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Stephen

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Posts posted by Stephen

  1. News! - JARDesign Airbus A340-500 goes into beta

     

    News_ - JARDesign Airbus A340-500 goes into beta.jpg

     

    JARDesign have declared their coming Airbus A340-500 is soon to go into it's beta testing phase. First announced back in April 2018, this is the third Airbus project from JARDesign after their Airbus A320neo and Airbus A330-243. Notable is the fact like in most X-Plane releases, get one finally released and you are bound to get another...  that aircraft is coming via ToLiSS who are developing a A340-600, yes a different variant, but still a A340 airframe. "when it rains"...

     

    JARDesign have released some in progress in cockpit images with the announcement;

     

    JARD A340-500 6.jpg

    JARD A340-500 1.jpegJARD A340-500 2.jpegJARD A340-500 4.jpegJARD A340-500 5.jpegJARD A340-500 3.jpeg

     

    Average beta phases are around six weeks (unless something nasty comes up), so late July or early August would be a nice release timeframe, it is going to be a very busy late summer period. The JARDesign GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) and CoPilot plugin features should also be available on the A340 when released.

     

    Images are courtesy of JARDesign

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    21st June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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. News! - Scenery Announced : KSFO San Francisco Definitive by ShortFinal Design

     

    News_ - Scenery Announced - KSFO San Francisco Definitive by ShortFinal Design.jpg

     

    ShortFinal Design (SFD) aka Mister6X has gone and revisited his first scenery for X-Plane he created 7 Years ago. That scenery was SFO-San Francisco, and one of the great freeware sceneries available in X-Plane. But the revisit has also been upgraded to a "Definitive" label, like SFD's KLAX - Los Angeles International, which means the scenery moves from being a freeware to payware product.

     

    That announcement will make a lot of users gnash their teeth, but as with LAX the update to Payware is usually well worth the excellent features and the sheer detail provided...  the noted new coming features are;

     

    • Accurately modeled terminals with PBR materials and interiors
    • Up to date layout and buildings, including the new terminal 1
    • Custom SAM jetways
    • Detailed night lighting
    • 4k ground textures with rain effects
    • AI taxi routes
    • 15cm/px orthoimagery

     

    Preview images of the Definitive SFO have also been provided...

     

    4AzgC8Y.jpg

    CeeKAlq.jpggT1seP2.jpgS2AZTSY.jpgLludkpP.jpgvxvBTaL.jpgcsE2mWK.jpgEA319bM.jpgPmukiIe.jpg

     

    No release date or price was announced by Mister6X, but SFD's sceneries are not expensive for the sheer detail you receive in return, so around the US$26.00-US$28.00 marker would be close. With the above images, I would say the scenery is pretty well completed as well, expect within a month's timeframe. Quality as usual will be off the scale!

     

    Images are courtesy of ShortFinal Design

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    21st June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

  3. On 6/13/2021 at 3:45 AM, Robert Thomas said:

    Has an explanation as to why AI traffic sinks when crossing the bridges yet the aircraft I am piloting doesn't sink but all AI aircraft do sink. Also, is a fixpossible? There must be a way.

     

    There is an odd situation at EDDM by Shortfinal (And yes I hate it, with all those tails waggling in the air) the problem is traffic under the bridges, sadly you can't have both in traffic and solid bridges...  Shortfinal provide in the scenery the option to have the hard bridges, but no underpass traffic, the fix is in the "Optional Hard Bridges" folder.

  4. News! - Scenery Released : KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA by Skytitude

     

    News_ - Scenery Released - News_ - Scenery Released - KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA by Skytitude.jpg

     

    There has been a very strong pattern this year with scenery in X-Plane 2021. With most of the big players going off and developing only for MSFS, and then as X-Plane users won't pay for quality scenery (why when you can get the scenery for free, but that is not the point), then the trend by developers is for smaller cheaper localised destinations, at set around the US$10 to US$12 price.

     

    So here is another one of those localised sceneries in...  Montauk Airport in Suffolk County, New York ...   Set in the Hamptons, the area for A-Listers, Celebs and the well off to-do and mega money...  you sort of get the picture. Montauk Airport is a general aviation airport located on East Lake Drive between Lake Montauk and Block Island Sound. It is the most eastern airport in the New York State.

     

    Features:
    • Wonderful Representation of Montauk Airport
    • 2021 Layout Data
    • Custom Materials and Surfaces with Physical-Based Rendering Effect (PBR)
    • Optional Experimental Wet Surfaces
    • High quality vegetation
    • Highly Detailed Buildings and Ground Surfaces
    • 6500 Sq Meters of High Definition Surrounding Area
    • Hand-placed Surrounding Area Objects
    • Attention to Details

     

    Picture-09.jpg

    Picture-01.jpgPicture-02.jpgPicture-03.jpgPicture-04.jpgPicture-05.jpgPicture-06.jpgPicture-11.jpgPicture-13.jpg

     

    Picture-07.jpgPicture-08.jpgPicture-10.jpgPicture-12.jpg

     

    Priced very reasonably under that US$10 marker, KMTP - Montauk Airport is now now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore.

     

    Images are courtesy of Skytitude

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    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!   KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA by Skytitude is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    KMTP - Montauk Airport, USA

    Price is US$9.90

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    Download Size: 436 MB
    Current version : 1.0

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    16th June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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 : KWYS - Yellowstone Airport and National Park by X-Codr Designs

     

    News_ - Scenery Released - KWYS - Yellowstone Airport and National Park by X-Codr Designs.jpg

     

    I call them fly-in, fly-around sceneries. Which means you fly in via usually a commuter aircraft, and then take in the local experiences via a smaller GA or Helicopter, and if you wish, then fly-out again. The focus here in this case is the fly-in airport KWYS, and the fly-around visual aspects of the famous Yellowstone National Park. This scenery is developed by X-Codr, known for his excellent KDEN - Denver scenery: Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v1.5 by X-Codr Designs.

     

    KWYS and Yellowstone National Park is a sprawling scenery, covering over 1,200 square miles in custom forests and over 3,000 miles in high resolution colour corrected NAIP ortho imagery. In addition, numerous points of interest throughout the park are included such as an accurately erupting Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, and even Yellowstone Falls. And of course, KWYS - West Yellowstone Airport, the town of West Yellowstone, and numerous others geothermal features and points of interest throughout the park are included in the scenery.

     

    Features

    • Detailed rendition of KWYS:
    • All buildings feature ultra-high-resolution textures.
    • All buildings feature advanced PBR normal maps for realistic reflections and bump mapping.
    • All buildings are highly detailed, down to even door handles.
    • All buildings feature "lite" interiors to give windows more depth.
    • Detailed ground textures with large scale realistic wear.
    • All ground textures feature realistic normal maps.
    • Realistic 3d vegetation for the entire airport.
    • Living scenery:
    • Wet ground textures for the airport.
    • Automatic snowy winter textures when it is snowing.
    • Ground equipment automatically serves your aircraft upon request.
    • Animated rain drops.
    • Custom Rendition of Yellowstone National Park
    • Custom modeled accurately erupting Old Faithful geyser
    • Custom modeled Mammoth Hot springs.
    • Custom modeled animated Yellowstone Falls.
    • Numerous custom modeled features throughout the park.
    • Animated people and bison near Old Faithful.
    • High resolution high quality NAIP color corrected ortho imagery with normal maps covering all popular areas
    • ZL16 NAIP ortho imagery covering over 3,000 square miles of surroundings.
    • X-Plane 11 Particle System accessed via plugin (Windows 10 Only)
      •  X-Plane 11 Particle System is used for animated geysers, waterfalls, and geyser steam.
      • Unique feature that requires developers to write and compile c++ plugins to implement.
    • All models optimized for maximum performance.
    • Custom generic rendition of West Yellowstone Town.
    • Over 1,200 square miles of forests accurately placed via procedural algorithm using NAIP ortho imagery data.
    • Custom 10 meter mesh with HD Overlays (courtesy AlpilotX and his HD Mesh V4. Used with his permission)

     

    Terminal Front.jpgFire.jpgAirport Overview.jpgAerial Fire Center 1.jpgAerial Fire Center 2.jpgLower Falls.jpgUpper Falls.jpgGrand Prismatic Air.jpgOld Faithful.jpgMammoth Close.jpgTerminal Night.jpgMammoth Hotsprings Full.jpgTown 2.jpgSnowcat.jpgHundred Springs.jpgGA.jpgGrand Prismatic Close.jpgOld Faithful Basin.jpgSprings 1.jpgLake.jpgSprings 2.jpgOld Faithful Resort.jpgTown 1.jpgSnow.jpg

     

    Note the clever use of the X-Plane 11 Particle System that used for animated geysers, waterfalls, and geyser steam and winter textures. Actual Yellowstone National Park and West Yellowstone township are also included within the scenery...  a perfect Fly-in and Fly-around scenery.

     

    After 9 months of development, KWYS - Yellowstone Airport and National Park by X-Codr Designs, is now now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore.

     

    Images are courtesy of X-Codr Designs

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    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!   KWYS - Yellowstone Airport and National Park by X-Codr Designs is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    KWYS - Yellowstone Airport and National Park

    Price is US$24.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 3.9 GB (2 files)
    Current version: 1.0 (June 14th 2021)

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    15th June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

  6. News! - X-Trident update the CH47-D Chinook to v1.1

     

    Chinook CH47-D News_ header.jpg

     

    Most developers do a followup update after an aircraft release to do a tidy up of bugs, fixes and small changes. This is the one for the amazing CH47-D Chinook by X-Trident to version v1.1. Full review is here: Aircraft Review : Boeing CH47-D Chinook by X-Trident

     

    The v1.1 update is set out in three separate sections consisting of; Corrections and new features, x-plane commands (mapped to plugin functions) and new “CH47” custom commands.

     

    New is; added sound effects for switches and buttons (new volume slider in the sound control panel), new button "DEFAULT" in the sound control panel, new manipulator on the left side magic paper sheet to open the custom control panel, added checklist, new manipulators for rudder pedals and new manipulators to release the parking brakes.

     

    The rest are corrections and fixes...  the full v1.1 changelog is here:

     

    Version 1.1 (June 9th 2021)

    Corrections and new features:

    • VR support for the custom control panel
    • fixed shininess tags for liveries
    • added sound effects for switches and buttons (new volume slider in the sound control panel)
    • new tag "no_antiglare" for liveries
    • new button "DEFAULT" in the sound control panel. Hit to make the current profile the default one to be loaded whith the aircraft
    • APU switch now works in VR
    • EAPS fan switches now moving correctly
    • most manipulators' pointers now consistent with their corresponding action
    • new manipulator on the left side magic paper sheet to open the custom control panel
    • park brake lever is now dual action (set & release) - not realistic but possibly a lot more usable
    • cyclic operated with VR controller does not self center when used with non centering joy option
    • checkbox option in the fuel control panel to save the amount of fuel per tank, on exit new slider in the fuel control panel to set the desired fuel quantity
    • updated user's guide (documents folder)
    • added checklist (documents folder)
    • engine start switches should now work (again) also in VR and should be easier to manipulate
    • new manipulators for rudder pedals
    • new manipulators to release the parking brakes - these are a just a tiny bit difficult to locate - they correspond to the top of the rudder pedals and it is possible to click them also when they are partially hidden by the front panel

    x-plane commands (mapped to plugin functions):

    • apu start, apu on, apu off, apu generator on, apu generator off:  all apu functions
    • autopilot heading select: heading hold
    • autopilot altitude select or hold: alt hold
    • autopilot terrain-mode following: radio alt hold
    • throttle up 1, throttle up 2, throttle down 1, throttle down 2: move engine condition lever, per engine
    • clear master caution: clear master caution
    • aim spotlight left, aim spotlight right, aim spotlight up, aim spotlight down: aim both pilot (visible) and copilot (IR) search lights

    “CH47” custom commands:

    • att hold level: attitude hold leveling
    • rpm 1 increase, rpm 2 increase, rpm 1 decrease, rpm 2 decrease: rpm trim, per engine
    • start engine 1, start engine 2: engine start, per engine
    • apu start-run-stop: smart control of the APU with one single command
    • apu gen: toggle apu generator
    • gen1, gen2: toggle generator, per engine
    • battery: toggle battery
    • fuel pump aft aux1, fuel pump main aft1, fuel pump main fwd1, fuel pump fwd aux1, fuel pump aft aux2, fuel pump main aft2, fuel pump main fwd2, fuel pump fwd aux2: fuel pumps
    • hyd1, hyd2: hydraulic transfer 1, hydraulic transfer 2
    • ramp up, ramp down: ramp up, ramp down
    • load select next, load select previous: get slung load ready to connect
    • load connect current: attach the currently selected load (reminder: use x-plane's jettison payload command to drop)
    • afcs inc, afcs dec: AFCS knob
    • fuel quantity inc, fuel quantity dec: fuel quantity knob
    • xmsn temp inc, xmsn temp dec: transmission temperature knob
    • xmsn press inc, xmsn press dec: transmission pressure knob
    • nav display inc, nav display dec: GPS/DOP display knob
    • nav mode inc, nav mode dec: GPS/DOP mode knob
    • door open,door close: start/stop commands to operate the starboard door 

     

    Flying 20.jpgFlying 21.jpgFlying 22.jpgFlying 12.jpg

     

    To update to the CH47-D v1.1 version, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new version, which is available now.

    ___________________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Boeing CH47-D Chinook by X-Trident is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Boeing CH47-D Chinook-X-Trident

    Price is US$38.95

     

    Features Include:

    • Highly detailed 3D model with immersive light systems
    • FMOD sounds with user profiles
    • Accurate engine and systems management
    • Accurate AFCS (with support for both self-centering and non-centering joysticks)
    • Accurate 4 axis autopilot with VOR, TACAN, ADF and GPS navigation
    • External loads (with load/save and flight to options) and cargo drop
    • Compatible with Reality XP
    • Animated ground crew
    • Animated custom fuel truck (with drive and self drive modes)
    • Custom control panels 

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Mac, Windows, Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 480 MB
    Current version: 1.1 (9th June 2021)
    ________________________________________
     

    News! Update by Stephen Dutton

    11th June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

  7. News! - JustFlight shows off BAe146 Pro custom FMC

     

    JF Bae 146 News_ header FMC.jpg

     

     

    When X-PlaneReviews did the comprehensive review of JustFlight's exceptional BAe146 Professional, there was one glaring exception...  a Universal FMC. Instead we had installed in the aircraft the crappy default X-Plane FMC, which is pretty basic, and useless, to the point it only just does the route for you to follow, and it doesn't look authentic either (not a lot of love there is there). Personally I thought the custom FMC would be months away, but no, as on the JustFlight Facebook page they already give us a glimpse of the coming nirvana. Notes are as follows...

     

    "The upcoming v1.2 update will include a variety of fixes and changes, including further improvements to the TMS, but most importantly it introduces a several new navigation options to choose from!

    In addition to the existing X-Plane 11 FMC, you will now be able to choose from custom UFMC (complete with LNAV/VNAV autopilot integration and performance calculations), the always-popular RealityXP GTN or nothing – for those of you who prefer the classic VOR and NDB navigation for which the 146 was originally designed.

    The v1.2 update is currently undergoing final testing ahead of its release this month. Here are some pics that show off the work to date."

     

    BAe146 UNi FMC 2.jpgBAe146 UNi FMC 1.jpgBAe146 UNi FMC 3.jpgBAe146 UNi FMC 4.jpg

     

    As noted there will be three FMC options, Blank Plates, Universal FMC or the XP Realistic GTN in a custom install...  no note is if the current default FMC will also be kept. Note that the blank plate option is very realistic as airlines such as Loganair, AirUK, and Jersey/British European had no FMC systems fitted in the aircraft. The Universal Avionics UNS-1E avionics suite was the installed FMC system in all the BAe146/Avro Series.

     

    Currently under final testing and the v1.2 release is coming within this month...  says it all, Brilliant!

     

    JustFlight's Facebook Page is here: JustFlight-Facebook

    ________________________________________
     

    News! Update by Stephen Dutton

    11th June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

  8. News! - Rotate flashes more images of the coming McDonnell Douglas MD11

     

    MD11 News_ header June 21.jpg

     

    The release of Rotate's McDonnell Douglas MD80 was a watershed moment for quality and detail of this iconic aircraft for X-Plane, certainly one of the extremely really good simulations, the MD80 delivers on every level for simulation...  so how do you follow something so brilliant, well with an even bigger McDonnell Douglas aircraft in the MD11. 

     

    The MD80 was released in late 2015, yes five years ago, but the many updates have kept the aircraft quite relevant...  Which brings us to the MD11, and you can't deny that the four or so years of development is a long time even by X-Plane standards. Rotate almost on cue every six months or so, release images of the aircraft's current progress, and here are four more images to add into the collection.

     

    MD11 Teaser June 21 1.jpgMD11 Teaser June 21 2.jpgMD11 Teaser June 21 3.jpgMD11 Teaser June 21 4.jpg

     

    All images above focus on the internal night operation, and look absolutely amazing... but also in creating even more of an expectation of the release of the aircraft...   noted on the bottom of the post is "Just a few minor things. We are very close to beta"...

     

    Close, how close, well I would underline August, or Q3 for finally a release of Rotate's next masterpiece... the wait is nearly over!

     

    (Oh, I said that same release announcement six months ago?)

     

    Rotate's MD80 is available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore; Rotate MD-80 Pro US$59.95

     

    Images are courtesy of Rotate

    ____________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    10th June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

  9. On 5/21/2021 at 2:14 AM, edms17 said:

    Quel travail exceptionnel! J'attendais ce Chinook depuis mes débuts sur x-plane (25 ans environ). Bravo je l'ai acheté tout de suite, il est merveilleux et je suis fier d'avoir enfin cet hélicoptère unique et mythique qui complète ma collection d'aéronefs (+ de 100) et qui me rappelle ma vie merveilleuse dans l'armée de l'AIR Française. Merci pour ce travail.

    Translation; "to finally have this unique and mythical helicopter which completes my collection of aircraft (more than 100) and which reminds me of my wonderful life in the French Air Force. Thanks for this work."

  10. Citation_CJ4_Header.jpg

     

    Aircraft Review : Citation CJ4 Proline21 by Netavio

     

    Did you know that the Citation by Cessna is named after a racehorse? Well it is, the first Cessna jet was originally called the FanJet 500, but a 1948 Belmont Stakes races winner, and a horse then went on to becoming the 8th Triple Crown champion was called Citation, and the horse was known as fast, easy to handle and good at running long or short distances on hard or soft surfaces. And so in 1970 the Cessna Chairman Dwane L. Wallace honoured his memory by renaming the FanJet 500 as the Cessna Citation, The Citation Mustang also means that Wallace loves his horses.

     

    The Citation family is long and extremely complicated. The lineage started with the small Citation I prototype flying on September 15, 1969, and produced until 1985, developed into the 1978-2006 Citation II/Bravo, the 1989-2011 Citation V/Ultra/Encore and the CitationJet since 1993. The standup Citation III/VI/VII was delivered from 1983 to 2000; its fuselage was reused in the Citation X/X+ delivered from 1996 to 2018, the Sovereign from 2004 to 2021 and the Excel since 1998. The Mustang was a Very Light Jet delivered from 2006 to 2017 while the flat floor fuselage Latitude has been delivered since 2015 and the larger Longitude from 2019. The mind boggles on how to keep track of all the variants...  This aircraft is part of the CitationJet/CJ/M2 series that was developed from the Citation ll, launched in October 1989, the Model 525 first flight was on April 29, the CJ4 is the most modern of that series and officially known as the Model 525C.

     

    The CJ4 is a stretch that was launched at the October 2006 NBAA conference. Its wing design comes from the moderately swept wing of the Citation Sovereign, Its cabin is 21 inches longer than the CJ3 and can seat up to nine people plus one in the cockpit (10).

     

    This is the first release on the X-Plane simulator of an aircraft by Netavio. We will however set up the expectations here early. The CJ4 project was created and focused on not the X-Plane simulator per se, but as a learning and training tool for Citation pilots, so the focus here is on the systems (Proline 21) and the flying characteristics of the aircraft, it is a simulator for a certain commercial use, but giving us (X-Plane) the chance to also access the aircraft. This Citation is not the first of the series available for X-Plane, as that is the Carenado Cessna Citation ll S550, of which I really liked a lot, but this CJ4 is a far more modern interpretation of the Citation Series.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Head 1.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Head 2.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Head 3.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Head 4.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Head 5.jpg

     

    First impression was that the CJ4 looked bland. But look closer and the detailing is actually very, very good. Notable is the not so much the dense frame, as in areas the straight line points on the curvatures are sometimes noticeable, and the lo-res (72dpi) textures really don't help.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 1.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 2.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 3.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 4.jpg

     

    However the details are very good as are the limited NMLs, it is obviously a clean aircraft skin, and that aspect comes over very well.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 5.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 6.jpg

     

    For a first time model, then this Citation is very, very good...  but we have to note the high price category the aircraft is placed in, and quality has to be a forefront at this level...  however the Citation passes, but only just.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 7.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 8.jpg

     

    The PBR reflections are again, good, but you have to work to get them. The tall tail is nicely rendered, but you are overall missing that oomph you expect at this extreme level.

     

    The distinctive laminar flow, supercritical wing of the CJ4 Citation is well represented, it was developed with NASA and Boeing and uses the NASA high-speed 0213 airfoil profile, that sustains natural laminar flow over 30% of the upper surface for 10-15% better lift-to-drag ratio than the larger NACA 23000-series wing of the Citation 500. To maintain the wing's laminar-flow qualities and reduce weight, icing protection, the wing is provided with a ducted bleed air system rather than the deicing boots or fluid deicing systems used on earlier Citations.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 9.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 10.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 12.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 11.jpg

     

    Again the vents, wing access hatches and aerofoil details are very good as are the lower wing fences and the vortex generators are well seen. Notable are the excellent navigation (strobe) light assemblies. Again the lo-res textures don't help in bringing out the desired detail, which is obviously modeled here, they are 4K in size, but a low 72 dpi.

     

    Glass is okay in a sense, nicely tinted, and the reflections are fine, however the glass doesn't seem to have a real depth or quality about it and worse is that at some viewing angles the cockpit glass actually disappears? The aircraft shadows have a habit of (annoyingly) bouncing on and off the screen as well, very early X-Plane in that regard.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 13.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 14.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 15.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 16.jpg

     

    The CJ4 uses the Williams FJ44-4A with 3,600 lbf (16 kN) thrust, the engine was released in 2007, and is a hi-tech fan of larger diameter than the -3 unit. The pods are quite nice, and the intake and certainly the excellent exhaust is excellent in detail and realism, however the pods non-ultra detail is missing, notably the exhaust outer ring, the modeling is again not dense enough.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 17.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 18.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 19.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 20.jpg

     

    Main trailing link under carriage is excellent. Great assembly and link detail with all the required hydraulic piping. Brake and hub assemblies are again first rate, I like the metal shock absorber pistons. Well internal is fine, but very odd is the right gear door that is not attached to the gear assembly, it cuts through the wing as well?

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 21.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 22.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 23.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 24.jpg

     

    Nose wheel assembly is very simple, but again well done, but again the rear cover door is not attached to anything?

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Detail 25.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Detail 26.jpg

     

    Currently there are no menus for the Netavio Citation, but they are noted as coming...  You can open the external doors and hatches, but currently it is a messy system of using the X-Plane key commands Doors #1-#10, it wastes 20 key commands to open and close one static element option and the nine door options in; Engine and Pitot Tube Covers On-Off, Front Cabin Entry Door,  Rear Emergency Exit, Rear Luggage Door, Front Luggage Door(s), Battery Access Door, Brake Service Door, External Power Receptacle, Hydraulic Service Panel and the SPR Access Panel (Single Point Refueling)... there are no chocks or external GPU (Ground Power Unit).

     

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    All the access doors for the Battery, Brake, Hydraulic and SPR panels are excellent with great internal detail. Main cabin door is very nicely modeled as well with folding out stairs, however the door and stair animation is a bit too fast and not very authentic or realistic, the stairs don't just unfurl, but just quickly flip out?

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Menu 5.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Menu 6.jpg

     

    Cabin

    From the off you have two cabin layouts to choose from. The darker (default) more executive layout is noted as the "Signature Edition" or light coloured cabin noted as the "Limited Edition". You have to change over the "Cabin.obj" provided in the "interior design" folder.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Cabin 1.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Cabin 2.jpg

     

    The cabin fit-out is extremely nice, with a lovely dark maple burl wood veneer side moldings, cup holders and details, the "Limited Editions" lighter lower half, gives the cabin a more airier feel than the heavier darker maple wood.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Cabin 3.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Cabin 4.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Cabin 5.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Cabin 6.jpg

     

    ...   seating layout is a club four with two chairs set behind, and two seater divan in a cabin space that is just over 290 cubic feet, allowing for a width and height of nearly 5ft both ways. The entry door is a solid 4ft tall, and baggage is allotted more than 75 cubic feet of space.

     

    There is a table on the right side, and a toilet in the rear, on the opposite side is the Rear Emergency Exit panel. Interior modeling is actually extremely good, for a first time effort, as is all the interior fittings.

     

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    What is missing in here are the active elements? We are very used to a lot of animations in Private Jet cabins, and the missing animated folding tables, working switches and moving window blinds are here all noticeably absent...  even the rear lavatory doors are fixed (open) to the users embarrassment? as is the missing cockpit to cabin divider.

     

    Cockpit

    Like with a lot on this aircraft, the first view is quite deceiving. The panel looks flat and even bland to the eye...  but we will get to that in a moment.

     

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    In reality it is a very nice office, and actually very well presented by Netavio...  the quality and the detail are in here as the materials look initially flat, so you have to look deep for it and you are certainly rewarded...  the Pilot and Co-Pilot seats are sensational, beautifully done with lovely padded diamond inserts, detail and leather trim with nice stitching that is really well done, the seatbelts are also sensational with excellent webbing and everything is highlighted by the wooden trim and the cavernous white canvas headlining...  it is seriously nice in here.

     

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    Note there are no (currently) any pilots, the folded up armrests are also non-animated, sadly.

     

    The instrument panel is pure Citation, but it also takes all the realism out of the cockpit...  non-reflective, both for the actual panel and the glass, it is just a flat light absorbing grey monolith, and very dated X-Plane in feel...

     

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    ...  it maybe authentic, and the pilots will say "It is really like that" and they do , but it feels half completed in this dull state...  even if the display glass was realistically reflective it would have helped, but the instrument panel looks and feels totally flat? so everything else which is really well done in here is not being highlighted either.

     

    Like the yokes, which are excellent in shape and detail and note the lovely "Citation" logo. They come with a Transponder Ident (Identity) button, AutoPilot sync button, Elevator Trim, Up-Down button, and a Push to Talk button for Pilotedge (All have to be configured in the X-Plane Config menu and joystick menu). THe idea is for flight sim users to configure their physical flight controls: joysticks, yokes and throttle unit buttons to mimic the actual CJ4 flight controls for enhanced realism of flying the real aircraft.

     

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    You can (thankfully) hide and toggle the Yokes by pressing "Y" on your keyboard.

     

    You are very aware of the cockpit's shape and feel...  the curve and the very Citation view forward and to the side, it actually takes a little getting used to, but it does certainly reflect the aircraft's personality....  power on!

     

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    Rockwell Collins ProLine 21 Emulation

    The main feature and the focus of the Netavio Citation CJ4 is the replication of the Rockwell Collins Proiine 21 avionics system. It is also very much set up for the home builder or static simulation setup for Citation training and proficiency. The system will also have (soon) scalable vector graphic displays and the hardware CDU-3000 panel to be also released... independent displays will also be able to be moved to external monitors or even networked computers is also on the cards... so a lot of what you see here, is still a "Work in Progress".

     

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    It is Rockwell Collins four monitor display system, with a PFD (Primary Flight Display) and MFD (Multi-Functional Display on each side for the Pilot and Co-Pilot. None of the displays currently pop-out.

     

    PFD (Primary Flight Display)

    The displays are controlled by two panels in the DCP (Display Control Panel) Upper and the CCP (Cursor Control Panel) via the inner button, the same CCP access is also via two buttons lower DCP panel.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel 4.jpg

     

    Basically each control panel does the same thing in the same way, with selection, then adjustment with the three-tiered knob, which can be tricky to use as the three sets of manipulators are spaced very close together, and to relate to the realism, only one side moves that direction of the manipulator, but makes adjustments very slow and twiddly. The DCP controls the display settings and the CCP controls the the display settings of the MFD.

     

    PFD - Primary Flight Display. The Proline PFD is split with the Artificial Horizon top and the Horizontal Situation Indicator lower. Artificial Horizon, Speed and Altitude tapes, bank roll scale and roll pointer, Vertical Speed markers, Pitch markers, ILS bars and AOA (Angle of Attack) guide. Lower display is the COM1/COM2, ATC1, RAT ºC and UTC (Time).

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel PFD 1.jpg

     

    PFD options brings up a PFD MENU. Press PFD MENU button for the tab and press ESC to hide (really a back button). The Menu is set in three layers...

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel PFD 3.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel PFD 4.jpg

     

    ...    top is the HSI FORMAT; ROSE, ARC and PPOS (Present. Position Map)

     

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    Centre boxed selection is the CONTROLS selection;  NAV-SRC (nav-selection), and (Map) Range.

     

    Third selection consists of seven option selections; BRG SRC, CONFIG, MAP SYMBOLS, OVERLAYS, REFs, TAWS and BARO SET.

     

    BRG-SRC (Background Screen) is the selection of pointers for both PTR 1; FMS1, VOR1 and ADF (1), PTR2; VOR2 and ADF (2)

     

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    CONFIG (Configuration); covers three options. Top is the Baro Pressure IN or HPA, but it can be very hard to read in the PFD? (arrowed above)

     

    Second line option is the selection of the Fight Director bars in either a V-Bar (arrowed below) or a X-PTR format...

     

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    Last line covers the AOA (Angle of Attack) in three modes; OFF, ON and AUTO, that in AUTO in declutters the scale and pointer when not in departure or approach phases of flight.

     

    MAP SYMBOLS; Is the map background symbology for display on the FMS PPOS and PLAN (for example, nearest airports) and X-Plane default.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel Options MAP.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel Options TAWS.jpg

     

    OVERLAYS; That covers the TERR/WX and TFC (TCAS overlays)

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel Options OVR.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel Options VREF.jpg

     

    REFS (References); there is a very good selection of adjustable vRefs available, V1, VR, V2 - VRF, VAP and VT (Target Speed), these are shown in the Speed tape, plus by the Vertical Speed when required. The MINIMUM options include OFF, BARO or RA (Radar Altitude) and shown upper right (arrowed) in the HSI.

     

    TAWS Terrain Awareness Warning System; Options include G/S (Glideslope) CANCEL, FLAP OVRD (Override), TERR INHIB and STEEP APPROACH

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel Options TAWS.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel Options Baro.jpg

     

    BARO SET; This not like the above Baro type setting in REFS, this an altitude change from the set BARO pressure to the STD (Standard) pressure.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panel DCP.jpg

     

    DCP...  that is the full menu, but the DCP panel also allows for short cuts to the various menu options. NAV changes NAV-SRC, FRMT Changes FORMAT, TERR/WX activates TERR WX option, TFC - Activates the TCAS overlays, REFS opens the References menu and the TAWS opens the Terrain Awareness Warning System menu. You can also push the BARO knob between the BARO and STD pressure settings as in the BARO SET above).

     

    FD - Flight Director

    Activating the Flight Director Flight Guidance System (FGS) displays that show on each PFD are the FGS mode/data fields and the Flight Director (FD) command bars, and gives you again the twin options of both the Single-Cue (V-Bar) or Split-Cue (Crosshair) command bars, and both can be adjusted in the FLT DIR Menu. Switch on the left FD (Pilot) and you single control, switch on the right (both) and both FD's (Dual) are activated.

     

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    MFD - Multi-Functional Display

    The lower section of both left and right MFDs have the same HSI instrument as the PFD,

     

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    The menu access is different (slightly) as if you press the CCP button on the upper DCP you get both UPR MENU and LWR MENU options in the MFD(s)...

     

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    ...   however press the UPR MENU or LWR MENU buttons on the lower DCP(s) and you get the same UPR/LWR menu options, but directly.

     

    UPR (Upper) MENU, is the FORMAT menu, with OFF, FMS TEXT, CHECKLIST and SYSTEMS 1/2 listed (But only currently SYSTEMS 1/2 works).

     

    LWR (Lower) MENU is the same as the PFD "FORMAT" menu, with the same with ROSE, ARC and PPOS selections, plus one more with TCAS (both screens not separately). And the NAV-SRC (VOR1/VOR2/FMS) are the same as well. MAP SYMBOLS are also available. SYS Test does not work, and L PFD MENU is the action to bring up the PFD MENU in the PFD.

     

    Top section of the MFD has in the left side Engine and Data information, on the right MFD side top there is a  CAS (Crew Alerting System), Red - Warning alerts, Yellow - Caution alerts, Blue - Advisory alerts. There is a full list of CAS Messages in the provided Avionics manual.

     

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    Lower left MFD is the; Cabin - Altitude, Rate, Diff (PSI), Destination Elevation (FT). Right lower MFD covers GS (Ground Speed), TAS (Airspeed), RAT ºC, SAT ºC and ISA ºC.

     

    Engine and Systems

    There are four pages for the Engine and System information EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System)...  the two main pages these are selected via the ENG button on the lower DCP, press twice for the secondary page.

     

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    Page 1 (larger) covers, N1%, ITToC (Interstage Turbine Temperature), N2, Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature, Fuel (Flow) PPH (Pounds Per Hour), Fuel Temperature, Fuel Quality (LBS)...  on the right side is the Aileron, Rudder and Elevation Trims, and Flap position 0-15º-30º. Page 2 (smaller) covers the same readouts as above but in a smaller text form, and less the Fuel Flow and Temperature indicators.

     

    Secondary information pages are activated via the SYS button on the lower DCP, Page one (SYS 1) includes DC Electrics, Battery, Oxygen Pressure (PSI) Hydraulic Pressure (PSI) and the Fuel Flow (PPH) and Fuel Temperature. SYS 2 page is again the Aileron, Rudder and Elevation Trims.

     

    Pilot left side panels cover; Top left Communications Panel, and lower Electrical Panel. Shelf left to right covers; Oxygen Supply, Oxygen Control, Hydraulic Shut-off, Fuel Boost, Fuel Transfer, Cockpit Temp, Pilot Fan and Climate Control....  Engine controls cover FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) Reset, and Ignition (Manual) and finally the Pressurisation panel.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 1.jpg

     

    Co-Pilot right side is quite blank, but items that can be selected are upper right the Co-Pilot's Communications Panel, lower left Co-Pilot MIc, TAWS, CKPT (Cockpit) SPKR (Speaker) and COMM 1 tune. Cabin; Fan, Co-Pilot Fan and Cabin Temp are all accessible. ELT and Quartz (Flight Hours Meter) are both right.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 2.jpg

     

    Centre Panel is the authentic backup primary instrument or "Electronic Standby Instrument System" (ESIS) Model GH-3000, with Artificial Horizon, Heading and Speed Altitude tapes, lower is the Landing gear selector and display. There is also the elevator trim warning light above left of the backup instrument.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 4.jpg

     

    Currently the Citation uses the default (crappy) X-Plane FMS system (noted here as the "Control Display Unit" (sic)), but it is customised to fit in with the Citation panel layout and actually quite authentic to the real layout, but don't expect a lot from the actual FMS flightplanning or any of the set up in say custom systems, it is bog standard.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 3.jpg

     

    FGP - Flight Guidance Panel

    Center glareshield is the FGP - Flight Guidance Panel, that provides the autopilot, yaw damper control and flight guidance mode selection.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 5.jpg

     

    The layout is pretty much the standard system layout but authentic here, but it is nice to use. Note the AOA (Angle of Attack) monitor mounted on the centre windshield.

     

    Centre Console

    The centre console is nicely done with the Twin-Throttles with active TO/GA (Takeoff-GoAround) switch (note the switch again has to be configured in the X-Plane "Joystick Config Menu"). Citation CJ4 is not actually equipped with Auto-Throttles, therefore the TOGA switch commands the Flight Director in TO or GA mode.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 6.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Instrument Panels 7.jpg

     

    Top centre console is the Lighting panel for; Instrument, Exterior, Passenger and Pulse lighting. Below is the (FADEC) Engine Run/Stop buttons. Left is the "Speedbrake" first stop and Ground Spolier second stop lever and right the Flap lever, Throttles have IDLE-CRU (Cruise)-CLB (Climb) and TO (Takeoff) markings. Lower or rear console is the Engine Ignighters, Aileron and Rudder trims, and secondary Elevator trim Nose Up or Nose Down.

     

    Lighting

    The CJ4 lighting is, well....  not very good at all. Internally the current set lighting is bad even by X-Plane default standards. You can adjust the instrument text and highlights and that is actually very good, as to also adjust (all not separate) instrument Proline displays. But it all ends there. There are three roof adjustment knobs, one each for the pilot and co-pilot, the one in the middle is the main cockpit lighting. But it works like this, twist any side light and the cockpit goes bright, so even adjusting the other side, just makes it even brighter... no subtlety there, the centre (Dome/Storm?) does not work at all? The cabin has only the basic strip lighting. All the knobs are very hard to turn (manipulators).

    Even at the lowest cockpit setting it is bright in here, when in reality you should be sitting in the dark with only the instrument lighting in your face? My problem with this is making approaches at night. This aircraft is promoted as a Pro or even study simulation for pilot qualifications, but this night lighting would be a nightmare for approach flying in the dark, the cockpit is simply too bright. To convey a professional tool then even the basics have to be right, this is in the X-Plane screen context of course, not in a physical environment.

     

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    Worse was that the cockpit would flip to a full absolute brightness mode (of which I guess would be the overall cockpit brightness (Dome/Storm) selection), but then flick suddenly back to the earlier brightness setting for no reason...  I would hate to do night approaches in this aircraft if that kept happening? There are roof mounted spot or cockpit brightness lights, all four of them in two front and two rear, but they don't work?

     

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    External lighting

    Is not much better either...  granted the Navigation and Strobe lights are not actually that bad, top tail beacon is passable as well. There are both taxi and landing lights, but they are not focus tuned, so either set on, it does not make much difference...  there is a tail light button that works in the cockpit, but no tail lighting.

     

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    Flying the Citation CJ4

    Starting up the two Williams FJ44-4As is a very simple affair, press the ignition button behind the throttle (per engine), then press the Run/Stop button (per engine), and the FADAC does all the engine start up procedure for you, the N1 output settles down around 22%

     

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    I really like the throttle slider indicator in the N1 output (arrowed) it gives you a perfect readout to the aircraft's thrust selection, secondly is the Trim indicators which are also nicely positioned and visible. Note on the green takeoff trim zone, in most cases you would set the takeoff trim more neutral or at the centre of the green band, but I found that is the wrong setting as it gives you too much nose up, and yoke long forward position to climb out cleanly, so you set the pitch trim to the top or high of the green band to get a more lower takeoff pitch, but you sort of have to adjust this trim to the aircraft's weight and personal preference.

     

    I am not going to go into the sounds on this review, because for one...  they are only currently a default standard set of sounds with no spatial awareness or movement. And two...  a full custom FMOD sound package is currently in development and should be available in a month or so, but oddly at this basic level I don't mind them. Engine particle effects are very good as well.

     

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    I found you only needed one engine thrust wise to taxi nicely, two even with a little bit of throttle was a bit too much...  the single throttle input gave you nice control over the speed.

     

    image.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpegCJ4 - Citation_Flying 10.jpg

     

    You hold the brakes while, pushing up the throttles to 100% or the noted TO position (arrowed below), you feel the thunder of all that 7,200 lbf (32 kN) of thrust building up behind you... 

     

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    ...   obviously when you release the brakes the aircraft is going to jackrabbit out of the starting blocks! It goes forward sprightly and very quickly! There is a lot of control needed with such a "bang out of the gates" takeoff roll, you need a steady hand on the yoke and a lot of firm pressure on the rudder pedals, and at 160 knts and you pull back into a 10º pitch up when you feel the aircraft come alive.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Flying 13.jpg

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    All the development focus was on this aspect, in the Citations handling and it's feedback back to the pilot. And yes the CJ4 certainly delivers big time in this characteristic...  as you are very aware of the feedback of the aircraft through the controls and your movement actions.

     

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    Max climb-rate is 3,854 fpm (19.6 m/s), but the CJ4 easily can mislead you in wanting to climb more in the higher pitch if you let it, so you have to very aware of controlling not only the pitch (10º is recommended), but in the throttle power band as well, in that it can suddenly start to slide away from you in the climb. Then if you only slightly reduce the pitch and then the speed can run away quickly on the other side of the power band, so it takes skill to hold the CJ4 in the centre of the two forces, but get the balance right and the whole experience is very fulfilling.

     

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    So you are trimming the aircraft early, to control the pitch and keep it within it's boundaries...  it is all about the trim in here.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Flying 18.jpg

     

    ...   again throttle thrust position is important, but the N1 readout does change to help you with selecting the right power setting, and where to set your throttle position, those power markers are invaluable. Weight and balance of course is important, that I why I would have liked a "Weight & Balance" page with this aircraft, with the correct weights and fuel loads, as that would be critical in the way you handle the aircraft in each takeoff and initial climb. The thrust settings are all laid out to get the best performance out of the aircraft in TO (Takeoff), CLB (Climb) and CRU (Cruise).

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Flying TO.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Flying Clb.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Flying Crz.jpg

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    It is very important to have set the aircraft up correctly at the right altitude, heading and speed before turning on the AP (Autopilot), if you don't the transition from manual to servo, it can be abrupt and not very clean, the aircraft will climb or descend to find it's level, unless set (almost absolutely) correctly or even exactly before hand with the trim. 

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Flying 23.jpg

     

    You can climb hard and fast at first, 2000+ fpm, but taper it off the higher you go, and you go up a long, long way. 45,000 ft (13,716 m) is the ceiling, but you always usually aim for 40,000ft to 42,000ft. Max cruise speed is 451 kn (835 km/h) and the range a fair 2,165 nmi (4,010 km) and just slightly better than the Phenom 300 at it's 2,010 nmi (3,723 km) range.

     

    I love Citations. The Carenado 550 was brilliant, and this CJ4 is just as lovely in the air, they just really a great aircraft.

     

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    Coming down from such an extreme altitude feels like the Space Shuttle on it's return to earth through the atmosphere...  looks like it as well.

     

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    The CJ4 can carry a 987 lb (448 kg) payload with full fuel, cruise up to FL450 and takeoff from 3,410 ft (1,040 m) field on a standard day. Block speeds are 410–420 kn (760–780 km/h) and it burns 160 US gal (610 L) of fuel per hour. Maintenance is set at $269 per hour for labor and $370 per hour for parts excluding the engine maintenance plan is $317 per hour for a 5,000 h TBO. But you don't have to worry about that as X-Plane is maintenance free...  By June 2019, early models are $5.5-5.8 million for resale and up to over $7 million for later ones and 300 have been built.

     

    Speedbrakes are tiny small, so don't rely on them too much, as they do drain off the speed, but not heavily. Then be ready to catch the speed at the bottom of the descent or freefall, get it right, and the transition can be smooth.

     

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    Under the autopilot there is a full 30º bank, but a ½ bank is also available. Flap speeds are noted in the vRef (speed ribbon), so you know the right speed for the flap position, so many tools here in this Proline21 and it is all very authentic.

     

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    On approach I could easily find the right effiecent speed balance to keep the aircraft neat and on the horizonal line. Approach (Full 30º Flap) is around 160 knts...  

     

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    ...   reducing to around 135 knts (50 N1%) when in the chute (ILS Slope) and 122 knts final, nose slightly pitch up.The high glareshield makes it hard to see the start of the runway, so you have to sort of guess your actual landing point, Southampton's (EGHI) short Rwy 20 1,723m (5,653ft) runway doesn't help either.

     

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    Over the threshold and the throttles are set to idle and the Citation will settle nicely, no dramas...   just clean and neat...

     

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    ....  there are no thrust-reversers (although the very early Citations, did have internal reversers), but the brakes will easily rub off the speed quickly with the low landing speed. Once at taxi speed, then a slight nudge of one of the throttles keeps the speed flowing, and then the runway turn off is easy.

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Flying 41.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Flying 42.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Flying 43.jpg

     

    There is no doubt to where the development has been the most focus on this Netavio CJ4, it is in the flying and handling characteristics, and for that the Citation is absolutely spot on, it is a lovely aircraft to fly, but it does have it's workload in getting it perfectly right at each point of the flying phases, that is also a big reward, as you feel your input into the aircraft is being valued... overall the flying aspect is a very good and a satisfying experience.

     

    Liveries

    There are nine liveries, and most are a variation of the stripe theme. But most are good, except for the odd Stars and Stripe version, and dark unusual Carbon livery. Blue Wind is the default (top), a detailed Paintkit is also provided (Photoshop)

     

    CJ4 - Citation_Livery White wind.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery Black Red.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery Blue.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery Carbon Black.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery Carbon White.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery Red.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery White Blue.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery White Sliver.jpgCJ4 - Citation_Livery White wind 2.jpg

    _______________

    Summary

    We have to be very clear here on the focus of this aircraft from Netavio. It is a Project (could you call it "Project CJ4"?). It is not intended as a direct X-Plane product, but for running a Citation training system, and mostly an external system or training hands on physical tool. So the focus is totally on those elements, not on the X-Plane elements, as the system is only using X-Plane as the vehicle.

     

    Strangely the Cj4 in some ways it comes across initially as a real X-Plane development, and something we had mainly ten years ago, it looks and even feels that way in many aspects. It is then truly a pure X-Plane development, made by enthusiasts, for a purpose, and we as users are being allowed in to sample the system, at a price of course.

     

    So that makes reviewing such a product (is it a product) very hard, because we come from the angle of X-Plane quality, features and basically what you will get for your money. But as the developers have released and are collecting payment for a so called X-Plane product, we have to also take that aspect into account. To note also, these are not X-Plane developers either, again the project focus is on another frame altogether.

     

    Modelling is good, oddly it looks average in the light, but the details are very much in there when you go deeper, in fact in areas the modeling and design is very good, internally and externally with loads of hatches and access doors. But oddly in some areas it is also and critically average, mainly with the really old feeling instrument panel, it feels very dated, ruining the actual excellent finer details of the cockpit, cabin is very nice, but overall missing the goodies and the toys we like, as in mostly the missing animated areas, in fact all the animations also feel basic and not very realistic, manipulators are hard to use in most critical areas. Even using the animations is also very dated and relegated to setting up X-Plane commands, and other required settings also requires basic X-Plane command setups.... so you can see where this is all going, great, even perfect for a home built Citation cockpit, but not as an interface for a simulation user, we are all basically an after thought...  but then again X-Plane was not the focus of the project either.

     

    Digging deeper the internal lighting is really, really average, as is the missing menus and sounds are static and default sourced, oddly all I would think would be a requirement in training and the correct setup of the aircraft no matter on a computer or a physical setup. Developers have noted they are addressing these areas.

     

    The project's main focus was the reproduction of the Rockwell Collins ProLine 21 avionics, and it is very, very good and has excellent system detail (oddly again no pop-up displays, and in areas extremely hard to read), but also noted are coming scalable vector graphic displays and a hardware CDU-3000 panel to also be released soon. The CJ4's flight performance, handing, dynamics and feel are absolutely spot-on, and even the aircraft feedback is excellent, shows were the development focus areas are with a reason, it is a professinal training aid after all, so the Netavio Citation CJ4 is a dream and a complex machine to fly...  just like the real thing.

     

    Complex, conflicting from an X-Plane users point of view, the Netavio Citation (Training Aid?) is in extremes all over the place, but the core of the aircraft is very interesting and quite deep...  is it one to make a future investment in? overall I am going to say yes, as even the announced coming of changes that are extremely interesting, but this is at it's core an X-Plane project for a commercial outcome, certainly interesting, certainly worth the commitment, but with a few changes to more the X-Plane aspect, would I think even rebound better for the commercial side in making the Citation CJ4 an impeccable aircraft and in time one to really savor.

    ___________________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Citation CJ4 Proline21 by Netavio is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Citation CJ4 Proline21

    Price is US$49.95

     

    Features Include:

    NETAVIO quality 3D model
    • Detailed exterior, cabin and cockpit design
    • 3D model includes a good balance of 3d polygons for fast frame rates on laptop computers
    • 2 luxurious passenger cabin design options 
    • Functional baggage doors as well as battery, GPU, hydraulic, and fuel panels
    • 4K PBR textures by acclaimed Digital Artist David Rencsenyi, (Star Wars Episode VII)
    • 8 gorgeous 4K liveries included
    • Paint kit included
    • Smooth and VR friendly avionic panels, animated switches, knobs, flight and throttle controls
    High Resolution Aerodynamic model
    • Aerodynamic flight model accuracy within 2 % of actual aircraft flight performance at high altitude and within 5% at low altitudes, adjusted for X-Plane's atmospheric limitations 
    • Performance taken from in flight measurements, flight data recorders and further calibration with aircraft performance tables
    High Resolution Engine Performance model
    • Engine performance fine-tuned precisely to emulate Williams FJ44-4A
    • Engine performance data taken from in flight measurements, from engine start, takeoff, climb, cruise thrust settings profiles up to max certified altitude of 45,000 feet
    • Custom FADEC driven engine thrust ratings, 
    • Accurate startup sequence, ITTs, fuel flows calibrated per cruise altitude
    • Custom EICAS, Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System 
    High Resolution Avionics
    • Super sharp 4K avionic displays
    • Avionics using XLua plugin offering one of the highest refresh rates possible with minimum GPU resources
    • (a solid 30 fps achieved on Apple’s new M1 MacBook Air with mid graphic settings)
    Realistic Rockwell Collins ProLine 21 Emulation
    • Custom DCP (Display Control Panel), CCP (Cursor Control Panel), FGP-3000 (Flight Guidance Panel)
    • Custom PFD Menu Items and MFD Menu Items faithfully reproduced
    • Accurate Vspeeds, Baro, HSI modes and PFD format settings 
    • Climb, Pitch, FLC, Nav and Approach modes as per ProLine 21
    • Dual Rockwell Collins CDU-3000’s enabling simultaneous operations of FMS Navigation and Radio Tuning pages with auto-sync like the real unit - perfect for single pilot flying
    • Optional mouse, scroll-wheel for data input
    Aircraft System Deep Emulation
    • L3 Avionics, Electronic Standby Instrument System (ESIS) Model GH-3000
    • Custom Electrical and Hydraulic systems  
    • Accurate flaps, speed-brakes and ground spoilers logic, actuation and effects on aerodynamic performance 
    • Accurate anti-icing and pressurization settings
    • Realistic CAS, Crew Alerting Systems 
    Sounds
    • The aircraft uses X-Plane sounds. No custom sounds at this time
    Extras
    • Complete set of aircraft documentations
    • ProLine 21 Avionic Tutorials and Quick Start Guide
    • PilotEdge & ForeFlight app compatible
    • Ongoing refinements and avionic features development
    • Excellent proficiency tool to prepare and review for the actual CJ4 initial type rating and yearly recurrent rides
    • Perfect tool for scenario based training, to practice SOPs, Emergency Memory Items, Checklist flows
    • ProLine 21 familiarization and Jet transition course preparation
    • Excellent IFR tool to demonstrate modern avionics and autopilot automation during different phases of flight

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 812 MB
    Current and Review version : 1.05 (June 1st 2021)
     

     

    Installation and documents:

    Download is 744Mb. Installation size in your Aircraft folder is 869Mb.

     

    There is no AviTab support

     

    Cabin interior can be switched via an .object change, provided in the "Interior design) folder.

     

    Documents
    Extensive Manuals are provided that includes all system and feature details, Emergency and Standard checklists, Warnings and Performance Charts and full Weight and Balance charts (real documents).
    • CJ4 Limitations FLT OPS 1.0.pdf
    • EULA Netavio 1.0.pdf
    • 4. CJ4 Emergency Checklist 1.01.pdf
    • 3. CJ4 Checklist 1.01.pdf
    • CJ4 Limitations 1.0.pdf
    • CJ4 Opening External Panels Instructions.pdf
    • CJ4 Weight & Balance 1.01.pdf
    • CJ4 Cabin Interior Design Options.pdf
    • 2. CJ4 AVIONICS 1.01.pdf
    • 1. CJ4 STARTUP GUIDE 1.02.pdf
    • CJ4 Performance 1.0.pdf

    ________________________________________

     

    Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

    10th June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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
      

    Review System Specifications: 

    Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD 

    Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.53

    Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport v2.1  by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95

    - EGHI - Southampton Airport by PilotPlus+ (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  11. News! - Aircraft Updates : ToLiSS updates the A321 and NEO packages v1.3

     

    News ToLiSS A321 v1.3 Update.jpg

     

    Back in late April 2021, ToLiSS updated their excellent Airbus A319 to version v1.6, they also announced at the time that the larger sister Airbus A321 and the addon NEO (New Engine Option) packages in updates that would follow along later... and here they are in version v1.3. Most of the changes in the A319 v1.6 update, are also visible here, but more changes cover not only the different A321 systems, but the additional NEO configurations.

     

    The v1.3 changelog is quite substantial, but new features for the NEO option stands out, with now support for SBAS (SLS) LPV approaches, FLS PFD indication scales and autopilot modes for non-precision approaches and IRS INIT page adapted to the latest standard for aircraft with the simplified ADIRS overhead panel...  the Airbus FLS approach system including LPV approach support (SLS) is also available on the base A321, and also added is a RAT (Ram Air Turbine) and it's outflow valve to the external 3d model.

     

    Changes from build 1298 (V1.2.2) to 1373 (V1.3)

    Major new features:
    - Pilot item database allowing the creation and storage of custom waypoints, including associated page reconfigurations on DIR TO, FPLN, RAD NAV page etc.
    - Bleed system upgrade to a quantitative bleed model affecting fuel consumption and take-off thrust
    - Support for LDA, IGS, Localizer Backcourse and GLS approaches
    - Complete rework of the PERF pages to add EO mode information as well as climb/descent predictions to a given altitude
    - Rework of the PROG page to include EO mode information including indication of OEI gross ceiling and predictive GPS function
    - New NEO feature: Support for SBAS (SLS) LPV approaches
    - New NEO feature: FLS PFD indication scales and autopilot modes for non-precision approaches
    - New NEO feature: IRS INIT page adapted to the latest standard for aircraft with the simplified ADIRS overhead panel

    A321NEO specific new features:
    - Airbus FLS approach system including LPV approach support (SLS)

    Minor new features:
    - When flying the IAE engine, the EWD now properly supports revision to N1 Mode
    - TO performance calculator also determines whether packs need to be ON or OFF for the take-off.
    - Complete redo of the SD pages ENG, BLEED, PRESS, and F/CTL for better representational accuracy
    - FPLN page rework: Constraints are now shown prior to filing the INIT B page.
    - FPLN page additional information: The Final approach slope is now shown
    - Improved the lateral-directional handling qualities in manual flight
    - Changes to altitude and speed constraints of the active flight plan create TEMPY flight plan.
    - Added RAT and outflow valve to the external 3d model
    - ISI popup is now also scalable

    Bug fixes:
    - Corrected PFD speed bug location during Go Around
    - Prevented waypoint sequencing when flying in HDG mode in opposite direction of FMS path at current TO waypoint
    - Fixed ILS indication location on PFD
    - Improved AP vertical target tracking when flying with high Angles of Attack
    - Fine tuning of the graphical representation in the EWD.
    - Speed target for flap 3 landings is back to VAPP
    - Waypoints can now be added at end of FPLN directly on the FPLN A page.
    - Fixed issues with ground rolling and flap extension sounds
    - Preventing engagement of both APs for a non-precision approach.
    - Various small bug fixes
    - Fixed ground spoiler activation logic when deploying reversers
    - Improved the Dome lighting at night
    - When reloading a situation faults are now correctly reinstated or reset
    - Added triple click when the V/S protection mode engages
    - Fixed A/THR arming logic for OEI Go arounds
    - Fixed issues with the fault injection logics, when the ISCS remains on the fault injection page
    - Improved functionality of the fault injection datarefs
    - Improved NavAid Autotuning.
    - Improved EGT computations to consider random sensor offset and effect of bleed and electric power use
    - Jump to waypoint now advances the chronos as well as x-planes time
    - ISCS text entry boxes now display a cursor
    - ISCS dropdown lists are now constrained to remain within ISCS window
    - Changes to the Autosave algorithm to make it less susceptible to crashes.
    - Fixed excessive ground friction when landing with alternate braking or AntiSkid disabled

     

    a321neo - 122_head 2.jpga321neo - 122_head 3.jpga321neo - 122_head 4.jpga321neo - 122_head 5.jpga321neo - 122_head 6.jpga321neo - 122_head 7.jpga321neo - 122_head 8.jpg

     

    BSS Soundpack

    Blue Sky Star Simulations (BSS) have also released their A321neo Pratt & Whitney sound pack for the ToLiss A321neo. The sound pack has over 600 sounds recorded from real A321neo aircraft, and it offers an immersive experience of flying with the PW1130G-JM engine variant. 

    Currently only available from the Blue Sky Star Simulations (BSS) site.....  A321neo PRO for US$19.95

     

    This should be the last updates for now , for both the ToLiSS A319 and A321....  The attention by the developer will now obviously focus on their upcoming A340-600, slated for release in the second half of 2021, modelling for the new A340 aircraft is now being done by a new 3D design company Ekran Design and not the usual developer Roman Berezin (Flightfactor).

     

    If you have already purchased the ToLiss A321 (and expanded NEO Package), then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new and now available v1.3 packages...  If not you can purchase both the very popular ToLiSS A321 aircraft and NEO addon packages below.

    ____________________

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Airbus A321-123 and NEO Package v1.3 by ToLiSS are NOW both available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Airbus A319 by ToLiSS

    Price is US$69.00

     

    A321 NEO ADD-ON

    Price is US$29.95

    (Important note: This is an Add-on Package to the ToLiss Airbus A321. It requires a legitimate copy of the ToLiss Airbus A321  to work)

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Windows , Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 680 MB
    Version 1.3 (June 2nd 2021)

     

     

    ____________________________

    News by Stephen Dutton

    3rd June 2021

    Copyright©2021 : 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. I do not agree that developers are now avoiding the X-Plane.OrgStore. The points are simple in that X-Plane as a community and consumer base has changed and diversed over the years. Overall the composition changed as the X-Plane as a platform moved on from what was basically a hobbyist platform to a more diverse, even say Flight Simulator broad based consumer profile. The point is the actual amount of products now available on the X-Plane.OrgStore compared to even five years ago are far, far more considerable than ever before. Yes developers swap and change, but the ones that go it alone also don't have the muscle of the sales of the X-Plane.OrgStore behind them. Just selling a product from your web site will not not make you more money, and as a few developers have done so in also not giving out promotion product, and then they also miss out also on the valuable exposure that the bigger stores can generate.

    A few are doing the restricted sales for a few weeks before moving their products on to the stores, to in trying to maximise their profits, but they still put the product on the X-Plane.OrgStore..   and remember why most users still buy from stores and mostly the X-Plane.OrgStore...  for one it is the service, it is not a faceless shop front, so you get security and value for your purchases, secondly is the quick updates, even in a Skunkcraft update world, it is still a huge benefit to redownload the full file, for maximum efficiency. Note the users who will not buy, but from the X-Plane.OrgStore, and because mostly like this review site, we check and seal the fact the quality of the products, and make sure you get the value you pay for...  in other words the X-Plane.OrgStore is a security blanket, and a blanket that the FlightSim world does not have.

  13. News! - Laminar Research : X-Plane12 Preview

     

    Technical Preview 1.jpg

     

    Just yesterday I did a full evaluation of the Simulation situation current to date in this year 2021, in our monthly "Behind The Screen" (May) edition. And lo and behold the next day out comes a preview video titled "X-Plane Technology Preview One"...  did Laminar read our summation? I doubt it, but it does note the date, in that this weekend the original FlightSimExpo 21 was to have been held in San Diego (4th-6th June) that has now been rescheduled for September 24-26, 2021. Was this weekend originally supposed to have been an announcement on the release of X-Plane12 (or whatever it may be called).

     

    The video highlights the new existing lighting with a completely new photometric lighting mode. This is a new engine to create atmosphere and cloud light scattering and color depend on atmosphere quality, weather conditions and the time of day. I had to live with the bland current X-Plane11 lighting effects for many months until I could then reuse the xEnviro plugin in Vulkan, and it is very boring and flat. And that is the point, you can have these effects now if you use the expensive xEnivro addon, so the new effects are actually to me old news, sorry to burst your bubble Laminar.

     

    But  that is not to say the new lighting mode is not welcome. In having used xEnviro, you simply cannot live without the feel and dynamic density of PBR lighting effects, the bonus is that with them coming to the default simulator, it does get around the the major xEnviro issue of recreating the weather conditions manually, which is impossible to do in xEnviro. The main advantage though is the quality sheen you will get in the simulator, the lighting conditions in xEnviro is simply overwhelming in look and feel.

     

    Users are already worried the framerate hit, they may get with the new effect engine, but the reality is, you will get that hit no matter where you go, 3rd party addons or in the default simulator, but the bonus is that the Laminar effects will be far more finely tuned to fit, so I expect the actual framerate hit to be quite low, and it depends also on if Laminar use the more dense 3rd clouds or more modern cloud effect engine. So no matter how you twist the situation, X-Plane12 will require a computer update (certainly if you are using a pre teen computer) in the context that you can't simply expect that old machine to cover the modern requirements.

     

     

     

    Basically the video is a good start, and more videos are noted as coming (soon?), but details like will X-Plane12 use Spherical buffers, or Seasons or even just realistic active weather are still to be announced. Volumetric cloud systems that uses a three-dimensional volume texture that is ray-marched to represent cloud layers in real-time is already in X-Plane, but are currently highly ineffective and limited in their effects, such as Cloud Occlusion and Shadowing, which is hopeless in X-Plane, but quite good in xEnviro.

     

    So the video shows the better quality you can get with photometric lighting, and it will be obviously interesting to see and use in the simulator.

     

    We all wait with bated breath... its a start!

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    2nd June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

  14.  

    Behind the screen- May 2021.jpg

     

    Behind the Screen : May 2021

     

    Noted it is already 1st June...   5 months of the year 2021 have already passed, and where are we? Non-Covid then later this week the FlightSimExpo on the 4th June to the 6th June would have been running in San Diego, but that date has now been moved to September 24-26, 2021.

     

    The FlightSimExpo 2021 this time around after the no-go of 2020, was a huge focus on the state of play in simulation and of the whirlwind of the changes surrounding simulation, a sort of "touch base" scenario or to see where we are all relative to all the significant changes of late. But mostly the focus would have been on Laminar Research... would have they released or at least previewed X-Plane12 (or what ever XP12 would be called) this weekend? My gut says they would have certainly previewed or announced the new up and coming simulator version with a razzmatazz do-da at the Expo, right under the noses of Microsoft and their full on desire to show off their own do-da Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS). In other words a head to head battle for users for a certain specific platform or for the cash they deliver, but that extreme clash of the simulation titans will now not happen, or not yet anyway.

     

    So the obvious question is? Will Laminar Research still announce the new X-Plane version as per the old SimExpo dates (this weekend), or now wait until the rescheduled Sept SimExpo. It gives Laminar even more time to refine the details and make even more of a announcement splash further on up the road. It is a big question.

     

    Laminar has a few options, because historically the northern summer is a very quiet time in Simulation, users are more interested in the beach or fishing than sitting behind a computer, oddly I am in the Southern Winter, but the weather here is just as pleasant as the Northern Summer (If not as perfect) so you want to be outside more than inside with the glorious weather...  so would an announcement now from Laminar go simply nowhere? Or if Laminar did announce the new X-Plane version, then they would still have months to refine it and get a beta release under way for the same Sept Expo date, announcing does not mean delivering, but  it does start the countdown clock to a reveal or beta release. I left my calendar clear for next week either way, and why?

     

    The first five months of 2021 (Covid-19 restrictions aside) it has been in Simulation terms very quiet, they all bubble along nicely, but not certainly with the extreme vigour of the past few years. Again has the Covid aspects been a factor in that, and not in just the health aspects but the actual monetary characteristics as well, personally I don't think so, but much is so out of whack with the virus. But there are aspects that need exploring, and in reality the main players in both MSFS and X-Plane are actually still in a state of transition phase.

     

    In the case of MSFS, it has certainly lost a lot of it's release thrill. No doubt the scenery developers are still bowing to the great god for financial salvation, but look closer and the releases are still mostly well rehashed versions of the earlier released FS/P3D product, nothing new to see there, but earlier the volume was absolutely overwhelming and all or mostly it was released at bucket low prices. In X-Plane quality scenery has also gone through the floor, with very little released and mostly only the small regional or just basic airfields to purchase (the quality however is really, really good), certainly there are no mega ports or cityscapes... we are now certainly being punished heavily for our lack of investment in quality scenery...   all the big boys have certainly gone, the question is will they come back, and I told you so, mostly in every monthly BtheS edition I did last year.

     

    But is the forecasted deal actually or really working out? No doubt the MSFS developers are in it for the really long haul, but will MSFS actually really deliver the bonanza they are expecting or the high returns they expect to build a long term business model on, personally I am already thinking they might already have realised, that the cash cow they were expecting is not actually going to be there or even materialize, gamers are still a very different breed than Simulation users in that they hop-in and hop-out at will, they are certainly not going to spend money to build up long term portfolios of aircraft, scenery or addons like the dedicated Simulator users do. Lately the early year's absolutely full on MSFS release stream of scenery has already dropped to down to a trickle?

     

    On aircraft MSFS is still very much in nowheresville. The release of Aerosoft's big bang and expensive CRJ 550/700, was of actually burst balloon proportions, reviews are horrible, but JustFlight have just released their (in X-Plane excellent) PA-28R Turbo Arrow III IV, so there might be finally a decent machine to fly in the MSFS Simulator, but overall the deeper MSFS architecture is just not there for deep grade simulation, as with the original Flight Simulator series it will depend on if the developers can work around this crucial aspect in a 3rd party design, rather than depending on the actual simulator itself. To a point most important X-Plane aircraft are now also independent of the core Plane Maker tools to operate and a few with CEF (Chrome) and xjet are standalone plugins from PM. But I still think the MSFS architecture is again far to different to workaround as it is again based on gaming engines, more than a flight modeling engine to achieve the required depth and dynamics.

     

    Yes I actually have MSFS, but I rarely fly it? I have also not even bought a single product in the platform, and that is not because I am being an X-Plane devotee. I am very much in wanting to experience the best in simulation, but to be honest (except for the visual aspects) it leaves me stone cold, I find the flight model very artificial (what is with the bouncing?) and the visual controls are simply impossible, and I certainly don't feel comfortable in the aircraft, but get the feeling of being set removed or distanced from the dynamics... and it has crashed in one form or the other almost every time I have used it, would that overall experience make you want to actually invest in it?

     

    I found Q1 2021 frustratingly slow in X-Plane. There was a few nice and very good helicopter releases, but at times I was actually looking for things to review which was very rare activity in the last few dynamic years, I expected the year to bounce off hard, but it never happened, it just stumbled and groaned. In Q2 2021 X-Plane suddenly felt normal again, with three exceptional aircraft releases, Aerobask with their excellent Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300, followed by the very much anticipated JustFlight BAe 146 Pro, and finally the mind-blowing X-Trident CH47-D Chinook.

     

    The really odd thing about those last few X-Plane releases, was the actual sheer depth of their systems and the flight dynamics. Again another level of Simulation, that to be honest pushed my reviewing skills to the absolute limits. So much to learn and so much to operate in the way you fly each of these aircraft, and personally, I know and is still flying all three consistently to trying to get up to each of the aircraft's extreme level of study and skill bases.

     

    That is of course great and the aspect of the Simulator still pushing you upwards in your skill base, but it is also highly fulfilling, satisfaction wise.

    But here is the point. Without those extreme aircraft simulations you don't have a Simulator, and you don't even have a viable Simulator if the developers didn't develop these amazing products, and overall that is the huge chasm between MSFS and X-Plane right now, if you are a serious sim-user then where do you have to be to do deep immersion simulation, the answer is simply of course X-Plane.

     

    So the question to Laminar Research is that, can you afford to waste the time to wait till September 21 to get the next version of X-Plane out to an eager audience. Their answer maybe in that "well X-Plane11 is moving along quite nicely", but that is not the point here, push your luck too far and you could lose the overall game, and money.

     

    To those MSFS developers in the fact that if X-Plane12 (or whatever) is really, really good, then where should your talents go to. "Look the deal is guys, give us the same quality and scenery as you are giving to MSFS, and we will buy it" but don't try to screw us, were as currently you are giving MSFS better quality and diversity, and at a far cheaper price" That is not fair... if like X-Plane or not, the Simulator delivers where it really counts in Simulation, but the X-Plane12 aspect and Laminar's fancy long-winded roadmap can change the game (so to speak) significantly, because the point is if Sim users can get the realism in aircraft and plugins they require, then the only thing missing is the visuals (and the weather), that is what X-Plane12 in context should finally put right...  do you see where I am going!

     

    Again I am not going into bat for just for X-Plane, but for the full overall experience of Simulation. If Laminar Research want to face off the might of Microsoft and their wonderkind product in Sept, then build up the momentum before you get to San Diego, than then just trying to overwhelm them (or announce) on the day will not work, because MSFS have a lot to lose, and work the MSFS developers to say that X-Plane IS worthy of your attention, because believe it or not, we do as users actually buy portfolios of your product.

     

    After the last August release of MSFS, we are in an interesting place, but actually it will be this coming Northern Summer that will be a setting to the future of Simulation as we know it. Yes FlightSimExpo 2021 in September will still be the epicentre to the clash titans of Simulation, but most significant battles have always been won not on the field, but before and well away from the day itself...  it is your call Laminar Research.

     

    See you all again next month...

     

    Stephen Dutton

    1st June 2021

    Copyright©2021 X-Plane Reviews

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  15. News! - Released : Enhanced Flight Models by Xaero

     

    Updates to X-Plane default aircraft are getting even more and more far apart. There might be the odd nip and touch here and there, but unbelievable is the fact that many of the current default aircraft don't even comply to the current "Experimental Flight Model" is showing up Laminar Research and their poor updating efforts lately...  the last was 11.50 Q3 last year.

     

    Xaero have stepped in to the breach, by releasing "Enhanced Flight Model" packages to fill in the current gaps. To date there has been two package releases, in one for the Beechcraft B58, and another for the Beechcraft C90B King Air, both aircraft are free with the X-Plane Simulator.

     

    baron_58_efm_title.jpgc90b_efm_title.jpg

     

    The Enhanced Flight Model (known as EFM), is a set of new flight dynamics for the stock B58 Baron/C90 King Air...

     

    b58_efm_cruisecharts.jpg

     

    For the B58 the enhancements include:

    • Cruise speeds accurate across all altitudes and power settings.
    • Accurate maximum speeds.
    • Accurate stall speeds, flap up or down.
    • Correct rates of climb.
    • Accurate take-off and landing distances.
    • Accurate feel and handling.
    • Accurate fuel consumption at all altitudes and power settings (if properly leaned!).

    And areas corrected from the stock models are;

    • Aircraft cannot maintain level flight or climb at high weights on a single engine.
    • Lower than realistic rate of climb on both engines.
    • Take-off distance too long by approximately 30%.
    • Landing distance too short by approximately 30%.
    • Excessive fuel consumption in most cases.
    • Stall speed with flaps extended 9kts too high.
    • Slightly low L/D (aerodynamic efficiency) resulting in poor performance at low speed.
    • General instability, especially in the yaw axis.

     

    charts2_c90.jpgcharts1_c90.jpg

     

    For the C90B King Air the enhancements include:

    • Utilizes the existing King Air C90 graphics and sounds included with X-plane 11 by Laminar Research.
    • Cruise speeds accurate across all altitudes and power settings.
    • Accurate stall speeds, flap up or down.
    • Correct rates of climb.
    • Correct glide ratio.
    • Accurate single-engine performance.
    • Accurate take-off and landing distances.
    • Accurate ‘feel’ and handling.
    • Accurate fuel consumption at all altitudes and power settings (respect the torque redline!).

    And areas corrected from the stock models are;

    • Engines not ‘de-rated’ to produce full-torque to over 10,000ft.
    • Aircraft unable to achieve fast-cruise at high altitude due to insufficient engine torque.
    • Take-off distance too long.
    • Landing distance too short.
    • Climb rate on a single engine 30% too low.
    • Stall speed with flaps extended 12kts too high.
    • Too-high L/D (aerodynamic efficiency) resulting in excessive glide performance.
    • Aircraft too fast for given power settings (probably related to the previous point).

     

    And both packages in X-plane flight dynamics have evolved and improved considerably since the initial release of the last version of X-Plane (XP11), and so including these updated packages means of adding greater depth and realism to the aircraft's simulation.

     
    The complete B58 Baron EFM manual is available here: 
     
    The complete C90B King Air EFM manual is available here:

     

    Both the B58 and C90B Advanced Flight Model packages are now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore
    __________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!  Enhanced Flight Models by Xaero are available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Beechcraft B58 Enhanced Flight Model

    Current Price is US$19.95 (Retail Price:$24.95)

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11
    Linux, Mac, and Windows
    4 GB  VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Current version : 1.0 (May 25th 2021)

    ___________________________

    Beechcraft C90B King Air

    Current Price is US$19.95 (Retail Price:$24.95)

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11
    Linux, Mac, and Windows
    4 GB  VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Current version : 1.0 (May 25th 2021)
     
    Notes:
    Compatibility with other mods:
    All liveries and graphical enhancements for the stock B58/C90B should be fine.
    However, any mod that modifies the aircraft file (.acf) or airfoils is not compatible with the EFM upgrade, sorry. 
    Any mod that add plugins may adversely affect performance if the plugin interferes with the flight model at all.
    The stock B58/C90B is still available to use after EFM installation, so many mods applied to that should be fully functional and unchanged.
     

    ___________________________

    News by Stephen Dutton

    1st June 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

    b58_efm_cruisecharts.webp b58_efm_cruisecharts.webp

  16. News! - Aircraft Update : JustFlight updates the BAe146 v1.1.1

     

    JF Bae 146 News_ header v1.1.1.jpg

     

    It is just the teeny-weenyest of updates, just a few...  but v1.1.1 shows that JustFlight (Thranda) are still pursuing the smallest of issues and in wanting to get their BAe146 just about perfect.

     

    Changelog v1.1.1

    • - Beacon flashing pattern made more realistic
    • - OAT gauge now always indicated in degrees C
    • - Fixed geometry aft of weather radar
    • - Improved ASI knob usability (supports click-and-hold)
    • - Increased volume of altitude alert callouts
    • - Added aircraft ICAO code
    • - Pop-up window VR compatibility improved
    • - Fixed engine overspeed annunciator light so that it doesn't get stuck after testing

     

    A great simulation the British Aerospace 146 is, but it is a demanding simulation that requires a lot of flightdeck work to get the perfect gate or stand to stand experience out there. Still learning and practising, the aircraft is now coming to me, but boy, get it right and the simulation is excellent. This test flight was from EDDL (Düsseldorf) to EKCH (Copenhagen).

     

    JF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 1.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 2.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 3.jpg

     

    JF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 4.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 5.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 6.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 7.jpg

     

    JF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 10.jpg

    JF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 8.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 9.jpg

     

    The aircraft's ICAO code has (finally) been fixed, a small but annoying issue in that elements wouldn't see the the aircraft, like the GHD or Ground Handling Deluxe and animated gates. Both the latest updates have had a lot of attention on altitude and height callouts, so you can now hear them. OAT gauge now indicates in degrees C, and the VR (Virtual Reality) aspect has also had some refinements. All small but significant adjustments. But sadly there is still no sign of the coming custom FMS noted as the Universal Avionics UNS-1E avionics suite...

     

    JF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 11.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 18.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 12.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 13.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 14.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 15.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 16.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 17.jpg

     

    When it comes to hours on an airframe, for me it has been the IXEG Boeing 737 Classic that has provided the most, and the longest test of my learning skills and patience. Fair enough, but the IXEG demands you learn and fly the aircraft with the uttermost skill set, not only at the controls, but also with the systems and complicated avionics. My feel is that this JF BAe146 is next so called deep dive and learn aircraft. It will take time, even years to perfect (like the IXEG) to get the procedures perfectly correct, know every system and to perfect that stand to stand simulation. 

     

    A notable fix not noted in the changelogs is the internal views in the Replay mode has been fixed!...  yeah! 

     

    JF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 19.jpgJF_BAe_146_200_v1.1.1 Head 20.jpg

     

    Version to v1.1.1 is available through the SkunkCrafts updater which is installed in your X-Plane/Resources/Plugin folder. To update make sure you don't have the BAe146 aircraft selected and select in the Skunkcrafts updater the "JF_BAe_146 selection", then press the "Updater or repair addon" selection. You can of course download the update from the X-Plane.OrgStore or directly from your JustFlight account.

     

    The British Aerospace 146 Professional v1.1.1 by JustFlight is also available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, so now get this excellent updated machine, from the main X-Plane store with it's great service and for a LIMITED-TIME SPECIAL OFFER : Get Triple Reward Points when you purchase this Aircraft. 225 Points

    ___________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the British Aerospace 146 Professional by JustFlight is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    BAe146 Professional - JustFlight

    Price is US$74.99

     

    Features Include:

    Highlights
    • Eight variants of the 146 are included:
    •  - 146-100
    •  - 146-200
    •  - 146-300
    •  - 146-200 QC & QT (cargo)
    •  - 146-300 QT (cargo)
    •  - CC.Mk2 (RAF VIP configuration with countermeasure pods)
    •  - C.Mk3 (RAF cargo configuration with countermeasure pods)
    • Accurately modelled using real-world aircraft plans and comprehensive photography of the real aircraft (G-JEAO, ZE701 and ZE708)
    • Numerous animations including:
    •  - Trailing edge flap surfaces
    •  - Wing-mounted spoilers and tail-mounted airbrake
    •  - Ailerons and elevators feature servo tabs, and balanced, free-floating control surfaces which are affected not only by oncoming air, but also by turbulence, side winds, up and down drafts etc. during taxi or low-speed ground operations
    •  - All passenger, service and cargo doors use custom animations and featurr extra logic such as the auto-closure of doors above a certain speed
    •  - Windscreen wipers with individual left/right animations and independent speed controls
    •  - Distinctive retractable tricycle landing gear featuring complex trailing link shock-absorbing mechanism on the main gear
    •  - Countermeasure pods, HF aerial and more

    Cockpit

    • A truly 3D cockpit environment right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads
    • Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment
    • Captain, Co-pilot and jump-seat positions are modelled with hundreds of functional controls, including over 200 buttons, 100 switches and knobs, with smooth animations, easy-to-use clickspots and precision sounds
    • Fully VR compatible
    • Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'engines running’. These configurations can be customised via the Manifest.json file.
    • Custom throttle lever logic – fuel latch logic which is compatible with hardware (avoiding jitters due to conflicting throttle positions), cutomisable variation in throttle positions for added realism, clickspot for controlling all four levers simultaneously etc.
    • Functional crank handles on knobs such as the altitude select and rudder trim, which allow for more intuitive, realistic and quicker operation
    • Full support for command assignments, hardware and cockpit builders:
    •  - All controls can be assigned to commands, with tooltips on every clickspot to indicate which command to use
    •  - Parameters such as smoothing animation, number of positions, attached dataref, push-button depth, knob rotation multiplier, frame-skip (for optimisation), default position etc. can all be customised via the Manifest.json file, providing great support for hardware and cockpit builders.
    •  - Default commands for landing and taxi lights, windsscreen wipers, panel lights etc. are still respected, despite being implemented with custom functionality
    • Custom features such as ‘hide yokes’ are controllable using default commands (e.g. 'Hide Yoke') as well as via clickspots
    • EFB tablet with door and call-out controls and with AviTab support

    Sounds

    • Studio quality Lycoming ALF-502 engine sounds, recorded from RAF C.Mk3 ZE708
    • Over 450 flight deck sound effects recorded from RAF CC.Mk2 ZE701
    • Detailed audio equipment such as the APU, brake fans, electrical circuits, hydraulic equipment and much more
    • Distinctive flap retraction/extension airflow 'howling' sound
    • More than 520 sounds samples in high definition with accurate 3D placement. Pushing the limits of FMOD 1.08 sound system with more than 150 sound tracks being played at the same time with no virtualisation.
    • Full 7.1 surround sound support via FMOD, with 3D positional sound for VR users
    • Extremely detailed external sound system:
    •  - Takes into account distance, speed, altitude, temperature and air pressure, just like in real life
    •  - Accurate touchdown sound based on impact speed
    •  - Multi-directional sound during fly-by and camera location on external view
    •  - Realistic runway roll sounds, complete with periodic bumps that depend on lateral runway position
    •  - Realistic wind sound that reacts not only to the speed of the aircraft but also how the wind is interacting with the fuselage (AoA, side slip etc.)
    •  - Realistic ambient sounds which replaces the default X-Plane sounds with a high fidelity FMOD sound system recreating the atmospheric effect, such as rain, birds, thunder etc.
    • Interior and cabin sounds:
    •  - Passenger sounds, based on aircraft weight, which react according to your flying style. Passenger cabin sound changes as you move around, as if you were inside the real plane.

    Lighting

    • Full HDR lighting with gimballed lights that can be aimed and dynamically illuminate whichever part of the cockpit is aimed at
    • Independent lighting controls for Captain and First Officer
    • Dimmable integral lighting for each panel, accurately dependent on corresponding electrical bus
    • Dimmable dynamic flood and storm lighting for a highly immersive and customisable night environment (more than 12 individual light sources including entry, lap, sill and flight kit)
    • White and red flashlight for night operations
    • Accurately simulated exterior lighting including dynamic wing, logo and runway exit lights, and taxi/landing and navigation lights with different intensities
    • Strobe lights with customisable strobe flashing pattern
    • All exterior lights, including navigation, strobe, ice, exit, logo, landing, taxi and beacon lights are fully HDR with dynamic spill light, illuminating ground and scenery objects, as well as the aircraft itself.

    Other Features

    • Comprehensive manual with tutorial, FMC guide, procedures, limitations and handling notes
    • Payload manager for realistic fuel and passenger loads
    • AviTab (third party tablet plugin) compatibleGoodway compatible
    • Multiple interior and exterior viewpoint presets
    • PSD paint kits included (free separate download) so you can create your own paint schemes

     

    You can take a look at the full detailed PDF manual here!

     

    Requirements
    X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB VRAM Recommended
    Current Version: 1.1.1 (May 24th 2021)
    Download Size: 3.6 GB
    ________________________________________
     

    News! Update by Stephen Dutton

    25th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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. News! - Scenery Released : PATK - Talkeetna Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios

     

    News_ PATK-Talkeetna Header.jpg

     

    NorthernSkyStudios really like Alaska. They have released two already excellent sceneries for this of most northern of American States with both PAEN-Kenai Municipal Airport and the most recently updated PAKT-Ketchikan International.

     

    This new NorthernSky Alaskan scenery is the only small PATK-Talkeetna Airport, but it is an essential lifeline to Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, the mountain's former official name, and it is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. So the Denali area is a tourist mecca with loads of air services operating from the airport including Sheldon Air Services, Talkeetna Aero Services, K2 Aviation, and Talkeetna Air Taxi.

     

    Talkeetna Airport covers an area of 624 acres (253 ha) at an elevation of 358 feet (109 m) above mean sea level. Its one runway is designated 19/01 and has an asphalt pavement measuring 3,500 by 75 feet (1,067 x 23 m). It also has one helipad designated H1 with a gravel surface measuring 480 by 85 feet (146 x 26 m).

     

    Features:
    • Highly detailed airport objects and vehicles
    • Custom textured for taxiways, runways and apron
    • Custom surroundings 
    • Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on all models
    • High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures
    • High resolution building textures
    • Excellent night effects
    • Realistic reflections on glass
    • World Traffic 3 compatible
    • Compatible with:
      •  default XPL11 mesh
      •  HD Mesh v3 by AlpilotX
      •  Ortho4XP

     

    06.jpg05.jpg04.jpg03.jpg02.jpg01.jpg10.jpg09.jpg08.jpg26.jpg22.jpg00.jpg19.jpg18.jpg17.jpg27.jpg28.jpg16.jpg14.jpg13.jpg12.jpg15.jpg11.jpg20.jpg24.jpg23.jpg30.jpg29.jpg25.jpg33.jpg32.jpg31.jpg21.jpg

     

    Small but still great value for the excellent detail at only US$9.95, it is another great destination for the use of a bush aircraft.

     

    Images are courtesy NorthernSkyStudios

    _____________________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!  PATK - Talkeetna Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


    PATK - Talkeetna Airport, Alaska

    Price is US$9.95

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 530 MB
    Current version : 1.0 (May 23rd 2021)

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    24th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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! - Released : EIKN- Ireland West Knock Airport by Boundless

     

    Knock News_ header.jpg

     

    We are back in Ireland...   Boundless has already released two sceneries here with EIKY Kerry Airport and EINN Shannon Airport, and now to add another to the collection is EIKN Ireland West Knock Airport. Which is actually located further north of Knock at Kilgariff, Charlestown, County Mayo. Knock handled over 750 000 passengers in 2017, and is served primarily by Ryanair. The airport has also seen an interesting range of traffic in its time, which even includes an ex Air France A380 which was recently scrapped there.

     

    Features Include:
    • Accurate Airport layout
    • 2020 HD Ortho of airport and nearby area
    • Full custom night lighting
    • PBR 4K custom ground textures
    • HD PBR Building textures
    • Terminal Interior
    • Custom HD road traffic
    • Custom airport ground vehicles (static and animated)
    • HD Trees
    • Traffic Global compatible
    • Perfectly blends into default scenery or custom ortho areas
    • Realistic runway gradient enabled
    • 3D Grass / vegetation
    • HD GA static aircraft
    • Open hangars

     

    EIKN (3).jpg

    EIKN (1).jpgEIKN (2).jpgEIKN (4).jpgEIKN (5).jpgEIKN (7).jpgEIKN (8).jpgEIKN (10).jpgEIKN (11).jpgEIKN (12).jpgEIKN (9).jpgEIKN (14).jpgEIKN (16).jpgEIKN (17).jpgEIKN.jpgEIKN (6).jpgEIKN (13).jpg

     

    Images are courtesy of Boundless Simulations

    __________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!...  EIKN- Ireland West Knock Airport by Boundless is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    EIKN- Ireland West Knock Airport

    Price is US$17.99

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 358 MB
    Current version: 1.0 (May 16th 2021)

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    17th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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. CH47-Chinook_Header.jpg

     

    Aircraft Review : Boeing CH47-D Chinook by X-Trident

     

    There are many significantly important helicopters throughout aviation's history, From the early Sikorsky R-4, Fairy FB-1 Gyrodyne, Sikorsky S-55, Bell 45/H-13, to the 50's in the Bell UH-1 Iroquois and in later decades the S-61 Seaking, CH-53 Sea Stallion (S-65), UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-53E Super Stallion ...  but in twin-rotor form there has been fewer significant designs...  The Piasecki H-21 (Vertol) and the Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight is another, but think of any heavy Twin Rotor helicopter and really only one aircraft comes to mind...  The Boeing CH-47 Chinook.

     

    The CH-47 totally defines twin rotor machines, in even that the first model flew as nearly 60 years ago on 21 September 1961, it is still today the primary go-to aircraft for heavy-lift operations and is still in service with most major armed forces and most significant commercial operators around the world today. The Chinook is simply an unbeatable, irreplaceable machine in this heavy helicopter category. The Chinook version and variant list is as long as your arm, highly modified, but also still very relatable to that very first Vertol V-107 model it was originally developed from.

     

    Officially the Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by the American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol (later renamed Boeing Helicopter and now named Boeing Rotorcraft Systems). The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Washington state, United States.

     

    The Chinook was originally designed by Vertol, which had begun work in 1957 on a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. Around the same time, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the piston engine-powered Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave with a new, gas turbine-powered helicopter. During June 1958, the U.S. Army ordered a small number of V-107s from Vertol under the YHC-1A designation; following testing, it came to be considered by some Army officials to be too heavy for the assault missions and too light for transport purposes. While the YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps as the CH-46 Sea Knight, the Army sought a heavier transport helicopter, and ordered an enlarged derivative of the V-107 with the Vertol designation Model 114. Initially designated as the YCH-1B, on 21 September 1961, the preproduction rotorcraft performed its maiden flight. In 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system.

     

    The Chinook possesses several means of loading it's various cargoes, including multiple doors across the fuselage, a wide loading ramp located at the rear of the fuselage and a total of three external ventral cargo hooks to carry underslung loads. One of the most substantial variants to be produced was the CH-47D which is this model version here, which first entered service in 1982; improvements from the CH-47C standard included upgraded engines, composite rotor blades, a redesigned cockpit to reduce workload, improved and redundant electrical systems and avionics, and the adoption of an advanced flight control system. The CH-47F with the newer avionics, that include the Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and BAE Systems' Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS) was rejected on the grounds that the CH-47D was a more significant "Old School" model, but the aircraft here does still have the required significant systems built in to aid flying the machine.

     

    This is not X-Trident's first helicopter for the X-Plane Simulator. That was the magnificent Bell AB412, so you will already expect a lot from their new Chinook creation. The bar with the AB412 was set early very high, not only in the quality of the machine, but in the features and excellent flying performance, and the aircraft is certainly a staple go-to helicopter for reviews, and in some ways one of the best helicopters in X-Plane, but the absolute pro's will always debate that factor.

    The AB412 is actually an old design now as it was released back in 2014, the AB412 is however not a dated design, in fact with the consistent updates over the years it feels perfectly modern and totally realistic in this later date. To note that besides the AB412, X-Trident have also released a Panavia Tornado GR4  and a very nice McDonnell Douglas Harrier AV-8B.

     

    After a very long development time as the aircraft was announced as far back as 2018, you were expecting a lot from X-Trident's new mega bird, thankfully we are not at all disappointed...

     

    CH47-Chinook_Head 1.jpgCH47-Chinook_Head 2.jpgCH47-Chinook_Head 3.jpgCH47-Chinook_Head 4.jpgCH47-Chinook_Head 5.jpgCH47-Chinook_Head 6.jpg

     

    This X-Trident "Chinook" is however not the first one available in X-Plane, as another Boeing CH47-D Chinook was created for X-Plane v9.70 by Brett s, X-Plane's resident helicopter Guru, with Brett s involved that CH47-D flew very well, but it is now also 12 years old. To note that Brett s has also had a huge impact on creating this current X-Trident version, in both feedback and detailed instructions on the 47D aircraft and of course the heavy testing.

     

    At X-PlaneReviews we can be say...  a little rough on a lot of developers in the quality stakes. No doubt a lot of the developers work hard and deliver amazing aircraft, but from our perspective they are always up against the sort of ultra development work as shown here. This level of quality and design, it then goes and lifts the level up to another higher perspective, and once seen you can't simply un-see this level of quality and craftmanship, so the boundary goes ever higher, what was brilliant even three or four years ago, now today looks average.

     

    The early pundits are already high here, exceptional, brilliant...  "take your breath away" are all accolades that refer to the detail and design presented here from X-Trident...

     

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    The textures and normals (NML) work here is simply breathtaking, there is an overwhelmingly solid and perfect detail in the panels and the rivet work, finer detail like fuselage mesh vents are also perfection, highly, highly realistic, your eyes are everywhere in want to absorbing in the myriad of details.

     

    The aircraft uses the Lycoming T55, now Honeywell T55-GA-714A later version 4,867 shp (3,631 kW) engines, the earlier T55-L-714 had only 4,110 shp (3,066 kW), so the uprated "A" version had a significant power increase over the original installation, and an increased sling capacity of 26,000 lb.

     

    The T55 engines have both been exceptionally reproduced here, not only the authentic outer exhaust and inner cone, but the jaw-dropping inlet mesh (screen) that reeks of realism. Hidden behind the (upper) mesh is the extraordinary detail of both the T55 engines and the gearboxes. Note the also expertly detailed infrared countermeasure flare containers.

     

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    The aircraft uses a Solar T62-T-2B Titan APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) 95 hp (71 kW) at 56,700 turbine rpm, and you can see the well detailed mesh (again) inlet and circular APU outlet.

     

    The glass work here is also exceptional, beautifully curved with lovely depth, and looks simply highly realistic in most environments, reflections are also perfect. The trick is not the glass itself, but the way it is intergrated into the modeling that makes it so perfect, and so it all is here. You love the glass, but the exceptional detail behind it also takes your breath away in the extreme detailing of the rudder pedal hydraulics and associated piping and assemblies.

     

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    The overhead panels are however clear and not shaded green.

     

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    There are four circular windows (five if you count the hatch) on each side of the fuselage, and you can have the choice of a single or dual bubble windows at the rear of the two windows. Glass quality is again exceptional, including the visible poly layer at the right sun angles.

     

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    In reality the fixed landing gear on the Chinook is quite simple. Twin front pairs and a single rear pair is all you need...  on the front not much is shown, but note the nice disks and labels from the braking system. The single rear wheel gear assembly is far more visible (if you get right under the machine), and the gear assemblies with the associated piping work is a work of art by itself and the gear assemblies are animated.

     

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    Fixation is always on the rotor assemblies on any helicopter, it is the core component of the machine. The X-Trident AB512 was exceptional in this case, not only highly detailed, but also fully animated...   we expected the same.

     

    You get half of the deal here anyway...  The head assembly detail is of course again exceptional, beautifully done.

     

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    You can spend hours dissecting the rotor head all into all the components, levers and rods, incredible modeling. But the head is static, and not animated...   the point to make is that a rotor head of this complexity and size would need the extra power to move it, in other words hydraulic pressure or strength power. So in reality the components would not move unless the heads are active, the fast moving components would be hard to see anyway...  so why bother?  The rear rotor head is just as complicated, but with the nicely different colour bands on the arms and nuts for difference.

     

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    Overall you have exceptional detail and modeling that really brings out the authentic feel of the "Chinook". You really can't ask for more can you. Before we move to the interior, then we will stay external and look at the extensive menu system.

     

    Menus

    The menu system is positioned within the main X-Plane Menu header line.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Menu 1.jpg

     

    There are two lists of menu options; Load, Options, Toggle FPS and Show FMS... 

     

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    Load: Allows you add an "Ground Object" this is for the sling load option. Toggle FPS: brings up the usual default X-Plane framerate counter, under a key toggle. Show FMS: pops-up the X-Plane default GNS530 panel.

     

    Options: The Options panel has a nine tab selection (Configurations); Controls, Lights, Ext Lights, Setup, Doors, Misc, Loads, Fuel and Sound.

     

    Controls: The controls panel is a tool to control certain aspects of the aircraft. AFCS (Advanced Flight Control System) and more on this complex system later, HDG (heading), ALT (Altitude) and RAD. (Radar) ALT holds, Enable HDG, IAS, and show HSI VOR, HSI TCN and HSI GPS.

     

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    Lights: This is a go-to internal lighting panel with an extensive 19 sliders that covers instruments, console, overhead, flood lights, and detailed instruments (it saves you tons of time when searching for a certain light or lighting knob).

     

    Ext Lights: The Ext (External) Lighting panel is the same as the internal above, but covers the outside of the aircraft. Formation Lights, Position Blinker, Anticoll (Anti-Collision), Search Lights (Pilot/CoPilot), NIghtvision, and underside "Hook" lighting. Comes with 10 sliders and two selection boxes.

     

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    Setup: The Setup panel is very similar to the X-Plane "Control Sensitivity" panel (Menu/Joystick/Control Sensitivity). But you could note it as an override panel of those settings. The ACFS setting is important, but getting the right response (feel) settings to suit you is also important. There is a "Safe" that can be set for the Collective.

     

    Doors: The "doors" panel gives you complete control over the doors on the aircraft, this is not just a push option choice, but a slider option of where you want the doors position to be set. You can open/close the main front entry doors, rear ramp, both Pilot and CoPilot side windows and remove the hatch on the left side...  more options include a lower floor hatch and the right side Fuel Hatch.

     

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    Using the sliders gives you full door control on both the upper and lower sections, so the rear ramp can be fully down or level (in flight) or to use in the famous "pinnacle landing" of balancing the ramp on the (usually high ground) while the nose is in flight.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Menu 19.jpgCH47-Chinook_Menu 20.jpg

     

    ...  only the low and medium two positions are noted in the cockpit, but in reality you can set any of the door (window) positions where you pretty well want it. The main right side entrance is again a two section opening...  the top slides internally into the roof, and the lower drops down outwards with a set of built in stairs. It is just finding the configuration that suits you best.

     

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    Misc (Miscellaneous): This option panel allows you to set the various options to enhance the simulation of the aircraft...  and a great set of clever ideas are available here as well.

     

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    The first Misc setting is for the Oxygen supply to be on or off, if flying above 15000ft. Then there are two options for the Static Elements. The first covers the blade hold-downs, tons of "Remove Before Flight" tags, vent  covers, engine inlet and exhaust outlet covers....  and the "Extra" option then also provides covers over the rotor heads and adds on more "Remove Before Flight" tags.

     

    There is the optional rear web seating. It comes in three settings; Removed, Folded and Normal. The web seating detail and quality is outstanding.

     

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    Next is the Variant options. These include, some very nice bright red skis, Two hooks (main and rear) (and don't forget the third under the floor), a hoist and the double bubble window option we have seen earlier.

     

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    Crew; the right side of the Misc panel covers the various crew.

    There are two fully military fatigued Pilots (The British Crew are in blue), in a main Pilot and a CoPilot. They are not animated, but very well done. You have three choices in Off (hide), On (show) and Auto to show when required.

     

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    Next crew options are the Landing (Assistants) and Load (Assistants). You have crew standing or kneeling by the side or ramp doors, or literally hanging themselves out of the open doors and head down through the floor hatch!  You can have both options at the same time to double the fun.

     

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    We are not finished yet either!   There are two "Flight Assistants" that are animated to "Sit" in the aircraft... or walk to the rear of the aircraft and jump aboard the Chinook, more fun is that you can "Stand By" or stop, freeze...  whatever, the flight crew anytime you want to, and yes it is very cool and a lot of fun to use. Again the British crews are in blue and all called "Boyer" Notable is the idea of a full rear crew company sitting in the aircraft, that would be nice?

     

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    The final option on the "Misc" panel is the option to guarantee compatibility with “Reality XP” products. (but no notes on which ones).

     

    Loads: The "Loads' Panel allows you to select and manage the objects for slinging under the aircraft...  Currently there are six choices with Blivets (fuel tanks), Helicopter, Humvee, M777 (Tank), Rubik (Cube) and Logs.

     

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    You can "Auto Connect...   where OFF is inactive, loads must be manually then connected through the “CONNECT” button, otherwise loads are automatically connected by ground crew when you fly close enough; the required precision is defined by selecting the EASY / DEFAULT / HARD selection options... there is a "Drop" load option as well. You can also set the Cable Length, and save the "Situation" to quickly reload.

     

    Sling Loads are of course great fun...  and you can select as noted an external object to add to the sling load. I dropped (or dumped) this Humvee into the sea....  because I could!

     

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    There is also a cargo option in carrying six boxes in the rear deck...  to use you are required to swap over the CH47.acf file provided in the "Configurations" folder. To make the boxes appear, you have to go to the main menu and the "Weapons" selection, and press the "Reset to Default Armament" and then the cargo boxes will be noted and appear in the aircraft, you can of course drop them out of the rear door.

     

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    Fuel: The "Fuel" panel can reload the aircraft with fuel, but note you can't adjust the amount of fuel going in, only which tank to fill to the brim? To refuel you also have a 8-wheeler military fuel truck that is again animated.

     

    On "Show" The Truck appears about 100meters away. In "Manual Drive" You can drive the Truck through the Joystick pitch axis (fwd/aft) and rudder pedals (left/right). In "Self Drive" the Fuel truck is animated to drive around the Chinook to the correct refueling position. Use "Snap to position" and the Truck is instantly taken to the right refueling position.

     

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    Once the fuel truck is in position, you can move the FUEL slider from OFF to CONNECT. Then Truck fuel hose gets connected and the Operator is ready to pump fuel to the helicopter. Set the slider to REFUEL to start transferring fuel from the Truck to the Helicopter. Note the excellent refueling operator.

     

    Sound: The sound panel has all the main sound sliders that can be controlled individually or via the "Master" sound slider. Two sliders are available for each sound, the left one is for the inside (Internal) noise, the right one for the outside (External) noise. 

     

    CH47-Chinook_Menu Sound.jpg

     

    VOR / MB: Allows setting the volume for VOR and MB (Marker Beacon) sounds. VOR ground stations emit a morse code representing three letters which identify the ground station; VOR slider sets the volume for the Morse code. Sound can also be completely excluded through the AUX switch on COMM panel. MB (Marker Beacon) emits a beep at different frequencies when overflying a ground emitter; MB sound cannot be completely excluded, its volume can be set through the MB slider.

     

    "Profiles" are pre-saved preferences, they can be loaded or overwritten once you have found your favorite sound blending (or setting). Select a profile to Load it or overwrite it with the Save option.

     

    Internal

    We have had already glimpsed the internal cabin or the rear deck of the Chinnok. As noted the external detail of this X-Trident Chinook is simply extraordinary, but have they skimped on the internal areas...  not one bit.

     

    The modeling of the exposed rear is simply overwhelming in the sheer detailing of the aircraft's framework structures, then the associated electrical, hydraulic piping and control panels, everything is labeled or tagged for ultimate detail....   total perfection.

     

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    Side wall and roof authentic diamond soundproofing and insulation material is again really well done, and very well intergrated into the cabin areas...   It is however quite dark in here, and hard to get any light into the rear deck area, but certainly spend the time to absorb in all the detail, you won't regret it.

     

    Cockpit

    Access to the cockpit is via a tunnel, tight and small, you have to push through into another tight space that is the office. Again you get another huge wave of extreme detailing overload...  this is just incredible!

     

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    Credit were credit is due, the sheer complexity and authentic detail is amazing, you wanted the best, then here it is in all it's glory.

     

    It is as noted very tight in here, the movement of the limited space hits the boundaries quite quickly, so there is not a lot of areas you can explore very easily. But the seat detail and fabrics are first rate. The Rudder Pedals and Collective are again beautifully modeled in a pure military detail sort of design.

     

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    Pedestal and Overhead Panel (OHP) are also highly detailed...

     

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    Instrument panel

    The first thing you take in of the Instrument panel are the extreme wings of the glareshield, they work...  if too well in covering the instruments from glare.

     

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    To help we will turn the power supply on, there is as noted a built in APU to provide the ground power (there is no GPU).

     

    The flying instruments are dominated by two main central instruments, top the Attitude Indicator, which is a gyro stabilized sphere-shaped indicator, and lower the Horizonal Situation Indicator (HSI). Both can be adjusted, with the Attitude Indicator that can adjust the roll and pitch indications; corrections on pitch and roll are also taken into account by the AFCS. Lower the Heading and Course knobs can also be adjusted, and built in are N1 and N2 Bearings, Range/Course numbers, Course Deviation and Glide Slope Indicator...  we are looking at detail, detail here folks.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Cockpit 15.jpg

     

    Left is the Anemometer (Speed) and Radio Altimeter (noted both in analog and digital form, the brightness can also be adjusted), bottom is a digital Clock and Chronometer...  right top is Altimeter and below is Vertical Speed Indicator (V/S)...  bottom is the Turn and Slip Indicator. The Radar brightness knob is far right. Below the HSI is the Navigation Mode Selector panel.

     

    Three dials are left of the main flying instruments and consist of top; Centre of Gravity Monitor (for loads), Engine Torque Indicators (Duel) and bottom Rotors RPM (Nr).

     

    The Co-Pilot's instruments are almost identical to the right side, except for the missing Centre of Gravity Monitor.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Cockpit 16.jpg

     

    There are master cautions (top) on each side, and panel notes...  These panel notes can be changed and saved via a file in the Mission File folder (Plugins) and saved as a TXT file. Note the (what looks like a Radar display) but is actually a Missile Alert Display!

     

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    Centre panel is dominated by two sets of instruments, one the are the Engine Gauges and two the very large CAUTION/ ADVISORY Panel.

     

    Engine gauges are in duel rows to cover both engines. Top row are the Gas Producer Tachometers, Then the Power Turbine Inlet Temperatures. Then the last two rows are the Engine Oil Temperatures top, and Oil Pressures lower.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Cockpit 19.jpg

     

    Right of the main engine gauges are two rows of gauges that cover areas of transmission pressures and temperatures. Notable is the third row for transmission Pressure top and Temperature lower, but both have selectors to check the various areas. Fourth row has top two Fwd and Aft Cyclic Trim positions, Fuel Flow (Dual), and bottom Fuel quantity (lbs)...lower is a tank selector switch to select each tank; Aft (left)-Main (left)-Forward (left)-TOTAL-Forward (right)-Main (right)-Aft (right). At the very to centre are the two engine fire handles and test selector (note that a lot of selections in here are unguarded, and need their guards put into the "safe" position before flying).

     

    The huge CAUTION/ ADVISORY Panel is well detailed in the manual, and can be tested (right) switch or be put into either "Bright" or "Dim" modes.

     

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    Pedestal and Canted Console

    Top Pedestal (canted) is dominated by the large GPS/DOPPLER system...

     

    CH47-Chinook_Console 1.jpg

     

    ...  the system can be switched to the various selections including; GS/TK, Wind Data, Dist/BRG, WP (Waypoint) and Datum Route, and is used in selecting/setting a navigation waypoint and to display navigation or additional information on its display. Not every one of the selections work, but a lot do.

     

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    Top of the canted panel is the HUD, left VOR/ILS (NAV1) and lower left is the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) panel...

     

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    Right top is the "Autopilot Modes"; you have three selections in HEADING, BARO Alt or RAD Alt. In the altitude modes you can actually choose between the lower but more exact Radar Altitude or the standard Barometer Altitude at cruise. Note the important red/white "Stick Position Indicator" and Its function is to check the pitch is in the proper position before take-off and to monitor the current pitch request during all flight phases.

     

    Two selections below cover the CYCLIC TRIM CONTROL and the AFCS system, and below is a ADF Radio.

     

    Top of the Centre Pedestal is the ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) panel and right the Counter Measures (Chaff/Flares) selection and dispense panel. To the far left is the HF Radio panel. Lower right is the Pilot Comm panel.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Console 4.jpg

     

    Notable here is the Collective (far right). It comes with five selections. The Thrust Control (Throttle) grip, Twin Engine RPM Trims (Incr/Decr), Search Light control (centre), Search Light On/Off top and the HUD Control.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Console 5.jpg

     

    The lower section of the Pedestal has top right the Co-Pilot's COMM panel and next right is the TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation System) panel. Below are the VHF1 and VHF2 panels, and lower right is another COMM Panel.

     

    Sitting lower left is the STEERING CONTROL panel, mostly it is locked but it turns the rear wheels to steer the aircraft, In X-Plane the Steering can be controlled by rotating the Steering Knob or by assigning the "Nosewheel Steer" function to a joystick axis.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Console 6.jpg

     

    Overhead Panel

    The Overhead Panel allows to control most of the aircraft's systems, such as Fuel, Electrical and Hydraulic system, Engine Condition and FADEC, Internal and External lights, Troop Warning Hoist and Hooks.

     

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    Top left is the "EAPS" or Engine Air Particle Separator panel, centre the Instrument Lights, and right the "Flood" lighting panels.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Console 9.jpg

     

    The central spline is dominated by the Fuel System panel, including X-Feed between tanks. To the left is the Co-Pilot's instrument lighting, and to the right is the Pilot's instrument lighting. Below is the Anti-Ice (including pitot heating) panel.

     

    Lower or Front of the OHP is the Compass high left, and the "Hoist" control panel right...   In between are the two main Throttle levers, with STOP-GND-FTL (Flight) settings. The levers can be hard to use? X-Trident makes sure you don't move them accidentally, so if you just grab and move the levers it is difficult to do so? The trick is to move a lever to one position...  stop, then move the lever again, until you get to the position you want...  you soon get the idea and it works, but to note a lot of the switch guards and manipulators on the panels can be tricky to use, until you are used to moving them.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Console 10.jpg

     

    Left lower is the HTG (Heating) panel, with the Windshield Wiper control next (only the OFF-MED-FAST settings work). Bottom is the ELEC (Electrical) panel covering the Battery (Power), GEN 1 and 2 and the APU controls.

     

    The right side OHP side covers top to bottom... Hoist Control Panel, Cargo Hook (Front-Mid-Rear) Control Panel and the main Hydraulic Panel...   center lower panel is the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) Panel with engine start switches.

     

    I am quite sure by now your eyes are crossed and totally bemused by the myriad of systems presented here. Certainly there is a huge amount of detail and systems to learn and control, the system depth is deep, in deep trench deep, deep...  the manual however is very good (thankfully) and highly detailed, but still a bit of research can not go amiss either. Certainly you won't cover all these systems in a week or even two weeks, but a fair amount of study is certainly required to get the best out of the aircraft, and in particular the flying control aspects of AFCS, Heading Modes, GPS and the control of hoists and sling loads.

    ________________

     

    Flying the CH47D Chinnok

    There are several things to understand before flying the Chinook. First is that the Twin-Rotor configuration is very different from the standard tail-pusher (Yaw) layout. The Twin-Rotor has Counter-Rotating Propellers, also referred to as CRP, that effectively counters out any yaw effect...  secondly is the Advanced Flight Control System (AFCS).

     

    The AFCS composes of systems 1 and 2 which can be engaged or disengaged through the SYSTEM SEL knob; normally the selector is placed on BOTH and both systems are engaged and work in parallel to guarantee redundancy, but they can be singularly or both disengaged by selecting 1, 2 or OFF. But AFCS doesn't activate or control behavior below 50 Kts.

     

    Longitudinal Cyclic Trim (LCT) control, the LCT function is to reduce the fuselage nose down attitude as speed is increased by tilting forward both rotors according to current speed, in a range from 60 to 150 Kts. LCT working mode can be set to either AUTO or MANUAL through the specific switch...   this effectively changes the rotors angle to nose (pitch) up, for a more effective forward flight.

     

    AFCS 1.jpgAFCS 2.jpgAFCS 3.jpg

    On the Menu/Controls page there is a DEMO Mode on how this system works.

     

    AFCS 4.jpg

     

    The Chinook is a big machine, to the normal helicopter pilot it is gigantic. So you have to throw away a lot of the earlier learnt skills of on how to fly the Chinook. In other words, most of the skills you already have and have fine tuned are not going to work here?

     

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    The bonus is of course the counter-rotating blade system in that from the start you are not fighting the yaw effect at all, so there is no initial rudder feel to find the pressure point of the tail thrust. Pull the collective up (but slowly) and up you go...  and nice and straight with a neutral cyclic. The cyclic will go a long way up as well as the bite is only on the last third of the angle, so you feel the weight of 24,578 lb (11,148 kg) empty to the Max takeoff weight of 50,000 lb (22,680 kg), so mostly you are going to in the 35,000 lb to 40,000 lb range.

     

    Obviously hovering is actually very easy as the aircraft is so neutral, as your not fighting those odd forces of thrust. Push the cyclic forward and away you go as the nose drops and the speed increases. There is not much collective movement needed, but just a little up lever to counter the downward nose pitch.

     

    Flying 6.jpgFlying 7.jpg

     

    In reality the CH47D is a breeze to fly, it does the handling aspect very well, and is far, far easier than most nervy helicopters, the thrill of powering this huge machine through the air brings up the hairs on the back of your neck...  it is easy and quite brilliant to fly. Past 50 knts you feel the Longitudinal Cyclic Trim LCT system kick in and nose goes higher, the Chinook now flies more level, no matter how much speed you add in.

     

    Flying 8.jpgFlying 9.jpg

     

    The CH47D is surprisingly easy to trim, the aircraft will nicely react to any trim changes and speed up or down depending on the pitch chosen, AFCS Trim Switch is also used to make the small changes in roll and pitch attitude when the AFCS is operating. You don't however move the collective much, again even if you want more speed, as the Chinook reacts slowly.

     

    Flying 10.jpgFlying 11.jpgFlying 12.jpg

     

    X-Trident in testing spent a lot of time (months actually) focused on the flight behaviors of both the Cyclic trim and the AFCS system to get them both absolutely perfect, and it certainly shows in the authenticity of the flying.

     

    Flying 13.jpgFlying 14.jpg

     

    The autopilot is a 4 Axis system with VOR, TACAN, ADF and GPS navigation. The CH47F had a very much more advanced DAFCS system, but this one is still very good...  To activate just press the "Heading" selection on top right of the canted panel, if at the right altitude then also press the "Baro ALT" to hold the altitude...   there are no sudden jerks or reactions with any of the mode activations, the Chinook just passively flies on perfectly...

     

    Flying 15.jpgFlying 16.jpg

     

    ....   you can as noted select four heading modes on the lower HSI Mode Select Panel, set right below the HSI instrument. All selections will point the aircraft in the direction of the radio signal, switch them all off with only the "CMD" selection "SEL" showing and the Chinook will turn to the set heading on the HSI, all the required VOR, TACAN, ADF and GPS markers are also shown on the HSI.

     

    Flying 17.jpgFlying 18.jpgFlying 19.jpg

     

    The X-Trident Chinook is simply an amazing aircraft to fly...  it is the X-Plane Simulator at it's very, very best!

     

    Flying 21.jpgFlying 22.jpgFlying 20.jpg

     

    The CH47D's performance is a Maximum speed of 170 kn (200 mph, 310 km/h) with a Cruise speed: 160 kn (180 mph, 300 km/h). The Range is 400 nmi (460 mi, 740 km), with a Combat circular range of 200 nmi (230 mi, 370 km). Long distance (empty weight) Ferry range is 1,216 nmi (1,399 mi, 2,252 km). The Service ceiling is 20,000 ft (6,100 m) with a Rate of climb of 1,522 ft/min (7.73 m/s).

     

    Internal Lighting

    By the provided "Lighting" menu panel, you expected the light to be good and it is... but only if you love green, and lots if it.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Lighting 5.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 6.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 10.jpg

     

    A lot of the lighting in here is focused on NVG or Night Vision Goggles compatibility, which explains a lot of the green aura. Both the Pilot's and Co-Pilot's instruments and Central Instrument panel are all brightness adjustable, as is the Pedestal and OHP. Extra lighting is provided by the under glareshield flood lighting (above, and brilliant) and again adjustable. All Radio Alt, HF Radio, NAV Panel display, Warning lights and both clocks, all have their separate adjustable lighting.

     

    There are two overhead (Flood) lights that work in both NVG and White lighting modes...

     

    CH47-Chinook_Lighting 8.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 9.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 7.jpg

     

    ...  and a two rear high wall mounted Flood lights, again NGV Compatible. The connecting tunnel is also lit.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Lighting 11.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 12.jpg

     

    Cargo hold is beautifully illuminated (yes again adjustable)...   but there are also two TWS or Troop Warning Lights set left by the rear ramp. A three positions switch can be set to OFF, GREEN or RED, allowing the pilots to notify passengers, load engineer or paratroops about a particular situation or to start and stop parachute dropping.... a nice touch!

     

    CH47-Chinook_Lighting 1.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 2.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 3.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 4.jpg

     

    External lighting

    There are excellent ‘Slime Lights’ or formation markers on the top of the aircraft. Under the nose there is both a Landing light that is manoeuvrable via a switch on the pilot’s thrust lever, and a  IR light which cannot be perceived by human eyes, it is visible only when NVG mode is active...   but basically you can't see or use it? Personally I would had rather the two landing lights, that are on most Chinooks.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Lighting 13.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 16.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 14.jpgCH47-Chinook_Lighting 15.jpg

     

    There are Anti-Collision lights top and bottom of the fuselage, and position (navigation) lights both sides and a white rear, the position lights can be static (Bright or Dim) or "Position Blinker' meaning that they flash or strobe. There is a "Night Vision selection, that just turns on the X-Plane default (green) night vision.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Lighting 17.jpg

     

    If you thought that flying the CH47D Chinook was far, far to easy...  then it has a nasty sting in it's tail...

     

    In transitioning from fast forward flight known as Effectively Translational Lift (ETL) to an approach or hover speed, there can be a hidden danger of loss of lift. The issue is that to go down or slow the aircraft, you usually lower the collective. Fine, but here in the CH47D the aircraft is very, very heavy, so you need a lot of that collective power to keep it airborne?  You can't actually do both at the same time? Get it wrong however and the Chinook will literally fall straight out of the sky...  it is more tricky than it looks. As a side point, don't disconnect or turn off the AFCS in flight at speed either, that has the same "falling out of the sky" effect as well, or in this case (below) a swim.

     

    Flying 23.jpg

     

    As usual there is a trick...  nose down to let the aircraft descend without building up speed, then the opposite in slightly nose high, so the speed runs off, but you don't lose altitude, with the right collective and cyclic control it is quite possible to do this...  tricky yes, but it can be done..

     

    Flying 24.jpgFlying 25.jpg

     

    ....  you certainly can't come into the landing zone high, as you would never get the aircraft down fast enough, so the best approach height is 500ft, 300ft if closer at around 50 knts, and yes highly note the AFCS that cuts out under the 50 knts, and when it does you feel it go, and you get a more loser aircraft in the controls...  watch any turns (certainly tight ones) as the Chinook will quickly lose height, so keep the collective pressure higher if you want to manoeuvre tight around to a new heading.

     

    Flying 27.jpgFlying 28.jpg

     

    Nice and easy...  as I approach RAF Valley, I have obstructions in the form of the rows of apron lighting, so I have to crab slightly sideways...

     

    Flying 29.jpgFlying 30.jpg

     

    ...  the radar height instrument is essential in keeping my height at a perfect 500ft above the ground as I manoeuvre and surprisingly it is easy to do, I am now in the almost hover position and guiding the aircraft through between the posts...  yes the Chinook is easier than a pusher chopper, but also very heavy as a counteraction.

     

    Flying 31.jpgFlying 32.jpg

     

    Now in the hover, I drop the speed to a walking pace...

     

    Flying 33.jpg

     

    ...  then drop to about 20ft and drift left over the pad. I am not going to say this is very easy, as it still takes a bit of skill to get it totally right, but (a lot of) practise and time would certainly help.

     

    Flying 34.jpgFlying 35.jpg

     

    There is no float or ballooning at this hover position, of which on a lot of lighter machines can easily ruin a good landing, however don't get yourself in to a swing boat situation, you would never recover from it, so a very steady hand and care is needed with minute movements.

     

    Flying 36.jpgFlying 37.jpg

     

    There is no doubt on the amount of time spent by X-Trident and the test group in getting the feel and control of the CH47D perfectly right, it is so perfect!  I'm good, and a slow descent to the ground with a slight bump, and I am well pleased with that approach and landing.

     

    Flying 39.jpgFlying 40.jpgFlying 41.jpgFlying 42.jpg

     

    Sounds and Particle Effects

    The sounds for the Chinook come from a huge variety of sources. Some really good, but some are average. They are packaged into the FMOD system... overall I love the sounds on this Chinook, but there is the missing bite of the detail you can get with other packages. I did find that adding in the RK Apps XPRealistic v2 bought out a more depth of feel (the vibrations also really helped), but the blade slap was far, far more realistic as well... yes you should not have to add in extra effects to get the feel and realism effects, but don't get me wrong, as the X-Trident is still extremely good.

     

    The particle effects we very much take for granted today, but here they are very good. Engine exhaust is very realistic, as is the hard cone and spray of the APU exhaust...

     

    CH47-Chinook_Effects 1.jpgCH47-Chinook_Effects 2.jpgCH47-Chinook_Effects 3.jpgCH47-Chinook_Effects 4.jpg

     

    A note that they APU sounds are VERY loud, and whiny. Thank god you can turn them both down (Internal and External), as they will frighten your cat (or dog) with their high pitched screams, and I got loads of "for godsakes turn that annoying noise off", consistently in my home!

     

    Engine fires or the inevitable roll over and crash, produces great fire effects...  quite dramatic!

     

    CH47-Chinook_Effects 5.jpgCH47-Chinook_Effects 6.jpg

     

    It will be interesting for myself, in how I progress on this Chinook aircraft...  X-Trident's exceptional AB512 was also quite demanding of my then lack of helicopter flying skills, but now I can easily fly it anywhere...  my gut says the Chinook will certainly soon come to me, as I learn it's particular (heavier) behaviours and feel, as I am currently used to the more featherweight machines. The AB512 was before the largest quality machine in X-Plane, and now it has been relegated to the medium size, this CH47D is certainly another larger category again to learn.

     

    Liveries

    There are currently only six liveries; United States Army-The Black Pearl (Default), United States Army clean, UK RAF ZA713, UK RAF ZA718-Bravo November (BN), Egyptian Air Force and Helimax N949CH (Red)...  But I expect a lot more coming from painters soon. Livery quality is superb, real depth and sheer fuselage detail, a paintkit is also available.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Livery Black Pearl.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery US Army.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery RAF BN.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery RAF ZA713.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery Egyptian.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery Helimax.jpg

     

    Added!  This is a great addition to the Chinook livery collection; British Airways (Helicopters). Not totally the official version with the missing row of windows and not the long nose version...  but it looks amazing!   Thanks to Christophe. Can be found here.

     

    CH47-Chinook_Livery BA 1.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery BA 2.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery BA 3.jpgCH47-Chinook_Livery BA 4.jpg

     

    CH47-Chinook_Final.jpg

    _________________________

     

    Summary

    Three or so years in the making, then here is X-Trident's next helicopter after the excellent (and well updated) Bell AB512. This release is the famed Chinook, as a nod to the native American Chinook people of Washington state. Beloved and totally irreplaceable by most Armed Forces and Commercial operators around the world, as over 1300 have been built since the 60's with most still in service. This is the CH47D version, not the more automated (Glass cockpit) CH47F, but the CH47D is known as the ultimate "Classic" version of the Chinook.

     

    Design and modeling by X-Trident, lifts the genre to another higher lever in simulation, the detail here is totally outstanding and even awe-inspiring, both externally and internally, the cockpit detail and functionality is simply sensational. The X-Trident CH47D lifts bar to any developer out there to match...  it is that good, and only available on the X-Plane platform of simulation. You are not losing out on any of the features and details either...  the feature list is huge, from great animations (walking Flight assistants, manual and auto Fuel Truck), lots of crew in sitting, load assist, landing assist and piloting crew, in two different uniforms. Three sling hooks carry six provided objects, or you can add in your own load, internal boxes can also be carried or pushed out the rear door...  the list goes on.

     

    But the biggest aspect and feature of the X-Trident Chinook is the excellent performance and handling detail. The beta testing was long and highly rigorous to perfect the systems as a pure Chinook should be, and certainly those aspects are felt and seriously delivered here with options to set and save your own parameters of how you want to fly the aircraft to your own needs. Systems include the realism of flight behaviors of both the Cyclic trim and the AFCS system with built in Longitudinal Cyclic Trim, and the NVG or Night Vision Goggles compatibility combined with excellent VR (Virtual Reality) immersion is another major aspect.

     

    Lighting internally (mostly NVG Green) and externally is also excellent, but the lighting panels need a save option, as every start requires a total reset of the settings, nose landing light and IFR light needs two landing lights than the useless IFR light. Some levers and switchgear can be hard to adjust until you understand the operation ideas, and there is also a lot to learn and study to fly the aircraft as a total pro.

     

    The Twin-Rotor configuration certainly makes the aircraft more accessible to non-rotary pilots, the push yaw effect is minimised here, and the heavy weight of the aircraft does actually make it easier to fly, as does the AFCS system, and easy excellent autopilot. But returning to earth and landing will still need new found skills to master the arrival procedures...

     

    Pundits are extremely high here for this creation by X-Trident, humble in their delivery, this is an excellent simulation to be savoured, X-Trident's exceptional AB412 set a standard, their CH47-D Chinook, moves the standard now even higher, it takes exceptional skill and talent to deliver a simulation like this and for such a small team, it is a very good job very well done.... there is also one last bonus in the whole experience.

     

    How much would you expect to pay for such an aircraft so well detailed and quality designed with such a huge feature list...  US$50+ or even US$60...  well it is lower than that, under US$50? US$45...  no under US$40? That is simply crazy!  This is three years work?

     

    Well the price is set at only US$38.95...   yes Thirty Eight Dollars and Ninety Five cents! That price is simply insane...   Totally Absolutely Recommended (Even if you don't actually fly it, then just look at the aircraft for value)

    ___________________________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Boeing CH47-D Chinook by X-Trident is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Boeing CH47-D Chinook-X-Trident

    Price is US$38.95

     

    Features Include:

    • Highly detailed 3D model with immersive light systems
    • FMOD sounds with user profiles
    • Accurate engine and systems management
    • Accurate AFCS (with support for both self-centering and non-centering joysticks)
    • Accurate 4 axis autopilot with VOR, TACAN, ADF and GPS navigation
    • External loads (with load/save and flight to options) and cargo drop
    • Compatible with Reality XP
    • Animated ground crew
    • Animated custom fuel truck (with drive and self drive modes)
    • Custom control panels 

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11

    Mac, Windows, Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Download Size: 480 MB
    Current and Review version: 1.0 (May 17th 2021)
     

    Installation and documents:

    Download is 480Mb. Installation size is 945Mb.

     

    The RK Apps XPRealistic v2 Realism effects plugin is highly recommended here. There is no AviTab support

     

    There is a "Configurations" folder to provide both;

    • With Cargo Load
    • Without Cargo Load

    The provided .acf file has to be manually changed (replace) to the "Configuration" you require. To make the boxes appear, you then have to go to the main menu and the "Weapons" selection, and press the "Reset to Default Armament" and then the cargo boxes will be noted and appear in the aircraft.

     

    Documents
    Extensive 57 page Manual is provided that includes all system and feature details, Warnings and Engine Torque Charts
    • Chinook Users Manual_1.0

     

    A good video of the X-Trident CH47-D has also been posted!

     

    ________________________________________

     

    Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

    20th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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
      

    Review System Specifications: 

    Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD 

    Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.53

    Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

    Scenery or Aircraft

    - EGOV - RAF Valley for X-Plane 11 1.0.0 by RCMarple (X-Plane.Org) - Free! 

     

    Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

     

  20. News! - Aircraft Updated : BAe 146 Professional updated to v1.1 and now on the X-Plane.OrgStore

     

    JF Bae 146 News_ header v1.1.jpg

     

    Poof!...   Suddenly there are wheel chocks on my BAe 146 Pro? Where did they come from? Officially the changelog notes a change from the release version v1.0 to v1.1...  but in reality there are a load of hidden version changes set out inbetween from the beginning of May. The update changes that have been added in, are v1.0.5 to v1.0.7, so that is three significant sets of new features, changes, bug repairs including the minute v1.1 update that only actually includes the "TMS: Take-off callouts (Power Flex, Power N1, T/O mode)" and the "Additional approach call-out added for glideslope intercept: "Glideslope alive, one dot to go""...  cool!

     

    Here is the extensive changelog list

    v1.1 Change log
    12, May 2021

    -TMS: Take-off callouts (Power Flex, Power N1, T/O mode)


    v1.0.7 Change log
    12, May 2021

    -TMS: Limit the TMS actuators to avoid hilariously large values in some cases.
    -Gracefully handle custom liveries that do not follow the naming conventions.
    -Adjusted jetway bridge attach points
    -Hooked up custom callouts for altitude (on approach)
    -Implemented Auto Warn and Caution cancel logic
    -Implemented N1 and EGT bug presets when clicking on card.

     

    v1.0.6 Change log
    6, May 2021

    -Tweaked camera cage, so that open doors can be traversed.
    -Bounding box now adjusts to different fuselage sizes.
    -Fixed switch sound
    -Refined gear friction values and chock logic.
    -Accounted for more brake behaviours (given hydraulic pressure loss, reservoir, etc.)
    -Made freighter cargo doors require hydraulic pressure
    -Add freighter door annunciator
    -Cargo Smoke test added to overhead Test Panel
    -Improved green hydraulic system pressure gauges
    -Annunciator logic: Fuel Pump LO PRESS and Engine FUEL LO PRESS lights.
    -Fixed anti-skid annunciator light.
    -TMS: Add ability to sync to N1 in SYNC mode.
    -TMS: Fixed engine synchronization problems.
    -TMS: Chevron indicator thresholds adjusted.
    -Improved fuel system, especially for edge cases.
    -Brakes are now dependent on their selected hydraulic system pressure.
    -Fixed issue where N1 indicators could snap to 99.9 unexpectedly.
    -Added VR compatibility for the Checklist and TMS pop-ups.
    -Fixed pitch setting for copilot's Flight Director.
    -Added altimeter sync functionality
    -Pressurization: Fixed CABIN HI ALT annunciator not working when in MAN mode.
    -Tablet screen: Fuel values can no longer become negative.
    -Tablet screen: Fixed frozen cargo weight for freighter.


    v1.0.5 Change log
    4, May 2021

    -Added chocks, visually and functionally
    -Added hydraulic system effects to brakes
    -Improved TMS (Throttle now independent of TMS logic)
    -Fixed rear seat row in 100 version
    -TMS no longer on when starting from cold and dark
    -Created camera collision bounding box for VR (Makes it easier to navigate)
    -Enabled experimental flight model (No longer necessary to enable it in-sim)
    -Added VR click spots to some tablet interaction zones
    -Fixed annunciator test button flicker when cold and dark

     

    All versions to v1.0.6 or now v1.1 are only available through the SkunkCrafts updater which is installed in your X-Plane/Resources/Plugin folder. To update make sure you don't have the BAe146 aircraft selected and select in the Skunkcrafts updater the "JF_BAe_146 selection", then press the "Updater or repair addon" selection.

     

    Noticeable (besides the new chocks) are the changes on the renamed Menu/Doors and Reflections pop-up panel...  Now the chocks selection is available far top left, the quality of the chocks are excellent, and to be able to select them when YOU want to is a huge bonus.

     

    JF_BAe_146_300 - v1.1 Head 1.jpgJF_BAe_146_300 - v1.1 Head 2.jpgJF_BAe_146_300 - v1.1 Head 3.jpgJF_BAe_146_300 - v1.1 Head 4.jpg

     

    More additions now also include choices to have both window or instrumentation reflections or not...  nice. The Airbridge attach points have also been adjusted (not really a big deal on this mostly walkon/walkoff aircraft).

     

    A lot of adjustments have been added to the Cargo aspects of the aircraft...  these include; freighter cargo doors now require hydraulic pressure, added freighter door annunciator, Cargo Smoke test added to overhead panel and fixed the frozen cargo weight.

     

    System adjustments include; hydraulic system effects for brakes, brakes are now also dependent on their selected hydraulic system pressure and brake behaviours (given hydraulic pressure loss, reservoir, etc.) are better, Improved fuel system. And there has also been added altimeter sync functionality.

     

    X-PlaneReviews full comprehensive review of the JustFlight BAe 146 is here;

     

    Aircraft Review : British Aerospace 146 Professional by JustFlight

     

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    Now! - the British Aerospace 146 Professional v1.1 by JustFlight is available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, so now get this excellent updated machine, from the main X-Plane store with it's great service and for a LIMITED-TIME SPECIAL OFFER : Get Triple Reward Points when you purchase this Aircraft. 225 Points

    ___________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the British Aerospace 146 Professional by JustFlight is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    BAe146 Professional - JustFlight

    Price is US$74.99

     

    Features Include:

    Highlights
    • Eight variants of the 146 are included:
    •  - 146-100
    •  - 146-200
    •  - 146-300
    •  - 146-200 QC & QT (cargo)
    •  - 146-300 QT (cargo)
    •  - CC.Mk2 (RAF VIP configuration with countermeasure pods)
    •  - C.Mk3 (RAF cargo configuration with countermeasure pods)
    • Accurately modelled using real-world aircraft plans and comprehensive photography of the real aircraft (G-JEAO, ZE701 and ZE708)
    • Numerous animations including:
    •  - Trailing edge flap surfaces
    •  - Wing-mounted spoilers and tail-mounted airbrake
    •  - Ailerons and elevators feature servo tabs, and balanced, free-floating control surfaces which are affected not only by oncoming air, but also by turbulence, side winds, up and down drafts etc. during taxi or low-speed ground operations
    •  - All passenger, service and cargo doors use custom animations and featurr extra logic such as the auto-closure of doors above a certain speed
    •  - Windscreen wipers with individual left/right animations and independent speed controls
    •  - Distinctive retractable tricycle landing gear featuring complex trailing link shock-absorbing mechanism on the main gear
    •  - Countermeasure pods, HF aerial and more

    Cockpit

    • A truly 3D cockpit environment right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads
    • Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment
    • Captain, Co-pilot and jump-seat positions are modelled with hundreds of functional controls, including over 200 buttons, 100 switches and knobs, with smooth animations, easy-to-use clickspots and precision sounds
    • Fully VR compatible
    • Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'engines running’. These configurations can be customised via the Manifest.json file.
    • Custom throttle lever logic – fuel latch logic which is compatible with hardware (avoiding jitters due to conflicting throttle positions), cutomisable variation in throttle positions for added realism, clickspot for controlling all four levers simultaneously etc.
    • Functional crank handles on knobs such as the altitude select and rudder trim, which allow for more intuitive, realistic and quicker operation
    • Full support for command assignments, hardware and cockpit builders:
    •  - All controls can be assigned to commands, with tooltips on every clickspot to indicate which command to use
    •  - Parameters such as smoothing animation, number of positions, attached dataref, push-button depth, knob rotation multiplier, frame-skip (for optimisation), default position etc. can all be customised via the Manifest.json file, providing great support for hardware and cockpit builders.
    •  - Default commands for landing and taxi lights, windsscreen wipers, panel lights etc. are still respected, despite being implemented with custom functionality
    • Custom features such as ‘hide yokes’ are controllable using default commands (e.g. 'Hide Yoke') as well as via clickspots
    • EFB tablet with door and call-out controls and with AviTab support

    Sounds

    • Studio quality Lycoming ALF-502 engine sounds, recorded from RAF C.Mk3 ZE708
    • Over 450 flight deck sound effects recorded from RAF CC.Mk2 ZE701
    • Detailed audio equipment such as the APU, brake fans, electrical circuits, hydraulic equipment and much more
    • Distinctive flap retraction/extension airflow 'howling' sound
    • More than 520 sounds samples in high definition with accurate 3D placement. Pushing the limits of FMOD 1.08 sound system with more than 150 sound tracks being played at the same time with no virtualisation.
    • Full 7.1 surround sound support via FMOD, with 3D positional sound for VR users
    • Extremely detailed external sound system:
    •  - Takes into account distance, speed, altitude, temperature and air pressure, just like in real life
    •  - Accurate touchdown sound based on impact speed
    •  - Multi-directional sound during fly-by and camera location on external view
    •  - Realistic runway roll sounds, complete with periodic bumps that depend on lateral runway position
    •  - Realistic wind sound that reacts not only to the speed of the aircraft but also how the wind is interacting with the fuselage (AoA, side slip etc.)
    •  - Realistic ambient sounds which replaces the default X-Plane sounds with a high fidelity FMOD sound system recreating the atmospheric effect, such as rain, birds, thunder etc.
    • Interior and cabin sounds:
    •  - Passenger sounds, based on aircraft weight, which react according to your flying style. Passenger cabin sound changes as you move around, as if you were inside the real plane.

    Lighting

    • Full HDR lighting with gimballed lights that can be aimed and dynamically illuminate whichever part of the cockpit is aimed at
    • Independent lighting controls for Captain and First Officer
    • Dimmable integral lighting for each panel, accurately dependent on corresponding electrical bus
    • Dimmable dynamic flood and storm lighting for a highly immersive and customisable night environment (more than 12 individual light sources including entry, lap, sill and flight kit)
    • White and red flashlight for night operations
    • Accurately simulated exterior lighting including dynamic wing, logo and runway exit lights, and taxi/landing and navigation lights with different intensities
    • Strobe lights with customisable strobe flashing pattern
    • All exterior lights, including navigation, strobe, ice, exit, logo, landing, taxi and beacon lights are fully HDR with dynamic spill light, illuminating ground and scenery objects, as well as the aircraft itself.

    Other Features

    • Comprehensive manual with tutorial, FMC guide, procedures, limitations and handling notes
    • Payload manager for realistic fuel and passenger loads
    • AviTab (third party tablet plugin) compatibleGoodway compatible
    • Multiple interior and exterior viewpoint presets
    • PSD paint kits included (free separate download) so you can create your own paint schemes

     

    You can take a look at the full detailed PDF manual here!

     

    Requirements
    X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB VRAM Recommended
    Current Version: 1.1 (May 12th 2021)
    Download Size: 3.6 GB
    ________________________________________
     

    News! Update by Stephen Dutton

    13th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

  21. News! - Scenery Released : KFAY - Fayetteville Regional Airport by VerticalSim

     

    KFAY - Fayetteville Header.jpg

     

    VerticalSim's next project and now released is KFAY - Fayetteville Regional Airport. Not to be confused with another recent release by VerticalSim in KMYR – Myrtle Beach International Airport.

     

    Fayetteville Regional Airport , also known as Grannis Field, is a public use airport in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is owned by the city of Fayetteville and located three nautical miles (6 km) south of its central business district of Fayetteville.

     

    The airport has two runways and is served by a two-concourse terminal for commercial aviation and one separate terminal for general aviation traffic. American Eagle offers direct flights to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Delta and Delta Connection offer direct service to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
     
    Features
    • Low poly 3D interior on Signature FBO
    • Surrounding Autogen/Vegetation Hand Placed
    • High Resolution PBR Ground Textures
    • Sam Custom High detailed jetways
    • Animated car traffic
    • Baked Ambient Occlusion
    • Animated Ground Traffic Vehicles
    • WT3 Taxi Networks and OPS File
    • Easy Installation
    • Highly Optimized
    • 3D Grass
    • Color Graded Satellite Imagery
    • Custom HDR Lighting

     

    KFAY - Fayetteville 1.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 2.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 3.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 6.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 8.jpg

     

    KFAY - Fayetteville 5.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 9.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 7.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 4.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 10.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 11.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 12.jpg

     

    KFAY - Fayetteville 13.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 14.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 15.jpgKFAY - Fayetteville 16.jpg

     

    The free SAM plugin is required for this airport to work.  You can get it here SAM2 Suite.

     

    Images are courtesy of VerticalSim

    __________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes!...   KFAY - Fayetteville Regional Airport by VerticalSim is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    KFAY - Fayetteville Regional Airport

    Price is US$14.99

     

    Requirements

    X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
    Version 1.0 (May 11th 2021)
    Download Size: 1.7 GB

    ___________________________

     

    News by Stephen Dutton

    12th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

     

  22. VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Header.jpg

     

    Aircraft Review : Aeroprakt A22-LS Project by vSkyLabs

     

    Well it makes a change from very light helicopters. vSkyLabs are back again with another of their Project 'Test-Pilot' series, and this time it is another Very Light Aircraft (VLA) in the Ukrainian built two-seat, high-wing, tricycle landing gear ultralight aircraft, called the Aeroprakt A-22, also known as the A-22 Foxbat, and in the US as the Valor. The small aircraft is manufactured by Aeroprakt in the Ukraine, and is expertly designed by Yuri Yakovlev. The A-22 first flew in taking its maiden flight on 21 October 1996, and a German-certified version entered production in 1999. The Aeroprakt A-22 is supplied either as "ready-to-fly" factory built aircraft, or as a kit consisting of 152 pieces. The kit can be built in about 500 man-hours, and currently over 2000 examples of the A-22 have been built or assembled.

     

    The vSkylab philosophy is in that you are purchasing an ongoing project, so any aircraft you purchase is not fully completed or is completed to 100%, that is the deal you sign up for to get access to the aircraft and all the development is free and ongoing. These projects are under constant development: the development road-map is including flight model refinements, enhanced systems depth, additional liveries and other improvements. Second is that the aircraft is designed around the powerful, native X-Plane 11 'Experimental Flight Model' environment, so that means in the Menu/General "Use the experimental flight model" tickbox has to be selected on.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Head 1.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Head 2.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Head 3.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Head 4.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Head 5.jpg

     

    The space-frame design is highly evident here, as the fuselage panels are fitted around and are not part of the airframe, centre panels are metal (and strangely not composite except for the engine cowling, wing fillets and wheel spats), and the fabric covered wing and flying surfaces.

     

    vSkyLab's modeling is always very good, and the detail here is excellent in the clever construction methods used for frame strength and lightness. Don't expect that grungy wear and rust sort of detail from vSkyLab's as that is not their angle of design, but the clean and out of the box design certainly is. The A-22 has a 3-bladed Aeroprakt ground-adjustable propeller, 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) diameter that looks powerful and air grippy.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 1.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 2.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 3.jpg

     

    There is a lot of perspex glazing, on both sides including the convex doors, rear panels and very large rear window, and the amount of glazing gives the aircraft a very open and light feel. Note the excellent rear window and rivet detail. The perspex is absolutely perfect here with the fine glazing markings showing real world realism. curvature, depth and reflection is about perfect as well....  impressive.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 4.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 5.jpg

     

    The flying surfaces fabric feel is very good, and you want to run your hands over the undulated surfaces, but it is not actually a fabric in a sense but more a heavy plastic film, but the realism is very good. The A-22 uses flaperons in the place of ailerons and flaps, giving the Foxbat a stall speed of around 52 km/h (32 mph) with the flaperons fully down. Note the three stage flaps 0º-10º-20º.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 6.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 7.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 8.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 9.jpg

     

    Undercarriage is a standard tri-cycle arrangement, but note the neat small tail-wheel (above) in case you over-rotate or get the loading balance wrong. Gear detail is very, very basic but neatly done, with nice mudflaps set on the rear. Nose gear is covered in a metal shroud that supports the hub and tyre, clever...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 10.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 11.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 12.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 13.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Detail 14.jpg

     

    ...  but I was seriously not impressed by the unconnected front gear-wheel when turned, very average?

     

    Both front doors can be opened by clicking a hot-spot lower (all vSkyLab aircraft only have hot-spot zones, and no menus). The doors open up and wide.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 1.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 2.jpg

     

    There are only two seats in the A22, but both are beautifully done, in a leather outer bolstering and a fabric inner design, seatbelts look natural and flexible, hence realistic.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 3.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 4.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 5.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 6.jpg

     

    You are very aware of the twin frames inside. One is the main full box frame, then the attached tube piping supports, it is all expertly done and original. The control cables are highly visible running through the rear section of the aircraft. Above you centre is the flap lever and the two fuel tank selector levers are situated up high on each side of the main frame...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 7.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Internal 8.jpg

     

    ...  centre lower is the storage area for two "Remove Before Flight" pins, one is yoke lock pin, and the other is a disarm for the Parachute Recovery System, in the rear area (right), the red pull handle is set at your right elbow.

     

    Instrument Panel

    The main instrument panel is very nicely done, but quite basic in instruments and avionics.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 1.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 2.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 3.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 4.jpg

     

    There is a lower centre panel with two dials and the aircraft's switchgear. Then a centre console with a very large throttle, another large brake handle, Choke lever, Control Throttle Friction lever and Parking Brake valve lever. 

     

    The twin yokes are huge and square, and big for the size of the aircraft...  but thankfully can be hidden via touch-spots at the rear.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 5.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 6.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 7.jpg

     

    The instrument panel is dominated by a very large heading compass top centre. There are four main flight instruments, with the Airspeed top left, Altimeter top right, Artificial Horizon (with built in rate of turn) lower left and Vertical Speed (V/S) lower right.

     

    A set of four dials centre panel cover, RPM, CHT (Cylinder Head Temp), Oil Pressure and finally Oil Temperature. , Cockpit heater and Carburettor push-pull knobs are very far left and right is the standard GNS 430 GPS and below is a Garmin GTX327 Transponder. Basic right...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 11.jpg

     

    Notable is a VSI-AP-1 LSA Grade autopilot system. It is located on the very left of the panel, and is activated by pressing (hot-spot) on the top of the Heading Compass. This autopilot is very basic, there are four buttons to go up, down, left or right and one button to hold the ALT-Altitude...  Simples! there is also a power switch on the lower panel that is needed to activate the unit.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 8.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 9.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 10.jpg

     

    The centre console is also quite basic, with top the twin fuel gauges (40kg per tank). Below are six switches that cover (LtoR) Landing Light, Nav (navigation) Lights, Strobe Lights, AVNCS (Avionics), Auto-Pilot and INST. (Instrument) Lights.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 12.jpg

     

    Around the red bands are the two IGN-A and IGN-B really busses, a set of well done fuses, and lower the main key (power) and Starter, and left is an hourly Hobbs meter.

     

    The twin bar rudder pedals are really well done and are quite clever in operation when you look at the idea.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 13.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 14.jpg

     

    Two VR (Virtual Reality) features are both accessed again by hot-spots. One is the AviTab (Avitab Tablet plugin is required) on the left Yoke, accessed by touching the iPad set right of the passenger seat, and a clipboard checklist, sitting on the top of the instrument panel, as noted there are no menus in this aircraft nor a Weight or Balance sheet.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 15.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 16.jpg

     

    There is a very nice female pilot, that is very nicely animated to the yoke and even with footwork movement on the rudder pedals. The control rods to the flaps are also animated and visible rear.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 17.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Instrument Panel 18.jpg

     

    Flying the A-22 Foxbat

    For any student or wanna be pilot, this A-22 is perfect. Everything is quite simple here, the instrument layouts, the controls, but more importantly is the feel factor on the way you fly this aircraft. If you want to learn to fly, and want to know what the "Seat of your pants" flying is all about then the Foxbat is perfect. So the A-22 is all about the flying and the basics.

     

    The A-22 is powered by a Rotax 912ULS 4-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, 73.5 kW (98.6 hp), not much power, but not a lot of grunt is required either in this lightweight frame of a machine, plus the deep 3-bladed propeller is very grippy...  If you want to know what the LS stands for in A-22LS...   it is for the "Light-Sport" version for the American market with a higher gross weight of 600 kg (1,323 lb), the standard weight is 450 kg (992 lb).

     

    The Rotax starts easily and settles down to a clatter idle, so I check all the control movements, left/right, back/forward and the rudder left/right...  everything feels light and easy to move, and you are very aware of the aerodynamic surfaces moving around you.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 1.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 2.jpg

     

    I am flying with both doors open, you feel more free and have more space for controlling the aircraft in this configuration, than blocking yourself into the tiny space with the doors closed...  I'll fly this way anytime if I can, certainly any VLA. The A-22 does not hunt or want to move if you let off the brakes, but just a little throttle will get it moving forwards...    lovely.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 3.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 4.jpg

     

    Taxiing is easy as are the excellent sounds. vSkyLab's have used these Rotax sounds before, so they are not new to your ears...  but still very good. There is no need to use a full runway length at PACV-Merle K Smith in Cordova Alaska, I'm not a Boeing 737, but a tiddler aircraft that needs only a very short runway to get airborne.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 5.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 6.jpg

     

    Brakes are nice and you only need a movement of the throttle to jump the A-22 off the line and get the aircraft swiftly moving...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 7.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 8.jpg

     

    ...    you are very quickly aware of the very strong asymmetrical thrust that pushes you left almost off the line, and it takes a lot of control to keep the aircraft aligned straight as you increase the power. At 65 knts you are flying, the A-22 will just leave the ground and want to fly...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 9.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 10.jpg

     

    ....  as you get the lift you are already dancing on the controls to keep the machine straight and level, that wide rudder position is going to transfer the angle into the air into something odd, so you have to play to get the aircraft up, wings level and the nose pointing straight ahead...   it sounds hard, but it is not really any effort at all, just skill and being a pilot in control.... the little Rotax powered machine is a lot of fun if now noisy.

     

    Whoa! the bugger really wants to climb out, the official rate of climb is 5 m/s (980 ft/min), but to be sensible then a 500fpm to 700fpm climb is about right, so almost instantly you are adjusting the trim to bring the nose down, even if you set it as per neutral as required for takeoff. If I don't control this quickly, I will easily climb stall out as your speed goes through the floor. A note that a more forward set trim on takeoff will dial out a lot of that severe climb-out, but you will use a lot more runway in taking off as well, there is that sweet-spot to find and use between the two settings.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 11.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 12.jpg

     

    It all sounds a bit dramatic, but it isn't really, the Foxbat is very easily controlled and basically a lot of fun to fly...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 13.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 14.jpg

     

    ... the A-22 responds very well in every area, control feel, trim and with any adjustments you make...  you feel very comfortable and even safe in here, even though you can look straight down at the ground swirling past below you, very open...  very fun.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 15.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 16.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 17.jpg

     

    Settling the aircraft is very easy, without even using the autopilot, once trimmed the Foxbat will fly like this all day, just skimming along and feeling the breeze. The fastest speed is 170 km/h (110 mph, 92 kn) and the Cruise speed is around 160 km/h (99 mph, 86 kn). The range is an amazing 1,100 km (680 mi, 590 nmi) with a maximum fuel load, but you are not going to go very high as the Service ceiling is set at 4,000 m (13,000 ft). In reality this is a 5,000ft to 6,000ft maximum altitude flying aircraft, I think only rarely would you go higher than that.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 18.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 19.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 20.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 21.jpg

     

    You do rest your feet with the rudder slightly to the right...  there is no rudder trim and so you have to manually adjust the direction heading with your feet, but it all comes very natural, almost normal to do so. You don't do serious aerobatics in aircraft like this, twisting, heavy stalls can get you easily into trouble, it's just not the A-22 thing to do.

     

    The VSI-AP-1 autopilot is very simple to use. (but make sure it is switched off on the ground before flying). When at the correct position even while still climbing, just switch on the system via the switch on the lower panel. When at your correct altitude just hit the ALT button to level off at that height, then to turn, just hit the left or right button and hold it down to the correct turn angle you want...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 45.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 46.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 47.jpg

     

    ...  to straighten up, just hit the opposite button until you are central again...  just too easy, if you want to go up or down then use the UP or DN buttons, again hit ALT to reset at your correct altitude.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 48.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 49.jpg

     

    Skimming...

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 22.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 23.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 24.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 25.jpg

     

    ...   is the best thing, flying at 500 ft and just skimming the treetops. The Rotax purring (if a little of a sort of rattle purr), and the sound reflects upwards from the open door, perfect.

     

    From this low 500 ft altitude PACV-Merle K Smith's runway 09 is very wide angled and challenging.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 26.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 27.jpg

     

    Slowing to flap speeds (around 65 knts), and the torque on the nose is pulling you left, and the tail is going all the way out there to the right, you need to find the balance of the pulling of the thrust sidewards to the wind pushing the tail out the other way, so a lot of rudder and yoke control is required to keep you direction correct...   "Flying by the seat of your pants", you feel the airframe and your need to control the fragile machine correctly, it is flying in it's truest sense, love it!

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 28.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 29.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 30.jpg

     

    I adjust the speed slightly faster to 75 knts to get the right descent angle to the runway, I have sort of got the direction angle sorted, the A-22 is more now aligned to the runway.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 31.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 32.jpg

     

    You always feel the high pull of the lift in these VLA's, they float more like with a huge parachute canopy than a hard wing... 

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 33.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 34.jpg

     

    ...  it creates an uplift as well, all of a suddenly I am in a worse crab as I approach the field's boundaries... whoa!

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 35.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 36.jpg

     

    Again dancing on the pedals and swiftly manoeuvring the yoke I get my line back, speed is now dropped through 60 knts and get slowly down to 50 knts for the right descent to the runway...

     

    Bugger!   It does it again...   this time ballooning, yawing and drifting to the right as well.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 37.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 38.jpg

     

    I am very aware of my approach, I don't want to land too fast, or I'll bounce myself off the runway, so slow and easy is the key, I touch the runway at 40 kts...  Stall speed is a very low 55 km/h (34 mph, 30 kn), but you are very aware in easily not stalling the Foxbat.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 39.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 40.jpg

     

    I'm smiling broadly, I'm straight and pointing the right way while simultaneously while not also bouncing this ultra-light machine all around the runway, skill and lots of fun in one package.  The roll out is very short, but braking needs careful control to take take the speed off cleanly.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 41.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 42.jpg

     

    Once back on the apron, I wonder on how to stop the engine? No mixture lever here? It is done by switching off the power, via the IGN-A and IGN-B switches...  humm that was fun...  lots of it!

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 43.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Flying 44.jpg

     

    Lighting

    Lighting is very, very basic. One switch lights up the instruments, and it has no adjustment, there is no overhead (dome) light either and a moveable spotlight would certainly be very handy in here?. Externally is also very basic, Only the red and green navigation lights and a white blobby Strobe light on the top of the tail, another even larger blobby light is your single landing light, nose left.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Lighting 1.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Lighting 2.jpg

     

    Liveries

    There are five liveries provided, All-Yellow (Default), All-Blue, Bare-Metal, Black-Sporty-22 and Blue-Yellow.

     

    VSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Livery Blue.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Livery Yellow.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Livery Bare.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Livery Black.jpgVSL Aeroprakt A22-LS_Livery Blue_Yellow.jpg

     

    Summary

    If you have purchased or tasted before any of vSkyLabs project aircraft, then you probably know what you will get here. Great modeling, great detailing and an extraordinary flight model. They are great projects, but to note that you are purchasing an ongoing project with any vSkyLabs aircraft and that all the development is ongoing, so this is not a 100% fully developed project. Updates maybe infrequent if sometimes at all.

     

    Overall though most vSkyLabs aircraft are all mostly basic, but they are fully detailed to the extreme. There are also no menus or static objects or extensive features as the focus is fully on the dynamics and flying performance. The A-22 requires the experimental setting, but delivers a very credible if brilliant flying "seat of your pants" performance.

    Only interactions are with the few interaction zones that; open the doors, move the throttle and console levers, show an autopilot and clipboard. There is also AviTab intergration and exceptional VR-Virtual Reality is also available.

     

    There are only a lot of the basics in the lighting and options, but you won't care when flying low over the trees with your doors open to the roar outside, great for learner beginners on how to fly with the very basics, and a lot of sheer fun for the experts, so another hit from vSkyLabs that really delivers...  recommended.

     

    Now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore or directly from vSkyLabs

    ___________________

     

    X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

     

    Yes! the Aeroprakt A22-LS Project is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

     

    Aeroprakt A22-LS Project - VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot'

    Price is US$27.50

     

    Project Main Features:

    • VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project: designed for use with X-Plane's cutting edge Experimental flight model environment, featuring superb flight dynamics with authentic performance and flight handling characteristics.
    • Built for VR: development was tailored specifically for VR, and optimized for 2D usage.
    • Engineered and designed as a default X-Plane aircraft (Like all VSKYLABS projects). The VSKYLABS projects are practically show-casing X-Plane, as they are stretching X-Plane default features, systems and flight model to its limits without any dependencies on complementary plugins or software...delivering a very robust simulation model, having maximum compatibility with the ever evolving X-Plane flight simulator.
    • Perfect fit for beginner and expert pilots: The VSL A22-LS is featuring the standard, basic analog cockpit suitable for VFR + night flying. The simple and clear analog gauges layout is perfect for beginner pilots. It is also featuring an optional experimental LSA-grade autopilot.
    • Built-in Avitab Plugin Compatibility (AviTab plugin is not included).
    • STMA Auto Updater plugin is included - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every once in a while to minimize the gap).
    • Highly responsive and professional support: VSKYLABS is offering continuous professional support from aircraft related aspects (operating and flying) to X-Plane technical support.
    • The project is under constant maintenance and development.

     

    Requirements:

    X-Plane 11
    Windows, Mac or Linux
    4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended 
    Current and Review version: 1.0 (April 29th 2021)
     
    The AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft.
     
    Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com.
     
    Aircraft download is 174 Mb, and unpacked then installed 251 Mb
     
    Documents
    • VSKYLABS Aeroprakt A22-LS POH.pdf
     
    Designed by VSKYLABS

    _____________________

     

    Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

    12th May 2021

    Copyright©2021: 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

     

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