing with this VSkyLabs DC-3/C47 aircraft is a project still in progress, an advanced one, but it is still far from the completed aircraft. There are no special features in menus or elements and the cabin is really also still not fully completed. This is also not a deep simulation in the way you would totally operate a DC-3 either, certainly not in the systems and in some areas the operation and the price which is set below US$20 does reflect that. The liveries are also quite basic, but workable. The normal mapping is also basic (the textures that highlight pixels to make lines and grooves on the aircraft) and it is here that I think most visual improvements could be made. You want to see every rivet and panel in it's glory as these older aircraft are built that way, and this missing visual aspect is noticeable. Certainly X-Plane11 goes a long way in bringing up great lighting and saving an aircraft which could have be quite dull without it, so in X-Plane11's light the aircraft does look quite nice and interesting and it does show the potential of what can be yet added to this aircraft as the basics are excellent. If you accept the above then you will take the aircraft to your heart. It is a great aircraft to use and fly, and very hard to ignore and even addictive, actually very addictive in the fact the more you fly the aircraft the more you want more of it. It can be tricky of course, but again all these sort of taildraggers are interesting machines... but that is all part of the fun as well. So what you get here is a great deal, a great if even one of the really greatest aircraft of all time to fly and enjoy and I can guarantee you now there are already a lot of X-Plane pilots out there with a wide grin on their faces as they trundle around the slow moving landscape with a beating heart of happiness, not even money can provide that, so get with the project and be a part of the movement to thoroughly enjoy the ride along the way. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project Your Price: $19.95 Features: Two packages included: X-Plane 11 + X-Plane 10.51 Highly Realistic Flight Performance DC-3/C-47 Simulation: Highly accurate performance and handling simulation of the DC-3/C-47. Aircraft performance and handling qualities were designed and tested in a "Research level" approach and went through a validation process of more than 200 hours of flight testing and evaluation, made by real world C-47 pilot and aircraft performance expert. This model is stretching X-Plane to its limits in terms of delivering the authentic flying characteristics of the DC-3/C-47 Fully equipped with Radio and Navigation aids: along with a full set of traditional/old school navigation and autopilot systems, it is also equipped with a pop-up G430 Workhorse for practicing DC-3/C-47 pilot skills: Experience authentic flight performance and handling practices (takeoff, landing, single engine operations, flight planning, long range flights and old school navigation). It is a perfect platform to recreate and fly historic routes using authentic performance simulation Unique look and feel: The VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 is a mixture of a simplified yet very engaging design and “feel” of the DC-3/C-47 Systems - easy to operate by beginners: All relevant systems are simulated but with the focus on getting the “Flying Lab” airborne without the need to go through a long “ground school” FPS friendly Designed to utilize the “out of the box” features of X-Plane Additional Features: Highly responsive support system/forum. The VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab is a project under constant development. All updates are free. Requirements Minimum System Specifications: CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with 2 or more cores, or AMD equivalent. Memory: 8 GB RAM Video Card: a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 1 GB VRAM Recommended Hardware Requirements: CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD). Current version: v001.1 (Last updated July 24th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for the DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is 199.80mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder with two version for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 V10.51 VSL DC-3 C-47 Flying Lab v001.1 (147.20mb) V11 VSL DC-3 C-47 Flying Lab v001.1 (166.00mb) There are no documents, but recommended there is a full suite of original Douglas manuals at "www.avialogs.com" but you have to pay to access them. RECOMMENDED: PILOT TRAINING MANUAL FOR THE C-47 / 1943 / USAAF T.O. 01-40NC-1 Pilot's Flight Operating instructions C-47 Airplane. T.0. 1C-47B1 Flight Handbook C-47B - C-117A -R4D6. A.P. 2445A & C - PN - Pilot's notes for Dakota I & III. AAF Manual 51-129-2 Pilot Training Manual for C-47 Skytrain. DC-3C Operation Manual. DC3 Emergency Check List. DC3 Preflight Check List. DC3 Check list. Pilot Training manual for the C-47. A.P. 2445D-P.N. Pilot's Notes for Dakota IV. C-47D Skytrain Characteristics Summary - 26 September 1952. T.O. 1C-47(A)D-1 Partial Flight Manual AC-47D. Strength and Operation of DC-3 Airplanes. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 27th July 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - ENBR - Bergen Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$21.59 Note the winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons with the MODS program was used to create the winter scenario for this review.
  19. Scenery Review : ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft One surprise this year was a scenery that I really liked in Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen. It wasn't an overall extremely out there detailed scenery, but it was a very functional airport in that I could find many uses for and the routes to use it, and I still do use OSL and quite a lot. So I was surprised that in just a very short time after the ENGM release in that Aerosoft have now released another Norwegian scenery in ENBR - Bergen. So was I wanting to visit ENBR - Bergen... of course I was. My reasoning to which I would say is quite relevant is that ENBR would make a great companion route with ENGM Oslo. And so it turned out that way, but ENBR - Bergen is a very important port anyway and not just a regional destination so it's scope is larger than the reason's I think it is a interesting scenery. Another aspect and an important one is that ENBR is a major hub for Oil Rig services that covers the northern reaches of the North Sea Oil reserves, and the only direct UK connection from ENBR is with Aberdeen which is the major hub for the UK services for the same industry. So lets have a first look at ENBR - Bergen Airport. First Impressions Obviously I am going to do the regional route from ENGM - Gardermoen to ENBR - Bergen and the local regional airline Widerhoe seems to be the right vehicle for the route. The odd thing is Widerhoe does serve every major port in Norway from Oslo, but not Bergen? That is left to the SAS services, but it is only 164nm from point to point, so that makes using a A320/B738 a bit of an overkill for such a short route... The load factors must make up for it. But this is X-Plane and in the simulator we can override commonsense and fly the route with the right equipment. Jack Skieczius of FlyJSim's lovely Dash 8-400 in Widerhoe colours is a great way to fly the route. It is quite a difficult aircraft to fly as it is the real version, but I am very familiar with it and so I know I can outfly it's peculiar attributes... well most of the time. Departure from Gardermoen was via RWY 01R and you do an almost complete circle to head west via ATLA SID and otherwise it is a direct route to the west coast of Norway. Arrival for ENBR's RW 17 is via STAR BADA, but the final turn is very (very) close to the intercept of finals, in most cases if you turn at waypoint BABLU it is not a tight turn and you can easily be not lined up ready to the runway, It can be done manually but not using the FMS route, so my choice was to go slightly further north to the VOO - VOLLO (114.85) VOR and turn south from there and that gave me more time to adjust the approach via ASK - ASKOY NDB (360khz). Bergen is deep into fjord country, lovely areas with nice mountains and deep lakes. It is also highly susceptible to the weather. Low cloud, fog and misty weather are normal conditions here, and you have to be aware of these points in that it may excite a few passengers with the sudden looming out of the mist of high ground, but will it will also scare the living daylights out of the other not so in tune souls that see flying as a more of as something they have to do and rather than love the experience as we do. But the point is a looming mountain side out of the gloom here is to be more expected here than general sightseeing... in other words you have to be careful on your altitudes and speeds as you my not have the visual aspects to help you get through the approach in one piece. So the approach into Bergen is certainly visually excellent but is also highly unpredictable in the type conditions on the time you arrive there. This makes ENBR an interesting airport for flying in and out of, but the chances are the conditions will more to the average than the good. On finals the airport is like on a shelf surrounded by waterways and quite similar to like flying around Juneau in Alaska. Using RWY 17 is more advisable as it has a better ALS lighting system for approach and the guides can be seen more easily through the murk, the airport itself is quite hard to decipher in the haze and terrain and the distinctive approach lighting is a big benefit and in fact a requirement. So challenging ENBR is, but that is what makes airports interesting and even exciting to pilots. The autogen works as well, even if the buildings are the Germanic default, but it works very well in the layouts and the overall feel as you approach. Close in to the airport there is not a lot of buildings or urban areas, there is more to the south. So overall the area is dominated by the northern Scandinavian pine tree fauna. From that aspect Aerosoft have done a great job in creating the right environment, it looks very authentic and the airport is very well intergrated with the surrounding area, in so much so that it can be hard to distinguish the airport from a distance, which is worse in low cloud or foggy conditions. I have the 'runways to follow terrain" setting on, so there is a significant set of gradients on the single runway 17/35, markings are good and the runway detailing is well done. There is well done 3d grass with sparse areas and full growth areas by the runways and infields, that adds in realism to the ground areas. There is nothing to the west and all the buildings and the airport is to the east or with my arrival from the north to the left. The airport is split into three areas. Although all are terminals they are all defined on their purpose. The main one is the older central distinctive circular 1988 terminal designed by Halfdan Grieg. To the south in this scenery is the half-built new terminal to which I don't understand as it was opened in 2016? So why not complete it for use and to the north is the huge helicopter terminal which is located in the old 1958 terminal. Taxiway A6 was used as a departure point from the runway and that gives you direct access to the main central terminal, but I am using a stand, of which there is plenty of choice north and south and in my assigned stand which is 41 to the north on Apron N. There is a lot of linage to be aware of and a ground chart is helpful in finding the right taxi line to your gate or stand, they are well defined, but complex to follow correctly without some guidance. To surmise the arrival is very good at ENBR, but it feels murky and that is mostly the weather's fault, but also there feels a slight authentic drabness about Bergen Flesland Airport, but the word here is "authentic" drabness and not the actual scenery design but more of the feel of the place. My feeling is that a completed southern terminal would have given the scenery a slightly more modern feel, but it is as presented. ENBR Bergen Flesland Airport Bergen Airport, Flesland IATA: BGO - ICAO: ENBR 17/35 - 2,990m (9,810ft) Asphalt/concrete Elevation AMSL 50.6 m / 166 ft Most Scandinavian airports are both Military and Commercial, but Bergen which was originally an air station was overwhelmed in the mid-eighties by helicopter services servicing the offshore oil industry and was then with mostly the ending of the Cold War and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, then the military activity at Flesland diminished down to the point there of there is now only about 30 military personnel at the airport. The northern military area is now only visible via the empty parking areas and a few hangars. As a note the main taxiway Y was used as a backup runway if required and is still serviceable in that role. Airport layout is mostly over covered by the local fauna, but that is what makes it more attractive in the detailing. There is a fair amount of autogen to the south and southeast which fills in the area very nicely. All runways and taxiways are well signed and designed, the area south is the new terminal construction zone that is well done. The runway is a single 2,990 by 45 meters (9,810 by 148 ft) runway numbered 17–35 (roughly north–south). The runway has 7.5-meter (25 ft) shoulders on each side and has 2,450 meters (8,040 ft) between the touchdown points.The runway has a parallel taxiway (Y), with nine intersections. There is also a taxiway further in along between the terminal and technical area (W). There are six intersections between W and Y, one of which leads to the military area. Main1988 terminal In today's mostly generic sameness of airport terminals, you do look to the past to see any local or regional flavor. Thankfully at ENBR you do get a different style of regional design in the slightly older circular terminal design. It is very well done in that Aerosoftish way, not really outstanding in design but still expertly done. It is authentic though with those very distinctive "Gerry Anderson - Thunderbird" type boarding bridges design that looks actually older in say an 60's era than the actual 1980's era of construction. Note the excellent animated vehicles of which there is plenty of movement and action. There is a huge carpark set out behind he terminal with a landside arrivals area and with attractive animated flags... there are eleven gates 21- 32 and there is a nice but small selections of ramp equipment at each gate. There is also the internal terminal detailing. Very nice, but it is very, very dark in there, but still very bright outside. The Airbridges are noted as animated with marginal's "Autogate" plugin... but I couldn't get them to work? It doesn't feel right either as the wall guides are very off centre to the actual parking lines. I tried both in the set out lines or directing the aircraft at the actual guidance system and it doesn't show anything except the aircraft type? very odd. On some remote stands (not all) there are guidance marshall's and they do work as advertised. New Terminal area To the south is the new in progress terminal construction area. It is well done, but I think that the scenery could have finished off in that area for use as Aerosoft will either have to update or see the this scenery go out of date very quickly. The new terminal also replaces the old cargo area, so there is no cargo zone either? Far south is "Remote Apron S" which has 10 stands 1R, 1, 1R, 2 - 8 but my guess is that this area will be the new cargo area in the future. More to the southwest there is more areas affected by the building works, so the scenery detail (below left) goes on well past the actual airport parameter. Apron N (North) The area just north of the central terminal is "Apron N" This is a stand aircraft parking area with stands 41 - 48. Here is also fronting on to the apron also is the airport's Fire Station and a few workshop areas. To the east of Apron N is the Clarion Hotel and the main open air large carparks... ... the hotel is pretty basic, but faithful to the original, it is also connected to the central terminal area. Carparks are completed with great lighting and 3d cars. Old Terminal The North Sea services were overwhelming Flesland to the point that they were thinking of creating a separate area for the operations. 30-40 rotations a day is normal here, so the idea was to build a new commercial terminal and use the older 1958 terminal for the oil Industry and that is the setup today. This has to be the biggest helicopter terminal in the world, as there are nine helicopter stands, of which six are situated outside the terminal building, the building is quite basic and grey, but "Oh" what a missed opportunity in leaving the area so empty? You can accept the idea of empty gates for aircraft traffic, but in areas that are not as defined then it is to the good developer's discretion to fill in areas that require activity to make a complete scenery viable. So the areas around the 1958 terminal are very, very empty when it should be a hive of activity and it shows.... badly. Part of the northern helicopter apron are two major helicopter operators maintenance hangars for Norsk Helikopter and CHC Helikopters. Both hangars are well done and well represented. To the east is a GateGourmet facility. As part of the older 1958 terminal's area is the set back control tower that was built in 1991, obviously with it's position more for the helicopter operations that commercial operations. The control tower is well done in construction by Aerosoft. Tower view works fine for both approaches, there are some railings to the bottom but they don't hinder or obscure the view in viewing. Air-Station The old air-station is in the far north of the airfield. The downgrading and use of the air station had started in 1988 and was completed by 1995. The Oil industry again took over much of the area, but it can be used as a General Aviation area as well if required. Mostly you are now left with some old military hangars and a large apron. The old F16 stands are still there and stretch way out into the forest to the north, and there are a few left over barrack buildings as well. Winter ENBR As a note Aerosoft do include winter textures for this scenery.... This will transform the scenery into a winter style simulation. So if you want a winter look you can use a set of Winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons. This set of textures is used with a MODS program that switches over the textures without messing about in root files, and the program is a windows program called Generic Mod Enabler or JSGME Generic Mod Enabler. The JSGME will work with the Mac, but you have to run it with Wine, and it works very well as I have used that system for years. The MOD does a great job of transforming the ENBR scenery to Christmas time! However there is an issue with the trees? In the process from summer to winter they have gone flat grey? And it certainly doesn't look very authentic as trees go... so I have done my own fix. I have have included the fix below, see installation notes... but it now looks far better. Lighting Lighting is good, workable without being spectacular. The approach lighting is very good (north is better than the south) as it needs to be with the weather conditions at the airport which is contrastingly always submitted to. With the airport's position there is a little autogen lighting to the south, but overall the area is quite dark. Ground navigation signage is excellent, but it rarely isn't now in X-Plane, but it is still a welcome help here. All ramp and stand areas are lit, but not overwhelmingly so, but still adequate enough to work on. The new terminal is lit on the ramp awaiting aircraft, and the rear carparks and airport approach roads are very well done and stand out. The central terminal was always going to be the scenery's focus at night and it doesn't disappoint. The highlight is the airbridge downlighting which is excellent. And the internal lighting works from both viewpoints in from the external and the internal aspects... ... where again nice downlighting lifts the scene. In the helicopter operations areas it is quite average, in both textures and just basic lighting... ... and the further north you go the less lighting you get. Services In 2016 Bergen Airport served 63 destinations. In addition, offshore oil platforms are served from the helicopter terminal. Twenty-three airlines operate regular flights out of Flesland. They are served by two ground handling agents, SAS Ground Services and Norport Handling. The largest airlines at Flesland are Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe. SAS and Norwegian exclusively operate jetliners on main-haul international and domestic routes. Widerøe operates the routes to Florø, Førde, Sandane, Sogndal and Ørsta/Volda on public service obligation contract with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The airline's remaining routes are commercial. The airline's uses various sizes of the Bombardier Dash 8. Bergen Air Transport is based at Flesland. In addition to general aviation and executive jet operations, it provides a daily scheduled service to Notodden with a Beechcraft King Air. Danish Air Transport provides domestic services to Moss and Skien. Bristow Norway and CHC Helikopter Service operate to offshore oil platforms from the helicopter terminal. Lufttransport transport maritime pilots to ships on behalf of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. Charter carriers include Air Europa, BH Air, Corendon Airlines, SunExpress and Thomas Cook Airlines. (wikipedia) Summary As a companion to Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo then Bergen Flesland is a great and even a required scenery. It is tricky to fly in and and out of ENBR with interesting approaches and that weather. So it is technically a challenge and certainly in the FJS Dash8 but the fjord landscape is quite enchanting especially in low dawn or dusk lighting. Everything is here in an Aerosoft workman like way. But ENBR does come across as a little grey and dull sometimes. But there are a few areas that could have lifted the scenery to above average. The unfinished new terminal area is nice in construction mode, but it is really a waste in an operations point of view, why not just have made it complete and fully usable? And why add in gate guidance that is not aligned and doesn't actually work? Same with the oil operations areas, they are all just very empty when with a bit of imagination it could have been a hive of activity, it is certainly not in Aerosoft's blood to create dynamic sceneries, but here it really shows and it creates a certain blandness that is even a low point for even Aerosoft. You can of course do some work to fill in the areas, but why should you, it should already be created as you are paying good money for that, I hope an update comes soon. The rest is pretty good, but not overwhelmingly great or brilliant, workman like is the word, but it is a great airport to use if considering its location and to a point that does sum up a majority of Aerosoft's sceneries, so you know what you are buying every time. Worth the purchase? Overall yes, because it is a good scenery and you can get a lot of different operations out of ENBR including the different high rotation helicopter services that are quite rare. Yes I liked it a lot, but ENBR - Bergen could have been better, and even an excellent scenery with just a little more imagination. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Bergen Airport Norway - ENBR Price is US$21.59 Features: Highly realistic recreation of Bergen Airport, Flesland (ENBR, BGO) Fully compatible with X-Plane 11 High detail models of all airport buildings and installations Highly realistic taxiway and runway textures Animated jetways (Autogate Plugin required) Animated service Vehicles (XP11 native) Custom static aircraft Includes highly detailed terminal Interior Winter season included Realistic night time effects New terminal (construction site) included Custom runway slope and mesh Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video RAM Installation : Download scenery file size is 693.90mb. "ENBR - Bergen" in being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder. Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport (1.46gb) Aerosoft - Bergen - Mesh (47.50mb) Scenery order is important! The mesh file must be inserted below the main file in your .ini loading (txt) file located in your custom folder. X-Plane setting "runways to follow terrain contours" must be ON to use this scenery. Included in Scenery Package Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport Aerosoft - Bergen - Mesh Airport Charts Manual - Airport - Bergen Winter Textures As noted above I have done my own fix with the flat tree file, a fix will come but "Winter will soon be here" so I can't wait until they sort it out. In the "Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport" folder there is folder called "winter_textures". Within that folder is another called "objects" and the file you need to replace with the one below is the "ENBR_Tree_Generic.dds". The new file is a .png, so just throw away the .dds file and add in the adjusted one. And you will then send me a lovely Christmas gift to thank me for making Christmas real again... ENBR_Tree_Generic.png.zip ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th July 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 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$14.95 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$30.00
  20. Aircraft Upgrade : Beechcraft 1900D HD XP11 by Carenado In my monthly "Behind The Screen" post back in August 2016 I noted my overall "best of" ten aircraft. Listed at number six was the Carenado B1900D regional 19 passenger airliner. It is not hard to not really like the B1900D, it has everything to want you to keep jumping back into that left-hand seat and to do another flight. It is best of course in the regional point to point routes, nothing too long and something that can easily fill in a few hours of you leisure time. But more than that the 1900D is simply a great simulation, very intimate, involving and with the just sheer great feedback from a great twin turboprop airliner. So here is the X-Plane11 version of the B1900D from Carenado, an upgrade to the new simulator is always going to be a good thing, but with an aircraft like the B1900D its got to be a great thing. Overall there isn't anything really new on the XP11 version except to configure the aircraft to the X-Plane11 specifications. There is more change in here than what you would think that is required but everything here is mostly under the hood in more than what can be visually. The only noticeable visual areas are the textures. Even in the Scottish gloom of EGPH (Edinbourgh) the 1900D looks far more glossy and the panel work is far more pronounced and with better normal mapping. (normal mapping is the raising of pixels to simulate say panel lines or rivets) The Carenado B1900D was never a lightweight, or frameweight aircraft. And the new textures are going to have a slightly more heavier effect again and another side-effect of the texture changes is that it effects the xEnviro weather plugin quite severely to the point I couldn't fly the B1900D with the plugin activated, were as the earlier B1900D has no framerate issues. (The effect on xEnviro could be the current v1.06 in having not being updated as to this review's date). Carenado has also invested in for these PBR (Physical Based Rendering) materials authored with some industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. And the resulting effects are very good. The B1900D does look outstanding in the right lighting conditions and the effects work well even with an older livery like my FlyBe colours. The performance and flight physics have also been adjusted to the new X-Plane11 thrust parameters as has the newer ground fiction physics that will also need to be adjusted to. The Beechcraft is still quite tricky on the takeoff, so you will need a fair bit of skill to keep the 1900D central to the line, but this is still a great simulation, I mean you wouldn't want the aircraft to fly on rails now would you... The X-Plane lighting effects have been adjusted so they look authentic, no blobs here. This is one aircraft to love in the manual aspect, the aircraft is lovely under your rudder and yoke control. Instrument Panel is still one of the very best in X-Plane. Sheer authenticity abounds. It is a complicated cockpit, but still based on the famous King-Air series of Beechcraft aircraft. The Physically Based Rendering materials and textures have gone overboard in here, all areas are better and the reflections perfect. The PBR lighting effects lift the cockpit's realism as well. There is still great features, like the lovely yoke with it's built in trim buttons that actually work. Pedestal is a piece of art... nice to look at and to use. Carenado have gone back to the standard X-Plane manipulator system and away from it's own featured tree style scroll manipulator. There are two reasons for this. One is that now the default manipulators have a scroll wheel function now built in, but the second reason is more interesting in that it sets up VR compatible click spots for the use of Virtual Reality that is coming to X-Plane11 in the future (October 2017 is noted, but I wouldn't hold that as completely kosher, it may change yet). Aircraft comes with a great (resizable) autopilot that is part of the Electronic Flight Instrument System by Rockwell Collins, which includes the Electronic Attitude Director Indicator (EADI) & Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) and the altitude selector. The default Garmin GNS530 is updated to the X-Plane11 version which includes the built in navigation data. Cabin fit-out is excellent, very high quality as design and detailing is top notch. For the back seat flyers the views are excellent. Rain and Ice effects have been updated, and with the better X-Plane11 environment engine it is very effective and realistic. Liveries The original liveries have not changed from and still have their very fancy names... AzureWisp, BlackGold, OrangeWisp, BlueShark and SwissAir the white/blank is default. There are six extra airline operator liveries that you can download from the Carenado site once you have purchased the aircraft, and these include - ERA, Air Canada, Air NewZealand new and old, Next Jet and United Express and loads more on the X-Plane.Org including my lovely Flybe. For a full comprehensive overview review of the Carenado Beechcraft 1900D then go here: Aircraft Review : Beechcraft 1900D HD Series by Carenado Summary To fly my sixth favorite aircraft in my hangar and it is now natively in X-Plane11 is always going to be a great thing. The Beechcraft 1900D is one of the very best regional aircraft in X-Plane11... strike two. One of the best and needs the required skills to fly really well... strike three, and I can go on like this all day. Mostly there is nothing really new to the original package than the upgrading of the performance, systems, physics and the complete overhaul of the textures and materials to take advantage of the Physical Based Rendering effects. It may not on the surface feel or look a lot, but it makes a big difference in the flesh, what was great is now even greater. The vB1900D is still heavy on your framerate, nothing has changed there and I feel it is a little more heavier again, not by a significant amount, but noticeable. Otherwise there is little to fault it, textures, sounds and that excellent Carenado quality is all in here. As the B1900D is released longer than six months ago. Then this new X-Plane11 package is a new initial release, or you will need to repurchase the aircraft in full to own it, but the deal comes then for the full run of X-Plane11. No upgrade deals either as it is either at full cost or wait for the sales. Could I not have this Beechcraft 1900D in my online flying career, I doubt it, it is just too big a part of my everyday flying experiences and just to big a hole not to fill. This is one of the very best regional turboprop aircraft in X-Plane, based on the great King-Air Series this version is the top of the line in size and performance... It is just one of the very best and now available in X-Plane11 as well. __________________________________________________________________ The Beechcraft 1900D HD XP11 by Carenado is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : B1900D HD Series XP11 Price is currently US$34.95 Version 1.0 (June 30th 2017) Initial X-Plane 11 release Also available and developer site : Carenado.com Features: HD quality textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Ice and Rain effects Included in the package: 5 HD liveries - 1 HD Blank Livery B1900D Emergency Checklist PDF - B1900D Normal Procedures PDF B1900D Performance Tables PDF - B1900D Reference PDF B1900D EFIS X-Plane PDF - B1900D EVVI X-Plane PDF Recommended Settings PDF Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows 7+, MAC OS 10.7 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System 16GB RAM/ 4GB VRAM Version 1.0 (last updated June 30th 2017) Download size is 425.60mb, that is deposited into your X-Plane General Aviation Folder at 732.00mb (I created a separate folder called "Regional for these aircraft." _____________________________________________________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 5th July 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 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 - EGHI - Southampton Airport by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95
  21. A twin-throttle can help with these sort of aircraft in pushing one engine slightly higher than the other to counteract the asymmetrical thrust at lower speeds. Flybe is a real airline. They are regional and based in Exeter - EGTE in the UK. I flew Flybe from Exeter/EXT to Paris/CDG on their Dash 8, I prefer their older livery than the newer purple one, and it suits the B1900D nicely. SD
  22. Scenery Review : SBSV - Salvador Bahia International by GloballArt Every region in the world has it's own providers of scenery. In the major markets of North America and Europe there is certainly no shortage of quality scenery, if anything there is too much in the fact that in some cases they are reproducing scenery just for the sake of reproducing scenery for the market? But move outside of those areas and it becomes a waste land in X-Plane. The Middle East? The East and Australasia and try to note even one major scenery in any of those regions in Payware... you can't because there isn't any, which is just plainly ridiculous and a huge market there for the taking. South America was the same, a waste land. But over the last few years Richard E Nunes and a few calibrators have proved two things. One that scenery can be created in other areas than the obvious, and that two you can sell it in payware and people will buy it. It was a huge challenge but it is now starting to pay off and more importantly it allows users to fly to areas that are just as interesting and different as just flying within the areas of N.America and Europe. In other words Mr Nunes has given you a reason to fly south to South America. The first scenery was an odd choice in SBDN - Presidente Prudente Airport in Brazil. But it was a good starting point for the next two sceneries that put Mr Nunes and his colleagues on the map so to speak... SBGL- Rio de Janeiro Intl Airport and SBRJ - Santos Dumont Rio de Janeiro. So here is the next project and also with a name change to GloballArt in SBSV - Salvador in Bahia, Brazil. Or its full title in Salvador-Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport. First Impressions I thought a great introduction to SBSV would be to start at another Richard Nunes scenery of SBGL Galeão International Airport in Rio. Initially I thought that Salvador was just a little way up the coast of Brazil and just north of Rio de Janeiro, but it isn't even close but in nearly just under two hours flying time away in 1211km or 653nm. Salvador de Bahia is in the northeastern state of Bahia and it is positioned on a small peninsula pointing south. The SBSV airport is on the southern side, but you approach RWY 10/28 by arriving over the northern point and then turning to the south for a RWY10 arrival. You have an visual option with this scenery in that you can download a OSM G2XPL 3d objects folder. This creates Open Street Map objects that are representative of the area. I am not a big fan of these objects for two reasons, one they gobble up framerate, and two they only look good in a point of quality and then only from a distance as close up they are quite basic. But here it works as areas without details then OSM 3d is needed as something to fill in the scenery, so even against my misgivings I recommend it here for this scenery. First glimpse of SBSV is the excellent RAIL approach lighting for RWY10, which is very handy in this low visibility scenerio. The RAIL lighting is custom made for the scenery and very effective. Now on final's I got a full view of the SBSV scenery and was impressed on how well it was intergrated into the surrounding areas, again the textures are custom created for the area. There are three road systems on this approach with Avenida São Cristóvão, then the Av. Carybé and finally the internal airport ring-road Alameda da Holanda of which are all full of bustling traffic, I love flying over bustling traffic approaches and this one was very realistic. One noticeable issue is that the runway line textures are not as clear as they should be, even though I have my texture settings right up? This makes the runway a little blurry on approach, the lineage is there and well done, but it sorts of rolls out in front of you as you approach the runway. Once over the road systems and the terminal buildings are on your right and you cross right over the southwest/northeast runway of 17/35 on the 10/28 arrival or departure approach. Terminal and airport surroundings are excellent, complex and highly realistic... as with most Brazilian airports there is a military area to the left, but the area is mostly hidden by trees. The surrounding areas vegetation is part sand dunes. This creates white textures that look odd, but it is correct and not a texture fault. There are only two main taxiways in Taxiway A which is alongside of RWY 10/28 and Taxiway M which is the same alongside Runway 17/35. Taxiways have different textures of tarmac, and all are of excellent detail. Grass is 3d and adds in a great visual feel that hides the flat ground textures. centre-field items and navaids are excellent and correct as is the airfield perimeter fencing. All linage and markings are also first rate. First set of buildings on the left is the cargo area, and there is a lot of nice well placed static aircraft with ground service equipment set out for the area correctly. My parking bay is no.4 and I am impressed by the quality of my surroundings. No doubt that GloballArt give you a lot of visual fulfillment, as all their sceneries are overloaded with quality items, but that scale of detail can also be a heavy drawcard on your processors. Turning into bay no.4 you have animated marshals to guide you in... all gates are animated (marginal plugin) and work perfectly. With running the scenery I am using WorldTraffic and the ground routes are built in, so it works perfectly, I am also running the JARDesign ground services plugin to add in some gate action as well. (both are options and not part of this scenery package) But I am very impressed by the terminals excellent detail and construction, really nice textures and the glass is excellent, even on the animated walkways. As an arrival I was pretty if not extremely impressed. it was very good. SBSV - Salvador Baha International Salvador-Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport IATA: SSA - ICAO: SBSV 10/28 - 3,005m (9,859ft) Asphalt 17/35 - 1,520m (4,987ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 20m / 64ft As noted the landscape is very good and the scenery is perfectly intergrated with the surrounding textures, there is a lot of great traffic systems all around the airport and GloballArt has made the best of the situation in creating a very vibrant active simulation. Terminal The airport, which was originally called Santo Amaro do Ipitanga Airport, was founded in 1925. In December 1955, the airport had its name changed for the first time as it became known as Dois de Julho International Airport to which most locals still reference the airport. A brand new passenger terminal was opened in 1998, replacing the original outdated earlier terminal and with that another name change to Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport. This new terminal was continued to be upgraded and completed by the end of year 2000 and is the building in this scenery. There is only a single terminal with a single pier with 15 gates and 11 airbridges. Richard E Nunes's sceneries were always extremely highly detailed, even to the point of being detrimental to your computer's processing power. But here it works very well because in that one the scenery is not that large and two, there is not a lot of killing autogen around it. So here you get the best of both worlds with a highly detailed scenery without the extreme pressure to generate the high object count and detailing. Close up terminal detailing is excellent, high quality and really well recreated. You get a lot on the landside in almost everything... ... both arrival and departure levels are very well represented with not only static vehicles, but animated traffic as well on both levels. There is even animated people walking around to add in to the realism. Note the excellent framework over the bus station arrival area. Well created covered parking areas are slightly marred by the white ground markings (below left), but otherwise it is beautifully done as is the cafe to have a rest and a nice cup of Brazilian coffee. There are animated flags (four) that can be seen from most areas around the terminal and on arrival and departure adding in some nice movement. All the smaller detailing like fencing and great... even perfect glossy glass is well done. The airside concrete style pier is also really well recreated and very realistic, again the detailing is overwhelming in the very small stuff like lineage and markings. Huge amount of static elements, with buses ramp equipment and pretty well everything required for your use on the ramps, as noted all the gates are animated. There are four static aircraft with equipment around the terminal on gates 1, 6, 9 and remote 12, with two more in the cargo area. Cargo and Control Tower To the east of the terminal is the airport's cargo area. Behind cargo is a fuel depot and control tower. The area has also auxiliary airport infrastructure for Sky Chiefs catering and various maintenance buildings and yards. Infrareo and TAM are the main tenants in the cargo frontage and the equipment and cargo facilities are extremely well equipped and with a huge amount of detailing objects. The Control Tower is set back on the western section of the airfield. The tower is well done of course, but the textures feel slightly more flat than the extreme work everywhere else, my guess is you have dull grey concrete construction and that is very hard to convey. But overall it is really well done. Note the fuel depot set out behind and the great traffic flows around this area as well. Tower view is fine... ... if you keep the vision straight and ahead, but go up or slightly down and you get insertions of the building. Overall it is fine. The far end of runway 28 and taxiway A is hard to see from the tower because of the trees, so you lose the aircraft for a short period after landing or taking off. Runway 17/35 The shorter runway 17/35 at 1,520 (4,987ft) is an interesting aspect of the scenery. It is more for regional and GA flying than the longer 10/28 3,005m (9,859ft) runway. Accessing the runway is interesting as well because you go behind the terminal area and sort of slip through the fence to access it... ... so it is an interesting taxiing experience in either departing or arriving and especially if you are taxiing down taxiway M to the RWY 17 threshold and it is even more the better if there is an arrival going over you into RWY10. North boundary of Runway 17/35 has two General Aviation areas, one mid-runway and another by the RWY17 threshold. The mid-runway area is for upmarket private Jet servicing and covered by AeroStar, Abaete and Atlanta hangars. And there is some nice parking areas available. Second area at the RWY17 threshold is really three areas in one. There is some aircraft storage with a few VASP B737's grounded. North is the Military Police of Bahia base. This comes with an animated helicopter that can be seen now and again in the background around SBSV. The last area is another very nice GA parking area with separate parking pads, which is a great base to park up your GA. SBSV Radar East of Runway17's threshold is an Radar installation. This radar can be seen from anywhere in the airport scenery, but the actual radar tower is also accompanied by some nice detailing on the ground, which is to note how very detailed and even in the most obscure areas of this scenery is. The radar construction itself is very highly detailed but rotates quite slowly, a little bit faster would feel more authentic. Base Aérea de Salvador (BASV) The eastern boundary side of runway 10/28 is the military side of SBSV. This is the Base Aérea de Salvador (BASV) military base. Even with it's grand entrance off the Alameda da Holanda, the airbase is quite extensive. Most of the buildings are however covered by trees that shades the real size of the base. The main broad apron is also a parade ground and to the south is another apron on which are parked a lot of C130's and Orion static aircraft. All the buildings and hangars are faithfully represented and you can easily spend a little time exploring around the whole area. Highlights are the secondary radar (globe) tower (there is another large globe radar tower on the north side of the scenery) and a very well rusted high water tower. Rear of the airbase is an extensive commercial area, it is a collection of OSM 3d, default autogen, but there is a little custom work in there as well to fill out the area. It all helps in filling out every aspect of the viewing of the scenery. Lighting The sceneries lighting is totally excellent, except for one area and that is you have no centreline (green) lights on the taxiways? This missing aspect does make taxiing at night a little harder on the workload side, and certainly if you have only basic aircraft lighting. In every other area though the lighting is top notch. And the great autogen lighting around the scenery is very good as well, so if you can navigate the taxiways then a nightime arrival or departure is very good visually. Approach lighting is custom made and excellent, very realistic on approach or just looking at it. The central terminal area is excellent, even amazing in detail and includes all the complex lighting gradients. Highlight is the terminal roofing structures that looks brilliant from every angle, but the smaller detail lighting is just as prolific. Ramp lighting is very good as well, but there are a few dark working areas on some of the gates that you have to be aware of... But a great aspect is that there has been a lot of attention in to lighting up the underside of the terminal as much as the overhead lighting. This creates a really interesting lighting effect that adds in to the overall realism. Internally the terminal is fitted out and is well lit as well... ' ... and there are shops and the well lit ARR/DEP boards that allows you to pass the time while waiting to board. Cargo and western areas are excellent as well with great professional diversity in the lighting ideas, and even the fuel tanks are lit. Outer central areas are as well lit. Including tennis courts and all the General Aviation areas around RWY 17/35. Overall the lighting is amazing. Services South American airlines will dominate at SBSV, with TAM (now LATAM), AZUL and GOL leading the charge. There are a few interesting European airlines that service SBSV in Air Europa from Madrid and TAP from Lisbon. Aerolíneas Argentinas : Buenos Aires-Aeroparque, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Córdoba Air Europa : Madrid Avianca Brazil : Aracaju, Bogotá (begins 15 September 2017), Brasília, Fortaleza, Ilhéus, Maceió, Petrolina, Recife, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, São Paulo-Congonhas, São Paulo-Guarulhos Azul Brazilian Airlines : Barreiras, Belém, Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Campina Grande, Campinas, Curitiba, Feira de Santana, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Ilhéus, Lençóis, Maceió, Manaus, Natal, Paulo Afonso, Petrolina, Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Recife, Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont, São Luís, Teresina, Vitória da Conquista Gol Transportes Aéreos : Aracaju, Belém, Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Campina Grande, Córdoba,[7] Curitiba, Fortaleza, Ilhéus, Maceió, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Recife, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont, São Luís, São Paulo-Congonhas, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Vitória LATAM Brasil : Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Fortaleza, João Pessoa, Recife, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, São Paulo-Congonhas, São Paulo-Guarulhos Passaredo Linhas Aéreas ; Barreiras, Vitória da Conquista TAP : Portugal Lisbon For those of you who like great images. Then here are a few nice images not related to the review of SBSV of an early morning departure with XEnviro doing it's great misty work in X-Plane... Summary One of the first boundaries for SBSV Salvador Baha is where it is, in South America. But I don't think of SBSV that way actually. Good scenery is still good scenery and if it goes over into the excellent scenery area then it should be used. Thankfully now GloballArt now has four sceneries dominating Brazil and no doubt more will soon follow so now the destination of Brazil is now opening up, not only from say western Europe countries but also the lower North American ports and even the obvious of Miami, Florida. Another point is that with with four ports inside Brazil you now have he start of a domestic system to expand upon, in other words this becoming a really great interesting destination for those seeking something different from the usual N.American and European routes. One advantage of SBSV than the other GloballArt sceneries is that it does not require the overwhelming power required for the other two Rio sceneries. GloballArt do recommend to run their sceneries with the full quality textures on the upper side. I personally don't as there is just too many objects to process and yes you can deliver that full quality at the higher settings, but just a few stops below will give you still as good a quality scenery without the extreme processing down sides. Only a few areas to note on maybe's. The white (sand) areas are noticeable, but correct via google earth. Taxiways are not centre lit at night can cause a few taxiing headaches in keeping between the boundary lines. Radar is a little slow on rotation. OSM 3d objects are not my cup of tea but are required here to fill out the scenery. As for the scenery itself it is top notch, SBSV is simply excellent in almost every area. Full of quality buildings, HUGE detailing, great and clever features and a another HUGE amount of animations in both vehicles, people and traffic. Lighting is another excellent area that is well covered in variety and gradients, and with some some intimate clever lighting thrown in for good cause. Quality scenery at a really great value price is always a benefit to anyone's flying career. SBSV does also something else in opening up a new area to explore and fly to somewhere you would really ever considered before. There is no doubt I will focus on both going to South America now more and to not just use this scenery but also explore the other airports within Brazil's domestic network. SBSV Salvador Baha is simply too a good a scenery to waste on a maybe or sometime's flight... It requires to used and experienced. It is great even exceptional scenery, so experience SBSV soon. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the SBSV - Salvador Baha International by GloballArt is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : SBSV - Salvador / Bahia International Airport Price is US$19.95 Features Accurate replica of Salvador International Airport, updated 2017. Modeled from the original airport layout Customized runways, pavement and taxiways, with ambient occlusion included in the textures. Auto Gate with marshalls by Marginal Static objects, vehicles and aircraft. Avenues and streets with personalized vehicle traffic. 2D Grass. Airport and adjacent áreas Mesh personalized. Mesh Remexe Tool - Joz Partial modeling of the terminal interior HDR effect of interior of the Terminals and Jetways illumination. HDR lighting with custom night textures. Custom textures with ambient occlusion. Ground service for aircraft and traffic (default). Ground Traffic by Marginal Custom Approach Lights (ALS) systems. Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 3Gb+ VRAM recommended Current Version: 1.0 (Last updated July 12th 2017) Installation : Download scenery file size is 371.90mb. Installed file size is 1.20gb "SBSV - Salvador Baha" being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder. Scenery order is important! The mesh file must be inserted below the main file in your .ini loading (txt) file located in your custom folder. BR-SBSV Salvador International Airport v1.0 BR-SBSV HD Mesh 1.0 X-Plane setting "runways to follow terrain contours" must be ON to use this scenery. Included in Scenery Package BR-SBSV Salvador International Airport v1.0 BR-SBSV HD Mesh 1.0 Real Taxilines library Salvador Norte Shopping Airport Charts Instructions OSM 3d object scenery addon : BR-Salvador_OSM_Brazil_Bahia is recommended for this scenery and can be downloaded from here : BR-Salvador_OSM_Brazil_Bahia (It is a deathly slow download and install!) ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th July 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews 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 11.02 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$14.95 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default aircraft - SBGL - Rio de Janiero Intl Airport by Richard E Nunes (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$29.95
  23. News! - Aircraft Upgraded to XP11 : B200 King Air HD Series by Carenado Carenado has upgraded their wonderful B200 King-Air HD to X-Plane11. This aircraft is one of the big hitters in X-Plane in the large twin category, a lovely aircraft that is a real treat to fly. So how good... well it is my second all round favorite via my Top 10 list and so you can't get a higher mark than that. This is the upgraded XP11 version which includes: Features Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections). Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. 2 X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic Weight and Balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Carenado are now using high-end professional software to create the very best textures for PBR (Physical Based Rendering) that is the cornerstone of X-Plane11 features. Cockpit and Cabin is first rate, best in class... one thing Carenado do best is excellent detailing and quality textures. Included in the package: 6 HD liveries 1 HD Blank livery. B200 EFIS PDF. B200 Emergency Checklist PDF. B200 Normal Checklist PDF. B200 Performance Tables PDF. B200 Terrain Awareness Annunciator Control Unit PDF. Recommended Settings PDF. Recommended System Requirements Windows XP - Vista - 7 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 400MB available hard disk space (incl. free downloadable extra liveries) Note: This upgraded aircraft is new to X-Plane11 and is not an update of the original B200 King-Air for X-Plane. So a full purchase cost is required to acquire this version. The XP11 version is however valid for any updates thoughout the X-Plane11version run. ______________________________________________________________________ The B200 King Air HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : B200 KING AIR HD SERIES Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 23rd July 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  24. The point is that I adhere to the point that if I do mention a specific point, like in this case the ground handling of the B1900D then it must be harder than in the usual situation. Yes X-Plane11 has quite different handling and quite worse, but more skill is required to handle some aircraft more than others and the B1900D falls into this category. SD
  25. Aircraft Update : Embraer E-170 v1.07 by Supercritical Simulations Group You will constantly now find that after the initial changes to X-Plane11 that most developers are going to then fine-tune the rest of their aircraft to the new format. The interesting thing about X-Plane11 is that on the surface the differences look very much the same, but deeper down there are more significant differences than what most developers thought as they came to grips with the dynamics of it all. The obvious is thrust changes and PBR texture differences, but it is the in the more marginal areas that can catch you out... hence these smaller later updates. By and large the v1.06 covered most of the X-Plane11 features with especular and textures for PBR and added in an updater to update directly from the the developer. This new v1.07 update from SSG is very (very) small revision, but does address a few more items on the X-Plane11 compatibility list. There are only four changes here. First is that the aircraft is now both XP11 and XP10 with one set of files, so you don't have to swap and change to use what X-Plane version you require. Of course the correct XP11 logo now shows up in your aircraft menu and the other as "XP 10 Version". One of the big performance areas of change in X-Plane11 was with the throttle. Here there has been some adjustment and with that now you get a full custom created auto-throttle system, which gives you finer control and better performance. The terrain map has also had some improvements and is now more highly detailed. It will easily note the coast's outline now, and looks great in the Map/Nav screen. Last item covered is the climb altitude behavior in both below and above the FL100 or 10,000ft point, just a minor change but again connected to the aircraft's thrust performance. One thing that is really impressive is on how great the SGG E-170 looks in X-Plane11, is that in any lighting situation the aircraft looks simply superb. Cabin is nice as well... Summary There is not much between the E-Jets of X-Crafts and SGG, both are worthy and both are now really good. This small but significant v1.07 update does give the SSG an edge between the two aircraft. And that keeps it well in the game as a great X-Plane11 compatible aircraft. The earlier FMC issues have now been mostly addressed, but it still requires a bit of FMC skill to make sure it is correctly formatted, but it has significantly improved since the release review here: Aircraft Review : Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution by SSG A quick service from KRSW South Florida to KIAH Houston proved the SSG E-Jet is a great aircraft on these short to medium routes. It is an aircraft to get to get totally familiar with the machine, the more you fly the E-Jet the more deeper the immersion is returned. So use it regularly to see the benefits. Overall, very nice! SSG E-170 Evolution Changelog Actual version 1.0.7 The files don't need to be replaced anymore and the package is hybrid XP10/11 Added a full custom autothrottle system. Terrain Map improved with better algorithm. Climb attitude behaviour below and above 10000 feet fixed and improved _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution v1.07 by Supercritical Simulation Group is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-Jet170LR Evolution Your Price: $49.95 Note: if you are already an orginal owner of SSG's E-170LR or the E190 you get to upgrade to the "Evolution" version with a US$10 discount! to the price of US$39.95, so Please email sales@x-plane.org to get your discount code and include you original purchase order number. Features: Advanced FMC and Navigation system Custom-built FMC (done by FJCC) designed for the SSG Evolution Series SIDs, STARs, transitions, approaches, flare and rollout modes. FMC is compatible with AeroSoft's NavDataPro and Navigraph navigation databases. Manufacturer's performance data embedded as tables in the fully functional FMC. Option to use either a 2D pop-up (resizable) FMC or one within the 3D cockpit. Custom radio communication audio consoles optimized for on-line virtual ATC operations. FMC performance information based on real aircraft data, including calculated V-speeds. FMC includes capability for autotuning navaid frequencies. Vertical Situation Display (VSD) on the MFD. Terrain display mode on the MFD, which is a part of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) on the real aircraft. High-Res 3D modeling complete with detailed animations and textures. Realistic displays (PFD, MFD with system synoptics, and EICAS) External lights and strobes operating realistically. Display management similar to that in the real aircraft. Autobrakes with anti-skid system that works in all conditions and includes a realistic rejected takeoff mode. Realistic wing flex and other animations. Window rain effects and animated wipers. Option menu incorporated into the cockpit 3D. Ground vehicles include a tow truck, GPU and airstairs. Over 10 detailed liveries comes with the plane Custom systems and Flight Model Aircraft will meet most of the real aircraft's performance data for consumption, AOA, speeds, flight dynamics, etc. in close consultation with real world E-Jet pilots. Realistic 3D cockpit with high resolution. Many systems are implemented with realistic logic, such as electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, engine fire extinguishing, fuel, wing and engine anti-ice (including automatic mode), communications, and TCAS. Comprehensive autopilot functioning in modes similar to those of the real aircraft First Officer's MFD display is independent from the Captain's, and MFD has a pop-up option. EICAS messages based on the real aircraft's with lists and scrolling DreamEngine Sound System 3D sounds with DreamEngine plugin. Requirements X-Plane 10.45 + (any edition) running in 64bit mode Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit Operating System 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution is 606.30mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder at 952.80mg. There is a "Quick Start Guide" manual (44 Pages) and comes with included checklist Sheets . _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 11th July 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin