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Stephen

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  1.  

    FPSE-190 - Header.jpg

     

    Aircraft Review : Embraer E-190 by Flight Procedures Simulation

     

    In July 2023, Flight Procedures Simulation released the Embraer E-195 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator. This aircraft although all new for X-Plane 12, also has a historical connection to the SSG Supercritical Simulations Group E-Jets version, but now called under another name in "Flight Procedures Simulation" (FPS), it is in many ways related to the same aircraft that was earlier released by SSG in X-Plane 11.

     

    SSG had released both the E195 and the E190 variants of the Embraer E-Jet, so as the E195 is already available, then the smaller E190 was expected to follow...  here it is, and in many ways it is the same aircraft as the E195, but with a few new extra features added into the aircraft. Notable is that the same new features released in the E190, will also be cross-updated to the E195 if you own that aircraft.

     

    Actually the E190 variant is the pick of the E-Jet Series, E 170 - E 175 - E 190 - E 195. As it has the best of both worlds, it has a high passenger load (114  seats) as in being slightly shorter (36.25 m (118 ft 11 in), but also comes with a longer range in 2,450 nmi (4,537 km; 2,820 mi) and being able to fly an extra 150 nm than the E195 (124 Seats). The E195 feels long, even tube like, but the E190 is the more better and proportioned aircraft.

     

    FPSE-190 - head 1.jpgFPSE-190 - head 2.jpgFPSE-190 - head 3.jpgFPSE-190 - head 4.jpgFPSE-190 - head 5.jpg

     

    One of the highlights of the E-195 by FPS, was the very good value price to features and quality, in being set in the mid-$50 price range. In other words you get a lot of quality aircraft for your money. The SSG/FPS also had great value to the featured systems provided, even right back to the early days, then there was a authentic FMS (Flight Management System) as part of the price...  most deliver the same now, but that is just to highlight the point of the early advanced features from SSG that other developers didn't provide.

     

    The FPS E-190 is obviously almost identical to the earlier E-195, just a little shorter airframe. Both aircraft have been totally revised for X-plane 12. It shows in the quality of the modeling and detailing, that X-Plane 12 "shine" or aura is very evident.

     

    FPSE-190 - head 6.jpgFPSE-190 - head 7.jpgFPSE-190 - head 8.jpgFPSE-190 - head 9.jpg

     

    Same nice tinted glass and reflections....  the detail is nice, landing light surrounds and lovely flared winglets are also well carved and designed. All wings have the more variable Wing Flex animation for more realism.

     

    FPSE-190 - head 10.jpgFPSE-190 - head 11.jpg

     

    One area I thought on the E-195 that was clunky, were the internal mechanisms for the leading edge, still the same here sadly, so I disappointed it wasn't attended to...   it's just feels a generation behind the current formula of detail in these current intricate leading edge, flap and airbrake combos...  as which it is from the earlier SSG E-Jet Series. 

     

    FPSE-190 - head 12.jpgFPSE-190 - head 13.jpg

     

    Undercarriage is very well conceived with highly detailed strut body and pistons, all hydraulic lines are well detailed, as are the scissors....  The side strut, although well done, is still left hanging in the wheel bay with no upper connection, as again on the E-195...  this connection should have certainly been fixed by now (on both aircraft)...  worse it is so highly visible from many visual angles, certainly on the approach/landing.

     

    FPSE-190 - head 14.jpgFPSE-190 - head 15.jpgFPSE-190 - head 16.jpgFPSE-190 - head 17.jpgFPSE-190 - head 18.jpg

     

    Engines are the GE CF34-10E with 20,000 lbf (89 kN) thrust, compared to the 8E on the lower E-170/175 Series with only 14,200 lbf (63 kN), both engines are equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Engine pod detail is again excellent, great intake and the exhaust detailing is very well done.

     

    FPSE-190 - head 19.jpgFPSE-190 - head 20.jpg

     

    External features include all opening doors, Passenger left forward and aft, right Forward Service door, two Baggage holds and rear Service door. There is a nice GPU (Ground Power Unit) and you have wheel chocks on all wheels.

     

    FPSE-190 - head 21.jpgFPSE-190 - head 22.jpgFPSE-190 - head 24.jpgFPSE-190 - head 23.jpg

     

    Internal Cabin

    The E-Jet cabin for X-Plane 12 (E-195) was totally redone, or modernised. It's the same cabin here in the E-190, but it is a nice cabin with some really nice detailing. Seats are modern, as is the upper luggage bins are all also the new style with working Seatbelt/No Smoking signs and lit EXIT signs. Only niggle again are the differently set window shades from open to closed, still something I don't like?...  same also is you have these excellent seat-back screens with the Airline logo, a highlight is that the seat colours/logo can also change with different liveries.

     

    FPSE-190 - Internal 1.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal 2.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal 3.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal 4.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal 5.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal logo 1.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal logo 2.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal logo 3.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal logo 4.jpg

     

    Front and rear galleys are well done, but not overly meticulously detailed, a bonus for framerate.

     

    FPSE-190 - Internal 6.jpgFPSE-190 - Internal 7.jpg

     

    Cockpit

    In the cockpit, you could be in the E-195...  It's exactly the same, great for your type rating!

     

    FPSE-190 - Cockpit 1.jpgFPSE-190 - Cockpit 2.jpgFPSE-190 - Cockpit 5.jpgFPSE-190 - Cockpit 3.jpgFPSE-190 - Cockpit 4.jpg

     

    Both pilot chairs were all new on the E-195, they came with better sheepskin covers and hard-back rears, sadly the armrests are still fixed. (another area I thought would be updated for the E-190). The rear bulkhead was also completely different, and so is the entrance/door, and a modeled (non-working) jump seat on the bulkhead. Overall all the cockpit fixtures and textures have been totally redone with the same colour. Note the nice stitching, and netting rear on the pilot seats.

     

    FPSE-190 - Cockpit 6.jpgFPSE-190 - Cockpit 7.jpg

     

    EFB Tablet

    The Tablet EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) is also the same as the one in the E-195. One tablet each side for the Captain and First Officer and both are not changed in their detail.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 1.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 2.jpg

     

    The Tablet menu screen on the left side is a huge step forward and it is easy to use. When turned off you can then use it as an AviTab, via the button top right of the screen. (plugin required)

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 3.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 4.jpg

     

    The Tablets can be added or removed on both the pilot's and the First Officer right side, but you have to select (On/Off) EFB or AviTab from only the left side tablet, but once the mode is selected it works on both as the tablets mirror each other.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 5.jpg

     

    There are ten icon options across the top of the tablet...  The first three options cover the GPU, Chocks and Cabin Lighting selections. The Circular arrows icon is the INIT page that has three options; "Unpowered Cold & Dark", "Powered at the Gate" and "Unpowered And Parked". You select the flight state, then press the green button left to activate that state....  it works well.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 6.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 6-2.jpg

     

    Fifth Icon is the External options page has two options...   "Doors" and "Pushback". You can open and close all six doors noted, but only from here in the Tablet and not manually. The Pushback mode is a bit limited...   There is only the option shown to pushback in reverse or forward, brakes have to be off to activate and there is a procedure to follow to turn.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 7-2.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 8.jpg

     

    Sixth icon is the Payload page...  here you can add in your Passenger, Cargo weights... It is a single entry (Payload) entered via the keys 1K/100/10 then you load the aircraft (or compute the load)...  you can change from Kgs to Lbs in the lower centre icon.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 9.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 10.jpg

     

    Seventh Icon is Fuel. Basically the same as the payload page, you enter your Block Fuel load, then on pressing Fuel/Defuel it will load/unload the aircraft, the page will also display your fuel trip prediction (but only when you have programmed the FMCU.

     

    Eighth icon is the Takeoff Speeds. Here you select the Takeoff mode, or derated power setting (T01/T02/T03) then flap position. It will insert the current (airport) outside Temperature º and the set Gross Weight, then compute the V Speeds, CofG (Centre of Gravity) and Trim position ready to insert into the MCDU Takeoff page.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 11.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 12.jpg

     

    All three set up pages (Payload-Fuel-Takeoff Speeds) are extremely easy and fast to do, so setting up the aircraft isn't going to take ages if you just want to fly.

     

    Ninth icon is the Sound page. Seven sliders cover three areas of Engines, Flight Deck and Environment, with a Master slider right.

     

    FPSE-190 - EFB 13.jpgFPSE-190 - EFB 14.jpg

     

    Final and tenth icon is the Options page, divided into "View Options"; Hide Yoke Captain side, Hide Yoke First Officers side, Hide Outside Pilot Figures and Show F.O. Side Tablet. "System" Options include; Link Baro Instrument Settings and Pause 10 NM to TD, again the Weights from KG to Lbs can also be changed here.

     

    Obviously the Tablet is a huge change from the fiddly X-Plane 11 window idea, far better for access and for setting up the aircraft...  it is simple but also well done to use and mirrors the E-195 tablet as well.

     

    Systems

    Power on via the Battery power and the systems show the "Backup Mode". Only when you add in the direct power (GPU/APU/Engines) that you get the fully loaded system. Most of the Systems are a carbon-copy of the E-195 instrument layout and functionality, so a lot is repeated here as described in the E-195 Review.

     

    FPSE-190 - Sys 1.jpgFPSE-190 - Sys 2.jpg

     

    The Embraer E-Jets systems use the Honeywell Primus "Epic", Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) glass cockpit. It is very nicely done, the system CAS (Crew Alert System) messages, Aural warnings, Takeoff configuration warning, Stall protection system, Windshear detection and escape guidance, Non-normal operations are all represented. The SSG/PFP E-Jet basic systems has evolved over many years, improved and is now quite substantial, I was very impressed by the CAS warnings and alerts.

     

    FPSE-190 - Sys 3.jpg

     

    Five displays across, with outer main displays PFD (Primary Flight Display), MFD (Multi-Functional Display) and in the middle EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System), they all pop-out via the left corner screw, are scalable, also home cockpit ready.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_Systems 4.jpg

     

    The PFD displays information such as airspeed indicator, altitude indicator, ADI, HSI, vertical speed indicator, radio aids, autopilot, flight director and radio altitude data. In the event of a display failure, information will be automatically presented in the MFD.

    The display controller portion of the guidance panel allows the selection of PFD HSI formats, navigation sources, weather display, and bearing pointer selection.

     

    FPSE-190 - Sys 5.jpg

     

    The MFD presents map and plan navigation formats and various systems synoptic formats that are all selectable. The MFD provides redundancy to display both the PFD and EICAS formats based upon reversion. It also has the ability to display maintenance information. The MFD consists of menu softkeys, on the top and bottom of the screen, which are used to select formats and to control the various systems.

     

    Note the lower screen "Vertical Profile Display", SSG was one of the first to include the feature on their aircraft, and it is very good here.

     

    There are three option menus; Map, Plan and Systems...

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_Systems 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 7.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 8.jpg

     

    And six system displays; Status, Flight Ctrl (Controls), Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, ECS and Anti-Ice.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_Systems 9.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 10.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 11.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 12.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 13.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 14.jpg

     

    The EICAS displays engine and system parameters such as flap, gear, spoilers and trim positions, total fuel quantity, APU and environmental information. The EICAS also displays warning, caution, advisory, and status messages. In case of failure in the EICAS display, its information may be presented in the MFD by appropriately setting the reversionary panel. An automatic mode de-clutters the EICAS after takeoff. De cluttering occurs 30 seconds after landing gear and flap/slat retraction.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_Systems 15.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Systems 16.jpg

     

    The Advanced Advisory System CAS logic has more than 100 messages in logic, comprehensive, and I love the block alert system flashing it is very visually authentic.

     

    Multifunction Control Display Unit (MCDU)

    The FPS E-190 uses the same FJCC UFMC by Javier Cortes, again the same as installed in the E-195. Also refined over the years, it is pretty solid now. Based on the EPIC Load 27 FMS it is easy to use and has also quite a lot of functionality built in... both left and right UFMC units are individual and can be used separately by both pilots.

     

    The MCDU allows FMS control, radio tuning, PFD radio tuning display setup, manual engine rating selection, engine takeoff data set and

    avionics display setup and test.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_FMCU.jpg

     

    There is also a UFMC pop-up, activated by the F8 key, there is no pop-up for the right hand display.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_FMCU 2.jpg

     

    If you haven't used the FJCC FMS before, then you have to install the UFMC data (folder). This is stored in the X-Plane12/Custom Data folder...   FPS supplies a full AIRAC-2303 set of data, in the "Documentation" folder, and the full contents are all to be put in the said Custom Data folder...  notable is that if you use Navigaph or Aerosoft data, then a separate update link is required to this folder to update the monthly AIRAC. Note- If you already have the UFMC installed and updated to the current AIRAC, then there is no need to do this step.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_FMCU 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMCU 4.jpg

     

    Also notable is that the Flightplans for the E-190 are stored here as well, again if you use the Simbrief Downloader, an address link is required to direct the file to the right flightplan folder. The Flightplans also use a unique .ufmc lauguage, so you have to specific with the flightplan.

     

    FPSE-195_XP12_FMCU 5.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMCU 6.jpg

     

    The colourful FMS Flightplan requires THE full insert of TAKEOFF REFERENCE DATA (3 pages). There is a reason for filling in the FMC data to the full extent as we shall see later, and it requires every i dotted and T crossed.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_FMC 10.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 11.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 12.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 13.jpg
     
    PERFORMANCE PLAN pages (5) show fuel predictions for each waypoint, CLIMB/CRUISE/DESENT/LANDING pages show full flight performance and detail, including vRef landing speeds...  PROG (Progress) page is highly detailed as well.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_FMC 2.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 4.jpg
    FPSE-195_XP12_FMC 5.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 7.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_FMC 8.jpg
     
    The flight system provides Full TOGA/VNAV/LNAV/RNAV/LOC/GS/Missed APPR functions. SPEEDS with CLIMB/CRZ/DESC come with a custom Autothrottle system. All speeds thoughout the flight phases can also be changed into the flight plan and on the performance pages.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Autopilot.jpg
     
    Overhead OHP is the same/identical to the E-195, so there is no need to relearn anything...
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_OHP 2.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_OHP 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_OHP 1.jpg
     
    X-Plane 12 brings a different feel into the cockpit, provides more feel and depth to the controls and instruments...  Centre console was also retextured, and still you have those lovely ceramic throttle levers, you can feel them, the smoothness of the surface, and the Auto-Throttle disconnect is built in...  works as well.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Console 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Console 2.jpg
     
    The lovely Ram Horn yokes are also still perfectly nice. They come with built in (working) Trim switches and a working PTT button.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Yoke 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Yoke 2.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Yoke 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Yoke 4.jpg
     
    Lighting
    First lighting impressions are excellent. You have a lot of adjustment via five knobs at each end of the glareshield, and three (MAIN PNL/OVHD PNL/PEDESTAL) knobs on the OHP, plus the standard DOME switch.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 2.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 3.jpg
     
    DOME lighting is very effective via two (bright) lights in the roof rear. Each pilot also get a MAP light which is also very good...
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 4.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 11.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 5.jpgFPSE-195_Lighting 7.jpg
     
    ...   so you can also tone everything down to just the instruments, or just to find a little down-light to see the console switch gear, perfect for night landings or takeoff phases...  its all very good, and have a very nice place to fly in at night as well.
     
    If you remember the E195 cabin lighting was a bit unfinished, as in being only half way completed...  In the E190 it is done, but the light spreads don't match up to the light source on the fixed rear zone? A shame as it looks great.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 7.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 8.jpg
     
     You switch on the cabin lighting via the button on the Tablet, off and you get only the floor light strips. More so is that both galleys are connected to the cabin lighting, so all ON or OFF, they should be separated for better illumination. Another small annoyance is the red beacon still flashes in the cabin like on the E-195?
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 9.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Internal Lighting 10.jpg
     
    Externally it is very good. All lighting is the X-Plane 12 lighting, so it is more XP12 LED in feel...  notable is that the lighting will be updated in the next X-Plane 12.1.0. release by Laminar Research, so what is seen here could be even more refined.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 2.jpg
     
    Navigation, Strobes and beacons all look good, as does the Tail lighting. There are runway turnoff lights, three landing lights that covers both wing and nosewheel positions.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 5.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 4.jpg
     
    There are very effective Wing/Ice lights (here noted as "Inspection", which are great for cabin views at night.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_External Lighting 7.jpg
     
    Flying the Flight Procedures Simulation E-190
    Yes we are in Brazil...  this flight is from SBGL (Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim In, Rio) to SBSV (Dep L E Magalhaes Intl, Salvador). Starting the E-Jet 190 is Simple Simon, no bleeds to worry about here, as the start is fully AUTO, once you have turned or selected each engine switch.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 2.jpg
     
    Then watch the ITT (N2) kick off and start the start procedure, which is very long here and takes around a minute per engine, as you hear all the separate processes come in and the fans starting to twirl, its all very, very good and very authentic in realism, as you see the full authority digital engine control (FADEC) in operation. Startup sounds are excellent, thankfully with those engines sounds with their many startup stages that are recorded from real GE CF34-10E engines. That explains the perfect if long start up procedure, as they are timed into the soundtrack of the real thing, and it is very good aurally to listen into the full startup experience. The adjustment of the sounds is excellent as well with the great sound control (tablet) to get the right external, internal feel.
     
    The "Pushback" system is a little tricky until you work it out, devilish simple when you do...  Release the brakes activates the Pushback mode, then press the pushback option... the tricky part is having the tiller selection up, to steer the aircraft yaw (Joystick), if not you can't steer.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 4.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 6.jpg
     
    Select to Pushback in reverse, or when you are ready to pull forward, then use the other arrow...   centre selection is STOP.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 5.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 7.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 8.jpg
     
    Just using the park-brake will disable the pushback...  you will soon get to like it. Betterpushback is however not an option here as the plugin does not work with this built in system, and thankfully the old silly stick pushback on the X-Plane 11 version is gone, of which I really didn't like at all. Note that to switch the Tiller back to normal to steer with the Yaw.
     
    On the E-195 I wasn't very happy with the touchy yaw steering (joystick), so I adjusted the yaw sensitivity way down to give me more leverage on my yaw axis. Here I found I had more rudder travel in the steering, so I didn't adjust the sensitivity this time around, but you do use a lot of rudder movement in the fine tuning of the centring, but now more evenly than using the sharper joystick (yaw).
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 10.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 11.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 12.jpg
     
    So what is new compared to the E-195 on the E-190? Well the E-190 has a completely new LNAV/VNAV alghoritm, that is different from the earlier version. So the note made earlier on making sure the FMS input data is completely done and correct is important, as the E-190 will follow this data absolutely, certainly the VNAV profiles that are all shown in the "Vertical Profile Display".
     
    Also new to the E-190 are the RNP departures (Required Navigation Performance). RNP is a family of navigation specifications under Performance Based Navigation (PBN) which permit the operation of aircraft along a precise flight path with a high level of accuracy and the ability to determine aircraft position with both accuracy and integrity. It is well worth studying the differences between RNP and RNAV procedures.
     
    Before you start the takeoff roll...  you set the LNAV and VNAV modes ready.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 2.jpg
     
    Power up and put the throttles to the full (takeoff) position, now once moving and the PFD will show the system is active...
     
    ...  it doesn't matter into regulating the thrust power, for as one you have set that in the FMCU, and so two, the FADEC system will keep the engine thrust within the limits or 92.0% (TO.1). The CF-34 wail is nicely heard in the cockpit, a totally different sound as it is in the cabin, but highly realistic, and all sounds are doppler and 3D.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO 2.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO 3.jpg
     
    There is a full "Custom Fly By Wire" system that provides flight protection limiting and control laws according with the FMS Protection System logic, again all very Airbus. 
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO 4.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO 5.jpg
     
    The flight model performance has also been revised from the E-195 to the E-190, and yes it handles even far better and it feels now very good. I found the E-190 more refined, certainly from the earlier E-195 climb, and this time with no engine surging...  "Thank you very much, I will take that one".
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO 7.jpg
     
    Once in the "Positive Climb", now select the AP (Autopilot) and both the LNAV and VNAV modes become active...  note the VNAV now goes into the FLCH (Flight Level Change) mode and then chases to your VNAV set altitude. (LNAV will follow the Flightplan route)
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 3.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 4.jpg
     
    Even if you break the profile and level out at say 15,000ft. Just reclick the VNAV button for the aircraft to resume the profile.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 7.jpg
     
    When in the VNAV mode. The ALT (Altitude) will change from green to magenta, not only will the aircraft follow the vertical profile, but it will also select the Flightplan set speed (m.65) and adjust were required, like say TOC (Top of Climb). But you have to be aware of the Airspeed - Mach switchover point. You need to check the fightplan of the point it changes over from IAS to Mach, and to physically do the switch, or the VNAV speed gets confused on the wrong setting, same going back from Mach to IAS.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 15.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 16.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 17.jpg
     
    Note the excellent rate of turn indicator when in the "Bank" mode.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 8.jpg
    FPSE-195_XP12_TO VNAV 5.jpg
     
    In X-Plane 12 the FPS E-190 looks amazing in the right lighting conditions, high in the FL330 cruise level, you are purring along, sounds are really good and authentic...   the FPS E-190 looks excellent against the real time cloud formations.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 18.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 19.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 22.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 20.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 21.jpg
     
    Max. speed / Ceiling Mach .82 @ 41,000 ft (12,000 m), Cruise Mach .78 (447 kn; 829 km/h)...  It is also a very nice feel on the E-190 flightdeck, and the great thing about flying in the cruise, is that you can just stop sometimes, just look at the world around you.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Flying 23.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Flying 24.jpg
     

     

     
    FPSE-195_XP12_25.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_26.jpg
     
    TOD (Top of Descent) and you watching the VNAV (PATH) to see if it will perform the action of going into the descent phase...  it does, but I found you still have to control the speed, if not the steep descent will runaway with the speed as the descent vertical speed is steep at around 2600 fpm?
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 1.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 2.jpg
     
    The system will also alert you that you will also have to reset to the landing altitude (here 2,000ft), if not the system will recapture the altitude and not descend correctly...  so you will need to do this altitude reset before reaching the TOD point.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 3.jpg
     
    The initial descent angle I found a little too steep, but it levels off around the approach phase...
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 4.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 5.jpg
     
    I like a descent speed of around 2200 fpm, but here like noted it is around 2600 fpm, so the cause of the excessive speed. But like I mentioned in controlling that speed, certainly if you have the correct velocity in the final approach turns, it IS important, as you will then have better control in the approach phase...
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 6.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 7.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 8.jpg
     
    You can now use RNAV approaches (and their charts) with the FPS E-Jet Series, in so making for tighter arrival procedures. Autoland 1 and Autoland 2  and CAT I, CATII approaches are also now all available, but Autoland 2 is only active at FULL flap with the ILS APP selected.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 10.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 9.jpg
     
    Great immersion on the final approach phase, a good simulation is when everything is working together, sound, instruments, control feedback...  your in there!
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 11.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 12.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 13.jpg
     
    The E-190 has a very low final approach speed (Full Flap) of 120 knts, 115 is the absolute minimum, or below the stall speed.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 14.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 15.jpg
     
    Disengage the Auto-Throttle at 500 ft and cruise into a slightly higher final flare. Spoilers activate automatically with pressure on the wheels, then retract again when the wheel speed is below 45 kts for at least 5 seconds. Reverser sounds are really excellent, as you can hear them roar from the cockpit, and they are very effective as well.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 16.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 17.jpg
     
    Autobraking was set to "Low" as I like a lot of foot braking control in the final landing phase, this aspect also worked very well, with a nice braking feel. Note the great view from the cabin of the spoiler rear internal detail.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 19.jpgFPSE-195_XP12_Descent 20.jpg
     
    Again rudder steering comes into action on the ground, don't touch the joystick yaw though... it is too touchy. And we are in Salvador.
     
    FPSE-195_XP12_Descent 18.jpg
     
    Liveries
    There are a couple of liveries from the older X-Plane 11 batch, namely the Alitaila and Air France HOP!, KLM and LOT (Polish). Missing again however is the nice Dolomiti. Some new ones provided as well, Azul, British Airways and Breeze all part of the download pack...  more have also been added by FPS to the X-Plane.Org, these liveries include JAL, Lufthansa Regional, Alliance (Australia) and two Jet Blues
     
    FPSE-190 - Blank.jpgFPSE-190 - AF.jpgFPSE-190 - Alitalia.jpgFPSE-190 - Azul.jpgFPSE-190 - Breeze.jpgFPSE-190 - BA.jpgFPSE-190 - KLM.jpgFPSE-190 - LOT.jpgFPSE-190 - JAL.jpgFPSE-190 - LH Regional.jpgFPSE-190 - Alliance.jpgFPSE-190 - JB N238B.jpgFPSE-190 - JB N348JB.jpg
    __________________
     
    Summary
    This E-190 is the follow up aircraft from Flight Procedures Simulation (ex SSG Supercritical Simulations Group) of their released the Embraer E-195 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator in June 2023. SSG released both the E-195 and the E-190, so this release is the shorter, but the more potent in the E-Jet Series of the E-190.
     
    The E-190 has a higher passenger load (114  seats) as in being slightly shorter (36.25 m (118 ft 11 in), but also comes with a longer range in 2,450 nmi (4,537 km; 2,820 mi) and being able to fly an extra 150 nm than the E195 (124 Seats). The E195 feels long, even tube like, but the E190 is the more better and proportioned aircraft.
     
    In most cases there is not much difference at all between the E-195 release and this E-190. The Systems and cockpit layout is exactly the same between both, so that is great for your cross type rating. Obviously the cabin is shorter with less seats, but the E-195 updated cabin and those lovely (logo) seat back screens are also moved over. The cabin lighting has also been fixed, well sort of.
     
    SSG provided one of the first and best E-Jet FMS systems, the same has had consistent updates over the years and is now very good and stable here. Notable is that study and a complete install of flight data is required for the use of the completely new LNAV/VNAV alghoritms behind the systems, it is again very good, but speed control is required on the descent. RNP departures and RNAV approaches are also now possible. Autoland 1 and Autoland 2  CAT I,CATII landings are also available.
     
    Externally the modeling was again updated from the SSG version to X-Plane 12, and the aircraft looks and feels very good in X-Plane. But a few areas like the leading edge tracks and gear support are dated or not connected, these niggles were still passed over to the E-190 from the E-195. The Tablet and it's features are very good in not being over complicated, and the in-built pushback tool is really very clever.
     
    The biggest benefit of these E-Jets in both the E-195 and this newer E-190 is the value price to the feature and quality ratio. You get a lot of aircraft for you money, and a great E-Jet as well with all the trimmings. If have purchased the E-195, you can also get the E-190 with US$10 off the price...  so another saving there. So the Flight Procedures Simulation E-190 like the E-195 are both a great investment all round.
    __________________

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! - the Embraer E-190 X-Plane 12 by Flight Procedures Simulation is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    FPS Embraer E-190

    Price is US$55.00

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)
    Windows or  Mac (not compatible with Linux)
    8GB + VRAM Minimum
    Download Size: 626 MB
    Current version : 1.0 (April 20th 2024)
     
    Owners of the E195 by FPS can get the E190 for $10 off. Coupon can be found in the original E190 invoice
     

    Designed by Flight Procedures Simulation (ex SSG)
    Support forum for the FPS 190

     

    Download

    The FPS E-190 is a 626.00MB download with an installation size of 2.34Gb, in your X-Plane Aircraft folder, this is an X-Plane 12 aircraft only.

     

    All updates are via the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater

     

    Notable for new users, is you have to install the FJCC FMS data in the Custom Data folder, install instructions are provided and so is a more up to date current 2303 AIRAC data pack.

     

    Documentation

    There is excellent full coverage documentation and installation details for the FPS E-190, including;

    • AIRAC_2303_manual_install.zip
    • Custom_Commands.txt
    • FPS EMB 190_Checklist.txt
    • FPS EMB 190 - Lights and Switches v1.0.pdf
    • Installing the  FPS EMB 190.pdf
    • FPSEmbraer_190_Changelog.txt
    • Installing the  FPS EMB 190.pdf
    • Normal_Procedures_EMB190.pdf

    _____________________

     

    Review System Specifications: 

    Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.05r1

    Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - SBGL- Rio de Janeiro International v2 by Globallart (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95

    - SBSV - Salvador/Bahia International Airport by Globallart (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95

     

    Review by Stephen Dutton

    24th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  2. Mango MD80 Sound Pack Header.jpg

     

    Sound Addon Review : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series sound package by Mango Studios

     

    As noted in the review/tutorial of the modification of the Rotate MD-80 Series to use the IAE V2500 Series engines. That coming soon from Mango Studios would be a sound package to modify the original P&W JT8D-200 sounds to the IAE V2500 engine sounds.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 2.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_TR 1.jpg

     

    This is that sound pack, and both JT8D-200 and IAE V2500 sounds are included, plus both new bonus external and custom internal sounds are also provided in the package. The feature list is extensive as noted here...

     

    Exterior:
    Custom Sounds for Exterior Aircraft Systems
    -APU, Hydraulic Pumps, Fuel Pumps, Packs, etc
    External Environmental sounds, including light and hard rain
    Custom Engine Sounds for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engines
        -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects
        -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects
        -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects
    Custom Engine Sounds for the IAE V2500 Engines
        -Exterior start-up/shut-down sound effects
        -Exterior spool-up/spool-down sound effects
        -Exterior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects

    Interior:
    Custom Sounds for cockpit switches, buttons, covers, knobs, and handles
    -Overhead Panel, Pedestal Panel, Autopilot Panel, and Eicas Panel all reworked
    Custom Cockpit System Sounds Including
    -Higher Quality GPWS Sounds, all the way from 2500ft to 10ft aural warnings.
    -Higher Quality McDonnell Douglas Warning Sounds
    -Higher quality and realistic Battery, packs, wipers, and avionics generator effects
    Custom, and ultra-realistic cockpit environmental effects
    -High-quality landing gear roll, cockpit rattle effect, gear retraction, gear extension, gear drag, and cockpit wind.
    New cabin effects include
        -New Air conditioning effect, Fuel pump, Hydraulic Pump, Flaps, Slats
    Custom Interior sounds for the  Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engines, which include:
        -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects
        -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects
        -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects
    Custom Interior sounds for the  IAE V2500 Engines, which include:
        -New custom, interior startup/shutdown sound effects
        -New custom, interior spool-up/spool-down sound effects
        -New custom, interior backblast, surround sound, and flyby sound effects

     

    Downloaded the Sound Pack looks like this...  how to install.
     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack head 1.jpg

     

    First there are two options in "Engine Volume 1" and "Engine Volume 2"...  the choice is that Eng Vol 1 has "Realistic" normal volume sounds in the cockpit. Eng Vol 2 has a "loud" (or higher level) engine noise in the cockpit... it's your choice?

     

    Note; If you created a separate aircraft for the modification of the "IAE" engines, then you would need to install this Sound Pack in Both of the aircraft files.  

     

    Then just select the optional FMOD set you have selected and move it to the Rotate Aircraft root folder.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack head 3.jpg

     

    Next to be installed is the "Plugins", select both "MangoStudio MD80" and "MD-80 Core" folders and install them in the (MD-80) Plugin folder...  It will ask you to replace 102 files in the MD-80 Core plugin folder, select to overwrite the files.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack head 4.jpg

     

    Last install item is the "Sounds". Open the MD-80 Sounds folder, and now replace the "Alert" folder, again you will be asked to overwrite 25 alert sounds.... 

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack head 5.jpg

     

    ...   now the Mango Studios Sound installation is completed.

     

    Starting the Simulation, I loaded the IAE V2500 Engine aircraft. In the X-Plane Plugin Menu, there is now under the "MD-80 Soundpack", a settings menu "MD-80 Sound Preferences".  This is a selection and sound adjustment panel.

     

    There are Options on the left, and a "Volume Control" panel on the right...

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack Menu 1.jpg

     

    In the options we will look at the most important one first. This is the "Engine Select Option", or the selection of either the IAE V2500 or the JT8D-200 Engine sounds. Selecting either will allocate (save) those engine sounds to that aircraft. Here I have selected the IAE V2500 engine.

     

      Mango MD80 Sound Pack Menu 3.jpg

     

    Other selection options include; "Speedbrake Deploy Sounds", or the sound the Speedbrakes make on landing, "Rotation Noise" the noise when the nosewheel lifts off the runway, here you can also set the point of the rotation degreeº point of when this effect comes into play (5º is default), and finally you can have "Passenger Noise" in the cabin.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack Menu 2.jpg

     

    There are seven Volume 0%-100% adjust selections; Master, External, Interior, Radio, Environment, User Interface and CoPilot volume adjustments.

     

    Aural feedback

    Obviously I want to hear the sounds of the IAE V2500 engine...  It's actually really "weird", but not in a negative way. You are always used to to the lower raw compressor sounds of the P&W JT8D, however here it is the high whine of a Airbus A320, on a McDonnell Douglas MD80?

     

    It sounds like the Airbus in every way, even in the reverse thrust mode. I like it because it is what I wanted, a differential feel and environment to the standard MD-80 Series aircraft. The sound is "doppler" in the source, and there is also different source sounds in the rotation from front to back (180º) and so you are highly spatially aware of all the different changes of direction.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 3.jpg

     

    Externally the sounds are VERY loud, and my External percentage was finally set as low as 60%, (but I don't like large volume changes from the Internal to the External)...   Start up and spool down sounds are excellent (great spaced timing), however so different in the engine being a more modern installation than the 60's based Pratt & Whitney.  

     

    In the cabin, the rear is aurally loud, with the set passenger noise coming in on top, and the engines are set only in the idle mode....   move to along to the front of the cabin and the distance to engines make a difference to the lower sound levels, very good. But oddly so does the noise level of the passengers also decrease, which feels very odd? I am sure they talk as much at the front of cabin, as they do in the rear.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 4.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 5.jpg

     

    The Rotate MD-88 cockpit was always a very "clickity clackity" cockpit, and one of the main reasons why I love it.... the Mango Studios cockpit sounds are certainly not as loud, or as noisy as the default sounds, even hard to hear. So you have to put the volume up (a lot) if you want to hear them as you do in the Rotate MD-80?

     

    So it is very noticeable in the far lower Speedbrake arm and the trim setting noises, and you can barely hear the usual noisy landing and taxi light switches? This is with the "User Interface" settings set at 100%? They are definitely good sounds, but they are simply not loud enough, or you also don't have enough adjustment to find your own personal level of acceptable switch noise.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 6.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 7.jpg

     

    In the taxi, the IAE MD-80 sounds great, nice roll sounds and engine noise...

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 8.jpg

     

    ....  power up the throttles (N1) and you get this lovely high IAE whine rising from the rear, runway rumble is also very good, but those engines sound so excellent as the power gets to the takeoff throttle speeds, this is the point of difference...  I absolutely really love the aural feedback you get here as those IAEs reach full thrust power.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 18.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 19.jpg

     

    Externally the takeoff noise is really good. Once off the ground you get that nosewheel gear custom wind sound, it is good, but to be noted as far too loud on a quiet cockpit to be realistic? Yes you can turn it off, but that is in creating the opposite effect, volume just needs to be turned down a little to be authentic.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 9.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 10.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 11.jpg

     

    Climb-out and altitude climb sounds are very good, then cockpit settles down into a background rumble in the cruise, that I also like.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 12.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 13.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 14.jpg

     

    Once at cruise altitude I run a flypass of the IAE MD-80...  It is very good, but the rear exhaust sounds when in view are very loud, and stay loud even as the aircraft retreats well and long into the distance... doesn't feel very realistic to be honest.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 15.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 16.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 17.jpg

     

    At each step of the approach, first with the flap extension in that the sounds are extremely realistic, and the engine note also changes with any extra drag applied, then say the lowering of the gear, in it then adds on another heavier layer. Yes this is what should happen on the approach phase, but the point here is in how well you can differentiate between the different wind or drag sounds, as the layers are very well done for a feel of the spatial direction of that particular sound. Get it right as it does here, and it sounds all very realistic.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 20.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 21.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 22.jpg

     

    The real action starts when you touch the runway, up go the spoilers, and then the reverse thrust powers up. Again the spoilers feel a little loud (like the front wheels on takeoff), but the IAE engine reverse blast is excellent, again very A320 IAE in reflection. Aurally the landing noise (touch), drag and thrust noise is excellent from the cockpit, but extremely loud if you are anywhere near the engines in the rear.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 23.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 24.jpg

     

    I think the idea here is to make the engine package "dynamic" special sounds in being heightened (i.e. nosewheel on rotation and airbrakes), but in other areas the sounds are quieter, in say the cockpit switchgear and in the various sound directions. So you need a bit more of a balance for it to be perfect. So there is a case for some sounds need to be more reduced, and others more heightened to find a better balance...  otherwise the overall dynamics here are very good, even extremely good.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack IAE 25.jpg'

     

    JT8D-200

    Now you select the JT8D-200 selection on the MD-80 Sound Preferences panel.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 1.jpg

     

    Externally the JT8D-200 version sounds better? The rotation of the sound (rear to front) is far better, and feels more authentic. There isn't that blast of consistent rear engine exhaust noise like you get with the IAE, until you push up the throttles, then it sounds excellent.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 2.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 3.jpg

     

    Again the rear cabin is also extremely loud, even with the interior sounds set at 40% and the throttles set at idle? but the aural reduction to the front of the cabin is excellent, but also set higher level than the IAE, same with the cockpit sound level in the front, higher volume than the IAE. This aspect is to be realistic, the noisy 60's era engine compared to the 80's higher bypass era.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 4.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 5.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 6.jpg

     

    Switchgear noise is the same as the IAE, as you can't again hear them working? unless you increase the volume (a lot). I again miss this interaction with the aircraft. Power up and the JT8D goes LOUD, okay I can live with that, and you feel the louder noise in the cockpit.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 7.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 7.jpg

     

    Rotate and the nosewheel drag is highlighted, again I feel it is too loud...  but the climbout and the doppler sounds are really, really good...

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 8.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 9.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 10.jpg

     

    ... certainly the JT8D is more balanced all round than the IAE. You however get the same high exhaust note when past the camera position, as the loud thrust is still very audible as far or as long as this last image shows, and so again rumbling too far into the distance from the viewer to be realistic.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 11.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 12.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 13.jpg

     

    But don't get me wrong, in flight the JT8D sounds brilliant, in the cockpit, on the flypast and in the air from most directions. Rear cabin passengers would however ask for their fare back with the consistent high noise level? Notable here is that the high rear cabin sound level stays the same at engine idle, and the same in flight (increases though on a full throttle setting), and so why does this annoy me...  because I do a lot of replays sitting in the rear cabin, so to use I would have to turn the volume right down to be seated back here in comfort.

     

    On LEBL (Barcelona) approach, with the gear down and full flap, the wind and drag sounds are again really good, yes in context very similar to the IAE in the audio experience, but certainly not in engine tone, so it is very good expression between both of these aircraft and their different powerplants.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 14.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 15.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 16.jpg

     

    Good sound, or an all round high aural experience can certainly give any simulation a more credible immersion to the user/pilot. It is Simulation's ongoing advances that seeks to create the real environment in your own world. Sound is as important as the visuals, so these sound-packages are a very important addition to your flying, and one of the best options to heighten the simulation...  as I go over the fence at LEBL's Rwy 02, I am totally in there, eyeballing the runway, but also in needing the feedback aurally from the aircraft, that is the important statement, it is what is being signaled to you or is reverberating around you can be the difference between the best experience, or just an average one.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 17.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 18.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 19.jpg

     

    On touch down and into reverse mode, the aural sensation is excellent, yes you get the extra noise from the speedbrakes, but you can turn that off in the options.

     

    Mango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 20.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 21.jpgMango MD80 Sound Pack JT8D 22.jpg

     

    Gotta Love the Maddog!

    _____________________

    Summary

    Mango Studios released a modification for the Rotate MD-80 aircraft to add on the IAE V2500 engine to the already installed Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200. Here is a sound package to deliver custom sounds for both those engines IAE V2500 and JT8D-200 and aircraft interaction.

     

    The package is most effective when you have both engine types installed, as you get both custom sound packs for both engine types. So the IAE V2500 Engine Addon from Mango Studios is highly recommended here.

     

    This is a very good high quality sound pack, that can differentiate the unique sounds of both the IAE V2500 and JT8D-200 engines, the IAE is of course the more modern engine and is mostly associated with the Airbus A320 Series.

     

    The range of custom sounds here are excellent on both engine type installations. Great doppler effects, different source sounds in the rotation from front to back (180º) and so you are highly spatially aware of the different changes. Both engines have excellent spool up/spool down sounds and the excellent reverse thrust activity. Flap, gear and wind noise is also very good and engine thrust realism is excellent. With options that cover custom "Speedbrake Deploy Sounds", "Rotation Noise" the noise when the nosewheel lifts off the runway, and "Passenger Noise" in the cabin. Option for "Loud" or louder engine noise in the cockpit.

     

    However there are few consistencies highlighted the same on each pack. Switchgear/Interaction sound levels are very low compared to the excellent default Rotate MD-80 sounds...  rear engine exhaust is also too (extremely) high and remains too long after the aircraft has passed your point of view. Rear cabin sounds even at throttle idle are not realistic, passenger chatter also disappears as you move forward in the cabin, optional custom sounds (nosewheel & speedbrake) are set higher to be "dynamic" when selected, are not very realistic.

     

    The attraction here with this package is the sounds for the IAE V2500, the tone and feel is completely more modern than the 60's inspired feel of the JT8D low-by pass engine, effectively an Airbus engine on a McDonnell Douglas MD80 aircraft. In this aspect the package is excellent and a great companion to the MOD pack for the IAE V2500, the JT8D-200 is as good, with extra features over the original Rotate sound pack.

     

    Overall I totally love the idea and the choice of the two different engine types for the MD-80. It gives you a very and more flexible choice in flying this unique McDonnell Douglas aircraft, not just in appearance, but also here with a unique aural experience for both types...  well worth the investment!

    _____________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Mango Studios MD-80 Sound Pack is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Mango Studios MD-80 Sound Pack

    Price is US$14.99

     

    The Rotate MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 is required for this add-on. The Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on is highly recommended.

     

    Requirements

    This is a Sound pack. The Rotate MD-80 is required for this sound pack. Will not work with any other MD-80

    Download Size: 52 MB
    Current version 1.0 (April 16th 2024)
     

    Documentation

    Manual provided by Mango Studios is a bit basic, hence the Tutorial here in this review

    • Rotate MD-80 Soundpack Manual.rtf

    _____________________

     

    Aircraft Sound Addon Review by Stephen Dutton

    19th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: 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 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.09rc5

    Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - LIRF - Airport Rome XP  by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.99

    - LMML- Malta International Airport by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.30

    - LEBL - Barcelona XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.99

     

    (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

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  3. NEWS! - Aircraft Announcement : Toliss notes the Airbus A330 as next project

     

    Logo_header.jpg

     

    At the developers conference in early February 24 in Toronto... ToLiSS put up a chart in the session to note the already released fleet from the developer, but of also which aircraft could come up for development next...

     

    Candidates included the A318, A330ceo, A330neo, A340-200/300 and of course the Airbus A380. The A350 (v2) has already been announced as a joint project with FlightFactor (same arrangement as the current FF A350) at the same conference.

     

    The choice is now between the A330ceo (Current Engine Option), and the A330neo (New Engine Option)...  image depicted here is the default Laminar A330-300, so it is a not a signal of the coming ToLiSS A330 type.

     

    438224649_977681653752036_3066590335795930358_n.jpg

     

    The question "But Which One?", will keep you guessing, but on past record ToLiSS has usually kept away from competing directly with already released products, also they usually always do the NEO versions of the same aircraft (hint A320neo, A321neo). So the A330neo is probably the pick of the two versions. And into also not competing directly with the same A330-300 Laminar offering.

     

    The A330neo has two variants, the -800 based on the older ceo -200 and -300 variants, that has a range of 8,150 nmi (15,090 km; 9,380 mi) with 257 passengers. The second variant is the -900, it covers a range of 7,200 nmi (13,330 km; 8,290 mi) with 287 passengers. Both variants are powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 which has double the bypass ratio of its predecessor.

     

    ToLiss Features include...

    Accurate Systems
    • ToLiss Fly-by-wire and autopilot module, with support for Alternate and Direct Law
    • Unique feature: Control Surface hinge moment modelling allows the surfaces to float to the appropriate position after loss of all actuators on a surface or to not reach full deflection if running on a single actuator.
    • fault injection interface allowing to inject custom selected failures, or randomly selected failure based on fault probabilities with over 210 failure modes available.
    • Custom TCAS with resolution advisory function.
    • Terrain on ND and Weather radar available (WX radar works with default X-plane weather engine)
    • Brake temperature model based on the detailed physics of heat transfer between the individual brake components
    • Hydraulics model with proper hydraulic flow computation as function of surface motion, flap/slat motion, gear extension etc. You will see this by the pressure dropping when flying on RAT
    • Custom engine model for accurate thrust and fuel flow modelling including oil pressure and temperature model as well as many engine failure modes. Thrust and fuel flow modelled for each engine type. Special engine logics, such as dual cooling on the PW1127G engine, are also modelled.
    • Detailed model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs and Aps
    • Quantitative bleed system modelling affecting engine fuel flow
    • Electrical system simulation with correct bus reconfiguration and load distribution, simulated electrical transients as well as emergency generation from the blue hydraulic system.
    • Fire detection simulation for engines and APU
    • Custom radio navigation computations including ability to perform backup RADNAV tuning through the RMPs
    • Custom air conditioning model supporting high altitude operations at airports like Cusco in Peru or La Paz in Bolivia without spurious warnings
    • Flight warning system with ECAM actions supporting numerous system failure scenarios, e.g. engine failures, generator failures, hydraulic failures.
    • Custom indicating system including DMC and SDAC simulation.
    • Choice between Multifunctional runway lights or the classic landing light configuration

    Useability features

    • Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times. This feature reinstates the complete aircraft state (except communications with ATC, such as AOC and CPDLC messages or ground service states.)
    • Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly.
    • Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like.
    • Integrated takeoff performance calculator supporting the use of flex temperature.
    • 4 different start-up configurations from Cold and Dark to engines running and ready to go
    • In-screen popup displays or use of x-plane windows for popups
    • Interactive audio control panel to change ground services, fuel, loading, passengers etc. without breaking immersion
    • Electronic flight bag on both sides with Avitab integration, weight and balance computation, take-off and landing performance calculator as well as a user customizable interactive checklist.
    • Print function for AOC messages, CPDLC messages and selected FMGS functions

     

    Release would be around October, as this is also a ToLiSS release period with the other time in being March...

     

    ToLiSS notes that the new A330 is obviously compatible with X-Plane 12, but will also support X-Plane 11 backwards compatibility, but without the X-Plane 12 effects.

     

    Start saving now, price should be around US$89.99!

    ___________________________

     

    News! by Stephen Dutton

    16th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  4. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LFNA-Gap-Tallard, France by FSX3D

     

    News! LFNA Gap-Tallard header.jpg

     

    FSX3D has made a splash in X-Plane 12 over the last few months with some interesting Corsican and French scenery releases. First was LFKC -CALVI - Sainte-Catherine Airport in Corsica, that was followed soon by another Corsican scenery in LFKF-Figari 16th March.

     

    For their next release, FSX3D has move to mainland France and Gap-Tallard aerodrome, located in the town of Tallard 12 km south-southwest of Gap in the Hautes-Alpes (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region).

     

    Gap Tallard airport is at an elevation of 1,966 feet (599 m) above mean sea level. The primary runway is designated 03/21 and has a paved surface which measures 965 by 30 metres (3,166 ft × 98 ft). There is also a parallel grass runway measuring 700 by 80 metres (2,300 ft × 260 ft) and paved strip measuring 443 by 10 metres (1,453 ft × 33 ft). The Héliport Aérodrome de Tallard is also part of the scenery.

     

    Features Include:
    • Ultra detailed car parks, taxiways and track
    • PBR on all objects
    • Ambient occlusion (Objects and ground)
    • Wet track effects
    • Dynamic lighting
    • Altimeter patch for Ortho4XP
    • Compatibility AutoOrtho

     

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    12.jpg07.jpg08.jpg09.jpg17.jpg20.jpg13.jpg

     

    Gap-Tallard very well value priced below $10 US dollars at US$9.99. This scenery is only available in the X-Plane 12 option. Corsica, and now  Hautes-Alpes are finally getting a lot of X-Plane 12 attention via these FSX3D excellent releases...  check them all out now.

     

    Images are courtesy of FSX3D

    _______________________________

     

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    LFNA-Gap-Tallard, France by FSX3D is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


    LFNA-Gap-Tallard, France

    Price is US$9.99

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    8 GB VRAM Minimum
    Download Size: 515 MB
    Current version : 1.0 (April 14th 2024)

    ___________________________

     

    News! by Stephen Dutton

    16th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  5. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane by BCSceneries

     

    LIMJ Ligurian News! header.jpg

     

    Yes...  that is the title in "LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally Insane", but this new package from BCSceneries is part of the original, still long worded "LIMJ - Genova COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution" package for X-Plane 11.

    That Revolution package consisted of a Genoa scenery that covered an area of 243 squares kilometers with the LIMJ-Genoa airport, the Harbour, the ancient port, the fair and industrial areas with hundreds and hundreds of buildings and architectural complexes, and several thousands of objects like ships, cranes, containers, trucks, parked cars, parked trains and so on... it was HUGE scenery, complex, X-PlaneReviews gave you a quick overview (NEWS! update) here.

     

    Now from BCSceneries is an expanded version of Genoa, also plus it is for X-Plane 12. The coverage now includes three airports (LIMJ Genova Sestri, LIMG Albenga Airport and LIQW Sarzana Luni Military Airport) and three cities in (Genova, Savona and La Spezia), the scenery has been

    expanded to cover the entire Liguria region in Northern Italy (7000 square Kilometers).

     

    mappa Liguria.jpg

     

    It is a large area covered, and the package has grown from 4.3Gb, to 7Gb in size.

     

    Scenery detail includes;

    • The region include coasts, mountains, plains and cities (each with an harbour).
    • La spezia city include an Italian NAVY with UHD military ships (work by Dario Ruga).
    • The entire region with the cities include 1/0.5 m pixel (ZL 17/18) Orthophotos.
    • City of Genova features 100 UHD landmarks (included the LIMJ airport) distributed in the airport, the harbour, industrial areas, Ancient Port, Fair and residential areas
    • UHD landmarks in Genova city are: La Lanterna (lighthouse), animated Ferris wheel, San Giorgio Bridge (former Morandi Bridge), the fair, the static Canadair airplane at LIMJ (all works by Marcogrifo), Genova's Aquarium, the skycrapers at Administrative center and many others.

    Savona and La Spezia includes

    • In the Ancient Port (near the Galata Sea Museum), there is a submarine (Nazario Sauro S 518) ultra high detailed.
    • Helipads in the airport and in the fair (Eastern of the city).
    • The airports of Albenga (LIMG) and Sarzana (LIQW) are made in a quite good quality with all the buildings present in real life.
    • Both has single runways. They serves GA traffic.
    • In a part of outback there is hand placed vegetation (for forest and agricultural fields - trees for forest and fruit trees for agricultural fields).
    • Sea from photoreal textures.
    • Extensive documentation for the airports and the city (wikipedia).
    • Included Patch to the compatibility of the scenery with X-Plane 11.

    LIMJ airport

    • features the runway (10/28) on a peninsula into the sea. It serves airline and GA traffic. The entire airport is built in high definition. It features 20 architectural complexes in HD.
    • The LIMJ Terminal is an UHD model and it has partial pre-rendered generic interiors.
    • Further there are custom ground services moving near the Terminal. Also at the Terminal there are moving (walking) people.
    •  Rebuilt Terminal, that now is updated to the next 2025 year (in real life there are currently works on expansion of the Terminal).
    • LIMJ airport features the runway (10/28) on a peninsula on the sea. It serves airline and GA traffic. The entire airport is builded in high definition. It feautures 20 architectural complexes in HD.
    • The LIMJ Terminal is an UHD model and it has partial prerendered generic interiors.
    • Further there are custom ground services moving near the Terminal. Also at the Terminal there are moving (walking) people. 
    • I've rebuilded the Terminal that now is updated to the next 2025 year (in  real life there are currently works on expansion of the Terminal).
    • The control tower at LIMJ has generic prerendered interiors.
    • Realistic and accurate ILS offset of 2 degrees at LIMJ airport.

     

    4.jpg7.jpg36.jpg53.jpg51.jpg56.jpg72.jpg68.jpg70.jpg61.jpg60.jpg

     

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    Totally "Insane" this scenery is, so the title is totally correct! as only big words come to mind here...  Extensive, Huge, as the area and detail covered in the scenery is well...  MASSIVE!

     

    To update to LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new "Totally Insane" X-Plane 12 version of the scenery, it is a free update for v5 owners of Revolution, you can purchase the COMPLETE LIMJ Ligurian COAST scenery below. A X-Plane 11 patch is also included if required.

    _____________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane by BCSceneries is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    LIMJ - Ligurian COAST Totally insane

    Price is US$32.00

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 ( XP11 patch included)
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download size: 7 GB
    Current Version: 6.0 (April 11th 2024)
    ________________
     

    NEWS! by Stephen Dutton

    12th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  6. Tallahassee Airport_Header.jpg

     

    Scenery Upgrade Review : KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude

     

    One American State that is highly supported with X-Plane scenery than most, and that is Florida. From the lowest point of Key West, to the state boundary in the north, there are some really great quality destinations for you to chose from. My flying time in X-Plane has found me chris-crossing this one state more than any other. Some developers like FS Designs specialise in the Florida State, another in Skytitude has a few quality destinations in there as well.

     

    This is Skytitude's upgrade for their original KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport X-Plane 11 scenery, released only in November 2021, so it is not as would say an old scenery in quality, it is still available if required for US$19.95. Before that release the only scenery available for KTHL Tallahassee was an odd version from Rim&Co. A messy piece of work, that was discontinued as it had illegal, meaning stolen objects from other developers work, so best forgotten for more than one reason.

     

    So here is the X-Plane 12 upgraded version of KTLH Tallahassee International Airport, which is not actually an international port, as it doesn't have any international services to other countries. However KTLH is noted as a full-service "Service Port" for U.S. Customs. The title allows international cargo and general aviation flights to directly come to Tallahassee, which is the leading cargo handler in the Panhandle area of Florida. Tallahassee handles around 9.5 million pounds of cargo a year,

     

    Most services here are what you would call feeder (Hub & Spoke) regional routes, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Dallas and Washington DC. But Tallahassee is also the Florida State Capital, it is the largest city in the Florida Big Bend and Florida Panhandle region. Tallahassee is also a college town with student population exceeding 70,000, home to the Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, a large state college that serves mainly as a feeder school to Florida State and Florida A&M. The KTLH city-owned airport is situated five miles southwest of downtown Tallahassee, in Leon County,

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 1.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 2.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 3.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 4.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 5.jpg

     

    The airport covers 2,485 acres (1,006 ha) at an elevation of 81 feet (25 m). It has two runways: 09/27 is 8,000 by 150 feet (2,438 by 46 m) and 18/36 is 7,000 by 150 ft. (2,134 by 46 m). Helicopter operations are generally confined to the Runway 18/36 area, or direct approaches to the Million Air FBO ramp area.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 6.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 7.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 8.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Head 9.jpg

     

    Tallahassee International Airport

    IATA: TLH - ICAO: KTLH - FAA LID: TL

    KTLH Chart.jpg

    09/27 - 8,000ft (2,438m) Asphalt

    18/36 - 7,000ft (2,134m) Asphalt

    Elevation AMSL81 ft / 25 m

     

    A new passenger terminal was built just north of the new 09/27 runway on November 2, 1987, and the new terminal prompted officials to rename the airport from Tallahassee Municipal Airport to Tallahassee Regional Airport. On December 3, 1989, the city opened the $33 million terminal, and on February 20, 2000, the terminal was soon renamed the Ivan Munroe Terminal in honor of Tallahassee aviation pioneer Ivan Munroe.

     

    It is a simple layout. A terminal building with a pier that is connecting to a concourse, or a split single concourse into A and B, from the side it is in a H design.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 1.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 2.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 3.jpg

     

    The Munroe terminal is really well replicated here by Skytitude, very realistic with very good building detail and adornments. The terracotta roof is in contrast to the brown main building and pier exposed concrete.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 4.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 5.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 6.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 7.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 8.jpg

     

    Scenery clutter is very good, but not overwhelming... there are no animated service vehicles here, and it is noticeable in creating a static sort of environment. Note the excellent aerial installation on the forward part of the connecting pier, and the very nicely done ramp lights.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 9.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 10.jpg

     

    There are eight detailed, white Airbridges A1-A6/B1-B6, like the real ones they come with no branding...  they are powered here by the built in X-Plane 12 "Ground handling" menu. A lot of developers are moving away from the SAM system (and it's problems) and back to this updated older version, in lots of ways it is currently a better solution than the fiddly SAM experience. There also five static walkon/walkoff gates for smaller regional aircraft in A7, A4, A2 - B2, B4, B7.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 11.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 12.jpg

     

    The landside terminal is very nicely done, even in a walkaround way, with nice well done 3d vehicle carparks and really reat fauna. But there there is no internal terminal detail. There are also no people, or traffic, again in creating a more static feel at TLH than an active one. On the roof are solar panels, in fact there is a loads of solar panels here as we shall see later.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 13.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 14.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 15.jpg

     

    Trees are all X-Plane 12 3D quality, seasonal as well, but you won't get a lot if any snow in Florida. But the fauna quality is high here.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 16.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 Terminal 17.jpg

     

    Million Air FBO

    Next largest facility at TLH is the Million Air Fixed Base Operator. Besides for private operators, Million Air also provides contracted fuel services to U.S. Military and Department of Defense aircraft. TLH is regularly visited by U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, Lockheed Martin C-130 family aircraft, as well as Dornier C-146 and T-6 Texan II aircraft on training missions and practice approaches from nearby AFB.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 FBO 1.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 FBO 2.jpg

     

    The ramp area is massive, and surrounded by maintenance hangers and aviation services FL Aviation and Flightline group. Main large FBO executive building is really well done in brick, next to it is the field's FireStation. Missing is the "Million Air" sign that sits outside the entrance, a small but noticeable overlook, but any signage is also missing here at TLH. But overall the detail and fill of this FBO area is very well done with a heliport with 6 landing pads located at South Apron.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 FBO 3.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 FBO 4.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 FBO 5.jpg

     

    Aero Center Tallahassee

    North is another large ramp for Aero Center Tallahassee and the Epic Flight Academy. The buildings are basic here, as the entrance to the Aero Centre is quite ornamental, missing also is the roof detail of the air-conditioning systems. The brickwork however is well done.

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee XP12 ACT 1.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 ACT 2.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 ACT 5.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 ACT 3.jpgKTLH - Tallahassee XP12 ACT 4.jpg

     

    Far north are rows of aircraft storage, and this is a great parking ramp if flying into KTLH while exploring the region to refuel, as there are a few refuel stations set around these aprons for your convenience.

     

    Cargo

    The freight facility is FedEx. It has two major gates (1 & 2), and three regional ramps for the FedEx feeder network. But as noted it is used as a U.S. customs international feeder "Service Port" area coming into the US.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_Cargo 4.jpgTallahassee Airport_Cargo 1.jpgTallahassee Airport_Cargo 2.jpgTallahassee Airport_Cargo 3.jpg

     

    Control Tower

    The KTLH field tower is set on the Southside. The facility and its surroundings is excellent, with great roof aerial detail.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_Tower 1.jpgTallahassee Airport_Tower 2.jpgTallahassee Airport_Tower 3.jpg

     

    Infrastructure

    Is this where all digital pilots go when they leave the X-Plane mortal coil? Yes it is a cemetery, set to the east of the airport called Southside Cemetery, a big one at that, and well done.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_infrastructure 1.jpgTallahassee Airport_infrastructure 2.jpg

     

    Also west is the City Of Tallahassee Utilities Water Treatment plant, really well done with real (X-Plane) water in the large pools and even in the treatment ponds...  note in the background are the six animated wind turbines.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_infrastructure 3.jpgTallahassee Airport_infrastructure 4.jpg

     

    Before leaving the west it is interesting to note the excellent merging of the Custom TLH airport to the default autogen, here the commercial Infrastructure blends in well with the airport boundary, making it a realistic viewpoint if arriving on Rwy 27.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_infrastructure 5.jpgTallahassee Airport_infrastructure 6.jpg

     

    Obviously the Tallahassee City owners are very big into efficiency and saving the planet. Surrounding the south approach and the left side of Rwy 18/36, are hundreds of solar panel farms. And all well done here, but I wonder if these massive sun farms could blind a pilot on an approach? The noted "largest airport-based solar station in the world" here is however excellent for the visual detail on approaches 36 and 09.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_infrastructure 7.jpgTallahassee Airport_infrastructure 8.jpg

     

    Ground Textures

    The ground textures are fine, but have no depth of detail, only a sheen, could be even noted as flat to the eye. They look okay with nice grunge, but they are not what you would call "high quality".

     

    Tallahassee Airport_Textures 1.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 2.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 3.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 4.jpg

     

    As this is an X-Plane 12 scenery, you get the excellent weather effects. And again X-Plane 12 does it's miracle showing...  water/rain and reflections are all very good, certainly in the right lighting conditions... so the PBR reflective (wet) active textures and burnt-in ambient occlusion works well.

    Tallahassee Airport_Textures 5.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 6.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 7.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 8.jpg

     

    Highlight here is the 3d grass, it is excellent and not prone to LOD visuals. The main infield areas are all covered, but there are a few blank areas with no grass...  the grass realism makes a big difference to the quality of the scenery.

     

    Tallahassee Airport_Textures 9.jpgTallahassee Airport_Textures 10.jpg

     

    TLH Lighting

    In the overview of KTLH the lighting is good, with the expected (XP12) ICAO lighting standards adhered to...

     

    Tallahassee Airport_Lighting 1.jpgTallahassee Airport_Lighting 2.jpg

     

    The ramp areas and external terminal/concourses are nicely lit, with intelligently placed drop lights. Carparks all look great as well...  but the terminal/concourse has no window lighting, making the buildings dark, even blacked out at night?

     

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    Other building lighting in Aviation services hangars are also well done with the well done drop lighting, but the main ramp lights for the Cargo ramp area and FBO ramps are weird, they glow, but don't give out any reflective light to the ground or their surrounding area?

     

    Tallahassee Airport_Lighting 8.jpgTallahassee Airport_Lighting 9.jpg

     

    I'm going to throw the problem to Laminar Research and not to the developer here, as this new light (flare) bloom effects are coming in the next X-Plane update v12.1.0. We will look at this lighting again when that update is released, so ignore it for now.

    ____________

    Summary

    Florida is a very well serviced American State for X-Plane pilots to explore with consistent quality destinations. Here with Tallahassee International, it is a very Northern State airport, with great regional connections to Atlanta, Dallas and the Florida State. International in the name is for U.S. Customs "Service Port" only.

     

    The KTLH Scenery from Skytitude is overall excellent, with great field landscaping and and excellent reproduced terminal and the Million Air FBO centre. Aero Center Tallahassee is also very good but missing the finer details. Grass and X-Plane 12 weather effects are also excellent. Fauna and overall layout is also first rate. The minor details are just that in minor, but they still count. Terminal Window lighting is missing, ground textures are a bit plain but have nice grunge, and not a lot of signage except for a FedEx sign, and non-lit at light? No ground or traffic animations also give a very static feel to the scenery.

     

    Yes I really like this excellent Tallahassee scenery from Skytitude, it has a very nice quality about the package, better as well with the X-Plane 12 effects, and has excellent performance or a very light impact on your computer. This KTLH is an upgrade to X-Plane 12 from the still available X-Plane 11 version, but it is a heavily revised and more modernised scenery than the one released in late 2021. There is also an upgrade offer of 25% off for previous users of the XP11 scenery.

     

    How much do I like it? well certainly expect to see KTLH Tallahassee appear in many future reviews from X-PlaneReviews, if any scenery passes that substantial test then it must cover a lot of credentials, most of all in a realistic visual quality...  for that aspect alone, it is great investment!

    ________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!  KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12

    Price is US$19.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    Download Size: 703 MB
    Current version : 1.0
     
    Owners of KTLH XP11 can purchase this new XP12 version for 25% off, please find the coupon code in the original KTLH Invoice.
     

    Installation and documents:

    TLH is download of 520Mb download. There are two folders as part of the installation;

    • skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp
    • skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp-b

    The second "skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp-b" has to physically moved (cut&paste) lower in the scenery_packs. INI, below the main "skytitude-ktlh-tallahassee-xp" folder. All details are noted in the provided; "INSTALLATION GUIDE.

     

    648Mb is installed into your Custom Scenery folder.

     

    Review System Specifications

    Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.07r1 (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

    -Rotate MD-80 Pro XP12 - (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95

    ____________________________

     

    Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

    11th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  7. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Sherpa K650T Turbine Bush Plane X-Plane 12 by STMA

     

    News! Sherpa K650T XP12_Header.jpg

     

    STMA - Shade Tree Micro Aviation have released the Sherpa K650T for X-Plane 12. Although based on the Sherpa X-Plane 11 version (Still available here). This new X-Plane 12 version is heavily revised, with an Improved float package, 3D instruments, Improved autopilot response with flight director steering, totally new FMOD v2 sound pack and X-Plane 12 performance tweaks and effects. The Sherpa cockpit has also been completely rebuilt to include a G530 navigator and comm package plus a Garmin GFC 700 autopilot.

     

    The aircraft specifications are interesting in being an experimental bush plane of the Sherpa design. The K650T concept includes a 1050hp Garrett turboprop engine, Wipaire 6100 amphibians, Rossi-Fernandez skis, and Alaska Bush Wheels in a configurable package.

     

    Features
    • Short field performance – 300’ takeoff with full payload, 350’ landing with reverse prop
    • Improved float package from the XP11 version – better stability and tracking
    • 3D instrument package with sync and select features for airspeed, altitude, and VVI
    • A great instrument flyer – stable and responsive
    • Improved autopilot response with flight director steering
    • Revised flight manual and operator manuals for systems
    • FMOD Sound Package.
    • Rain and reflective glass package for realistic weather in Alaska or northern Norway
    • Along that last line – a complete anti-ice package to keep you on mission

     

    4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg7.jpg8.jpg1.jpg2.jpg

     

    Images are courtesy of STMA

    STMA Developer Support : STMA Hangar and repair shop .Org

     

    The Shade Tree Micro Aviation Sherpa K650T for X-Plane 12 is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore...

    ______________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Sherpa K650T Turbine Bush Plane XP12 by Shade Tree Micro Aviation is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Sherpa K650T Turbine Bush Plane XP12

    Price is US$29.95

     

    Requirements :
    X-Plane 12  (not for XP11)
    Windows , Mac or Linux
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended 
    Download Size: 175 MB
    Current version : 12.1  (April 9th 2024)

    ______________________

    News by Stephen Dutton

    10th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  8. Mango-MD-93 XP12_Header.jpg

     

    Aircraft Modification : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series IAE V2500 Engine

     

    The McDonnell Douglas MD80 Series MD-80 was the second generation of the DC-9 family, originally designated as the DC-9-80 (DC-9 Series 80) and later stylized as the DC-9 Super 80 (short Super 80). It was a stretched fuselage, enlarged wing, and was powered by higher bypass Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines. The MD80 Series made its first flight on October 18, 1979, and was certified on August 25, 1980.

     

    In response to the environmental concerns that began in the 1970s, Pratt & Whitney began developing a new version of the JT8D engine, designated the JT8D-200 series. Designed to be quieter, cleaner, more efficient, yet more powerful than the earlier -15, -17, -11 and-9 series on the DC-9. The -200 Series power-plant was re-engineered with a significantly higher bypass ratio (1.74 to 1) covering the 18,500 to 21,700 pound-force (82 to 97 kN) thrust range and became the standard engine in powering the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series. This is the engine on the Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD88. It's a long thin (still low) higher-bypass engine with clam-shell reversers.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 1.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 3.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 2.jpg

     

    Mango Studios have done a modification (MOD) to change this JT8D-200 engine to the later bulkier IAE V2500 Series engine.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 4.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 5.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 6.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 7.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Head 8.jpg

     

    The look and feel of the V2500 modification is really well done, with high quality 4K Textures and new PBR (Physical Based Render) effects, the quality and installation is simply excellent. Internal exhaust detail is totally authentic, with the correctly fitted outer fins for the correct airflow around the engine pod.

    The V2500 does not have the clam-shell thrust reversers, but the same arrangement like on the A320, were as the full cowling door opens for the thrust reversal. This aspect is very nicely done here as well, nice operation, with great internal detail of the air vent grid and internal mechanism.

     

    Mango-MD-93 XP12_TR 1.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_TR 2.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_TR 3.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_TR 4.jpg

     

    This IAE engine was installed on the next stretch of the MD80 Series, third generation of the DC-9 family in the MD90. The engines were notably mostly installed on the MD-90-30 Series with the IAE V2525-D5 engine, with the option of upgrading to the IAE V2528 engine.

     

    The V2500 Series is a two-shaft high-bypass turbofan engine built by International Aero Engines (IAE) which also powers the Airbus A320 family. This engine also has an option to add 3,000 lbf for use in Hot & High conditions if needed by activating a switch in the flight deck. The V2525-D5 is fitted with different mounting hardware and accessory gearboxes to facilitate the rear MD-90 T-Tail installation, than say the under wing pylon of the A320.

     

    First look at the larger style of the IAE engine and as the MD90 Series had later the enhanced MD-90s glass cockpit, you could say it is the Boeing 717 aircraft, but it's not, as the 717 (MD95) had Rolls-Royce BR700 family engines installed, not IAE Engines.

     

    Important to note that with this modification, there are no IAE Engine sounds, strangely odd as Mango Studios are well known for their Sound Packages, and the quite different IAE engine note would have been a nice feature, but it has been noted by the developer IAE sounds are coming real soon. The performance of the Rotate MD88 is not changed either, so any power (V2525-D5 111.20 kN (25,000 lbf)) and fuel-efficiency benefits of the IAE are not available with this installation.

     

    Installation Tutorial

    It is a slightly tricky installation, to switch the original JT9D-200 to the IAE V2525-D5. In the downloaded "IAE V2500 Engine Model" pack there are four three folder items; liveries, objects and a paintkit (psd)...  there is also a manual supplied.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 1.jpg

     

    First you have to "duplicate" the original Rotate-MD-80 aircraft, and add into the title "IAE"

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 2.jpg

     

    From the package objects folder you transfer the 12 files to the MD-88 IAE "objects" folder, and replace (overwrite) the noted 4 files with the new files.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 3.jpg

     

    Now for the tricky bit...  You have to go and open up the X-Plane-planemaker application (in your X-Plane root folder), and open up the MD-80-IAE aircraft (acf) file. Under the banner menu "Standard" is the "Objects" selection.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 4.jpg

     

    You have to scroll to the bottom of the objects tool, and then using the "ADD" button, insert THREE new layers...

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 5.jpg

     

    Far right on each layer is a slot to insert the file, with the selection button to the left of the slot... then insert the three new objects (V2500_I.obj, V2500_r.obj, N1_fast.object) in the MD-80 IAE "Objects" folder...  into the correct slot, then "Save" (File) the changes.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 6.jpg

     

    If correctly done, then the new IAE powerplant should be seen on the main planemaker page...  and the MD-80 IAE aircraft is now ready in the X-Plane Configuration menu.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 7.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 8.jpg

     

    Although there is a folder called "liveries", they are actually only the MOD files FOR the liveries, not the completed new livery. So you will still need the original "livery" to add in the MOD livery files...   Each livery folder includes four files; md80_cola_der.png, md80_cola_izq.png, V2500_l.png, V2500_r.png and all four are transferred to the said livery "Objects" folder...

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 9.jpg

     

    Again you will be asked to overwrite two of the object files. You have to do this same process for ALL the liveries provided.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 10.jpg

     

    Note the livery "Delta retro" is in fact Delta Old, or the default livery?

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Install 11.jpg

     

    Five livery conversions are provided; Allegiant, Delta (Old), JAL, Lion and Scandinavian. All look excellent, and note how the larger engine can highlight the decals.

     

    Rotate-MD-83 - IAE Livery Allegiant.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Livery Delta.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Livery JAL.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Livery Lion.jpgRotate-MD-83 - IAE Livery SAS.jpg

     

    If you want to update another favorite livery, there is a paintkit (photoshop) provided, the paint kit covers the L & R engines, so you also have to still add in two files "md80_cola_der.png" and "md80_cola_izq.png" to each new set of the new livery conversion into the same objects folder.

     

    In the air the IAE V2500 conversion looks amazing!

     

    Mango-MD-93 XP12_Flying 1.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_Flying 2.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_Flying 3.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_Flying 4.jpgMango-MD-93 XP12_Flying 5.jpg

     

    X-PlaneReviews - Rotate MD80 X-Plane 12 update review is here... 

    Aircraft Upgrade Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 by Rotate

     

    Summary

    This is a modification to change the Rotate MD80 (MD88) from the original install JT8D-200 engine to the later bulkier IAE V2500 Series engine as found on the Airbus A320 Series. The IAE engines were notably mostly installed on the MD-90-30 Series with the IAE V2525-D5 engine, with the option of upgrading to the IAE V2528 engine.

     

    Mango Studios have provided a modification kit to change the over the engines by duplicating a Rotate MD80 aircraft and installing the V2500 engine via X-Plane planemaker application, it's not too hard to do, and the tutorial is above. Also provided are MOD files to change five liveries to match the new engine installation and paintkit to do your own changes on other liveries.

     

    This modification really gives you a more modern looking MD Series aircraft, sounds for the IAE are coming soon as well to highlight the package from Mango Studios, that will also be noted here when available.

     

    Simply... a big yes, I love the Rotate MD80 in X-Plane 12, this conversion gives you another engine version to widen the aircraft's appeal and only for less than US$6, so a big yes, yes and it comes more flying options with the Rotate MD80 Series...  winner, winner.

    _____________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Mango Studios MD-80 IAE V2500 Engine Add-on

    Price is US$5.99

     

    The Rotate MD-88 Pro X-Plane 12 is required for this add-on.

     

    Requirements

    The Rotate MD-80 is required for this add-on.

    Download Size: 415 MB
    Current version: Initial Release (May 9th 2024)

    Documentation

    Manual provided by Mango Studios is a bit basic, hence the Tutorial here in this review

    • Manual.pdf

    _____________________

     

    Aircraft Modification Review by Stephen Dutton

    9th May 2024

    Copyright©2024: 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 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.09rc5

    Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - LIRF - Airport Rome XP  by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.99

     

    (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

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  9. VSL A50 Junior_XP12_Header.jpg

     

    Aircraft Review - Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA by vSkyLabs

     

    One of the most interesting things of the changing of the eras, is the transition point, or a certain revolutionary design that in itself creates the new era. These time periods are interesting, exciting as well...  as you are seeing the forward advances of a particular genre. In Aviation's case, these forward advances in design and increasing engine power was in the early to late 1920's, this period was breathtaking in the changes of aircraft. From the frame and fabric (tri) biplanes of the First World War, to the first steps of commercial aviation that changed the world.

     

    Center of this explosion of sweeping change, is Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG, a maker of boilers and radiators. "Junkers" as they are known created the first all metal designed aircraft in the Junkers J1, nicknamed the Blechesel (Tin Donkey or Sheet Metal Donkey), that was the monumental transition point from the frame/fabric to a Monocoque construction. The J1 was only an experimental aircraft, but it did create a subsequent series of monocoque metal based airframes, and created success for Junkers.

     

    With this success, Junkers wanted to expand into other aircraft categories. Most current Junker aircraft were medium to large by the day's standards, but what of a Junior or smaller "Sports" aircraft or "Sportsplane".

    The Junkers A50 Junior was the first sportsplane designed by Hermann Pohlmann. It had the same modern all-metal construction, in being covered with corrugated duralumin sheet as the larger Junkers passenger planes. But the A50 was small, only a crew of two, sitting in tandem in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). powered by a Two-bladed propeller, and had a conventional fixed split axle mainwheel landing gear, with a rear skid.

     

    The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by further four prototypes, in order to test different engines,

    but eventually they settled on a 80-hp, 5-cylinder radial engine. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The high prices probably inhibited sales...  but the design had created a new category in aviation. However the Junkers A50 Junior was able to set a number of FAI world records around the world and became famous, amongst other things, because Marga von Etzdorf was the first woman to fly her Junkers A50 Junior from Berlin to Tokyo in several stages in 1931.

     

    The aircraft however has not been resigned to the original's past. In 2022, (The new) Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 for LSA approval. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 of these new A50s have been sold in Europe, and plans have been made for the American WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category is a small 2 seat aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 600kg.

     

    The modern interpretation of the Junker A50 is the version here for the X-Plane 12 Simulator by vSkyLabs. This aircraft is part of the ‘Test-Pilot’ Series, an open ended on going project with regular updates and changes as part of the process. The vSkyLabs Junkers A50 Junior is based on the modern German version, there will also be no X-Plane 11 version.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 1.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 2.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 3.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 4.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 5.jpg

     

    Like a flying cigar, the A50 is long and very sleek. Although this version is the modern interpretation of the 1929 classic, the lines and construction are exactly the same. It is very easy to behold this futuristic design in those early days, it looks and feels very Pre-war WW2 Junkers as well.

     

    The reproduction of the corrugated duralumin sheeting or an early type of age-hardenable aluminium–copper alloy is excellently well done here. The term is a combination of Dürener and Aluminium. It was also used extensively on Zeppelin Airships of the same period.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 6.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 7.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 8.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 9.jpg

     

    The aircraft is all basically duralumin, except for the shiny Aluminium engine cowl and wheel struts. The propeller is actually a modern composite MT-Propeller, than the old wooden version, for weight and strength. On the real A50, you can remove the wings, or fold them backwards, but not on the vSkyLabs version.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 10.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 11.jpg

     

    The exhaust is modern as well, and the oil cooler gives the modern engine type away. The gear design from the 1920's however has been retained, with a bicycle spoke style design, pencil thin tyres and with disc brakes. It is a basic arrangement, but works and it is very nicely replicated here in it's simplistic but metallic splendour.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 12.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 13.jpg

     

    The twin cockpits are wildly spaced apart along the narrow fuselage, not at all combined together forward like of the Tiger Moth and such aircraft.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 14.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 15.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 16.jpg

     

    The brown leather cockpit surround is lovely, but missing is the cover for the front cockpit when empty? expect in an update...  There are two pilots (slightly animated) and lifelike (meaning realistic). They are selected via the X-Plane "Weight, Balance & Fuel" via the sliders. In the rear is the pilot, in the front is the passenger...  and to note the severe Centre of Gravity position with only the rear pilot in the aircraft, so you have to find ways to balance the aircraft in better to compensate for the odd weight distribution.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 18.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 19.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 20.jpg

     

    Both pilot and passenger are not hands or legs animated as noted, but if you press Command "G" (Toggle landing gear) then the front passenger will slip sideways for the rear pilot to see ahead, a nice feature. And an override of the fixed landing gear on the A50.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 21.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Head 22.jpg

     

    Cockpit

    In the (rear) cockpit it is all metal inside. Incredible is the design of almost 100 years between the two generations of A50s. But in here the metal design and construction it is almost the same, it is like living in the past, now in the future.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 1.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 2.jpg

     

    It is very well done in recreating this construction aspect of the aircraft. Simple stick and rudder pedals are well done, as is the housing for the cables. There is a "Remove Before Flight" safety pin (Emergency Parachute) that is stored in the right side satchel. On the left side are two levers, rear is the Elevator Trim, front the Throttle...  left rear floor is the fuel tank selector.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 3.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 4.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 5.jpg

     

    The real (modern) A50 Junior has installed a Garmin G3X Touch 10” with a Garmin G3X Touch 7” or GI 275 with Winter altimeter/Winter airspeed indicators as instruments. Here in the vSkyLabs version we have the customised Laminar Research Garmin G1000 fitted.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 6.jpg

     

    And nicely intergrated it is...  Power switches and start button are on the left, (active) Circuit Breakers (Fuses) with ELT and USB Charge panels on the right. Up top are the two bus (ECU) lights, and on the very top is a AOA (Angle of Attack) avionics upgrade, based on the 'Alpha Systems AOA' Eagle AOA kit. (we will look at this in flight)

     

    The G1000 is the standard default Avionics system...  Speed and Altitude/Vertical Speed tapes, Artificial Horizon, Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) with NAV 1/GPS BRG (Backgrounds), Speeds, Baro, Altitude, Wind, HDG (Heading) and CRS (Course) are all shown.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 7.jpg

     

    There are however two configurations (custom) of the PFD (Primary Flight Display). One (above) has three readouts, in being overlaid with top left Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT), below is the Manifold Pressure and for right lower is the Engine RPM. Turnoff the "AVIO" switch far left and the screen changes to the standard G1000 engine readout panel.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 8.jpg

     

    Here now shown is the RPM (top), FF (Fuel Flow), Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), VAC (Vacuum), Fuel Quantity, Electrical (Bus/Volts) and Battery (Amps).

     

    Pressing the P/MFD (red Button) with change the screen to the Multi-Function/MAP Display.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 9.jpg

     

    Standard adjustable G1000 popouts are available in both engine display modes, but the three custom instruments don't show on that setting.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 10.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Cockpit 11.jpg

     

    Obviously a very simple instrumentation set up, but really well done here in this basic Sports style aircraft.

    _________________

     

    Flying the (Modern) Junkers A50 Junior

    Turning on the power, even selecting the twin ECU Buses doesn't bring the A50 alive. So there is also the need to push in all the CBs (Circuit Breakers/Fuses), then while doing so you see the different systems on the different CB selections relating to the various avionics.

     

    Fuel selector is on the floor, and their is no "All" tank selection, just Left-Right (tanks) or OFF, so you have to select one of the L-R tanks for fuel flow...  Fuel capacity is 95L (25 US gal; 21 imp gal), Range is an amazing 600 km (370 mi, 320 nmi). When ready just press the Starter Button to easily fire up the engine.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 1.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 2.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 3.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 4.jpg

     

    Unlike the original A50, this is a modern powerplant, a 100 hp Rotax 912i that comes with more power as well than the older original installation of the  Armstrong Siddeley Genet which is a five-cylinder, air-cooled, radial engine for aircraft use, that was then built in the UK, and first run in 1926. 

    The Genet developed 80 hp at 2,200 rpm in its final form and was in this era a very popular light aircraft powerplant. The later Rotax 912 is a horizontally-opposed four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated, four-stroke aircraft engine with a reduction gearbox. It features liquid-cooled cylinder heads and air-cooled cylinders. Originally equipped with carburetors, the later versions are now fuel injected. It sounds brilliant, although these Rotax engine sounds are now very common in the X-Plane Simulator.

     

    There is no "Novice" setting for the tailwheel, it is either locked or free castoring under the X-Plane "Toggle tailwheel lock" setting... so taxiing is a tricky business, either power up with the tailwheel locked and use the toe-brakes heavily to drag the tail into the direction you want to go. Or use a combination of going straight, then "Toggling" the tailwheel on/off by the key Command and using a lighter touch on the toe-brake to turn, or if the aircraft is actually castoring in the right direction...   then locking the tailwheel again to go straight when turned to the right direction of travel...  messy and hard work, especially if you are not very competent with this taildragger style?

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 5.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 6.jpg

     

    You can't see much either when taxiing, as your just not positioned close up front behind the passenger, but sited way down in the rear, but central position in the aircraft.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 7.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Startup 8.jpg

     

    Overall the A50 Junior is just a simply Stick and Rudder aircraft, with a few modern tweaks. So you fly the machine in a very basic way.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 1.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 2.jpg

     

    Tons of right rudder is needed to keep you straight and you will have to find that sweet position to counter the engine asymmetric thrust, your tail lifts just after 30 knts (33 knts) then the rudder aerodynamics now need the control, still giving right rudder, but your moving the pedals around now a bit finer. Takeoff is around 45 knts and officially noted as 250 m (820 ft), no flaps here.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 3.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 4.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 5.jpg

     

    You don't really have a Vertical Speed, just a gradual climb out of around 400 fpm.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 6.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 7.jpg

     

    You feel like Louis Blériot, the first person to cross the English Channel in 1909...   exposed in a simple aircraft, the wind rushing past your face (a small in your face fan helps with the effect)...  but it's great fun, aviation in it's very basic form in this very striking looking aircraft.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 8.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 9.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 10.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 11.jpg

     

    Unlike the 1929 version, here you have on your A50 a few modern conveniences, like a full G1000 avionics package. So this gives you an Autopilot, and even Flightplans at your disposal (handy if you want to actually cross the English Channel).

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 12.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 13.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 14.jpg

     

    Only one slight annoyance is that to switch between the PFD and MAP/Flightplan popup displays, you first have to close the current screen, then move over to the other selection, and then reopen the other pop-up, it is slightly annoying when setting up a flight plan and having to keep going back and forth to each of the different popup displays.

     

    As noted you can move the head sideways with the front passenger, but the head still moves as well with the angle (bank) of the A50, which is very realistic, and both pilot and passenger heads move together in partnership.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 15.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 16.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 17.jpg

     

    There are no liveries with the package. Although there is a choice of colours of the fuselage from the Modern Junkers A50 brochure, including; White Aluminium, Glacier White, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Papaya Metallic, Saffron Yellow Metallic and Frozen Blue...  I think they would be a nice addition to the package here.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Flying 18.jpg

     

    Lighting is of course extremely basic... no landing lights, just wing navigation and strobe lights. Light comes from the G1000 displays, but there are two side lights that have no lighting source. The AOA base is pretty as well.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior Lighting 1.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Lighting 2.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior Lighting 3.jpg

     

    The A50 Junior is actually very nicely balanced if you get the Elevator Trim right, like most of the era, these light aircraft are fun and fine to twirl around the sky in, with no loss of height in steep banks or with heavy manoeuvres...  lovely actually.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 1.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 2.jpg

     

    But these Light-Sports are very susceptible in winds, and the forces will shake you and buffet you around, as seen in this video.

     

     

    I need to have a look at my landing field, EGHR - Goodwood in the south of England. So I do an orientation pass over the field, and note the grass strips are very hard to see?

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 3.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 4.jpg

     

    But the G1000 does give you a few tools to help...  the Course Pointer in the HSI is great for aligning you going downwind in the landing pattern (then for runway course alignment). The G1000 HSI also has ILS alignment, but not here with the grass landing strips, but good to know if you want a landing alignment tool.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 6.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 5.jpg

     

    Going downwind I drop down to 300ft and 73 knts, ready for the approach...  then a 180º turn back to the field, again using the course angle to set the Runway 32 approach. Now down 200 ft and dropping the speed to get the best descent angle...  a lot of feel (feedback) through the throttle is very good.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 8.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 9.jpg

     

    There are no flaps here to reduce the speed zone, but it feels like a bi-plane in lift, pulling back on the stick, the A50 easily rubs off the speed to make the approach quite perfect, the Junkers Junior handles so well.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 10.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 11.jpg

     

    Coming into finals on the 32 Approach, I'm not familiar with the airfield, so I'm a little off angle, but I'm fine with that...  Now the AOA "Eagle" feature comes alive, and I'm tracking too low at the rear...  gradually I adjust the pitch nose down to move the AOA upwards.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 12.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 13.jpg

     

    It is very good, it sets the A50 up to the almost perfect angle for landing, throttle power is now my other tool to control the final descent. consistently adjusting the speed and AOA angle until they both perfectly match...

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 14.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 15.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 16.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 17.jpg

     

    ...   On the perfect AOA blue circle, and your set, and then you glide down onto the grass, and then touch!

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 18.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 19.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 20.jpg

     

    Then let the rear settle.

     

    VSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 21.jpgVSL Junkers-A50 Junior EGHR 22.jpg

     

    Considering the almost One Hundred years between the first A50, and this new modern counterpart. The flight aspect in the stick and rudder, metal long tube fuselage and lovely wings. It is just the instruments that are different, but the actual A50 flight experience is remarkably the same.

    _____________

    Summary

    The Junkers A50 already is a legend. As it was the first Sportsplane, and designed by Hermann Pohlmann in the Junkers works. The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by a further four prototypes, in order to test different engines, but settled on a 80-hp, 5-cylinder radial engine.

     

    The A50 was an all metal construction sports plane, conventional in layout, with low cantilever wings and stressed corrugated duralumin covered, the same material as used in the Zeppelin Airships.... Two-spar wings could fold rearwards or be detached. Crew of two, sit in tandem, in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). The A50 used a Two-blade propeller and conventional fixed split axle main-wheel landing gear, with a rear skid. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold.

     

    The aircraft however has not been resigned to the past. In 2022, Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 called the "Junior S" for LSA approval. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 of these new A50s have sold in Europe, and plans have been made for WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category is a small 2 seat aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 600kg.

     

    This A50 aircraft is from renowned vSkyLabs, and it is based on the modern German version, it comes with a dual display G1000 Avionics system, 'Alpha Systems' Eagle AOA (Angle of Attack) and semi-animated pilots. Beautifully designed and well recreated of the original look and feel of this unique material, it is also tailored for perfect VR (Virtual Reality) realism. Flight dynamics and (Rotex) engine sounds are also first rate.

     

    Basically the A50 is a simple stick and rudder aircraft, from originally a dynamic era of change in aviation. So the aircraft to use and fly is simply excellent for novices, but beware the taildragger steering is tricky and difficult to use on the ground with no artificial helpers.

     

    So recreate and fly in this 1920's innovative era aircraft, with a modern twist, I really loved it...  once in the air, and to have the features of using modern tools (Autopilot, Flightplans, HSI, ILS alignment) should feel odd in this environment, but I still loved it. Even if I will always desire the authentic 1920's experience. The vSkyLabs A50 Junior is great value as well, as is the excellent on-going support from vSkyLabs...  so in my eyes the Junkers A50 Junior is an all round winner.

    _____________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12

    Price is US$29.00, on sale for US$20.30, You Save:$8.70(30%)

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)
    Windows, Mac and Linux
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Current version: 1.0 (March 29th 2024)

     

    Project Main Features:

    • VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project: designed for use with X-Plane cutting edge flight model environment, featuring superb flight dynamics with authentic performance and flight handling characteristics.
    • Superb Flight dynamics: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior simulation is a highly engineered, robust tail-glider S-LSA simulation model which makes use of X-Plane 12 sophisticated flight dynamics and physics simulation, extracting it to its limits.
    • Simulated systems: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior features X-Plane 12 latest native features, systems and physics. This assures a 'high airworthiness' in X-Plane, throughout its update process. Some systems may be restricted to X-Plane default systems algorithms.
    • General cockpit configuration: Equipped with a full-scale and fully-featured X-Plane 12 G1000, in a single-screen / dual-display configuration, to allow maximum usability.
    • Equipped with Alpha Systems AOA 'Eagle' indicator replica.
    • Passenger leaning-aside feature for better takeoff and landing forward visibility (by demand via interaction/assignment).
    • Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage.
    • Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots: The aircraft is designed to be flown from the back-seat cockpit. This configuration requires higher piloting skills, and it *will* make you a better pilot!. The front-seat cockpit is fully functional as well, with the limitations which are derived from the real-world Junkers A50 Junior front-seat operations).
    • Wonderful FMOD sound package that includes authentic Rotax 912iS engine recordings and an interactive set of dynamic sound layers that will "wrap" your open-cockpit flying experience, setting a whole new level of immersion!
    • Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater (XP12 only) - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap).
     
    Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com.
     
    Aircraft download is 290.1 Mb, and unpacked then installed in your X-Plane  Aircraft folder 408.5 Mb
     
    Documents
    • How to INSTALL your VSKYLABS aircraft.pdf
    • How to UPDATE your VSKYLABS aircraft.pdf

     

    • VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior ESSENTIALS.pdf
    • VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior POH.pdf

     

    Junker A50 POH.jpgJunker A50 Essentials.jpg

    Designed by VSKYLABS
    Support forum for the Junkers A50 Junior

    _____________________

    Review System Specifications: 

    Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review).

    Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport by NKdesign (X-Plane.orgStore) US$15.00

    - EGHR - Goodwood Chichester 1.0.0 by  jbnemo (X-Plane.Org) - Free

    ___________________________

     

    Update Review by Stephen Dutton

    5th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  10. NEWS! - FunnerFlight upgrades KJFK - New York John F Kennedy International v3 X-Plane 12

     

    UPDATE News! KJFK v3 Funner header.jpg

     

    FunnerFlight have upgraded their extensive KJFK - John Kennedy International to v3 and X-Plane 12. The older X-Plane 11 version of FunnerFlight's JFK is still available and is currently on sale for US$13.97

     

    The KJFK v3 upgrade includes a load of changes and new features are included in the package...

     

    • Complete realignment of airport with added Aerial Photography
    • Deletion of hundreds of unnecessary objects for better FPS.
    • Added Laminar Research roads for a busier look
    • Added Laminar Research Ground Service vehicles and routes
    • Almost 20,000 objects.
    • Old Terminal 3 demolition area.
    • Terminal 4 Extension on Concourse B
    • New XP12 Auto Jetways at every ramp (shift+g)
    • Improved lighting.
    • And most importantly: TRAFFIC GLOBAL TESTED AND READY!
    • Tested Wind Rules and separate runways for Arrivals and Departures

     

    Notable is the refining of better FrameRate, important in this very complex and high density autogen area. Current JFK changes around the old Terminal 3 (old PanAm Worldport) and the new Terminal 4 extension are also both included here.

     

    image67.jpgimage25.jpgimage28.jpgimage70.jpgimage98.jpgimage6.jpgimage20.jpg

     

    John F. Kennedy International Airport is a major international airport serving New York City, United States. The airport is the busiest of the seven airports in the New York airport system, the 6th-busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America. The facility covers 5,200 acres (2,104 ha) and is the largest and busiest airport in the New York City area.

     

    John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally called Idlewild Airport after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that it displaced. It was built to relieve LaGuardia Field, which had since become overcrowded after its 1939 opening.  In late 1941, mayor Fiorello La Guardia announced that the city had tentatively chosen a large area of marshland on Jamaica Bay, which included the Idlewild Golf Course as well as a summer hotel and a landing strip called the Jamaica Sea-Airport, for a new airfield. Later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month and two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. proposed the airport's renaming. Since then then it always been known as JFK.

     

    I would recommend a strong video card with at least 8Gb of VRAM for this scenery, you can run a 4 GB Video Card as a minimum, but there are a lot of objects to absorb (15,000), and some very large graphic textures.
     

    The FunnerFlight v3.0 KJFK is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, but for X-Plane 12 only.

    ________________________________
     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    The KJFK - New York John F Kennedy International v3 - XP12 by FunnerFlight is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore...

     

    KJFK - New York John F Kennedy International v3 - XP12

    Price is US$19.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    8 GB+ Video Card recommended.
    Download Size: 600 MB
    Current version: 3.0 for X-Plane 12 (April 2024)
     
    Customers who own KFJK v2 by FunnerFlight can get the new v3 XP12 version for 50% off. Coupon code can be found in the original KFJK v2 invoice (does not apply to other KJFK models from other designers)

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    4th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  11. NEWS! - X-Crafts Celebrates 10 Years!

     

    News header _ NEWS! - X-Crafts Celebrates 10 Years!.jpg

     

    To be a developer you have to have a wide range of skills, it takes guts and intelligence to deliver products for any Simulator, certainly when delivering consistently in the higher quality study category. X-Crafts has everything in spades, From their very first release, it showed the future was very bright, and X-PlaneReviews was there from the start.... and XPR noted "certainly X-Craft was a developer house to watch because the work is very good".

    Ten years on and the output and service has been truly excellent, certainly in the last year with the step up into the highest quality category of the X-Plane 12 Simulator.

     

    To celebrate this ten year anniversary in X-Plane, X-Crafts are celebrating with a big giveaway to celebrate their new milestone, with a chance to win many of their products, and even win a ticket to FSExpo 2024.

     

    PRIZES:

    • One ticket to Flight Sim Expo 2024 - June 21-23, 2024, Las Vegas, US
    • Embraer Fleet by X-Crafts - A bundle of all our products
    • Full E-Jets Family by X-Crafts - A bundle of all our E-Jets
    • The E175 by X-Crafts - Our most popular E-Jet

     

    HOW TO ENTER:

    Simply subscribe to our Not-A-Newsletter™ using this link between the 1st of April and the 30th of April 2024. Existing Not-A-Newsletter subscribers can still fill out the form to participate. In May 2024 we will randomly select four winners.  

     

    BY SUBSCRIBING, YOU WILL ALSO GET:

    • A download link for our Free E-Jets for X-Plane 11 (and in a few weeks also Free E-Jets for X-Plane 12!)
    • The latest edition of our eBook: X-Plane Explained
    • Our Free Preview models of the E140 & E170
    • Exclusive look behind the scenes of flight sim development
    • Insider tips & tricks that only X-Plane developers know

    Terms & Conditions:

    This contest only applies to subscribers who signed up through the dedicated form on our website, linked above.

    You can unsubscribe at any time, but you will no longer be eligible to win.

    The winner of the first prize can decide whether they would like the tickets to FSExpo 2024 or the Embraer Fleet by X-Crafts instead.

     

     

    Part of the giveaway includes a free package that feature their older freeware E175 and E195, which have been updated, enhanced, and fully optimised for X-Plane 12. The enhancements include a higher resolution map displaying a top-of-descent indication, seamless visualization of ILS deviations using the preview mode while still in LNAV, and more. But to note, they are not the latest E-Jet Series on sale, just the older X-Plane 11 designs updated for both versions of the Simulator.

     

    Notable is that soon, X-Crafts will also be releasing the ERJ X-Plane 12 Series, with the same quality and features on par with the sensational E-Jet Series packages...  So it's a big year for the X-Crafts Team and in particular for Marko Mamula. So congratulations from X-PlaneReviews to X-Crafts on their decade anniversary!

     

    More information and the giveaway can be found here: X-Crafts

    ___________________________

     

    NEWS! by Stephen Dutton

    4th April 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  12. Behind the screen- March 2024.jpg

     

    Behind the Screen : March 2024

     

    On the 4th of February 2024, there was a Developer's conference in Montreal for X-Plane Simulator platform. Here the best and most prominent developers joined together to work out not only the future of the X-Plane Simulator, but also to share their friendship in meeting their fellow workers in arms.

     

    Laminar Research was at the same conference as well. That should have been a huge advantage in working with the very people that do the core workings of the X-Plane Simulator, the setting was ripe for setting a future roadmap and an agenda for X-Plane from both sides of the Simulator...  but the conference didn't end to that satisfaction.

     

    At the height of the conference, Laminar Research announced that they were going to create a product store within the X-Plane Simulator, a reflection of the same arrangement that is part of the MSFS 2020 (Microsoft Simulator) platform.

     

    This sudden announcement did not unite the developers to the Laminar cause, in fact it divided the conference, and in itself created a rolling discontent among the the attendees, certainly when the news hit the forums, all sorts of comments came out.

     

    Initially most users were very supportive of the internal store idea, yes another store, and one built directly into the Simulator, this aspect is a major plus....  but X-Plane is not at all structured like Microsoft's Simulator, it is not a large single central entity, but a Universe with many different revolving planets, and set at it's centre are two massive Jupiter sized planets called Laminar Research and the X-Plane.Org.

     

    Initially Laminar Research never dealt with the user side of the Simulator, it was (still is) the founder and on going developer of the Simulator. The X-Plane.Org grew out of the need for users to interact, create and support the X-Plane Simulator. In the early day's it was a sort of clubby meeting place to share and communicate all things X-Plane. I'm not saying that MSFS also has this same network of user sites and forums set around it and in giving support and communication to the platform, in fact every platform has it's own network. But the central core of development and selling product at MSFS is embedded directly into the system, it is even hosted and run as an online game.

     

    But X-Plane's in it's arrangement was more focused and generalised than the others. Someone noted that the X-Plane.Org is not the centre of the X-Plane universe, as other sites contribute to the platform, and yes I agree with that aspect in file sharing and product sales, like the Fly Away Simulation sites, but most are only sales sites (Orbx, Just Flight & SimMarket). But the X-Plane.Org is different in that it supports the Developers directly or even indirectly in the support of creating the products to use in the Simulator.

     

    Early days of X-Plane were mostly based around the PlaneMaker tool provided with the Simulator, mostly aircraft were then generic, but clever in a customised way. So the clubby .Org supported these products as they were mostly freeware based. But even in these early years, the X-Plane.Org struggled for support.

     

    Sites and platforms cost money to host and maintain. Free is all very nice, but it doesn't buy you servers and software to run it all, and very quickly the site required money to support the ever expanding user base. Donations was an early trial, but failed as they were not very consistent and worse in not really giving enough financial support to the .Org site. The solution came with Nicolas Taureau, and he set up a store to sell the now more quality based "Payware" products, but the funds also supported the .Org in succession and allowed it to thrive and grow into the big utility it is today. Most of this important support is not aggrandised or visually translated, as is Taureau's personality, understated is more to the point, but important is the support of the .Org system to the X-Plane platform, of which X-PlaneReviews is also a benefactor.

     

    So now you have the X-Plane Universe, with Laminar Research and the X-Plane.Org running in parallel or in orbits around each other, Laminar in not wanting the commercial side of the Simulator, bar of selling a few cups and T-Shirts. And the X-Plane.Org system supporting the developer and user base. So what happens if you move the financial base of developers and sales of the X-Plane Simulator directly to the new store? in reality, you are blowing the X-Plane universe apart, and I really don't think that a lot of users realised that the amount of the support funding of the X-Plane.Org, developer support and loads of other auxiliary items that was generated by the X-Plane.OrgStore...   and neither did Austin Meyer's, head honcho of Laminar Research. All he saw was a store in MSFS and the money he could generate if he installed inside X-Plane the same system as Microsoft, a good idea financially, but structurally unsound for his own creation.

     

    We have to understand, and oddly the original mission of X-Plane was for it to be a platform of experimentation of all things aviation. That is the core of PlaneMaker as well, although that aspect was left behind more than a decade ago. In wanting far better functionality and higher quality Simulation, it had move on pass the basic origins of PlaneMaker to plugin based custom products. This now is really the contention of the issue and where the money goes to. Obviously Laminar Research want to expand beyond being just the gatekeeper of X-Plane.

     

    So there are currently a lot of issues created by the announcement of 4th February 2024. Certainly it has the promise to unstable a very balanced current system, and the ramifications are enormous if Laminar Research get this idea wrong, and creates questions...  but what of a store with very few products to sell?  Would they in the future also financially support the user base...  they made a very big message over the decades of not getting or even involved at all in this aspect, but they would be either the demise of it, or even damaging it beyond repair... if that scenerio was possible, could it also damage the X-Plane model as a simulator entirely? Kill the very goose that lays the golden eggs... I'm doomsaying again, but this time not without reason. 

     

    So we are at a threshold, not a runway one were X-Plane gets to land safely beyond the fence and onto the hard solid runway. Since the 4th of February announcement, there has been no forth coming new announcements or details from Laminar Research, except for a few flashy images on the X-Plane website and social media. Obviously the next announcement will be the launch of the store, and it's insertion into the X-Plane Simulator. It will be very good, as Laminar are very good at these sort of things. But there is far more required than opening a store, but of the quality of the stock inside of it.

    Loyalty to Nicolas Taureau is also extremely strong, and why not. He has supported and cultivated the core product of the Simulator for more than over a decade, and make no mistake here in not doing it selfishly for just for the product to sell, but to give talented developers the resources and support they needed to acquire the skills we take for granted, and with the excellent products we all use.

     

    How this current store scenario plays out will be important to the future of the Simulator, hopefully we will have an answer by Q3 as announced for the opening of the LR Store in the 3rd quarter of the year...   one thing is very sure, the X-Plane Simulator we used only last year, will be a very different to the one we will be using at the end of 2024.

     

    There was no edition of BtheS in February 2024, as I went of a well earned holiday, break..  or a cruise around the South Pacific. Obviously the 4th February announcement traveled with me, but I did get a well deserved change of scenery and a big sea refresh. But my demur was already more brighter before the departure, in fact since late 2023, when X-Plane through version 12.0.9, and behaved itself. A second South Pacific X-Plane related revisit to Tahiti in the same region was simply sheer coincidence, but translated the same to the X-Plane Simulator in how it mirrors the real world.

     

    Now we are looking forward to X-Plane 12 v12.1.0...   the v12.1.0 update is expected to be a landmark release outside of a formal version change. Most of the focus is on graphics, including the nasty Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) Improvements, Water improvements, RCAS (Robust Contrast Adaptive Sharpening), Bloom effects and better particle effects. Systems include a better G1000 functionality, Stormscope, Traffic Map and Airport METAR flags... a new STEC ST-360 Autopilot is also included, new tools include better screenshot effects, which suits us really well... it is quite a list. With everything, then this post Easter holiday will be one of the most interesting yet, and the version v12.1.0 was highlighted with great reception at the FS Weekend in the Netherlands. Expect a beta release within weeks.

     

    Importantly those on-going v12.1.0 is more better system refinements, in shifting the heavy workload from your Graphics card over to the Processor. We expected this aspect for the release of X-Plane 12, but it will come now about mid-term in the X-Plane 12 version run. The changes will not magically fix your framerate, as heavier graphics will equalise out the benefits of less load on the Graphic Card, but it will overall make the X-Plane Simulator more efficient. I was a little annoyed about this aspect as I invested heavily in the processor side in my last system upgrade with the earlier announcement, then finding that Laminar was leaning even more heavily than ever onto the Graphic card side, so more expense was required to beef up that hardware side, now they are going back to the original focus, it is annoying and expensive as well to cater for these changing whims.

     

    Another change over the month was the upgrading of scenery for X-Plane 12. Finally the slow dribble has started to be a better flow from scenery developers, Aerosoft particularly was very active in releasing replacements and improvements to scenery that have been a long time dormant, and obviously we need more to come, a lot more. Although noted as an ever constant developing Simulator, X-Plane 12 will hopefully reach a mature point with the release of v12.1.0. Then that aspect bringing in even more resources for users to experience.

     

    So Q2 has a lot of potential to be one of the best period of 2024 for some big quality releases, even if it dribbles into the Northern Summer. But developers need a better more mature Simulator to bring quality releases to the Users, that aspect was something quite lacking over the last few years...  it is time for X-Plane 12 to turn the corner...  and that is said on April Fools day!

     

    See you all next month.

     

    Stephen Dutton

    1st April 2024

    Copyright©2024 X-Plane Reviews

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  13. NEWS! - Scenery Upgraded : KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude

     

    News! - KTLH - Tallahassee USA XP12 by Skytitude.jpg

     

    Tucked north in the east of the Gulf of Mexico in the American state of Florida is Tallahassee. The capital of the state, and it is the largest city in the Florida Big Bend and Florida Panhandle region. Tallahassee is also a college town with student population exceeding 70,000, home to Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, a large state college that serves mainly as a feeder school to Florida State and Florida A&M.

     

    Tallahassee International Airport is a city-owned airport five miles southwest of downtown Tallahassee, in Leon County, Florida, United States. It serves the state capital of Florida, and its surrounding areas; it is one of the major airports in north Florida, the others being Pensacola, Northwest Florida Beaches, and Jacksonville. Despite its name, it does not service any international destinations.

     

    Rim&Co did a weird X-Plane 11 version of KTLH Tallahassee, but they got into trouble for stealing other peoples objects. Another version of KTLH was from Skytitude for X-Plane 11, and this is the re-released X-Plane 12 version. Owners of KTLH XP11 can also purchase this new XP12 version for 25% off, and Skytitude importantly note that this NEW scenery for X-Plane 12 was completely renovated and does not contain anything from older version.

     
    Features:
    ❯ Complete and Accurate representation of Tallahassee Airport
    ❯ Custom Materials and Surfaces with Physical-Based Rendering Effect (PBR)
    ❯ Spectacular Buildings and Objects with Realistic Night Lighting
    ❯ Tons of High Density Hand-Placed Forests and Plants
    ❯ Wet Surfaces Using New X-Plane 12 Weather Technology
    ❯ Custom 3D Grass Using New X-Plane 12 Vegetation Technology
    ❯ Moveable Jetways Using New X-Plane 12 Technology
    ❯ AI Traffic Routes for Airliners are implemented
    ❯ Accurately Built Large Surrounding Area with Thousands of Hand-Placed Objects
    ❯ All Surrounding Area Lakes have Realistic Water Masks
    ❯ Huge Solar Power Farms are Implemented in Outstanding Quality Without Performance Impact
    ❯ Water Treatment Facility on Runway 27 Final Approach Area
    ❯ Well Optimized, Awesome Performance even on Low-End or High-Loaded Machines
    ❯ Highest Precision of Surface Markings, Lights, Signs and other Ground Elements
    ❯ Markings and Signs are strictly complains FAA rules 150/5340-1M and 150/5340-18G as real one's

     

    pictures-01.jpgpictures-05.jpgpictures-11.jpgpictures-09.jpgpictures-24.jpgpictures-20.jpgpictures-19.jpgpictures-16.jpg

     

    Images are courtesy of Skytitude

    ________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!  KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12 by Skytitude is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    KTLH - Tallahassee International Airport XP12

    Price is US$19.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    Download Size: 703 MB
    Current version : 1.0
     
    Owners of KTLH XP11 can purchase this new XP12 version for 25% off, please find the coupon code in the original KTLH Invoice.
    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    30th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

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  14. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA by vSkyLabs

     

    NEWS! - Junkers A50 by vSkyLabs_News header.jpg

     

    The Junkers A50 already is a legend. As it was the first Sportsplane, and designed by Hermann Pohlmann in the Junkers works. The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by a further four prototypes, in order to test different engines, but settled on a 80-hp, 5-cylinder radial engine.

     

    The A50 was an all metal construction sports plane, conventional in layout, with low cantilever wings, stressed corrugated duralumin covered, the same material as used in the larger Junkers passenger planes.... Two-spar wings could fold rearwards or be detached. Crew of two, sit in tandem, in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). The A50 used a Two-blade propeller and conventional fixed split axle main-wheel landing gear, with a rear skid. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The high prices probably inhibited sales...  but the design created a new category in aviation.

     

    The aircraft however has not been resigned to the past. In 2022, Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 called the "Junior" for LSA approval. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 of these new A50s have sold in Europe, and plans have been made for WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category is a small 2 seat aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 600kg.

     

    The vSkyLabs ‘Test-Pilot’ Junkers A50 Junior for the X-Plane 12 Simulator is based on the modern German version, and equipped with a full-scale and fully-featured X-Plane 12 G1000 avionics in both cockpits. Display configuration consists of a single screen/dual display bundle, which allows ‘flicking’ of PFD/MFD on during flight and on the fly. There will be no X-Plane 11 version.

     

    Features Include

    • Superb Flight dynamics: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior simulation is a highly engineered, robust tail-glider S-LSA simulation model which makes use of X-Plane 12 sophisticated flight dynamics and physics simulation, extracting it to its limits.
    • Simulated systems: The VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior features X-Plane 12 latest native features, systems and physics. This assures a 'high airworthiness' in X-Plane, throughout its update process. Some systems may be restricted to X-Plane default systems algorithms.
    • General cockpit configuration: Equipped with a full-scale and fully-featured X-Plane 12 G1000, in a single-screen / dual-display configuration, to allow maximum usability.
    • Equipped with Alpha Systems AOA 'Eagle' indicator replica.
    • Passenger leaning-aside feature for better takeoff and landing forward visibility (by demand via interaction/assignment).
    • Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage.
    • Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots: The aircraft is designed to be flown from the back-seat cockpit. This configuration requires higher piloting skills, and it *will* make you a better pilot!. The front-seat cockpit is fully functional as well, with the limitations which are derived from the real-world Junkers A50 Junior front-seat operations).
    • Wonderful FMOD sound package that includes authentic Rotax 912iS engine recordings and an interactive set of dynamic sound layers that will "wrap" your open-cockpit flying experience, setting a whole new level of immersion!
    • Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater (XP12 only) - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap).

     

    vskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-004.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-002.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-003.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-007.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-008.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-010.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-011.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-013.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-014.jpg

     

    vskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-015.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-016.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-018.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-019.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-019.jpgvskylabs-junkers-a50-junior-v1.0-030.jpg

     

    Avionics - The new Junkers A50 Junior enjoys a high-tech cockpit interface which blends elegantly into the retro design. The back-seat (the main cockpit used for flying the aircraft) is equipped with Garmin G3X Touch 10”, while the front cockpit can host the Garmin G3X Touch 7” or GI 275 / Winter altimeter / Winter airspeed indicators.

     

     

    This project is part of the VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' series, designed specifically for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental Flight Model.

    Development note...   he VSKYLABS development of the Junkers A50 Junior project for X-Plane flight simulator was approved by ‘JUNKERS Aircraft GmbH’. However, it is an independent VSKYLABS project which is not affiliated with ‘JUNKERS Aircraft GmbH’.

     

    Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs...

     

    Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!

    ___________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    VSKYLABS Junkers A50 Junior S-LSA XP12

    Price is US$29.00, on sale for US$20.30, You Save:$8.70(30%)

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)
    Windows, Mac and Linux
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Current version: 1.0 (March 29th 2024)

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    30th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  15. NEWS! - Beta Available : Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.09

     

    MD11 News! v1.09 header.jpg

     

    Rotate have released a new "Beta" version for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 in v1.09. Notable is this first and foremost a "Beta", and so you can expect issues and bugs, but an interesting update it is.

     

    First it tests support for Apple Silicon architecture, which has become a more restless problem for developers than first realised, developers are getting on top of the problems, but Silicon is certainly not of the same configuration of the older Intel based processors.

     

    Another big new feature is the "pop up" instrument displays are now available. Rotate aircraft (MD88/MD11) have always had fixed displays/screens.

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v109 Head.jpg

     

    Now you can "popout" the instrument panels including the MCDU units. It was always hard to programme with their position relative to the MAP display (PLAN MODE)...  You still have to use the MCDU for inputs, but it saves you from flicking back and forth between the MAP display and MCDU. Yes all the popouts are scalable in size and can be used in Home Cockpits in the usable Window configuration. 

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v109 Head 3.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v109 Head 2.jpg

     

    And YES I really "loved" the new feature. Lighting has also had a bit of a revision, fine tuning you can all it. The lighting was always really good in the MD11, but it feels now more natural, Softer? but it looks excellent.

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v109 Head 4.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v109 Head 5.jpg

     

    Windows are now more cleaner, clearer... I personally found them a bit "Too" clean, clear... I would like the option for dirty windows as my preference, or the dirtier the better.

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v109 Head 6.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v109 Head 7.jpg

     

    There has been attention on the landing roll. The MD11 has one of the fastest landing speeds of any aircraft, so this aspect point is important. Here several areas on the approach phase have been tuned. Including AP1/AP2 annunciator in (the) FMA during dual land mode has been fixed, FMS SPD deceleration select/preselect now have safeguards during approach, FMC now does calculated IAS values for deceleration configurations. The MS speed target was rising above the approach speed below 100AGL in some cases...   and finally the landing roll brakes have better deceleration. All are aimed to the approach and landing phase sequences.

     

    The v1.09 changelog is the usual lengthy output from Rotate, mostly nips and tucks to this of one of the very the highly specialised Simulations for the X-Plane 12 Simulator...

     

    - Added pop up windows for screen displays.
    - Implemented MIN PROF field in STAR page for RNAV procedures.
    - Implement FMS SPD deceleration select/preselect safeguards during approach.
    - Show FMC calculated IAS values for deceleration configurations.
    - Improved VNAV descent prediction during non-clean configuration.
    - Improved VOR interception accuracy.
    - Tuned landing roll brakes deceleration.
    - Added VERT ALERT annunciation in FMA when approacing T/D.
    - Filter airports displayed by runway length.
    - Reset CLB/ACCEL FMC fields.
    - HDG SEL (pull) must allow edition of the heading target until <3º difference.
    - Pushing FMS SPD (with no wheel change) resets to ECON.
    - Added warning and logging for route loading process.
    - Improved LED lighting of LCD displays.
    - Inhibit DEFINED WAYPOINTS deletion when used in the flight plan.
    - TCAS TA Only mode should be engaged automatically on ground and below 1000AGL.
    - Improved manipulation of ELF switch.
    - Reorder SID/STAR listing after applying filters.
    - Reset ADG with maintenance button.
    - Reduced dirt on windshield texture.
    - Fixed FMS SPD indication glitch during climb at cross-over altitude.
    - Fixed a problem with navaid selection with duplicate names.
    - Fixed AFS pitch limits during SOP.
    - Fixed a problem when transitioning from PROF to ALT HLD/SOP during descent.
    - Fixed navaid DESELECT for ILS navaids.
    - Fixed APPR/ILS guidance response when signal is not available.
    - Fixed HDG turn direction problem when crossing 0.
    - Fixed HDG bug reset after being hidden.
    - Fixed AP1/AP2 annunciator in FMA during dual land.
    - Fixed a bug in bank limit during non curved transition.
    - Fixed FMS SPD target rising above approach speed below 100AGL in some cases.
    - Fixed draw order of flight director bars in PFD.
    - Fixed Aircraft floating over the runway during autoland in XP11.
    - Fixed DME only stations not showing correct data in ND.
    - Fixed ATS too responsive during cruise.
    - Fixed compatibility problems with A Pilot's Life and other plugins.
    - Fixed N2 going over red arc during TO in high altitude airports.
    - Fixed bug in FPA discreet stepper when going down.
    - Fixed problem in "fix all failures" function.
    - Fixed a bug in landing gear disagree lights.
    - Fixed a typo in stby airspeed indication.
    - Fixed a bug in logic of CRZ and CLB thrust mode auto-selection.
    - Fixed A-ICE ALL ON shown along with all other A-ICE alerts.
    - Fixed reverser indication color during deployment on air.
    - Fixed engine fire handles annuciators.
    - Upgraded to newer Aerosoft database.

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v108 Head 9.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v108 Head 10.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v108 Head 11.jpgRotate-MD-11 - Navigraph 1.jpgRotate-MD-11 - Navigraph 2.jpgRotate-MD-11 - Navigraph 3.jpgRotate-MD-11 - Navigraph 4.jpg

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v108 Mid 5.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v108 Mid 6.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v108 Mid 7.jpgRotate-MD-11 - v108 Mid 8.jpg

     

    Rotate-MD-11 - v108 Mid 11.jpg

     

    The update v1.09 is currently only available from the Skunkcraft Updater, with the "BETA" mode selected, as will any subjacent Beta version releases. Requirements show the current v1.08 version for purchase.

     

    Designed by Rotate
    Support Forum at X-Plane.org or http://support.rotatesim.com/

    _____________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.08 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    Rotate MD-11

    Price is US$83.95

     

    The feature list is HUGE, so if you want to read it, then open the text file.

    Feature List.txtUnavailable

    Requirements
    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
    Windows 8 or  Mac OSX 10.12 or newer (using Rosetta for ARM Processors) , Linux Ubuntu 64b 18.04 or newer
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended
    Current version: 1.08 (November 1st 2023)
     

    You can download this updated v3.0 Updater free here; SkunkCrafts Updater Standalone client

     

    Full download v1.09 changelog is here;

     

    Changelog v1.09.rtf

    ________________
     

    NEWS! by Stephen Dutton

    29th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  16. NEWS! Updated - FlyJSim updates Q4XP Dash 8 quickly to version v1.36

     

    Flyjsim Q4XP XP12 Header v1.36.jpg

     

    While the release of the FlyJSim v4 Boeing 737-200 is imminent (weeks now, not months). The developer has presented another update for the excellent Q4XP or De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Q400 as version v1.34.... that was very quickly updated to v1.35 the next day, then v1.36 just the day after (compatibly with TrueEarth GB North XP12).

     

    The v1.34 update covered those tricky doors, in trying to open/close them on the JPAD (Tablet). It was a very if an annoying tricky operation to open any door, certainly the left rear with the cargo door overlapping the passenger door "Fixed Pressurization limiting doors operation", is yes finally a fix  v1.35 "yeah", but like I mentioned in the earlier news notice it was still annoying, even frustrating in using the Q4XP doors...

     

    Flyjsim Q4XP XP12 v1.34 head 1.jpgFlyjsim Q4XP XP12 v1.34 head 2.jpgFlyjsim Q4XP XP12 v1.34 head 3.jpgFlyjsim Q4XP XP12 v1.34 head 4.jpgFlyjsim Q4XP XP12 v1.34 head 5.jpg

     

    The custom Universal UNS-1 Flight Management System has had attention here to fix crashes, or bugs in the system...  the same UNS is coming to the B737-200 as well!

     

    In v1.35 there has also been an adjustment to the engine idle speed, and noticeable for M1 Mac uses in that the "Luajit" option is now available on the JPad.

     

    Flyjsim Q4XP XP12 v1.34 head 6.jpg

     

    LuaJIT is a tracing just-in-time compiler. LuaJIT chooses loops and function calls as trace anchors to begin recording possible hot paths. Function calls will require twice as many invocations to begin recording as a loop. Once LuaJIT begins recording, all control flow, including jumps and calls, are inlined to form a linear trace. This tool can be used for increased speed in the processing on Apple Mac processors.

     

    Version 1.36   (March 28th 2024)
    - Fixed crashing Issue related to TrueEarth GB North for XP12
    Version 1.35   (March 27th 2024)
    - for XP12 only - XP11 remains 1.34
    - Doors will definitly open now.
    - Fixed FPS on M1 mac, you know have a LuaJit toggle in the options menu of the JPad.
    - Adjusted engine idle speeds. 
    Version 1.34   (March 22nd 2024)
    - Fixed Pressurization limiting doors operation.
    ## UNS:
    - Fix crash caused by terrain display database at high latitudes (ENSB).
    - Fix crash due to bad input validation on HOLD FIX page (when entering 0 instead of 
        a valid leg item number).
    - Fix crash when deleting flight plan FMS heading mode was on.
    - Fix once-a-second stutter due to wrong OpenGL texture transfer format for EGPWS 
        display.
    ## FIXES
    - Change LNAV tracking algorithm to match the one used by the real FMS.
    - Fix incorrect overfly turns when sequencing to a CF leg.
    - Fix truncated procedure names in clearance-format flight plan (FPL > MENU > 
        CLEARANCE).
    - Fix non-IFR airport not shown in database.
    - Fix incorrect COM-radio frequency validation in FMS TUNE page (frequencies 
        above 135 MHz were incorrectly rejected).
    - Fix some conditional legs not being parsed correctly (altitude legs with Flight 
        Level values).
    - Change texture transfer format for EGPWS terrain display to minimise stutter.
    - Improve direct-to roll out computation to avoid S-turns where possible.
    - Fix holds not computed properly if inserted at the current TO leg with less than 
        15 seconds left before sequencing (plane was steering for 360° and never 
        turning back inbound).
    - If "DISABLE M/APPR" is selected in the NAV MENU, show the missed approach regardless 
        once navigating to the last approach leg.
    - Fix HSI/FMS desired track display. The FMS was flying great circle paths correctly, 
        but the HSI desired track was not updating along the (changing) great circle 
        heading.
    - Improve display of DF (Direct-to-Fix) procedural legs with roll-out/PPOS point on MFD.
     

    Q4XP - EKCH 25.jpgQ4XP - EKCH 26.jpgQ4XP - EKCH 27.jpgQ4XP - En Route 11.jpgQ4XP - En Route 12.jpgQ4XP - En Route 13.jpg

     

    Q4XP - Instruments 3.jpgQ4XP - Instruments 4.jpgQ4XP - Cockpit 6.jpgQ4XP - Cockpit 7.jpgQ4XP - Cockpit 8.jpg

     

    Q4XP - Cabin 15.jpgQ4XP - Cabin 16.jpgQ4XP - Cabin 10.jpgQ4XP - Cabin 11.jpg

     

    Update download v1.36 is now available via the X-Plane.OrgStore (Account) or use the Skunkcraft Updater. Re-authorisation is required (A full restart is also recommended).

     

    Support forum for the Q4XP

    ________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Q4XP v1.36 by FlyJSim is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    Q4XP by FlyJSim

    Price is US$79.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11

    Windows, Mac or Linux

    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 1.5 GB
    Current version: 1.36 (March 28th 2024)
    ________________
     

    NEWS! was Updated by Stephen Dutton

    29th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  17. T-6G Texan Header.jpg

     

    Military Aircraft Review : North American T-6G Texan by Khamsin Studios & Philip Ubben

     

    The extent of the full impression of the effects of the North American T-6G Texan are hidden behind the diversity of the models and the different variations of the original aircraft. Not only for the American Air Force and Naval services "SNJ". But the British Commonwealth versions under the "Harvard" moniker, and localised variations of the Australian CAC Wirraway and Canada's Noorduyn, and it was even developed later into the North American P-64, altogether there has been 15,495 aircraft built, and it had an operational life of 60 Years (1935 to 1995). No small feat for a trainer aircraft.

     

    Modified as the NA-26, it was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat Trainer " aircraft competition in March 1937. The T-6 was based on the NA-18, but with a foot longer wingspan, it was the first of the NA-16 series with retractable gear. It was similar to the BT-9, but with a larger engine, the 550 hp (410 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, and could accommodate two .30 in (7.62 mm) guns.

     

    Khamsin Studios is already known for classic WW2 aircraft, like his last release of the Mustang P-51, But lately he has mostly been working alongside of Philip Ubben, and in the releases of Helicopters like the SA 315B Lama, and now again here in unison with this X-Plane 12 release of the legendary T-6G Texan.

     

    T-6G Texan header 1.jpgT-6G Texan header 2.jpgT-6G Texan header 3.jpgT-6G Texan header 4.jpgT-6G Texan header 5.jpg

     

    The T-6 Texan is a two-seater, dual-controlled, single-engine trainer. Solo flight is permitted only from the front cockpit because of restricted visibility from the rear seat and inadequate controls in the rear cockpit. On training flights, the student uses the front cockpit while the instructor occupies the rear, except for instrument training when the student occupies the rear seat. The aircraft incorporates a steerable tail wheel, but not a free castoring rear wheel.

     

    Khamsin is a long time developer for the X-Plane Simulator, so design quality is actually expected, and he does deliver it in spades. Notable is that when X-Plane 12 is the only priority (there will be no X-Plane 11 version). You can use these advanced uprated effects and the lighting to deliver a better all round visual impact. All pure X-Plane 12 aircraft have this quality sheen, but still the talent of the developer is required to make it work in creating this extreme realism that X-Plane 12 can deliver. Here is it excellent, you feel the construction of the aircraft, and the rivets and paneling that goes into the creating the best overall effect. Notable is the excellent reproduction of the R-1340 Wasp, and the huge maul of the front of the aircraft to accommodate it

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 1.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 2.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 3.jpg

     

    Central hub and propeller (Two bladed, constant-speed Hamilton Standard) are intricately modeled here, as are all the air-cooled nine circular cylinders of the Wasp engine.

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 4.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 5.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 13.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 14.jpg

     

    In payware aircraft you expect this sort of high quality detail, almost is regarded as a benchmark to the current state of the Simulator. But still you marvel on how really good it all is, how far the developer has come in being able to deliver a quality of this high standard for you to enjoy and use.

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 6.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 7.jpg

     

    It is all brilliantly conceived and delivered in detail and authenticity here, you can spend ages just admiring it all. Note the excellent hydraulic lines in the gear bay, lovely deep cross-treaded tyres add to the realism, as does the simple strut arrangement of the main gear.

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 8.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 9.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 10.jpg

     

    Glass in the canopy frame is excellent, better is if you look for the mottled effect in certain lighting conditions, shows again the highlighted realism of the glass.

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 11.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 15.jpg

     

    Looking inside and the detail is certainly the pre-war period, but it is still quite comprehensive for a basic trainer aircraft. Notable is the fact that the T-6 Texan was created to replicate heavier service aircraft, to get the same feel and handling as the front line machines, not for just a trainee rookie pilot in taking their first steps in flight. The T-6 is far more up the grade than that, even in other roles as a combat aircraft itself, if only in a lightweight role.

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 16.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 17.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 18.jpg

     

    As noted the student goes up in the front, the instructor in the rear. But the differences between the two positions are not that much different, bar the aircraft's systems and radios. You feel and see more of the aircraft's frame in the rear, but otherwise they are not that much dissimilar.

     

    T-6G Texan Detail 19.jpgT-6G Texan Detail 20.jpg

     

    You sit on your parachute in the metal tub, stick and rudder pedals are all very heavy duty, but it's a very realistic cockpit to be in....

     

    T-6G Texan Cockpit 1.jpgT-6G Texan Cockpit 2.jpg

     

    First view looks complicated, but the instruments and controls are all really very standard in their placement and use, so you will soon adjust to the layout. Fuel cock, Landing gear, Trims and Throttle/Mixture/RPM are on the left, right side are the Electrical switches, lighting and fuses (non-active, all DC circuits).

     

    T-6G Texan Cockpit 3.jpgT-6G Texan Cockpit 4.jpgT-6G Texan Cockpit 5.jpg

     

    Forward the instrument panel is a mixture of instruments, but you can sort of mentally place them, in flying instruments centre left, and engine readouts centre right, with a compass headup front. With the exception of the hydraulic pressure gauge, which is installed only in the front cockpit. A suction gauge is also provided in each cockpit. The gyro horizon, directional gyro, and turn-and-bank indicator are all operated by the engine-driven vacuum system. The airspeed indicator is operated by the pitot and static systems, and the altimeter, and rate-of-climb indicator are operated by the static system.

     

    Top level includes (LtoR); Nav 1 Pointer, Airspeed (MPH), Adjustable Compass, Artificial Horizon/ Bank Rate, Manifold Pressure. Second row; Back up Compass, Heading, Altitude, Rate of Turn, V/S Vertical Speed, Engine RPM, Carb Temp. Third Row; Ignition Switch, Suction, Pointer, Accelerometer G, Clock, Oil Temperature and Pressure, Fuel Quantity , Cylinder Head Temperature  and (Outside) Air Temperature ... 

     

    T-6G Texan Cockpit 6.jpg

     

    ....   far right is the Ampere, and far left lower is the Hydraulic Pressure Gauge. Primer knob is centre right with external lights lower, right lower is the COMM1 and NAV1 radio, with a Transponder set below.

     

    T-6G Texan Cockpit 7.jpg

     

    Rear seat instrument layout is almost identical, except for radios and transponder.

     

    T-6G Texan Cockpit 8.jpg

     

    Menu

    Immediately right of the forward pilot is a "Data Case"...  inside is the Tablet/Menu, that when activated (hotspot) is positioned upper left of the pilot. It has five tabs; AviTab, Ground operations, Other options, Sounds and About.

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 1.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 2.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 3.jpg

     

    Five buttons on the right side of the bezel covers; Power, (not working), AVI (Not Working), XPL (close tablet), Brightness (brighter, darker and again not working).

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 4.jpg

     

    AviTab we will look at in a minute....  Ground operations is the default screen...  here you can change the T-6G aircraft options, including a Prop "Spinner".

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 12.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 13.jpg

     

    "Early or Late" Canopy

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 5.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 6.jpg

     

    VHF and ADF aerials

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 7.jpg

     

    SNJ hook...  activation knob is right side pilot seat

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 8.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 9.jpg

     

    Gear doors and Wheel covers

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 10.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 11.jpg

     

    Bottom left is the adjustable Left or Right Wing "Fuel" Weight in Kgs or Lbs

     

    Other options

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 14.jpg

     

    Here there are six options.... first one is to "Show (rear) Copilot". Both pilot heads are animated, and are very realistic, and in flight the actions are different to ground...  but both pilots are the same character.

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 15.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 16.jpg

     

    Second and third options are the Canopy and Instrument reflections (on/off). Fourth option is an "Autostart" to start the aircraft automatically, this also adds in the "Speech" Option, that will talk you through the engine startup procedure...  last Option is to have the "Fuel Switcher" ON or in auto mode.

     

    Sounds & About

    Both pages are first the standard X-Plane "Sound" levels, and the the "About" information of the different areas of work by each developer in Khamsin and Ubben...   the aircraft version number is shown here as well.

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 17.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 18.jpg

     

    The AviTab Tablet as we have shown is also available (plugin required), it is the standard AviTab layout and tools, but you can rotate a chart from Portrait to Landscape...  quality is not very good at chart distance.

     

    T-6G Texan Menu 19.jpgT-6G Texan Menu 20.jpg

     

    Liveries

    Eleven Liveries provided by Khamsin, and all are quite exceptional for authenticity. TA-127 is the default, but included are Big Red, G-TSIX, Lagarto, Popeye, Marines, RCAF, Spanish Lady and the famous Harvard (RAF) "Wacky Rabbit". Plus there is a "Bare Metal" aircraft.

     

    T-6G Texan Livery Bare Metal.jpgT-6G Texan Livery TA-127.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Big Red.jpgT-6G Texan Livery G-TSIX.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Lagarto.jpgT-6G Texan Livery N2983.jpgT-6G Texan Livery N29931 Popeye.jpgT-6G Texan Livery N969RH Marines.jpgT-6G Texan Livery RCAF 421.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Spanish Lady.jpgT-6G Texan Livery Wacky Rabbit.jpg

     

    Flying the T-6G

    T-6G Texan Start.jpg

     

    Starting up a Warbird is never easy, the sequence here is still a procedure to be religiously followed, but tricky if not done correctly. Officially you first select a fuel tank containing some fuel with the fuel tank selector. Then use the hand fuel pump to build up some fuel pressure (the pressure gauge should read more than 1 psi for the primer to work). Push the mixture lever to fully forward. Use the primer to pump at least 1 stroke. (Because over-priming isn't simulated in this first release you could pump some more strokes before hitting the starter and the engine might not need any further priming after startup. Now continue to use the primer it always seems to die until the rpm does stabilises around 700rpm. (You can either wait until the rpm does drop significantly before each new primer stroke or just pump a few fast strokes until the rpm won't drop anymore.).

     

    Tricky is the use of the primer...  First you have to "Unlock" it? this is done via a hotspot arrow, hidden in the top section of the pump handle, then you can unlock and pump or prime the engine. Don't forget to relock the pump when the engine is running. Highly notable is that the engine start switch is a pedal set between the rudder pedals!

     

    T-6G Texan Start 1.jpgT-6G Texan Start 2.jpgT-6G Texan Start 3.jpgT-6G Texan Start 4.jpgT-6G Texan Start 6.jpg

     

    If you don't want the palaver of awakening a grumpy old engine into life, then you have the "Autostart" Option on the menu, which is very good with it's vocal patter over the start operation...  Highly realistic are cylinder (firing!) startup sounds as you feel the inconsistent firing, then the cycle of igniting the fuel, which is then produced as an effect out of the exhaust... it is really all well done and realistic.

     

    T-6G Texan Start 5.jpg

     

    The prop settles down to a very authentic clatter in idle... sounds are very, very authentic as noted... A small note in using the "Auto" startup feature, is that make sure your throttle is set upwards, beyond the idle point, if not when the "auto" sequence finishes, then the engine will just "conk" out and stop again, not too much, to give it too much power, but enough to fuel the engine until it warms up.

     

    The mixture range (lean-rich) is extremely small, have the mixture set too high and the T-6G will taxi very fast, too low and it just shuts the engine down...  but there is fine mixture window between the two settings, were you can get a controllable taxi speed... it is worth finding.

     

      T-6G Texan Start 7.jpgT-6G Texan Start 8.jpgT-6G Texan Start 9.jpg

     

    So the taxi is nice if can find your comfort zone, but tricky in that the turn circle is one of the widest I have found in a long time, you can help it along of course with a few pumps of the left or right toe-brake, but in reality it is a wide turning circle. You can of course push the stick forward to unlock the tail-wheel, pull the stick back again to lock it. It sorta works, but I found that tapping the toe-brakes in the direction you want to turn was a better way of pulling off the tighter turn circle.

     

    T-6G Texan Start 10.jpgT-6G Texan Start 11.jpg

     

    Adjust the mixture for more power, and your ready to go...

     

    T-6G Texan Start 12.jpgT-6G Texan Start 13.jpg

     

    The Pratt & Whitney R-1340 is the larger (louder) engine here, and it sounds glorious with the power on, tricky though is the extremely light tail, once it lifts the aircraft will shimmy badly, and it needs a lot of skill to control, it feels too light to me... so is it the X-Plane dynamics or just developer tuning... of course tail-draggers a tricky to fly (takeoff), but the T-6G seems too unrealistic at this point? 

     

    T-6G Texan Start 14.jpgT-6G Texan Start 15.jpgT-6G Texan Start 16.jpgT-6G Texan Start 17.jpg

     

    Once clear and you enjoy the highly realistic gear stowage, first one strut moves, then it stops to allow the other strut to retract, then finishes the operation....  very good.

     

    T-6G Texan Start 18.jpgT-6G Texan Start 19.jpgT-6G Texan Start 20.jpg

     

    Once airborne, you feel the weight of the Texan, but also the restricted power to climb? Rate of climb is noted at 1,200 ft/min (6.1 m/s), but you never get even close to that climb rate?

     

    T-6G Texan Start 21.jpgT-6G Texan Start 22.jpg

     

    Push the Wasp or put it on a high throttle for more power and the engine gives in spectacularly!

     

    T-6G Texan Start 23.jpgT-6G Texan Start 24.jpg

     

    So you have to keep the RPM well out of the red zone, around 20 (lower green band) to stop it exploding, so this highly restricts your climb rate.

     

    Performance is a Maximum speed: 208 mph (335 km/h, 181 kn) at 5000 ft (1,500 m), a Cruise speed of 145 mph (233 km/h, 126 kn) and a Range: 730 mi (1,170 km, 630 nmi). The Service ceiling is24,200 ft (7,400 m).

     

    Important is getting your Trims right. The Rudder Trim is the most important, then sorting it out to the right level with the Elevator Trim. Get both right and the T-6G will find the correct balance to fly manually. Important to get correct as there are no artificial helper's here, with no Autopilot installed, the Texan is a pure manual flying machine...  would I like an autopilot? that aspect is debatable, but I like authenticity over modern features.

     

    T-6G Texan Start 25.jpgT-6G Texan Start 26.jpg

     

    Once sorted the T-6G is excellent in the air, a bit heavy (ponderous?) but extremely nice to fly and to manoeuvre with great sounds coming at you from the nose...

     

    T-6G Texan Start 27.jpgT-6G Texan Start 28.jpgT-6G Texan Start 29.jpg

     

    The view from the Instructors station is excellent, but missing is the forward (animated) student pilot, having the choice to have the forward pilot visible (like with the Aermacchi M-346) would be a nice feature here.

     

    T-6G Texan Start 31.jpgT-6G Texan Start 32.jpgT-6G Texan Start 33.jpg

     

    Lighting

    Cockpit internal lighting quite is basic, there are two fluorescent lights in the instrument panel and lights on each side panel. The T-6G does have a load more lighting features, including a full panel for "Recognition Lights" but none are operable or not done yet.

     

    T-6G Texan Lighting 1.jpgT-6G Texan Lighting 2.jpgT-6G Texan Lighting 3.jpg

     

    That said, it looks very good internally and externally in the cockpit.

     

    T-6G Texan Lighting 5.jpgT-6G Texan Lighting 6.jpg

     

    External lighting is basic as well...  there are two inset wing landing lights, navigation lights and that is about it, there is "Strobe" switch, but it doesn't work...  so again in areas it feels there is still work to be done on the lighting overall. What is here however is very good

     

    T-6G Texan Lighting 4.jpgT-6G Texan Lighting 8.jpgT-6G Texan Lighting 7.jpg

     

    Time to land...  so I reduce the speed.

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 1.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 2.jpg

     

    Flaps are noted in 0 - 10 - 20 - 30 - 40 - 50 steps, but the reality is they are only three degree phases, 0 - 22 (ish) - 50 (full)...  125 MPH is the limit, but a full Flap will give you a level flying speed of around 100 MPH.

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 3.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 4.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 5.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 6.jpg

     

    I found the Texan very stable in the approach phase, quite easy to focus on the runway and keep a straight line in that same focus.

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 7.jpg

     

    Down goes the gear and the speed is reduced to 90 knts, notable is the drag effect on the gear when deployed, so you have to throttle up a little to account for that extra drag...

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 8.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 9.jpg

     

    I loved this approach phase, I was very, very deep into the aircraft and flying it as smoothly as I could.

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 10.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 11.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 12.jpg

     

    As I reached the threshold, I lifted (flared) the nose to rub off the speed, I didn't want to do a three-pointer, but still wanted the tail as low as it could be possible.

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 13.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 14.jpg

     

    A touch, then another... and I am down. Again the yaw was tricky until the speed had reduced and the tail was happily down, it takes a little practise to get it right with the rudder and toe-brakes, but its a foible to learn with these sort of low rear aircraft.

     

    T-6G Texan Landing 16.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 15.jpgT-6G Texan Landing 17.jpg

     

    Your thought go out to those naval boys, landing this aircraft on a shifting carrier deck, you can practise that of course in X-Plane, but I guarantee it was be a very tough challenge to get it right...  Overall this was an excellent machine.

    _____________

    Summary

    Khamsin Studio's is already known for classic WW2 aircraft, like his last release of the Mustang P-51, But he has mostly lately been working alongside of Philip Ubben, and in the releases of Helicopters like the SA 315B Lama, and now again here in unison with this X-Plane 12 release of the T-6G Texan.

     

    Modified as the NA-26, it was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat Trainer " aircraft competition in March 1937. The T-6 was based on the NA-18, but with a foot longer wingspan, it was the first of the NA-16 series with retractable gear. It was similar to the BT-9, but with a larger engine, the 550 hp (410 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, and could accommodate two .30 in (7.62 mm) guns.

     

    This is another exquisite design from Khamsin Studio, X-Plane 12 delivers very high quality aircraft, and this T-6G Texan is no exception, it is beautifully created and detailed, with a perfect soundscape and sound panel. Features are basic, with "Early" or "Late" canopies, Prop Spinner, VHF and ADF aerials, Gear doors and Wheel covers and SNJ tailhook (naval), excellent animated pilots are also included but only the rear can be hidden, front pilot would be nice visible if flying from the rear Instructor position. Popup menu also includes automated start procedure with vocal instructions, and the built in AviTab, but there is no autopilot or any helpers here.

     

    Everything is very, very authentic to this extensive service (60 Years) trainer aircraft and a few went into service (combat) as well, so you get that very genuine article feel and use of this very unique aircraft.

     

    It is certainly a huge credit to the skills of the developer of what they have delivered here, but totally authentic as well. Khamsin and Ubben have a very high record and a high regard in what they deliver in aircraft for the X-Plane 12 simulator, this T-6G Texan is no exception. But again you feel and use the step forward in quality and effects that dedicated X-Plane 12 designed aircraft deliver, it is quite extraordinary in what is now achieved in Simulation...  This T-6G Texan is another banner aircraft to show off those highlights...    Highly Recommended. 

    ________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    The North American T-6G Texan XP12 by Khamsin Studio and Philip Ubben is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here:

     

    North American T-6G Texan XP12

    Price is US$32.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12  (not for XP11)
    Windows , MAC or Linux 
    8GB + VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 460 MB
    Current version: 1.1 (March 25th 2024)
     
    Aircraft download is 456Mb, and unpacked, then installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 636Mb. No authorization on startup is required.
     
    Documents
    • manual_t6g_khamsin_XP12
    • quick_start_t6g_khamsin

    The provided manual (31 Pages) is excellent in being a notated original T-6 authentic manual, Quick Start (2 Pages) is mostly flying tips...

     

    T-6G Texan Flight Manual.jpgT-6G Texan Quick Start Manual.jpg
     

    Designed by Khamsin Studio and Philip Ubben

    ________________
    

    Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review).

    Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - KTCM - McChord AFB  - Seattle - Boeing Country 10.5 by Tom Curtis (Sorry not now available)
    ________________

     

    Military Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

    26th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  18. NEWS! - VerticalSim Upgrades KMYR - Myrtle Beach International Airport to X-Plane 12

     

    NEWS! Scenery Released - KMRY Myrtle Beach International Airport Header XP12.jpg

     

    VerticalSim has upgraded their Myrtle Beach Airport scenery to X-Plane 12. Originally released for X-Plane 11 (still available), the KMYR package can now be purchased with this new XP12 version for $5 less if you are owners of the earlier XP11 scenery. See your account for the coupon at the X-Plane.OrgStore.

     

    Myrtle Beach International Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) southwest of the central business district of Myrtle Beach, in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. It was formerly known as Myrtle Beach Jetport (1974–1989) and is located on site of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, which also includes The Market Common shopping complex.

     

    The airport covers 3,795 acres (1,536 ha) at an elevation of 25 feet (8 m). Its single runway, 18/36, is 9,503 long (2,897 x 46 m). The airport entrance is on Harrelson Boulevard.

    The Terminal Building is named for Myrtle Beach's first mayor, Dr. Wilford Leroy Harrelson, who served from March 1938 to December 1939 and again from January 1942 to December 1943. The city bought land for the airport during his first term, and the terminal was named in his honor.

     

    Features include
    • 2023 Airport layout
    • Surrounding Autogen Hand Placed Such as, the mall & Warbird Park,
    • High Resolution PBR Ground Textures
    • Sam Custom High detailed jetways
    • Animated car traffic
    • 4K HD Textures
    • Animated Justin Dupree
    • Traffic routes for WT3 and Traffic Global
    • Highly Optimized
    • Color Graded Satellite Imagery
    • HDR night Lighting

     

    2.jpg1.jpg3.jpg4.jpg7.jpg9.jpg10.jpg11.jpg

     

    Images are courtesy of VerticalSim

    __________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!...   KMYR - Myrtle Beach International Airport by VerticalSim is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    KMYR - Myrtle Beach International Airport

    Price is US$14.99

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12  (not for XP11)
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Version 1.0 (March 21st 2024)
    Download Size: 1.7 GB

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    23rd March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  19. NEWS! - Aerosoft updates Helgoland XP to X-Plane 12

     

    UPDATE News! Helgoland XP12 header.jpg

     

    Helgoland XP is a scenery for X-Plane that recreates Germany’s only island in the open sea at a high level of detail and with many new thrilling options.

    Forces of nature have reshaped the East coast of the side islet "Dune" over time. RWY 21 was previously blocked by a high sand dune that is now entirely gone. The southern end of the airport, however, is now a place where waves break around the tip of the runway.

     

    In the wake of "green energy" Helgoland is currently becoming an important maintenance hub for nearby offshore wind farms. The existing military SAR base has been extended by a offshore maintenance helipad with its own hangar. From here you can fly your chopper to transformer stations out in the sea. All of them have their own helipad and make for a thrilling experience when approaching when waves are high.

     

    For the wealthier visitors several airlines started to fly regular routes to Helgoland from Heide-Büsum, Nordholz-Spieka and Uetersen. Airlines serving the airport all use BN2-Islanders, the only multiple passenger aircraft that is allowed to land here on these extremely short runways.

     

    Features:
    • Up-to-date, detailed aerial images
    • 1 meter mesh resolution so you see the smallest dunes near the airport
    • Helgoland-Düne airfield with extremely short runways
    • Current airport buildings with restaurant terrace and transparent tower windows
    • SAR helicopter of the German Navy
    • German Navy frigate (landable)
    • Custom vegetation
    • Very good performance
    • Animated ship and ferry traffic
    • Many 3D people
    • Animated ground traffic and more animations
    • Offshore Southern harbour of energy group (landable)
    • 4 Offshore wind farms with 4 platforms with their own helipads (landable)
    New in the XP12 version:
    • Standalone, fully customized XP12 version
    • Revised lighting
    • Ground now includes PBR reflections
    • Revised orthophoto, color optimized for XP12, including autumn/winter version
    • Weather effects for wet, snow and ice
    • Full support for native XP12 seasons, with no additional add-ons or plugins
    • Adaptation of the animated wind turbines to XP12 (animation also without SAM plugin if not installed)
    • New, fully XP12 compliant mesh including soundscape, seasons and 3D waves

     

    as_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (21).jpgas_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (13).jpgas_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (12).jpgas_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (6).jpgas_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (4).jpgas_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (15).jpgas_edxh_helgoland_xp12 (10).jpg

     

    Notable is that you have to use the "Aerosoft One" application to install (update) the Helgoland XP12 scenery...

     

    Installation of Helgoland XP12  is done through Aerosoft one installer:

    After you have installed Aerosoft One, click on  

    ENTER PRODUCT KEY (under the Library Tab)

    enter the Serial Number provided in this order. This will give you the option to download the airport. Note the different X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 installations.

    __________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! Helgoland XP12 XP by Aerosoft is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Helgoland XP

    Price Is US$24.95

     

    Requirements:

    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download size: 4.7 GB - Installation done via Aerosoft one and serial number 
    Version 1.0.0 XP12 (March 20th 2024 )  1.0.2 for XP11

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    21st March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

  20. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LZIB - Bratislava International Airport XP12 by Chudoba

     

    NEWS! - Scenery Released - LZIB by Chudoba.jpg

     

    Chudoba Designs has released Bratislava International Airport for X-Plane12 (an X-Plane 11 version is also part of the package). A well known quality scenery developer, this is their latest release.

     

    Bratislava, is historically known as Preßburg (Pressburg) ), is the capital and largest city of Slovakia and the fourth largest of all the cities on Danube. The city's history has been influenced by people of many nations and religions, including Austrians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews and Slovaks.

     

    M. R. Štefánik Airport, is located approximately 9 km (5.6 mi) northeast of the city center of Bratislava, spanning over the area of three municipalities (Bratislava-Ružinov, Bratislava-Vrakuňa and Ivanka pri Dunaji). It is the main international airport of Slovakia. Shortly after the independence of Slovakia in 1993, it was named after general Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880–1919), whose aircraft crashed near Bratislava in 1919.

     

    Bratislava is a base for the Slovak Government Flying Service as well as Ryanair, AirExplore, and Smartwings Slovakia. During a brief period in 2011, the airport was also a secondary hub for Czech Airlines. Two maintenance companies, Austrian Technik Bratislava and East Air Company are also based at the airport. Air Livery has one painting bay for aircraft at the airport. The airport is category 4E for aircraft, and category 7 or 8 on request in terms of potential rescue.

    Bratislava is also served by the Vienna International Airport located 49 kilometres (30.4 mi) west of the city centre. Conversely, Bratislava Airport serves as a low-cost alternative (Ryanair) for people from Vienna and the neighbouring areas.

     

    Features

    • PBR Textures
    • Custom Models
    • Optimized for best performance
    • X-Plane 12 Ready

     

    b738 - 2024-03-19 21.03.25.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.19.13.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.19.05.jpg2.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.20.14.jpg1.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.19.40.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.17.33.jpg

     

    b738 - 2024-03-20 20.20.34.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.21.15.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.20.53.jpgb738 - 2024-03-20 20.21.25.jpg

     

    Notable is that in downloading Chudoba scenery, they use a third party system to Authorise and Download the scenery. When you purchase the scenery you are given a Authorisation key and then are directed to the Chudorba Design (Antileak) website. You paste in the authorisation code, then select the ESGG - Göteborg Landvetter scenery, then the site will check your credentials and verify your purchase...  then to install you then press "Download" to do the installation of the product.

     

    Price for this excellent Bratislava Scenery is an amazingly low US12.49!

     

    Images are courtesy of Chudoba Design

    _________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! - the LZIB - Bratislava International Airport XP12 by Chudoba is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    LZIB - Bratislava International Airport XP12

    Price is US$12.49

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB VRAM Recommended
    Version : 1.0 (March 20th 2024)

    ___________________________

     

    News! by Stephen Dutton

    21st March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  21. NEWS! - Navigraph adds Annotations to Charts 8

     

    Navigraph Annotations NEWS! Header.jpg

     

    We love to make notes...  certainly if you go deep into Simulation and want to replicate the real aviation world ethics. Now you can make notes "Annotations" directly onto Navigraph's "Charts" and also into the SimBrief application, it's clever, obviously...  the update v8.33.0 is free to Navigraph Subscribers, just restart your Chart's Application in "About" (Settings). Opening up "Charts" will give you an animated demonstration of the tool.

     

    Navigraph Annotations 1.jpg

     

    The Annotation feature works with any Charts Application available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and in your preferred browser

     

    To use...  select any chart (NTAA - ILZ & LOC Z RWY 04), then press the pen/brush icon second from right top toolbar. And this brings up the Annotation tool set...  top right menu bar.

     

    Navigraph Annotations 2.jpgNavigraph Annotations 3.jpg

     

    Writing on the chart is via the "squiggly" icon far left (S114 knts)...

     

    Navigraph Annotations 4.jpg

     

    ...  you can change the colour (5th Icon) and the width of the annotation line (4th Icon).

     

    Navigraph Annotations 5.jpgNavigraph Annotations 6.jpg

     

    Squares (rectangles )or Circles (ellipses) can also be inserted, also they can be empty or solid objects, and can be used to highlight text. The "Pointer" Icon (6th Icon) can be used to move the set Square or Circle to a new position on the chart.

     

    Navigraph Annotations 7.jpgNavigraph Annotations 8.jpgNavigraph Annotations 9.jpg

     

    The Return Icon (3rd Icon) will remove the last action, the Bin Icon (2nd Icon) will remove any (all) annotations on the chart.

     

    A great feature is that the Annotations are actually saved on the Chart, reopen the old noted chart, and the annotations are still retained, unless cleared by the bin Icon.

     

    SimBrief can also be Annotated, with the same set of tools...  Select your Brief via "View Simbrief OFP" or open Simbrief in your Browser.

     

    Navigraph Annotations 10.jpgNavigraph Annotations 11.jpg

     

    Also notable is with the "Pointer" tool, you can resize the square or circle to change the area coverage.

     

    So it is all an excellent tool... but not perfect? My interaction found that the biggest difficultly was using the mouse to input or draw on the Charts or Brief. Those using a Tablet or IOS with the advantage of a Stylus Pen have a huge advantage here. In this instance it is excellent, but with a mouse not so much? So you also miss the keyboard interaction for making notes? this would create clearer and more precise annotations on the charts. Arrows with points would also be nice, as in pointing out particular points on the charts and Brief, as you would with a tighter arrow, rather than the big squiggly lines you can only do here. Annotations also don't show on the "Overlay" feature, only on separate clean charts.

     

    The tools are also only available in Simbrief in the "Charts" applications, not actually in the Browser loading pages, so you can't reverse load to the Browser, finally your notes won't print out with the Annotates overlaid on the chart, as it is still a clear print or pdf. It will be interesting to see how much I use of the features, but that mouse interaction makes it difficult...

     

    It's still clever of course, very Navigraph - at only a slight cost per month.

    _____________________________________

     

    navigraph_logo.jpg

     

    Yes! Navigraph v8.33.0 is now Available via Subscription, or if you already have a Navigraph account, then just update to the latest v8.33.0


    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 v8.33.0

    _____________________________________

     

    Application NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 

    20th March 2024

    Copyright©2024 : X-Plane Reviews

      

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)

    

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  22. NEWS! - X-Craft's updates X-Plane 12 developer timetable

     

    News header _ X-Craft E-Jet 2024.jpg

     

    Developer X-Craft's have done an announcement on their up and coming developments for the X-Plane 12 Simulator. Noted are four developments in order; E-Jets v1.1.0 update, ERJ Family (all new) for X-Plane 12, Lineage 1000 Business Jet variant and a "Surprise" Project to celebrate X-Craft's 10th Anniversary in the Simulator.

     

    E-Jet Family

    The release of the E-Jet Family this time last year 2023, leapt this talented developer house into the big time. Huge quality and a massive feature list, placed the X-Plane 12 E-Jet into the higher echelon of releases, it all also came with a price to match, but you more than got your value's worth in this trendsetter design for XP12. We have had already a few updates for the E-Jet, but the next one is now noted in v1.1.0

     

    There are coming new features. Most notably, "FMS Speed". Which is in that the FMS Speeds change based on the phase of the flight automatically. Added also is a "Steep Approach" system for the E170 and E190. (I.e. London City Airport, where the approach is 5.5°, almost double the usual 3°), and ILS Autotune will automatically select the correct NAV frequency into the radios as you approach the airport and switch from FMS to ILS at the right time automatically. The update will of course be also full of fixes and bug chasing.

     

    ERJ Family for X-Plane 12

    The next aircraft due for the expansive X-Plane 12 update is the ERJ Family. Higher Quality and features will match the E-Jet Family here, also probably the price, but in reality you won't care as it will be so very good and match the future proof E-Jet. Testing is already ongoing, with 10 new real world ERJ pilot's doing a lot of in depth work to finalise the family for release, expect middle 2Q, maybe in a month or two.

     

    Lineage 1000 Business

    When the E-Jet Family was released, it was missing the "Lineage" Business jet variant. It was expected before Christmas 2023 (as a free addon, if you bought the Full "E-Jet Family Package"), but the Lineage Bizjet will also be available as a separate purchase, with the price expected to be the same around US$75 for the single choice variant.

     

    X-CRAFTS-E-JETS-FAMILY-MARCH-LINEAGE-1.thumb.jpg.ea6457c2671109f192d54e01af469923.jpg

     

    Development (in Progress) images have been released by X-Crafts.

     

    X-CRAFTS-E-JETS-FAMILY-MARCH-LINEAGE-9.thumb.jpg.6423925bc18cb3fd4bb4f4980baebc87.jpgX-CRAFTS-E-JETS-FAMILY-MARCH-LINEAGE-8.thumb.jpg.8cfd6751c3bbc1ef416b55bd131c6bfd.jpgX-CRAFTS-E-JETS-FAMILY-MARCH-LINEAGE-7.thumb.jpg.cd9e40dc8e5ff2d3293c0d9bbc8841bf.jpgX-CRAFTS-E-JETS-FAMILY-MARCH-LINEAGE-4.thumb.jpg.dc5b9b99dcc9ced171a531fb4fc2169d.jpgX-CRAFTS-E-JETS-FAMILY-MARCH-LINEAGE-3.thumb.jpg.bd36f78142064e9b692e94e26c885be3.jpg

     

     Obviously a "Work in Progress", and an animation by X-Craft's shows the detail of getting realistic materials to look "well realistic"....

     

    BedsheetsSimulation03.thumb.gif.ed3a00b177045e0fb3471f5c8fce43ba.gif

     

    Special Project

    To celebrate X-Craft's ten year anniversary milestone. X-Craft's have decided to gift the community something great, and been working on a side project that will be free for the whole community! That is if you sign up to their Not-A-Newlsetter website. Details will be announced there will be forthcoming.

     

    It's ongoing progress for all for all of these projects, and the quality offerings for X-Plane 12 from X-Crafts...  go on "Support your local Developer!".

     

    Designed by X-Crafts

    _____________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Embraer E-Jets Family by X-Crafts is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    Embraer E-Jets by X-Crafts

    Price per single aircraft is US$74.95

     

    Embraer E170 by X-Crafts

     

    Embraer E175 by X-Crafts

     

    Embraer E190 by X-Crafts

     

    Embraer E190 by X-Crafts

     

    Purchasers of the E-Jet v2 (X-Plane 11) can get this new XP12 version with a 15% discount

     

    Embraer E-Jets Family by X-Crafts

    Price for the FULL E-Jet Package is US$134.95

    Includes every E-Type | E170 | E175 | E190 | E195 Plus + Linaeage 1000 Private jet (When Released)

    Purchasers of the E-Jet v2 (X-Plane 11) can get this new XP12 version package with a 15% discount

     

    Requirements
    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
    The first few initial updates will still be X-Plane 11 compatible, however, 6 months after the release, the X-Plane 11 version will be final and development will continue only on the X-Plane 12 version.
    Windows, MAC or Linux - 
    8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Current version: 1.04 (December 16th 2023)

    _____________________

     

    NEWS! by Stephen Dutton

    2th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  23. Society Islands header.jpg

     

    Scenery Review : Society Islands - Leeward and Windward by Aerosoft

     

    Say Tahiti, or Bora Bora and the thoughts are always... "Exotic". French South Pacific plus it's amazing scenery makes this a destination in one of the absolute top hits of any one's bucket list. It has always been on my "most" desired destination. Actually I have been to Tahiti, but a long time ago, way back in the 1970's, but also just passing through en-route to Australia. Yes I have always wanted to go back...

     

    So what of Tahiti in X-Plane. Actually it was well serviced by the XPFR developers, but as usual you wanted a more overall detailed and extremely high quality package to bring out the best of the Simulator and the astonishing South Pacific area.

     

    This "Society Islands" is a set of two packages by the renowned Maps2X-Plane, the same developer house that created both the excellent Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Seychelles XP, all the sceneries reviewed here are Maps2X-Plane releases, but released under the Aerosoft banner. In so any installations are now through the Aerosoft One application, just add in the authorisation number, and the tool will do the install for you.

     

    As noted the Maps2X-Plane Tahiti series is in two different area packages, the first was "Society Islands XP - Bora Bora & Leeward Islands", released now back in September 2021 for X-Plane 11, of which you could call the "Western" area. This package was quickly updated to X-Plane 12 (v1.1) almost immediately.

     

    The second release is the new one "Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands", and again what you would call the "Eastern" area, both packages together then covers the whole Society Island territory.

     

    Although the Leeward scenery was excellent as we shall see, it was slightly compromised in that it was only a regional scenery, with only local inter-island flying. This latest Windward package is significant because it adds in the main gateway or Faa'a International Airport, situated on the main island of Tahiti. This added aspect then connects all the Tahitian areas together, not only the international routes, but also the local domestic routes from the main gateway. The now combined area is also quite significantly wide to explore and to service.

     

    Society Islands Map.jpg

     

    You could say French Polynesia is in the middle of nowhere, because it is, set deep into the central South Pacific Ocean. This makes connections hard and extremely expensive, as the area is a fair flight from any landmass. But there are direct flights from the U.S. West coast, Rarotonga and New Zealand, lately Hawaii was also added.

     

    French Polynesia.jpg

     

    I did an example flight from AKL (Auckland) to PPT (Papeete), it is a route distance of 2,242 nm, translated to 4h34m flightime, and right on the edge of the A321's endurance in fuel. Tricky as there are no alternative options out here. In this eastward direction, then maybe the Cook Islands (625 nm before Tahiti) as an option, but once past that point, then there are no other places to land.

     

    Society Islands 1.jpg

     

    As we are going into NTAA - Faa'a International Airport, we will cover the "Windward" package first..

     

    Package Society Islands Map.jpg

     

    Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands

    The Windward Islands are the eastern group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. These islands were also previously named the Georgian Islands in honour of King George III of the United Kingdom. The capital of the administrative district is Papeete on the island of Tahiti.

    Tahiti, Moorea, and Mehetia are volcanic islands. Tetiaroa and Mai'ao are outer coral Atolls...  all these noted areas are available in the Maps2X-Plane Windward package.

     

    Windward Society Islands Map detail.jpg

     

    Faa'a International Airport

    Faa'a International Airport, also known as Tahiti International Airport is the international airport of French Polynesia, located in the commune of Faaa, on the island of Tahiti. It is situated 5 km (3.1 mi) southwest of Papeete, the capital city of the overseas collectivity. It opened in 1960. Regional air carrier Air Tahiti and international air carrier Air Tahiti Nui are both based at the airport.

     

    The focus and highlight of both sceneries is the Faa'a International Airport, and one very long runway 3420m (11,220ft).

     

    Faa'a International Airport

    Aéroport international de Tahiti Faa'a

    IATA: PPT - ICAO: NTAA

    NTAA PPT chart.jpg

     

    04/22 3,420m (11,220ft) Bituminous

    Elevation AMSL 2m/5 ft

     

    NTAA Head 1.jpgNTAA Head 2.jpgNTAA Head 3.jpgNTAA Head 4.jpg

     

    First views of Faa'a International are simply excellent, the vista has Moorea Island in the background. How far X-Plane has come with X-Plane 12...  as finally we have realistic tropical reef water, and it is excellent here in surrounding the airport perimeters.

     

    NTAA Head 5.jpgNTAA Head 6.jpg

     

    NTAA Head 7.jpgNTAA Head 8.jpgNTAA Head 9.jpg

     

    In visiting South Pacific Islands, you sort of have to time travel back a few decades. Everything is not bright, shiny or new down here. At PPT, it feels like a past time, with an airport that has only basic facilities, no airbridges here, but certainly a nice South Pacific welcome.

     

    The Polynesian look and feel is very evident in the terminal building. Expertly reproduced here by Maps2X-Plane...

     

    NTAA Head 10.jpgNTAA Head 11.jpgNTAA Head 14.jpg

     

    Airport detail is quite exceptional, everything is covered both airside and landside with "Huge" detail...   "dense" I call it...  but there is a lot to admire and take in here. There is a fair bit of animated traffic airside (nicely done), but there is not much traffic movement on the ramps. A few regional connections and the odd International service is about it. But the majority of international aircraft moving in or out are significantly big long haul jets...  the old Pan Am 707's in the 60's, then DC-10's and MD11's dominated in the UTA years, Boeing 747's and even A380's can get into here. Now it is the odd A340, B787, A350, but also now the long thin route single-aisle aircraft ETOPS, which are a common sight.

     

    NTAA Head 15.jpgNTAA Head 16.jpgNTAA Head 12.jpgNTAA Head 13.jpgNTAA Head 30.jpg

     

    Airport infrastructure is again excellent, with maintenance hangars and three (available) Heli pads, there is plenty of static aircraft and vehicles, but the detail in gates, ramp equipment and general clutter items is excellent. West side, is the Fire Station/Control Tower and administration buildings, an inter island area (Moorea & Tetiꞌaroa) is set over here as well. More helipads are also available.

     

    NTAA Head 17.jpgNTAA Head 18.jpgNTAA Head 19.jpgNTAA Head 20.jpg

     

    There is no 3d grass? but the field detail is excellent, with great drainage (including even drainage pipes) and fencing. Surfaces are also first rate, with wear/tear and filled cracks. PBR reflective (wet) active textures and burnt-in ambient occlusion is also available here, great for those summer tropical rainstorms.

     

    NTAA Head 21.jpgNTAA Head 22.jpgNTAA Head 23.jpgNTAA Head 24.jpg

     

    I have just been on a South Pacific cruise (talk about a coincidence)... The South Pacific has a certain look, lush vegetation and foliage, the bright vibrant colours and open sided tired buildings. It is the "feel" of the islands, and this scenery totally translates that "feel" into X-Plane. I could easily have been back in Nouméa (New Caledonia), Port Vila (Vanuatu) or Suva (Fiji )with this scenery. This Tahiti scenery is shockingly very good in translating that Pacific look and feel into the Simulator...  Again the "dense" feel and infrastructure of the Faa'a locale is excellent, it fills right up to the airport boundary and even into it, creating a perfect diorama of the area...  note the vista of Mount 'Orohena in the background.

     

    NTAA Head 25.jpgNTAA Head 26.jpg

     

    The capital Papeete is too the north of the airport. Again the density of the capital is really well replicated, extremely realistic and includes the extensive Papeete Port area for approach realism.

     

    NTAA Head 27.jpgNTAA Head 28.jpgNTAA Head 29.jpg

     

    This arrival area's aspects are all shockingly good, more real world detail than a simulator... you have to be impressed.

     

    There are two heliports (pads) on Tahiti... 

     

    Taaone

    The heliport NTAA of Hôpital du Taaone, located about 8 kilometers east of Faa'a International. Again no expense was spared by Maps2X-Plane to create the authentic hospital for the Tahiti scenery.

     

    Taaone 1.jpgTaaone 2.jpg

     

    Taravao
    The heliport NTHV of Hôpital de Taravao, is located about 40 kilometers southeast of NTAA

     

    Moorea 19.jpgMoorea 20.jpg

     

    Let us not forget that Map2X-Plane's main speciality is terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures, for the landscape and the sea. Highly evident in their amazing Faroe Islands package. It is the same here for Tahiti and these same quality custom textures. In that they cover all the areas in both Windward and Leeward packages, plus create those excellent tropical water effects. They are dazzling to absorb.

     

    Maps2X-Plane 1.jpgMaps2X-Plane 2.jpgMaps2X-Plane 3.jpg

     

    Moorea Airport
    Moorea Airport (NTTM, 1230 meters), also know as Moorea Temae Airport, is a regional airport on the island of Moorea, located 15 kilometers west of Tahiti. It is served by Air Tahiti, and can accommodate aircraft up to the ATR 72 in size. Moorea is a volcanic, mountainous island with the highest point Mount Tohivea at 1207 meters, and for its enclosed reef that surrounds the entire island.

     

    Moorea 1.jpgMoorea 3.jpgMoorea 2.jpg

     

    Moorea Airport is also known as Temae Airport (IATA: MOZ, ICAO: NTTM) or Moorea Temae Airport for its location near the village of Temae in northeastern Moorea. The airport is located 7.5 km northeast of Afareitu, the island's main village. It is set almost directly across from Papeete.

     

    Moorea 4.jpgMoorea 5.jpgMoorea 6.jpgMoorea 7.jpg

     

    The Moorean Polynesian style terminal has had a lot of attention, brilliantly done here by Maps2X-Plane, it is a genuine walkaround the area and be part of the scenery experience... almost photographic in detail.

     

    Moorea 8.jpgMoorea 9.jpgMoorea 10.jpgMoorea 11.jpg

     

    Airport infrastructure is first rate, with a small field tower, cargo and admin area, and housing for airport staff.

     

    Moorea 12.jpgMoorea 13.jpg

     

    Close by Temae is replicated, as are all the locales on the island with custom autogen, very realistic it is...   highlight is the excellent water and realistic reefs.

     

    Moorea 14.jpgMoorea 15.jpg

     

    Moorea's coastline is excellent, with great vistas to explore, either by helicopter or seaplane... The Island's Hilton Luxury Overwater bungalows are also well replicated.

     

    Moorea 17.jpgMoorea 16.jpgMoorea 18.jpg

     

    Afareaitu

    There is one helipad NTHF on Moorea...  it is sited at the Hôpital de Afareaitu, located about 8 kilometers south of NTTM.

     

    Moorea NTHF 1.jpgMoorea NTHF 2.jpg

     

    Tetiꞌaroa

    Tetiaroa Airport (NTTE, 770 meters) is a regional airfield on Onetahi, one of 12 islets of the Tetiaroa atoll, located 53 kilometers directly north of Tahiti. The islets are under a 99-year lease contracted by the famous actor Marlon Brando, and is home to "The Brando Resort". It is served by private flights by Air Tetiaroa, departing at a private terminal at Faa‘a International Airport.

     

    Tetiꞌaroa 1.jpgTetiꞌaroa 2.jpgTetiꞌaroa 3.jpg

     

    The islets (or motus), in clockwise order starting from the southwest corner, include: Onetahi (with regulated airstrip and site of The Brando Resort), Honuea, Tiaruanu, Motu Tauvini (Tauini), Motu Ahurea (Auroa), Hiraanae, Horoatera (Oroatera), Motu 'Ā'ie, Tahuna Iti, Tahuna Rahi, Reiono, Motu One (emerging sandbank) and Rimatu'u (with an ornithology reserve).

     

    Tetiaroa is extraordinary well done in realism, you could be really here, seeing Brando's dream...

     

    Tetiꞌaroa 4.jpgTetiꞌaroa 5.jpgTetiꞌaroa 8.jpgTetiꞌaroa 6.jpgTetiꞌaroa 7.jpg

     

    Marlon Brando "discovered" Tetiꞌaroa while scouting filming locations for the film Mutiny on the Bounty, which was shot on Tahiti and neighboring Moorea. After filming was completed, Brando hired a local fisherman to ferry him to Tetiꞌaroa. It was "more gorgeous than anything I had anticipated," he marveled.

     

    Society Islands XP - Bora Bora & Leeward Islands

    The Leeward Islands literally "Islands Under-the-Wind" are the western part of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France, in the South Pacific Ocean. They lie south of the Line Islands (part of Kiribati), east of the Cooks and north of the Austral Islands (also part of French Polynesia). Their area is 404 km2 and their population is over 36,000.

    The westernmost Leeward Islands comprise a three atoll group: Manuae (also known as Scilly Atoll); Motu One atoll (also known as Bellinghausen), the most northerly of the Leeward Islands; and Maupihaa atoll (also known as Mopelia) to the southeast.

     

    Leeward Map.jpg

     

    Bora Bora

    Bora Bora is part of the central island group of the Leeward Islands in the South Pacific. The main island, located about 230 kilometres (125 nautical miles) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano, rising up to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu; the highest point is at 727 m (2,385 ft). Bora Bora is part of the Commune of Bora-Bora, which also includes the atoll of Tūpai. The main languages spoken in Bora Bora are Tahitian and French. However, due to the high tourist population, many natives of Bora Bora have learned to speak English.

     

    "Mystic" is the word used with Bora Bora, or even "Bali Ha'i" which is a show tune from the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific. The name refers to a mystical island, visible on the horizon but not reachable...  a lot has been said that Bali Ha'i is not Bora Bora, but actually based on the real island of Ambae (formerly Aoba Island). Ambae is located in Vanuatu...  but the images and the feel of Bali Ha'i is totally the Tahitian island. 

     

    Bora Bora.jpgBora Bora 2.jpgBora Bora 3.jpg

     

    The peaks Pahia and Otemanu are excellent with the custom textures, as is the detail of the island's infrastructure, small ports and all the island's locales are very well done.

     

    Bora Bora 4.jpgBora Bora 5.jpgBora Bora 6.jpgBora Bora 7.jpg

     

    But this is a review, not a travelogue...  jumping from the latest Windward to the earlier Leeward packages, there is a difference? Also a time difference of 2½ years, and more significantly a different X-Plane era, Eleven not Twelve. Although the Leeward scenery was updated to XP12 (my guess the water)...  a lot of the XP11 elements remain, like the + trees, no active textures or burnt-in ambient occlusion effects, and not the more modern 3d style XP12 foliage. It makes a slight, but significant difference to the look and feel of this earlier scenery. It feels more plainer, even slightly flat compared to the "lush" vibrant Windward... don't get me wrong Leeward is very good, but looks not as condensed or luscious with realism as the X-Plane 12 effects created in the eastern part of Tahiti.

     

    Bora Bora Airport

    Bora Bora Airport (NTTB, 1505 meters), also known as Motu Mute Airport, is an airport serving Bora Bora (Leeward Islands, Society Islands, French Polynesia) and handles about 300.000 passengers annually. The airport is located on the islet of Motu Mute and is served by Air Tahiti with ATR 42 and ATR 72 propjets

     

    Bora Bora Airport
    Aéroport de Bora Bora

    IATA: BOB - ICAO: NTTB

    Bora Bora NTTB.jpg

    11/29 1,505m (4,938ft) Asphalt

    Elevation AMSL11 ft / 3 m

     

    Bora Bora 8.jpgBora Bora 9.jpg

     

    Rustic and Polynesian, the excellent terminal building is not only for the air, but also a sea pier for servicing the hotels set out around the lagoon. The quaint Control Tower has housing and service buildings around it.

     

    Bora Bora 10.jpgBora Bora 11.jpgBora Bora 12.jpgBora Bora 13.jpg

     

    Like at Moorea, there are a significant number of luxury Overwater bungalows at Bora Bora, and they are all set out around the lagoon areas, very evident, and the hotels existing here in Bora Bora are all replicated in detail.

     

    Bora Bora 14.jpg

     

    There are five Helipads set around the lagoon, mostly at the hotel sites. The one at "Tahiti Nui Helicopters Pago dropzone" is the base for the operations around the area.

     

    Tahiti Nui Helicopters Pago dropzone

    The hub of Tahiti Nui Helicopters on Bora Bora is located about 8 kilometers south of NTTB, XHNTTZ

     

    Tahiti Nui Helicopters Pago dropzone1.jpgTahiti Nui Helicopters Pago dropzone 2.jpgTahiti Nui Helicopters Pago dropzone 3.jpg

     

    Four Seasons Helipad

    A helipad next to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, about 6 kilometers south-east of NTTB, XHNTTF

     

     

    Four Seasons 1.jpgFour Seasons 2.jpg

     

    Saint Regis Helipad

    A helipad next to The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, about 8 kilometers south-east of NTTB, XHNTTS

     

    Saint Regis 1.jpgSaint Regis 2.jpg

     

    Le Meridien Helipad

    A helipad is set next to Le Meridien Bora Bora, about 8 kilometers south- east of NTTB, XHNTTM

     

    Le Meridien 1.jpgLe Meridien 2.jpg

     

    InterContinental Helipad

    A helipad next to the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, about 9 kilometers south-east of NTTB, XHNTTI

     

    InterContinental Helipad 1.jpgInterContinental Helipad 2.jpg

     

    Raiatea Airport

    Raiatea Airport, also known as Uturoa Airport, is an airport on Raiatea and handles about 245.000 passengers annually. Raiatea is the second largest island of the Society Islands, after Tahiti, and has an elevation of 1017 meters. In the north of Raiatea lies Tahaa, and the islands are enclosed by a single coral reef.

     

    Raiatea 1.jpgRaiatea 2.jpgRaiatea 3.jpgRaiatea 4.jpg

     

    Raiatea Airport

    IATA: RFP - ICAO: NTTR

    Raiatea NTTR.jpg

    07/25 1,200m (3,937ft) Asphalt

    Elevation AMSL6 ft / 2 m

     

    Set on the north coast of Raiatea, is Raiatea (Uturoa) Airport NTTR, the runway is actually on reclaimed land on the coral sea.

     

    Raiatea NTTR 1.jpgRaiatea NTTR 2.jpg

     

    Like all these Tahiti sceneries the airport quality is excellent. With very detailed South Pacific rustic buildings and feel... highly authentic.

     

    Raiatea NTTR 3.jpgRaiatea NTTR 4.jpgRaiatea NTTR 5.jpg

     

    There is only one Helipad on Raiatea...

     

    Le Taha‘a Helipad

    A helipad next to the Le Taha‘a Island Resort, about 17 kilometers north-west of NTTR, XHNTTT

     

    Le Taha‘a 1.jpgLe Taha‘a 2.jpg

     

    Huahine

    Huahine measures 16 km (10 mi) in length, with a maximum width of 13 km (8 mi). It is made up of two main islands surrounded by a fringing coral reef with several islets, or motu. Huahine Nui (Big Huahine) lies to the north and Huahine Iti (Little Huahine) to the south. The total land area is 75 km2. The two islands are separated by a few hundred metres of water and joined by a sandspit at low tide. A small bridge was built to connect Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti. The Island's highest point is Turi, at 669 m elevation.

     

    Huahine NTTH 1.jpgHuahine NTTH 2.jpgHuahine NTTH 5.jpg

     

    Huahine – Fare Airport

    Huahine – Fare Airport is the airport serving the island of Huahine in French Polynesia. The airport is located in the northern part of the commune of Fare, on the Island of Huahine Fare,

     

    Huahine – Fare Airport

    IATA: HUH, ICAO: NTTH

    Huahin Fare Chart NTTH.jpg

    07/25 1,500m (4,921ft) Asphalt

    Elevation AMSL7 ft / 2 m

     

    Huahine NTTH 3.jpgHuahine NTTH 4.jpg

     

    Unusually here it is a tiled roof not thatched on the Fare Airport terminal building, but still in a Polynesian style. Again the airport is extremely well done with separate tower and service buildings, it is easy to find from the air as well with it's position.

     

    Huahine NTTH 6.jpgHuahine NTTH 7.jpgHuahine NTTH 8.jpg

     

    Maupiti

    Maupiti is the westernmost volcanic island in the archipelago, 315 kilometres (196 miles) northwest of Tahiti and 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Bora Bora. It has a population of 1,286 people. The largest town is Vaiea. The island is a "near atoll", consisting of a central volcanic peak surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef with four motu: Auira, Pa'ao, Tuanai, Tiapaa and Pitiahe.  The lagoon has an area of 27 square kilometres (10 square miles) and the central island has an area of 12 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) and a maximum elevation of 372 metres (1,220 feet).

     

    Maupiti NTTP 1.jpgMaupiti NTTP 2.jpgMaupiti NTTP 3.jpg

     

    Maupiti Airport

    Maupiti Airport is serving the island of Maupiti and the airport handles about 23.000 passengers annually. It is positioned on the Northeastern coast of the island. Maupiti is the westernmost volcanic high island in the archipelago. The 3136 ft runway 08/26, sticks right out into the surrounding waters, the locale is really well designed (and detailed) to discover.

     

    Maupiti Airport

    IATA: MAU - ICAO: NTTP

    Maupiti NTTP Chart.jpg

    08/26 956m (3136ft) Asphalt

    Elevation AMSL15 ft / 5 m

     

    Maupiti NTTP 4.jpgMaupiti NTTP 5.jpgMaupiti NTTP 6.jpgMaupiti NTTP 7.jpgMaupiti NTTP 8.jpg

     

    Maupiti Airport is another great gateway to paradise.

     

    Last and interesting in the Leeward Islands is...

     

    Tupai

    Tupai is also called Motu Iti, is a low-lying atoll in Society Islands, French Polynesia. It lies 19 km to the north of Bora Bora and belongs to the western Leeward Islands. This small atoll is only 11 km2 in size. Its broad coral reef encloses a shallow sandy lagoon. There are almost continuous long wooded motus on Tupai's reef. Tupai has no permanent residents apart from some workers in its coconut plantations. Tupai is a low-lying atoll and consists of two larger and a few smaller islands surrounding the lagoon.

     

    Tupai Airport is a private airfield on Tupai, inaugu- rated in 2001, and its use is restricted. It is noted as NTTU ICAO designator, there are no charts for the airfield.

     

    Tupai NTTU 1.jpgTupai NTTU 2.jpgTupai NTTU 3.jpgTupai NTTU 4.jpgTupai NTTU 5.jpg

     

    Of course all atolls and small coral islands throughout both packages are also all represented and customised with realistic water and landmass textures. There is also a a lot of vehicle traffic, and animated water traffic that gives off a buzz to the sceneries....  it is a very comprehensive set of sceneries, the best you could imagine for this "Exotic" part of the South Pacific.

     

    Lighting

    Lighting in these sort of packages is not the focus of the scenery... here it is of course basic island lighting. There is another element in looking at the night images to consider. X-Plane (12) and it's current state has not very refined lighting. It is all very over-exposed and quite large at their sources with large flares. So it isn't really very realistic? Here are my arrival images into Faa's NTAA Rwy 04. The lighting looks like cascading lava down the mountainsides? The airport PPT was actually quite hard to make out?

     

    Tahiti Nightlighting 1.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 2.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 3.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 4.jpg

     

    The Faa's NTAA International lighting is perfectly fine, maybe a a better tone of light would have been more realistic... but overall it was good, but the external lighting sorta overwhelms it. The arrival globe lighting at the terminal's entrances are however a masterstroke.

     

    Tahiti Nightlighting 5.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 6.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 7.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 8.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 9.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 10.jpg

     

    Papeete lighting is autogen(erated) but looks okay, the port area is very good.

     

    Tahiti Nightlighting 11.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 12.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 13.jpg

     

    Moorea's lighting gives a more generalisation of the lighting across all the Windward Islands...  typical island lighting, with no highlights.

     

    Tahiti Nightlighting 14.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 15.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 16.jpg

     

    In the Leeward Package the lighting is the older XP11 system, and it actually looks far better, as the heavy XP12 flare is more contained. Bora Bora Airport is bright and very nicely lit and the whites, whiter. Highlights are the eerie blue glow of the Overwater hotel bungalows, snaking themselves out into the Lagoons...

     

    Tahiti Nightlighting 17.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 18.jpgTahiti Nightlighting 19.jpg

     

    My advice is to revisit the packages if Laminar Research refines the lighting of X-Plane 12, you may be pleasantly surprised, as the current night-lighting is way overdue for attention in the Simulator.

     

    Summary

    "Society Islands" is a set of two packages by the renowned Maps2X-Plane, the same developer house that created both the excellent Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Seychelles XP, all the sceneries reviewed here are Maps2X-Plane releases, but released under the Aerosoft banner.

     

    The first was "Society Islands XP - Bora Bora & Leeward Islands", released now back in September 2021 for X-Plane 11, of which you could call the "Western" area. The second release is the newer one "Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands", and again what you would call the "Eastern" area, both packages together then covers the whole Society Island territory.

     

    The Leeward scenery was slightly compromised in that it was only a regional scenery, with only local inter-island flying. This latest Windward package is significant because it adds in the main gateway or Faa'a International Airport, situated on the main island of Tahiti. This added aspect then connects all the Tahitian areas together, not only the international routes, but also the local domestic routes from the main gateway. The now combined area is also quite significantly wide to explore and to service.

     

    Tahiti & Windward Islands XP Package, includes the Tahiti Gateway of Faa‘a International Airport NTAA, and Papeete the capital of Tahiti, other islands and airports include Moorea Airport NTTM and Tetiaroa Airport NTTE (Brando Island), and three Heliports; Taaone NTHP, Taravao NTHV and Afareaitu NTHF.

     

    Bora Bora & Leeward Islands XP Package, includes Bora Bora Airport NTTB, Raiatea Airport NTTR, Huahine – Fare Airport NTTH, Maupiti Airport NTTP and Tupai Airport NTTU, a private airfield on Tupai. Heliports are five on Bora Bora; Tahiti Nui Helicopters Pago dropzone (XHNTTZ), Four Seasons Helipad (XHNTTF), Saint Regis Helipad (XHNTTS), Le Meridien Helipad (XHNTTM), InterContinental Helipad (XHNTTI), and on Raiatea is a Helipad at Le Taha‘a Resort (XHNTTT).

     

    Maps2X-Plane are masters at creating extensive custom terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures for the landscape and the sea. And all the extensive land and tropical sea elements are all covered here. All land autogen is (South Pacific) custom, and significant areas and island locale's are covered like Papeete and port areas.  Airport vehicle and sea (water) traffic is also extensive. All airports including the Tahiti gateway Faa'a Airport are all extensively modeled and created, and the unique "South Sea Island" feel in the X-Plane 12 Simulator is very evident.

     

    Notable is that the older Bora Bora Leeward, does have still a lot of the older X-Plane 11 elements (older + trees and water) that doesn't have that later X-Plane 12 density and quality, Leeward is very, very good, but Windward is still better in feel and look. Lighting is actually the opposite, X-Plane 12 non-refined lighting is worse than the older but more stable X-Plane 11 lighting on the Bora Bora package. Notable is that both XP12 and XP11 versions are all included in the packages.

     

    In your face is the price, $36.99 for the older Bora Bora, and $38.99 for newer Tahiti... together $75.98 for scenery! Obviously an investment, but you get a lot of scenery including tons of detail and extensive features for your hard earned dollars. It's a brilliant set of flexible packages to use as well...  now with International Long Haul available, regional island services, helicopter inter-island and hotel services, and even just cruising around exploring the islands in your floatplane, every aspect is covered, and it all comes with a huge quality impact and the immense detail of custom terrain and noted photo-quality base mesh, as a travelogue it is all an explorers delight.

     

    Overall, it is the excellent "South Pacific" feel that is the immense drawcard to the Tahitian scenery, can a simulator recreate the realism of the real world, well almost and these sets of Tahitian Sceneries show off the immense talents of X-Plane 12, its all so close, you can now almost touch it with these packages....   Highly Recommended.

    ______________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands, Society Islands XP - Bora Bora & Leeward Islands by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Society Islands XP - Tahiti & Windward Islands

    Price is US$38.99

     

    Requirements
    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac and Linux
    4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 5.7 GB  - Installation is done through Aerosoft One
    Current version: 1.1 (January 26th 2024)

     

    Society Islands XP - Bora Bora & Leeward Islands

    Price is US$36.99

     

    Requirements
    X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac and Linux
    4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 5.7 GB  - Installation is done through Aerosoft One
    Current version: 1.1 (December 12th 2022)

    ___________________________

     

    Installation

    Installation of Tahiti/Bora Bora XP  is done through Aerosoft one installer:

    After you have installed Aerosoft One, click on  

     

    ENTER PRODUCT KEY (under the Library Tab)

    ...   enter the Serial Number provided in this order. This will give you the option to download the airport. Note the different X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 installations.

     

    The Tahiti/Bora Bora scenery is downloaded into a dedicated folder "Aerosoft One Library" on your system, under a file (gameDirectory) via a shortcut. Full Install size (both packages) is 15.34Gb.

     

    Documents

    Standard Aerosoft Manuals Tahiti (9 pages), Bora Bora (22 pages) are in both English and German.

     

    Tahiti Manual cover.jpgTahiti Bora Bora Manual cover.jpg

     

    Review System Specifications

    Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

    Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.07r1 (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

    -ToLiss A321 XP12 - (X-Plane.orgStore) US$89.99

    - Cessna 172-1000 - X-Plane Default fleet - Free (with X-Plane 12)

    -ATR72-500 v1.2 - Riviere 1.2.0 - - (X-Plane.org) - Free

     

    Tahiti Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

    18th March 2024

    Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews

     

    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved

     

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  24. NEWS! - Scenery Released : LFKF -Figari, Corsica XP12 by FSX3D

     

    News! LFKF Figari header.jpg

     

    Only a week or so ago, prominent Flight Simulator 2020 developer FSX3D released their first X-Plane 12 scenery, this was LFKC - Sainte-Catherine Airport on Corsica. Here is already another Corsican scenery released from FSX3D in LFKF -Figari, Corsica XP12.

     

    Located in Figari, near Porto-Vecchio (20km) and Bonifacio (15km), this aerodrome is open to traffic national and international commercial flights, scheduled or not, private aircraft, instrument flights and sight flights. Making it the third largest airport in Corsica after the airports of Ajaccio and Bastia1. In 2016, the airport served 639,916 passengers (now over 700,000), representing an increase of 9.2% compared to 2015.
     
    Features  Included
    • Ultra detailed car parks, taxiways and track
    • PBR on all objects
    • Ambient occlusion (Objects and ground)
    • Wet track effects
    • Dynamic lighting
    • Animated Radar Pylon
    • Altimeter patch for Ortho4XP
    • Compatibility AutoOrtho