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Aircraft Update Review : Gulfstream 550 v1.10 by AKD Studio Since it's release back 28th October 2022 there has been 10 (including this one) updates to the AKD Studio Gulfstream 550, obviously four months and with 10 updates in that time period, it shows the huge amount of the development that has changed on the aircraft in those few months, a lot obviously, and the changelogs are long. I'm not going to note all the fixes here in this update review, but only the ones that are significant. I really liked the aircraft on it's release, but the G550 did however feel a little bit under developed, it is a new developer to the X-Plane platform as well in AKD Studio's so there is a lot to learn and refine, but the above changelogs shows the improvements are going in there and very quickly... Release review; Aircraft Review : Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio After four months both the Gulfstream 550 and X-Plane 12 feel far better than they did back in October... as together they have both matured nicely. Externally there have been small changes, however not still on the front windscreen surround, as they are still missing the screws? but the side windows now show the glass reflections, and not a hollow hole, so the fuselage as a whole feels far better (the cabin windows here on the G550 are really big). Cabin window blinds/shades were added in v1.04, very nice. Biggest change in v1.10, is the addition of a cargo hold area, this is on a revised menu "Ground Handling" page noting now an opening rear door, set below the Main Door operation. Access can also be through the rear bathroom (new door) to the very well done cargo bay, I like the wire protected lights, a nice touch... you can also open and close the cargo hatch manually from the inside. More new features in v1.10 include both an AC and DC GPU's (Ground Power Units), and they are both well done, both available on the Ground Handling page. The "Fuel" or loading page has been upgraded as well. You can set your fuel load by the + or -, but also by scrolling on the REQ TOTAL to add in or off load fuel... When pressing SET you get now a well modeled tanker outside. You can also set the cargo weight (both Kgs and Lbs are available), and finally your Passenger load of up to 16 Passengers, weights are adjusted to the loading parameters. Pressing BOARDING, will activate a Tesla Car (It takes ages to turn up) and proceeds to deliver passengers and luggage to the aircraft... when done it goes away, to unload passengers you press the selection "Take Passengers to Terminal". If you had read the release review, we have seen this Tesla before, but at the totally wrong scale. It is now the right scale, but in reality it is all still a bit odd isn't it... I mean how would you get 16 passengers into a 5 seater Tesla? A Mercedes Bus would have been a better idea, the Tesla doesn't feel finished either? The Fuel truck has an annoying foible as well, it appears simply out of nowhere, then suddenly disappears again when the aircraft is refueled, so there is no animation to the jet or in leaving? Static Elements can now also be selected to appear on startup. Other external notes include... wheels now actually touch the ground! In v1.04 the internal lighting had an overhaul. There are sixteen individual sets of lights around the huge cabin, these can be all switched on or off manually at each light, or on the selections of the CABIN LIGHTS Menu page... Thankfully you can "Turn on all Lights", and do the same to turn them all off again... And very nice it all is in the cabin... there is a secondary lighting page that covers three areas, rear Bathroom and each side downwash lights... This gives you a more softer cabin feel, and lights up separately the bathroom. It does also help lighting up the galley area which was extremely dark before, and sort of the entrance, which I complained about in the release review. Oddly the Red on to the Green off selections are the opposite of the cabin lighting commands? Lighting is better, but it still doesn't quite all work? as separate galley and baggage area lighting is what is really required here, and you still some entrance lighting missing... the stairs have the inbuilt lighting elements shown, but it doesn't work... as light bleed into the cockpit with no door is a problem? External lighting was upgraded in v1.05. It is very good, if the main landing lights a bit over bright? There are Navigation, Strobe, Beacon (belly), Ice/Wing and wheelwell lights.. the tail light is too dull to be effective. Cockpit lighting is good, and it comes with a lot of adjustments, with glareshield dropdown lighting, yoke, overhead and side panel lighting. The only thing I didn't like, was that I couldn't dial out the footwell lighting... this made bright reflections upwards on to the instrument displays, so an all dark cockpit was not possible. While we are still in the cabin, the window frames are still quite average and they come with nasty gaping holes and badly fitted cabin (glass) windows. Yes while flying you do have to look through these badly made windows and I'm not in liking the view!... however the "Time to Destination" has been added to the Cabin Display. Don't get me wrong here, the lighting is now very good, but still needs more refinement to be effective, or totally realistic. Instruments The HUD (Head Up Display) now works... just touch it to drop it down. You have to adjust it, as the form and lettering is too thick and that is done via the knob above, it works, but it's not the best available, it also still feels like a WIP. "Banana" indicator is now working on the PFD. On the MAP/MFD you now have the Terrain Radar working as well. It is the DrGluck (Plugin v1.30+) tool and the plugin is required. The Terrain shows the Independent terrain display on both the left and right displays, and it also gives you a working Vertical Situation Display. I always had issues with the METAR report on the menu. Add in your ICAO code and the system would freeze, or CTD. Now it works, but not by pressing the PRINT METAR? but by doing a keystroke RETURN, still very odd? But at least you now don't freeze the Sim. Support for 8.33 kHz radios is now also available. Flying v1.10 Gulfstream 550 For updating the Skunkcraft's Updater now works with the aircraft, thankfully with so many updates it is a very useful tool. In v1.07 in December, a Manual was also delivered (by Ivan Luciani), seriously you had to wait two months for a Manual, and you wonder why reviewing is hard without developer notes. Look closely and you will find now there are pilots flying the aircraft, they are the default Laminar Pilots, but still a great addition. In v1.05, there was a lot of performance changes (a change over to SASL v3.15 was also completed) by AKD. I found the release aircraft not to bad to fly actually... but in the takeoff roll and climbout, it was even far better in this later version. Changes include engine performance, flight model and better airfoils. And the new wingflex is also very noticeable, mainly because it wasn't done before? It is worth noting that the engine performance and flight models, are tuned to each different X-Plane version, X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11. Obviously the X-Plane 12 dynamics are better, as felt here. Added or refined is the rain effects (V1.03) on both forward windscreen and side cabin windows The AKD G550, is a quite complicated aircraft to fly, there is a lot of detail to cover in here with the Symmetry Flight Deck, and the specific glareshield "Display Controller" system. But it is well worth the effort to do so. I will admit I'm not crazy about the manuals? There is a lot of them in sixteen categories, but they are done in a drawing layout? Interesting in one way as the detail is very good... but odd in another. Specifications are; Range 6,750 nmi (7,770 mi, 12,500 km) range, with a High Speed Cruise: M0.85 at 41,000 ft (12,497 m) or the standard Long Range Cruise: M0.80 at 41,000 ft (12,497 m), and you can cover the ground with a Service ceiling: 51,000 ft (16,000 m) Flying 41,000ft at m.80 is the dream of living with the Gods, but you can easily do that with this Gulfstream, it is a great simulation with high numbers. Fixes on the the instrument panels are high; NavSource on Display Controller, squawk page in FMS3 radio panel, better RNP indicator on DU1/DU4 and fixed AoA indicator DU1/DU4, Stall warning system logic, Altitude mismatch on ALT tape and Autopilot FLCH mode. Note a confusing thing is using the Autopilot. Noteable is that the G550 does not have an Autopilot, hence the trickery here... To activate the Autopilot, which is set below the Speed selector... you press one of the screws on the left of the panel, hard to find if you don't know where it is, otherwise you get a yellow caution alert. At Mach 80, faster if you want to, you travel and arrive at your destination quickly, here I'm back at EVRA Riga, Latvia. You just like looking at the Gulfstream, because it is a very nice aircraft to look at... I still can't work out how to ARM the Airbrakes for landing, press the button, positioned rear the centre console, but it doesn't ARM? Nice 6º nose up flare, shows nice control in the flare, and you lower the power to sweetly touch the runway... nice and easy. Sounds haven't had much attention in the updates, but the reverse thrust is loud and powerful... Flaps are MASSIVE, and lower to the full 39º... The full landing configuration is shown on the PFD, and I really still can't get over how much I like this visual FLT arrangement, brake pressure is shown as well. The Gulfstream 550, puts the world at your feet, it is an intercontinental flying machine, and in v1.10 it better than ever, not totally perfect, but a great simulation. Summary In world of the elite, then the word of Gulfstream is the biggest token you can play in this upper exclusive club. The Gulfstream G600/G700/G800 Series was built upon the last series of G500/G550 Series and that series evolved out of the Gulfstream V as the GV-SP. First an almost disclaimer on the review and the aircraft. The Gulfstream G550 is a first time project by AKD Studios and obviously they have to pick an extremely complex aircraft to start with, add the release right in the middle of a new X-Plane 12 Beta run, and you can expect a lot of bugs and weird things with the aircraft. It's not like that at all in context, in fact it flies very well. But it is very hard to do development on shifting sands. This update review covers the extensive update list from the release aircraft (v1.0), to the current version v1.10. The update list here is extremely long, but the main features are a new Cargo/Baggage area, with animated door, internal detail is very good. New Fuel Tanker, Two GPU AC/DC units and a smaller (scale) Tesla car, with a lot of touchups and details externally. Cabin lighting has been totally redone, but still needs some fine tuning and stair lighting, but far better than the original set up. HUD HeadUp Display now works, as does the inclusion of DrGluck's Plugin v1.30+ that has Independent terrain display on the left and right displays, and a working Vertical Situation Display. Pilots have been added as has WingFlex, and a lot, a real lot of changes to the engine performance, flight model and custom performance for both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11. I still have a few quibbles, poor window surrounds, lighting still not right, default FMS, pop in/pop out Tanker and other quirks, but you have to understand to a point this aircraft (and by the extensive list of updates) is really still a work in progress, it has in reality come a very long way since it's release late October 2022, obviously released too early, but the developer has made some highly significant progress on the aircraft. Personally I absolutely love the Gulfstream G550. X-Plane has wanted a really excellent transoceanic Private Jet for decades and here it is, it is also available in X-Plane 11 and more importantly in X-Plane 12 in the same value package of just over US$30. For your money you get a lot of aircraft with it's Gulfstream related systems. ________________________________ The Gulfstream 550 v1.10 by AKD Studio is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore GLF550 - Ultimate Business Jet by AKD Studio Price is US$31.95 This aircraft is now both X-Plane12 and X-Plane 11 supported Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.1 GB Current version : 1.10 (February 7th 2023) Download for the Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio is 1.03GB And the final install in X-Plane Aircraft folder with the above loaded liveries is; 2.53gb. Authorisation is required. The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder. Simbrief proflie is; https://www.simbrief.com/system/dispatch.php?sharefleet=256234_1658264083720 Documents AKD GLF550 Introduction.pdf FMS_Manual.pdf GLF550 Normal Checklist.pdf GLF550_air_conditioning_system.pdf GLF550_auxiliary_power_unit_(apu)_system.pdf GLF550_electrical_system.pdf GLF550_fire_protection_system.pdf GLF550_flight_control_system.pdf GLF550_fuel_system.pdf GLF550_hydraulic_system.pdf GLF550_ice_and_rain_protection_system.pdf GLF550_landing_gear_and_brakes_system.pdf GLF550_oxygen_system.pdf GLF550_pneumatic_system.pdf GLF550_powerplant_system.pdf GLF550_pressurization_system.pdf Changelog Changelog v1.10.txt Designed by AKD Studios Support forum for the Gulfstream G550 _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 18th February 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.01r3 (This is a beta review). Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport v2.1 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 - EVRA - Riga International Airport v2 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$18.50 (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
NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : Gulfstream 550 v1.03 by AKD Studio The GulfStream G550, a global executive jet of some renown. Was released for both the X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 simulator platforms on 1st October 2022 by AKD Studios. In the comprehensive review I really liked the aircraft, but it had a too many bugs and in reality it was not finished on release. The X-Plane Reviews GulfStream G550 review is here; Aircraft Review : Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio I will be honest, I don't at all like the current disinclination by developers to release an aircraft that with just a few more weeks of development could be top notch. But the idea is to put out the product then get the response and "we will fix that later". It is cutting out the former beta phase of development, and going straight to the masses to find the obvious faults. A lot of purchasers will take this on the chin, but as noted I don't like the strategy, it creates a messy situation for all and for a product that has great promise be damaged early by the wrong assumptions that the product and hence the developer is poor at developing the aircraft, notable is that with a ton of bugs then the reviews can be quite detrimental to the sales, but developers continue to do it. This was the case with the G550 from AKD Studios, a really great aircraft let down by a load of bugs and areas not and quite clearly not finished. This v1.03 update and the earlier v1.02 update (31st Oct 22) shows how much just a few more weeks in development with the aircraft it could have been released in a more quality form. Yes X-Plane and it's aircraft is always an ongoing development. But there is the line between not being finished and fixes not foreseen, when you are asking for money, then you expect at least a little better quality for it. The update list is long between the two updates.... Version 1.03 (November 18th 2022) New features: -Added Automatic landing elevation(XP11/XP12) -Added Pilots 3D model(XP11/XP12) -Added ENG Vibration indicator (XP11/XP12) -Added Inegration with Terrain radar + Vertical Situation Display(Terrain radar Update soon)(XP11/XP12) -Added support for 8.33 kHz radios(XP11/XP12) Bugs fixes: -Improved textures(XP11/XP12) -Improved VS line on DU1/DU4(XP11/XP12) -Improved throttle 3D Model(XP11/XP12) -Improved EFB Clickspots(XP11/XP12) -Improved engines start-up time(XP11/XP12) -Fixed ILS/RNAV Intercepting(XP12) -Fixed Autopilot logic(XP11/XP12) -Fixed APU and Engine bleed air switches(XP11/XP12) -Fixed incorrect CRS on DU1(XP12/XP11) -Fixed Rain Effect(XP12) -Fixed FMA indicators on DU1/DU4(XP11/XP12) -FIxed Minor bugs(XP12/XP11) Version 1.02 (November 4th 2022) New features: -Added 2D “pop-up” and “pop-out” panels(XP11/XP12) -Added time at destination to Cabin Display(XP11/XP12) Bugs fixes: -Removed custom LNAV logic(after XP12 beta 10 LNAV works fine)(XP12) -Improved ILS Intercepting(thanks:jetspeed)(XP11) -Improved Cockpit textures are somewhat blurry(thanks:jetspeed)(XP11/XP12) -Improved engines start-up time(XP11/XP12) -Fixed WPT List(DU1,DU2,DU3,DU4)(XP11/XP12) -Fixed main Landing gear panel(XP11/XP12) -Fixed external Lights position(XP11/XP12) -Fixed Minor bug fixes(XP12,XP11) New features include, 3D Pilots (that look suspiciously like the Laminar default pilots?), ENG VIbration outputs and Terrain Radar (Dr Gluck)... but more is coming here. Support for 8.33 Khz radios and Auto Landing Elevations adds in the new. But a few important areas have still not been addressed, like the METAR tool freezing the aircraft, and those poor window surrounds and there are still no cabin blinds? so there is still a fair way to go. But the G550 from AKD Studios is still overall a very nice aircraft and comes recommended. ________________________________ The Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore GLF550 - Ultimate Business Jet by AKD Studio Price is US$31.95 This aircraft is X-Plane12 supported, but to note it is in Beta form. Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 - both versions included -Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current version : 1.03 (November 18th 2022) _________________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 21st November 2022 Copyright©2022 : 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)
Aircraft Review : Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio In the utopia world of elitism, then a 110 ft Mega yacht is high up on the scale. But there is still another level again that says I'm far richer and more powerful than you. Welcome to the world of business jets and in reality only one word here fits in with cache. That word is "Gulfstream". The Gulfstream world of this upper exclusive club is again segregated with the latest G800 being the current Blue Ribbon holder. But the G600/G700/G800 Series was built upon the last series of G500/G550 Series, that series evolved out of the Gulfstream V as the GV-SP. Complicated? well these business class aircraft do have a complex heredity. Niches, mostly at the whims of their exclusive customers creates variants of variants to satisfy their exclusive needs, but one thing that will always win out is range and speed. But let us not forget the real reason you have a Gulstream in this upper echelon of society, money and wealth. A variant of the Gulfstream V or GV-SP with a new flightdeck display system, airframe aerodynamic and engine improvements and the main entry door is moved forward, this aircraft is marketed as the G-550. Presented here is a Gulfstream G550 version for the X-Plane Simulator and the price is US$31.95, but in that you will get both an X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 versions. Oddly there are very few Gulfsteams in X-Plane, a few but not one really worthy of our talents, so obviously we welcome a quality aircraft to fill in that empty void from first time developer AKD Studios Compared to the Gulfstream V, drag reduction details boost range by 250 nmi (460 km) and increase fuel efficiency. Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is increased by 500 lb (230 kg) and takeoff performance is enhanced. A seventh pair of windows is added and the entry door is moved 2 ft (0.61 m) forward to increase usable cabin length. The PlaneView flight deck features cursor control devices, Honeywell Primus Epic avionics, standard head-up guidance system by Rockwell Collins and enhanced vision system by Elbit, improving situational awareness in reduced visibility conditions. Initial long-range cruise altitude is FL 400-410, first hour fuel burn is 4,500–5,000 lb (2,000–2,300 kg) decreasing for the second hour to 3,000 and 2,400 lb (1,400 and 1,100 kg) for the last hour. Flight hourly budget is $700-950 for engine reserves, $250 for parts and 2.5 maintenance hours. It competes against the Bombardier Global 6000, which has higher direct operating costs and less range but a more spacious cross section, and the Dassault Falcon 7X with fly-by-wire flight controls, better fuel efficiency and a wider but shorter cabin. More importantly Range is an astounding 6,750 nmi (7,770 mi, 12,500 km), the aircraft is a transcontinental, trans oceanic capable aircraft. First thoughts are on that extraordinary 93 ft 6 in (28.50 m) wingspan. Without doubt there is a notable talent here. But the G550 from AKD Studios is still a first project. As noted it is very good, but not at or to that extreme level that you would expect from say Aerobask. There are a few areas still here that are under fine development that can only come with experience, then add in the current X-Plane Beat phase (B9). First impressions are of a clean but currently basic aircraft. The modelling is actually excellent, shape and contours are quite perfect, love those huge fine wings with vortex generators, in fact the vortex generators are positioned on every surface which is an eye for detail. But there is still that absolute finer detail missing. Most notably around the windows with no screws or rivets.. the huge oval double the size of normal cabin windows needed that little (far) more attention to get their huge size looking right, the internal band does not fit well, and the glass needs more detail to stand out. I am not trying to nitpick here, but this level of this category it requires ultra detail. Powerplants are two Rolls-Royce BR710 C4-11 turbofan engines, 15,385 lbf (68.44 kN) thrust each. The pod design is lovely in shape and proportions, but they feel again slightly unfinished in the finer detail, mostly at the thrust reversers, exhaust. Ditto the tail, again beautifully modeled but missing the finer detailing. The nosewheel is exquisitely crafted, an amazing amount of small detail, down to links and nuts, but again feels slightly unfinished... with the lighting that has no glass. Twin rear assemblies are trailing link, a normal gear arrangement on these executive jets. Again all the modeling and detail is first rate, but the unfinished look and it looks even more pronounced here on the main gear, is it just needs that something more to perfect. Cabin The entrance is via a tunnel like area, into a world of teak wood and gold highlights. This generation of Gulfstream jets gives you a lot of space inside as they are 43.11 feet long by 7 feet wide by 6 feet tall giving it a total cabin volume of 1669 cubic feet, they are the crème de la crème of cabins in size and fitouts. They can carry a crew of four, 2 pilots, 0–2 attendants plus 14–19 passengers plus a payload 6,200 lb (2,812 kg). This cabin is HUGE. The layout here is two sets of club seating (eight chairs) and two large rear sofas. The forward tables are both animated and fold out, but the tables hidden away show the excessive space is highly noticeable, so you feel there are two chairs or a row missing (crew seats?) so the layout doesn't feel quite right. There are some nice gold highlights, and cabin fittings are well done... but there are no window shades (very rare in this category) and the window surrounds are not fitted correctly and very noticeable if by any window. In fact there is not a lot of functionality in the cabin as most switches are all static, except for the high downlighting switches. Going through to the rear there is a nice bathroom with enough gold to satisfy any Arab Sheikh, not sure they would want to use this toilet though? In the very rear is the baggage compartment which is well done, but there is currently no external hatch (noted as a WIP). The galley/buffet forward is extensive and well done with some nice highlights, at least there are not items sitting around waiting to be thrown around the cabin as most do. The cabin is very good and even very nice, but in this jet category the competition in this area is extremely high, as noted you feel that more seating is required and a bit more functionality to compete at this level, but for a first development it is very good overall. One odd thing is that there are no cockpit doors to separate the office from the cabin, a poor oversight? Another oddity is that there is a significant step up into the cockpit, so you feel there is a small step missing. Cockpit Most private jet cockpits are small, even cramped and the G550 is no exception. The G550 cockpit is very fitted out, even the highlight of the aircraft... looking in closer it feels a bit in not being totally finished. Mostly in areas like animations (movements) and hollow vents. Both well made pilot seats don't move and are positioned slightly too far back, the armrests are not animated either. The third crew seat behind the Co-Pilot is not workable either... and so on. Forwards and the instrument panel is huge as there is so much detail here, that you get your money's worth delivered here alone. There is an extensive Overhead Panel and you also have a very large even bulky centre console. Power on.... Yokes are excellent, thin and tawny. There are the options to have the yoke clipboards, both on, both off, or even the choice of either pilot yoke. Symmetry Flight Deck The Gulfstream Symmetry integrated flight deck is based on the Honeywell's Primus Epic integrated avionics system, the Symmetry Flight Deck is one of the most advanced in business aviation. There are four huge displays Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display (AMLCD) that use the Next Generation Flight Management System (NGFMS). Basically they breakdown to the two external PFD (Primary Flight Displays), and the two inner MFD (Muliti-Functional Displays). Notable here is the detail of the Gulfstream specific glareshield "Display Controller".... this system allows you to interface with the PFD and MFD and set settings. It is basically a simple push-button controller and easy to access and set. Selections include; PFD, MAP, SENSOR, FLT REF, TEST, CHKLIST - SYSTEM, 1/6 - 2/3, TRS, NAV, HUD. By my estimation about 60% of the system is currently working? But this is a very deep system, I suppose more detail will come with updates. Upper left buttons select the system area you want to access, and the right display has selection buttons to access the item, it is complex, but easy to use in the same instance. Once you work out where each selection is (or have a printed guide) then the system is easy to use. Here you can select 2/3 of the PFD (or have the engine or data readouts left 3rd of the screen) or use FULL which gives you the full basic flight instruments 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. There are 3 HSI selections with 120/180/360º options. The left panel systems is separated into two sections selected from the "Display Controller" (DC) , "Upper" and "Lower". DUI 1 is the PFD, DUI 2 is the MFD. These sections can be changed to show other system items, including; AC/DC Power, APU/Bleed, Brakes, ECS/Press (Environmental), Eng Start, FLT Controls and traffic. Selections are done by pressing the corresponding button to the line. The same sections can be selected in either panel via the Upper or Lower DUI. MFD : The twin centre displays (DUI 2) have Left and Right main panel displays, Left is the Engine Outputs, Right is (Top) Centralised Warning Panel (CWP) or Caution Advisory Panel (CAP), (Bottom) Checklist You have also a main panel have the same menus, you can change them from the DC, but also directly by the in-built menus. Provided are; Map Data, Aircraft Centre (Heading or Plan modes), Hdg, Prev, Next, World and Map which is also a systems menu? Both menus allow you to show Map data (Airports, VORs, NDBs...) as noted there is also a large system menu for each screen, including; AC Power, DC Power, Doors, Fuel, Hydraulic, MAP, CMC, ECS/Press, FLT Controls, Summary. And either display can be used. It is very complex set of menus and required a fair bit of study, but it quite comprehensive as well that covers all the G550's systems. Notable is that currently none of the displays pop-out, but they are quite complicated with an interactive interface that created to mimic a pointer. Overhead Panel (OHP) is really well set out and easy to use. Digital numbers are all used in the readouts. Systems covered are; the Electrical system with all its buses, Full Fire Protection system, the full Hydraulic system, Gulfstream Fuel system and APU system and start up timing. Standard X-PLANE FMS system is at least easy to use, but I would have preferred the authentic Honeywell Avionics. Pedestal is excellent. Top are the backup instruments in a G5 Tape/Artificial Horizon and centre heading instrument, the Gear lever and gear position panel is far right. The main twin-throttles and rear reverser levers are a lovely chrome design, look nice, nice to use. Set each side are the standard Air-brake and Flap levers (UP-10-20-? but could be 30º). Rear pedestal is all radar and radio panels, nicely done is the use of a FMS frame to hold the Radio settings, a simple but clever way of doing it. The Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) is positioned in the glareshield contained each end by each "Display Controller" system. AFCS is dual system, fail-operational, for both the Autopilot (AP) and the Auto Throttle (AT) subsystems. This is accomplished by hosting each system in a different modular avionics unit with two lanes in separate processors. The purpose of the AFCS is to provide Flight Director (FD), AP yaw damper and trim functions. The autoflight system receives computed lateral (roll) and vertical (pitch) steering commands from the FD system for the autopilot and for display on the Primary Flight Display (PFD). In the event the AP is disengaged the pilot can manually fly the steering commands presented on the PFD. The AP and AT systems make up the subsystems of the autoflight system. Menu/Tablet ADK uses the interaction with a tablet for menus. There are two, both placed for each pilot on the window frame. There are eight menu tabs; Fuel Payload, GND (Ground), AviTab, METER, PERF (Performance) Calculator, Checklists and Audio Volume. FUEL : Here you can set your fuel load (Kgs and Lbs), Set Cargo, Set Payload, Passengers, and even the passenger weight. The changes are shown in fuel load, GW (Gross Weight) and ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight. You can see internally into the cabin as well. Three options are also available; Reset Data, Set, and Random. Shown here is reset on the lower left, and loaded on the lower right. GND : There are a few options "Ground Handling Page". On the Static Elements there is a GPU (Ground Power Unit) AC, but also noted a DC Unit and a ASU, but these last two are not currently working in the menu? And there are Chocks and a passenger car. You can open the main door, again a WIP progress Cargo door. Open ALL Doors and Close ALL Doors. Both the static elements Passenger car have separate menus. GPU, flags, pitot covers and chocks are all presented, but no inlet or exhaust engine covers? The stairway is excellent with a drop down section and beautiful chrome rails. The Tesla 3 car is a bit odd? It is first not to scale and second the wheels don't rotate, so it sort of moves around like in a fairground. ADK have tried to do the same passenger delivery and return as with the Hot Start Challenger 650, but hasn't pulled the idea off as well, a rethink of the idea is needed here? AviTab : AviTab (Plugin Required) is available and a nice to have. METAR : This tab will give you the latest METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report) weather report by entering your current ICAO. I found it crashed (froze) so I can't say it worked? PERF (Performance) Calculator : There is a two page comprehensive performance calculator that can take data from the FUEL and METAR pages and fill in the required data, including : (Takeoff) DATA, AIRPORT INFO, TAKEOFF SPEEDS, FLAP LIMITS, (Landing) DATA, AIRPORT INFO, LANDING SPEEDS and FLAP SPEEDS. SETTINGS : In settings you can set the various aircraft options, including; IRS Alignment (Time), Refuel (Time), Hide Yokes, Pause on TOD (Top of Descent), EFB Units (Kg/Lbs), Aircraft Temp units (Cº/Fº), Aircraft Weight Units (Kg/Lbs), Sync (Baro), Nosewheel (Roll/Yaw/Tiller, Tail Registration, Kill Objects and optional Yoke Clipboards. CHECKLIST : There is a very good checklist that you can also check off (green), navigation is easy and so is the resetting of the lists. SOUND : Sound panel is currently quite basic, with sliders for (Master) Volume, Exterior Volume, Interior Volume, Co-Pilot Volume and Radio Volume. __________________ Flying the Gulfstream G550 Start up is easy. APU power on, then the Bleed (APU) and "Isolation", then you select Master Start and Crank (Ignition).... ... selecting START, you flip up the cover and select the right or left engine you want to start... then when the HP (High Pressure) gets to around 16%, you flip up the corresponding FF (Fuel Flow) lever on the "Fuel Control" panel below the throttles. All engine start is FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine (or electronics) Control) controlled. Notable are the excellent readouts for the voltages, every selection you make (even the switching on the Bleeds) is registered on the APU or voltages readouts, it looks and feels extremely authentic as is also the engine start up procedures. Start up engine sounds are also absolutely excellent, very impressive, you really feel those RR engine at your back and externally by the aircraft which are both very forceful, throaty and purposeful... impressed. Once the engines are running, you clean up the OHP (Bleeds, Start, Crank and APU), and then you are ready to go. Warnings in C-Caution and W-Warning are related to the Centralised Warning Panel (CWP), and a really big feature is in testing the controls and seeing your actions on the FLT Controls panels. Another feature I like is the brake pressures being in your face... here are my foot brake pressures being on show, a full regular (pinky finger) brake pressures are also registered, but have no effect on slowing the aircraft, so it is all down to the footwork, but I love the readouts. It is busy here today at LUX (Luxembourg Airport - ELLX). Finally after a departure of a Cargolux B747F, I can line up on runway 06. Power up those two two Rolls-Royce BR710 C4-11 engines and your moving... fast. You get that awesome roar in your ears and your just gone! ELLX runway 06/24 is as bumpy as hell but you can cope here, 165 kts and you rotate (Flap 10º)... You have to be seriously careful in not to over-rotate, it is very easy in doing that and in setting the take-off trim quite low, this baby wants to climb! In fact the G550 has an enormous climb rate of 3,650 feet per minute and almost straight up... You have to love this... a Gulfstream and X-Plane 12, Heaven. Well you can stay in heaven for a very long time at a 6,750 nmi (7,770 mi, 12,500 km) range, with a High Speed Cruise: M0.85 at 41,000 ft (12,497 m) or the standard Long Range Cruise: M0.80 at 41,000 ft (12,497 m), and you can cover the ground with a Service ceiling: 51,000 ft (16,000 m) God that is almost as high as Concorde... impressive isn't it. Lighting Cockpit lighting has about 12 adjustment knobs, but setting the different lighting options is a bit hit or miss, mostly it all works, but like a lot the different choices breaks down to that most work, but a lot don't... it feels all a "bit last minute to get it done ready". I'll explore more then add back in later into this section... overall it looks like this, when sorted though it should be really good as the basics look good. Cabin lighting is the same, buttons under each lighting panel only work the odd light, or even the set of lights on the next panel... I don't know if there is roof lighting or any galley lighting? External lighting is not refined either... main land and taxi lights are a bit overexposed, however there is nice navigation, beacon and strobe. Ice (wing lighting) is basic, the wheel-well lights work but the tail lighting doesn't. There is also a "Pulse" effect on the main landing lights? Overall again the external lighting is all a bit hit and miss. There is a CAS (Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System) that works with (in my case) Traffic Global, I never got the A/T (Auto Throttle) to work? and a note from the developer says it's coming in an update, doesn't matter here anyway as most Private Jets flying is usually using the manual throttle. Cruising at FL400 (40,000ft) is the only way to fly halfway round the globe. TOD (Top of Descent) and it is time to go down. The G550 can climb high, very high. So you tend to be a bit more excessive in the rate of descent. Here I'm using a rate of 2,700 fpm to go down, and in doing that steep rate the aircraft will protect itself by deploying the airbrakes automatically, but be aware also to retract them later as they don't auto close. I pass EVRA-Rika, Lativa while still screaming down at 2,500 fpm, but you need not worry as everything rubs off very quickly in both speed and altitude. The one thing you realise are that these Gulfstreams are incredibly versatile thoughout all their performance profiles. Sounds I am liking. Audio here is not overly excessive or even brilliant, but with the long distance cruise you can do with this machine that you can arrive without a headache, so no repeatable loops or droning (thank god). Being a long distance hauler that is important. In time I would expect more and better sound detail, but for now they are fine. X-Plane 12 is quite spectacular when it wants to be... a far, far cry from X-Plane 11. First 90º turn to the centre line from EVRA RWY 18, yes it is as brilliant in feel as it looks... Second 90º turn to the centreline of the approach... Riga is not a particularly hilly or mountainous approach but you do have a GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) if you need it. Final lineup to RWY 18... Again Spectacular. Full flap (30º) your approach is around 130 knts... Flap detail and operation very good by AKD, in feel lowering the flaps doesn't throw you around either, so it is a smooth approach phase. Final, final approach speed is around 125 knts, you don't get thrown around either with the size of this Private Jet of which can happen in smaller machines, it feels more like a commercial aircraft than a light jet. (Shaking my head) Spectacular machine isn't it... I struggled to get the G550 nose up correctly for the flare, honestly I need to find the right point on the pitch trim to get that phase right, practise as usual will always help. I get the pitch I want in the end and it is nice touch landing at around 118 kts, very close to the stall speed around 115 knts. Powerful thrust reversers are nice, but they need a bit more detail than just showing the cans... I didn't get the ground airbrake on landing because I couldn't find the selector, it is a "Arm" button far rear of the centre console under a flap? The full landing configuration is shown on the PFD, I really still can't get over how much I like this visual FLT arrangement. Hello Riga, Latvia.... but where can I go next, this Gulfstream gives me a lot of great global options. _____________ Liveries There are only five liveries with the package, but a full list is being created on a Google Doc site. A paintkit is included. I have selected a few off the Docs page here. AKD livery is the default. Included in the package are AKD House, N345LC, NetJets N528QS and the two Polish Airforce. _____________ Summary In world of the elite, then the word of Gulfstream is the biggest token you can play in this upper exclusive club. The Gulfstream G600/G700/G800 Series was built upon the last series of G500/G550 Series and that series evolved out of the Gulfstream V as the GV-SP. Here we have the previous generation in the G550 which was discontinued in July 2021, but this aircraft is still a major global trotting machine with both oceanic and transcontinental in range, it can fly high as well to an almost sub-orbital 51,000ft. First an almost disclaimer on the review and the aircraft. The Gulfstream G550 is a first time project by AKD Studios and obviously they have to pick an extremely complex aircraft to start with, add in a release in the middle of a new X-Plane 12 Beta run (B9) and you can expect a lot of bugs and weird things with the aircraft. It's not like that at all in context, in fact it flies very well. But there are many areas here also not finished or refined, that includes also the missing manual with the aircraft that reflects here in less technical detail to be covered and features that can be missed. Impressive however the G550 still is. Systems are comprehensive and are excellent in operation, including the excellent Gulfstream "Display controllers" (menus) and all DUIs are covered by a four display screen arrangement that has the built in Gulfstream Symmetry integrated flight deck is based on the Honeywell's Primus Epic integrated avionics system. Custom CAS (warnings), Ice and rain protection system (X-Plane 12), IRS system and a full (menu) Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)... it's an impressive list. Modeling is very good but your not going to get extreme Aerobask quality here, but many of the areas are really just not only refined or even completed, annoying are the cabin window frames that are badly (or rushed) designed, the missing external cargo door and all the lighting inside and out feels again only half finished. But I'm looking more and far down the road here as the basics are very good, if excellent in areas, it is the old adage of what a difference a month could make to the project. Personally I absolutely love the Gulfstream G550. X-Plane has wanted a really excellent transoceanic Private Jet for decades and here it is, it is also available in X-Plane 11 and more importantly in X-Plane 12 in the same value package of just over US$30. For your money you get a lot of aircraft with it's Gulfstream related systems. in 2023 it will be certainly the power jet you need in the X-Plane 12 Simulator, like I said I love it, and now I just want a lot more of flying the machine to every corner of the Globe. ________________________________ The Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio is NOW available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore GLF550 - Ultimate Business Jet by AKD Studio Price is US$31.95 This aircraft is X-Plane12 supported, but to note it is in Beta form. Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 - both versions included -Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current version : 1.0 (October 28th 2022) Download for the Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio is 1.03GB And the final install in X-Plane Aircraft folder with the above loaded liveries is; 2.53gb. Authorisation is required. The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder. Simbrief proflie is; https://www.simbrief.com/system/dispatch.php?sharefleet=256234_1658264083720 Documents Only the standard Laminar Reseach FMS manual is supplied. And no aircraft manual is currently available FMS_Manual Designed by AKD Studios Support forum for the Gulfstream G550 _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 30th October 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.00B7 (This is a beta review). Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport v2.1 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 - EVRA - Riga International Airport v2 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$18.50 (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
NEWS! - Announcement incoming Gulfstream G550 by AKD Studio Everyone wants a private Gulfstream Jet, as they are top of the tree in egomania (Elon Musk has one). Oddly there are very few Gulfsteams in X-Plane, a few but not one really worthy of our talents. A new developer in AKD Studio's has announced a G550 version to be released on October 28th 2022, the price will be US$31.95, but in that you will get both an X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 versions. A variant of the Gulfstream V or GV -SP with a new flightdeck display system, airframe aerodynamic and engine improvements and the main entry door is moved forward, the aircraft is marketed as the G-550. Compared to the Gulfstream V, drag reduction details boost range by 250 nmi (460 km) and increase fuel efficiency. Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is increased by 500 lb (230 kg) and takeoff performance is enhanced. A seventh pair of windows is added and the entry door is moved 2 ft (0.61 m) forward to increase usable cabin length. The PlaneView flight deck features cursor control devices, Honeywell Primus Epic avionics, standard head-up guidance system by Rockwell Collins and enhanced vision system by Elbit, improving situational awareness in reduced visibility conditions. Initial long-range cruise altitude is FL 400-410, first hour fuel burn is 4,500–5,000 lb (2,000–2,300 kg) decreasing for the second hour to 3,000 and 2,400 lb (1,400 and 1,100 kg) for the last hour. Flight hourly budget is $700-950 for engine reserves, $250 for parts and 2.5 maintenance hours. It competes against the Bombardier Global 6000, which has higher direct operating costs and less range but a more spacious cross section, and the Dassault Falcon 7X with fly-by-wire flight controls, better fuel efficiency and a wider but shorter cabin. There has to date not much been announced in features by AKD, but there is a nice tablet with built-in AviTab, Fuel Page, Static Elements, GPU, Performance Calculator, Checklists, X-Plane 12 effects and more. The AKD G550 will be available from the X-Plane.OrgStore... Top of the tree! ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 18th October 2022 Copyright©2022: 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.