Jump to content


Chief Reviewers
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Stephen

  1. News! - Aircraft Released : Cessna A-37 Dragonfly V2 XP12 by JCS JCS has released an upgrade to X-Plane 12 for their Cessna A-37 Dragonfly in noted v2 form. The Dragonfly's configuration is very similar to the UK's BAC 167 Strikemaster which is also a twin seat British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or "Super Tweet", is a light attack aircraft designed and produced by the American aircraft manufacturer Cessna. It was developed during the Vietnam War in response to military interest in new counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft to replace aging types such as the Douglas A-1 Skyraider. A formal United States Air Force (USAF) evaluation of the T-37 Tweet basic trainer for the COIN mission was conducted in late 1962, after which it was concluded that it could be modified to effectively perform the role. The attack-orientated A-37 was directly derived from the T-37, roughly doubling in both all-up weight and engine thrust as to permit considerable quantities of munitions to be carried along with extended flight endurance and additional mission avionics. The prototype YAT-37D performed its maiden flight during October 1964. A-37 Dragonfly features: Detailed 3D model Detailed virtual cockpit Custom jet engine sounds Multiple paint schemes, including T-37 trainer schemes (on the A-37 airframe) New, realistic flight model developed by X-Aerodynamics specifically for X-Plane 12 and 11 Fly with external fuel tanks and rockets, or in a ‘clean’ configuration with gun only The X-Plane 11 version is part of this package, however it does not have the X-Plane 12 features or effects. Images and video are courtesy of JCS __________________________ Yes! Cessna A-37 Dragonfly V2 XP12 by JCS is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Cessna A-37 Dragonfly V2 XP12 Price Is US$19.95 Requirements: X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 151MB Current version : 2.012 ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 23rd September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  2. NEWS! - Airport Upgraded : KSNA - John Wayne International XP12 by Skyline Simulations Orange County Airport was renamed John Wayne Airport on June 20, 1979. Then John Wayne Associates commissioned sculptor Robert Summers to create a bronze statue of "the Duke". The 9-foot (2.7 m) statue, created at Hoka Hey Foundry in Dublin, Texas, was dedicated to the County on November 4, 1982. Today, the bronze statue is in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal on the Arrival Level. Yep! they named an airport after a Cowboy Actor, but this is America after all. They renamed the airport in 1979 in honor of actor John Wayne, who lived in neighboring Newport Beach and he died that year. John Wayne Airport is an international commercial and general aviation airport that serves Orange County, California, and the Greater Los Angeles area. SNA Airport has two runways. The main runway, 2L/20R, at 5,700 feet (1,700 m) in length, is one of the shortest of any major airport in the United States, and passenger jetliners operating from the airport have never been larger than the Boeing 757 (although some larger cargo aircraft fly from SNA, such as the widebody Airbus A300 operated by FedEx). Runway 2R/20L is 2,887 feet (880 m) long and serves general aviation aircraft. No widebody passenger jetliners have ever been operated into SNA in scheduled airline service. This is the upgraded X-Plane 12 release of KSNA - John Wayne International by Skyline Simulations, and it is a paid upgrade, but there is an offer for previous X-Plane 11 purchasers of the scenery as for you can get 33% OFF the upgrade price (US$11.73). Coupon code can be found in the original KSNA Invoice. This is a X-Plane 12 scenery only. Features Include: ➤ UHD custom textures using the latest painting techniques ➤ XPLCity with custom 3D houses ➤ Super-detailed 3D modelling ➤ PBR materials on every building ➤ FSEco-subsystem ➤ Detailed HD ground with PBR and decals ➤ Custom 3D animated vegetation blends with orthophotos ➤ XPEco-subsystem ➤ Ultra-high-resolution custom orthoimagery for the airport ➤ Thousands of 3D custom static objects ➤ Amazing and detailed night textures ➤ Ground traffic Images are courtesy of Skyline Simulations __________________________ Yes! KSNA - John Wayne International XP12 by Skyline Simulations is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KSNA - John Wayne International XP12 Price Is US$17.50 KSNA - XP11 purchasers can purchase this new X-Plane 12 version for 33% off (US$11.73). Please find the coupon code in the original KSNA XP11 order Requirements: X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows , Mac or Linux 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 712 MB Current version: 1.0 (September 20 2023) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd September 2023 Copyright©2023: 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. NEWS! - Scenery Released : RPMR - General Santos International Airport - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries Midway through last year, Airwil Sceneries released a series of airport destinations in the Philippines, including Davao International Airport, RPVE - Boracay Caticlan Airport and RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport, and all three have been recently updated to X-Plane 12. Here is another Filipino scenery to add to the collection... RPMR - General Santos International Airport. General Santos International Airport is also known as "Tambler Airport" (RPMR), is the largest airport on the island of Mindanao serving the greater area of Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos). Despite being known as a nearby alternate airport of Davao International Airport, General Santos is officially classified as an International Airport. General Santos City is the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the Philippines, thus, rightfully so was nicknamed the "Tuna Capital of the Philippines". The General Santos International Airport has a single 3,227-meter (10,587 ft) runway with a width of 45 meters (148 ft), designated as runway 17/35. Made entirely of reinforced concrete and macadam, the airport's runway is the third-longest runway in the Philippines, after Runway 06/24 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (3,737 meters, 12,260 ft) and Runway 04/22 of Mactan–Cebu International Airport (3,300 meters, 10,800 ft) respectively and is capable of handling the Airbus A380. It is the first airport in Mindanao to have accommodated the landing and take off of Boeing 747 aircraft. The facade design of the airport is patterned after the fins of the yellow-fin tuna. The consideration of the existing second floor of the terminal building which is ideal for the terminal building to expand vertically and for the boarding bridges. Prior to the 2017–2021 facelift, the terminal had an area of 4,029 square meters (43,370 sq ft) and an annual capacity of 800,000 passengers. It was expanded to the current area of 12,240 square meters (131,800 sq ft) and increased its capacity to two million passengers per year. Jet bridges were also added during the said upgrade. Features: Moving airport ground servicing vehicles More than 100 custom handcrafted objects/buildings Close to real life rendition of the brand new General Santos International Airport Terminal (with interior modelling) Tambler Control Tower Cab (with interior modelling) Highly detailed landside (parking area) Custom ground paint textures Close to real life rendition of the airport's runway Filipino Houses Filipino Jeepneys Filipino Buses SOX 3d signage Manny Pacquiao Billboard Comes with ortho imagery for better realism X-Plane 12 Default Jetway Features Both X-Plane 11 and X-plane 12 versions are included in the package. The low below $10.00 price to the quality of these excellent Filipino sceneries make for a great collection of all four. Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPMR - General Santos International Airport - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPMR - General Santos International Airport - Philippines Priced at US$9.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.5 GB Current version: 1.0 (September 19th 2023) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 20th September 2023 Copyright©2023: 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
  4. Updated Aircraft Review : Cessna 172M Skyhawk DGS Series v1.1 by Thranda Design I'm three thousand feet above County Clare, Ireland. Dribbling along nicely at 130 knts. Life is easy, free... carefree. I'm in the "Skyhawk", the Cessna 172M, the most popular aircraft ever built with 44,000 units constructed, and is still going strong. The C172 is popular because it is just that right perfect fit for it's main role... pilot training. The C152 is good for training as well, but is also a little too small, the C172 came out of the C170, but that aircraft was a taildragger, were as the C172 has the Tri-cycle undercarriage, it also has a slightly more powerful engine 160 hp (120 kW) (C152 has a 110 hp (82 kW) engine, so it was the follow-on larger and faster aircraft... and it hit that perfect spot all round, a sort of Volkswagon Beetle for the air. The C172 was first flown in 1955. Part of the reason it is very good as a training aircraft, is the visual outlook from the aircraft. Being a high-fixed wing, the view internally to the external is very, very good. It wasn't always like this as the earlier 172's, as it had a had a "fastback" rear cabin with no rear window and also featured a "square" fin (tail) design. 1963 172D model introduced the lower rear fuselage with a wraparound "Omni-Vision" rear window and a one-piece windshield. On the 172K the rear windows were slightly enlarged again by 16 square inches (103 cm2). Although a Cessna 172, in later life it became known only as the "Skyhawk" and the 172 moniker was dropped from the name. -Update v1.1- Less than a month on from the original release of the Cessna 172M, here is a significant update to the aircraft in a Float and Amphibian variant. The changes to v1.1 are now all noted in this revised and updated review. This Cessna 172M is another Cessna from Thranda Design, after the Cessna Caravan and the later Cessna U206G Stationair, you could easily confuse this C172M with the U206G, but although they share the same bodyline they are completely different aircraft for different roles. Modeling is of course superlative. Thranda quality in extreme detail and fittings. As noted the Skyhawk comes with 8K textures, a huge pixel area 7680 x 4320. Just because it is 8K doesn't mean that you need a 8Gb Graphic Card to run them. 4 Gb VRAM is still recommended as Minimum. And 8 Gb+ VRAM is however recommended as normal. But like with the earlier Thranda releases, they had more than one 4K texture size, sometimes two 4K textures to fill in the same 8K area. So in reality you are only using the 8K to fill the same gap of the two 4K set of textures before. So Graphic Card size is not the issue, if you can run your current Thranda aircraft with your current graphic card size, then the C172M will be exactly the same, in fact even a bit more efficient in that it only has to load in the one texture sheet, rather than the load of old 2(K)or 4(K) texture sheets. It shows of course, but lately I have found Thranda aircraft to be incessantly dark. Externally and internally with the current development process, with an emphasis of the blackness shadow areas, however hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision is very, very appreciable, you can spend hours going over the finer details of the aircraft. The dihedral of the wing is 1° 44′ and the total wing area is 174 square feet (16.17 square meters). The horizontal stabilizer span is 11 feet, 4 inches (3.429 meters). So it's a nice clean wing as seen here. The M model is important as it was the first drooped wing leading edge for improved low-speed handling. This was marketed as the "camber-lift" wing. The 172K model, introduced those sported fiberglass, downward-shaped, conical wing tips , as seen here. The 172L, sold during 1971 and 1972, Cessna replaced the main landing gear legs (which were originally flat spring steel) with tapered, tubular steel gear legs. The new gear had a width that was increased by 12 in (30 cm). The new tubular gear was lighter, but required aerodynamic fairings to maintain the same speed and climb performance as experienced with the flat steel design. These legs have been well reproduced here by Thranda. Rear legs are fixed, but the nose wheel comes with an oleo strut and scissor-or torque links, it has a 15º degree adjustable turn. Tyres are so detailed that you can read the name "Goodyear Flight Specials", and there is great wear and tear on the hubs and rims. Overall excellent. Glass is very good, as usual with Thranda... here it comes with a nice green tint, always lovely reflections and depth to the thickness, there are also the nice motley glass marks and scratches, some even distracting, like the lines lower left windscreen. Thranda comes up with some really interesting cabin interiors. In the Skyhawk it is the most unusual yet? The U206G had a nice cream and blue fitout, the Islander BN-2 had odd white seats. Here you get a light grey cabin with green highlights on the seats, lower instrument panel and side panels, seats are green with darker green inserts and even the adjustable blinds are green... it's all a bit Shrek? The side panels though are totally exquisite with the highlighted squares, and the cabin roof is dirty and worn with detail, beautifully done. Everywhere you look you see the aged wear, door posts, window surrounds, wing end plates.... all so well done. Instrument panel has a plastic cover plate (70's) design. But the DGS system is still an option here in a dynamic panel, the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Avionics with the fixed panel include Garmin 340 Radio, Bendix/King KX 165 radios, Garmin GTX Transponder, S-Tec FiftyFive X Autopilot and Bendix/King KR87 ADF unit. A EDM 800 Engine Data Management system is also installed, and most pop out, as do almost 50 instruments! You can hide one or both of the Yokes, they also come in two styles "Classic" and "Modern". But the trim (pickles) on the modern yoke (shown) don't work with the yoke options. Lower instrument panel is the trim wheel and fuel selector (19 GAL per wing tank). The 172 is a very basic aircraft, but you have everything you need here. All oddments like ashtrays, in-wing air-vents work, as do both the side windows open.... and the glovebox/cubby opens to revel the Thranda development team. Lighting Like a lot on the C172, the lighting is quite basic. You have the option of having "Light Posts" on the instrument panel, ON or OFF. And they make a big difference on. The one lighting knob has two adjustments, the panel lighting and the overhead red (dome) light. The red overhead light is quite powerful, and baths the cabin nicely, to the rear is a single large cabin light, its bright, but not very effective in the rear? Externally I really like the light spray around the twin Taxi/Landing lights, Navigation light/strobes and a single tail beacon is all just basic lighting. Flying the Skyhawk The Skyhawk is noted as "The Cessna 172 is arguably the most elegant compromise in the history of aviation.” A nice quote and not far from the truth, as the aircraft is perfect in the "right size, feels right" category. Once trimmed, the Skyhawk is a very neutral and balanced aircraft on the central axis, again to make it easy for pilot training, interesting is to do tight turns, very heavy degree turns and you will need very little back pressure on the yoke to keep the same altitude... .... the aircraft will literally "Turn on a dime", stand on it's wing, as you twirl the aircraft around the sky... certainly any aircraft will do this sort of semi-aerobatic manoeuvres, but it is the ease and cleanliness of the actions that make the aircraft so easy to control, and this is a General Aviation machine here, a heavy one by aerobatic standards. It's great fun, you can understand the love for the machine from not only newly born pilots, but from the professional aspect as well. Unlike the C152, the instruments and controls are not totally in the basic, basic category in here. You have your VOR Pointers (again great for point to point training) and for doing circuits with ILS central alignments. Performance of the C172M is good; Cruise speed is 122 kn (140 mph, 226 km/h), with a never exceed speed of 163 kn (188 mph, 302 km/h) (IAS) . The range is 696 nmi (801 mi, 1,289 km) with 45 minute reserve, 55% power, at 12,000 feet (3,700 m) and the service ceiling is 13,500 ft (4,100 m). Time to return to Kerry (EIKY). The Flaps indicator is quite buried (Fixed Panel) right lower, hard to see, settings here are 0º-10º-20º-30º-40º, a lot of adjustment, also they are continuous in operation, but really great for slow speed approaches with plenty of lift and support. But the flap support is great for novice trainee pilots, it gives them time to adjust the aircraft ready for the approach, minimises mistakes. I found this out by dropping the flaps to 40º at the start of the EIKY Rwy 26 ILS approach (108.70 (IKR), then slowly approaching at 70 knts until the point of descent... .... adjusting the speed down to 63 knts, and you will get a nice 300 fpm descent into the runway, smooooth and clean, if a little slow, but again great for practising your approach skills, as the C172M allows you to do this. (note; Rate of climb is 715 ft/min (3.63 m/s) or usually about a 500 fpm). I feel too complacent, as i'm now too high, so an adjustment to 500 fpm is required, but the descent speed stays low enough around 70 knts to pull off the manoeuvre... ... in reality you wouldn't get away with this steep approach, but I feel totally in control of the Skyhawk. 200 ft above terra firma, I pull back the yoke, up goes the nose and I smooth out the descent pitch, the C172M responds perfectly, speed runs off, descent rate slightly climbs, and I'm soon in the perfect touchdown flare. 60 knts on touch... stall is a low 47 kn (54 mph, 87 km/h) (power off, flaps down), and I'm rolling down the centre line, too easy! Again you can see why the Skyhawk is perfect for learner pilots, it's so sure (if a little too safe, that it can distract you into complacency), but the feedback from the controls and airframe are excellent, highly recommended for practising skills or circuits, of which is the aircraft's Modus operandi. It's nice to fly an aircraft so perfect. At taxi speed and idle throttle the familiar "knock, knock" from the Lycoming O-320-E2D is well heard from the cabin, all sounds are perfect here with high-fidelity, multi-track FMOD2 sounds, there is aural simulation of multiple layers of engine and prop sounds, depending on camera angle, distance, atmospheric conditions, doppler as well... well everything you need for a great aural experience, Thranda are good at details like this, and it's important to the overall joy of the aircraft. And it all works to the last splutter of the prop at shutdown (as also the excellent start sounds) are perfect... "perfect", that word comes a lot around the Skyhawk here! There is no doubt on how much I like this Skyhawk, but debatable on still which is the really very best one? I totally loved the Careando Skyhawk with a G1000 avionics suite, flew that 172 everywhere, there are glass instrument options here as well as we shall see, so time will tell if the Thranda Skyhawk can take the title away from the older version? Added in to v1.1. are the optional Float and Amphibian Float Versions. Float design and detail is exceptional, and anyone who has had an earlier Thranda Amphibian (C208B) will know about the high quality here. Float shape and modeling is about perfect, as are the the front strut and main wheel assemblies. Rear rudders are controlled by a push/pull lever left centre console to raise or lower the twin fins... the undercarriage is controlled by the "Gear Advisory" panel right Instrument panel... there is the secondary pump lever between the seats for a manual upping or lowering of the wheels. Option of a "Float" version is also available... the detail is again absolutely "top notch". v1.1... Two other changes to the v1.1 update are the fixed Alt Static Air knob's Dataref, and now also enabled is WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) in the GPS units. Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous). Basically it is the standard Thranda default menu. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. General menu selections cover; Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off (sets aircraft to full running mode), Chocks and Brakes on/off. Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot covers, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit doors and the right side luggage door. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights. The "Electric Tug" that can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your joystick (left,right-forward,backwards). Static Items include Wheel chocks, Engine Inlet covers, wing pitot cover. One item not shown in the general menu panel is the front nose cowling removal. It's hard to do, but if you click the surround (arrowed) in the engine bay on the pop out menu, it will lift the nose cowling to reveal a fully modeled Lycoming O-320-E2D Engine, very nice it is as well. There is built in "Checklist" (lower right menu, arrowed), and very good it is. But also again changed back to a simple black on red graphic, with green cross-off lines. The Checklist can the moved and scaled anywhere on the screen, but the list can't be reset back again to just the red restart list? and so there are 14 separate pages of the list to uncheck? Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "Liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 8 liveries or two blank (DynamicLiveryResources/Thranda) and six designs, and all the liveries are of extremely high quality and creative flare with the package. Two of the liveries are noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY", these are the current selected "Dynamic Liveries". Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own livery! With their earlier releases of their Kodiak and with the Islander, PC-6, PZL-104 and Caravan. Then Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery. This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES top. 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 red) is shown in the square. You can also separately change the aircraft registration number, here I wanted an Irish Rego in EI-677. The Cessna logo can be added as well. 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 C172 is in your own livery design... If the custom livery does not load? then go to a PAINTED LIVERY, then load one close to the design you created, then go back and reload your custom dynamic livery... and it should now load correctly. A feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt (Ext) Externally, Scratches and Dirt (Int) Internally. Via three percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly.So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. Also changes can be made to Metal or Rough surfaces, this can be applied to any of the liveries. There are already 30 preselected selections in their various designs, all are very good, and like noted you can add in your own version to the list. New to the Dynamic Livery application is ERA options in "Modern' or "Classic".... of course personal taste is optional! v1.1... in the Float/Amphibian menu, you can also colour in the float design to your own preferences, or to match in with the aircraft fuselage design Menu - Weight/Bal The Skyhawk also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle... Lbs In Green, and Kgs in Blue. There is the weight selection of all the seats. Missing is the usual Thranda seat removable X option, as here you can only select the seat weight. Fuel can be added and the amounts are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above)... pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and all are selected via a scrollwheel... and then all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph, go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red. When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add in the set weights. Oddly there are no bags or luggage shown in the rear (behind the rear seat) luggage area like with most Thranda's with the C172M? But the usual two animated Pilot and front seat passenger are still in there when you adjust the seat weights above 36 kgs/80 Lbs. They both will also disappear if the electrical power is switched off and the chocks added. But obviously there is a compromise? If you want a full passenger and baggage load, then you can't have full fuel tanks, as the excess weight takes you over the weight and the CofG limits as shown on the graph. For four passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the longer range and not go into the red. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FoV or "Field of View" is adjustable via a slider. Menu - Audio/Slew Sound can be adjusted via the Audio menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel... As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play. Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is used mostly only really with the Amphibian/Floats option in docking the aircraft to say a pier or marina. Currently there are no plans for an Amphibian version of the C172M, but you never know. Menu - PANEL The sixth "PANEL" Tab option allows you to adjust or change the instruments and dials. First feature here is a new one to Thanda's Dynamic Panel... the selection of a "Molded Plastic Cover" panel, and to add in or takeaway the panels "Light Posts". (hint... nice on). The non-plastic cover look is a flat dark grey facia, actually very nice and the same as the U206G. Scroll the "Panel Preset" number to see all the three preset layouts. Preset 0 is the grey standard panel with the GNS 530, Preset 1 is the Molded Plastic Cover (top)... Preset 2 is the standard grey panel with the Bendix/King KX 165A radios... Preset 3 is the Aspen EFD 1000. Aspen EFD is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not as highly featured with the GPSS, MAP, 360 and Menu functions all not simulated... all the lower NAV1/NAV2/GPS selections are however available, as is the TPS (Tapes) see/hide option with the MIN (Minimums) selectable as well. and the PFD can be reversed with the EHSI. The EFD 1000 PFD pops-out for convenience. Customising the panel to your own personal layout is just as easy. Just select the "3D EDIT PANEL MODE" (arrowed) that gives you access to all of the 53 individual instruments and avionic units... There some great options including the Aspen EFD 1000, S-TEC 55x Autopilot, Angle of Attack gauge and so on... For those that find instruments are not to their liking in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter just a bit more to the left", then here you can simply adjust that instrument, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking. Here I have added in two instruments... A DME ranger and a PS Engineering Incorporated PM 1200 two place panel mount intercom. You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument. When you can "ADD" (or Duplicate) in a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset /4). So basically you can start off with a completely blank instrument panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout if you have the time and patience... and you can have up to or save 14 different instrument layouts. It is however very important to restart X-Plane to lock in the new instrumentation layout before flying. Panel features include; S-Tec Fifty Five autopilot and the noted Aspen EFD 1000, KR 87 ADF Radio, Garmin GMA 340, Garmin GTX325 Mode C Transponder and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. Both the GNS 430/530 GPS units can be selected. But you have to save them, then do a restart to lock them in. The Reality XP GTN 750/650 Touch can also be installed if you have that external option as the 3d bezel is provided. The DGS system is clever and very versatile, but a small annoyance is that to get your custom livery or panel, you have to reset everything, every time you fly? Yes the custom SAVES are there ready, but not when you start/load the aircraft? Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page has four panels that cover External; Skis and Fairings. Internal; Yokes, Windows and Pilot options. Wheels; Tires and Mud Flaps. lower right is the DynaFeel. High quality designed "Skis" are available, and so are neat wheel "fairings" Tyres can be changes from "Regular" size, to the larger "Tundra" style. The larger tundra tyres work with the skis, but not with the fairing option. On the rear you can have "Mud Flaps", again they work with either regular or tundra tyre options. Yoke options include; "Classic" or the more upright "Modern"... I prefer the later upright yoke to the flatter earlier version. Door windows can be "Flat" or "Bubble" You can also swap around the pilots, in Male/Female, or Female/Male in the drivers seat. A nice touch is the change of clothing style with the change of seat position. "DynaFeel" on the right lower 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. v1.1... The Float/Amphibian MISC Menu is different. You still have the earlier Window options (Flat/Bubble), Pilot options and the DynaFeel. New options include a Cockpit V brace, and a Ventral Fin under the tail... ... You can Retract or Extend the rudders from the menu, also select either the "Float" or "Amphibian" variant. The "Slew Mode" only works on water, but it is excellent to move around or or to align the aircraft with a jetty. Links to both the excellent Support forum for the C172M by Thranda, and to download with the newly updated Skunkcrafts v3.0 Updater are also provided. __________________ Summary The "Skyhawk" Cessna 172M is the most popular aircraft ever built with 44,000 units constructed, and the airframe is still going strong. The reason is that simply the Skyhawk is the best ever or the most perfectly positioned aircraft for training and instructional purposes, mainly also for it’s reliable flight characteristics. Thranda Design are one of the best developers in X-Plane, their history and quality is legendary. So that quality build and detailing is always going to be significant from the start, and so it here... exceptional. In every area and detail, modeling, fine details, glass and the interior materials. Feature list is very high (clever) with adaptable weight and balance graph cabin seating and baggage options; Skis, Tundra Tyres, Mud Flaps, Wheel Fairings, Checklists, two Yoke options and Flat or Bubble windows. Menus are also excellent with menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous), that covers all the options and including sound, weights and balances also including graphs, walk-around and camera options and general static elements including chocks, pitot covers, removable engine cover (with detailed Lycoming O-320-E2D Engine) and tie-downs. Thranda always comes with a high range of clever and unique features to give the user a lot of personal options. Known as "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, this is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Here you can change the actual livery to your own designs, but build the instrument panel to your own liking as well, including options of the Aspen EFD 1000 glass instrument and a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on. A new feature here is a standard "Molded Plastic Cover" panel, it sets the instruments in a solid form (so DGS can't be used), but it is more uniform in design... personally I like it a lot. X-Plane 12 dynamics are simply sensational here and a level above in feel and handling with those important C172 characteristics well founded, but also notable is the excellent sound package, in being very rattly lower and loopy in higher revolutions. Note that the Thranda C172 is X-Plane 12 only, there will be no X-Plane 11 version. Now updated to v1.1... the update includes both Float and Amphibian variants, fixed Alt Static Air knob's Dataref, and enabled WAAS in GPS units. Update is at no extra cost, and included in the package. Negatives? more slight inconveniences. Incessantly dark, inside and with the heavy shadows, makes the C172 hard work in the dark cockpit, not excessively bright in the simulator as well with heavy shadows. No saving of current liveries and custom options, means that every time you want to fly, it can take awhile to reset everything back to your previous (custom) choices. loading custom liveries can be tricky as well. Having the classic Cessna 172 in your virtual hanger is always a bonus, and a brilliant aircraft from Thranda Design is always a triple bonus. Hugely engineered to a high quality and all round exception detail, they are some of the best General Aviation aircraft in the X-Plane 12 Simulator... so basically here you have the best of all worlds. Deep down though is the exceptional performance and dynamics of the aircraft that are on display here, so take advantage of those skills and use the Cessna 172M to it's most profound devices.... Highly Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna 172M Skyhawk DGS Series v1,1 by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna 172M Skyhawk DGS Series Price is US$39.95 (Currently on a pre-sale of US$29.95)... you can save:$10.00(25%)) Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3 GB Current version 1.1 (September 15th 2023) Special features: Extremely high res textures (1700 pixels per meter). 8K textures. Includes Land, Float and Amphibian Float Versions FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. Fully VR Compatible Interchangeable yoke styles: old fashioned and modern Over 50 instruments to choose from! (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP 650 and GTN750) Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's panel! Optional plastic molded cover for instruments Comes with 4 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Optional 3D light posts per instrument. Lighting is fully 3D, and dynamically move along with the instruments, as you configure the panel. Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! Almost every instrument can be popped up or popped out as a 2D floating window! They can be placed on other monitors as well. Instruments can be moved in 3D directly, on a 2D pop-up preview window, or by numerical entry for precise placement. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility in X-Plane Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak, the Beaver, the Wilga, the Caravan, the C206, the 337, the Islander, and the Pilatus PC-6) Full PBR control! Create stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look in mere seconds! Additional control over dirt/scratches, adjustable in real-time to dial in the exact desired amount of wear and tear. Create "virtual" liveries, based on two basic common design layouts (Modern and Classic), and assign any colour to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls. Previews include visualization of metallic materials and dirt overlays. Apply selected livery in real-time, right in the sim, without the need to even touch a 3rd party image editor! Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether. (Enter a "space" instead of a callsign number to create a blank tail number.) Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also includes 9 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Ability to swap pilot/co-pilot figures Uses SkunkCrafts Updater (Now also available as a standalone app). Option to participate in Beta program, via checkbox in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Lycoming O-320-E2D engine. Windshield ice and rain effects Individual functional circuit breakers. Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Electric tug, with in-panel controls to move forward/backward at the desired speed, and steer proportionally Control over chocks, individual tie-downs, covers, internal lights, external lights, window reflections, instrument reflections, etc. Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures, directly from this fly-out menu. Control landing lights, strobes, beacon, and nav lights via fly-out menu Detailed weight and balance manager with visual chart, individual passenger seat weight control, Lbs/KG unit toggle, CG control, external tank control, and the option to save and load configuration. Multiple camera snap points, above and beyond what's available by default in X-Plane, so you can perform your walk around checks. Adjust your camera's Field of View without having to go to an X-plane menu, allowing for real-time adjustments. Audio mixer: individually control audio channels in real-time, so you can adjust volumes while hearing them play. Slew control: move your plane around the world, temporarily bypassing flight physics. Includes ground mode and air mode. Dynamic panel control page, with a separate view for the entire panel layout preview, or a per-instrument view, allowing for fine-tuning of instrument position, as well as copy-paste function to quickly replace instruments. Option to equip instruments with light posts Option to fit entire instrument panel with molded plastic cover with holes for the instruments Option to swap pilot and co-pilot Option to select different yoke styles DynaFeel panel: Dial in precisely how you wish for the controls to react as a function of speed. Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active 172 pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. DynaFeel: controls that simulate how strongly the control surfaces are affected by oncoming air, and how much strength would be needed to overcome these forces. Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth, finely tuned transitions (actually having calculated the precise beat frequency for each section, to minimize "muddy" transition sounds), and amazing atmospheric effects. Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience, adjustable in real-time (while listening to the sounds) Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Far away sounds include aerodynamic interaction effects between front and rear prop. At a distance, you hear overtones caused by turbulent air feeding into the rear prop. Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Engine has typical cool-down ticking sound, based on engine temperature. Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood. Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds Doors and windows opening, let outside sounds in _____________________________ Installation and documents: download for the Thranda_C172M. is 3Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Download can also be by the Skunkcrafts Updater (file supplied) Full Installation is 5.74Gb Documents supplied are: C172M Performance Charts.pdf Thranda C172M Manual.pdf Thranda Graphics Settings XP11.pdf Thranda Joystick Settings.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf There are a huge amount of Documentation provided here, not only for the Thranda C172M including performance charts, reference guides, but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics. All updates are via the new Skunkcrafts 3.0 Updater Support forum for the C172M by Thranda _____________________ Updated Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 19th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews 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 12.05r1 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft -EILY - Kerry Ireland by Boundless -EINN - Shannon Airport by Boundless (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  5. Well thank you for your feedback Arnon. Certainly we need developers perspective on were they are coming from, as you are the lifeblood of any simulator. Your comments are very valid, it is a brilliant deal... I wish you the best.
  6. NEWS! - Scenery Updated : KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA v12 0.1 by Skytitude Montauk Airport (IATA: MTP, ICAO: KMTP) is an general aviation airport located on East Lake Drive between Lake Montauk and Block Island Sound, and it is the easternmost airport in New York State, USA. The airport has one asphalt runway 06/24 with 989 meters length by 25 meters wide and one helipad located on the apron. This is the X-Plane 12 update v12 0.1 for Skytitude's Montauk. Released in June 2021 for X-Plane 11. The Montauk scenery has been completely converted to X-Plane 12 features. Note you have download either the original X-Plane 11 version, or the updated X-Plane 12, as they are separate scenery files. But both versions (11/12) are available for both Simulators in the package. Features Include: ❯ Completely Renovated Scenery for X-Plane 12 with Outstanding Detail Level ❯ Actual Layout Data ❯ Custom Materials and Surfaces with Physical-Based Rendering Effect (PBR) ❯ Highly Detailed Spectacular Buildings and Objects ❯ 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 Priced very reasonably at US$12.95 and now in X-Plane 12, KMTP - Montauk Airport is available from the X-Plane.OrgStore. Images are courtesy of Skytitude _____________________________________ Yes! KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA by Skytitude is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA Price is US$12.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux Download Size: 263 MB Current version : 1.0 (September 15th 2023) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 16th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  7. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : C-47 Skytrain v6.0b2 by vSkylabs Back in December 22 (last Christmas). VskyLabs split the versions of it's DC-3 into three distinctive variants. The original C-47 Skytrain, a new DC-3 Airliner and the forthcoming Tri-Turbo-Three, In context; VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot': C-47B Skytrain: Highly defined C-47B simulation of the 30's-50's era; authentic WWII era cockpit, powered by PW1830-90C two speed supercharged engines, Astrodome, cargo loading, operational weights of the C-47's and more. Includes two variants - C-47B and XC-47C (float plane). VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot': DC-3 Airliner: (this model) Highly defined DC-3 simulation, a modernized C-47A restoration, with modernized cockpit; 3-display G1000 cockpit, powered by PW1830-92 engines, passengers cabin configuration and loading system. VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot': Tri-Turbo-Three: (Available soon) Highly defined DC-3 turbo-conversion based and inspired by the Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three conversion. The "DC-3 Airliner" variant had an significant update back at that same date, including; a move to a glass Laminar Research default G1000 three display panel installation, which in my opinion is going away from the original philosophy of a pre-war designed aircraft. It is very good in this guise, but what if you still wanted the original "DAK". Well that is the C-47B Skytrain variant, and here is an update for that aircraft. C-47B is a simulation of the 30's-50's era with still an authentic WWII era cockpit, powered by PW1830-90C two speed supercharged engines, and the aircraft (unlike the DC-3 Airliner) is available for both X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12. The vSkylab philosophy is that you are purchasing an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed or is completed to 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft, and all the development is free and ongoing 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. This v6.0b2 update is mostly focused on systems and new controls (mixture levers)... Flight Dynamics and Systems: New mixtures, carburetor system algorithm:Mixture control is now fully differential, and fully automatic, replicating the actual C-47 mixtures and carburetor operations. Mixture levers have detents (steps) for 'cutoff', 'auto-lean', 'auto-rich', emergency. All auto-modes are fully automatic. For more information refer to the included manual. New fuel system:The VSKYLABS fuel system in v6.0b2 allows to feed each engine from any of the four tanks, directly (identical to real-world C-47 operation). (known issue - due to a system architecture restriction in the VSKYLABS C-47 v6.0, when feeding each engine from the Aux tanks (from the same side or opposite sides), the Aux tank with the higher remaining fuel quantity will feed both engines, until both Aux tanks are equal. Then, both tanks will feed both engines.The fuel system is under development and this ‘feature’ will be fixed in future updates. Carburetor heat system - levers are not being operated internally via sliders (for more information refer to the included manual). Vacuum system - vacuum system re-wired. On-board DG are now vacuum-powered. DG sync - Manual sync is now possible with the use of the sync-knob. Bug fixes: Fuel level indicator is now equipped with a shifting-plate, showing the designated tank in each mode. Fuel level indicator needle 3-d and animation changed to provide better reading, more accurate. Enhancements: Pitch trim wheel re-modeled, re-textured. Carburetor heat levers now showing 'L' / 'R' for better interaction. Various PBR fixes all-around in the cockpit. Manual/POH update: Rev 007 Although not noted, this aircraft is updated to X-Plane 12 (as long as you pick that version), the Skunkcrafts Updater has also been added into the mix as well. This is a project update, not like the DC-Airliner new aircraft version, so it is a free update, via currently the Skuckcrafts Updater or download from the X-Plane.OrgStore. Project's Highlights: Project is 'VR Ready' for use with X-Plane: VR functionality is a part of the project aspects which are constantly under evaluation and development for reaching a higher level of immersion as the VR features and possibilities are growing. Highly Realistic Handling and Flight Performance DC-3/C-47 Simulation: Highly accurate performance and handling simulation of the DC-3/C-47, along with a full set of traditional/old school navigation and autopilot systems. Aircraft performance and handling qualities were designed and tested in a "Research level" approach and went through a validation process of hundreds of flight testing and evaluation, tested and refined by a real-world C-47 pilot. Workhorse for DC-3/C-47 pilot skills: Experience authentic flight performance and handling practices (takeoff, landing, single engine operations, flight planning, long range flights and old school navigation). It is a perfect platform to recreate and fly historic routes using authentic performance. Unique look and feel: There is nothing to hide - the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 is a mixture of a simplified yet very engaging design. Two C-47 variants included: The C-47 and the XC-47C floats-equipped variants. Systems: All the relevant systems are being simulated. Here are **some** of the more unique systems: Two speed Supercharger blowers - based on the PW-1830-90C engines model, equipped with lo/hi blowers. The high blower configuration allows high altitude cruise. Oxygen system - including crew dilution/regulator, pressure indicator and functional flow-indicator ("Blinker"). Do not forget to enable hypoxia in X-Plane's general settings menu. Fire Extinguisher system - including fire indication system. The fire extinguisher control panel is located behind the hinged cover on the cockpit floor, between the pilot/co-pilot seats. Damage simulation - engines are sensitive to rapid spool-up. Engine mishandling will result in severe damage to the engine/engine fire. Stressing the airframe will result also in severe damage, following a visual representation of the damages. Blown tires are also being visualized and simulated. Engines/propeller systems - designed with fully featured, functioning and authentic propeller feathering systems, for highly realistic single engine simulation. Landing gears and flaps simulation - are being simulated with a high level of authenticity. Sperry Autopilot - Old school autopilot is configured. Optional modern avionics - dual GNS 530, S-TEC autopilot, AviTab compatibility. Anti-Icing/De-Ice systems - including icing and rain visualization. Skis - Animated, incorporated in the flight dynamics model. Passengers/cargo configurations. Comprehensive FMOD sounds. AviTab plugin compatibility included (AviTab plugin not included). Highly responsive VSKYLABS support system (including C-47/DC-3 operational knowledge and support/assistance). Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs (X-Plane 12 version) ___________________________ The C-47 Skytrain by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Your Price: US$35.95 Currently on sale for $17.45 or 50% OFF . Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 6.02 (September 14th 2023) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 15th September 2023 Copyright©2023: 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. Update Review : Cessna 172SP NG Digital v1.5.1 by AirfoilLabs It was very early in the X-Plane 12 beta or 1.4.0b that I reviewed the Cessna 172SP NG from AirfoilLabs. It was also a moment, in that the future was suddenly laid out in front of the Simulator, this was X-Plane 12, and you saw and felt here all the new benefits it was going to deliver. The bonus of that moment was because, even this early in the evolution of the new X-Plane 12 version. AirfoilLabs had done a pretty good and highly detailed conversion to X-Plane 12. Although the release was noted as a "beta" (1.4.0-Beta (October 10th 2022)), it did cover all the unique aspects of what X-Plane 12 was going to deliver. It was exciting, but also a bit of a relief in that the changes were going to work... It was a review I liked a lot, as it gave us some really great images of cloud formations, before unseen in earlier X-Plane versions. There was another very small tuneup in December 22 (v1.4.1b) for the 172SP, that covered a more detailed Aircraft Performance Tuning for the latest changes in XP12 flight model, an enhanced Camera Initialization Bug fixed and the dark Glass bug that was fixed for the latest XP12 version, really it was all another tight tune to the release of X-Plane 12. This brings us to this update, well two actually. With both v1.5.0 and v1.5.1 which are combined here. Considering both updates, there is not a lot of changes here, but what is important to note is that the aircraft is now officially an X-Plane 12 version, not in a beta. Changes to Version 1.5.0 (August 10th 2023) were small with the G1000 LPV Approaches fixed, those Yoke Erratic Movements were also attended to, and finally the (over) harsh landing sounds have been fixed. The latest update Version 1.5.1 (September 8th 2023) is just as small, call it tinkering if you want to.... Here the Main Landing Gear Leg are not so flexible anymore (slightly harder landings), better Empty Aircraft Initial Attitude, less Tire Skid Sound Effect (connected to the above), and finally the G1000 is Implementing default XP12 Features, in other words the G1000 mirrors the updated X-Plane 12 version. This review is really a reacquaintance of the aircraft. It was then so very early in the beta phase with X-Plane 12 with the earlier release. So what is the aircraft like a year on, I wanted to find out? Product Manager AirfoilLabs use there own external updater system or "Product Manager" to install and update their products. It is very good, but initially also confusing? You can download both an X-Plane 11, and also an X-Plane 12 version of the updater, and both can be installed. All to the good, but it then gets easily confusing on which updater is for what X-Plane version? as both updaters are identical, in not just installing the updater, but in using them... Initially I couldn't find or use the X-Plane 12 version? It's not labeled 11 or 12, even when running the application, it also kept producing and updating only the X-Plane 11 version, and not the X-Plane 12 version? In the end I had to remove entirely the XP11 version and reload the XP12 version to get it to work... even then the application is not anywhere in being noted as the XP12 version of the application, there was a hour lost for this review, in just working it all out? Once updated the "Product Manager" works like this... On starting up, it will show you what AirfoilLabs products are listed in your portfolio. This includes the XJet plugin and version. Important as AirfoilLabs have their own plugin system of all their aircraft (not the usual SASL system) and it has to match the version of the aircraft. Any changes required or new versions are noted in the application. You select a product, then are required to type (cut/paste) in the Serial key to authorise the aircraft. I like this factor, as it means there is no required restart in the simulator (so no slow total redo process to get back to where you already are?). The the installer will look at your current aircraft version and storage capacity, and show you the download file size. Happy it will then install either the full aircraft (product) or update the aircraft to the current version... all the version and changelog changes are shown when the process is completed. The system and use is very good, once you are using the correct X-Plane version. Cessna 172SP NG Digital First look and again the Cessna 172SP really delivers. You currently get a lot of choice in the Cessna 172's in X-Plane 12, and there is a lot of tough competition in the mix. First is the newly released Thranda 172M Skyhawk DGS Series, very good it is. Then there are the two Laminar Research Skyhawks, one analog and the other a Garmin G1000... another but not updated to X-Plane 12 is the Carenado C172 G1000, one aircraft I really liked. A lot of choice, and all good choices as well... so why the AirfoilLabs aircraft? It is a very good question, and one I can answer. There is something quite original about the AirfoilLab's 172, it looks and feels different, but 172 different. For the important aspect of Circuits and Training, if I had the choice of all of the above, then the AirfoilLabs version would still be my selection, the word here is "authentic". As you know if you follow my aircraft or scenery reviews, is that word "Authentic". For me, the whole aspect of Flight Simulators is to get the most realistic experience possible from the combination of the Flight Simulator, Scenery and more importantly the aircraft. If all three combine perfectly then you should get the feeling of real flight, and a real presence of a place. The model here looks totally authentic, very, very real to me in the simulator.... and X-Plane 12 dynamics really bring it alive! The Cessna 172M, is the most popular aircraft ever built with 44,000 units constructed, and production is still going strong. The C172 is popular because it is just that right perfect fit for it's main role... pilot training. The important thing here is just that you have to have complete mastery of the aircraft, if you do, then you feel confident in the machine (that is a very good simulation as well). A stable platform in the aircraft is the total aim. Here you can do that, banks and rolls are perfection, holding the bank whilst not losing (or gaining altitude) is the sign of great aerodynamics, and I could twirl around the sky all day to perfection in the AeroFoilLabs 172. Note the excellent AOA (Angle of Attack) meter in your eyesight. Instrument panel is nicely laid out, clean and efficient, and both the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and MFD (Multi-Functional Display), and both can popout and are highly scalable to size. Set the middle lower panel are the three backup analog instruments for; Airspeed, Artificial Horizon and Altitude. Cabin is very nice... not old, old, but still nicely worn, and yes that word again.... Authentic! Lovely dated and branded "SP Skyhawk", both Yokes can be individually hidden and rudder pedal design is well done deep in the footwell... A side note is the excellent POH or "Pilots Operating Handbook". Situated lower left door pocket, it has a POH introduction, then LIMITS, NORMAL, EMERGENCY and PERFORMANCE data and checklist. Scalable again it is very easy to use. Almost a year on, and I'm flying the same route as that early beta version Brisbane YBBN to Gold Coast YBCG, settings include "real Weather", and yep looking out of my window, the sky looks exactly the same as the X-Plane Simulator download. Unfortunately its a total pristine clear day (early September days in Australia are like that, until the sheer heat kicks in), they can come with no heavy cloud around... but it makes for nice flying. It also shows off X-Plane 12 as well. But I wanted to come up here and see more heavy weather, but you can't doubt the quality of the aircraft and the simulator producing a perfect rendition of the day. I'm very impressed Menus There are a lot of options and menus available on the AirfoilLabs 172SP. The menu options list is sensational, the best in the business, with eight different categories, and 35 different selections... View options include internal and external walkaround. There is a "General" settings panel, and all the main Menu selections are also available on the optional AviTab tablet. Lycoming IO-360-L2A (200hp - 149kW) engine and it's mounting frame and accessories are all here to admire, interactive as well... .... you can check the oil, or see the wear on an engine or system component, you can fail it, or repair the element. All ties downs, inlet, pitot covers, chocks and portable power supply are all available here. Standard or Tundra (large) tyres are also available, as all doors open (cabin and small baggage access). Other options includes several types of wheel covers, or streamline fairings, neat are the small opening flaps in the Wheel Fairings to check the tyre pressures. The Skyhawk is very comprehensive, so anything detrimental? really only one... the Replay doesn't work? press Alt-R and you get an immediate X-Plane CTD or Crash to Desktop, Save a situation and it is a lucky shot as well, I recovered two saves, but also had an instant crash a few times. A better save feature would be a nice addition as the XJet plugin requires custom settings. Finished after a long day's flying... then just wrap up and cover the aircraft for safety, you gotta love it all! As noted earlier, this is just a reacquaintance of the airfoillab Skyhawk and to highlight it's benefits, honestly not much has changed on the aircraft, but you have to acknowledge on how much has changed around the 172SP Skyhawk. X-Plane 12 has evolved hugely over the last twelve months. Even back then you felt the conversion to X-Plane 12 was excellent, and nothing here really changes that aspect, but still the AirfoilLab Skyhawk seems to be better than ever. The main point here is the 172SP itself, like with the Thrandra 172, it is the platform for the pilot that is the most important thing, the line to be at the top of the list. Yes the options list and features all here are outstanding, but the basics have to be perfect if the Cessna is to be usable in the simulator, the 172SP is above all and everything else still a training aircraft, the dynamics and control feel are the most important aspects of this aircraft. This flight down the coast was excellent, everything combined to create a perfect simulation, sounds are great as well, with 320 sounds + detailed, layered engine samples with audible failures simulation.... so there it is this totally "authentic" atmosphere around it, In then I think that is why the AirfoilLabs C172Sp Skyhawk is the highest standard currently in X-Plane if you want a very good Cessna 172SP. Highly Recommended. ________________________________ The C172SP NG DIGITAL v1.5.1 by AirfoilLabs is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore 172SP NG DIGITAL Price is US$49.95 This aircraft is X-Plane12 supported Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 - both versions included Windows, Mac Intel, Mac Silicon, or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.5.1 (September 8th 2023) Download for the AirfolLabs 172SP NG DIGITAL is done via an installer "AFL+Product+Manager+Windows+installer" To use the XJet System you have to download the "Product Manager" program and installed on your computer: Product Manager / Xjet 2..0.0) The installer can be downloaded in all Windows (.exe), Mac OS (.app) and Linux (.Jar) forms for your type of operating System. And the final install in X-Plane folder is 2.95gb. Authorisation is now done via the Product Manager. Updates are also done via the same Product Manager. Version 1.5.0-1.5.1 Changelog: AirfoilLab 172SP v1.5.1.txt Designed by AirfoilLabs Support forum for the C172 NG Digital _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 15th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.00B7 (This is a beta review). Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - YBBN - Brisbane International by Orbx - YBCG - Gold Coast International by Axonos (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. Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 by X-Codr Designs We all look at the extremely created MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator) scenery, and dream of the same detail for X-Plane. The fact is a bit of a misnomer, in that highly produced video's can hide the reality of the weaknesses of the product. A lot is very, very good, but it is also not the full story. In X-Plane that superlative quality and quality is available if you want it, surprisingly it is not the most expensive scenery on sale either. Only issue is, there isn't enough of it. But the point here is that the same level and quality can be done or achieved in the X-Plane Simulator, and yes it can match MSFS when it wants to. Two names come to mind. ShortFinal Designs and their magnificent San Francisco and Munich, both are currently updated to X-Plane 12. The Second is X-Codr and his first mega scenery in Denver... or KDEN, Denver International in Colorado, USA. Big here in Denver it is on another level again. DEN is by land area the largest airport United States, and second largest in the world. At over 16,000 feet long, runway 16R/34L is also the longest public runway in the United States, and seventh longest in the world. Big here has another dimension added to it, not to mention the extra taxi fuel required to get to the takeoff points, in fact on some routes, you can spend more time taxiing on the ground at KDEN, that being actually in the air. X-PlaneReviews covered the release of the KDEN mega scenery for X-Plane 11 here... Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v1.5 by X-Codr Designs On September 5th 2022 there was a version update for the DEN scenery, "Added link for the X-Plane 12 version", and that was about it. The update allowed you to use the scenery in X-Plane 12, but it was not actually a X-Plane 12 scenery, if that sort of makes sense. There were no X-Plane 12 features or details, it worked... and that was about it. X-Plane 12 KDEN v2.0 First of all is the install. Basically you have to totally rip the guts out of the earlier version and replace it with the new. And not just the actual scenery either, but all the plugins as well. There are three downloads... Main Scenery file (7.54 GB), KDEN Mesh (3.82 Gb) and the X-Codr Library (2.97 Gb), and all have to be downloaded to replace the original files, and they are all big download sizes to a total 14.33 Gb. Then there is another change to Living Scenery Technology (LST) as well, so that the correct plugin in v1.10 has to be installed for it all to work. The SAM3 Plugin is also required, but again the correct one in version v3.1.10. It is all slightly complicated, miss or not install a step and it won't all work correctly, get it right and lo and behold you get quite a sight... Your covering a very large area, and have a huge if massive object count as well. Does that affect your framerate... unfortunately the answer is yes, a lot. But there are options. The best is to reduce your "Rendering Resolution" from OFF (Full Resolution) to Ultra, oddly reducing the Texture Quality won't have any impact on the framerate, RR will, and gave me a far more working movement in the scenery. So there is a payoff in using the scenery. Notable are the hard areas between the custom (photo/ortho) base and the X-Plane default, it is a lot like that in the real world, but not as pronounced. The problem is not the custom textures provided by X-Codr, but the far older X-Plane default textures, overall it still works fine, but again this highlights the age of the ground textures in X-Plane. That said, all custom mesh is new and updated to current standards, no grass though, but it is a gigantic area to cover, and maybe a framerate killer to far. Denver International Airport IATA: DEN - ICAO: KDEN - FAA LID: DEN 07/25 - 12,000ft (3,658m) Concrete 08/26 - 12,000ft (3,658m) Concrete 16L/34R - 12,000ft (3,658m) Concrete 16R/34L - 16,000ft (4,877m) Concrete 17L/35R -12,000ft (3,658m) Concrete 17R/35L - 12,000ft (3,658m) Concrete Elevation : 5,431 ft / 1,655 m Not obvious at first, but all the Terminals and three separate huge concourses have all been remodeled, re-textured as well. And close up the buildings are all quite different (wear) in look and feel. "Grittier" is the word I would use, and not so "shiny, shiny" Remember that X-Codr's original KDEN was quite early in his career, brilliant actually for the time. But there has been a lot of developer progress in the intermediate years, certainly with his surface materials in the later work (stone and concrete here is all very realistic). That aspect certainly shows here, as you don't stand still in making the product more realistic with the better tools and skills you have. It's impressive to spend time on just looking at buildings and the detail, it is all quite impressive. The main arrival Elrey B. Jeppesen Terminal and it's unique sail roof is hard to get right. It can come across as modeled, but here the flowing fabric feel is now very evident, extremely well done. The first release of X-Codr's Denver was late November 2018, five years ago. Since then and partly displayed in the earlier scenery releases, was the terminal developments going on at DEN. There are two. First is the new inner section on the Concourse B (East) Gate B62-B71... all new and it looks like it, but the detail here is extremely realistic. Second is the extensive extension to the Southwest Concourse C (again on the eastern side) Gates C48-C71. Clever is the relationship between the original and new structures. Both have weather wear, but the new Concourse feels and looks more modern, so hard to get right, but very authentic... There is a lot of see through glass in the new Concourse as well, exceptional is the word again. Both the United and Frontier Hangars have been re-textured, again with that exceptional concrete feel, and come with more ground detail. All new at Denver is the Southwest Engineering facility, and now also depicted here in the KDEN scenery. It is situated in the far north section of the airport. The General Aviation area has also been remodeled and textured, with an excellent "Signature" facility centre (Terminal). Cargo is not a really big feature at Denver, the facility is big, but not huge by comparison. Again the area has had a lot of attention, remodeled and has far better "grittier" textures that are excellent up close. With the change to Living Scenery Technology (LST), and away from the very dated GroundTraffic plugin. This technology allows more flexibility and the introduction of new features. The Original KDEN had realistic interiors, but now you not only get a full internal interior, but an extreme fitout as well... certainly as good or even better than of the many MSFS scenery standards. I will repeat that point... every part of the INTERIOR! The arrival Terminal, all three Concourses, even the connecting bridges are all modeled internally here, the TOTAL area is totally explorable and accessible, the detail is totally overwhelming.... Mindblowing! The new Southwest C Concourse is simply well worth a few minutes of your time to explore, as is the new B Concourse, so masterful is the work, this is DEN in miniature, all of it... even the McDonalds. The above alone is enough to blow your mind... but we haven't finished yet? there is also the animations, walking people, flexing people, people reading their phones.... moving escalators, yes real operating moving escalators between floors... "you gotta be kidding me!" It's just all so damn awesome... even then the new Signature (General Aviation) reception is also expertly modeled internally. Control Tower Internals are also modeled... lovely glass! also is the lower control room modeled as well. A tip is that you can listen in at LiveATC.net which provides live air traffic control (ATC) broadcasts from air traffic control towers, and KDEN is on the list. But even the experience of all this external and internal detail, can be ruined by getting something else wrong, that is not the case here of course, but it is worth pointing out... and that is the mentioned glass. Getting glass wrong here would have made the interiors not work at all, it is getting the feel right, too clear and it looks artificial, too dense and you can't see the internal detail. But that aspect is covered well here, as all the glass is excellent, even perfect in it's "see-through" factor, but not hiding the interiors. Aircraft are visible as well from the internal perspective. SAM3 interaction works here as well, and on every gate. (Plugin required) Reasons are multiple. But here is the (real) Denver International update to X-Plane 12 with all the X-Plane features like wet surfaces and more importantly for this part of the world, snow and ice. Grunge was always brilliant here, but add in rain and pooled water, and it brings the excellent dirty elements to the surface... the realism is overwhelming. Colorado or Denver is famous for it's spectacular snow in's. X-Plane 12's winter seasons can now oblige in that factor as well. This KDEN Denver scenery by X-Codr Designs, does show the heights that can be obtained in quality and extreme features for the X-Plane Simulator... almost to being the standard bearer of what can be achieved with in the X-Plane 12 platform currently. Yes it can out perform MSFS, even then some more with exceptional talent and a minute attention to detail. ______________ Summary This is the X-Plane 12 update from X-Codr Designs of KDEN Denver International to version v2.0, in Colorado, USA. Originally released in late November 2018, now five years ago. This is a comprehensive update to X-Plane 12. Not just a quick transition to X-Plane 12. But a full modeling and texture overhaul, including new extension terminals on Concourses B and C, new Southwest Maintenance Facility, redone GA Signature Terminal, and total ground texture update. Added also are excellent animated active people, with moving escalators, and a full interactive coverage of all interior areas. Detail of such externally and internally is simply off the planet. Probably the best airport scenery example currently in the X-Plane Simulator Download is however quite large (total 14.33 Gb), and a change or update to the Living Scenery Technology (LST) plugin, and SAM3 has to be the current version, it is complex and requires time to get right, but the wait is worth the effort. Framerate can be hard as expected, so minimum a 8Gb+ Graphic capability is recommended, Adjustments to your graphic settings may also be required, but considering the extreme requirements here the scenery is however very usable in the Simulator. This is also a free update to anyone that has the current (X-Plane 11) to the X-Plane 12 version, another brilliant deal, with no upgrade cost. Really the X-Codr KDEN scenery should be labeled "Extreme", but for all the right reasons. In every area the scenery would score a perfect 10, a deserved award... certainly the current contender for the best airport scenery of 2023, and it's only September! Denver International HD will blow your mind! Certainly it can top anything Microsoft can throw at quality scenery, and all this for under US$30 bucks.... "Blows your mind man!" ______________ Yes! KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 by X-Codr Designs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD Price is US$29.95 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: 2.0 Sep 6th 2023 Features ✓ 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 v2.0 update is free to all current X-Codr KDEN purchasers, just go to your X-PlaneStore account... Note the Living Scenery Tech and SAM3 plugins are required for this scenery. __________________ 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 12.06r3 (This is a release candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00, Living Scenery Tech and SAM3 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research (free with X-Plane Simulator) Update Review by Stephen Dutton 12th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews 
  10. NEWS! - Navigraph introduce Flight Telemetry, ATIS, OFP to Charts Navigraph has again done an significant update to their subscription charts application. This is version 8.29.0. Three new features have been added in with; Flight Telemetry, ATIS, OFP. These features integrates Navigraph’s Charts product even more with the very popular SimBrief application, after being acquired by Navigraph in 2021. Flight Telemetry First is Flight Telemetry. This new feature will provide live "Telemetry" from the flying aircraft in the chart. Selected from the horizontal main menu banner, it shows you twenty five different parameters/metrics of the aircraft in a strip lower MAP including such as airspeed, altitude, ground speed, estimated time to destination, and much more. Selecting one of the options will bring up the menu to add or delete a parameter. Another way is to use or edit the list, is to use the "ADD METRIC+" tag at the right of the list. It's really good, but I didn't get every parameter required? Missing was my Indicated Altitude, Rate of Turn and Transponder data, although all were active? But being able to edit the list, allows you to set only the parameters that you need. OFP Operational Flight Plans (OFP) from SimBrief are now available in Navigraph Charts as well. Under "Flights" is a new button "View Simbrief OFP" to select the currently generated SimBrief Briefing OFP... which is then shown in Charts. More options include selecting "Maps" to see the Simbrief generated maps, including wind information. And you can even save the current generated Briefing (OFP) to a .pdf, to view or printout from within Charts. This aspect was great with my iPad(OS) and even on my iPhone, to scroll down through the briefing without going to the computer... just really good. ATIS Final new feature is to view the Automatic Terminal Information Service or ATIS also from within Charts... Note that ATIS will not work everywhere? Mostly just in the United States. Select Airport/Weather and you can have ATIS information in four options; Real, IVAO, PilotEdge and VATSIM It also shows Departing and Arrival Runways (very handy), Message (current Information) and Designator ( (ICAO identifying code). You just wonder of where our Norwegian freinds keep coming up with the ideas, this is now a very significant tool/package for chart use. It works with the Charts IOS and iPadOS applications as well. Just so brilliant... at only a slight cost per month. _____________________________________ Yes! Navigraph v8.28.0 is now Available via Subscription, or if you already have a Navigraph account, then just update to the latest v8.28.0 Navigraph Subscription only on a monthly or yearly basis or EUR 9.05 / mo or EUR 81.64 / year Download Download applications are available for both Windows and Mac. SimLink is also available for download and is inserted into your X-Plane Plugins folder.... Internet connection is required for this application. SimBrief is now also intergrated into the Navigraph application, get it here: SimBrief Navigraph Charts Review version v8.28.0 _____________________________________ Application NEWS! by Stephen Dutton  8th September 2023 Copyright©2023 : 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) 
  11. NEWS! - Scenery Updated : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 by X-Codr Designs X-Codr has released v2.0 of KDEN Denver International Airport in Colorado, USA. This massive sprawling MEGA airport by land area, is the largest airport United States, and second largest in the world. At over 16,000 feet long, runway 16R/34L is also the longest public runway in the United States, and seventh longest in the world. X-Codr's Denver did already have a X-Plane 12 update, well sort of, on September 5th 2022. But that version was not actually a full transition to the new X-Plane 12 version. That aspect changes here with a full X-Plane 12 conversion, plus a lot of nice goodies to keep the scenery updated, plus a few nice new clever features, like walking animated people and even animated escalators. This is also an update, not an upgrade, so for previous purchasers of the X-Plane 11 version, this update is free... just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account. Notable is that you have to change everything for the new v2.0 KDEN to work. This includes the Main Scenery file (7.54 GB), KDEN Mesh (3.82 Gb) and the X-Codr Library (2.97 Gb), There is another change to the Living Scenery Technology (LST) as well, so that plugin has to be installed for it all to work. The SAM3 Plugin is also required. The X-Plane 11 version of KDEN is still available on request. Version 2.0 September 6th 2023 Completely remodeled terminal areas Completely remodeled main cargo area Completely remodeled GA area Retextured hangars New concourse extensions New Southwest hangar Vastly improved ground textures New animated 3d people Improved mesh smoothness Various improvements throughout airport Various bug fixes ✓ 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 Now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore... the price, for all this, only a brilliant US$29.95 _______________________________ Yes! KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 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: 2.0 Sep 6th 2023 ____________________  NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 7th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews 
  12. NEWS! - Scenery Updated to X-Plane 12: RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport - Philippines by Airwil On the 24th August 2023, Airwil Sceneries updated their Filipino scenery RPMD - Davao International Airport to X-Plane 12. So here is another previously released Filipino scenery that has also received the X-Plane 12 update. Although not officially noted, but in the changelog, the update is all very X-Plane 12 focused. Bohol-Panglao International Airport, also known as New Bohol International Airport, is a newly constructed airport on the island of Panglao in the province of Bohol. This airport is dubbed as the Philippine's first eco-airport and green gateway. This brand new airport replaced the old Tagbilaran Airport for better tourism within the region. The Bohol-Panglao International Airport is consist of a single runway with three (3) jetways and seven (7) ramp parking bays. Being just an hour away from Manila by plane, flying from Cloudsurf Asia Simulations' RPLL Scenery to Panglao-Bohol (RPSP) is one of many ideal short inter-island hops in the Philippines. Feature include X-Plane 12 version now available Updated Pavement Textures (X-Plane 12 Features) Took advantage of X-Plane 12 tire marks effects Improved look on the Terminal building Reduced grass vegetation inside the airport to match orthophoto (XP11/XP12) This scenery is available for both X-Plane 11 and 12 with this package. Features: (with more than 100 custom made objects) Highly detailed Passenger Terminal Highly detailed Control Tower Highly detailed Fire Department Building Highly detailed Airport Parking Lot Fully functional default ATC Highly detailed Ramp area with lots of static objects Custom Airline Buses Custom Filipino Jeepneys Custom Filipino Boats on final approach of runway 03 Hand placed Filipino houses and buildings within the vicinity Hand placed trees and grass within the vicinity (FlyAgi Vegetation) SAM Jetways by Stairport Sceneries (Authorized) Licensed Premium Ground Pavement Textures from ALES That under US$10 price is hard to beat, so buy both the Davao and this Bohol Panglao together and still be ahead of a great deal. SAM3 Plugin is required with this scenery. Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport, Philippines by Airwil Sceneries is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport - Philippines Priced at US$9.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 2.2 (September 5th 2023) Download Size: 3.5 GB ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 7th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  13. There is a pressurized G version, here Aircraft Review : Cessna T337G Pressurized Skymaster by Skytouch it's not bad actually 🙂
  14. X-Plane 12 : State of the Union It is really hard to believe that even at this point in time, that when X-Plane 12 was finally released, or as it was labelled as in it's "Early Access" and "Beta" release form. Such has been the developments of the last twelve months. Last year around June 2022 there was still a lot of speculation mixed in with a bit of fear. The X-Plane 12 development was seriously dragging on, and even a Dev Deep-Dives series with FSElite (10 episodes) didn't quell the uneasy feelings. And Austin Meyer the X-Plane Simulator founder, by then also became more and more outrageous in his broadcasts to cover the waiting. We tried to look between the cracks, but mostly the development process was kept very close to the chest. Almost a year on and the 2023 FlightSimExpo in Houston was in progress, Laminar Research was there and competing with Asobo Studios/Microsoft, now with an announced version of the next installment or version of MSFS, called "Flight Simulator 2024". For Laminar Research it had already been quite a journey. Starting not with the development of X-Plane 12, but to overhaul completely the core of X-Plane Simulator's API to the more modern Vulkan/Metal standards, to note, X-plane 12 could not even existed on the older OpenGL platform. But developing both the API and a new X-Plane version together has been an enormous task for the very small, but tight core Laminar development coders. We expected Laminar Research to bring their latest version of X-Plane 12 to the Expo as well (X-Plane 12.06, even if in parts), so maybe it was a good time to see what has transpired since the original "Beta" release, then the formal release in December 2022, and the current state of were we all are now a year on. In a way the XP12.06 release was to be a highly anticipated significant one. For one it will end the development and release update phase of the X-Plane 12 release. Certainly not all the fixes and bugs would have been covered, but the majority of the changes should now be behind us. Going forward means not spending time fixing, but maturing and developing the simulator to a higher degree. But again it was not to be the case, if v12.06 was shown at the Expo it is was in a raw form, and certainly Laminar didn't crow about it as both Austin Meyer or head developer Ben Supnic were notably absent. Oddly or more important is that for the first time X-Plane 12 was being scrutinized directly against Microsoft's Flight Simulator, both are interesting as this as X-Plane 12 in it's current refined form, and MSFS in already promoting it's next upgraded version in MSFS 2024. Significant also was the factor that neither were noted doing seminars, just floor demonstrations, but Microsoft turned that aspect on it's head at the last minute and did a "Lite" seminar session. The truth is Microsoft stole a lot of X-Plane related ideas for the release of MSFS 2020, and X-Plane replied with a lot of MSFS ideas in X-Plane 12. MSFS 2024 as announced in that seminar, now goes even further in stealing more X-Plane features in helicopters, SARS, water and fire particles, oil rig scenery and landing pad, crop dusting, wildfires and even animated skydivers (yes X-Plane does have animated skydivers). One important point to make though at the 23 Expo, was that almost every demonstration stand was running X-Plane, not streaming MSFS 2020. Why, because it is still a simulator in the box, not relying on a internet connection, a change of the times from earlier Expos, when almost every single vendor was using Flight Simulator to show off their wares, and when back then X-Plane was in the small minority. But first we will look back before looking forward. As always I explain details to anyone coming into simulation for the first time, yes it goes over a lot of old ground to regular users, but it also puts the simulator situation into it's proper context. X-Plane 12 The X-Plane Flight Simulator was originally released as X-Plane 1.00 back in 1995 which is now 26 years ago. Basically around every 4-5 Years, Laminar Research the X-Plane's developers releases another numbered upgrade version of the Simulator, the current version is X-Plane 12 that was released originally back in September 2022. The earlier version was X-Plane 11 (v11.53 was the final version) that was released originally back in March 2017. Each release is a new version, and to use it, it has to be repurchased. The cost of X-Plane 12 is US$59.95. But the initial cost also covers all development and any new features for that full version run, up until the next version is released in the development cycle in approx another 4-5 years. The "Beta" release was a public purchase test version, so everyone can now access the new simulator and it's new features. But it's not a final release, as it was still noted only as an early development release or "Early Access" Beta. The X-Plane 12 Beta ran from the 6th September 2022 (called alpha 38) and it was expected to go "Final" just before Christmas, and in "Release Candidate" RC 6 form it did, 17th December 2022. My first impressions of the "Beta" release were very favourable, X-Plane 12 on it's release was actually far better than we had expected. Early indications showed it was a major leap forward than X-Plane 11, of which it should be. Lighting was excellent, as was the weather and seasons, also the fauna and trees. Grass was left out of the XP12 because of it's very high framerate use, or in my guess the limited development time. ATC had a huge revision, and again this was highlighted with another three major updates at later dates thoughout the year. With the huge jump in quality over X-Plane 11 we expected our systems to groan under the sheer weight of the more excess demands of X-Plane 12. To a point the new version did require a substantial upgrade in hardware to cater for it, but oddly not initially, as XP12 ran quite nicely on most lighter cards. Several areas on release however became controversial. First was the "Black Hole" of the internal lighting. Heavy shading made it impossible to work in most cockpits. Now it must be said that early aircraft were configured to X-Plane 11 lighting, not the new X-Plane 12 dynamics, but there was clearly a problem. Even as the early configured X-Plane 12 aircraft were released the internal lighting didn't work, more so was the time it took (keeping developers waiting) in finding a fix. Another early problem was high winds at altitude, this one was a nasty issue, and it even flowed down at lower altitudes, aircraft active surfaces twitched very badly to the wrong wind information, so clean flying was almost impossible. Beta Phase Early beta releases fix updates also focused mostly on 3rd party items like the excellent upgraded X-Plane 12 default fleet of aircraft, all were very highly well received, except for oddly the AirbusA330-300. Here the promised custom MCDU was not available on release, all round the A330 felt a bit underdeveloped, why odd? because the aircraft was X-Plane 12's major default focus aircraft feature, and it was the worst developed in the release. Personally I found the first few months with X-Plane 12 quite nice, even if it was in a beta development, even with the dark cockpit and wind issues. It had smooth framerate wise and the lighting was very good as it had this nice 3d effect, even MSFS in look. In fact as the beta's focused on the extra elements and not the core of the simulator there was not many changes to the sim with the early beta process. There was however the nasty emergency hot fix for broken draped polygon textures, which sent your scenery blank, or with grey walls... but it was fixed very quickly in about five days. In the Beta 8 release there was some significant additions. One new default item was in cockpit pilots. A male and female quality styled pilot's were added to all the default airliner aircraft, and 3rd party developers snapped them up quickly for their own use. The second major addition was the excellent ALIA-250 eVTOL aircraft. Altogether there was 14 Beta releases for X-Plane 12, a lot less than the 17 Beta releases for X-Plane 11, then you went into 6 "Release Candidate" (RC) updates. These high density filled RC releases showed that Laminar was on a mission to get the Simulator into a major release before Christmas 2022. They did it... on releasing X-Plane 12 to the general public 17th December 2022. In reality the full X-Plane 12 release was a false dawn. In any form users know that no Simulator is finished, as they are all in a constant forward development, but in X-Plane 12's case that shorter beta period run was or should have been a warning sign of things to come. In the RC3 release it came with a warning "the auto-exposure system is still being modified", and Austin also changed the flight model considerably, both these areas would have serious repercussions later. My question at this time was "Why are Laminar still messing around and changing the Flight Model, three months after the introduction of the Simulator?". In reality items like these should have been refined and done before any release at all, as they would impact highly on X-Plane conversion development in progress. In a bonus Laminar had come up with a solution for the dark cockpits, now as you glanced downwards into the murk, it would artificially lighten the lower view. It worked, I liked it, but a lot of users didn't, but it was a nice solution. X-Plane 12 early release Something went seriously wrong with the v12.01r1 release, the second one in the New Year 2023. Before this release we had a capable working Simulator (even in a beta form), what we had now was a disaster. My guess is that in trying to get more efficient framerate out of the Simulator, Laminar messed it up, suddenly we had serious "Vulcan device loss errors", and the high winds were also now more nasty than ever. On the "Vulcan device loss errors", a lot of users actually had them even from the initial beta release, but these were users that also had very weak computer systems anyway. Now the goal posts had changed, even mid-powerful machines (meaning me) now didn't have enough Graphic capability to run X-Plane 12. The already very heavy demands of running X-Plane 12 had now suddenly gone even higher, from this point on you would need a pretty powerful chip and card combo to do even the basic of simulator flying, and it cost you serious money to get an upgraded card into your machine just to do basic X-Plane Simulations. Around this time (probably related) I found the lighting went a bit awkward as well. Basically duller under cloud conditions. In clear conditions it was fine, but add in a bit of cloud cover and everything underneath it went all dull and flat, internally in aircraft it was also dull and hard to see and the external lighting disappeared. Another lighting condition that changed was the lighting reflections in the daylight, say glareshield dropdown lighting, this lighting effect also disappeared, external views (from the cockpit) went brighter (glary) as well. Laminar's focus however was somewhere else. It was called Zink. With the change to the Vulkan/Metal API, a lot of the original OpenGL plugins didn't work. So Zink was installed to convert (or to be a bridge) between the old OpenGL and newer Vulkan/Metal API's. I don't use Zink, mainly because I don't have a big library of plugins, but a lot of users also needed the fix as AMD users out there got a lot of flickering and CTD (Crash to Desktop). Then the.dds files started to fail? .dds is the format used in textures, a more efficient system than say the bulky .png format, that was another hot fix from Laminar. Then another when the "GRIB_get_field failed", in other words the NOAA or "NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System", pulled the GRIB Files that X-Plane 12 uses for the Simulator for downloading live global Weather. And Laminar had to do another quick fix on that. It is still problematic now, as NOAA still has a habit of shutting down (or shutting out) at crucial times. 12.03b1 then delivered a lot of new DSF files, these delivered more data on the tile and in a lot of the areas better detail, a few more autogen items were delivered as well, but not the huge feature list noted in the pre-release videos, of say port infrastructure. 12.04b1, late in February was a game changer (no pun intended). It fixed (finally the high winds problem), the clouds and the sky got a lot better as well (not perfect as you still had those horrible pyramid shape clouds, and zebra-stripes at high levels). To a point the .04 beta did allow developers to get their aircraft into a more stable condition relating to X-Plane 12, so you got a load of aircraft conversion releases around Easter. Also important was the release of the SASL 3.16.1, which (finally) provided native plugin support for Mac M1/M2 arm64 architecture. In English it means users on Apple systems could finally fly X-Plane 12 aircraft. However for most of .04 beta, it was used to fix loads of Zink bugs. Then at the end of March 2023 came v12.05b1, and Laminar finally delivered the update for their A330-300. Here included in this release was the custom MCDU for the aircraft, but again oddly it still had initially a default FMS feel to the system. And the followup v12.05r1 had another significant load of changes and fixes that came for the A330 as well. X-Plane12.06 Which brings us to the significant v12.06 release. It comes with a noted VRAM re-architecture, claims improvements for performance and reduces the risk of blurry textures. The biggest improvement is up high in the sky. Here those nasty pyramid shape clouds, and zebra-stripes have finally gone, and have been replaced by major improvements to the flexibility and the visual quality of the clouds, including adding in the missing cirrus clouds. The the development roadmap for this crucial version went on for months, and right on past that crucial Expo date, you thought it was ever never coming. It finally came on the 20th August 2023. But the version v12.06 did live up to it's gamechanger forecast... ... with the beautiful and wispy the new Cirrus high level clouds, and they are a major improvement. My test area is the North Atlantic, in flying long haul you can usually cover all the range of clouds, and yes finally in v12.06r1, they are looking gorgeous after more tinkering through the 06 beta. But we are not out of the woods (or clouds) yet... There are still too many elements here that are straight lined, or open space rectangles, they are plainly seen, another element are what I call "Cliff Faces" or clouds in long blocks that go straight up? But after the earlier pyramid shape clouds, and the zebra-stripes, I'm willing to accept these elements as a huge step forward. But two images are interesting, if excellent. Seen at dusk, they were very, very good in highlighting the X-Plane weather system when it all works together, the slight bands of light, in a rather gloomy night sky is simply sensational. Another translation of dusk, it works, very nice... but I still wish for more moon light (It is a full moon at this point), as when it goes dark, it goes black with almost no highlights, those clouds should be bouncing with light. With the early V12.06 betas the lighting was still poor. everything under the cloud, was dull and flat, a brief moment you saw the sunlight break though the blue patches in the sky (noted as XPD-14318 – Cirrus need to allow more sunlight to reach the earth) and the weather not matching the METAR (too many clouds, too much rain). This has made the biggest impression on me over the last eight months, dark aircraft and blacker cockpits, made reviewing hard work in translating the visual aspects of X-Plane to the reviews, it is better, in fact far better in v12.06... but not what I would still call naturally realistic, I would like more control (graphics/menu) if Laminar can't get it right, at least give us some options to twiddle the lighting, rather than none. But it is working... it suddenly looked wonderful, in v12.06b7 as these images attest, but currently is X-Plane 12 still overall missing that magical something? Interesting is comparing images from the release v12.01 (beta) and current V12.06. The top two images I took at the beta release twelve months ago, the lower four images are current. Earlier the lighting is very soft, but the haze is very realistic... below everything is now harder, clearer and any cloud will dull out the aircraft, the ground is always very harsh, sharp. The debate is if it is in the real way you look at the environment. As you might like the look of a more open solid feel, rather than the more softer one, to you the lower images will look more dynamically realistic, were as I prefer the more romantic view, to me the lower is more monochrome. My guess the real look and feel is somewhere in the middle. But X-Plane 12 is night and day better than X-Plane 11 in it's look and feel factor. OpenXR support, this will translate into easier access to the X-Plane VR system for 3rd parties. This will increase the variety of VR headsets compatible with X-Plane over time. The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford class in X-Plane now has a full complement of static aircraft, cranes, tugs and more, on deck and below in the huge deck hangar. These additions include also a fully animated SH-60 Seahawk, that is constantly patrolling the vicinity. Notable is that now the water is still not translucent below the surface, I loved looking at the hulls of ships, but honestly it is not at all realistic. In v12.06 and a year on, this aspect still has not been fixed. ATC has had a lot of improvements in v12.06, including that the ATC is now aware of TCAS (but only the X-Plane A.I), and the controllers can now use multiple available channels, reducing radio contention in the cockpit. Generated flows now align to the longest runway instead of always cardinal directions, and generated calm flows now only use one runway. Wake separation is also now taken into account when issuing line-up or takeoff instructions. A big one for me is the option to allow editing of basic flight data if something required is missing, even if the flight is already under way, the fixed flight data is thankfully in the past, now you can change it on the line. LOD (Level of Detail) has not been great either, you can see grass being added as you went down the runway, or the blank areas on the horizon, the poor horizon line didn't help either? Its noted (XPD-14364 – XPLMInstance LODs do not cull object at max LOD), also the Anti-Aliasing, is still tooth saw visible on the higher settings. V12.06 is certainly the breakthrough version that the promise of X-Plane 12 is starting to shine though (no pun intended), it is more stable and even better refined, framerate is now also better. But this point is twelve months on, or a whole year of development, Laminar are still fixing things, not fine-tuning things? More atmospheric scattering improvements, and exposure recalibration and even bloom Lighting Effects are coming later with X-Plane v12.07. In other words even more refining with the sky and lighting. Other notes for v12.07 include Turbine Engine improvements, avionics and OBJ restructuring, networking. So this all adds up to a very bumpy first year for X-Plane 12, so are we through the worst? Personal experience says absolutely yes, but this has been one of the most unpredictable X-Plane Releases I can remember, I thought the beta was very good, then it went seriously wonky at the start of 2023, only now is X-Plane 12 getting back to somewhere reasonable. But eight months is a long time to repair the damage, less said is in that you still don't actually close X-Plane 12 after a session, but rather "Crash... freeze" out of it? But overall you have to look at the benefits of X-Plane 12. The photometric lighting engine is absolutely sensational (when it works) and so now are the cloud formations (I say better, not the best). Seasons are also sensational, but again you have to manually get the effects you want, not the real world current environmental situation. Aircraft are better at flying, one through the better dynamics, look far better in that 3d effect. Water is also sensational (probably the highlight), and lives up the hype. 3D forests and vegetation are also very good, but let down by the poor texture mesh, just a higher texture mesh resolution would help. Provided default aircraft are also excellent, as good as payware in many instances, even the Airbus A330 is now up to standard that would also pass as payware. The problem facing X-Plane or any simulator. Is that the standards in this decade are now extremely high, gaming (not really related) but a significant parallel in what users expect from visual quality and framerate. Obviously MSFS raised the bar, but not totally, in many areas it is quite poor to X-Plane. Any updates to MSFS 2024, are more in the external (fun) features than to the basic core Simulator. Overall we have to understand the full complexity of the X-Plane 12 release. This was not a simple version release. As noted the Simulator was already into a very deep internal engine change, but it was only halfway through the process. To a point Laminar are now at the end of that huge overhaul of the API, and X-Plane 12's release was also a big part of it, we are now on the other side. So the next twelve months are interesting... refinement will need to be the buzzword, but I also think that Laminar also need to pull something special out of the box, a sort of reward for all the pain we have gone through, attract the punters back, make X-Plane desirable, and not just to be an alternative Simulation option. 2024 needs to be a solid year, a positive year, not just in attitude, but in the Simulator actually been reliable in using the software, in other words quality software... we will see the answer to that question at the State of the Union 2024. __________________ 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 12.06r1 (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 - Airbus A340-600 XP12 by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.99 - Airbus A319-100 XP12 by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.99 State of the Union by Stephen Dutton 6th September 2023 Copyright©2023: 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)
  15. Behind the Screen : August 2023 As you are aware, there was no "Behind the Screen" edition for July 2023. Two reasons, one it was the X-PlaneReviews 10th Anniversary, or 10 years of posting reviews on this site, and we are pretty proud of making that significant milestone. It is hard to do that in this really fast electronic environment, change is massive, coming at you all the time, then throw in a pandemic, and everything goes really screwball. More on that in a minute. Second reason for a no show, and for me being non-posting for nearly two weeks was... I had to move house, and quickly. It's not fun to move house (or unit here in Australia), so the system was packed down, then rebuilt again 5 km away. Nothing got lost (well maybe a bit of my sanity), but an odd thing happens on that life changing journey. You sort of clean away the old, and let in the new. If you want to dwell on circumstance, that moving home on the very day the site was started exactly a decade later, should be considered significant. Overall it makes you take stock. Interesting was the fact that the Ten Year Anniversary post was done on a laptop, in an almost cleared out empty room, and not like this post, at my usual position at the same desk, with my usual iMac and massive 32" monitor, with a completely different view out of my open doors (four floors up and now looking over a lake). The Laptop post was also the only post in a decade that was different from the usual. You can dwell on it, surmise the situation, but overall it denotes change. The other change is significant as well, for Simulation. If you wanted again to be very critical of circumstance, then the last few years in Simulation were just as big as a total upheaval for our surrounding Simulation environment as well. Basically we hate change, but also want to move forward, the next big thing or that new, new... which is a total paradox, not wanting anything to ruin what you already have, but also wanting it to change, obviously to the better. But the last four years has been a complete upheaval. Massive changes, and not just to Simulation, but also to the complete world around us as well. My best friend said, "It's not the pandemic I fear, but what comes after it", and she was absolutely right. We sat through the pandemic, but the shear colossal changes ongoing currently are far more consequential, certainly we will never be the same, some good, but also a lot bad, in time we will note this point in history as an upheaval of the world, there would be before the event, and now after it. And everyone in some way got affected by it, and really nobody got away unscathed. X-Plane also turned on a dime. No doubt the reintroduction of MSFS or Microsoft Flight Simulator has changed the landscape (no pun intended). But the timing for X-Plane didn't help either. At the end of one version run (X-Plane 11), and a very late development cycle for X-Plane 12, it fell into a hole, but the external real world Influences didn't help the situation either. Money is not as free-flowing as it was four years ago, wallets are now tight, so pick and choosing product becomes even a more important situation... value and quality is now more than ever the important questions for a long lived investment, so X-PlaneReviews reporting is also now more important on making sure the money goes to the said value and quality. Users will say "Most stuff I get is free, anyway". To a point they are right, but not totally, as doing "Free" always comes with compromises. Unfortunately I don't personally like compromises. I like it right, realistic and it adds value to my Simulation experience. If I have ever had to go "Free", it always comes with those compromised conditions, say a non-completed (meaning non-working) aircraft or scenery that is sort of like the real one, but also in not being photo looking like the real environment I'm supposed to takeoff and land from. That aspect totally ruins (for me) the whole idea of what I am ultimately trying to achieve, meaning real world flying in a Simulator, or as close to a real world environment that I can get... nothing annoys me more than having an aircraft in not to doing what it should do, mostly in the basics of flight and the controls, or crappy airports made of blocked facades. There was released an Airbus A220-100 recently, a model really with no cockpit? "Why?" really what is the point of releasing (yes a very pretty external model) but with no cockpit? That is just stupid or dumb. I at least want an aircraft I can fly or can use out of the box, yes there maybe bugs, even downright obvious ones, but the basics are there, working and useable. A small note on this conversation is in the fact of older aircraft, or classics. As we move forward to another X-Plane version, in most cases a lot of beloved simulation gets left behind. Hopefully developers will update their aircraft and scenery. But in a lot of cases we loose important pieces of our X-Plane world... a few come to mind, Carenado obviously, Aerosoft sceneries (still crying over the lost Aerosoft Bergen). In fact 12 months on and Aerosoft haven't updated one scenery to X-Plane 12, that's poor business, and hell it's probably why Mathijs Kok left Aerosoft for PMDG. It's now nearly twelve months since the X-Plane 12 (beta) release, and nine months into 2023 after the X-Plane Release in December 2022. And although this massive version change has happened, X-Plane 12 is now only starting to move again (or say Takeoff, yes pun intended), I want to show the full impact of that year, and that post will be coming on the year's anniversary of the X-Plane 12 release on 6th September 2023, called "State of the Union", it sums up the full year's development. So change is coming, accept it, the new, new, but there are still things I don't want to lose from the past, they were important then, as they are now... so not everything should be thrown away with change, and a lot of people should take stock of that aspect, when it's gone it is gone... like forever. Then in time they realise that in doing those immediate selfish actions, they also lose a bit of themselves. See you all next month Stephen Dutton 3rd September 2023 Copyright©2023 X-Plane Reviews
  16. Update Review : EDDM Munich v1.2 by ShortFinal Designs There is no need for an introduction to ShortFinal Designs, or if you prefer to call him "MisterX6", as the reputation of this extremely skilled developer knows no bounds. But I will still highlight his work with LAX - Los Angeles International and SFO - San Francisco International, which are both award winning sceneries, then add in SFD Global, a tool to replace the boring twin American and European X-Plane autogen with different cultural facades in the different areas of the world, say, Australian, Arab, African and Japanese... yes it all so brilliant, and the quality sticks to everything MisterX6 does, or Justin Kissling... want to know more of MisterX6? then check out this current "Developer Spotlight" interview with Dominic Smith. Which brings us to another ShortFinal Design masterpiece... EDDM Munich. X-PlaneReviews did a full review of the X-Plane 11 release of Munich International in January 2019; EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs and this scenery won... Best Airport Scenery : EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal winner 2019 🏅 in other words it was the best scenery overall in the year 2019. The MUC scenery then had an update to v1.1 in January 2021, with mostly nips and tucks that covered the latest in a construction site at T1 and updated taxiway layout, introduction of SAM Seasons and an updated layout of apron 5 and 13 (East of T2)... but they were all for X-Plane 11. So here is Version v1,2 of Munich International from SFD, and its also an X-Plane 12 update as well, it is still also compatible with X-Plane 11 (and included in the package), but obviously the X-Plane 12 elements don't work. Munich Airport, also named "Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport", is an international airport serving Munich and Upper Bavaria. To the German Aeronautical Information Publication it is known as "Muenchen Airport". It is the second-busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic after Frankfurt Airport, and the ninth-busiest airport in Europe, handling 47.9 million passengers in 2019. It is the world's 15th-busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, and was the 38th-busiest airport worldwide in 2018. The airport is located 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich near the town of Freising. It is named after former Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Strauss. It has two passenger terminals with an additional midfield terminal, two runways as well as extensive cargo and maintenance facilities and is fully equipped to handle wide-body aircraft including the Airbus A380. It serves as hub for Lufthansa including its subsidiaries Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti and Eurowings, as well as a base for Condor and TUI fly Deutschland. Nothing really prepares you for the size of EDDM, it's absolutely massive, and this is also a complex scenery. But also highly refined for a very good framerate return, thankfully there isn't a lot of autogen around the airport like at EDDF Frankfurt, but still a reasonable expectation on what your computer can deliver to the reality of the complexity here is still a welcome point. I get upper 47 frames on my specs (below), which I would call out as being exceptional. It's not called a masterpiece for nothing, this is one amazingly detailed and realistic scenery. First of all v1.2 is an update, not a pay upgrade which is very nice, but for those (few) that don't currently have the SFD EDDM, it is priced at only US$26.95, a crazy price for the amount of quality and detail here. With the X-Plane 12 update, you now get the X-Plane 12 effects, like brilliant rain, lighting and widespread snow winter conditions, very good it is... So the added SAM Seasons in v1.1, have now been again removed for X-Plane 12 (but available for XP11). Another odd point with X-Plane 12 is when I run the download of any real weather, it always rains? ALWAYS? never a nice day or any clear skies at Munich MUC. So here to get a normal day, I had to switch to the manual weather settings... very odd. In v1.1 you had the cranes over a new terminal development, the cranes have now gone in v1.2 to be replaced with the new terminal 1 extension building, but the extension is still under development with currently a fence around the new T1 Terminal, also here there is no Airbridges attached, so it looks like we may have to wait to v1.3 to get a working terminal area... but clever isn't it. Terminal 2 satellite (another recent addition) has also had attention with improved facade textures, they were quite good before, but this is refinement 101. It's new but in a wear of a few years way. Also improved are the Terminal 2 satellite entrance buildings There is both a new EFM building (EFM – Towing and De-icing) and new fire station building, both situated northeast by the T2 Satellite Southeast, and Apron 35 has also been completed and is now available for use, it comes also with new blast fencing in 3d. On the same note, in X-Plane 12, there are now 3d trees (very nice and move in the wind), and the new high quality fencing is 3d as well, not facade style. With the release of SFO -San Francisco. ShortFinal Design has moved away from the GroundTraffic plugin to X-Codr's... "Living Scenery Technology" plugin (Plugin required). The newer faster, but more importantly flexible plugin allows more movement in the scenery, more vehicles and animations... even realistic walking ground staff. So clutter is far better, all locally branded as well. Traffic is also excellent, but not overwhelmingly so, but enough to create that perfect active environment. One note are the taxi bridges. In the X-Plane 11 version there was an option to stop (harden the bridge) in for traffic aircraft, that bounced down through the bridge and then climbed back out of the underlaying gradients. They do that again here, but ShortFinal have noted a patch is coming to bring the hard surface bridges back to normal. In the X-Plane 12 version, orthoimagery has been totally updated. It's a bit strong in my eyes and doesn't blend in as much as before, but it is still well done, the already noted 3d trees are also changed within in the airport boundary areas... any other changes like taxiway names and linage have all been brought up to date. Grass is nice, very nice. Lighting is still excellent, but now also X-Plane 12 powered, so everything is sharper and brighter... ... the runways (lighting) are also ICAO compliant (X-Plane 12), and the navigation signage is exceptional... and ground reflective. The ShortFinal Design EDDM still uses the SAM 3 system for airbridge connectivity, and for opening the doors of five Lufthansa Technik Hangers... AB Technik (left and right doors), Lufthansa Cityline Technik, and Lufthansa Technik (left and right doors). I think that Munich has the most number of active gates on SAM, maybe San Francisco can cut it close, LAX, well maybe when the new extension is open, but here the numbers available are still in the hundreds... that is a lot of choice and very impressive. Summary An award winning scenery always has a lot to live up to. This masterful reproduction of Munich International Airport released in 2019 by ShortFinal Design (or MisterX6), has everything and of course won the best of the year award from X-PlaneReviews for the same year. This is the Munich scenery update to X-Plane 12, or Version 1.2. The X-Plane 11 version is also still available, but without a lot of the dynamic features noted here. This scenery is an update, not an upgrade considering it is a move over to X-Plane 12 from eleven. X-Plane 12 effects cover; Rain, Snow (winter conditions), scenery lighting, X-Plane 12 animated 3d trees, and the far better Global Lighting effects (you can throw dynamic clouds in there as well). The effect is huge of course on the useability of the airport, but also on the look with the now four different seasonal conditions. Changes to the Munich Airport in real terms are also noted here, The new T1 Terminal extension, done but not yet operational. T2 satellite comes with better refined textures, Apron 35 is now completed, as is there is also a new Fire Station and EFM building. New 3d fencing and blast fences also are in the update. Ground orthoimagery and taxiway signage have all had attention. Like with SFO -San Francisco. ShortFinal Design has moved away from the GroundTraffic plugin to X-Codr's... "Living Scenery Technology" plugin. It requires a new plugin in your X-Plane/Resources/Plugin's folder, but the more dynamic (and more modern tool) gives the scenery a more lively and animated feel. You don't really have to explain or venerate the accolades to MisterX6 - ShortFinal Design's tools and sceneries, the reputation in the X-Plane Simulator well proceeds that... value is also a huge factor as well, with this exceptional massive framerate friendly scenery coming in at only US$26.95, a steal really or a very valuable investment, as it doesn't much regard in anyway you look at this airport, It's brilliant, useable, dynamic... and now available in X-Plane 12! __________________________ Yes! EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs v1.2 is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDM - Munich Airport Price Is US$26.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 770Mb Current version: 1.2 (August 24th 2023) Note the Living Scenery Tech plugin is required for this scenery. The v1.2 update is free to all current SFD EDDM-Munich purchasers, just go to your X-PlaneStore account... Download is 770Mb __________________ 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 12.06b7 (This is a beta review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A319-100 XP12 by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.99 Update Review by Stephen Dutton 1st September 2023 Copyright©2023: 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)
  17. NEWS! - Scenery Released : KSAT- San Antonio International Airport by SXAD SXAirportDesign or SXAD are an old fashioned Prepar3D scenery developer that has recently also moved into MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator), now they are releasing airports for the X-Plane Simulator. Product seems to be centred on the American Mid-West, with this release being KSAT- San Antonio International Airport in Texas. Other MSFS/P3D airports include El Paso, Houston Hobby, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth, Corpus Christi and Nashville, hopefully more of these excellent sceneries will be ported to the X-Plane 12 platform. San Antonio International Airport is an international airport in San Antonio, Texas, United States. It is in Uptown Central San Antonio, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Downtown. It has three runways and covers 2,600 acres (1,100 ha). Its elevation is 809 feet (247 m) above sea level. SAT averages 260 daily departures and arrivals at its 27 gates, which serve 14 airlines flying non-stop to 53 destinations in the US and Mexico. Detailed recreation of San Antonio International Airport include A detailed recreation of the entire airport and buildings The new car park and rental building 1ft/pix Seasonal photo scenery A significant area outside the airport modelled Custom night lighting Custom PBR ground textures Baked night lighting and Ambient Occlusion This KSAT scenery is in both X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 versions, but the XP11 version will not have the XP12 effects and lighting shown. Designed by SXAD Images are courtesy of SXAD Nice to have you onboard SXAD... great value price as well! ___________________________ Yes! KSAT- San Antonio International Airport by SXAD is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KSAT- San Antonio International Airport Price Is US$19.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version : 1.0 (August 30th 2023) ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 31st August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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)
  18. NEWS! - Scenery Released : St Helena Airport by Cami De Bellis Saint Helena is a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote volcanic tropical island 1,950 km (1,210 mi) west of the coast of south-western Africa, and 4,000 km (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro in South America. It is one of three constituent parts of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It's famous for... In that the British government selected Saint Helena as the place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte, after the Battle of Waterloo, his second abdication (on 22 June 1815) and his final surrender, to Captain Frederick Maitland, on HMS Bellerophon (15 July 1815). He was taken to the island in October 1815. Initially Napoleon stayed at the Briars pavilion on the grounds of the Balcombe family's home, until his permanent residence at Longwood House was completed in December 1815. He died there on 5 May 1821. After a list of upgraded scenery to X-Plane 12, including VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl, VNDP - Dolpa Airport Nepal and La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia. Here is a new fully created scenery of FHSH St Helena Airport from Cami de Bellis, note the extensive interview with Cami by Dominic Smith here; Developer Spotlight Feature Cami De Bellis With a celebration of Cami's 15 Years of creating X-Plane Scenery. Features Include: Highly accurate scenery for FHSH -St Helena Airport with all buildings modeled. Over 80 custom objects all with Ambient Occlusion Terrain mesh created and modified to fix bump terrain and set and correct the topography of the Airport’s area Custom Terrain Mesh for the entire island of Saint Helena 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. 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 created specially The terrain mesh is complemented with custom overlays: dense vegetation and country-typical autogen, as well as custom road networks with dynamic traffic. Two fictional heliports, for those fans of helicopters. One at the beautiful Longwood House, and the other on the shores of the island’s main port; Ruperts Wharf. As Saint Helena is more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) from the nearest major landmass. Prior to the opening of the airport, the island was only reachable by sea, making it one of the most remote populated places on earth, measured as travel time from major cities. Sea journeys used to take five days from Cape Town, with departures once every three weeks. The first consideration of an airport on St Helena was made in 1943 by the South African Air Force, which undertook a survey on Prosperous Bay Plain from October 1943 until January 1944, but concluded that, while technically feasible, an airport was not a practical proposition. From the 1960s, there was an idea to build an airport on the Island. In 1999, this was taken up by the island government. The construction of the runway was finished in 2015 and the airport opened in 2016. The inaugural scheduled flight was delayed but general aviation, charter, and medical evacuation flights were able to serve the airport from May 2016. The airport began scheduled commercial services on 14 October 2017, when the South African carrier Airlink inaugurated a weekly service from O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, via Walvis Bay Airport, Namibia, using an Embraer E190-100IGW, or about one and a half years after the originally expected inauguration date, and with a smaller-sized aircraft, because of wind shear problems affecting the airport. Additionally, monthly charter flights now operate between Ascension Island and Saint Helena. This FHSH scenery is X-Plane 12 only Images of FHSH - St Helena Airport are courtesy of Cami de Bellis ________________ Yes! FHSH - St Helena Airport by Cami de Bellis is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FHSH - St Helena Airport by Cami De Bellis Price Is US$16.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP 11) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.5 GB CDB-Library is required Current version 1.0 (August 28th 2023) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 28th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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! - ShortFinal design updates EDDM Munich Airport to v1.2 ShortFinal Design are known for their very impressive mega sceneries like SFO-San Francisco (X-PlaneReviews best of the year award 2022). Earlier they had released EDDM Munich Airport for X-Plane 11. Here is v1.2, and releasing now is the much wanted converted Munich for X-Plane 12, and for its more modern effects. Munich Franz Josef Strauss (IATA: MUC, ICAO: EDDM) is the second busiest airport in Germany after Frankfurt Airport, handling 44.6 million passengers in 2017. This also makes it the seventh-busiest airport in Europe. It offers flights to 266 destinations. Munich is a hub for Lufthansa, Lufthansa Regional, Lufthansa Cityline and its Star Alliance partners. Located about 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of the city of Munich, it features two passenger terminals with an additional midfield terminal, two runways as well as cargo facilities. Construction of the airport began in 1980, and it commenced operation on 17 May 1992, replacing the old Munich-Riem Airport and taking over its ICAO and IATA codes. Extensive changes in v1.2 cover new 3d fences and trees, new apron 35, new custom airport vehicles, new X-Plane 12 mesh, added also is the EFM building and a new fire station building. Jet blast deflectors are also added, as is the new terminal 1 extension (under construction). Notable like SFO is the switch to Living Scenery Tech plugin (required for the scenery). Version 1.2 (August 24th 2023) Now fully optimized for X-Plane 12 Added 3D fences Added 3D trees (XP 12 only) Added apron 35 Added custom airport vehicles with animations and FMOD sounds (XP 12 only) Added EFM building and new fire station building Added jet blast deflectors Added terminal 1 extension (not open yet) Added various new buildings around the airport Added XP 12 mesh Improved facade textures of terminal 2 satellite building Improved floodlights, deicing lights are now striped Improved ground textures and added native rain effects (XP 12 only) Improved static airport vehicles Improved terminal 2 satellite entrance buildings Replaced GroundTraffic plugin with Living Scenery Technology Updated orthoimagery Updated taxiway names ShortFinal Design's EDDM Munich was the best awarded scenery for 2019 (X-Plane 11), the extensive XP11 review of EDDM is here, Scenery Review : EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs Users of V1.0 can update to version v1.2 as existing customers can download this new version for free by logging into their X-Plane.OrgStore account. Compatible with both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 Optimized for X-Plane 12 Ultra-High Definition Airport Accurate models for all buildings with baked ambient occlusion Dynamic reflections on objects and ground textures Custom high resolution ground textures HDR night lighting High resolution photo scenery (30cm/px) Randomly placed static aircraft, can be toggled off in the X-Plane settings Animated Airport Animated airport vehicles (using GroundTraffic by Jonathan Harris) Custom animated jetways and DGS (using the SAM plugin) Taxi network and gate assignments WorldTraffic 3 and X-Life ready Weather Support Summer and winter version Weather effects on the ground for rain and snow Performance optimized Designed by ShortFinal Design Support forum for ShortFinal Design ShortFinal Designs (Misterx6) has updated his EDDM Munich to version v1.2. This already outstanding scenery and X-PlaneReviews Best Airport Scenery : EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal winner 2019 🏅 has been updated and refined to it's current and new X-Plane 12 layout. ___________________________ Yes! EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs v1.1 is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDM - Munich Airport Price Is US$26.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 770Mb Current version: 1.2 (August 24th 2023) Note the Living Scenery Tech plugin is required for this scenery. The v1.2 update is free to all current SFD EDDM-Munich purchasers, just go to your X-PlaneStore account... Download is 770Mb ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 25th August 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  20. NEWS! - Airwil updates RPMD - Davao International Airport - Philippines to X-Plane 12 Last year, Airwil released a few airports in an area X-Plane hasn't had a lot of attention, the Philippines. Including RPVE Boracay and RPSP Bohol Panglao... Another scenery release was RPMD - Davao International Airport on the island of Mindanao in the Southern part of the Philippines, some 800 miles (1300km) from the country’s capital Manilla, and the airport is known locally as Francisco Bangoy International Airport. Nicely valued in price, these are great sceneries to explore a very different country and its landscapes in the X-Plane Simulator. A full X-Plane 11 review of RPMD - Davao International Airport by Stuart McGregor is available here; Scenery Review: Davao International Airport by Airwil Sceneries Although not officially noted, in the details it shows that the Francisco Bangoy International Airport has now been updated to X-Plane 12, with the latest effects. Some smaller other adjustments, like taxiworks (noted as in progress in the release version) and the improved ground textures (again to X-Plane 12) are also part of the v1.1 update. Version : 1.1 (August 22nd 2023) X-Plane 12 version now available Updated ongoing parallel taxiway works Removed some unnecessary grass vegetation to help improve performance Made use of XP12's improved ground texture Features Included: Compatible with both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 More than 250 custom modelled 3D objects Old Davao Airport Terminal (with interior modelling) New Davao Airport Terminal (with interior modelling) Davao Control Tower Cab (with interior modelling) SAM Jetways (Authorized by Stairport Sceneries) ALES Ground Textures (Licensed by Pyreegue Dev Co.) Moving ground vehicles at the ramp area Moving ground vehicles at the terminal parking area Highly detailed terminal parking area Work in progress RPMD parallel taxiway Popular Davao City Landmarks (Gaisano, Grand Regal Hotel, SM Lanang, etc2 just to name a few) Filipino Houses Filipino Jeepneys Maligaya Taxi Davao Metro Shuttle Bus Mindanao Star Bus Highly detailed vicinity surrounding the airport to capture that Davao City feel Color corrected orthophoto And many many many more! SAM3 Plugin is required with this scenery. Only, US$12! a bargain... If you have already purchased this scenery, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account to the new version. Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPMD - Davao International Airport, Philippines by Airwil Sceneries v1.1 is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPMD - Davao International Airport - Philippines Priced at US$11.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 (both versions available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5GB Current version : 1.1 (August 22nd 2023) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 24th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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! - X-Aerodynamics adds more Enhanced Flight Models X-Aerodynamics are making a big impact on the X-Plane Simulator. Mostly at first it was behind the scenes on tweaking the dynamics of payware aircraft, they are good at it, and the brand of X-Aerodynamics is growing with each release. In June, X-Aerodynamics released an "Enhanced Flight Model" for the Laminar Research (default X-Plane 12) Cirrus SR-22. Here now are more flight model versions of the aircraft with now 3 Cirrus models: SR22 (original), SR20, and SR22T (Turbo) noted as version v2.0. SR20: NEW. Same basic aircraft, but with a smaller engine and reduced weight. This model is especially popular for pilot training. SR22: This is the 'standard' model today, and the basis of the stock X-plane model. SR22T: NEW. Again the same basic aircraft, but with a turbocharged engine and higher weights. For pilots who need higher cruise and climb performance. It is certified up to 25,000ft, but it is capable of flying much higher if certification means nothing to you! Utilizes the excellent SR22 graphics and sounds included with X-plane 12 by Laminar Research. Improved ground handling, with ‘springy’ main gear, as in the real aircraft. Cruise speeds accurate across all altitudes and power settings. Accurate maximum speeds. Accurate stall speeds, flap up or down. Correct rates of climb. Accurate take-off and landing distances. Accurate ‘feel’ and handling. Accurate fuel consumption at all altitudes and power settings. Accurate wing airfoils for accurate handling (stock uses the same airfoil as the C-172!). ‘Cuffed’ wing modelled in airfoils and geometry – outer wing stalls after inboard wing, so that full control is maintained. Aircraft CG and payload weights moved to accurate locations. Tail and all controls adjusted to correct shapes, areas, and deflections. Fuselage shape and drag revised. Increased flight model detail throughout. No plugins to ‘force’ the flight model. No hidden parts. No cheating the sim. This package is a set of new flight dynamics that connects to the already graphically excellent SR22 that comes with X-plane. X-Aerodynamics has researched and prepared extensively to develop the most accurate and thorough SR22 flight dynamics yet seen for desktop flight simulation. While the stock SR22 is very good graphically, audibly and so on, the flight dynamics have some limitations. Important: This an upgrade of the stock (default) Cirrus SR22 that comes with X-Plane 12. No other purchase is necessary to use it. And here you can just get maximum accuracy and careful tuning to get the full potential out of an X-Plane aircraft! Earlier Purchasers of the X-Aerodynamic Enhanced Flight Model, can update to v2.0 for free, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore Account. Images are courtesy of X-Aerodynamics ________________________________________ The Laminar Cirrus SR-22 Enhanced Flight Model is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Laminar Cirrus SR-22 Enhanced Flight Model Price is US$19.99 You Save:$5.00(20%) Requirements X-Plane 12 Linux, Mac, and Windows 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version : 2.0 (August 18th 2023) Please follow the installation instructions carefully. ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 19th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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.
  22. New Skunkcrafts Standalone Updater Client v3.0 The X-Plane Simulator first got an Updater Client with FlightFactor, and the X-Updater application back in 2018. Based on Java, the application could remotely up date aircraft files directly to the installed folder. First it scanned the current files in the folder, then compared the list with the one on the developers application, the missing files were then uploaded to the users folder, and the older files were then removed. The system allowed the user of not having to download the full aircraft package (say from the X-Plane.OrgStore) every time there was an update. Biggest savings were when the developer want to do a quick, or urgent update or patch. The Updater Client could do the job far quicker and remotely for you. Personally I didn't use X-Updater in the early years. It had a habit of not downloading and inserting the files "Cleanly", so I was always trying to fly buggy, file damaged aircraft, a few of those and I always then went back to the full complete download from the Store to be safe of a clean download. Later came the Skunkcrafts Updater by Lionel Zamouth. The Skunkcrafts Updater was slightly different from X-Updater, in that it was created as an X-Plane Plugin Application, so it sat in your Resources/Plugin Folder. It worked, but you had had to switch out of your current loaded aircraft to update it, it was a little slow as well, in processing the ever growing list of aircraft. So here is a new version of the Skunkcrafts Updater Client v3.0. It is a slightly different version in that it is now a desktop Application and not a Plugin Application. The new updater has been by Lionel Zamouth completely written from scratch in go with the fyne UI library and takes advantage of concurrency, so allowing up to 32 simultaneous downloads (configurable). The Application is available for Windows 10/11 (.exe), MacOS (both Intel and Apple Silicon.app) and GNU/Linux (tested on Ubuntu 22.04) (.lin) and you place the required app file into your main X-Plane root folder... On MacOS you must authorise the app for it to run through Settings/Security. Clicking on the Updater file will activate it, and then you can save the Icon to the Taskbar (windows) for easy use. The interface format is the same, if slightly more modern in look and feel, but you use it exactly the same way as before... You can "Rescan all local Configurations" to check for new additions to the aircraft folder (Sceneries and Plugins can also be updated), then "Check all available Updates" to see if any aircraft need updating... of which the updater will show on the list. Finally "Update or repair all Addons" will go through the list and do the remote updating of the files. You can of course update any single aircraft, by selecting that aircraft and doing the singular "Update or repair all Addons" selection. When all done, everything in the list should be green, and successfully updated. There are a few options you can choose from. One is the amount of concurrent downloads you can use (to 32) and the text size of the interface. Several enhancements are very noticeable... you don't have to close an aircraft now to update it, or mostly you would usually run the v3.0 Skunkcrafts app before you run the X-Plane Application. It is FAST, seriously Skunkcrafts is now far faster than before, and the (confusing) BETA logo is now more prominent and accessible. The Application feels far, far more sturdy as well, it works fast and clean for me. So it is a very good update to the tool. Overall all Updater Client tools have evolved very well over the last few years from their buggy beginnings. More reliable, and yes even I is using them on a regular basis without now downloading the complete file package. This is a very nice, even welcome update to the Skunkcrafts Client tool. You can download this updated v3.0 Updater free here; SkunkCrafts Updater Standalone client Just press the "Download Link!" ________________ Plugin Application by Stephen Dutton 18th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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.
  23. NEWS! - Upgraded v1.04 Citation C-560XL by AirSim3D XP12 The excellent AirSim3D Citation C-560XL finally came to X-Plane 12 in April earlier this year and X-PlaneReviews shouted about it. Aircraft Update : Citation C-560XL X-Plane 12 by AirSim3D If any aircraft was suited to X-Plane 12, it was this amazing Biz Jet from AirSim3D So here is a new class upgrade to version v1.04. Mostly to cover the changes from the Laminar v12.06 release, the Citation was one of the first to prioritise the internal lighting. A brave act as X-Plane updates could have rendered the changes useless (still could), but here in v1.04, you get the opposite effect, in certainly one of the best Biz Jet cockpits in the X-Plane Simulator. XP12 Version 1.4 (August 16th 2023) 1) Unruly, unrealistic engine fire and particle visuals and directionality/velocity/aging corrected 2) COM panel updates: Now hear both speakers if channels tuned; can transmit on both channels; still can not autotune Com2 -- that's a sim ATC bug (reported). You'll need to continue to use the RMU to make COM station changes (like real pilots do anyway) 3) Negative fuel flow numbers on startup 4) GRND IDLE annunciation XP flight model regression corrected 5) Some Engine model tuning so Port engine starts in a wider range of airport ALT's (L engine start was unpredictable based on ALT pressure) 6) Fuel Burn rate tuned further; verified full tanks range of 4hrs and ~495 miles when aircraft is flown with the correct flight profiling (POH updates/guidance written too) 7) Verified nothing in our code is preventing VVI (semicircular dial in PFD) to not move beyond 3000; it works fine in XP11 versions -- reported as an XP12 bug and LR acknowledged.. 8 ) Yoke handles now smooth (wavy grips looked cool, but not were authentic) Still very proud of the Yoke custom textures, scratches, grunge and grime -- all still there! 9) Reduced APU internal sound volume based on used feedback 10) Couple of fixes to the INTERIOR Lights switch (under the big red guard pilots side) Now all cabin lights (that should be) can now be isolated Off. The Cabin is a scary place at night with this switch turned off ; ) 11) Texture changes made for better VRAM optimization 12) The Lav now has an authentic Lighting panel replicated from the real-jet example, with Lights 13) All Cabin /Lav overhead Lights and Vents now animated (previously had only the main exit one animated) 14) Missing light glows added to the Main Cabin and Entry Lights panel just aft of the main door 15) Standby VOR dials animate and work to change OBS1, 2 and HDG for that instrument. 16 Figured that after all this time, the cockpit seat cushioning would have more of a depression from all the sitting we pilots have been making in our individual aircraft, You DO fly it a lot, yes? The cushions now have a slightly deeper "impression". 😄 There is a lot of changes in v1.04, and the lavatory or washroom compartment has had a lot of attention, just what you need on a long flight... The developer was not shy of coming forward to lavish praise of X-Plane v12.06 either... "Gotta say -- with XP12.06x we LOVE a lot of the changes the LR team has/is making, but certainly our cockpit occlusion and texturing are looking even better as the sim really tightens its visualizations and renderings." X-PlaneReviews is a big fan of the C560XL, now even better, better toilet as well... can't be a bad thing. Go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the latest v1.04 NOW! ____________________ Yes! the Cessna Citation 560XL XP12 v1.04 by AirSim3d is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna Citation 560XL XP12 Price is US$59.95 Cessna Citation 560XL XP11 Price is US$49.95 Cessna Citation 560XL XP12 + XP11 Price is US$79.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 Only Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version : 1.4 (August 16th 2023) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 17th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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.
  24. NEWS! - TaiModels releases Oslo Gardermoen Airport for X-Plane 12 It has become a bit of a game... what major airport would TaiModels do next? My money was on WSSS or Singapore International (again), but no TaiModels made me lose my office bet a second time by releasing Oslo, Norway... or Oslo Gardermoen Airport. Either way it was a good choice. From my perspective I use ENGM Gardermoen a lot in X-Plane, in personal flights and for reviews. That is the Aerosoft Oslo XP version. Very good it is, but this Aerosoft version was made for X-Plane 10, and had only a few updates for X-Plane 11. It is still very good, but also now showing it's age. Will I switch? that is a very good question, but the attraction to a more modern version of ENGM and X-Plane 12's active dynamic winter features is a big, big drawcard, but I am also very much in regard for the Aerosoft version... a review might answer my question. Oslo Airport Gardermoen is the main airport serving Norway’s capital, Oslo and the municipals surrounding that area. It is located about 35 km to the North of the city. A surface area of 13 sq km, two runways and more than 100 international destinations make it the busiest airport in Norway. Gardermoen also serves as a hub for Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines as well as Widerøe. Features Highly detailed models SAM amination jetways High quality pbr texture on object and ground High performance Completed autogen around airport Ground traffic plugins( car and truck) for both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 Images courtesy of TaiModels ________________ The ENGM Oslo International Airport, Norway by TaiModels is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Oslo International Airport, Norway Price is US$24.49 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 (2 versions included) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.5 GB Current version: 1.0 (August 15th 2023) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 16th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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.
  25. Aircraft Review : Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse by SimSolutions A few months ago, I reviewed the SimSolutions DA40NG Diamond Star, a four-seater General Aviation aircraft by Diamond Aircraft of Austria and later Canada. That aircraft was interesting, as it also an aircraft design that put it on a collision course with Aerobask, a very well renowned developer, of very high quality Diamond aircraft at a value price in the X-Plane Simulator. Considering the price advantage the SimSolutions DA-40NG, came off very well against the Aerobask version, but could never be really considered in the same context. Here now released from SimSolutions is the earlier two-seater aircraft in the DA-20 C1 Eclipse, this time it comes up against not Aerobask, but X-Hanger with their X-Plane 12 Diamond Katana DA20 C1, a well done aircraft with G500 Avionics. The DA-20 Katana/Eclipse is also a variation of the earlier two-seater Diamond HK36 Super Dimona, but that aircraft is a motor-glider, longer wings, less power and not a general use everyday aircraft of which the DA-20-C1 is. The Eclipse version of the Katana comes with rear windows for better visibility, and is powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine. The aircraft entered production in 1999, and 1000+ aircraft have been produced since then. The Super Dimona had a wingspan of 16.0 m (52 ft 6 in), cut back for the Katana to 10.87 m (35 ft 8 in), but the T-Tailplane stays the same... so the Katana C1 possesses a higher glide ratio than many of its competitors; its glide ratio is 11:1 and the DA20-A1 is 14:1. The glider heritage comes through in the design. ... so overall the aircraft shape and the design stays totally the same, with that long fine boom tail. The Super Dimona had a powerplant 115 hp (86 kW) Rotax 914 F3 or a F4 turbocharged engine, compare that with the more powerful 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine in the Eclipse. So the same shape, bigger engine and the shorter wings sums up the changes. The modeling of the earlier SimSolutions DA-40 was very good, but also a very clean aircraft, you get the same here, so modeled parts are part of the design, not again textured over like you would get from Aerobask, also like the DA-40, the DA-20 in many ways comes off little bit modeled in feeling, but being a plastic aircraft, or a composite airframe which is constructed of glass-carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, you can get away with that aspect, but personally I like a bit of real world feel to my aircraft. Important are the smooth form shapes of the aircraft, which are very good here. As used are very nice tight wireframes, which show clean surface angles, and very little straight cut lines... yes important on such a super smooth surfaces. Highlights are the inner fairings, and excellent wingtip shape to the outer lighting element. Overall I'm impressed by the detail, hence the T-Tail control arms. Glass is very similar to the DA-40, very good, but also feels a bit thin, and also not very grazed with wear and tear. Gear is very basic, just struts rear and the nose has the dreaded castor wheel system, so turns while taxiing are made with differential braking, with rudder steering becoming more effective as airspeed increases, so there is no steering. Struts are hard, with no suspension or hydraulics to cushion the ride, the tiny brakes are cable operated. Unlike the SimSolutions DA-40 NG, there are no menus on the DA-20? All external options are via hotspots. There are separate wheels chocks, pitot cover, "Remove before flight" banner, nose engine cover (hard to find hotspot, left lower?) and a tank (dip) stick that works via touching the fuel filler left rear. The stick is stored on the real shelf. The Hotspot system also requires you to clean up the aircraft every time you load it up (even in the replay), which is a little time consuming and even annoying if you are flying the DA-20 C1 regularly. So there are no weight & balances pages, fueling is done via the standard X-Plane Weight & Balance Menu. Fuel is noted as 93L or 24.5 US Gallons. Oddly there is no manual provided? only a nice and very detailed 12 page pdf checklist. There is a one-piece bubble canopy , which is hinged at the rear, enabling easy entry using the built-in side steps. Hotspot handles are nicely done with great detailing, small stuff but authentic. Twin seats are layback sheepskin covered, its tight in there! Notable are the twin control sticks that have been just positioned on the sheepskin, it doesn't feel or look very realistic with no base ring or separator to the seats? most control sticks have a leather cover around their base. Picky yes... but it doesn't look right, or is cheap looking. There is a non animated pilot provided, but he is pretty scary? a sort of drug crazed zoned out Goth zombie, frightens the living daylights out of me? The instrument panel sits high out of the cockpit, all analog, it is very nicely done. Avionics are basic and set centre. They consist of a Garmin GMA 430 Radio, Garmin GNS430 GPS and a Garmin GTX327 Transponder. Flying instruments are the standard six in the default layout; Airspeed, Artificial Horizon, Altimeter... second row Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed (V/S). Two more instruments make it up to a 8 pack, with RPM meter and OBS dial far right. Up top are both a DAYTRON M803 clock and a built in compass. Add also is a SUCTION dial left and the Electric TRIM setting right. Lower is the lighting panel, Instrument and flood lighting knobs, starter switch (no key?), Avionics master, fuel pump and GEN/BAT switches. Centre bottom panel is the three phase flap switch and indicator. Right panel are the analog gauges, 8x2 rows including; EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), A pressure gauge (no description or manual?), Fuel Pressure, Fuel Quantity, Oil Temperature, Oil Pressure. Ampere Gauge and a Volt Gauge, below is a hour Hobb's meter. All the rows of Circuit Breakers (fuses) are non-active. Centre console has upper; HEAT(ing) Controls (non-working), and Park Brake. Lower; Three levers for ALTERNATE, POWER (Throttle) and MIXTURE. Rudder pedals are nicely done, but toe-brake action doesn't work? odd because it is required here with the castor wheel. Flying the Diamond DA-20 C1 First a few notes... This is version v1.01, with an update put out on the 3rd August 23. Annoying are the amount of bugs still in here? Start up and you will get a "Sound Bank" and "Brake " issue alert box, also when you close the alert box the GNS430 then goes dark? The developer says to turn on the GNS, click on the top left knob as like you do with a real Garmin, but it doesn't work? frantic clicking will finally start the GNS startup procedure? Looking there is no Hotspot on the knob, but to use, you just turn it on via the top left knob.... again no manual? Park brake doesn't work well either, it will select OFF , but not ON, unless you do it manually? A second brake note is that you can't select OFF either, if the chocks are in place... this seems to affect the Park Brake action? The lighting in Navigation lights and Taxi/Landing lights were also attended to in the v1.01 update, but they don't work in the Simulator here as all lighting is still blank in the daytime? The strobes flash, but then very oddly? there are also a couple of other things we will see when flying... the point is, these sort of quibbles should have been easily covered in the first update, v1.01, but they weren't and to date still have not had any attention either. Another slight annoyance as noted is that every time you start up, you have to hide all the hotspot external static elements, and change the livery back to one you last used, it all gets a little wearing. There is a "Primer Pump" switch to obviously prime the fuel. It works by just holding it down, then it primes by itself (3 pumps is about right)... and there is no key (missing) in the starter switch of which you just turn to start the IO-240-B engine. Primed and with the Mixture RICH, the DA-20 will start quite easily, again you don't have to prime if the engine is hot, only cold. If being a regular reader, you may know my feelings towards free wheels, or taildraggers, castor steering... I seriously don't like them. But there is a lot of free travel and a soft touch here on the toe-brakes will guide the DA-20 quite easily, mostly your touching lightly the right rear wheel, as there is already a powerful asymmetric thrust from the propeller even on the ground. Keep the speed low, and a feather touch on the toe-brake, and you can taxi quite easily. Only when I lined up on KLAL (Lakeland) Rwy 23, only then did the caster wheel go side on whonky. Power up and first the focus was on getting the Diamond straight, so a slight 17,000 RPM to get you rolling, then feel the brakes and then finally the rudder becomes active around 60 knts, it's tricky but doable. Flaps one, takeoff (rotate) is around 80 knts or around the end of the white flap indicator... plenty of power at 27,000 RPM, and a good rate of climb at 5.1 m/s (1,000 ft/min), but on average you would use 500 fpm-700 fpm. Being a very small light Sporty aircraft it is all feet and light touch stick. The DA-20 is VERY responsive, but clean in its manoeuvres, almost aerobatic in feel. Flying notes include... "The wings have washout, which causes the wing roots to stall in advance of the wingtips, which has the effect of the ailerons being fully effective well after the onset of a primary stall condition. Other unfavourable flight conditions are often guarded against, such as a wing drop, which may be produced only as a consequence of prolonged and excessive elevator application during a steep climbing turn, and can be rectified by the relaxation of back pressure. The control forces across all regimes are however very well-balanced, which reportedly reduces the frequency to which trimming of the control surfaces may need to be performed." The aspect of having basically glider wings on a General Aviation aircraft is felt, so sitting reclining, the Eclipse has a sort of glider aspect feel about it. Trimmed out, the DA-20 still wanted to climb, so small inputs were required to keep your height correct, same with your heading... with the strong right pushing asymmetric thrust, you are always wanting to pull the aircraft back to the required heading, a slight roll or even a slight weight on the rudder will do that, but it gets tiring after a while, so you wish for a rudder trim to take the load off the controls for a while. If you change the heading dial to help in course corrections, then there is a trick to realign the dial back with the compass... you hit the key D, and it will automatically realign the heading. But once fully trimmed and slight pressure on the stick, you can settle down and cruise along quite nicely... It's not fast by any means is this Eclipse, but capable; Cruise speed is 256 km/h (159 mph, 138 kn), with a Range of 1,013 km (629 mi, 547 nmi) with 30 minute reserve, and quite a high Service Ceiling at 4,000 m (13,120 ft). In reality you would never fly that high, but using the glider capabilities, it is allowable to climb and slightly soar. Sounds? Very good actually. Not your high fidelity sounds, but certainly well done, as you get the real aural feel of the Continental donk in the front and changes through the throttle range. The DA-20 in this configuration is know to be quite quiet in the cabin, even headsets are sometimes are not used in the real aircraft to drown out the sounds. Lighting There are two instrument panel lighting adjustment knobs. One for the glareshield LED cast, and another for the Avionics. Overall the Instrument panel looks excellent, and nicely adjustable. Another panel switch gives you a overhead MAP light. You get the glow of the MAP light, but not the source light, up and behind you? With the darker environment you can finally see the Navigation, Landing and Taxi lights... but they are still weak, and the main lights are not refined, just blobs of light. The SimSolutions DA-40 NG was very poor in the lighting department, its not much better here? Not related, but the updated X-Plane v12.06 lighting at dusk here was sensational, very impressed. Cruising along (nicely) and the view out of the Diamond is very good, the large bubble canopy gives you a very wide aspect view of the air. To the rear the cone like rear shelf is well done, as is the mottled fibreglass internal shell is also very realistic. Note the small slide windows that can be opened on the ground. Nearing the coast, western South Florida, it is time to descend. I was ready for the action that when just adjusting the trim, it wouldn't make me go down? so you actually also have to reduce the throttle power to control the descent as well, less throttle... more vertical descent speed, more throttle and up goes the nose. Because the DA-20 is a small (sporty) machine it acts like that, but those long slender wings are built for soaring lift as well, so you have to adjust you flying skills to that aspect. My destination is KFMY Fort Myers. Oddly I haven't been using Page Field a lot lately, but the neighbouring Southwest Florida (I flew the DA-40 there), but this time I wanted to check out KFMY for a change... there is a stadium hold point at CALOO, before going into ILS (IFMY 110.70) on the Rwy 05 Approach. So I track into the holding track and parallel O5 (231º) then go around the western holding track turn directly into the 05 ILS... it is a long, long sweeping turn... ... until I use the OBS cross-lines to line up the runway, hidden well out in front of me. I'm not doing a ILS landing, as I don't have a autopilot (I wouldn't use that anyway), but use the OBS as a guide only. No VOR pointers are also really a thing I miss in here. Flaps down! They are huge long deep flaps for such a small machine, three settings (not marked?) is UP-MIDDLE-DOWN. They don't give you a lift on deployment of which I expected, but you can control the speed quite easy around 68 knts. This IS a light SPORTS aircraft but coming over the fence I got a short of flutter that the aircraft was flying on a cushion of air? I could control it, but it was weird, a high ground effect feeling... .... my guess it is those long thin wings reacting to the wind, wanting to soar... it was an usual feeling, but very authentic. 60 knts and you are now gliding down to the runway, nice control... again very gliderish, that stick and rudder control. Nice flare, nose up and a lovely sink down to the runway as the speed ran off, Stall speed is 45 knts (83 km/h, 52 mph), but you can use the stall point to get the right descent speed. Obviously I was worried about the castor steering... but brake cleanly with both wheels and you will stay on the line, even turning around at the end was expertly done, by using one wheel over the other... I'm getting good at this! Then to the GA ramp by the Club House and engine shutdown. Liveries There is one (white) blank and seven liveries with the DA-20 C1, all pretty much the same flow design with different colours. ________________ Summary This DA-20 C1 Eclipse is the second Diamond aircraft from SimSolutions after the earlier DA-40 NG released back in April 2023. The DA-20 Katana/Eclipse is also a variation of the earlier two-seater Diamond HK36 Super Dimona, but that aircraft is a motor-glider, longer wings, less power and not a general use everyday aircraft of which the DA-20-C1 is. It is powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine. There are a lot of similarities between the two aircraft of the DA-20 and DA-40. In the styling and the modeling, both are very well done, but in a modeling way and not in a model and texture design, so the DA-20 comes across as clean. Another difference is that there are no menus here (no manual either?), but hotspots for external elements, fuel stick and opening canopy. Annoyingly you have to clear them all every time you want to fly, even in the replay? Overall the DA-20 C1 Eclipse is a very nice aircraft with gliderish tendencies, not a bad thing, and different aspect to flying the aircraft, basic, but very rudder and stick in feel and touch. The castor nose wheel is for once forgiving if you can be light on the toe-brakes, but the Goth looking pilot is very horrible to look at and not in keeping with the developers skills (feels very last minute)... overall the aircraft is sound, but has a few glaring bugs that should have been covered by the developer a month after release, also like the DA-40 NG it has very poor lighting (Instrument panel is very good), but everything else is dismal. Do I like the DA-20 C1. Yes absolutely, great value at today's prices, but the bugs and annoying static elements cloud a nice aircraft here, the Eclipse is a nice aircraft to fly, and to catch that soaring wind... you will enjoy the experience! ________________________________________ The DA20-C1 Eclipse by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: DA20-C1 Eclipse Price is US$24.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 476 MB Current version: 1.1 (August 3rd 2023) _____________ Installation and documents: download for the DA-20 C1 Eclipse is 465Mb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 612 MB Documents supplied is: DA20Normal Checklist (12 pages) Only a checklist and no manual supplied? 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 12.06b4 (This is a beta review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by Nicolas (Airport by NAPS) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free - KFMY - Page Field - Fort Myers, Florida 1.0 by timbenedict3 (X-Plane.Org) - Free _____________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 17th August 2023 Copyright©2023: 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
  • Create New...