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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. What they realised Dlogue was that if the runways were far shorter, then the pilots would have to stop quicker and they could cram in more flights (movements) in and out of KMIA during the day! Fixed thanks
  2. Aircraft Review : Bombardier Challenger 300 by Dden Design Route - EGKB (Biggin Hill) to LFMN (Nice/Cote d’Azur) Everyone has their idea of their ultimate status symbol. But nothing will compare with a personal jet. Even for Steve Job’s who came back to Apple in the later 1990’s and worked for a dollar a week still took the personal jet as in re-payment for putting the place back together. The bankers and car makers after the fall of the GFC realised they had to give everything up... But losing those jets really hurt. If they had to give them up then they were very quickly back in the inventory as soon as the cash started flowing again, As they are the ultimate freedom, The goal, The “I really made it” statement. So wouldn’t you like your very own personal Jet? Well X-Plane has a way of making your dreams come true, and here it is in the Bombardier Challenger 300. As personal jets go this is a real beauty. But in more ways than one. Created by Dden the design work is flawless. I have a picture which is nearly a few years old now that is significant in that it is on my computer desk top. I look at it every day, and it has two resonates with me. One, It shows how great X-Plane is and Two, It looks like a real aircraft picture and not an aircraft in an simulator. I have studied it and if any work can live up to the a perfect rendition of a design then it is very good... If not the best in X-Plane. But is the beauty just skin deep? Thankfully no. The aircraft is a highly complex and fully featured driven machine. You have a lot of menus and all accessed by the pop-out menu on your left side of the screen. In order - Fast Start - Sets the aircraft up quickly and lets you fly straight away. Exter Preflight - (Above) you start by pressing the buttons numbered 1 to 24 and it produces the different angles of checking around the aircraft, It also allows you to add or remove the storage flags, wheel chocks and engine covers. Want to start again? then you can by just pressing the “Start Again” point. Cameras - Pre-set views inside the aircraft (useful before the current built in X-Plane version), views include Pilot, Co-Pilot, Cabin 1,2 & 3, Lavatory and Bagage (Baggage). Animations - A useful set of tools that opens the aircraft main door, Baggage door, Emergency hatch, Blinds (internal), Entry blind/door (internal), Washroom door (internal), rear baggage door (internal), and tables (internal). As my VIP’s are aboard it is easy with this menu to shut the door and baggage door without groping for a handle. Instruments - A menu to access different that instruments and displays on the panel of the aircraft. Options - a menu that allows you to save your current position and status and adjust the volume of your sounds. There is a very good pop-up “Checklist” menu as well and a more modern MCDU that is built in but not operable at this point. The checklist is easy to procedure in checking the items off, Starting the engines is turning on pumps, fuel supply and the ignition. Then turning a switch to the engine you want to start. You can sit it the pilots seat and hear the whine start up in the background, but that would be missing the experience. Go to the rear of the aircraft and wait while the engine management system starts the Honeywell HTF7000 turbofan. It is in full 3d sound and glorious it is. Start engine two and add to the noise of power and tremble at the thought of all that thrust waiting to be unleashed. It sounds good, really good this aircraft. There is a very large list of items to check and solve before releasing the brakes and the Challenger has a great solving system that as you correct each item it disappears from the list in the engine (EICAS) display in the MFD (The EICAS display pops-out). once the list is completely clear the aircraft is ready for flight. Pop off the brakes and set the flaps to 20º (lots of fuel and expensive luggage) and your into the taxi. I throughly recommend a throttle system for this aircraft... Totally a requirement. Nudge the throttle and your moving and taxi is easy enough to complete your checklists and clean ups ready before flight without having to constantly having to adjust the speed, just a nudge of the brakes is usually enough. Clearance and push up the power, there is no drift from the centre line and rotation is to 15º nose up. And up you go! It climbs with all that power, 2500fpm minute is easy and you still have to watch the throttle in case it goes right up into the red zone. Maximum speed: 891 km/h, m.83 (554 mph; 481 kn), Range: 5,741 km (3,567 mi; 3,100 nmi) at 0.78 Mach, Service ceiling: 13,716 m (45,000 ft), Rate of climb: 25.4 m/s (5,000 ft/min) at 17,622 kg (38,850 lb) max gross weight It is fast this aircraft and the range may sound impressive, London to Dubai in one fuel load. But it does not work out that way. I found the range more in the 2500 - 2700 nmi range zone, and a refuel stopover (Rome) in going LON-DXB was always required. Flying Europe to Asia required two stop-overs and so did the West Coast of the USA. The super-mid-sized jet project was launched at the Paris Air Show by Bombardier July 13, 1999, at which time it was called the Bombardier Continental. It was a “clean sheet” design and to be assembled in Bombardier’s Learjet plant at Wichita Mid-Continent airport, Kansas. The jet was renamed in September 2002 to the Challenger 300 after much debate about which category (Learjet, Challenger, or Global) the new aircraft would fit into, The C300 entered commercial service in January 2004. To date 400 have been built and will cost your around US$20 million, Second-hand you can pickup a very nice one for around 12million. (Yes I checked in case I won the lotto!) On May 20, 2013 Bombardier announced the Challenger 350, an improved version of the 300, and promised to begin deliveries in May 2014 at a price of $25.9 million. The Challenger 350 first flew on March 2, 2013. Once cleared of the London Area I was going to pick up my "Stansted - Nice" route just over the channel. Climb continued at 2500ft fpm to 28,000ft and you got to that height and speed in no time. The layout on the panel is quite different from most cockpit layouts. There is no overhead panel so the item usually on there are on the centre pedestal (lights, Air, Fuel and bleed) There are four Main Display Panels (MFD) that are two for the Pilot and two for the Co-Pilot and are switchable. The right one is the standard artificial-horizon and speed, V/S and height tapes with the MAP/Rose set out below. Your selection of A/P, G/S, 1/2bank and other important situation aware items are in a line above the Art-Horizon The left is the engine displays (checklist) EICAS at the top and a selection of displays from the menu at the bottom. Displays are : Anti-Ice, ECS, Electrical, Flight Controls, Fuel and Hydraulics, there is also a standard “Summary” display that gives you an overview of the systems. I usually put the rose on the lower part of this second panel because it shows the VOR1 and VOR2 information, that is missing on the left panel (MFD), Oddly I think it is on the panel but I can never find the setting, I did once but then I lost it again and usually spend 60% of any flight trying to get it back Again? The glare-shield instruments are complex beasts, easy to mix up and you need to do a quick look over the manual every time you use them. Even just setting the Radio freq is a task that can take a few moments. 1/2 Bank limits your banking angle and is well worth using. Take-off and landing refs. are displayed and so is the FMS1, VOR1/VOR2 settings on the right MFD, the MAP displays the waypoints but at a size that is to small and they are a guide really more than for actual reading. The layout is though and as mentioned slightly complex and it will take a little time to be really comfortable with every switch and knob. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The main cabin is luxurious beyond belief, with highly polished wood grain and white leather chairs. All the tables fold out (on the animations menu) and you have access to the rear vanity unit (one wonderful sliding down door) and another animated door that accesses the baggage compartment and clothes rack. Open and close the window blinds that show both sides in or out of the aircraft and the view from the windows are as good as anything anywhere. I will spend as much time back here as in the drivers seat and a replay to watch a landing is always a great idea sitting in luxury. Opening the front door blind will also drop the stairs. There are eight HD (Hi-Definition) liveries with one white paint, The C-GJCV is my favorite and the default is the OE-HPZ with its crazy red lineage of which I don’t really like as it looks like in places that the livery is on incorrectly. There is a full series of liveries on the .org for the C300 : Challenger 300 Liveries and Walterbenny has done a large series of Canadian Army and Airforce liveries that are worthy of your attention. Walterbenny Night-lighting is very good with HDR on. Wing-lighting (Ice!) landing lights (two), tail-lighting, cabin on/off and adjustable panel lighting. The glow from the MFD screens are wonderfully reflected under the glare-shield. Only odd moment is with HDR off? The aircraft become lucent and looks odd in the dark sky? In Flight and Landing There is no auto/throttle on the C300, so you are the soul auto/setter of the power. A throttle system is really invaluable here because the aircraft needs minute adjustments to keep the speed under control, a nice safe point can be found but any changes to height or weather will move your attention to finding that sweet spot all over again. Powering up to your height and the handling in flight is very good but the workload builds when you get closer to landing. The C300 is not an easy aircraft to land and it requires a little practice to get really right. You will find that when it is time to descend you need a lot of space between you and your intended runway. Throttle back and start your descent and the speed will be hard to contain, you have two options a long and slow descent or normal with the use of the effective air-brakes or a combination of both, just note that as you get lower to balance the power and not drop off all the speed. You arm the air-brakes for landing by a switch in either “Auto” or “Manual” mode. Dropping the flaps will mean a very good balance of speed and power (those throttle levers if you have them). The aircraft has a tendency to be a little unstable at low speeds and a low speed is what you require for a slow landing. 140kts is your aim under full flap with 115-120knts under the glideslope or landing. The point of getting the approach right is crucial as the aircraft can get very flat in response if you don’t. But get the speed right (and as low as you can without any stall) and you can kiss the runway. Activate those huge (very effective) thrust-reversers and the aircraft will soon be down to a 10knt roll. Taxi in and clean the aircraft up, (Twin taxi lights on the nose gear) and park-up, Let down the doors and unload the expensive luggage... The VIP”s are loaded into a couple of Black Mercedes and you are soon left alone with the Challenger 300. Notes taken and the aircraft is shut right down and all the tags and covers are set to protect your expensive investment. Conclusions The debate here is not with the aircraft. As a piece of workmanship the Challenger is as close to perfection as you can get, The detailing and the skins of this aircraft are simply sublime. Nothing comes close and remember it has been released for a few years now as I have had for two years. It is 64bit upgraded and so also flies fine in the latest X-Plane10 versions (Current 10.22). I would love Dden to finish off that hidden MCDU as it would be icing on the cake and as these MCDU’s are now quite commonplace than when the aircraft was released. No the debate is that is the Challenger the best aircraft in X-Plane at this price, The Carenado aircraft have closed the game since the Challenger has been released in quality and are priced around the same sub-US$30 market. I personally think the Challenger 300 is still the best value in X-Plane you can get at this price and still holding its own a few years after it was released. If fact it feels like it was released only yesterday and has certainly not aged one bit. That is of course due to the skill and design of Dden in this sublime machine. For us the dream of owning your own personal jet and operating it can certainly be rewarded with the Challenger 300. Nearly two years on after I purchased it I still give it a touch in admiration after every flight and declare... “I really made it!” _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition Price is US$29.95 Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux 512Mb VRAM X-Plane 9 or X-Plane 10 fully updated- 32 and 64 bit compatible updated store# Documents : Two Manuals with one being a “Quickflight” Guide Download: 254.60mb Developer Site : None (support is here Bombardier Challenger 300) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review By Stephen Dutton 21st September 2013 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX - Aerosoft - LFMN Nice Cote d Azur X Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  3. KMIA - Miami International Airport : Butnaru Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA, ICAO: KMIA), also known as MIA and historically as Wilcox Field. The geographical position of MIA in South Florida, USA, is it’s main strength in world aviation. It is a hub of many different aspects in the fact that it is the main gateway from North America to South America. Even flights that used to originate in Europe before very long-range aircraft were available, would fly to MIA and then refuel to either go south (Latin America) or continue west to Mexico and Central America. That is reflected in the first operator of the area, Pan American. The airport opened in 1928 as Pan American Field, the operating base of Pan American Airways Corporation, on the north side of the modern airport property.They moved after a few years to “Dinner Key” (Seaplane Base) but still held the property rights to the airfield. It was an army field for a while till nonstop flights to Chicago and New York/Newark started in 1946–47, but they didn’t reach west further and beyond St Louis and New Orleans until January 1962. Nonstop transatlantic flights began in 1970. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Air Florida had a hub at MIA until they went broke in 1982 and Eastern Airlines moved their operations to MIA in 1975 until the airline went into bankruptcy in 1989. Today it is dominated by American Airlines that transfered there in the late 1990s and capitalised on Eastern’s demise. American transferred more employees and equipment to MIA from its failed domestic hubs at Nashville and Raleigh–Durham. Today Miami is American’s largest air freight hub and is the main connecting point in the airline’s north–south international route network. 8L/26R 2,621m (8,600ft) Asphalt 8R/26L 3,202m (10,506ft) Asphalt 8L/26R 2,621m (8,600ft) Asphalt 2/301 2,851m (9,354ft) Asphalt Elevation 8 ft / 2 m AMSL Santiago Butnaru is one of the Classic X-Plane scenery developers and KMIA is a great choice for his talent. Like many large American Hubs, MIA is a wide and sprawling airport. There is so many items here that it is impossible to cover every area, but Butnaru has done a really great job here. The number one factor is that it is up to date and that helps in keeping the airport current, the only thing missing is the new car-rental and car park “Miami Intermodal Center” (MIC) - (The biggest in the world as the RCC is home to 6,500 rental cars and is projected to serve 28,000 customers daily) is missing but it is also situated well off the main airport area. But the Terminal D improvements are all in the scenery. The airport has four runways 8L/26R, 8R/26L, 9/27 and 12/30 (which is really a cross runway). American Airlines dominates the airport and uses almost half (North) of the airport in Terminal D. The main terminal at MIA dates back to 1959, with several new additions. Semicircular in shape, the terminal has one linear concourse (Concourse D) and five pier-shaped concourses, lettered counter-clockwise from E to J (Concourse A is now part of Concourse D; Concourses B and C were demolished so that Concourse D gates could be added in their place) Concourse I was not used because it would have clashed with Concourse 1 (But now that is gone as well?). From the terminal’s opening until the mid-1970s the concourses were numbered clockwise from 1 to 6. Terminal D (North Terminal) The North Terminal consists of one concourse, Concourse D, a single linear concourse 1.2 miles (1.9 km) long with a capacity of 30 million passengers annually for American Airlines. It has one bus station and 45 gates: D1–D12, D14–D17, D19–D25, D29–D33 D37–D40, D42–D51, D53, D55, D60. and American operates two Admirals Clubs within the concourse; one located near Gate D30, and another near Gate D15, American Eagle uses Gates D53, D55, and D60. Airlines: American, American Eagle. The Central Terminal consists of three concourses, labeled E, F, and G, with a combined total of 52 gates. Terminal E Concourse E has two bus stations and 18 gates: E2, E4–E11, E20–E25, E30, E31, E33. Concourse E dates back to the terminal’s 1959 opening, and was originally known as Concourse 4. From the start, it was the airport’s only international concourse, containing its own immigration and customs facilities. In the mid-1960s it underwent renovations similar to the airport’s other original concourses, but didn’t receive its first major addition until the opening of the International Satellite Terminal in 1976. Featuring Gates E20–E35 (commonly known as “High E”), the satellite added 12 international gates capable of handling the largest jet aircraft as well as an international in-transit lounge for arriving international passengers connecting to other international flights. The seven story Miami–International Airport hotel and many Miami-Dade Aviation Department executive offices are in the Concourse E portion of the terminal. Concourse E, along with Concourse F, was once the base of operations for Pan Am and many of MIA’s international carriers. Airlines: Aeroflot, Cayman, Iberia, Interjet, WestJet Concourse F Concourse F has one bus station and 19 gates: F3–F12, F14–F23 Concourse F dates back to 1959 and was originally known as Concourse 3. Like Concourses D and E, it received renovations in the mid-1960s and was largely rebuilt from 1986 to 1988. The gates at the far end of the pier were demolished and replaced by new widebody Gates F10 to F23, all of which were capable of processing international arrivals. The departure lounges for Gates F3, F5, F7, and F9 were also rebuilt, and these also became international gates. Currently the concourse retains a distinctly 1980s feel, and is part of the Central Terminal area. The south side of the concourse was used by Northeast Airlines until its 1972 merger with Delta Air Lines. Likewise, National Airlines flew out of the north side of Concourse F until its 1980 merger with Pan Am, which continued to use the concourse until its 1991 shutdown. When United Airlines acquired Pan Am’s Latin American operations, the airline carried on operating a focus city out of Concourse F until completely dismantling it by 2004. From 1993 to 2004, Concourse F was also used by Iberia Airlines for its Miami focus city operation, which linked Central American capitals to Madrid using MIA as the connecting point but has been moved to Con, E. Airlines: Airberlin, British Airways, GOL, Insel Air, Sun Country, Virgin Atlantic and XL Airways. Concourse G Concourse G has one bus station and 15 gates: G2–G12, G14–G16, G19 Concourse G is the only one of the original 1959 concourses that has largely remained in its original state, save for the modifications the rest of the airport received in the mid-1960s and an extension in the early 1970s. It is the only concourse at the airport not capable of handling international arrivals, though it is frequently used for departing international charters. Airlines: ArkeFly, Avior, Dutch Antilles Express, Miami Air, Santa Barbara, Sky King, Surinam, Transaero and World Atlantic.ArkeFly, Avior, Dutch Antilles Express, Miami Air, Santa Barbara, Sky King, Surinam, Transaero and World Atlantic. Concourse H Concourse H has one bus station and 13 gates: H3–H12, H14, H15, H17 Concourse H was the 20th Street Terminal’s first extension, originally built in 1961 as Concourse 1 for Delta Air Lines, which remains in the concourse to this day. This concourse featured a third floor, the sole purpose of which was to expedite access to the “headhouse” gates at the far end. In the late 1970s, a commuter satellite terminal was built just to the east of the concourse. Known as “Gate H2”, it featured seven parking spaces (numbered H2a through H2g) designed to handle smaller commuter aircraft. The concourse was dramatically renovated from 1994 to 1998, to match the style of the then-new Concourse A. Moving walkways were added to the third floor, the H1 Bus Station and Gates H3–H11 were completely rebuilt, and the H2 commuter satellite had jetways installed. Due to financial difficulties, headhouse gates H12–H20 were left in their original state. Airlines: Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Bahamasair, COPA, Delta Air Lines, KLM, LAN, TACA and United Airlines. Concourse J Concourse J has one bus station and 15 gates: J2–J5, J7–J12, J14–J18 Concourse J is the newest concourse, having entered service on August 29, 2007. Part of the airport’s South Terminal project, the concourse was designed by Carlos Zapata and M.G.E., THe company is one of the largest Hispanic-owned architecture firms in Florida. The concourse features 15 international-capable gates as well as the airport’s only 3 Jet-Bridge gate capable of handling the Airbus A380. (Lufthansa are the only airline using the A380 "FRA-MIA" at this time) The concourse added a third international arrivals hall to the airport, supplementing the existing ones at Concourses B (now closed) and E while significantly relieving overcrowding at these two facilities. The J Concourse is distinctive with the Pod shaped ramp tower on the terminal end of the concourse. Airlines: Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Canada, Air Jamaica, Avianca, Caribbean, IBC Airways (level 1) Airlines: LACSA / TACA, Lufthansa, Swiss, TAM, TAP and US Airways. Features One of the big features is the Terminals (and Concourses) have great see-through glass and detailed interiors. With-in concourse advertising and people walking and sitting around gives the airport a great working feel. All the terminals are extremely well designed and represent their real world counterparts. Concourse J is the very best design here with wonderful work and so is Concourse D. There are plenty of static aircraft and there are all well placed, lots of ground equipment and associated pallets and cargo pallets. However some areas are well done but others are empty (mostly all along the long Terminal North side) which is quite barren if you park there, gate placement via the airport menu is well listed but placement is a bit ad-hoc. Another feature is that there are walking airport personal all over the scenery. Any animation I love and this is a great idea. Cargo The airport is one of the largest in terms of cargo in the United States, and is primary connecting point for cargo between Latin America and the world. Ninety-six different carriers are involved in shifting over two million tons of freight annually. Central of the airport is “Cargo City” with a long line of ramps. And adjacent to RWY 9/27 are two multi-purpose Cargo areas called “Western U” and “Eastern U”. The area is noted as well for the central placement of the Control Tower of which is excellent. The very northern boundary (Northside) of MIA airport has the Cargo operations of FedEx and UPS. Pan Am was based here on the Northside as well in the early days, but it is now taken up by hangers and maintenance. The lower part is called the “Northeast Base”. The extremely huge American Airlines maintenance hangar is represented here. And so is the large Fuel Depot by Concourse J. Butnaru uses large underlays (orthophoto) to represent the ground and layout of KMIA. These can work for you and against you in various ways. Items that look real from a small height then disappear when close on the ground, but the biggest problem is if you have to use a lower “texture” render setting then the ground becomes very jaggy and fuzzy. The “High” setting was poor and you needed the setting of “Very High” to make a difference. With a large scenery like this that is a compromise - Its not bad, but it is not great either if your computer can't take the strain... Thankfully the Runway and Taxiway lineage is very good, and so is all the layouts. So is the signage that helps you find your way around the complex taxiway system. (You seem to always taxi a long way out to the runways here) The OSM (OpenStreetMap) and road networks are simply great all around MIA, only a few breaks on the North Boundary were the underlays just overide a little to far out, but you do get great roads and cars buzzing into the central area of the airport. Overall the night-lighting is very good. It is one tone in colour, but all areas are well covered. There is no specialized lighting to highlight certain areas and no lighted advertising either. I did expect with the clear terminal and concourse glass that the buildings would be great at night. They are but the light is quite muted, they are well lit inside but the dark (blue) glass takes the effect away sadly. They do still however give a great transparent feel to the buildings. Conclusions KMIA - Miami International Airport from Butnaru is a great piece of scenery, Important as well because its position gives you a very wide selection of destinations from the nearby Caribbean Islands and then out to Mexico and central America. And then further south to South America in all its forms. Going North or West there is also a wide selection of American and Canadian routes and finally to and from Europe with the UK, France and Germany as the main entry points of destinations. The modeling is very well done and in that context the airport delivers very well and every one of the 111 gates are here, but some more attention to detail around the gates of Concourse D would have made a better impact and the frame-rate is marginal (but still very usable) because of having to use the higher texture settings, HDR is tough on the system as the roads and traffic are quite heavily represented and so is the heavy amount of autogen and this all takes some chunk out of the screen rendering. However it is usable like I have already mentioned. This was one scenery I really wanted and I am not disappointed with the quality. MIA will be put to a lot of use and is already one of my prime destinations, and any scenery released by Santiago is always worth your investment... and KMIA - Miami International Airport is one of his very best. Installation of KMIA is unzip (163mb) to your “Custom Scenery” Folder (Expanded 231.10mb) and a manual .pdf is supplied. Review by Stephen Dutton 20th September 2013 KMIA - Miami International Airport is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : KMIA - Miami International Price is US$19.95 The scenery is available for both X-Plane9 and X-Plane10 (HDR lighting and road and traffic will only work with XP10) Developer Site : None _______________________________ Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Stephen Dutton 20th September 2013 Copyright:X-PlaneReviews 2016
  4. Freeware Scenery Fly-in : EGCC Manchester and EGCB Barton EGCC Manchester has always been one of my favorite sceneries. Always up there in my 10 best destinations and it is worth another Fly-In visit. The area has had a few interesting airports and changes that are worth noting and worth a few moments of attention. With both EGCC - Manchester and EGCB Barton - But first EGCC. EGCC - Manchester is surrounded by three other airports EGGP - Liverpool, EGNR - Hawarden and the new scenery EGCB - Barton. EGCC - Manchester v2 by Captain Dij (Dave Morley) : EGCC - Manchester v2 05L/23R 3,048m (10,000ft) Concrete 05R/23L 3,050m (10,007ft) Concrete/grooved asphalt Manchester Airport (which was earlier called Ringway Airport) (IATA: MAN, ICAO: EGCC) started construction on 28 November 1935 and opened partly in June 1937 and completely on 25 June 1938. The name came from Ringway parish north of Wilmslow. Its north border was Yewtree Lane. During World War II it was the base for RAF Ringway and was important in military aircraft production and in training parachutists. After World War II the base then reverted back into a civilian airport, and was gradually expanded to its present size. Historically, Manchester Airport has consistently been the 2nd busiest airport after London Heathrow for a number of decades following World War II. The airport is 7.5 NM (13.9 km; 8.6 mi) south of Manchester city centre. And from 1975 until 1986 it was called "Manchester International Airport". Now it is known just as "Manchester Airport". Dave Morley has created an excellent EGCC with extensive glass and very well modeled buildings. It is a big scenery download at 272.70mb, but it is noted as an X-Plane9 scenery and not an X-Plane10 version. Terminals To understand how Manchester (Ringway) has changed there was a 1962 version released (But now not available?). There was two piers in a basic U shape with the control tower above the main terminal block. And mostly RAF Hangars sited all around the perimeter. The Piers were split into Terminal One (on the left) and Terminal Three (on the right) and both since this period have had extensive makeovers... Terminal One This extension created in 2009 to create the new Terminal One includes another arm with a rotunded end off the main pier with a new full glass Terminal in the centre. The extensive use of glass in the buildings is given depth by the figures within the structure and looks very realistic. The Terminal could be noted for its mostly European departures and operators. The terminal has 29 stands, of which 15 have air bridges, and is the largest of the three terminals. Terminal 1’s current capacity is around 11 million passengers a year. compared with an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers when it first opened 1n 1962. It is a base for EasyJet, Jet2, Small Planet Airlines and Thomas Cook. Some other airlines that fly out of Terminal 1 include Brussels Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Swiss and Turkish Airlines. Terminal Two You could note Terminal Two as the international terminal of the airport. Terminal 2 is mostly used by SkyTeam airline members and long-haul and charter airlines. It opened in 1993. Terminal 2 has 20 gates, of which 14 have airbridges. The design of the terminal makes it capable of extensive expansion and planning permission already exists for an extension for providing additional gates, together with the construction of a satellite pier. Terminal 2’s current capacity is around 8 million passengers a year, this will be extended to ultimately handle 25 million passengers a year. It is a base for Monarch, Thomson Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Some other airlines that use the terminal include Air Malta, Qatar Airways, Tunisair, United Airlines and US Airways. Terminal Three The changes in the naming of Terminal Three shows the history... “Terminal 1 – British Airways”, “Terminal 1A” and “Terminal 3 – British Airways and Domestic”. The right pier was originally the British Airways terminal until it was merged into the new section in June 1998. It is now the primary terminal for British Airways and their One World partners. It is also a base for the Flybe and Ryanair operations. Some other airlines that fly out of Terminal 3 include Air France, American Airlines, BMI Regional and KLM. On the first of October 2010 Emirates Airlines started the only A380 (Daily) service to Dubai. The service has been hugely popular and has since been upgraded to a double daily service. Landing your A380 at Manchester shows you the size of the aircraft, It feels so big here and to turn and taxi to the only A380 assigned Gate 12, Pier B requires some deft maneuvering work... EGCC - Manchester has just opened a New Control Tower 25th June, 2013. At 60m tall it is the second largest in the UK. This is a conversion of Stewart Haworth’s FS model and has been uploaded by RCMarple. New Control Tower - EGCC Manchester by Stewart Haworth : New Control Tower - EGCC .And what a brilliant addition it is to this scenery. It is placed over by the cargo/GA/Visitor centre area and is a perfect replica. The cargo area is extensive (World Freight Terminal) but in need a few more items to fill in a few blanks between the warehouses and the ramp. But otherwise is very much in the character of the area. Manchester Airport is the home to the engineering bases of Thomas Cook Airlines and Monarch Airlines and newly established Etihad Airways and the major Hangars are represented here. There is the G-BOAC flagship Concorde in the Manchester Runway Visitor Park and a Trident courtesy of Mike Wilson. The building under construction is for the Concorde, but Dave would rather have the aircraft on view, and it does look great from the taxiing point of view. All the carparks and Hotels are here as well... Terminals 1 and 2 are linked by the skylink, with travelators to aid passengers with the 10–15-minute walk. Terminal 3 is linked to Terminal 1 and the skylink by a covered walkway. The skylink also connects the terminals to the airport railway station complex (known as “The Station”) and the Radisson BLU Hotel. The skylink construction was started in 1996 and opened 1997. Expansion to the Radisson Hotel was completed in 1998 when the hotel opened. And the Skylink, Railway Station and Radisson Blu are all represented here. With this EGCC being an X-Plane9 scenery it comes with a few notables. Dave has put in very wide exclusion zones around the airport and that ruins any X-Plane10 OSM (Open Street Map) Roads and Rail that runs around the scenery. If you are pretty deft with WED then it is certainly worth the effort to trim the exclusions zones right back to the edge of the runways and around the terminals as the OSM is excellent around the scenery. It breaks open the whole network that goes into the terminal areas and the trains will run consistently around the North-East Boundary. Well worth the time to do this and certainly at night as the roads and lighting run all around the airport. There is no HDR nightlighting either of which the airport would benefit immensely... And one I never sadly got around to doing. EGCB City Airport Manchester (Barton Aerodrome) by RCMarple : EGCB City Area Airport Manchester ver1.11 This is another Stewart Haworth conversion by RCMarple but with a lot of extras to fill out the X-Plane environment. 09R/27L 625m (2,051ft) Grass 09L/27R 522m (1,713ft) Grass 02/20 533m (1,749ft) Grass 14/32 398m (1,306ft) Grass City Airport (ICAO: EGCB) is a general aviation airport in the Barton-upon-Irwell area of Eccles, in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Formerly known as both Barton Aerodrome and City Airport Manchester. It is situated 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) west of Manchester and was the United Kingdom’s first purpose-built municipal airport. Featuring four grass runways, it is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the UK. The airfield operates seven days a week, from 9 am until sunset for fixed-wing aircraft. Commercial, private, military, police and air ambulance helicopters can operate during the hours of darkness by arrangement as the airfield can be equipped with portable runway lighting. The airport is also used as a refueling stop for light aircraft and helicopters. However, it lies on the edge of Chat Moss and the aircraft movements area suffers from occasional periods of waterlogging, restricting fixed wing operations at those times. In 2011, the airport opened its new ‘City Heliport’ facility, aimed at the commercial helicopter charter market, The heliport features a dedicated jet A1 fuel facility, conference room, small office units and a dedicated passenger lounge. If you are familiar with the area you will quickly recognize the dirty worn brickwork and glass and metal sheeted roofs and the half buried WW2 wartime bunkers and hangars... Barton has them all. The detail also extends to the window frames and doors of an era now passed. The large main hangar is typical of this architectural past and the recently refurbished “The Pemberton Hangar”, which is now a Grade II listed building is another throwback to another time. The 1933 control tower and associated wireless station which was the first at a municipal airport outside London, and was able to communicate with aircraft in flight and give pilots bearings from the airfield. The tower is still operational and is believed to be the oldest in Europe and is still in use for its original purpose. (though I doubt that pilot’s today need the navigational guidance). As a statement of an era still in use today then Barton is a great snapshot. Another item added to this scenery by RC is the Barton Bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal, again created by Mr Haworth as it was a separate item, but the bridge really adds to the whole scene as does the OSM Roads that you will need your “Roads” turned up to at least “tons” or more on the render panel... Like RC really recommend the setting as the roads of the M62, A57 and M60 circle the airport. The new “City Heliport” is also represented in the South-West, there are however more buildings in the area than these few. But at least the port is represented. The area is a great area to fly around but you have to consider a few things... If you have the scenery of “EGGP - Liverpool” installed, when combined with “EGCC - Manchester”, one can scenery affect the other like two planets in a opposite orbit and cull a fair bit from your frame-rate. Landing at EGGP can be suddenly become a shudder and ruin a perfect landing, ditto to land at EGCC from the west to east you pass close to EGGP with the same effect, usually I have to pull EGGP out if I am flying into and out of EGCC, a pain I know but the only way to get a clear approach. A final airport in the area worth considering also by RCMarple is EGNR Hawarden. Which is the UK Airbus assembly factory for the wings on Airbus Aircraft. EGNR is just a collection of big boxes, but modern factories are now all like this. The HDR lighting however is excellent. And the airport is a great visual clue to either EGGP or EGCC. All the scenery listed here is free from the .Org and a nod to the talents of Dave and RC in creating these great sceneries for our use. Stephen Dutton 14th September 2013 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  5. Update Review : JARDesign A320neo Version 1.5 JARDesign have updated the A320neo to version 1.5 from the interm beta1.5 that I covered on the 7th August 2013. Although noted as just an tuning upgrade there is significantly far more in this release that warrants a look over to see what has also been released. First there is a common theme coming out of these upgrade releases and that is that JARDesign are intending to keep you on the ground as long as possible before letting you fly anywhere. Most of the items added are all features that getting ready for flight is becoming a ritual and not just a set this or that and then start your engines and taxi out. The aircraft GPS alignment to which I have honed down to 12 minutes, Has now been lengthened by three extra features. Fuel Truck Load Panel FollowMe Car Fuel Truck (released in update 1.2) In my haste to get airbourne I noted in the 1.5b notes that I took off from Brisbane (YBBN) to go south to Sydney (YSSY) and promptly ran out of fuel over Northern NSW. (menu : Fuel) The Fuel panel allows you to select your fuel (preselected) requirements and then allowing the fuel truck to (refuel) your tanks in its own time is great reality simulation, watching the fuel numbers go up in the cockpit while your are programming the FMS (or FMGS in Airbus speak) shows how good this simulation is getting. Any fuel load left in your tanks after your last simulation will be still there on the startup of the new one. Load Panel The Load Panel (menu : Load) has now been added over the Fuel Panel. This allows you to set the aircraft load of Passengers and Freight. Passengers are listed as (F) First Class and (A) the rest of cattle class, and Cargo (CRGF) front and (CRGA) rear. The menu will tell you your Payload Weight in (Tons) and shows you your CG% (Centre of Gravity) and your THS ((Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer) which has to be set manually. The panel allows you to quickly set your load factors, but does not have the adjustable CG settings that (FlyJSim’s) aircraft use. FollowMe Car (Option) You have now the option of purchasing the option of a “FollowMe Car” (Ver 1.3 and over) Cost US$2.99 - FollowMe Car for A320neo First of all there is already a FollowMe Car folder in the Custom Avionics folder of the A320neo, It won’t work unless you replace it with the purchased version and then the FM (in the menu) will then be activated. Secondly you must have two items available to use the function. 1) The Airport must have the ATC routes set out correctly. 2) you must set your FMGS (route) into the FMS system (in other words you must set the Departure and Arrival - Airports and runways into FMS before they show up on the FollowMe Car Menu) First the popup menu screen will show your Departure and Arrival Airports. Then when you select the airport it will give you a selection of taxiways. You select you first taxiway and then your second selection and then each taxiway you want to select until you reach your hold point on the runway. It is all very clever but with a couple of issues. One if you make a mistake you have to start again using the (CLR) button... your route is built up on the bottom of the screen and it would be great just to go back one entry to fix the wrong selection than straight back to the start to input in the points all over again. Secondly if the airport is big (I used KDFW Dallas Fort Worth) it can be extremely hard to find the right taxiways and the right route. too many options and too many the same taxiway points means starting over and over again to get the right route you want. When all the taxi points are inserted (in the right order) then press RUN to activate. This will bring up the main menu. And it will note your: Distance to FM Car in feet FM Car speed FM Cars position (Taxiway) Show path Markers Change the FM car’s speed (knts) in either to DEC (slow) or INC (increase speed) Showing path markers gives you the route the FM car will use. It’s a great feature but wouldn’t they be better to help you lay out the route?... here it is too late. To see a line of markers from one taxiway point to the next would be ideal in choosing your route and direction around the airport. FM Car will appear when you pressed the RUN button and it will come and set itself in up your windshield and wait there till you start to move forward The FM Car speed adjustment is a great feature (I use 15knts which is ideal) and once you start your forward movement the FM Car will move along before you... Setting the 15knts means the car will stay at 15Knts even if you go faster, in doing that it allows you to set your correct pace and speed as to not run it over... I loved this in that you have to pace the aircraft to the FM car and it will just not stay at the same speed as the aircraft but the distance between the two objects do contract and expand as you move - clever yes! When the route is completed the FM Car will move out of you way and park up behind you... The takeoff bit and flying the aircraft is your job. It works very well. And when you arrive at your destination if you have set up the route, the FM Car is waiting for you. A bit of practise would make this FM Car work really well. But I would like a better quicker way of laying out complex routes. (there is a video by JARDesign on how to install the FM Car and use the system - the video is at the bottom of this update) You start to see the workload coming into focus here (And don’t get me wrong this is great simulation). You have to set up the GPS alignment, put in the fuel, set the aircraft load program, input the route into the FMGS and preferences and now if you have the FM Car set up the route at your departure and destination airports - so how long does that all take? A long time and especially if you have a long route to program into the FMGS, you can’t save routes remember? So every time you start a flight you have to have the route listed and ready to input into the system. Why can’t you save routine routes?... Terrain on ND This newly added function allows you to use the TERR ON ND button the main panel (one for each the Pilot and Co-Pilot) The button has three modes: Normal (off), display camera view and display terrain. All items are shown on your ND (Navigation Display). The first selection is really the X-Plane MAP on the screen, but how handy is this as it can show you your position at the airport. Great for finding taxiways and then to find your terminals and gates and you can easily align the aircraft correctly. Up in the air and you can see your position relative to the ground on the map. Slide into to a turn and the map goes into an angle position again relative to the ground and if you don’t go “woah!” with that you then owe me a dollar. The “display terrain” selection will put the ND into blocky squares to show the terrain under the aircraft. On the ground the screen is full of large squares. In the air you have to find some terrain to see the system at work. I don’t recommend flying at 280knts and at 10,000ft, straight into a set of mountains in a fully loaded A320. But you get the idea. Does it work? - not really no, as the squares are to big and I was brushing the snow off the tops of peaks and they only went into two colours of green. far smaller squares would give you a better pattern, but overall another clever feature. So how does all this feel like? Once refueled, loaded, and everything programmed into the FMGS I flew the standard sector between Brisbane (YBBN) to Cairns (YBCS) of which I have done countless times. Using the pushback I have taught myself to leave the park brake alone, turn to the “off” position can confuse the pushback truck, It will release and lock the brakes for you on the movement backwards and after finishing the pushback. Just that old habits die hard. Taxi was great with no issues in holding my correct taxi speed. You would be surprised on how many other aircraft it is hard to do just this. Roll and takeoff was none eventful, but again I had to adjust to setting the V/S (Vertical Speed) before the system allows you to select “speed” on the throttle and engaging the A/T (Auto Thrust). Familiarity is a great learner, and especially here. It is a complex system that has been made easy to operate. but you have to be aware of how complex this aircraft is to operate. Get it right and the rewards are overwhelming. The 1.5b fixed that 3º nose down issue and here in the final 1.5 update it is great and you can now also change the pitch in flight. watch the speed though as I pushed m.83 it sent the A/P into alarm, stay at m.82 and that speed will keep it happy and contented. Arrival at Cairns was through three waypoints (fixes) UPOLO, SUNNY and CODIE. It is a tricky approach and I wanted to be closer on the turn but the FMGS would not accept the fix BCSNI for some reason, and I felt that CODIE was to far north. The problem with RWY 15 approach is that if you get the turn wrong there is a row of mountains that can ruin any simulation. I rarely get this approach quite right, as an adjustment to the runway angle is always needed. This time I was impressed as the A320 turned a very nice wide arc from the SUNNY fix to the CS15 approach fix (using CODIE as an alignment fix) and lined me up perfectly with RWY 15. I was tempted to use the OVERFLY key at this point in the route to create the same sort of course, but it wasn’t required. A noted irritant is the fact that you can’t use the mouse to set things on the pedestal, The flaps, the trim wheels or the airbrakes are not adjustable with the mouser, and only the park brake is accessible? So you can’t set the flaps (I have to use my joystick buttons via the key menu) and worse arm the airbrakes of which there is no key mode (and only the "all airbakes up") and so the automatic deployment is not available. On the ground the easy menu system turns the aircraft into a credible parked visual experience. Doors open, ground power in attendance... Catering truck in position. I loved it all. As the night was falling I noticed that the tail lighting lit only on the right side with HDR off?... To check I turned the HDR on and the lighting was now correct. The cockpit lighting in HDR was incredibly good, but destroyed your frame-rate sadly, In fact all through this simulation the frame-rate had felt far better than in past flying on the JARDesign A320, and even at the point of sitting in the 3d cockpit tuning the aircraft for flight, of which in the past sometimes would put my frame-rate below that crucial 19fr and less and give me the shudders... here it did feel far better all though the flight and at each end with the heavier airport sceneries in context. One final note on that if you like to replay your landings. Just make sure you close all your doors and stowaway any vehicles before hitting the replay selection... ... If not you will have all the doors open in flight and your catering truck is still loading the aircraft while on finals! I like in-flight catering but this is going to far. The A320neo from JARDesign is certainly one of the great experiences in X-Plane. It does require a lot of attention and routine to get the very best out of the aircraft... but incredibly rewarding this aircraft is. With the A380 Airbus from Peter’s Aircraft and VMAX’s Boeing 777, the Airbus A320neo is one of the best aircraft you can invest in. And the 1.5 upgrade is another decent upgrade that sets out some really great features and fixes a few issues that needed attention, It is challenging this A320neo and it is complex, but you will love it for years. __________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 13th September 2013 copyright©X-PlaneReviews 2013 You can get the 1.5 update here : A320neo update 1.5 The JAR Design A320neo is available from the X-Plane .org Store: For US$39.00 - Airbus A320 Neo Developer site: JARDesign A320neo Version 1.5 list of changes: +Tuned flightmodel. +Change pitch when flying at high speed and altitude. +Add ability to show Terrain On ND. The TerrOnND button now has three modes – normal, displaying terrain, displaying camera view. +Add Load panel at left Ground menu. Now you can select how much pax and how much tons of cargo you have load. IMPORTANT – for Takeoff you need set THS manually, as calculated at panel. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  6. When Alabeo release an aircraft it is a bit like meeting Forrest Gump and him offering you something from his box of chocolates “you just don’t know what you are going to get”. There are a few clues though. It is usually highly different. It is usually very Iconic and it is usually very well done but not totally absolutely functional. Their latest release is the 1930’s aircraft the “Beechcraft D-17 Staggerwing”. and it fill out all the criteria. It is different, It is Ironic, It is very well done and some small things don’t work. The “Staggerwing” (Meaning the upper and lower wings are “Staggered” to give a better view out of the front windows) was the aircraft of the 1930’s that represented you as a person of high standing. It was well loved by the Hollywood royalty of the period. The sort of same image you will get today by flouting off your new G350 Gulfstream Jet. It stood for “Rich”, “Powerful”... and a global reaching exciting image! - Of course pilots loved the power of the machine as well. History Aircraft developer Walter H. Beech and airplane designer T. A. “Ted” Wells at the height of the Great Depression, joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large, powerful, and fast cabin biplane built specifically for the business executive. The Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the “Staggerwing” was first flown on November 4, 1932. It was not popular at first because of the high cost. Originally it was called the Model 17 with its negative stagger wing configuration (the upper wing staggered behind the lower) and unique shape maximized pilot visibility while negligibly reducing air interference between the wings. The fabric-covered fuselage was created with wood formers and stringers over a welded steel tube frame. Construction was highly complex and it was for its time the most innovated aircraft available with the Staggerwing’s retractable conventional landing gear, which was uncommon at that time that was combined with careful streamlining, light weight, and a powerful radial engine which helped it to perform very well. In mid-1930s, Beech then undertook a major redesign of the aircraft, to create the Model D17 Staggerwing (this Alabeo version). The D-17 featured a lengthened fuselage that improved the aircraft’s handling characteristics by increasing control leverage and the ailerons were relocated to the upper wings, eliminating interference with the flaps. Braking was also improved with a foot-operated brake linked to the rudder pedals. In the Second World War the D-17 became even more popular as the need for a compact executive-type transport or courier aircraft became apparent, And so in 1942 the United States Army Air Forces ordered the first of 270 Model 17s for service within the United States and overseas as the UC-43. The U.S Navy also bought the aircraft and so did the British RAF and Royal Navy. Since then it has slipped in to fame and notes for its ‘muscular strength and delicate grace,’ and is rated highly for its ‘classic lines and symmetry.’” Design Alabeo is a sister studio with Carenado and so they share a lot of design ideas and features. The main feature is that the quality is just as good as the Carenado’s but in a just slightly different form in that usually the form is more of a whole and not as completely constructed as the very highly detailed Carenado’s are, and that is reflected in the lower price and being slightly under US$20. The same quality but with just a slightly different design approach. But still the same of where it really counts. And so the detailing on the “Staggerwing” is exceptionally good on this beautiful aircraft, It does look and feel slightly bulky because of that huge radial engine at the front. Look inside the cowling and you can see the wonderful air-cooled cylinders. This version uses the 9 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 with 450 hp (340 kW) at 2,300 rpm, and only the geared “supercharged” 600hp engine was bigger. The fine wires on the wings are magnificent as are the smooth wing pylons, although the rear tailplane and elevators look very standard for the period. The highlight is the construction of the front and tailwheel (retractable) undercarriage. More art than design, Its is beautifully proportioned and detailed. Steel springs and levers and it is what we really love about simulation in the fact that just admiring these items can give you as much pleasure as flying the aircraft. The animation is first rate as well as even the tail-wheel retracts up into the tail which was unusual in this period Alabeo use the same O (Options) menu panel as Carenado, but there are only three items listed here. The options are: Transparent Windshield - Instrument Reflections and you can open the - Passenger Door. The door opens but strangely stops between the wires? Very odd. Panel & Cabin Aircraft where fitted out inside very differently in the 1930’s. It was either wire and canvas or like this Beechcraft a cross between a luxurious boat or an expensive automobile. Heavy leather and wood trim would sound crazy in today’s world of carbon-fibre and plastic... however the D-17 was created for the “Distinguished Business Gentleman”. Alabeo have done a discerning job in the fit out of the cabin, with only one outstanding issue... You can’t really see any of the work - It is really black down in there, so dark you can’t even see the yoke never mind the rudder pedals. You are restricted to using X-Plane’s Night-Vision to really find anything you want to usefully use. Lovely it all is in a sea of green. The Yoke can be positioned on the left or right by flipping it over to the new position, you can remove it completely if you want to as well. Fumbling around you can find the lighting switches. A lovely thick clicky Ignition selector. A "press" to start the engine button that I really love to use and a great chunky trim wheel... The radio is a standard Bendix King 155A T50. The dials are recreated vintage with the standard six. Perfect in design and feel. The right side instruments consist of engine dials in RPM, Manifold Pressure, CHT, Amp’s, Carburettor (remember those!), Suction, Temp and Oil/Fuel gauges (LBS) - and a Omni-Bearing Indicator (OBI). As noted you can switch off the glass reflections - But why would you do that? You really feel that 1930’s vibe, The flap selector is a half metal square ring with three settings and flap use is restricted to under 95knts (110mph). The panel lighting is gorgeous, I flew the “Staggerwing” in early morning light just adore those creamily lit dials. There is a red light situated high on the central windshield pillar to shine down on the dials at night. This effect turns the panel bloody red and again gives out a lovely feel to the cockpit. There is the Carenado standard menu C (Camera) for setting “points of view” including the zoom function that is handy and the wing view (left or Right) with belly/tail cam are the highlight view points. HDR switched on the night-lighting is good with each (retractable) landing light in the wing giving its own light throw. The beacon is also totally realistic in its rotation and reflection. The Bluey/Green and red navigation lights are set out in a pod in front of the lower wing and are very authentic. Time to Fly On the lower part of the panel and hidden behind the yoke is a pull handle to lock the rear tail-wheel. To taxi is easy in theory but harder in practice. With the tail-wheel locked you can go straight but only take wide turns with the rudder. Un-lock the tail-wheel and you go around in circles on the same position?... The trick is to use both. I don’t know if this is the correct real way you would control a tail-dragger like this, but you can’t have someone in a simulator to push your tail around to straighten you up on the runway either. And you have to be kind to the brakes as well. Hit the brake and with all that weight on the nose the aircraft will tip up at every touch of the handle - It looks like the aircraft has hiccups all the way to the runway. Once on the centreline with the tail-wheel locked. The “Staggerwing” is lovely from the word go, You don’t need any flap as you have a huge amount of lift from those double-wings. You can’t lift off to quickly either as you need the speed to get your tail up and straight and the aircraft ready to fly. That huge radial sounds glorious as the sounds are all in 3D. The effects from different angles (certainly in the turns) are excellent. All that weight helps you and balances the aircraft out to perfection, and so it is a really nice feel in your hands. There are no sudden movements but the best actions are to use slow maneuvers in what you want to do in that to either turn, gain height or simply hold a line to the horizon. One thing I did notice was that you had to get the right line of sight or angle of the aircraft to keep it at a level height. It was very easy to slowly wind downwards the altitude meter if you didn’t keep a close eye on the dial... And it is very hard to keep it there as well without gaining or losing height. The trim works well in this case (but you have to find it to use it). Concentration is high as you don’t have any aids to carry the workload. So flying even across the state or around and 300nm to 400nm is going to tire you out. I loved those wide turns and the aircraft climbs with ease and power, It is no rocketship by today's standards but it must have felt like one back then - but that is the attraction. Maximum speed: 212 mph (184 knots, 341 km/h), Cruise speed: 202 mph (176 knots, 325 (km/h), Landing speed: 45 mph (39 knots, 72 km/h)), Range: 582 nm (670 mi, 1,078 km), Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m), Rate of climb: 1,500 ft/min (7.6 m/s) Adjusting the flaps down (remember to drop off a lot of speed first) will only cause a slight bump in the airflow as the speed drops away nicely to slow to your 30-40knts landing phase. The aircraft is as sturdy as a rock in this configuration, nice with turns to the runway and keeping the runway line of sight straight are very easy to do. The drift down while dropping the power will give you an easy landing and for a tail-dragger it will stay pretty straight while tapering off the speed. You will need a lot of tarmac though to run out that speed as touching the brakes is not the thing to do. Just let the D-17 find its own pace to slow down and sink the tail down to a slow speed. Back on the ground you now only have to master the taxi all over again to get back to your parking area. Liveries There are Five liveries and the standard default “White”. You can get a little confused with the “White” because there is two of them... The one on the default file and another one in the “Liveries Folder”. The livery version is really Grey not white. The Beige is very white as well and is sponsored by “Gargoyles”... The blue is an “American Embassy” livery based in the United Kingdom. And finally the bright Red and Yellow. Liveries are HD and high quality, and all are excellent and with keeping in with the period. Conclusions Alabeo stands for something different and with a quality set at a value price, and that is what you get here. The only mis-match on the aircraft is the door sitting in the wires, the tricky taxiing techniques and that dark cavern of a cabin. Otherwise it is very hard to fault this “Staggerwing” of an aircraft. It is sublime to fly, you feel the aircraft well through the controls and bask in those lovely wide turns. It finds you reaching out for your vintage aviator sun glasses and posing in a suit like Clark Gable or Cary Grant, or if of the fairer sex then Kathleen Hepburn. Stars... Hollywood stars. And this is the aircraft to match theirs and your image. The Alabeo Beechcraft D-17 “Staggerwing” is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Staggerwing D17 Price is US$19.95 This Aircraft is available for X-Plane9 and X-Plane10 Documents: Review By Stephen Dutton 10th September 2013 Alabeo : recommend certain settings for X-Plane 9 and 10... But frame-rate is a not really an issue as the D-17 has a very high frame-rate because of its low footprint. Developers Site : Alabeo.com Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  7. I checked this out and yes it is the same outfit... However the person that created the software is not associated with VMAX any more.
  8. VMAX released the Boeing 777 Series (Professional) one year ago today. It is hard to believe in how quickly the time has passed... The release was a landmark event for the X-Plane simulator. Certainly other releases before the Boeing 777 had many of the great features already available. But the difference with the VMAX release was that you had them all in one aircraft. It is a complex machine to learn and fly (The Manual alone is 532 pages and is a pure Boeing product) . And the highlight of the aircraft is Philipp Münzel's incredible FMS (Flight Management System). Again it is a complex beast... but like everything in life once understood it is an amazing tool for flying this huge giant of an aircraft. The FMS system took me a fair while to work out. certainly with the setting of the SID (departure) and STAR (Arrival) settings. but that is part of the learning curve you do in creating this level of simulation. The rewards are overwhelming once mastered. And this aircraft rewards you like no other machine in X-Plane. I would give one piece of advice. Fly it and fly it often... It requires you to be on-board for a period of time to get the best out of the aircraft. Like a real pilot it demands refresher flights often to keep your skills sharp. For a newcomer to these sort of aircraft it may sound a bit daunting... but it isn't really if you are prepared to spend a little time on the aircraft. In the "Extended' package there are the versions and in that you get the Standard (Professional) - 200LR (Long Range) version: There is the "Cargo" F version with a large opening freight door. And the -300ER (Extended Range - longer fuselage) Price is US59.95 for the "777 Worldliner Professional" : 777 Worldliner Professional And for an extra US$25.00 you can have the Extended Version (Cargo and -300) : Extended Upgrade You can also purchase in packs, 10 liveries for US$10 for all versions : B777 Livery Packs Features Officially licensed By the Boeing © Corporation Accurate dimensions based on 2D and 3D drawings supplied by Boeing © X-Plane 10 - Mac, Windows and Linux - 32 and 64bit Fully Functional FMS - Plan your routes like a real pilot Custom designed Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures Custom designed Navigation Display Tterminal procedure database with RNAV approaches and transitions VNAV managed climbs and descends Takeoff and approach speed calculation Custom autopilot modes for autoland Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation Incredible 3D modeling - the best eye-candy Amazing virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections Custom 3D sounds and Announcements Add-ons: Push-back truck, Fuel Truck, Passenger bus and Emergency slides ... On-Screen Menus: Configuration and loading menu, Quick Zoom True-to-life radio navigation with procedural-, route-, and navigation support auto-tuning Custom programmed FMC navigation using GPS-, radio- or inertial navigation with individual position errors and management of actual and required navigation performance Magnetic, true and polar grid course reference Alternate airports, diversion and arrival management Ground proximity warning system using real sounds FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the new iPad If the coming Boeing 757 from VMAX is as good as their B777 then we will have a double treat! as for the B777 itself it has had a lot of improvements over its year of release, for more information on the last version update ( then go here: I can't list here the amount of pleasure and experience this aircraft has delivered for me over the last year... Currently the Freighter version is being used on my 2013 Formula One (Follow the flyaway races) program with Singapore GP coming up in a few weeks... with Korea, Japan, India, Abu Dhabi, Austin (US) and finally Sao Paulo (Brazil) coming till December and will certainly keep me in the B777 cockpit for quite awhile... For an interview with one of the developers of the Boeing 777 Roman Berezin : then go here: 7th September 2013
  9. Aircraft Review : Aerosoft ATR 72-500 If not anything else the Aerosoft-McPhat Studios ATR-500 has been controversial. The release deadline was moved back more and more until the aircraft was finally released early in December 2012. Then it really divided the users into those who really liked it and those who just didn’t like it at all. Even I was disappointed by the amount of issues that it was released with and many of them were just minor. The extremely large file size and as some perceived the high price in that the aircraft is known as a systems “lite” machine in the fact that many of the aircraft’s in-depth systems including parts of the hydraulics and electrical, Air-Con and others are just blanked out and not accessible to the user. The idea of a “lite” version was to capture a market that didn’t want to spend 10-20 minutes in just getting the aircraft ready to fly. To also spend two weeks with your head in a manual to work out how to turn off a single light on the overhead panel that was bleeding air off from the engines. This sort of in-depth simulation is what aircraft simulation is really all about - but sometimes you just want to start the engines and go. The the point of the ATR-500 was in just doing that with some very nice visual aspects to help the cause along. Now almost 8 months later after the release the first upgrade in Version 1.10 is here and how does it all shape up after a period of time in our hangars. Regional aircraft are the most interesting aircraft you can use in simulation. With that aspect they sell very well and are used a lot by users, because one they are great as the distances are usually very short in around a 200-500nm radius. That is really just a morning or afternoon in flying time. If you want some more extended flying you can then rope in together two or three sectors and do a service loop around a country or an area, or just simply fly back to your original departure point after a brief turnaround. This gives you a satisfying experience that won’t keep you up all night in having to land 6000nm away in Singapore or the Far East. The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR (Now Airbus (EADS)) in order to increase the seating capacity from 48 to 78 passengers by stretching the fuselage by 4.5 metres (15 ft), increasing the wingspan, adding more powerful engines and increasing the fuel capacity by approximately 10 percent. The 72 was announced in 1986, and the aircraft made its maiden flight on 27 October 1988. And only one year later on 27 October 1989 Finnair then became the first airline to put the aircraft into service. Since then at least 611 ATR 72s have been delivered worldwide with orders pending on at least 28 more. Cruise speed: 511 km/h; 318 mph (276 kn) : Range: 1,324 km (823 mi; 715 nmi) : Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft) : Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,165 m (3,822 ft) Installation Aerosoft use an install system to place the aircraft into your “aircraft” folder. The (v1.10) download is huge at 1.80gb and is expanded out to 3.14gb on installation. The installer requires a registration number and will only install the aircraft in the “Heavy Metal” folder, which slightly annoys me in the fact I have a separate “regional Aircraft” folder that I would usually use for this category of aircraft. There are two manuals - One the main “manual” “In (English and German) and one for “Procedures”. Aircraft Textures McPhat Studios in Holland are one of the great simulation studios in the business. Their quality in texture design is one of the best regarded all round, but until the ATR their work was only available in FSX land. And a high quality this aircraft is. The detailing on the liveries are really second to none... the detail in close-up is simply amazingly good. But it does come at a cost in downloading these huge 80mb files and they take a long time to create. They are also highly shiny? This is a debatable issue. Are aircraft this shiny? Most Aircraft I have flown on are quite a semi-gloss unless they have just come out of the paint shop... But here it can be hard to sometimes get a clear image because the shininess wipes out bright white on most of the lines of the aircraft. So am I a fan? no not really, but that does not takeaway the quality of these 12 excellent liveries and the default livery of which is the TRIP... These complex livery files are split into almost every panel or item on the aircraft to achieve this sort of depth of detail. Because the aircraft itself is quite light in frame-rate it can carry these heavy files without sending your computer into meltdown and that is part of the tradeoff. You can open the large front baggage door and the rear passenger door by using the F1 and F2 keys. A few bags in the front baggage area would be a great addition as the area is very empty. Internal detailing is just as good, if not one of the best cabins I have seen in this scale of aircraft. The graphic text detail is a little blurry at a low texture setting but otherwise it is excellent - and the whole cabin is even better at night. In the Cockpit The first view of the cockpit is of a high quality in depth and colour... But you need to look closer. First off is that there are two cockpit colours in Blue and Brown. These different setups can change with a selection of a different livery. You can note the slight colour seep of blue on the brown panel when it gets slightly darker. but otherwise they both look great. At one look the quality is outstanding with amazing quality and detail and the standout areas are the black textures around the main instruments, central engine dials and the gear lever. The whole panel of light reflections are simply excellent as the glass is in parts almost fully reflective of light. The Autopilot and Radio (COMM and NAV) frequency panel is first rate in set up and usage, and I really like the heading large and small degree adjustment feature. The centre pedestal is also a great work of art in design and function. Levers are excellent in operation and feel, and the MAP (zoom), NAV1/Nav2/FMS selection knobs are slightly twiddly but very clacky in operation and you soon get used to using them. FMS panel is standard X-Plane with default layout and the same default but in this case separate correct COMM/ADF/TRANSponder instruments. One feature I really like is the window blinds and shades, pull up or move down they are great while cruising high with the light on the wrong side of your face. I use them effectively all the time. One issue is the difference in texture quality with the render settings. Set the “texture” setting on “high” in the render settings menu and although many of the main dials are perfectly fine, many however are very blurry and mostly so is the label text on the side panel knobs .. If the texture setting is on “Very High” the problem mostly goes away. You can still see the differences between the two types of textures but now they are more aligned. In version 1.00 these textures were even worse and McPhat have totally redone in v1.10 the textures to be better and use less memory, of which now differences are now much closer. But they are still slightly noticeable if looking at detail and if you can’t run the “very high” setting, then even more so. On the OHP (Overhead Panel) there is not a lot of functionality, Lights and and some Electrical/Hydraulics/Pneumatics and the vital ice and rain protection items work and so the knobs and switches required to start the engines... But the rest is mostly just for show. In three areas the needles on the dials are missing altogether, but my feeling is that they will be made to correctly work in a future version. The altimeter on the main panel only clicks down to the last four digits at 3000ft... before that it still shows 14000ft for 1400ft? My biggest annoyance is the wipers. The switches are there and so are the beautifully rendered items on the windscreen... but they don’t have any animation?... Nothing is better in a regional aircraft than battling down to a runway with a rainstorm in your vision. But with no wipers flapping in your face it sorts of ruins the whole experience. Another small irritant is there are two 1px wide lines on the otherwise excellent propellers. They rotate in your view and if you like to do the view from the passengers perspective in the cabin then they are all you see outside of the window... It is noted the lines were fixed for v1.10, but they are still there? Engine smoke is above the wing and not below by the exhausts. The flap and undercarriage animation is excellent and well created as is the lighting at night. The standard Strobe, Nav and Beacon lighting are all well done. The aircraft has two landing lights under the fuselage and the lighting from the cabin from the outside view is very realistic. Most of the outside lighting has had a lot of attention in the v1.10 upgrade, the main landing lights, the taxi light now works and the lighting does not show through the cabin (floor) anymore (except for the taxi light). The main panel looks gorgeous at night and a place you want to be and so is the well rendered OHP. HDR on or off does not make that much difference. Flying The ATR 72-500 At first count I didn’t know what I really felt about the ATR72, mainly because I couldn’t read all the graphics in the cockpit. But I have had this aircraft for 8 months now and the upgrade has helped to fix many of the small issues. In simulation what is the main value when buying an aircraft. It is in the amont of time you use the aircraft. You could spend US$50 on an aircraft and fly it only a few times and no matter how well created it is, you have to ask yourself if that was good value? With the ATR I found myself flying it almost every week in one form or another. The biggest draw-card was it is an interesting aircraft dynamically to fly. It challenges you to fly it really well and hit the numbers on the money. Jack’s Dash Q400 from FlyJSim is the same and it is not a coincidence that both of these aircraft are direct competitors in the market place. It may be systems “lite” but you still get a very big reward in flying the ATR. Speeds are crucial to every point of the flight from takeoff to landing. There is a “power management” system that adjusts the engine power for a certain segment of the flight from MCT, TO, CLB and CRZ. but be wary in the fact it could bury your power if not used in the right segment as in some cases you need the speed momentum to set the correct power. Leaving the runway requires you to use the power wisely. The ATR is in a way like a big GA and so you have to gain height slowly and it takes time to get to 15,000ft which would be around your average cruise altitude. On a longer sector 20,000ft would be your aim. You are very conscious of the wing. It is a strange beast in its function and so the extension of flaps can make the wing do different things in the way the aircraft will balance on the pivot of the wing behind you. It creates a very small speed zone to work in as well around 120knts to 115knts under full flap, too much power and your nose is going to angle (very severely) down very awkwardly, set the power too light and your nose is soon at a strange stall position, no doubt this aircraft has a very small slow speed window in which to set your flaps, but when you get there then the balance between flying and stalling is very small. The balance is the skill you are willing to give the aircraft. Under the throttle for landing you are very conscious of the speed in that small zone. Using the ILS can give you a false sense of security in that you can easily adjust the nose angle by the slightest of speed adjustments, but coming out of the ILS you can find yourself either going to fast (usually) or going to slow and both actions will give the aircraft a major bounce on the runway. Coming in too fast is usually always the safe side of the equation... But too fast is still to fast. You don’t have any airbrakes and so the reverse pitch is the only means of slowing the speed once on the hard stuff and sometimes the landing is like hitting the deck on an aircraft carrier... Your job is to avoid that sort of flying and try to make it more like a nice smooth touch and reverse thrust approach. Duplicate that by three or four landings and takeoff’s a day and you are in the zone. The reward is in getting it all right every time. And that is the attraction. The pull. The ”I really want to give that run another go” thought. So with every spare few hours that you have you “do have another go” and that is the constant and always repeatable use of the aircraft because... It is challenging and it challenges you hard to fly it really well. Conclusions The ATR72-500 from Aerosoft/McPhat is if anything a “Tour-de-Force”. On one side the graphics and detailing is totally outstanding... but in other areas of simple items and a few extra features still persist that could be quickly fixed with an (no livery) update. It is an almost there aircraft. Most aircraft released over the last year and some noticeably from JARdesign and FlightFactor have had regular updates and extra features that tweek their product into perfect shape. If only the ATR could have that same lavish attention. It is again an aircraft that will certainly divide the punters. But after using the ATR72 for a period since its release I will note it is an aircraft that really gets under your skin, It challenges your skills and it keeps you interested month after month in various ways to get you to keep on coming back and wanting to fly another sector, try another route... It is so addictive in that only and if a few other aircraft have held my attention for these sort of long periods. And with that it comes back to value... If you use aircraft as much as I have flown this aircraft then the value is in there and in a way it starts to deliver on the original promise now with the update (1.10) and with more liveries added in to the package. In the end in context. Even with some compromises with systems and a couple of slight issues that I really try to ignore - The ATR72-500 is with out doubt one of my favorite aircraft that I use constantly and relish in testing my skills and just enjoy flying. And in the end that is what good simulation is all about. The Aerosoft ATR72-500 (ver1.10) is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Aerosoft ATR72-500 Price is US$32.05 This Aircraft is only available for X-Plane10 Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7 (updated), Linux, Mac CPU: 2,6 GHz (Duo / Quad core recommended) Memory : 2 GB RAM Review By Stephen Dutton Note: I listed four other liveries available for the ATR72-500 by Elanport here : Developer Site : McPhat Studios Ver 1.10 list of changes - Landing lights illuminate brighter. - Landing lights don’t illuminate the Cockpit any longer. - Taxi light works and steers with wheel. - Cockpit textures are brighter and better readable. - Strobe lights now illuminate objects (plane, runway etc). - Camera movement is limited inside the cockpit, so you can no longer go through the walls. - Engine start works as described in the manual for X-Plane 10. - Fixed prop animation. - 5 new UHDT repaints: Air Nostrum, Azul, CSA, Flybe Nordic, CSA Skyteam - Added wing registration to the existing and new liveries. - Fixed Air Austral registration on fuselage. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  10. simBrief is now allowing X-Plane users to plan and download flight planning details. SimBrief is a virtual flight dispatch center that capable of generating in-depth flight plan packages containing weather forecasts, current NOTAMs, accurate fuel planning based on real world winds aloft and ETOPS data. simBrief has a partnership with Navigraph that allows you the option of upgrading to the latest AIRAC cycle. If you don’t have a Navigraph account you can still freely use the default SimBrief.com database of which is noted as slightly dated. VATSIM users are also catered for with detailed routes and VATAWARE/VATroute interaction. Once registered on simBrief it is a free system to use and I was very impressed with the planning system. It is easy to get the routes via Flightaware, VatAware,VATroute,SimRoutes and routefinder. Then just fill in your flight details in Airline, Flight-no, Aircraft, Orig-Dest, Date and departure (Zulu-time). (more options are available) and the simBrief will then create a packaged fightplan that you can download, print. prefile for VATSIM or make a .pdf. Support is excellent as well with plenty of forums to answer your questions... Overall I was very impressed. An excellent video shows how to use the simBrief system but you may have to run through it a few times to get all the inputs correct on the site. For more information : simBrief Virtual Dispatch 7th September 2013
  11. The Beechcraft D-17 Staggerwing is now available from the X-Plane .OrgStore.... D-17 Staggerwing for US$19.95! This is a great recreation from Alabeo of this famous 1930’s design that was well loved by the Hollywood crowd. And later the D-17 was used as a light bomber in WW2. Features Include: Superb material shines and reflections Beautiful interior Volumetric side view prop effect Dynamic propeller shines effect High quality 3D model and textures Pop-up menus 6 high-resolution paint schemes Blank texture for creating your own designs Extended documentation X-Plane Reviews will soon do a review on this excellent aircraft... 4th September 2013
  12. X-Plane Reviews : Update & Review : Carenado Cessna C337H Skymaster v2 HD Series KLAL Lakeland Linder to KJAX Jacksonville (213.40nm) "What time is it?" "Oh about 4am" "Where are we going at this hour?" "Jacksonville!" "Fine I'll put some extra fuel in the C337 and get her ready, I was a little short last time I did this run".... If I was going to get up and fly at 4am and do a quick 200 Nautical Miles or so then the C337H Skymaster was the machine to fly. This version by Carenado is again another small masterpiece of quality and craftmanship. I turned on the battery and turned up those lovely blue shadowing panel lights and adjusted the overhead light to get the aircraft sorted for flight... extra fuel to 60 GALs in each one of the front and rear tanks. I had to move quickly as I am only on the battery and it may run down to much power to start the engines. The customers were here and it was time to get them sorted, On the left lower screen there is an (O) options menu... It opened a rear baggage door for their luggage, turned on or off the window reflections, it took away the static elements of tags, wheel-chocks and engine covers that were now needed to be removed, Opened the upper and lower doors to get them into the very high cabin and had the option to turn on or off the nice slightly green tinted windows. I looked around and noted everyone was sorted and belted in, the doors were closed and it was time to fire up the engines. The C337H is a twin engine aircraft but with a twist. this configuration is noted as centreline, tractor or Push-Pull and in a few instances as In-Line. I turned each engine switch separately till the engine caught, they warmed up and then settled down to a slightly noisy "Chugga Chugga" sound that is unique to this aircraft. Carenado do 3D surround sounds on the C337H and here in the early morning it felt louder than you can imagine and more realistic that I am glad that Lakeland Airport is situated away from any housing. It may however make a few souls turn over with the noise in their beds in the nearby motel. With the engine temperatures reading normal it was time to turn on the lights NAV, Beacon (on the right tail) and strobe on. I am running HDR on here and that shows the excellent frame-rate with the Skymaster on my system, the HDR also shows off the revised v2 lighting by Carenado and brilliant it is... I also switch off the overhead cabin light and the two spot lights in the rear and toned down the main panel lighting to see out better, as lighting goes here it can't not be bettered... It is fully adjustable to get the very best balance of the instruments and also the dark view out of the front windows... There are a few lighting reflections but you get used to them. Now ready to go I switch on the two lights in the nose. One is for taxiing and and other one is your main landing light, here i will use both and the ramp before me is now very well lit. Off the brakes and the taxi is quite rapid, it can go too fast and a small pull back of the mixture levers will give you a slightly less pull, the engines however protest in going more "Kling, Kling" than "Chugga Chugga". We line up at the hold of RWY23, waiting for an another early departure of a C172 to leave. A glance around at our passengers and they look a little perplexed with all the noise as the rear engine is only set a small distance behind them, I give a smile to my Co-Pilot in the dark as I set the flaps to 1 of 3 settings down, It is great design by Carenado by the way the flap lever moves out to the right with every flap setting, handy in the dark. Runway clear we line up and push the throttles up for power. The C337H will track perfectly straight as the inline counter-rotating propellers give no directional thrust pull, and plenty of power there is. 75-80knts and you are off the ground and climbing easily away with that huge centre wing between the boom tails giving you as much lift as the wings. A loud double clunk!, gives the passengers another fright as the undercarriage locks up in to place. I turn smoothly and climb manually at 800 hundred feet per minute (fpm) till six thousand feet, no loss of power even if i had wanted to use 1000fpm or more, but as soon as I reach my altitude I pulled the throttles back into the panel dials safe zones. Against the first light the distinctive iconic silhouette of the twin tail Skymaster started to appear. I tuned in the freq 112.20 for ORL Orlando VORTEC into the NAV 2 and tuned my heading towards the Nav-Aid. I set the AP (Autopilot) to on and sorted the heading to the VOR 2 direction and finally set the altitude to hold 6000ft. The AP on the C337H is beautiful to behold, the buttons glow green in the dark light. My passengers where now starting to come alive sitting behind me in pointing out Florida's Disney World lit up on the horizon. With more light the cockpit started to come alive as well. looking left and right you can now make out the superb interior detailing. The cockpit is slightly quite small but oddly tall in the rear. By looking over to my right at Orlando International (KMCO) of which I use as a visual reference guide - I note I am on course and on track over Disney World. I love early morning departures in X-Plane. The transition from dark to light is always a thrilling feeling and the aircraft glows in a more softer light. The first Skymaster first flew on February 28th, 1961, and it went into production in May 1963. In 1965 Cessna introduced the model 337 Super Skymaster.This model was larger, and had more powerful engines in the two 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360-C's, retractable landing gear, and a dorsal air scoop for the rear engine and then “Super” name was subsequently dropped. Cessna altogether built 2993 Skymasters of all variants, including the famous 513 military O-2 versions. Production in America was finally stopped in 1982. If you want to by one today the average price is around US$70,000. Maximum speed: 199 mph (173 kn, 320 km/h) at sea level : Cruise speed: 144 mph (125 knots, 232 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m) (econ cruise) : Range: 965 mi (839 nmi, 1,553 km) : Service ceiling: 19,500 ft (5,945 m) : Rate of climb: 1,200 ft/min (6.1 m/s) The ORL VORTEC is now way behind us and the Skymaster has now reached the east coast of Florida. Now it was time to turn north towards St Augustine and a re-tune of the NAV2 to (SGJ) Freq. 109.40. Excited noises now came from behind me as the view up the coast was spectacular, a lot of finger pointing and chattering would mean happy passengers and return business. The detailing on the C337H is extremely good. I wondered how Carenado could do this but in a certain light you can see the crafted separate panels that make up the 3d model, many developers usually craft 3d items in a full body, but it is in these panels that give the aircraft its authenticity. All aircraft in the HD series has the higher quality 4K textures that give excellent quality but with a very low render requirement. At every angle the C337H is a beautiful sight as the detail is outstanding in every aspect but the 4K textures also allows for every fine detail. The highlights are of course those twin beams with those twin lovely huge tails with the wide board between them... the detail on the tails is so perfect and right down to the rubbery aerials in the slipstream. You get one default (White) livery and five designs; Australian Westpac Coastguard, Rhodesian AF, Red, Grey and blue... The Skymaster's main panel is so well crafted. It does not have many mod-cons and it shows its age in design. There is digital engine readout and that lovely green buttoned AP. But otherwise the instruments on the pilots side are the standard six and few extra gauges for VOR navigation, the rocker switches below are mostly for lighting and main power selection. Reflections on the instruments (and the windows) are simply first rate. As the light moves then so do the reflections, and everything is highly realistic. The Equipment stack is quite old with a COMM unit, Garmin GNS430, Collins COM/NAV (x2) and two King ADF KR87's and a KT 76A Transponder. On the Co-Pilots side there are some excellent twin engine gauges with manifold pressure and RPM. A Fuel Flow and EGT dial. The highlight on this side is the engine dials that show fuel gauges (two tanks), oil pressure and engine temperatures. You watch these engine temp gauges like a hawk because the rear engine has a tendency to overheat. On the very early models of the Skymaster the rear engine would quickly overheat and mostly if you had a long way to taxi to the runway. Most of the early Skymaster accidents were caused by the rear engine failing and pilots not having enough power to climb into the air with only use of the power of the front one. You can cool the engines by opening vents on the underside at the front by the exhausts and up high on the rear fuselage. You do this via two switches low down on the panel with green lights to show they are open. The front exhausts are also very prominent with the vents closed and vibrate with a trail of a bit of smoke. The rear engine exhausts stick out from the rear bulkhead and also shake with a second trail of smoke adding more to the black cloud that is billowing from the front. The pedestal is excellent with six levers for the two engines (Throttle, Prop and Mix (Mixture). You can adjust either with a single lever or grab two for each selection. It is very easy to want to adjust the pitch via the trim selector (wheel). But that will just kill the Autopilot. The AP pitch adjustment is however low down on the pedestal with a roll adjustment and AP on/off switch. It is an annoying stretch down to the pitch wheel and it takes your eyes off the horizon, but there it is. Cabin details are excellent with two seats high for the pilots and two set low down in the rear. You can adjust the window shades in any position which is handy with the early morning sun. Roof detail has a speaker and fuel selection switches. The second menu available on the lower left of your screen is for ( C ) camera or different views around the aircraft, you can also zoom in or out by the slider. Black Hammond Island at Jacksonville twists at the Northend into this sort of Hammerhead and my Co-Pilot points out the formation as my point to turn west inland towards KJAX. I drop my height to 1400ft and run parallel with the airport. Behind me the couple have noticed their Southwest flight is already at the gate waiting. I am landing on RWY06 which will require a long run west then a turn back of 180º to the threshold, soon after the first 90º turn I lower the flaps two notches and adjust my speed. I drop the pilots shade to help to see the runway. And drop down the gear. My passengers didn't care about the noise this time around as it unfurls out of the fuselage, Carenado have created some magnificent animation to get this action perfectly right and complicated it is. The detailing on the wheels and associated landing struts are excellent. Final flap selection to three and I reduce the speed down to 150knts. The C337H is great under flap, as very little pitch adjustment is needed to keep the nose level. I used the AP to land the Skymaster of which I don't usually do. But I wanted to see how the aircraft reacted when it came out of the lower end of the beam. I fact it is not bad going into the flare although I found myself going a little to fast in case I had dropped quickly off the end of the beam. You can see the concentration on my face as In this case I slightly floated until I smoothly dropped finally down on to the tarmac. Again I suspect that large rear wing gives you more lift than you need with its large wing area, but placing the Skymaster on the centreline was a cinch and I expected at least some polite applause from the rear passengers... I had to pull the mixture back a little to get a slower taxi speed and we "chugga chugged" in along the taxiway and soon found our waiting parking space and so I finally shut the C337H down. Our passengers wanted out of the cabin and to quickly grab their bags. With the ( O ) options I opened the doors and got the bags out of the locker. As they disappeared to a waiting mini-bus I closed up the aircraft and looked over at my Co-Pilot... "What time is it?" "Just after 6.30" "So do like the Skymaster?" "Yeah I love it... this is a really great aircraft, fast powerful and pretty easy to fly, I love any Carenados, but they got a hell of a lot right with this one" "yeah I will agree with you on that... This version two is excellent". "I'm hungry... I need some breakfast, Do you know anywhere in Jacksonville open at this hour?" "I know a famous Diner that Ian Fleming dined at while he was writing Live and let Die" "did he like it?" "Na, he hated it... but he was always was a fussy eater.... It was in the book" "Sounds like my sort of a place" (laughs) The Cessna C337 by Carenado is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : C337 Skymaster HD Series And is priced at only US$29.95 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 31st August 2013 The v2 C337 Skymaster update is now available at the X-Plane .Org Store just check in and download the new version if you have an account. The Cessna C337 is available for both X-Plane 9 and X-Plane10 (note some effects and features require X-Plane10) : Installation is to download the file (254.40mb) and unzip (371.80mb) to your Aircraft/General Aviation Folder. Documentation - Is comprehensive for Versions v9 and v10 Developer Site : Carenado v2.0 list of changes: -32-bit and 64-bit Mac, Windows, and Linux support. -Updated SASL to official v2.0.1 release, which contains optimizations that benefit from Laminar's X-Plane 10.22 release. -Overhauled lighting system. Lighting halos for nav and strobe lights are now more visible under certain viewing angles. -Landing light features tightly-focused "glare" effect when viewed from the right angle. -Nav lights have been improved for a more realistic appearance. -Improved ground handling -No longer has inverted fuel and oil systems. More realistic. -Optimized "options" menu, to use less memory. -Optimized "Cameras" menu to use less memory -Tweaked volume knob for engine sounds ("Vol" knob on GNS430) -Tweaked turning radius on ground to compensate for new v10 no-toe-brake-with-rudder setting. -Adjusted trim time from centre to max for v10, as this setting, left un-addressed, will cause the same plane to take twice as long to trim. -tweaked gauges, such as fuel and oil pressure, vacuum, etc. to conform to v10's new way of calculating "Nominal pressure/temperature" as opposed to "Max pressure/temperature". -Programmed default camera snap points for v10 (on top of existing ones via "Cameras" pop-up menu) 2 Different .acf files: one for v9 and one for v10. -v10 .acf features optimized objects. Interior/exterior shading is applied only where needed, saving resources. -v10 .acf has further optimizations to objects that don't need the background (clouds, skies) to be drawn through them, if they're not transparent, saving further resources. -v10 .acf also protects certain textures from resolution degradation at low rendering settings. This guarantees that the panel instruments and text are always crisp and clear, no matter what rendering settings are chosen for the sim. -v10 .acf is optimized to make use of HDR rendering, especially in terms of lighting. This includes spill lights, which illuminate the surroundings, coming from Nav and Strobe lights. -When HDR mode is turned off, care has been taken to optimize the appearance of the plane without the enhancement benefits of HDR. As this review was being completed. Two great Lightning Liveries for the C337H popped up on the .Org by Tanisa. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  13. Yeah I have uploaded that improvement.... Will Install and note that.
  14. So how many days till Christmas 2013... And how much money can you save up till then? I don't drool much, but this Simulator Add-On is in the "What can I sell to get it category"... It is the GoFlight GF-Pro Yoke System. It is an exact replica of a Boeing 737 Yoke. Each yoke handle has five programmable buttons; Trim, View Selection, A/T Disengage, and two Voice Call buttons. Also included is a Hat Switch and Thumb Joystick for controlling your mouse. And yes it works with X-Plane (I understand the programmable buttons work but I am not sure about everything else). If you are standing up... I recommend you now sit down? The Cost is US$749.95... So it depends on how serious you are about your simulation experience! For more information then go to the GoFlight Site. 30th August 2013
  15. Review : Diamond DA-42 Twinstar by Harranssor Any developer that has wishes to sell their work and move into the upper regions of creating payware will know that the gap to that level is wide. A few years ago you could create something good and put it on the selling block and receive a few repayments for all your hard work. But the game has shifted considerably today as simulation as a whole is now turning out very high quality products and the market place is getting very competive for your savings in your hard earned paypal accounts. Choice is becoming wide and what was once a purchase every 3 months is usually now once a month and is quickly becoming every two weeks or in some cases even weekly. But it is quality gap that is hardest to cover now. With products from highly productive teams that are very professional in the way they create their products and market them. Then can the single developer still find a niche to fill with their product. The answer has to be yes. Because it these wonderful products that show the diversity and talent in creating great aircraft or sceneries and it adds to our selection of having a bigger and choice to purchase something worth investing in. The cudo's for any developer going payware is that if you deliver an outstanding payware product then your name goes into that echelon of names and recognition that signifies your work and product... and you can easily sell more product in the future. It is simulation's version of the Hollywood star system. Harranssor or his real name Stephane Buon is one developer that has quickly lit a comet streak across our simulation world. His Eclipse 550 personal jet was released as freeware in February 2013 showed us that here was a new talent to be observed and even in these early aircraft the quality and execution of the detailing required to be a professional designer was already shown to be in abundance. As good as the Eclipse 550 is it is at this point still freeware... for payware you require more. Diamond DA-42 Twinstar Harranssor choice for his first payware is the DA-42 Twinstar by the Austrian company Diamond Aircraft Industries. It is a 4 seat (1 Pilot/3 Pass) Twin Engine carbon composite material aircraft and it is equipped with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. First flight was on the 9th September 2002 and was certified in Europe in 2004 and in the United States in 2005. The DA-42 uses Thielert Aircraft Engines TAE 125-01 Centurion 1.7... in the real aircraft Diamond has now switched to their 3rd Generation Austro Turbo Diesel Engine, the Lycoming IO-360 engine is also available as an option. The DA42 Twin Star was the first diesel-powered fixed-wing aircraft to make a non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic in 12.5 hours, with an average fuel consumption of 5.74 gallons per hour (2.87 gallons per hour per engine). In June 2010 a DA42 powered by Austro AE300 engines became the first aircraft to be publicly flown on algae-derived jet fuel and a Fly-by-wire version is being developed in the next version. Maximum speed: 356 km/h (221 mph; 192 kn) - Range: 1,693 km (1,052 mi; 914 nmi - Service ceiling: 5,486 m (17,999 ft) - Rate of climb: 6.5 m/s (1,280 ft/min) With the DA-42 being a composite aircraft it allows shapes that a standard aluminium/metal frame can't be created in, so it looks modern in every aspect of its design, It's bulbous cabin gives the aircraft good inner space but has a great streamling effect as well. The wings are wide and thin with sharklets upending the end of the wings. The tail is a tall T on a boom tail... It looks like a Burt Rutan design that has fell in love with a Beechcraft and this is their offspring!. Flying The DA-42 Twinstar The first thing you notice is in the cockpit is the dominating screens of the GARMIN G1000 flat panel displays. The setup here of the G1000 system is one of the best layouts yet. It is extremely well crafted (great screen and surround detail) and gives you large selections of choice of information to be displayed on the twin screens. When starting up the panels they show the GARMIN start-up screens with adds great authenticity to the cockpit. The panels information can be accessed by selecting the row of menu buttons on the lower edge of the panel. On the primary (left) display you can set many menu adjustments including your navigation selections (VOR 1/VOR 2, ADF, OBS, IDENT and Alerts) and all changes are noted on the screen. Surrounding the screen on the panel are your GFC-700 Autopilot selections are on the left with knob adjustments for - NAV - HDG - ALT and Nav frequency settings (a note that to change the Nav Freq you use the button under the NAV knob, hard to find is that one) and all frequency settings are displayed across the top of the screen. On the right of the screen is your COMM knob adjustment, Course (CRS) knob, Range (for a smaller inset version of the MAP function on the PFD) and FMS settings and adjustment. The main panel displays the artificial horizon, speed and height strips with vertical speed angle indicator (very similar to the B737NG) and a compass rose that has a course function and NAV 1 and NAV 2 VOR indicators. The centre strip between the panels holds the COMM, NAV1-NAV2 and other radio functions with a "Music" feature (Bach - Chopin) to keep the you in the right mood. The right panel is dominated by the MAP. No squinting or trying to find that obscure fix (or waypoint) here... This MAP screen is huge and everything is in perfect detail. you have three choices of colour on the display - Brown (standard) Dark and Green. On the right of the MAP is your Engine readouts, Load%, RPM with other items Fuel Flow, Oil Press, Coolant Temp, Fuel Temp and Fuel Qty. you can also select via the lower screen menu the ENGINE (Standard) SYSTEM and FUEL displays. The FMS (Flight Management System) is excellent with a pop-out FMS panel and details noted on the left G1000 panel. On the right G1000 panel you can display the FMS route in both standard line or a height route version. There are far too many MENU items set across the two panels to cover here separately. And it will take a fair while to get acquainted with each setting and its display as it is very comprehensive as a panel setup... impressive the G1000 is. In flight and on the ground the displays are great to use and you soon find yourself using them to their modern set up and the advantages of a more up-to date system integration. The central pedestal is well designed as well... Lovely Throttle and Fuel selector levers are very well crafted, the Fuel cutoff is full back with the red tabs clicking into place. Defrost is required as your cabin can go misty in the cold... a great special effect from Harranssor. Rudder and Nose trim is slightly problematic in that the trim wheels don't work?... You will need to go and set up your keyboard keys for the trim adjustments to make them work, and you will need them. The Cabin is well done with four leather chairs with the flight control sticks coming out of the front seats. Harranssor has done some brilliant craft work in giving the seats some bulges and curves with weathering to make them very realistic. Cabin details include a map and authentic swinging key. All panel lettering is clear and precise with no blurring around the well done knobs and switches... All the cabin is excellent in composition. In The Air Being a composite aircraft with two engines (both rotating clockwise) the aircraft has a great weight to power ratio, and that makes it a performer. However you do have to watch your angle of attack because if you push to high and the speed drops off quickly (very quickly) so keep the aircraft under 1000fpm (Feet Per Minute) to get the best performance. Engines are all FADAC controlled and so you don't need any mixture or adjustments during operation. Taking off the DA-42 tracks straight with no rudder adjustment and is light on the controls, roll, pitch and turns are easily performed. But you have to watch out for the trim, it needs adjusting to the power of the engines and if you don't the aircraft will climb with your stick in neutral. It also has a tendency to hunt the altitude or porpoise up and down, do a wide long turn and your power goes down and you have to hunt for your height again. Over a period of time you get a little tired of this bobbing up and down and trying to trim it clean, under the Autopilot it is even worse... but overall it is very nice to fly. On landing the tri-cycle landing gear unfurls with spindly effortness, design of the gear is very good but I am not sure about the tyres. Front on they look fine, but from the side they look square and bland. Flap drop (3 positions) is good with not a lot of nose movement. On landing however there is an issue? On my first approach and landing I crashed (What the?) I couldn't work out why and I lost the chance to get a replay. Another go around and I alighted as light as a feather but the aircraft still skipped back into the air and bounced hard down. A look at the replay showed there was no give in the landing gear. It is as hard as sticks with no give... you can land easily but be prepared to hop along the tarmac if you get don't get the float right. The Aircraft The design of the DA-42 is excellent, detailing is perfect as this composite aircarft is a very clean design. Harranssor has done a magnificent job in creating that smooth composite skin with those lovely upswept sharklets, wing and flap detail is also first rate and the propellers look authentic. There are no pop-up menus. You can open the main canopy, a passenger luggage door and a front luggage door (right only) by three switches on the pilots left armrest... There are great rain effects and the windows glaze over unless you use the limited supply of De-Icing fluid. Night-lighting is good, but I had big issues with the HDR switched on?... It slaughtered my frame-rate of which right through this review was excellent. Running HDR on I could barely achieve 7 frames, I reduced my render settings to almost zero to no effect?... turn off HDR and I returned to 115frames?... so there is an issue there. Also the HDR put a fine box around the lighting and shone through the bodywork... Liveries There are is the default (F-HCTA) and 12 liveries by Xflyer... All liveries are to a very high standard and you have a great selection to chose from. Documentation A good set of documentation is provided - 2 Flight Manuals (English and French), Checklist - Real documents are also provided in Checklist, DA-42 Flight Manual and a GARMIN G1000 manual. Requirements Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 9 not is supported) Conclusions The step up to releasing a payware aircraft requires a very high quality and extra features above the usual standard. The DA-42 from Harranssor certainly delivers far more in all of these areas. The Garmin G1000 is superbly created and is the highlight of this aircraft. but in also not forgetting the detail and the great work to create the right composite effect that is all to easy to look average. Detailing is first rate and only a few niggles like the stiff undercarriage and the HDR framerate killing issue would be easily be done in a small update. Overall the Twinstar is full of great features and effects that are well thought out and delivered. Above all this quality aircraft is well priced and that to bring such a comprehensive design to release shows that Harranssor can deliver a great and an unusual aircraft to our simulator world that is very satisfying to fly and also give you a great simulation experience. __________________________________________ Price is US$24.95 And the DA-42 Twinstar is available from the X-Plane .OrgStore right now : Diamond DA-42 Twinstar __________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th August 2013 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  16. Scenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay by Tom Curtis Tom Curtis's Golden Gate package of which includes KSFO (San Francisco International and Oakland International) now has two extra expansion packages of "South Bay" and "San Carlos" also added into the whole bay area package. First note is that this is a huge scenery. It now has eight airports listed in all: KSFO - San Francisco International airport and gateway to the Pacific Rim KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International Airport KSJC - Mineta San Jose International Airport KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport KPAO - Palo Alto Airport - General Aviation KHAF - Half Moon Bay - General Aviation KSQL - San Carlos Airport GG01 - Clipper Cove, Located on Treasure Island And also GUQ Moffett Field also has a few items of note as well More items includes: Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges. Alcatraz Prison and the Nike Missile Site Museum. A few San Francisco landmarks are also visible like the Transamerica Tower. Maps by Google So where would you start?... Well my interest in this package was noted by a video. It is the "PilotsEYE" series of the first service by Lufthansa of the Airbus A380 on the Frankfurt - San Francisco route. What is interesting in the video is that it shows you all the landmarks and viewpoint in the landing and docking at Gate 101B at San Francisco International Airport: This being X-Plane I wanted to run that route and simulate that landing... Peter's Aircraft wonderful Lufthansa Airbus A380 allows you to easily indulge in your own fantasy. The point of this is that if the scenery works in this context then the scenery is good... Make no doubt as the Tom Curtis KSFO delivers here in spades, views and the background match the video to perfection. Frame-Rate was impressive at 24frames... not a lot of margin I admit, but this is serious scenery and Peter Hagar's A380 is no lightweight either - so the user number here is impressive. KSFO - San Francisco International Airport San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO, ICAO: KSFO, FAA LID: SFO) 10L/28R (11,870) 3,618m Asphalt 10R/28L (10,602) 3,231m Asphalt 1R/19L (8,648) 2,636m Asphalt 1L/19R (7,500) 2,286 Asphalt Elevation AMSL 13 ft / 4 m San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO, ICAO: KSFO) is an international airport 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco, California. The airport opened on May 7, It was named Mills Field Municipal Airport until 1931, when it became San Francisco Municipal Airport. "Municipal" was replaced by "International" in 1955. The KSFO scenery is excellent in scale, There so much detail here it is overwhelming. So the best way to view it is to show the different Terminals. The odd thing to note here is the International Terminal is at the front (lower) and the domestic termnial is at the rear (upper). So we will start with the domestic arms and then show the International. Terminal One Gates 20 - 36 Boarding Area B _____________________________________________________________________________________ Terminal One Gates 40 - 48 Boarding Area C _____________________________________________________________________________________ Terminal Two Gates 50 - 59 Boarding Area D (formally the Central Terminal) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Terminal Three Gates 60 - 67 Boarding Area E (Now Closed) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Terminal Three Gates 68 - 90 Boarding Area F _____________________________________________________________________________________ International Terminal Gates A1 - A12 Boarding Area A _____________________________________________________________________________________ International Terminal Gates G91 - G102 Boarding Area G _____________________________________________________________________________________ All the main terminal infrastructure is excellent with almost every gate filled with ramp equipment or parked aircraft, One aircraft is an animation that pushes back and then returns to the gate. The parked aircraft textures are a little washy (even on a high texture setting).. . but otherwise it can't be faulted. (A note the United B747 at the United Terminal 3 gate is not in the correct position as in the scenery. I moved it so I could park a large aircraft next to the B747 original gate position). All ramp and taxiway markings are exceptional... taxiing around the terminals with the linage and runway signs is as perfect as you will ever need them. Tom is very good at night lighting and the SFO airport is excellent, The buildings have a slight whiteness about them but that is not really an issue here. All gates are well lit and the terminal windows are exceptional. Highlights away from the central area is the American Airlines Hanger and the United Airlines maintenance base. Both areas are excellent with great signage in both day and the night. There are a huge amount of offices, warehouses and the Coast Guard station situated around mostly the Northern boundary, nothing is missing here... as every building is accounted for. There is a small (for) FedEx cargo base and fuel depot and the only few items to note is the high rail line stops abruptly?, and a few of the underlying photo textures are a little washed out... I would like to have a few working (animated) gates and I understand that SFO now has a new control tower? - but again these are minor issues. Tom notes the ATC has been set up to run correctly.... As scenery with KSFO you can't fault it. KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International Airport Almost directly across the bay from KSFO is Oakland International Airport. The approach to KOAK runway 11 is excellent with this scenery package, You cross over all the Oakland Bay Bridges with San Francisco City on your right (The Golden Gate bridge is viewable in the distance) and a few city icons are visible with the default autogen filling in the rest of the view... If you take away these few items like the bridges and the city icons you would certainly notice what makes a great scenery and what does not. It cannot be stressed more than here as this is the small difference of what makes this outstanding package work. Airports set out alone can not deliver the whole experience. Oakland International Airport (IATA: OAK, ICAO: KOAK) (Metropolitan Oakland International Airport) is a public airport five miles south of downtown Oakland, in Alameda County, California. Oakland is the focus city for Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air. As of July 2013, Southwest has 108 daily departures on peak-travel days of the week.Alaska Airlines combined with sister-carrier Horizon Air is in distant 2nd with as many as 12 flights. The city of Oakland looked into the construction of an airport starting in 1925. In 1927 the announcement of the Dole prize for a flight from California to Hawaii provided the incentive to purchase 680 acres in April 1927 for the airport.The 7,020 foot long runway was the longest in the world at the time, and built in just 21 days to meet the Dole race start. The airport was dedicated by Charles Lindbergh September 17. In its early days, because of its long runway enabling safe takeoff rolls for fuel-heavy aircraft, Oakland was the departing point of several historic flights, including Charles Kingsford Smith's historic US-Australia flight in 1928, and Amelia Earhart's final flight in 1937. Earhart departed from this airport when she made her final ill-fated voyage, intending to return there after circumnavigating the globe. Oakland International Airport (IATA: OAK, ICAO: KOAK, FAA LID: OAK) 11/29 (10,000) 3,048m Asphalt 9R/27L (6,212) 1,893m Asphalt 9L/27R (5,454) 1,662m Asphalt 15/33 (3,372) 1,028m Asphalt Elevation AMSL 9 ft / 3 m The airport is split into two separate areas by runways 9R/27L and 9L/27R with the commercial Airport to the south along side RWY 11/29 and the executive and general aviation areas to the north. FedEx has a large facility here which is almost in the central position of the airport. A very large maintenance building is a big part of the airport as well. Oakland has Two terminals - One and Two. Terminal 1 has 17 gates (1, 3, 4–7, 8-8A, 9-9A, 10–12, 14-14A, 15, 17) and is also used for International services. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Terminal 2 has 13 gates (20–32) (mostly Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Detailing is excellent... all gates are covered with full ramp equipment. All the glass work is excellent and totally realistic. All taxi and runway linage is again of high quality as with noted at SFO. The Private executive and GA area is well covered as well. With items for the Business Jet Center, Kaiser Air and Flight schools Alameda Aero Club, Lou Fields Aviation, Oakland Flyer and Oakland Aircraft Maintenance other noted are Aerial Advertising Services, Oakland Aviation Museum, formerly Western Aerospace Museum and Pacific Aerial Surveys. Only slight eyesore is front of the main terminals is that there is a bit of washed out area with no real carpark. Night-Lighting is the same as SFO... Excellent. All the terminals are very well lit and the night textures are outstanding. The FedEx facility (above) is the standout in the area and the Executive and GA area (below) is very good as well with great lit signage. Oakland International Airport is a great supplement to the main San Francisco International... It has the same quality, but it is ideal for your Private Jet/GA movements and LLC (Low Cost Carrier) operations. With OAK I had no Frame-Rate issues (28-30fr). KSJC - Mineta San Jose International Airport Despite San Jose being the largest city in the Bay Area, SJC is the smallest of the three Bay Area airline airports (8.4 million annual passengers in 2011), with less than a quarter of the passengers of San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and fewer passengers than Oakland International Airport (OAK). Like Oakland airport it attracts Bay Area residents who find SFO too distant from their homes. SJC is noted as a "downtown airport", unlike SFO and OAK which are on opposite shores of San Francisco Bay. SJC's convenient location near downtown San Jose has drawbacks: it is surrounded by the city and had little room for expansion. The proximity to downtown causes limits on building heights in downtown San Jose as by FAA rules. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is a city-owned public airport in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California. It is named for San Jose native Norman Yoshio Mineta. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (IATA: SJC, ICAO: KSJC) 12L/30R (11,000) 3,353m Concrete 12R/30L (11,000) 3,353m Concrete 11/29 (4,599) 1,402m Asphalt Elevation AMSL 62 ft / 19 m Although there are two terminals. They are set out in one long lineup. With Terminal A which has 16 gates: 1–16. and Terminal B which has the North Concourse of Terminal B which has 12 gates: 17–28. A planned South Concourse has now been built as the other Terminal B, but it is to be noted that here in this scenery it is the older version and not the new curved building designed by Gensler... Across the runways are the General Aviation areas and the Control Tower. This area is well detailed with hangars and excellent aircraft parking. All the parking and taxi linage is exceptional. Night-Lighting at KSJC is again exceptional... The lighting around the terminals is expertly done. With this you will find SJC is as good with detail as the other two major airports. The surrounding OSM (Open Street Map) traffic is excellent here as the airport is heavily boxed in, so the traffic swarms around you as you approach or takeoff. I found SJC hit my frame-rate more heavier that SFO and OAK, my guess it is the heavier laid out default autogen. As it dropped down into the on the line 19's and 18's frames. Flying into SFO above SJC in the A380, caused a little stutter as well... but again the A380 is a very heavy file. That is the three very large airports in this package... we will now briefly look at the other smaller Executive and General Aviation airports and one large Ex-Flyingboat base that are dotted all around the bay area. KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport Hayward Executive Airport is just 8 miles south of Oakland International. Hayward Executive Airport (IATA: HWD, ICAO: KHWD, FAA LID: HWD) 10R/28L (5,694) 1,736m Asphalt 10L/28R (3,107) 947m Asphalt Helipad : H1 (110) 34m Asphalt Elevation AMSL 52 ft / 16 m Hayward Executive Airport is a city owned public airport two miles west of downtown Hayward, in Alameda County, California, United States. The airport was built in 1942 during World War II for use as a fighter base as an auxiliary field to Chico Army Air Field and was originally named "Hayward Army Airfield". The primary aircraft stationed at the field were Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft. This post may have also been named "Russell City Army Air Field" for the unincorporated area outside of the Hayward city limits where it was located. In April 1947 the War Assets Administration quit-claimed the airfield, comprising some 690 acres (279 ha) and related buildings and equipment, to the City of Hayward. The airfield was then renamed the Hayward Municipal Airport. On May 1, 1980 the California Air National Guard units at Hayward were reassigned to NAS Moffett Field. It looks like an Ex-Army Field because that is what it was, mostly today it is a storage airport for small aircraft although the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) have offices here. Tom has done a good representation of Hayward. The control Tower area with a large parking ramp is very good with waving flags and other great details... but mostly this airport is all about storage hangers, and all the various different types are represented, Night-Lighting is again very good with great spill lighting on the hangers and the Control Tower/Terminal windows. KPAO - Palo Alto Airport - General Aviation Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County is a small general aviation strip on the western edge of the bay. Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County (IATA: PAO, ICAO: KPAO) 13/31 (2,443) 745m Asphalt Elevation AMSL 7 ft / 2 m Facilities at this busy towered airport include multiple aircraft repair shops and a staffed terminal including West Valley Flight Club, Advanced Flyers, Peninsula Avionics, Sundance Flying Club, Stanford Flying Club, Rossi Aircraft, and Palo Alto Fuel Service. A small airport but it is filled to the brim with detail. Great small control tower and the entrance gate with a carpark is excellent (more flags!). The parking ramp is well completed and the night-lighting is simply excellent (mainly on the hanger down lights and signage). The Abundant Air Cafe, the Golf Course and the popular Ming's Restaurant are all represented... The Restaurant looks great at night down by the water.... KHAF - Half Moon Bay - General Aviation Out on the Pacific Ocean coast is KHAF - Half Moon Bay. (IATA: HAF, ICAO: KHAF) is a county-owned public use airport in San Mateo County. The Half Moon Bay Airport is located approximately 20 miles south of San Francisco. It was constructed by the California State Highway Department for the U.S. Army in 1942 as an auxiliary airfield for Salinas Army Air Base. On 1 June 1945, the War Department issued a five year permit to the U.S. Navy to operate the Site as "Outlying Field, Half Moon Bay". Half Moon Bay field became an outlying field for Naval Air Station Moffett Field, to furnish facilities for utility aircraft providing target towing service for the Anti-Aircraft Training Center, Point Montara, California. Following the end of World War II, San Mateo County acquired the airport from the Navy in 1947. The airport has served a variety of roles over the years and is currently an important business, transportation and emergency service asset to the community. Half Moon Bay Airport provides a variety of emergency service and response functions including: Air ambulance and Medivac flights; law enforcement and homeland security patrols and Coast Guard sea-rescue operations. KHAF - Half Moon Bay (IATA: HAF, ICAO: KHAF) 12/30 (5,000ft) 1,524m Asphalt/Concrete A well represented general aviation airport that is great for training or a fly around the coast go-to destination, the detail at the airport is again very good with the famous 3-Zero Cafe front and centre. The cafe looks really great at night with great detailing. Rusting hanger roofs show attention to detail and plenty of ramp parking and GA aircraft. KSQL - San Carlos Airport San Carlos Airport is a county-owned public use airport in San Mateo County. It is located two nautical miles (3.7 km) northeast of the of San Carlos.The FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) classifies San Carlos as a reliever airport for San Francisco International Airport. The airport is home to Civil Air Patrol West Bay Composite Squadron 192. Adjacent to the airport is the famous Hiller Air Museum. San Carlos Airport (IATA: SQL, ICAO: KSQL) 12/30 (2,600ft) 792m Asphalt Elevation AMSL 5 ft / 2 m The San Carlos Airport is home to over 30 aviation related businesses. Facilities at KSQL include: Zanette Aviation Insurance, West Valley Flying Club, Bel-Air Aviation, Air West Aircraft Engines, Diamond Aviation, and the newly opened San Carlos Flight Center and most are represented here in this scenery. The Hiller Museum is prominently noted with a great (lit at night) sign. The standout item is the "Sky Kitchen Cafe" which has been wonderfully reproduced... There is supreme detailing in the rows of parked buses and of course the aviation museum with the Flying Tigers B747 forward fuselage sitting on the building. The OSM (Open Street Map) traffic is exceptional here as well giving the airport a great buzz. Night-lighting is very good as well with great signage and window textures. GG01 - Clipper Cove, Located on Treasure Island Treasure Island was planned for and used as an airport for Pan American World Airways flying boats. And the area was noted as Clipper Cove. Treasure Island itself is artificial island in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. The original Pan American terminal is still there and well reproduced here and the two old aircraft Hangars 2 (Building 2) and Hangar 3 (Building 3) are also present. Today the hangars are used as Film Studio sound stages. The overwhelming feeling at Clipper Cove is of course the towering Oakland Bay Bridges. Would this scenery have the same clout and authenticity if these bridges had not been created by Tom Curtis... again as noted earlier before... I doubt that. They look splendid in this setting. Other items to note in the scenery are: GUQ Moffett Field. Tom here has created the iconic (Airship) hangars of which you note as you turn around to the southern SFO approaches. (an airship flies over Clipper Cove!) The city area has a few buildings like the Transamerica Tower. Alcatraz Island is here as well. And last but not least is the famous red San Francisco Golden Gate bridge. great in the daylight, but excellent at night... The only slightly visual item is all the bridges at night have a strange pattern on them. My guess it is to represent traffic but it doesn't work... Conclusions This scenery is big... huge in scale! It took almost 150 images to put this review together and I haven't touched everything in absolute detail. I could easily double the amount of images here and still not cover the full size of this package. So value is the big question? The Golden Gate + South Bay scenery is listed as US$34.95 of which for scenery is high price. But that would be missing the whole point. If you listed just KSFO as say US$19.95 (well worth that price) then all the rest (7 airports) of the Golden Gate scenery would cost you only an extra US15.00 and looking at it that way it is excellent value. Tom Curtis is one of the very best designers of these packages for X-Plane, and this is one of of his very best. The quality of the work here is simply outstanding. And the night textures and lighting are first rate. And it also needs to be specially noted is that the frame-rate is highly usable for such a huge amount of scenery in a relatively small area. Only slight negative is the photo underlay textures. They are not very detailed and the textures look washed out and flatten out the scenery unless you can run X-Plane in the very highest texture resolution setting of "Extreme Res". So the point is can you not have this scenery in your collection. The answer is simply no. This package is so complete (and I doubt that Tom hasn't finished yet) that not to have this scenery as a destination or to use as part of your North American network is simply doing yourself and X-Plane a disservice as it is one of the most complete city sceneries available for X-Plane at this moment. I will admit it is not total perfection because the scale here does not allow that. But like all of the very best scenery the Golden Gate + South Bay package is one of the very best investments you can do for yourself and for a lot of use with a wide variety of versatile flying around North America in X-Plane. TheScenery Review : Golden Gate , KSFO and South Bay by Tom Curtis is available now from the New X-Plane.org Store : Golden Gate KSFO + South Bay Price is US$34.95 Features: KSFO - San Francisco International Airport KSJC - Mineta San Jose International Airport KSQL - San Carlos Airport KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International KPAO - Palo Alto Airport - General Aviation - 18 miles south of KSFO KHAF - Half Moon Bay Airport - 10 miles west of KSFO KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport - 8 miles south of KOAK GG01 - Clipper Cove Located on Treasure Island All airports include : All gates and terminal Global Night Lightning Custom ATC Frame rate friendly Golden Gate Bridge Detailed model of the world's most famous bridge Alcatraz Island The 'Rock'. Used to be home of a federal jail until 1963 Other landmarks All of the piers and other structures along the shoreline from AT&T (Baseball) Park all the way to the Presidio near the Golden Gate bridge. Transamerica Tower located downtown San Francisco Nike Missile Site Museum Bay bridges Oakland Bay Bridge, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridge Developer Site : Scenery4XP _____________________________________________________________________________________ Documents and Installation : Download: 84mb : Installed as GOLDEN_GATE+SOUTH_BAY_150_XP-10 (295.00mb), and four animation files noted Banner Tow (1.5mb), GG Bridge (634kb), San Meteo Bridge (641mb) and SF Bay Bridge (639mb)Tom Curtis provides a full set of instructions on how to install the scenery under: "OPEN FIRST!" Golden_Gate+South_Bay_Open_Me. Internet is required for installation instructions as it is an address HTML link. GOLDEN_GATE+SOUTH_BAY_150_XP-10 is the main scenery file and four other files are noted under GND_TRAFFIC are - GG Bridge, Banner Tow, San Meteo Bridge and SF Bay Bridge are all to be installed in the "Custom Scenery" Folder (These are bridge traffic animations). Supplied also is the "Red Flag" flag animation plugin. Folder "CustomSBDatarefs004" is installed in the X-Plane Resources/Plugin Folder. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Technical Requirements: X-Plane 10 (any edition). - This scenery is now compatible with X-Plane 9 Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 / 8 (32 or 64 bit) or MAC OS 10.7 or Linux 1Gb VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________________Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 24th August 2013 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Aircraft Airbus A380 - by Peter's Aircraft available at the (Lufthansa Airbus A380) X-Plane.OrgStore $54.95
  17. Yes the A320neo is very good now... I'll check that loss of altitude as well...
  18. Carenado : Cessna C337 Skymaster v2.0 HD Series Carenado has announced the update of the C337 Skymaster HD series to version 2.0, including an update to the SASL plugin system to v2.0.1. The Skymaster is now full v10.20 - 64bit compatibility. and it is also compatible in Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems for v9.70 and v10-32bit. One of the most iconic aircraft ever built, the Cessna C337 is a tractor - pusher aircraft that sounds like no other aircraft. v2 Updates include a lighting system overhaul, improved ground handling and better memory and texture resolution at low render settings. The v2 C337 Skymaster update is now available at the X-Plane .Org Store : Carenado C337 Skymaster HD series The Cessna C337 is available for both X-Plane 9 and X-Plane10 (note some effects and features require X-Plane10) Price is US$29.95 Developer Site : Carenado A full Mini-Review of the v2 C337 Skymaster is coming soon! v2.0 list of changes: -32-bit and 64-bit Mac, Windows, and Linux support. -Updated SASL to official v2.0.1 release, which contains optimizations that benefit from Laminar's X-Plane 10.22 release. -Overhauled lighting system. Lighting halos for nav and strobe lights are now more visible under certain viewing angles. -Landing light features tightly-focused "glare" effect when viewed from the right angle. -Nav lights have been improved for a more realistic appearance. -Improved ground handling -No longer has inverted fuel and oil systems. More realistic. -Optimized "options" menu, to use less memory. -Optimized "Cameras" menu to use less memory -Tweaked volume knob for engine sounds ("Vol" knob on GNS430) -Tweaked turning radius on ground to compensate for new v10 no-toe-brake-with-rudder setting. -Adjusted trim time from centre to max for v10, as this setting, left un-addressed, will cause the same plane to take twice as long to trim. -tweaked gauges, such as fuel and oil pressure, vacuum, etc. to conform to v10's new way of calculating "Nominal pressure/temperature" as opposed to "Max pressure/temperature". -Programmed default camera snap points for v10 (on top of existing ones via "Cameras" pop-up menu) 2 Different .acf files: one for v9 and one for v10. -v10 .acf features optimized objects. Interior/exterior shading is applied only where needed, saving resources. -v10 .acf has further optimizations to objects that don't need the background (clouds, skies) to be drawn through them, if they're not transparent, saving further resources. -v10 .acf also protects certain textures from resolution degradation at low rendering settings. This guarantees that the panel instruments and text are always crisp and clear, no matter what rendering settings are chosen for the sim. -v10 .acf is optimized to make use of HDR rendering, especially in terms of lighting. This includes spill lights, which illuminate the surroundings, coming from Nav and Strobe lights. -When HDR mode is turned off, care has been taken to optimize the appearance of the plane without the enhancement benefits of HDR.
  19. Conex of Dreamfoil Creations has noted his next project will be the Piper J-3 Cub (Originally called the Taylor E-2 Cub) that was released in the 1930's as a flight training aircraft but went on and became one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time. Early tailwheel work is showing excellent detailing. Only a few snap shots at this point of the project. But the quality is already showing. The instrument and panel quality is outstanding... Dreamfoil is well known for his great sound engines, so no doubt it will sound really great. J-3 Cub Thread : Dreamfoil Creations - The Legend was Born Developer Site : dreamfoil-creations 22nd August 2013
  20. There has been a lot of talk around the Garmin G1000 integration into X-Plane cockpits lately and the availability now of a Plane-Maker add-on is interesting. adventurer854 has created a Garmin G1000 twin screen set that can be added to your aircraft via Plane-maker. It is the basic set of components that adds the G1000 functionality to any aircraft that can accept the G1000 layout (From General Aviation to Light Jets). To see how it all works in practical terms you can download alexander316's version of where he has Integrated the G1000 screens into the default X-Plane Cessna 172SP. (since this item was posted alexander316 has updated the 127SP to v2.3. The link is to to the new version) And a great layout it is. It has to be noted that the functionality is directly related to the basic set of Plane-Maker commands and so not all the switches and buttons work. If you can accept that then the setup works very well. The basic Garmin G1000 installation contains two LCD displays (one acting as the primary flight display and the other as the multi-function display) as well as an integrated communications panel that fits in between the two screens. On the real unit you can use a third display unit, to act as a co-pilot PFD. The Primary Flight Display (PFD) shows the basic flight instruments, such as the airspeed indicator, the altimeter, the heading indicator, and course deviation indicator. A small map called the "inset map" can be enabled in the corner. The buttons on the PFD are used to set the squawk code on the transponder. The PFD can also be used for entering and activating flight plans. The Multi-Function Display (MFD) typically shows a moving map on the right side, and engine instrumentation on the left. Most of the other screens in the G1000 system are accessed by turning the knob on the lower right corner of the unit. Screens available from the MFD other than the map include the setup menus, information about nearest airports and NAVAIDs, Mode S traffic reports, terrain awareness, XM radio, flight plan programming, and GPS RAIM prediction. But because of the limitations not all functions as noted are available, certainly not the "Terrain Awareness" (it is replaced by the standard X-Plane MAP function)... The only payware aircraft at this point that uses the G1000 is Jim Gregory's Cessna Corvalis and that is quite basic. A quick flight in the 172SP shows it is a great set up, but it is still a better than nothing compromise at this point, so what would be a great set-up? If you go to the FSX catalogue of General Aviation Aircraft at Carenado and more importantly the CT206H Stationair G1000 EXTENSION PACK you can see the G1000 in all its glory. No doubt this is a great setup, but it does raise a few questions? For FSX this is a US$14.95 add-on to the price of the aircraft (usually US$29.95) . The set up with the CT206H Stationair is to have the standard clockwork gauges and the noted G1000 expansion pack as an extra cost. So would you pay such a higher price for just the G1000 functionality? No doubt the quality would be high from Carenado as it is in the A36 with the pop-out Aspen EFD1000. Of which I found to be an excellent package. But the problem is that to implement the G1000 for the X-Plane versions would be time consuming (meaning costly) which would hence the extra cost of the add-on package. That does of course give you either the option of the standard gauges or the glass G1000 panels if you are willing to pay for it... but here is the rub. If you look through the FSX Carenado catalogue you will note that after a few more releases for X-Plane almost all of the new aircraft coming on to the market including the CT182T Skylane G1000 HD Series are to be ported over from FSX to X-Plane use the G1000 functionality as a standard fit out?... So what would be your choice then? Standard gauges fitted in to replace the G1000 or the G1000 at a premium extra price? The point to remember here is that any premium add-on to any payware aircraft will have to deliver the full G1000 experience. Not just a default G1000 panel (using the default Plane-Maker settings) as supplied by adventurer854. Overall the question is that are we prepared to pay extra for these sort of more highly developed add-ons like the G1000 panel, If we want the quality and the functionality then that may be the only case. As you have to remember that many of the aircraft used for training today use only the G1000 set-up, For X-Plane not to have that functionality may drop the simulator down a notch or two if it isn't available to trainers and their trainees in the process of them learning to fly. For now give the 172SP a try, It is not perfect but it does show you the G1000 in a basic form. 21st August 2013
  21. Till the end of the the month Ramzzess has bundled together three of his excellent Russian Aircraft into a "Russian SuperPack". A saving of 60% off! The three aircraft in the "SuperPack" are: Sukhoi Superjet SSJ-100 The SU100 is a modern Fly-By-Wire aircraft that uses the same avionics as the Airbus A320. The SSJ comes with a full Fly-by-Wire system and modern virtual cockpit. X-Plane 10.20 (or higher - 64 bit compatible) (not compatible with X-Plane 9) Tupolev TU-444 The Tu-444 is a concept Supersonic Business Jet from Tupolev. It will be the fastest business jet on the market, capable of carrying 10 people at Mach 2 over 4500 miles. X-Plane 10.20 (not compatible with X-Plane 9) Beriev BE-200RR The Beriev Be-200RR is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company. Marketed as being designed for fire fighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo, and passenger transportation, it has a capacity of 12 tons of water, or up to 72 passengers. X-Plane 9 or 10. Windows - Mac and Linux Compatible (version 10 is distributed at the store. send an email to [email protected] after you place the order to get the version 9) (Just press the link to view) This 3 aircraft Package is available now for US29.95 (full list prices are US$74.95... this package is a saving of US44.90!) at the X-Plane .OrgStore: Russian SuperPack 20th August 2013
  22. Carenado update & Mini Review : Beechcraft B58 Baron v2.0 HD Series Carenado have updated the B58 Baron to version 2.0. This twin engined General Aviation aircraft is one aircraft I found to be very smooth and powerful to fly. It was also the first of the HD Series with the higher quality textures and overall better quality. There is a significant thing to note in this release. Carenado have done an adjustment in the ability to control the amount of torque the engines produce. This especially affects planes such as the Baron, which don't have counter-rotating propellers. The adjustment is outside of the standard plane-maker settings in using the SASL plugin to do the effects, and the effect is not available on any of the Carenado FSX Aircraft series either as it only works on the X-Plane versions. You can use this effect and settings on any SASL based aircraft and it allows you to play with around with the torque settings. The full details and the thread is here : Engine Torque Tweaks now possible on all Carenado planes Mini Review When I first reviewed this aircraft on the 1st October 2012 it made a big impression on me as fast, smooth and easy to fly. It was also the first of Carenado's HD series of higher quality HD (High-Definition) large (2048×2048) textures for supreme and crisp detail. They have 9 night-time textures and 5 normal map textures for extremely detailed appearance of exterior components, such as rivets, panelling, air-intakes. Everyone thinks of the Beechcraft Baron as the Bonanza Twin, It is not as that aircraft is the model 95 Travel Air. The Baron is more of a distant cousin that an outright larger version of the popular single prop. The original Baron (55 Short Body) first flew on the 29th February 1960, the larger, more powerful Baron 58 (long body) was developed from the Baron 55 and introducing club seating, double aft baggage doors, and has a gross weight of 5,400lbs, in 1976, the turbocharged Baron 58TC and the pressurized Baron 58P were introduced – other versions are the G58 that was introduced in 2005 to the current day and the T-42A Cochise military version. VNO – Max Operating Speed 195 KIAS comes from two Continental IO-550 300-hp engines for a range of 942 nmi (1,746 km, 1,085 miles) 65% power at 10,500 ft (3,200 m), 45 min reserves with a service ceiling of 19,700 ft (6,000 m). Most Carenado releases in X-Plane now all the same HD Quality. But you can see the reason the aircraft made such a great impression back then as the textures are simply perfect in detail and still stand out with this updated release. As detailing goes you can't fault the B58, everything is so very well crafted right down to the individual engine parts in the nacelles, and the B58 Baron sprouts aerials like a Russian Spy Trawler and the numerous leading edge Static antennae are animated to vibrate in the airflow. All panel areas are well dirtied down and worn, where smoke or if the pipes protrude fuselage the dirt is there as well. Menus are situated in the usual Carenado fashion on the left lower side of the screen. O - Options includes opening the Front Baggage door (with luggage), Window Reflections (good), Static Elements (bollards, tags and the pilots disappear), Rear doors (You can open the Co-Pilots from inside the aircraft), Tinted windows). C- Cameras Includes the standard viewpoints, Main (pilot) view, Throttles, Fuel Select, Wing Cam L(eft), Tail Cam, CoPilot View, Radios, View from rear cabin, Wing Cam R(ight), Bellycam and the “Field of View” slider that can give you a tight or wide view of the cockpit. The cabin is fitted out like a mini-executive jet interior, all leather and a flip out table... bags in the rear as well behind the netting. Flying The Baron The v2 update has enhanced the Baron in a subtle but important way, the torque tweak has made the aircraft sublime, it was very good before... but now it is simply divine. Smmmooooth. The panel comes to life as you start either engine one or two.... The start up is sheer perfection with gauges and needles spinning everywhere, the starter lights flash and calm down... your smiling now! Sounds are also excellent, The 3d doppler effect is even better applied here than the earlier products as the low RPM sounds have their distinct sound, while the higher-RPM sounds then take over when the power is applied. This plane also has two in-between sounds for low-mid and high-mid engine RPMs. all is recorded with high quality 44.1 KHz stereo sounds from the real plane. Start-up splutter and turbine whine is also effective and any switch, It does however become a little droney in flight. Taxi out and that over powered pull that made the aircraft run to fast is gone, taxi speed is now right on the money.... sounds with the window flap open are glorious before you even leave the ground this aircraft feels so complete and perfect. The aircraft tracks true and climbs out from KLAL Lakeland with power and you easily attain your height. You can easily be misled by the B58 Baron as it is so natural to the touch, so easy to fly. It does what you want when you want it too... You could say it was too easy but that would be missing the point in that it so well balanced, so well powered it is just a nice aircraft to fly. you don't fret in here but fly it like a top grade very expensive fast sports car in that you know the limits are well within the aircraft's range and power. The panel is comprehensive, really well fitted out, every item and dial except mostly for the main flight instruments is duplicated because of the twin engines... Equipment stack is comprehensive with Radio.. original BENDIX KING KFC225 Autopilot, Two GARMAN GNS430's (VOR 1 and VOR 2), GARMAN GTX 327 Transponder and a Bendix King KR87 ADF unit. The flap lever adjustment is a bit of stretch however on the far side. The whole panel delivers in the best context... Highlights are the clock included with the elapsed time on the front of the beautiful yoke and is fully functional and the "Baron" door details. Nightlighting under HDR is sublime, the panel is lit in sort of drop down lighting with the dials lit also from behind is almost perfection, Cabin lighting is two big lights over the pilots and spot seat lighting in the rear. Outside the lighting is very good with the end wing reflectors (new strobe effects) a work of art. Main lighting is with a landing light on each engine and a taxi light on the front wheel strut. Version 2 includes a lot of lighting enhancements and tuning by Carenado to create better halos and better glare effects. Approaching Fort Lauderdale it was time to turn south at the sea line and then angle back inland towards Opa Locka Airport (KOPF), Florida. The ease in which the B58 Baron can climb, descend, change direction can be too easy and you soon are finding yourself doing things that in other aircraft you would hesitate to do... Here I came close to the Runway 27R line up and just simply turned into finals with ease and then set my descent and then ended it all with nice light touch down on the tarmac... This aircraft is so supple like that. Liveries The base (default) livery is White. Followed (clockwise) MetalBlue - KLM - RedClassic -GoldGreen Conclusions The B58 Beechcraft Baron was very good before. Now with this update to v2 it has lifted it even higher, in every area it is very hard to fault, but overall the ease of flying the machine is what is the best part of the Baron. But don't be fooled as you could say it was too easy in the fact it was just a joystick and throttle arcade game point of view, and that is not the approach here. It is at the opposite end of the scale in the fact the flying of this aircraft is so perfectly created it would be very easy to even to a none pilot to jump into a real life aircraft and not notice the difference... it is because it so close in the recreation that the thought going through my mind as I crossed Florida was how good this aircraft really was. In simulation the aim is to get that view and feel of flying a real aircraft, and so how close does this aircraft come to that simulation even with a X-Plane10 created environment? You certainly can't replace or totally reproduce the real B58 Baron as it sits in the real world as an aircraft, but as I peered around me and looked out towards the horizon... It was pretty close and it comes with a great view! Documention Included. Review By Stephen Dutton The B58 Baron v2. update is now available at the X-Plane .Org Store : Carenado B58 Baron The Beechcraft Baron is available for both X-Plane 9 and X-Plane10 (note some effects and features require X-Plane10) Price is US$27.95 Developer Site : Carenado Version 2.0 list of Changes: -32-bit and 64-bit Mac, Windows, and Linux support. -Updated SASL to official v2.0.1 release, which contains optimizations that benefit from Laminar's X-Plane 10.22 release. -Added tweak to get a grasp on excessive engine torque modelled in X-Plane. Check top of "Avionics.lua" file for values under "TorqueL" and "TorqueR" -Fixed flap on right wing, fixed some polygons in right wing root. -Interior lighting optimized for X-Plane v9 and v10. -Overhauled lighting system. Lighting halos for nav and strobe lights are now more visible under certain viewing angles. -Landing light features tightly-focused "glare" effect when viewed from the right angle, and got some overhaul in their logic -Nav lights have been improved for a more realistic appearance. -Improved ground handling -Improved pilot's head movements -tweaked pilot's window transparency -tweaked annunciator light appearance -Tweaked "camera presets" to work more reliably. -No longer has inverted fuel and oil systems. More realistic. -Optimized "options" menu, to use less memory. -Optimized "Cameras" menu to use less memory -Tweaked volume knob for engine sounds ("Vol" knob on Audio panel) -Tweaked turning radius on ground to compensate for new v10 no-toe-brake-with-rudder setting. -Adjusted elevator trim characteristics -Adjusted trim time from centre to max for v10, as this setting, left un-addressed, will cause the same plane to take twice as long to trim. -tweaked gauges, such as fuel and oil pressure, vacuum, etc. to conform to v10's new way of calculating "Nominal pressure/temperature" as opposed to "Max pressure/temperature". -Programmed default camera snap points for v10 (on top of existing ones via "Cameras" pop-up menu) 2 Different .acf files: one for v9 and one for v10. -v10 .acf features optimized objects. Interior/exterior shading is applied only where needed, saving resources. -v10 .acf has further optimizations to objects that don't need the background (clouds, skies) to be drawn through them, if they're not transparent, saving further resources. -v10 .acf also protects certain textures from resolution degradation at low rendering settings. This guarantees that the panel instruments and text are always crisp and clear, no matter what rendering settings are chosen for the sim. -v10 .acf is optimized to make use of HDR rendering, especially in terms of lighting. This includes spill lights, which illuminate the surroundings, coming from Nav and Strobe lights. -When HDR mode is turned off, care has been taken to optimize the appearance of the plane without the enhancement benefits of HDR. 17th August 2013 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
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