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  1. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : F-104 Starfighter FXP v1.12 by Colimata Colimata has updated the sensational F-104 Starfighter FXP to v1.12 for the X-Plane 12 Simulator. With those blade like wings this was one tricky aircraft to fly. This update has focused on the aerodynamics and the flight model, to help in with more control and for the better handling of this unique aircraft. Flight Controls also are now more responsive. The Skunkcraft's Updater has also now been added for easier future updates. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is an American single-engine, supersonic air superiority fighter which was extensively deployed as a fighter-bomber during the Cold War. Created as a day fighter by Lockheed as one of the "Century Series" of fighter aircraft for the United States Air Force (USAF), it was developed into an all-weather multirole aircraft in the early 1960s and produced by several other nations, seeing widespread service outside the United States. X-PlaneReviews full comprensive review of the Colimata Starfighter is here: Aircraft Review : F-104 FXP Starfighter by Colimata Version 1.12 (Feb 27th 2024) Improved Flight model Improved Flight controls Systems improvements Updates to the visuals Bug fixes Skunkcraft Updater compatibility Update v1.12 is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, or use the mentioned Skunkcrafts Updater The Colimata F-104 is also currently on sale, with a $6.00(13%) saving on the retail price. __________________________ Yes! - the F-104 FXP Starfighter V1.12 by Colimata is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : F-104 FXP Starfighter Price is : US$45.00 - Sale price US$39.00 Requirements X-Plane 12 Only Windows, Mac and Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 941 MB Versions 1.12 - February 27th 2024 Developed by Colimata Support forum the F-104 FXP ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 7th March 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  2. Aircraft Review : F-104 FXP Starfighter by Colimata This is the first operational fighter aircraft to fly a sustained twice the speed of sound. It is of course the Lockheed F-104 "Starfighter", or otherwise known as a "Missile with a man in it". The F-104 is a pure machine built for pure speed, it looks fast... Supersonic fast, just a long pointy fuselage, with those small straight, mid-mounted, trapezoidal wings, and a high stabilator (fully moving horizontal stabilizer) which was mounted atop the fin to reduce inertia coupling, it was the ultimate interceptor aircraft. Of course NASA loved it, the USAF not so much. But an iconic aircraft it still was. The F-104 is an American single-engine, supersonic air superiority fighter which was extensively deployed as a fighter-bomber during the Cold War. Created as a day fighter by Lockheed as one of the "Century Series" of fighter aircraft for the United States Air Force (USAF), it was developed into an all-weather multi-role aircraft in the early 1960s and was produced by several other nations, seeing widespread service outside the United States than within. Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, vice president of engineering and research at Lockheed's Skunk Works, visited USAF air bases across South Korea in November 1951 to speak with fighter pilots about what they wanted and needed in a fighter aircraft. At the time, the American pilots were confronting the MiG-15 with North American F-86 Sabres, and many felt that the MiGs were superior to the larger and more complex American fighters. The pilots requested a small and simple aircraft with excellent performance, especially high-speed and high-altitude capabilities.[4] Johnson started the design of such an aircraft upon his return to the United States. In March 1952, his team was assembled; they studied over 100 aircraft configurations, ranging from small designs at just 8,000 lb (3,600 kg), to large ones up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg). To achieve the desired performance, Lockheed chose a small and simple aircraft, weighing in at 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) with a single powerful engine. The engine chosen was the new General Electric J79 turbojet, an engine of dramatically improved performance in comparison with contemporary designs. Colimata is a well known X-Plane developer of considerable skills. His main claim to fame has been the extraordinary Concorde FXP project, complex but truly original to the most famous airliner ever built. Colimata is not immune to fast military jets either, as his earlier projects were the FA18-F Super Hornet and the MiG-29 Fulcrum. This F-104 however is all new, and available only for X-Plane 12. First the F-104 Starfighter by Colimata comes in three different variants, the FXP G, the FXP S and the FXP 21C (21st century). You can see what variant you are flying by the menu notice in the X-Plane Banner. ‘G’ F-104G was the most-produced version of the F-104 family, a multi-role fighter-bomber with a total of 1,127 aircraft built. They were manufactured by Lockheed, as well as under license by Canadair and a consortium of European companies that included Messerschmitt/MBB, Fiat, Fokker, and SABCA. The type featured a strengthened fuselage, wing, and empennage structures; the larger vertical fin with fully powered rudder as used on the two-seat versions; fully powered brakes, a new anti-skid system, and larger tires; revised flaps for improved combat maneuvering; and a larger braking chute. Upgraded avionics included the Autonetics NASARR F15A-41B radar with air-to-air, ground-mapping, contour-mapping, and terrain-avoidance modes, as well as the Litton LN-3 inertial navigation system (the first on a production fighter). Here the "G" is the most authentic and the base version of the F-104 package. "S" F-104S was upgraded for the interception role, adding the NASARR R-21G/H radar with moving-target indicator and continuous-wave illuminator for semi-active radar homing missiles (initially the AIM-7 Sparrow), two additional wing and two underbelly hardpoints (increasing the total to nine), the more powerful J79-GE-19 engine, and added were two additional ventral fins to increase stability. The M61 cannon was sacrificed to make room for the missile avionics in the interceptor version, but was retained for the fighter-bomber variant. Typically two Sparrow and two (and sometimes four or six) Sidewinder missiles were carried on all the hardpoints except the central (underbelly), or up to seven 750 lb (340 kg) bombs (normally two to four 500–750 lb [230–340 kg] bombs). The F-104S was cleared for a higher maximum takeoff weight, allowing it to carry up to 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) of stores; other Starfighters had a maximum external load of 4,000 lb (1,800 kg). Its combat radius was up to 775 mi (1,247 km) with four external fuel tanks "21C" or 21st Century. It is the most modern variant which can be seen immediately from the cockpit instruments with the digital displays. It doesn't exist obviously, as there is no real "21C" but F-104's do come with digital instruments as shown in the video. Debatable here is there should be a YF-104A variant, this is the NASA No.818, and this aircraft was flown for 19 years as a flying test bed and a chase plane. The Colimata F-104 comes in that original skin metal only livery. The airframe was all-metal, primarily duralumin with some stainless steel and titanium as part of the structure. The fuselage was approximately two and a half times as long as the airplane's wingspan. The wings were centered on the horizontal reference plane, or along the longitudinal centerline of the fuselage, and were located substantially farther aft on the fuselage than most contemporary designs. The aft fuselage was elevated from the horizontal reference plane, resulting a "lifted" tail, and the nose was "drooped". This caused the aircraft to fly nose up, helping to minimize drag. As a result, the pitot tube, air inlet scoops, and engine thrust line were all canted slightly from centerline of the fuselage. The Colimata F-104 is beautifully done, it glows in the X-Plane 12 sunshine, the light bouncing off the metal realistic skin. You can feel the "Skunk Works" talent here, in the way they created and crafted these formidable machines, metallurgy at it's finest. The panels and rivet patterns are beautifully crafted, and of course those razor sharp wings... notable this is the "S" variant. The wing design was extremely thin, with a thickness-to-chord ratio of only 3.36% and an aspect ratio of 2.45. The wing's leading edges were so thin (.016 in; 0.41 mm) that they were a hazard to ground crews. Hence, protective guards were installed on them during maintenance. The thinness of the wings required the fuel tanks and landing gear to be placed within the fuselage, and the hydraulic cylinders driving the ailerons were limited to 1-inch (25 mm) thickness to fit. You can see the different types of metal here to absorb the engine output heat, and the built in fuselage Speedbrake doors Flaps are "Barn Door" deep, and note the extremely large aileron for supersonic control and manoeuvrability. Notable is the Boundary Layer Control System (BLCS) at the rear side of the wings right above the flaps. Compressed air is taken from the compressor of the engine and injected in the airflow right above the flaps. This improves lift by reducing the probability of turbulent airflow above the flaps. This way reasonable landing speeds were achieved. Because the vertical fin was only slightly shorter than the length of each wing and nearly as aerodynamically effective, it could act as a wing-on-rudder application, rolling the aircraft in the opposite direction of rudder input. To offset this effect, the wings were canted downward at a 10° negative-dihedral (anhedral) angle. This downward canting also improved roll control during high-G maneuvers, common in air-to-air combat. Under the fuselage are both the central ventral fin, and this being the "S", the twin empennage structures. The maw of the jetpipe exhaust is excellent, not only externally, but deep internally as well in finite detail. The stabilator is also razor thin, and has a very wide tilt angle, all set in a T-Tail configuration. The undercarriage is a simple three wheel setup, basically very basic in a system to fold up into the tight fuselage. Extremely well executed here by Colimata with metal hydraulic piping the highlight, and all of the internal bay detail is a feast for the eyes, links and joints are also perfectly created, and note the taxiway lights mounted internally on the outer bay doors. Single nose wheel is again simple, with the single landing light on the front strut, again the internal bay detail is excellent, notice with the way the twin doors frame and clamp the strut when closed. Glass is excellent as well... a deep dark green tint, shows off the thickness of the glass, and reflections are perfect. The canopy opens to the left side, and you can see the mottled glass detail... the frame is extraordinary in it's perfect detailing. Externally there is a well developed "Cold War" style pilot, he is not animated, but looks authentic. Cockpit This is the ultimate "Cold War" warrior, the next generation up from the Second World War fighters. The detail is very black, but worn, highly realistic and authentic. Colimata has done a really great workmanship in getting the details right, right down to the worn text, that needs a second glance to read it. Bit of trivia... the original F-104 had a Stanley C-1 Ejection Seat, and this seat ejected downwards through the floor at 500ft, this was to clear the high T-Tail for a safe ejection from the aircraft... later F-104s used the Martin Baker Q7 seat, this seat was now powerful enough to clear that troublesome tail. Here it is the later Q7. The ejector seat works! so don't pull the hoop unless you want to vacate the aircraft, oh and get rid of the canopy first as well.. The simple stick has no operational buttons or switches, but can be hidden via "hotspot" on the base. The three different G, S and 21C instrument panels are all quite different with their layouts. It is best to study them all and then select the one you like, as each have a very different role. I'm going to stay with the original "G" layout. It is a complicated panel layout, and you would need a little study before serious use. The manual provided "Quickstart", is in my mind a little bit too under detailed for the complexity here, you need the areas to be broken down and explained, this is only a "Quickstart" so a better manual as noted might follow, it is needed. Dials and gauges are beautifully created and reflective, very realistic. Centre seven dials cover (anti-clockwise) AirSpeed, Angle of Attack, Vertical Speed (V/S), Artificial Ball Horizon, Turn and Bank rate, a Position & Homing Indicator (sort of Heading Indicator) and Altitude. Left is a G-Meter, Radio Altimeter, and right are the engine RPM, Temperature, Oil Pressure, Fuel Flow and Nozzle Position, the Whisky Compass is upper left glareshield... sticking out far right is a intricate clock/chronometer. Lower panel is the Engine Start and Landing/Taxi lights far left, then the Weapons panel, landing gear switch is here as well. Central is the huge RADAR system, that covers both AIR to AIR mode and AIR to GROUND mode. Right lower panel is the Cabin Pressure, and internal and external fuel gauges. Oxygen is far right. Side panels are again quite different between the variants. On the "G" the layout is smaller and less detailed, highlight is the lovely white stubby throttle lever, the Flap position indicator is set behind, but you can also hide the throttle if you want to. Left side has radio, fuel switches, Radar position lever (nice) and Stability Control. Right side has Oxygen Regulator, IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), IN Inertial/flightplan (note here, this panel tends to move around, on the 21C it is lower left Instrument panel) and ECM. There are various types of displays between the G and S/21C. Here there is no flightplan screen on the G, but on the other variants. The G has a "Range Timer", the S the fully interactive flightplan panel. The autopilot is very basic, in a set the aircraft and "HOLD" the situation in Altitude and Mach, you can TURN left or right via the lower switch. But it is in the extreme detailing that you get here, something simple like opening the canopy is a marvel to watch, the catches are all animated and reassuring that the canopy will be safely locked down at Mach 2, they click and clank as well... it's all beautifully done, and more importantly VR (Virtual Reality) ready, with the goggles on, you will be immersed in a Cold War environment like no other. Menu The menu GUI is accessed on the X-Plane banner Menu under the aircraft title, the CHECKLIST window is here as well. There are Eight tabs to select on the menu; MAIN, SETTINGS, ROUTE LOADING, EQUIPMENT, WEAPONS, FUEL, DOORS & GROUND and STATUS. If you have Colimata;s Concorde they are all quite familiar in design and use. MAIN tab is a welcome screen. SETTINGS: Covers PRO Mode. This mode changes the aircraft from simple (aerodynamics and systems) to the PRO mode, where you get access to everything, but be aware the already difficult F-104 is far more harder to fly and use. SOUND, Includes Engine Volume internal and external, cockpit fans, G-Suit sounds and Oxygen mask sounds, RADAR, HD Resolution and Simple mode or heavy shadows, MORE includes, Simple Air-refueling, Cockpit lamp glow and Intake doors... here you can have the optional variable (moving) intake doors on the "S" and "21C" variants. Before we go any further. You will find that most systems here on the Colimata F-104 are very X-Plane default based, so if you know how X-Plane systems work, then you will easily understand how to set up and use the F-104. ROUTE LOADING: Here is a Flightplan Loading tool. flightplans are stored in the X-Plane "Output/FMS plans" folder and can be accessed and loaded via this tab. Obviously they have to saved in the .fms format. EQUIPMENT: There are four options on the "Equipment" tab... Selecting the Air Re-Fuel Probe, Radar Warn Receiver.. which is located top right instrument panel, Chaff Flare Dispensers... which are both located on each side of the rear exhaust pipe, and the Rocket Motor! WEAPONS: Weapons are selected via the X-Plane "Flight/Weight&Balance/Weapons menu, standard X-Plane default settings. The list is huge at a mix of 22 armaments and fuel tanks for the 10 stations on the aircraft. Overload and you get a RED weight indication "Caution Very Heavy Aircraft". FUEL: If you add on Fuel tanks in the "Weapons" menu. Then the tank(s) selected will appear in the Flight/Weight,Balance & Fuel Menu to add in more fuel onto the aircraft, again watch the weight as the F-104 is very easily overloaded. A point to make is that if you "Drop" the both wing-tip tanks then you get the "Stubby" wing version of the F-104 Lower menu the page notes your RANGE, in High altitude flight, Mix Altitude flight and Low Altitude flight... Also if your route is loaded, it will note the distance available in NM (Nautical Miles). Also noted if your AIR REFUEL is switched on or not. DOORS & GROUND: This menu gives you options on the ground. You can reveal the RCA AN/ASG-14T1 ranging radar. Put a very nice ladder on the right side of the aircraft, Open/Close the Canopy. There are also four bays you can access... lower right Electronics bay, the left lower Cannon Bay of which is the 20 mm (0.79 in) M61 Vulcan auto-cannon, Top forward is the Avionics bay, and behind it is the Ammunition bay... lower left rear is the RAT (Ram Air Turbine). Centre selections include, a load of flags, pins covers and chocks. There are far too many to even count! Note the lovely wing edge covers and authentic engine inlet covers. Lower D&S menu covers two static items in vehicles. A military Heavy Duty Tanker and GPU (Ground Power Unit) STATUS: The final menu tab is the "Status" of the aircraft. This is a one look view of the total status of the F-104. Included is Fuel and your current Range, System status in Oxygen, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Fuel (system), Landing Gear, Elevator (Trim Position), Aircraft Weight and required Approach, Final and Touchdown speeds. CHECKLIST As noted also on the menu bar is the F-104 Checklist tool The first page is a "walkaround" diagram, it's not animated by set views, but just a guide around the aircraft. The menu window is moveable and scaleable around your screen. There are thirteen checklists from Pre-Flight to (engine) Shutdown. Then four "Emergency" pages and five "Custom Content" pages for your own use. Navigation is via the two PREVIOUS and NEXT buttons. Altogether it is a very comprehensive and detailed menu, certainly very well done by Colimata... Easy to use and has loads of current required data avalable. _____________________ Flying the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter The Startup sequence will not find a battery switch inside the cockpit. Electric energy is only available as soon as the GPU is connected externally. Complete the cockpit checks, then make sure that the Fuel Shutoff switch is in the ON position. Engage a starter switch. Switch 1 on uneven days, Switch 2 on even days. The engine will start spooling up. Now click on the lower right side of the throttle to bring it from OFF to IDLE position. With this the engine will continue its spool up and the dials start to revolve. This is a very "Ground Crew" aircraft start, you almost want to stick your hand up out of the cockpit and twirl your hand. Engine start up sounds are seriously "Amazing", first the startup compressor, then that familiar whine out of the J79 turbojet, it fills the air in the cockpit (always have the canopy open), the starter switches will go off automatically, when the engine is above 40%, then engage the Generators GEN1 and GEN2. You don't want to close that canopy yet, but to hear the noise, absorb your surroundings. Let of the brakes and a slight throttle and your rolling.. You soak up the feeling, this iconic jet aircraft. Now quickly it is also time to get down to business, and you pull down the canopy... ... suddenly your immersed in another world, a tightly contained space, a cold-war scenario, and the F-104 feels of what it is, a Skunk Works project to go very fast. You need a very long and wide runway to takeoff, those petit fine wings don't give off much lift, so you need a lot of air around them to make them work. Hold the brakes, then put up the throttle to full thrust, yes you will need everything you have for the initial push... You get a dragons ROAR! out of the rear, and when you let the brakes go, the F-104 bounces with the forces, it moves, but slowly at first then gradually gains speed, you need a lot of runway to get enough to get around 200 knts, there is a marker you can adjust for your rotate moment, tracking needs full concentration in keeping the Starfighter tight and straight to the lift point. Even then the lift is slow, worse you have to have a very steady firm hand to keep the F-104 stiff and clean, if not the nose will bounce... Immediately you clean up the flaps, more clean lift is now required, speed as well, more lift... then your climbing out. Gear up next, and the undercarriage all folds into the fuselage and gives you a very nice shiny clean underside, the gear animations are extremely well done by Colimata, very professional. Shredded of it's earthly bounds, the Starfighter will now seriously climb, so you tone the throttle back a bit, rate of climb here is 48,000 ft/min (240 m/s) Initially... fast, really fast, needed as you can fly as high as 73,000 ft (22,000 m), almost in space, SR71 territory (84,000ft). Some points here. The F-104 bounces around a lot, not wind mind you, but just nervy. The nose jiggle is very disconcerting. You can tone this down a little via the X-Plane settings to dull the controls out a lot, then to perfect the trim and it can really help, problem is? that flying like this even for a short time is very tiring, you are working consistently hard all the time in just flying the aircraft. It does get better with familiarity, but the F-104 is not an easy aircraft to fly. The Autopilot is of only a minor help, or relief, so your workload is high in here. A trick is to use the AOA ‘Angles Of Attack’ equivalent gauge. It does not show the exact angles, but a scale that informs you about how near to the maximum AoA the aircraft currently is... the so trick is staying within the boundaries. There is also the APC "Automatic Pitch Control" system which provides additional safety. If AoA value limits are exceeded too far it will even ‘kick’ the stick forward to get back to safe levels, but not when landing gear is down. There was a special version of the F-104 was that ‘NF-104’. It was equipped with a rocket motor in addition to the jet engine. In the 1960s the NF-104 broke many records and it was used in the training for the X-15. The motor can be switched on and off, and the thrust can be set between 50 % and 100 %. The rocket provides thrust for 90 seconds. The rocket panel is only visible if the "Rocket Motor" is selected, situated on the left side. Since air is super thin at high altitudes, the conventional flight controls will loose authority. For this an RCS ‘Reaction Control System’ can be activated. It provides controllability in very thin air. There are both controls for the actual rocket motor, and the RCS system. Re-heat the J79 turbojet, then flick the switch and your head slams back like in the "Right Stuff", and your climbing like.... well "Hell, hang on" actually... dials are twirling and you really can't make any sense of them, you are just along for the ride! Passing through 65,000ft and that air is now extremely thin, and your controls don't respond as they should... the F-104 is EXTREMELY hard to fly up here, slight movements you will are all you need, but if you lose it, then there is no coming back... and you will simply spiral away to your death. It took a few high-altitude flights to get the feel of it all right and to get the use of the RCS system, exhilarating, certainly. Worse is that at these extreme altitudes the jet engine will switch off, and it is required to be restarted during the reentry. If the jet engine nozzle stays open, close it via the emergency engine nozzle handle before the restart attempt. This is not a Air-superiority fighterjet, an agile, lightly armed aircraft and ready to eliminate any challenge over control of the airspace. Even turning is an effort for the F-104, you bank, but you will still take a very wide circumference to go to your new heading. The word "Interceptor", says it all, and in reality it is all the F104 can really do, go fast, go high and "Intercept!" First you climb as high as you need. There is a marker on the Artificial Horizon to get the 15º climb angle perfect, then up you go, almost to 4000fpm... ... now at a high altitude, you can let the F-104 loose, on goes the burner again and your soon pushing a mach, then m.1.5. The aircraft is a handful to keep in a straight bullet line, turning... only for the faint-hearted. I can see and feel why it was called the "Widowmaker". Yes the Starfighter is bullet, but more X-15 than fighter jet. The Autopilot takes ages to settle down on a course and altitude, but in time will hold the aircraft with a "hands off the stick" relief, turning is tricky with the turning knob "left-Right", again it works, but difficult to put the aircraft on a straight heading again, so you readjust with ENGAGE off, then when at a set altitude and heading, then (Re)ENGAGE the Autopilot... and hopefully it will HOLD either the speed or the altitude, you can't have both. The F-104 ships with a sophisticated RADAR system covering AIR to AIR mode and AIR to GROUND mode, in the AIR to GROUND mode can require quite a few computer system resources. It is therefore possible to switch it from HD ‘High Definition’ to a lower definition. Furthermore the interpretation of the AG ‘Air to Ground’ image can be complex. Therefore the system comes with a "Standard-Simple mode" and a "Complex" mode. In "Complex" mode we see the same landscape from above but with ‘RADAR shadows’. If the RADAR beam is blocked by an obstacle, everything behind is in its ‘RADAR shadow’ and will then be displayed black. In AIR to AIR mode or AA mode, we can track and lock on to other aircraft. The available ranges are 20 nm, 40 nm and 80 nm. The RADAR beam sweeps 45° on both sides in the ‘G’ variant and 60° in the ‘S’ and ‘21C’ variants. To lock an enemy aircraft the target line can be moved left or right. When the target line is aligned with the target aircraft, press the ‘lock’ button or use the custom command. When the aircraft is locked (on target) the symbology on the display changes. We then see a circle that represents the distance to the target. The smaller the circle diameter the closer we are to the target. It shows direction and altitude to the enemy jet relative to our aircraft. The system is very good, but needs time to study and work it all out. To be honest I only had the "Quick" guide for information, and you really need a detailed depth of information to use it. Nightlighting Very night fighter... that is the feeling inside the "Starfighter" cockpit, there are a lot of instrument adjustments, but the knobs are spread around both sides of the instruments. Three separate knobs covers the instrument lighting; INTERIOR INSTRUMENT, INTERIOR CONSOLE (sides) and INTERIOR FLOOD. The lighting is the instrument backlighting and two spot lights each side of the pilot. All set at full BRT and it is all a bit overwhelming in the brightness... So the trick is to tone it all down, even below the halfway marker, then it becomes all "Very Nice". Externally you have some very (very) nice rotating beacon's top and lower, and Navigation lights, that can be set to FLASH or STEADY. As noted there are two landing lights on the inner gear doors and a single nose taxi light. Landing is probably one of the trickiest treat of them all. The wings here are relatively small, and therefore they need substantial speed to keep you airborne. The ‘BLC’ Boundary Layer Control’ system above the flaps is of great help and the engine is very powerful in case we need to get out of critical situations. So you need to engage the burner to prevent sinking or even stalling, or for a worst case scenario, for a go-around At the lower speed, the flaps and with the gear lowered the roll rate is also significantly reduced, in other words the stick and rudder responses are dull, laggy. It keeps you on your toes to get the speed right at around 200 knts - 190 kts, that's very fast, with not much control response. If your clean and straight, then all you want to do is plant the aircraft, no groundeffect or lift to help you here, it is a carrier shot in reverse. Touched down should be around 150 knts. Even before the nose hits the ground, you release the "Chute", no reverser thrust here to slow you down, but the "Parachute" is extremely effective, you don't (or even dare) touch the brakes. I recommend to set a key command to deploy or lose the chute, your too busy to look down in the cockpit for the hard to find white "DRAG CHUTE" handle. At taxi speed, you let go of the "chute", then flip the catch and open up the canopy... now you can "Breath". We have to be very clear here, that the Starfighter F-104 has some very, very unsual flying characteristics, this is not a forgiving aircraft, rewarding yes, but totally unforgiving... to fly the aircraft well, it would need a lot of commitment and focus, as it is though all its different flight phases, the one aircraft that changes personalities consistently, it is your job to understand each one of them and master the differences, for the novice, not really, even the usual pro's will find it a challenge, but a major repect to those with the "Right Stuff". In the release I had (early) there was only three liveries; The Metal default, a German Luftwaffe and an Italian Air Force. More liveries will be available for download at no additional cost. __________________________ Summary The first operational fighter aircraft to fly a sustained twice the speed of sound. It is of course the Lockheed F-104 "Starfighter", or otherwise known as a "Missile with a man in it". The F-104 is an American single-engine, supersonic air superiority fighter which was extensively deployed as a fighter-bomber during the Cold War. Created as a day fighter by Lockheed as one of the "Century Series" of fighter aircraft for the United States Air Force (USAF), later it was also a NASA test aircraft. Loved more by international Airforces than the American ones. It was created by the famous Lockheed "Skunk Works", and in performance and design it has a the same particular traits as the later SR-71, just to go exceedingly fast. F-104 Starfighter by Colimata comes in three different variants, the FXP G, the FXP S and the FXP 21C (21st century). Known for his excellent Concorde FXP project, Colimata is also not immune to fast military jets either, as his earlier projects were the FA18-F Super Hornet and the MiG-29 Fulcrum. This F-104 however is all new, and only available for X-Plane 12. The F-104 is sensationally designed and developed here, in reality X-Plane, and X-Plane 12 gives this aircraft one of the best positions in Simulation, the top and the best, a very high accolade. It's top notch stuff, the best you can invest in. The quality and detail is excellent, nothing is missed here, that is from the shiny metal skin to the worn but highly detailed cockpit and instruments, super detailed 4k textures and complex landing gear and brake chute. Features are as long as your arm, with an extensive menu. With panels that can open up (Electronics bay, gun bay, avionics bay, radar dome and canopy), ladder, full tags, wing covers and chocks, featured GPU and Fuel trucks, and an NF-104 Rocket and Reaction Control System. There are extensive weapons, with highly replicated "Cold War" era weapon and radar systems, the later 21c has modern glass instruments and avionics. It is extremely tricky to fly, as was the original "Widowmaker", but that is a major part of the attraction to this sort of Simulation, so what you will put in, is what you get out of the aircraft, it is demanding, but highly rewarding as well as it brings out the best of your "Right Stuff", those generation of pilot's that pushed the extreme boundaries of speed and space. This Starfighter aircraft allows you to experience that era and fly something very unique, an icon, a classic... the best of it's time. __________________________ Yes! - the F-104 FXP Starfighter by Colimata is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : F-104 FXP Starfighter Price is : US$45.00 Requirements -Plane 12 Only Windows, Mac and Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 941 MB Versions 1.01 - December 1st 2023 Developed by Colimata Support forum the F-104 FXP Installation Installation of F-104 FXP Starfighter XP12 is done via a download of 825 Mb... With a total installation size of 1.17Gb. There is one basic Manual pdf (45 pages) 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 12.08b3 (This is a Beta review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - KTCM - McChord AFB - Seattle - Boeing Country 10.5 by Tom Curtis (Sorry not now available) ___________________________ Classic Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 1st December 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  3. Aircraft Upgrade Review : Concorde FXP v3 by Colimata Significantly I finally did get around into creating a review of Colimata's impressive Concorde FXP in it's v2 guise last year in July 2020. You should really read that comprehensive review before reading this upgrade version, into getting an overall background and for the details of the aircraft and Colimata's features. That review was done in obviously X-Plane 11, as X-Plane 12 was still a few more months away. But even then, even in not yet knowing what the effects of X-Plane 12 would have on the aircraft, I seriously felt at the time, that if any aircraft would shine in the new version of the X-Plane Simulator it would be this aircraft, why I don't know... it was just a feeling. So here is Concorde FXP in X-Plane 12. It is noted as v3, a new version for the X-Plane 12 version. So that means it is an UPGRADE, and a paid upgrade. The pain however to get this X-Plane 12 version is negligible, two cups of coffee or US$11. That cost covers all future X-Plane 12 updates and features. Considering X-Plane 12 is new out of the box and has now years to run, its a great deal, the new purchase price in X-Plane 12 is still the same at US$59.95 (but sales and deals are frequent, currently US$54.95) It is a hard colour (white on white) to look good anywhere, but "hey", the iconic SST looks simply damn impressive in X-Plane 12. All the textures have been upgraded to X-Plane 12 quality, and even more detail has been added on to the fuselage, and the wings are not blank anymore as you get access panels and wing panels detailing... ... that is the good news, the bad news is all your liveries don't work anymore as they have been upgraded to v3 or "fuselage_v200". There is a trick if your desperate in wanting them now and in not waiting for the painters in fixing them up... create the new folder (fuselage_v200) and move the old paint files over, you don't get the new details, but it works. Internally it is "oh WOW"... To a point this was what I was expecting the X-Plane 12 version to be like, even then it "Blows your mind"... ... the light earlier greyness has been replaced by a dark shadow hue, realistic, yes you bet, how realistic? Brilliantly. The cockpit is absolutely impressive in the daylight, but let the light go darker and it becomes a "Wonderland"... It does look very, very good, if you control the lighting. Too much, is too much brightness. Again I don't feel that a 70's aircraft would use this tone of light in here, that said it is very nice... So with so much adjustment (12 knobs) it can keep you happy for hours playing with it all, from full cockpit brightness to the low dim approach lighting. There is a noted 1000+ lights in here, and I don't doubt that number. Cabin is also still too bright, but it looks far, far better in the quality detail of X-Plane 12. The cabin and seats look far more realistic, if now great, just a shame you can't adjust the cabin lighting a touch lower. I didn't like the external lighting on the XP11 Concorde, it 's just as bright here as well, in being well over saturated (Navigation and tail lighting is however okay). In the daylight it is quite nice, but overall I think some adjustment would really help with the realistic/realism effect. A lot of people (including me) didn't like the set, large GUI (Menu). It covered a lot of the screen and hid the very things you were trying to adjust? The Menu GUI has been revised in v3 for X-Plane 12, with now being scalable in size. Also the GUI can now also be used in a (Separate) window, even on another computer... handy. Other GUI changes include; A redo of the Flight Planning page, and the shown selected flightplan. There is also the addition of MIN, HALF and MAX (Fuel) selections, This way it is possible to quickly set up the airplane for short, medium and long range trips, even without the use of the Fuel Manager. Fuel Management page has been overhauled for easier use? sort of, as Concorde is very hard to balance correctly. Flying the XP12 Concorde Same aircraft, same route... but 6 months on and it feels totally different. I'm again going to New York (JFK) from Heathrow (LHR), this time however in X-Plane 12, and in a Final not a Beta X-Plane (well Beta v1.01b). Heathrow, London is not the prettiest place to be on a cold January morning, but it feels very authentic. If you look at the same images from six months ago, it feels years ago, not months in the differences... gigantic. Pushback (BetterPushBack), and it feels all very photographic... I'm not going to bore you with details here, all was covered in the comprehensive earlier review... this is an update review in focusing on what is new. What is the most striking though is that X-Plane 12 lighting and quality, it is quite sensational. A very busy Heathrow... And the Classic view... powered and ready for takeoff. All though you have all the X-Plane features, including the rain effects (at Mach 2?) anyway they work well at the lower speeds. The biggest factor is the changes to the basic X-Plane aerodynamics, or primarily to the delta wing dynamics that the X-Plane/Laminar Research head guru Austin Meyer has done. This aspect is very significant... in Austin speak, "Here is what is so amazing about this: For traditional wings like X-Plane has always simulated, air never comes up over the leading edge!Instead, at the stalling angle of attack, the air separates from the top, loses suction, and the wing stalls! And all of this is carefully orchestrated based on the AIRFOIL, or CROSS-SECTION SHAPE, of the wing!So X-Plane has always used the airfoil cross-section, corrected for the plan-form, or top-down shape of the wing, as classical wing theory calls for. But now, with a delta wing, the cross-section of the wing hardly matters! Now what matters is the plan-form, or top-down shape, of the wing! That’s what lets the air roll up over that highly-swept leading edge to form the huge hurricane over the wing that SUUUUUUUCKS the wing up… and never stalls! And X-Plane now used this classical wing theory based on the AIRFOIL CROSS SECTION for non-delta wings, vortex-generation based on the PLAN-FORM of the wing for delta wings, and even interpolate smoothly between them for partially-delta shapes, consider both the airfoil cross-section, and the delta plan-form, for a real three-dimensional understanding of the wing." In other words, the Delta wing dynamics in X-Plane 12 are completely different, and Colimata has adjusted the X-Plane 12 v3 Concorde to the new dynamics, so any X-Plane 11 or earlier Concorde aircraft won't work with as well, or as realistically as the X-Plane 12 versions does. Don't take them (the dynamics) as for currently granted... there will be changes, not only from X-Plane 12, but from Colimata as well, there will be more fine tuning to get the aircraft to the same stable situation as it was in X-Plane 11. First there is the glow from the engines as you push up the throttles to the T/O position, then the full afterburner as it kicks in... you move slowly at first, but then the punch pushes you towards v1, then v2 (+10) Then you rotate the aircraft, and power yourself into the air. Concorde can use a higher 20º pitch on climb-out. Because of the amount of precipitation around Heathrow in winter January, the delta wings throw off a lot of condensation effects, very realistic to real images of Concorde in the same takeoff phase as well. Sub-sonic and Concorde looks exceptional. I am not going to suger-coat it, as the Concorde is a difficult aircraft to fly, yes even challenging. You will have to practise, study and learn the machine. Flight profiles, checklists and even extensive personal notes are required, Colimata however does give you a lot of short-cuts, like fuel balance and set-ups. And the rewards are immense of course, but don't expect to rock up and just fly Concorde, mostly you will always end up in a field with a broken aircraft. But you will need to seriously commit to the aircraft to get the very best simulation out of it... It is a commitment aircraft. There is a lot of feedback of the status of the aircraft, including; STATUS, FUEL, ENGINES and CENTER of GRAVITY (CoG), check the systems before you climb Supersonic. Time to raise the visor! Going up to that rarified air of where only a few can go... 58,000ft and Mach 2.02! But you can now go there with X-Plane 12... It looks and feels magnificent. Sounds are really good, but not different to the earlier v2, the roar (on takeoff) is sensational, but the Supersonic hum is very real as well, overall there are loads and loads of sound effects, all in different sound spaces. But the biggest feature is the excellent audio advice from Copilot, Engineer, and Pilot, all in a sprightly English accent, it is all very cool, but not intrusive. Highly recommended is the RK Apps XPRealistic v2 plugin for realistic movement effects with this aircraft... it makes going though the Sound Barrier a whole new experience. But I will note that currently the X-Plane 12 weather model is not quite perfected yet? Heavy winds do affect the aircraft and quite substantially... climbing up to FL580, and getting a forward speed into the MACH are both difficult with a 150+ knt headwind. So you may have to take manual control to achieve both aspects. Even then I felt effects on the aircraft in the manual settings, that the characteristics I didn't have in the earlier X-Plane 11 flights are obviously here in X-Plane 12. Even in level flight you are tossing and turning like in a dingy... Hopefully this aspect will be fixed soon. At DOVEY it is time to descend, 3,000fpm, at 350 kts (AT1 off), and you are already losing speed and height... soon you are back in the Sub-Sonic realm, but at 30,000ft and 350 knts, even here Concorde is still very fast. PARCH 3 KJFK Arrival, and you now descend to 10,000ft. and down comes the visor, just a normal Sub-Sonic aircraft... not. I have practised this JFK... Runway 4L approach about twenty times in Colimata's Concorde, its still tricky and it certainly tests your skills... ... first into the circuit, then 230 knts, 90º downward, drop gear and visor to 12.5º, another 90º to final approach... Align to RWY 04L, then VOR-LOC, then when in the cone GLIDE, speed to 200 kts... (Note AUTOLAND is still not active... damn), once in the beams then you lower the speed to 180 knts, fast, maybe too fast, the aim is for 160 knts! (stall is 125 knts)... a trick is AT1 disconnect at 1000ft, then take manual thrust control down to the runway. ... note the X-Plane 12 rain (old Librain) works well on the main front and side windows, nice to have it back... over the threshold (okay a bit high!), and let Concorde sink nicely... ... and it's gear down! The approach phase procedures do stay the same, but you do feel the different X-Plane 12 delta wing dynamics at work, it will take a few practise landings to get the landing feel correct as there is more resistance now, certainly I will do this again a few times to get it right (nail it!). I'm not going to hide the fact you need to practice with Concorde, do it, do it again until it comes to you, it's a tricky aircraft to skill up to.... but the rewards are quite sensational when you get it all right. So flying the Concorde in X-Plane 12 does require an adjustment in your thinking, and to have your skills to adapt to the aircraft. And again I will stress again and I also feel there is still a more fine tuning to come from both X-Plane 12 and from Colimata to get both to a more refined position. _________________ Summary Here is the upgrade to X-Plane 12 and giving Colimata's Concorde a v3 moniker. A paid upgrade, but only US$11, so certainly not a deal breaker for what you get in the v3 package. One of the biggest simulations you can achieve in X-Plane is going Supersonic, twice the speed of sound, and that is what this aircraft is all about, flying outside of the usual Sub-Sonic parameters. So yes the Concode is a challenging Simulator, probably only for the skilled and Pro's out there, but if you still want to fly the Concorde then so you will have to study it and practise it's dark arts, obviously the rewards are very high. Make no mistake though, the Concorde is an investment in time, and with this v3 upgrade you get a lot of time to enjoy all the updates and the newer features of the newly born X-Plane 12, so your getting in early. The v3 Upgrade is excellent, look at the images and see how extraordinary the aircraft looks and feels in X-Plane 12, externally beautiful, inside in that complex cockpit, incredible, it just "Blows your mind". The textures have been redone, and even more detail added in while doing so. Liveries now don't work, but a folder change can bring them back again, but you still loose the newer wing detail. The lighting is glorious with a 1000+ lights in the cockpit, but the external lighting is still far to unrefined for me, ditto the cabin lighting, too bright with no adjustment... but the cabin however does look far better. Extensive Menu has had attention, in that now you can scale the menu and use it in a (separate) window, Flight Planning pages have been given three (quick fuel) options, redone Flight Planning page gives you better route options and saves, Fuel Management page has also been overhauled for easier use. The aircraft's aerodynamics, or primarily to the delta wing dynamics have been upgraded to match the newer dynamics in X-Plane 12, it gives the aircraft a different feel and handling characteristics that you need to dial into, as I noted though-out the review with X-Plane 12 and Concorde, they are both not completely refined yet, separated or together, and in areas it shows here. I don't have a lot of negatives here, but the lighting would be better in being more refined, internal cabin and external landing and taxi lights... but if for wanting one new feature... it would be a "Save" feature a'la ToLiSS, it is pretty draining, even frustrating in resetting everything from scratch, each time to fly or for training, practise. there are 12 knobs alone for the lighting, then ages to set the aircraft up ready for flight, do that 10 or 12 times a day, and it gets very frustrating and even boring... Situation and Replays freeze (badly) as well, only the flown Replay works, but you don't get all of the instruments back... small things but very important if you want to get the best experience out of the simulation. X-Plane 12 promises amazing Simulation, Concorde is also an amazing aircraft alone... together they are incredible, and to a point a pointer to the future of X-Plane 12 Simulation, all together they are an experience you won't forget. _________________ Yes! the Concorde FXP version 3 X-Plane 12 by Colimata is AVAILABLE from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Concorde FXP version 3 X-Plane 12 Price is US$54.95 (Currently on sale from US$49.95 or 5% OFF) Requirements X-Plane 12 (not XP11 compatible) Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 600 MB Current version: (January 4th 2023) (If you own Concorde v1 or v2, this version will automatically discounted, no coupons required) Designed by Colimata Support forum for the Concorde FXP Additional Liveries for the Concorde ___________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 9th January 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 - X-Plane v12.01b (note this review was done in the beta revision period) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGLL - Airport London-Heathrow by TaiModels (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$28.00 - KJFK - New York Airports XP v2 Volume 1 by Drzewiecki (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.00
  4. Aircraft Review : Concorde FXP v2 by Colimata In the narrative of aviation history, there have been aircraft that have been uniquely iconic. But a few have even gone higher in this aspect. The 1960's was all about races, the most famous was the "Space Race" between the United States and Russia. But there was another aviation "race" in the 60's that was just as frantic and daring. This race was in the commercial airliner world between capacity and speed, again the United States, but this time against Europe. The two aircraft at the forefront of this race was the Boeing 747 (Jumbo Jet) and The Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde... capacity vs speed. History tells us now that capacity won, cheap tickets and space on aircraft far bettered shorter flight times. But in the 60's the line between them was lineball with the expectations that "Supersonic" transport was the future of aviation, and what if that world had come to pass. 3½ hours over the Atlantic, and 8 hour's approx to reach Singapore and 17 hours to Australia (including refueling) would today be even possible, but at point in the past it was actually quite possible and even accomplished by an aircraft carrying commercial passengers. Supersonic speeds had however one major flaw, the sound barrier or the shock wave that is created when an aircraft goes supersonic. This highly restricted operations to being only over water, and being regulated to only subsonic speeds over the land. In the race to go supersonic it was again a race between two countries, this time with Russia that flew the first supersonic aircraft in the Tupolev Tu-144 that first went supersonic on 5th June 1969. But the real and only commercial supersonic jet aircraft was the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde, slightly late in every aspect, but the aircraft delivered in time the only real commercial supersonic services, and for a brief few decades the world had the option of using supersonic transport in a regular transportation capacity. Both American SST projects in the Boeing 2707 and the Lockheed L-2000 never got past their concept stages. For the definition of unique, even iconic then the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde aircraft was different in every way. Foremost besides it's incredible speed, it flew far higher than any other commercial aircraft to around 60,000ft, used a delta wing configuration, and was one of the few aircraft to use afterburners in commercial service. Origins of the Concorde The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the supersonic transport (SST) concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955. Soon after, Johanna Weber and Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. The team, including Eric Maskell whose report "Flow Separation in Three Dimensions" contributed to an understanding of the physical nature of separated flow, worked with the fact that delta wings can produce strong vortices on their upper surfaces at high angles of attack. This vortex will lower the air pressure and cause lift to be greatly increased. Küchemann and others at the RAE continued their work on the slender delta throughout this period, considering three basic shapes; the classic straight-edge delta, the "gothic delta" that was rounded outward to appear like a gothic arch, and the "ogival wing" that was compound-rounded into the shape of an ogee. Each of these planforms had its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of aerodynamics. As they worked with these shapes, a practical concern grew to become so important that it forced selection of one of these designs. By this time similar political and economic concerns in France had led to their own SST plans. In the late 1950s the government requested designs from both the government-owned Sud Aviation and Nord Aviation, as well as Dassault. All three returned designs based on Küchemann and Weber's slender delta; Nord suggested a ramjet powered design flying at Mach 3, the other two were jet powered Mach 2 designs that were similar to each other. Of the three, the Sud Aviation Super-Caravelle won the design contest with a medium-range design deliberately sized to avoid competition with transatlantic US designs they assumed that were already on the drawing board. As soon as the design was complete, in April 1960, Pierre Satre, the company's technical director, was sent to Bristol to discuss a partnership. Bristol was surprised to find that the Sud team had designed a similar aircraft after considering the SST problem and coming to the very same conclusions as the Bristol and STAC teams in terms of economics. Unsurprisingly, the two teams found much to agree on. The only disagreements were over the size and range. The UK team was still focused on a 150-passenger design serving transatlantic routes, while the French were deliberately avoiding these. However, this proved not to be the barrier it might seem; common components could be used in both designs, with the shorter range version using a clipped fuselage and four engines, the longer one with a stretched fuselage and six engines, leaving only the wing to be extensively re-designed. The teams continued to meet through 1961, and by this time it was clear that the two aircraft would be considerably more similar in spite of different range and seating arrangements. A single design emerged that differed mainly in fuel load. The more powerful Bristol Siddeley Olympus engines being developed for the TSR-2, allowed either design to be powered by only four engines and give better economics. Construction of two prototypes began in February 1965: 001, built by Aérospatiale at Toulouse, and 002, by BAC at Filton, Bristol. Concorde 001 made its first test flight from Toulouse on 2 March 1969, piloted by André Turcat, and first went supersonic on 1 October. The first UK-built Concorde flew from Filton to RAF Fairford on 9 April 1969, piloted by Brian Trubshaw. Both prototypes were presented together to the public for the first time on 7–8 June 1969 at the Paris Air Show. Concorde in X-Plane Obviously there have been a few Concordes created for X-Plane, but this is a very hard aircraft to model realistically, not only in the physical, but certainly in the complex performance aspects. The best was Concorde by Dr Gary Hunter now a donated freeware aircraft and worth a tryout in preparation for something more serious. So here is a semi-study Concorde FXP from Colimata. Now your thinking, this is not a new release for a review, and you are right there. In fact the original release was back in June 2019. This release was a “Early Access” Concorde in honour of the legendary aircraft’s 50th anniversary of its first flight. Obviously I looked at this early release, and found it to be a very under developed aircraft, mostly in the still blank engineers workstation, which is the complex heart of the aircraft. It flew but barely and the condition was not worthy of an in-depth review. I followed the development which was slow, but it was with the October 20th 2021 upgrade release to Version 2 that the aircraft was finally in a fully sorted condition and was worthy of a review, then it was just finding the time to do a review of a very complex airliner. I have never flown on Concorde but I have seen three of them, inside on two Concorde's, G-BSST Concorde 002 at Duxford, UK which was a prototype test aircraft, G-AXDN Concorde 101 at IWM Duxford which was a Pre-Production aircraft and the first with a (commercial) different wing plan form, more fuel capacity, different engine design standard, different air intake systems and the new nose and glass visor design, and in testing it went higher and faster than any other Concorde (This is not to be confused with the fastest crossing from New York to London by BA Concorde G-BOAD, 7th Feb 1996 at 2h 52m and 59s). My third Concorde I saw, which I sadly didn't board was G-BOAC, affectionately known as Alpha Charlie, in Manchester. I did however see Concordes in action at Heathrow a few times, the memory was on how small it seemed compared to all the larger twin-aisle B747's, Tristar's, and DC10's, surrounding it, but up close the aircraft seems very large for something that could go supersonic and 60,000ft up in the air. Like all the remaining Space Shuttles, all Concorde's are now in various museums set around the world, the full list is here. The only missing aircraft are of course F-BTSC which was destroyed in air crash outside Paris, France, 5th July 2000 and F-BVFD that was broken up for parts in 1982 and scrapped in 1994. Colimata Concorde FXP v2 This is v2 of the Colimata Concorde, and in the upgrade the modeling got a significant amount of attention and far more detail from the patchy original aircraft. Overall Concorde is easy to model, as the shape is quite sublime. But to make it authentic, then the detail has to be perfect or the aircraft will look only average to the eye. Colimata is very aware of framerate (more on this aspect later). So the choices was an extreme polygon mesh (there are a lot of curves on Concorde), or go for a happy medium, of which is very evident here. So the modeling is very good, but not really, really outstanding. From that needlepoint nose, the shape is really good for the nose section, the exciter vane system is well proportioned, as are all the correct side pitot tubes (there is a singular static pitot tube in the fine nose probe). Static vent panels are well done, but we have a problem with the doors. There are no hard edges on the shape of the doors, and the handle is a just a basic graphic, both of which are not very authentic. All the construction panels are well highlighted, as is the window line strengthening panels, a nice touch are the fuselage ripples caused by the extreme temperatures and drag. They are not noticeable on the either of the prototype aircraft, but certainly are on the in service machines. Notable is that Concorde has to be all white in colour, again to keep it cool at high Mach speeds, only one aircraft in the Pepsi advert was coloured dark blue, was in being the only darker aircraft, and that aircraft had to fly at a lower Mach speed of below 2.02 (max is Mach 2.04), and for no more than 20 minutes at the most, but no restrictions were placed on speeds below M1.70. The wings however still had to be white or again heat was a factor. It was at $500 million US dollars still the most expensive advertising campaign ever. Droop Nose Concorde was not the only aircraft to use a droop nose to allow a high AoA (Angle of Attack) for landing, as that was the Fairey Delta 2, a British experimental high-speed aircraft which was the first to use the idea. it has various names, Droop Nose, Drooped nose and even Droop Snoot. But Concorde was the most famous with the concept. The droop nose has four positions. Up-Supersonic Flight, Visor Down-Subsonic Cruise, Visor 5º-Takeoff and Subsonic Cruise, 12.5º Landing and Taxiing (notable was the prototype aircraft had a visor inclination of 17.5º, hence the droopy, droopy nose). Both the nose and visor mechanism are hydraulically controlled from the aircraft’s number 3 green hydraulic system. The visor detail is very good, but not in that highly authentic way, it is a bit too clean and modeled for me, but the smooth operation is very, very good. Glass is nicely tinted and reflective, but again nothing extremely special. I always liked the prototypes full metal visor with just the two small glazed panels on each topside, it looked more futuristic, but in testing of the aircraft couldn't be flown across the Atlantic as the American's had banned the none forward vision concept. The “ogival” wing form used on Concorde was an attempt to modify the optimum delta for greater efficiency at low speeds, particularly during take-off and landings. There was probably more attention given to the design and construction of Concorde’s wing, than any other area of the aircraft. Subsonic aircraft wings may have more than 50 moveable devices, which may include complex flaps, leading edge slats for additional lift at slow speeds, and the required items for control and trim. Concorde’s “slender ogival delta” wing has none of these and has only 6 “elevons” at the rear of the wing, which replace the traditional elevators and ailerons for control of pitch and roll. It was important to get this wing aspect and shape correct and that is not easy to do in a 3d modeling context, but Colimata has done a fine job here. The wing was designed and then built in France, and can be broken down into nine distinct sections plus a number of smaller parts. five sections are lateral slices comprising wing/fuselage/wing and together they form the structural heart of Concorde. In general, the wing is a multi-spar torsion box built up from many comparatively small spar, rib and skin sections and then bolted together. The outer wings are torsion boxes of machined spars, ribs and panels. Each is attached to the centre sections by 340 high tensile steel bolts of various diameters. All swept wings create vortices (swirls of air) at their wing tips. The delta wing, however, as its angle of attack increases (at slower speeds), creates larger, slower moving vortices which creep forward along the leading edge, eventually enveloping the whole upper surface of the wing, thus further increasing the suction and therefore the lift. So vortex lift is fundamental to Concorde’s ability to fly slowly. It also produced one of the characteristic qualities of the feel of Concorde to a passenger. Olympus 593 Mk 610 engine The Concorde Olympus 593 Mk 610 engine, remains to this day the most efficient jet engine in the world at Mach 2, where thermal efficiency in concerned. But at lower speeds the engines consumes fuel at a massive rate. notably was that high bypass turbofan engines such as those which are used on the Boeing 747 could not be used. There was three Olympus versions 593B (Original design), 593-22R with (Prototype Design), and the 593-610-14-28 – which was the final version fitted to production Concorde's. Thrust was 32,000 lbf (142 kN) dry / 38,050 lbf (169 kN) reheat. The Olympus 593 has been nicely reproduced here. It looks a bit bland looking down the twin-barrel inlet tunnel with no wear or tear detail or in service streaks (really crucial here), but the "Ramping" doors are well done (more on these doors later). Rear nacelles are also very good, and Concorde uses a simple clamshell reverser door mechanism... Internal exhaust detail with reheat rings are another novel military tool and rare on a commercial aircraft. Afterburners are simply a method of making use of the hot exhaust gases once they have passed through the turbines. Fuel is spayed into a ring in the exhaust pipe and burned to increase thrust when it is required, such as on take-off and during acceleration through Mach 1. Here the reheat rings and sprayers are well done and are really nicely detailed by Colimata. A bonus feature here also is that you can open the pod doors to see the actual Olympus 593 installation... .... and you also have a spare engine set in a cradle for a replacement if required. The detail of the 593 engine is excellent. Rear fuselage has a over-rotate set of wheels called a "Bumper" wheel, required here as the Concorde's very high AoA in created a rear scrape inevitable. The detailed wheels are well done, as is the long pointy tail and lighting assembly. In service the twin-separated rudder created the most problems... 12th April 1989: A Concorde of British registration, G-BOAF, on a chartered flight from Christchurch, New Zealand, to Sydney, had a structural failure in-flight at supersonic speed, and lost the top section of the rudder. It happened again 21st March 1992 with a Concorde of British registration, G-BOAB, on a scheduled flight from London to New YorK in losing the same top section of the rudder. Consistent tyre blowouts (57) were another in service problematic issue and has also been related to the Air France Flight 4590 accident. Colimata has done again a fine job on the tail including the different actuating cylinders for each rudder section, and the lower tail bracing for strength which is really well modeled for detail accuracy. Gear Assemblies Concorde has in reality a simple gear arrangement of four-wheel bogies rear and a two-wheel bogie nosewheel. When sitting in the cockpit you are 19ft above the ground, and the front gear is also positioned 40ft rear of the nose, which has to be thought of in many aspects of manoeuvring around the taxiways and entering the gate. The bar around the wheels is simply a water deflector, to stop ingestion into the engines with Concorde's high takeoff speeds, there is the same deflector on the rear bogies. Strut and assembly is very good here, but there is not a lot of dirt and grime here (you could say Concorde was a bit of a princess concerning dirt), but otherwise the detailing is very good with everything accountable, wheel-well internal detail is also good. The main landing gear was designed by Messier-Dowty and has to shorten during the retraction process, as it would otherwise not be able to fit into the bays in the wing roots after take-off. During the development phase of Concorde’s life, the main landing gear location was a real headache. At the only logical position, the legs would have collided as when they were retracted upwards and inwards as they were basically too long. So they were shortened, so whenever the gear was down and locked they were at their full length, but during the retraction process, a mechanical linkage gradually and completely pulled the oleo inside the barrel, a simple, yet effective and trouble-free solution. Again the main bogie detail very good, in reality is a simple assembly, but again with no wear or tear or a drop of smearing oil. I really like the wheel hubs and the "Air-X" branded tyres which are nicely highlighted. There are under fuselage service and baggage (Cargo) hatches. Concorde didn't use containers or quick turnaround aspects in it's design, as everything had to loaded on to the aircraft manually (or slowly). There are two cargo hatches under the belly and a rear door far right rear for cargo. Other features include Fuel Hatch and a Service Hatch. ________________ Reviewing and flying Concorde can create a bit of anxiety, even if you have already a lot of X-Plane simulator experience. Not only is there the complexity of an analog era aircraft, but this aircraft has very, very unique specifications to fly at twice the speed of sound and at 60,000ft in the air. Thankfully Colimata has thought ahead of those situations and he covers the areas in two different ways. First is that the manual or manuals are extremely well done and have a lot of depth in understanding, using and flying this unique aircraft. There isn't a full tutorial though, which I think is essential here. Video tutorials abound but not all are of decent depth and quality. Second aspect is the Menu's are very clever in not only giving you access to the aircraft is servicing and setting up, but come with some clever "Cheat" short cuts to overcome the more complex areas of starting the aircraft and flying it, mostly in the "Virtual Engineer" capacity. In that aspect we will cover these important menu items next. Menu There are three ways to access the menus. First is in the X-Plane menu Banner "CONCORDE FXP', Second is an overlay easy access lower left TAB Panel, and finally a few "HotSpots" in the cockpit can activate the menus. Basic all three menus cover the same areas, in GUI (Graphical User Interface), Checklist, Views and Engineer (Short Cuts). The dropdown menu covers; View(s), GUI (with Checklist), MAP (X-Plane default MAP), Engineer (Short Cuts), More (Reload Plugin), and ACF version/Plugin Version. GUI We will stay with the main GUI as it covers everything. The Menu can also be scaled into various sizes, which is very handy for screen clutter. The GUI Menu has Seven Tabs; SETTINGS, FLIGHT PREPARATION, AIRCRAFT, NAVIGATION, FLIGHT ENGINEER, CUSTOM CONTENT and CHECKLISTS. SETTINGS GUI-SETTINGS : Covers the user settings on the aircraft and is separated into four areas; SOUND VOLUME, RESOURCE SAVING, PRO FEATURES, USER INTERFACE and MORE. SOUND VOLUME - Allows you to adjust the Sound Volume for - Cockpit Fan, Cockpit Engine Sounds, CoPilot Volume, Alerts, Outside Engine Sounds and Trim Bell volume. all between 0-100% RESOURCE SAVING - There are various ways with the Colimata Concorde to adjust the aircraft' "Frameweight" on you computer to gain more frames. Here on the menu you can hide heavy frame rate using areas by hiding them, they include; Show/Hide Passenger Cabin, Show/Hide Engineering Panel, Show/Hide Engine Details, Load Utility Vehicles and Keep Landing Gear. Another option is to use 2K textures, instead of the provided 4K textures, and also provided are "Alternative .acf files" that cover; Cockpit Shadows, No Cabin, No Cabin/No Gear, X-max framerate. The "Original .acf file' is also provided as a back up. Personally I didn't have many framerate problems to use these resources. PRO FEATURES - When used to flying Concorde you can then active three additional features, these are; Dynamic Fuel Trim, Mach 2.2+ and Temperature Calc (Calculations) on the skin. USER INTERFACE - Show/Hides/Toggles the lower left corner GUI Tab MORE - Switches on the night lighting (cabin) automatically, Enables VR Controls and Use Phllipp's (Ringler) payware CIVA FLIGHT PREPARATION Flight Preparation has four tabs for; WAYPOINT ENTRY, PAYLOAD MANAGER, FUEL MANAGER and FLIGHTPLAN. WAYPOINT ENTRY - Allows you to program the "INS Navigation" (Inertial Navigation System). Concorde was built before modern FMS/FMC systems, so the navigation computers were pretty basic, here it is modeled on the CIVA or "Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System". And to program the system you have to insert the flightplan's waypoints (Coordinates). You can do this via the "Waypoint Entry" page... .... of course you can cheat by using the "Load" tab and load in an X-Plane .fms route flightplan, click "Commit" to activate. Optional also in the cockpit is a tablet with the X-Plane G1000 interface, here again you can create and load in .fms flightplans into your INS Navigation computer. PAYLOAD MANAGER - Here you can load the Concorde with Passengers and Cargo. Passengers are loaded in groups of 12, Cargo in increments of 50kg, shown is the aircraft's GW (Gross Weight) and all current weights on the aircraft, and the "Range" with the current load. When done you can "Apply" the payload to the aircraft. FUEL MANAGER - Here you can load or adjust your flight fuel. Every flight segment has it's own fuel usage, and you can adjust your fuel segments (or fuel loads) by pressing -/+ to fit your flight profile. This of course also adjusts the way the fuel is loaded onto the aircraft, and that is shown in the centre spectrum "Fuel Usage". FLIGHTPLAN - Gives you an overview of you route including times and weights, second page shows you your required VSpeeds. AIRCRAFT Four options allow you to see the current situation of the Aircraft; STATUS, FUEL, ENGINES and CENTRE OF GRAVITY (CofG). The fifth option here is DOORS & GROUND, for static elements and servicing. Basically they all work together to show you your current situation on Concorde. Important is that Concorde has no set centre of gravity, but fuel is pumped forwards and rearwards for a certain flight segment, in say TakeOff, Climbing, Supersonic cruise and Landing. The balance is critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. Status is basically your trim settings with your VSpeeds (Airspeeds) noted. Fuel is clever, because here Colimata is showing you in real-time your fuel situation and which tanks are pumping where. Notable is that the main Trim tanks (green) are forwards and aft, with the central wing as your Main tanks (Blue), with the Feeder (Red) tanks between the two. Engines show you your current engine performance and the airflow "Ramp" status, and if the Reheat or Reverser doors are in operation. The fourth Centre of Gravity shows you your current CofG balance (Important for TakeOff and Supersonic cruise) and again Trim settings are noted. These panels takeaway one of the biggest issues with flying Concorde in seeing that the aircraft is correctly fueled and balanced, it is clever and well detailed for Colimata to do this for new fliers of the aircraft. DOORS & GROUND - Allows you to open the doors and put service vehicles around the aircraft. Concorde has six main doors and one rear right cargo door in the fuselage. The aircraft comes with a lot of service vehicles, 2 X Catering, 2 x Fuel and 2 x Baggage loaders and one very tall set of red carpet stairs. The vehicle are not very over quality in detail and only "Concorde" in branding and basically all feel a bit bland considering the quality of the aircraft. There is only one JARDesign GHD, but because of Concorde's very unusual height and shape, the GHD is very restricted in use. Odd is there is no chocks or pitot covers, which would have been nice here, and I do like the rear left catering truck that sits nicely over the delta wing. The exposed engines/spare engine, cargo doors and "Side Panel" details are noted above but activated here. Other options include Air Conditioning trolley, GPU (Ground Power Unit), Service Van, and Fridge vehicle. NAVIGATION Under the "Navigation" tab are four options, basically three selections are repeat pages, in; WAYPOINT LIST, FLIGHTPLAN and (X-Plane default) MAP. The last is CIVA or "Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System". Unlike what I see in the cockpit, this facia of CIVA is blank?, but the use is for direct coordinates (waypoint) flightplan building. There is a lot of information in the Manuals on how to programme and use the CIVA system. In this review we don't focus too much on CIVA, as a separate turorial/review in the aircraft is planned later. FLIGHT ENGINEER The "Flight Engineer" panel is used as a virtual Flight Engineer. Here you can do a "Systems Startup", "Engine Start", "Engines Shutdown" and "Systems Shutdown" all by pressing each button, the status is shown on the opposite panel. Secondly there are the options to set the "Fuel Trim" in four selections; "Trim for Takeoff", Trim for Flight", "Trim for Landing" and "Trim for Ground", this is the "Short Cut" way to flying Concorde, but it helps were it counts, certainly for when you are learning the aircraft. These same commands are also available from the banner dropdown menu, under the "ENGINEER" tab for quicker ease of use. CUSTOM CONTENT Here you can add in images to use during your flight. There are eight segments to add in a .PNG file to show in the GUI. The files can be stored in the; Aircraft/Concorde_FXP/con_data/custom folder. Here I have added in a Heathrow ground chart. CHECKLISTS Final bottom tab is for "Checklists", you can access the checklists also by the banner menu GUI/Checklists and the lower right screen tab. The checklist feature is very good, you can have the full screen detail, or just the side-panel checklist. The checklists are grouped into four columns; GROUND, FLIGHT, LAND, and CUSTOM. And all lists are highly detailed but can't be checked off. The eight "Custom" checklists are excellent to add in your own notes. The system is the same as for the Custom Content, with almost the same address folders; Aircraft/Concorde_FXP/con_data/checklists. Notable is that it easy from these .PNG images in printing them out for table or binder use. Internal It is a long way up into Concorde, only certain custom airbidges could allow you to board from the terminal, but then again everything about a Concorde service was customised. At least they had put red carpet down as you got your breath after the long 19ft stair climb. The door entrance is stoop down small as well (1.67 m (5 ft 53/4 in) Width 0.76 m (2 ft 6 in), but the mood changes inside to the more sombre gray and dark blue of British Airways Premium First Gold Class. There are no separate classes on Concorde, it is all just First Expensive Class. All seating is leather two by two rows. It is small inside here, and for first class seating it was quite tight with a 16in-wide aisle, 17in-wide seats, 37/38in seat pitch, but then again you didn't have to sit there for very long. Seating modeling is good, but not over detailed, the carpet I really don't like, it is only a basic texture, and gives you at all no feeling of luxury or quality. Concorde maybe tight in height and width, but it is expansive in length from the flight deck door to rear pressure bulkhead, incl galley and toilets is 39.32 m (129 ft 0 in), with the two long cabins separated by a central toilet area... ... both galleys are really basic, or simply unfinished, the rich hoi polloi would be horrified, they demand the service by unquestionably high standards, but not in here, well not yet, unless Colimata does a bit more refinement, which overall the cabin needs as even the passenger service panels are just blocks of modeling.. Concorde cabins were famous for two items... passport-size window-panes at only 4.5in across, and the "Mach" meter, or bulkhead displays showing "Mach", "Feet" (Altitude), "Temp" (Outside) and MPH (Speed). The minute widows are badly (or cheaply) modeled up close, Concorde and your view out deserves better. Cockpit The cabin though is not the important bit, that area is through the tight passage way, past the huge avionic cabinets... and into the glorified famous space of that is Concorde's cockpit... I have been in here and god this is really good and brings back all the memories by the blaster. The cockpit is a four person crew, Captain, First Officer, Flight Engineer and Observer, and somehow they all fit in this military sized area the size of an Apollo capsule. TIGHT, it is small beyond belief and even a tight space to turn around in, I know I tried to do so slightly bent over by the low forward roof. Credit to Colimata in the detail in here, it is simply phenomenal... now it is actually finished. The complex and huge engineer's panel took another year to do, but it was a worthy wait for the immense detail presented here. First a very nice toy... here you can manoeuvre both pilot seats forwards and rearwards and up and down, super nice! The First Officer's chair however though is restricted by the Engineers bulkhead so it doesn't go as far backwards as the Captain's, odd is that the Captain's armrest is animated upwards, but the F.Os armrests are not animated, I hope Colimata fixes that? The chair design and detailing is exceptional, with an excellent grey check material, sublime seat belts over the tight headrest is again perfection... Concorde again is so different from most commercial aircraft and it feels more prestige or sporty in style. Instrument panel is everything you dreamed of as a child (or even as a grown up) in wanting your own Concorde. It is sensational in absolute detail. We will look at in more detail when powered up, but I am particularly attracted to the high glass reflections on the instruments, it gives them depth and realism. Obviously a lot of users would hate these heavy reflections, but I am not one of them. The huge Flight Engineer's is a work of art, but also gives you the warning that this is not an easy aircraft to operate fully in manual mode... it is complicated and requires study to understand the fifty years or so analog systems, Concorde in this aspect is not an easy aircraft to fly. Roof forward is the OverHead Panel (OHP) which is quite complex considering there is a full engineers panel behind you, notable are iconic "Sound-Proofing" blankets on the roof that look perfectly authentic. Notable is that both the forward cockpit windows open, and great to use in holding out outside the British Flag on Arrival. Power up and the cockpit and it's systems come alive. There is a trick for realistic looking cockpits, don't put the lighting up to 100%. Keep it at around 75% and it looks more like the real thing it looks here. There are fourteen (yes 14) knobs to set the instrument lighting. The military feel is pronounced on the instruments, if Concorde was a military supersonic bomber I doubt you would see the difference, missing of course is that huge advance radar that was positioned middle right on the early prototypes. Flying instruments are grouped centre and right around the standard ADI (Artificial Horizon) and HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator), but then there is the different speed AIRSPEED and MACH instruments, the VSI (Vertical Speed Indicator), radar altimeter and far left AoA (angle of Attack) meter and lower middle right the CG % meter. In most cases these instruments have basic functions, but here in Concorde they are other instruments that are critical for Supersonic flight and aircraft balance. Overall if you are used to flying heavy jets, you should be able to decipher most if all of the working navigation and flight instruments here. You are also surprised there are no really different engine output dials either, except one. Top to bottom you have N2, N1, FF (Fuel Flow), EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and the far lower one however is the NOZ or Primary Nozzle Indicator, which monitors the overall engine performance. Pilot's side you have the backup instruments and the VSI/TCAS display, the Co-Pilot's side however is at the top the Visor selector (Up-V15/0º-5º-DOWN), the right AoA indicator, Landing Gear Indicator and the ICOVOL, or the Rudder (x2) and Elevon (x6) surface position indicator. Remember there are no flaps (or flap position) on Concorde, but these dials show you your surfaces position. Engineers Panel The complex heart of Concorde is the "Engineers Panel". Although engineers are now a forgotten species, here on Concorde they are always going to be an important part of the crew, and could have Concorde's systems be combined to an automated two-person operation? Maybe, but here the third person is invaluable in conditioning the aircraft in flight. The massive Engineers Panel is complex, but as in every context can be broken down into separate areas of operation, here is the same, but it is important to understand the individual switch situations in action... an area too large to be covered here, but worth learning and studying through not only the extensive manual provided by ColImata, but the lot of video's also available. Notable is that the space between the right side of the upper engineer's panel and the avionics cabinet is the gap used to show how the aircraft changes (lengthens) with the extreme heat in flight) Central is the important Fuel and Fuel Transfer selections, Bleeds and Temperatures are top, left are pressures, and right is the hydraulics and Electrical Panels. Lower section is the same Fuel, Fuel Transfer and Fuel Bleeds centre, Air Intakes/Ramps, Cabin Pressure, Warnings are left, right are the Electrical and Batteries. Left lower panel is the Engineer's Panel Lighting and Engine Start... lower right panel is the AIDA, Test Panel, Compass, Fire/Smoke and Oxygen Panel. The Flight Engineer's work shelf is also animated, so you can pull it out or hide it... a nice touch. The pedestal layout is really quite the same as normal as on a large jet aircraft, Upper is the FMS, here the CIVA, Radios, then the left Trim Wheels (Yaw/Roll and Pitch Trim), Four-Throttles with Reverser levers, right are the Park Brake with wiper switches, but no Flap lever. The only difference is the four switches (marked) behind the Throttles called "Reheat" or the afterburner switches, lower pedestal COMM and Weather Radar and Transponder panels and a third CIVA for the Engineer. Overhead Panel is quite complex, but again can be broken down into basics. Forward are the extensive annunciator warnings, Ice/De-Ice and external Lighting switchgear. Above are the Elevon and Rudder Power switches with Electric Trim and Stabiliser power. Four Fire Handles, (left) Servo Power, (right) Engine and Wing/Intake Anti-Icing. Upper middle panel is the internal instrument lighting and Seatbelt/No Smoking signs (left), Top left are more cabin and external lighting switchgear. Top right are the Engine Sensors and Air Data Systems panels. Dead centre of the Overhead Panel are some very important engine switches to be aware of in the HP Valves, which are basically your fuel cutoff valves, Engine Rating modes are your After-Burner and Normal Flight switches and then above are the Auto Ignition switches, finally top are the Throttle Master (Auto/Throttle) power switches. As noted,the study and awareness of all the switchgear here is very important to your flight. Flying Concorde First is the situation is that you can't just park Concorde on a normal stand or bay... as it just won't fit with that long needle nose. So only a selection of gates can be used to park your princess. There are two navigation options in Colimata's Concorde, the CIVA or "Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System", which is quite simple in operation in that you input a set of coordinates, and when the aircraft reaches that coordinate you just select the next set, then the aircraft will simply divert and home in on these new set of coordinates. There are nine sets of coordinates that can be stored in CIVA, so after you use them, then the next set of nine coordinates have to be then loaded in until you reach your destination. There are no Departure/Arrival runways or SID/STARS in the flightplan, so those segments are flown manually. The CIVA approach is the authentic way to fly Concorde but requires study as the CIVA is it is quite complicated to program and use... and actually requires a separate review/tutorial to cover all the aspects of this system. Recommended is the optional CIVA Navigation System by Philipp Ringler, which can be used in several aircraft, Concorde of course but also the noted Felis B742 and FlyJSim's Boeing 727. Once you are highly familiar with Concorde's systems then you can do a full cold start, but the procedures are as noted complex. My way of learning was to printout the in-depth checklists and add on personal notes until I got the procedures down pat, and that is the way I recommend you to learn Concorde, and a few videos thrown in. Here we are going to do the "Cheat Sheet", way as it is an introduction to the aircraft, and it shows you Colimata's features to get you airborne in Concorde. At the time of it's introduction Concorde, British Airways created a dedicated check-in area at London Heathrow Terminal 3, but was then moved to an exclusive "Concorde Lounge" at Terminal 4, Gates 417, 419, 420 and mostly at gate 421. First you need to put power into the aircraft, so you activate the Menu/Doors & Ground... GPU, AirCond and open the forward (left) door and stairs. Then you press Menu Flight Engineer page and select "Systems Startup" which basically sends the aircraft bonkers as it set's up the Navigation gyros and starts up the main systems, it is fun to watch as everything starts twirling around like mad in front of your eyes! Flight planning requires you fly to the south of the Irish Coastline to get the maximum supersonic flying, if you cut over to the northern tracks you lose the subsonic areas over Ireland. In fact you drop out of the lower Oceanic Tracks when you reach the New York FIR (Flight Information Service) or high ATC areas. Mine was done via SimBrief, although their is a Concorde airframe performance (Type), it is not perfect, as Concorde flies well outside the program's abilities. But it can be used as a guide and in creating the route. Setting up the aircraft has a few variables. One you don't have a on-board GPU, so you have use the ground power and Air-Conditioning on the stand. Second is that you can only load passengers in numbers of 12 + or -, which can actually be restricting, as is the freight weight of 50 kg + or -, for such a finely tuned aircraft it makes you accept an around about loading factor, than the actual one you want. As is the critical fuel loading. Here it is set in a complicated loading pattern of the use during the flight... In reality it is the Supersonic cruise section that is important, unless you are doing a long Sub-Sonic flight section. It is also set in Ton's in fuel, and SimBrief again does not do this volume. Basically you want to land 19 tons under the landing weight, so the range has to be guessed perfectly. Pressing the little icons under each fuel section then switches on the "Winds" conversion, overall I am taking off with a fuel load of 88.6T, more than I need but helpful if I get heavy winds, don't keep to my set route course or use my afterburners for extended periods. Waypoint Entry means loading in your selected (created) flightplan, then pressing "COMMIT" to load it into the system... This loads in the full flightplan and the shortcut, If using the CIVA then the first 9 waypoints coordinates are loaded into the system of the same flightplan to be used, but I am trying to get you flying easier here, so the approach here is not the official one. A secondary way is to use the built in (actually far easier if you are used to the G1000 GPS)... is to load in the flightplan via the G1000, it is in two places, above the throttles and set to your left in the pilot's seat. If you are very new to Concorde, this is certainly the preferred way to set up the navigation and to activate the flightplan quickly. Both CIVA actions are hard to learn if you quickly want to fly the aircraft. If you check your Flightplan tab, the Flightplan and it's parameters are now all loaded ready for flight. As there is as already noted no GPU, so you will need power on the stand, so that means starting an engine before pushback. As a rule you first start the two inner engines 2 & 3, and 1 & 4 are started after pushback. You can of course use the cheat sheet and start (all) the engines directly by pushing the "ENGINE START" tab on the FLIGHT ENGINEER page. But in reality Concorde is not really that hard to start manually, and you are doing it authentically. You start on the OHP, with all "Eng Flight Rating" (Climb) "Auto Ignition" (on), "Auto Throttle" (on) and "Eng Rate Mode" (Takeoff) all set. So select the (top OHP) ANTI-COLN (Collision) and NAV (Navigation) lights and Seatbelt/No SMKG (Smoking) signs to on (yes they did actually smoke in the cabin back in the 70's). All "Bleeds" are set to OPEN and the "Fuel" switch the pumps to ON. If the aircraft has been sitting around for more than 4 hours then the DEBOW switches need to be on, now we are ready to start... START switches are just above the DEBOW switches, and you switch (down) to "START" on first the No. 3 engine, Almost immediately the N2 dial comes alive, and you have to be quick to go up to the (No.3) HP VALVE and open the fuel supply to that engine at the N2 12% mark, the engine settles down around N2 67%, then you do the same start procedure for No 2 Engine. Once you have power and supply, you can then remove the external GPU and Air-Cond units. Startup engine sounds are... really, really good, those Olympus 593 sound gorgeous, they are all very high quality FMOD 3d sounds. And we are ready for pushback. Pushback completed then you can start the other two engines No. 4 then No. 1. There is a built in pushback tool from Colimata in the package, but BetterPushBack still gives you more flexibility of where to place the aircraft. I really love the self-test of the fire-handles as the engine starts, You can test the full warning panel via the LTS TEST button far left panel, again the sequence of the test is excellent and extremely authentic. All bleeds and electrical are then reset for flight, and again the extensive checklist is your best friend. Important is the setting of the PITCH TRIM. It is actually set to zero (or slightly above but no more than 5º), because Concorde is balanced by it's Fuel Trim than actual pitch. Visor is set to 5º down. The prototype visor inclination of 17.5º hid the visor from view and pilots didn't like that as they couldn't see it, so it was changed on the production aircraft to be in view all the time. I'm not a fan of the external lighting... on the taxi lights are extremely bright and the wrong colour (LED bright) for a 70's era aircraft, but this is my thought. You don't need a lot of thrust to get Concorde moving, but a lot of thought is needed into taxiing... the nose gear is a long, long way back from not only you, but the nose of the aircraft as well, so in most cases you really hang out over the inner field on turns. But you soon adapt to the odd overhang steering position. Concorde G-BOAB (208) is still here at Heathrow (27L Threshold), it was never updated after the French crash, but still a reminder of a bygone supersonic age, thankfully in X-Plane the Supersonic dream is still alive in simulation. On to Heathrow's 27L and centreline ready for Take-Off. The visor is again positioned to 0º or "Visor Down-Subsonic Cruise" mode. The trim is set for Take-Off, both the aircraft trim... and also the Fuel Trim, this is set by the Flight Engineer, or on the FLIGHT ENGINEER cheat panel. Exciting is to ARM the four "Reheat" switches or the afterburner switches, then set the T.O Monitor mid-panel to protect the over thrust of the engines, all green is good to GO! Timer running and up the throttles. You don't need to go full throttle as noted as Concorde is very over-powered. Then you get the 3.2.1 NOW callout to note the time to advance the throttles... deep in the exhaust outlets the reheat starts to switch in, and soon you are at a full afterburner power, then this thing moves like a missile across the airfield. You have to be very controlled as the aircraft feels thin and dart like (which Concorde is really), and you have to find the right power zone, enough to takeoff cleanly, but not enough to overspeed the aircraft, and at around 200 kts, you rotate to 10º (don't listen to the "Rotate" call out, it is too early, pull back when you feel the slight lift). Your excited by this, but have to keep your brain focused forward, to stay in front of the aircraft. Gear up... There are nine phases in the Concorde flight profile... TakeOff - Initial Climb - Climb (Subsonic) - Mach Climb - Cruise - Initial Descent - Descent (Subsonic) - Approach - Landing The first three phases are in the Subsonic role and you fly the aircraft pretty well the same as any other commercial heavy aircraft. TakeOff Is as we have just done, around 200 kts and rotate to 10º and climb-out, then when cleared of the field and have some height then go to a 15º climb pitch while adjusting the power. Concorde's rate climb is an astounding 4,000 feet per minute, but you would never do that sort of pitch. Initial Climb Once airborne and settled on your heading, you now disengage the "Reheat" (afterburners) and T/O Monitor and set the ENG RATING MODE (OHP) to FLIGHT. Note your speed has to be under the striped Airspeed marker, between 250 knts or in my case an easy 300 knts. You have to be careful not to drop your speed when the burners are cutoff and keep the initial climb power clean. In my case to 12,000ft Once at 12,000ft, now you can re-trim the fuel balance for flight, by pressing the "TRIM FOR FLIGHT" button on the FLIGHT ENGINEER. Of course you can do this manually, but study would again be required to learn the complex fuel system and pumps to get the correct trim position. You can now activate the extensive Autopilot called "Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS)", and considering the age of the aircraft it is a very comprehensive unit, it is a bit tricky to learn at first, so I recommend a study. But extremely well done here by Colimata. Concorde uses a Duel system with an Autothrottle. Mostly you set (Altitude/Speed), switch on the AT1, then press the corresponding "ACQ" button, when the speed is "Acquired" then the IAS HOLD is activated, but the HDG (Heading) mode also needs to be activated (pull knob) for it to work with the TRK HDG (Track Heading). It looks sensational in operation, and it is very authentic to use. Climb (Subsonic) The next phase is to climb to 28,000ft (FL280). The Rate of Climb is selected on the VSI or "Vertical Speed Indicator" on the left side of the instrument by sliding the left marker up to 2,000 fpm or slightly more, Concorde can easily climb at the rate consistently, and barely break a sweat. Set the Altitude to 28000, and press VERT SPEED and ALT ACQ, and the aircraft will start to climb, no reheat is required. I can now even adjust my speed to 350 knts, again adjust and (IAS) ACQ. Even at this low subsonic speed the aircraft is amazing to fly in, the simulation can give you that authentic reality, X-Plane does the rest. Now up and passing the end of the Welsh coast I track 249º and head slightly southwest. The visor is put into the UP position, Supersonic position. Mach Climb Now it is time to leave the realms of the Subsonic genre. We are now going plus Mach + Your going to fly higher and faster than anyone else, and this requires special clearance from Shanwick Oceanic control (flying west Ireland, flying east means you use Gander Oceanic in Newfoundland) before you can move into the next phase of the flight, once cleared... ... you can then disconnect the AT1 (AutoThrottle) and select again the "Reheat" (Afterburners)... and push up the throttle, altitude is set at 60,000ft or FL600. The trick is to keep the climb speed just below just below the MACH marker dial, don't worry about the Airspeed dial as that is going to go "off the dial" anyway. You do this by controlling the pitch of the aircraft with the V/S (Veritical Speed)... soon your going Supersonic with barely a ripple in the cockpit, and to the first speed marker of the climb at m 1.13. At m.1.13 the engine inlet ramps and spill doors will start to move to restrict the airflow into the engines. this is necessary to slow the air down from Mach 2 to Mach 0.5 (which is about 1,350 mph to about 500 mph) at which point it is a suitable speed at which the lower air pressure is still required to enter the engines but not damage them, clever and needed to fly at twice the speed of sound. Next marker is .m 1.17... here you switch off the reheat burners, you can't use the "reheat" for more than 20 minutes or you will cause engine damage, but if you need the odd push to keep the speed in flight, then the odd "Burn" can be used". Then with the thin air and like the third stage of a rocket, the Olympus engine power alone will continue the climb and still advance the speed. Soon the magic number comes up m. 2.02 "Twice the speed of sound!" and you switch back on the AT1 (AutoThrottle) and select MACH HOLD. There is a deep thrill that you have got here, "twice faster than a bullet". The inlet ramp/spill doors are now in the 50% position, controlling the airflow into the engines. Cruise Basically there is not a lot to do at Supersonic speeds. Just watch your navigation and the aircraft's systems. Even on the MACH HOLD I lost a little speed back to .m 1.94, but as the fuel burn lightened the aircraft it gradually climbed back into the double figures of .M 2.1, and the aircraft's payload weight and wind factors can of course change this aspect. There is a lot of information delivered by Colimata on the status of the aircraft and it's engines in flight via the STATUS and ENGINES tabs... it is all very clever. You are now flying through the X-Plane default map at a colossal speed, and the movement across the pop-out is highly noticeable. The Fuel consumption of the Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 engines at Mach 2 (2,120 km/h; 1,320 mph) and at the altitude of 60,000 feet (18,000 m) was around 4,800 US gallons per hour (18,000 L/h) or .28 MPG... or 6.4166666667 ton register, so for what the engines were producing, they were highly efficient, it was at the low subsonic speeds they were totally inefficient and gulped down fuel. Lighting Overall I will note the overhead lighting I feel is a bit too modern and bright for a 60 year old aircraft, that said the lighting is very, very good. There are a LOT of knobs to select a large range of instrument lighting. From left and right panels, centre panel and OHP and pedestal are all covered by 10 adjustment knobs, on the centre section of the OHP and on each side of the pilot. Even in just the instrument lighting it is very good and comfortable. Side panel lighting can be just to highlight the knobs, or for map/paperwork. Side lighting panels adjust each pilot side lighting and text highlights, and there are two panels with four adjustment knobs. There are several FLOOD/STORM, knob and switch for the front area and a specialist light for the OHP (which is very nice)... Rear engineer's station has not only main overhead lighting (again really well done), but a work shelf light for the adjustable tray.... it is easy to find that right mood/feel that you would like in here... open the cockpit door and the very bright cabin lights up the crew. In the cabin it is BRIGHT, a bit too bright... but a good bright. So some adjustment would be nice to have over this aspect. Externally there is not much to see, choice is if you want the tail light on, but the small passport sized windows stop the bright light bleed from the cabin externally and the aircraft looks very nice scorching through the high altitude. Initial Descent We have passed through Gander Oceanic, then south though Santa Maria Oceanic, and now we are approaching Boston UIR were most of the Oceanic tracks converge on the North American continent side. You are coming down in reality almost twice the height of some subsonic aircraft, at least a third more that even the highest flying heavy. So you will have to calculate your descent far more forward than your usual descent point. In reality you are also first only coming down into the subsonic realm called the "Initial Decent", before commencing the "Decent". Part of my flight is overland by Boston, so it is time to descend at DOVEY. I first set the fuel balance in motion again on the Engineers Panel to TRIM FOR DESCENT, then set the altitude at 32,000ft (FL320), and turn off the AT1 (AutoThrottle), and set your descent rate to around 3,000 fpm. There is a marker left on the throttle of where to bring the initial descent throttles back to, and then hit the VERT-SPEED and ALT ACQ buttons. Your focus is now on the Airspeed, not on the MACH number, and the aim is to stay around 350 knts mark while going down... .... and down you come while losing speed at the same time, once again as you go through .m 1.13 the ramp/spill doors should now move slowly back into their raised positions. Then you are "Subsonic" again and just another heavy aircraft. At the FL320 marker I set the AT1 back on at 300 knts, then at PLYMM waypoint drop the visor to 0º. And cruise over the Massachusetts coast just south of Boston, perfectly legal. Descent Now you fly just like any other heavy aircraft, but Concorde does have a few quirks that makes it slightly different. First is the main descent and here down to 8,000ft, once there the speed is adjusted back to 250 knts, and at this point the unique delta wing starts to have an impact on the way Concorde flies through the air. You get a 10º pitch up, so that requires you dropping the nose visor down to 5º. Through the murk to my right is KJFK or John F. Kennedy International Airport, and I am now down to 4,000ft and in my landing circuit into JFK's 04L (110.90 khz) runway. A right turn and down to 3,000ft. Approach Again you have to adjust your fuel trim, this time for TRIM FOR LANDING via the Flight Engineer panel. There is also a neat feature, in if you press your speed bugs, they will reset to give you your landing speeds (They do also work the same way for takeoff), here it is a 230 knt approach speed which I found perfect... Final turn for KJFK Rwy 04L, and it is gear down and landing lights extended and on, again I'm not a big fan of the over-bright landing lights that spill out more than shine forward. The visor is now also lowered to it's full DOWN 12.5º landing position. As noted the delta wing throws up an interesting approach phase. There are no flaps to allow slower speeds, so the aircraft with it's extremely high vortex lift can easily still stay aloft, but the slow speed, also comes with also an extreme angle of attack, giving the aircraft it's unique "Bird of Prey" look on approach. VOR LOC is used to lock onto the ILS (110.90 mhz IHIQ), but the amount of tight alignment to the beam is very small, you have to very much be on the centre line to get the lock, so you can't turn in and simply expect the VOR LOC to centre the dial for you, it will just not align... ... Ditto is using GLIDE (not LAND or AUTOLAND as currently the autoland capability is not active, but coming from Colimata). If you use the GLIDE function too early the Concorde will then just sink? so you activate to collect the vertical slope just one marker above the centre marker. Speed is crucial to getting it all right, 230 knts is reduced to 200 knts, then finally 180 kts in the beams. Landing You get callouts and watch the radar altimeter right in front of you like a hawk, then at 500 ft you disconnect the AT1 (AutoThrottle) if not flying manually, then allow the throttles back to sink down on to the runway... for "gods sake" don't try to flare, Concorde doesn't flare... ... it is very tricky to get right, in not sinking too fast (to bounce hard) and also not to roar over and use up a lot of runway space, you have to get it precision right. Gradually Concorde will settle... ... and your sitting (even on the runway) very, very high up, and the perspective is quite unreal, time to get the nose down slowly while tracking as straight as you can... ... once all ten wheels are on the hard stuff, then power up the engine Clam reversers to slow the aircraft while using your toe brakes lightly to steer and slow at the same time. Once down to taxi speed you can let your held breath go, as that was one exhilarating landing, but brutal to get absolutely right. Reversers off, and then at a lower speed you then shutdown the centre two engines (2 & 3), as you only need the other two (1 & 4) to taxi. And "Welcome to New York... Land of the Free...". Visor is raised to 5º for taxi, and then you are now just another one aircraft in a queue of commercial aircraft at JFK... but deep down, we know we are not, as we have just flown in a very different and exciting realm.... as we have flown Supersonic, and across the Atlantic in just 3h 47m, simply no one else here can do that! ___________________ There is extensive manuals (three), and loads of video's, and some very good. But this extremely complex aircraft finds itself having holes in the documentation that you have to fill in by practice yourself. A lot of the documentation were for the v1 (early not-completed version), and not for the upgraded v2. On the CIVA there is quite a lot of documentation, but on the X-Plane Flightplan aspect not so much. Last note is that the Colimata aircraft needs a global "Save" feature. The systems and lighting are very hard to reset, certainly time and time again if you want to practise takeoffs and landings, just the lighting alone need 14 adjustments back to normal each time you restart, after a while it get extremely wearing. The X-Plane default "Situation" save only covers a small reset in mostly position and engine setting, the rest you have to redo yourself, thankfully the "Replay" mode works well, so you can see how you did fro the external view. Liveries There are only two provided liveries with the Concorde package... (default) British Airways 1984 "Landor" G-BOAC and Air France F-BVFV. Overall Concorde only had seven liveries I have listed here the available past active liveries; Prototype F-WTSS 1969 British Airways G-BOAA First Service 1976, called either the "Negus" after the designer Dick Negus, or "Red Top" by the red tail. British Airways G-BOAE Revised Livery 1980. The airways was dropped and here it is just "British" and the red top was slightly redesigned. Singapore Airlines G-BOAD/G-N94AD (registration was Braniff in US) with the Red Top livery on the right side. January 1979 to March 1980 Pepsi Promotion F-BDST 1996. Sixteen flights of a ten city tour of Europe and the Middle-East British Airways G-BOAC 1998-2003 - known as the "Union Flag" livery. All these liveries and non-original liveries can be found here; Concorde FXP by Colimata Liveries ___________________ Summary Of all the iconic designs in Aviation, only a few are elevated above being truly iconic, one of those aircraft was the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde built by a collaboration of the French and British governments and industries. Iconic because this aircraft was really the only true commercial supersonic transport aircraft in service, it could fly twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.2 and as high as 60,000ft, a true wonder of aviation's futuristic ambitions. Concorde flew in commercial service from January 1976 to November 2003, not withstanding the fatal Air France Flight 4590 crash 25th July 2000 in Paris. There have been several Concorde aircraft in X-Plane, the best was Concorde by Dr Gary Hunter, but not until now has there been a completely extensive simulation of the aircraft. There was was a “Early Access” Concorde released in honour of the legendary aircraft’s 50th anniversary of its first flight by Colimata, but this was basically a work-in-progress development. With the release of v2 on October 20th, 2021 again by Colimata was the aircraft finally in a fully sorted condition as was reviewed here. Even by normal simulation standards this 1960's style aircraft is a very ambitious and complex project to deliver, accolades have to be given to the developer, and totally on what X-Plane has to experience here in detail and the complex systems of a supersonic airliner. Focus of this Concorde aircraft is on it's exclusive and unique systems, from "Reheat" engines (afterburners), air controlling intake ramps, fuel movement for balance trim and extensive AFCS autopilot. Thankfully Colimata provides an extensive "Short Cut" menu system to allow beginner access to the parameters of such a system, and provides exclusive GUI visual information on the aspects of the aircraft in flight and it's engines as are both Standard and Pro modes. Navigation is provided three ways. An authentic CIVA or "Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System" (addon required), or two direct X-Plane default flight plan intergrations (one the default X-Plane G1000), but notable is that CIVA information is in abundance, but default intergation is not as well supported, and can be tricky to use. Again the focus is on the cockpit and authentic instrumentation and system detail, and extensive it is.... even overwhelming. This is a Concorde of your dreams in this incredible environment. External modeling is very good, even excellent. But in areas a bit too bland and basic like around the engine intakes and poor fuselage door geometry, there is no "In service" wear and tear that could lift the aircraft above to a more modern realism feel (again around the engine intakes and ramps). Cabin is quite basic and especially the porthole windows are very basic in design, but with an eye on framerate, these areas are relegated to their basics. Extensive ground support vehicles are also quite bland and basic, and oddly there are no wheel chocks or static elements. But a lot of the correct authentic detailing is provided and well featured here. The feature list is long and extensive, and the flying capabilities are exceptional, there is so much provided in the package to keep everyone happy for long periods of time, and this review is very long and extensive and that shows you the extensive amount of features you get here, so for absolute value it is top notch. And X-Plane12 support will be provided. A Concorde in any simulator is always highly regarded because it is a very iconic and unique aircraft to fly... an exceptional Concorde like we have here from Colimata is making the dream come true for any hard core simulator user. It is complex and quite difficult to fly, but that is the challenge and the investment in the aircraft. The developer has spent a lot of time and effort to develop this aircraft for simulation, overall that is an remarkable achievement by itself. But to be able to fly at twice the speed of sound and high at 60,000ft, even in simulation terms means we can still continue the era of Supersonic commercial flight. _____________________ Yes! the Concorde FXP version 2 by Colimata is AVAILABLE from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Concorde FXP version 2 Price is US$54.95 (Currently on sale for US$49.95 0r 5% OFF) Features 3D COCKPIT Super detailed 3D cockpit Front panel, center panel, roof panel, side consoles, Engineering 4k cockpit textures including 100’s of texts and markings 2k alternative available to save VRAM Incredible level of interactivity More than 1000 click regions (switches, quick access areas, etc) 700+ custom lights for: Warning lamps Gorgeous, dimmable night lighting (Instruments, panels, consoles, floods, etc.) Exterior lights PRO or STANDARD complexity settings 3D Inertial Navigation System CIVA Route programming directly in the 3D cockpit Track / Groundspeed Heading / Drift angle XTK Track Position Waypoints Distance / Time Wind Waypoint change Interactive Engineering panel Automatic or manual trim fuel pumping EXTERNAL MODEL Accurate 3D model of the aircraft Opening passenger and cargo doors plus service panels Very detailed engines Including moving ramps, intake/spill doors Animated primary and secondary nozzles Engine cowl doors can be opened Mounted engines External 3D model of the Olympus 593 engine Detailed landing gear Many utility vehicles included (tankers, conveyors, catering, etc) Included pushback truck and functionality Full use of PBR Beautiful 4k textures including normal maps 2k version available to save VRAM FLIGHTMODEL PRO or STANDARD setting Refined subsonic and supersonic flight model Vortex Lift simulation Ground effect simulation Trim fuel imbalance force simulation Thrust simulation SOUND FMOD 3D sound Dozens and dozens of sound effects Audio advice from Copilot, Engineer, and Pilot A dozen different sound spaces Adjustable volumes IN ADDITION PRO or STANDARD complexity settings VR compatible Autopilot with 16+ functions Extensive Graphical User Interface with features like: Flight Preparation Aircraft management Virtual flight engineer Custom content GUI is fully scalable Dedicated Checklists window Quick Access GUI (Views, GUI, Checklists) 3D passenger cabin AviTab compatible 2 liveries included Many more free liveries available Paintkit available MANUALS Installation & Setup manual ‘10 essentials’ manual (91 pages) Full manual (403 pages, separate download) Cold & Dark startup guide (67 pages) Navigation tutorial (54 pages) Video tutorials on youtube.com/colimatavideos Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Support for X-Plane 12 will be provided Download Size: 600 MB Current version: 2.01 (November 5th 2021) Installation Download of Concorde FXP is 505 Mb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as an 875 Mb folder. Activation is via the standard authentication Key. There is no Auto-updater by Skunkcrafts for updates, so currently you have to redownload any updates via the X-Plane.OrgStore. Recommended is optional addon CIVA Navigation System by Philipp Ringler US$15.00, which can be used in several aircraft, Concorde of course but also the noted also the Feliss B742 and FlyJSim's Boeing 727. Documents Provided are tons of documents Included with the package. A "QuickStart" Manual that covers the aircraft's layouts and systems, and a "Installation & Setup" and an extensive "Navigation Tutorial" (mostly focused on the addon CIVA). A version changelog and Concorde fms routes are also provided. 01 Installation & Setup.pdf 02 -10-essentials.pdf 03 Concorde FXP FULL MANUAL.txt 04 Cold & Dark startup.pdf 05 Navigation tutorial.pdf 05 routes EGLL_KJFK_fms.zip Support.txt Updates.txt VIDEO tutorials.txt Also more in-depth manuals can be downloaded, including; Concorde FXP Full manual PART 1.pdf Concorde FXP Full manual PART 2.pdf _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 9th July 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 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGLL - Airport London-Heathrow by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 - KJFK - New York Airports XP v2 Volume 1 by Drzewiecki (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.00 (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
  5. Aircraft Update : F/A 18-F "Rhino" Super Hornet 1.2 by Colimata The F/A F18-F "Rhino" has had an upgrade to version 1.2. There are a few bug fixes and overall it is general cleanup to match the X-Plane 10.50 release. Full Changelog is here: New functionality: • Compatibility check to X-Plane 10.50 • Autopilot can be programmed on the ground • Formation lights are dimmable • Engine shutoff procedure • NAV lights can be switched off • Strobe lights can be switched off • Marker volume can be muted via switch • Optimized supersonic model Bugfixes / improvements: Cockpit: • More realistic engine fuel flow on high power levels • Correct TAS values in HSI • Correct GS values in HSI • Correct GPS coordinates in HSI when on southern hemisphere • Correct optimum range values in flight data menu • Standby altitude indicator has digital readout • Generator tie switch closed by default • Rear cockpit has night lighting Exterior: • Optimized textures that need less memory with same quality • Wingfold works correctly also on the armed version • Rotating engine blades • Anticollision tail lights both red • Two new nav lights on the insight of the wing tip launcher Nice to see the wingfold now works correctly, rear pilot area is now lit and the internal turbofans rotate!... Yeah. A full X-PlaneReview Review is available on the F/A 18F here: Aircraft Review : F/A 18-F "Rhino" Super Hornet by Colimata And the updated manuals can be downloaded here FA-18F v1.02 MANUAL.pdf FA-18F v1.02 Quick start manual.pdf _____________________________________________________________________________________ The FA18-F Super Hornet 1.2 by Colimata is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : FA18-F Super Hornet And is priced at only US$24.95 Requirements: WINDOWS ONLY (for now) X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) min 1Gb VRAM Video Card (low X-Plane settings) - recommended 2Gb VRAM Current version: 1.02 (last updated August 17 2016) ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 7th September 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  6. Aircraft Review : F/A 18-F "Rhino" Super Hornet by Colimata The lasting mainstay today of the "Multi-role" fighter aircraft role today is the F/A 18 Hornet that is a fourth generation design that is a more versatile platform than the out and out fifth generational F-22 Raptor. The Super Hornet is a development of the original F/A 18 aircraft 1970's design but in reality is a very different aircraft even if the two designs do look the same. The Super Hornet's unique wing and tail configuration can be traced back to an internal Northrop project P-530, that was conceived in 1965; this had started as a substantial rework of the lightweight F-5E with a larger wing, twin tail fins and a distinctive leading edge root extension (LERX). The Super Hornet carries 33% more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41% and endurance by 50% over the "Legacy" Hornet. The F/A 18 Super Hornet was also a compromise in replacing the (limited range) Grumman F-14 Tomcat and so the aircraft had major modifications for Naval deployment included in its earliest design stages. It is known as a 4.5 generational aircraft because of its unique capabilities and first flew on 29 November 1995 and was approved in February 2000 for naval operations. Colimata F/A 18-F Shortly after the completion of their excellent MiG-29 Fulcrum (review) then Colimata announced that their next project was the F/A 18-F Super Hornet (Rhino) for X-Plane. The design was a major project to undertake as the aircraft is in its many disguises a very complex military machine. To translate that complexity to X-Plane would take an enormous amount of skill and talent, but if anyone can recreate a classic multi-role fighter then Colimata would be your best choice. As with every generational fighter aircraft then they usually have very distinctive features that denotes the era and the design parameters of their roles. The F/A 18 is a textbook account of an aircraft in those roles in the late 20th century, and an iconic design this aircraft is. This design comes to X-Plane in two versions. There is the "Plain" or "Armed" versions or with the aircraft fully loaded or free of weaponry. In most areas here we will cover the armed version as it has the more functionality of using the weapons than the empty slots of the plain version. There is no mistaking the outline of the F/A 18 and you can tell the difference between the original Hornet and the Super Hornet in the engine intake ramps are oval intakes were as the Super has rectangular ramps. Built around the rear located twin General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans, the distinctive twin tails and very fine chord wings are built for several reasons in sheer supersonic speed and manoeuvrability. This aircraft looks gorgeous and is very well developed. The "Super" Hornet F versions are all two-man and the huge canopy opens to uncover the cockpit, the E versions are all single seater aircraft. Close aircraft detailing is good, but there is not the high 3d (lines and highlights) detailing here you expect with today's X-Plane designs, so up very close it can be a little plain in the fuselage work, but it is also very well modeled as a compensation and textures are 4K High-Definition. The undercarriage is really well designed with great trailing linkages and wheel supports, the complex wheel fold and doors animations is excellent as well. Flaps are two stage with leading edge spoilers, fully animated and very powerful in creating lift. The wings on the aircraft are also a big part of the airbraking system. Select one notch of the airbrake (two available) and many of the aircraft's surfaces move to counteract the slipstream. rear rudders go outwards, rear tail-planes go down, outboard wing ailerons go up and two small airbrakes pop up over the engine intakes, and yes all these effects are impressive. So the F/A 18 is not a nervy aircraft per se, but all these large moving surfaces do require a a little thought when being used, and certainly at slow speeds as they can reduce your speed very quickly and catch you unawares and stall the aircraft if not used in their correct context. There is a built-in tail-hook for carrier landings and you can fold the outer-wings for carrier parking, but make sure you dispose of the two outer Sidewinder missiles as they will hang in mid-air with the wings in the folded position. Two pilots and I noticed the rear officer was animated by moving his head around. It was really all he could do as his panel was blank and non-active. Both pilots are very well done with realistic flying suits. Most reasons to buy these sort of military aircraft are the panels and instruments. No doubt this F/A18 is very well equipped and designed, but a lot of the switchgear does not work. Power up the aircraft and the main panel is very impressive. These machines are complex in a simplistic way, they look very complex but are also built for very quick reactions and instant information once learned and used. The main joystick is removable, as is using the ejection seat handle which is active and will take you out of the aircraft in a whish. Left and right console panels are comprehensive in detail, but like I mentioned not many switches work. Left console is fuel, APU, generator left, throttle lever (can be hidden) and trims. Upper left console is Landing lights, Brake Pressure, Landing gear (up/down), flaps (Up-Half-Full) and park brake. Right side is panel lighting, generator right, power (on/off), bleed, Eject handle, tailhook deploy, wingfold and hydraulic pressure gauge. There are four main instrument displays and one lower left smaller fuel display. Lower right are your three backup Airspeed, Altitude and Rate-of-Climb dials, with sited above a floating ball artificial horizon and radar screen. The main central upper display is the UFCD - Up Front Control Display. This unit's display does not change stations but only in menu selections and has an input button matrix layout. The other three display screens are all interchangeable to suit your current situation, either in navigation or weapon attack modes. The "Menu" selection button is central bottom (The central lower display "Menu" button is behind the joystick which gets in the way) and you have the surround key selections of (anti-clockwise) ADI - Altitude Direction Indicator, FUEL - Fuel Indicators, ENG - Engine Parameters, RADAR, WPN - Weapons, HSI-C - Horizontal Situation Indicator/Circle Format and FDATA - Flight Situation Data. So it is a pretty comprehensive system and quite easy to use once you are familiar with it. Like I mentioned I set it up in two ways. In Nav mode I have the ADI on the left and GSI-C on the right and FUEL in the lower display. Moving into attack mode I put the RADAR on the left and WPN (Weapons) set out on the right and the ADI in the lower display, and those sets of combinations give you best coverage for both situations. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Flying The F/A18-F Super Hornet Flaps to half, hold the brakes a little and push on the power from those two huge GE-400 turbofans and surprisingly when you do release the brakes the aircraft doesn't expectedly catapult you into space. Speed builds gradually but the push then becomes a shove and you will quickly be at 180knt at rotate speed, gear up and you climb away. Be careful at the point you clean up the flaps as the aircraft will dive through loss of lift so it is always a nice idea to put a little more power on as you do. Most will go to full throttle on the line and get those afterburners singing their tune, but that is the wrong thing to do as you are burning up a lot of precious fuel resources for a bit of an instant thrill. If you do need to climb or gain speed quickly then use the burners which are really well created here, but again use very sparingly. In the air you don't feel the speed, as the speed and altitude numbers on your panel move and quickly like you are in some sort of time machine, so you have to aware of not over using these resources at your disposal, because they come at a huge cost... fuel. And this thing uses fuel like a Saturn 5 first stage... it absolutely gulps it down and if you want to fly for any sort of range then you have to be very efficient in your use of the aircraft and be light on the throttle. Flying the F/A 18-F manually is surprisingly nice, the aircraft is very light to the touch and very trimmed in flight, so only a few light adjustments are required to keep the aircraft tight and level. This make even medium flying distances not tiring or a strain on your awareness. _____________________________________________________________________________________ UFCD - Up Front Control Display The dominant display is the UFCD - Up Front Control Display... It is really the glareshield panel of an airliner were you set your Com 1 & 2 channels, VOR 1 & 2 frequencies, AP - Autopilot, Baro and Radar height. The square filled box in the corner of the selection is to show which item(s) are active. The four selections are Com 1, Com 2, AP and Set. First we will set a Com 1 Frequency, so you select COM 1 which is the upper left square. You select with your mouse directly on to the screen, selections colour in (Green) the selected item. so you select the COM channel you want to change. Then number in the Frequency in the upper box and press ENT (Enter) to insert the freq into the selected box. To insert or make the freq active then press SET and it will change in the upper box. When done you press EXIT to go back to the main menu. All is well and good but you will find entering the numbers (in this case the freq) a bit hit and miss until you get used to it. Input is 1st 2nd 3rd . 4th 5th 6th numbers but that decimal can be hard to set as it moves around with all the different types of inputs you can do. It certainly needs a bit of practise to get used to the entering system. The AP - Autopilot is a handy tool for flying to and from your station and hanging around on station. Select AP from the main menu and again the small green squares denotes which AP areas are active. To change an area and in this case your heading then you first select "Value Set Mode" and then the item you want to change. Number in the new heading and press ENT to activate and unpress "Value Set Mode" to return to the main AP, yopu can activate or disengage any of the items in Heading, Speed or Altitude. It is a lot of palaver to just change your heading every time and the set altitude can also be a bit frustrating. Even if you activate the altitude say 200ft in a + or - number then the aircraft will hunt the required set altitude, this means your going for a ride of minus negative pitch to a bounding upwards positive pitch that will eventually settle on the correct altitude. It takes ages to settle down, so you try to restrict the climb and fall waves with the stick and it does work... eventually. Try to get you manual altitude as close to the set altitude to restrict waves in the first place but in this very fast moving jet that is easier said than done, no matter how light you are with the stick. The SET menu selection has two items in your BARO and Radar height settings and the final info input has the aircraft's model version noted. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Weapons The F/A 18-F is seriously well stocked in damaging things, either in air-to-air or air-to-ground roles you can do a lot of harm to the bad people. Armaments include 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinders infrared guided missles, 4 x AIM-120 Advanced medium range air to air missles AMRAAM, 2 x Mk 83 free-fall bombs and a forward mounted internal 20mm M61A2 lightweight Gatling gun. There are three drop tanks for extended range. Armament selections are dived into two groups in AA (air-to-air) or AG (air-to-ground) and you can rotate around the items on upper selection keys on the active display until you select the item you require. If you use one then the system will rotate directly to the opposite type for rapid secondary firing. The ARM switch is to your left and there is two modes in SAFE and ARM which is shown in the centre of the display. The forward gun has the noted amount of rounds remaining and changes as you fire at the target. 30 Chaff and Flares are also available and the remaining numbers are noted. All weapons can be rearmed or cleared on the standard X-Plane/Weight & Balances & Fuel/Ordnance menu pages. A note that the set X-Plane firing key is not as you would expect with the "Fire Guns!" setting but it is the "Fire all armed Selections" key selection to which here I set on my joystick fire button. Once the weapon of choice is selected then you can fire away with abandon, and X-Plane does the rest of the animations of smoke and rapidly disappearing deadly killer of all the bad guys very well. The RADAR display will give you your target in green with current differences in height and speed from your own, and when targeted (locked on) the display will turn red... all you have to do then is fire the kill button. I chased the default X-Plane F4 Phantom all over the area and finally got my kill, but a few times I either ran out of fuel or just gave up the chase as it spread away from me at over 545Knts... The F/A18 can also be used on the X-Plane Carrier "USS Nimitz". It is a hell of a ride to thrown over the end of the carrier in the slingshot firing. Landing however is another thing altogether, it is hard. You do have the excellent HUD (Head-Up-Display) that gives you a lot of visual information and the "Line Ball" red and green arrows to help guide you into a safe landing. But the F/A18-F is quite a handful at slow speeds and very easy to stall, as those thin wings are made for speed and not slow carrier landings. So getting the hook on the deck is always a major achievement and there a few a few tips in the manual on how to fly at the impossible slow speeds required... Just make sure you have a few days available and a lot of patience to get the job done. There is no doubt this is a nice aircraft. I took the aircraft up in the late evening in USAAF Flight-test colours and it looked magnificent in the low light, slight disappointment though in that I noticed the internal engine fans were static?, I expected the developers expected you couldn't see them so deep inside the inlet tunnels, but you can and it shows. I don't know if the supersonic ramps work either as I never went that far, I suspect they don't. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Performance: Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph, 1,915 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m), Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s, Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) for interdiction mission, Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km), Service ceiling: 50,000+ ft (15,000+ m), Rate of climb: 44,882 ft/min (228 m/s), Wing loading: 94.0 lb/ft² (459 kg/m²), Thrust/weight: 0.93, Design load factor: 7.6 g _____________________________________________________________________________________ Lighting Internal lighting is excellent... in the front. There is a comforting green glow that can be adjusted to your liking. You can on the main displays also adjust the contrast that turns the units white and that is very nice to the eyes. The HUD also has a lot of lighting adjustments and withstanding you can adjust the visual line thickness to your preferences, as I found that the middle setting was the best overall compromise. External lighting is average. Lighting is not at all refined and in places glows through the aircraft's wings or fuselage or with large halos that follow the aircraft around making it look like a UFO. The ‘Slime Lights’, or formation markers are however good. Front wheel strut has a dual single taxi/landing lights built in. Biggest visual night blank is the well lit forward cockpit and the very dark rear position, looks odd. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Liveries Huge selection of liveries including... USAAF Flighttest, VFA-32 Swordsmen, VFA-41 Back Aces, VFA-102 Diamondbacks, VFA-103 Jolly Rogers, VFA-147 Argonauts, VFA-213 Black Lions, Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Factory rollout and neutral Out of the 16 liveries, two are included by default. The other ones can be downloading for free on the X-Plane.Org forum. There is a great new US Navy VFA-106 Gladiators livery designed for the Centennial of Naval Aviation available in there as well. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Summary Overall this is a brilliant F/A 18-F Super Hornet aircraft for X-Plane. A great aircraft with a great interface that has obviously been a lot of development to make it as authentic as possible, but there are a few nitpicks here that will hopefully be covered in an update because the basics are very, very good. A lot of the switchgear is just for show and the developers note that as the aircraft has only a "Reasonable system depth" interface, in saying that most of what you need is in there and where it counts it is very good. Externally you would like more visual details, it is good as the textures (liveries) show and with the highlighting of aircraft features, but the paneling is a bit flat of where it should be more 3d detailed. The rear cockpit panels are also quite a dead area and it shows visually on the ground, in flight and certainly at night, ditto the non-rotating engine fans. External lighting is average. But for flying and being used as a weapons platform the F/A 18-F is excellent, and it is a very challenging aircraft to fly in many areas, in not only in its sheer speed and ability but in using your head in using your resources in fuel and weapons to their maximum advantages. If you like these modern multi-role fighters then you will love the F18 and it is certainly one of the really great 4th Gen warfare aircraft, I have RAAF F18's flying over my home city almost every other month or so and you can never mistake this amazing machine as it powers down our coastal areas then flicks back over the coastal ranges to return to Amberley Airbase near Brisbane. Yes they always will give you goosebumps of a thrill, but now better still you can fly this same aircraft with Colimata's excellent F/A 18-F to your hunters delight and get that kill you always wanted... in a nice way. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The FA18-F Super Hornet by Colimata is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : FA18-F Super Hornet And is priced at only US$24.95 Requirements: WINDOWS ONLY (for now) X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) min 1Gb VRAM Video Card (low X-Plane settings) - recommended 2Gb VRAM Current version: 1.01 (last updated March 23rd 2016) Features: Interactive displays with custom programmed menus and indicators: Custom FA-18F Attitude direction indicator, Engine indicator, Horizontal situation indicator with navaid information and navaid map, Flight data indicator, Weapons indicator, Fuel indicator, RADAR. Custom upfront control display (below the HUD). Interactive menus for COM1, COM2, Autopilot, Settings, NAV1 and NAV2. Functional keyboard for value input. 12 storage slotsfor COM frequencies plus 12 storage slots for NAV frequencies. Simple navigation via the HSI map. All displays adjustable in brightness and contrast (color). Custom gauges: Fuel/engine information gauge with working nozzle indicators, fuel information for internal and external tanks and engine values. Animated standby instruments. Radar warning receiver. Interactive consoles: With a lot of functionality, many animated switches, includes working gauges. Hideable throttle and stick, working ejection handle. Reasonable system depth: 3D HUD: Ultra realistic, projected, collimated, focused to infinity 3D Head up display. Projected: The HUD is only visible from realistic angles, and moves realistically with the pilots head movements. Focused to infinity: The symbols stay on the same focused point, even if the pilot head moves. Collimated: The size of the HUD stays the same relative to the pilots eye, no mater if he's near or far the HUD. HUD symbology partially rejectable/hideable (pitch ladder, bank scale). Adjustable line thickness, brightness, color. Info about gear,flaps, tailhook, ILS, AoA (plus AoA bracket) and many more directly in the HUD. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the F/A 18 Super Hornet is 398.80meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Fighters" X-Plane folder at 433.20mb. Documentation: Quick start manual for the cockpit (23 pages) Landing speeds charts Full manual available Here FA-18F support contact Upcoming video tutorials in word form coming will also be available on www.youtube.com/colimatavideos ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th April 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft KTCM - McChord Field - Seattle, WA - Gateway to Boeing Country by Tom Curtis (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95
  7. News! - Released - FA18-F Super Hornet by Colimata After their excellent Mig-29 Fulcrum now Colimata follows up that great aircraft with another iconic fighter in the FA18-F Super Hornet. This aircraft has been the mainstay of both the American Naval and Airforce military attack and defensive forces for the last three and a half decades, and is also serving the national forces of Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Spain and Switzerland. Important Note: At the time of release the FA18-F Hornet is available for "Windows" only, Mac to follow! Highly detailed this aircraft is a must for any fighter lover (or Maverick) Beautiful exterior model Tons of animations and detailed mechanics - Control surfaces, flaps, slats, air brake Complex landing gear with doors Correct canopy animation with three positions Engine fans, nozzles Intake protection doors, secondary air intakes Aircraft comes with a fully 3D Virtual cockpit, authentically modeled on the real F18 systems. Interactive displays with custom programmed menus and indicators: Custom FA-18F Attitude direction indicator, Engine indicator, Horizontal situation indicator with navaid information and navaid map, Flight data indicator, Weapons indicator, Fuel indicator, RADAR. Custom upfront control display (below the HUD). Interactive menus for COM1, COM2, Autopilot, Settings, NAV1 and NAV2. Functional keyboard for value input. 12 storage slotsfor COM frequencies plus 12 storage slots for NAV frequencies. Simple navigation via the HSI map. All displays adjustable in brightness and contrast (color). The HUD (Head Up Display) is totally detailed and animated. Ultra realistic, projected, collimated, focused to infinity 3D Head up display. Projected: The HUD is only visible from realistic angles, and moves realistically with the pilots head movements. Focused to infinity: The symbols stay on the same focused point, even if the pilot head moves. Collimated: The size of the HUD stays the same relative to the pilots eye, no mater if he's near or far the HUD. HUD symbology partially rejectable/hideable (pitch ladder, bank scale). Adjustable line thickness, brightness, color. Info about gear,flaps, tailhook, ILS, AoA (plus AoA bracket) and many more directly in the HUD. Aircraft comes in both "Standard" and "Armed" versions. Gear is highly detailed and fully animated (Retraction and Extraction), Naval cable hook also animated. External aircraft: 4k textures: High quality textures in 4k (see screenshots). Including normal maps. 2k version available to save video RAM. Animations: Tons of animations. Control surfaces and their combined actions. Two stage airbrakes. First control surfaces alone, second adds brake doors. Animated Canopy, nozzles, wingfold, etc. Refined flight model: correct landing speeds and AoA, max. turn rate, top speed, fuselage/wing root extensions lift simulation, etc. Landing gear: Carefully animated, complex landing gear. Including plugin driven strut stiffness for carrier landings, normal landings and taxiing. 16 high quality 4k liveries (optional 2k): USA Flighttest, VFA-32 Swordsmen, VFA-41 Back Aces, VFA-102 Diamondbacks, VFA-103 Jolly Rogers, VFA-147 Argonauts, VFA-213 Black Lions, Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Factory rollout, neutral Two liveries are provided with the aircraft and the rest can be downloaded for free on the forum. Familiar (to me!) Australian Airforce RAAF is authentic and here is a small selection of the other liveries. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The FA18-F Super Hornet by Colimata is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : FA18-F Super Hornet And is priced at only US$24.95 Requirements: WINDOWS ONLY (for now) X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) min 1Gb VRAM Video Card (low X-Plane settings) - recommended 2Gb VRAM Current version: 1.01 (last updated March 23rd 2016) Cockpit images Courtesy of Nicolas Taureau _____________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Updated : 29th March 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
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