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Aircraft Review : Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design The Cessna Caravan has been around since Mid-2012, as released back then by Carenado. So it is not an unfamiliar sight to the X-Plane Simulator and by far the most popular and successful aircraft that Carenado ever produced. The Cessna 208 Caravan is also and overwhelmingly the most popular utility aircraft ever produced by Cessna as well. The project was commenced on November 20, 1981, and the prototype first flew on December 9, 1982. The production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984 and its Cargomaster freighter variant was later developed specifically for FedEx. The 4 ft (1.2 m) longer 208B Super Cargomaster first flew in 1986 and was later developed into the passenger 208B Grand Caravan which is mostly known as the "Executive" version. First deliveries were in 1982 and the C208B aircraft is still in production with the current produced numbers of around 2,800 aircraft built. Although the original design of the Carenado Caravan was done in house, most if even all of the conversion to X-Plane and subsequent updates was done by Dan Klaue the renowned X-Plane developer, later formed into Thranda Design. So overall this brand new design of the Cessna Caravan has already had years of X-Plane development behind it both in the Carenado version and now with this fresh new design. The Cessna 208 is a high-wing braced cabin monoplane powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop in a tractor configuration. The cabin has room for nine passengers and two crew when used as a passenger aircraft with four doors: one for each crew member, and a airstair entrance door on the right side of the cabin and a large cargo door on the left. The basic 208 airframe has a fixed tricycle landing gear but can also be fitted with various types of landing gear and allowing the aircraft to operate in a wide variety of environments. Some common adaptations include floats with retractable landing gear on the Caravan Amphibian model, and skis. The roles for the caravan are huge and flexible; Sightseeing, Regional (hub &) Spoke, Skydiving, Executive VIP Transport, Medivac, Flight Training, Commuter Airlines, Air Cargo and Humanitarian Missions... and one C208 was even fitted with a Hellfire missiles, but sadly not an option on this aircraft. The 208B Grand Caravan is a 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch of the Caravan l, and both the shorter and longer variants are included in the package. Originally in 2012 the Carenado Caravan looked sensational (updated v2 Review), but over the last few years it became a little dated with not really having many changes over the years, extras or features (excluding the Super Cargomaster) were very low as well, so it had become a little tired. So the timing couldn't be more right, than right now, to get a more modern and bettered featured design of the Caravan aircraft. You were never going to be disappointed on quality and detail from Thranda, as they are already renowned for these aspects, in this light the 208B is simply excellent. Every rivet, panel, access panel, lighting detail and the excellent mesh air intakes are absolutely perfect... there is nothing to be picky about here at all, you just can't fault this sort of quality detailing. You can see how far we have come since 2012 by the reflections alone on the spinner and the lighting effects on the exterior panels. Glass is always a big deal to me, I want authentic thick glass with wear and tear, and I am not disappointed here either, it is all expertly done. A huge step forward is that unlike on the Carenado version, you also have opening forward panels to reveal a state of the art reproduction of the sensational Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A, also still commanding is that huge horn style exhaust protruding from the lower right of the engine bay. Some how you always strangely missed this engine feature on the Carenado aircraft, but want no more. You always had a lot of fun with the Caravan on the ground, opening doors and loading in passengers and cargo, it was all part of the simulation. Here all the doors (can be opened inside or externally) are well done... the tight ladder entrance on the right and the swing door on the left, with the two pilot and co-pilot doors at the front with their drilled tall tight steps. Caravans come with an optional lower Cargo Pod, and so you have one here, with the same three opening bins on the left side, but you still can't open each of them individually, it is none or all three. Personally I don't fly the Caravan with the pod attached, I like the more pure look than the bulky heavy feel the pod gives to the aircraft... but then again it is a workhorse aircraft. CargoMaster There is a CargoMaster variant also included in the package, currently set with three liveries... FedEx, DHL and Castle... The same upper hatch and swing door is still on the left side, but the right side passenger door is removed. Internally the seating tracks on the floor are removed and replace with netting. If you want to convert a standard C208B to the Cargomaster, you just move the "Cargomaster.txt" file to the livery you want to change. Cabin Most 208B cabin configurations are twin seats right and a single chair left, or two rows of single seats with up to nine seats available. But you have far more options here, including removing of all the seats completely. Any seat can be made to disappear, and you are also able to move the seat forward and backwards on the floor tracks, and they are switchable from a single to a double seat... you can also have the seats facing forwards or rearwards to make up a club seating arrangement. The rear right single seat is hidden, so you have to make it appear later and place it by the closed door. At the rear you can have the choice of a cargo area and cover net, or a luxurious wide double seat. It is all very clever, but also a bit finicky to use, and so you can easily get the chairs all oddly blended together into each other, and you have to sort them out before each flight? There is a sort of reset as we shall see in the menu, but nothing like the Carenado's sets of seating layout plans, and you feel the need that this is still the overall quicker reset option. Cabin detail is not as heavy handed as the Carenado either which now looks quite bland and very dated, but that is a very good thing, as the detailing here interior wise is exceptional. The beautifully crafted chrome roof lighting and air vents are both fully animated, even down to the inner vent flow adjuster. All lights are LED. Cockpit You never seem to "Sit In" the Caravan, more like "Perch" yourself up on the high tall seats. Not a bad thing. The four armrests can be all folded back for ease of access, they are chunky and nice. Note the excellent wear (worn) dirt on the rear of the two chairs, all nice attention to detail. Both front pilot seats are really well done, but feel a little posh for a utility aircraft in leather. Under seat frame is all lovely steel and again very nicely replicated. That large heavily hooded instrument panel is also very familiar, but set here though in a dull grey, not the more modern Carenado white... ... the quality and detail is exceptionally high, it feels like a very professional panel to use. Left is the same Caravan tall electrical tower (box?)... .... centre is another tall familiar C208B item in the pedestal. With a large chunky trim wheel left, Emergency Power handle, Single T Throttle, Propeller, Fuel Conditioner and Flap selection levers all set on top. Front on is another large rudder trim wheel, Aileron Trim and the fuel cutoff. Note the nicely done metal plated floor, that gives the aircraft a workhorse feel. The short stubby yokes are excellent. They have authentic Caravan branding, active electric trim and working ATC call switch... ... you can hide one yoke or both individually, unlike the only both together on the Carenado, very nice. It is a Standard Caravan layout in the default mode, and all clock instruments. The usual but highly effective annunciator panel, also known in some aircraft as the Centralized Warning Panel (CWP) or the Caution Advisory Panel (CAP). The Caravan panel version is however one of the best (looking) and can be set to DAY or NIGHT brightness, and the engine readouts and gauges are all set out beside the CAP under the glareshield with the two Fuel Gauges (GALs) far right. (External) Lighting panel is below left, Anti-Ice Panel below and the Internal lighting panel lower left. Flying instruments are basically stock standard for each pilot, but in this aircraft they are not locked in as we shall see. Each vent positioned at the end of the instrument panel has two way animated vents, and the glovebox (far right lower) opens to reveal a nice photo of the Thranda Team. Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous) Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. General menu selections cover; Engine Mode Simplified, Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, GPU on/off, Cargo Pod on/off, Chocks and Brakes on/off. Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit doors and rear cabin doors. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights. The "Electric Tug" that can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your joystick (left,right-forward,backwards). Static Items include Engine Inlet covers, Pitot covers and Tie-Downs The "Engine Mode" feature toggles the engine realism between "Realistic" and "Simplified". In Simplified mode the engine will automatically limit the engine to remain below the maximum torque of 1,865 ft-lbs. In Realistic mode it will be up to the pilot to avoid exceeding the engine limitations. There is built in "Checklist" (lower right menu, arrowed). And very good it is, but here not in the the red, or checked green choices you used on the other Thranda aircraft, this checklist is just white text, but far better to read. You can have checklist pop-up or in a window mode and thankfully move it, and scale it even from the very small to the very large. The two lower arrows give navigation around the checklist pages. The action detail and hints in the lists are simply excellent, and the checklist is fully detailed from Pre-Flight to Shutdown. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 13 liveries or two blank and eleven designs (three are also cargo liveries), and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare. To note that a couple are very similar except for a different registration. Two liveries are "Dynamic" in resources (White)... another New feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt (Ext) Externally, Scratches and Dirt (Int) Internally. Via three percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly.So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. This can be applied to any of the liveries. Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own livery! With their earlier releases of their Kodiak and with the PC-6 and PZL-104, then Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery. This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES top. You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the RGB colours for that certain area, it looks hard but you can easily design a very nice livery in about twenty minutes... the selections of Dirt (Ext), Scratches and Dirt (Int). Metal(ness) and surface Rough(ness) can also be added or adjusted as seen earlier... When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes, but the results are excellent, and in your own design... There are already 30 preselected selections in their various designs, all are very good, and like noted you can add your own version to the list. Menu - Weight/Bal The Caravan also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle Lbs/Kgs (arrowed). The Cargo Pod can be added or removed via the toggle top centre. This then adds in the Cargo Pod weight options on the right. Fuel can be added and the amounts are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above). Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph, go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red. When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add in the set weights. Same for the Cargo Pod if attached, once the baggage weight goes above 19 Lbs (9kgs) the bags start to appear in the pod. But obviously there is a compromise? If you want a full passenger and baggage load, then you can't have full fuel tanks, as the excess weight takes you over the weight and the CofG limits. For six passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the range. Each seating area has another function box. This allows you to control the seating, not only in weight, but the seats themselves as we saw earlier. The left box selects the seat and the type of seat, in say a single or a double. The right box arrow shows the direction of the set, in front facing or rear facing, it is better to set up the aircraft configuration here than using the earlier HotSpots as it is more direct. If you don't put the seats in, but add in the weight to the area... then the seats are replaced by Cargo Crates, it is brilliantly done and the cabin can also be configured to carry both passengers and cargo together. In reality you can spend hours on trying out different configurations for your different flying roles. Adding in passenger weight gives you a pilot (Daniel Klaue) and in the co-pilot seat his wife, but there are no rear passengers, and both are nicely actively body and head animated to the controls. Note... if you turn off the aircraft's electrical power or add the chocks o the wheels, then they both disappear. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FoV or Field of View is adjustable via a slider. Menu - Audio/Slew Sound can be adjusted via the sound menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel... As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time, and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play. Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is mostly used with the floats option (not yet on the Caravan, but on the Thranda Beaver and PC-6). Menu - PANEL The sixth "PANEL" Tab option allows you to adjust or change the instruments and dials. Scroll the "Panel Preset" number (arrowed) to see the four preset layouts. Customising the panel to your own personal layout is just as easy. Just select the "3D EDIT PANEL MODE" (arrowed) that gives you access to all of the 53 individual instruments and avionic units... There some great options including Aspen EFD 1000, S-TEC 55x Autopilot, Angle of Attack gauge and so on... For those that find instruments are not to their liking in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter just a bit more to the left", then here you can simply adjust that, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking, here I have swapped the NAV 2 pointer to the top, and the Autopilot Annunciator below the NAV 2 instrument.... because I can. You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument. When done I can "ADD" (or Duplicate) in a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset 6/6). So basically you can start off with a completely blank instrument panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout if you have the time and patience... and you can have up to or save 14 different instrument layouts. It is however very important to restart X-Plane to lock in the new instrumentation layout before flying. Currently the optional "Panel Background" choice is only optional to the boring Steel Grey, but Thanda notes more panel colours and styles are coming in an update, I hope they put in the Carendo white panel, as I liked that facia design a lot and miss it's inclusion here. Panel features include; Bendix King KFC-225, and the noted Aspen EFD 1000, KR 87 ADF Radio, Garmin GMA 340, Garmin GTX325 Mode C Transponder, BendixKing IN-182A Weather Radar and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. And there is a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on. The EFD 1000 which is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not as highly featured with the GPSS, MAP, 360 and Menu functions all not simulated... all the lower NAV1/NAV2/GPS selections are however available, as is the TPS (Tapes) see/hide option with the MIN (Minimums) selectable as well. and the PFD can be reversed with the EHSI. The EFD 1000 here can be used with the KFC225 Autopilot. Highly notable and announced by Thranda is the coming soon option of a twin screen Garmin G1000 Avionics suite, which most modern Caravans now use. Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page is currently mostly under development... notes; COMING SOON - the C208 Expansion Pack, with Tundra Tyres and Mud Flaps, Executive Seats, Option for no De-Ice, Cargo Version, G1000 Version, Synthetic Vision and Amphibian (Floats) options. "DynaFeel" on the right is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect, based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. Links to both the Support Forums and to download the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater are also provided _____________________ Flying the Cessna Caravan One of my favorite flights in the (Carenado) C208B Caravan was from Launceston (YMLT) to Hobart (YMHB), but going the long way around via Nine Miles Beach and down the lower east coast of Tasmania, So I was itching to do it again. A sort of sightseeing plus passenger delivery flight in one. There are basically no waypoints on this route (there are very few anyway in Tasmania), so this was all headings and map work, but I know the route quite well anyway. I have a payload of 1,556 Lbs (706 Kgs), with six passengers and their bags, full all up weight was 7935 Lbs (3599 Kgs). Fuel was 261.4 Gal. I set the pitch trim a little nose down, I have a couple of heavey passengers and their bags swinging out in the rear. The Fuel switches are positioned overhead, and as there are only two (wing) tanks, overall there is 332 US gallons (1256.8 liters, 2224 lbs, or 1008.8 kg) for a total of usable Jet-A fuel available in the two tanks. On of the real highlights of the Carenado Caravan was starting that Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A, producing 675 SHP here. The startup sequence is full (FADEC) automatic, so all you do is throw the (start) switch... The turbine whine comes from deep inside the machine, then builds up consistently in whine and noise until the McCauley 3 bladed metal, constant speed, full feathering propellers starts to move. Sounds of this starting procedure is as good if not better than the Carenado version, so I'm very happy about that. And soon I have a clean annunciator panel, noting we are ready to go. Like a lot of Carendo aircraft their Caravan had a tendency to have too much power even set at throttle idle, unlatch the brakes you usually headed headlong straight into the scenery. Setting the mixture in the Idle setting here and with the letting go of the brakes, the Thranda Caravan will barely move (just a little), so taxiing is far more easier and wholly more realistic than the Carenado, it is a relief as well not to being always fighting the aircraft to make it slow down, or to continually fight the heavy forward thrust. So on the ground it is an easy aircraft with nice feel to manoeuvre around the airport layouts, I set the Flaps to 10º (0º-10º-20º-Full are all available flap selections). The NAV1/NAV2 pointers are not really usable out here, as there are no DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) or VOR waypoints until Hobart, so I'll use them later. I set the "Course" to 132º or the opposite direction directly from the YMLT departure Runway in 32L as a departure circuit guide. And we are ready to roll... Mixture to full rich, throttle up and off the brakes. The set weight under thrust feels perfect, so you quickly tune into the aircraft. Power builds very nicely until rotation around the 105 knts mark (flap 10º)... ... and climb-out is good around 120 knts and 8º pitch. Rate of Climb is 1,234 ft/min (6.27 m/s), but that depends on your weight, I feel even at the Rate of Climb limit you are pretty safe and will not lose any bleed of speed like here. Powering up out of Launceston, I am already loving the machine, sounds are deep down growling, with that faint turbo-whine on top... always loved the PT6A's sound and it is glorious here. Putting the flaps to retracted always brought a significant lowering of the nose, and so it does here, but it is easily corrected, once done the speed can now start to build faster to around 130 knts. You are always aware of the aircraft's handing on takeoff, but it is in that first turn that you get to grips with the machine, in how it reacts in the turn, how it turns, the feedback drumming into your brain and the back down to your physical commands reacting to the information. Pilots truly love the Caravan and I think I know why. It is not small in a General Aviation sense, so it does not feel too light or nervy, in the opposite the aircraft is not too big either to make it ponderous and heavyish, it has that sweet spot all to itself... the Caravan is just the perfectly sized aircraft. So the handing here is excellent in feedback and feel, and you are the master of the aircraft and not the other way around. Only blot on the landscape is that the nosewheel will always continue to rotate, even if you dab the brakes there is no action because the wheel is freewheeling with no brakes to slow the rotation. It looks good initially, but then you feel it should settle down from rotating later in the flight, it looks odd moving fast consistently even while flying slowly. Another 90º turn in the circuit puts you now going south with YMLT now to our right... still climbing. Up to our cruising altitude of 6,000 ft and I easily trimmed the aircraft out of the climb pitch, not onlt in pitch,, but in yaw as well... all the flying to this point has been in manual and I could have easily flown on the perfectly trimmed Caravan all the way to Hobart, but I wanted to check out the KFC 225 Autopilot. It is a nice bit of kit connected to the Aspen EFD 1000, and they work in nicely together... St Pauls Regional Reserve is to my right and surrounding it are two valleys, the northern one goes to St Mary's, and the southern route takes you to the coast over Royal George, and that is route I will take today. Sitting high and forward, means you view out is excellent, you can easily see the wings (for icing) as well... ... a slight turn to directly East and I head up the correct southern valley. Is it fair to comment when I am already a huge Caravan addict. But this is a far, far more better Caravan than the Carenado version beloved so much in the past. It feels and is far more modern, with better tools to use and everything in here works that you can touch. Take the Voltage selector left panel. Here you can select four different Voltages in; GEN (Generator), ALT (Alternating Current). BATT (Battery) and VOLT (Voltage). They all work as they should, and it is this sort of detail that gives you a more realistic and deeper simulation. As noted the Caravan is a brilliant commuter aircraft, really the best in it's class with really no competitors, so in this role you can't ask for anything better, and I am in my element here. The sounds are as noted to be already very good, but in the cruise there is a little repetitive droning, I got used to it, but think considering all the other perfect sonic areas it could be a little better. This engine feels like a real deep torquey tractor engine and you can run it hard at full throttle until the pressures start to show you that you should need back off a little, but that huge pull is there anytime you need it. Performance is very good depending on your configuration; Max speed is 186 knts (214 mph, 344 km/h) and Cruise Speed is around 159 knts (294 km/h) TAS, for a Range of 1,070 nmi (1,232 mi, 1,982 km), Because you have onboard oxygen the service ceiling is a high at 25,000 ft (7,600 m), but you would very rarely fly that high in this sort of aircraft. Lighting The Caravan's lighting is quite basic in theory. But well done to make it feel very authentic. Both the Taxi and Landing lights are both set into each wing, Navigation lights are simple red/green and a single white light in the tail, there is also a single beacon light on the tip of the tail, and the light touch LED strobes are perfect. The instrument panel lighting is again simplistic, but well adjusted via the four twin (x8) lighting knobs on the lower centre panel. The Caravan has indirect panel lighting and it looks gorgeous here. Left Front/Right Front instruments are separate, and you have Left Flood/Right Flood to cover the left Electrics panel (tower?) and the right hand side. Lower Panel (Pedestal), Overhead, Engine Instruments and Radios all have their own adjustable lighting knobs. Provided are two pilot/reading ceiling lights that are adjustable, and a separate centre placed switchable adjustable light, the roof Fuel switchers are also nicely back lit. As with most lighting today, you can adjust all the lighting down to just the instruments for takeoff or landings, again it looks great even in this basic lighting setting. In the Cabin, there is a "Cabin" switch, that switches on a light above the passenger door and a light left mid-cabin. The bonus is that there are eight (yes count them all) separate seating lights, and they are all fully adjustable. They take time to switch each on and adjust, then the same to turn them all off again with no global roof switch or set lighting preferences available, but it is all very well done. Externally the cabin lighting all looks extremely realistic as well... so the lighting overall is brilliant. Now we are getting well up and over Royal George and in the distance you can now see the Tasman Sea. To my right is my point of reference of the glorious Tasmanian Nine Miles Beach and the Freycinet Peninsula The non reference, non-photographic nature of the X-Plane textures does absolutely no justice at all to the area, in real life it is quite spectacular, but boring here. Now we are heading directly due south for Maria Island, which is again a spectacular National Park. You now have a choice? To get into Tiger Bay (the Derwent River estuary is further south), you can cut across the Marion Bay strip, or go around the full Tasman Peninsula (the famous Port Arthur Colony is on the southern part) and well worth the extra flight, if you have the time. I choose to cut over Marion Bay, reduce my speed and start to descend as I head into Tiger Bay, as YMHB airport can now be seen on my right. Both the VOR 1 and VOR 2 are now set on the EHSI, and so is the runway course 300º. There is no ILS into Hobart's Rwy 30, but there is one on the opposite Rwy 12 (109.90 IHB), so you can still use this Frequency as a guide on the approach into Rwy 30, which I did here. In this case it was a godsend, as the runway was hidden via the direct sunlight... Flaps at 20º, you do get a little flap balloon so you have to know your (or learn) speeds at each drop to smooth out each flap drop to get it perfect, in this way it does remind me very much of the Carenado approaches in the C208B in the same context. Speed is now under a 100 knts, and at 600 ft in the approach. "Full" Flap and your approach speed is now set at 80 knts, and it feels good. Throttle adjustment is nice to control the height, touch more and you hold the altitude, a touch less throttle and you slowly sink... personally I should have given myself slightly more runway as I know the Caravan's characteristics very well, 78 knts, should it be slightly slower?... well stall speed is 61 kn (70 mph, 113 km/h) calibrated air speed, so you do have a bit more movement there. ... I touch down a bit fast, but I have a great tool at my disposal, the C208B comes with significant reverse propeller thrust! Pull the throttle full rearwards and growl at that sound, it is glorious, and the speed quickly drops away. If you have the option, I would recommend using the foot pedal brakes to slow the aircraft, the regular braking action (set to my joystick pinky) is a bit weak, I get a lot more control and braking effort out of my foot pedals. During the last few years you had this horrible sinking feeling. The Carenado Caravan was now certainly feeling it's age, so what of flying it in the future, and in X-Plane12. Well that aspect has been well and truly fixed here and X-Plane12 will be supported when it is released. Even the winding down of the THAT Turbo-Prop engine feels so comforting... ... the Thranda Caravan delivers and easily eclipses the older aircraft, yes Dan Klaue has had his masterful hand over both of them, but here he is more free to add in a bit more (okay a lot more) of that outstanding Caravan magic. _________________ Summary We are no stranger to the Cessna Caravan in X-Plane. Carenado released a C208B way back in mid-2012, it later came with the longer Grand Caravan 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch Executive version and the CargoMaster variant. Over the decade it became the biggest seller and the most popular aircraft ever for Carenado in the X-Plane Simulator. But time marches on and in the last few years the Carenado version has felt very dated, and now out of tune with the current features of the simulator, the future of Carenado in X-Plane is very much in doubt as well. In that decade the Carenado fleet including the Caravan was managed by Dan Klaue, who later became Thranda Design. So here is Thranda's version of the C208B Caravan that has not only the original feel of the Carenado, but also comes with all the bells and whistles of a modern design, so this new version is certainly the best of both worlds, and will be supported in the coming new X-Plane version X-Plane12. Thanda has always lead the pack in design and features for the X-Plane Simulator, and all that energy is packed into any Thranda release, including this spectacular C208B Caravan. It comes with initially with all three variant's, the Standard Caravan, The Grand Caravan and the CargoMaster closed in version. There are both (clever) adaptable cabin seating and freight options, with the required lower Cargo Pod is also available. The Executive, Floats, Skis and Tundra Tyre versions with the G1000 Avionics will come later in an add on package. Thranda always comes with a high range of clever and unique features to give the user a lot of personal options. Known as "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, this is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Here you can change the actual livery to your own designs, but build the instrument panel to your own liking as well, including options of the Aspen EFD 1000 glass instrument and a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on. Detail and modeling quality is off the scale, certainly when compared to the older dated Carenado C208B, but it is the more intricate detailing (animated vents and lighting, and functional areas) that really makes this C208B really outstanding. Highlights are an exposed Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A (under the cowling), great door arrangements, and lovely detailed interiors. Menu features including a very detailed weight&Balance menu with CofG graph, expansive static elements, checklists and a great sound menu. Negatives, your not going to find many as the aircraft is very well developed in the first place, so I will say niggles here. The complex rear seating/cargo feature sometimes has a mind of it's own, so it need a default setting to stop you laboriously having to reset everything back to normal on each flight. Sounds overall are dynamically excellent, but I can't tune into the cruise droning, it maybe authentic, but it feels to looped to me. The Cargo pod bins doors are all or nothing (like on the Carenado), and the extensive seat roof lighting is time consuming to switch all on then switch all off again with only a basic Global default switch setting, notable there is the All Internal lighting on/off, but a save to your lighting preferences would be nice. The missing white instrument panel from the Carenado version, I not particularly attracted to the dull slate grey, but there is a good chance it will be coming in "Executive" Pack. Also to be aware of the large 5Gb Download. The Cessna Caravan is a very unique aircraft, the perfect pilot's machine in not being too small, but also not too big and cumbersome either, it is the sweet spot of aircraft, hence it's huge popularity. Thranda Design have certainly done it justice here, with everything (and more) you would ever want of an almost perfect C208B Caravan. Priced well under the US$50 (US$44.95) it is brilliant value as well. For most it will be a brilliant replacement for an old beloved favorite, for the rest of us the new Thranda version of the C208B Caravan will be one of the best single-prop commuter aircraft in the X-Plane Simulator today, always a legend... this Thranda Caravan just elevates the C206B package to a whole new different higher, and a more modern level... Highly Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series Price is US$44.95 Two Models in One - Both are included in this package C208 Caravan 675 C208 Grand Caravan Both planes come with passenger and cargo versions Special features: FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. Over 50 instruments to choose from! (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP GTN750) Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's panel! Comes with 4 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! Instruments can be moved in 3D directly, on a 2D pop-up preview window, or by numerical entry for precise placement. Realistic custom fuel system. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility in X-Plane Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak, the Beaver, the Wilga, and the Pilatus PC-6) Full PBR control! Create stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look in mere seconds! Additional control over dirt/grime, adjustable in real-time to dial in the exact desired amount of wear and tear. Create "virtual" liveries, based on two basic common design layouts, and assign any colour to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls. Previews now include visualization of metallic materials and dirt overlays. Apply selected livery in real-time, right in the sim, without the need to even touch a 3rd party image editor! Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether. (Enter a "space" instead of a callsign number to create a blank tail number.) Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also supports 11 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Pratt ^ Whitney PT6A-114A turboprop engine Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Realism settings for engine (simplified vs. realistic modes) Custom ITT logic, to get the startup ITT temperature right. Innovative electric tug, with in-panel controls to move forward/backward at the desired speed, and steer proportionally Control over chocks, individual tie-downs, covers, internal lights, external lights, etc. Option to enable/disable Cargo Pod, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics. Individually load weights in different sections of the Cargo Pod via the pop-up menu Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures. Control landing lights, strobes, beacon, and nav lights via pop-up window Detailed weight and balance manager with visual chart, individual passenger seat weight control, Lbs/KG unit toggle, CG control, external tank control, and the option to save and load configuration. Control individual seat positions, or hide them altogether, to create a hybrid passenger/cargo version. Multiple camera snap points, above and beyond what's available by default in X-Plane, so you can perform your walk around checks. Adjust your camera's Field of View without having to go to an X-plane menu, allowing for real-time adjustments. Audio mixer: individually control audio channels in real-time, so you can adjust volumes while hearing them play. Slew control: move your plane around the world, temporarily bypassing flight physics. Includes ground mode and air mode. Dynamic panel control page, with a separate view for the entire panel layout preview, or a per-instrument view, allowing for fine-tuning of instrument position, as well as copy-paste function to quickly replace instruments. Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active Caravan pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The Caravan is a well-behaved airplane and a very stable IFR platform. Easy to fly, but extremely capable! The Caravan is equally comfortable at the world's busiest airports as well as back country dirt strips. Detailed fuel system, including the small reservoir tank and the fuel selector warning alarms. Extensively simulated electrical system, including the battery, avionics busses, generator, starter, external power, and standby alternator system. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth transitions and amazing atmospheric effects. Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience, adjustable in real-time (while listening to the sounds) Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds Requirements X-Plane 11 Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5 GB (yes, very large file) Current version 1.0.3 (April 13th 2022) ___________________________________ Installation and documents: download for the Thranda_C208_Caravan is 4.67Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 5.24Gb Documents supplied are: 208BG1000POH.pdf Caravan 675 Performance Charts.pdf Caravan Manual.pdf Changelog.txt G1000_CessnaCaravan_CockpitReferenceGuide.pdf Grand Caravan Performance Charts.pdf Thranda Graphics Settings XP11.pdf Thranda Joystick Settings.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf There are a huge amount of Documentation provided here, not only for the Thranda C208B including performance charts, reference guides, but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics. All updates are via built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Support forum for the C208 Grand caravan by Thranda _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 28th April 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 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft YMLT - Launceston, Australia 1.60 by CDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free YMHB - Hobart International Airport & YCBG Cambridge Aerodrome 1.0 by TDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free (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