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  1. Aircraft Review : Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 by Aerobask Traditionally Aerobask are associated with very light, even quirky composite propeller or very light jet aircraft. So it came as a surprise when they announced that their next project was for them an extremely different and a far larger aircraft in the Dassault Falcon 8X, the new flagship of the Falcon range, and an aircraft that can can connect Paris to Hong Kong and Los Angeles to Beijing with no stopovers. Certainly an aircraft that is very far removed for what of anything they had created before. Their Falcon 8X has also been in development now for quite awhile with also a lot of previews and details leaking out about the project... so you would expected a release, well.... soon. Instead Aerobask announced the release of another aircraft in the Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300, and to a point it is still in the same Private Jet or as we say the "Privileged" Jet category. The aircraft is a size and category smaller than the extreme intercontinental Falcon 8X, but still a huge step up in the other major differences from their other Aerobask aircraft... you could say it is a big and significant stepping stone up to the Dassault, or an intermediate filler, the points to be seen here in this review of the Phenom 300, is what will be also coming in the Falcon 8X, and could also be a noted major sweetener on where Aerobask is now going as a developer. This -300 is not the first Phenom in X-Plane, that release goes to Carenado and the Phenom 100, and like Aerobask they were also taking a next step up from their usual General Aviation single and twin aircraft categories. Oddly I didn't much take to the Carenado Phenom 100, it was slow (really slow for a jet) and it had some really odd and annoying quirks... so overall I passed on the aircraft. So here is the Aerobask Phenom 300... .... the first thing you notice is the quality of this aircraft, as it just leaps out at you, it is not just good, but in a high class of excellence. Everything is so smooooth and contoured. Mapping and NMLs (normals) are excellent, as are all the pronounced areas of the fuselage, and note the rivet work around the excellent metal window frame, the details like the APU vent and lower rudder trim are also really perfectly done. The up-swept wingtip fences are sharklet in shape and are beautifully mastered, intimate detail, like wing screws are also really well done in their details. All aerials and beacons are also well rendered, as are... ... the rear mounted pods that hold the twin Pratt & Whitney PW535E1 turbofans, that produce 15.471 kN (3,478 lbf) thrust each, they are both beautifully proportioned and realistic. Note there is no reverse thrust system on the Phenom. The fuselage concave around the engine mounts is excellent modeling in detail, can't be seen, but to know it is perfectly created for that perfect realism. If you like to gawp at all the lovely work and a lot of detail, then there is a lot of gawping you can do here, the underbody with the built in landing and taxi lights are all excellent, as are all the NACA ducts. The undercarriage is very well detailed as well. You can almost feel the aluminium alloy castings and the way the gear assemblies are held together in their detail. Debatable is that that the castings are certainly well done, but they come with not a lot of wear or tear and grunge, oil or grease on their working parts? but the fineer material detail of all the assemblies is certainly there and are extremely authentic in detail. The main landing gear is a trailing-link arrangement, and all the supports, piping, linkages are all expertly completed, even with the required circlips and pins to hold it all together. The Goodyear tyres are expertly created, with nice shaping with the raised logo/lettering. Hubs and aluminium alloy wheel rims are also first rate. Good glass and surfaces have become the normal now in X-Plane. Even a few years ago we used to do loads of "oohs" and "aahs" at these reflections and the expert depth of glass and nice glossy paint finishes since the introduction of Physically based rendering (PBR), in that models the flow of light in the real world and with the aim to achieve the real effects of photorealism... So externally the Phenom 300 is overall excellent.. but there are a few slight wobbles like around the cabin windows which are not absolutely perfectly rounded, but are modeled more with straighter lines than curves. Before we move inside there are a few details to note in the options on the menu. Menu The popup menu (X-Plane window) is accessed by the X-Plane plugins, and the menu selection is at the bottom, or by pressing the "Aerobask" logo by the IESI. There are Five tabs that cover; Ground Options, VSpeeds, More Options, Sounds and About Ground Options : The ground options page has on the left a Fuel Loading set of sliders, and another for weights of the Pilot, Passengers and their Luggage. Lower are all the aircraft weights of the selections chosen. Right on the page are Ten Selections; Open Passenger Door, Open Baggage FWD LH, Open Baggage FWD RH, Open Baggage AFT, Open Fuel Panel, Camera to Fuel Panel, Open GPU Panel, lower are three options covering Ground Power Unit (GPU), Static Elements and finally you can hide the cabin. As noted you can open/close both front nose baggage compartments, the main access door, and the rear baggage door... Static Elements consist of; Wheel Chocks, Cones, Pitot and Vane covers and engine inlet/exhaust covers... and all of the baggage compartments have a number of cases inside depending on the passenger load. At the rear left there is also an Ground Power Unit (GPU), that you have to switch off the engines and open the GPU Panel to use. Right front wing there is also a Fuel Panel. This is an active panel that can be used to refuel the aircraft, and to get there quickly then select the "Camera to Fuel Panel" selection. There is a Power Switch and the selection of which tank to fill, and to INC (Increase) or DEC (Decrease) the amount of fuel you want in the tank. Finally you remove the fuel cap, and select the "Refuel" switch to start the refueling which is noted above the refuel switch, and the full fuel capacity is 2428kg (5353 lbs), Lamp Test and Shut-Off Test also both work. But there is no external Fuel Truck. The quality of these options is sensational in detail. Pressing the Static Elements "off" will remove the covers and show you the engine fan blades, which are again expertly created. VSpeeds : Second Menu Tab is for the adjustable setting of the vSpeeds, in;V1/Vr, V2, Vac, Vfs and Vref, you can also enable (or disable) the ATR or Automatic Thrust Reserve system. More Options : Third Menu Tab covers the general options of the VR (Virtual Reality), Screen popups, G1000, G1000 Synthetic Vision (options), Instrument Tape transparency (three options in Opaque, Medium and Full), Instrument and Windshield reflections and if you want the Co-Pilot visible in the cockpit, there also two options for the IESI (Intergrated Electronic Standby Instrument) for popout options. Sounds : Fourth Menu Tab covers the sound sliders About : The Fifth Menu Tab covers the people that worked or were involved in the Aerobask Phenom 300 project. Cabin Aerobask always did sensational cabin interiors, so you know it will be something special... as usual they didn't disappoint. Up the stairs and into the cabin, and there is three person sofa on the right side of the aircraft, on the left is a small buffet/galley encased in a nice light wood finish. The cabin has nine seats, the sofa for three as mentioned, a club arrangement for four and two rear single seats. Both tables are animated and when opened, the left has an iPad on a stand and on the right there is a full cup of hot coffee... .... there is an orange juice as well if the coffee is too strong. Each seat has an opening panel that contains two switches to raise or lower the blinds, and switches for the overhead spot light, the blinds can also be raised or lowered by the lever on the lower line of each window. Rear of the cabin there are two in panel doors that can be opened... ... inside to the right is a handwash sink, of which the water does pour out of the tap, the right hand drawer can also be opened to reveal the image of that elusive other Aerobask project the Falcon X8, a sign of a "Coming soon'? On the right is a toilet under a flip up seat... ... when you have done your (um business), then just press the button on the wall to flush! Certainly a first in X-Plane, flushing toilets, god MS2020 users will now get really seriously jealous. And at least you can now use the toilet in flight before landing. Cabin materials and decor is absolutely first rate in quality, this is cabin you would want to spend a lot of time in, and for once in the back. A super nice feature (it does not work unless you have set the Flightplan?). Are two screens on the roof to show the aircraft's position in it's flight profile, the departure and destination airports are shown as is the current UTC time. There are five different cabin fitouts to match the exterior livery (you could also mix and match the interiors if you are so apt). My favorite is the dark wood and light material textures, but all are interesting, and even the lovely abstract patterned carpets change in colour as well. As an option you can hide the whole cabin, if your framerate or computer specs are suffering (that badly?). But to me that is like tearing the heart out of the aircraft and is just leaving it in a big black hole. Cockpit It is usually surprising how small it is in aircraft like these, if you have had the chance to sit in, say a Lear jet then fitting into a small round tube is the feeling. Here in the Phenom the cockpit it is also small, tight and crowded. Cockpit detail is again excellent. You would have been quite disappointed if Aerobask had been a bit shortshifted in here, but it is an extremely nice place to fly and be in this aircraft. In an odd note though, is the curtains don't close, or the armrests are not animated either, which is a given on most of these aircraft. But the cockpit design and as the quality of the materials in here is simply first rate. There is no doubt about that Aerobask feel and look in the design, but here it is all display in a bigger scale and palette than we have ever seen before. The detail and the quality all around you is astounding. Power (external) on and the instrument panel comes alive. Here you have the X-Plane three screen G1000 system, but highly modified by Aerobask. The twin ram-horn yokes can be hidden, but not individually, only together... detail and design of the rams though is excellent. When powering up there is a full system align sequence. The IESI (Intergrated Electronic Standby Instrument) is not just a backup Artificial Horizon, but a full separate system to the main avionics of the aircraft (in other words if everything fails, then the IESI will still (should) work). The IESI displays; Attitude (pitch and roll), Standard or barometric-corrected altitude, Indicated airspeed and VMO Limitation, Indicated Mach number and MMO Limitation, Lateral acceleration/slip indication, Vertical speed, ILS (alignment), Altitude in meters and the Heading. G1000 Avionics The Phenom comes with the Laminar Research G1000 Avionics system, but obviously it also comes with some custom tweaks. It is a PFD - MFD - PFD (Primary Flight Display/Multi-Functional Display/Primary Flight Display) configuration... ... either both the PFD or MFD display can be popped-out either with the Aircraft symbol in the centre PFD, however the pop-out selector can be also quite hard to find on the MFD as it is not positioned like with the central PFD centre aircraft symbol, but it is a touch spot that comes on to the screen in the top centre info boxes for you to select (arrowed). Screens are highly adjustable and you can also hide the bezels (for home cockpit use or for custom setups). I have found over the last few years the PFD and the MFDs have been getting duller, with maybe the reflection effects, but they are and can sometimes be quite hard to see in brighter light. The G1000's PFD main flight instruments are all the standard layouts, with the artificial horizon, speed and altitude tapes, bank roll scale and roll pointer and HSI (horizontal situation indicator), course and heading pointer which are all in one. The FD (Flight Director) elements are also shown. Other features include "Inset" map, alerts, REF/TIMER, NRST, XPDR, both VOR 1 and 2 pointers, DME and Wind (3 options) ... top banner includes Radio NAV (left) and COM (right) Autopilot info (centre). Note the Crew Alerting System (CAS). it comes as standard with the G1000 system, the CAS system of the Aerobask Phenom 300 will display WARNING (Red), CAUTION (Yellow) and ADVISORY (White) alerts, in that order of priority. A few custom features allow you to adjust the radio frequencies directly with a mouse scroll wheel while holding the cursor over the frequency you want to adjust. Another custom pop-out adjuster panel can also be used with the "Altitude" (press arrowed), Heading and Baro pressure and all can be inserted directly from the keyboard for speed... then you just press the green band to insert the number, very quick and easy. A note is that when you use this function, the view movement is frozen (keyboard focus), until you hide it again. The optional Engine Information System (EIS) is available on this version in the PFD in the Emergency mode, selected by the Red button (arrowed bottom left), it also shows the full EIS. MFD - Multi-Functional Display The Multi-Functional Display consists of; Engine Information System (EIS), MAP Functions and Flightplan (planning and execution). Top left shows in systems the ATR Symbol. In the event an engine loses power after V1, an Automatic Thrust Reserve (ATR) feature kicks in. ATR looks for a difference in fan speed of 20 percent or more between the two engines. Should this happen, the thrust of the operating engine is boosted by 5 percent (about 170 pounds), helping the climb rate during the rest of the takeoff profile. Engine Information System has the system pages in having two selections, but the second system option in only changing the Oil Temperature to a "Fuel Calc" (Fuel Calculation) readout, and showing the amounts that can be; Decreased, Increased or Reset. EIS systems shows; N1 (with number readout) and ITT- Inter Turbine Temperature (with number readout), N2 (number only) and N2 Oil Pressure and Temperature readouts, Fuel Flow (FF-Kilo per hour), Temperature, Oil Temperature, Landing Gear Position, Cabin data, Flap Position and finally Roll, Pitch and Yaw Trim positions. MAP, is standard Laminar, but still extremely good in range from 2000ft to 800nm, Options include TROPO and AIRWAYS. Flightplan creation and operation is all Laminar G1000 standard, with PROC (Procedures) for departure and arrival. To date the G1000 is really the standard version with a few nice Aerobask tweeks, but there are also two custom options in this system. The first custom option the set on the MFD lower left of the panel (arrowed), and that is a set of custom coded synoptics pages that are displayed to the Multi-Function Display (MFD). The MFD synoptic indication is designed to provide additional information to the flight crew about the system state and operation. There is an Electrical Page, Fuel Page, Anti-Ice Page and an (aircraft) Status Page,. Synthetic Vision The second custom option is one of the main features of the aircraft, in the Synthetic Vision tool made by Oscar Pilote and Aerobask. You can switch to the original default (below) darker brown and duller blue by turning the Synthetic Vision option off. We will look at the Synthetic Vision and it's features more so in flight. GCU 477 Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) is a “Keypad” based system that provides alphanumeric, softkey, and flight planning function keys used to interface with a Garmin Integrated Flight Deck. On the glareshield is the GFC 700 AHRS-based automatic flight control system (AFCS) The GFC 700 has an odd quirk to be aware of... pressing the ALT (Atitude) button is the way in here to change your speed from IAS to Mach, and not with the usual Speed section which just "Syncs" to the current speed. The HGD (Heading) knobs then syncs to the current heading position. There is also a nice Whiskey Compass positioned on the centre windshield partition. Lower panel has three panels that cover; left - Fuel, Pusher, HYD Pumps (hydraulics), ELT, Pusher and Signs/Belts (seat). Centre - Heating, Ice Protection, TAWS (Terrain Awareness and Warning System) and Landing Gear. Right - Pressurization and Air Conditioning. Lower centre panel covers; Fire, Trim, ENG (Engine) Start/Stop and Engine Ignition Left Pilot side are seven panels; Top is a very nice a functional "Test" panel that covers - Fire, SMK DET (Smoke Detection), Annunciators, Stall Prot (Protection) and Ice Prot (Protection). Next is the Pneumatic panel (bleeds), Electrical (Main and External), Oxygen Mask, Oxygen, Voice/Data Recorder... Audio panel. Right CoPilot side is mostly blank, but has another Oxygen Mask and Audio panel. Centre pedestal/console is quite simple, with the small twin throttle levers, with settings of; MAX, TOGA, CON/CLB, MAX CRZ (Maximum Cruise), note the TO/GO button on the side of the throttle handle. Left top is the Flap position; 0 (up) - 1-2-3-FULL. There is a Speed Brake (Open/Close) here as well. The red pull up handle is the Parking Brake. VR iPad AviTab One feature is the AviTab iPad and it is located in the side storage bin. Obviously created for VR interaction, it is highly useful for the 2d generation as well as It works with the Avitab (Aviators Tablet) plugin. It works quite well in a basic form with mostly for access to stored pdf files and note taking, but internet access would be a nice feature. My use here was with the Navigraph Chart (Subscription) access that is now also available (make sure you have AviTab v0.3.18). The sited just left of the pilot's eyesight, the tablet is very good as is the size in, not to big or too small for ready use. Internal/External Lighting As you would expect the lighting is pretty impressive. The main lighting panel is above the windshield, with the External switches to the left, and the Internal switches to the right. The actual lighting panel is nicely lit for use at night and above the switches is a main cockpit light (dome) that is lit by a button... Between are two spot lights, that you press to turn on, and turn to adjust the brightness... Main instrument and text lighting is all connected altogether, but adjustable... ... Main cabin lighting is also very good. The "Upwash" adjustment is really the overall cockpit and cabin lighting set together... ... but the lighting is highly adjustable to get the right feel. There is also four (above the club seating) lights, that can be activated directly on the roof or by the switch in the seat side console... ... another feature is the "Effect" switch that has three positions; Off/Dim/Bright. This turns on the highlights under the table and on the edges of the console in the club section, and highly effective it is. There is however no lighting in the rear toilet area or the sofa/galley area, so if you want to go to the toilet or wash your hands, pour a drink.. whatever, you will have to ask the pilot(s) to up the main overall lighting. The closed door however does light part of the front of the cabin. Personally I think a few more lights connected to the "Effect", for the front galley and rear amenities area would fill out the cabin a bit more fuller and nicer. External on the ground does have two clever lights on the Fuel Panel and around the rear luggage/GPU area... .... the door entrance lighting is pretty impressive as well. External lighting has the front Taxi/Landing lights that are very effective, but all four underside lights come on for both settings... ... wingtip lighting is sensational. There are the navigation lights (red/green), and a rear white light that lights up the sharket, and all for a nice view out of the cabin. Top and bottom fuselage strobe lighting is also excellent with a nice bright LED effect, but there is no tail lighting or top of tail beacon. Overall the lighting is highly impressive. Flying the Phenom 300 The flightplan today is Dublin (EIDW) to Bristol (EGGD). Passengers are in and the fuel is loaded at 1298.9 kg. Not really a major stretch for an aircraft like this, that has a range of 3,723 km (2,313 mi, 2,010 nmi) with IFR reserves, and we are loaded with five occupants. Starting the Phenom 300 is a breeze, okay... certainly very, very easy. You don't need the GPU actually running to to start the engines, but it does help... Switch up the ignition switch for the selected engine and then turn the "Engine START/STOP" knob to "START" and that is it, just hold the START position until you get a slight "thunk" and the engines start their start sequence. The engines have a Full Authority Digital Engine Control, known as FADEC. So most of the starting, the running procedures and the limits are all controlled electronically, So from a pilot's point of view the Phenom is very easy to set up and start... most actions here are automatic in systems, but there are a few procedures to cover to get the aircraft ready for flight, and they can be found in the Crew Alerting System (CAS), but you will still need to cover the very good and provided checklists to cover them all. Once all the engines are running and settled, then just turn off the ignition switches, then to go, release the park brake and push up slightly the throttles, and it is all as easy peasy as driving a car. Taxiing around airports is also easy as easy, the aircraft is very nice to point and turn, with nice control of the required thrust... ... this is aspect very helpful on busy traffic days, like today at Dublin. Setting yourself up to fly is also easy, as there is nothing else like setting flaps or something, but to simply push up the throttles to just below the MAX... and GO! If you get the yellow bands in the top N1 readout then your throttle setting is too high, so just knick them both back a touch under the N1 100% limit... You can rotate around V2 140knts+10 or 150knts, and the Phenom will simply leap into the air... ... be careful in not over-rotating, as about 12º-15º is perfect, Your climb rate can be as high as a massive 4,000 fpm... ... and the Phenom just climbs up like a banshee, but the aircraft is also very sweet to roll left as you power away from the airport. TO/GA and MAX are the same thing and the only setting that the FADAC system will over-ride the throttle. But beware that MAX Thrust is only intended for Emergency Usage (OEI). As in case of an OEI event detected by the FADEC, the APR (Automatic Power Reserve), if armed, will engage and force the operating engine into MAX Thrust Rating without the need of pushing the Thrust Lever to the MAX Position. Reducing the Thrust to CON will, however, disengage APR and switch back the to CON Thrust Rating. But overall like most Private Jets there is no ATR or Auto-Thrust, so all the power or throttle settings are done manually, the setting CON/CLB is best used for the climbing... There is a full dynamic FMOD soundpack by Daniela Rodriguez Carari, and very good sound it is with accurate doppler effects, distance attenuation and full aircraft flyby effects. The volume externally is quite loud , and I had to reduce the volume to about 25%, internally the Phenom is a pretty quiet quiet machine, because the powerplants are set so far to the rear... in the cabin you get a slightly muffed roar... but acoustically the sounds are very good. The Phenom though is simply Phenomenal looking in the air (pun intended). Maximum Performance is 834 km/h (518 mph, 450 kn), with a Service ceiling of 13,716 m (45,000 ft), which is very high, and the fuel burn is 346 kg/h at 364 kt and 456 kg/h at 431 kt (at FL410). My cruise is set at FL320, or 32,000ft... with the climb over I select the "MAX CRZ " position on the throttle and the Phenom settles down at around 284 knts... ... the Phenom does however have a slight pitch nose down in the cruise, Aerobask say this is normal, but may try to refine the pitch later, but it does not effect the speed, the long droopy nose sort of exacerbates the angle of the look. Synthetic Vision The big feature as noted in the Aerobask Phenom 300 is the Synthetic Vision plugin tool made by Oscar Pilote and Aerobask themselves. This visual system was actually created for the Falcon 8X, but is actually debuted here on the Embraer. Access to the Synthetic Vision as noted is via the Menu/More Options tab. Once activated then the outside heavy cloud cover disappears and you can see all the terrain below, you can select to have just the Topology showing or both the Topology and the Terrain together. It is very similar to the very old X-Plane forward view from years back, but totally refined here into something far more realistic... ... it is also available on the pop-out screen, and both PFD displays. The Instrument Tape transparency over the Synthetic Vision has three options in; Opaque, Medium and Full, and in the end of testing all three, I selected the middle medium transparency as the best compromise, unless you wanted a full external view... A note though. The plugin relies on the X-Plane default textures to show the terrain and runways, if you land or use a custom airport, then once you come off the runway the visual aspect goes to a blank colour, so you have no outside visuals in those conditions, however even in this context the visual look is far lighter and far better that the dark browns and blues of the default Artificial Horizon. The Synthetic Vision is also highly usable at night for following terrain and Topology in the dark. I'll let the very capable Co-Pilot follow the flightplan and have a little rest in the rear sumptuous cabin. Have a cup of coffee and watch the clouds fly by, it is not all heavy work when doing reviews. Anyone that flies Private Jets in X-Plane will tell you the tricky part of flying them is the descent and landing phases. The aircraft itself is nice to fly, but you have to very skilled in the thrust requirements. There is of course no ATH or AutoThrottle, so you have to set or find your own Vref speeds (many are well noted in the manual). In time you will note the correct speeds and throttle settings, the feel of the aircraft's pitch is important as well... but if new to Private Jetting it may take a few or more flights to get expert on the machine in these vital phases of flight... Over South Wales it is time to descend from FL320... if descending around 2,000 fpm, then you will always use the airbrakes as these small sized jets are slippery buggers. The spoilers are also semi-automatic, electrically commanded and hydraulically powered, and they also act as a Ground Spoilers System (on the ground or when landing), Automatic Roll Spoiler (in Flight) and as a manual Speed Brake (in Flight). The "Bank" allowance is shown on the FD (Flight Director), in Full bank it is to the full out side of the marker, a 1/2 bank sits just inside of the yellow inner markers, this is your only indication the "bank" function is actually activated. Down into the low dense cloud below 5,000ft, the Synthetic Vision tool starts to play major dividends, I can see the landscape easily, but the windows are now just a total white (grey?) out... The low cloud breaks out around 2,500ft, but still it is highly misty and you have very low visibility, again the Synthetic Vision is a godsend. More so on this eastern approach into Bristol RWY 27, as there are deadly hills just before the airport parameter, it would be very, very easy to fly too low in the mist and directly into them around Winford. Finding the speed sweet spot on the final approach is tricky? early approach is around 180 knts, then the settings are Flaps 3 and Gear Down, 45% N1 to hold around 130-150 knts. In most cases it is easy to get a nose up (pitch) at the setting you think you need, only to go lower in the speed to get the aircraft correctly posied to land... that speed I found (finally) was around 120 knts, Full Flap... With now several landings under my belt, I have got that approach speed right, but I still have a habit of reducing the throttles too quickly once over the threshold of the runway, just a little slower in reducing the power will give me more lift and a smoother (if longer) landing... ... but, and there is a big but here? As you are very conscious you have no reverse thrusters or any help in slowing the aircraft down once on the ground. So you tend to do the slowest approach and landing you can... Overall though the worry is unfounded. The Phenom does have those auto-spoliers working for you, and the brakes are also highly effective in rubbing off the speed, so the Embraer does actually slow down quite quickly and effectively. Not much flare is required or needed at the last minute either, but your pitch angle has to be right to do so. Note that once I leave the Laminar default textures and move to the custom airport textures, I lose the ground (in this case taxiiway) imagery in the Synthetic Vision (arrowed). You do think about you approach in the Phenom every time after you have landed, and start to work out how to do it better the next time around. Overall it is the only phase of the flight that does require skill, in every other phase the Phenom 300 is very easy to fly. As a note, there is an incredible video to share on a full transfer flight from FTW (Fort Worth) to SAT (San Antonio), I have listed the video below, there is a lot of information in here to learn and practise, to get the full experience of flying the Phenom 300. ______________ Liveries There are ten liveries and everyone is highly detailed and sensational, two are shiny metallics including the N33ZF "Lighting Blue" Default. One livery HZIBN is in both 4K and 2K resolutions. _________________ Summary A full size Private Jet from Aerobask is a step up in scale and design for Aerobask, it isn't the promised Dassualt Falcon 8X, but a category smaller jet in the Embraer Phenom 300, but this aircraft is a huge indication of where Aerobask are going as developers and what to expect from the Falcon 8X when it is released. Aerobask are renowned for their quality externally, but overwhelmingly more for their lavish interiors, and in this respect the Phenom 300 is outstanding in modelling, quality and design. Excellent in all aspects is certainly in it's internal design, the cabin comes with five different interiors or to blank out the cabin altogether to save frameweight. Lighting is also very good, with plenty of internal options, but the galley and rear amenities areas are not lit, but only adjustable with the overall cabin lighting. Notable is the running tap water on the sink and a toilet that actually flushes. Blinds can be dropped, ceiling route display, console controls and coffee and orange juice is also on offer via the folding animated tables. Aircraft systems are excellent. From a fully customised Laminar Research G1000 three display set up, with a IESI (Intergrated Electronic Standby Instrument), GCU 477 Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) “Keypad”, GFC 700 AHRS-based automatic flight control system (AFCS), Automatic Thrust Reserve (ATR) and a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system. The pop-up AviTab tablet is also installed. Main feature is the Synthetic Vision plugin tool made by Oscar Pilote and Aerobask, that allows you to see through cloud or have a visual on the terrain in the dark. The Phenom 300 is very easy to set up, start up and fly, but a little tricky on approach like all Private Jets with no ATR (AutoThrust), but that is also the attraction. The slight nose down pitch is unusual at cruise, but you get used to it. A release from Aerobask is always an occasion, notably for not only the quality of the product, for the list of extensive and spectacular features, but also for the refinement on release. Testing and refining is done before and not after release, so you are purchasing quality and fulfilment in the aircraft from the start and not long, long after your purchase via updates, yes they will be few bugs, but mostly the aircraft is total and complete on release... the built in Skunkcrafts updater will cover those bugs quickly anyway. High quality releases like the Phenom 300 from Aerobask, only come along once once every quarter of the year, so savour this exceptional aircraft and enjoy the freedom of owning your own personal private jet... Highly Recommended! _______________________________ Yes! the Embraer Phenom 300 by Aerobask is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Phenom 300 Price is US$44.95 Features: - High quality interior and exterior 3D model - High quality PBR 4K textures - Flight model and performances based on the real datas. - Custom FADEC, ATR and Thrust Levers behaviour. - Realistic engine behaviour (as far as XPlane allows us to customize it). - X1000 PFD and MFD from Laminar Research - Custom system pages, EIS, VSpeed and CAS - Synthetic Vision made by Oscar Pilote and Aerobask - Aerobask X1000 TouchScreen feature - GFC700 autopilot with custom CSC mode (FADEC-based cruise adaptive thrust system) + 2D popup - GCU477 (alphanumeric keypad) supporting new LR commands for XP11.50 + 2D popup + physical keyboard on-demand capture - Accurate custom coded IESI with 2D popup - High quality FMOD sounds (recorded from a real aircraft) from Daniela Rodríguez Careri - Full-mode FMOD aircraft - Accurate doppler, distance attenuation and flyby effects. - Enhanced night-time lighting ambience with spill lights for a great rendering - Simulated Stall Protection and Stick Pusher system - Custom Electrical, Bleed Air, Fuel, Pressurization (ECS), Engine Fire and Ice Protection systems. - Avitab support in 3D tablet (requires the Avitab free plugin). - Animated Cabin with Passenger Control Tablet (Shades, Tables, Doors and “airshow” system). - Various 4K PBR liveries and additional 2K PBR livery for low-spec hardware - VR-ready and VR-friendly - Custom documentation based on AFM, POH, PTM and QRH. - Tested and approved by real EMB-505 Phenom 300 pilots Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Download Size: 600 MB Current and Review Version: 1.0r (23rd March 2021) ___________________________________ Installation and documents: download for the Phenom is 600.00Mb and the aircraft is deposited in the "Aircraft" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 1.24Gb "AviTab" VR-compatible tablet is required, download is free, and installation is in your X-Plane/Plugins Folder. Documents supplied are: Install_Recommended_settings.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 Checklists.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - Normal Checklist.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - Reduced Normal Checklist_2xA5 (1).pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - Procedures.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - TOLD Card kg.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - TOLDG Cardboard x4 KG.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - TOLDG Cardboard kg.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - TOLD Card lbs.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - TOLDG Cardboard x4 lbs.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - TOLDG Cardboard lbs.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - Flight Manual.pdf Aerobask Phenom 300 - Performances.pdf Manual(s) are excellent with full aircraft data, system references, and full checklists and flying tips Support forum for the Phenom 300 FTW to SAT full flight video... ___________________________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  23rd March 2021 Copyright©2021 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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 Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.53 Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - EIDW - Airport Dublin V2 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - EGGD - Bristol International Airport by Pilot-Plus + (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$22.95
  2. Aircraft Review : Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante XP11 by Dreamfoil Creations One of the great delights in reviewing aircraft are the ones that come from nowhere and then simply blow you away, the addictive ones, the aircraft that you simply can't shake off and just want to fly them over and over again because they are just that good, and that they are so involving and reinforces the whole complete reason you are in this X-Plane flying simulator thingy in the first place. One such aircraft was the Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante or "Bandit" from Dreamfoil Creations and that it is already an odd start in that as developers and then Dreamfoil are more renowned for their helicopters than fixed-wing aircraft, but like a comedian that does a straight role, they are usually better than the developers or the actors that are the fixed-wing or drama specialists in the first place. In a coincidence, I flew the EMB 110 in its X-Plane10 version only a few weeks ago, and obviously my first thought's were, then this aircraft would be even better in X-Plane11, well I now not need or wait any longer anymore because here it is in it's newly polished X-Plane11 PBR shine, the Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante XP11. It was always a simply amazing aircraft to fly, but also very challenging... but that was also part of it's immense appeal as noted in my review: Aircraft Review - Embraer EMB -110 Bandeirante by Dreamfoil Creations. Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante XP11 The original EMB 110 was a very high quality aircraft and was also very feature rich. So in X-Plane11 then those areas have not changed at all, in fact the PBR effects have completely enhanced that quality to a whole new level again, in other words the "bandit" looks excellent. Dreamfoil are really great developers, and the detail here is simply excellent, these are nice aircraft, realistic and really well put together. So every nut, bolt, rivet, panel, RF antenna, pitot tube, NACA vent, door handle, screw, cable, hydraulic line, brake assembly and every item that makes this airliner is all done here with precision and perfection. The HF Antenna between the upper tail and forward fuselage can be hidden in the menu. All these areas have been recalibrated for the maximum effect, in quality and with the newer X-Plane11 dynamics, so the MB 110 looks simply amazing. But to note the older liveries now don't work? Which is a shame as I lost my lovely Air New Zealand livery, but the new XP11 paintkit has been posted to redo the liveries for this XP11 version. Gear detailing is perfection and first rate. Glass also delivers high standards in design and reflections. One great Dreamfoil feature (on their choppers) was that you could open doors and activate items externally... With the front passenger door it can still be tricky to see the activation arrows from certain angles on the center of the door? but it is really great to open the aircraft externally.... you open also the large rear cargo door via the separate smaller panel to the right. Internally the cabin looks different? It is the same, but the colour of the seats have gone from a drab grey to brown leather, and the carpet is now also blue from the same greyness as before, so overall the cabin feels more colourful and it is far better and to the good for that. Cockpit The view of the cockpit is in that "I can't believe in how good and realistic this all is" observation... We are used to very high quality cockpits in X-Plane, but this is still one of the very best. Because of the sheer realism available in this cockpit, you love being in here, in control, enjoying the moment. Every single detail is covered and the levers are worn, tired whatever, and yes those amazing rudder pedals not only work but you can adjust them as well. The seats four armrests are also animated and retract. Yokes can be hidden, but only the very top yoke handles, so the yoke column still covers some lower panel switchgear. Instrument Panel The panel is a lovely clockwork design, very regional in layout and a bit like a KingAir panel. At first glance it can look both easily very complicated and complex. But when you break them down they are usually quite easy to fly and understand. Left to right across the panel, we will start with the pilots station.  As for the flying instruments placed they are quite basic. The standard six: Altimeter, Speed, Heading Indicator or RMI, V/S (Vertical/Speed) and Horizontal Horizon are all well represented with the ADF and VOR directional points in the heading indicator and a CDI "Course deviation indicator". The rate of turn indicator is also set out below, all these main seven flying instruments are duplicated on the Co-Pilot's panel station. There is a bigger CDI on the far left of the pilot's panel and analog clock at the top. Brake and pump pressure (PSI) are noted low down. Undercarriage and Flap indicator is central lower and hard to see and use and Cabin Temperature is on the Co-Pilot's lower panel. The central panel is divided up into sections. Left are the twin sets of engine dials and gauges, from the top is: Engine Temp ºC, Torque(lb-ft), RPM% (Nh), RPM% (Ng), Oil Temp ºC, Oil Pressure PSI and ºC. Top is an extensive and fully working Fire panel with pull handles and test buttons. Set centre is the biggest change from the earlier XP10 EMB 110... gone are the older (but very authentic) three Collins sets and are now replaced by the more modern avionics as from the top there a Garmin GMA 340 receiver, Garmin GNS 530 and and the smaller Garmin 430 below (All X-Plane native gps units) as these were changed over in the v2.2 update. ATC Transponder, VOR 2 directional radio and ADF radio. In the middle of the stack is a basic but lovely Trimble Navigation TNL 2100 GPS. Right centre panel is a Benedix/King WX weather radar set (tube style) which is also a great unit, with an excellent warning annunciator panel below. The aircraft comes with a full Air Conditioner simulation system that is very effective and usable with the Air-Con panel situated down left of the Co-Pilot on the lower side panel. Highlight is the comprehensive fuel panel which is a thing of beauty all by itself!, gorgeous in design with gauges for fuel flow (top), Fuel Pressure PSI, and usable fuel lbs x 2 below. Main, Aux tank switches and crossfeed. There is a "Foxbaro" fuel used (reset) counter at the top that can reset to zero on startup, so you know the perfect quantity of fuel consumed... The pedestal is quite basic, but beautifully crafted. Main twin-levers for throttle, Prop and Condition. Three trim knobs are good and easy to use... but the setting marker on the pitch is very hard to see? I would have put a blob of white paint on it... and also on the central pedestal is the Autopilot (A/P) panel. The A/P is quite basic in mostly hold modes and a dial for turns and thumb wheel for pitch. In the earlier version it was very difficult to use the autopilot because of it's buried position... in this XP11 version you now have a pop-up A/P panel (hooray!) that is activated by pressing the autopilot FD/AP repeater panel (action lights). A common mistake is that users think that the A/P doesn't work... but you have to first switch it on (arrowed) before you can use the autopilot panel (it lights up when activated). Overhead Panel (OHP) is quite complicated, it covers the electrical buses, aircraft lighting (Internal/external), wipers and engine start switches. You really have to study it to fully understand the bus flows and the way it is laid out for use. The "Deicing" panel is high right above the Co-Pilot on the roof, and you have all the full deicing options for the propellers, windshield, engine inlets and all wing pneumatic wing boots. Again very complex and well done, but requires study... a lovely AMP gauge is the highlight of the panel. So the cockpit looks and is complex, but it is in reality quite easy to use, the main point is the way you interact with the aircraft, and that is in a wonderful way. Switches are big, functional and the all the switch lighting is also large (usually green) and they all glow beautifully in the faded light or dark.... this EMB 110 is a great place to be in.  Menu Anyone who has flown any of Dreamfoil's other aircraft will be very familiar with this circular disc selection system called Smartmenu. On the XP10 version the Smartmenu was activated by pressing on the centre of the glareshield, but it has now been moved to the panel warning sticker next to the FD/AP repeater panel (arrowed), and that it is a far better place to access it. Items available in the menu when going counterclockwise and from the top is first the "SmartLivery" selection. Here you can rotate through all the liveries and easily select the one you require, and the livery is shown in the centre of the disk... Next is the set Views that includes positions of the: Pilot, Co-Pilot, Console, Overhead, Passengers, PostCam, Passenger 1, Passenger 2, Baggage Compartment and Tail Cam... all are excellent. Volume... the aircraft comes with Dreamfoil's excellent sound DreamEngine which includes over +50 sounds, Doppler Effect and Atmospheric Attenuation, realistic turboprop sounds with real-time propeller dynamic and relative sustain effect for startup and shutdown. You can adjust the volumes here on the menu disk to your specific liking. FOV allows you to change the "Field of View"... ... and the Checklist is excellent, it is very well done and you can move the pop-up binder around the screen and also scale the binder to fit smaller spaces. Stability allows you to change the percentages % of Yaw, Roll and pitch to your liking. You can customise changes in three items; Tail-Plane (change to 10º dihedral), HF_Antenna and activate (system) Failures. Exterior; This menu item can be accessed both on the internal menu and externally by pressing the circle on the nose of the aircraft. Your GPU (external power) can be selected here (You can also use the lower point on the battery switch on the "Overhead" panel), the GPU has changed colour as well from yellow to white, personally I preferred the yellow version. External options include the GPU, Wheel Blockers? (Chocks), Pitot caps, Engine caps, Tail Support and Safety Cones. One other selection item is for loading the fuel... you press a pump handle on each wing centre cap to bring up a % dial of the amount of fuel in each wing tank, and you can then adjust the fuel amounts to your liking. Flying the EMB 110 XP11 Start up is Beacon and Nav lights on, fuel pumps on... and I have set 2,139.50lbs of fuel on board to make the distance to Cork (EICK) from EIDW (Dublin) Ireland. On the OHP I set the AC BUS Bar switches on, Inertial Separation switches to on (condition levers to up) and to start is a simple switch up of the "Start" switch. The turbo-whine starts up outside of one of the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 turboprop engines (Same as in the King Airs, PC12 and Twin-Otters) and each engine gives you 783 eshp and 750 shp. Throw another switch and you get another whine from the second engine and the start-up procedure is fully automatic. The Ng RPM will settle down at idle around 52%, and the excellent as mentioned DreamEngine sounds will give you the full voice from whine startup to idle revolution power. If you are connected up to a good sound system (like I am with a bose) then be fully prepared to feel all that turbo power that raises all the hairs on the back of your neck. It is simply great stuff. Once the engines are running you can then switch down both "Start" switches to "Interruption" and turn on both G1 and G2 engine generators, Then close down the external GPU... As expected the performance dynamics of X-Plane11 and they are all very different from the original, once you have idled the engines you need to pull back on the mixture (once the engines have warmed up) for a more leaner idle to taxi. Wipers are on, and as it is raining hard in Dublin the "thunk, thuck" to each side of the window is created with a great realism... I noticed the panel lighting is a lot, lot less brighter than on the earlier versions, and it makes the panel look quite blander, you would think that XP11 lighting would be better here and not worse? Flaps 25%, brakes off and throttle up... The Bandeirante will track the runway very well, but when you lift off around 135knts with that 1500shp power pulling you upwards but with the thrust going slightly sideways the aircraft will very quickly roll right, if you are not prepared for that slip to the right you are very quickly going off the departing runway centre line. So you are working the rudder and yoke to keep the aircraft in a nice straight line while holding a 5º-7º pitch. The first time the slip will easily catch you out but after a few runs to adjust to it and love the feel of this lively machine in your hands. Rolling to a new heading needs a firm hand but it is easier than you think it would be, and you need flaps quickly up (or 0º) before you are out of the slow (white zone) at 148knts. Speed is then set at 91% Nh. Climb at fpm is around 1000ft and official Rate of Climb is noted around 8.3 m/s (1,640 ft/min), but I found the 1000fpm setting was a better feel and climb without losing power and speed. One thing that threw me was that the undercarriage didn't retract on my Saitek switch command (set to the X-Plane key settings), this gear has a manual gear drop feature which is very clever via a red lever, but it also cancels out the native command as well, you can then only raise and lower the gear via the panel switch... The Embraer certainly feels different from the earlier versions, and certainly more to my liking as it feels more complete and refined. I broke though to low cast heavy cloud cover at around 3000ft, and felt freeee... If you don't want unwarranted issues then make sure you turn off the "Failures" on the menu, I had a "Fire" in my left engine because I held the power up too high on a takeoff and a "Landing gear" failure, all very exciting and authentic if you like your flying that way, but I just want to fly today. One area I was keen to check out in this new version was the heading change and a hard bank... In the original aircraft my impressions of the Bandeirante were not that great in the turn or the bank, as I found the aircraft just badly pitched up and down and sometimes as much as a thousand ft per minute and in some cases as it did the banking manoeuvre, and it was all quite hard to control and cancel out this heavy wave effect... ... after a few rolls under both the A/P and manually rolling under the stick and rudder, I can confirm that this nasty issue thankfully has now gone away, in fact the aircraft is really lovely under any change of heading, but you have to keep the inputs quite smooth and small as the aircraft is still quite delicate under the stick, but it is now far, far better to fly, and so that is a big plus to X-Plane11 dynamics there. It is a hell of a nice place to be in up here... ... the cockpit uses the X-Plane PBR effects to the limit, it is highly realistic and livable. The only thing I noticed was that it was easy to confuse the A/P pop-up panel for the Menu pop-up, or you got even both if you got confused by the selection zones as they are located quite close together. I found earlier approaches very tricky in the X-Plane10 version, it was hard to keep lift and fly at the same time with a very tight speed zone between them, so here I go again in the X-Plane11 version and was expecting the worst. Note the inverted nose illusion effect has been fixed as well. But the early approach signs were very good. I found that I could find a nice balance of speed around 120knts and with the flaps set at 60º and you could fly as steady as a rock here... all day. Flaps down to FULL or 100º and no sudden lift or painful loss of height... very nice, and with the speed slowing now to around 105knts it is again about perfect. Flap and undercarriage design and animation is excellent, great detail and beautifully created. The main gear track is quite wide so you have to make sure your landings are quite level, or if not the aircraft will bounce on one wheel (tip the wing up) and then bounce to the other before both wheels settle down. Mighty, mighty impressed, this is far better than before... over the fence. A nice little flare at around 100knts as stall speed is around 87 knots, and you do a perfect landing, but again be sure to be perfectly level as the rear wheels touch. In the earlier version there was some confusion in using the "beta" mode of the throttle, currently the setting "hold thrust reverse at max" which I have set on my joystick trigger works fine to reverse the props, but the aircraft became a little bit of a handful under the beta reverse mode, a Laminar ground effect issue or an aircraft issue, but I may have to practise that more in the future but I would blame the former. Cork, and that was certainly a very different feel and difference between the old and new versions on slow approaches, I was actually very impressed and the newer X-Plane dynamics have done simply wonders to the aircraft, as the EMB 110 feels very different and certainly it is far more flyable. Lighting Overall the lighting is excellent, as noted the panel feels far more dimmer than before. Cockpit lighting is controlled by four rotary dials, three on the pilot's side and one on the Co-Pilot's. It is excellent at night, fully adjustable and you can turn off the overhead lighting on the OHP. So no doubt the EMB 110 is a very nice place to work in. There are map reading lights each side, but they still don't work? The rotary dials cover both flying instrument lighting, Overhead Panel and the Avionics, and other switches cover the main cockpit lighting and rear cabin lighting with three settings of: OFF - MEDIUM - OVERALL or half lighting or full cabin lighting. There are some EXIT signs but I couldn't get them to work, which is a shame. External lighting is again excellent... with Navigation, top and bottom Beacons, strobes and tail light. All lighting including the strobes reflect on the ground and are about perfect. There is a Landing light in each wing and a single taxi light positioned on the front gear strut. Other lighting features are gear well lights, great ice/wing lights and when the door is open an overhead entrance light. Liveries There is one blank/white livery and four brand liveries that all strangely don't have any registration numbers? Quality is however very high, and come with 4k textures and detailing. Summary First point to make here is the price? Which is US$29.95... that is simply a crazy price for an aircraft like this, nuts!, this is worth US$35 minimum for the quality, detailing and the huge amount of features you get with this aircraft and this certainly a highly immersive aircraft that is easily in high Carenado price territory, better still if you already have the earlier X-Plane10 version you can also upgrade to this new exceptional X-Plane11 release for only $19.95. Dreamfoil Creations were always one of the very best developers for X-Plane, as noted mostly for their exceptional helicopters, but their only fixed-wing aircraft (to date) is this Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante. But their same exceptional quality is here for you as well and that includes all the usual Dreamfoil Creations features in clever menus, brilliant sounds, loads of features and pretty well almost everything that includes the kitchen sink as well... almost. The upgrade also fixes up all of of the small issues that came with the original aircraft, and they are mostly in the flying dynamics, in banking and slow speed lift and feel. In fact it is about perfect in all areas now and simply a great aircraft to fly. The hard to get to and use autopilot now has a pop-up and scaling panel as well, which had been another if slight annoyance... but a few things have also gone slightly backwards. The indirect panel lighting is not as effective as before and it is far more dimmer which takes a lot of the wow factor out of the instrument panel, Undercarriage does not work via key input and the yokes only semi-disappear. There are still some missing lighting items like the side spots and EXIT signs, but all these are mere niggles compared to what you get overall. So overall it is again that sensational price, and everything noted above in this review is what you get for your money... but above all else this Bandeirante is an excellent aircraft and delivers on every single level in what you would expect as one of the best small regional twin-props you can get today and now the aircraft is also available in a X-Plane11 cofiguration and uses the dynamics and features of X-Plane11 very well as well, so what more could you really wish for... Highly recommended. _____________________________________________________________________ The Dreamfoil Creations Embraer EMB -110 Bandeirante XP11 is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante XP11 And is priced at only US$29.95 Owners of the EMB 110 XP10 can get this new version for only $19.95. Please find the coupon code in the your original EMB110 invoice at the store Features: Revamped and Optimized for X-Plane 11 Improved Flight Model for XP11 New PBR textures on both Interior and Exterior Many new features VR Compatible New Ultra-High quality 3D model Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel , cockpit and passenger cabin Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Tested by real pilots. All Systems simulation Realistic simulation of all switches Caps for turbine inlet, outlet and pitot GPU (Ground Power Unit) available New exterior objects Air Conditioner simulation, including a nice sound that react to vent directions Prop Disc effects feature 3D holographic side view, which changes depending on prop settings Fully articulated and animated sun visors Wx radar simulation Failures simulation (Engine Fire, Over Torque, Electrical Failures, Landing Gear, etc) Original Autopilot installed and realistic behavior Pop-up menus for Autopilot and Checklist Manual landing gear actuator Laminar’s GNS430/530 SmartMenu Technology Clickable external areas for increased interactivity. Refuel the aircraft by clicking on the fuel inlet, a pie slider make it very easy Open cargo compartment and Passenger Door from exterior A menu on the nose for inserting or removing motor covers, wheel block, pitot cover, safety cones, GPU and support in the tail. These items can be inserted or removed also by clicking on them. A customization menu allow to set few equipment like (HF-Antenna, Tail-plane with 10º dihedral and enable/disable Failures) all in real-time with no need to restart the sim. DreamEngine sounds Over +50 sounds included 3D directional sounds - Compatible with Rapture3D plugin (same used by codemasters) Custom sounds for switches, buttons and circuit breakers Realistic exterior and interior sounds - Simulation of all the Horns Requirements: X-Plane 11.20+ Windows, MAC, Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended for VR Current review version: 3.0 (August 2nd 2018) Installation : Download file size is 636.20mb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 3.49gb Documents : Four documents that cover a main Pilot's manual (23 pages), real Embraer performance tables and normal, emergency procedures Manual EMB-110.pdf normal_procedures.pdf emergency_procedures.pdf Manual EMB 110.pdf Developer Support Site : Embraer 110 by Dreamfoil Creations .Org Support _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton  3rd August 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (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) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - EIDW - Airport Dublin V2 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95 - EICK - Cork Airport Ultimate & Business Park XP10/11 1.4 by Ciano35 (X-Plane.org) - Free - credit goes to Cormac Shaw at www.xpih.net for the original custom EICK
  3. Aircraft Review - Embraer E175 by X-Crafts In regional aviation for airlines the biggest revolution has been the replacement of 70-110 seat turboprops with economic new generation jet aircraft. Of these two aircraft companies have dominated in Bombardier Aerospace with their CRJ Series and coming C Series, but the real success story in this regional jet category is the Brazilian Embraer company with their E-Jet family of aircraft. These fast efficient modern aircraft have revolutionised the hub and spoke system of aviation networks in that you can today step out of that modern long haul cabin and straight into a regional aircraft cabin of the same standard, space and quality and have the same speed factor than sitting in a droning turboprop for hours.(yes economics have again swung the pendulum back in favor of the ATR's and Q400's, but only over short distances). The first delivered aircraft was an E-170 in 2004 to the Polish Airline LOT and the larger stretched version with two extra rows of seats (88 to 80) was the 21,810 kg (48,080 lb) E-175, that first entered service a year later with Air Canada in 2005. X-Crafts Embraer Aircraft X-Crafts came into X-Plane in August 2014 with their first release aircraft E-175 LR: Aircraft Review : Embraer ERJ 195 LR by X-Crafts I was immediately impressed with the quality of X-Craft's design and excellent 3D modelling and an excellent looking aircraft it is. As this being a very first release it did note and require a small refining period, but by the time of an update to v1.2 in early Nov 2014, you were looking at a pretty nice looking aircraft at a great purchase price. This Embraer release is the follow up aircraft in the smaller E-175. And outwardly it looks extremely similar to the bigger earlier E-195 LR, but it is not as this aircraft has been 95% remodeled from the ground up, and it is in the details that shows how far the difference is between the two aircraft, and the E-195 LR is still very good in the first place. The equation that is important to remember here is the amount of detail and quality you get for your money. Yes certainly a FlightFactor aircraft gives you an amazing amount of systems and general spectacular features, but it comes at nearly three time the cost of the X-Crafts aircraft and you are not skimming here as the aircraft is very high in quality and has a lot of very good features for a very nice price, it is a very nice aircraft to fly as well as we will find out... In X-Plane terms, the E-175 is an excellent, quality aircraft and amazing value compared to aircraft even only a few years ago. Exterior Sitting on the ramp the aircraft simply oozes quality, it is a nice sized and looking aircraft as well. but if you get in closer then the detailing starts to really jump out at you. On an aircraft this size I don't think I have seen better detailing, it is extremely well done and detailed. Ribs, latches, handles and pitot probes are all expertly done. Door animation (latches as well) are excellent for all four fuselage doors and the two lower cargo hatches. The beautiful (If you into great engineering) GE CF34-8E uprated 200 turbofans are astounding in quality and execution, and the central wing attachment strengthened areas are very well and realistically done. Undercarriage construction, links, hydraulic pressure hoses, wheel supports and hubs are expertly created, it is all as good as it could get. The detailing is carried on around the tail and rear elevators, the metal heat shroud for the rear mounted APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) is exceptional as is the detailing for elevator maintenance access panels. Menu's There are three "Menu" tabs in M, P and C on the left lower point of your screen. M-Menu (main) The top "M" menu popup covers opening and closing the four fuselage (Two front and two rear service) doors and the two lower Cargo hatches. Three other items cover the "Ground Objects" which include chocks, cones and pitot covers. GPU (Ground Power Unit) and pushback truck. If the box is ticked off you get an "Alert" of the pushback truck is disabled, click the box and the pushback truck appears, we will cover the use of the "P" pushback truck later when we use it. C-Checklist There is a spiral bound checklist book (current fad at the moment). There are eight tabs on the checklist manual covering "Before Start - Startup - After Start - Takeoff - Descent - Landing - Parking and Secouring" All procedures are very clear and precise, and so this is a handy guide to operating the aircraft. Interior and Cockpit On entering the E-175 the cabin is very well done and two class, only small point is the chairs feel a bit too big a scale and the distance between the chair height and the luggage bins is quite narrow, but you can't fault the detail, nice touch is the rows of seatbelt and no smoking signs above each row when activated. Both the forward and aft galleys are excellent and really well modeled and detailed, separate highly detailed food carts are the highlight here. Like the outside in the cockpit at first glance it looks exactly like the earlier X-Crafts E-195 LR, but the subtle differences are there, it is better and more detailed, the five display panels are more cleaner, brighter, sharper (although that can bring out a little more anti-alias at lower resolutions because the lines are finer) It is certainly the new improved version of the last one, but overall the panels look and feel more complete and that feeling is carried through over the whole aircraft. The Pedestal was beautifully done on the E-195, and that design has been carried through here as well, and even the rear FMS displays information when programmed, small but welcome details. The five main display panels are switchable via the Reversionary Panel which swaps the displays between four different modes. PFD and the MAP/NAVIGATION displays are your main two screens for both Pilot and Second Officer, central screen covers the engine and aircraft parameters. There is only a backup Artificial Horizon and clock timer on the central panel with the Autobrake and Gear selection. The aircraft and systems is powered by the Honeywell "Primus Epic®Integrated Avionics System" that covers every aspect of the avionics and flight management of the aircraft. As a nice touch the Honeywell logo pops up on the displays on startup. Main engine items include N1, ITT (Turbine Inlet Temperature), N2 and FF (Fuel Flow Per Hour). Fuel QTTY (Quantity), Oil Pressure (PSI) and Temperature. Slate and Flap position indicator, LG (landing Gear) position and Autobrake settings, APU percentage (running) and Temperature. Aircraft data and alert/information displays, lower bottom is the aircraft "TRIMS" settings. PFD (Primary Flight Display) The main PFD is the standard glass cockpit primary display in having an Artificial Horizon with built in rate of turn and bank indicator. either side of the Artificial Horizon is the speed and altitude tapes with the vertical speed (V/S) on the right. The Horizontal ILS CDI (course deviation indicator) is ever present and the vertical indicator appears when the approach mode is armed. Across the top is the Flight Mode Annunciation (FMA). And this sub­display indicates the autopilot modes that are active and armed. Lower in the PFD is the navigation section that covers a compass rose (built in course/CDI) with VOR and DME overlays, navigation source mode indication, heading, VOR and COM radios frequencies, and NAV/FMS data. Map - Navigation Display There are two main displays for Navigation and Plan modes (route). Popup menus give you access to Map Range (shown on display) and Nav-Aid/Fix indicators. Weather includes Light Storm and Alfa Atn. Top right menus give you access to seven pages of aircraft parameters covering - (Current) Status - Flight Controls (Ctrl) - Hydraulics - Fuel - Electrical - ECS (environment) - Anti-Ice. All displays can be adjusted for brightness via the far left knob lighting panel, which unlike the same on the E-195 in that all the knobs now work independently of each other. Overhead Panel The overhead panel (OHD) is surprisingly straight forward, in most actions are just automatic. All systems really take care of themselves with access needed only really to set fuel tank operation and aircraft lighting controls, even the GPU or APU access is controlled by the active unit. Autopilot panel is nicely laid out and easy to use. Nice features are three way altitude adjustments to set large different altitude settings, making things quick and easy, a few more things we will come to on the AP when we fly the aircraft, but one item that needs pointing out is the VOR1 - VOR2 and FMS (Flightplan) selection. "FMS" is the button on the top, but the "VOR1" (ILS Landing) and "VOR2" selection is noted under "BRG"? MCDU - Multi Control Display Unit One of the features of X-Crafts E-175 is a MCDU/FMS unit. To be clear it is only loosely based on the Honeywell avionics system, it looks like the system and you access it the same way as well, but under the skin it is a very highly developed X-Plane default FMS, and that is best kept in mind when using it. It works in the context of creating a flightplan with three elements, those are the: SID (Standard Instrument Departure) - Route - STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) It may look like a standard MCDU flightplan formatting layout, but it is not. For one the three elements are totally separate until they are activated together as a complete flight plan, It is clever as well because you can change each element separately without affecting the other two. The central "Route" section is a standard X-Plane .fms flightplan and it is saved and loaded as such a file, but with each time you load in your saved .fms flightplan you will then have to create the SID and STAR elements from new. Start page is the "MCDU INDEX" This is main central place menu you go to to do all the various elements of creating, changing, saving, loading flightplans, two other bottom keys allow you to access the AUTOPILOT and RADIO pages. We start at the "STATUS" page by accessing the L1 (Left - key 1). This page shows you the current "Status" of the aircraft, It includes the general condition of the aircraft at this point in "position" Autopilot (on/off, AP Source, Next waypoint, Flightplan, Speed, AutoThust setting and NAV Radio settings. To create a route then we start with the DEPARTURE point or airport, press the L2 key to create a start to your flightplan and create a SID. Type in the lower scratchpad your DEP Airport, in this case "KRSW" SouthWest Florida Intl and input L5 Key. Select your departure runway by the R3 Key. All navigation on the MCDU is done via two sections of the lower input knobs, outer (larger) knob allows you to move up or down the list, smaller inner knob is used to select or activate your choice. Select a SID by pressing R4 Key and again go down the list via the outer knob. If you reach the bottom of the list, the list will not scroll, so you have to go to the next list page by pressing the NEXT button or to go back to the previous page then press PREV, again press the centre inner knob to select your SID. With the SID Stored it is time to load or create a route... You have two options in "ADD ROUTE WPTS" or LOAD (.fms flightplan)" We will look a the LOAD First. The .fms flightplans are stored in the X-Plane "Output/FMS plans" folder, and you use the standard navigation of outer knob for moving up or down the list and inner knob for selection. The PREV and NEXT buttons navigate the pages of flightplans, and in fact is a far quicker system to find your flightplan quicker than using an endless scroll like most selection processes. If you have loaded your route then you can go to the next step of ARRIVAL, if you need to create a route then you press ADD ROUTE WPTS Creating Waypoints is easy. Select your chosen NavAid via the AIRP (Airport), VOR, NDB, FIX or Lat-Lon keys (FIX is default), then insert your NavAid/Waypoint ICAO code on the scratchpad and input via the L3 Key, you also have option to add in the altitude via the L5 Key, if correct then press SAVE R5 Key. On VOR/NDB you may be given a choice of waypoints to chose from, select the one you require. In all scratchpad inputs you have a reverse arrow <- on the bottom row of the MCDU to go back one space or DEL to clear the waypoint. When you SAVE the next segment (WPT#) then appears, repeat till you have all your route segments completed, then use MCDU INDEX to go to main menu page. Now the final element is the ARRIVAL STAR. Press on the MCDU INDEX page ARRIVAL R2 Key. Input your ARRIVAL airport... KATL L5 Key, then SELECT RUNWAY R3 Key to select your arrival runway and activate via the inner knob. You have a choice of FINAL approaches in ILS, RNAV or VOR/D and select the one you require. Last approach choice is the STAR you require, select from the list and again activate via the inner knob. Now you have created all three elements in the SID - ROUTE - STAR and to Execute the full flightplan you press EXEC to load the plan into the system. Press R1 Key (FLT PLAN) to see your Flightplan. You can review your route on the MAP/NAV (PLAN) display and as you scroll down the list it will go through the various waypoints on the plan. If you want to you can input a route name and SAVE it to your "Output/FMS plans" folder. You can use any .fms X-Plane flightplan, but remember it can be only the centre section of the SID - ROUTE - STAR layout. Editing any element in SID - WAYPOINTS (route) - STAR is selected by the assigned key on the MCDU INDEX page, and you again go back to the MCDU INDEX page and press EXEC to reload the flightplan. Last two selections on the MCDU are the RADIOS R6 Key pages and AUTOPILOT L6K. RADIOS is a full Radio Frequency page for Radio management. All frequencies are covered and there is a duplicate manual version on the middle pedestal, but inputting is so much easier here with the key pad. Very nice to use it is as well... COM 1 and 2, VOR/NAV 1and 2 and your XPDR Transponder identity code and visual reference on page one and ADF/NDB frequencies on page two. The AUTOPILOT is just a general information page (no progress page) as yet. Overall this is a hybrid MCDU, a very good one though and it works very well and it has been extremely well put together by Steve Wilson. And no doubt it forms the basis of a more featured system that was not possible because of current time constraints. But certainly the enhancement of a better map display and rather than the usual X-Plane red route marker would be the first enhancement I would execute. But the basics are in place and very clever it is in operation. Flying the Embraer E-175 You can start the engine from either the GPU or the built in APU. The start sequence is mostly automatic and by just turning on the ignition switches and then the start switch for each engine. From the E-195 LR I didn't like the way both switches moved together, in one start sequence they still do, but like a lot of changes from the E-195 they are now independent operations. Sounds are first rate, really authentic and the startup sequence is very good. If you select the "Pushback" option from the "M" menu then you can activate the pushback truck via the "P" menu. You need to design the pushback you want in, straight back, pivot right or left or to park the tractor, then you set your distance and press "Accept" to activate the plan, you then do a acknowledgement to "confirm" or "Abort", then click off the brakes and off the tractor goes... It works very well, but we are used to throttle controlled, joystick manoeuvring trucks today, so I found it a bit restricting. Power up and off the brakes and the aircraft nice to taxi... To get the best clean takeoff and flight transition it is best to set up a lot of the AP (AutoPilot) ready before takeoff, but don't activate the AP. FMS is selected and so is LOC for flightplan lock in, Setting and arming the V/S (Vertical Speed) which is set here at 2300fpm, both Flight Directors (FD) on and the speed set at 220knts and transition speed altitude set at 15,000ft. Don't activate the ATHR (AutoThrust) if you don't want to find yourself taxiing fast through the airport carparks (yes at full throttle it is scary). Flaps set to 2. You can switch off the window tinting and excellent reflections, by pressing the left side window frame. The activated flightplan will show the aircraft's position, this maybe before the actual airport. but that is normal. Sometime like here if you have changed you runway direction and as KRSW does not have an available SID to the first waypoint of RODDE You sometimes have to do a -> DIRECT TO to the RODDE waypoint. To active this you press the -> Arrow that is used for DIRECT TO functions... The MCDU will note the DIRECT is EXECUTED. Using the DIRECT function is easy as well. Just use the outer knob to scroll down your flightplan list to select the waypoint/Fix you want to go DIRECT TO and press the arrow to activate. Brakes off and power up to the yellow band and your rolling... power build very easily and I rotate at 165knts and have a positive climb. The aim is to get the aircraft clean as soon as possible (Flaps housed and wheels up) before selecting the AP (Autopilot) button. If you have any flap lowered even at low speeds it affects the transition to V/S, and you will find yourself in a negative pitch and totally ruining your takeoff/climb phase, even the transition from manual flying to automatic can be problematic if your speed and flap position is wrong. Get it right and hit the already armed AP button and you just cruise upwards in a perfect linear climb and LOC straight into your flightplan. Just reset your speed for the right ATHR match and your aircraft will power its way in this case my 15,000ft speed transition altitude. The E175 is a seriously nice aircraft to fly. The length proportions compared to the longer E-175 LR make the machine more balanced, in manual control it is a really nice aircraft, take out the weight of passengers and a heavy fuel load and it has almost personal jet performance... curve away from the airport while slightly climbing and you could turn yourself into a fighter pilot with a passenger jet... so balanced and great handling. But today it is all business, passengers in the back and cargo hold full of weight, but the performance is still very good, you can easily climb (way) above the 2000fpm marker all the way to 30,000ft, but I am more gentler than that on my machines but still 1800fpm was no issue above the MACH change of 25,000ft. Cruise I personally love the way this aircraft looks in the air... picture perfect. The light captures it really well and it look great at any point day or night. It is very easy to slip back and enjoy the view from FL320, you are just purring along and monitoring the aircraft. On the right and left of the panel are three buttons to show two popup screens of the MCDU and the Radio panel, but they are static and can't be moved around or resized. Approach Like most regional flights KRSW (South West Florida) to KATL Atlanta is 1h 20m which is a usual sort of flight of this nature. Leading edge and flap extension is excellent with great animation and design, even small sections of the flap extensions open and close to clean up the system. Approach speed is around 136knts at full flap before ILS capture, but you have to watch you first two flap extensions as the wing is very efficient and the drag noticeable and will heavily adjust your pitch. Final approach is around 125knts, and you have push the aircraft down a little to make a secure contact with the runway (RWY27R) and then make sure the nosewheel is hard in contact as well, as the aircraft can be a little light on the nose. Thrust reversers are very effective, but make sure you pull back on the throttle and close the engine doors without lowering your speed too far, as the engines take a fair while to spool right back down for taxiing thrust. I found that a ATHR off approach is the best so for better speed control and the chance of the ATHR spooling the engines back up again... Clean up the aircraft and you can head to the gate. Lighting Cockpit lighting is good, but there is only really three adjustment positions and no click area spot lighting. But there is no denying it is a nice place to be at night, the cockpit feels and looks very good and very modern in design, it has been very well conceived and beautifully created. The rear cabin lighting is very good, but attached to the cockpit overhead lighting, so when you dim the cockpit overhead lighting for landing it goes dark in the back? Highlight is the excellent row seatbelt and no smoking signs overhead. Outside lighting is good if you can see past the X-Plane blobby lights (which I hate by the way) Aircraft looks very nice at night, but the logo tail lighting is connected to the Ice/wing lights, which I really don't like at all. They are for different uses. Landing lights are two set inner wings and one on the nosewheel, a second light on the nosewheel is used for taxiing. First impressions of the landing light reflections was "oh they are not that great, are they", but then they became very effective, so yes they are very good... but there are no runway turnoff lights, which is not to big a deal here as the lighting spread is quite wide. Strobes and smaller lighting is very good with HDR on. Liveries Liveries, include a blank and seven airline colours in Alitalia (default) Delta, American Eagle, both White and dark blue US Airways, Flybe and Air Canada. Quality is outstanding and all liveries are 4K HD (fuselage 10000px/meter squared) quality. Summary I am going to admit I really like this aircraft, as from the start of X-Crafts entry into X-Plane the modelling quality has always been exceptional, and the E-175 here is a very high standard... It just always looks so good in the light and flying hard through the sky. Yes there are quirks, and a few items that need a little refining over time (any aircraft is always needing a refining process), but the step even from the E-175 LR is noticeably higher, and as noted it looks the same outwardly but look and feel closer to the aircraft and you will see the quality and smaller detailing coming through. Don't likes, not much but a few quirks like double lighting switches, more control of the pushback truck, oversized cabin seats and the default X-Plane map interface. It is a really nice aircraft to fly, but you have to be and work at flying it really good... It can be a little difficult at lower flap speeds on takeoff more than landing, but time and a feel for the aircraft will eliminate those areas as you get really confident with it, then it all becomes automatic and the E-175 will become part of the fabric of your everyday flying. The new MCDU based on the Honeywell avionics system is to be noted as very new, and a new approach to setting up the aircraft. Again get used to it and it is easy to program and use, but in a few areas and mostly in a visual sense the X-Plane base is evident and there is certainly a bit more room for a bit more future development and refining here... as I said it is very new here on this release but it will certainly become more powerful, deeper in systems and obviously will become very good going forward. But if you like your flying regional, and like a gem of a great small 100 seater aircraft and one that is nice to fly, then it is really hard to go past the Embraer E-175 from X-Crafts... all round it is gem of a good machine. Yes! the Embraer E175 by X-Crafts is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-175 Price is US$34.95 Features Accurate dimensions based on drawings and documentation provided by Embraer © Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Custom FMS Custom pushback plugin with animated tug On-screen checklist plugin - Plugin menu for door control, ground objects or GPU Tested by a real Embraer E175 pilot CUSTOM FMS both the custom and stock FMS are available on the pedestal or as popup panels More details about the FMS below INTERIOR: Amazing 3D modeling of cockpit and cabin High resolution textures High resolution Embraer style PFD, MFD, EICAS displays Pop-up screens, pop-up radios panel MFD with 8 synoptic pages and a new improved Navigation displa High resolution textures on panels - Text is crisp and clear to real Intuitive cockpit manipulation - I have always taken great care to make the cockpit as easy to use as possible. This means all clickable areas in the cockpit are very big so that you can easily click on any button, knob or lever in the cockpit Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated Detailed cockpit lighting - All cockpit lights are controllable Cargo area modeled HUD equipped EXTERIOR 4K High resolution textures (fuselage 10000px/meter squared) Highly detailed landing gears Flap and speedbrakes mechanisms modeled Realistic Wingflex animation 2 versions of winglets available 9 Liveries included so far and more are on the way! OTHER FEATURES compatible with UFMC, X-FMC compatible with JAR's Ground Handling Deluxe Night lighting, Nav and Strobe lights cast light on the surroundings Obviously a set of custom sounds 10 Liveries available ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 254.70mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 576.90mb Notes: Documents : Both an extensive Manual and MCDU operating guide. There is also a good video on how to use the MCDU by Steve Wilson: X-Crafts MCDU - Steve Wilson (mp4 download) Requirements : Windows, MAC or Linux. X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) 4Gb RAM - 1Gb VRAM Current version: 1.0 (last updated December 2nd 2015) (Note aircraft is very good on framerate, playback is current with similar sized aircraft and features) ______________________________________________________________________ X-Crafts Developer Support : ERJ - 175 by X-Crafts - X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 2nd December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic v2 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - South West Florida Intl by Aerosoft (KRSW - SouthWest Florida Intl - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95 - KATL - Atlanta International by Butnaru (KATL - Atlanta International- X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$23.95
  4. Aircraft Review : Embraer AT-27 Tucano by Brazilian FlightSim Development Group Fast turbo-prop twin-seaters are one of the most valuable, versatile and efficient aircraft you can have on your flightline. Their main role is as a trainer between standard trainers and fast jet aircraft. But their multi-role capability does not end there as light attack, counter insurgency (COIN), close air support and aerial reconnaissance missions are also their forte, that their unit price is under US$10 million is mighty good on the balance sheet as well. If you are a strategic state there is little choice in buying weaponry and air-power from other than the huge markets dominated by the Americans, Europeans, Russian and Chinese markets... And the bottom line cost can be high and in many cases because of trade or political differences your supply of the aircraft and spares can be precarious as well. The Brazilians wanted autonomy from these and other factional issues when it came to their own military requirements, and so the Brazilian government turned to a small light turboprop manufacturer called Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica (Embraer) and created a government-owned corporation to do just that. The Brazilian Air Force operated over one hundred piston-powered Neiva Universal basic trainers in the 60's and 70's and needed a more better and faster replacement. Neiva rolled out the prototype N621A (YT-25A) in 1975 with an extended body as the replacement, but the Brazilian Air Force was unimpressed with the design. Embraer bought out Neiva and devised the basic trainer based on the Neiva Universal as the PT6A-poweredEMB-311 counter-insurgency aircraft based on the Carajá. The basics were correct but changes to the EMB-311 were the more powerful PT6A-25C engine, raised rear cockpit and the addition of ejection seats. Eventually, the original specifications underwent a major modification, including a smaller fuselage with an upright cruciform tail instead of a swept-back tail; a more domed canopy; extended elevators; greater distance between the nosewheel and back wheel; reduction of the wing root; and an increased wingspan, tailplane and landing gear and this aircraft became the EMB-312 and the prototype of the Tucano or Toucan in English. The first prototype took flight on 16 August 1980, bearing the FAB serial 1300. The second prototype flew for the first time on 10 December 1980. A total of 118 T-27s were purchased by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) with an option for a further 50 aircraft.On 29 September 1983, the first units were delivered as an aerobatic demonstration aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the "Smoke Squadron" (Esquadrilha da Fumaça). The total number of delivered units to the Brazilian Air Force is 168 aircraft. There are a few variants to consider. First is the EMB-312S that was built under license by Short's of Belfast, Ireland. to meet a Royal Air Force requirements for a high-performance turbo-prop trainer to replace the Jet Provost and this aircraft is known as the "Short Turcano". Another variant is the EMB-312H that was an helicopter attack version designated as the "Helicopter killer", but it didn't go into production but did become the basis of the EMB-314 Super Tucano, dubbed the ALX, and was adopted by the Brazilian Air Force as the A-29. The aircraft here is the original EMB 312 and not the "Super" 314 version. The Tucano is currently flying in sixteen air forces over five continents. Brazilian FlightSim Development Group Brazilian FlightSim Development Group (BFDG) are very much into military aircraft. Their past aircraft have been the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and the Lockheed C-130HM Hercules transport, and here is their latest aircraft in the EMB-312 Tucano, and a very nice aircraft it is as well. For a mid-70's design the aircraft does look very modern and BFDG have done a great job in modeling this twin-seat trainer, quality is up and the design is solid. I like the look of the EMB-312. From the slight offset to one side view it is a very nice looking aircraft. Detailing is good and you do have the raised lines and panel silhouettes, but the livery texture lines tend to overwhelm the finer detail and is more evident on very close inspection, it doesn't matter because it looks good anyway. The large Hartzel HC-3BTN-3C/T10178-8R propeller dominates the front of the aircraft and it is well done with propeller angles that are animated from feather to full positions. There are a lot of complex shapes and curves in the fuselage that have been rendered really well, small detailing of radio antennas, foot supports and the canopy glass is excellent, very good and well conceived. Tri-cycle undercarriage is very well constructed and detailed, and I really like the branded tyres and wheel hub detailing. Menu The pop-up menu is located via a tab on the lower left of your screen. It can be moved around for the best position and it is only a "General Options" selection. Selections include: Canopy Open (close), Reticle On (Gunsight), Earplugs (needed!) Pilons (Pylons?) Out, HUD (Head Up Display) Removed, Chocks/Covers, GPU (Ground Power Unit), Mirrors, Front Pilot in/out, Oxygen Masks, Rear Pilot in/out, Maintenance, Views - Front or rear pilot. Menu selections are very good, with the excellent "Maintenance" giving you access to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C turboprop, 552 kW (750 hp) engine with toolbox and work stands. Other switchable items include: Chocks, Tags (covers) and a very large GPU. Another feature allows you to have the oxygen masks attached and the visor down or a clean face, both pilots can be in or out of the aircraft. Most menu Four underwing pylons carry two Mk 82 unguided, low-drag general-purpose bombs and two cannons which are loaded in the X-Plane Aircraft/Weight&Balance&Fuel/Ordnance menu. You can hide the support pylons via the menu, but only if the ordnance has been used or selected off... if not it looks odd with the pylons hidden in the trainer mode. Cockpit Front and rear cockpits are identical except for the HUD and rear view mirrors on the front pilot's glareshield. The virtual cockpits are very well done and detailed... The main panel is well modeled and has a complete set of dials and gauges with the standard six (Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicator) well placed with the excellent turn indicator which is invaluable and perfectly sighted with the Artificial Horizon. Right panel is engine monitor dials and gauges with the left panel used for backup instruments and switchgear., lower panel is the VOR (2) information and older standard radio sets, lower right is the Comm (communication) switches. There is a basic Garmin GPS 150, but there is no autopilot or screen for its use. Right side panel is mostly aircraft electrical and oxygen switches and left side panel is the throttle, gear, flap and engine start controls. Fuel panel far is lower right on the main panel with alert annunciators well done above with Warning (red), Caution (yellow) and Advise (green) lights panels and related causes diagram. Outwardly the panel in use looks great, but there is a short of greyness about it and my guess it is the lack of really good instrument reflections, the panel should be very accessible but it isn't as black are not blacks and the whole panel looks like it has a sheet of perspex over it? the main rear panel is really a more lighter grey than the far darker grey here. The top two mirrors use the rear X-Plane view, but as we know any feature using this idea hurts your framerate, and so it does here also, at night they are in daytime and bright than the rear dark sky, so they are best switched off. Overall the panel work is very good and detailed. Nightlighting Panel lighting is overall very good, but you do get that same frosty glaze over the instruments and dials. External lighting is good, with the green SLIME formation lights switchable. There are very good landing lights in each wing and a well created front wheel strut taxi light that conveniently switches off when you close up the gear, a small but welcome feature. Flying the AT-27 Turcano As to be expected the Tucano gives you a huge amount of power at your disposal, but you will need to keep engine on the green arcs and when in the MAX position, or full throttle the propeller speed will be maintained at around 101.5% Nh. So under normal operating conditions, the propeller speed will be constantly maintained at 99-100% Nh by the governor during the flight phases, over do that and your in trouble and you will have a blown engine in front of you. So the mantra is to keep your power levels always within the limits. Top speed is 539 km/h (291 kts) and in cruise your best at 180 kts at 15.000ft, ceiling is 28,700ft and your range is a whopping 1,916 km (1,034 NM) on the internal fuel tanks. The aircraft sounds like a Cessna Caravan on heat and as it should as the Tucano uses the same PT-6A Turboprop as the C208. But the sounds in 3d are not refined and you get the wrong zoom sounds from the wrong directional angles as you fly the aircraft, one moment they are whisper quiet and the next it is roaring in your ears, so it doesn't sound right or authentic, it works right in some areas but is way out in others... In the handling stakes you have a very nice solid platform under your control. Certainly an aircraft that is used to do some serious training is going to be a nice aircraft to fly, but the Tucano is lovely to aim and curve your way though the air. Nice and tight balanced turns dead on the marker in the rate of turn meter gives you goosebumps of "let us do that again"... so slight aerobatics is also within your reach, but let us not forget this AT-27 it is not an aerobatic machine, but just a very good trainer and light attack machine. Systems simulated are electrical with main bus and emergency systems active, 4 AC bars are available in the aircraft the main and emergency 115 V AC and 26 V AC systems. Generator and AC Inverters cover both MAIN and AUX, and both inverters operate in parallel automatically when feeding all the AC circuits. Warning Systems cover fuses: 2A / Cabin Air: 57,5A / Engine: 28A / Electricity : 32A / Fuel System: 40A / Radio/Instruments: 47A / Flaps Systems: 25A / Trim Systems: 22,5A / Lights: 70A / Landing Gear: 6A. Hydraulics covers two engine driven hydraulic systems which are available in parallel operation. An emergency gear deployment handle is available after an engine fail and if the loss of the hydraulics system for landing gear deployment The fuel system is modeled with the both internal and external tanks. With the internal tanks 1,450lbs, the aircraft has 6,3h of autonomy while with the extra two 330Lbs external tanks you can reach a maximum range of 9 hours. Variable flap control is effective, and very slow 80knt approach speeds are within easily of use and the aircraft is supremely steady in this speed range, and the view on approach is excellent. Sliding down to 7oknts will give you a great landing speed and with slight raise of the nose the contact is perfect... Only one thing here blights the copybook, it is the way BFDG have created the propeller animation for slow or idle throttle positions... When in low revolutions you get the full propeller or the turning propeller effects, and it simply doesn't work and looks odd, worse is when you are on approach as you regulate the throttle you suddenly have this huge non-moving object stuck right in your sights, so you have to add in throttle to get rid of it and a clearer view. Reverse pitch is however good and so is the "Taxi" zone setting on the throttle for the correct taxi speed. Liveries 14 liveries including: Brazilian Air Force which is covered by many different squadrons, Fuerza Aerea Venezolana, Colombiana, Argentina, Iranian Air Force, French Air Force (Armé de l'air) Royal Air Force, and even some private liveries. FAB (Brazilian Air Force) 1317 is default. Summary There is a distinctly new higher level of quality and design work from Brazilian FlightSim Development Group in the Embraer 312 Tucano and this is a very nice aircraft and a lovely machine to fly. Great features and details and a huge selection of liveries with excellent good reproduced systems of the real AT-27. But there are a few small mis-steps that could have created a really top notch machine, but I feel there is still a learning curve going on in there and even if the items noted are small, they do take away the 5 star rating... The lower propeller animations I just don't like, and the sounds are not tuned in the 3d zoom angles and can be quite annoying (or over loud) when you are enjoying the aircraft. The average gauge panel reflections spoil all the great work that is on the panel and grey out the panel and the interior. I never liked the X-Plane rear view mirrors but there is not a lot of options in this case... all small things but noticeable. To that note X-Plane level of quality does keep climbing, what was brilliant even a year ago can be average today. Overall the Tucano is a great aircraft and a great fast turboprop trainer and the quality is certainly on the up and this is the best yet from Brazilian FlightSim Development Group and a mighty effort to deliver one of the world's really great light attack and trainer aircraft. _________________________________________________________ The Embraer AT-27 Tucano by Brazilian FlightSim Development Group is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EMB 312 AT27 Tucano Your Price: $24.95 Features: High-resolution textures Nice custom sounds Virtual cockpit and cabin with animated switches, knobs and levers Custom gauges External tanks, gun pods and bombs fully functional Easy to use interface to turn pilots in/out, HUD, GPU, chocks and covers Realistic Flight Characteristics tested by real life pilots Systems and warnings systems modelled Sasl Menu for selection options English manual – user friendly – checklists Requirements X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) Windows, Mac or Linux 512Mb VRAM - 1Gb VRAM Recommended _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the Embraer AT-27 Tucano is 409.00mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Fighters" X-Plane folder at 508mb. There is a manual (17 Pages) and Checklist Sheets (13 Pages). A full Paintkit is also provided. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 13th July 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 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 - KFMY - Page Field - Fort Myers, Florida 1.0 by timbenedict3 (X-Plane.Org) - Free - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  5. Aircraft Update Review - Embraer E175 v1.1 by X-Crafts No matter how many t's are crossed and every i is dotted it is impossible to cover every single aspect of a first release of a quality aircraft. So the speed of an update and the spread of the coverage to clear those unforeseen bugs and fix those missed items and even add in a few extra new features is really the point an aircraft really starts to shine and you can see how good it really is. This is the first update for X-Craft's excellent Embraer E-175 which was released in early December 2015. This v1.1 release certainly does cover a lot of ground and there are a few changes to the actual way you operate the systems of the aircraft, all in the name of refinement. X-Craft's E-175 is certainly a big step forward from this progressive developer. Modeling and design wise it is overwhelmingly a lovely aircraft, you simply can't fault that aspect of the machine. Internally the E-175's cockpit it is a great place to fly an airplane. But there was something just slightly missing when you flew it. The word that comes to mind is clunky, not a big clunky but a quality refinement missing clunky, small almost non-existent items jerked or activated with a bit too much sharpness and no matter how great everything else worked and looked you felt it was just slightly missing the mark. It is what I call the missing 5%, that ever small gap that brings the aircraft to the high standard we all expect for our payments. But that 5% is also the most hardest if impossible margin to close, and I will make it clear that no aircraft will every be 100% perfect but you can get close, very close. And you really feel that in this v1.1 E-175 update that a lot of that gap has been well and truly closed. Certainly it is a far more smoother and competent aircraft, not that I stress again the base release aircraft was bad or awful in the first place because it wasn't. but this version has a greater refinement now as part of the package. There are a few changes as well and a couple of new features of where we will start. The release aircraft did come with this "Enhanced Winglet" design but the operation to change them was messy. Now they are just a menu choice selection away as there is a new menu selection to switch them over in the plugins list. Menu selections on the left lower of your screen are still very good, The GPU can now also be disabled on the OverHead Panel (OHP) as well. Startup your "Pushback" and now when you "Accept" the menu's disappear except for the "C" Checklist tab. Weird at first but you get used to it. On the other end when you park the aircraft and set the "Brake" and the aircraft is below 100ft AGL the menu's reappear. I found that originally they didn't come back correctly and when I needed the external GPU to power the aircraft when I shut the engines down, that is now fixed. On engine startup you really notice a big change... the sounds. The sounds have had a significant overhaul and they are seriously better, deeper and with far more variation, besides a third party addon package they are now very good to excellent. The sounds have been refined in volume as well in the flaps were too loud, and the startup sounds were (really) average. You really notice or know the undercarriage is in the (going) down position in flight because the wind sounds have been refined and heightened, and so a significant upgrade there. The main landing and taxi lighting has been refined to meet the X-Plane 10.50 conditions, still just slightly too large but far better than the large globules of light before. Wingtip lighting has also been adjusted and tightened to make them more realistic. A small note on that the engine fans are now running in the right direction... did you notice that? The FMS has had some attention as well. There was an issue of a warning that a flight plan .fms file exists when selecting a file-name to use when saving the current route that warning has now been overrided. The coding has been corrected in that now it does not properly detect and reject waypoint misplacement if the waypoint is an NDB, and a VOR with the same NAVID that is found before the plugin finds the correct NDB waypoint. The display of the FLT PLAN page when no waypoints have been loaded is now correct. You now also have the ability to read tail.txt files, placed in livery folders. This change allows the RADIO 1 page to display the actual tail number for the aircraft depicted in the livery. The maximum number of characters that can currently be displayed is eight (8). The Default is "ERJ-175". Your choice if you like the new enhanced winglets is to your personal preference. But I think it is all very Batmanish and they make the aircraft very wide in manoeuvring around tight airport ramps. If you read the release review you would know the E-175 requires a set procedure to takeoff and climb correctly and needed a little practice to get the right rhythm to get it perfect. No doubt this update makes that procedure far smoother, better and you can't now use the ATHR (Auto Throttle) until you are airborne. This stops you from setting the ATHR on the ground and letting it power up the engines and sending you cascading through the scenery. A welcome addition. There has been a lot of adjustments to the Primary Flight Display (PFD). The artificial horizon was wrong in value and that has been corrected (it was terrible in the pitch) and the Vertical Speed (V/S) indicators are now correct. And that annoying vertical black line has also been banished. The CRS (Course) indicator now works. On the MAP display there is now a VOR pointer (I still would like one on the lower rose on the PFD) and NDB arrow. The clicking areas have been enlarged (way too small before) and the range + & - was the wrong way round, and replaced by a finger manipulator. You can now actually change the range by using the range indicator on the main MAP display which is very handy and easier than fumbling around menus. A few items around you in the cockpit have been touched up... The windshield is less shiny now in the center for better visibility. (and the glass stays in the window frames when you open them), and there is a new chrono clock. But the biggest changes are the ones in the movement and actions. The aircraft feels so much more refined in the actions and controls, and I found the flying process far more easier and certainly better. It is the small stuff, the tweaks you can't see or touch that can give you the better feedback that the aircraft is just that... better. Liveries More new liveries have been added to the package, including a sensational Embraer house paintjob. Others include Lufthansa Regional, Two Star Alliance in LOT and U.S. Airways Express and a Tulip United. The Alitalia Livery has had some attention with more detail as well. This aircraft looks great in any livery and there are now 22 to choose from from donators of their excellent work. Highlights are... British Airways CityFlyer, HOP! (Air France) and two variations of the KLM "Cityhopper". There is now an excellent paintkit available. This is an aircraft that you never tire of looking at. In this regional design it looks great at any angle, just a nice looking aircraft. This was the same route as with the review from KRSW (Florida Southwest) to KATL (Atlanta) and you just power there is a regional. It is an aircraft to enjoy and just do your job of flying point to point and doing the flying as efficiently as possible, get in groove with the E-175 and you really enjoy the aircraft. But it does demand you fly it well, and give it a lot of professional attention. 5000ft on the money and a turn to finals for RWY 27R. The ILS vertical diamond has been corrected and looks correct now, which I found annoying before. Gear down and the better sounds tell you enough that you don't have to look at the indicators to know they are down in the slipstream. Over the fence and a nice smooth landing on 27R gives you good feeling... As noted once you brake up you get your menu's back and and can shut down the aircraft... There is a GHDHanding set for the E-175 at the JARDesign site to add in more ground handling animations. Summary E-175 1.1 update No doubt a lot of tuning and ground was covered with this update. Not that the E-175 from X-Craft's was in need of attention on its release. But there is a lot of nice changes and just an overwhelming feeling that the aircraft is now much more complete and more refined for the changes. I ran many runs between KRSW to KATL (five actually) and loved the aircraft more and more each run, and compared to the release version it is certainly more smoother and more professional in the way it is controlled and activated... so all in all a really great update. _________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Embraer E175 v1.1 by X-Crafts is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Embraer E-175 Price is US$34.95 If you have already purchased the Embraer E-175 from X-Craft's at the X-Plane.OrgStore then go to your account and upgrade to v1.1 for free. The update is online for download now. Full release X-PlaneReviews E-175 review is here: Aircraft Review - Embraer E175 by X-Crafts Features Accurate dimensions based on drawings and documentation provided by Embraer © Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Custom FMS Custom pushback plugin with animated tug On-screen checklist plugin - Plugin menu for door control, ground objects or GPU Tested by a real Embraer E175 pilot CUSTOM FMS both the custom and stock FMS are available on the pedestal or as popup panels More details about the FMS below INTERIOR: Amazing 3D modeling of cockpit and cabin High resolution textures High resolution Embraer style PFD, MFD, EICAS displays Pop-up screens, pop-up radios panel MFD with 8 synoptic pages and a new improved Navigation displa High resolution textures on panels - Text is crisp and clear to real Intuitive cockpit manipulation - I have always taken great care to make the cockpit as easy to use as possible. This means all clickable areas in the cockpit are very big so that you can easily click on any button, knob or lever in the cockpit Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated Detailed cockpit lighting - All cockpit lights are controllable Cargo area modeled HUD equipped EXTERIOR 4K High resolution textures (fuselage 10000px/meter squared) Highly detailed landing gears Flap and speedbrakes mechanisms modeled Realistic Wingflex animation 2 versions of winglets available 9 Liveries included so far and more are on the way! OTHER FEATURES compatible with UFMC, X-FMC compatible with JAR's Ground Handling Deluxe Night lighting, Nav and Strobe lights cast light on the surroundings Obviously a set of custom sounds 10 Liveries available ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : Windows, MAC or Linux. X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) 4Gb RAM - 1Gb VRAM Current version: 1.1 (last updated February 6th 2016) (Note aircraft is very good on framerate, playback is current with similar sized aircraft and features) ______________________________________________________________________ X-Crafts Developer Support : ERJ - 175 by X-Crafts - X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 6th February 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews E-175 Full 1.1 changlog is: - Ground equipment and pushback options are now restored after landing - The winglets can now be changed through a plugin menu - There are now 12 liveries included in the package and 21 additional liveries available at the x-plane.org forum (http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showtopic=91249) - More details and dirt added to all liveries included in the package - Engine start sounds fixed - Cockpit windows are fixed (the glass of the windows wasn't moving) - New avionics sounds - New chrono clock - Reverse now works separately with hardware throttle - Clicking spots on the MFD are all bigger now - very easy to click on all the buttons - Vertical ILS diamonds fixed - CRS indicator in PFD is now working - GPU can now be turned on and off on the overhead panel - ATHR can only be engaged after takeoff - Cursor changed when changing the range in MAP Options menu. (TIP: You can also change the range directly from the range indicator in the map!) - windshield was shiny in the middle - VOR bearing pointer added to the NAV map - Alitalia livery has many added details - Flap sounds inside are too loud - Updated xfmc and xchecklist config files - Fans were rotating in the wrong direction - The lights on the new winglets also illuminate the surroundings now - Big misplaced nav lights on winglets corrected - Artifitial horizon was showing wrong values - N E S W highlighted on the FMS - The little black line on the EFIS horizon is gone FMS changelog: - Corrected ability to override warning that a flight plan .fms file exists when selecting a filename to use when saving the current route. - Corrected coding that does not properly detect and reject waypoint misplacement if the waypoint is an NDB, and a VOR with the same NAVID is found before the plugin finds the correct NDB waypoint. - Corrected display of the FLT PLAN page when no waypoints have been loaded. - Added ability to read tail.txt files, placed in livery folders, allowing the RADIO 1 page to display the actual tail number for the aircraft depicted in the livery. The maximum number of characters that can currently be displayed is eight (8). (Default is ERJ-175).
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