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Stephen

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  1. It's here https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/276924-g550-simbrief-profile/
  2. Aircraft Upgraded to X-Plane 12 : Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 by JustFlight Thranda If you want to fill a void that has been left by Carenado, then the best place to look to is JustFlight, the British based developers. Who work in conjunction with Thranda Design, and ironically also Thranda that used to do the X-Plane development for Carenado. This was in recreating a market for nice and authentic single prop, and twin-engined General Aviation aircraft. Covered by JustFlight/Thranda has been the Archer TX/LX, Archer lll, Warrior ll and the Arrow lll/lV. A few in the Archer TX and Archer lll have already been converted to X-Plane 12, but a lot of the JustFlight stable are only still X-Plane 11. A Twin-Engined aircraft that was released for X-Plane 11 in April 2019, was the Beechcraft Duchess Model 76. It was a very nice twin, and now here it has been extensively upgraded to X-Plane 12, note this is an upgrade, and earlier purchasers of the Duchess XP11 can get 10% discount off the new Duchess X-Plane 12 aircraft. The aircraft is developed out of the Beechcraft Musketeer family of single-engined aircraft family line, and at first glance you would be pushed to see any family resemblance, between the model 24 low-wing standard low elevator design to the Series 76 twin-engined high T-Tail configuration, and an all round far larger aircraft in a 32 ft 9 in (9.98 m) to 38 ft 0 in (11.58 m) wingspan and longer fuselage 25 ft 8 in (7.82 m) to the 76's 29 ft 0 1⁄2 in (8.852 m) overall length. But get down into the parts catalogue and you would be amazed on how many of the same spec are on both aircraft. Its main rival is the Cessna 310 and other references in this category include the PA-30 Twin Comanche and the PA-34 Seneca V. The original Duchess looked really great in X-Plane 11, but the Model 76 now jumps out at you far more with the X-Plane 12 lighting effects, you never get used to it, it has that extremely visible realism factor in the better PBR lighting. Also notable here are that the textures both external and internal are now 8K, and used here to produce a far higher texture clarity, and you notice the difference immediately... vibrantly. Note the newer 8K textures actually use less framerate than the old double 4K textures, in the way they are produced and used here, a Thranda development speciality. Modeling and detail was also good, but again it is all the more highlighted here (that lighting thing!) the feel is actually Carenado, not Thranda... as with their other Cessnas and what not, that is not a bad thing, as that was Carenado's major attraction with the worn (if sometimes heavy) feel of their aircraft, or authenticity. Get in close and you won't at all be disappointed, it's perfection here with the aircraft skin and rivets, love that wing camber at a NACA 632A415 airfoil shape, so smooth and really well done... At this US40+ price your expecting a lot of high end quality, and yes it delivers here in buckets, as the detailing is very professionally and expertly done, as is the excellent glass, thickly tinted and lovely to look at, it all reflects with perfection (you can turn off the reflections, but why would you). The engine pods are also beautifully modeled, again those smooth curves scream out quality. They house two Lycoming O-360-A1G6D air-cooled flat-four engines, 180 hp(130 kW) each, and right through out the full production run 1978-1983 there was no updated or engine revisions, except for one in house turbo development aircraft. All the undercarriage came directly from the Musketeer spare parts bins, so it is exactly the same trailing link layout and structure, all the craftwork is expertly done in detail and animation, it is a complex gear system but fully realised here, with all the components highly visible. Two cabin doors open, and there is a rear baggage door, really nicely done with both external and internal door latches that work. Internally the layout is the same, but the materials are all very different. The X-Plane 11 Duchess had a very all grey (dull) interior design, here it is a dark blue cloth with slightly darker blue wall and door trimmings, roof is a weave texture mocha brown, with light grey walls... lovely in style and depth of an older period... the layout panels are actually very Carenado Bonanza, of which I love... classy! Instrument Panel The instrument panel doesn't have that 'wham bam, thank you mam" factor. that you are expecting... even if at first looking slightly flat, but get in and look at it all more closely, and the detail is extremely very well done. Dials are rusted, dusty and worn out, with plasters even stuck to the panel from past use. Instrument gauges all have faded graphics, and the lighting studs are also well worn and even rusted from use. As noted, if you are Carenado man (or woman), then this is heaven, a trip back into the glory days. Yokes up close are quite authentic and gloriously faded from their 70's heyday, you can hide them individually, and can also use the switch electric trim... Panel layout is in three layers of dials to create a deep feel of instruments... The Standard Six (SS) flying instruments are front and centre... Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator are on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial/Course and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the SS is a clock, backup Attitude Indicator and lower EGT (Exhaust gas temperature) needles. Right of the SS is a twin-needle Manifold pressure and below a twin needle RPM gauges, lower panel centre are two Bendix/King dials ADF (yellow) VOR2 (green) pointers driven by KR 87 ADF/VOR2 and the other is a VOR 2 / ILS indicator driven by KX 165 (NAV 2). Both heading and OBS rear dials/cards are adjustable. Lower panel is a Instrument air (vacuum) gauge and electrical starting and lighting switchgear with the neat gear knob. Top panel left is the label NAV 2 over the clock, very weird? Twin (engine sets) of six rows of gauges are centre panel, with from top: Fuel L&R quantity gauges, Fuel pressure gauges, Oil pressure gauges, Oil temperature gauges, Cylinder temperature gauges and Alternator load meters with Alternator-out under/over voltage warning lights inset (are beautifully done). Top of the gauges sits a DME indicator which displays range, ground speed and time to station for NAV 1 or NAV 2 frequencies. An outside air temperature (digital) matches the manual pressure left window type, and a Hobbs hour meter is far right. The circuit breaker panel is active and can be used and is noted in the twin-bus layout of BUS 1 and BUS 2, it is very good and highly authentic in use. Flap lever and display are below the avionics with 0º - 10º - 20º - DN settings, but the flaps are not section driven, but are continuous in operation and so the degree markers are for display only. There are no instruments for the right seat pilot/passenger with the equipment stack dominating the area. Avionics stack is the usual Bendix/King KMA 28 TSO radio top which is above the GNS430 below (the Reality XP's GTN 750 unit can also be fitted, but this is an addon extra and costs you another $49.95) There is a really nice Bendix/King KT 76A transponder unit with a Bendix/King KX 155 COM/NAV 2 radio and Bendix/King KR87 ADF radio receiver bottom. Top far right is the Century IV autopilot which is (speaking to the passenger) "can you press the second button the top row, thanks very much" as it is located pretty in being well as far away from the pilot as reachable possible (there is thankfully a pop-up panel), and below is a WX-8 Stormscope. Twin Throttle levers, Propeller control levers (feathering on both 2-bladed Hartzell 7666A constant speed propellers does work) and Mixture levers are all excellent and well worn and feel nicely authentic to use. Note... unless there is power on, the feathering won't work. Pitch trim is situated between the seats and is well done, but requires help in key settings in a simulation environment (electric trim is available on the yokes), fuel levers are really nice as are the engine vents that can be opened, closed or set half way.... fuel crossfeed is active and the (working) Carb heat is here as well. Note how the passenger seat is offset to the pilot's, a nice authentic touch. Internal Lighting Both internal and external lighting is still quite basic... panel has only two adjustments for instruments (noted as "Post Lights") and Instrument flood. But you can find that nice night time flying lighting sweetspot. However the worn graphics engine readouts look like early washed out X-Plane 2d panel, and they have no depth, but otherwise the panel looks good. Overhead light (and red torch) selection STILL does NOT work? so that gives you a very unusable dark cabin? External lighting Again very basic, even poor. The main wing and taxi lights are dull, and are missing their usual Thranda sparkle. Navigation lights (Red, Green and rear White) are fine, as are the wing strobes. Menu The Menu system is all changed for X-Plane 12. Gone are the side tab and the generally average looking tab menu. Here it is replaced by an iPad style tablet, stuck to the left window... But you do have options, as the tablet can also be placed on either yoke and windscreen right... You can pop-out the screen as a window as well... ... the tablet is also adjustable (movable) via the hot-spot, top frame. But because of it's size and shape, the view-point is not really square or head on, the yoke position is better, but now also situated lower in your eyesight. It's too far away as well for any detailed inspection and use. But the new layout and art does look far more modern, making it far nicer to use than the old version. The earlier version had eighteen tiles for selection, here it has been reduced down to twelve... Top row : Aircraft Options, Weight & Balance, Instr Options, Engine Config, and Static Liveries Middle Row : Configuration, Log Book, Checklist, Ground Handling and Dynamic Liveries Bottom row : Flight Computer and Avitab (Plugin required) Aircraft Options: Covers the three doors; Pilot, CoPilot and Baggage Door (Open /Close), Window and Instrument Reflections, Cockpit Lights, Ground Equipment, Swap Pilots and Altimeter (IN.HG/MB) Open (close) doors are as seen before... Cockpit lights, just turns full on the Instrument Lighting? but could have been more useful if used for the (missing) cabin light? Ground Equipment is as terrible as the earlier set up. A single option to add in a ground puller on the front wheel, chocks, tie-downs and to hide the pilot, it still does not work? The puller does not work (neither do the tie-downs) if you just want to park the aircraft after a flight. No tags or flags and engine inlet covers are here either, and even a windscreen cover would be nice? Dan Klaue and his wife turn up as your pilots, and basically they are same two animated pilots as in the Thranda Aircraft, by the menu option, you can swap the seat position of the pilots. Weight & Balance: The weight and balance window is very good, if basic to look at (it is the original W&B window). It comes with adjustable weights for all four passengers, and baggage, fuel can be set here also as can the change from kg - lbs. There is the option to load the Aircraft "Half" or "Full" tanks. A full list of weights, CG and a large graph of your settings are all very helpful into balancing the aircraft. Press "Save Configuration" to save your preferred load setup, and "Load Configuration" to set up the aircraft. Lowering the Co-Pilot weight will make Him/Her disappear, but there are no passengers if weight added in the rear, or any bags added to the baggage area, such is shrinkflation today. You can open most pages into a "Window" via the arrow logo right top. Instr Options (Instrument Options) include two pop-ups for the GNS 430 and the Century IV (autopilot). The old "Refill Menu" has been changed here to the Engine Options; this allows you to view the fuel and oil status as well as the status of spark plug fouling and Vapour Lock, and you can also recharge the battery if it goes flat, of which it does with regularity. Static Liveries; You can rotate through all the liveries with the Model 76 via the Static Liveries menu. An option here (new) is that you can adjust the Dirt (dirtiness) between 0-100%. Configuration: Here you can change the aircraft configuration, and there are three options; Engines Running (power up to flying mode), DynaFeel and the tablet (screen) Brightness. "DynaFeel" is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect. It is based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. If you fly Thranda Aircraft, then you will be familiar with the system. Logbook: This icon brings up the X-Plane standard Logbook. Checklist: There is a 27 page checklist that you can tick off... very good, but even though there is a "End of the Checklist" tickable box, it doesn't oddly reset all the boxes to a reset... that is a return of 27 pages and an average of twelve boxes per page to untick, so you do the maths... Ground Handling: All JustFlight menus have odd useless tools, here is one... the X-Plane "Ground Handling" tool, for "Pushback" and "Request Ground Service"? It's a GA, not a Boeing 737. Dynamic Liveries: Here is another Thranda feature now available on the JustFlight Series. Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery called DYNAMIC LIVERIES. You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the three RGB colours for that certain area, and the selected colour (here blue) is shown in the square. You can also separately change the aircraft registration number, the Beechcraft logo can be added as well. Another option is that changes can also be made to the Metal or Rough surfaces, this can be applied to any of the liveries. When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes with some weird screen changes, but the results are excellent and now the Beechcraft is in your own nice livery design... Flight Computer: The flight computer panel provides a wealth of information that is very handy in flight, with highlights including OAT (Outside Air Temperature), GS (Ground Speed), range (available), endurance (time), and FF and used fuel flow, Winds.... fuel burn can be reset. Units can also be changed from Metric to Imperial.. AviTab: The AviTab tool can also be used, and with Navigraph charts, if you have an account. There is no tablet rotation from landscape to portrait, and to get back to the main menu, you press the right centre section of the frame. Missing from the earlier options are the Sound Panel and the Flashlight. ____________ Flying the X-Plane 12 Duchess Model 76 You have to prime the engines via a button in the middle of the starter switch before turning the starter switch, but it is a bit of a trick on how long to hold the primer button and not to flood the engine, not a lot I believe... engine starts are excellent. But I found several times the No.2 right engine has a tendency to foul it's plugs far more than the left one, if it does it is tricky to even hell to restart it again. The Model 76 taxi's like an older Carenado as well... You have to adjust both the Propeller and Mixture right low to get yourself a lower taxi speed, if not, even on idle the taxi rate is too fast. I'm used to this caper by now, but I don't remember the X-Plane 11 version having such a high throttle idle? The Hartzell constant speed propellers are counter-rotating, turning counter clockwise engine left and clockwise engine right, this is to balance the aircraft's thrust and it is very helpful on takeoff, keeping you clean on the centreline. With no set flap degrees you can set the angle that you want, here I go for 5º to create lift, but with as little drag as possible.... the flap display can be hard to see at this distance, harder to see and set on landing. You do adjust each throttle (slightly) to absorb the different engine performance... but that felt highly realistic. Around 95 knts and your climbing out. Climb out is around 1000 fpm (Feet Per Minute) and that is a nice number here, officially the rate of climb limit is 1,248 ft/min (6.34 m/s), so you are using the climb to maximum effect, it doesn't feel like there is any strain on the engines or the aircraft. The memories come flooding back... this is such a smooth Twin, super-smooth with tons of power. First climb is to 6,000ft, then Trim out... nice to trim and settle the aircraft. The electric Trim won't work unless you turn it on, on the panel behind the Yoke. Then you get the two up/down arrows on the Yoke trimmer button for trim adjustment. Same with the Autopilot, there is another panel switch for power, then another on switch on the Century IV panel... it's very hard to read (certainly with the bright daylight), so the AP pop-up is the recommended tool to use it most of the time... ALT will hold your current altitude, but to climb or descend you then press ATT and then set your pitch, you click and don't scroll the buttons to change the aircraft's pitch. The ATT setting can also be used just to hold your current pitch if you like that angle or rate of climb, so the AP is again very easy to use. Now we settle-in for the 2h 30m flight to Portland, if any aircraft is very capable, it is the Duchess. The Beechcraft looks extremely nice in the air, certainly in it's X-Plane 12 guise, realism 101... checkout ot the underside, fabulously done, remind you of anything? yes those dirty Carenados. Then then also remember to use the EGT needles, the yellow needles represent the best lean to rich mixture for the best fuel flow and hence performance, so you adjust both the throttles and the mixture levers to achieve your golden lean setting.... it works fabulously, and I learn't a lot back in the time on how to "Lean for Speed". Here the mixture levers are really well far back, almost at the engine cut-off point, but the speed is good, and you feel no loss of power. Cruise speed is 158 kn (182 mph; 293 km/h) at the best at 10,000 ft (3,000 m), Range is VOR busting 780 nmi (898 mi; 1,445 km) and the Service Ceiling is a generous 19,650 ft (5,990 m).... I need that height here as well? what is it if you fly North on the West Coast of California, as you always seem to be climbing, I'm finding I'm already up to 9,000ft, but those ridges are still close? It is a nice place to be in is the Duchess, the quality environment is absolutely first rate, a genuine feel. Now descending into Portland, I checkout the Flight Computer numbers, very handy and informative... good tools are always a help. One thing has been enforced during this newer review of the Model 76, and that this is a nice easy aircraft for learners and it comes with a nice stable platform to practise on, yes the 76 is an easy aircraft to fly, but the pro's will get it as well... and love it as much as there is also a great built in depth in there, certainly even better now in X-Plane 12. Sounds are excellent, they should be at this price, but overall and right through the engine ranges, startup and shut down, you will not be disappointed. The sounds cover the full stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill, and different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle... It's a very noisy aircraft as they are first rate and also upgraded to FMOD2. Set up and went into the approach of Portland Intl Rwy 10R. Tricky into getting right is the Flap setting... The JustFlight Duchess as noted uses a continuous movement flap selection... It's hard, because of the angle and distance of the flap dial, worse on this approach as the flat glass on the instrument was washed out, so the setting was a bit of a guess, or feel. Secondly it takes ages to get to the full 30º (DN) setting, extending and retracting, so you think you are there, then look and see it is only half-extended? They are seriously noisy as well, thrumming high noise in the aircraft. With the gear down you can see the excellent lower detail, it's impressive is this JustFlight. 90 knts full flap is a nice approach and losing height of around 200 fpm speed. You have to be careful not to get too nose down on the approach, so the right trim setting and throttle position is vital. Pitch adjustments via the throttle is excellent, but also sedate, so you have to anticipate where you want your speed and pitch angle before you get there... it's a bit of a trick, but it comes to you with the regular flying of the Model 76. Final approach is 80 knts, then you need to get that nose up to flare. The trick (there is always a trick), is to find that throttle sweet spot, so the Duchess has a slow speed landing, but not a lot of loss of lift, the margin is small, but findable, so doable. The timing of the final pitch still however has to be perfect in the flare, to early and the 76 will slightly float... Once all down, it should be at around 73 knts, then you just run out the speed down to the taxi speed, again the right propeller and mixture lever settings are important to get right before you land, to get the transition to taxiing correct. Stall is 60 knts and lethal, you will just fall out of the air because of that high T-Tail effect! Liveries There are seven liveries provided (PAINTED LIVERIES) (down from eleven), and two of the liveries are noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY", these are the currently selected "DYNAMIC LIVERIES". ___________________ Summary A Twin-Engined aircraft was released for X-Plane 11 in April 2019 by JustFlight and Thranda Design, this was the Beechcraft Duchess Model 76. It was a very nice twin, and now here it has been extensively upgraded to X-Plane 12, note this is an upgrade, and earlier purchasers of the Duchess XP11 can get 10% discount off the new Duchess X-Plane 12 aircraft. Covered also by JustFlight/Thranda has been the Archer TX/LX, Archer lll, Warrior ll and the Arrow lll/lV, but this Duchess 76, is the only big twin-engined aircraft of the series. The X-Plane 11 version was an excellent aircraft. But this rejuvenated version for X-Plane 12 is far, far better again, but a few quirks still however remain. Highlights of the changes are the new 8K textures, and the far better PBR effects, and this creates a far more quality exterior and interior. First glances say, old and tired, but on a closer inspection, it will cry out authenticity and a very high quality. The aircraft comes alive in X-Plane 12, highly realistic and gives you a very high quality twin for X-Plane 12. There is also a new menu system, as replacing an old tab system, and it is a quality iPad/tablet, that can be positioned in four different places. Besides a few of the original tabs and pages, there are also three new added features directly from the Thranda Design stable, with now the "PAINTED LIVERIES" function, the build your own livery feature of "DYNAMIC LIVERIES" and the "Dynafeel" tool. Performance, physics and handling have also been highly improved to X-Plane 12 standards, based on real-world performance and handling data (two real aircraft G-BZRT and G-GCCL were used as collation). But the odd quirks oddly remain? The poor Static Objects are still a one click nothing. No cabin lighting is still another odd omission, and the external taxi/landing lights are non-existent in brightness and feel, and you still get the very odd tab and useless elements like the X-Plane Ground Handling? and Logbook?... fillers only. The checklist is another oddity, with 27 pages of checks, you can't uncheck in one operation. When coming back to this JustFlight/Thranda Duchess 76, my thinking was "Why didn't I fly this excellent aircraft more, since the 2019 release as it was so good". In most cases you usually have an easy answer, but not with the Duchess, as it is a very fine aircraft in every area (except for separate chocks and covers). It is also in that high price range of US$40+, and that is fine as the aircraft does deliver exceptional quality, but now even more so in the X-Plane 12 environment. It is excellent, a lovely aircraft, that even the most novice pilot can fly and enjoy... overwhelmingly the main thing about the Duchess 76, is that it brings back into your hangar, something you felt you had lost, Carenado authenticity and feel. So it's like going back ten years but still having all the mod-cons that X-Plane 12 provides as well, a brilliant combination of the very best of both worlds.... Highly Recommended. ___________________ Yes! the Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 by JustFlight Thranda is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 On sale: US$42.99 Requirements: X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 2.2 MB Current version : 1.0 (January 31st 2024) Owners of the Duchess XP11 can get 10% the new Duchess XP12. Installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 2.44 Gb. Authorization on startup is required. AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft Documents Duchess Model 76 ODM X-Plane manual.pdf Duchess Model 76 X-Plane manual.pdf EULAstandardcommercialandacademic2019.pdf Design by JustFlight/Thranda Design Support forum: JustFlight Duchess 76 _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00 - KPDX - Portland International Airport 1.5 by Mister X6 (X-Plane.Org) - Free Download ___________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th February 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  3. This is not the cleanest question, but you can't add REP to any aircraft and expect it to work in XP12. If the REP package is created for that aircraft, then if current it should work in XP12, Like I use it for the Bonanza F33 (still noted as XP11) but works fine in XP12.
  4. NEWS! - KDEN Denver is updated to v2.1 by X-Codr Designs X-PlaneReviews "Best Scenery of the year" 2022 was X-Codr's sublime massive KDEN Denver International Airport. Here early into 2024 is a nice little update v2.1 to fine-tune DEN with a few more new features. Denver International Airport locally known as DIA, is an international airport in the Western United States, primarily serving metropolitan Denver, Colorado, as well as the greater Front Range Urban Corridor. At 33,531 acres (52.4 sq mi; 135.7 km2), it is the largest airport in the Western Hemisphere by land area and the second largest on Earth, behind King Fahd International Airport. Runway 16R/34L, with a length of 16,000 feet (3.03 mi; 4.88 km), is the longest public use runway in North America and the seventh longest on Earth. The airport is 25 miles (40 km) driving distance northeast of Downtown Denver, 19 miles (31 km) farther than the former Stapleton International Airport, the facility DEN replaced. In both 2021 and 2022, DEN was the third busiest airport in the world as well as the third busiest airport in the United States by passenger traffic; DEN has been among the top 20 busiest airports in the world every year since 2000. KDEN v2.1 First change or new features are that the service vehicles are now branded to the airline, services to Denver Airport (Swissaport). They also have new custom made sounds as well. Entrance elements are also updated. Some gates didn't work correctly with the SAM plugin, but are now fixed... and a few other fixes and improvements were done around DEN. Notable for the v2.1 update is to also update the X-Codr Library to v1.8, and the Living Scenery Technology to v1.11, besides the KDEN scenery package update v2.1... ✓ High Quality Rendition of KDEN - Denver International Airport       o Detailed, realistic terminals, accurate as of mid-2023.       o Realistic terminal interiors with numerous POIs (such as hanging display aircraft).       o Lively terminal interiors with animated escalators, and thousands of animated sitting, and walking people, whose density varies with time. All of which are visible from the aircraft.       o Windows on buildings with interiors loose opacity at night, mimicking the optics of real glass, for gorgeous night views.       o Realistic, high resolution, hand-crafted textures complete with PBR normal maps and realistic, accurate wear.       o Accurate, highly detailed buildings through the airport, including the new Southwest hangar. ✓ Realistic, natural ground textures       o Tile-free pavement textures with textures detailed down to the pebble       o Realistic normal maps give pavement depth       o Accurate, detailed markings, with realistic reflections       o Hand aligned concrete lines where possible, for natural transitions to newer, brighter pavement areas       o Realistic, hand painted grunge, with unmatched up close detail, that is cohesive with the rest of the scenery. ✓ Lively scenery through use of our Living Scenery Technology plugin for animations, and Stairport Sceneries SAM for jetway systems       o Thousands of walking animated people, with minimal performance impact       o Cars traverse the airport roads realistically, vs spawning in the middle of a road.       o Accurate, realistic speeds for people and cars throughout the airport.       o Animated electronic display boards on Concourse B display local time and temperature.       o AC fan blade speeds vary with the local temperature.       o Realistic, ultra detailed jetways through use of SAM       o All major parking spaces have excellent SAM marshallers to guide you in ✓ Maximum performance       o Every model is meticulously optimized for the best possible performance.       o Localized LODs reduce rendering load by over 80% on average, relative to traditional LODs       o Texture reuse other technical techniques improve VRAM efficiency.       o Shadows are disabled on objects that don’t benefit, for big performance gains. ✓ Full X-Plane 12 support       o Realistic weather effects       o Optimized native aircraft services.       o Use of the excellent native 3d vegetation The v2.1 update is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore... the price, for all this, only a brilliant US$29.95 _______________________________ Yes! KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.1 by X-Codr Designs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD Price is US$29.95 Features This scenery is a ultra detailed recreation of Denver International Airport. Some of its features include: Ultra detailed rendition of Denver International Airport Winter and wet rainy versions are included as well Highly detailed custom buildings Most parts of all concourses have detailed custom interiors Detailed yet performance friendly models Normal maps for great bump mapping and glass reflections Ultra detailed ground textures 1 pixel per 6 inch orthophotos equivalent to ZL20 Orthophotos have been cleaned of duplicate flat textures under 3D models (such as traffic and bridges) Extreme detail for pavement, while still maintaining minimal repetition Highly detailed normal maps for impressive specular reflections X-Codr Designs SoundXP Plugin (Windows 10 ONLY) Ambient airport sounds will be played based on your location in the airport - a first in X-Plane Listen to chatter, announcements and other sounds when inside the terminal, trucks rumbling by and beeping when near busy ramp areas, and the drone of traffic speeding by when on the landside of the airport Dynamic living airport Watch heavies, regional commuters and other air traffic bring the airport to life with superb WT3 routes by Brian "Cpt. K-man" Navy (Bird Stryke Designs) Animated jetways using Autogate by Jonathan Harris (marginal) Animated car traffic using Ground Traffic by Jonathan Harris (marginal) Native ground services will service your aircraft upon request Highly detailed custom mesh using Ortho4XP Detailed under and overpasses Sloped runways and taxiways, and ditches Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 7.5 GB Current version: 2.1 January 22nd 2024 ____________________  NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 1st February 2024 Copyright©2024 : X-Plane Reviews 
  5. NEWS! - Classic Aircraft Released : Aircruiser 66-75 by Hangar 23 You sort of remember it? It is an aircraft that shows up in the odd aviation magazines and early aircraft videos. It's distinctive because of the unusual wing shape, or the aircraft's odd shape per se. The Bellanca Aircruiser and Airbus were high-wing, single-engine aircraft built by Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of New Castle, Delaware. The aircraft was built as a "workhorse" intended for use as a passenger or cargo aircraft. It was available with wheels, floats or skis. The aircraft was powered by either a Wright Cyclone or Pratt and Whitney Hornet engine. The Airbus and Aircruiser served as both commercial and military transports. he first Bellanca Airbus was built in 1930 as the P-100. An efficient design, it was capable of carrying 12 to 14 passengers depending on the cabin interior configuration, with later versions carrying up to 15. In 1931, test pilot George Haldeman flew the P-100 a distance of 4,400 miles in a time aloft of 35 hours. The full production run was only 23 aircraft, but some "The Flying Ws" were still flying in Canada well into the 1970's The third Aircuiser 66-75 variant came with a 730 hp (540 kW) Wright Cyclone engine, there was only three built. Features Custom coded simple autopilot with pitch and roll mode Custom coded optional autorudder Option to disable tailwheel steering Options for XP GNS and RXP GNS/GTN models GNS 530 or GTN 750 Custom clipboard weight and balance interface in both XP11 and XP12 XP12 version syncs with X-Plane’s default menu Save system saves aircraft settings between flights Weight and balance can be saved and loaded High quality 3d modeling High quality PBR materials Optional 2K texture set, including a simple guide, to allow selectively lowering system requirements All 3d objects relevant to creating liveries have been carefully unwrapped and arranged to simplify paint creation 4 preset PBR paint schemes with NRM and ALB textures: Metal Tanks (Default), Metal Nose, Metal Tanks and Nose, Painted Tanks and Nose FMOD sound system VR compatible and tested There is a great video of the history of the Aircruiser... Designed by Hangar 23 Support forum for the Aircruiser 66-75 ________________ The Aircruiser 66-75 by Hangar 23 is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Aircruiser 66-75 Price is US$29.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 (2 separate packages) Windows or Mac (Linux not supported) 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (January 30th 2024) Download Size: 1.2 GB (each version) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 31st January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  6. NEWS! - Aircraft Release : X-Hangar releases de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo A sturdy workhorse is the DHC-5 Buffalo... The de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo is a short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility transport turboprop aircraft developed from the earlier piston-powered DHC-4 Caribou. The aircraft has extraordinary STOL performance and is able to take off in distances much shorter than even most light aircraft can manage. The Buffalo arose from a 1962 United States Army requirement for a STOL transport capable of carrying the same payload as the CH-47A Chinook helicopter. De Havilland Canada based its design to meet the requirement on an enlarged version of its DHC-4 Caribou, already in large-scale service with the United States Army, to be powered by General Electric T64 turboprops rather than the Pratt & Whitney R-2000 piston engines of the Caribou. De Havilland's design, the DHC-5 Buffalo, was chosen as the winner of the United States Army competition in early 1963, with four DHC-5s, designated YAC-2 (later CV-7A and subsequently C-8A) ordered. The first of these aircraft made its maiden flight on 9 April 1964, and all four aircraft were delivered in 1965. This is an X-Plane 12 aircraft release for X-Hangar, but an X-Plane 11 version is part of the package... there are a LOT of features. X-Plane Features: 3D cockpit VR cockpit Rain and wipers Opening windows Opening doors Opening ramp Yoke hide with keyboard key or press of a button on the panel Steerable yoke in both 3d and VR Pilot figures Passenger figures Static models Chocks and remove before flight flags Menu to hide co-pilot and other options 2 different loads: Passenger or Cargo Cargo or passenger load displays according to load (more with more weight and less with less weight) Many international liveries Layers for painting your own livery Garmin 540 GPS with pop out or press buttons Autopilot Century 41 Checklist in .txt format to use in the Sim User manual in .pdf format to help fly in X-Plane FSE file included to fly Flight Sim Economy Performance Cruise speed: 227 kn (261 mph, 420 km/h) maximum at 10,000 ft (3,000 m) Stall speed: 73 kn (84 mph, 135 km/h) 40 degree flaps at 46,900 lb (21,273 kg) Range: 600 nmi (690 mi, 1,100 km) at 10,000 ft (3,048 m) with maximum payload Ferry range: 1,770 nmi (2,040 mi, 3,280 km) zero payload Service ceiling: 31,000 ft (9,400 m) g limits: 2.5g (manoeuvring limit load) Rate of climb: 1,820 ft/min (9.2 m/s) Take-off run: 2,300 ft (701 m) Take-off distance to 50 ft (15 m): 2,750 ft (838 m) (mid cg range) Landing run: 850 ft (259 m) Landing distance from 50 ft (15 m): 2,010 ft (613 m) New X-Hangar support forum Images are courtesy of X-Hangar ________________ Yes! the de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo by X-Hangar is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo Price is US$24.95 X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 311 Mb Current version: 1.0 (January 28th 2024) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 30th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  7. Aircraft Review : Leonardo Aermacchi M-346 AJT by Deltawing Simulations This is the excellent Leonardo Aermacchi M-346 AJT "Advanced Jet Trainer". The Aermacchi M-346 Master is a family of military twin-engine transonic advanced jet trainers and light combat aircraft. Originally co-developed with Yakovlev as the Yak/AEM-130, the partnership was dissolved in 2000 and then Alenia Aermacchi proceeded to separately develop the M-346 Master, while Yakolev continued work on the Yakovlev Yak-130. The first flight of the M-346 was performed in 2004. The type is currently operated by the air forces of Italy, Israel, Singapore, Greece, Turkmenistan and Poland. Since 2016 the manufacturer became Leonardo-Finmeccanica as Alenia Aermacchi merged into the new Finmeccanica, then finally rebranded as Leonardo in 2017. As the X-Plane 12 Simulator now has 18 months of maturity behind it, then users are now getting aircraft releases of only dedicated X-Plane 12 aircraft, in other words only true X-Plane 12 designed and higher quality releases. This M-346 is from Deltawing Simulations, a very well known and quality based developer, also known for their excellent F16C Fighting Falcon series of aircraft. Another thing notable is that this M-345 is an official Product and licensed by Leonardo. First impression is the Aermacchi just jumps right out at you, the quality is really very overwhelming, very X-Plane 12 and highly, highly realistic... I love an aircraft that just leaps out at you, your gut says, "This is going to be good", and the experience awaits. The M-346 is designed for the main role of a lead-in fighter trainer, in which aircraft's performance and capabilities are used to deliver pilot training for the latest generation of combat fighter aircraft. Powered by a pair of Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-200 turbofan engines of 28 kN (6,300 lbf) thrust each, and designed to reduce acquisition and operating costs, the M-246 is capable of transonic flight without using an afterburner . Modeling is absolutely first rate... you will get no complaints from me in this area. Inlet and exhaust outlets are brilliantly conceived, all the diverse panels and riveting are excellent, the detail here does not reflect the sub-$40 price, but for a quality delivered from a far higher 25% price-point... Highlight is the superb twin-canopy, brilliant tinted glass shows a hugely complex cockpit, with two very highly realistic animated pilots, and even their mask air-tubes move with the movements... incredibly well done and like mentioned, highly realistic Another highlight is the gear.... First two front doors open, then the gear uncoils out of the underbody of the fuselage... The gear twists and turns it's way down, the animation detail is brilliant by Deltawing... highly realistic, I love watching the theatrics of it all. When all finally down and locked the gear detail from the struts, links, arms and the hydraulics is focus study stuff, in being just perfect and original to the design. Menu There is a banner menu "Aermacchi M-346" that has four options; Refuel Probe Toggle, Remove Before Flight Toggle, Ladder Toggle, Choks (sic) Toggle and OPTIONS Static elements are very good. The M346 is hung like a Christmas Tree with tags and flags, you also have engine inlet and exhaust covers. Highlight is the Ladder, beautifully detailed, it allows both pilots to insert or extract themselves from the Jet. There is a lovely fuel probe and an earthing cable and clamp.... and also rear wheel chocks. Set to the side is an emergency fire extinguisher. A nice touch is that both pilots can be inserted or removed individually from the cockpit via the OPTIONS menu. You can flip the pilot's visors by using Shift + F2 (front), and SHIFT + F3 (rear), but I found the F3 didn't work? Cockpit The Aermacchi is a twin-seat trainer, but being modern, the layout between the front and the rear are both mirrored in controls and instrumentation. The first look detail is excellent. It's tight in here as the boundaries don't give you much flex room, slightly forward and up are your only movement directions. It is a complex cockpit, but you soon navigate around the instruments, switches and dials if you are familiar with military aircraft. The instrument panel is dominated by the UFCP (Up Front Control Panel) top central and three MFDs (Multi-Function Display) lower, all laid out with universal menus. All four units pop-out via a pointer-circle... In the banner menu there is also the option to "Pop Out The Pop Outs" or switching them to full window menus. Left console covers; APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), yes it is built in! RENG (Engines), TCT, FGS, TRIM and PWR (Power) sections. Right console covers PWR (Radio), ICS, ECS (Environment), IFF (Identify Friend or Foe), INTR LT (Internal Lighting), EXT LT (External Lighting), MASS... rear is the RADIO (right and MAINT. ENG DRY left. Behind the HOTAS stick, is the HOTAS and FCS (flight control system) panel. The highlight of the cockpit is left, these are the lovely Twin-Throttles, again worth a close investigation. Also notable is the Ejection Seat "Safety Catch" SAFE or ARMED. There is a full selection and activation settings for the ejector seat, and very authentic to the real seat operations. The UFCP has input selection keys and data selections, with 8 Function keys, 35 data entry options all done on a 4 line dot-matrix display unit. Data selection cover IFF (Identify Friend or Foe), COMM (Communications), FPL (Flightplan), SP (Steering Point or waypoints), Data Page (Fuel, Height, Laser, Altitude), BARO, AP (Autopilot)/ FD (Flight Director), TACAN, VOR/ILS, CLOCK... it's complicated, but all the selections are noted in the manual, but sadly there are no descriptions of the tools or how to use them, so a bit of study and pushing buttons is required to master the unit, but clever and authentic the UFCP is. Here are a few of the displays available... The three MFDs (Multi-Function Display), are interchangeable, or you can display the same page on either MFD. Selection is via the MENU button top, the Menu selections disappears again with non-selection. Again there are a lot of menu choices (most currently are INOP), but active are FCS (Status), COMMS 1, COMM 2, IN/GPS, CAD 1 (Including AP/FD and ROLL), HSI (Horizontal Situation Display) with "NAV Source", MAP/ TSD and SYSTEMS, there also menus within menus like SYS and FUEL pages. Again the Manual could be more descriptive of these systems and have labels in explaining what they are and how they work, so your work wil be a bit hit and miss in making notes on how to navigate the screen pages. I feel more MFD options will come later from Deltawing, the idea is to do the basics of the MFD first, then do the deeper detail in coming updates. The HUD (Head Up Display) or noted here as the "PDU" or Pilot Display Unit, but I will still note it as the HUD. This one is a very comprehensive HUD, quite different in it's layout arrangement, but very well done and the main feature of the cockpit, we will focus on this HUD in flight. Lower set on the glareshield are the ATL (Altitude) SEL, BARO, CRS (Course) SEL, and HDG (Heading) SEL knobs, and the Caution Warning Panel (CWP) Annunciators. Lower is a (pop-out) backup (here noted as a GHD or "Get Home Display") ISIS or Integrated Standby Instrument System. If you press the lower center of the HUD assembly, it will move you to the rear seat, and vise-versa. Control wise the rear station is exactly the same as the front, most of the same instruments are present back here as well, the only difference are the side panels, that have a lot of the switch panels missing. Lighting There are three knobs for adjusting the internal lighting. CONSOLE and INST (Instrument) does the main honours, and it looks gorgeous. A third knob FLOOD will give you cockpit lighting via four spot-lights... overall totally excellent, but I couldn't find the HUD brightness adjustment. External lighting has flashing white beacons top, lower and tail, inner Navigation lights, and a single taxi light on the front gear strut, and landing lights on each of the rear gear legs... A highlight are the adjustable "Formation" or Slime lights... nose, rudder, rear fuselage, and on the tips of the wings. Flying the M-346 Pooowwwer, what is it about with these trainers that have so MUCH thrust... the Aermacchi is certainly not lacking in this area with those huge Turbofans with 28 kN (6,300 lbf) of some heavy thrust capacity... enough to give you a climb-rate of 112 m/s (22,000 ft/min), then a Mach 0.95 Maximum speed or 1,090 km/h (680 mph, 590 kn) in the old school. You feel it, through your back and in the controls. The other thing with trainers is balance... they are extremely easy to trim and to find that sweet spot, you know the point where you can take your hands off the stick and feet off the rudders and the aircraft will just stay there, powering along at a god fast awful speed, it exhilarating! The M-346 is an absolute gem of a handling aircraft, you get precision here, but also that relaxed control feel in the way the aircraft turns and reacts to your inputs. It doesn't feel like a trainer, but more like an efficient attack aircraft. In the advanced jet trainer role, the original M-346 model is unarmed; however, in November 2015, it was reported that Alenia Aermacchi was close to finalising a combat-capable dual-role variant of the aircraft. During late 2017, a series of armed tests involving the AIM-9L missiles took place. In 2015, an armed variant, designated as the M-346 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft), was offered to Poland; this reportedly included a capability of operating the Brimstone air-to-ground missile. The armed variant is still under development, designated M-346FA. The first pre-series aircraft has however flown from Venegono airfield in July 2020. You are at one with the aircraft, not only in the front seat, but also if you prefer the rear. Realism is provided by the moving front pilot's helmet, it is SO realistic in here. One of the highlights is the comprehensive HUD or PDU. There are 16 display readouts... .... although most HUD's are identical, the layout of the data is different here, so you will need to study the visual references before going flying, it's brilliant but confusing if you don't know what is what... the basics are shown here. You have to keep it centred in the scope as well, move your POV and you lose a section of the HUD data. Once I had worked it all out, I loved the display, but will note that at certain angle to the bright sky, it can wash out the lower details, so you have to squint closer for the data, this can make tough with reading on approaches. You can't hide or lower the HUD either, so it is always on. No doubt is if you have VR (Virtual Reality) headset, it would be realistically amazing in here, the Deltawing M-346 fully supports the VR environment, its great on a monitor in 2d, but in 3d 360º would be absolutely excellent. The CAD page gives you the standard flying instrument display on the MFD. It has the standard Artificial Horizon and speed and altitude tapes, but there is an option when in the AP mode for the AP details to be also shown on the CAD, and very good it is, sometimes easier to read than the HUD whiteout. My only gripe is that using the V/S Speed and Altitude capture is very hit and miss, sometimes it works, but in most cases refuses to capture your selected altitude, either more refinement is required, or more information on in how it works needs to be forthcoming from Deltawing. Range is 1,925 km (1,196 mi, 1,039 nmi), with an endurance of 2 hours 45 minutes (4 hours with external drop tanks). Ceiling like most trainers is a very high 13,716 m (45,000 ft) to replicate fighter limits, same with the g limits of +8 -3. Sounds, brilliant of course, FMOD 2 in design, they totally reflect the tone and power of the F124-GA-200, its behind you as you accelerate, but aurally around you as you twist the Aermacchi around in the air, so yes it comes with 360º doppler movement... other smaller, switch, gear extension/retraction and alert sounds are all perfect, its a very sonic environment... just listen to the air-pressure opening and closing of the canopy. A feature of the Aermacchi M-346 is the PARS system which is a "Pilot Activated Recovery System"... the idea is to recover the aircraft to a safe flight situation, say if a student panicked, or a loss of conscious (blackout)... there is a button on the console behind the stick that activates the system... So I drop the M-346 into a death roll and fall... ... so I pushed the stick more forward... more nose down and now past the point of recovery... ... then you hit the PARS button, and lo & behold the Aermacchi, just quickly and simply recovered itself to a nice safe level flying position! So the system is very realistic. Fuel system is very good. You have 2x Internal Tanks and 2x Wing Tanks... plus 2x Pylon Tanks for a total of 4075 Lts, or 8965 Lbs of fuel Hit the "EMERG JETT" or "Do NOT Touch" button and the pylon tanks drop away... In one area of the flight envelope, it is the landing that needs skill. This is a powerful, but also slippery aircraft... So first it is at first hard to slow down, certainly if you fly very high and lose altitude quickly, rubbing off the speed is tricky, difficult. You do have a very effective airbrake above your heads to the rear, and it makes a difference. It has two stages of deployment. The default official stall speed is 95 knts, but you would never go that low before falling out of the sky, it feels more like 130 knts, several approaches at the Full (LDG) flap setting, I was already sinking at around 135 knts, so the best approach speed is 140 knts. Slipping to 129 knts I had a nice slope down into the runway, but you feel you are on the edge of lift, worse you feel that your approaching the runway far too fast, it just comes at you at a "hell" of a speed, fast... but how can you go slower? Touch is around 120 knts, but it feels still to fast... this is actually my second approach and landing, the first, then I had literally fell out of the sky with the loss of lift, this time around was better, not perfect but better... so you can see it needs practise to get a landing right at the feeling of the high speed. Once down you feel you are now sprinting down the runway... fast, so be careful on the brakes. To help, once the rear gear hits the tarmac, the both aileron surfaces popup to act as airbrakes, its very well done. So the M-346 is tricky to get right in the lower speed zone, the same in the air as the throttle adjustments have to be absolutely perfect to get the right speeds to keep you aloft, you do however get the right feel the more you spend time in the aircraft. Power on in most phases of the flight, and you simply don't think about it at all, but it is certainly one aircraft to learn and absorb at those slower speeds. I have sort of mentioned it above. the Manual is very good, it is 85 pages including a rough checklist. But there is the issue in that the manual is all images, so you can't search or find certain topics, so the only way to find the information is to constantly scroll through the manual, and look at every area, with it's complex acronyms makes it hard to find, and worse most are not labeled on their action. Notes are few and far between, so with aircraft of this Menu driven complexity, then a tutorial is required. Skunkcraft Updater is also available here. Liveries There are eleven liveries with the Aermacchi. Three are Leonardo Factory liveries, and six are the current Air Force operators, altogether they are all excellent in design and 4K quality. Deltawing is the default developer livery, but also the best of the set. _____________ Summary The Aermacchi M-346 Master is a family of military twin-engine transonic advanced jet trainers and light combat aircraft. It is a twin-seater modern powerful trainer that has been a recent success in being active currently in six Armed Forces. Deltawing Simulations, a very well known and quality based X-Plane developer, is also known for their excellent F16C Fighting Falcon series of aircraft. And here is another brilliant Simulation from this evergreen master. Modeling is simply X-Plane 12 wow factor. The aircraft stands out in the simulator for total realism and immersion, both externally and internally. Military systems are first rate including a quality HUD (Head Up Display), UFCP (Up Front Control Panel) top central and three MFDs (Multi-Function Display), that are interchangeable. System depth is already excellent, but expect more pages to follow in updates, its all complex to use, but authentic. This is trainer, so not armed (unless you count dropping the external fuel tanks), but a M-346FA Fighter variant might come in the future. All animations, certainly the complex gear movements are also a highlight. The clever PARS system "Pilot Activated Recovery System" is also very well replicated here. Banner menu covers; Refuel Probe, Before Flight , Ladder, Choks (sic) and pilot OPTIONS in show/hide pilot and opening of the helmet visors are all great well done features... Static elements here are very good, and the aircraft has it's own built in APU. Lighting is excellent inside and out, and features "Formation" lights or Slime. Sounds are also top notch, with 360º FMOD 2 quality and aural cockpit sounds. Gripes are extremely small, more or better documentation... better still a tutorial on theses complex aircraft are required, they are acronym hell, and the details need to be explained. You are starting to expect or are referencing a higher quality and feel factor in these X-Plane 12 only created simulations, these are projects done under the X-Plane 12 environment and are not transitioned from earlier versions of X-Plane. It is highly noticeable in every aspect of these modern creations. But in being also value priced at under US$40, you are getting here the total best of both worlds, higher quality and systems, for a very credible price. The Deltawing Aermacchi M-346 certainly delivers massively in both or all areas. It's nice to fly and balance as well... but the thing that comes across more than anything in the Aermacchi is the higher realism... with projects like these, the real world gap to simulation is closing in even more.... Highly Recommended! ___________________ Yes! the Leonardo Aermacchi M-346 AJT by Deltawing Simulations is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Leonardo Aermacchi M-346 AJT On sale: US$39.95 Main Features: Highly detailed 3d exterior model Highly detailed 3d cockpit model Highly detailed landing gear system Highly detailed pilot figures Dual cockpit Custom remove before flight objects Custom particles system Realistic FMOD custom sounds 4K textures Realistic startup sequence Custom cockpit lights Custom external lights Custom external fuel tanks (droppable) Fully custom electronics system Fully custom environmental system Fully custom autopilot Fully custom Fly-By-Wire system 3 individual fully custom MFD displays, as close to the original as possible Supports Skunkcraft updater 11free 4K highly detailed liveries included Supports VR Requirements: X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac (M1 and M2 are supported) or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 742 MB Current version: 1.0.0_0r3 (January 26th 2024) Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com. Aircraft download is 741 Mb, and unpacked then installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 2.36 Gb. Authorization on startup is required Documents DWSim M-346AJT Manual Design by DeltaWing Simulations Support forum: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/forum/753-aermacchi-m-346-advanced-jet-trainer/ https://deltawingsim.com/ _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc3 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - LICC - Catania-Fontanarossa Airport 2.1 by FlyDave (X-Plane.Org) - Free ___________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  8. NEWS! - Scenery Update to X-Plane 12 : X01 - Everglades Airpark, Florida by Skytitude Everglades Airpark (FAA LID: X01) is a public-use airport located 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of the central business district of the city of Everglades City in Collier County, Florida, United States. The airport is publicly owned. The airport has one asphalt runway 15/33 with 732 meters length. Apron includes 5 A-Size general ramps and 2 stands on grass pavement. There are two different versions here. The X-Plane 12 X01 Everglades Park is a total revamp to X-Plane 12 features, including effects and PBR textures with burnt-in ambient occlusion, also with Spectacular Buildings and Objects and Realistic Night Lighting. The X-Plane 11 version is the standard original release. Both however are part of the package. Features: ❯ Complete and accurate representation of Everglades Airpark ❯ Highly Detailed areas of Everglades City, Chokoloskee Island and 10000 Islands for greater VFR ❯ Custom Materials and Surfaces with Physical-Based Rendering Effect (PBR) ❯ Wet Surfaces Using New X-Plane 12 Weather Technology ❯ Spectacular Buildings and Objects with Realistic Night Lighting ❯ High Density Hand-Placed Forests and Plants ❯ Custom 3D Grass Using New X-Plane 12 Vegetation Technology ❯ Accurately Built Large Surrounding Area with Thousands of Hand-Placed Objects ❯ Edited mesh for +25-082 tile, a lot of bathymetry data problems fixed Images are courtesy of Skytitude ________________________ Yes! X01 - Everglades Airpark, Florida by Skytitude is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : X01 - Everglades Airpark, Florida Price is US$12.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux Download Size: 163 MB Current version : XP 12 1.0 (Jan 24th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 29th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  9. NEWS! - vSkyLabs update Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer - Test-Pilot Project to X-Plane12 It's the weird and the wonderful, it's of course a Rutan design, the Model-158 Pond Racer, now this over-powered machine is available in X-Plane 12. First is the name "Pond Racer"... it is not an aircraft designed to fly over water, but the designation is taken by the person who wanted to compete in air-races, Robert J Pond, he also created the Palm Springs Air Museum in California. Bob Pond commissioned the Model-158 design with the idea of developing a modern aircraft that could compete with the vintage warbirds in the Unlimited Class at the Reno air races. Bob Pond was concerned that each year at the Reno Air Races, valuable and historic aircraft were being crashed and destroyed, not to mention many engines being damaged or wrecked beyond repair. The Pond Racer was hoped to be an alternative to vintage aircraft like the P-51 Mustang and the Hawker Sea Fury that would be as fast and spectacular in the air as the warbirds. To do this he turned to the most avant-garde of all the aviation designers in Burt Rutan, and Scaled Composites. The Model-158 airframe was constructed of composite materials, carbon fiber and Kevlar. This resulted in a very light, strong aircraft. And to power the plane, then two Electramotive 3 liter V-6 engines were chosen. These were based on the Nissan VG30 automobile engine. The engines were originally developed for auto racing and were turbocharged to produce 1,000 hp (750 kW). However, those fitted to the Pond Racer only ever achieved a peak of around 600 hp (450 kW). The engines drove 4-bladed propellers via propeller speed reduction units. The result was something out of Star Wars or the racing machines in "The Phantom Menace" episode one of the series. Huge massive twin engines are connected to what is basically a glider cockpit, it flew, and by the results it actually flew very well, but overall it was a flying death trap. This is the full X-Plane12 version of the Model-158 XP12 - version 3.0 (25th January 2024): Deep flight dynamics engineering: PT6A-28 tune-ups to include the latest X-Plane 12.0.8+ turbo-prop engine simulation features and calibration variables (including propellers and power gradients). Overall aerodynamics tuneups to fall in line with the latest X-Plane 12.0.8+ features and calibration variables. Systems: New 3-d Heads-Up-Display. Cockpit night lighting systems re-engineering. Graphics and modeling: Remodeled cockpit compartment to include engineering improvements (lower floor, improved rudder pedals). Extensive PBR tuneups for the cockpit to fall in line with the latest X-Plane 12 lighting physics. Textures enhancements in and out. XP11 model is still available and is in version 2.1 Project's Main Features: Fully Optimized for X-Plane 12 X-Plane 11 version still available as a bonus VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' project. Highly defined flight dynamics model of the Model-158. Highly defined PT6 turboprop engine simulation (PT6A-28) including its associated peripheral systems. Built around the powerful, native X-Plane's 'Experimental Flight Model' environment. In-depth systems simulation: Fully equipped aircraft with deep systems simulation (electrical, lighting and warning systems, comprehensive fuel system, fire protection, bleed air and pneumatic systems, ice protection systems, pressurization system, landing gears system, flight control, oxygen system, canopy system, auto-feathering and auto-ignition systems and more). 3D Heads-up Display. VR (Virtual Reality) Ready. Multi-Layer FMOD sound pack. 50-pages, comprehensive, illustrated Pilot Operations Manual, including checklists. Skunkcraft Updater. Project updates are fast and efficient! Included Paint-Kit. X-PlaneReviews review (Early beta X-Plane12 version) is here: Aircraft Review/Tutorial: VSKYLABS- Rutan Model-158 Project Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs... Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore _____________________________________ Yes! Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer X-Plane 12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer - Test-Pilot Project Price is US$39.00, on sale for US$29.00, You Save:$6.00(17%) Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 3.0 XP12 (January 25th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 26th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  10. News! - Scenery Release : Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands X-Plane 12/11 By Aerosoft Already well known for their Faroes and Svalbard Island landscape sceneries. Now Maps2Xplane are now back focusing on the South Pacific, or the French Society Islands including Tahiti and Moorea. The Society Islands officially Archipel de la Société, are an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean that includes the major islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Huahine. Politically, they are part of French Polynesia, an overseas country of the French Republic. Geographically, they form part of Polynesia. This is the second package for the Society Islands, the first released in 2021 covered the Western areas of Bora Bora & Leeward Islands (listed below). This new package is for the Eastern area of the Windward Islands, including the main gateway of Tahiti, both packages will now cover the full total aspect of this amazingly beautiful part of the world. This Maps2Xplane scenery package for X-Plane features a custom terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures, dense vegetation and country-typical autogen, as well as custom road-networks and sea-routes with dynamic traffic. Included are detailed renditions of the Faa'a International Airport and two regional airports (Moorea, Tetiaroa), as well as three challenging heliports (Taaone, Taravao, Afareaitu). Features: Detailed terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures for the landscape and the sea Custom overlay with dense tropical vegetation and country-typical autogen-buildings High-detailed renditions of Faa'a International Airport and two regional airports: Faa'a International Airport (NTAA) Moorea Airport (NTTM) Tetiaroa Airport (NTTE) Three challenging heliports: Taaone (NTHP) Taravao (NTHV) Afareaitu (NTHF) Both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 versions are included in the package. ______________________________________ Yes! the Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands Price is US$38.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5.7 GB - Installation is done through Aerosoft One Current version: 1.1 (January 26th 2024) Society Islands XP - Bora Bora & Leeward Islands Price is US$36.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5.7 GB - Installation is done through Aerosoft One Current version: 1.1 (December 12th 2022) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 26th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  11. NEWS! - Scenery Release : RJBB-Kansai International Airport, Japan by DarkBlue Scenery This is a Chinese developer creating a Japanese scenery, their second scenery release after RJGG - Chubu Centrair in Tokoname. This new release is the island airport of Kansai, one of the biggest in eastern-southern Japan servicing Osaka. Kansai International Airport , commonly known as Kankū, which is the primary international airport in the Greater Osaka Area of Japan and the closest international airport to the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. It is located on an artificial island Kankūjima in the middle of Osaka Bay off the Honshu shore, 38 km (24 mi) southwest of Ōsaka Station, and located within three municipalities, including Izumisano (north), Sennan (south), and Tajiri (central), in Osaka Prefecture. The airport's 1st airport island covers approximately 510 hectares and the 2nd airport island covers approximately 545 hectares, for a total of 1,055 hectares (2,600 acres). There are two runways, 3500 meters long and 4000 meters long, which can meet the annual passenger throughput of 33.35 million people. Features: 4K Texture. Whole island owned detail modeled buildings which restored from reality. Customized ground markings and taxiway signs. Customized lights. Customized taxiway and runway texture. Interior for some buildings include Terminal 1 and train station. Accurate taxiway and runway according to the newest AIRAC data. Extremely FPS friendly. Kansai is a hub for All Nippon Airways, FedEx Express, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Nippon Cargo Airlines, and Peach Aviation. It’s served by many airlines from the neighboring countries and a few popular carriers from Europe, such as Air France, KLM, and Lufthansa. Set at a value price UD$16.99, RJBB-Kansai is a very interesting addition to your Japanese and Asia networks. Images are courtesy of DarkBlue Scenery. _________________ Yes! - RJBB - Kansai International Airport, Japan by DarkBlue is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : RJBB - Kansai International Airport, Japan Price is US$16.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 (XP11 has been tested and could run without error, as this scenery is fully designed for XP12, some users may experience few jetways offset in XP11.) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 810 MB ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 23rd January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  12. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : SimSolutions Diamond DA-40NG updated to v1.2.1 SimSolutions have updated their delightful Diamond DA40NG to v1.2.1. A small but significant update, now including the added Apple Silicon support for the aircraft. Also added are load stations, and the DA40 now uses native popout window borders. Fixes are numerous, including... * add 'hidden' config option to change persistence system's maximum state reload distance * heading drift from saved state due to mismatch between mag & true * attempt to fix throttle either not properly idling or exceeding 100% load * TOGA button doesn't disconnect autopilot * missing config files cause CTD * beacon light stays on after engine shutdown * convert textures to DDS * internal code improvements The Diamond DA40 Diamond Star is an Austrian four-seat, single-engine, light aircraft constructed from composite materials. Built in both Austria and Canada, it was developed as a four-seat version of the earlier DA20 by Diamond Aircraft Industries. By the end of December 2020, 2,200 DA40s had been delivered, including 500 NG models. Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required), and also now available for all three OS Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. ________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (OS 10.15 and higher . Silicon Processor supported ) and Linux (tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 340 MB Current version: 1.2.1 (January 22nd 2024) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 23rd January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  13. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : Gulfstream 550 v2.7 by AKD Studios For regular updates then no one currently in the X-Plane Simulator can deliver as many as AKD Studios and their Gulfstream 550 Business Jet. In most cases you get an update once a month, some cases even twice a month, but the functionality delivered is now showing, even if the featured vehicles change shape, scale and even models over the year. This update v2.7 has some new additions, so it is worth a note... Cockpit 3D modeling/textures/animations have again had an overhaul, which is a good thing, as it was the weakest area in the aircraft, also added are changeable side panels for the Pedestal Panel, EFB brightness control has also been added. The systems have had some (fine) tuning in electrical/air-conditioning/oxygen, as has the automatic speed control logic for the autopilot system. Also added is the FPA (Flight Path Angle) autopilot mode. Besides the new additions there has also been a load of fixes and adjustments including... • Tuned engine startup sequence which should now better match the real aircraft(XP12) • Antiice system working only when there is a AC and DC electric system (XP11/XP12) • ENG anti-ice now works only when engine is running(XP11/XP12) • Fixed EFB Simbrief integration bug with units(XP11/XP12) • Fixed TOGA system logic(XP11/XP12) • Fixed CAS system bugs(XP11/XP12) • Fixed VNAV PATH logic(XP12/XP11) • Fixed Minor MFD pages bugs(XP11/XP12) • Fixed Bug with engine start logic(XP11) • Fixed Audio Panel Fonts(XP11/XP12) • Fixed Minor Autopilot bugs(XP11/XP12) • Fixed Minor bugs(XP12/XP11) As noted all were they can be applied are for both the X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 versions The Gulfstream G550 is a business jet aircraft produced by General Dynamics' Gulfstream Aerospace unit in Savannah, Georgia, US. The certification designation is GV-SP. A version with reduced fuel capacity was marketed as the G500. Gulfstream ceased production of the G550 in July 2021. AKD Studios have released a short trailer video displaying the new v2.07 features. You can update to AKD Studio's G550 v2.07 via your account at the X-Plane.OrgStore, or use the Skunkcraft's Updater application. ________________________________ The Gulfstream 550 v2 by AKD Studio is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore GLF550 - Ultimate Business Jet by AKD Studio Price is US$41.95 This aircraft is now both X-Plane12 and X-Plane 11 supported Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (even native M1, M2 Macs) or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current version : 2.07 (January 17th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  14. Scenery Review : KJFK - John F Kennedy International Airport XP12 by Nimbus Studios Idlewild Airport was named after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that it displaced in New York's east. KIDL was built to relieve LaGuardia Field, which had already become overcrowded, and the new eastern seaboard based airport was opened in 1948. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, the airport was then renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport as a tribute to the 35th President of the United States. Since then it has always been known as "Kennedy" and it is biggest gateway into America on the east coast. Idlewild opened with six runways and a seventh under construction as runways 1L and 7L were held in reserve and never came into use as runways. Runway 31R (originally 8,000 ft or 2,438 m) is still in use; runway 31L (originally 9,500 ft or 2,896 m) opened soon after the rest of the airport and is still in use; runway 1R closed in 1957 and runway 7R closed around 1966. Runway 4 (originally 8,000 ft, now runway 4L) opened June 1949 and runway 4R was added ten years later. A smaller runway 14/32 was built after runway 7R closed and was used until 1990. When the airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month and two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. proposed the renaming. The IDL and KIDL codes have since been reassigned to Indianola Municipal Airport in Mississippi, and the now-renamed Kennedy Airport was given the codes JFK and KJFK, the fallen president's initials. Airlines began scheduling jets to Idlewild in 1958–59; LaGuardia did not get jets until 1964, and swiftly JFK became New York's busiest airport. It had more airline takeoffs and landings than LaGuardia and Newark combined from 1962 to 1967 and was the second-busiest airport in the country, peaking at 403,981 airline operations in 1967. Concorde, operated by Air France and British Airways, also made scheduled trans-Atlantic supersonic flights to JFK from November 22, 1977, until its retirement by British Airways on October 24, 2003. Air France had already earlier retired the aircraft in May 2003. In these early heady times Pan American Airlines and Eastern Airlines dominated JFK, since lately it is now an American Airlines and JetBlue hub. The last new scenery from Nimbus Studios was the excellent KIAD - Washington Dulles International Airport, of which is one of my favorites. But in using Dulles, I have to comment that although the scenery is excellent, it also has a very big framerate footprint. It soaks up framerate like no tomorrow, and in moments of heavy weather, it can reduce it's capacity as far down to the dreaded teen framerate barrier numbers. Why I don't know? because the actual scenery is set a long way from the heavy Washington DC custom and autogen objects. My fear here is that Kennedy is in even a worse place with all the heavy autogen surrounding the airport and with the New York Skyline in the distance. Interesting is an earlier New York scenery by Nimbus Studios, as he was known back then in 2014 as Santiago Butnaru. This is an X-Plane 10 version of Newark KEWR, and yes it's still available if you want to add it to this KJFK scenery. But don't expect the same quality after a decade. Our KEWR review is here if you want the decade old X-Plane 10 shock (lacking) of detail. I also recommend with the Nimbus Studio's KJFK, is the Drzewiecki Design New York City XP, for a credible New York skyline, which is shown here in this review. John F. Kennedy International Airport IATA: JFK - ICAO: KJFK - FAA LID: JFK 4L/22R - 12,079ft (3,460m) Concrete 04R/22L - 8,400ft (2,560m) Asphalt 13L/31R - 10,000ft (3,048m) Concrete 13R/31L- 14,511ft (4,423m) Concrete Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m First impressions of Nimbus's JFK are extremely positive, it looks very good set in the Queens borough of eastern New York, there is a lot of nice autogen around the scenery and it fits into the built-up area very nicely, credible it is. A very early feature I liked was in the way the water and underlying graphics created a very realistic shoreline, this is X-Plane 12 magic, but really well done here, especially on the runway 4L approach with the mangrove setting. JFK has five active terminals running anti-clockwise, containing 130 gates in total. The terminals are numbered 1–8 but skipping terminals 2 (demolished in 2023), 3 (demolished in 2013) and 6 (demolished in 2011). Terminal 1 Terminal 1 opened in 1998, 50 years after the opening of JFK, at the direction of the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four key operating carriers: Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, and Lufthansa. This partnership was founded after the four airlines reached an agreement that the then-existing international carrier facilities were inadequate for their needs. The original Eastern Air Lines terminal was located on the site of present-day Terminal 1. Terminal 1 is served by SkyTeam carriers Air France, China Eastern Airlines, ITA Airways, Korean Air, and Saudia; Star Alliance carriers Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Egyptair, EVA Air, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Air Portugal, and Turkish Airlines; and Oneworld carrier Royal Air Maroc. Other airlines serving Terminal 1 include Air Senegal, Air Serbia, Azores Airlines, Cayman Airways, Flair Airlines, Neos, Philippine Airlines, VivaAerobús, and Volaris. Terminal 1 was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates. T1 and T4 are the two terminals at JFK Airport with only the capability of handling the Airbus A380 aircraft, which Korean Air flies on the route from Seoul–Incheon and Lufthansa from Munich. Air France operated Concorde here until 2003 (BA used T7). Terminal 1 has 11 gates. Butnaru always did very nice terminals and concourses, and that aspect is really well done here and right through the scenery. But they do sit (on landside) on very (very) Lo-Res graphic ortho images, so there a bit of an building island feel around the 3d structures, it's not too bad, but still noticeable. Terminal cladding is first rate (KATL-Atlanta was excellent) and it looks the part here as well. Glass is also excellent... not a Nimbus specialty, as some of his earlier glass was very see-through and lukewarm. But here in a dark tint, it is very good with nice reflections. Another highlight are the AirTrain JFK stations (with AirTrain animations) at each Terminal on the loop tracks. It is modeled internally (again very lo-res), and with no windows? so it doesn't feel or look very realistic, it is mostly for the external views than you wandering around the concourses... but the people (lo-res) are well done, even if a few are in wanting to step out into the oblivion "Stop, look, it's not that bad.... don't do it!" Terminal 2 Oddly there is still the old and now demolished Terminal 2 facility in the Nimbus scenery? Sadly it looks great, because it is a heritage building from JFK's past, and the detail here is very good and authentic... a shame, and it will probably be removed in an update. Terminal 2 opened in November 1962 as the home of Northeast Airlines, Braniff International Airways, and Northwest Orient, and was last occupied by Delta Air Lines that have now moved to T4. Notable is that in October 2018, Cuomo released details of a $13 billion plan to rebuild passenger facilities and approaches to JFK Airport. Two all-new international terminals would be built. One of the terminals, a $7 billion, 2.8-million-square-foot (260-thousand-square-metre), 23-gate structure replacing Terminals 1, 2 and the vacant space of Terminal 3. It will also connect to Terminal 4, A new T6 will also replace the existing T7 and extend through T5, with seamless integration between T7 and T5. The streamlined layout will optimize the airside layout to allow for more efficient operations. Nimbus Simulations are still using throughout their sceneries, the now very old (Marginal) "Autogate" system and not the usual standard and more modern SAM system. The Marginal system however has had a lot of attention from Laminar and is now to a point also been amalgamated into the default of the X-Plane system... It does (occasionally) work here, but now directly in X-Plane 12 through the "Ground Handing" feature (Shift+G), then press the "Toggle Jetway attachment" button. Triva... Terminal 3, also known by the trademarked name "Worldport", which was an roofed saucer airport terminal built by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) in 1960. It operated from May 24, 1960 to May 24, 2013, and was demolished in 2013–2014. Terminal 4 Terminal 4 currently contains 48 gates in two concourses and functions as the hub for Delta Air Lines at JFK. Concourse A (gates A2–A12, A14–A17, A19, and A21) serves primarily Asian and some European airlines along with Delta Connection flights, while Concourse B primarily serves both domestic & international flights of Delta and its SkyTeam partners. Opened in early 2001 and designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 1.5-million-square-foot (140,000 m2) facility was built for $1.4 billion and replaced JFK's old International Arrivals Building (IAB), which opened in 1957 and was designed by the same architectural firm. The new construction incorporated a mezzanine-level AirTrain station, an expansive check-in hall, and a four-block-long retail area The Heathrow T5 style terminal facade is very evident here, and looks excellent in design and detail from Nimbus. Internal structures can be seen externally, but it is very basic inside. But it does the job well, for what it has to do. Left concourse B gates, right are the A gates Concourse A is a long snake of three separate concourses, in large (wide-body), medium (single aisle) and at the end the small (regional) Sections are of lovely aluminum cladding that look great in the sunlight, the dark glass is excellent as well. Detail and the visual aspect is extremely realistic from Nimbus. The lower (crowded) regional Walk-on/off with lo-rise gates are fantastic, shame the airbridges don't work connecting like with SAM? Airlines servicing Terminal 4 include SkyTeam carriers Aeromexico, Air Europa, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic; Star Alliance carriers Air India, Avianca, Copa Airlines, and Singapore Airlines; and non-alliance carriers Caribbean Airlines, El Al, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue (late night international arrivals only), LATAM Brasil, LATAM Chile, LATAM Peru, Uzbekistan Airways, and WestJet. Like Terminal 1, the facility is Airbus A380-compatible with service currently provided by Emirates to Dubai; both non-stop and one-stop via Milan. These are mostly in the B Gates, which feels like a more modern addition than the A section. It's an 18-story air traffic control tower, iconic now, very Gerry Anderson, and it replaced the older square Heathrow style IAB tower in 1957. Detail of this centrally placed tower is excellent, really very authentic to the real tower set between the A and B concourses. You have gotta love this wing design and the lovely concrete facade. Internally it can be seen from the ramps for the excellent internal realism of the high floors. Terminal 5 Terminal 5 opened in 2008 for JetBlue, now the manager and primary tenant of the building, as the base of its large JFK operating base. The terminal is also used by Cape Air. On November 12, 2014, JetBlue opened the International Arrivals Concourse (T5i) at the terminal. The new facility replaced the old TWA Flight Center which was opened in 1962 and closed in 2001 after its primary tenant, Trans World Airlines went out of business. The active Terminal 5 building has 29 gates: 1 through 12 and 14 through 30, with gates 25 through 30 handling international flights that are not pre-cleared (gates 28–30 opened in November 2014). The T5 terminal was redesigned by Gensler and constructed by Turner Construction, and was sited behind the preserved Eero Saarinen-designed terminal originally known as the TWA Flight Center, which is now connected to the new structure and is considered part of Terminal 5. The TWA Flight Center reopened as the TWA Hotel in May 2019 (the lower building below). TWA Flight Center, designed for Trans World Airlines by Eero Saarinen and Associates, was erected between 1959 and 1962; it operated as an air terminal until 2001. It has a prominent wing-shaped thin shell roof supported by four Y-shaped piers. There is an open three-level space with tall windows that originally offered views of departing and arriving jets. The Terminal 5 complex is well done, with excellent cladding and nice glass, again the highlight is the AirTrain corridors and walkways, but the TWA Flight Center is a bit lo-res, even clunky to the real life smooth images. Internally it only as good for looking inside and again not for exploring, a shame as it would have been a nice exercise to do so. Modeled and sitting outside in the forecourt is an old TWA Lockheed Constellation. Terminal 7 Terminal 7 was designed by GMW Architects and built for BOAC and Air Canada in 1970. Formerly, the terminal was operated by British Airways, and was also the only airport terminal operated on US soil by a foreign carrier. British Airways operated Concorde here until 2003. Terminal 7 is now operated by a consortium of foreign carriers serving the building. Airlines operating out of Terminal 7 include Oneworld carrier Alaska Airlines, Star Alliance carriers Air Canada Express, All Nippon Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Scandinavian Airlines; SkyTeam carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas; and non-alliance carriers Aer Lingus, Condor, Icelandair, Kuwait Airways, Norse Atlantic Airways, and Sun Country Airlines. Well done here is the ageing facility, it looks worn and tired and is due to be demolished soon. As scenery by Nimbus it is excellent, but again the surroundings and detailing is quite low, not much fill and those lo-res textures are more a distraction than effective, but airside is well served with service vehicles and clutter. Terminal 8 Terminal 8 is a major Oneworld hub with American operating its east coast hub from here. In 1999, American Airlines began an eight-year program to build the largest passenger terminal at JFK, designed by DMJM Aviation to replace both the old Terminal 8 and Terminal 9. The new terminal was built in four phases, which involved the construction of a new midfield concourse and the demolition of old Terminals 8 and 9. It was built in stages between 2005 and its official opening was in August 2007. Other Oneworld airlines that operate out of Terminal 8 include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and Royal Jordanian. Non-alliance carrier China Southern Airlines also uses the terminal. A more modern facility... because it is. Terminal 8 is not olde world JFK, but the same sort of of modern terminal and island concourse like most major hub airports today. Again the modeling is first rate with excellent aluminum cladding and support frames. There is the same nice AirTrain connection, and lots of bustle and clutter on the airside, but very little on the landside. It is worth looking inside T8, as the internal detail is there, it's again (very) Lo-Res, but a lot of objects fill out the windows (externally), windows are still missing and even parts of the roof are open here also. Infrastucture In the central landside area is a Power Plant! The Kennedy International Airport Power Plant is a gas-fired cogeneration facility. Two LM6000 combustion turbines are routed to two heat recovery steam generators, which provide steam to one steam turbine and JFK’s thermal plant. The complex is very well replicated here, with the two generators that are very well modeled, visually the plant was required. It is a bit of a delusion. Because the carparks are empty on top and surrounds, so it looks like there isn't much fill, carpark clutter. But overall the 3d vehicle clutter here is totally excellent... all the areas are well covered, more so in the outer ring areas. The JFK AirTrain loop is also excellent, and as noted fully animated with the system stopping at every station, the quality of the railcars are also well done. The animation is also very smooth on the tracks, with not any quick flicks or sudden movements. Animated vehicle traffic is good as well, not branded, and to be honest not a lot of vehicles moving around either, but enough to make the ring-roads buzzy and animated. Cargo Overall Cargo is a bit messy at JFK, as there are four to five different areas for cargo, then a lot of smaller ramps and terminals. Areas are not designated either, so it's tricky to find the one you want... if you a hauler, you would need to study the charts before you get to JFK in where to go. The biggest cargo area is in the north that front's 13L/31R... taxiway C. Operators here include FedEx, DHL and a large United States Postal Service facility... the ARK animal receiving building is here as well... ... notable is the now empty area in front of FedEx, here originally were the three huge dilapidated hangers that fronted 13L/31R, now gone, and another piece of JFK history removed. Threshold Rwy 13L is another large cargo area... UPS and LAN Cargo are the main customers here. Korean Air, Delta Air Cargo and British Airways Cargo also have facilities, and all are represented... Maintenance has a few large Engineering facilities.... The one that stands out is the massive central JetBlue Engineering hangar, well done inside and outside with open doors. American Airlines also have a huge maintenance hanger as well, and both are excellent in the Nimbus scenery. Far Northwest is another large Cargo and Maintenance area... It is a very busy area, with the Port Authority Police Department at the head. The Worldwide Flight Services facility dominates, but the old United Airline Hangars (now F & E Maintenance) are present in the scenery as well. Notable mid-way is the General Aviation area, it's big with a load of Helicopter pads, but the GA Terminal is annoyingly very basic with poor Lo-Res textures, a shame as it is a very highly usable area for large GA aircraft and Private Jets.. Finally there is a load of remote Car Rental agencies set out on the outer perimeter.... So it is a vast and wide set set scenery that goes a long way out to the Old Howard Beach suburb from the central terminal area.... and all of it is very well covered by Nimbus Studios. Ground Textures Looking closely at the ground textures they are very good, if even excellent. Being a classic airport, JFK has the usual patch and other cleaner new areas all over the field hard surfaces, it's well done here, better on close inspection, with heavily worn in rubber marks and even the slight marbles of the worn rolled rubber off line. Lineage is worn and tired as well, were it needs to be. I'll give the concrete ramps a tick, mostly for the rust stains and tire wear, but they are not deep in grunge like you would expect after decades of service. Between junction NA and NB are the taxiway bridges over the Van Wyck Expressway. The bridges are well done here in there 3d description, but the poor ortho (again here extremely lo-res) joins are a visual perturbation with poor alignment. No live traffic flows also makes the lower view not very realistic or active. The PBR reflective (wet) active textures and burnt-in ambient occlusion is excellent here, one of the big advantages of X-Plane 12. Your runways shine in the daylight, and all the texture surfaces come out, ice and snow effects are again first rate, and if you want a snowed in New York Airport, it won't be bettered here Excellent also is the spring style grass... so many developers lately have been doing really shitty grass, but it's perfect here. And when it works on taxiing or landing, and great grass can create an all-around better realism. Airfield furniture, is very good like the realistic blast fences, but a lot of the field out-buildings are really laughable Lo-Res, this is 2024, not 2004. Cararsie Approach The official chart is noted as "PARKWAY VISUAL", but most aviators and bluffs call it the "Cararsie Approach". The Canarsie Visual was created in the 1970s. There are three airports very close to each other in the NY area (KJFK, John F Kennedy; KLGA, La Guardia; KEWR, Newark Liberty) A straight line in approach to 13L using the ILS wouldn’t make sense as it will intersect into the LGA airspace, making insufficient separation a problem. So any ILS approach into runway 13L it would not be possible... the solution was a tight turn close to the 13L/13R Thresholds. Basically the approach starts at Rockaway Point, where you proceed to CRI or Cararsie VOR. There is a small island to the east straight ahead at Canarsie Pier. A heading of 041 should be flown from this point until Jamaica Bay. If you are landing runway 13R you should start your descent between the pier and Twin Stacks (near Jamaica Bay), but maintain altitude if you are heading for 13L. For 13R you now do the turn and head into the approach... 13L, when you start your descent, and then turn slightly in the direction of the Crossbay Parkway and Shore Parkway intersection, however stay slightly south of where the roads meet, until the Aqueduct Race Track (you can take the first part of the Shore Parkway east of the intersection as a landmark.) After that, alignment with the 13L runway, keep descending and land. The sight of huge heavies turning tight into 13L is folklore, and there are hundreds of videos to show you the approach, even Concorde used this approach, although the very tight 10,000ft length of 13L/31R of usable runway made it a exacting landing, but it is obviously worth your talent to do the "Cararsie Approach". The Cararsie Approach is easy(ish) in the daylight, but what about at night? the Port Authority created three sets of RAIL (Runway Alignment Indicator Lights) that guide you into the 13L Runway. These RAIL section lights have been very well reproduced here in the Nimbus JFK scenery, the last set however are positioned on a building in front of 13L, but to note, they are slightly to the right of the 13L Centreline and also angled away. Lighting All approach lighting is to the full ICAO brightness standards as required in X-Plane 12, so yes it is very, very good. Every developer has their own take and feel with X-Plane night lighting, very few get it perfect. Nimbus's approach is for wide spots on the ramps (very good), but has clear bright see-through windows with the Terminals and Concourses. Realistic, not really no, as you would rarely see this sort of opacity on tinted windows, but it is an interesting approach But the ramps are nice to arrive into, so from an airside perspective the Nimbus JFK works. The control tower floors are lit up, it looks great, but again the tower's operating floor should be in darkness for obvious reasons. Carpark lighting is horrible, and you can see directly into the TWA hotel rooms at night... a view that looks really weird, and not very realistic either. The JetBlue Maintenance hangar is lovely at night, as is the landside road signage... navigation signage is also very good and realistic. Framerate At the head of the Nimbus JFK review I noted framerate, so what is the verdict? Overall the scenery is very good to excellent considering the framerate footprint here. But those numbers come with compromises. For one there has been a considerable effort by Nimbus Designs to keep the framerate hit numbers down, but with the use of "Very" Low-Res ortho ground textures, and very, very Low-Res objects in the field. Its noticeable sadly, but these areas are not where it counts in using the airport scenery. Secondly you can't be too greedy with your graphic settings, mainly and obviously the "Texture Quality" slider, the Anti-Aliasing needs to be lower as well, again to the detriment of those Lo-Res textures. But in the main the quality is quite high, so usable. To fit in a New York skyline, heavy autogen and this very wide area spaced out airport with millions of objects in the scenery, and to run it all with space to spare is a good result, Mostly in the past I have arrived in New York and my framerate is stuttering, usually badly, with the Nimbus JFK, it is however highly usable, so that is the main objective here, good considering the compromises. But would I also compromise a little more framerate for better and more realistic ortho textures, that is yes, a definite yes. _____________ Summary Idlewild Airport was named after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that it displaced in New York's east. Then following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, the airport was then renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport as a tribute to the 35th President of the United States and "Kennedy" is biggest gateway into America on the east coast. The last new scenery from Nimbus Studios was the excellent KIAD - Washington Dulles International Airport, of which is one of my favorites. Other major sceneries produced over a decade include, Chicago KORD, Orlando KMCO, Atlanta KATL and Miami KMIA, so Nimbus Studios are a very experienced and quality developer... this is their latest release for X-Plane 12 only, in JFK -John Kennedy International Being a old world legacy airport, the 6th busiest in the United States, then JFK is massive in scale, as so is this scenery from Nimbus Studios, as it covers a large area, with a lot of details and objects. All the the current Terminals are covered here, but a disclaimer is required. JFK New York is currently undergoing a huge transition phase. Old Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 7 are being demolished, to be replaced by a new Terminal 1 and 6, but the older Terminals 1, 2 and 7 are still portrayed in this Nimbus scenery, as is Terminal's 4, 5 and 8 in their current configuration. Terminal and the massive infrastructure base here is extremely well modeled with nice cladding and glass, internal areas are basically modeled for external views only. But there is a compromise in Lo-Res textures for ground areas and a lot of the infrastructure, which is fair enough to cover the scale and the lighter framerate hit on your computer. Overall the scenery is excellent to the scale, so it is a worthy compromise. Other details include two Maintenance facilities for JetBlue and American Airlines, the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal originally known as the TWA Flight Center (but poor quality), TWA hotel and all the Cargo facilities and the iconic Control Tower is excellent. AirTrain animations and vehicle animations are also very good, and the JFK scenery uses the older style Marginal (updated) Jetway system. Field and apron textures are excellent as is the 3d grass. X-Plane 12 effects of Ice, snow and wet surfaces are also perfect, night-lighting is average, with these not very realistic see-through windows, but overall the apron and field lighting is very good. Final feature is the installation of the famous "Cararsie Approach" RAIL lighting, to practise your landing skills. Nimbus's JFK is huge sprawling scenery, but a very effective one, not only in the visual sense, but in the usability aspect as well, and that is the very important point here. As it works visually, and efficiently as well, that aspect alone makes this Nimbus JFK airport the best currently for the X-Plane 12 simulator... Welcome to New York! __________________________ The KJFK - New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport XP12 by Nimbus Studios is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store KJFK - New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport XP12 Priced at US$29.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.3 GB Current version: 1.0 (January 14th 2024) Installation Installation of KJFK New York XP12 is done via download of 1.33 Gb... There is only one file to insert into your X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder Nimbus Simulation - KJFK - V1.0 XP12 With a total installation size of 2.42Gb. There is one basic installation "READ ME" pdf (4 pages) Review System Specifications Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - New York City XP by Drzewiecki Design (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$36.00 - Aircraft None - ____________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 21st January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  15. NEWS! - TaiModels releases EGCC- Manchester International Airport for XP12/11 TaiModels have turned next to the UK, for their new release... EGCC- Manchester International Airport. Manchester Airport is an international airport in Ringway, Manchester, England, 7.5 nautical miles (13.9 km; 8.6 mi) south-west of Manchester city centre. In 2019, it was the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger numbers and the busiest of those not serving London. The airport comprises three passenger terminals and a cargo terminal. It covers an area of 560 hectares (1,400 acres) and has flights to 199 destinations, placing the airport thirteenth globally for total destinations served. Being from the North of England, then "Ringway" has been major factor, not only in my real life, but also in my online Simulation, the EGCC Airport is one of the most used Airports in my X-Plane world, no hard pressure there for Taimodels to deliver a credible scenery of Manchester. Earlier X-Plane EGCC's consist mostly from Aerosoft. The first was a gem from the now defunct Icarius Studios. But the second from an unknown developer recruited by Aerosoft to replace Icarius Studios, was an absolute shambles of a scenery. So I'm still using the original decade old Icarius EGCC... now we have a far more modern Manchester for X-Plane 12! Features Hyper-Detailed models SAM amination jetways High quality pbr texture on objects and ground for superb reflections High performance Completed autogen around the airport Ground traffic plugins( car and truck) Compatible with XP11 and XP12 - Both versions included Includes weather texture in X-Plane 12 SAM 3 Plugin is required for this scenery, and both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 versions are supplied with this scenery package _______________________________ The EGCC- Manchester International Airport for XP12/11 by Taimodels is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store EGCC- Manchester Int'l Airport Priced at US$27.00 Requirements -Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 - Both Versions Included Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 2 GB Released January 16th 2024 ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 18th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  16. NEWS! - F-19 Stealth Fighter updated v1.3 by vSkyLabs vSkyLabs have updated the F-19 Stealth Fighter to version v1.3. In 1986, as speculation about Lockheed’s Northrop built what it called the YF-17 technology demonstrator to compete with General Dynamics’ YF-16 in the lightweight fighter program. When the F-16 won, the U.S. Navy hired Northrop to base the Navy’s next fighter on the -17, with the result designated F-18. Testors assumed that in order to deflect radar waves, the F-19 would be sleek and streamlined and would somewhat resemble Lockheed’s other-worldly SR-71. This VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot': F-19 Stealth Fighter Project is an Educational/Research based development effort that "brings to life" and realizes the hypothetical 80's Testor's F-19 concept in the most advanced flight simulation environment up to date: X-Plane 12 by Laminar Research. The simulated VSKYLABS F-19 it is not an 'arcade' aircraft...nor a 'generic jet fighter' that only looks like the F-19 externally; Extensive, professional real-world experience and knowledge of jet-fighters design, systems, performance, handling and operation were involved in the making of the VSKYLABS F-19. The result uncovers a scientific, graceful, powerful aircraft that holds a few weaknesses as well...just like any other *real* jet fighter, what makes flying a true-to-life and fascinating experience, especially when exploring the flight envelope and its performance characteristics. Project Highlights : Takes full advantage of X-Plane 12 latest technology. Advanced concept aircraft simulation, including detailed, fully functional 3-d cockpit environment with realistic, working systems. Extensive, professional real-world experience and knowledge of jet-fighters design, systems, performance, handling and operation were involved in the making of the VSKYLABS F-19. Designed for X-Plane 12 cutting edge flight model environment and presents superb flight dynamics with presumably authentic performance and flight handling characteristics for the hypothetical F-19 aircraft. Developed for VR: Development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage. Engineered and designed as a genuine, default X-Plane 12 aircraft. The VSKYLABS projects are practically show-casing X-Plane, as they are stretching X-Plane default features, systems and flight model to its limits without any dependencies on complementary plugins or software...delivering a very robust simulation model, having maximum compatibility with the ever evolving X-Plane flight simulator. Comprehensive FMOD sounds for 'As Real As It Gets' experience! Perfect challenge for beginner and expert pilots: Provides a very wide flight envelope with comfortable control from ~140 knots to Mach 1.1. Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap). Highly responsive VSKYLABS support forums: VSKYLABS offers continuous professional support, from all aircraft related aspects (operating and flying) to X-Plane technical support. The project is under constant maintenance and development. VSKYLABS F-19 Stealth Fighter Specifications: Country of Origin: USA. Type: Single-seat shipboard and shore-based strike stealth aircraft. Power Plant: Two 11,000 lb st dry and 17,700 lbs st afterburner General Electric F404-GE-100A turbofans. Dimensions: Span, 31 ft 5.4 in; length, 62 ft 3 in; height, 12 ft, 10 in. Performance: (F404-GE-100A) Max speed 750 mph, or Mach 0.99 at sea level ; 655 mph, or Mach 0.99 at 38,000 feet; Max speed Mach 1.2; Service ceiling, 53,000 ft; ferry range (with full internal fuel load, cruise at 28,000 ft, Mach 0.85), 1400 miles. Combat radius (air-to-ground low altitude mission), 550 miles (non-afterburner). Weights: Operational empty, 24,000 lbs; Maximum internal fuel, 14,000 lbs; Max takeoff, 41,300 lbs. Armament: Three internal weapon bays designed specifically to carry two AIM-9X Sidewinder AAMs and a single AGM-158A JASSM low observable standoff air-launched cruise missile. Overall weapon bays carry-weight, 190 lbs*2 + 2150 lbs (max 2600 lbs.). Design by VSKYLABS © 2022 Support forum for the F-19 by VSKYLABS Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs... The F-19 Stealth Fighter Project v1.3 by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, or update via the Skunkcrafts Updater. ___________________________ Yes! - F-19 Stealth Fighter by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS F-19 Stealth Fighter Current Price is US$32.95 Retail Price:$37.00 You Save:$4.05(11%) Requirements X-Plane 12 - Not compatible with X-Plane 11 X-Plane 12 - Not compatible with X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.3 (January 16th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 17th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  17. NEWS! - Mango Studios releases JARDesign A340-500 Sound Pack Mango Studios has released a Sound Package for the JARDesign A340-500, available here, and currently on sale for US$29.95. Note this package only works with the sounds for the JAR Design A340-500. It will not work on other A340s (i.e. TolISS). The package is however both compatible with X-Plane 12/11. Features included... Exterior: Custom Sounds for Exterior Aircraft Systems -APU, Hydraulic Pumps, Fuel Pumps, Packs, etc External Environmental sounds, including light and hard rain Custom Engine Sounds for the Rolls Royce Trent 553 Engines -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects Interior: Custom Sounds for cockpit switches, buttons, covers, knobs, and handles -Overhead Panel, Pedestal Panel, Autopilot Panel, and Eicas Panel all reworked Custom Cockpit System Sounds Including -Higher Quality GPWS Sounds, from 2500ft to 5ft aural warnings. -Higher Quality Embraer Warning Sounds -Higher quality and realistic Battery, packs, wipers, and avionics generator effects Custom, and ultra-realistic cockpit environmental effects -High-Quality landing gear roll, cockpit rattle effect, gear retraction, gear extension, gear drag, and cockpit wind. New cabin effects include -New Air conditioning effect, Fuel pump, Hydraulic Pump, Flaps, Slats Custom Interior sounds for the Rolls Royce Trent 553 Engines, which include: -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects It brings installation instructions to make your installation more manageable, and a manual to bring you up to speed on how to customize your volume in the volume menu. __________________ Yes!... JARDesign A340-500 Sound Pack by Mango Studios is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Mango Studios JARDesign A340-500 Sound Pack Price is US$12.99 Requirements This is a Sound pack. The JAR Design A340-500. Will not work on other A340s. X-Plane12 & 11 Current version 1.0 (January 15th 2024) ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 16th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  18. NEWS! - Nimbus releases New York JFK for X-Plane 12 Idlewild Airport was named after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that it displaced in New York's east. KIDL was built to relieve LaGuardia Field, which had already become overcrowded, and the new east based airport was opened in 1948. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, the airport was then renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport as a tribute to the 35th President of the United States. Since then it has always been known as "Kennedy". So KJFK needs no introduction to aviation bluffs, it's up there with "Heathrow", "Charles de Gaulle" and Washington's "Dulles". But deep down I still call it Idlewild, the original moniker for the airport. Dulle's is important here also, as it was the last fully developed airport by Nimbus Simulations, whom have now delivered a companion airport in the mega KJFK - New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport for XP12. JFK has five active terminals, containing 130 gates in total. The terminals are numbered 1–8 but skipping terminals 2 (demolished in 2023), 3 (demolished in 2013) and 6 (demolished in 2011). The terminal buildings, except for the former Tower Air terminal, are arranged in a deformed U-shaped wavy pattern around a central area containing parking, a power plant, and other airport facilities. The terminals are connected by the AirTrain system and access roads. Aviation Week found that JFK ranked second in overall traveller satisfaction among large airports in the United States, behind Harry Reid International Airport, which serves the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Features include... High-Definition Airport Terminals with 3D interiors and people Lights almost everywhere so very few LIT textures (saves VRAM) 4K textures with PBR materials Night lighting Ground textures with PBR materials High quality vehicles with PBR material 3D Native XP12 trees Parking lots full of cars Ground markings on each gate and runway Animated Airport Native X-Plane ground traffic. Native XP12 jetway system with custom highly detailed jetways. Detailed tarmac textures from up close or far out. High quality vehicles and miscellaneous objects. Water and snow effects. Canarsie approach guidance lights. Recommended with the Nimbus Studio's KJFK, is the Drzewiecki Design New York City XP, for a credible New York skyline. Please note that the Nimbus JFK is for X-Plane 12 only, and no X-Plane 11 version is available. Designed by Nimbus Studios Images are courtesy of Nimbus Designs __________________ Yes!... KJFK - New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport XP12 by Nimbus Design is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KJFK - New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport XP12 Price is US$29.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.3 GB Current version: 1.0 (January 14th 2024) ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 16th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  19. NEWS! - New Sceneries : Three new Venezuelan Airports for X-Plane 12 by Positive Climb Design A lot of scenery developers are focused on certain areas and countries. Here you have not one but three new X-Plane 12 Simulator regional airports for South American Venezuela by Positive Climb Design in SVJC, SVST and SVVG. A brand new developer to the X-Plane Simulation platform. SVJC – Josefa Camejo Paraguana XP12 Josefa Camejo International Airport (SVJC), is an airport serving the Paraguaná Peninsula in Venezuela. The airport is named in honor of Josefa Camejo, a heroine of the Venezuelan War of Independence.On May 22, 2018, Aruba Airlines inaugurated what, according to Travel and Leisure Magazine was the world's shortest international flight. linking the airport with Aruba Airline's hub in Oranjestad, a flight that lasted approximately eight minutes each way. Features PBR textures Handmade Ground Poly Buildings faithful to the reality Exclusive models for this airport based on the Real version Friendly Frames All airport buildings and facilitiesTrue to original navigation facilities (VOR/DME) Volumetric grass and flowers Using XP12's new 3D vegetation for forests, trees and bushes for seamless integration into the environment PBR-based reflective water surfaces complement missing water bodies in the simulator (newly adapted for XP12) All objects included - runs without additional add-ons or libraries SVST – San Tome XP12 San Tomé Airport (SVST) is an airport at the town of San Tomé, in the Venezuelan state of Anzoátegui. Also known as Don Edmundo Barrios Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Don Edmundo Barrios), it also serves the cities of El Tigre and San José de Guanipa, located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) southwest of San Tomé. The San Tome VOR-DME (Ident: SOM) and non-directional beacon (Ident: SOM) are located on the field. Features PBR textures Handmade Ground Poly Buildings faithful to the reality Exclusive models for this airport based on the Real version Friendly Frames All airport buildings and facilitiesTrue to original navigation facilities (VOR/DME,NDB) Volumetric grass and flowers Using XP12's new 3D vegetation for forests, trees and bushes for seamless integration into the environment PBR-based reflective water surfaces complement missing water bodies in the simulator (newly adapted for XP12) All objects included - runs without additional add-ons or libraries SVVG – Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo El Vigia XP12 Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo Airport (SVVG), is an airport serving El Vigía, a city in Mérida state in Venezuela. It opened in 1991, and was named for the Venezuelan politician Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo (1903–1979). The runway length includes a 490 metres (1,610 ft) displaced threshold on Runway 27. The El Vigia non-directional beacon (Ident: EVG) is located on the field. Features PBR textures Handmade Ground Poly Buildings faithful to the reality Exclusive models for this airport based on the Real version Friendly Frames All airport buildings and facilitiesTrue to original navigation facilities (ILS,VOR/DME,NDB) Volumetric grass and flowers Using XP12's new 3D vegetation for forests, trees and bushes for seamless integration into the environment PBR-based reflective water surfaces complement missing water bodies in the simulator (newly adapted for XP12) All objects included - runs without additional add-ons or libraries All three sceneries are value priced at only US$12 per scenery... certainly a great S.American collection and now all available at the X-Plane.OrgStore. __________________ Yes!... SVJC, SVST and SVVG Venezuela by Positive Climb Design is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : SVJC – Josefa Camejo Paraguana XP12 Price is US$12.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Version 1.0 (January 12th 2024) SVST – San Tome XP12 Price is US$12.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Version 1.0 (January 12th 2024) SVVG – Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo El Vigia XP12 Price is US$12.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Version 1.0 (January 12th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 13th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  20. NEWS! - Scenery Upgraded : KONT - Ontario International Airport XP12 by VerticalSim When you think cargo and Los Angeles, naturally you would think of LAX, which of course is the biggest for the Californian state at 15 Million tons a year, but there is another major hub to the East by San Bernardino that is another major cargo gateway into the LA Basin, this is the Ontario International Airport, again not the Canadian Ontario, but the American version. This gateway still delivers the ninth biggest's cargo tonnage in the USA at 5 Million a year. The ONT airport covers 1,741 acres (705 ha) and has two parallel runways. It is the West Coast's air and truck hub for UPS Airlines and is a major distribution point for FedEx Express. As of September 2018, ONT has more than 64 daily departures and arrivals. Since Ontario's longest runway (runway 8L/26R) is longer than three of the four runways at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), it is an alternate landing site for large cargo aircraft destined for LAX. This Ontario Scenery is an upgrade from the KONT X-Plane 11 version by Vertical Simulations, upgrade means it is a paid upgrade, but previous purchasers can get a get a discount US$4.99 off the full US$15.99 price, or for just US$11. X-Plane 12 features include... Brand new XP12 weather maps Accurate cargo ramps 2023 Airport Layout HDR Lighting PBR on nearly all materials Moving vehicle traffic Traffic AI Routing SAM Jetways Usage of LOD’s for optimization Cargo haulers love dedicated Cargo scenery, and this one at KONT is exceptional. A great addition to your cargo hauler network, and a nice quality scenery at that. The free SAM plugin is required for this airport to work. You can get it here SAM3 Suite. Images are courtesy of VerticalSim __________________ Yes!... KONT - Ontario International Airport XP12, California by VerticalSim is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KONT - Ontario International Airport, California XP12 Price is US$15.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 - (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Version 1.0 (January 12th 2024) People who own KONT XP11 can get KON XP12 for $4.99. Coupon code can be found in your original KONT X11 Invoice ___________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 13th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  21. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LICD- Lampedusa Airport and Linosa Island, Italy by Cami de Bellis Where is it? It's an Italian Island, but in reality it is nowhere near the Southern Italian coastline, more adjacent to Tunisia, Africa than Europe. Lampedusa is the largest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The Pelagie Islands from the Greek pélagos meaning "open sea", are the three small islands of Lampedusa, Lampione, and Linosa, located in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Tunisia, south of Sicily. To the northwest lie the island of Pantelleria and the Strait of Sicily. All three islands are part of the commune of Lampedusa. Geologically, part of the archipelago (Lampedusa and Lampione) belongs to the African continent; politically and administratively the islands fall within the Sicilian province of Agrigento and represent the southernmost part of Italy. Despite pockets of agriculture, the islands are unnaturally barren due to wanton deforestation and the disappearance of the native olive groves, juniper and carob plantations. Fifty years ago much of the landscape was farmland bounded by dry stone walls, but today, the local economy is based on sponge fishing and canning, supplemented by tourism in Lampedusa. Here is another detailed Cami de Bellis scenery with the addition of complete terrain mesh for the entire islands of Lampedusa and Linosa by Maps2XPlane, yes the same Maps2XPlane that did the excellent islands coverage of Faroe and Savlbard. So obviously you have a great combination of skills and quality scenery here. Features Highly accurate scenery for LICD- Lampedusa Airport and Linosa Island with all buildings modeled. Over 160 custom objects all with Ambient Occlusion Custom Terrain Mesh for the entire island of Lampedusa and Linosa by Maps2XPlane Custom Overlay/Autogen Scenery based on CDB assets by Maps2XPlane" Photo real textures on buildings, vehicles, trees… Photorealistic ground textures based on a satellite image 50 cm. Detailed airport objects and GSE vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways, and apron Custom surrounding buildings Custom airport lights HD Custom Overlay High-resolution building textures – all in 2K and 4K Excellent night effects World Traffic 3 compatible Native characters and vehicles created specially Ground traffic The terrain mesh is complemented with custom overlays: dense vegetation and country-typical autogen, as well as custom road networks with dynamic traffic. Two heliports, for those fans of helicopters. One at the beautiful Linosa Island, and the other on the US Loran Station Base. This LICD scenery is X-Plane 12 only Images of LICD- Lampedusa Airport and Linosa Island are courtesy of Cami de Bellis ________________ Yes! LICD- Lampedusa Airport and Linosa Island by Cami de Bellis is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LICD- Lampedusa Airport and Linosa Island Price Is US$18.90 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP 11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.7 GB Current version 1.0 (January 11th 2024) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 12th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  22. Aircraft Update : Robinson R44 Raven ll to X-Plane 12 by vSkyLabs The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter produced by Robinson Helicopter Company at Zamperini Field in Torrance, California since 1992. Based on the company's two-seat Robinson R22, the R44 features hydraulically assisted flight controls. It was first flown on 31 March 1990 and received FAA certification in December 1992, with the first R44 delivery in February 1993. The R44 has been the world's best-selling general aviation (GA) helicopter every year since 1999. It is one of the most-produced GA aircraft of the 21st century, with 5,941 deliveries from 2001 to 2020. "Raven" moniker comes with those hydraulically assisted controls and adjustable floor pedals. Then in July 2002, Robinson introduced the Raven II, featuring a more powerful Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5 6-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston fuel-injected engine, 245 hp (183 kW) and the wider blades, this "ll" variant also allows for a higher gross weight and improved altitude performance. The R44 from vSkyLabs was first released in late 2020 for X-Plane 11, this is the updated v3.0 X-Plane 12 version, but the original X-Plane 11 version is still available as part of the package. It's an upgrade, so no costs are associated with these XP12 changes. This being a vSkyLabs aircraft, Then the vSkylab philosophy is that you are purchasing an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed or is usually not completed to 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft, and all the development is free and ongoing throughout the X-Plane 12 version. These projects are under constant development: the development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements. So this aircraft is noted as an "Early Access" project. VSkylab's always do great modeling and detail, and here it is no exception, however there isn't that what you would call ultra-realism feel, if even a more model style bland with no say of the real world wear or tear feel, so the R44 feels pristine factory new. The detailing is however very good, and realistic, and now there is that more of that X-Plane 12 depth and shine, or better PBR than the XP11 version. This is very evident of the metallic look and pearlescent feel to the skin of the aircraft. All Robinson's are very recognisable by their high tower to rotor hub arrangement, so the control rods are extremely short. The connected twin-aluminum skin blades are 198 inches long and are modeled here to droop very nicely... the Xp12 update also has Improved rotor blades simulation to the more advanced XP12 dynamics. The rotor hub is fully animated in all control movement, collective, throttle and pitch. Tailrotor Yaw is also nicely animated with clever moving parts and joints... ... notable is that the tail rotor direction of rotation on the R44 is reversed compared to the R22 for improved yaw control authority. On the R44 the advancing blade is on the bottom. All vSkyLabs aircraft only use the X-Plane "Hotspot" selection system, so no menus, and only the clickable options are available (for VR users). Click on any small catch externally or the metal loop handle internally for the door to open, or press the front door hinge to hide all the four doors. Glass is very nice, thickish and slightly tinted, but totally clear of marks or dirt. Somewhere along the updates is the change of the leather seating colour from a tan to the bright red... the new seat colour certainly helps in bringing out the cabin to the more detail... Power on and you get inserted the fully (arms and legs) animated pilot, add in weight in the X-Plane "Weight & Balance" menu for each of the three other passengers and they appear in their respective seats. ... all Robinson's use the T-Bar Cyclic, but this one is not a twin grip, but a single grip to the right, HYD switch and red side engine "Starter" button. Notable is the revolving Speed placard on the T-Bar and you can hide the T-Bar via pressing the cover lower. Landing light switch is mid-mounted on the T-Bar, and note the animated centre window pillar "Whiskey" compass (it "shakes") The main instrument panel "Classic 7" has two rows of dials, top row is (LtoR) Vertical Speed (V/S), Artificial Horizon with Slip Indicator, Speed (knts), and engine readouts RPM %. Lower row is Altimeter, Heading Dial and Engine Manifold Pressure. Very simple but effective. Note the excellent rolling turn bubble and you can adjust the Horizon bar. The instrument detailing is very, very good and of good quality. Left centre pedestal is top a large clock, and a Quartz (Hobbs) meter set below, Right pedestal is all the engine and fuel gauges with an Amp gauge and Oil Pressure top, Aux Fuel Tank (17.0 US GAL/64 Liters) and Oil Temperature centre, Another Main Fuel Tank (29.5 US GAL/112 Litres) and a CYD HD (Cylinder Head) Temperature gauge is bottom. Lower centre pedestal is the electrical panel, with Lighting, Instrument Panel (adjustable) top, Nav Lts and Strobe lighting below. Clutch (Eng/Diseng), ALT (Alternator), Master Battery, and (Pump) Prime switch. Lower centre console is a basic KX 155 NAV/COMM Radio (NAV 1/COM 1) that can be switched from Com1 to Com2. The knob above turns to open a vent. Two features are aimed directly at VR (Virtual Reality) users. There is a Handbook down right, but it is only a single page "Checklist" held right under your nose, but it is well done. Second feature is the Avitab (Aviators Tablet) plugin intergration, the iPad is a basic install, but it is here in a good set position, there is no rotation to portrait mode, a feature I grumble about every time, and you can't turn it off either, so you have to just make it disappear if you are not using it (you click the sucker mount). Single Collective is simple (the R44 here is not a dual-control), it has a twist throttle and on the end is the Governor switch (off to start, then on), and the Fuel tank (switch) is on the bulkhead behind... Internal detail overall is very good, and you have gotta love those hanging headsets and cables when the power is switched off. Note the central (operating) pull down (handle) rotor brake. The internal cabin is the same one as the X-Plane 11 version (except for the red seats), but with the transition to X-Plane 12, it creates a totally different 3D environment than the flat bland X-Plane 11 feel, everything now is so much more highly realistic in view and lighting... night and day! Flying the (updated) R44 Starting the R44 chopper is still a slightly complicated set procedure, and it is wise to understand and read the enclosed R44 manual, but the R44 needs to be mostly started via the extensive pop-up checklist. Several things to know... clutch has to be disengaged, you PRIME, then switch to BOTH, and the Fuel (Mixture) knob has to set to RICH (or in) there is a animated cover to note to "not to pull it out, or you will fall out of the sky" marker. Governor switch is on the end of the Collective (off to start, then on), and the Fuel tank (switch) is on the rear bulkhead. ... starting is via the red starter button on the right Cyclic. Throttle is controlled on the Collective, and you move it left or right (left for power which is reflected in the Twin-RPM% dials). When all correct the Heading Compass will shake to the clatter rotor rotation, which has that twin-blade Huey "chop,chop" sound at idle. Sounds are highly re-tuned for X-Plane 12, with the move to the FMOD 2+ sound system as well. They were pretty good originally, but better is still better and you feel and hear that here. Also new are the Implemented physics-based blade-slap sounds. I really like the vSkyLab nose detail with the built in twin-nose (Landing) lights, they are as we shall see are quite powerful. You have to make a decision early on of what sort of flying feel you want with the VSL R44. Last review didn't have the extra (weight) of the optional three passengers, so the R44 was slightly nervy (Not as bad as some sporty choppers), but add in the passenger weight of the three other passengers in this a small machine, and the feel and handling of the Robinson changes quite a lot, actually to the better, as the weight gives you more control. The bonus is that the extra weight is now set more central, so that gives the R44 a more balanced poise when in the hover, it is far easier to stay static and in not having to fight the machine to stay in one place. Slight touches of the T-Bar cyclic will give you your manoeuvrability, either front, backwards or slightly to either side, but the tail (yaw) needs a lot of focus to keep the nose straight, as you can't just hold a position, but have to constantly have to change your yaw slightly to counter the nose moving around. Obviously it feels rather (or slightly) different from the XP11 version with the X-Plane 12 better dynamics, tuned new in here, so yes it is far better than I remember. Sink the nose (pitch forward) and your quickly moving forward with a gradual lift of the collective. The R44 will gather speed very quickly, even with a full load on board... The R44 has a maximum speed of around 130 kn (150 mph, 240 km/h), but mostly you will cruise around 109 kn (125 mph, 202 km/h), with a range of 300 nmi (350 mi, 560 km) with no reserve. For a little chopper the R44 is quite smooth, once you get into the groove, and the Robinson does have quite a nice control feel. in 1997, a Robinson R44 was piloted by Jennifer Murray for the first helicopter circumnavigation of the world by a woman, covering a distance of 36,000 miles in 97 days. For me personally I couldn't fly that far manually, but an R44 also holds the piston speed record of 227 km/h. Tricky that, as in the VSL R44 we have no SAS or Stability Augmentation Systems to take over the flying, so it is always a physical manual flight. Untrimmed... you have the cyclic forward, but also holding the stick slightly to the right to keep the course straight. Wearing after a while with the consistent pressure to hold the said position, but feedback is very good... let us be honest, this is a basic helicopter to fly, basic all round, but it does deliver a good simulation in the dynamics of which vSkyLabs are renowned for... Notable is that the "Autorotation" has been improved in X-Plane 12, this is when you use the blades with no power and still fly via the automatic lift (like an autogyro), This is a qualification requirement to flying helicopters. I push down the collective around 70 knts and keep the power in the green band, then you use your nose high pitch to control your descent under just autorotation. Tricky is slowing down as the R44 is so light, I remember this from the earlier XP11 R44, trying to rub off the speed can be very hard, so throwing yourself towards the ground takes a lot of nerve. Then as you descend you time and return the power via the collective while balancing the yaw, smooth collective action is important. So too much collective pull, and up too quickly will balloon your landing, but get it right and you should go straight into a 5 knt forward hover. The VSL R44 is ideal to practise this manoeuvre, as by here in this video. But the R44 also has that very light tail, so it needs a fair bit of practise to learn how to control it, as you get closer to the ground, your movement on the pedals have to be varied and also super-smooth. Another change in XP12 is the skids now have more movement (animation), they move out and spring upwards when touching (or leaving the) the ground. Personally I don't like the jerky movements, better solid as this as it does not look very realistic as just some bendy skids. Lighting Lighting is okayish and upgraded here for XP12... Very nice Instrument lighting is only one knob adjustable. The overhead spot light does a fair job for map reading or for general lighting, but lighting overall feels a bit dull. External lighting is average, but far better than the earlier XP11.. I like the twin red and white strobe lights on the long beam tail, and the better navigation lights... but those twin-nose Landing lights are super-bright... There was originally only two liveries, a Black and a shiny Blue... but now six more have been added, they are all however of the same scheme of colour and with stripes lower... a bit more creativity in schemes would have been nice. Grey is default. _____________ Summary The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter produced by Robinson Helicopter Company, and based on the two-seater R22. This one is the more slightly heavier Robertson R44 Raven ll, a light helicopter that seats a pilot and three passengers with hydraulically assisted controls, it also features the more powerful Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5 6-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston fuel-injected engine, 245 hp (183 kW) and has the wider twin-blades. Note that you are purchasing an ongoing project with any vSkyLabs aircraft and all the development is ongoing, so this is not a 100% fully developed project. Overall most vSkyLabs aircraft are all mostly basic, but they are also fully detailed to the extreme. There are also no menus or static objects or extensive features, as the focus is totally on the dynamics and flying performance, updated here to X-Plane 12 dynamics. But the R44 also delivers a very credible flying performance. Only interactions are with the few interaction zones that; lock the mixture, move the throttle, change altimeters, open the four doors (you can remove them as well), have a 3d checklist and hide the T-Bar Cyclic control column. AviTab intergration and exceptional VR-Virtual Reality is also available. X-Plane 12 update includes, Improved rotor blades simulation, Improved throttle governor, Autorotation regime tune-ups. In sounds FMOD v2.0+ and physics-based blade-slap sounds. Better PBR is now matched to the latest X-Plane 12 rendering engine and creates a better metallic look and pearlescent feel to the external, and a more realism effect internally. There are also six new/additional default liveries. Skunkcrafts Updater is also now included. Although one of the most popular helicopters built, the R44 is a bit of a challenge to fly, so yes some helicopter skills are required here, but when acquainted to the dynamics, it is also highly enjoyable. If you love the VSkyLab's philosophy, then you will love the R44. So another nice helicopter from VSkyLab's updated to X-Plane 12, you want more of course in features and details, but that is not what VSkyLab's is about... it is all about the flying pure and simple, and in that area the Robinson R44 Raven ll really delivers... recommended. Now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore or directly from vSkyLabs ___________________ Yes! the Robinson R44 Raven II Project - VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Series is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Robinson R44 Raven II Project - VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' On sale: $32.95 US$21.41 Project Main Features: Optimized for the latest X-Plane 12 Flight Model Robust and Highly Defined flight dynamics model of the Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter, built around the powerful, native X-Plane 'Experimental Flight Model' environment Highly detailed model of the Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter Autorotation capable Comprehensive systems which were designed to follow the real R44 Raven II POH, as authentically as possible within X-Plane 11 flight simulator limitations Fully functional VR (Virtual Reality) Ready: highly interactive cockpit environment including levers, switches, guards, 3D checklist viewer, modular cyclic and more Equipped with Robinson's classic 7 holes analog panel R44 Auxiliary fuel system. Removable doors Fully featured GNS530 Built-in Avitab Compatibility (Avitab plugin not included) Multi-Layer FMOD 2.0 sound pack The project is under constant development: development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements Skunkcraft Updater is included: project updates are fast and efficient! Requirements: X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Note: latest version is for X-Plane 12 . XP11 version still available Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 3.0 (January 5th 2024) AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com. Aircraft download is 265 Mb, and unpacked then installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 413 Mb Documents How to INSTALL your VSKYLABS aircraft.pdf How to UPDATE your VSKYLABS aircraft.pdf VSKYLABS Robinson R44 POH.pdf VSL R44 Essentials.pdf Designed by VSKYLABS Support forum for the Robinson R44 by VSKYLABS _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc3 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00 - KJAX - Jacksonville International Airport (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.99 ___________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 10th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  23. There has been three updates one substantial v1.01, then two small twiddly updates v1.2/3. Lighting is the major change, and KJAX is far better than the almost complete darkness before... still not the best though as the GA area ramps are still in darkness, but let us say better... so it's not the scenery's strongpoint. LOD's are still too short as well. That said, it's a great scenery, one I have used frequently, do I recommend, yes absolutely.
  24. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : Tensor 600X v3.1 - VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' The vSkyLabs Tensor 600X German two-seat tandem configuration autogyro prototype has been updated to v3.1. By all accounts this a very small update as there are only three items listed (X-Plane 12 conversion was done in April last year). But the changes are interesting and you gain some significant features. First is the 3D HUD visualization, or the instruments are now reflected in the screen in front of you. Secondly is the additional 'Test-Pilot' instruments cluster, that can can be turned off by disabling the said cluster. The third item is a nice graphic cleanup. Version 3.1(January 8th 2024) 3-d HUD visualization was implemented: Part of the additional 'Test-Pilot' instruments cluster (can be turned off by disabling the cluster). Minor graphics refinements. The VSKYLABS Tensor 600X is a high definition autogyro simulation of the Tensor 600X, based on development information which was provided by ‘TENSOR AG.’. However, not all of the information, specifications and data, system descriptions and flight instructions in this manual are necessarily representing the real Tensor 600X specs and data, and should not be considered as official information with regards to the Tensor 600X. The real Tensor 600X is still under development and its complete specification and performance figures will be available once ‘TENSOR AG.’ will release it in public. This being a vSkyLabs aircraft, Then the vSkylab philosophy is that you are purchasing an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed or is usually not completed to 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft, and all the development is free and ongoing throughout the X-Plane 12 version. These projects are under constant development: the development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements. So this aircraft is noted as an "Early Access" project. Project Main Features: Flight Model tuned to X-Plane 12 New Rotax 915iS engine Systems: G1000 autopilot is now inverter-dependent, with a safe mechanism for gound operations. New interior lighting systems for the instrument gauges. Interaction: Added option to hide the front stick (similar to 'hide-yoke'). Graphics: Extensive PBR update to fall in line with the latest XP12 lighting engine updates. Pusher prop visualization update. Liveries update. Additional 2 liveries. Enhanced windshields. Sounds: New FMOD 2.0 sounds pack. VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project of a real world prototype Autoupdater included The project is under constant development. Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs (X-Plane 12 version) Design by VSKYLABS Support forum for the Tensor 600X ___________________________ The Tensor 600X - VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Tensor 600X - VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Your Price: US$29.00 On sale: $29.00 US$18.85 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 3.1 (January 8th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton' 9th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  25. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : Robinson R44 Raven II v3.0 to X-Plane 12 by vSkyLabs It has been the world’s best-selling GA helicopter for more than two decades with the Robinson R44 Raven II. The R44’s four-seater aerodynamic fuselage optimizes airspeed and fuel economy. It is powered by Lycoming IO-540 fuel injected engine and it cruises at 110 knots and can fly 300 nautical miles and up to 14,000 feet. And now the R44 by vSkyLabs is available for X-Plane 12. Note, this latest v3.0 version is for X-Plane 12, but the original R44 XP11 version is still available. Flight model - complete update to latest X-Plane 12: Improved rotor blades simulation. Improved throttle governor. Improved engine power gradient to fall in line with MP limitations more accurately. Landing skids physics tuneups. Autorotation regime tune-ups. Sounds: Implemented physics-based blade-slap sounds. FMOD pack converted to v2.0x Graphics: All-around PBR new setup to match the latest X-Plane 12 rendering engine. New/additional default liveries. Features Optimized for the latest X-Plane 12 Flight Model Robust and Highly Defined flight dynamics model of the Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter, built around the powerful, native X-Plane 'Experimental Flight Model' environment Highly detailed model of the Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter Autorotation capable Comprehensive systems which were designed to follow the real R44 Raven II POH, as authentically as possible within X-Plane 11 flight simulator limitations Fully functional VR (Virtual Reality) Ready: highly interactive cockpit environment including levers, switches, guards, 3D checklist viewer, modular cyclic and more Equipped with Robinson's classic 7 holes analog panel R44 Auxiliary fuel system. Removable doors Fully featured GNS530 Built-in Avitab Compatibility (Avitab plugin not included) Multi-Layer FMOD 2.0 sound pack The project is under constant development: development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements Skunkcraft Updater is included: project updates are fast and efficient! This being a vSkyLabs aircraft, Then the vSkylab philosophy is that you are purchasing an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed or is usually not completed to 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft, and all the development is free and ongoing throughout the X-Plane 12 version. These projects are under constant development: the development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements. So this aircraft is noted as an "Early Access" project. Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs (X-Plane 12 version) Design by VSKYLABS Support forum for the Robinson R44 by VSKYLABS ___________________________ The Robinson R44 Raven II v3.0 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Robinson R44 Raven II Your Price: US$32.95 On sale: $32.95 $21.41 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Note: latest version is for X-Plane 12 . XP11 version still available Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 3.0 (January 5th 2024) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton' 6th January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
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