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  1. NEWS! - Aircraft Update : SimSolutions Diamond DA-40NG updated to v1.2.1 SimSolutions have updated their delightful Diamond DA40NG to v1.2.1. A small but significant update, now including the added Apple Silicon support for the aircraft. Also added are load stations, and the DA40 now uses native popout window borders. Fixes are numerous, including... * add 'hidden' config option to change persistence system's maximum state reload distance * heading drift from saved state due to mismatch between mag & true * attempt to fix throttle either not properly idling or exceeding 100% load * TOGA button doesn't disconnect autopilot * missing config files cause CTD * beacon light stays on after engine shutdown * convert textures to DDS * internal code improvements The Diamond DA40 Diamond Star is an Austrian four-seat, single-engine, light aircraft constructed from composite materials. Built in both Austria and Canada, it was developed as a four-seat version of the earlier DA20 by Diamond Aircraft Industries. By the end of December 2020, 2,200 DA40s had been delivered, including 500 NG models. Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required), and also now available for all three OS Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. ________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (OS 10.15 and higher . Silicon Processor supported ) and Linux (tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 340 MB Current version: 1.2.1 (January 22nd 2024) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 23rd January 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  2. Aircraft Review : Piper J3 Cub by SimSolutions The Piper J-3 Cub is an American light aircraft that was built between 1938 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. The aircraft has a simple, lightweight design which gives it good low-speed handling properties and short-field performance. The Cub is Piper Aircraft's most-produced model, of which nearly 20,000 Cubs were built in the United States. Its simplicity, affordability and popularity invokes comparisons to the Ford Model T automobile. The aircraft is a high-wing, strut-braced monoplane with a large-area rectangular wing. It is most often powered by an air-cooled, flat-4 piston engine driving a fixed-pitch propeller. Its fuselage is a welded steel frame covered in fabric. It seats two people in tandem. The Cub was designed as a trainer. And it had great popularity in this role and as a general aviation aircraft. Due to its performance, it was well suited for a variety of military uses such as reconnaissance, liaison and ground control. It was produced in large numbers during World War II as the L-4 Grasshopper. Many of these Cubs are still flying today, and the remaining Cubs are highly prized as bush aircraft. The J-3 Cub is the second release from SimSolutions after their first aircraft in the Diamond DA40NG late last year 2021 for the X-Plane Simulator. On the whole the J-3 Cub is well modeled, but does also it feel modeled? To be fair the original "Cub Yellow" or "Lock Haven Yellow" paint hides a lot of the intricate areas of even the real aircraft, the problem is in X-Plane we now have had the more ultra realistic realism, that in high-depth look then anything else can look dated, in the smaller detail however it does show the "Cub" is well done. The wings have that fabric stretched over a frame feel, but the tail structure does not, of which the real aircraft does have, it is highly noticeable here in making the tail assembly feel a bit slab sided, as in any Cub image the pipe frame is very easily noticeable through the fabric... the wing chord however is perfect. This is a "Strut-based" high-wing aircraft, a step removed from a Bi-Plane, and that aspect is well done. Glass is very (if paper) thin and not at all realistic, dirt or wear, or a slight discolouring would make it stand out more against the elements. One of the big features is that you can remove the engine cowling to see in detail the engine. The Cubs came with an air-cooled flat 4 piston engine, which were either a Continental A-40, A-40-2, or A-40-3 engine of 37 hp (28 kW), or A-40-4 engine of 40 hp (30 kW), but it is not noted here of which of the A-40 engine version is installed... The engine detail is not bad, if quite good, but I still feel I'm not getting that full realism effect. However the wood detail on the propeller and central hub is excellent. In an odd thing when flying in the cub is to don't reach out and use a forward hotspot... as as if you do the cowling will fly off in mid-flight? The Cub is a "Tail-Dragger" aircraft as most were in the 1930's... so you have the sturdy main wheels forward, and here they come with slipstreaming wheel covers (fairings), or you can remove them... personally I like the detail of the open wheels, which is very good. The entrance into the Piper is via a two upper and lower hatch arrangement, just click to open (and close). It is very boxy internally, with high sides... so it feels like your flying in an old metal bath. The structural piping frame is very evident, but you do feel the openness as well, certainly not in the Tiger Moth feel, but the visibility surrounding you is very good. The weird thing is you fly the Cub from the rear seat (again like the Tiger Moth), this is because the fuel tank is located forwards (capacity 12 GAL), and pilot is required to sit to the rear for balance. There is a modeled pilot, but in a suit and tie, so it looks a little odd, if very 30"s. There are very (very) few knobs and switches, in fact the Cub doesn't even have an electrical system, just an on/off switch for the two magnetos, so that means there is no lighting either. There are only four instruments and a compass central. Left to right is the RPM, Speed MPH, Altitude feet and far right the Oil temperature and Pressure. A note on the altitude gauge in that there is no Baro adjustment, which can also be dangerous. All instruments are "Stewart Warner" branded and has the "Cub" logo centre. Overall these instruments have been really well reproduced by SimSolutions and look nicely authentic. Lower right is a fuel (push) Primer. Two modern items added by SimSolutions, is the AviTab (left) and a COMM radio (right). The AviTab can't be hidden, which is slightly annoying, but well placed. I can't see how you would operate either from the rear seat, but there you go? On the left side is the Fuel Switch (cock), and the trim winder which basically just adjusts the stick angle. There are of course two throttles for front and rear seating. Overhead right is the said Magneto switch, and lower right side is the Carburettor Heat switch. You are surrounded by control cables, both for the ailerons and rear stabiliser, cum rudder, and all the control cable works very realistically. An odd option available is a Rifle, as on the right wing there is a hotspot to position a rifle in the spars? ___________________ There are three separate (.acf) folders for the three different variants of the Cub J-3; The Standard Aircraft, a Float option and a Bush (Tundra) tyre option. Float The J-3 Cub Float variant is very good, certainly not up to the Thranda ultra quality in detail, but they are still well done. There is a lever left side in the middle of the cockpit to raise and lower the wheels, but I can't see where you raise and lower the rudders, nor is it not mentioned in the manual? Bush Tyres Also called "Tundra" tyres, these are huge surface area tyres for use in semi-wetland tundra areas, like in Northern Canada. To have a separate (.acf) variant just for the these larger optional bush tyres feels a bit overdone (certainly at 560Mb per variant), as most developers can easily add them into the options list on to the standard aircraft. Menu There is a two tab menu option on the X-Plane banner... This allows you to "Toggle Covers" a nice Tonneau cover, and the second option positions some very nice "Ground Clutter", that puts an tepee tent and various bottles and a tool tray around the aircraft. _________________ Flying the 3-J Cub As there is no starter on the J-3, so to start you just turn on (or push) the fuel cock on, then turn on the magnetos. A few pushes of the Primer (right low) does help when from cold, but if warm or a restart then it is not required. The Mixture setting still does work if you have it set on a external lever, and halfway between lean and rich is perfect. Recommended to start the Continental A-40 is to turn the propeller by touching the outer blade, but that action only removes the engine cowling (again)?.... I found touching the centre prop shaft makes the propeller turn to start, but it has to be done via an angle, again the loose cowling will get in the way... I will go on record that I am not really the biggest fan of taildraggers? I even bought a set of rudder pedals with toe-brakes over Christmas to try to break through my pain barrier, they sort of work here. Oddly the J-3 Cub does have a built tail-wheel cable system, but it is not very effectively done here? So you sort of (with the toe-brakes) hop the aircraft into line, but in chunks... ... and even then you steer offline? I got better. "Righty ho..." I pushed the throttle(s) gingerly forward and slowly. It feels seriously weird sitting so far back, it is like the pilot has bailed out and left you to fly the aircraft alone. You do have a strange perspective though, and you soon adjust to it. But seeing anything of the runway is simply impossible? So you sit as central as possible and try to get the best perspective of the aircraft on the runway.... You throttle slowly at first, the trick is too track straight as long as possible (even slowly) until you build up enough speed to get your rudder control working, which it does and quite quickly because the rudder control is quite effective, even at low speeds... ... once with your rudder control the tail will also soon lift up behind you, giving you even more control focus, and allowing you to then push for more power from the throttle(s). You lift around 55 MPH, but gently... .... the J-3 is very sweet to fly, nicely balanced and instantly responsive to any command inputs. It will climb quite quickly as well if you let it, recommended is 540 FPM, but the Cub could easily do far more. The view outside is quite spectacular, wide vistas, because your not cramped up forward by the instrument panel. Then I totally realised the limitations of the Cub. There is low cloud, and it quickly envelopes me, and sending me into a "whiteout" or in this case a greyout. I can't see Bl**dy anything? worse there is no Artifical Horizon instrument, so no up or down.... I could be heading directly into the ground for all I know, there is also no V/S, Vertical Speed meter either, it's Bl**dy scary. I see up to my left (10 o'clock) some patchy blue sky, so I gun all the aircooled 40 hp (30 kW) power I have and climbed swiftly upwards towards the life saving light... ... once into the blue patch of sky the cloud beneath me fades as well and I can see again the safety lay of the land... but now I had another problem, I was completely lost! Everything looked the same, being just a British Countryside, nice mind you, but all the same the British Countryside? Your probably saying "use the AviTab!", true but in the moment of panic I forgot about that... with a look around and then there was Elstree (EGTR), to my left forward. So I got down to 700 ft and stayed visual from to the field from here on in.... Trim is very, very good. You can set the J-3 up to a very nice, to even a "hands off" with the stick to fly the Cub, and it will fly along by itself very nicely. The J-3 Cub's maximum speed is 76 kn (87 mph, 140 km/h), with a cruise speed of 65 kn (75 mph, 121 km/h). The range of that 12 Gallons of fuel is 191 nmi (220 mi, 354 km), with a service ceiling of 11,500 ft (3,500 m) No lighting at all I'm afraid... not even navigation lights... is that dangerous? Sounds are actually very good, and I am going to guess that they are from a real Cub aircraft, but don't hold me to that, but they are custom sounds from SimSolutions... So you purr along with that Air-cooled open engine sound, with the wind rushing around you in a very non-aerodynamic frame, but it all feels very authentic. That 178.5 sq ft (16.58 m2) of wing area is very lifting, as this aircraft is a STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) machine, but there are no flaps (either) to slow you down... Throttle(s) control is very nice and the engine is so responsive to any inputs, so that also gives you a very nice height control. Time to head back to Elstree... It is to my right as I have been keeping an eye on the airport, but arriving from the north (Rwy 26) there is a lot of tree cover to the approach over the Haberdasher's Aske's School. I'm now very comfortable with the Cub, it is that sort of aircraft in being a very controllable "Stick and Rudder" machine, "Old Fashioned", no not in that sense, but it is a real basic and feel machine. I line up Twenty Six. Although a STOL aircraft you have no flaps to wear off the speed, so you have to find the balance at a slow, speed while holding your height, it is easy to find, again the nice throttle response helps here. I'm feeling a bit high for the approach, but the trees are tall and high as well, I don't feel I could do it better. It doesn't matter really... as landing a huge heavy aircraft or even a lightweight classic monoplane like this, it is still you, the controls and a runway to land on... the essence of flight. So you are dancing on the rudder pedals, controlling the drift and aiming for the centre line... I'm trying to find that point where you are using the wind to almost hover and hoping to control the drop down slowly onto the runway.... your at 55 MPH, and letting the Cub to settle slowly downwards. The side winds picks up the closer you get to the runway, it looks like you are losing it, but I am fully in control, even really enjoying this. 50 MPH is the freeze point on slowly descending and not dropping out of the sky, slowly but surely contact is coming. "Contact!" That was actually the easy part... now I have to stop the aircraft before it runs out of tarmac, problem is I can't touch my brakes if I don't want to go head over-heels... Thankfully Elstree has a huge run-over area, maybe this runway over running is common here? Gradually the tail drops and so does the speed. I recommend to use grass strips with the J-3, with it's better friction to stop the aircraft quicker, as the Cub tends to roll easily on the harder surfaces... Now you lose the forward view again, but I'm more used to the situation now, and I even like the rear seating position. I flip the tail around to start the long taxi back to Elstree's hard parking area.... I know it will be a long slow crawl back. ____________ Liveries There are only five liveries for the J-3 Cub and four of them are in the "Cub Yellow". So overall it is a boring if lazy set of liveries, considering the developers had 20,000 aircraft to choose from? The odd one out is a Central African Republic CF registered Cub? _____________________ Summary This is the iconic Piper J-3 Cub, a basic high-wing, strut-braced monoplane, with an air-cooled, flat-4 piston engine driving a fixed-pitch propeller. Its fuselage and wings are both a welded steel frame covered in fabric. It seats two people in tandem. 20,000 aircraft were produced between 1938 and 1947, and many are still flying today. SimSolutions have already released the Diamond DA40NG late last year 2021, and this J-3 Cub is their second release for the X-Plane Simulator. The Piper Cub is as about an basic aircraft as you can get, with only five instruments and not much else, and not even an electrical system. But it delivers were it counts in the excellent "seat of your pants" flying abilities... it is aviation at it's purest form. Modeling and detail is very good.... but it feels like just another aircraft to the developers and it comes with not much passion to deliver a really iconic representation of the J-3 Cub, and in the details it shows they have the ability to deliver a really substantial simulation. Compared to say "Flying Iron", you do expect far more in contex. However this Cub is priced at only US$17.65, so I suppose it is all relative. For that you also get three variants, in the Standard (small wheel), Floats and Bush (Tundra) tyred versions, and a few nice little features like static elements (a tepee tent), wheel covers and removable cowling with detailed Continental A-40 engine, and all the exposed control cables are animated realistically. Only five liveries provided and four the same yellow colour was boring. So it is all well done from SimSolutions, but for me I would rather pay a little more and get a bit more closer to the more classic frame and fabric feel and look, that is not to say you wouldn't enjoy the aircraft here, it is unique, and quite unique to fly. just don't fly it into any low cloud. _____________________ The Piper J3 Cub by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Piper J3 Cub SimSolutions Price is US$17.65 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB+ VRAM minimum Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version: 1.0 (February 27th 2022) Installation and documents: download for the Cherokee 180 C is 1.19GB and the three aircraft folders is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. SimSolutions-J3-Tundra (611.6Mb) SimSolutions-J3-Float (575.5Mb) SimSolutions-J3 (585.4Mb) Full Installation is 1.65Gb Documents supplied are: J3 Cub Info Doc.pdf Basic "ReadMe" (10 pages) of the history of the aircraft and features. ________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 5th March 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews 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 M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGTR - London Elstree by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  3. Aircraft Review : Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse by SimSolutions A few months ago, I reviewed the SimSolutions DA40NG Diamond Star, a four-seater General Aviation aircraft by Diamond Aircraft of Austria and later Canada. That aircraft was interesting, as it also an aircraft design that put it on a collision course with Aerobask, a very well renowned developer, of very high quality Diamond aircraft at a value price in the X-Plane Simulator. Considering the price advantage the SimSolutions DA-40NG, came off very well against the Aerobask version, but could never be really considered in the same context. Here now released from SimSolutions is the earlier two-seater aircraft in the DA-20 C1 Eclipse, this time it comes up against not Aerobask, but X-Hanger with their X-Plane 12 Diamond Katana DA20 C1, a well done aircraft with G500 Avionics. The DA-20 Katana/Eclipse is also a variation of the earlier two-seater Diamond HK36 Super Dimona, but that aircraft is a motor-glider, longer wings, less power and not a general use everyday aircraft of which the DA-20-C1 is. The Eclipse version of the Katana comes with rear windows for better visibility, and is powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine. The aircraft entered production in 1999, and 1000+ aircraft have been produced since then. The Super Dimona had a wingspan of 16.0 m (52 ft 6 in), cut back for the Katana to 10.87 m (35 ft 8 in), but the T-Tailplane stays the same... so the Katana C1 possesses a higher glide ratio than many of its competitors; its glide ratio is 11:1 and the DA20-A1 is 14:1. The glider heritage comes through in the design. ... so overall the aircraft shape and the design stays totally the same, with that long fine boom tail. The Super Dimona had a powerplant 115 hp (86 kW) Rotax 914 F3 or a F4 turbocharged engine, compare that with the more powerful 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine in the Eclipse. So the same shape, bigger engine and the shorter wings sums up the changes. The modeling of the earlier SimSolutions DA-40 was very good, but also a very clean aircraft, you get the same here, so modeled parts are part of the design, not again textured over like you would get from Aerobask, also like the DA-40, the DA-20 in many ways comes off little bit modeled in feeling, but being a plastic aircraft, or a composite airframe which is constructed of glass-carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, you can get away with that aspect, but personally I like a bit of real world feel to my aircraft. Important are the smooth form shapes of the aircraft, which are very good here. As used are very nice tight wireframes, which show clean surface angles, and very little straight cut lines... yes important on such a super smooth surfaces. Highlights are the inner fairings, and excellent wingtip shape to the outer lighting element. Overall I'm impressed by the detail, hence the T-Tail control arms. Glass is very similar to the DA-40, very good, but also feels a bit thin, and also not very grazed with wear and tear. Gear is very basic, just struts rear and the nose has the dreaded castor wheel system, so turns while taxiing are made with differential braking, with rudder steering becoming more effective as airspeed increases, so there is no steering. Struts are hard, with no suspension or hydraulics to cushion the ride, the tiny brakes are cable operated. Unlike the SimSolutions DA-40 NG, there are no menus on the DA-20? All external options are via hotspots. There are separate wheels chocks, pitot cover, "Remove before flight" banner, nose engine cover (hard to find hotspot, left lower?) and a tank (dip) stick that works via touching the fuel filler left rear. The stick is stored on the real shelf. The Hotspot system also requires you to clean up the aircraft every time you load it up (even in the replay), which is a little time consuming and even annoying if you are flying the DA-20 C1 regularly. So there are no weight & balances pages, fueling is done via the standard X-Plane Weight & Balance Menu. Fuel is noted as 93L or 24.5 US Gallons. Oddly there is no manual provided? only a nice and very detailed 12 page pdf checklist. There is a one-piece bubble canopy , which is hinged at the rear, enabling easy entry using the built-in side steps. Hotspot handles are nicely done with great detailing, small stuff but authentic. Twin seats are layback sheepskin covered, its tight in there! Notable are the twin control sticks that have been just positioned on the sheepskin, it doesn't feel or look very realistic with no base ring or separator to the seats? most control sticks have a leather cover around their base. Picky yes... but it doesn't look right, or is cheap looking. There is a non animated pilot provided, but he is pretty scary? a sort of drug crazed zoned out Goth zombie, frightens the living daylights out of me? The instrument panel sits high out of the cockpit, all analog, it is very nicely done. Avionics are basic and set centre. They consist of a Garmin GMA 430 Radio, Garmin GNS430 GPS and a Garmin GTX327 Transponder. Flying instruments are the standard six in the default layout; Airspeed, Artificial Horizon, Altimeter... second row Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed (V/S). Two more instruments make it up to a 8 pack, with RPM meter and OBS dial far right. Up top are both a DAYTRON M803 clock and a built in compass. Add also is a SUCTION dial left and the Electric TRIM setting right. Lower is the lighting panel, Instrument and flood lighting knobs, starter switch (no key?), Avionics master, fuel pump and GEN/BAT switches. Centre bottom panel is the three phase flap switch and indicator. Right panel are the analog gauges, 8x2 rows including; EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), A pressure gauge (no description or manual?), Fuel Pressure, Fuel Quantity, Oil Temperature, Oil Pressure. Ampere Gauge and a Volt Gauge, below is a hour Hobb's meter. All the rows of Circuit Breakers (fuses) are non-active. Centre console has upper; HEAT(ing) Controls (non-working), and Park Brake. Lower; Three levers for ALTERNATE, POWER (Throttle) and MIXTURE. Rudder pedals are nicely done, but toe-brake action doesn't work? odd because it is required here with the castor wheel. Flying the Diamond DA-20 C1 First a few notes... This is version v1.01, with an update put out on the 3rd August 23. Annoying are the amount of bugs still in here? Start up and you will get a "Sound Bank" and "Brake " issue alert box, also when you close the alert box the GNS430 then goes dark? The developer says to turn on the GNS, click on the top left knob as like you do with a real Garmin, but it doesn't work? frantic clicking will finally start the GNS startup procedure? Looking there is no Hotspot on the knob, but to use, you just turn it on via the top left knob.... again no manual? Park brake doesn't work well either, it will select OFF , but not ON, unless you do it manually? A second brake note is that you can't select OFF either, if the chocks are in place... this seems to affect the Park Brake action? The lighting in Navigation lights and Taxi/Landing lights were also attended to in the v1.01 update, but they don't work in the Simulator here as all lighting is still blank in the daytime? The strobes flash, but then very oddly? there are also a couple of other things we will see when flying... the point is, these sort of quibbles should have been easily covered in the first update, v1.01, but they weren't and to date still have not had any attention either. Another slight annoyance as noted is that every time you start up, you have to hide all the hotspot external static elements, and change the livery back to one you last used, it all gets a little wearing. There is a "Primer Pump" switch to obviously prime the fuel. It works by just holding it down, then it primes by itself (3 pumps is about right)... and there is no key (missing) in the starter switch of which you just turn to start the IO-240-B engine. Primed and with the Mixture RICH, the DA-20 will start quite easily, again you don't have to prime if the engine is hot, only cold. If being a regular reader, you may know my feelings towards free wheels, or taildraggers, castor steering... I seriously don't like them. But there is a lot of free travel and a soft touch here on the toe-brakes will guide the DA-20 quite easily, mostly your touching lightly the right rear wheel, as there is already a powerful asymmetric thrust from the propeller even on the ground. Keep the speed low, and a feather touch on the toe-brake, and you can taxi quite easily. Only when I lined up on KLAL (Lakeland) Rwy 23, only then did the caster wheel go side on whonky. Power up and first the focus was on getting the Diamond straight, so a slight 17,000 RPM to get you rolling, then feel the brakes and then finally the rudder becomes active around 60 knts, it's tricky but doable. Flaps one, takeoff (rotate) is around 80 knts or around the end of the white flap indicator... plenty of power at 27,000 RPM, and a good rate of climb at 5.1 m/s (1,000 ft/min), but on average you would use 500 fpm-700 fpm. Being a very small light Sporty aircraft it is all feet and light touch stick. The DA-20 is VERY responsive, but clean in its manoeuvres, almost aerobatic in feel. Flying notes include... "The wings have washout, which causes the wing roots to stall in advance of the wingtips, which has the effect of the ailerons being fully effective well after the onset of a primary stall condition. Other unfavourable flight conditions are often guarded against, such as a wing drop, which may be produced only as a consequence of prolonged and excessive elevator application during a steep climbing turn, and can be rectified by the relaxation of back pressure. The control forces across all regimes are however very well-balanced, which reportedly reduces the frequency to which trimming of the control surfaces may need to be performed." The aspect of having basically glider wings on a General Aviation aircraft is felt, so sitting reclining, the Eclipse has a sort of glider aspect feel about it. Trimmed out, the DA-20 still wanted to climb, so small inputs were required to keep your height correct, same with your heading... with the strong right pushing asymmetric thrust, you are always wanting to pull the aircraft back to the required heading, a slight roll or even a slight weight on the rudder will do that, but it gets tiring after a while, so you wish for a rudder trim to take the load off the controls for a while. If you change the heading dial to help in course corrections, then there is a trick to realign the dial back with the compass... you hit the key D, and it will automatically realign the heading. But once fully trimmed and slight pressure on the stick, you can settle down and cruise along quite nicely... It's not fast by any means is this Eclipse, but capable; Cruise speed is 256 km/h (159 mph, 138 kn), with a Range of 1,013 km (629 mi, 547 nmi) with 30 minute reserve, and quite a high Service Ceiling at 4,000 m (13,120 ft). In reality you would never fly that high, but using the glider capabilities, it is allowable to climb and slightly soar. Sounds? Very good actually. Not your high fidelity sounds, but certainly well done, as you get the real aural feel of the Continental donk in the front and changes through the throttle range. The DA-20 in this configuration is know to be quite quiet in the cabin, even headsets are sometimes are not used in the real aircraft to drown out the sounds. Lighting There are two instrument panel lighting adjustment knobs. One for the glareshield LED cast, and another for the Avionics. Overall the Instrument panel looks excellent, and nicely adjustable. Another panel switch gives you a overhead MAP light. You get the glow of the MAP light, but not the source light, up and behind you? With the darker environment you can finally see the Navigation, Landing and Taxi lights... but they are still weak, and the main lights are not refined, just blobs of light. The SimSolutions DA-40 NG was very poor in the lighting department, its not much better here? Not related, but the updated X-Plane v12.06 lighting at dusk here was sensational, very impressed. Cruising along (nicely) and the view out of the Diamond is very good, the large bubble canopy gives you a very wide aspect view of the air. To the rear the cone like rear shelf is well done, as is the mottled fibreglass internal shell is also very realistic. Note the small slide windows that can be opened on the ground. Nearing the coast, western South Florida, it is time to descend. I was ready for the action that when just adjusting the trim, it wouldn't make me go down? so you actually also have to reduce the throttle power to control the descent as well, less throttle... more vertical descent speed, more throttle and up goes the nose. Because the DA-20 is a small (sporty) machine it acts like that, but those long slender wings are built for soaring lift as well, so you have to adjust you flying skills to that aspect. My destination is KFMY Fort Myers. Oddly I haven't been using Page Field a lot lately, but the neighbouring Southwest Florida (I flew the DA-40 there), but this time I wanted to check out KFMY for a change... there is a stadium hold point at CALOO, before going into ILS (IFMY 110.70) on the Rwy 05 Approach. So I track into the holding track and parallel O5 (231º) then go around the western holding track turn directly into the 05 ILS... it is a long, long sweeping turn... ... until I use the OBS cross-lines to line up the runway, hidden well out in front of me. I'm not doing a ILS landing, as I don't have a autopilot (I wouldn't use that anyway), but use the OBS as a guide only. No VOR pointers are also really a thing I miss in here. Flaps down! They are huge long deep flaps for such a small machine, three settings (not marked?) is UP-MIDDLE-DOWN. They don't give you a lift on deployment of which I expected, but you can control the speed quite easy around 68 knts. This IS a light SPORTS aircraft but coming over the fence I got a short of flutter that the aircraft was flying on a cushion of air? I could control it, but it was weird, a high ground effect feeling... .... my guess it is those long thin wings reacting to the wind, wanting to soar... it was an usual feeling, but very authentic. 60 knts and you are now gliding down to the runway, nice control... again very gliderish, that stick and rudder control. Nice flare, nose up and a lovely sink down to the runway as the speed ran off, Stall speed is 45 knts (83 km/h, 52 mph), but you can use the stall point to get the right descent speed. Obviously I was worried about the castor steering... but brake cleanly with both wheels and you will stay on the line, even turning around at the end was expertly done, by using one wheel over the other... I'm getting good at this! Then to the GA ramp by the Club House and engine shutdown. Liveries There is one (white) blank and seven liveries with the DA-20 C1, all pretty much the same flow design with different colours. ________________ Summary This DA-20 C1 Eclipse is the second Diamond aircraft from SimSolutions after the earlier DA-40 NG released back in April 2023. The DA-20 Katana/Eclipse is also a variation of the earlier two-seater Diamond HK36 Super Dimona, but that aircraft is a motor-glider, longer wings, less power and not a general use everyday aircraft of which the DA-20-C1 is. It is powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine. There are a lot of similarities between the two aircraft of the DA-20 and DA-40. In the styling and the modeling, both are very well done, but in a modeling way and not in a model and texture design, so the DA-20 comes across as clean. Another difference is that there are no menus here (no manual either?), but hotspots for external elements, fuel stick and opening canopy. Annoyingly you have to clear them all every time you want to fly, even in the replay? Overall the DA-20 C1 Eclipse is a very nice aircraft with gliderish tendencies, not a bad thing, and different aspect to flying the aircraft, basic, but very rudder and stick in feel and touch. The castor nose wheel is for once forgiving if you can be light on the toe-brakes, but the Goth looking pilot is very horrible to look at and not in keeping with the developers skills (feels very last minute)... overall the aircraft is sound, but has a few glaring bugs that should have been covered by the developer a month after release, also like the DA-40 NG it has very poor lighting (Instrument panel is very good), but everything else is dismal. Do I like the DA-20 C1. Yes absolutely, great value at today's prices, but the bugs and annoying static elements cloud a nice aircraft here, the Eclipse is a nice aircraft to fly, and to catch that soaring wind... you will enjoy the experience! ________________________________________ The DA20-C1 Eclipse by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: DA20-C1 Eclipse Price is US$24.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 476 MB Current version: 1.1 (August 3rd 2023) _____________ Installation and documents: download for the DA-20 C1 Eclipse is 465Mb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 612 MB Documents supplied is: DA20Normal Checklist (12 pages) Only a checklist and no manual supplied? Review System Specifications Windows - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.06b4 (This is a beta review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by Nicolas (Airport by NAPS) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free - KFMY - Page Field - Fort Myers, Florida 1.0 by timbenedict3 (X-Plane.Org) - Free _____________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 17th August 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  4. NEWS! - SimSolutions releases DA20-C1 Eclipse for X-Plane 12 The DA20-C1 is a two seat, single engine aircraft. Using 100 or 100LL fuel and having its first flight in 1991, the DA20 has seen more than 1000 models produced. This is an all new Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse from SimSolutions, and is X-Plane 12 only. SimSolutions rendition of the DA20-C1 Eclipse comes with real world experience with high-resolution textures, user friendly systems, and superb modeling inside and out. With custom loading screens on the GNS, to by the books transponder and clock system, a joyride is in the hands of the P.I.C. Features For X-Plane 12 only Fully modeled inside and out 4K PBR Textures Fully modeled 3D cockpit Modeled with real world experience Opening of Canopy and Fuel cap Custom by the books GTX 327 transponder Custom by the books DAVTRON clock system Chocks and tie downs Guide on how to use aircraft (.pdf) Liveries Default (White) AY-JET MFC Training (C-FVVN) MFC Training Old (C-FFQT) N161CA OH-KAW OH-WAY If you want a larger Diamond DA, then Simsolutions have also released the Diamond DA40NG XP12, a full X-PlaneReviews review is here... Aircraft Review : Diamond DA40NG XP12 by SimSolutions Images are courtesy of SimSolutions ________________________________________ The DA20-C1 Eclipse by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: DA20-C1 Eclipse Price is US$24.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 8 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 476 MB Current version: 1.0 (July 23rd 2023) _____________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 24th July 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  5. Aircraft Review : Diamond DA40NG XP12 by SimSolutions We are all very familiar with Diamond Aircraft, but to date the majority of Diamonds have come from Aerobask. That is good, but it also creates an extremely high benchmark if anyone else wants to tackle the same design and manufacturer in comparison. This is the DA40NG Diamond Star, which is an earlier version of the model line. Built in both Austria and Canada, it was developed as a four-seat version of the earlier DA20. The Rotax 914-powered prototype DA40-V1, registered OE-VPC, first flew on 5 November 1997 and was followed by a second prototype DA40-V2 (registered OE-VPE) which was powered by a Continental IO-240. In 1998 a third prototype DA40-V3 flew powered by a Lycoming IO-360 engine. Four more test aircraft were produced followed by the first production aircraft in 2000. JAR23 certification of the IO-360 production variant was obtained in October 2000. In 2002 the production of the Lycoming-engined variant was moved to Canada and the Austrian factory concentrated on diesel-engined variants. The first flight of the Diesel DA40D was made on 28 November 2002. The DA40 is a four-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane made from composite materials. It has a fixed tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. The DA40 NG (New Generation) is the latest model and offered only in selected markets (DA40 standard model is still offered in other markets). It is powered by an Austro Engine AE 300 165.6 hp (123.5 kW) a Diesel running on JET A-1 fuel. EASA certified April 2010. By December 2020, 500 NG models had been produced. NG probably refers to the Garmin G1000 instrument installation. This is not a brand new aircraft from SimSolutions for the X-Plane Simulator, as the DA40 was released originally back 20th November 2021, or just over a year ago. That was obviously for X-Plane 11, but this release is for X-Plane 12, and the (.acf) comes in two separate versions for both X-Plane11 and X-Plane12. So let us deal first with the obvious. In coming to purchase the SimSolutions DA40, your only paying US$24.95 and not the usual US$39.95 Aerobask base price, so the SimSolution aircraft is in another completely different category of quality and features. So in other words don't expect the extreme detail and quality of Aerobask when selecting this aircraft, Comparisons are hard as well. When said that... the quality and detail of SimSolutions DA40 really surprised me of how very good it it really is. Notable the effects in X-Plane 12 really bring out the quality and detail, compared to the X-Plane 11 version. Composite aircraft are very hard to model correctly as they can come out very toy like, even false looking, but that is not at all the case here. The fuselage, tail and wings are all very well crafted and contoured nicely smooth.... I'm very impressed. The flat nose to accommodate the odd shaped diesel Austro Engine AE 300, looks a little odd on an aerodynamic aircraft, but the twin high air-intakes are really well modeled. Detailed panel screws are 3d and not prints or bump textures, are also nicely done, but the shiny exhaust although is well done but a bit too shiny. All wheels have cowlings, super aerodynamic they all are and the nose has a castor wheel system, so there is no steering. Wing is nice and clean and upsweep tip detail and shape is excellent. Leading edge lighting looks excellent as well. But if you want to dig (price wise), then you will see the flap mechanism components are only just modeled and not textured or dirty for realism... ... and that is a point to make, in the aircraft is all very clean and factory new, so there is no wear and tear feel on the aircraft. Overall it is a very nice and clean design... I'm pretty impressed. Glass is not bad, not really impressive or actually poor, but somewhere in the middle, overall it looks too thin. Saving it is the nice mottle glass effect on the canopy, in the light it can be seen quite clearly. Front canopy goes up forward, and for the rear entry access there is a large door on the left rear. Both doors are opened by manual catches. Considering the tight design, there is a lot space internally. Very Diamond in feel, I won't or you couldn't even compare it to the Aerobasks in ultra detail, as that would be totally unfair. In saying that it is very good internally and well designed, and even great value for the money. The highlight in here is the nicely detailed roof and internal lighting panels. Garmin G1000 Avionics is the standard Laminar Research G1000 PFD (Primary Flight Display), and MFD (Multi-Functional Display) with the radio controls set between the displays, nothing to learn here if you have used the default avionics before. The installation though is very nice and feels high quality. Note the AviTab (plugin required) on the right. The PFD/MFD displays pop-out, but have no bevels around the screen, just windows for home-builders. PFD (Primary Flight Display) is very good with the large Artificial Horizon dominating the screen with the Speed and Altitude (with built in Vertical Speed) tapes either side, Rate of turn and FD (Flight Director) are all present. Lower is the Heading rose with built in Heading, Wind (3 options), CRS (Course) DME, NAV 1, NAV 2 and OBS. There is the option to put a small map on the PFD but I never do (it makes the display too crowded). All Radio, Autopilot (AP) settings and data are across the top banner of the panel. Note the inbuilt warnings panel centre right. The secondary display is MFD or MAP/Navigation panel which covers also all the (EIS) engine outputs which are in two versions with one visual and one in data. The colourful engine readouts covered are on page one; Manifold Pressure (LOAD) and RPM, Oil Temp and Pressure, Coolant Temp, Fuel Temp, Fuel quantity for both tanks. Oddly the Flaps and both Trims (positions) are not shown? "System" switch (data) covers the same LOAD and RPM top, (Electrical) Volts and Amps, (Engine) Gearbox Temp, Coolant Temp, (Oil) Temp Cº and BAR. "Fuel" page (data) covers Fuel Calculations in FFLOW GPH (Gallons Per Hour), Fuel Temp º, GAL REM (Remain), GAL USED (Used), ENDUR (Endurance) and RANGE. Glareshield has central the three analog backup instruments, Airspeed, Artificial Horizon and Altlitude, and a nicely intergrated compass, the internal/external lighting knobs and switches are left. Right side Contact Breaker (Fuse) panel is well done, and although a manipulator hand appears, they are not actually active. Centre console is nice, but Diamond's don't have a lot of levers and buttons. Detail is good, but not finely done. I do like the rudder assembly detail, it is well done and detailed deep in the footwells Menus On the main X-Plane banner menu, is an aircraft menu dropdown "SimSolutions DA40 (XP12)". Notably it will show which aircraft version in X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 12 you are flying, a touch I really like that saves confusion (hint other developers). There are two menu selections; "Toggle Chocks/Tiedowns', and "Open Settings". Toggle Chocks/Tiedowns, toggles static elements of Chocks, pitot covers, wing tip covers, engine inlet covers and tiedowns. Secondary Menu "Open Settings" has five selections; Show (AviTab) tablet, G1000 Popout Buttons, Show Throttle Position, Hide Pax (Pilot and Co-Pilot) When Parked and Enable Persistence. The AviTab tablet is positioned on the right door frame... Pilot and Co-Pilot are not animated and fully dressed in a suit and waist coat, who flies GA in a suit?... "hands up". G1000 Popout Buttons (default: off) – This toggles the frame around the G1000 when popping the display out. Useful to keep off if you are a cockpit builder, but may be better for some if enabled. Still a work in progress. Show Throttle Position (default: on) – This shows your power lever’s position over the load dial. Hide Pax When Parked (default: on) – This hides the passengers from the outside view when the chocks are set. If disabled, the passengers will still be visible with the chocks on. Enable Persistence (default: on) – If enabled and you spawn within 5 nm from where you last left the DA40, the aircraft will automatically restore it’s state. _______________ Flying the DA40 NG The SimSolutions J3 Cub was the impromptu nature to invest in a set of Rudder Pedals. It caused me so much grief in trying to steer the aircraft, I just wasn't going to put myself through that again. The DA40 has the same problem, but a castering nosewheel this time, so I'm thankful for the toe-brakes. For the rest of you I think the DA40 would be impossible to taxi... a steering (yaw) option by the developer should have been provided? Even with the toe-brakes it is a handful. As with a slight toe-brake movement it will snap the aircraft to the right or left, but you sorta work it out with feather like touches and taxi it straight. The startup sounds had been actually quite good. There is a modern Engine Management System here, so all you have to do is turn on the fuel and then turn the key, no mixture settings, no priming, so you just turn and go. So on the startup you do get the diesel knocking and clackity clack noise, and even at idle it feels very non-turbine and slightly lumpy until you give it a few revs, then it feels quite powerful. So it is very good, even impressive for the price with this FMOD. Obviously I wasn't looking forward to the takeoff roll. It was easier than I thought it would it would be at power, a slight Asymmetric thrust meant guiding it softly until the aerodynamics cut in, but otherwise it was a clean roll, you bite the around 57 knts (Flaps set T/O) Pull back on the stick and your airborne. 5.69 m/s (1,120 ft/min) or a rational rate of climb would be around 800 fpm, the DA40 climbs nicely, but very slowly. Two notes. You need to get the flaps up quickly to kill the drag while climbing, and I had the weird situation that during the whole flight the flaps would quite consistently drop a notch (T/O), X-Plane 12? This is still an RC (Release Candidate). Trim and the DA40 is nice to fly, a touch to the stick here, a bank to left there. This is a modern aerodynamic slippery aircraft, not a weighted upright post war design. So you slip into a ease of flying. So notably easy I took to the Control Tower view and flew around the airfield in banks, like you would fly a Model aircraft around a field... fun obviously, not very pilot focused realistic. But it does show you how easy to fly the DA40 is... even from a distance. Back to the serious stuff. There is a simplicity to the design, more than a backyard kit, not fully a manufactured aircraft, it sorts of slips between the two. Glass looks too thin in the air, but otherwise the Diamond is a nice aircraft. Best feature is the slower rotating propeller spinner, you see it revolving nicely as you power along, a nice touch. The closeup detail is very nice, it's not going to win any major awards, but it is very well done. Cruise speed is 279 km/h (173 mph, 151 kn) TAS, with a range: 1,341 km (833 mi, 724 nmi) and the Service ceiling is set at 5,000 m (16,000 ft). Lighting Overall the lighting is average. It starts good with the two lighting options to light the panel and an adjustable cast green dropdown glow from the glareshield. There are three roof mounted lights, two for each front seat and one for the rear, it is okay, but roof lighting sources are very poor. Ditto to a point is the exterior. The main Navigation and strobe lights are only just passible, but it ends there. The main Taxi and landing lights are poor in the dark, and not seen at all in the day light, I'll use the word pathetic. You bauble along quite nicely, as for a GA you enjoy the aircraft. The SimSolutions DA40 is certainly a great easy to fly with great rewards aircraft, it's simple, not in a bad sense, but in the sense that it is easy to learn and fly, so a novice would get a lot of comfort and enjoyment out of the machine. Shame about that loose nosewheel, as if that it was more controllable the DA40 would have been an all round great learner aircraft. No spars or tight low windows here to obstruct the view here. The DA40 is very open and modern to fly. X-Plane 12 looks glorious around you as well. My flight today is from KLAL (Lakeland) to KRSW (South Florida), an old stamping ground and familiar route, and so I go into the clockwise landing circuit for RWY 06. Down low now to 500 ft and it see's you skimming the roof tops. Another 90º turn to approach, very nice, even exciting at this low height... I settle into the approach at full Flap (LDG) at around 80 knts... ... dropping the speed to 65 knts and a descent of 300 fpm is pretty well brilliant for the final approach and coming in over the field boundary. I'm aware the flare is a touch high, as I don't want to do a tri-cycle landing with that castor wheel... touch is at 58 knts, with a DA40 Stall speed of 49 knts (57 mph) flaps down. In the end the high flare didn't matter that much as the touch was perfect. My skill with the toe-brakes means I stay sorta centre, but at least I'm not upside down on the grass. So I will reinforce that aspect, easy (well easyish) if you have rudder pedals, but what of if you use a mouse to fly... tricky! But overall the Diamond DA40 is a great if brilliant learner aircraft for novices. The G1000 set is basic, but very good for this type of aircraft. _________________ Liveries One blank and seven liveries are provided here, all really with the same coloured swirly stripe on white theme. Blank/white is default ________________ Summary The DA40 NG (New Generation) is built by Diamond Aircraft, and it is the latest model and offered only in selected markets. (DA40 standard model is still offered in other markets). It is powered by an Austro Engine AE 300 165.6 hp (123.5 kW) a Diesel running on JET A-1 fuel. NG probably refers to the Garmin G1000 instrument installation. The DA40 is a four-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane made from composite materials. It has a fixed tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. The aircraft is from SimSolutions, also developer of the AMD Alarus, and Piper J3 Cub. Released in October 2021 for X-Plane 11, this release is the X-Plane 12 version of the DA40. Both X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 versions are included in the package. As noted in the review, most Diamonds in the X-Plane Simulator have usually come from Aerobask, mostly their aircraft are priced in the sub US$40 dollar range, this DA40 is priced at US$29.95, but the point to make and as this review shows, that Aerobask quality (and price) is not to be used in comparison, this aircraft is priced far, far lower, and also so has to be the expectations in quality and features. Overall it is a great little modern composite design aircraft to fly, and great for novice flyers. It comes with the Laminar Research (basic) G1000 avionics suite, but the installation has been well done. Modelling and detail is also very good (for the price), X-Plane 12 quality is very good. Options include Static Elements (basic), AviTab Tablet and fully clothed pilots and a good FMOD sound package. Niggles include a wayward nose castor wheel that requires toe-brakes to be effective (developer should provide alternative steering options), poor lighting elements (although the instrument panel is very nice) internally and worse externally, and too thin glass. If you want a cheap but very good Diamond, that is easy to fly and even highly enjoyable. Then you can't go past this Diamond DA40 from SimSolutions... the more fly it around, the more you like it... yes the DA40 is even recommended as a good buy. _______________________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store Diamond DA40NG Priced now at US$24.99 Features for both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 Fully modeled exterior 4K PBR Textures Fully modeled 3D cockpit 3D cockpit modeled using AFM diagrams Opening of doors (Canopy and Passenger) Laminar G1000 Integration with custom EIS Custom FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ AviTab integration Guide on how to use aircraft (.pdf) Plugin Toggleable Tie Downs, Inlet Covers, Chocks Custom EIS system Toggleable Tablet Liveries Default (White) D-ENGJ N712LA N913DA OE-DWS OE-DAF OE-UDI Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 4 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 340 MB Current version: 1.2.0 (November 26th 2022) Installation and documents: download for the Diamond DA40 is 340Mb and is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. The AviTab plugin is also required to use this aircraft, and it is deposited in your X-Plane Plugins folder. Full Installation is 460Mb Documents supplied are: README Basic manual (6 pages) "How to Install" and use.pdf ___________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 5th December 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 11 - X-Plane v12.00RC2 (note this review was done in the beta revision period) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by Nicolas (Airport by NAPS) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95
  6. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : Diamond DA40NG v1.2.0 by SimSolutions SimSolutions have updated the Diamond DA40NG to v1.2.0. This update is focused on the conversion of the aircraft to X-Plan 12. The usual X-Plane 12 compatibility points are all covered here. Performance, Effects (Ice-snow, windshield rain) and the textures have all been implemented. Plus new borders around the pop-out instruments, and switches that previously had no manipulators and animations, now have manipulators and animations, such as the cabin heat, trim, and AP disconnect switches. There has been a fair few changes and fixes as well. Version 1.2.0 (November 26th 2022) ## New Features * Added X-Plane 12 support: new rain effects, fixed light strengths & minor internal stuff * Added display reversion (the button is disabled in X-Plane 11, but will still trigger in a display failure) * Added an optional border around the display pop-outs with the appropriate dials & buttons (WIP) * Added persistence: The aircraft will now restore its state (including location, altitude & speed) if initially loaded within 5nm of its last save. * Added a proper settings window * Some switches that previously had no manipulators and animations now have manipulators and animations, such as the cabin heat, trim, and AP disconnect switches. ## Minor Changes * Added IVAO Altitude support for radio transmit & receive flags * Modified the gear suspension & steering * Internal graphics wrapper was overhauled; should render text a lot more competently now * Overhauled internal code managing the G1000 modifications ## Fixes * Fixed flap lights * Fixed the automatic engine start command not working * Fixed cockpit view in X-Plane 11 * Attempt to fix wonky engine load controller Images here are X-Plane 11 Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required), and also now available for all three OS Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Images are courtesy of SimSolutions ________________________________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 (But currently under a sale price US$14.99) Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 4 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 340 MB Current version: 1.2.0 (November 26th 2022) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 28th November 2022 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  7. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : Diamond DA40NG v1.1.1 by SimSolutions SimSolutions have done another nice little update v1.1.1 to their Diamond DA40NG aircraft. The DA40NG is a four seat, single engine aircraft. It is equipped with a Austro Engine AE 300 and is an upgrade to the existing DA40. Running on Jet A fuel and certified in April 2010, the DA40NG has seen more than 500 models produced. The v1.1.1 update is modest but the aircraft does have some new features, including; added animated switches, added metric altitude (accessible via PFD → ALT UNIT) and added transmit & receive indicators (xPilot only for now). This DA40NG was originally WINDOWS only, but is now available for all three platforms of Windows, Mac and Linux (and tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS). Changelog Version 1.1.1 (August 5th 2022) ## Features - Added animated switches - Added metric altitude (accessible via PFD → ALT UNIT) - Added transmit & receive indicators (xPilot only for now) ## Minor Changes - Updated sounds - Hide passengers when chocks are on - Add option to unhide flaps and trim from G1000 - Cover blue borders in pop outs - ECU output load should no longer be calculated when the engine is off - Removed libradio (for now) ## Fixes - Fixed trim/elevator deflection, trim travel time, and airfoils - Fixed engine starter for Saitek panels - Added missing stall horn - Fixed high electrical load Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required). The aircraft is currently on sale at US$18.71 down from the retail Price:$24.99, so you Save:$6.28(25%) Images are courtesy of SimSolutions ________________________________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 (Current sale price sale at US$18.71) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 4 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 377 MB Current version: 1.1.1 (August 5th 2022) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 6th August 2022 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  8. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : AMD Alarus CH2000 by SimSolutions The AMD Alarus CH2000 is a two-seat, fixed tricycle gear general aviation airplane, used primarily for flight training, that was designed by Chris Heintz. It is manufactured by Aircraft Manufacturing and Design Co. in Eastman, Georgia. The CH2000 is a low-wing aircraft, with one door located above each wing, respectively. It can be considered a competitor to similar aircraft used for flight training, such as the Diamond DA20. The Alarus was offered in two variants: the AMD Alarus CH2000 general aviation aircraft and the SAMA CH2000 Military Tactical Surveillance Aircraft (MTSA). Since 2011 the aircraft is no longer in production by AMD, although Zenair provides parts support. SimSolutions CH2000 is a faithful rendition of the real aircraft with high-resolution textures, accurate flight characteristics, and an accurately modeled airframe. Features Fully Modeled 4K PBR Textures Custom GNS 430 Start Sequence Custom GTX 327 Transponder Custom KR87 ADF Functioning Doors Individually Click Tie Downs/Chocks Standard Six Layout Custom FMOD Sounds AviTab Integration Aircraft Guide (.pdf) Liveries Default (White) N269AM N622AM N284AM HI 878 C-FTRR A Light simple two-seater aircraft are always a "Lotta" fun, well worth checking out... Now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore for US$23.95 and includes a free update to X-Plane12. Images are courtesy of SimSolutions. _____________________ Yes! the Aircraft Released : AMD Alarus CH2000 by SimSolutions is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : AMD Alarus CH2000 Price is US$23.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Free Updates to X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB+ VRAM minimum Download Size: 332 MB Current version: 1.0 (May 18th 2022) ________________________________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 23rd May 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved
  9. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions We have had several versions of Diamond Aircraft in the X-Plane Simulator, with the Diamond DA62 from Aerobask (with also their earlier Aerobask DA-42 ), but not the DA40. This aircraft from SimSolutions is the Diamond DA40NG. The DA40NG was offered only in selected markets only, and is powered by an Austro Engine AE 300 165.6 hp (123.5 kW) running on JET A-1 fuel. The aircraft was EASA certified April 2010. By December 2020, 500 NG models had been produced, and is noticeable by the deep nose cowling around the larger engine. Being a NG (New Generation) it has the G1000 (laminar based) twin-display avionics system, and the aircraft is a four seater. Feature list is as follows. Notable (and oddly the aircraft is currently and WINDOWS only?) Features Fully modeled exterior 4K PBR Textures Fully modeled 3D cockpit 3D cockpit modeled using AFM diagrams Opening of doors (Canopy and Passenger) Laminar G1000 Integration with custom EIS Custom FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ AviTab integration Guide on how to use aircraft (.pdf) Plugin Toggleable Tie Downs, Inlet Covers, Chocks Custom EIS system Toggleable Tablet Liveries Default (White) D-ENGJ N712LA N913DA OE-DWS OE-DAF OE-UDI Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required). Images are courtesy of SimSolutions ________________________________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows Only 4 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 355 MB Current version: 1.0.1a (November 21st 2021) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd November 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  10. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Piper J3 Cub by SimSolutions Just only in November 2021 did SimSolutions release their first aircraft in the Diamond DA40NG for the X-Plane Simulator. The quick follow up release is the iconic Piper Cub, or the Piper J3. The J3 Cub is a two seat, single engine STOL aircraft. It is most often powered by an air-cooled flat 4 piston engine. It has been a staple in the General Aviation community since 1938 with around 20,000 models built and served a mild purpose during World War II under a different title. The feature and livery list is quite comprehensive for such a small aircraft... Features Fully modeled exterior 4K PBR Textures Fully modeled interior Functioning doors Removable cowling 6 instrument panel layout Custom FMOD Sounds Custom Handheld Radio AviTab integration Aircraft Guide (.pdf) Toggleable Covers, Ground Clutter (Tent) Standard Tires, Tundra Tires, Floats Optional Wheel Fairings Hand Propping Liveries Default (NC85GG) CF-KLF C-FOXQ G-BVAF SP-AWP Highlight includes all Standard Tires, Tundra Tires and Float options with a number of quirky features such as a custom hand held radio, hand propping ability, and toggleable covers. Images are courtesy of SimSolutions ________________________________________ The Piper J3 Cub by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Piper J3 Cub SimSolutions Price is US$17.65 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB+ VRAM minimum Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version: 1.0 (February 27th 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 1st March 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
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