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  1. News! - Viper Jet From Aerobask coming soon More noise around that the Viper Jet is in final beta and due soon? This is the first jet from Aerobask, so it will be interesting with what they produce, but there is no doubt it will also be totally up to date with current technology a per usual from them... A few images and great video while we wait. Stephen Dutton 8th August 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews
  2. Aircraft Review : Epic E1000 by Aerobask Welcome to the latest aircraft from Aerobask. This is the Epic E1000 and the largest composite aircraft done by this developer. With the aircraft is still undergoing development and certification expected in late (4Q) 2015. This is a powerful and currently the fastest single-engine turboprop yet built. It uses the 1200 HP Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A engine installed on a very modern composite aerodynamic airframe to deliver true ‘jet-class’ performance for the price (US$2.75M) of an advanced turboprop. And performance is what this aircraft is all about. The Epic can do a cruise speed of 325 kn (374 mph; 602 km/h), climb at 4,000 ft/min (20 m/s), has a range of 1,650nmi (1,899 mi; 3,056 km) (1385 nmi at maximum cruise speed) and fly at an unbelievable ceiling altitude at 34,000 ft (10,000 m). If you want to go up there with a Boeing 737-800 maxing out behind you then "hey" be my guest... but you have to admit those specifications are very impressive. So X-Plane Reviews headed out to the West Coast of France to Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport to look the aircraft over and see if that performance is real, and can this aircraft really fly alongside the light jets. Epic E1000 by Aerobask Many users are now very familiar with Aerobask's design philosophy. Aircraft like the Twin Star DA-42, Pipistrel Panthera and the Lancair Legacy FG are all very composite designs and significant new generation aircraft. And the Epic E1000 certainly follows on in that vein, the only slight difference is this is not a light spec aircraft here, but a more larger General Aviation/Executive design. And for molding those smooth sleek almost dolphin shaped designs you won't find any one who can do this better. The Epic is one nice looking aircraft. These aircraft are very hard to dissect, because they are not built around a frame or modules, but are formed as a one piece moldings with the smaller components making up the whole. So they can be unnaturally smooth and very hard to make interesting. Aerobask is one developer however who can bring these aircraft to some distinction, so the design here is excellent. The aircraft its on a tri-cycle landing gear and they are quite tall and sits the aircraft well off the ground, the rear wheels are a trailing design and very well designed here. Externally the aircraft is excellent and comes in High-Res textures of 4K. There is no window tab menus, but a menu panel in the center of the panel that gives you various options internally and externally. Top row is the static elements (tags, chocks and covers) and a portable GPU (Ground Power Unit) which is very nice. Third button along is the "FPS Boost" which helps in your framerate if you are marginal by removing the seats and other various no-essential item. I found the aircraft very framerate friendly, overly so... So your computer would have to be pretty average to have to use this. Second row of buttons covers the panel in left and right yokes removal and the excellent window and panel reflections, bottom row single button is to open or close the single rear passenger door. The panel is dominated by two left and right Garmin G900 Primary Flight Display (PFD) displays, the center display (MFD) is another on the surface an G900 display but here it is a modified X-Plane GNS530 unit instead. Note these G900's are only an accurate representation of a real G900, and not an exact replica of the instrument but they are very good never the less for that. Lower panels include the main switch gear on the right (yoke removed) center is an excellent MEGGiTT autopilot and Garmin GMA350 radio unit, with below a small pedestal unit with a throttle, propeller (feather) and condition levers (throttle has power "Max/Idle" settings and a "Beta" reverse thrust setting). The cockpit, panel and rear cabin lighting adjustment knobs? are very small and hard to see behind the levers. Left lower panel is just the climate and oxygen controls. The aircraft has a unique way of switching on the various systems... the three rows of buttons are set out to be used at the various points of getting the aircraft ready for flight and in order. Top row is the "Pre-Start" Second row is the "Pre-Taxi" and the lower row is the "Systems". The Pre-Start includes the batteries, fuel pumps and igniter and starter gen settings. This will power up the G900 screens, but not the central display. For that you need to switch on the avionics master on the second row... and on the right "Lighting" panel the "Panel" button. Other "lighting" panel items include Ice (wing light) Land and Taxi lights, strobe and Navigation lights. Another lower button panel is your "Ice" buttons for de-icing boots, the propeller heat, the window heat, the inertial separator, and the pitot heat. Modern flight displays are quite complex and menu driven. And you have a lot going on in this display, and there is no doubt this is the best G900/G1000 style display in X-Plane at the moment. There is a side panel Engine Information System (EIS) on the left within the display, and this can be switched off to give you more visual space to the main flight instruments that are all artificial horizon, speed and altitude tapes, bank roll scale and roll pointer and HSI (horizontal situation indicator) or heading pointer all in one. You have also a "setup" menu to do more finer settings under the "PFD" menu button. Here you can set your "Audio Alert" in a women's voice that you are doing something wrong. Baro HPA/IHNG setting, Reflections (screens), TEMP units in ºC or ºF, Decision Height and a Overtorque limiter which is simulated. You can test all the systems by pressing TEST under "alerts" and in the sidebar there are the main ENGINE displays of Torque (TRQ), Temperature (ITT), Propeller RPM (NP), power (NG), fuel flow (FF), and oil pressure & temperature and cabin pressure, and a fuel quantity overview. Pressing SYSTM information about electrical amps & volts (generator, battery, bus 1 and 2) and the FUEL for fuel pressure, fuel quantity, fuel remaining, fuel used, estimated endurance and estimated range. Radio VOR1/VOR2 and COMM tuning is set out at the top of the display and the tuning is done via the side knobs and switching them over via the Push 1-2 button. Transponder XPDR is set via the menu buttons on the XPDR page. The standard GNS530 feels a big large expanded for its central role and even the pop out screen is smaller than the installed one? The knobs and buttons are slightly different as well and so if you want to save time the pop out is sometimes quicker to use. But you do have all that great GPS functionality available to you. You also have a built in to the GNS GPS both the Checklist and Emergency Checklist as well, for... Emergencies. Flying the Epic E1000 My flight was a loop around the southern western areas of France. In leaving Bordeaux to Biarritz then skirting the Pyrenees in going inland to Pau and then looping back again to Bordeaux.... A 265nm flight to nowhere! Flightplan in and booked (sorry activated) and your ready to start the engine... Propeller and condition levers up (no propeller pitch change?) Press the button, hold and wait and soon the engine whines up and into action. Set your ALT (alternator), Fuel (auto) and if required the manual tank selection is on the floor under the pedestal. and lower SYSTM's on in Auto-Pilot, Trim, Air Pressure, Hi (Air Pressure), EMER (Air Pressure). Sounds in starting, start with the starter click and the power start whine and then running gives you a great rumble. Great sounds if you have a very good sound system hooked up to your simulator (yes I do). The engine soon settles into its warm up pattern and your ready to go so the whole startup process is simulated. The propeller when running is just a flat disk which is disappointing, but looks very good from the cockpit. You need to pull the COND lever back to idle to taxi or if not your will take out a bit of the scenery, as the aircraft will shoot off the line. Even then I found the idle position still a bit too fast when taxiing. Turn tight and the front wheel does not turn enough into the radius either?. When lined up on the runway don't forget to put the COND lever back into Flight mode and then power up... This is a very powerful single engined aircraft and so the asymmetrical thrust is really quite strong so you need to be prepared for the power. Departure is via RWY05 which is the wrong way to my flightplan, but the wind direction changed so I will have to circuit LFBD before I pick up my plan on the western side. At 130kts I do a slight rotate and then a full pitch to 2000fpm to climb away from the airfield... and yes this aircraft can climb. You tend to feel into the aircraft and find its balance which is very good and let the speed rise, gear up which is very well animated by Aerobask and I'm in the turn to find the circuit. I'm going to 7500ft at first to let the aircraft settle down and build more speed for the climb to 22,500ft. The MEGGiTT autopilot is highly impressive. Easy to use and to set, in you just select your altitude and then press the UP or DN buttons to select your rate of climb. The aircraft will easily handle 2000fpm, but watch your speed because the aircraft can't keep that pace up all the way, so I came back to 12000fpm and then 900fpm and then 500fpm to keep the speed moving in a positive direction. And watch your air pressure is working as if not it will tell you that you need to pressurize the aircraft. And soon you are getting mighty high for a small aircraft like this... and you can get a lot further up than this. The aircraft is nice and fast in the air, but I wouldn't call it jet like, as it is too noisy for that... The sounds however are amazingly good, I turned my speakers up and just loved that turbine running hard in front of me. You can use the GPS to check your route and position, and note the excellent on the far left of the pilot's display the back-up altimeter and artificial horizon. Great vertical display and routing information is well built into the GPS unit. I will profess though that I never found the pilots position really comfortable? the distance between the seats and the display panels is quite small in viewing terms, and those panels are very large when you are this close-up to them. On the X-Plane "Rendering Settings" Menu I set the lateral view to 075.00 degrees to give me more of a better viewing angle, although Aerobask noted that 65º is better but I really needed more than that... And to a point this worked quite well, but move even slightly back and the seat quickly covered the view. Many would like this small cocoon of an area to work in but I found it a little restricting, and the high sloping center glare shield meant the view forward was quite small as well and you had to lift yourself higher to look over the panel, I found the best view out was left and down which was far better and good for approaches. You are not used to coming down from a high altitude with a lighter aircraft like this, so you have plan your descent point at a far longer position than usual when flying small aircraft. In this case the Epic is like a light jet in descent and speed points. Note the reflections which are excellent for realism. Your speed control is very good, you can easily match (with the throttle) the right speed you need (even slow). I could easily balance the aircraft very nicely at 160knt and then down to 140knts when the descent was completed to start the circuit for the approach, and the aircraft gives you confidence, the power on tap allows the two stage flaps (noted as TO - Takeoff and LANDING - Landing) is a little simplistic but effective in operation. On this flight I used the ILS approach system and tuned the airspeed back to around 100knts for landing, this is great but watch out for the drop as X-Plane cuts you off the beam, you are still quite high and so you are suddenly free and the aircraft will slightly wobble. you need to give the speed a little nudge upwards to keep that descent clean, flare is good, but this stick undercarriage does not have as enough give as you would like, but get the flare right and it is not a problem. The aircraft uses the "Beta" toggle function to reverse the propeller pitch for reverse thrust. This means you get throttle control by using the "toggle" reverse and not the "full reverse" selection. In other words, hit the toggle key or button (like you do to open the reverser doors on the heavy jets) and the aircraft goes into beta mode and throttle up the reverse thrust you require, when done throttle back to idle and re-click your toggle to resume normal throttle control. It works here very well, as the rev thrust power is powerful. Don't forget to set your COND lever back to ground idle even if the women's alert voice is complaining about your engine's condition... Lighting I flew the Epic E1000 again to see what it was like in the twilight... but first some nice pretty pictures! The aircraft inside and out looks very nice in the softer light, It is very nice to fly and look at these points of a time and a place. The idea is to make these large displays workable in a dark cockpit, you can certainly adjust the display brightness via those small knobs behind the throttle lever, or even for a quicker solution click the "panel" lighting "off" on the lighting panel. The lighting is not focus, focused in the sense of being very spot like, but just an overall light darker or lighter. It is very adjustable in that way. And you can have the cockpit really bright if you want to. HDR off HDR on When HDR is on the lighting is more slightly focused than with HDR off, In fact the differences are not that overall significant to switch over to HDR if you don't require the need. External lighting is fine but not anything overwhelming. You have a left wing light to check for ice, and the standard beacon, nav and nice strobe lights. The landing lights are good but very spread out on each wing tip, so there is slight dullness between them and the central taxi light, but overall they are all you need. In the cabin there is the modern touch of great LED strip lighting. Liveries There are nine liveries in a few real aircraft, a few fictional and a commercial in Somma Aviation. Default is N44GB which is available in hi-res and low-res. All the liveries are design by a quality artist in XFlyer. Two more are available for download from Aerobask's site.. Summary If you liked any other Aerobask aircraft (and who doesn't) then the Epic E1000 will fit very nicely in your hangar. This is another very fine aircraft and brilliantly done in all context by this very forward looking developer. Design wise and execution it is very good. Sounds are glorious and detailed if you have a great sound system, they certainly add to the overall experience. It is certainaly a nice aircraft to fly and the greatest feat is that you can for a GA/Executive aircraft fly over a high mountain range like the European Alps than around them. It is not a light jet or a jet in that capacity, as good as it is, but it is an outstanding small fast point to point light aircraft. Very modern and totally up to date. Negatives, not many really. I'm not crazy about the propeller in flight from the side, as it has no pitch adjustment and is razor thin, inside though it is very realistic so visually it is a tradeoff. It is tight in there in the control seat but the real aircraft could be the same? no baggage door either, but it looks like the real aircraft does not have one either, suitcases on your laps I suppose. The replacement center display with the GNS530 is very clever and very well intergrated and highly functional, but feels quite large and over-sized in your view point. Frame-rate is very good, it never caused me any problems, but if you have your texture resolution set (very high) then the numbers are above 1000gb or a 1gb of your graphic cards ability so you would need a 1gb card or higher. HDR on was no issues. Overall at that price the aircraft is a great investment, well done and a very much larger sized aircraft than before from Aerobask, like I noted if you like Aerobask's other aircraft you will really like this one... It is the best yet from Aerobask. ____________________________ The Epic E1000 by Aerobask is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EPIC E1000 priced at only US$23.95 Installation : Download is 384.20mb that is unzipped to 454.40mb (all liveries) to your X-Plane - "General Aviation" Folder. Documents : Great detailed manual and tutorial with excellent information on how to use the aircraft. Performance tables and checklists. A real detailed instruction sheet of the PT6A Engine. There are camera presets, but I found they interfered with the X-Plane default. Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.35 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 9 not supported) 1.5 GB VRAM Video Card Recommended Version 1.1.5 (9th April 2015) Version 1.1.5 There has been a slight upgrade to the E1000 to version 1.1.5 New sounds : rolling runway, touchdown & skid dry. Fix minor PFD bug (position). Fix knob CRS-BARO : CDI course setting is more accurate now. Fix turn bank indicator. Updated manuals & checklist Go to the X-plane.OrgStore for the 1.1.5 update and to your account to download, but if you just want the updated manuals and checklist them go to Aerobask's site Features High quality 3D model with High-Res texture 4K, specular and normal mapping. Fully functional Virtual 3D cockpit. EFIS including the new GNS (by Laminar Research), checklists (Normal/Emergency), Weather radar, TCAS, setup page and vocal alerts. EIS, including 3 pages : Engine, System and Fuel Fully animated : door, flight controls, canopy, gear, all levers Panoramic windshield with reflections Many custom sounds : engine, gear, flaps, door, vocal alert, callout Liveries : more 8 different paint schemes designed by XFlyer Ice effects (windshield and wings) Propeller disc effect Ground Power Unit, flags and wheel chocks Toggle yoke visibility left and right Simulated systems Start procedure - fuel system (automatic balance) - taxiing with beta mode - anti ice system - Pusher - Autopilot - Pressurization - Overtorque limiter Support forum for the Epic E1000 Review by Stephen Dutton 11th April 2015 (updated) Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 256gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - LFBD - Bordeaux-Merignac (France) - by XPFR : Scenery for X-Plane (XPFR : Scenery) Free
  3. Aircraft Review : Antares 20E Motorglider by Aerobask If you want a minority strain of aviation in X-Plane then Gliders would be it. New gliders are very rare and in fact this is the first review I have ever done on a glider. But like any facet of flying they are very interesting and has mostly the question to be poised is that has the free spirit of these thermal machines been given at most a good aircraft to fly. Well that aspect is changed here, because Aerobask has created the Antares 20E that is a quality motorglider and not just a basic or average glider to fill in a category or be a machine to in fill a basic need. Many pilots would love to learn and fly gliders and with this aircraft that will give them now the chance to savor the quieter and more purer aspects of flying. Aerobask's designs are very much based on the composite designs that are prevalent with very modern aircraft. That aspect of course is also perfect to design a glider. As the clean air smooth shapes and build materials are very much the same. Design wise the Antares 20E is first rate, and like I mentioned a real quality glider in detail and fittings that is usually absent from these sort of aircraft. Too true is the fact that gliders are very basic flying machines. There are no rows of switches and in fact there not much in the way of complex systems or lighting at all for you to master. The main aspect of flying gliders is well "the seat of your pants" or your natural instincts of staying in the air as long as you can. For a first time guide to gliding, then Aerobask has included a tutorial called "Fly_your_glider_in_X-Plane" in the documents folder, and it is worth a moments to understand the way these machines work the thermals to do what they do. But some feel to aircraft in knowing how even the basic aircraft fly and how you operate them can go a long way here as well. To power up you just turn on the key on the right hand panel. Remember from the moment you turn the power on, until till you either turn it off or the power dies is to be aware of that this is a one way power discharge, there are no generators on a glider or a very long power cable to keep everything running when the battery runs out. But the systems are also very power efficient. There is a way to recharge your battery, as you can attach a portable generator to the glider (Note: for the generator to work you have to be in "Start each flight with engines running" box ticked off (MenuBar/Settings/Operations & Warnings) or a cold start and all the power switched off on the glider or it won't appear) You operate the generator by the large buttons on the energy display. Ahead of you is a main display which is a hidden GNS530 with some basic access buttons (mostly a MAP view) and essential glider instruments on a side display (including: Power on/off, FLARM Radar, MacCready Estimate, display checklist polar and set Baro and you can set the MAP zoom (range) and MacCready blue triangle adjuster as well. Set out below is a power display for energy used and power (being) used. X-Plane thankfully provides a way to get yourself airborne. In the X-Plane menus "Aircraft/Aircraft & Simulations/Glider-Tow" you can attach a StinsonL5 aircraft to tow your glider into the air. To activate the tow you just release the ground brake (or key) and the Stinson will simply drag you into the air. As the Stinson climbs you up in a left hand circle rotation, it takes a little practise to get the right flow in the tow and stay in the right place behind the towing aircraft. Next is the release and the best point to make is too make sure you release in the right direction that you want to go. There is no point just releasing and then finding that you are pointing in the wrong direction as you will lose energy in correcting that mistake. To release from the Stinson then press your spacebar or pull out the yellow knob on the main lower panel... In an instant it is all very quiet and the Stinson immediately vanishes (shame it does not just fly away?). In most cases you won't be in the right position to start your gliding effectively. But you do have a great feature that fixes that problem. Push the knobbed lever on your left forward and you will get a lot of clanking going on behind your head... then as like in a James Bond movie up comes an electric driven propeller! push the throttle forward and away you go. You can also use this push power source from the runway, but that will just use up a lot your of valuable battery life, you have however with a full battery charge the capacity of a direct climb right up to 10000ft. I preferred to use this tow option for two reasons, 1) to push me into the right position and then climb up quickly to the correct altitude after releasing the tow, and 2) if I lose too much height later on, I can then simply push myself back up again to recover my lost (valuable) altitude. The power currently being consumed by that electric propeller is noted on the display as is the loss of of power already discharged. The electric motor is brushless-fixedshaft running on DCDC current and running at 190 288V, and pulling up to 160A. The EM42 is a 42kW (57HP) motor that can deliver maximum torque over a wide RPM range, with a total efficiency of 90% and a maximum torque of 216 Nm, the motor is exceptional and not only within aviation. You have three main instruments in left: Variometer (vertical speed), centre: airspeed indicator right: three settings in one as the Variometer V80 in a "Total Energy" - "Artificial Horizon" - "Timer". The Total Energy has a built in vario sound that gives you an aural positive or negative warning (It can be switched off). vario sound is very helpful when flying in thermals because the sound pitches inform you about parameters in the strength and the direction of the thermal. And with this it allows without constantly keeping an eye on the panel in that you can fly more safely by watching the outside exterior environment. McCready Setting: This instrument computes the estimate gliding time (in mn) and the range (in NM) you can fly, according to the actual conditions (altitude and glide ratio). Mix this informations with GNS DMEfunction (DIS) to see if your next waypoint or airport can be reached. MacCready triangle Speed to fly Set estimate thermals strength on the ring with the rotating knob on the left top of the main MAP display. According to blue MacCready triangle, the V80 screen shows you your optimal speed to reach next thermal. The "MC" button will show you a graph on the lower display that gives you your STF (Speed to fly) - Vz - Range/Flight Time Estimate. You can adjust your X-Plane thermal settings on the "MenuBar/Environment/Weather/Set Weather Uniformly for the whole world" page in two sliders for "thermal coverage" and "thermal climb-rate". X-Plane does however simplify a lot thermals management, it is not perfect... but it does work on quite a good level here. The FLARM (Grey Screen) is an electronic alarm system to prevent crash risk between gliders or the ground and this is specific to gliding, but is closely related to TCAS in commercial aviation. Red diamonds are traffic near your position. The little red arrow indicates if it is climb or descent, and the black number is the relative height with your plane (in hundred feets : 5 FT and down arrow means this plane is 500 ft below your current position). A vocal "traffic" alert will ring if you are to close. The rest of the controls and instruments are simple. Flap lever and large AirBrake levers with a neat "Trim/Pitch" lever are on the left and on the main panel is "Reflections" (on/off) "water ballast". With no water ballast your sink rate will be low, with water ballast your sink rate is higher, but it can also translated to a higher cross-country speed. You can refill the water ballast by using the X-Plane (MenuBar/Aircraft/Weight & fuel) menus and adjusting the "slung load weight" slider. You can also hide your joystick as well by the button top right. Lower Instruments are a "Becker Avionics" AR6201 VHF AM/VHF transceiver and a "Trig" TT22 Mode 2 Transponder, both are supplied with excellent manuals and a third manual covering the LX9000 series Variometer system, all are worth reading and studying to get the best performance out of the glider. I'm no gliding expert, and I am the first to admit that. But I did find it quite easy to retain my height and even increase my altitude quite significantly. The area around North Tweed in Northern N.S.W, Australia is excellent glider country with the sheer cliff faces of the Macpherson Ranges proving excellent updrafts and of course the heat that comes with a tropical Australian summer. You are glued to the McCready instrument searching for those thermals... everyone says gliding is totally relaxing and serene, but I found it stressful and worrying as I looked anxiously at the gauges to find any lift and hints of survival with the dead calm around me. There are nine liveries with the German basic as the default. All are of high quality but a little blurry at low texture settings, but you are not going to get really extravagant designs on this airframe. As you pitch down the speed rises. The sounds are simply excellent as the winds rush past the cockpit, the faster you go the higher the noise which is highly realistic. Open the little hatch in the canopy and the wind noise goes even higher... I loved it. As the valley closes in around you, you feel more venerable... but somehow completely under control. The airbrakes are very efficient, as you can easily control your speed and so your descent. Threading your way down is a skill, but I found it far easier than I expected it to be. Falling into a landing pattern keeps the airfield to my left, I found the height to distance quite easy to do and over a many flights never over-run the grass runways. The main landing wheel is electrically operated by a switch on the panel, (up/down). There is a fail-safe drop handle (Orange) that will release the wheel manually, but once activated (pulled) the electric version won't work any more. The flaps will reduce your speed but sometimes I needed a touch of the speedbrakes to correct the final speed on approach. Stalling a glider is almost impossible, crashing is easy but low speeds are easy to control, so landings can be very easy and soft. and the control is far easier on approach than what you think they should be, those long wide wings make the aircraft very stable... but only in low winds. Summary The Antares20E is a great introduction to gliding, and for the experts finally a decent quality glider to fly. Gliding is easier that it looks if you are already quite proficient in the basic GA flying. and that elecrtic propeller will get you out of trouble as well if you are learning. I found I didn't need to use it much, mostly to up my altitude or move the aircraft to a better thermal location. The gadgets provided really also help you find and navigate the thermals like an expert, if you understand how they work. and that is the main reason to purchase this glider as those tools are modern and effective and not available on the usual basic gliders in the simulator. So the Antares20E is a great overall design, the best in this glider category that I know of... easy to learn and easy to fly and it also has the important depth required for the experts to fine-tune their skills. So overall the Antares20E is simply excellent. Review by Stephen Dutton the Antares20E Motorglider by Aerobask will be available soon from the NEW! X-Plane.Org Store here : Antares 20E Motorglider Price is US$19.95 Installation and Documents: ''Download is 237.00mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane in your Glider folder at 274.10mb'' : Start with the "Start each flight with engines running" box ticked off for the portable generator to work. All documents are included and are excellent : Support Thread : Antares 20E Motorglider Copyright © 2014 : X-Plane Reviews 11th December 2014 Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.30 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 9 not supported) 1GB VRAM Video Card Current version: v1.0 Last updated: December 6th, 2014 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.31 Final Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose Soundlink WiFi Speaker Scenery - YMUR Murwillumbah Airport by VOZ (Barry Roberts)
  4. Aircraft Update : Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star v3.0 by Aerobask Aerobask have updated their Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star to X-Plane version 10.30 in this the second update of this remarkable twin engined composite aircraft. Released for X-Plane in August 2013, the aircraft has had a significant morphing from an aircraft that was very good in the beginning to something that is now a very mature aircraft. But there is more to this upgrade than meets the eye. As Aerobask is willing to change in this version a significant component of the aircraft to make the design not only more contemporary but also more flexible in the way you fly the aircraft. The DA-42 is a very modern and striking aircraft in design, on the outside th ere is not much new in v3 to notice except an improvement in the textures, and a new livery in the "Swiss Aviation Training" which looks very clean. You do notice the slight difference in the texture quality, as all the liveries look slightly sharper, but are also more frame-rate friendly, but that was never an issue with this aircraft in the first place. The significant difference here is the inclusion of the Garmin GNS530 into the panel of the DA-42. Looking back at the old panel (below) you can see that the X-Plane Flightplan/MAP version has been discarded for the new look GPS. And what a difference it makes... Not only is the GNS530 one of the biggest in X-Plane, it has also been supremely intergrated into the composite display design. The GPS screen does still pop-out but that feature is not needed here as the screen is large enough anyway and in fact it is small than the panel version. You will need a bit of an adjustment to note the slight difference in the placement of the GNS530 knobs and buttons, but it soon becomes second nature as it is a very functional design... The engine display or EIS engine readouts, Load%, RPM with other items Fuel Flow, Oil Press, Coolant Temp, Fuel Temp and Fuel Qty, are now only on the left of the Primary Flight Display and not switchable as before. I found the EIS better now on the PFD as the engine readouts are simply closer to the flying parameter readouts and you don't have to change screens to get the engine and fuel numbers that was on a glance to your right. This is great for setting the RPM for takeoff or landing. The GNS530 is also a better fit with the GFC-700 Autopilot situated lower center panel. The whole panel setup looks now far more professional and workman like and the displays are slightly darker but look far better in quality and depth. And that GNS530 gives the aircraft tremendous versatility for long distance flying as the aircraft had a very good range at 1,693 km (1,052 mi; 914 nmi) before, and with the new GNS GPS it now makes that range very useful and easily more accessible. Other avionics that have had attention are new radio frequencies in 8.33KHz and an added bearing pointer on the HSI. Flying conditions are slight improved as well with corrected trim and better FLC mode nose up/dn rates that has taken out most of that bobbing efect. But still the DA-42 is a very nice aircraft to fly. With a huge amount of power and a very stable airframe, it has matured very nicely since the original release. The hard stick like undercarriage now has some give and the landings feel far better because of that, the wheels will now absorb the runway and not bounce you back hard upwards, in that it made you having to get the speed and contact point almost perfect to create a good landing, it now feels more realistic in operation. You still have to be careful with the correct speed in the ILS capture though. Get the speed wrong and the aircraft won't descend on the glidescope easily but fight it. In most cases you won't use the ILS aid, but be wary of that if you do. Two entrance/exit doors and one storage door are animated and the pilot in the aircraft is all new. Like noted the aircraft is very nicely designed and feels very complete now. v3 Summary In all of Aerobask's designs from the Lancair Legacy FG and the Pipistrel Panthera there is a maturity now and design completeness, not that these aircraft where average on release, because they weren't, as they were still very good. But there is a feeling the developer is over the period of being new to producing aircraft and now is a noted producer of exceptional and interesting aircraft. The quality is now up there and Aerobask's ideas in like fitting the GNS530 in the DA-42 and more importantly making it work so well with the way it is intergrated into the panel shows the expert attention that comes with these aircraft. The DA-42 Twin Star is already a very popular aircraft in X-Plane... this upgrade now cements its already excellent reputation. The 3.0 update is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store. The 3.0 update is free to all users that have purchased the v1 Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star, go to the Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star X-Plane.OrgStore page (below) and "Log-in". Price is currently US$19.95: Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star v3.0 For the FULL Review and more information and details of DA-42 Twin Star (v1) the go here : Review : V2 Update Review is here : Developer Update : Developer Site: Aerobask Dev Thread : Support forum for the DA-42 Update Review By Stephen Dutton 8th Nov 2014 Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 9 not supported) Current version: v3.0. Last updated: November 8th, 2014 Updated store# Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.30 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle v 3.0.7 full Changelog - New GNS included on the MFD screen, fully functional virtual 3D cockpit. - EIS moved on PFD - New radio frequencies 8.33KHz - Add bearing pointer on HSI - Fixed FLC mode nose up/dn - Fixed transponder mode - Now, damping gear are animated - Improvement textures - New liverie by XFlyer : Swiss Training Aviation HB-LUJ - New pilot - Update flight manual
  5. Aircraft Update : Pipistrel Panthera version 2.0.9. by Aerobask As X-Plane goes final on the 10.30 version of the simulator a lot of the aircraft are being updated to the new version. Quick out of the blocks is Aerobask with their excellent Pipistrel Panthera. X-Plane Reviews did a full review of the Version v1 (release version) of the Pipistrel Panthera very early in 2014 here: So I am back in Ljubljana, Slovenia to find out what is new on the Panthera. On the ramp at LJLJ - Ljubljana-Brnik the aircraft looks the same but has a new livery in Panthera 2. This is an extra livery to the original seven liveries that came with version one. Jumping in the aircraft as it warmed up the first thing you notice is the second large screen to the right... It looks different because it is. This right hand screen is now a GPS screen and a version of the X-Plane GNS 530 GPS. So yes you will need X-Plane version 10.30 for the new Pipistrel. And how brilliant it has been integrated into the aircraft. It take a minute of so to work it out, as the knobs are the wrong way round and the direct button is on the far right of the panel. But it is brilliantly done in the way it looks so realistic and not even an add-on to the aircraft. And BIG, its huge! It you want the standard 10.30 GNS 530 then that is there as well if press the center of the screen, so for functionality this is a great addition to the aircraft. The engine display is still on the left of the screen (this was the old MFD (Muliti Functional Display), but the engine display can be moved to the right hand PFD (Primary Filght Display) screen if you want them. To a point you do need to know your way around the controls of the GNS530 to see where the repositioned knobs and buttons are now situated. You soon pick it up, but there are laid out in slightly different places. The map is now in with the Garmin GTN screens, which are touch menu driven panels in the center of the panel and the weather and map has had some great fine tuning to make both far more sharper. I didn't really like the old MFD Map display, It wasn't bad, as the colours were nice, but the actual map was set off centre and too low, and the zoom is still quite wide even at the low 10miles setting, so making very close navigation decisions is was hard. The new version is perfect in every respect and I love it. Another point is that with the change in the right hand screen, is that the left hand screen is far better as well. It is far sharper and better coloured than before and now looks the part as the EFIS has had many improvement textures. I had set up a (very) simple flightplan to fly again to LJPZ Portorož Airport. And the large display showed me my route. There is a great G meter that replaces the heading rose, and an instrument you don't want to look at while doing tight manoeuvres. Again very realistic. Powering up and you realise the Panthera sounds different? That is because in the nose is a new type of engine in the Lycoming IO540v - 260HP instead of the 210HP Lycoming engine in the first version. It sounds more haughtier and growling and of course you have more power to pull you up and through the air. The sounds now are simply far better than the original version, the aircraft feels more heavier and more realistic. And power into the sky you do... This light-weight composite aircraft now just builds up speed in a way you are hanging on more than taking off... it goes fast. More fixes and changes include the radio frequencies now goes as low as 8.33KHz, there is a bearing "To" Indicator arrows on the HSI and the textures and night lightning have been touched up and improved. The flight model has had some tuning as well, so the aircraft feels better, in fact overall the aircraft feel slightly different, more solid and real. It is a real enjoyable ride in there and the aircraft is very nice and posed to fly. There are some new and even more modern and fancy bucket seats, the seat cover textures are simply very good and I love the bright orange, sliver and black colour scheme. Update Summary Outwardly this is not just an update to the aircraft but really a new variant of the Pipistrel Panthera. The changes are quite significant, and in many ways this is a different aircraft from version one. I would if you are upgrading then keep both as you may want a different version to fly for various reasons. Certainly this v2 is far superior and now better refined. The insert of the GNS530 GPS is a masterstroke, and the way it has been implemented into the flight display panel is sheer genius. Priced still below US$20 this aircraft was a great buy before, but now with this update it is simply a bargain... If you already have the original Pipistrel Panthera then update now, if not then what are you waiting for if you want the best in a lightsports cruiser aircraft. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Pipistrel Panthera update 2.0.9 by Aerobask is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Pipistrel Panthera Price is US$19.95 To upgrade to version 2.0.9 then go to your account at the X-Plane -.orgStore and download the new version. Installation : Download is 291.80mb, and installation size in your aircraft folder is 348mb. Documentation : Support: Pipistrel Panthera Update Review By Stephen Dutton 27th September 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux. X-Plane 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 9 not supported) Current version: v2.0.9 Last updated: September 26th 2014 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.30 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery - LJLJ Ljubljana-Brnik - tdg (.org LJLJ) - LJPZ Portorož Airport - Aerobridge (Aerobridge)
  6. Developer Update : Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star v2.0 by Aerobask Route : LOWG (Graz Thalerhof) to LOWW (Wien Schwechat) The Diamond DA-42 was the first release of a payware aircraft from Harranssor (Now known as Aerobask) in August 2013. The aircraft was followed up by the excellent Pipistral Panthera last month. So it was only fitting that with the success of the Panthera that the DA-42 was brought up to the same quality and standard of the Panthera. Not that the DA-42 was average in the first place. It wasn't as it was very good, so really this DA-42 v2 release is more of a nip and tuck upgrade to clean up a few details and position the aircraft in the same position of the Panthera than rather sit in quality level below it. You get a very new v2 release livery in NO2DA as well, which is clever. Outwardly it looks almost exactly the same aircraft. But the fine tuning has been quite extensive, in that the whole fuselage has been refined and so has the glass. The textures look the same, but they are actually new, called "Ultra". The quality does look slightly better and far cleaner, but be warned if you go to the "Too Much" or one step up from your standard setting texture setting this new texture quality almost halves your frame-rate. The aircraft is however quite good over all with your frame-rate, but then add in some complex autogen with the Ultra textures and everything goes slightly south. Doors open (main overhead door, rear passenger door) and you can see the nice tint on the glass. Looking at the v1 (release) you can see the very slight differences, It is a more of a feel thing. Coming off the Panthera and loading the v1 DA-42 you feel the older design, load the v2 DA-42 and they now feel very much the same. The tyres on the v2 look better as well, not by much, but far better than the boxy v1 versions. The HDR Landing and taxi lights still badly burn through the v2 aircraft fuselage as well, an issue that should be fixed by now. The biggest changes are noticeable inside, The brilliant two screen Garmin 1000's are still there. but the interior has had an overhaul. The screens power up and large and dominating of the tight panel they both are. They both look slightly sharper in contrast to the v1 screens, not by much again, but the there is not as much buzzyness from the lower resolution. Starting the twin engines is by a two sided key, and when you are parked up you can simply hang the key on the panel. The panel is a slightly darker woven texture grey and looks far better for it, as the v1 panel (top images) looked quite average in certain lighting conditions. The new darker textures feel of quality, The seats have been completely redone as well. The original seats looked very good?, the new ones have certainly more quality but are also more bland in their design. Overall the cabin looks very good and feels light and airy now. LOWG Graz Departure Power up and the taxi feels good, the front nose dips under slight braking, but that feels natural. The Twin Austro Turbo Diesel engines are powerful at 168 hp (125 kW) and the aircraft frame is very light at 3,119lbs with an average Passenger/Fuel payload of an extra 1,070lbs... which is a great combination It climbs up very well, and I found 1,200fpm (recommended is 1,150fpm) was easily achievable. The cabin reflections have all been redone and they are excellent (you can turn them off if you want to), in any direction the wide curved screen gives you an unparalleled view and the engines are easy to monitor from the pilots seat as well. Like the G1000 screens in the Panthera, the Garmin's are menu driven, It is a slightly different set up here, but you can still get lost in the menus. I found it easier to use the Autopilot (AP) buttons on the lower panel than the one on the main panel on the left of the screen. Setting up the FMS route is easy on the ground and you can load in a route with ease. But activating it is messy. You do have the "Active Flight Plan" to solve your activation point, The problem is that you don't know if the plan is activated or not? So if you turn the CDI to "GPS" and press the NAV button on the AP, It is general luck if the aircraft LOC's in or just twirls itself around in a circle? If you want to start a plan away from your first waypoint then finding the next waypoint to activate the plan is tricky as well. It is shown on the "Active Flight Plan", but is it activated. So on it goes... finally I had it working, but a simple light to note if the route is activated and at which waypoint is activated would save you a lot of reloading of the FMS plans. The Course/BARO knob is another frustration? You have to be in the OBS setting to set your CRS angle for runway alignment, but in most cases you find yourself altering the BARO setting to the wrong number. Worse if you are on the FMS plane the system over-rides the CRS and moves the Course heading in the direction of the next waypoint on the plan... confused. yes it can get confusing when you just want to align up with a runway and want your 90º angles on the circuit to be perfect. It is simple stuff in an aircraft the 70's as each system is seperate, Your CRS, your BARO setting and your plan is not affecting the set course setting, one glance at the CRS angle and you know where you are. here there too much information. The G1000 screen is so full of information as well including a small map. The VOR 2 (NAV 2) is hard to see as well on the second G1000 MAP display. If you have the heading line over the pointer, it is very hard to see. and the VOR direction is not noted (It maybe but I can't see it because of the overload of information). The MAP itself is still to low, which I find annoying. And strangely enough I found it easier to adjust the heading on the middle knob (by the MAP) than the correct one on the left side of the panel. The Radio has come in for some attention on the v2 update as well and now has a LED light on the COMM 1 or COMM 2 buttons. In the air the aircraft is a very nice place to be. The sounds are all new in v2 as well, but I did find them a little droney. On a long flight I would put my headset on. The wing is very similar to the long thin wings on the Panthera. They are modern and very effective. No flap is needed for takeoff and the aircraft is very stable in the calm air. A little turbulence however will then throw you around a little bit as the wing feels very stiff. Noticing LOWW on my left in the distance it is time to descend. The Vertical Speed (V/S) looks complicated but its not. Select VS and then just press the "nose UP" and "nose DN" buttons to adjust you vertical pitch, the FPM (Feet Per Minute) is shown in the top bar. The "APP" button is also excellent and the aircraft will easily align to the runway even from very odd angles and well above and below the beam. I tried a few manual approaches back at Graz and the aircraft was very easy to place and the two stage flaps were excellent in bringing down the speed to an easy 90knts I noted the two rear landing wheels were very stiff on v1, and still they are here. The front wheel absorbs the contact to the runway well, but you feel the very hard stick like touch and hard bounce of your rears. "I'm not a fan". I land at LOWW at a peak period and you can feel so small down inside the DA-42 along side the parading "Heavies". The wide open front glass area makes you look up at the high tails all around you. You have to be careful not to get too close either, or you will get blown over by the jet exhaust. Conclusions Most of my notes here are really all niggles, and mostly with the menu driven style of modern GA flying, This is a fine v2 update and it certainly brings the Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star on par with the Panthera. If you loved flying the Panthera then this aircraft is the perfect twin-engined hangar mate. You'll love both. Best news is that the aircraft is cheaper than the Panthera and is only US$19.95 at this point (usual price is US$24.95) so it is a huge bargain as well. It is different in context from the usual GA of a Piper, Cessna or Beechcraft and it is a very modern aircraft. No doubt about it either is the quality of aircraft already coming out of Stephane Buon's design studio... What will be next? Can't wait to find out. The 2.0 update is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store. The 2.0 update is free to all users that have purchased the v1 Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star, go to the Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star X-Plane.OrgStore page (below) and "Log-in". Price is currently US$24.95: Diamond DA-42 Twin-Star v2.0 For the FULL Review and more information and details of DA-42 Twin Star (v1) the go here : Review : Developer Site: Aerobask Dev Thread : Support forum for the DA-42 Update Review By Stephen Dutton 6th March 2014 Technical Requirements: Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 9 not supported) Current version: v2.0 Last updated: March 5th, 2014 Updated store# Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - World Traffic plug-in (LOWW) Scenery - LOWG - Graz Thalerhof (Conversion of MSFS LOWG2009) 2.2.2 by DanialMan - free (LOWG Graz Thalerhof 2.2.2 ) - LOWW - Wien Schwechat V.1.0 by AXDG (Austrian users) - free (LOWW Wien Schwechat V.1.0) Full Bug list and changelog for v2.0 - New cockpit design - New textures cockpit and panel - Refined 3D fuselage - Corrected flight model - New audio panel fully functionnal. Add led lights - New safety instruments (3D) - Windshield : new reflection - New sound - New night lighting - New liverie N20DA - Add charts on the MFD - Various correction
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