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  1. NEWS! - Aircraft Release : Legendary Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT by Ted Cook One of the true first pioneers of passenger aviation was actually built by a car company, it is the legendary Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT. Ford Trimotor (also called the "Tri-Motor", and nicknamed the "Tin Goose") it is an American three-engined transport aircraft. Production started in 1925 by the companies of Henry Ford and ended on June 7, 1933. A total of 199 Ford Trimotors were made. It was designed for the civil aviation market, but also saw service with military units. The 4-AT is the smaller but more powerful of the Tri-Motors as the 5-AT was larger. This package from Ted Cook contains several (three) versions of the 4-AT. The basic 4-AT model comes in both wheel and float versions and includes 11 liveries (Ford, Stout Aerial Tours, Standard Oil, Ford NC1077, Miss Niagara, United Air Transport (Canada), Northern Airways (Yukon), Maddux, Curtiss-Wright, NYRBA (South America), and the Tri-Ford). Making headlines became a Trimotor trademark. On November 27th and 28th, 1929, Commander Richard E. Byrd (navigator), chief pilot Bernt Balchen, and two other crewmen, the copilot and the photographer, made the first flight above the geographic South Pole in a Ford Trimotor that Byrd named the Floyd Bennett. This was one of three aircraft taken on this polar expedition, with the other two being named The Stars and Stripes and The Virginian, replacing the Fokker Trimotors that Byrd had previously used. All models feature: FMOD custom sounds Highly detailed PBR textures A pop-up to control co-pilot functions such as the fuel controls located behind the pilot and for quick readout of engine-mounted gauges The Garmin 430 can be displayed if modern flying is desired POH flight manual The Tri-Motor was powered by three 220-hp (165-kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial piston engines, accommodation for two pilots and 12 passengers. This classic design is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore. Images are courtesy of Ted Cook Productions _____________________________________ Yes! - Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT by Ted Cook Productions is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Ford Tri-Motor Model 4-AT Price is Currently US$19.95 (You Save:$6.00(23%) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1.0 (July 20th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 23rd July 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 Rights Reserved
  2. Aircraft Review : Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT by Ted Cook Productions There was a time when you went to a field, yes only a green grass field, you climbed into a machine and flew to another green field at your destination. There was no carparking, no security, no scanners, no food courts, no flight boards, no wifi, no boarding gates, no airbridges, no taxi holding, no waiting in line to takeoff, no holding patterns, all you did was pass over your bags and got into an aircraft and flew in the air... it was the first "Golden age of Air Travel". It was impossibly dangerous as well? The machines were to say very are very basic, flying was rough, noisy and the chances of you crashing in bad weather were very high... but it was all very exciting as well. These were first all metal aircraft after the earlier even more dangerous fabric and wire designs. The all metal construction was pioneered by a German called Professor Hugo Junkers with his Junkers J1. Clever advanced manufacturing in control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and rudders) which were not now fabric-covered, but they were also made of corrugated metal in making airframes strong but light. These basic principles were the picked up by an American called William Bushnell Stout who adapted an airframe very similar to Junkers single-engined Fokker F.VII and even then still using the same airfoil cross section at the wing root. But Stout required investment to further his designs and his company. And so he asked for shares to create a new aircraft company In the early 1920s called Stout Metal Airplane Company. Henry Ford, along with a group of 19 other investors including his son Edsel, invested in the new company and very quickly in 1925 bought out the company lock stock and barrel and then Henry Ford also had an aircraft manufacturing company as well as his car company. The result was the single-engined Stout monoplane which was then turned into a trimotor, the Stout 3-AT with three Curtiss-Wright air-cooled radial engines, and it flew for the first time June 11th, 1926. The original (commercial production) 4-AT had three air-cooled Wright radial engines. It carried a crew of three: a pilot, a copilot, and a stewardess, as well as eight or nine passengers .The later 5-AT had more powerful 420-hp (320-kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial piston engines, accommodation for two pilots, a stewardess and now 13 passengers, the wingspan was increased by 3 ft 10 in (1.17 m). Success for the aircraft was immediate, The Tri-Motor now nicknamed the "Tin Goose" was cheap ($42,000 in 1933 which is about $736,000 in 2013), strong and reliable and that was all you required to start an airline service. Just under 200 were built as aircraft design advanced very quickly and the stalwart DC2 and Boeing's 274 suddenly became the aircraft to have. In July of 1929, Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) then inaugurated “coast to coast” air/rail service. This was a route developed by Charles Lindbergh, and passengers could cross the country in 48 hours travelling by rail at night and Tri-Motor by day. TAT would later become TWA and soon inaugurate all-air service from coast to coast. and many other American airlines emerged with the Tri-Motor like American Airlines, United Airlines and Pan American Airlines flew and also created significant routes like Miami to Cuba under the wings of this aircraft. And many aircraft were used by the military as well as C-3 and C4A's. You also have to understand how much Ford and this aircraft helped in introducing many aspects of the modern aviation infrastructure, including paved runways, passenger terminals, hangars, airmail, and radio navigation, he created the airport from the field innovation. More so that on November 27th and 28th, 1929, Commander Richard E. Byrd (navigator), chief pilot Bernt Balchen, and two other crewmen, the copilot and the photographer, made the first flight above the geographic South Pole in a Ford Trimotor that Byrd named the Floyd Bennett. Significantly many Tri-Motors still survive today, 18 are still in existence and eight are still airworthy and one of the most famous was the Scenic Airways Ford Trimotor N414H which was used for 65 years as a sightseeing aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon. Sadly these few if great aircraft was Henry Ford's first and last foray into personal aircraft production but the Tri-Motor was not to be Ford's last venture in aircraft production. During World War II, the largest aircraft manufacturing plant in the world was built at the Willow Run, at his Michigan plant, where Ford produced thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers under license from Consolidated Aircraft. Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT One of the most brilliant things in simulation is you get the chance to enjoy these great pioneering aircraft. I loved VSKYLABS amazing DC-3 only a short time ago (and still fly it regularly) and now here is the famous "The Tin Goose". Overall the modeling is not bad, the Fokker style corrugated surfaces and the metal wings are faithfully reproduced, but all surfaces are more in a light grey and not in the silver, silver metallic look you would expect. You have to be aware of how basic these aircraft really where, although advanced for their day, they are at their heart a very simple machine with just the very basic items required for flight. Nice highlight is the metal cowling around the rear of the front engine. The Wasp radial piston engines R-1340 which was a nine cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with 1,340 cubic inches of displacement (hence R-1340). Engine detailing is very good, and important on an aircraft of this era. The intricate inlet and exhaust outlet valves cover mostly the air-cooled inner cylinders (think Volkswagen air-cooled engines) and the exhaust manifolds are connected to a circular exhaust exiting under the airframe with the front engine and to the side on the outer engines. They look very fragile today, but they were more solid and reliable than they looked, only strange thing is the outer engine cowlings on some liveries have a tendency to go transparent from some visual angles? The double-spoon like "Standard" propellers and don't twist for feathering, they are well done and look authentic. Another note to this era is the external wire or cable pulley system to the control surfaces, the front cable is the rudder and the rear is the elevator. It does look extremely fragile and a primitive way of flying the aircraft, but even fast jets and airliners used this system only to a few decades ago, only you didn't see the cables exposed like you do here. They are fascinating to operate and watch in action. Front undercarriage is solid, with the huge balloon tyres do most of the suspension work. Modeling is good, solid without being exceptional. Rear passenger door opens, but only from the inside. You can use F keys to open and close four items including the rear door Shift F1, internal bathroom door Shift F4 and two strange ways to carry your suitcases... in the wings? Press Shift F2 to open the right side luggage rack to drop down from the wing, or Shift F3 for the left rack... all animations can be set with the sliders as well. There is no static elements or external features, menus are not provided either. Cockpit The cockpit is beyond weird! Part airship, part car and part battleship and a bit of WW2 bomber thrown in for good measure. No yoke or joysticks here, just a hybrid wheel and left over Ford Model A parts. The four on the floor is your hand-operated "Johnny brake" or Johnson Brake. The control system is very basic as both yokes are mounted on a single crossbar, forward and back in your pitch and turn the wheel for bank. Instrument panel is basic. Centre instruments covers air speed (MPH) top, then three instruments covering Altitude, Turn Rate (bank) and Pitch (Climb/Descend) in 1000ft markers. Lower panel is a clock and AMP gauge, and that is it. Far left is a basic COMM 1&2, NAV 1&2 and ADF 1&2 radio with a transponder set below. Right panel is the engine readouts for RPM and the temperatures for the Engine and Oil. But these dials are only for the front engine? If you want the RPM and Temperatures for either the left or right engines, you have to look out at the particular engine strut as the dials are located out there. An early style of pedestal has the lovely three throttle levers set up on top. Lower front are the three engine start switches and ignition, lower pedestal is the mixture with RICH and LEAN. A lower lever is for the front engine carburettor heat. Electrical switches are under the co-pilot's seat? Including the Master, GEN (generator) and Position (Navigation), Landing Lights. There is case behind the co-pilot's seat that if pressed will bring up a GNS430 at the top of the main window strut, it is very small but can be opened in a window for use. Cabin Think old fashioned Wild West Railroad and you will understand the design of the Tri-Motor's cabin. Wicker chairs and simulated gas lighting is so very far removed from Boeing latest LED mood lighting, I don't know if I could sit in them flying for hours of a time, but the seat pitch is brilliant! The curtain design is simply awful, flat, looks more like wood than fabric and not very realistic? But the cabin window view is excellent, and in these slow, low altitude aircraft the views must have been heavenly is noisy. There is a bathroom in the rear, with a full sink and toilet... Again toilet space you can dream of today, you can actually turn around in there... Overall the cabin was quite dark, it is very hard to get any light into the internal areas of the aircraft Flying the Tin Goose Starting these old radial Wasp's is a bit of fun, until they don't start. Like anything with carburettors you have to be patient and get the mixture and throttle positions correct. Part of the problem is in X-Plane that you have to lock in your throttles in together, as you can't assign an left or right throttle to each engine, so the throttle position is the same for every one of the three engines. So it is mixture RICH, unless you over flood those carburettors, then throttle to about a third. Then you have to primer pump the engine (three strokes) then turn the particular engine's Magneto IGNITION switch to start... Then pray! That is starting the centre front engine, but what of the other left and right engines? Well the engine primers and carburettor heat is up high behind you on the bulkhead? Also up here is the fuel tank switches, fuel tank gauges and elevator trim controls... yes you have to physically get out of your seat to set the aircraft's trim? In X-Plane we can get around that by having a pop-up screen with those controls, switches and dials, in this case you press the button on the panel for it to open. The tailwheel is locked so the Tri-Motor is easy to taxi, but it is hard to see out of, I had a habit of taxiing too close to one side of the taxiway... The pilot's and co-pilot's side windows open, in the real aircraft it would be easier to stick you head out to taxi... but this is X-Plane. You have to use the throttle slowly to get away as this is taildragger and getting the air around the ruder for control, but there is far more power than you expected and the Tri-Motor is more faster and less lumbersome than you expect it to be. Again I still held my takeoff run too far to the left? The Tri-Motor is certainly a more feel than instrument aircraft, in fact you barely look at the instruments, except for the vertical pitch guide. Takeoff is around an easy 95mph. There are no flaps to set, in fact nothing at all but put up the power and fly... You never really get used to that heavy battleship wheelhouse feel in the cockpit, it is weird! Climb is just under 1000fpm at 950fpm, which is very good for an old aircraft and you settle down at a top speed 135 mph and with a cruising Speed 115 mph. Your range is an impressive 510 miles (normal), 650 miles (maximum/ferry) and you can climb as high as 17,000ft with a ceiling at 18,500ft which is highly impressive. You must switch the fuel tanks via the pop-up screen and not the real bulkhead switches for you to get the transfer, and obviously setting the trim up there is hard, or interesting depending on the way you do it. Overall though the Tri-Motor is not an hard aircraft to fly... it is very basic with a basic sort of semi-heavy aircraft feel, so don't think you need any special flying skill's to fly an aircraft this old... because you don't Sound is FMOD, so they are modern and not bad, nice aspect is you feel the bass and thrumming of the radial engines, so there is nice comforting noise as you thump your way through the air. Autopilot... "get outta here"... Your it mate! So correct trimming of the aircraft will take away a lot of the hard work at the yoke except to point it where and which way you want to fly. So the feel is nice, if like I say basic. In landing you don't have any aids or flaps, so it is strictly stick and rudder stuff. Landing is a little tricky in seeing the runway with that all heavy metalwork around you and in your line of sight. Stall is around 64mph, so an approach is usually around 95mph to say just under 80mph on landing. There are no reversers or airbrakes, and you can't hit the brakes either unless you want to flip the aircraft end over end... So you have to run the speed off as much as you can while steering the aircraft straight, which is slightly harder than said. Eventually the Tri-Motor will settle and you can taxi off the runway with now a slight touch of the brakes. Landing on a grass runway does help a little more in running off the speed more quicker, but most will still land on the harder surfaces. Lighting The internal lighting is about as basic as you can get. The dials on the panel faintly glow in the dark, but you can adjust the overhead lighting via a panel knob to give you some more light to read the instruments, but overall this would not be an aircraft that would have been flown at night. The cabin looks like it is lit by candles in a horror ghost haunted house film, dim and dimmer. External lighting is again basic. Two good wing landing lights help, but otherwise there are just three position lights (navigation) and no strobes. Liveries There are nine authentic liveries including : Ford (default), TWA, Pan American Airlines - PAA, Northwest Airlines, NAT - National Air Lines, TAT - Transcontinental Air Transport Inc, Stout Air Lines, American Airlines and a blank livery. Summary What you get here is a transport, a transport in time to another era of when airline operations where in their infancy, the start of a new era and one that will in time totally change the world. The flying was completely different as well. These aircraft are very basic, they function as only flying machines, and there are simply no gimmicks or flying aids. The Tri-Motor is just a simple flying machine pure and simple. The modeling is fine, just as you don't want anything too deep and classical, ditto that on mostly everything here. There are no menu's, or standout features except for a few pop-up's and a really not needed GNS430. Sounds are pretty good and the handling is quite good as well, so everything in here is not too deep or throughtful, but just a plain but old aircraft. But the Ford Tri-Motor is an interesting aircraft, one you can enjoy and if you want something special to coexist with from the same period then download the "1940s Lighted Airways" feature on the X-Plane.Org... these are a replication of the early navigation towers and their position along the early flight routes that these Tri-Motors flew along with, so you will be able to live out a bit of history as well as also learning of this bygone era... well worth the download... So lately with the excellent VSKYLABS DC-3 and now this Ford Tri-Motor, you can fly and enjoy a different era, I enjoyed it immensely as this aircraft was a simple quick ticket to the early past of aviation's glory years. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT by Ted Cook Productions is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT Your Price: $19.95 Features: For X-Plane 11 Fmod custom sound integration PBR texturing A pop-up to control co-pilot functions and give quick readout of engine-mounted gauges A portable Garmin 430 can be mounted in the cockpit if modern flying is desired Documentation POH manual timetables for TAT and TWA 'Coast to Coast Service'. Pilot the Tri-Motor on the routes planned out by Charles Lindbergh for the first coast to coast air service in the United States. Recreate these epic flights and enjoy the Golden Age of Aviation with the Ford Tri-Motor, one of the most significant aircraft in history. Liveries Eight liveries are included Ford, Stout, TAT, TWA, NAT, Northwest, Pan American, and American. A blank paint is also included. Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1..0 (Last updated July 28th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for the Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT is a hefty 693.70mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 768.30mb in size. Documents provided are: Tri-motor POH TAT_TWA Timetables The timetables allow you to recreate the original routes as set by these airlines in their early days, they are well worth simulating. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 8th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KPVG - Hampton Roads animated HD Photo-realistic airport 1.0 by Marc Leydecker ((X-Plane.Org) - Free
  3. Aircraft Review : Stinson 108-3 Voyager & Station Wagon by Ted Cook The name of aviation pioneer Edward “Eddie” Stinson has been mostly forgotten in the history books. Mostly because he died flying in 1932 while on a sales trip at Chicago, Illinois at only the age of 38 years old. But it would be a mistake to not discredit Stinson's contribution to aviation. His first four seater biplane Stinson SB-1 Detroiter was the first fixed-wing aircraft with a heated, soundproof cabin, electric starter, and wheel brakes. Powered by either a Wright J-5 (SB-1) or Wright J-6 (SB-1D), the Detroiter became quickly an overnight success. The SM-6000 Airliner was a 1930s three-engined (trimotor) ten-passenger airliner that was as design breaking and as modern in the era as any of today's aviation giants. Another Stinson great was the Model O open cockpit high-wing parasol aircraft, and from the early 1920's till the founder's accident the Stinson Aircraft company was one of the real big aviation pioneers and if Eddie Stinson had continued there would be no doubt that his name would have been as familiar as today's other great aviation manufacturers along side of Boeing, Lockheed, Douglas and McDonnell. After Eddie Stinson's death the company survived until the 1950's and found a niche in supplying the U.S. Forces with excellent aerial reconnaissance and short field liaison aircraft. This aircraft here in the 108-3 Voyager was the post war version of the famous U.S. Army's L-5 Sentinel, one of the most used and least recognized U.S. aircraft of the Second World War. And later was also the basis for Piper Aircraft which bought the company in 1949 to be transformed from this original Stinson design (the "Twin Stinson") into the successful Piper Apache, the world's first general aviation all-metal twin-engined modern aircraft. The 108-3 was powered a Franklin 6A4 six cylinder, horizontally opposed four stroke, aircraft engine with 165 hp (123 kW) and 5,260 model 108 aircraft were built. Performance: Maximum speed: 143 mph (230 km/h; 124 kn) - Cruise speed: 121 mph (105 kn; 195 km/h)- Stall speed: 65 mph (56 kn; 105 km/h) - Range: 510 mi (443 nmi; 821 km) - Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5,029 m) - Rate of climb (V/S): 850 ft/min (4.3 m/s) This 1948 108-3 aircraft is the first release for X-Plane from Ted Cook Productions. And this package comes in three versions... VFR Panel, IFR Panel and Floats. We will explore the IFR Panel version and note the other versions as required. The strange first view of the 108-3 is that it is the most unfamiliar, familiar aircraft you know. There is a lot of Beaver in the design, most notably in the tail. But for it's period of design it is a modern aircraft that would not be out of place on any kit design aircraft of today with a strikingly similar six cylinder, horizontally opposed four stroke engine in the nose (Porsche anyone). The Stinson is not going to win any great 3d or texture design awards, but it is well done and as I would note as sturdy and would certainly fit into the same quality and completeness and the well liked and loved designs of STMA (Shade Tree Micro Aviation) and X-Hangar's aircraft. Highlight is the lovely wooden twin-prop propeller. Both the pilot and co-pilot's doors open via the internal handles or using the Shift F1/2 keys. The small rear cabin baggage compartment can also be opened via the Shift F3 key, but like me you may want to reset the 3-slider to another key to make it work. The glovebox can be also opened via the knob switch. The door windows also slide open, but not evenly in that if the door is open then the glass is not flush with the frame. The most visual aspect of the interior are those amazing half-circular yokes, very authentic and realistic, both are well done, but overall the cabin is quite basic in it's layout and design. The differences are that the Voyager uses the cloth seats and paneling, and Station Wagon version uses the wood grain paneling which looks very nice here. The main differences in the versions are on the the way the instrument panal's are set out for VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flight. VFR The VFR version has a very basic set of instruments with a Compass, Airspeed, Altimeter, RPM Gauge as your only flight tools, aircraft instruments include - Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Fuel gauge and Amperage. Switch gear is also quite basic. The radio set is the most significant difference with just a Com 1 Tuner, and a BendixKing transponder in keeping with the original 108-3 design. The VFR version comes with the nice and brighter Voyager cloth paneling. IFR The IFR version has a more comprehensive set out instrument panel with the same Compass, Airspeed, Altimeter, RPM Gauge. But then added are is a Turn-Indicator and Vertical Speed Indicator as part of the flight tools. A really good navigation VOR (2) and ADF pointer instrument and gyro based artificial horizon (Attitude Indicator (AI)) are set either side of the compass. A clock is added between the aircraft instruments. As required the IFR radio is more comprehensive with settings for Com 1 and 2, Nav (VOR) 1 and 2 and ADF 1 and 2, the same BendixKing transponder is set out below. All the instruments are a bit glazed over to note age, but can be hard to read, more darker depth would have worked better and help in their usefulness. You can hide the pilot's yoke but not the co-pilot's which is odd as the wheel covers some required instruments making them hard to read. Float The float version uses the internals of the IFR panel and hangs a set of two very nice floats under the aircraft (There is no Tundra or Ski versions available). The floats are really nicely done but have no built in land wheels, so they are for water operations only, rudder steering is very good and they can be raised in the air but with the brake-handle and not the usual switch or landing gear lever. Flying the Stinson 108-3 A bit of carb heat and a setting of the mixture full in and you will also require a few pulls of the "primer" to give the cylinders some juice and then you can flip the right red switch to start and the Franklin 6A4 will suddenly bursts into life. Engine sounds are from a real Stinson Franklin 6A4 and they do sound good, and very realistic in flight. There is a guide in the manual that allows to correctly calculate the correct aircraft weight and balance with the X-Plane aircraft settings which is very helpful. Unlike most tail-draggers the 108-3 is quite easy to navigate on the ground. The aircraft will go where it is pointed and you can taxi with a nice sense of purpose. The view forward with the tail down is not great, the iconic airframe strengthening struts across the main windscreen don't help the situation either. So glancing left you mark your way down the runway as the tail lifts and around 80knts you are flying. One of the natural aspects of the Stinson is that it is very a nice aircraft to fly, nicely balanced and easy in your movements with the yoke. Very quickly you feel very comfortable with the machine, and yes say "I like this!". You are not going to break any speed records, or create new altitude feats worthy of the records book but a 16,500 ft (5,029 m) ceiling is very impressive for a small aircraft of this open design. You can easily see or feel why this aircraft was the perfect spotters aircraft in it's prime. You can set the maximum rate of roll (via a switch) and the fueling system is quite complex. There is a upper toggle switch is for the fuel level indicator and the lower red valve switch assigns of which tank is supplying the fuel to the engine. It is important to note that the fuel level switch does not switch the actual fuel lines from the left or right tanks (the big left red switch does that) but just shows the amount of fuel in the selected tank. The aircraft trim is set via a winder knob (Elevation) and a turning knob (Rudder) on the roof. Which is very well done and easy to use. The overhead light is adjustable but it is useless in the day. You can putter about up here all day, cruising above the fields and passing traffic. Feel the yoke in your hands and take the aircraft easily in any direction you want to go, it is nice place to be. Reality kicks in with a rush as a (WorldTraffic) KingAir powers over me to land on KLAL (Lakeland) Runway 09. Surprisingly the VOR and ADF pointers are very handy in navigating your correct approach path in the right hands and with experience. It is the learning and discipline that constant X-Plane flying can add to your experience, in that like me in only a few years you can navigate like a pro and use these tools to their full use and being very confident and sure in your flying. The flap lever is down between the front seats and they are very effective, the aircraft does not float per se, but it does give you a lot of stability to position the aircraft of where you want to to go with a great and easy allowance to lose altitude for an easy (if perfect) landing at around 55knts. The trick though is not a sweet landing but actually stopping the aircraft when the front wheels are down on the hard stuff. Once on the runway the 108-3 will quite happily power on down the concrete and on into the scenery. If you hit the brakes too fast the aircraft will simply flip (not good) or do as I did and run off as much speed as possible and then gently just touch the brakes briefly a few times to bring the tailwheel down to a hard contact, again go softly on the brakes till you are well down to taxi speed. It is trick but get it right and it works. Lighting Internal lighting and panel lighting is average. Only with the internal roof light set to very bright can you see the instruments? Not good as they are all quite blank and useless in normal operation, the yokes turn yellow as well. The roof mounted light is adjustable and when fully lit it does show off the cabin in a far better light (no pun intended), you can see the detail and work that is far better than it looks in the daylight. External lighting is basic, with a landing and taxi light in the left wing and standard navigation lights. Liveries There is one blank livery and two themes in a blue or red theme with all three versions, an L-5 Sentinel Army livery would have been a nice addition. Quality is fine and 4K but a little dull. Summary The surprise here is that this 1948 Stinson 108-3 is a very nice aircraft to fly. If you are a Bush Pilot tragic, or love those noisy slow STMA (Shade Tree Micro Aviation) hedge hopping aircraft then you will love this Stinson. It is very well done for what it is, but it is just a basic aircraft. There is a nice set of versions of the aircraft in the package, giving you some flying versatility and the float version is excellent. I would like those instruments to be far more authentic and even readable in the dark, a bit more details (seatbelts/cargo version?) and a few more features would be nice. But overall 108-3 is an interesting if iconic aircraft, and like I noted I had a hoot of a time flying it around, it is just so nice behind the controls that you can stay up there all day with the birds, I think Eddie would have approved of the aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Stinson 108-3 Voyager & Station Wagon by Ted Cook is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : 1948 Stinson 108-3 Package Your Price: $18.00 Features: Included in the Stinson Package: All three versions of the Stinson 108 Engine sounds from actual Stinson 108-3 with Franklin engine. High resolution (4k) textures. Animated doors, windows, control surfaces, instruments and more. Accurate layout, panel and performance. Weight and balance chart. Pilots Operating Handbook Requirements: X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) Windows, Mac or Linux 1Gb VRAM Video Card Current Version: 1.1 (last updated May 27th 2016) Frameweight wise the Stinson is light as a feather Installation and documents: Download for the Tu-154M is 284.40meg and the unzipped file deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 3.88.30mb. One POH (Pilots Operating Handbook) manual is included. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 11th June 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note there has been a few personal additions returned to this KLAL with a mobile office and trucks returned that were omitted from the v2.01 that I liked in v1.0)
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